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Thread: Build Log: The 1.5V Project

  1. #121

    Default Re: Build Log: The 1.5V Project

    In keeping with my goal of updating this as frequently as I can, a few progress pics of the next batch of prototypes!

    The 6 brass PCB sleeves are (almost) done - they just need a wire slot milled in them (which I'll do later). I've fully machined a single pill assembly and prepared the stock for the other 5. I want to make sure everything is ok with the first pill before I go making 5 more. What a waste that would be if something were wrong with the design!


    The pill has a crazy amount of threading on it! Instead of a snap ring I'd like to try a threaded ring to hold the driver boards in place, so it's now threaded on the outside and the inside.



    I've run into a worrying issue though - the new driver pill doesn't thread into the 1st prototypes' body! Not 100% sure why, but I'm keeping my fingers crossed the threads I cut today are ok and the problem is with the prototype body. If not then I guess this pill is scrap and I'll have to try again.


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    Last edited by calipsoii; 10-29-2014 at 07:11 PM.

  2. #122

    Default Re: Build Log: The 1.5V Project

    Threads don't work, they were cut slightly too large. Still trying to figure out why but at least I know the solution. To make any future thread-cutting easier I whipped up a GO/NO-GO gauge. It has threads cut in it that I'm quite certain are accurate, so I can use it to determine if my work is good to go.

    It turned out really nice so I figured I'd post a pic or two. It screws apart so you can test both internal & external threads with the 2 pieces.




  3. #123
    *Flashaholic* gunga's Avatar
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    Default Re: Build Log: The 1.5V Project

    Wow! Even the tester is beautiful!


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  4. #124
    Flashaholic* tobrien's Avatar
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    Default Re: Build Log: The 1.5V Project

    I agree, that looks beautiful
    aka Edgar Allan Bro, Brosama Bin Liftin, Walter Crunkite, Bro Namath, Teddy Brosevelt, and the Tomahawk Crunkmissile.
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  5. #125

    Default Re: Build Log: The 1.5V Project

    That's some clean lathe work. I didn't do too much with threading, only a handful of outside threads. I had enough problems with those!

  6. #126

    Default Re: Build Log: The 1.5V Project

    Last edited by calipsoii; 10-29-2014 at 07:13 PM.

  7. #127
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    Default Re: Build Log: The 1.5V Project

    I recently stumbled across this thread and read through the whole thing. I'm impressed -- again. I still EDC an A2 with your single-mode warm-white LED ring. I'm slightly bummed that project is now closed since I finally have funds to get a multi-mode ring. I'm still watching the second sale thread so I'll know if you open it again.

    Put me down as one interested in this light, in the multi-mode version. It is highly unlikely it will bump the A2 out of my pocket, but it looks like a great utility light for my night stand. Thanks for sharing the development process.
    Last edited by smflorkey; 08-12-2014 at 07:08 PM. Reason: fix a typo

  8. #128

    Default Re: Build Log: The 1.5V Project

    Thanks for following along smflorkey!

    I wish I had more to show you but progress has been frustratingly slow. I don't know how Vinh or TGWNN do it! After a day of work followed by taking care of things at home, I'm only able to devote a few hours a week to this project. I'm sure many people here know the feeling.

    The v1.1 prototype is just about finished. Things I'm working on:
    • Building a more permanent jig for trimming the reflectors.
    • The head knurling looks kind of funky compared to the body knurling. Need someone with a sense of design to look at it and tell me what would look nice.
    • The finished assembly is longer than I'd like. It doesn't crush batteries anymore but it's too long and skinny. I don't know how Malkoff crammed all that stuff into his 4.5" MDC AA without smashing all the wiring/circuits/batteries together. I'm trying to find some places to drop a half-inch of length. If anyone has a AA Haiku who can measure the total length, please let me know!
    • I'm going to try a wire clip and see how it looks.


    Hopefully have a more interesting update soon.

  9. #129

    Default Re: Build Log: The 1.5V Project

    Quote Originally Posted by calipsoii View Post
    • Building a more permanent jig for trimming the reflectors.
    Well, one bullet point down, couple more to go.

    The reflectors are a touch too wide. They need a small amount shaved off the diameter to fit in the head. I built a jig out of wood and screws () for the v1 prototype, but it was pretty crummy. This is much better!


    As you turn the screw, the tapered plug presses down into the white Delrin collet and causes it to expand. That expansion pins the reflector in place through friction without marring any of the surfaces.


    Then you can turn a bit off the diameter!


    As a bonus, if you flip it over, you can pin the reflector upside-down. It can now be mounted in a drill press to put the hole in it for the 3mm secondary LED.


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    Last edited by calipsoii; 10-29-2014 at 07:14 PM.

  10. #130
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    Default Re: Build Log: The 1.5V Project

    Pretty slick jig there!.

