Old Lumens Contest 2020 - Hand-made light category

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Scallywag
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Old Lumens Contest 2020 - Hand-made light category

This is my contest thread for the 8th Old Lumens Competition!

When my build is complete, I will post completed images in the top section of this post.

 

So, the idea for this light has been floating around in my head for a long time. However, until this year I didn’t own the necessary tools to accomplish the build. I still might not, but I think I do at this point, so here we go.

So, the plan is this:

Brass/copper pipe and fixtures. A ¾” pipe has an internal diameter nearly identical to that of a Convoy S2+. That’s the easy part. The hard part is going to be getting a shelf or pill for the head of the light. I’m not sure how I’m going to tackle that yet. I’ve got some ideas about brass washers and stuff, we’ll see how it goes.

Okay. Hardware store.

  • Wow, brass isn’t cheap.
  • 2” long ¾” brass “threaded male adapter nipple fitting”
    • I also bought a 4" version but it won't be getting used.
  • A pair of ¾” threaded male hose X FIP adapter fitting (¾” MHT x ¾” FIP)
  • A pair of ¾” FHT x ¼” compression hose swivel adapters

That’s the hardware. Pre-built flashlight parts that I plan to use, in accordance with the rules:

  • Switch, switch board, and switch boot
  • Going with a 20mm board for fitment reasons. Undecided on actual switch type - the MTN board will have a fwd clicky on it, but I might swap an Omten 1288
    • Collectively, “switch assembly”
    • Swapped an Omten 1288 onto a MTN 20mm switch board.
  • Reflector or TIR optic (I’m undecided)
    • If reflector, it’ll be a spare from a Convoy S2+ that I built into a triple for a friend
    • If TIR, it’ll be 45 degree pebbled from Fasttech
    • Either one will probably require filing down to fit
    • So far, the 45 degree pebbled TIR looks to be a good fit, and is what is currently in the partially assembled light.
  • LED on MCPCB. I’m not 100% sure what I’ll use yet. Will be on 16mm MCPCB. Possibles below:
  • Driver: I was considering a spare Convoy 6xAMC7135 driver I had, but I think I’ll get a 20mm 8x7135 from Convoy with guppydrv.

A list of tools used so far:

  • 200mm2 hotplate (reflowed LED onto MCPCB)
  • X-Tronic #3020 soldering station (all other soldering so far)
  • PanaVise Model 201" Junior Miniature Vise w/ PanaVise 312 Tray Base Mount
  • Various small hand tools: tweezers, forceps/hemostats, diagonal cutters, wire strippers, digital micrometer
  • Hack saw, Bosch 12V reciprocating saw
  • Some sandpaper
  • Cheap vice-grips and a clamp

Consumable supplies used so far:

  • Ancient Radioshack .032" 60/40 rosin-core solder
  • Kester EP256 solder paste
  • MG-CHEM #8341 no-clean flux paste
  • 22 gauge high-strand silicone-insulated copper wire (red/black)
  • A Q-Tip (used for the LED "tap" when reflowed, also for cleaning flux residue)
  • 91% isopropyl (used for cleaning flux residue)

I hope to fully document everything I do: tools used, methods devised, attempts made and failures failed! Also, please feel free to ask any questions you may have.

 

Also, I would like to mention the inspirations for this build. CRX of course, with things like the Brass Knucklehead (1, 2, and 3) and Big Brass Nutz builds. Also, credit to everydaysurvivalgear's EDSG 5th Annual BLF / Old Lumens Scratch Made Light Contest (Handmade) Pipe Dream.

Edited by: Scallywag on 12/13/2020 - 22:09
Scallywag
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So, here’s the stuff.

Brass parts from the hardware store (Lowe’s, if it matters).

Probably going with the TIR. It looks like it basically fits. This is a 45 degree TIR from fasttech – I got a 5-pack to try in my Boruit D10.

Here you can see it with the hose adapter closed over the top. It has some sort of rubber sealer o-ring thing, too. Sweet.

As you can see below, it looks like the reflector would require a bit of sanding:

Some mock-up pictures of things screwed together mostly. There’s no internals – just the TIR sitting in one end and a switch boot in the other.


And a size comparison to some well-known lights (Convoy S2+ and Emisar D4):

Now I wait for parts! Currently I don’t have the driver, MCPCB (though I have all the LED options I mentioned), or switch. When they come in, I’ll try to figure out how to get them mounted in the host!

Tools I expect to use:
Soldering iron, clearly. My hotplate maybe if it’s allowed – if not, I won’t use it except to reflow my LEDs.
Hacksaw maybe.
Drill maybe.
I will document what and how I modify things, and photograph to the best of my ability!

