Scallywag's 9th Annual Old Lumens Challenge - Modified Light Category

47 posts / 0 new
Last post
Scallywag
Scallywag's picture
Offline
Last seen: 42 min 29 sec ago
Joined: 01/11/2018 - 22:23
Posts: 2283
Location: Ohio, United States

UCLp and three VTC6 showed up so now I actually have every piece of the light. It’s just up to me to finish it.

MtnDon
MtnDon's picture
Offline
Last seen: 22 min 51 sec ago
Joined: 08/27/2015 - 18:25
Posts: 4077
Location: Canuk in NM

It is nice to be able to see progress and feel good about it. Oh, I hear you on the epoxy smell! I dislike using epoxy this time of year as the smell seems to hand around for days. Too cold to leave the shop doors open to air out. Too cold to work outside.

Scallywag
Scallywag's picture
Offline
Last seen: 42 min 29 sec ago
Joined: 01/11/2018 - 22:23
Posts: 2283
Location: Ohio, United States

So yesterday I did some more work, but then I went to bed early before I got to post about it. So I’m posting it now!
I drilled the holes in the driver adapter ring.

As you can see, I had a casualty. Oh well.
I then reflowed the adapter ring onto the driver. I used my hotplate, and forgot to take a picture.
But, here’s a picture from when I reflowed the 7135s and spring onto the other side of the driver. For this, I had let things cool, then just flipped it over and used hot air.

Another angle.

Then I added LED wires. The positive also bypasses the spring, as the design of this driver requires.

I need to do the switch wires, but I stopped, because they can’t be fully installed without assembling the light. I’ll have to attach them to the driver, install the driver, and then attach them to the switch after routing them. This also reminded me that there will have to be a notch of some sort where the handle mounts to accommodate the ends of the mounting screws (which protrude into the head of the light) as well as the switch wires. I’ll deal with it when I get there.

G0OSE
G0OSE's picture
Offline
Last seen: 3 days 19 hours ago
Joined: 09/03/2014 - 12:34
Posts: 2346

Looking good so far, I don’t envy you hand cutting copper, it is a bitch to work with even on a lathe! My old lathe does not like parting off copper and it took me a full half hour to part off a 20mm part for my pill, any quicker and it just messes up and flies out the chuck, or at least ioff centre.
No way I’d want to cut it all by hand!

wcddesign
Offline
Last seen: 1 hour 9 min ago
Joined: 11/25/2021 - 21:49
Posts: 68
Location: United States

That does look like a lot of work. Sounds like it will be quite an impressive light when you’re done though. Still more tools and techniques I’ve not used or learned yet.

Scallywag
Scallywag's picture
Offline
Last seen: 42 min 29 sec ago
Joined: 01/11/2018 - 22:23
Posts: 2283
Location: Ohio, United States

So, I’ve been slowly making progress on the spacer.
This is where I finished* (more on that later) cutting the spacer.


After a sheet of 80-grit, four sheets of 50-grit, and completely dulling a brand new file:


I used another file to make a notch for the switch wires:



And then I realized the LED +/- wires had to go somewhere
So I cut a notch.

And I soldered the MCPCB to it.


I decided I can’t attach the MCPCB+shelf with screws because I’ll never be able to drill adequate holes without a drill press and expensive bits. Maybe next year?
To do:

  • Attach MCPCB to driver-shelf (and possibly inside of head) with either thermally-conductive epoxy or arctic silver alumina
  • Run and solder switch wires and LED +/- wires
  • Focusing
  • Either drill holes into the spacer to accommodate, or (more likely) cut with hacksaw, the screws that hold the driver to the shelf (currently they extend several millimeters above the shelf)

Yes, I know it’s going to be fantastic fun to solder the LED wires to the MCPCB now that it’s on like 0.75lbs of copper

MtnDon
MtnDon's picture
Offline
Last seen: 22 min 51 sec ago
Joined: 08/27/2015 - 18:25
Posts: 4077
Location: Canuk in NM
Quote:
completely dulling a brand new file:

Is the file really dull or actually just in need of a good cleaning? Files clog, especially when used on soft metals. There is a tool called a file card.

