Another trickle ... Teaser number 6:
The incoming batch will have 4 colours: Black, blue, red and purple. 5 of each have been ordered.
Some of the hardware will stay black as well as the plastic parts. So they'll either be all-black or red/black etc.
The switch button is being machined from 7075-T6 Al and is coming in each of the colours. So I'll be able to make a black V3 with just a red button (along with many other combinations). I don't know what I'll like yet so I just ordered a bunch of each to try out. When they arrive I'll start playing dress-ups.
red black for me please
Yeah I keep finding redbacks in my yard/house. I figure it's a sign that there should be a redback V3.
Nice .... i'll take Purple with a Red switch button
Of course if you do end up buying one then you can have any colours you want... but I'll assemble it with my eyes closed.
I really am bored waiting for my new toys to arrive. I'm told they will be sent to the annodisers soon but they always take a few weeks.
Teaser number 7:
The two 18650 cells are in parallel and individually accessible.
- You can run the headlight with only one 18650 cell if you want.
- You can replace one cell at a time and never be without light.
The second assumes you don't mind mixing cells of different charge levels. For the 5 seconds it takes to swap a cell, I don't mind.
Hey Ash- do u test yer switches & connectors etc for resistance?
I know one of the problems with high amp lights that run on single cell voltages can have bottlenecks resistance-wise.
I think my friend is selling his Betty and Wilma for something else as he's bummed on the cool tint in the fog.
Im trying to steer him in yer direction.
I think a filter swatch would be an easy fix for him but he wants to sell one at least which should leave him with enough $ for something nice.
Those Lupines hold their value well.
I'm excited to see the new lens!
I'd grab the "road train" but I'm committed to one of KevinMs hosts and really like to dork around with my drop-ins.
The Roadtrain does run at higher voltage (3S-5S -> approx 2.3A - 1.4A in the cable) so the currents aren't too high anyway. The most the V3 can pull is 2.5A which is only 1.25A from each cell. In normal use, I don't expect anyone to go above 1.4A in the V3.
Totally- I think the VAN quad drops with direct to copper make up for it somewhat.
I just worry that it's hard to push 5.6a at only 4.2 (3.7)volts in any light.
Not to get off topic
Yeah they're pretty good dropins for thermal conductivity (assuming that it can transfer quick enough into the host). 5.6A is even harder than I'd like to push a McClicky, so you really need a FET of some sort. KevinM has gone up to a 10A mechanical switch, so it should be fine.
Then I went on to talk about the currents that the light can pull, but that was really just to show that they're not in the same range as the high-powered lights (about which psychbeat was talking).
OK that makes good sense. Now I understand.
I wish I could put pics of the whole thing up by now. I should have had it weeks ago, but I'm told early next week will be the delivery date.
Flood beam with clear lens.
Flood beam with frosted lens.
Both of the above use a tight 10mm optic, so they can be made much floodier, but after lots of experimenting, I like the tight optic with frosted lens. When I'm outside, I can't sense a hotspot because everything looks evenly lit up. Of course the things in front of me are maybe 10m+ away while my feet are only 1.5m away. So the centre of the beam does need to be brighter. The overall effect is a very smooth transition. I can't see any edge to the beam in my peripheral vision and that makes me happy.
Some plastic parts. These are the back brackets to which the battery pack attaches. 40mm slots for nice wide elastic. You can just see the 100mm radius curve in the photo. It's not a big curve, just enough for comfort. They have a bit of flex in them too.
I expected to just make solid colours (like black, red, blue, white, purple etc) but here you can see my first attempt at a black/white marble. I'm thrilled with how it came out.
These parts aren't as perfectly uniform as you'd get from a commercial injection moulder, but I'm very happy with them. I can make 1 set per day with my setup and that's all I need.
Last edited by ahorton; 12-15-2011 at 04:17 AM.
paypal addy before i spend it all on other crap
Sorry I can't accept any money yet. I'll wait 'till I have the parts.
I think It's up to 7 or 8 weeks now. Very unhappy with my machinist and I imagine it's not going to get any closer over the Christmas / new-year period.
What kind of price range are we looking at ???
Shiny things specialist.
