My Bike Lights - Info, Teardown pics, Beamshots, Current Measurements, etc. . .

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MountainKing
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This is great stuff. Too bad I do not have those skills Smile

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garrybunk
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I finally built up my custom 2S3P battery pack from NCR18650BE cells pulled from (2) Xiaomi 10,000mAh Power Banks (purchased for $12/ea), a 7A 2S protection circuit, a DX 20ga cable, and a hobby charger balance lead.  It wasn't all that hard to build.  The nice thing is that the cells come welded together in parallel out of the power bank.  I used strips of copper cut from an old Dell PC heatsink to connect the bottom of the pack pairs.  Had to solder the original "strip" material a few times as it rips so easily.  I had to reset the PCM circuit with a charger before I could measure output voltage; that threw me off for a second. 

Photos of the "copper strips" used to connect pairs (notice the ripped stock strip, which I later soldered back together). The trick of sticking the soldering iron between the copper and battery then removing iron and pushing together quickly (I used a popsicle stick) worked great, but you have to get things aligned right or else you probably won't get it back apart!:
q

 

All Wired Up:

2

All wrapped up:

s

 

 

 

And testing it out after a full charge (which takes a LOOONNGG time on a wall wart "1A" charger!) on my BT40S modded to a calculated 4A:

s

This is the highest current measurement yet on this light!  Voltage is even high enough to keep the lights battery level indicator blue instead of red. 

For anyone wanting to do this "build" here is a wiring diagram that may help:

1

 

And a blow-up of the PCM board:

2

-Garry

My Bike Lights Thread, Optics (TIR) Comparison Beamshots, Diffusion Techniques


NOTE: Moving my photos from PhotoBucket to Flickr. PM me or post in the thread if you can’t see my images and need me to fix or send a gallery link. PhotoBucket images should remain visible until November 2018.
totilde
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does it make sense the use of a 2s1p protection circuit in a 2s3p circuit? if one or two of the 3 cells in one of the series is damaged, the circuit won’t be able to see it, right? I understand that discharging them is not a problem, because the circuit will trip when the weakest series reaches the minimum voltage, even though the other series will be much higher, but what about charging? it will only balance the voltage among the two series, but not the voltage of each individual cell into each 3 cell group
edit: just asking, I don’t understand it, not questioning your work

Mooooooo

garrybunk
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Balancing is achieved in two ways - 1) they are named brand matched cells and 2) they are already welded together in parallel which will keep them all equal.  I don't think the parallel arrangement would allow you to monitor an individual cell. 

-Garry

My Bike Lights Thread, Optics (TIR) Comparison Beamshots, Diffusion Techniques


NOTE: Moving my photos from PhotoBucket to Flickr. PM me or post in the thread if you can’t see my images and need me to fix or send a gallery link. PhotoBucket images should remain visible until November 2018.
totilde
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ok, so it only works ok based on the assumption that neither of the cells is gonna fail; aren’t there on the market circuits that monitor each of the cells? When I parallel cells, I prefer to charge them separately, and in the case of the bike lights just made 2 2s1p packs, and replace when needed. I also changed the power connector to xt60 in the light, so I can direct plug the pack to the hobby charger and to the light, and of course it’s harder to accidentally disconnect it when riding (mu battery packs go in the backpack and disconnected den in bumps accidentally with the old connector)

Mooooooo

garrybunk
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I believe the setup is the same in laptop battery packs; I don't believe those individual cells are (nor can be) monitored. 

-Garry

My Bike Lights Thread, Optics (TIR) Comparison Beamshots, Diffusion Techniques


NOTE: Moving my photos from PhotoBucket to Flickr. PM me or post in the thread if you can’t see my images and need me to fix or send a gallery link. PhotoBucket images should remain visible until November 2018.
eebowler
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Individual cells in a parallel set up can not be monitored.

