RC-Lights - a history of my custom-lights so far

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RC-Lights
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RC-Lights - a history of my custom-lights so far

hi everybody,

in this thread i want to show my custom flashlights, give a plattform to discuss about it and introduce myself a bit more. so lets start.

my story startet 12 years ago, i was 15 years old and played soccer in the neighbour village. so i went by bicycle to the tranings and back again. In summertime no issue, but in the winter i rode most the time in the dark. For that reason i wanted to have a light on my bike. i always was interessed in technique and my father and grandfather have a small workshop, also with a small selfbuild lathe in it.

so i bought some led and reflector stuff, on ebay i found a 18650 battery. i put everything together and it worked. Maybe around 80-100 lumens, but a lot brighter than the maglites, we had so far:

so this was my first light and it was very easy. direct drive, no driver ( i guess only a resistant ). the switch was a screw, which i had to screw onto the battery to connect it with the housing. but it worked. After that i was infected by the flashlight virus. i had a lot of fun and there was a need to improve myself.

 

so the next light was a 2x18650 thrower with 50mm reflector, 3 mode driver and side switch. That was really a beast at that time:

you have to imagine: At that time, i used a selfbuild lathe of my grandfather. the threads are also made on that lathe. it used a bicycle chain for changing the pitch. but it worked. one or two years later i bought my own lathe, a small optimum machine, but it works fine for me until now.

 

my third light was also the last light i did on the selfmade lathe, the next were made on the new machine. That was a rebuild of the first light. A Cree XP-G in it, 1,4A driver, 18650 battery and a tail clicky switch.  around 250 lumens, great for that time.

 

so that was my start in the flashlight world, more than 10 years ago. i can promise you, that there will be a big step to the current time, so please stay patient, i will continue soon.

 

see you, 

Michael

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Nice build! Whoever has a lathe or CNC becomes my friend instantly.

WTB Titanium 4sevens 2xAA tube

pinkpanda3310
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Wow! Started making lights at 15 years old Shocked

  

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thanks guys.

lets continue with my older builds: i had the wish to have a modular flashlight, so i built a body with changeable heads with reflektor, TIR Lens or aspherical Lens for max Throw: as an special: i messed up with the thread, so the complete light has left handed threads Big Smile

 

 

after that light, there came a big step into my flashlight design, because i baught a milling machine with rotary table.

the next light was also special in some ways. its a working light with a tailstand function, clip for clipping it your jacket, and so on:

Battery was 18650, CREE XM-L LED, around 900 lumens.

 

i designed also a very solid working light for AA Batteries, step-up driver, standard components for an easy service and water sealed:

 

another highlight in that time was my first flashlight with 20mm Tripple LED Module from Lux-RC, a gamechanger in that time. remember, we are in 2012 right now:

 

see you later,

Michael

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I’m loving this thread Love

  

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Nice to hear that, than lets go on.

 

I would like to present my most complex project so far.

i mod two Led Lenser X21 from 7x Cree XR-E Led to 7x Cree XM-L LEDs to reach 6000 Lumen.

 

therefor i needed a complete new Heatsink:

 

from the backside: to protect the heatsink from overheating, i added a temperature sensor. 

but one of the big issues at that project was the transfer of power and sensor information from the Head to the driver. For the power i used a rotatable connector and for the sensor i built 3 sliding contacts:

 

the carrier for dimmer and driver was also a challange, but i made it:

and the beamshot compare before:

and after:

 

i have tons of pictures, so if you have questions or want to see more details, so you´re welcome

 

cheers

Michael

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RC-Lights wrote:
we are in 2012 right now:
.

great photos,

thats a very nice looking light

thanks for sharing your history and design evolution

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Please keep posting. This is amazing. Beer

Camaro
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Function and form. Love the way you are transforming from functional to functional art. Fit and finish looks flawless.

rockhound42
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Fantastic looking lights, looking forward to seeing more.

richbuff
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This is the kind of topic thread that I like to see in the forum. Thank you for sharing your life's love of custom flashlights!

 

Rev 22:15

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thank you for the nice comments. so i will go on.

in 2013 i built my second Bike-Lamp. unfortunaly i dont have some pictures from the first one. 

 

this one is with 3x XM-L LEDs with around 2500 lumens. a big battery storage ( 8x18650 in parallel arrangement ) and an illuminated external switch. everything made on conventional machines, no CNC:

here a Beamshot:

 

regards

Michael

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the next light was a mule flashlight without a reflector. 26650 battery with some tritium slots:

 

 

 

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Very nice machining. I love the sleek lines.

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You guys with lathes are in the right hobby. Love

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Nice thread, keep going! Apart from how well everything is executed, I really like your goodlooking designs

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hi all, thanks for your words.

lets go on with on of my favorite design so far. i call it "Knubby", a real compact and for that time (2013) bright flashlight.

32650 Battery, 6x Nichia 219AT LEDs with CRI 90+, really great beam.

 

 

 

cheers

Michael

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What drivers were you using back then?

  

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hi Pinkpanda,

in the most lights i used modified nanjg 105c drivers. i added 7135 modules and reflashed the firmware with my own code – but i will introduce you in that later. the possibilities were very limited, no compare to the FET Drivers and so on, which are available now.

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Some nice lights you have made. Knubby is very well done.

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Thank you grin.

let me show you the next light in the collection:

a Aluminium and Chopper Bi-Color light with Cree MT-G LED with 2x18350 batteries or 2x18650 batteries, i built two different battery tubes.

 

 

 

i used a C8 Reflector and also used the same thread size, so i can mix up the parts:

 

 

the Cree MT-G LED:

 

cheers Michael

 

 

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Wow, Michael, these are really great!! All of them are aesthetically beautiful. Once you said conventional machining, I am especially impressed with the head on your 2013 bike light…wow. I’m not a machinist but have a decent understanding of most operations and tooling – how did you accomplish the fluting/grooves on the round head?

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hi, thanks a lot for your words.

 

You are right, all of the parts are machined conventional without CNC. the bike light was a relative complex design for machining it, but i have fun doing unnormal things. Unfortunately i don´t have a picture of machining exact that part - but i found a picture from a similar condition:

 

 

on my milling machine i have a rotary table, which i use for almost all milling operations on the flashlights. in that case, i tilted the head of the milling machine in the angle of the chamfer to have a symmetrical groove. 

 

cheers,

Michael

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Aha…of course, a chuck on the table! I hadn’t seen that setup before, just regular rotary tables and indexers. I was trying to figure out how one would bring the mill over the the lathe. Ha. Smile

Just saw your other threads, too…really nice work, good stuff!