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Thread: Looking to build a head lamp for hunting

  1. #1

    Default Looking to build a head lamp for hunting

    Hey guys Im new to the forum and I'm fixing to build me a head lamp. Ive resently taken up coon hunting with the purchase of a treeing dog but the prices of coon hunting lights are horrible.
    Im only familar with store bougth lights but Im interested in any info you can offer im looking for a light with varible brigthtness setting topping out close to 1000 lumens with either self contained battery pack or belt carry battery pack prefer a led light because I need at least 3 or 4 hours of run time on its brightest setting prefer more but that would do. Also I need the head lamp to have beam adjustments. I deal with electronics so the build is not a problem just the knowledge of product.
    Thanks in advance
    Brian

  2. #2
    Flashaholic chenko's Avatar
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    Default Re: Looking to build a head lamp for hunting

    ​ Facetious trolling post removed. Saved for record.
    Last edited by Bullzeyebill; 07-20-2012 at 12:41 PM. Reason: Trolling post

  3. #3

    Default Re: Looking to build a head lamp for hunting

    Big laundry list, there. Best I can come up with is a build with an easy2led body stuck on the old parts from an existing headlamp. On the mtbr.com diy lighting forum, people have had good success sticking single xml/driver combos or lux-rc integrated L334 emitter/drivers into those. If you went for the 7 watt L334, you wouldn't have heat problems, but you wouldn't get 1000 lumens (more like 700 minus a bit of loss). There are also 11 and 14 watt models of the lux-rc, but I expect you'd have heat problems on high.
    Battery-wise, you're looking at about 4-2900 mAh 18650s to get 4 hours from the 7 watt, which would be hefty on the back of the head. All of these suggestions give you a fixed beam, though you can choose between more flood and more throw with the optics. (The throwiest optics on the lux-rc emitter still isn't going to get you a massive thrower.) The other downside to this whole idea is that you'll be waiting a while for everything to show up in the mail, as you'll end up buying bits from a bunch of different places.

  4. #4

    Smile Re: Looking to build a head lamp for hunting

    hi,Br243 before u begin to build ur head lamp , you can read this post http://www.candlepowerforums.com/vb/...DIY-flashlight , I really admire ur great job. for a greenhand like me, I would prefer refit one rather than to build a new one. I dont know what kind of lamp light is perfect for hunting, you can buy such a Link removed and then modify it as you like and it will save you more efforts.
    Last edited by Bullzeyebill; 07-19-2012 at 07:13 AM. Reason: second link for website-probable shilling
    Do not post spam links in your sig line.

  5. #5

    Default Re: Looking to build a head lamp for hunting

    Thanks for the replies I still am thinking on options and time is not a big deal. I had even thought of taking a mag light head because you can adjust the beam and build off that with a double led light and driver then wire down to a belt rechargable battery pack? I know there are lots of mag mod but its a thought. The thing I dont know is part numbers and where to locate parts I have an account with interstate batteries so I can get batteries of all types. Speaking of batteries to "chenko" I did not understand your post on batteries what I got was you said to use a few drained batteries with some charged ones and cant figure out why. thanks guys

  6. #6

    Default Re: Looking to build a head lamp for hunting

    Just my opinion, but the mag D head would sit quite far off your forehead. Plus, at about 125 grams *without* the heatsink, it's pretty hefty compared to the 45 grams of the easy2led head. One other thought, maybe take a cheap p60 (like the ultrafires 501-504) or a C8 (more of a thrower), and cut the battery tube off.

  7. #7
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    Default Re: Looking to build a head lamp for hunting

    Quote Originally Posted by jacksmith View Post
    hi,Br243 before u begin to build ur head lamp , you can read this post http://www.candlepowerforums.com/vb/...DIY-flashlight , I really admire ur great job. for a greenhand like me, I would prefer refit one rather than to build a new one. I dont know what kind of lamp light is perfect for hunting, you can buy such a Link removed and then modify it as you like and it will save you more efforts.

    jacksmith, this is the second link for a particular website that I have removed. Looks like shilling on your part. May not be, but looks like that. PM me if you have concerns.

    Bill

  8. #8
    Flashaholic*
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    Default Re: Looking to build a head lamp for hunting

    Quote Originally Posted by Br243 View Post
    I did not understand your post on batteries what I got was you said to use a few drained batteries with some charged ones and cant figure out why. thanks guys
    He prob dont like hunters. Mix drained and full ones will make the full one "carge" the emty ones. It might explode and make a nice fireball. You dont fool around with multi li-ion, they can be quite explosive when handeled the wrong way. Read up on it before you start messing around with multi li-ion setups.