My gratitude to those who are willing and able to help others (in whatever way you can)! Being human is more than just existing for yourself. Smile

garrybunk
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HOLY %$#@!!! Got a rare chance to go into an underground stone mine at work today and so I decided to take my modded BT40S and new battery pack to test it out. WOW! First of all, as I've said before, there is NOTHING like going into an underground mine (or cave) away from all other sources of light and being surrounded by complete darkness! You feel like you don't even know if your eyes are actually open or not. From my past two experiences in this same mine I learned that a 1,000 lumen flashlight is barely enough when you want to light up a large area. (By the same token, a 30 lumen light can be plenty to light up your general work area since your eyes are so adjusted.) Light just seems to be swallowed up by the dirt and stone (i.e. there's no reflection of light). I actually pulled our site "tour guide" (can't think what to call him - the young guy that took us to our destination wearing a +/- 150 lumen XR-E type miner's cap lamp) over and said, "Hey, you wanna see something that'll make you crap your pants?" Afterwards I then explained how I only have about $35 in that light to get that insane output.

(Ignore traffic cone which only served for my partner to be able to see that location during his setup.)

Here's a pic of my BT40S on "Turbo" (+/- 3.8A):

a

I'll skip the other modes and just show you "Low":
s

Another random photo looking the other direction at my coworker using one of my headlamps to get setup to work through a doorway.
a

Later on I took a photo using an aspheric flashlight (+/-1,000 lumens) lighting up that whole wall (slightly different angle but same area as above pic).

 

-Garry

My Bike Lights Thread, Optics (TIR) Comparison Beamshots, Diffusion Techniques


NOTE: Moving my photos from PhotoBucket to Flickr. PM me or post in the thread if you can’t see my images and need me to fix or send a gallery link. PhotoBucket images should remain visible until November 2018.
will34
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Great pictures!

I want to report that today I received a BT70 from GB and I’m really pleased with the performance. Ceiling test shows it only falls a bit short on output vs the Nitecore EC4S rated 2000 lumens. But it produces a more uniform beam suitable for area illumination. Tint is not that great so I’ll probably replace them all with Nichia 219C.

Disassembled it from the tail and the driver has 2 PCBs with the main part attached to the rear of the LED shelf, which is almost 10mm thick!! When it gets hot the heat is uniform across the entire body.

I don’t have a bike so the BT70 will be used as an area/work light mounted on a tripod using a gopro adapter, or used with a gopro grip. Will try to post some pictures later.

garrybunk
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I just read over at MTBR that those BT70's were discontinued due to "lack of interest" (which is B.S.) and high failure rate (which we did see from posts over at MTBR). 

Would love to see pics when you're done!

-Garry

My Bike Lights Thread, Optics (TIR) Comparison Beamshots, Diffusion Techniques


NOTE: Moving my photos from PhotoBucket to Flickr. PM me or post in the thread if you can’t see my images and need me to fix or send a gallery link. PhotoBucket images should remain visible until November 2018.
Itinifni
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Nice pictures Garry, and nice work on the BT40. I’m still waiting for mine to show up (ordered 2, one for me and one for my son). If they show up in time we’ll use them as is for the rest of the riding season, not much time left around here.

I have some plans for my mods but won’t know if possible until I have the lights in my hand. I’ll probably be steeling some of you hard work along the way though.

Thanks for the recommendation.

Matt

I remember a time, when I searched for lights to fit my needs. Now I search for needs to fit my lights.

garrybunk
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I decided to upgrade my Yinding (Gemini Duo Clone) to XP-L HI V2 3C emitters, 10º LEDDNA optics, and a remote switch.  Emitters on 16mm Noctigons from Mountain Electronics, and the remote switch is nothing more than a cheap PTT Remote Mic switch for a 2-way radio (search Ebay for "PTT Remote" and as of this date there is a US Seller to get them for $6.64.) 

The remote switch was the first step and is quite simple.  Disassemble the light, remove driver board from back housing, drill a hole just slightly smaller than the diameter of the wire in an appropriate location, cut remote wire to length, feed through the hole (should be tight fit), and solder across either the top two switch contacts or the bottom two contacts (I chose the bottom two as they are easier to access).  Note that the wire is "Litz Wire" and will not conduct electricity until you burn off the coating on the wires (soldering iron will do that for you, but don't be alarmed if you, like me, wonder why your DMM doesn't show continuity right away). 

