Stay-At-Home Build (on hand materials only)

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MtnDon
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Stay-At-Home Build (on hand materials only)

I have a few projects I am doing here while practising Stay-At-Home as requested by the NM Governor. Making some picture frames, doing some renovations to my converted cargo trailer camper, taxes, and other fun stuff. I decided I would work in a flashlight build.

I am using parts that I have on hand. Some I have had for a while, like the 3 volt XHP50.2 and the lexel driver pictured below. The XHP50.2 is one of several I bought when they first came out in 3 volt versions. It is on a 16mm Noctigon. The 17mm Lexel driver is from either Lexel’s batch one or two from a few years ago. It has Narsil firmware. I temporarily wired them up to see if they actually worked. Yes, they did. (The mcpcb was fitted to a finned aluminum heat sink for testing).

This pill is from a P60 kit I believe.

I ground flats on the pill in three places. Then I silver soldered the pill to a strip of 18 gauge copper, cut to 3/4” wide. One flat is on the bottom where the pill rests on the copper. The second flat is seen on the side, the third flat is on the opposite side. The side flats were needed to reduce the width to less than 3/4”. I’m using the pill because I have had it a long time and it is a ready made mount for the mcpcb and the driver.

I have a short leftover length of the 1” × 1.5” × 1/8” wall aluminum tubing that was used to construct my 7th O-L contest entry. I may as well use it up in this project.

Here the copper strip and pill are inserted in the aluminum tube.

The pill slipped sideways a little when the molten solder was drawn in between the pill and copper strip. Just enough to be off center a wee bit but not enough to collide with the side of the aluminum tube. I may reheat and slide it over later. This is just to test fit it inside a scrap of the tubing. The aluminum tube has inside radiused corners so I chamfered the bottom edges of the copper to allow the strip to fit flush against the aluminum.

I epoxied a piece of lexan to one end of the aluminum tube. The section of steel tube is weight to hold the lexan in place till the epoxy set. (2 pair of glasses; a +2.5 and a +5.)

Here’s the lexan in place. I’ll trim it tomorrow. I only had long cure epoxy.

More later; tomorrow maybe, maybe not.

Edited by: MtnDon on 04/11/2020 - 22:25
NeutralFan
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Looking forward to another one of your builds MtnDon!

I’d rather use my flashlight around the house than turn on the lights.

pinkpanda3310
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Nice. Will be watching this Glasses

  

CNCman
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Here we go again, LOL. The last one left me guessing what your finished build could look like every time you posted pics. Thumbs Up
Lots of suspense again Big Smile

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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.

 

MtnDon
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Well, I made a mistake and had to cut and glue another piece of Lexan to the tube. I trimmed the Lexan close to the aluminum tube and then sanded the excess off. Eventually the aluminum will be sanded with finer and finer grits until nicely polished smooth and shiny.

I am using a momentary contact switch to operate the driver. I have an assortment with different height push-pins. The switch is 6mm x 6mm. So I needed some non conductive material to make a mount for the switch. I went to one of my junk boxes to see what I have. Here’s assorted FRP, nylon, lexan, who knows what all…

I picked a thin sheet of FRP and drilled some holes for the switch…

One thing I have to say is that these photos sure show how dusty the shop gets. Facepalm

I needed a piece of something non-conductive that is about 4mm thick. Nothing like that in the box. So I glued up a couple of different thicknesses that ends up at slightly thicker than 4mm. I’ll sand it down a wee bit.

The dimple in the aluminum marks where the switch will protrude from within. I also need a correctly positioned hole in the copper.

How to drill the holes so they are aligned? There are many ways I suppose. Here is my solution. I cut a temporary wood filler strip. Note the copper sled is inserted and the wood fills the empty space.

Then when the assembly is flipped over to drill the hole through the aluminum the wood keeps everything in place and I can drill right through the copper as well.

I’ll break off today with a picture of some of the parts made so far…

The plastic box contains parts that will be, or could be used in this project. Nothing is set in stone so far.

alpg88
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that is a very interesting idea, hm…..

MtnDon
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Today I concentrated on building the mount for the e-switch.

