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Thread: Project Lamplighter - my homemade LED keychain fob

  1. #91

    Default Re: Project Lamplighter - my homemade LED keychain fob

    I just look at this as a really long build log. Kinda reminds me of Elon Musk: "hey, I want to found a rocket company. I'd better go learn rocket science."

    ~D

  2. #92

    Default Re: Project Lamplighter - my homemade LED keychain fob

    Quote Originally Posted by nxtreme View Post
    I know bringing old threads up can be rude in "forumish," but I'm really curious as to what happened to this project! Did you ever end up getting anything machined, or has that been shelved for now? And are you planning on pasting and reflowing the boards, or doing them all by hand? Neat project, keep it up!
    Not rude at all nxtreme, in fact thank you for commenting! I never did have a machine shop build the hosts, no. I got cold feet at the thought of spending so much money on something when I didn't know how it'd turn out and whether anyone would even buy enough to justify the run. I was also starting to get the feeling that the quote was low and that it'd cost a lot more than that by the time it was done. A machinist once asked me if I knew the tolerances to put on my blueprints and I didn't know what he was talking about. He then looked at the jagged line I'd drawn and asked what kind of threads I wanted and I replied "I'm not sure... the kind that screw together?". I looked it up that evening and realized just how little I knew about manufacturing, which in turn made me realize that I'd be paying someone else to fill in all the blanks for me. It came down to spending a ton of money on an unproven design or spending the same money learning how to do it myself and the answer seemed pretty clear.

    The 1.5V Project came out of all that. It was a way to learn both electronics and machining while building the light that was missing from my pocket. I don't know if you've followed that thread at all but it somehow consumed my free time, most of my money and no small part of my sanity. It's where I've been focusing my efforts and it's the reason the Lamplighter thread has been gathering cobwebs.

    That's not to say this project is forgotten though! In fact I came across the most spectacular thing while we were out on vacation in BC:


    I felt an electric thrill surge down my spine when I saw it sitting on the shelf. It instantly rekindled my desire to finish this project and I've been working on new blueprints whenever I find time. I have a lathe now () and the absolute ton of knowledge I've learned from building my brass pocket light so a prototype will be coming, it's just a question of when. You'll see a keychain picture here when that happens.

    Quote Originally Posted by DrafterDan View Post
    I just look at this as a really long build log. Kinda reminds me of Elon Musk: "hey, I want to found a rocket company. I'd better go learn rocket science."

    ~D
    Remind me again how you know of my love for Elon Musk? The man's amazing and I could talk about him for too long.

    You are right though - this project was the kick-off into a serious session of learning. It's taken a long time but I'm at the point now where a couple Lamplighter prototypes are a real possibility and that's really exciting. Stay tuned.

  3. #93

    Default Re: Project Lamplighter - my homemade LED keychain fob

    I WANT THIS NOW.

    If your checking out this thread and are interested, it wouldn't hurt to post some morale support so we can buy this thing!

    Excellent work, now get it done!

  4. #94

    Thumbs up Re: Project Lamplighter - my homemade LED keychain fob

    Quote Originally Posted by ForrestChump View Post
    I WANT THIS NOW.

    If your checking out this thread and are interested, it wouldn't hurt to post some morale support so we can buy this thing!

    Excellent work, now get it done!

    I think this falls into the "Take my money, now!" category

  5. #95
    *Flashaholic* Illum's Avatar
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    Default Re: Project Lamplighter - my homemade LED keychain fob

    Till he gets around to cutting pyrex correctly I'd keep my pants on if I were you

    Pyrex is going to be /THE/ bugger for awhile,

  6. #96

    Default Re: Project Lamplighter - my homemade LED keychain fob

    *checks thread start date*

    2011!

    Would it be considered necromancy to post a project update 4 years later?

    So what's been happening in the last little while?

    Learned basic engineering
    Learned basic machining
    Learned basic electronics
    Acquired lathe
    Built flashlight
    Had a kid

    ... and last but not least ...

    Returned to the Lamplighter project







    I couldn't resist sharing a sneak peek with you guys right now. More details to come soon!

  7. #97

    Default Re: Project Lamplighter - my homemade LED keychain fob

    Wait dude, what?? So awesome looking!
    I was there when this thread first started =)

    How long of runtime? How powered? How much? When when when?? =)
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  8. #98
    Flashaholic* Nitroz's Avatar
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    Default Re: Project Lamplighter - my homemade LED keychain fob

    What he said!!! I never was lucky enough to get one.

