[DIY] 3x XM-L U3 bicycle light project

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kahvitahra
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[DIY] 3x XM-L U3 bicycle light project

Hi!

Here’s my first DIY flashlight project. It’s going to be light for bicycle.
It will be running 3*XM-L U3 1C leds, b3Flex driver and 4S2P 18650 batteries (14.8V 6000mAh).
Optics work will do this.. I truly hope that KD have listed TRUE dimensions of that reflector. Still waiting it to arrive and if it does not match to given dimensions.. then i have to rework body/order other recleftor.

Assembly will go something like this:
- Clue leds
- Mount driver + solder wires to led
- Put battery&button wire throught cable clamp and throught body
- Solder b&b wire to driver
- Fasten pill to body
- Fasten cable clamp
- Mount&clue reflector to body

I would have wanted to do other kind of mounting to reflector than clue/silicon, but with my tools it was not possible ( or just lack of imagination ).

I would need some succestions on how to mount this light to handlebar of bicycle. I would want some good and stiff mounting. Like troutie lights have. Anyone happen to know where I could buy those kind of mounts on web? I need to go throught local stores also, but all that I found so far was not so great.
Also ALL succestion to this project are welcome! I would appreciate that.

Currently I have made body and pill “ready”. They are straight from lathe, so everything is rought now, but i still have to do some grinding etc. so i polish them at the end.
Now I did found handlebar mounting for this light that suit my needs. Also did some polishing to body.

Tools that I work with are “kind of” big for this stuff. But if don’t look too closely, then it settles Wink

Pill ( M30×1.5 fine thread )

Body ( PG7 thread at the end )


Full body


vs Sky Ray King size comparison

Now I’m waiting for parts to arrive.
Will keep this post updated with progress.

Thanks for reading and stay tuned!

Edited by: kahvitahra on 09/10/2017 - 07:31
BetweenRides
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Good luck on your build. Looks like a fun project.

kahvitahra
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Thanks, will need that Smile

I re-uploaded those photos to new server. First ones did not show up on mobile.

MRsDNF
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Its looking good so far. I'm looking forward to your updates.

 

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kahvitahra
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Okay, so I did found bike mount to this light that suit my needs. It is some kind of “clock mount” for motorcycle. It’s perfect!! Pretty and shiny.

So I made pill inside that stand. Drilled hole and put 6mm bolt throught it for fastening mount to body.

Here’s photo off full body setup.

I uploaded also new photos to first post.
Can’t wait for parts to land, so I can fire this baby Smile

mizjif
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Wow! beautiful work. I can’t wait to see the progress! Good luck Smile

Pavithra_uk
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nice build waiting for updates

mattthemuppet
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beautiful build and fantastic machining, can’t wait to see it assembled. Nice clamp too. What’s the optic diameter? Ledil and Khatod do some very good 35mm triple optics if you don’t like the one you’re getting.

I would have invested a bit more in the driver though – something like one of the taskled drivers would have really put the finishing touch to this light. At least the one you’ve ordered has some kind of thermal monitoring though (presumably through that thick thermal pad?) as that’s not a whole lot of surface area for 3x XM-L@3A, especially as it’s polished so well.

kahvitahra
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There is nothing “locked” that I have to use that driver. I just made quick decision so I might get something before christmas. Smile

Body diameter is 55mm and lenght is 70mm. So that reflectors diameter is 50mm. I did look for those 35mm optics, but i wanted a little bigger and more mass to body, so it would be possible to handle 3A. After I had pill and body ready, I understood that i could have made just walls thicker and used that smaller optic. (This is what you get when you don’t plan nothing, just start making)

Might be that you are right and it gets hot, atleast it you don’t move. While riding, then i think it will handle the heat ( atleast in this -20C weather Big Smile ).

Thanks for pointing those taskled drivers. First time I hear about those. I’ll take a closer look.

kahvitahra
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b3Flex driver really seems like interesting. So much options and features. I have to really think of getting that one.

EDIT. Enough with thinking. Just read throught instruction for that driver and made purchase for it. Just WOW.. Like “mattthemuppet” said, it surely adds great finish for light. Those options that you can manage are truly awesome. Can’t wait to get my hands on that.

