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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
My name is Joel. I'm a DIY bike light addict ;) Thanks to all you pushers, I've built 8 systems over the past 18 months and am in process on a 9th... Yes, I'm hooked.

-- Must ride daily at 5am for at least an hour (fire road, single track, road - all locally in Southern California);

-- Went DIY to reduce the likelihood that my wife would be angry at me for spending $$$;

-- Started out with a 180 lumen Fenix L2D Premium Q5 flashlight - cool, but I wanted more;

-- Made a triple Q5, Thermalloy LED heatsinks, 14.8V 2200maH li-ion pack; 1000ma BuckPuck; 8 degree optics - total cost - less than $120;

-- Made a quad R2 unit with an 18.5V 2400maH; two 6 degree optics and two 8 degree optics - total cost - less than $180 (see FrankenLight below);



-- The engineer in me needed data - so I bought a $30 luxmeter:
Fenix L2D: 3280 [email protected]; 17 [email protected];
Triple Q5: 4440 [email protected]; 57 [email protected];
Quad R2: 8650 [email protected]; 79 [email protected];

-- My next unit will be based on six R2's mounted on a modified ThermalTakeUSA V1R RAM cooler (copper heat pipe/heat sink);

-- Enjoyable feedback on the trail/road: You look like a space ship landing; You look like a slow moving 18 wheeler (I ride with both handlebar and helmet light - and so does my buddy); That's excruciating; I thought that was a policecar coming up the driveway...

-- Beamshots - Canon PowerShot S80, M mode, F4.0, 6 sec, ISO 50.

Happy Trails!

-- The first four shots are along a fire road (reference, Fenix L2D, triple Q5, and quad R2 - in order).

Reference (no light)



Fenix L2D



Triple Q5



Quad R2



-- The second four shots are along the paved road that goes up to the fire road;

Reference (no light)



Fenix L2D



Triple Q5



Quad R2
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Mc-e

Bob:

Thanks for the reply!

I built a single MC-E using a 25mm^3 heatsink - but the optic didn't fit well and I knocked the dome off the emitter... Hope you have had better luck.

I've considered building a triple MC-E and running each die at 700ma. This would require additional drivers and/or a higher voltage battery - cost prohibitive.

Instead, I chose to build a 6*R2 unit at 1000ma using a single MaxFlex and a 14.8V 2200maH li-ion pack (heatsink will be the ThermalTakeUSA V1R). With the MaxFlex, I can switch the current between 350ma (600 lumens, 3 hours runtime) and 1000ma (1440 lumens, 1 hour runtime).

From what I can determine, the sweet spot for price, weight, brightness and time is a triple R2 using a 14.8V 2200maH li-ion and a 1000ma BuckPuck. If the components are purchased wisely, the system can cost less than $100 for 720 lumens, <100g, 2+ hours, and a great beam pattern... There doesn't appear to be anything on the market that can put out 7 lumens per dollar.

You can never have enough light.
Joel
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
WKU:

Cree XR-E R2 stars - dealextreme.com - http://www.dealextreme.com/details.dx/sku.15943

L2 Optics - LedSupply.com - http://www.ledsupply.com/l2-optx-1-006.php

I've also purchased parts from Cutter.com.au, LedSupply.com, TaskLed.com, LuxeonStar.com, All-Battery.com and BatterySpace.com.

Everything I've ordered eventually arrived (sometimes lead times are long, customs takes time and low cost shipping may entail waiting). I received outstanding customer service from All-Battery.com when one of the battery packs failed - they shipped me a replacement via Fed-Ex Priority at their cost following one simple phone call.

Have you built your own light system? If so, what has been your experience with the suppliers?

Joel
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
YetiBetty:

I'm partial to the cooler side of the WG's. But I like the brightness of quad R2 WG over the triple Q5 WG even more...

Even within the same bin & tint, LED's are like a box of chocolates ;) You never know what you're gonna get... One of the guys I ride with built a double Luxeon V cyan - now that's green!

Have you had the opportunity to try out any WC, WD, or WF tint emitters? Are they an obnoxious blue like an HID? I'm certainly curious as to what bin has the best balance between apparent brightness and aesthetic appeal...

Joel
 

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like you said, you never know untill you fire them up.

I used SSC P4 U bin's for a while (all SWO tint) and got everything from white to purple and very green, oh and a very blue one once.

But I must say that the XRE R2 in WH tint is very nice on the eyes and colours when riding off road look real.

As I have said before I find that if the LED is to cool then it's like riding in a black & white movie.
 

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MaxFlex Supplies

jglandau said:
WKU:

Cree XR-E R2 stars - dealextreme.com - http://www.dealextreme.com/details.dx/sku.15943

L2 Optics - LedSupply.com - http://www.ledsupply.com/l2-optx-1-006.php

I've also purchased parts from Cutter.com.au, LedSupply.com, TaskLed.com, LuxeonStar.com, All-Battery.com and BatterySpace.com.

Everything I've ordered eventually arrived (sometimes lead times are long, customs takes time and low cost shipping may entail waiting). I received outstanding customer service from All-Battery.com when one of the battery packs failed - they shipped me a replacement via Fed-Ex Priority at their cost following one simple phone call.

Have you built your own light system? If so, what has been your experience with the suppliers?

Joel
Great beam shot

Any thoughts on where to get the MaxFlex?

Cheers,

Paolo
 
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