  11. #131
    Flashaholic* tobrien's Avatar
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    Default Re: Build Log: The 1.5V Project

    awesome!
    aka Edgar Allan Bro, Brosama Bin Liftin, Walter Crunkite, Bro Namath, Teddy Brosevelt, and the Tomahawk Crunkmissile.
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  12. #132
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    Default Re: Build Log: The 1.5V Project

    wow! so well thought out. nice...

  13. #133

    Default Re: Build Log: The 1.5V Project

    I'm still folllowing along and am increasingly impressed with your ability! Thanks for keeping us up to date.

    alex

  14. #134
    Flashaholic* tobrien's Avatar
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    Default Re: Build Log: The 1.5V Project

    Quote Originally Posted by Zandar View Post
    I'm still folllowing along and am increasingly impressed with your ability! Thanks for keeping us up to date.

    alex
    I have to echo this too (increasingly impressed)
    aka Edgar Allan Bro, Brosama Bin Liftin, Walter Crunkite, Bro Namath, Teddy Brosevelt, and the Tomahawk Crunkmissile.
    my lights - review of PrecisionWorks - that's Gucci Mane in my avatar

  15. #135

    Default Re: Build Log: The 1.5V Project

    I See You've Constructed A New Light...

    Two days vacation? Sounds like it's time to finish up the v1.1 prototype!

    This one sports:
    • Cree XP-G2 R4 5B4 80CRI (tint leans towards vanilla instead of rose)
    • 4900k 3mm LED (the tint on these is so pleasing!)
    • v1.1 firmware (voltage readout to 4.2V, low voltage indicator, off-time mode changes)

    It's a bit longer than it needs to be. The next one will be a touch shorter.




    Can you make out the tiny 1/32" serial number? They're the tiniest punches I've ever seen and I quite like the look.


    All pieces of the new one were lacquered because I much prefer a shiny finish to a tarnished one! Won't last forever, but it keeps things looking bright just a tiny bit longer. Lost a fair amount of blood building this one - the stain in the 2nd photo was what I couldn't buff out. I'll eventually Brasso and relacquer it.



    It rides nice and low. Going to tweak the clip attachment to be a bit more elegant on the next one.


    The brass/steel has a nice dark shine to it that really catches the light.


    And now, time to set the project aside for a day or two and relax. Enjoy your weekend all!

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    Last edited by calipsoii; 10-29-2014 at 07:08 PM.

  16. #136
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    Default Re: Build Log: The 1.5V Project

    Looks awesome ... especially the new clip
    ... is the archimedes peak

  17. #137
    *Flashaholic* gunga's Avatar
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    Default Re: Build Log: The 1.5V Project

    Wow. Awesome work!



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  18. #138
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    Default Re: Build Log: The 1.5V Project

    Looking good! Enjoy your vacation!
    I'm Ryan.

  19. #139
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    Default Re: Build Log: The 1.5V Project

    nice!
    aka Edgar Allan Bro, Brosama Bin Liftin, Walter Crunkite, Bro Namath, Teddy Brosevelt, and the Tomahawk Crunkmissile.
    my lights - review of PrecisionWorks - that's Gucci Mane in my avatar

  20. #140

    Default Re: Build Log: The 1.5V Project

    Quote Originally Posted by calipsoii View Post
    • The finished assembly is longer than I'd like. It doesn't crush batteries anymore but it's too long and skinny. I don't know how Malkoff crammed all that stuff into his 4.5" MDC AA without smashing all the wiring/circuits/batteries together. I'm trying to find some places to drop a half-inch of length. If anyone has a AA Haiku who can measure the total length, please let me know!
    Quote Originally Posted by calipsoii View Post
    It's a bit longer than it needs to be. The next one will be a touch shorter.
    Oh my goodness, after obsessing over the length of this thing for a week, trying hard to find places to drop space and not finding any... I was measuring using my green cutting mat and the numbered lines aren't exactly 1 inch apart like I foolishly assumed they would be.

    Actual length of the finished light (as measured by ruler and calipers) is 4 3/8". So 1/16" longer than a AA Haiku and 1/8" shorter than a Malkoff MDC. You'd be surprised what a relief it is to figure that out.

    After a weekend of testing at the cabin:

    • Fixing 1 bug in the firmware introduced another (as was foretold by my pessimist coworker); shouldn't take long to track it down and squish it so a 3rd can take its place.
    • High is too high on NiMh; current limiter hits thermal shutdown and starts to flicker. 1 level less and the issue disappears with no noticeable drop in output and improved runtimes.
    • Secondary LED is sitting too low in reflector (I was trying something new). Gives it a nice SunDrop-like beam but introduces a distracting ring as the bezel reflects some light now.
    • Wire clip so far seems a vast improvement over the Strong-Tie/Misty clip.
    • Off-time mode switching is so much fun; light comes on in the level I want and never a different one. ~1s seems like a good amount of latch time.
    • Glad it tail-stands; used that extensively this weekend.
    • The reflector is probably a love/hate thing for a lot of people. I personally really like the beam pattern and I'll take the improved throw at the cost of smooth spill transition, but everyone has different preferences.