The short, fine, stiff steel bristles are used to clean the metal bits that stick in the cut file face.

https://www.falcontool.com/PublicStore/product/File-Cards,574,193.aspx

Available in many online stores and well-stocked hardware stores/departments. Indispensable!

Correllux
Correllux's picture
Offline
Last seen: 16 min 55 sec ago
Joined: 04/27/2019 - 22:23
Posts: 808
Location: USA

That is such a HUNK of beautiful copper! lol. Impressive.

I was thinking the same about the file…probably just pinned and loaded, not dull. Even the cheapest files these days from China are of a rockwell hardness that is far higher than any copper or bronze…heck, even the “soft” jeweler’s wax files are plenty hard enough not to dull even if misused by stroking backwards. I don’t know if a file card would be enough for copper pinning (it’s generally not for aluminum) so you might need to spend time with a stout needle or sharp pick to clean up the grooves. Alternatively, you could flatten a short piece of copper pipe and run it down the length of the cut grooves in the file, like if you were pushing a wood chisel forward…so it moves across the flat of the file (on an angle with the grooves) rather than top to bottom as the travel would be when actually filing. That’s a quick way to clear up a file and usually the copper won’t leave bits behind when used in that fashion. Sometimes chalking a file before use will help prevent this or at least limit it a bunch.

Don…..pleased to see a link to Falcon! Seems like hardly anyone has heard of them anymore but they’re still plugging along. They make great stones!

MtnDon
MtnDon's picture
Offline
Last seen: 22 min 51 sec ago
Joined: 08/27/2015 - 18:25
Posts: 4077
Location: Canuk in NM

Correllux wrote:

Don…..pleased to see a link to Falcon! Seems like hardly anyone has heard of them anymore but they’re still plugging along. They make great stones!

I have an assortment of their points, small diamond files and other stuff including an old air grinder. Still better than most of the no-brand name items.

Hoop
Hoop's picture
Offline
Last seen: 15 min 29 sec ago
Joined: 12/20/2012 - 05:33
Posts: 1077
Location: Spokane, WA

Substantial effort!

I would be nervous about the centering of the MCPCB in your situation. I wonder how you made that work. The de-lens might have been safer to perform after the reflow, to avoid flux spatter or whatever, but it looks like it made it through clean.

Scallywag
Scallywag's picture
Offline
Last seen: 42 min 29 sec ago
Joined: 01/11/2018 - 22:23
Posts: 2283
Location: Ohio, United States

Hoop wrote:
Substantial effort!

I would be nervous about the centering of the MCPCB in your situation. I wonder how you made that work. The de-lens might have been safer to perform after the reflow, to avoid flux spatter or whatever, but it looks like it made it through clean.


I didn’t get a picture, but:

I screwed the driver-shelf into the head and set it over the copper spacer while it was on the hot plate. The driver-shelf has a centered hole in it already, which I used to position the MCPCB while the solder was liquid. The emitter is just large enough that I’m hoping this will be “good enough”.

Scallywag
Scallywag's picture
Offline
Last seen: 42 min 29 sec ago
Joined: 01/11/2018 - 22:23
Posts: 2283
Location: Ohio, United States

The light is done and working, I’ll get this thread updated tonight or tomorrow night.

LED is slightly off-center. I should still have peak throw in the center, since the SBT90.2 is large enough that part of it is still in the focal point, but the beam is sub-optimal. Sure is bright, though.

Maybe my next mod is to cram 6 SBT90.2 into a EC06? Wait, that’s like $200 just in emitters.

MtnDon
MtnDon's picture
Offline
Last seen: 22 min 51 sec ago
Joined: 08/27/2015 - 18:25
Posts: 4077
Location: Canuk in NM
Scallywag wrote:
The light is done and working, I’ll get this thread updated tonight or tomorrow night.

I’m looking forward to the finish.

Scallywag
Scallywag's picture
Offline
Last seen: 42 min 29 sec ago
Joined: 01/11/2018 - 22:23
Posts: 2283
Location: Ohio, United States

So.
LED+/-, Sw+ and Gnd (for switch) wired up and passed through the driver-shelf. I also sawed more-or-less flush the screws, which are present in this image:

The same thing, but installed in the head.

