Help identifying parts for homemade light

thumpergirl

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I posted under the LED Flashlights thread but it might have been the wrong place to post. I'm looking for 1 or 2 things:

- help understanding and identifying parts to mimic a homemade flashlight, or
- some awesome and extremely knowledgeable and competent new best friend to build it for me (after telling me what parts and where to get them, and I'm not sure if it's allowed or not but I would be happy to compensate you)



  • waterproof (I can use heat shrink and silicone to finish that job)
  • single mode
  • must run about 12 hours on 1 external battery pack, a 10 pack of AA lithiums (~15V)
  • no on/off switch, turns on when plugged into battery pack, off when unplugged
  • since the battery is not internal, I need two lead wires coming from the emitter and not the usual coil thing for battery contact
 
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thumpergirl

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Can I take something like this part:

then remove the coil thing, unscrew the base module, solder lead wires to the LED emitter (once I know what to get), put the emitter in there (don't know how), and then connect those lead wires to the driver, once I know what driver to get)?
 
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Ken_McE

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You are trying to duplicate something you don't understand, using parts you can't identify, and techniques you are not familiar with. You want to do it in a hurry too. I think your expectations are a little too high. If you want to build a light, that's reasonable, we can walk you through it. If you want to understand a light we can help do that too. I have however some doubt that we can teach you fast and reliably enough to make something that sophisticated by your deadline.

Would you consider buying a cheap light and just duct taping it to the front of your boat?

Once the immediate problem was out of the way you could study/shop for a more perfect light at your leisure. Failures and missed deadlines would not be an issue. You wouldn't have to compromise on anything. By the next race after this one you'd be properly ready, and you'd appreciate it more after suffering along for a race or two with some cheap Chinese Wimp-O-Matic.
 

thumpergirl

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You are trying to duplicate something you don't understand

yup

using parts you can't identify
yup

and techniques you are not familiar with. You want to do it in a hurry too.
yup


I think your expectations are a little too high.
unfortunately, i cannot argue with this. i would if i could, but i can't.

If you want to build a light, that's reasonable, we can walk you through it. If you want to understand a light we can help do that too. I have however some doubt that we can teach you fast and reliably enough to make something that sophisticated by your deadline.
i gotta agree with this, too. my deadline sucks! but a little history - i didn't procrastinate, one of my teammates had an injury, which required me to enter solo, thus a different hull, different configuration, etc... i figured the chances were slim, but i also had to try. i was really hoping it would be as simple as finding the right host, the right drop-in, the proper tail cap, the cable gland, and putting it all together rather neatly. turns out, as i now know, it's not quite that simple.

Would you consider buying a cheap light and just duct taping it to the front of your boat?
i can't bet a 72+ hour race of this magnitude with a cheap light and some duct tape. i don't wanna swim in the dark with gators and water mocassins. the thought of that is a little scary to me. i need a reliable light. not sure yet exactly how I'm gonna get that but I'm making progress, anyway.

Once the immediate problem was out of the way you could study/shop for a more perfect light at your leisure. Failures and missed deadlines would not be an issue. You wouldn't have to compromise on anything. By the next race after this one you'd be properly ready, and you'd appreciate it more after suffering along for a race or two with some cheap Chinese Wimp-O-Matic.
This is my plan. Even if I get someone to build a light for me this time around, I need to know how to do this so I'm not stuck in this same predicament in the future. So after the race, I'll be dedicating time to building some of these units myself. So honestly, these are perfectly valid questions and suggestions you have. I completely understand that my requests seem a little hasty and maybe far fetched. I appreciate all of the different responses I am getting. I'm sure I'll get something worked out for the short term, and learn a lot about building something for my next races.
 

Mr Floppy

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The connector out to your battery looks like a SAE connector.

The hole at the back looks like the switch hole for the 503B so finding a cable gland to fit that should be easy. In terms of the internals, I would just get a new 503B and soldering wires to the head, partially disassembling the P60 pill.
 

thumpergirl

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The connector out to your battery looks like a SAE connector.

The hole at the back looks like the switch hole for the 503B so finding a cable gland to fit that should be easy. In terms of the internals, I would just get a new 503B and soldering wires to the head, partially disassembling the P60 pill.

Can you tell me a little about disassembling the P60 pill? Can I just take the coils off and solder the wires there, or do I need to take the pill apart?
 