    The shallow, smooth reflector gives a pronounced hotspot with little transition to the spill of the beam:


    The 3mm is seated too low in this particular light giving it a funky half-moon reflection. Gorgeous flood beam though.


    The 3mm has a nice smooth flood beam with good color rendition. Used it a lot for navigating this weekend with great success.


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    Last edited by calipsoii; 10-29-2014 at 07:59 PM.

  21. #141
    *Flashaholic* gunga's Avatar
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    Default Re: Build Log: The 1.5V Project

    Wow! Awesome! I am one if those who prefers smooth spill transition.


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  22. #142
    Flashaholic* tobrien's Avatar
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    Default Re: Build Log: The 1.5V Project

    I keep saying it, but this really is amazing
    aka Edgar Allan Bro, Brosama Bin Liftin, Walter Crunkite, Bro Namath, Teddy Brosevelt, and the Tomahawk Crunkmissile.
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  23. #143

    Default Re: Build Log: The 1.5V Project

    Quote Originally Posted by gunga View Post
    Wow! Awesome! I am one if those who prefers smooth spill transition.


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    Quote Originally Posted by tobrien View Post
    I keep saying it, but this really is amazing
    Thanks guys!

    After several hours of testing, I'm coming up with the funniest voltage results when running the light on High.

    Voltage under load
    Energizer L91: 1.52V
    Duracell Quantum AA: 1.37V
    Surefire SF123: 2.79V
    Sanyo Eneloop AA: 0.92V <-------- ????

    The only explanation I can possibly think of is that my Eneloops are old and decrepit. All my CPF research indicates that voltage under load for Eneloops should be around 1.2V. Mr. Happy did an excellent chart of that here. I'm currently running my entire stable of Eneloops through the Maha charger on Analyze + Break-In mode to see what comes out of it. I have a sneaking suspicion the cells are the issue and not the circuit. Just doesn't make sense that an alkaline would smoke a freshly-charged NiMh in performance.

    Speaking of circuits: this is plain nuts. 470lm on 1xAA? When I started this project (long before starting the thread for it, FYI ) the Quark line-up was just pushing 160lm. Unreal progress in only a few years! This damn light has never been in anyone's hands other than my own and it's already old, dim and expensive.

  24. #144
    Flashaholic* tobrien's Avatar
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    Default Re: Build Log: The 1.5V Project

    wanna borrow some Amazon branded Eneloops? I have eight or so brand new ones: http://amzn.com/B00CWNMV4G
    aka Edgar Allan Bro, Brosama Bin Liftin, Walter Crunkite, Bro Namath, Teddy Brosevelt, and the Tomahawk Crunkmissile.
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  25. #145

    Default Re: Build Log: The 1.5V Project

    Quote Originally Posted by tobrien View Post
    wanna borrow some Amazon branded Eneloops? I have eight or so brand new ones: http://amzn.com/B00CWNMV4G
    Whoa, I had no idea Amazon was selling them! I'll just order up a pack tobrien, no worries.

    My Eneloops are behaving much better after a night of conditioning on the Maha. The charger reports ~1800 mah for each and after an hour on High in the light, the cell still reads 1.19V instead of ~0.56V. I should probably deep-cycle them more frequently, I didn't realize their performance could get so poor without it.

  26. #146
    Flashaholic* tobrien's Avatar
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    Default Re: Build Log: The 1.5V Project

    Quote Originally Posted by calipsoii View Post
    Whoa, I had no idea Amazon was selling them! I'll just order up a pack tobrien, no worries.

    My Eneloops are behaving much better after a night of conditioning on the Maha. The charger reports ~1800 mah for each and after an hour on High in the light, the cell still reads 1.19V instead of ~0.56V. I should probably deep-cycle them more frequently, I didn't realize their performance could get so poor without it.
    well I'm not saying they're definitely eneloops but they should be I'm assuming. mine seem like good quality cells
    aka Edgar Allan Bro, Brosama Bin Liftin, Walter Crunkite, Bro Namath, Teddy Brosevelt, and the Tomahawk Crunkmissile.
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  27. #147
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    Default Re: Build Log: The 1.5V Project

    Amazing. I have read this thread twice since I stumbled across it earlier today. I am interested in one of these when your ready to sell.