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it seems pretty decent and it’s the only one I’ve seen that will allow you to run 3S battery for a triple LED – most other people either use a 2S and a boost driver or 4S and a buck driver, each of which has their own disadvantages.

cooling is always a tricky balance – none of my lights have problems with heat during the winter, but I still night ride in the summer and my helmet light struggles when it’s hot and I’m slow Smile

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kahvitahra wrote:
b3Flex driver really seems like interesting. So much options and features. I have to really think of getting that one.

EDIT. Enough with thinking. Just read throught instruction for that driver and made purchase for it. Just WOW.. Like “mattthemuppet” said, it surely adds great finish for light. Those options that you can manage are truly awesome. Can’t wait to get my hands on that.

blimey, you don’t hang around! They might be pricey but I haven’t yet seen a driver that ticks as many boxes as they do for cycling use. I have a couple of lights with b2flexes and 1 light with an H6flex (made before the b3flex came out) and the two I use for mtbing are set on threemode, so that each click cycles between med and high, with a long press to get back to low (useful for trailside repairs, finding your keys for the car etc.). They take a bit of practice to program, so give me a shout if you get hung up anywhere.

kahvitahra
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mattthemuppet wrote:
blimey, you don’t hang around! They might be pricey but I haven’t yet seen a driver that ticks as many boxes as they do for cycling use. I have a couple of lights with b2flexes and 1 light with an H6flex (made before the b3flex came out) and the two I use for mtbing are set on threemode, so that each click cycles between med and high, with a long press to get back to low (useful for trailside repairs, finding your keys for the car etc.). They take a bit of practice to program, so give me a shout if you get hung up anywhere.

Pricey yes, but I would guess price to be higher when I first read that instruction. Programming that surely can take some time to handle. I’ll give you a call if I get stuck at somepoint.
Threemode sounds like good setup.

I’ll make extra pill that I screw first in body. While assembling the light I screw that extra pill to bottom of M30 thread. Then I add heatsink shim ( ordered one of these also ) to driver with adhesive and add some thermal compound on otherside. After that I screw pill to body and drivers heatsink should thicken to extra pill and transfer heat to body. That is what I planned now :).

Edit. BTW. What kind of clicky do you use with your lights? I was planning lockable clicky, but with this b3Flex driver I should use non-lockable. Do you happen to have some good suggestion?

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Very nice job on the machining.  I look forward to seeing the final result.

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mattthemuppet
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kahvitahra wrote:
Edit. BTW. What kind of clicky do you use with your lights? I was planning lockable clicky, but with this b3Flex driver I should use non-lockable. Do you happen to have some good suggestion?

you need some kind of momentary (normally open) switch. for my bar light I have both an IP68 switch with a stat LED (for voltage warnings) and a remote switch I made with an old microswitch I had laying around. I Love remote switches. I think Judco also do wired momentary switches, which would make a remote switch a lot easier.

If you want only 1 cable gland going into the back of the light (you could always mount a 3mm LED on the body as a stat LED) you can use a 4 core wire and splice off the wires to the battery and to the remote.

Oh, and it will be worth thinking about a 4S2P battery, as the overhead on the b3flex will cause the light to fall out of regulation (dim) about 2/3 to 3/4 of the way through the battery discharge if you use a 3S2P battery. That’s pretty much the only disadvantage to using a buck driver for a triple XM-L.

kahvitahra
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Thanks!

Yea, I thinked also that 4 wire cable would be best option. Also like you said I thinked that i should get extra pair of batteries to get 4s2p setup.
I’ll start hunting right switch now. Thanks again for help Smile

Edit. And thank you Chicago X!

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no worries! Looking forward to the finished light Smile

kahvitahra
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Still eagerly waiting for that driver.
But in the meantime I did got parts for switch and would like to share some pics and info about that.

Here’s parts that I bought
(ABS-10 host , 59P switch , 3mm led , PU5×0,25 cable , DA40 grommet and some velcro strap )

After making button hole little bigger and holes for starp ( also did put some silicone inside, so it’s waterproof ) – here’s finished switch.

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neat remote, I like how you put the stat led next to the switch. It’s always good to see different approaches to remotes. I’m going to try and incorporate my next one into the brake lever clamp to reduce the reach, not quite sure how yet.

kahvitahra
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Thanks!

It’s fun to watch work of different people. All of us think individually, so you get good ideas from others Smile

Mounting to brake lever is good idea. Would love see how you make it.

gords1001
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Can I just say, this is an awesome project. Keep us updated.

mattthemuppet
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kahvitahra wrote:

Mounting to brake lever is good idea. Would love see how you make it.

