PK Design Lab
Results 1 to 16 of 16

Thread: XML offroad project.

  1. #1

    Default XML offroad project UPDATED WITH VIDEO!

    First off let me make it clear that this project is for off-road purposes only and will not violate rule #11 as these will never be turned on while on an actual road or paved surface or whatever you want to call it. The light housings that I am retrofitting were never meant to be run as headlights or driving lights and were only meant for off-road purposes only in the first place. I hope that covers my intent and the purpose of this project. I get the feeling the mods are reading this with one eyebrow raised.

    I have had a pair of KC brand slim lights mounted on brackets that sit on the bottom corners of my windshield on my jeep wrangler for a couple years now. When I bought them they had 3 choices of beam spread to choose from (flood/driving/spot) I choose the spot beam at the time and have found on that they are just about worthless to me in my typical application. After finding the world of LED and the XML emitter I wanted to do a project that used some and at the same time change my beam pattern up a bit. I took one of the housings off of the jeep and dissected it. After taking a bunch of careful measurements, thinking about the design, and sourcing parts here is where I am at with it at the moment....


    VIDEO TAKEN 9/4/12 it is a very brief video and I know it is kind of sporadic. I was worried about the neighbors wondering why all their windows were lit up. The video will come into focus after a few seconds so dont worry about that. The 2 story house near the end of the video with the white railing on the second story porch is right at 100 yards away. The video has a hard time catching all the light that is being produced.



    BUILD PICS BELOW...
    First off you need a chunk of aluminum.



    next its off to the lathe.



    Done with the lathe and you get something like this...





    After a little prime and paint here it is...






    After that was done it was time for the finish machining in the mill. I do not have pics of this, sorry. The purpose of this process was to machien shallow pockets for each individual emitter to sit inside of so that it looks uniform and neat. I used the DRO indicator and a little trig to find all the spots to machine.

    Here are all the emitters sitting in their pockets...



    With reflectors..




    At this point all I have to do is wire it up and get a piece of glass to bond to the front of the aluminum. After that I can reinstall it into the KC housing and it will look somewhat factory. All you will see from the front is the black area that is painted and the reflectors. The bare aluminum edge will be hidden by the housing. It will be all black when viewing from the front since the housing is black as well. I will post more pics as I close this up. This is just one side I still have to do the other. I have all the materials to do it I just want to complete one to see how it goes before I invest the time on the other.
    Last edited by DKlaser; 09-04-2012 at 08:53 PM.

  2. #2
    Flashaholic
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    Location
    North Texas
    Posts
    446

    Default Re: XML offroad project.

    Very cool build! I have wanted to do a similar off-road setup for my FJ Cruiser but just don't have the time right now. I will be following your progress and hope you will post some beamshots of the finished installation.
    People ask me why I always carry a flashlight......until they need one.

  3. #3

    Default Re: XML offroad project.

    Quote Originally Posted by clg0159 View Post
    Very cool build! I have wanted to do a similar off-road setup for my FJ Cruiser but just don't have the time right now. I will be following your progress and hope you will post some beamshots of the finished installation.
    I will for sure. This project started as a light bar and I decided to scale it back a notch to see how it works out on a smaller scale first. If this goes well I am going to do 2, 24" light bars on top of the jeep that have 36 of these emitters in each light bar. That should be about 72,000 lumen.

  4. #4
    Flashaholic*
    Join Date
    May 2006
    Location
    Connecticut
    Posts
    525

    Default Re: XML offroad project.

    Damn cant wait to see this project finished up, that looks quite impressive.

  5. #5

    Default Re: XML offroad project.

    I realize this thread is several months old but I'm new to CPF & am interested in a similar project for my jeep.

    I am curious what type of driver setup/mounting the OP used?

    I was thinking of using kc 57 (square light roughly 5"x7") series as a host with 2-3 emitters/reflectors in it. The only problem I can think of is the fact that the heatsink/base would have to be milled rather lathed. Any thoughts?

  6. #6

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by RattlesnakeBait View Post
    I realize this thread is several months old but I'm new to CPF & am interested in a similar project for my jeep.

    I am curious what type of driver setup/mounting the OP used?

    I was thinking of using kc 57 (square light roughly 5"x7") series as a host with 2-3 emitters/reflectors in it. The only problem I can think of is the fact that the heatsink/base would have to be milled rather lathed. Any thoughts?
    I am still working on it. I am actually trying to get it working this weekend. I just had one thing after another that distracted me from this project. Anyways as far as a driver there is a guy on the board that builds them I will have to get back to you on his name. These should be stupid bright. I am looking forward to testing it out and getting pics up.

  7. #7

    Default

    Got the first one going last night, it's pretty bright. I am going I take some comparison shots with the stock lamp and this one tonight. When I bought these they were marketed in 3 different beam patterns. Flood, driving, and pencil beam. I bought the pencil beams. This led setup with the reflectors that I choose definitely have more flood to them compared to stock unit but still seem to reach out plenty. I have been using a house across and down the street as target practice. I measured it out once before when I was doing flashlight testing and from where I am doing my test it is right at 100 yards away.