  28. #148
    *Flashaholic* Illum's Avatar
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    Smile Re: Build Log: The 1.5V Project

    Beautiful work, little light certainly has came a long way from the beautiful stained oak test bed hey

    Quote Originally Posted by gunga View Post
    Are you going to be selling these? The firmware changes sounds cool too...

    forget the light, I'm interested in your old lathe, the 4500


    Last edited by Illum; 08-31-2014 at 08:38 PM.

  29. #149

    Default Re: Build Log: The 1.5V Project

    Quote Originally Posted by chadvone View Post
    Amazing. I have read this thread twice since I stumbled across it earlier today. I am interested in one of these when your ready to sell.
    Hiya chadvone, welcome to the thread! I'm really glad you enjoyed the read - documenting the build has been a nice way to show the progress/setbacks the project has gone through.

    Quote Originally Posted by Illum View Post
    Beautiful work, little light certainly has came a long way from the beautiful stained oak test bed hey

    forget the light, I'm interested in your old lathe, the 4500

    Oh yeah, you bet. When I built the wooden testbed I'd never stood in front of a lathe before. Learned a lot throughout this project and got a sweet pocketlight out of the deal too. The old lathe still serves me well as a dedicated milling machine, cutting flats and drilling holes where the new lathe can't.

    -----

    After a much-needed holiday I'm back and feeling rested and rejuvenated!

    I spent a few hours today working on a square punch. I've been machining the reflector centering rings out of Delrin but cutting the square hole in the middle by hand. It's tough to get the square perfectly centered in the ring, which causes the emitter to sit crooked in the reflector. I figured if I had a square punch I could just bang the square into place instead.

    Since the punch needed to be quite stiff, I decided to experiment on a small piece of stainless steel purchased from my local shop. It's 304SS, which has a 45% machinability rating (compared to the 100% I'm used to with brass). I've been told it's a real bear to work with and they were right. I have no plans to make anything more out of it.

    The tiny ring in the middle is for positioning the punch and the square is for making the marks on the Delrin. I'll probably need to finish the cut with an X-Acto knife.




    The square is the exact size of a 3535 LED (so any XP-series emitter).


    I haven't had a chance to use it yet so I'll let you know if it does what I need it to.

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    Last edited by calipsoii; 10-29-2014 at 08:00 PM.

  30. #150

    Default Re: Build Log: The 1.5V Project

    Quality vs. Quantity

    I do believe it's time for a mini project update! So what have I spent the last few weeks doing? Cursing, mainly. I've complained about it before but sometimes these projects just aren't a lot of fun!

    Exhibit A: the scrap results of trying to replace the driver board in prototype #002.


    I pulled the old board out of the light, flashed the firmware onto a new board and... it didn't work. Neither did the next 2! I spent a week troubleshooting the circuit design and the firmware trying to track down why things suddenly wouldn't work and found nothing.

    Feeling very dejected, I pulled a 4th board from my dwindling supplies and it worked brilliantly the first time. ARGHHHDSJAHDASDJK. The other 4 must have had solder issues that I couldn't see, not sure how else to explain it. At least the PCB design and the firmware are ok. *phew*

    While I was in there tinkering I swapped the emitter out to one I've never worked with before:


    It's an Osram Oslon SSL80:
    • 80 degree angle of emission (which is crazy tight compared to the 150-170 degrees that are standard)
    • 4000k
    • 90 min (96 typ.) CRI

    But of course with bullet points like that, you're asking yourself "why does no one use this LED?!?"
    • Cree XP-G2 4000k 80CRI: 122lm @ 350ma
    • Osram Oslon 4000k 95CRI: 79lm @ 350ma

    It's a lot dimmer - noticeably so. But oh man, the COLORS!


    Is the 80-degree beam noticeably different than a 150-degree one? Oh yeah.




    I spent a lot of time this evening trying to capture the beam & tint of the light. I didn't have a lot of success, but I'd say this was the best batch of photos at illustrating how it looks. I locked as many settings as my camera would allow.
    • White Balance: daylight
    • Shutter: 2s
    • ISO: 200

















    Tint falls right in the middle between an A2 Aviator and a 119 Haiku:


    The blue ring around the SSL beam isn't your imagination - it's actually there. For some reason Osram produces the emitters with a tiny patch of die that isn't covered by phosphor, exposing the blue photon pump underneath. You can't make it out with your naked eye - need an aspheric lens or a magnifying glass to see it. With a stippled reflector or a diffuser it disappears, but in a smooth reflector that bit of blue makes it into the beam. No idea why they make them that way but it's been reported on a couple other flashlight forums as well.

    Truth be told, you can't much tell when in use. It's a really nice beam.


    So there we go! The project isn't dead, it's just busy wasting circuit boards and taking night photos. I promised a coworker a torch, so I'm working on his now. I'll let you know how it turns out.

    Cheers!

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    Last edited by calipsoii; 10-29-2014 at 08:01 PM.

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