DBSAR - The 2nd. Annual BLF Scratch Made Light Contest Entry / UPDATE -June 27th, more photos

So its time to build the Scratch Build Light for the Hand-made catagory of OldLumen’s 2nd. Annual BLF Scratch Made Light Contest !

After fiddleing in the Shop and spotting the box of old Brass fittings and pipe, my mind started to wander on some ideas for the Scratch-Build contest.

Fittings Fittings FITTINGS !

Then i dumped out the box on the bench, picked out some fittings, cleaned them up, ( Some of these are really old and salvaged from Machines built in the 1940’s )

I them did some measurements on the brass fittings and pipes, and found two Brass pipe sections that will fit an 18650 inside, and another that AA-Cells can fit into, and more mental-labor to work on ideas, and find components from the Tickle-Trunk of Light components, that could fit or be modded to fit, and make this light work.

After some picking though the Junk Drawers and components bins of Drivers, reflectors, Stars, Emitters, switches, resistors, spings, o-rings, lenses, switch caps, rings, washers, bolts, etc. i put together a P60 drop-in, to use a XM-L2 Neutral White Emitter, a modded Qlite 105c driver, some random switches and other emitters, switch boot, and other pits of wire, etc.
i decided to build a unique, Steam Punkish, “Hybrid” light that will use both an 18650 to power a Flashlight end of the light AND a Lantern Flooder side light, ane also will use 2 AA cells in another section to power a “glow” candle lamp that will run for close to a year contunously using a Low-power LED & resistor set up.

( i have been testing a simmilar version in a test set up, and its still glowing continously since it was turned on last June 2013 on the same 2 Alcaline cells it started with.

The tools i will use on this light will be mostly all hand tools, including files, hacksaws, pliers, hand-taps, soldering irons, blow-torch, sandpaper of various grits, sanding blocks, wire brushes, brass polish, and the power tools will be limited to a cordless Drill, a small drillpress, a disk sander, and a Dremel.

More to come on this build as it progresses :slight_smile:

UPDATE-1, April, 23,2014:

So i spent a bit of time in the shop tonight working on the ScratchBuild for the contest.
I found some more scrap Brass fittings, including a few old BBQ tank valves, some copper plate, a large 1 - 1/4” Brass union, etc.

I began to make some retainer rings out of a few of the fittings, by hacksawing off 3/16” of the end ( the smaller tapered part of the NPT threading) then notched them on the inside to tightenen them with needle-pliers. (IMAGE 1, 2, & 4. below.)
I then cut a copper pill-plate for the XM-L2 Emitter 20mm star out of some copper plate, and after fileing i got ti to fit nicely inside the Union head holding it in place with one of the retainer rings. ( IMAGE 3, 5.)
I also made a coupler to thread the Union Head to the Tee-Body with more ends cut form brass fittings then soldered together. ( IMAGE 6, 7.

For the Union head, i was going to modify a P60 Drop-in, but after finding a 35mm TIR Optic that fit PERFECTLY in the Union head under the retaining nut, i decided to go with this custom head using the TIR Lens and the custom pill i built above with another 3/4” ringe made to hold the 105c driver in the Tee-body. ( IMAGE 1, 2, below)

IMAGE 3, and 4, above is a rough udea of how the Light will look. :slight_smile:

UPDATE-2, April, 29,2014:

Been working on the Glow-light section of the Scratch-built Multi-light.

The image below shows the work on the “glow” head and test.
The Glow Head uses a low-power Micro-Emitter, a 18.6K Ohm Resistor, and a custom head made from a Air regulator nozzle.
( After some time-consuming testing of dozens of 1/4 & 1/8 watt resistors of various resistance values for the micro emitter i tested, i found that a 18.6k ohm 1/8 watt allowed just enough current to flow to allow the LED to “glow” while creating an un-mearurable micro-load draw on the batteries, almost an open circuit as no other LED emitter would glow in the circuit.) meaning the cells should sustain a voltage enough for a year or more before the voltage dropes below the forward-voltage minimum of the emitter.)

This Glow section is roughly 50 times brighter than a Tritium glow tube, and will last a year or more on a single pair Alcalines running continously.
( i have been testing this set up with the same LED and resistor on two cheap AA cells since last June, and its still glowing and the cells still read 1.29 volts each)
This Glow tube will not even have a switch to turn it off.

the inset images are as described during the build.

