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Thread: Petzl Ultra

  1. #11
    Master wheezing donkey's Avatar
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    Re: Petzl Ultra

    No Ifor! No Ifor! You could so easily talk me into packing in all my outdoor activities just to build and test lights. What do you rate as the best components - Seoul Electronics for the l.e.d's? Whose optics, drivers and batteries? What about chargers?

  2. #12
    Member ifor's Avatar
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    Re: Petzl Ultra

    Stop reading now Wheezing Donkey this is very adictive

    Everything changes very quickly with led's... so this will go out of data. here is my take on the main components you need to make a diy light.

    First read a lot, there is all sorts of info at the candelpowerforums. Check the sticky posts in the varous forums.

    Leds I have used Cree XR-Es they come in differnt grades (bins) Q5 are commonly avalible R2 is the next level up but in short suply. I got Q5s from here in Germany they also now do R2's now. They have good quick service and also have other usfull stuff like thermal glue.... I got R2's fror Cutters in Australia. They look to be the best suplier world wide for the very latest stuff in diy quantities. Shiping was less than 10 days for me. Soul would be the second choice for leds, there P4 model. This is a direct replacment for Luxons which were the first high power leds so ar good for upgrading. you can double the output of an old Luxon with a Soul. The latest developments in the led front are the Soul P7 (out for 2 mounths) and the Cree MC-E (just anounced not yet avalible) which both pack 4 die into one package for about 3 times the light.. I have not seen satisfactory drivers and optics yet for the P7 but expect them to come, the MC-E will have somthing avalible once it ships in a mounth or two, I will probobly try them

    Optics are important, you either have reflectors of lense type. There is a big choice and some are far better than others. I use these Ledil square ones. Which are good quality with a good choice of beam patters most importantly being square they are easy to build for. I got them from a Dutch guy how bought a load and then re-distributed them in a group-buy, but I think he has stoped now. I think Cutters stock them.

    You realy should have a constant current driver, there are loads of dodgy inefficent cheep ones avalible from Honk Kong but the Task-Led ones I use are by far the best I have heard of. George gets them to the UK within a week. Drivers come in two forms buck battery voltage > led voltage or boost battery voltage < led voltage. You need to decide how many leds and how many cells you want and choose apropriatly.... buck can be more efficent but you need more cells for a given number of leds... I have used both styles from Task-Led.

    Batteries I use individual protected Li-ion cells either big 18650s (18 mm diameter 65 mm longth) or aa size 14500 (14 mm by 50mm). I use TrustFires from DX in Hong-Kong. they are not so good but they are cheep but shiping can be slow. I would buy more than I want from them becase stuff is sometimes DOA. Li-ion cells can be dangerous eg they can explode. Protected ones include electronics to make them safer but they can still be dodgy. I charger them indevidualy in a good quality pila charger and keep a very close eye on them... If in any doubt the best ready made source of a suitable light weight bettery packs is one made for RC-models with apropriate charger... You can always use standard ni-mhi regageables but they are heavier.....

    The hard bit is making a housing.... you need somthing made of Aluminium idealy to help remove the heat. If the Petzl Ultra had a metle housing it could do 1000+ Lumen withnit's 6 led's but it's made of plastic and it would just overheat... Idealy you need a lathe... but in real life thats not an option for most people. I just use a hacksaw drill and file. I get formed Aluminium from B&Q and then cut file and drill and then glue with thermal glue doing rectangular shapes is about my level but it works with my square optics... I have also use perspex style sheeting also from B&Q for lense covering and also making stuff to go against the head for a totaly home made headband setup although salvaging an old one is easier. You can mould the perspex to shape if you heat it mup with a blow tourch... People have fabricated housings from all sorts of stuff, copper plumbing pipe works, kitchen food stuff holders also work if you find the size to fit a compund circular style optic.

    Cutters do a hole kit for a DIY bike light but I don't think it would mount as a headtorch (ok on a bike helmet though)

    If you have read this far your probobly doomed

    Ifor

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