Another challenge: I’ve noticed that, since I didn’t actually use a 3/4” pipe but instead a threaded nipple adapter, the internal diameter of the main tube is larger than I’d hoped for. Since I considering using an existing battery adapter tube cheating (even if someone says its not), I’ll at some point find something to improve the fit, but it won’t be from a flashlight.

grin
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Good luck with your build Thumbs Up

Maybe a copper sleave would work

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grin wrote:
Good luck with your build Thumbs Up

Maybe a copper sleave would work


Yeah – so my backup plan is just to cut a rectangle of cardboard. But I’m hoping to figure something out with a sleeve of some sort – maybe pipe or tubing, hopefully. I mean I’ve heard of people wrapping tape around cells to eliminate rattle, so it shouldn’t be a big issue. I’m just not going to use the plastic battery sleeve I have for 18650 to 21700 (came with my C8F) because that feels like cheating, even if somebody said it technically wasn’t.
grin
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Copper and brass is easy to solder with electronics solder just use your hot plate to preheat. Joint has to be shiny clean, a small dob of solder on the tip helps heat tranfer much quicker.

Just a tip
tube is measured outside diameter
pipe is measured inside diameter

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Looking forward to see where this drives us Wink
Good luck!!!

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Y’all gonna have to wait a bit on this one. While the mountain order should arrive this week, my daughter should be arriving (being born, that is) today (27th).

So if I don’t circle back around to finishing this one in time, it’s for a good reason Wink

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Congrats on the new delivery! Your daughter!

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Scallywag wrote:
Y’all gonna have to wait a bit on this one. While the mountain order should arrive this week, my daughter should be arriving (being born, that is) today (27th).

So if I don’t circle back around to finishing this one in time, it’s for a good reason Wink


Congratulations Party
Seems like you’ll have bigger “mods” to do from now on: modding life Big Smile
Wish her and the rest of the family health and a good life Blushing
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This is looking great so far, can’t wait to see the end product.

As for the battery rattle, maybe put a cell in a plastic bag and spray foam it in place, then when the spray foam sets, the baggie can be trimmed with the foam on the ends and will create a sleeve for the battery. The baggie should let you slide the battery out as well, maybe put some petroleum jelly on the battery inside the baggie first.

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Congrats on the birth of your daughter! amazing news! Also, that “mockup” looks sick man, makes me consider heading to lowes and trying this one myself. Very inspiring! Im new to this, so I am trying to take it all in, especially the electronics aspect. The only part I have a little understanding of is the fabricobbling..

[FLF] Five Light Friday https://budgetlightforum.com/node/78749

Check out some of my new lights (picture heavy) and quick first impressions of them here: https://budgetlightforum.com/node/77180

My Sft40 beamshots / comparison thread: https://budgetlightforum.com/node/78100

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Congrats Scallywag! Daughters are very special. Mine went away to college this year and I miss her dearly. But she’s doing well and I’m happy for her. And she remembered to bring her flashlight: Father Daughter Flashlight.

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

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Great start Thumbs Up Congratulations on your new family Smile

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That mock up looks cool as is Thumbs Up

  

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Just checking in. I haven’t had any chance to work on mods at all – I’ve barely been on BLF lately. But I haven’t forgotten about this and hope to set aside some time in December to get it finished.

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Cool build . I had considered something similar because this quick connect fitting was sitting next to this flashlight and I don’t know how many times I grabbed the wrong one .

Congrats on the daughter . Hope all are healthy and happy !

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Alright, a little work today.

I took a shot at the tail switch. At first, I was really focused on using a 16mm switch board. However, the board was just too small and wouldn’t be held captive. I was considering using a brass washer to retain the switch board, but the standard sizes for washers weren’t going to be suitable, and I didn’t want to try to enlarge the hole in one (especially since I needed something larger than the 3/8” chuck size on my drill).
My size requirements vs a list of washer sizes
Good thing I have a 20mm switch board. It was populated with a large forward-clicky, but I solved that.
To hopefully give a good idea of the switch stack:

The end cap with rubber boot and the rubber gasket that came in the hose adapter

The switch sitting in the end

The old vs. new switch on the board

This shows the switch board sitting on the end of the body tube, which is why I needed the larger board

The body tube attached and a cell sitting in there.

And a shot down the tube! The fit isn’t perfect but it’s good enough Wink Thumbs Up

In this configuration, the switch board is nearly flush with the inside of the end cap. So basically the entire omten 1288 is sitting inside the rubber boot, and I had to completely cut out the “nub” on the inside of the rubber boot to get that to fit properly. However, as long as I don’t fully tighten the end cap (it can get close and begins to offer a ton of resistance), it fits fine and the switch actuation has a great feel. If I over-tighten then the rubber boot pops out the end!