1. - Drilling out the head after removing the regulator screw and filter.
2. - centering the 6 drill hole points using a centering tool.
3. - center-punching the drill holes.
4. - after drilling them 1/16” , using a countersing in a hand-drill to taper the holes.
5. - Placing plastic tube in the head to insulate and hold the Emitter & resistor.
6. - Micro emitter in place in the head.
7. - base copper contact in place, and ground soldered on the side of the head, secured with resin glue to insulate it.
8. - Glow head first test, using the same 2 AA batteries that has been running another test of this set up since June of 2013.
9. - Same head glowing in the dark.

UPDATE-3, May, 04 , 2014:

So i spent nearly 5 hours in the shop earlier tonight, burning my fingers, grinding off finger nails, and graining in brass filings and grit with another plug at the Hand-made Contest Steam Pipe light.

Below are the photo collages of tonight’s work and the descriptions for each photo.

(Below photo:)

1. - Soldering a Warm-White LED emitter to a 20mm star for the Lantern Module. I like these types of emitters for their very wide emitting angle, as the phosphor appears to
be raised in a “dome” giving a wide illumination area. Also the tint of the light is very incandescent-like, almost like that of an old-school Coleman Naphtha Mantle Lantern.

2. - The Star mounted in the custom base, ready for the diffuser to be epoxied on. ( the diffuser is from some random plastic ball i found, then cut in half and frosted with # 600 sandpaper.)

3. - The Lantern Module assembled and ready to be polished and attached to the light.

4. & 5. - the main battery tube battery head connector. This is the part that will contact the top of the Li-Ion 18650 in the tube, and then connect via a wire to the 3-way switch for the Flashlight head / Lantern module. I used a piece of tiny copper tubing, placed inside a piece of plastic 1/4” air tube, then capped with a piece of round insulator salvaged from the base of an old Auto 12v Cigarette-lighter socket, then soldered a blob of Solder for the contact for the battery. This was placed in a larger plastic piece of 3/8” vinyl hose, then pressed into the top of the battery tube of the main light.

6. - The i began work on the tail switch for the main light section. ( sanding a brass end to fit inside the tail cap fitting)

7. - here are the main parts for the tail cap switch. The brass fittings assembled, a switch, a contact spring, and some switch boots from my parts bin.

8. - with the addition of a section of aluminum tubing, i sanded it down to press-fit into the inner brass fitting, to hold the switch, then cut out a piece of plastic to epoxy in the switch, and solder the spring to the center contact.

9. - I decided on the orange switch boot, so i filed out a brass washer to hold the boot on the other end of the tail cap fitting.

10. - fortunately the brass tubing that i salvaged from a 1946 Kidder Press that was scrapped a few years ago, was thin-walled brass, and it fit a 18650 inside perfectly.

11. - after cutting the brass tube to the length needed, i filed out the inside of a garden-hose thread section cut off from an old faucet, then soldered it onto the back of the tube, to hold the tail cap, of which the outer part was originally the female-fitting from a salvaged brass garden hose connector.

12. - then i began polishing all the brass fittings & custom parts for the light, using my father’s old home-built wheel polisher that used a motor from a washing machine.

In the below photo next:

1. - i began to solder the filed spacers to join the Main light to the Glow-Tube. ( these were made from 1/8” fittings )

2. - Soldering in progress.

3. - Then to to solder the two sections together.

4. - After cleaning up the parts with steel-wool, files, and #400-grit sandpaper, i polished all the parts on the old cloth polishing wheel.

UPDATE-3, May, 08 , 2014:

- More hours of filing, drilling, grinding, soldering, wiring, polishing, testing was done tonight, and now the light is fully assembled and operational !

Below is another collage of photos of building and assembly of more parts of the Steam Pipe Multi-Light.

1. - assembly of the main Light contact tube, the copper pipe is cleaned up and tinned with solder for the Driver.

2. - The Modified Nanjq 105c ( Qlite-Rev.) driver is soldered directly to the copper post that contacts the 18650 cell, with a solid copper shunt attaching the ground-ring to the light body.

3. - testing is performed on the driver, running it on High-Mode for 10 minutes to test heat buildup, and it reached no higher than 32.4 degree Celsius.