    Congratulations on the kid! I managed to get a lathe and have plans to build and program some drivers. This is an expensive hobby, as my Wife tell me.

  9. #99
    Flashaholic* nein166's Avatar
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    Default Re: Project Lamplighter - my homemade LED keychain fob

    Wow totally worth waiting for that looks great

  10. #100
    Flashaholic* Icarus's Avatar
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    Default Re: Project Lamplighter - my homemade LED keychain fob

    it looks very nice! ... Now, tell us the details........

  11. #101
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    Default Re: Project Lamplighter - my homemade LED keychain fob

    Yes, it looks fantastic !
    ... is the archimedes peak

  12. #102
    Flashaholic* KuanR's Avatar
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    Default Re: Project Lamplighter - my homemade LED keychain fob

    That looks great! I'm interested to know more about the latest setup
    I'm Ryan.

  13. #103

    Default Re: Project Lamplighter - my homemade LED keychain fob

    nice. a copper one of those with that warm glow would be awesome!

  14. #104

    Default Re: Project Lamplighter - my homemade LED keychain fob

    Thanks for all the interest guys! It's super busy in my household and my updates might be a little slow so bear with me.

    The LED is a 2x1mm SMD suspended on tiny wires inside 8mm glass tubing. I temporarily abandoned the Pyrex tubing since it was too hard to cut and switched to laboratory "soft glass". I've done all I can to harden the glass and it's caged on all sides by metal so we'll see how durable it is. I've dropped my keys a couple times with no problem but testing will continue.

    The circuit draws 35μA from 4x LR41 cells. It could be much more efficient, longer running and cheaper if I switched to LR44's but I don't like their larger diameter. The fob is exactly as wide as I want it to be right now so I'm willing to buy $4 worth of cells every 6 months.


    The LED's glass chamber is capped on both ends by white plastic which helps reflect the light and does a great job lighting the entire window. At night on my bedside table it glows like a tiny campfire and I really enjoy the look.


    There are a few things on my To-Do list for the next one:
    • Increase internal battery chamber diameter slightly
    • Aquarium caulking on both ends of the window to help seal against water/dust
    • Reinforce wires so they don't buckle under the stress of assembly
    • Destructive testing (read: throwing this thing at my driveway over and over) to see how sturdy the glass window is

    I'm really excited about having a working prototype and it makes me very proud to see it hanging from the ignition when I'm driving home in the dark. I hope to have a 2nd one built soon for testing and then I hope to make a few for anyone on here who would be interested.

    Stay tuned!

  15. #105

    Default Re: Project Lamplighter - my homemade LED keychain fob

    I like the 'caged' look, very unique.

  16. #106

    Default Re: Project Lamplighter - my homemade LED keychain fob

    That is so awesome and what a marvel of engineering!
    I also agree with you on thinner being worth the couple bucks a year =)

    I know it would require some additional engineering but maybe you could offer different sizes for different batteries?

    Also - have you thought about burying the SMD in Norland61? That would take care of sturdiness issues!
    EDC: MilkySpit 1000-lumen Tri-MC-E L5
    In the car:
    MillerMods Quad-Cree 2D Mag At home: Mettee Tri-P7
    Missing somewhere =( :
    MilkySpit MC-E 2-stage UltraFire C1 SS 123 Keychain Light

  17. #107
    *Flashaholic* gunga's Avatar
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    Default Re: Project Lamplighter - my homemade LED keychain fob

    That is sooo cool. Just a mini keychain oil lantern...

  18. #108

    Default Re: Project Lamplighter - my homemade LED keychain fob

    I WANT ONE or MORE. Great work man keep after it I agree with above post on the Copper also.
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  19. #109
    Flashaholic* sassaquin's Avatar
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    Default Re: Project Lamplighter - my homemade LED keychain fob

    That is wicked cool.
    And yes, I am interested in purchasing one.
    " The bitterness of poor quality remains long after the sweetness of low price is forgotten." -Ben Franklin

  20. #110
    Flashaholic* KuanR's Avatar
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    Default Re: Project Lamplighter - my homemade LED keychain fob

    I'm definitely interested and this will be worn around my neck! Please put me down for one
    I'm Ryan.