    What about something like the "cavelight p60"? Easy to uppgrade and to find a p60 with the balance throw/flood you need.

  9. #9

    Default Re: Looking to build a head lamp for hunting

    Hey guys thanks for all ur info Ive been looking alot at alot of options and what Ive decided is to get a good light head ( a larger head) that can be clipped on ur head, belt, or held in hand then have a chord about three feet long running to a rechargble belt held battery pack. If I dont get a head that has a focusable beam I want one with alot of throw. I already have a xml-u2 LED that I thinking of using for my light source ( whats yalls opion). But I would like to have a driver that has an adjustible brightness prefer a dial type instead of a pre-set button. Here is a link to the type of light I was looking at.
    http://starhuntinglights.com/catalog...products_id=94 maybe this helps thanks guys Brian

  10. #10
    Flashaholic Blitzwing's Avatar
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    Default Re: Looking to build a head lamp for hunting

    You might be able to use a light like the Magicshine bicycle light as basis - maybe make up a mount for it to go on a headband and carry the separate battery pack in a small pack or on your belt, etc. That would be an easy way to go IMO.

    Dealextreme:
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  11. #11

    Default Re: Looking to build a head lamp for hunting

    Yeah, a Magicshine could be a good basis, especially if you're ditching the drivers, which are generally considered to not be reliable over the long haul. The batteries might not be too great either, but they're cheap and easy enough to replace if they die.

    Check out the beamshots for the Magicshine here: http://forums.mtbr.com/lights-diy-do...-485574-2.html (post 36 and post 75 on the next page) You might have to register to see pictures in threads, but they don't spam you.

    Just to confuse matters, you might look at the Marwi heads you can get (parts or pre-built) from hoffmanamps dot com. (Those can also go on a headband.)

    Hyperboost or Hyperbuck drivers from taskled dot com can take an external pot to adjust brightness. They're not cheap, but George does good work.

    I know you said it was just the type you were looking for, but I'm amazed that starhuntinglights want $375 for a light running nicads in this decade.

  12. #12

    Default Re: Looking to build a head lamp for hunting

    After alot of looking I have decided that as long a the Marwi bell style head has a good bit of throw Im going to start with that head. On hoffmanamp website Im going to get that head, the xml cree led, the xml reflector, and heat sink then Im going for the hyperboost driver with a external potentiometer. Please give me your thoughts.2 more questions how could I incorparate a battery meter into this? Also any battery configurations that you recommend (remeber this will be carried on a belt )? Thanks

  13. #13

    Default Re: Looking to build a head lamp for hunting

    You'd want to doublecheck my advice, but if you're running a single xml, then you probably want the hyperbuck driver. (George would be a good guy to check with when you're ordering.)

    With that, you'd want batteries that put out above 5 volts, so lithium-ion in 2-series, or 5-ish batteries that are about 1.2 volts each also in series. If it was me, I'd go for 2s2p 18650 lithium ions, and pop them out of the holder to charge on a decent charger (Pila IBC or Xtar WP2).Keystone and Memory Protection Devices make 18650 holders. (I've used the MPD ones, and they're good but tight with some of the longer protected 18650s.) Lots of info around here about which batteries to pick and which to avoid... my personal rules are "nothing ***fire" and no buying from ebay, as they are often counterfeit or crap.

    For the battery meter, ebay "digital panel volt meter", and you'll see a bunch of options. You'll have to translate a voltage to "full" or "empty" or somewhere in between.

  14. #14

    Default Re: Looking to build a head lamp for hunting

    I have ran into a little bit of a problem need to ask a question. If I use a cree xml LED it shows that it is rated at 3.3 volts but neither the hyperbuck or boost will work at under 6 volts. This is probly not a problem for someone that is more of a technical expert than I. Also I was looking at the 18650 batteries and was wondering if only 4 batteries would give me a very long run time .
    Thanks

  15. #15

    Default Re: Looking to build a head lamp for hunting

    I suggest you pop by the taskled dot com forum and double-check with George. Just let him know you want to drive 1 xml and have the ability to use an external pot. He'd also want to know what kind of batteries you're thinking about.

    Run-time wise, it's hard to say exactly without knowing what batteries (2100-3100 -- and soon 3400 -- mAh are out there), and what drive level. Generally, I'd expect that you'd be bright all night with 4 batteries.

  16. #16

    Default Re: Looking to build a head lamp for hunting

    I know this is an old thread, but I am a coon hunter who joined trying to learn more about led's and get advice on my next purchase. Not ready to build, but was wondering if there might be an update on this project or any others on here? head lamp or hand held..

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