The head end of this light is going to be more interesting. I measured how deep into the head the planned TIR sits, and compared that to the height the LED will be at with my “pill” (improvised from one of the fittings from post #1), and there’s a few millimeters of distance I need to bridge before that’s going to work out. I’ll post pictures of that when I come up with a solution.

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Very nice Scallywag Thumbs Up I like your pics showing this coming together, Good Job Big Smile

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Looking good Scallywag. Beer

 

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.

 

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Coming along nicely. Hope the new addition and momma are doing well .

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Thanks for the comments. Wife and daughter are well Smile

Also, for some reason my brain wants me to put a warm LED in a brass light. It just feels right. To that end, I’ve reflowed one of my 3000K Luxeon HL2× 80+ CRI on a 16mm copper MCPCB. I thought I had a 219B warmer than 4000K but I don’t, so I’m using this.

The current challenges I’m looking at: The MCPCB floats. I devised a way to improvise a “shelf” using a part of the 3/4” × 1/4” “hose swivel adapter”, but that still leaves me with a few millimeters between where the MCPCB rests and the height it needs to hit for the LED to be sitting in the TIR. (Determined with my digital micrometer.) My best guess for how to do this is going to be a few brass washers stacked together to get the extra height. I also need to figure out how to mount the driver, and get it grounded to the body. I think if I can figure out the shelf to the MCPCB, I can use E6000 to hopefully glue the driver to the underside of that, but I’d still need to ground it since it doesn’t really get anywhere near the body tube. Worst case I can probably try to solder a wire from the ground ring of the driver to the body somewhere, or solder some sort of spring (or a cut fragment of a spring, or a few of them!) onto the edge of the driver to make contact with the tube.

Another of my concerns with the assembly methods discussed above is the practicality of the light. It’s already going to be quite heavy so it’s never going to make EDC duty, but I really don’t want half the head assembly to come sliding out of the dang thing every time I go to swap the batteries. I’m going to be keeping this in mind as I go. If at least one part of the stack is captive in the head assembly, and the rest is all adhered to that piece (soldered, glued, whatever – I’ll take it), it will be good to go.

P.S. I just realized if I E6000 the driver to the “shelf”, it will technically be potted…

Edit: Adding a pic to attempt to show the height issue in the head. The “lip” that’s closer to the camera than the MCPCB is where the improvised shelf would rest. I also measured the gap, it’s about 3.6mm

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Scallywag wrote:
The current challenges I’m looking at: The MCPCB floats. I devised a way to improvise a “shelf” using a part of the 3/4” × 1/4” “hose swivel adapter”, but that still leaves me with a few millimeters between where the MCPCB rests and the height it needs to hit for the LED to be sitting in the TIR. (Determined with my digital micrometer.) My best guess for how to do this is going to be a few brass washers stacked together to get the extra height. I also need to figure out how to mount the driver, and get it grounded to the body. I think if I can figure out the shelf to the MCPCB, I can use E6000 to hopefully glue the driver to the underside of that, but I’d still need to ground it since it doesn’t really get anywhere near the body tube. Worst case I can probably try to solder a wire from the ground ring of the driver to the body somewhere, or solder some sort of spring (or a cut fragment of a spring, or a few of them!) onto the edge of the driver to make contact with the tube.

Edit: Adding a pic to attempt to show the height issue in the head. The “lip” that’s closer to the camera than the MCPCB is where the improvised shelf would rest. I also measured the gap, it’s about 3.6mm


So it occurred to my that it might be possible to cut one of those 3/4” × 1/4” “hose swivel adapter” pieces to fit. The plan is to cut if off with about 3.6mm (it’s okay if it’s a little longer, but not much shorter) past the “shelf” part. The narrower end would end up attached (soldered?) to the MCPCB, and the wider end would get the the driver attached to it. I would probably have to cut and/or file some notches for the LED wires to route through the center-hole to the driver. We’ll see how the part comes out first – I’m planning to start the cut with a hacksaw to guide the hacksaw-blade on my reciprocating saw.

Edit: I did it, this is gonna work! Pics to follow.

