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Thread: Project Lamplighter - my homemade LED keychain fob

  1. #121

    Default Re: Project Lamplighter - my homemade LED keychain fob

    highly interested, been following this for a long time. All depends on the pricepoint, but very interested, likely a buy. (not a 14 year old's "interested" either)

  2. #122
    Flashaholic* FRITZHID's Avatar
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    Default Re: Project Lamplighter - my homemade LED keychain fob

    Quote Originally Posted by Illum View Post
    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?
    Those cure temps aren't typically high enough to effect the LED in any significant way. There are heated potting compounds that are used every day on all manner of electronics, incl LEDs, both smd and thruhole.
    It's a shame that so many of them yellow/discolor over time and plastic injection stands a good chance at overheating the LED.
    Another option would be to use Lucite or other optical plastic instead of glass tube. Maybe machine a section to house the LED and then fill small area with loca?
    I Got tired of looking for the light at the end of the tunnel so i lit that bitch up myself! Convoy s2 365nm, Maxa-Beam Gen II, 55w hid/100w incan Vector Twin, Amondotech n30, vss-3A, Reylight Ti Lan v3, Helius Sigma 9, astrolux s41 219, Shadow JM35, BLF GT,

  3. #123

    Default Re: Project Lamplighter - my homemade LED keychain fob

    Quote Originally Posted by calipsoii View Post
    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!
    Why not look at a varnish finish to the wire to stop any shorts?!

  4. #124

    Default Re: Project Lamplighter - my homemade LED keychain fob

    Hey guys, I've been mighty quiet in this thread so I just wanted to pop in and post a quick update. Between a full-time day job and an 8 week old kid I've been pretty darn busy so progress has been a bit slow (as you might imagine!). Currently working on a very small run of Lamplighters and making good headway:


    The one on my keychain is still looking great despite being dropped onto concrete a dozen or more times so I'm pretty happy with the design. I don't think the glass is any more likely to break on this fob than it is when I drop any of my glass-lens flashlights. Still glowing nicely on my bedside table too. More updates to come!

  5. #125
    Flashaholic* KuanR's Avatar
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    Default Re: Project Lamplighter - my homemade LED keychain fob

    Thanks for the update, I'm still committed to buy one when you are ready!
    I'm Ryan.

  6. #126

    Default Re: Project Lamplighter - my homemade LED keychain fob

    Yes - if my earlier post wasn't clear, I am in for one I think I have a post to that effect maybe a few years ago too
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  7. #127
    Flashaholic* Icarus's Avatar
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    Naughty Re: Project Lamplighter - my homemade LED keychain fob

    Quote Originally Posted by calipsoii View Post
    Hey guys, I've been mighty quiet in this thread so I just wanted to pop in and post a quick update. Between a full-time day job and an 8 week old kid I've been pretty darn busy so progress has been a bit slow (as you might imagine!). Currently working on a very small run of Lamplighters and making good headway:


    The one on my keychain is still looking great despite being dropped onto concrete a dozen or more times so I'm pretty happy with the design. I don't think the glass is any more likely to break on this fob than it is when I drop any of my glass-lens flashlights. Still glowing nicely on my bedside table too. More updates to come!
    Looks good! Can you shine some light on the driver in the photo?

  8. #128
    Flashaholic* cnjl3's Avatar
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    Default Re: Project Lamplighter - my homemade LED keychain fob

    I would like to add my name in the hat. I want/need one lamplighter maybe two?

  9. #129

    Default Re: Project Lamplighter - my homemade LED keychain fob

    Thanks for the interest guys! I'm excited as all heck about this project and trying hard to get Lamplighters into the hands of anyone who wants one. Life is still crazy busy in this household so progress is frustratingly slow - in the last 2 weeks I've found (maybe) 4.5 hours to work on it? The good news is that I don't have any major changes to make to the design so I have my portfolio of drawings ready to take around to the machine shops in town. Hopefully someone will be able to do the metalwork for a fair price and eliminate the largest part of my workload. I'll keep you in the loop!

    Icarus: the driver is just a simple PCB with a few components on it. Touched on it here. As Dr. Jones mentioned it's not super efficient and a plain 'ol resistor would probably work equally well. But now I have the boards so I've been putting them to use.

    A glassblower in town let me in her little secret - a carbide cutting tool that she swears by for glass snapping. I purchased one and gave it a shot on my Pyrex rod with very good results! I need practice but the cuts are clean enough and within tolerances for use.


    The Pyrex makes a really nice flame as you polish it. Please disregard the specks in the video as my iPhone has dust inside the camera lens.


    This weekend I completed assembly on #003. It's a gift to my coworker and shares the same serial # as the Spyglass flashlight I made him a few months ago.