  21. #111
    Flashaholic* Icarus's Avatar
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    Default Re: Project Lamplighter - my homemade LED keychain fob

    Can you post a close-up of the LED please?

    I like that it is made from brass!
    Last edited by Icarus; 03-04-2015 at 04:42 AM.

  22. #112

    Default Re: Project Lamplighter - my homemade LED keychain fob

    I want one !
    90+ CRI Rules!
    WTB Solarforce Parts,---> Here
    !

  23. #113

    Default Re: Project Lamplighter - my homemade LED keychain fob

    Quote Originally Posted by mcbrat View Post
    nice. a copper one of those with that warm glow would be awesome!
    C101 copper almost tore my old lathe apart. I haven't tried it on the new one but that experience scared me enough to have a healthy respect for it. May give a shot in the future but not right now. I have been working in bronze though! Little redder than brass and looks better than copper when tarnished.


    Quote Originally Posted by mcmc View Post
    Also - have you thought about burying the SMD in Norland61?
    Filling the glass tube with Norland would probably cost a couple hundred dollars! It does a great job securing things in tiny spaces but it's not economical to use in large quantities. As for potting just the emitter in epoxy, it's not really needed as the solder holds it plenty tight. The wires are my problem - keeping them taut is a challenge.

    Quote Originally Posted by Icarus View Post
    Can you post a close-up of the LED please?
    Please disregard the curly wire - one of them snapped loose during final installation and I have no way to fix it on this prototype.


    Last edited by calipsoii; 03-04-2015 at 09:05 PM.

  24. #114

    Default Re: Project Lamplighter - my homemade LED keychain fob

    Man these are really awesome. Hope you will be releasing before too long.
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  25. #115
    Flashaholic* Icarus's Avatar
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    Default Re: Project Lamplighter - my homemade LED keychain fob

    Quote Originally Posted by calipsoii View Post
    As for potting just the emitter in epoxy, it's not really needed as the solder holds it plenty tight. The wires are my problem - keeping them taut is a challenge.



    Please disregard the curly wire - one of them snapped loose during final installation and I have no way to fix it on this prototype.


    Thank you very much for posting those pictures! They are very good!

    As for the wires to the LED, I see that both wires are going to the top of the tube. It might be easier to keep the wires straight and holding the LED in place when you add a thin brass disk at the top and bottom of the glass tube and run/solder the wires from the LED through a hole in the center of the brass disk.

  26. #116

    Default Re: Project Lamplighter - my homemade LED keychain fob

    Quote Originally Posted by Icarus View Post
    solder the wires from the LED through a hole in the center of the brass disk.
    No can do my friend, the wires are carrying the current to the LED. Soldering them to a disk would cause an electrical short which is why I'm using white Delrin. A think a bit of tape or some caulking would do the trick though!

  27. #117
    Flashaholic* Icarus's Avatar
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    Default Re: Project Lamplighter - my homemade LED keychain fob

    Supposing the brass housing is connected to the - of the batteries, the bottom brass disk could be connected to the - of the LED and make contact with the bottom of the lantern. The top brass disk connected to the + of the LED could have a brass nippel to make contact with the + of the battery. I don't know how the lantern looks inside but if necessary a delrin disk + brass nippel could be used as the top disk of the glass tube. Then there is no risk for an electrical short.

  28. #118
    nfetterly's Avatar
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    Default Re: Project Lamplighter - my homemade LED keychain fob

    Add me to your list. I subscribed to the thread a few days ago. Love bronze, have 2 watches made from bronze.


  29. #119
    Flashaholic* Nitroz's Avatar
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    Default Re: Project Lamplighter - my homemade LED keychain fob

    Encapsulating that in clear resin or epoxy would be nice, and would add protection to the wires and the LED.

    Put me on the list for a brass.

  30. #120
    *Flashaholic* Illum's Avatar
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    Default Re: Project Lamplighter - my homemade LED keychain fob

    Quote Originally Posted by Nitroz View Post
    Encapsulating that in clear resin or epoxy would be nice, and would add protection to the wires and the LED.

    Put me on the list for a brass.
    one possible problem with that is that as resin cures it produces quite a bit of heat. Whats the word of that wreaking havoc on an SMT LED?

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