4. - Now the main-head is assembled, the copper pill-disk is drilled for the wires, then inserted in the modified Union/Flashlight Head, using thermal CPU paste between the retaining rings.

5. - The XM-L2 –4C emitter on 16mm star is placed on the copper pill-disk with CPU Thermal paste.

6. - Next was the modifying of the Side-Light “Tee”, Here two 1/4” holes are drilled in the side to file and dremel out the 3way switch opening.

7. - Here a hand-dremel then a micro file was used to shape the opening for the switch.

8. - two tiny brass screws were salvaged from an old air solenoid valve from the fittings parts box, then drilled and tapped into the body to hold the switch and boot retailer.

9. - I decided to go with a piece of aluminum to make the Switch boot cover, just to add some accent to the all brass light.

10. - Plate is hack-sawed out, drilled, then cleaned up with sandpaper and some filing. after testing several 3-way switches, i decided to go with a 5-amp dual-Pole micro slide switch,
then soldered to poles together to give it a 10-amp capacity.

11. - Cover ready for the boot.

12. - Lots of wires ! , now to connect the Driver, Switch, Side-Lamp & Limiting resistor, and main-Forward XM-L2 together to bring the other half of the Light to life…

Below is my entry into the 2nd BLF Scratch-Made Light Contest for 2014 :slight_smile:

- I will do a full write-up soon, Tests review, and photo shots of the light outdoors, beam-shots, etc. soon.

This light will not be a “Shelf queen” light, i built it to perform and to be used.
A group of us are embarking on a 4-day Canoe-in Portage back country Camping trip on a lake in Central Ontario in 2 weeks, and the Steam-Pipe Light will join us on the trip to get tested, used, and run through the ropes for what we use our Lights for.

Though i have not done any comparisons or testing on the Steam-Pipe Light yet, i can give you some specs on what it does and can do.
It feels solid in the hand, sort of like holding a a solid revolver for feel and weight, it just feels and is very well balance when holding in different hand-positions.

In my mind i wanted to build the “perfect Light” for my uses including camping, emergency power outages, etc. to have a light with a good balance of throw, flood, and incorporate a Angle-Light design, Lantern, Glow night light, be a solid form, while still be “original” and built in a way like my father, and grandfather would do. - with their hands.
I always loved building things with my hands as did my father and grandfather did.
several parts of this light has some real history built into it, including parts from a 1940’s Kidder-printing press machine
Its’ like a balanced, but odd-matched blend of Old technology and new technology. old thin-wall brass steam and water plumbing from 3/4 a century ago with the newest modern Light Emitting Diode & circuit driver technology of today.

Here is a basic specs as a first impression:

- its brighter, more powerful, and throws farther, even with a larger hotspot than my Olight S20, also the tint is much better with the 4C.

- it has a tail cap clicky switch, and a side water-resistant 3-way switch.

- Both the main forward Light and the side Lantern-light as 4-modes with Moonlight/firefly-mode on both switchable with the side 3-way switch.

- the side Lantern/light is resistored, and on moonlight mode the load on the 18650 cell is almost unmeasurable, but still give a nice night light candle glow. ( jumps from 0.001 to 0.000 amps on my Fluke DMMA at the tail cap, giving it probably a month or more continuous run time on moonlight/nightlight mode.)

- The main forward light also has the 4-modes including moonlight mode.

- it will tail stand, head stand, and can be positioned on its side in several positions to direct the Side-Light in any direction. (the octagon head shape helps)

- Output on high for the Side-Light/lantern, is close to that of a small 9-watt Compact Fluorescent Bulb, but at the color tint closer to a incandescent. ( on high the tail cap load is 0.22 amps, so the run time will still be good as a camp or work lantern on a single IMR18650.

- The side Glow-light also give a glow many times brighter than a tritium tube, and will last probably a year or more on a pair of Alkaline cells. It has no switch to turn it off, as its not needed to turn off as tested: - the pair of off-brand Alkaline in the glow-light now has been running since June 2013 on the same set up in a test circuit.

  • the blue Glow light makes the light easy to locate in the dark in a tent, on the night table, or anywhere.