    Stay tuned guys, the pace may be slow but I assure you they're worth waiting for. I still get a little thrill every night I see it glowing on my bedside table - too cool.

  10. #130
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    Default Re: Project Lamplighter - my homemade LED keychain fob

    I'm in for a matching serial number, too ...
    ... is the archimedes peak

  11. #131

    Default Re: Project Lamplighter - my homemade LED keychain fob

    if you ever do them in bronze or red brass I'd be in for one of those....

  12. #132

    Default Re: Project Lamplighter - my homemade LED keychain fob

    Quote Originally Posted by mcbrat View Post
    if you ever do them in bronze or red brass I'd be in for one of those....
    The one on the right in the above picture is 660 bronze. I love the metal and was totally excited to see what it looked like but the end result was a little disappointing. On such a small piece the rich bronze color is lost and it just looks faded. Side-by-side the brass looks nicer, which is not something I expected to say. I still think a bronze pocket light would look amazing but for a tiny keychain fob something with more vibrant color like brass or copper would probably look best.

  13. #133

    Default Re: Project Lamplighter - my homemade LED keychain fob

    Copper would actually be my first choice

  14. #134
    Flashaholic* Icarus's Avatar
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    Default Re: Project Lamplighter - my homemade LED keychain fob

    Brass for me!

  15. #135

    Default Re: Project Lamplighter - my homemade LED keychain fob

    Hey guys! Just a quick update since this thread has been pretty quiet. It's still crazy busy in my household but instead of napping I've been sneaking out to my workbench instead so we're still pushing forward.

    Just a lot of fine tuning going on right now. I learned to snap the Pyrex (which is good) but it has a larger inner diameter (which is bad) so some parts didn't fit quite right:


    I'm still trying to work out how to keep the wires straight during assembly. So far every single fob has had slightly bent wires and I'm just not having a lot of luck avoiding it. Will keep trying.

    I also learned the hard way to tighten the gibs on my mill once in a while. Luckily nobody was hurt when the brass decided to grab the endmill and just start sucking it in.


    That fob was still assembled though and looks pretty nice riding around on my wife's keychain. She's slowly building a collection of all my character pieces.

    The next one turned out a lot nicer. Just needs electrical innards and some glass and then we're cooking!




    42 days in and the Lamplighter on my keychain is still glowing (about ~65% brightness) so I'm just going to let this runtime test go and I'll chime back in with a final runtime hopefully far in the distant future.

    Cheers!

  16. #136
    Flashaholic* KuanR's Avatar
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    Default Re: Project Lamplighter - my homemade LED keychain fob

    I look forward to your updates on this project. If it hasn't been accounted for, can I call dibs on #6 or #9 ??
    I'm Ryan.

  17. #137

    Default Re: Project Lamplighter - my homemade LED keychain fob

    Hi all!

    They say haste makes waste... so I guess I should sloooow down while working on the machines?


    That's not to say the project is standing still though! For each destroyed one a few nice-looking ones have rolled off the line.


    My keychain Lamplighter is picking up a nice pocket-tumbled patina!


    And two months onwards we're still going strong on the first set of batteries.


    Now. Who wants to babysit so I can finish a few more?

  18. #138

    Default Re: Project Lamplighter - my homemade LED keychain fob

    I have a 3 year old and a 2 year old... its hard, 2 isn't twice as hard, its an exponential function. they get to be fun when they turn 2.... its gets better! haha The first year is the shortest year, made up of the longest days.

  19. #139
    *Flashaholic* gunga's Avatar
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    Default Re: Project Lamplighter - my homemade LED keychain fob

    These are very cool! BTW, what happened to the Spyglass project?

  20. #140

    Default Re: Project Lamplighter - my homemade LED keychain fob

    Quote Originally Posted by maverick06 View Post
    I have a 3 year old and a 2 year old... its hard, 2 isn't twice as hard, its an exponential function. they get to be fun when they turn 2.... its gets better! haha The first year is the shortest year, made up of the longest days.
    Hah, thanks maverick. It's a lot of fun but free time sure evaporates!

    Quote Originally Posted by gunga View Post
    These are very cool! BTW, what happened to the Spyglass project?
    They take a really long time to make. Time has become a precious commodity lately so I'm focusing on the Lamplighters as I can complete them more quickly. I'll gladly make a Spyglass for anyone who wants one but the price is going to scare a lot of people away so we'll call them "commission" pieces for now.

    I have a new circuit & pill design in my head for the light that will reduce the manufacturing time/effort (and increase performance) but a full R&D cycle will take many months that could be spent making sweet keychain fobs instead.

    If only there was a way to eliminate the need for sleep?

  21. #141
    Flashaholic* Icarus's Avatar
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    Default Re: Project Lamplighter - my homemade LED keychain fob

    I like this project but would like to see you post more pictures.

  22. #142

    Default Re: Project Lamplighter - my homemade LED keychain fob

    Quote Originally Posted by Icarus View Post
    I like this project but would like to see you post more pictures.
    As you wish!












  23. #143

    Default Re: Project Lamplighter - my homemade LED keychain fob

    These are just too cool.
    I would definitely want one, or a few. They'd make excellent gifts!

  24. #144
    Flashaholic* Icarus's Avatar
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    Default Re: Project Lamplighter - my homemade LED keychain fob

    for posting new photos.

  25. #145

    Default Re: Project Lamplighter - my homemade LED keychain fob

    Hi guys,

    Looks like these will run just shy of 3 months on a set of batteries. My keychain one abruptly dropped out of regulation last night and has been dimming to a tiny spark ever since.


    Unfortunately the batteries in that one were installed with a hammer so it's a museum piece now.

  26. #146
    datiLED's Avatar
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    Default Re: Project Lamplighter - my homemade LED keychain fob

    Quote Originally Posted by calipsoii View Post
    Unfortunately the batteries in that one were installed with a hammer so it's a museum piece now.
    Chuck it into your lathe, and drill them out. Then you can bore the tube for more clearance.

    BTW, nice work.
    I am currently accepting limited mod requests. Please send me a PM!

  27. #147

    Default Re: Project Lamplighter - my homemade LED keychain fob

    I just received mine - number 007 =) this thing is awesome!! Thanks CalipsoII!
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    MilkySpit MC-E 2-stage UltraFire C1 SS 123 Keychain Light

  28. #148

    Default Re: Project Lamplighter - my homemade LED keychain fob

    I'm still loving your 2 great homemade projects. Can you put me down for 2 lights please? I'd like to have one, for my brother the engineer's birthday, at the end of October if possible. Thanks Zandar

  29. #149

    Default Re: Project Lamplighter - my homemade LED keychain fob

    Hi guys, thanks for continuing to follow along! I love the feedback and find it very motivating.

    I've been making these as time permits. With the little dude in the house now I get maybe 2-3 hours a week and it takes 8-10 hours to make one so you can see where that's going. #009 is about 50% complete.

    Since more than a few people have expressed interest I think it makes sense to post a few details here. These are the key points I've been sending to each person who buys one, so if you've already read this, please skip over! If you haven't, it might influence your decision.

    • They're splash-resistant but not waterproof so no swimming or showering with it.
    • They're machined by hand on a manual lathe/mill and will likely have some tooling marks to reflect that.
    • The LED suspension wires will be a bit bent in all models; it's unavoidable.
    • They have a piece of Pyrex tubing in them. In 3 months of daily abuse I've never broken mine but the possibility is there.
    • The spring is not attached in the tail so twist it open slowly so it doesn't shoot out (I'll send a couple spares just in case).
    • They're really quite dim during the daylight hours.

    There are some pretty awesome points to note too!

    • Everything from the housing to the circuit board to the glass envelope is handmade.
    • Lovingly handstamped with a unique serial number.
    • Just shy of 3 months of 24/7 runtime on 4x SR41 batteries.
    • The unlacquered brass will pick up a nice patina in your pocket.
    • At night the orange LED looks like a tiny campfire spark captured on your keychain.
    • You can pick up genuine Energizer SR41's on DigiKey for $0.80 each

    Price for the Lamplighter without shipping is $85USD. Shipping charges vary based on your location:

    • USA/Canada with tracking & insurance in 7-10 business days: $15
    • Int'l/Overseas without tracking or insurance in 2-3 weeks: $10
    • Int'l/Overseas with tracking & insurance in 6-10 business days: ~$40 (I can get an exact quote once I know your country)


    So there you go! I have a small list of people who said they were interested. My goal has been to make enough of these to get one to each person. If you're on here and are no longer interested that is no problem at all, just PM and let me know! If you're not on here and want to be, post below or send me a PM.
    bmetcalfe28
    sassaquin
    KuanR
    Mr.Nobody
    nfetterly
    Nitroz
    maverick06
    cnjl3
    Icarus
    maxspeeds
    zandar
    Neg2LED
    mk2rocco

    Cheers all, enjoy your weekend!
    Last edited by calipsoii; 06-29-2015 at 08:52 AM.

  30. #150

    Popcorn Re: Project Lamplighter - my homemade LED keychain fob

    Calipsoii, So, that everyone has a fair shot at getting a lamplighter in a reasonable amount of time, I'd like to cut back my request to just 1 light, please. Thank you. Zandar
    Last edited by Zandar; 06-01-2015 at 08:52 AM. Reason: spelling

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