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Scallywag wrote:
Scallywag wrote:
The current challenges I’m looking at: The MCPCB floats. I devised a way to improvise a “shelf” using a part of the 3/4” × 1/4” “hose swivel adapter”, but that still leaves me with a few millimeters between where the MCPCB rests and the height it needs to hit for the LED to be sitting in the TIR. (Determined with my digital micrometer.) My best guess for how to do this is going to be a few brass washers stacked together to get the extra height. I also need to figure out how to mount the driver, and get it grounded to the body. I think if I can figure out the shelf to the MCPCB, I can use E6000 to hopefully glue the driver to the underside of that, but I’d still need to ground it since it doesn’t really get anywhere near the body tube. Worst case I can probably try to solder a wire from the ground ring of the driver to the body somewhere, or solder some sort of spring (or a cut fragment of a spring, or a few of them!) onto the edge of the driver to make contact with the tube.

Edit: Adding a pic to attempt to show the height issue in the head. The “lip” that’s closer to the camera than the MCPCB is where the improvised shelf would rest. I also measured the gap, it’s about 3.6mm


So it occurred to my that it might be possible to cut one of those 3/4” × 1/4” “hose swivel adapter” pieces to fit. The plan is to cut if off with about 3.6mm (it’s okay if it’s a little longer, but not much shorter) past the “shelf” part. The narrower end would end up attached (soldered?) to the MCPCB, and the wider end would get the the driver attached to it. I would probably have to cut and/or file some notches for the LED wires to route through the center-hole to the driver. We’ll see how the part comes out first – I’m planning to start the cut with a hacksaw to guide the hacksaw-blade on my reciprocating saw.

Edit: I did it, this is gonna work! Pics to follow.

The start of the cut:

The finished cuts, plus some minor sanding:

My improvised clamp since I don’t own a vice… (bargain bin Tractor Supply Co vice grips that were a three-pack for $3 and one of my clamps):

The fit will work!

Now to see if soldering will work…

Here goes nothing.

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Scallywag wrote:
My improvised clamp since I don’t own a vice… (bargain bin Tractor Supply Co vice grips that were a three-pack for $3 and one of my clamps):
Thumbs Up Smile
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So soldering the MCPCB worked.
Proposed stack:

Everything connected and a test-fire:

IT’S ALIVE! Big Smile

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I added a ground strap (green 30 gauge wire) from the driver to the driver-shelf. Tough to solder to that driver-shelf...

Next I carefully test-assembled everything, including sticking a bullseye-shaped sticker sandwiched between the driver and the driver-shelf to prevent shorts.

It's alive!

Now I've got the E6000 between the driver and the driver-shelf, and I'm hoping that sticks. If it does, the build will be completed tomorrow when I assemble.

One thing I will say for this build is that it ended up being a bit short for an 18650. It was tough threading the tailcap onto the body tube with the head fully threaded on, and I couldn't tighten it much, and I'm already using an unprotected flat-top battery. This would probably work best with something like 18500. (I checked, my 18350 is way too short!) Given that the light is already longer than my D4, and how short I got certain elements of the light (the switch assembly protrudes out the tailcap and the stack for MCPCB/shelf/driver is quite thin by my standards), it gives me a lot of respect for short lights!

Also, I don't have a _ton_ of faith in the heat path for this light. In fact I debated ripping out half the 7135s. If I had more faith in my ability to do it without ruining something, I'd likely try to solder the shelf to the body tube. But I don't think that's within my abilities.

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Yahoo it works ! That soldering to big stuff , like the body keeps alluding me . I have even tryed preheating but haven’t gotten very good results . I’ve seen others do it , so I know it can be done . Nice improvising to get it done .

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Rdubya18 wrote:
Yahoo it works ! That soldering to big stuff , like the body keeps alluding me . I have even tryed preheating but haven’t gotten very good results . I’ve seen others do it , so I know it can be done . Nice improvising to get it done .

I think the trick is probably preheating + hot air, lots of flux, and appropriate materials. For example I doubt I’d ever bother trying to solder to an aluminum host/shelf because aluminum is very difficult to solder to. Brass/copper can be done though!
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Scallywag wrote:
Rdubya18 wrote:
Yahoo it works ! That soldering to big stuff , like the body keeps alluding me . I have even tryed preheating but haven’t gotten very good results . I’ve seen others do it , so I know it can be done . Nice improvising to get it done .

I think the trick is probably preheating + hot air, lots of flux, and appropriate materials. For example I doubt I’d ever bother trying to solder to an aluminum host/shelf because aluminum is very difficult to solder to. Brass/copper can be done though!

I found trying it with regular solder on brass was a nightmare, however that ‘Mechanic’ solder paste from ali express seems to work every time, first time with no prep or pre heating.
I don’t know if it kinda ‘etches’ the surface, but it worked for me really easily. This was the first time I’d ever used it and I have to say I’m wondering where it was all my life – it is SO useful.

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