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  1. #1
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    My DIY Blinkie, with PB SF comparison pics

    My Dinotte style Blinkie.

    Size comparison with PB SF, sorry for the crappy photo.
    The led does get hot, thus I used an aluminum plate that was for scraps.


    I should have spent more time making it neat, but oh well, it took me about 30 minutes to make this.

    PB SF on the left, my DIY on the right on high mode. On low mode, it is just as bright as the SF but with a really wide beam.

    The beam's hotspot and flood is very very wide.


    Cost:
    Cree XR Red led, $5
    5-mode driver (10Hz flashing, SOS, high, medium, low), $3.10
    30° Lens for LUXIII, drilled and sanded to fit Cree, $1.40
    Clicky switch, $0.30
    I got all of the above from kaidomain.com
    + miscellaneous (wires, solder, silicone sealant, nuts, screws, presta valve thread nuts (from punctured tires))
    Total: $10 + old parts

    The case is from an old Vistalite, I tried to fit the LED inside the casing, but the led got really hot.

    Edit: more info added

    The light mounts on a standard Planet bike mount for the BRT3, BRT7, and the SF, I use this mount because I have this mount on all of my bikes. I was a SF fanboy (I currently own 3 SF), but not anymore, this thing has +180° visibility when flashing because the lens is not covered, PBSF is a joke compared to this monster.

    It takes 2 AA, I have no idea what the run time will be, so I'll be testing this light tomorrow night. I will be running this light flashing while PBSF will be on steady.
    Last edited by mrbubbles; 01-22-08 at 08:36 PM.

  2. #2
    POWERCRANK addict markhr's Avatar
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    good job - thanks for posting
    shameless POWERCRANK plug
    Recommended reading for all cyclists - Cyclecraft - Effective Cycling
    Condor Cycles - quite possibly the best bike shop in London
    Don't run red lights, wear a helmet, use hand signals, get some cycle lights(front and rear) and, FFS, don't run red lights!

  3. #3
    n00b M. Rhoten's Avatar
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    Looks bright. Which driver module are you using?

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by M. Rhoten View Post
    Looks bright. Which driver module are you using?
    It's a 5-mode 7135 1000ma circuit board for cree and seoul, it's currently sold out at dealextreme.com, thus I got it from kaidomain.com instead and kaidomain ships faster too. The link is for Dealextreme because kaidomain is currently down right now.

  5. #5
    Senior Member
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    sweet, I'd buy one.

  6. #6
    Senior Member Intheloonybin's Avatar
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    That is cool. Good job on the work you did.

    Now where is the 12 volt car battery going to go?

    I'm curious to see what the run time is.

  7. #7
    dabbler
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    Very cool! All the better for the 'rough' look. Think there were any oval optics which would have worked? Seems that it would make even better use of the light to send less of it high and low.

  8. #8
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    Nice work!

  9. #9
    Senior Member cman's Avatar
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    I really like this DIY. I have never done electronic work like this but would like to get started. Do you have step by step pics or point me in a direction for rookies.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by sping View Post
    Very cool! All the better for the 'rough' look. Think there were any oval optics which would have worked? Seems that it would make even better use of the light to send less of it high and low.
    I find the 30° to be plenty wide, anymore you are wasting a lot of light into the sky.

    Quote Originally Posted by cman View Post
    I really like this DIY. I have never done electronic work like this but would like to get started. Do you have step by step pics or point me in a direction for rookies.
    It's quite simple DIY actually, all I used was drills, and a little soldering. That's it. The problematic part is getting the material, which took 2 weeks to arrive.

    If you never soldered before, I suggest you practice for a few minutes to get the hang of it.

    Here's a small step I used.

    1. Hack the old blinkie, by using screwdriver to remove the inside.
    2. Drill cover and aluminum plate.
    3. Mount aluminum plate using screws.
    4. Mount LED with thermal paste.
    5. Solder LED with circuit driver and switch.
    6. Install lens on the LED
    7. Weatherproof the whole setup with silicone sealant (almost any silicone sealant works, I used Kitchen & Bath, most would probably go with General Purpose Sealant).
    8. Wait for the sealant to dry. Done

    I should have took some pictures while I was building this. Oh well, I'll probably build another one later on, but I don't see why I need another one. This is silly bright.