  8. #8

    Default

    Updated with video!!!

  9. #9

    Default Re: XML offroad project.

    What's the materials cost so far? I've been interested in making my own off-road lights... wondering if it's cheaper to buy pre-made or build my own. I like the idea of LEDs though... less amerage draw so that my other accessories can use more instead of the lights.

  10. #10

    Default Re: XML offroad project.

    You know, I would not of even considered this project if I did not have some substantial resources at my disposal like the machine shop where I work. Besides that the initial idea was very similar to yours. I wanted a light bar for the top of my jeep that was nice and bright and I went looking at all the stuff from rigid and the other manufacturers. Flat out I was going to spend near the same ammount of $$$ but I was going to wind up with something that would spank the daylights out of all of them. When I sat down and started crunching numbers is when I took a step back and decided to do this project to see how it went before I sank some real $$$ into it. I did however manage to buy the material for the housings before I decided to back off so I have it in storage in the garage. The idea was for a pair of 24" long light bars on the roof of my jeep JK. Each light bar will have 36 emitters driven to a full 3a each which should give about 36,000 lumen per light bar and a total of 72,000 lumen output Combine this with the 18000 lumen I should get out of this pair of lights I am showing here and the headlights and the front bumper fogs and well......... you get the idea. But dropping about $720 on emitters alone kinda scared me off of it until I see how this works.

  11. #11
    Thread Killer Illum's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Location
    Central Florida, USA
    Posts
    12,655

    Default Re: XML offroad project UPDATED WITH VIDEO!

    Quote Originally Posted by DKlaser View Post
    At this point all I have to do is wire it up and get a piece of glass to bond to the front of the aluminum. After that I can reinstall it into the KC housing and it will look somewhat factory. All you will see from the front is the black area that is painted and the reflectors. The bare aluminum edge will be hidden by the housing. It will be all black when viewing from the front since the housing is black as well. I will post more pics as I close this up. This is just one side I still have to do the other. I have all the materials to do it I just want to complete one to see how it goes before I invest the time on the other.
    I'd say if the wiring end is sealed shut already, do not apply bonding agent fully around the aluminum rim. air expansion due to heat will push the glass out and break the bond. keep a space until the light engine is ran nice and hot, then seal it up

  12. #12

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Illum View Post
    I'd say if the wiring end is sealed shut already, do not apply bonding agent fully around the aluminum rim. air expansion due to heat will push the glass out and break the bond. keep a space until the light engine is ran nice and hot, then seal it up
    The area where the LEDs and reflectors are will be sealed by the glass but where the wires poke through there are small gaps for thermal expansion. The back side if this aluminum where all the wires and driver are will just rest into the back side of the kc housing. The kc housing has a small hole in the bottom for any water that may enter it. The kc housing was pretty water tight under normal circumstances. I can only remember once seeing any condensation inside it and that was when I blasted it with a pressure washer at a weird angle.

  13. #13
    Unenlightened
    Join Date
    Oct 2012
    Location
    Brisbane Australia
    Posts
    8

    Default Re: XML offroad project.

    Very neat little build there. What sort of driver or drivers are you using for this setup? Im always confused as to what drivers to use for what emmiters and how to hook them up properly.

    Thanks
    chris

  14. #14

    Default Re: XML offroad project.

    Quote Originally Posted by Tonka truck 2.0 View Post
    Very neat little build there. What sort of driver or drivers are you using for this setup? Im always confused as to what drivers to use for what emmiters and how to hook them up properly.

    Thanks
    chris
    Well I am using one driver per housing so one driver is running 9 emitters. I got them from DIWdiver a while back. I see that you are posting in his thread as well. Just go with him and you will be fine. The drivers I have were not automotive specific so I had to wire in some additional stuff that he hooked me up with and he helped me through email at least a million times, good dude for sure. Lights worked great the first time I fired them up using his instructions. His new drivers are already automotive ready so they will be so much easier to deal with. I am also in line for a couple of those myself. It seemed like rocket science when he told me how to hook everything up but its not that bad and he will help you out. I just hope you are handy with a soldering iron because there is a bunch of that involved.

  15. #15
    Unenlightened
    Join Date
    Oct 2012
    Location
    Brisbane Australia
    Posts
    8

    Default Re: XML offroad project.

    Awesome thanks buddy. I will definitely be ordering some of the drivers from DIWdiver and Im fairly handy with a soldering iron to haha. I'm an automotive mechanic by trade but I haven't had to many dealings with LED's and am really really keen to know more about them and how to use them properly. I was used to the old simple LED's that I used to hook straight up to a single AA battery so all of this stuff just blows my mind.

  16. #16

    Default Re: XML offroad project.

    Do you have emitters picked out yet?

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •