Mountain Bike Light using 3W Luxeon LED

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Mountain Bike Light using 3W Luxeon LED

Post by Denford Admin » Sun 08 Oct , 2006 18:16 pm

Last year a friend and I designed and built a few mountain bike lights.

Being lucky enough to have access to Denford machines and software made it really easy to get them made.
The results from this light are fantastic as you will see in the pictures... :D

It seems like most lighting applications are going the way of LED, so we used the latest technology (even though it ain't cheap) to give us lights that are reliable, powerful and run for hours off a Li-Ion battery.

See for yourself ......
Attachments
luxeon-led-mtb-performance-comparison.jpg
This shows the 3 luxeon LEDs in action. Low power mode is achieved by pulsing the constant current driver (BUCK PUCK) on and off very quickly via the PIC MicroController
luxeon-led-mtb-performance-comparison.jpg (159.89 KiB) Viewed 48190 times

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Mountain Bike Light - designing in Solid Edge

Post by Denford Admin » Sun 08 Oct , 2006 18:21 pm

I used Solid Edge to design all the components we were going to need.
This allows me to see if everything is going to fit, and to create 2D DXF files from which I can create cutter paths for the PCB's and aluminium body.

The educational version of Solid Edge v19 is now available from Denfords - see here:
http://www.denford.ltd.uk/index.php?opt ... &Itemid=30
Attachments
luxeon-led-mtb-assembly-solid-edge.jpg
Assembly showing the major components that would have to be manufactured.
luxeon-led-mtb-assembly-solid-edge.jpg (62.19 KiB) Viewed 48188 times

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Mountain Bike Light - Creating cutter paths from DXF

Post by Denford Admin » Sun 08 Oct , 2006 18:33 pm

VR Milling 5 is the Denford machine control software:
http://website.denford.ltd.uk/software-menu

Apart from controlling the machine, it will also act as a 2 1/2 Dimension CAM system

It allows you to import a DXF or Gerber PCB file, and create cutter paths using strategies like raster, offset and follow.

I used this feature to create both PCB's and the milling of the Luxeon emitter mounts.
Unfortunately I didn't have access to a lathe, so had to get another friend to do the turning for me.
Attachments
luxeon-led-mtb-dxf-import-vrmilling.jpg
The DXF from Solid Edge imported into VR Milling 5 and offset tool paths created. Note how it allowed me to re-position the drawing datum to match my machine datum (centre of the billet)
luxeon-led-mtb-dxf-import-vrmilling.jpg (84.14 KiB) Viewed 48187 times
luxeon-led-mtb-machined-body.jpg
The main light body machined on a Denford Triton. I used an old chuck mounted onto the table to hold the part in. Finding the centre was a bit painful, but once done, I could go back and make more very easily.
luxeon-led-mtb-machined-body.jpg (89.41 KiB) Viewed 48187 times

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Mountain Bike Light - Making acryllic end plates

Post by Denford Admin » Sun 08 Oct , 2006 18:41 pm

Having access to a VersaLaser was also great - I could knock out the acryllic end plates in no time from the DXF files.
http://website.denford.ltd.uk/machines

I used some 3mm black for the rear end plate which held the battery connector and the mode pushbutton.
Some 3mm clear for the front lense cover - I tried perspex but found it tended to burn and melt around the edges - I would really have had to machine this on one of Denfords routers.
Attachments
luxeon-led-mtb-pushbutton-mount-acrylic.jpg
The back switch plate cut on the VersaLaser
luxeon-led-mtb-pushbutton-mount-acrylic.jpg (21.56 KiB) Viewed 48187 times

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Mountain Bike Light - routing the PCBs

Post by Denford Admin » Sun 08 Oct , 2006 18:49 pm

For the PCBs, I used a new Denford Compact 1000 Pro router.
http://website.denford.ltd.uk/machines
I actually tried the new metal cutting option out, and managed to cut the same part in aluminium (as above) - cutting in aluminium with a 25000 RPM motor proved to be suprisingly accurate - you just have to take smaller depth cuts.

Again, using VR Milling to create the toolpaths, I created one program to trace around the tracks, and spot the holes I needed, with a V - point engraving cutter. Then another program to cut out the PCB from the board with a 3mm slot drill.
Attachments
luxeon-led-mtb-buck-puck-pcb.jpg
The BUCK PUCK mounting PCB -30mm Diameter - (which held the PIC micro on the copper side - "surface mounted" - lol)
luxeon-led-mtb-buck-puck-pcb.jpg (21.91 KiB) Viewed 48185 times

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Mountain Bike Light - The Finished Headlamp

Post by Denford Admin » Sun 08 Oct , 2006 19:04 pm

Here it is with all the bits assembled:

If you want to know where I got all the bits then I'll dig the suppliers out and post them on here.