  11. #11
    Dirt Bomb sknhgy's Avatar
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    The beamshots are very impressive.

    I'm not sure what the picture shows. It looks like a big white LED glued and screwed to the outside of a blinky. I'm confused.

    I would really like to make one of these. $140 just seems like too much to me for a Dinotte taillight. I have a Dinotte headlight and I can justify that because it allows me to see. That kind of cost and technology just doesn't seem necessary for a taillight.

    I hope you add to this post to help the electronically challenged, like myself.
    more cops have been killed by donuts than guns in chicago it is a medical fact ask any doctor.

  12. #12
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    I wouldn't mind paying for the Dinotte taillight, but the mounting option just sucks. I like it clean and simple.

    Quote Originally Posted by sknhgy View Post
    The beamshots are very impressive.

    I'm not sure what the picture shows.
    It looks like a big white LED glued and screwed to the outside of a blinky. I'm confused.

    I would really like to make one of these. $140 just seems like too much to me for a Dinotte taillight. I have a Dinotte headlight and I can justify that because it allows me to see. That kind of cost and technology just doesn't seem necessary for a taillight.

    I hope you add to this post to help the electronically challenged, like myself.
    This is a Cree XR led.

    Click on link for the product page.

    You need a lens or a reflector to direct the light, without it, the light goes everywhere and is wasted.
    I used this. I ripped off the white plastic and drilled to fit the LED, THIS LENS IS NOT DESIGNED FOR CREE LED, so you have to know how big a hole to drill to fit this on a Cree. I drilled the bottom of the lens and it fits perfectly on the LED.


    A very straight forward and popular drivers used that offers 5 modes, the flashing mode is more annoying than the SF because it's 10 hertz, that's 10 flashes per second.


    Just a reminder that these are the sources I used, I do not endorse them in anyway. There are other LED products and drivers you can use, but so far I found these to be the least expensive options.

    I will post further photos of the inside later on.

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by sknhgy View Post
    The beamshots are very impressive.

    I'm not sure what the picture shows. It looks like a big white LED glued and screwed to the outside of a blinky. I'm confused.


    I would really like to make one of these. $140 just seems like too much to me for a Dinotte taillight. I have a Dinotte headlight and I can justify that because it allows me to see. That kind of cost and technology just doesn't seem necessary for a taillight.

    I hope you add to this post to help the electronically challenged, like myself.
    You can make Dinotte headlight for less than $30, check this out http://forums.mtbr.com/showthread.php?p=3910670.

  14. #14
    Dirt Bomb sknhgy's Avatar
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    You said you mounted the components on/in a Vistalite case. Was that for convenience? Could you assemble the LED, lens, and switch without using the cover lens from the existing blinky?
    Sorry for all the questions. I've never made one of these before and I'm just trying to understand the process.

    One motivating factor for me is saving ~ $100!
    Last edited by sknhgy; 01-24-08 at 09:47 AM.
    more cops have been killed by donuts than guns in chicago it is a medical fact ask any doctor.

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by sknhgy View Post
    You said you mounted the components on/in a Vistalite case. Was that for convenience? Could you assemble the LED, lens, and switch without using the cover lens from the existing blinky?
    Sorry for all the questions. I've never made one of these before and I'm just trying to understand the process.

    One motivating factor for me is saving ~ $100!
    Yes, you can assemble this anyway to like, you just have to be creative and think up a housing to fit all of these in. If I had not used the existing cover for the lens, led, the whole circuit would be exposed. I'm sorry to say this, but if you never done this before and your motivation is saving $100, you might as well pay that $100 to buy the Dinotte, because the time you spend as a beginner to learn this stuff will easily offset the $100 investment.

    I made this because there are no commercial system as convenient as this one I made, which allows simple mounting option with a bright led in one enclosed case.

  16. #16
    Dirt Bomb sknhgy's Avatar
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    OK, one more question. Please bear with me.

    You put the circuit board, and switch inside of the vistalite housing, then you mounted the LED outside so that it wouldn't overheat?

    I think I can do this.
    more cops have been killed by donuts than guns in chicago it is a medical fact ask any doctor.

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by sknhgy View Post
    You put the circuit board, and switch inside of the vistalite housing, then you mounted the LED outside so that it wouldn't overheat?
    Yes, correct. LEDs are very energy efficient, but like all light sources, they still give off heat (not as much as halogen or HID). Every high powered LED lights designed on the market has some form of heatsinking so the heat will dissipate. The casing is plastic, if I had mounted the LED inside the housing, the LED will melt and destroy itself (it's really small, no place for the heat to run).

    Regarding Vistalite, you will not find Vistalite brand anymore, but there are a lot of other companies with such similar (if not the same) LED blinkie as the Vistalite I have (they all come from the same factory, only different brand stamp and box). You don't have to use Vistalite. You can even go 2AAA style if the housing is big enough, but the runtime will be crap. Find yourself a 2AA blinkie case and tear it apart.

    Quote Originally Posted by sknhgy View Post
    I think I can do this.
    You can do this, it's a simple job. Even if you never DIY lights before, this is a great way to start.
    If you like to learn more about this, hang out at Candlepowerforums.com or the bike light section at forums.mtbr.com. Bike light subforum at mtbr.com is great forum site for commercial and DIY bike lights.

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by mrbubbles View Post
    the flashing mode is more annoying than the SF because it's 10 hertz, that's 10 flashes per second.
    And as an added benefit, you'll be diagnosing epilepsy in drivers behind you!

  19. #19
    Dirt Bomb sknhgy's Avatar
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    I'm getting ready to order parts. Can you recommend a switch, that I assume will be attached by wires into the circuit?
    Last edited by sknhgy; 01-26-08 at 06:21 AM.
    more cops have been killed by donuts than guns in chicago it is a medical fact ask any doctor.

  20. #20
    Seņior Member ItsJustMe's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mrbubbles View Post
    I'm sorry to say this, but if you never done this before and your motivation is saving $100, you might as well pay that $100 to buy the Dinotte, because the time you spend as a beginner to learn this stuff will easily offset the $100 investment.
    Yes, but you will have learned something new. That's worth more than $100.
    There are too many consumers and not enough producers in this world as it is.
    It'd be cool if someone makes one of these to take a few pics of the process and post it on instructables.com
    Work: the 8 hours that separates bike rides.

  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by sknhgy View Post
    I'm getting ready to order parts. Can you recommend a switch, that I assume will be attached by wires into the circuit?
    I used this.
    http://www.dealextreme.com/details.dx/sku.5604

    Here's what it looks inside, very simple. You do want to keep a third of the original blinkie board to keep the switch in place.


    You will notice I used screws that were too long, but I'm too lazy to change it, and it's already sealed with silicone. The excessive silicone is for the case, which I cracked a little when drilling, so be careful.


    My mounting is hacked from a Planet Bike Superflash white case (I used red and black backcase on all of my superflash). I used JB Weld to attach it, as you can see some gray excess residue from the JB Weld. The original mount is identical to the ones on Blackburn Mars 2.0 and host of other lights, and it sucks.
    Last edited by mrbubbles; 01-26-08 at 02:07 PM.

  22. #22
    Dirt Bomb sknhgy's Avatar
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    Ahhh, that helps.
    Much thanks. I'll post when I get mine done.
    I snagged a section of 1" aluminum tubing that I may use for casing material.
    I have access to a lot of equipment so I shouldn't be hurting when it comes to building this project.
    Last edited by sknhgy; 01-26-08 at 06:14 PM.
    more cops have been killed by donuts than guns in chicago it is a medical fact ask any doctor.

  23. #23
    /\/\ \/\/ Nouia's Avatar
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    Quick question about where you sourced your LED:

    Did you get this one off of DX (on the 20 mm star) or did you get this one (17mm star) off of Kai?

    I just want to make sure I get the right Cree XR bin one and I was a little confused about which one you used. Thanks.

  24. #24
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    I got the 17mm star from Kai, because it wasn't available on DX the time I ordered it. The LED is the same for both of these, only thing different is the boards the LED is attached to, both Kai and DX uses the same source, so you're getting the same thing.

  25. #25
    Dirt Bomb sknhgy's Avatar
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    Mr. B,

    Can you elaborate on how you fitted the lens to the LED?
    I have my components on order.
    more cops have been killed by donuts than guns in chicago it is a medical fact ask any doctor.

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