Revolver Mk IV.
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Author:  Understater [ Tue May 05, 2015 9:08 am ]
Post subject:  Revolver Mk IV.

I have built a number of lights in the past, going back many years to the days of lugging around a 7ah 12 volt motorcycle battery to power a 50 watt halogen.

Over the last few years I have got a bit more advanced, building high power custom led light rigs, which I documented on EB in the lights DIY forum. The last helmet rig was stupid bright, pumping out about 4k lumens, but the beam ended up being somewhat disappointing, so I've spent the last couple of years contemplating one last helmet rig.

It was finally time to start cutting some alloy, and I thought I'd show you good people here at HK my progress.
So here is my photo journal of current progress.

File comment: Roughing out the shape and machining the heat-sink.
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File comment: Machining the grooves just for the look of the thing. The screw hole was drilled in the same fixture.
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File comment: Mount machined out of a piece of acetal. The bolt is a simple allen head bolt that screws into the existing thread in the helmet for the visor adjustment.
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File comment: Built in cable glands.
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File comment: The mount uses an alloy core that screws into each light head. The thin acetal sleeves allow the light heads to be aligned nicely and provides good friction when tilting the lights up and down.
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File comment: The inner acetal sleeve stops the allen head screw from coming out of the mount, so it won't get lost when off the helmet.
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Author:  Sti [ Tue May 05, 2015 1:23 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Revolver Mk IV.

Very cool! What kind of lenses/mirrors do you have in these?

Author:  Magura [ Tue May 05, 2015 1:35 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Revolver Mk IV.

And now you wanna tell me you can't make a watch case? :D

Magura :)

Author:  southsideguy [ Wed May 06, 2015 1:13 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Revolver Mk IV.

Such nice machining.... I've always been jealous of the machined lights on EB. I am "stuck" living with rectangular tubing lights.... of course, I still get to ride at night, so I am not THAT jealous. :)

Author:  Understater [ Fri May 15, 2015 1:54 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Revolver Mk IV.

Thanks for the comments guys.

I had tried to reply a couple of times, but each time the system has logged me out instead of letting me reply. I don't know why.

The leds, driver, and optics arrived this morning.
One each triple XPG-2 and XPE-2, cool white and warm white respectively. I would have preferred neutral while for both, but couldn't get it.

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File comment: The watch is just to show scale.
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Author:  marpilli [ Fri May 15, 2015 10:51 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Revolver Mk IV.

Those enclosures are a work of art. I really need to find room in my garage for a small lathe...

Author:  Understater [ Thu May 21, 2015 10:51 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Revolver Mk IV.

marpilli wrote:
Those enclosures are a work of art. I really need to find room in my garage for a small lathe...

Ah, but do you really need another obsession? Because buying the lathe is only going to be the beginning of your expenditure... There will always be a new attachment that you 'need'. Ask Magura. I'm sure he knows.

Author:  Understater [ Thu May 21, 2015 11:12 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Revolver Mk IV.

I finally finished the last bit of machining last night.... heat-sinks for the driver boards. One each for my new helmet build, and for an update to my bar lights. Then it was time to give the light heads a quick polish on the buff before packing everything up and sending it off for anodizing. At that point I should have got on with some serious work, but instead I drilled down into the legs of the optics, and filled them with luminous powder... because, well why not?

Hopefully in about a week or so I will be able to finally build them up.

File comment: The B3Flex driver needs to be attached to a heat-sink where the outline is. This will be fixed using Arctic Aluminum adhesive.
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File comment: Final polish.
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File comment: Drilling the posts.
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File comment: Filling the cavities with a really small funnel.
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File comment: When the lights are turned off there should be a fairly subtle green glow in the lenses,.
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Author:  Sti [ Sun May 24, 2015 1:36 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Revolver Mk IV.

Very nice! Green glow - where does it come from, the lens material? My XXX glows quite a bit.

Author:  Understater [ Sun May 24, 2015 7:46 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Revolver Mk IV.

The glow is from luminous powder inserted into the legs of the optics. I normally use it for restoring luminous watch hands. In the photo I have an optic sitting under a black light that I use for setting off UV glue I use for gluing in watch crystals. There was still a fair bit of spilled powder on the optic in that shot, but it should give quite a nice effect when they are mounted in the light heads. Like watch hands, the powder will absorb light while the lights are running, and then emit it for some time afterwards.

Author:  Understater [ Sat Jun 13, 2015 1:38 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Revolver Mk IV.

Time for an update.

I finally got my new lights running.
In a last minute decision I got them dyed grey after anodizing. Initially when I opened the box from the anodizers I was a bit disappointed, as up close the finish has dark spots on it, but then I realized that they don't really stand out, and I got over it. I then had to wait about another week to receive the latest and greatest Cree XP-L Hi Intensity leds from Cutter Electronics in Australia. These leds are ridiculous, pumping out about 1000 lumens each, and there are 6 of them. They look strange because they have been de-domed to give more throw. The original domed versions have a higher lumen count, but won't fit under the XP series optics. I was one of the very first recipients of these new leds, and got them on direct to copper Noctigon pcbs.

I'll save the blow by blow account of wiring them up and go straight to the pictures:

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Author:  Understater [ Sat Jun 13, 2015 1:54 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Revolver Mk IV.

On the back of the helmet I used some polymorph (which I dyed black) and deans type connectors to make a junction between the helmet and the power lead. Polymorph is wonderful stuff. Also called "friendly plastic", you buy it in pellet form and then heat it up to over 65C. It can then be moulded into any shape you like, and when it cools, it hardens into a plastic very like nylon. The allows quick fitting and removal of the lights while still running the cables inside the helmet out of harm's way. At this point I have the driver board and mode switch down on my shoulder strap of my camelbak, but on my maiden ride I found this arrangement to be a massive pain. I will make up a new driver housing for the back of the helmet next week some time. It wouldn't be so bad, but I realized after the fact that it isn't good to connect the battery to the driver without the driver connected to the led. This rather stuffs up my whole reason for having the driver down off the helmet itself.

Finally, performance....... Well the back yard test was stunning..... but on the trail it was slightly underwhelming. It does put out a LOT of light, but unfortunately these Carclo optics don't seem able to focus the huge leds properly, so it lacks ultimate throw. I have found that on a helmet light, for my riding, and lot of throw with a decent center spot is crucial. So, since I still have the original leds I had bought, one each board of XP-G2s and XP-E2s, I am going to pull the lights apart and do some reflowing. I will remove two of the XP-Ls off each board, and replace them with one each XP-G2 and XPE-2. This should provide about 4.5 to 5k lumens overall, but with awesome throw and flood.

The really good news though, is that these tiny housings have absolutely no trouble shedding the heat generated by 3 amps worth of power going through them.... at least as long as I am moving.

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Author:  Understater [ Sat Jun 13, 2015 3:44 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Revolver Mk IV.

....Since they are lights I should probably show them working.

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Author:  Ray Dolor [ Sun Jun 14, 2015 7:27 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Revolver Mk IV.

That is a serious night-killer, US.

Author:  Sti [ Sun Jun 14, 2015 4:41 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Revolver Mk IV.

Great job, U. Take some pictures of the light in action.

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