Parts I had to buy:

14.8V 4000mAh Li-Ion battery and charger

3021-D-E-1000 BuckPuck with 1000mA output - External Controls

PIC Micro 12F675 - to control the Buck-Puck constant current driver so you can dim the lights (they are way too bright for road use and you'd probably get arrested using them)

3 times 3 Watt Luxeon Emitter Led - LXHL PW09

3 way collimiter lense holder

3 off Carclo optics lenses

1 off handlebar mounting clamp

wires, pushbuttons, connectors, acryllic and single-sided circuit board.

It doesn't sound much, but the cost of this lot was well over £150, however, the results were well worth it !
Attachments
luxeon-led-mtb-finished-light.jpg
The finished light - perfect for night riding !
luxeon-led-mtb-finished-light.jpg (102.47 KiB) Viewed 48183 times

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Post by Triac whizz » Sun 08 Oct , 2006 21:53 pm

Very nice, but with the price of parts alone you can see why manufacturing has nearly all gone to China :(
You work in sunny Brighouse and you didn't have acces to a lathe? or was this uni days where life is one long hangover..?

Are those LED's really as bright as you show them in the piccys?
Self Catering Lodges in Central France with covered pool & large grounds
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Post by Denford Admin » Mon 09 Oct , 2006 10:16 am

you can see why manufacturing has nearly all gone to China


- Exactly my feelings - I bought a single 3W Luxeon LED aluminium torch from Hong Kong for £6 including postage - how can anyone compete with that ??? - the LED emitters alone cost me £10 each !!!!

Are those LED's really as bright as you show
Yes - you cannot look directly at them in full power mode, the pictures are a probably about right, but I can't be 100% as the camera will have altered shutter speed accordingly.
They are certainly bright enough to ride down the woods at full speed ! :lol:


We didn't have a decent lathe in at the time - only Microturns which aren't really up to threading a 2 inch bar !

Glad you like them - don't ask me to make anymore though :roll:

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Post by Triac whizz » Mon 09 Oct , 2006 12:31 pm

We didn't have a decent lathe in at the time - only Microturns which aren't really up to threading a 2 inch bar !
You can't say that you work for them :lol:
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Post by Denford Admin » Mon 09 Oct , 2006 13:00 pm

I do, but the fact is that the MicroTurns we had didn't have spindle encoder feedback, so it ruled them out completely.

It was easier to get my mate to do them anyway - trying to get hold of all the right boring bars and threading tools proved too much for my limited patience (unless of course I actually went and bought some :lol: )

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Post by SimonRafferty » Thu 05 Feb , 2009 15:03 pm

Very nice!
Where are the handlebar clamps from?

We currently make a light which mounts on the roll cage of 4x4 vehicles:
Image
Image
And we've had a lot of people ask if we could make something similar for Mountain bikes? The answer is yes-obviously, but a simple mounting strategy has defeated me! Battery packs + switches are another problem as we don't really want to go down the custom moulding route for the battery pack. Is there anything available off the shelf that is suitable for a bike?

Si

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Post by Denford Admin » Thu 05 Feb , 2009 15:17 pm

Hi - I got the batteries from the Internet here:
http://www.all-battery.com/148vli-iobba ... dules.aspx
At that time they also did water bottle battery packs, but I reckon its better to just get the batteries and pack them up yourself...lots of Mountain bikers don't even have water bottle cages these days, so a frame mounted bag seem the best solution.

I'm also guessing that people like Hope will sell spare battery packs for their LED lighting systems eg: http://www.hopegb.com/voir_visled4.html

I've asked my mate where he got the clamps from - I remember they weren't cheap though (around £5) for what they were !

HTH

PS - Mine are still going strong, but if you want someone to test your prototypes, then let me know :wink:

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Post by Denford Admin » Thu 05 Feb , 2009 16:17 pm

Just found out about the clamps, he got them from here:
http://www.lumicycle.com/Product/Produc ... ge=1&dep=5

At £10 though, I'm sure you'd be better off making your own !

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Post by SimonRafferty » Thu 05 Feb , 2009 16:45 pm

Cheers,

Si

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Re: Mountain Bike Light using 3W Luxeon LED

Post by jpubmail » Tue 21 Jun , 2011 17:37 pm

sweet,
does it doesn't cost you too much?

for mountain bikes;
how about a wider light coverage. smaller in height, but wider, wide enough to cover the road.

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Re: Mountain Bike Light using 3W Luxeon LED

Post by Denford Admin » Wed 22 Jun , 2011 8:42 am

It did cost too much to make - the battery and LED were expensive and the machining took me a long time.
I've seen cheap copies of the LED now though, and LiPo batteries with high mAH can now be bought much cheaper:
eg: http://www.electricwingman.com/power/li ... -lipo.aspx

The good thing about having a long range is being able to see what's coming well in advance, when going downhill fast at night

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