Previously I showed the scrap of FRP drilled to hold the switch. I have cut that down. The image lighting is not great and the switch connecting pins are difficult to see. Sorry.

The switch actuator will protrude through the copper and the aluminum tube. Note, I have an assortment of these wih different length actuator rods.

The thicker piece of FRP I made from gluing up two thinner sheets is to be used as a spacer. I filed a notch to clear the switch.

The thinner switch plate and the thicker spacer were then glued together. That glued up assembly was then sanded to fit on the copper strip.

The parts were clamped together and holes drilled for the screws that will secure the mount to the copper. The FRP block was tapped for 2-56 screws.

The holes on the underside of the copper strip were countersunk to recess the screws enough so the heads would not contact the inside of the aluminum tube.

With the copper sled inserted inside the aluminum tube, the switch actuator rod does not quite protrude through the actuator hole. Not a problem as I’m not done yet and as mentioned have other switches.

Power will be from an 18650 Samsung 30Q.

There a little room left at the rear with the sled inserted all the way.

…to be continued…

goshdogit
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Neat project, and good build photos, too!

I sometimes find it difficult to stop working and regularly take photos during a project, but I remind myself how fun it is to look at them later.

With the pill off center of the aluminum tube, there looks to be room for some auxiliary emitters in there… Wink

MtnDon
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goshdogit wrote:
Neat project, and good build photos, too!

I sometimes find it difficult to stop working and regularly take photos during a project, but I remind myself how fun it is to look at them later.

With the pill off center of the aluminum tube, there looks to be room for some auxiliary emitters in there… Wink

Thanks. Yeah, stopping work on something to take pictures is un-natural. Once I get adjusted to the fact that “this” project will be recorded in detail then I’m usually pretty good at it. Not always, and sometimes I mess up the picture and by the time I realize it is too late.

Actually I was thinking that I could place the charger indicator led in the lower left corner (viewed from the front end) but I already re-heated the assembly and shifted the brass pill to be more centered. Not perfect, but much better than before.

MtnDon
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This morning I had one of those events I think we all just hate. Facepalm

Sad

I was drilling through the aluminum tube with the copper sled inserted with the wood backer block in place, when the bit snapped off. Dang! The little piece is rather stuck. I left it for now and decided to stain the cabinet I’m about done with and fiddle with this setback later.

I do have spare bits, so that is not a problem. There’s usually a silver lining that can be found to make one smile in the face of adversity.

Sirstinky
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Well, you know the saying goes if you aren’t breaking stuff you aren’t making stuff. I have a graveyard of burned drivers, boost converters, broken and ruined drill bits and fried emitters.

MtnDon
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Great! I was lucky. The broken bit stub was long enough that I was able to grip it with small vice grips and twist it out. Thumbs Up

Once that was out of the way I made a mod to the FRP switch block. I glued a vertically oriented flat FRP plate on the rear side of that block.

It is non-conductive and will serve as one end of the cell holder.

I drilled and tapped the hole where the drill bit broke. The bit that broke was slightly undersize so any deformation that ocurred when I removed the broken bit was removed when the final size was bored. That’s a 4-40 thread, drilled and tapped through the copper and the brass as that is the thickest portion to have more thread length. This will be one of two such screws to secure the internal carrier to the aluminum tube. Much like the assembly used in my 7th O-L contest entry, but this time the carrier hangs from the top of the aluminum tube instead od being on the bottom.

I enlarged the diameter of the switch hole in the aluminum.

Why?

It is for the switch boot! The boot is an 8mm diamter x 5.5 mm height item from Kaidomain.

The boot is a friction fit in the hole. It’s a tight enough fit that the boot will not simply fall out. There will be a top strip of wood or something that will cap the top of the tube and retain the boot in place. More or less like in my 7th O-L contest entry.

The actuator rod of the switch I selected is just the right length and the switch can be operated with thumb presses.

… to be continued as work progresses…

MtnDon
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I cut some triangular shaped pine strips to make a cell cradle. It took a couple of attempts plus some sanding to get a size that worked. The strips are glued to the copper carrier/sled.