Here are a few pics of the remote installation:

w

 

e

 

w

 

q

The wiring then gets placed so it runs along the bottom side of the driver board when the board is reattached to the rear body plate. 

w

See above, the use of a zip tie to keep the cable from getting yanked out.  A zip tie is also placed on the power cord for the same reason.  (Note: the zip ties will make it difficult to reassemble because you'll be squishing them in.)


Here are the XP-L on Noctigons installed in series with XP sized butterfly spacers trimmed to fit (needed for correct height for the optics):
s

 

Finished light:

s

 

I don't have a pic mounted to a helmet (need an aluminum GoPro adapter with additional heatsinking yet) but here is one I stole from user tigris99 (hope he doesn't mind).  (Note the remote switch mounted to the side of the helmet too):

s

 

Mine will be mounted lower in the front like my BT21 shown here:
s

 

One two nearly full charged protected 2,600 Sanyo cells in a modded Fenix 2-cell case:

s

 

Tried two mismatched mostly charged up high-discharge cells and saw slightly higher current:
s

 

Beamshots ("High" Mode Only):

Mouseovers - Mouse Out = Stock Form (tint is approx. a 5B1, so you'll see tint difference too), Mouse Over = XP-L HI modded.  Approx. 185 feet to the two trees, utility pole in the distance is at approx. another 100  feet away from the trees:

s

 

Wooded Setting:

s

 

Pretty impressive difference!  You'll notice in the yard shot that the XP-L's are lighting up the utility pole in the distance!  Interestingly enough the XP-L's (or due to optics change) also light up a slightly wider area up in front of the light!  I like it!  I lost the more realistic color rendering of the 5B1 tint, but I think the gains were worth it. 

Note: Full PhotoBucket gallery with more pics here

-Garry

My Bike Lights Thread, Optics (TIR) Comparison Beamshots, Diffusion Techniques


NOTE: Moving my photos from PhotoBucket to Flickr. PM me or post in the thread if you can’t see my images and need me to fix or send a gallery link. PhotoBucket images should remain visible until November 2018.
MountainKing
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Thanks for the pics. Mouseover won’t work here. Loading your gallery Smile

Never ever forget and forgive. Niwal**er new kid on the block trying to act tough.
http://budgetlightforum.com/node/24847
Do not support this brand.

DINODIRECTSCAM COMPANY. DO NOT BUY
http://budgetlightforum.com/node/11324?page=2#comment-254983

MountainKing
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Only seeing one set of low/med/high mode in gallery…You sure the mouseover works? Big Smile

Never ever forget and forgive. Niwal**er new kid on the block trying to act tough.
http://budgetlightforum.com/node/24847
Do not support this brand.

DINODIRECTSCAM COMPANY. DO NOT BUY
http://budgetlightforum.com/node/11324?page=2#comment-254983

garrybunk
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MountainKing wrote:
Only seeing one set of low/med/high mode in gallery...You sure the mouseover works? :D

Yep.  The "stock" photos are out of the "XP-L HI V2 3C Mod" subfolder, or click here

-Garry

My Bike Lights Thread, Optics (TIR) Comparison Beamshots, Diffusion Techniques


NOTE: Moving my photos from PhotoBucket to Flickr. PM me or post in the thread if you can’t see my images and need me to fix or send a gallery link. PhotoBucket images should remain visible until November 2018.
MRsDNF
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Another nice mod gb. Thanks for sharing.

 

djozz quotes, "it came with chinese lettering that is chinese to me".

                      "My man mousehole needs one too"

old4570 said "I'm not an expert , so don't suffer from any such technical restrictions".

Old-Lumens. Highly admired and cherished member of Budget Light Forum. 11.5.2011 - 20.12.16. RIP.

 

ImA4Wheelr
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Really nice mods there in Post 72. 

How do you like the Go Pro adapter with the additional heatsinking?  Do you think it would transmit too much vibration mounted on a handlebar?  Looks so cool on the silver helmet.

garrybunk
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ImA4Wheelr wrote:
How do you like the Go Pro adapter with the additional heatsinking?  Do you think it would transmit too much vibration mounted on a handlebar?  Looks so cool on the silver helmet.