Are you really sure of this 30m waterproof rating? I just started cave diving and it would be useful to have a headlamp I could use in dry cave areas which could be taken underwater without worrying. I don't plan to rely underwater on your lamp because I have much more specialized lights for that, just need to be sure that 30 meters does not kill your Spike.
Price range is looking like $250-$300 (I'm thinking AUD but USD is close enough that I don't mind and I can use them anyway) without the 18650 cells or charger. One of the aims of this design was to let people work out their own 18650 preferences.
As for the 30m rating. I'll need to do a lot more testing to be sure. I've just tested a single prototype so far. All I did was put it in a bucket of water inside a pressure tank and hold the pressure at 300-350kPa (40-50psi) for a few hours. That's all my tank can handle but I'll be interested to try it at higher pressure oneday. My concern about 30m cave diving is not the pressure so much as all the other abuse it will take. Changing the 18650 cells with muddy hands and getting a small rock in the oring groove are the sort of things that kill a seal.
The lighthead has no moving parts penetrating the sealed body. The switch is magnetic (the button moves a tiny magnet on the outside of the body and a momentary reed switch inside closes and opens). This becomes a problem for compasses but only within about 100mm (and only seriously within about 75mm). -> I'll confirm these numbers again later on.
So the ways for water to get in the light head are:
1. Broken cable and water seeps along the wires. Not impossible. It's only a 4.5mm cable but it's pretty strong and can always be beefed up. At both ends of the cable, the electronics are potted, so water in the cable probably won't be a problem anyway.
2. Broken lens. The lenses are 3mm crown glass at their thinnest point (14mm at the thickest). There is an aluminium ridge protecting them so it'd need to be a very strong and direct impact.
3. Failed Oring. The surfaces are annodised 7075 aluminium and crown glass. Both are pretty hard and scratch resistant. The orings are all 2.6mm diameter. Like any oring, they'll fail without proper maintenance, but they are static and should last a very long time. I suppose they could be replaced with cheap quality or wrong-sized orings and that would cause a problem.
4. Broken aluminium body. You'd have to pe pretty rough with it. 7075 aluminium is pretty strong. Scratches and dents will happen, but a pierce or break seem unlikely.
The battery case is probably more prone to leaks because it gets opened and closed and has plastic parts.
1. The plastic surfaces might get scratched and ruin the oring seal. I've gone for 3.5mm diameter orings which are very forgiving of the surfaces (I tested by roughing up the surfaces and was surprised at how long it kept the seal). The surfaces can often be repaired anyway with a bit of fine grit sandpaper. If the lid is kept shut on the battery case, I don't see why it should ever get bad scratches. It does get opened and closed every time the cells are changed, so it will need maintenance.
2. The plastice parts may break. The thinnest part of the battery case is 2mm. I tried to keep the weight down but if you hit it with a hammer then it will eventually crack. For a really tough caving version, I may choose to increase it to 4mm at the thinnest but this will be too heavy to take jogging.
3. The mechanism that holds the battery case shut is virtually unbreakable. In the event that it gets lost (very unlikely, but I like redundancy) the battery case is also designed to be held closed with electrical/gaffa/strapping tape very easily. This may seem like a silly thing to design for, but since it is possible to remove the latch, I have to assume that someone will eventually lose it.
If/when the battery case floods, the cells will be ruined, but the lighthead should still be fine.
The Spike V3 was not designed as a caving headlamp. It was meant more for adventure racing in which it'll never go deeper than 2m. A worst case might be capsizing a kayak in salt water. For that purpose I think it's over-designed and very reliable. For cave diving, it's probably good enough, but it's not over-designed.
Other options that spring to mind are Kevinm's new P60 host or the Rude Nora, Sten, Scurion etc. These are all designed with caving in mind and may offer a better gaurantee. It could depend on what sort of beam you want too.
Last edited by ahorton; 12-27-2011 at 04:44 PM.
Wow, 30m is nice! Also, 7075 at $300 is great.
Any updates? This light sounds like a night trail runners dream.
Delivery of the aluminium parts was 2 months late, but I finally got the news that they were ready a few days ago. Hopefully I can collect them tonight or tomorrow.
Sadly, I'm very busy with both work and family right now, so they're going to sit on the shelf for a little while.
As for trail running, I think they're great. I designed them for runners who want to see more than just their feet.