Microa

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OK. You will have some idea what we are talking about.
Your first photo shows a P60 drop-in without driver. The red and black wires are the connecting wires to the LED+ and LED- which are now connected to a 300mA step down driver's output LED+ (the thick red wire) and LED- (the thick white wire).
These drivers are designed for MR16 or MR11. They can accept AC or DC input. Apply power to test your system. Your homemade light is almost done.
P1110725_zpsf3b69513.jpg


WiringDiagram_zps4054dfaf.jpg
 
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Mr Floppy

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Can you tell me a little about disassembling the P60 pill? Can I just take the coils off and solder the wires there, or do I need to take the pill apart?

You will need the spring to keep the P60 head water tight in the 503B but you could solder the wires directly to the contacts if you like. You probably don't need the inner spring, the positive one.
 

DIWdiver

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Excellent suggestion on a driver, but can you be more specific? What bulb to dis-assemble, and where to get it, or where to get the driver by itself?

MR11 and MR16 bulbs are usually well over the target of 1W. Any idea how to get one that's closer to 1W?

I suppose a driver like that is likely to be easier to modify to get the exact output you want than a dropin is, just because you wouldn't have to open up and close back the dropin, which can be a pain in the butt. It's also more like her original light than a dropin would be.

Okay, I did a quick look on DealExtreme, and found this, which should be pretty much the perfect driver. It even includes reverse polarity protection, even better it can work with either polarity as it can handle AC input. http://www.dx.com/p/mr16-1-1w-320-3...ted-led-driver-8-40v-input-13553#.U18UkvldV8E.

Given thumpergirl's timeframe and resultant desire to order in the US, anybody got suggestions where to get one in the US? Is a bulb like that available at Home Depot?
 

Microa

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The 3 LEDs of the 3W MR16 bulb was connected in series which driver is suitable to drive a single LED at 300-350mA. For MR11, only the 1W driver is suitable for your need. Otherwise, the light consumes more power that it can not sustain for 12 hours.
Further to the basic system, you should consider the heat management and the waterproof if necessary.
 
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thumpergirl

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The 3 LEDs of the 3W MR16 bulb was connected in series which driver is suitable to drive a single LED at 300-350mA. For MR11, only the 1W driver is suitable for your need. Otherwise, the light consumes more power that it can not sustain for 12 hours.
Further to the basic system, you should consider the heat management and the waterproof if necessary.

OK I think we're on the right track here. I know the guy that made the light had to do something special to make it last that long on the batteries. I'm trying to follow all of this but I'm missing too many pieces.

So, I buy a reflector, a LED emittor, and a step down driver to make the light consume less power and last longer on the battery pack.

Does the light output the same lumens?

How do I know which emitters will work with the driver that DIWdiver found? (thanks, DIW!)

Also, regarding heat, doesn't the p60 aluminum host act as a heat sink?

I've already purchased a couple of drop-ins that are in the mail. If I just do a drop-in, will it drain the batteries too fast? I'm assuming so, and that is why we are looking at a step down.

Can you help point me to exact parts I need to assemble? I'm afraid I'll purchase the wrong step down, emitter, etc... I have a solarforce l2p on the way for a host, and some cable glands. If you could point me to right step-down, LED, and whatever else I'm missing, that would be very helpful.

I think we're on to something here!
 

thumpergirl

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Also, will using this step-down driver give me a significant boost in performance (battery conservation and lumen output)?

I don't understand the LED MR11 and MR16 LED bulb. They don't appear that they'd fit in a p60 host. And why are there 2 metal pieces instead of lead wires coming out of the step-down driver? Not sure how to make that work.

Sorry for the remedial questions. This is a lot to ingest.
 

Microa

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The solarforce L2P is a 18650 li-ion battery powered flash light. I thought the original driver is not suitable for your need. I measured the width of my MR16 step down driver is 18mm just fit into the L2P body. Don't forget to insulate the driver to the body to prevent short circuit ( I don't know the inside of the body was anodized or not ).
The lumens output mainly depend on the type of LED, the bin ( lumen output grade sorted by the manufacturer ), the driving current and the operating temperature of the junction of the chip. Suppose you have purchased an XML T6 solarforce L2P, 1W MR11
driver is about 300-350mA driving current. So you can check with this design tool http://pct.cree.com/dt/index.html While the junction temperature at about 85C, the lumens output is about 108 to 125 lumens.
The solarforce L2P is designed for 3W up LED, I thought it should be able to dissipate the heat properly.
 

thumpergirl

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Is the step-down in addition to the driver that's in the drop-in, or is it a replacement for the driver that's in a drop-in?
 
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Microa

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The power supplies to the MR16 bulb through a bi-pin socket. So the driver's inputs are soldered to two pins. The other two wires are positive output and negative output to the LED. You don't need these 2 metal pins. Desolder them from the driver board.

The driver is to control the current going from the battery to the LED. Higher current will boost the lumens output and at the same time it consume more power of the battery.
 
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