As can be seen on the right side of the picture I added a component and completely forgot to take progress photos. Facepalm I cut a strip of 18 ga. copper and bent a 1/4” leg at one end. That bent leg sits on the copper carrier strip and is silver soldered in place. I also silver soldered a small square piece of 18 ga. copper with a corner cut out of it. There is a picture showing that a few picyures down the page.

Here it is with the Samsung 30Q in place.

This is the charger board I am using. It is a DD08CRMB, 1 amp output. It uses a 4056 chip on the hidden side. This side shows the two tiny indicator led’s. It is a very small item.

Here’s a slightly out of focus rear view with the carrier inserted. The charger board will be cemented to the vertical copper plate. The 4056 will be positioned and affixed to the lower right portion for heat sinking. The cutout corner (bottom left) is to provide clearance preventing any electrical contact of other components to the copper which will be a common negative conductor.

… to be continued…

MtnDon
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It works!

It is not complete yet, but enough of it is together I could check out if it illuminated. Narsil works as expected. Here’s a couple of shots showing the bones as I wired it up today.

After I removed the tape that was protecting the tabs I discovered that I had forgotten this was a 35E cell, not a 30Q. That’s fine as this light does not need the higher delivery current of the 30Q.

I also discovered that kapton tape may be quite thin, but when I tried to slide the carrier into the aluminum after installing the cell and wrapping kapton tape tp secure things, it would no longer easily slide in. My tolerances were too tight; I forgot about the tape thickness. Facepalm So I had to unwrap it all and file the sides of the copper carrier in a few spots and trim the wood wedges a bi to. Then rewrap.

I have started work on the rear cover. When that is roughed out I will mount the USB-C port. Then move on to making the exterior pretty. Smile

MtnDon
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Oh, and if you haven’t guessed, it is a mule. Not enough length of aluminum tube to insert an optic or reflector without using a shorter cell, of which I have none. I guess I could have tried squeezing the switch into less space but I have enough trouble soldering, etc. as it is.

MtnDon
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The last internal component. The USB-C type port for the charger. I did some chiseling to fit the USB board to a strip of pine. This will be shortened.

The rear cover is two pieces of lexan cemented together. The smaller, inner piece is to locate the unit on the end and keep it from sliding out of alignment. This is basically the same thing that I did with the rear cover on the 7th O-L contest entry. The wood block with the USB board is also cemented to the rear cover and also assists in keeping the rear cover aligned. I missed taking pictures of the process of drilling and then filing, doing a lot of filing, to make a hole for the USB connector to stick out.

The short length of aluminum tube is just for testing the fit of the parts.

A hole was drilled for the screw that secures the rear cover to the body. There is a 4-40 tapped hole in the rear copper strip that acts as a cell holder and mount for the charger board. A 4-40 machine screw threads into that to secure the cover plate. The screw is countersunk so the light can tailstand.

I fitted a 4-40 nylock nut on the inside of the rear cover to hold the screw captive and prevent loss.

I still need to solder positive and negative leads between the USB port and the charger. They will be fairly short. Once the copper led and cell carrier is inserted and secured the rear cover will be slipped into place and the screw tightened.

Then the final steps will be to radius the corners of the aluminum slightly and polish the aluminum. I think I will use wood top and side strips as I did with the 7th O-L contest entry. Same woods.

Not too long to completion date now. I hope.

MtnDon
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Connected the USB port to the charger board. It works. I also did some preliminary fine grit sanding in advance of polishing.

MtnDon
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Ooops! I just fried the xhp50.2

Not a great shot, but the little dark spots never used to be there.

I tried to limit the current to the led with smaller wires than I would normally use but after about 15 seconds it flared brighter and bluer and then blinked out.

I could try another xhp50.2 but that may be pointless. My other “on hand” choices are an XP-G3 (3000K or 5000K), a Nichia 319AT (4000K), an LH351D (5000K), an XP-L (unknown). Hmmm. Maybe the XP-L considering that the driver is an FET+7135 variety?

Thoughts?

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Woah it takes a lot to kill the 3v 50.2. Maybe yours was defective? Matt Smith tested it to like 13A and it lived giving over 3100lm. I run mine in my zoomie (5000k) on a vtc6 and fet driver fine. Maybe try the xp-l or samsung. That’s the only other emitter I’d think could handle the current.