This is a dry-fit of the spacer+MCPCB in the head:

The emitter is off-center, but not as bad as that picture makes it look because of the angle.
This is after the MG Chemicals 8329TFF thermally conductive epoxy has set. (For those of you taking notes, this epoxy is also electrically conductive. This is a major difference to Arctic Alumina, which is not electrically conductive nor capacitive.)

Assembled light:

Down the barrel:

And a poorly-done ceiling beamshot. I don’t have room and/or tidiness for anything better at the moment.

So, I’d like to close with a bunch of stuff.

First off, this particular light. I’m a bit disappointed with several elements. To begin with, the light itself wasn’t the best suited to hot-rodding. Heatsinking was basically non-existent, the cell carrier was cheap, and the design was very unusual. Of course, the main reason I chose this host was because of the handle with integrated e-switch, which is a feature I found pretty cool in theory. In practice, that works pretty well, although aiming a thrower with a handle has a slight learning curve. Also, the balance is messed up by the massive hunk of copper now residing in the head. Next, my fabrication abilities are severely limited, and on top of that my skills are also quite limited, so the resulting fabrication is sub-optimal. Everything has a very hand-made look to it, and nothing fits together quite right. In fact, the cell carrier was bad enough that even after shaving down the plastic connecting rods, two of the cells suffered severe wrapper damage during installation of the carrier into the tube. For that reason, they’re now permanent residents: I’ll be charging these cells from the top-end of the carrier tube, with leads connected to my SkyRC MC3000. Finally, the fresnel is… well, djozz mentioned in the thread where I found the source of the fresnel lenses that he expected the beam quality to suffer if the focal length was much less than the diameter of the lens. In this light, I ended up using a 60mm fresnel with 25mm focal length, so you can guess where that lands things (or look at the beamshot above). I don’t think it’s a particularly good thrower for its head diameter, and it’s not particularly bright for its size. While an SBT90.2 pumped with 3xVTC6 ought to do plenty, I’m sure there is a lot of light being lost in the head. It is of course very bright, but my modded Supfire M6 is a lot brighter and in the same size class. My (still stock) BLF Q8 lights the room more as well.

The heat sinking seems to have ended up pretty decent, turbo runs definitely send heat out the side of the head where the copper spacer is. The throw is good, but I’m not competing with any real dedicated throwers in the 60~65-ish mm diameter bezel class. I also am pretty pleased with the SBT90.2, and would throw it in a few more lights. I think it could do well in a single-18650/21700 EDC-sized light – that might have to go on my project list.

All that said, I don’t regret doing this build. I’ve learned a lot about what I can and can’t do, and also what I should and shouldn’t attempt. I also know I want to get a drill press sometime next year. Learning my limitations is just as important as developing new skills. I already had a pretty good idea about what it takes to make a host well suited to modding, so I knew going into this that it would be a rough time. While the light didn’t end up how I’d hoped, it is still usable to even useful. I got to try a lot of new things, like soldering parts together that I’d never done before, and even copper-coating some bare aluminum Smile

I hope those of you that followed this thread found something useful, or at least entertaining, in my efforts.

Asian8640
Asian8640's picture
Offline
Last seen: 10 hours 55 min ago
Joined: 02/21/2019 - 21:29
Posts: 148
Location: New York, United States

Congrats on finishing your build! Dealing with that massive hunk of copper was something I wasn’t brave enough to do this year, so kudos to you for that. Best of luck mate!

Old Lumens Contest Entries: "7th 5mm LED Lantern":https://budgetlightforum.com/node/70438 and "9th Copper Pipe Triple":https://budgetlightforum.com/node/79484

wcddesign
Offline
Last seen: 1 hour 9 min ago
Joined: 11/25/2021 - 21:49
Posts: 68
Location: United States

Good job! Seems like you learned a lot from it and that seems like the point to me. I certainly did some vicarious learning through your build, so thank you!

As far as the imperfect handmade look goes, if it isn’t obvious from my project, I like it. If anything, I would wish you didn’t have to open it to see that Big Smile

Pages