- - -This Light is not about just a light for a contest, its not about a light will only be a shelf-queen, not be impractical, awkward to use, or have bad performance overall.
Its a light that i want to use in the field, on Camping trips, Geocaching trips, power outages, Fishing trips, and so on. I wanted to build a light that was strong, tough, durable, reliable, versatile, with the best balance of usable output vs. run-time possible using simple parts and pieces, it had to be easily repaired, always work when i need it, have more purpose than just a flashlight, but be built entirely by hand and out of salvaged parts with a past history into something that stands out from an everyday common flashlight.

Below are a couple photos taken of the SteamPipeLight on the BackCountry Canoe Trip with a Group we took it along to test it. It survived the back country wilderness quite well, in fact it was a hit with the others in the Group. myself and everyone was very impressed with the performance of this custom light and its real-world useability and versatility, as a Flashlight comparing it to and squaring it off against many other lights we had on the trip including a NiteCore P25, a Fenix TK35, Olight S20s, various Ultrafires & Maglites in the Flashlight-Mode, and then comparing it to various Floodlights & lanterns including many different LED Lanterns & Coleman Naphtha Gas Lanterns, and the Permanently-on blue Glow Tube proved very worthy in the middle of the night several times to locate the light in the tent in the pitch darkness when i woke up to go do some late night privy-business. The light got rained on, submerged twice, dropped once, lugged around, used as a lantern for hours on end, etc.
in the 4 days in the back country the light held up perfectly, and ended up being the most-used light at the camp.

- I will post some more photos soon from the trip with comparison Beam-shot photos of the Flashlight-Mode comparing it to a Nitecore P25 Smilodon, and comparing the Lantern-mode to a classic Coleman gas mantle Lantern.

Below is the first comparison of the steam Pipe Light we did while on the Group Back-country Camping trip.
This is the Lantern-Mode compared to a Classic Coleman Gas Single-mantle Lantern on High, and the Steam Pipe Light’s side Light on High next to it. ( The upper photo is a less-exposure setting on the camera, ( 3200 ISO, Shutter at 1/40 ) The lower photo in the Collage is a higher exposure, 3200 ISO, Shutter at 1/5)

- The tint of the Side Light LED is just slightly cooler than the warmer tint of the Coleman Gas Lantern, making the Steam Light’s lantern mode very close to a halogen incandescent bulb. Output performance on high mode is very impressive for a single resistored emitter on the modded Nanjq 105c/Qlite-Rev driver.
It was brighter on High than every other LED lantern we had at the camp, and matched the Coleman Gas Lantern on High. Its pulling only 0.18 amps when last tested on high-mode from a single IMR18650. We ran the side light for 4 to 5 hours each night for the entire trip as one of the camp lanterns, and the front light was used many times during the trip by the group for walks to the Privy/toilet or the beach, and the single 18650 lasted the entire trip and not needed to be changed or charged.

Below is a Beam-shot comparison of the Steam Pipe Light compared to a Nitecore P25.

- The SteamPipe Light has a XM-L2 NW 4c tint with the optic lens used from the parts bin. ( presumably it may be a lens from a GU10 type LED bulb, but unsure.)

  • Nitecore P25 Smilodon has a XM-L2 C/W 2B tint range

Both running IMR18650 cells with full charge, both lights on Highest modes.
Distance to the canoes from the stump the lights were resting on was roughly 45 to 50 feet.
The more neutral tint of the 4C in the SP Light is much better at color rendering as seen on the photo, but the flood angle is what impressed us mostly. The angle of the optic in the SP Light gives it the widest flood of all the lights we had with us, it was almost roughly 170 degrees of flood, as compared to the much narrower flood angle as most reflector-based lights like the P25 in this photo comparison, and it still achieved a good throw spot.
The spot was not as bright as the P25, but also it appeared to be a little bigger is size.
We preferred the wide flood & smooth profile of the beam of the SP light for trail walking as it lit up the sides of the trails much more than the other lights including an Olight S20, Fenix PD32, various Zoomiees and other lights we had on the trip.

Below is a photo taken of the Steam Pipe Light at the Back-Country Camp Trip, here sitting on a rock in Lantern-Mode, Medium-setting. Also note the blue Glow-tube is still visible with these camera settings.

in the evening, with the side Lantern Light on Firefly-Mode.

The Light on the beach rock with the lake in the background.