I’ll let you know as soon as I figure it out myself Smile

kahvitahra
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Thank you gords1001! I’m liking this project also. Smile

matthemuppet: That would be awesome!

kahvitahra
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Okay, so I did get that awesome taskled b3flex driver on friday. Was very psyched to continue with this project.
I measured correct places for leds on pill and put those together with adhesive

Then on otherside of pill I soldered led wires to driver

So far everything was perfect. Then I soldered all other wires to driver and fastened it to body. Tested it with 4S1P battery pack. IT SHINES!!
Light started up nicely. After little configuration for driver everyting was setup for this light. When I had been playing with light for a while i noticed that it does not go OFF correctly, two out off three leds had some “moonlight” dim going on while light should have been off. So there had to be same leak to body that this could happen. At this point I should just have let it be like that, since it was pretty minor. BUT I want to make everything work perfectly, so I opened light again. I did found out that while I fastened the pill there was wires that contacted the body. I should have done pill little differently, but I did not want to make that again. So I started to make little modifications to .. hmm .. everything. After many bad decisions, too many hours, too little food and one angry wife later this is what happened

So I as you can imagine the light won’t start up again. I spoiled driver. Luckily driver was only one that got destroyed in this mess. Basicly everything gone to hell with this project in past two days.

Well.. there is really nothing more to do now than clean up, learn from mistakes and order new driver. Atleast now I know what I should do and what I should not do (If you want to try find some good things about this). :~
Not my weekend.

BUUT tomorrow is new years eve and it’s time to relax. I wish all fellow members a very good new year!

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kahvitahra wrote:
So I started to make little modifications to .. hmm .. everything. After many bad decisions, too many hours, too little food and one angry wife later this is what happened

So I as you can imagine the light won’t start up again. I spoiled driver. Luckily driver was only one that got destroyed in this mess. Basicly everything gone to hell with this project in past two days.

Well.. there is really nothing more to do now than clean up, learn from mistakes and order new driver. Atleast now I know what I should do and what I should not do (If you want to try find some good things about this). Puzzled
Not my weekend.

BUUT tomorrow is new years eve and it’s time to relax. I wish all fellow members a very good new year!

I love it! You need a trash can right next to the table. I have a trash can about 15' away, so I can do basketball shots into it, with my mistakes!

It really is a beautiful build and I know you will come back to show it off when it's done. It looks like you are doing well and as you say, learn from your mistakes, so it should be ab awesome light!

 

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kahvitahra
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Old-Lumens wrote:
I love it! You need a trash can right next to the table. I have a trash can about 15’ away, so I can do basketball shots into it, with my mistakes! It really is a beautiful build and I know you will come back to show it off when it’s done. It looks like you are doing well and as you say, learn from your mistakes, so it should be ab awesome light!

Thanks OL!

Trash can sure would be handy and throwing basketball shots to it would also cheer mind up Smile

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Bugger. It comes back to the old saying that if something can go wrong it will. Tomorrow is always a new day that brings a clear head and with any luck a happier wife. To you as well have a happy new year and looking forward to the next chapter in this amazing lght. Cheers.

 

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

                      "My man mousehole needs one too"

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

 

Toaster79
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Great machining skills! How did you polish the parts?

kahvitahra
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MRsDNF wrote:

Bugger. It comes back to the old saying that if something can go wrong it will. Tomorrow is always a new day that brings a clear head and with any luck a happier wife. To you as well have a happy new year and looking forward to the next chapter in this amazing lght. Cheers.

Thanks! That saying seems to be very true. It’s a new day now with clear head and new plans for how to implant that driver ( happy wife also :).

Toaster79 wrote:
Great machining skills! How did you polish the parts?

Thanks!
I used 800&2000 sand papers. After that I used two types of waxes with leather to get finishing polish.
Parts that I made in lathe – I also polished in lathe.

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I use 400 grit sand paper on a lathe, diamond pastes and soft cloth to get mirror finish.

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Really nice work. George at Taskled makes very good drivers but it takes a lot of patience to cycle through 13 different programming modes. Nice that you can set low voltage warnings at different levels using different battery setups. Thank you for posting set backs as well as successes. That’s the way modding can be with a first time build. Looking forward to your results.

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