I don't know that the vibration is really any worse than using the standard o-ring mounts.  I've yet to ride using the GoPro mount though.  Work schedule screwed me out of riding last week and this week's ride was cancelled due to rain (local club rides on Tuesday nights). Not sure how much longer I'll have to be able to ride before snow hits (and stays around for the next 4 months).

-Garry

My Bike Lights Thread, Optics (TIR) Comparison Beamshots, Diffusion Techniques


NOTE: Moving my photos from PhotoBucket to Flickr. PM me or post in the thread if you can’t see my images and need me to fix or send a gallery link. PhotoBucket images should remain visible until November 2018.
ImA4Wheelr
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^

All the mounts I have have a cushion pad of some sort on both the handle bar and light side of the mount.  I assumed such pads would negate the heat sinking and, therefore, not be used.  Just seems like a lot of shock/vibration would be transmitted to the light.

Kind of a bummer you have such a short light riding season. 

viktori
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I love this thread. I’ve recently acquired a bike for commuting, via a friend that managed to almost literally ram into this deal, so I’m looking for a really nice bike light for him. He’s a bike (and bike light) aficionado so I’m thinking he will also love this thread.

Personally, since I’ll mostly be using my bike for commuting and city riding I’m likely to use Astrolux S1 and/or Convoy S2.

Do keep this thread fresh, please. I haven’t found a better bike light thread on BLF than this one.

Thanks for all your effort and extremely nice beamshots!

This is my flashlight collection.

garrybunk
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viktori wrote:
I love this thread. . . . Do keep this thread fresh, please. I haven't found a better bike light thread on BLF than this one. Thanks for all your effort and extremely nice beamshots!

Thanks viktori!  It is my plan to keep updating this thread.  It's handy for my own records as well as having a source to link others to for information.

-Garry

My Bike Lights Thread, Optics (TIR) Comparison Beamshots, Diffusion Techniques


NOTE: Moving my photos from PhotoBucket to Flickr. PM me or post in the thread if you can’t see my images and need me to fix or send a gallery link. PhotoBucket images should remain visible until November 2018.
garrybunk
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Did a little mod to my 2-cell Fenix Bike Battery Case replacing the top springs with buttons from Mountain Electronics.  I have already replaced the stock Fenix cable with the 20ga DX one (the stock Fenix cable has the opposite connector on it anyway).  The buttons are too small to reach the pcb contacts (perhaps I could have just scraped away at the pcb), so I used pieces of copper under each button.  Fairly easy to do and the bottom springs still provide plenty of tension on the battery (it was quite a bit of tension with both sets of springs).

Pics:

s

 

With two protected Sanyo 2,600mAh FM's:

a

BTW - these cases are no longer available. 

A few more pics showing the other side of the pcb since I didn't post anything on the cable mod:

Stock:
s

 

Bottom Springs:
s

 

w

 

s

 

q

-Garry

My Bike Lights Thread, Optics (TIR) Comparison Beamshots, Diffusion Techniques


NOTE: Moving my photos from PhotoBucket to Flickr. PM me or post in the thread if you can’t see my images and need me to fix or send a gallery link. PhotoBucket images should remain visible until November 2018.
sp5it
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Hi.
So I modded mine 872 with 219C and 2A in a LED.
Insane brightness, great colour (my first Nichia’s) but now I need better batterypack haha.
Mike

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ledoman
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sp5it, take a look the battery thread here at MTBR.

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Went out with the local bike club last night for another night ride and had a blast.  I got a few photos.  I ran my modded NiteFighter BT40S on the bars and NiteFighter BT21 on the helmet. After learning from last week's ride that I didn't need to conserve battery so heavily I tried running high (not Turbo) more often on each light.  The BT40S was powered by my custom 6-cell Xiaomi battery pack and my BT21 was powered by 2 LG MJ1's in my modded 2-cell Fenix case.  I had plenty of battery power (surprising with the BT21 on only 2 cells).  Our total ride was 2hrs 45mins (my longest yet).  According to a member's "Strava" we were "rolling" for exactly 2hrs for 1,166 feet of elevation gain and rode 12.0 miles.  I learned that once you crest a hill and start downhill you really don't have the opportunity to take your hand off the bars to change your light level!  Many times I found myself speeding down a rocky descent unable to kick the light up from medium to high. 

Map (highlighted to show what I believe was our route - we rode clockwise):

a

 

It's hard to see, but there are two overlooks (wooden decks) on the ridge top.

 

First overlook (two photos only lit up by my BT21 on my helmet):

q

 

q

 

Hard to see much at night:

q

 

Second overlook, lit up with my BT40S on Turbo and I'm shining my BT21 on Turbo from behind the camera toward my bike.  This was after the 2hr mark, so the BT40S on Turbo wasn't outputting its max.  (Pay no mind to the guy taking a leak in the right side of the photo Laughing). 
a

 

I moved to a tree where I could hold my camera phone more still:
aq

 

The view:
q

 

Here's the first overlook in the daytime and another view (found on Google).  

-Garry

My Bike Lights Thread, Optics (TIR) Comparison Beamshots, Diffusion Techniques


NOTE: Moving my photos from PhotoBucket to Flickr. PM me or post in the thread if you can’t see my images and need me to fix or send a gallery link. PhotoBucket images should remain visible until November 2018.
MountainKing
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As a recreational cyclist I would like to say …If it is not on strava, it didnot happen! Silly

Never ever forget and forgive. Niwal**er new kid on the block trying to act tough.
http://budgetlightforum.com/node/24847
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DINODIRECTSCAM COMPANY. DO NOT BUY
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So I decided to build a 12v floodlight powered with a cigarette lighter cord and a magnetic mount to stick on my vehicle to light up the parking lot when I’m loading/unloading my bike & gear and getting things setup. I figured why not light up a good portion of the lot for others as well. So I started with one of these 6x XB-D “18w Cree Off-Road Lights”, a 12v cigarette lighter extension cord, and a 25lb pull magnet (which Home Depot sells in the isle with nuts & bolts).

In stock form this light floods an area 30ft x 30ft fairly brightly, so I’d guess around 1,000 lumens. Pulls about 0.95A in stock form. The current sense resistor (R4 in the pic below, an R150) can be changed to boost current, however SS210 is only rated to 1.5A (datasheet here), no idea what the FET is rated for, and other components look weak as well, so I decided to play it safe and only boost to 1.5A draw.

Light:

Opens up rather easy:

“Polycarbonate” lens slides out:

Solid aluminum behind the pcb, but little thermal compound:

Driver circuit and emitters on same pcb:

Closeup of components:

Stock beam:

Replaced R4 with an R100:

Measured a consistent 1.56A now from a 12v power supply:

“Potted” the components:

Added the mount with magnet base:

This pic is before mods and prior to better mounting bolts (you can see the stock bolt hitting the base of the lightbody):

Sorry, no modded beamshots yet. Perhaps in the near future.

Thanks to wight, Gearshredder, and others for the help in this thread concerning the driver circuit.

-Garry

My Bike Lights Thread, Optics (TIR) Comparison Beamshots, Diffusion Techniques


NOTE: Moving my photos from PhotoBucket to Flickr. PM me or post in the thread if you can’t see my images and need me to fix or send a gallery link. PhotoBucket images should remain visible until November 2018.
ImA4Wheelr
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^
Very sweet. I need one.

MRsDNF
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Nicely done.

 

djozz quotes, "it came with chinese lettering that is chinese to me".

                      "My man mousehole needs one too"

old4570 said "I'm not an expert , so don't suffer from any such technical restrictions".

Old-Lumens. Highly admired and cherished member of Budget Light Forum. 11.5.2011 - 20.12.16. RIP.

 

tigris99
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Garry,

Nice work!

Im actually toying with the idea of doing this but mounting it to the inside of my trunk. SO when I open the trunk I can flip the switch.

Did notice that you made no mention of modes, simply on/off I gather?

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