A couple new photos of the Steam Pipe Light along with some other known lights for size comparison. ( i don’t know why but photobucket seems to make the images blurry.)

- From Left to right:

  • MT-G2 modded ZY-T08, Nitecore EA4W, Defiant Zoomie 18650 mod, Fandyfire Rook, Solarstorm Warrior, SteamPipe MultiLight, SkyEye F13, Roche F12, PD32, Nitecore P25S, Gold Classic C8.

The golds, sand lights, & SteamPipe together

Another photo below, with the steam Pipe Light running the side-Lantern mode, lined up in the middle of some of my favorite smaller portable LED lanterns in my lantern collection.

Many of the lanterns are modded from stock, some once had Incandescent halogen bulbs then modded to Cree emitters, multi-mode drivers, and even to Li-Ion cells. ( except for the fourth from left which has a CCT ( Cold Cathode Tube). The far right green lantern has a W/W XM-L with custom 105C driver with moon light.
All lanterns in this photo were on Highest mode, including the steam Pipe Light in lantern-mode. the top photo was take with a longer shutter duration.

Earlier tonight, ( June, 27th, 2014) the Steam Pipe Light spent 2 hours with our Night Geocaching group, using the flashlight mode for the trail walking, and lantern mode for the Geocache Logbook signing with the group. This light has been getting a lot of field use and testing, and holding up quite well with no problems or failures. It was my intention for this light to be used in the real world.
After some more adventures i may offer it as a prize maybe at the fall Luminatics Meet/Weekend Camp event planned in Ontario. :slight_smile:

Looks interesting so far. I like it.

Its going to be unique. :slight_smile: I just added some updates to the OP above.

Sort of steampunk. Should be a very interesting light.

Its looking good. I'm always amazed at what you guys make from parts that most of us would throw away.

Its my intention to give this a “steampunk” look and theme, as its beign built from some brass “plumbing” that came from a printing machine built in the 1940’s.
Also wiht the light being hand-built using mostly hand tools, ( with the exception of a hand drill, dremel, and disk-sander) it sort of fits the theme for the Hand-Built catagory of the Contest.
The entire light will be made from mostly cleaned-up salvaged brass fittings and a few new ones i never had in my junk boxes. :slight_smile:

I plan on using this light too on camping trips, ( not to be a shelf-queen) as it will have 3 different light heads, and run off two types of cells, ( 18560’s & 2 or 3 AA’s seperately, and and the same time.)

Is that a LEDIL optic?

Your work looks great. Good luck.

So, I see you stole my idea of using fittings… :wink:
Yeah, because, well, all parts fit so nicely.
But you have the stuff lying around, and I don’t…

So, great idea!
And a nice TIR.
Where’d you get it?

Looks like a Ledil Eva. I think either dx or kd has them in 5-packs.

I found it in my bins of parts for lights, so im not sure exactly where i got it from.

Mouser has the single and tripl LEDIL’s for $5 each, that’s the only US based shipping I could find when I got mine. With shipping its$10 for one or ~$15 for two.

i never knew you were building a light from fittings too. im just using salvaged parts from parts bins, junk bins, & scrap boxes i have in the shop and garage. They sell many sizes of these TIRs on various sites, and at a local store near me called “Sayal Electronics”. This one i have in a parts bin, and not sure exactly where it came from but its possible it could be from a old LED12 volt GU10 type spot bulb.

No, I’m not building from fittings.
I meant intellectual property… :bigsmile:
Because it has definitely crossed my mind.
I may well do it some day.

It seems every country has its typical style of fittings though.
I might go for French parts. :stuck_out_tongue:

Most of the fittings here use the standard NPT threads, ( National Pipe Thread) though some machines have Metric threadded fittings.

At the salvage yard you can buy them by weight. Much cheaper. Part of my build is stuff I salvaged, part from the yard, and part new. I like these ideas.

* Updates # 2 , to the Scratch-Built, Steampunk Multi-light Contest entry in OP. :slight_smile:

Thanks for the update. I imagine that this is a lot smaller than it seems in the pictures going by your fingers.

Love the low wattage permanently ‘on’ lantern idea. :heart_eyes:

The Glow-head section is roughly the diameter of an average index finger. ( most of the parts are 3/8” standard NPT Threadded fittings. :slight_smile: