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A waste of time it is is
5,262 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
So I spent months trying to work out how I could drive a triple MC-E with my existing 14.8v batteries. I found a couple of possible drivers but all had their problems. In stepped StevelKnivel that assured me I could use a maxflex to drive two parallel strings of 6 die. This would only give each string 600mA, not the 700mA I greedily wanted, but this was the best option by far. Thanks StevelKnivel

This was to start as a simple build using lots of aluminium "flat bar" laminated together to make the light body to house a triple MC-E build. Then it was suggested that a laminated body was not a good heat sink, something about junction temps:confused: Thats where it stalled.

Then Troutie offered lots of encouragement and advise. Below is the build details of what followed.

Step 1
Plan what you are building. I used this program
Thanks again Troutie
Sorry but I can't post my drawing. If you want a copy then PM me, but you will need to download the above program

Its easier with pics

Parallel Composite material Steel Aluminium

Screenshot Natural material Plank

Product Line Technology Design Paper

Product Technology Line Font Machine

Nature Vegetation Green Property Real estate

Hope I haven't bored you all. Trail pics and video, the real reason I built this, will follow in the not too distant future.

Thanks heaps to Steve, Smudge for the heads up on the wire, my mate Rob who insisted this couldn't be done (it only made me more determined) and of course Troutie. Much appreciated.


aka RossC
936 Posts
One of the best write ups I have read emu, Well done. The light looks pretty darn bright too... I bet you are happy with it :thumbsup:

How are you finding the beam and what optics went into it... apologies if that is listed in the post somewhere, I went looking but couldn't find it.

762 Posts
An inspiring write-up, and an awesome light. Well done!

Out of curiousity, how did you cut the screw-threads in Step 7? Is it worth the trouble to use taps & dies, or simply drill & cut threads using steel-bolt itself?

169 Posts
I would highly recommend using a tap for the treads, otherwise you might never get the bolt out of the galled aluminum.

A waste of time it is is
5,262 Posts
Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Thanks guys for all the positive feedback :)

Now to try and answer the questions

I'm using the standard blade that came on my Metabo compound saw. It is a 210 x 2.8 x 30mm 42T blade. The teeth have a negative rake on them. The important thing to remeber when cutting the aluminium is to not try and take too much at once. The fins are 5mm deep but each groove was cut with about three passes. Its also important to remember to use lots of lube. The blade was regularly sprayed with WD40

Ocean Breathes Salty,
Wrapped with the output, but not so the beam patterns. I used the XR-E XLSL -7090- 247 optics from cutter. It currently has 2 x 8* and a 25* in it. The 8* have very noticeable donuts and have an overall useable beam width almost identical to the 25*. The overall beam is quite wide but I wanted more of a flood pattern because this will primarily be used for night videos with my GoPro cam. I'll reserve final judgement at the moment till its been on trail

Nuh what I needed from the start was one of these
Hardwood Machine Engineering Steel Machine tool

it made a huge difference to how quickly I was able to drill everything out. Next time though I wouldn't do the perimeter drilling like that, it was a PIA

new lenses, see my response to Ocean Breathes Salt. The old lenses are the square Ledil ones from Cutter. From memory a SS, Diffused and Medium

as kgardnez said, definitely use a tap and die set. I got this Frost set
Technology Parallel Metal Rectangle Toolbox

from Bunnings for about twice the price of what I paid for the individual "taps" I bought, which were the ones I broke.

Again, thanks for all the positive feedback.

Night video will follow, the real test

A waste of time it is is
5,262 Posts
Discussion Starter · #16 · (Edited)
Thanks Cytoe, my mates reckon I like the sound of my own voice so maybe that helps:D

Oh look, there's one of them now.
Hi Beany, sadly you won't see me on the night trails till early next year when I return from the states, maybe you should hook up with that other new guy Hot Rod

Just worked out how to post the plan. Phone camera pic of my computer screen, bodgey but it'll give you the idea

Blue Yellow Colorfulness Text Red

A waste of time it is is
5,262 Posts
Discussion Starter · #19 ·
}SkOrPn--7 thanks mate, parts list and suppliers as requested

hyperlinks are to suppliers

Battery - 14.8v 4.8Ah Li-Ion protected

Driver - MaxFlex3 with the following settings
- Current 1200mA
- Low Bat warning @ 13.5v
- Mid Bat warning @ 14.0v
- Warning indication Flash through main LEDs
- Duomode selected @ factory levels

LEDs - 3 Cree MC-E M bin WG tint
- wired as 2 parallel strings of 6 die @600mA each

Optics - Cree XR-E XLSL-7090-247
- 2 8* and 1 25*

Connector - 2.5mm DC In line jacks

Wire - internal 7 x .20 PTFE
- to connector ? Just some scrap twin I had

Aluminium - 40 x 40mm 6061(?) solid bar

519 Posts
major bit of DIY milling there. a sprial milling cutter used with the cross slide vise would may have sped things up. still a top effort.
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