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Thread: All-in-one LED bike light for my commuter

  1. #11
    Join Date
    Oct 2012
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    San Antonio TX, USA
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    Quote Originally Posted by BCRider View Post
    Well, that certainly takes care of my concerns! It also shows that any variation is a very small and inconsequential issue. And I find that both a little amazing and fantastic that they can do that all at the same time.

    I retired back when white LED "emitters" were just coming out for use in bicycle lights right at the end of my working days. So most of my experimentation was related to halogen bulbs and better battery packs... And no LiPo packs either. Just some of the then slightly stronger NiMH cells. I missed out on all the fun ! ! ! ! I'm looking forward to seeing how all the tease photos come together for the final product even more now.
    I hear you there! My first light way back in Bristol was a 10W Vistalite periscope light with a 6V motorbike battery ziptied to my top tube. The connections were a bit flaky and the light output was miserable, so I had to follow close behind my friends with better lights. If I hit a bump wrong and the wire fell off or I fell behind, I crashed. I fell off a lot in those days My next light was a 20W dichroic 35mm halogen bulb hot glued into an aluminium shampoo bottle (J Mitchell? The guy with the long hair) and a 14.4V nimh battery. That was pretty decent, did a bunch of 24h races with that.

    Then came LEDs and li-ion batteries and my light building just took off. My first light was a 2x XP-G with a Taskled driver and a 3 li-ion battery, using 1in.sq alu tubing for the body, what a difference. Huge amount of light, lots of run time, thermal management, different power levels, the works. I've built a ton of lights since, though all of them have been either with 1in.sq tubing or premade housings, so this one is a big step ahead for me, even though I've been making lights for years. I would still like to make a good mtbing light to go night riding with, maybe this winter - might get me back into mtbing more.

    Also need to remake one of my rear lights which has finally given up the ghost. that one will be next, though it will be a lot simpler.

    Quote Originally Posted by dmartin View Post
    Cool project, I'm anxious to see the end product.

    Dwight
    thanks Dwight. It'll take a while though, so don't hold your breath!

    ground down the shank of my face grooving tool last night and cut the o-ring grooves.


    Then drilled and started to bore one of the LED recesses. first time boring on the mill, boy it takes forever compared to the lathe! Should be able to finish off the LED recesses this weekend, after I've cut the grass, built some shelves for the shed and given my bike a service (new chainring, chain, clean cassette etc).

  2. #12
    Join Date
    Oct 2012
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    took a while to get back to this, but the nights are drawing in and I'd like to get it done sometime before 2019..

    finished the LED cavity bores by setting the body up in the 4 jaw on the lathe. Took longer to set up than on the mill but WAY less time to bore. Made the 1st of 4 screw ups - one cavity is 0.35mm deeper than it should be, so I may need to make a thin shim under the optic (or LED) to make sure the front plate holds the optic in place.


    the 2nd and 3rd screw ups were related to drilling the holes for the LEDs and cover plate. The LED screws are slightly off center in the bores (a smidge too high) as I indicated off the outside of the light instead of the bore of the cavity. Won't do that again. 3rd screw up was a 7/64 drill that made it into the number section of my 115pc jobber drill index (it's a bitsa!) which I used instead of the #39 drill I needed for a 4-40 form tap. Still enough thread depth to hold, but annoying never the less. Got the face place drilled, countersunk and chamfered at the edges.

    finished the recess for the bottom cover plate and chain drilled the cavity out with a 3/8 drill. Cleaned that up and roughed to depth with a lovely new 3/8 3 flute coarse rougher. Next up is to finish the sides with the 3/16 long reach finisher and start cutting the features in the bottom for the driver and batteries.


    nice pile of chips


    screw up #4 and the biggest one of all


    anyone see a problem here? Yep, messed up my dimensions and don't have enough length to fit the driver/charger board..

    Oh well, guess that gives me a good excuse to build a 2 channel driver that I had designed years ago. For the charger I can use one of the microUSB charger boards that I used in my tail light build. Just have to redesign the innards to fit everything in there.

  3. #13
    Join Date
    Jan 2003
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    Deep in the Heart of Texas!
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    Couldn't you just cutoff the left side of that board and relocate the LED output pads/wires?

    Have you started on a heater for that bike yet? It's supposed to freeze tonight.

  4. #14
    Join Date
    Oct 2012
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    Quote Originally Posted by CCWKen View Post
    Couldn't you just cutoff the left side of that board and relocate the LED output pads/wires?

    Have you started on a heater for that bike yet? It's supposed to freeze tonight.
    good idea Ken, unfortunately there are a few teeny tiny components on the other side and I can't figure out where the traces connect, so I can't figure out how to relocate them. I did think hard about just saying screw it and cutting it up, but it's too nice a board to risk messing up when I could use it in a different light.

    Heater = riding faster or riding with the brakes on. It was chilly enough this evening, so I'll be digging out the winter gear for tomorrow that's for sure!

  5. #15
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    Oct 2012
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    made some more progress on the light. Main body is almost finished, need to make a bracket to attach it to the bars, a bottom plate and a plug to seal the charging port.

    channels for the batteries were cut with a rather lovely 5/8 3fl ball nose end mill. With a few thou step over each side of center a 18650 battery fits very snuggly. Small groove cut for the charging board at the back, drilled and tapped a hole for a retaining screw this morning (not in pic)


    grooved the sides with a 4mm endmill for cooling and to remove a bit more weight. This light is still going to be heavy, but it's my first one piece light so I didn't want to push things too far. It'll also be bomb proof, which is important for a light that'll be used as much as this one will.



    I pulled something in my lower back working on the shed last weekend, so my wife is confining me to the couch when she's around. Progress will be slower than intended.

  6. #16
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    Oct 2012
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    back is feeling a bit better and the wife is out and about, so got some more work done on the light today.

    Finished the bracket, which will connect the light to a handle bar bracket. Broke a lovely M4x0.7 form tap in the process which I was very sad about.




    both sides were supposed to be solid, but I overshot and went into the side relief. Oh well, it should be plenty strong enough as is.

    Finished the grooves on the top of the light too. Here's what it looks like with the bracket attached. The bracket is slotted so the light can be adjusted left or right of center as needed.



    next up, the bottom plate. This will be a little tricky as it will project inside the light cavity and have an o-ring groove around the perimeter of that projection. The bit projecting inside will also be relieved and have a drilled/ threaded post to mount the driver. Then the outside will have 4 countersunk holes for attaching it to the light and some more grooves.

  7. #17
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    Oct 2012
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    bottom plate is done

    marked out, drilled, clearance drilled, form tapped 4-40 and countersunk all the screw holes


    brought the surface down to the right height with a face mill, then cut and chamfered 3/16 grooves


    bottom of the cover has a 1/16" o-ring groove around the periphery, a tapped post for the driver and the rest cut away to save weight.


    and the other side


    only thing left to do is make the charger port plug which I'll get to this week.

    current weight of the body+bottom plate+bracket is 159g (bracket is 9g). Given that the original block should have weighed ~600g that means I've removed 75% of the original piece of metal!

  8. #18
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    Jun 2004
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    N.J.
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    If this is for your electric assisted commuter bike, why not run it directly of the bike's battery back?

  9. #19
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    Oct 2012
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    I had considered that and there's even a port I could use but I don't want my light to go out if the battery dies for one thing (happens occasionally with a really strong headwind) and I don't want it to reduce my range when I'm cutting it close.

  10. #20
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
    Location
    Ohio
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    Obviously we enjoy machining, but if you ever want a faster way to get one, just Google for "grill lights". As in gas grill for cooking. Here is the one I have, it swivels and rotates any which way. I have used mine for the same purpose, although on a riding mower. They are made to clamp on a round tube.



    https://www.lowes.com/pd/Master-Forg...Light/50125693

    Dennis

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