MtnDon
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Still pondering what I have here….

The other XHP50.2 I have is on a 16mm noctigon, just like the first. I’m wondering about changing the mount from the brass pill to a copper slab, and silver soldering it to the base copper strip. Maybe the brass was not conducting the heat away well enough? Then I need to make/mod a mount for the driver. [scratches head]…. Space is tight.

Or use the XP-L or the LH351D. I have a single mcpcb I could reflow either onto….

And I discovered I have an unused 20mm triple LH351D…

Meanwhile I have been polishing the aluminum tube.

Sirstinky
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I was looking at your setup and as one who has done some crazy stuff with junk I had lying around for heatsinking in tight spaces, I can’t see a reason why your 50.2 died so fast. Thats a good mcpcb and the thermal path is good enough for short bursts on turbo. I’ve only killed one in my day and it was because I shorted the driver. That emitter should have lived, especially since it’s hot a super low IR cell and you did have current limiting. Maybe try a different battery with the xp-l and 24 gauge led wires. I really like the 319 with the hex die! Best beams you can get I think.

MtnDon
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I’ve been looking it over and am thinking of slicing the pill in half, removing the front portion and replacing the front portion with a strip of 1/8” thick copper; 3/4” × 3/4”. That can be silver soldered to the copper base strip and the remaining brass which will still mount the driver. Then use the other XHP50.2 that I have. I cut a little off the front of the switch mount to give a small amount of extra space to fit in the driver. Nothing like a challenge. Smile

Sirstinky
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That would help heatsinking for sure. I used a brass C8 pill as a driver mount/heatsink before. Just sanded the front flat and soldered it to a 3.5mm piece of copper mounted to the heatsink. Was enough to tame a sst40 direct drive. I think you could make that work. I’ll be interested to see how it works.

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MtnDon wrote:

I could try another xhp50.2 but that may be pointless. My other “on hand” choices are an XP-G3 (3000K or 5000K), a Nichia 319AT (4000K), an LH351D (5000K), an XP-L (unknown). Hmmm. Maybe the XP-L considering that the driver is an FET+7135 variety?

Thoughts?


I don’t recall off the top of my head which has a higher vf of those leds. I would go with the highest vf led you have.

  

MtnDon
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After some thought, I decided to not use an XHP50.2 but instead to run a triple Samsung LH352D @4000K I did improve on the heat sinking by replacing that brass pill and making up a mount for the mcpcb from a piece of 1/8” copper strap material.

I cut a brass do-dad to mount the driver to. My first attempt at soldering it all together had problems. There are three pieces, the copper base strip, the copper mcpcb mount plate and the brass ring for the driver. They kept sliding around when the silver solder would flow. So I made up a clamp with an aluminum bar and a black oxide coated machine screw. The solder doesn’t stick to either. Here’s a picture or two. Not visible is a black oxide screw that is holding the brass ring in place on the copper base strip/

Once soldered and cooled I removed the clamping apparatus.

I spent a few hours over the past couple of days polishing the aluminum tube. I made the top wood strip from the cutoff from the project for the 7th O-L contest. It will secure to the aluminum tube with two 2-56 machine screws. The wood strip will hold the switch boot in place and the recess makes accidental activation less likely.

Next, a little more polishing and side skins. Then a reassembly of all the parts.

Thanks for looking.

NeutralFan
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Looking good MtnDon. Hopefully this time the LEDs hold up.

I’d rather use my flashlight around the house than turn on the lights.

Sirstinky
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Looks good! Really like the wood skin!

MtnDon
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Finished the polishing today and reassembled the light. Everything works as it should!

I have not yet finished the wood side skins, but did cut the strips. I do like the blingy look of the polished aluminum. But also like the toned down appearance with the side skins. I do believe I will complete this with the two side skins, but for now here it is….

The switch recess is deep enough to make accidental operation unlikely. The recess may be a little too deep, though. I intend to use it for a day or two before deciding. The wood will be easy to sand thinner, but that is irreversible. If I go too thin then I need to make a new plate.

CRX
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Looks very nice Thumbs Up

Sirstinky
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That looks awesome. I love the different elements, wood metal. What are you going to use for the sides? Maybe try inlays?

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