My new caving light

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My new caving light

Postby FiddleCaver » Aug 26, 2007 11:34 pm

Hi, I just thought I'd make a post to show off and brag about my newest creation. I don't have a name for it yet, maybe you all could help with that...

Anyway, this light is housed in a completely waterproof aluminum casing. It uses three Cree LEDS and is driven with a microcontroller circuit running over 95% efficiency. The battery is a 14.8 V Li-ion pack and the output is around 600 lumens on high. For a comparison, the Stenlight advertises their highest output at 140 lumens after taking the efficiency of the lenses into consideration. Below are some pics of the light and some comparison shots I did with my Petzl Myo XP. The comparisons were taken with the lights about 30 ft from my house. As usual the pics don't really do it justice, but you get the idea.


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Myo XP on High

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Myo XP on Turbo

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New Light on Level 3

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New Light on Level 5

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New Light on Level 7

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Light Front View

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Back View

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Side View

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Light and Battery Pack
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Postby speloman » Aug 26, 2007 11:39 pm

WOW I want one!!!!!!!!!
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Postby Amocholes » Aug 27, 2007 3:41 am

So when do you go into production?
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Postby MUD » Aug 27, 2007 9:03 am

Yessum Fiddler that looks like an awesome light! :kewl: Now....how can the rest of us get one??? Us gearheads like the new stuff! :waving:
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Postby Carl Amundson » Aug 27, 2007 9:28 am

How long will it last on a charge?
I'm thinking that at level 7 the batteries don't last very long.
Level 3 thru 5 seems like the settings you would most of the time for caving.
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Postby NZcaver » Aug 27, 2007 9:36 am

Nice job. :kewl:

If you want to post some more specs like run times, lumens on different settings, photos of the inside, etc - that would be cool. Did you make the housing yourself? Are they 3W Cree LEDs? Do you have any good close-ups of the inside?
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Postby MoonshineR DavE » Aug 27, 2007 12:46 pm

What kind of micro-controller did you use? I built one recently (not near as nice but it works) and used a b-flex controller.
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Postby Ralph E. Powers » Aug 27, 2007 1:20 pm

Name? How about "ON LIGHT!" Or "Cave-on 7" :grin:
Ball park how much do you figure it'll cost us gear-heads?


Then how much would it cost us regular folk :waving:
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Postby FiddleCaver » Aug 27, 2007 7:10 pm

Amocholes wrote:So when do you go into production?


I plan on making a couple more before I'm completely satisfied with the design. So, maybe I could have some ready for christmas...

cavemud wrote:Now....how can the rest of us get one???


Just contact me if you would like to order one. allenirvan@gmail.com I'll probably fix up a website sometime if I get enough orders that it requires some real organization.

junkman wrote:How long will it last on a charge?
I'm thinking that at level 7 the batteries don't last very long.
Level 3 thru 5 seems like the settings you would most of the time for caving.


Yes, the batteries last only around 2 hours on level 7. I doubt it would be necessary to cave on anything beyond level 3 or 4 unless you're just in some truly massive passage.

NZcaver wrote:If you want to post some more specs like run times, lumens on different settings, photos of the inside, etc - that would be cool. Did you make the housing yourself? Are they 3W Cree LEDs? Do you have any good close-ups of the inside?


On Level 7 it will last around 2 hours, Level 5 around 8 hours, other than that I haven't really been able to test. I think that level 1 and 2 will most likely be several days. I'll take some more pictures shortly. They are the Cree XRE bin Q5 leds.

MoonshineR DavE wrote:What kind of micro-controller did you use? I built one recently (not near as nice but it works) and used a b-flex controller.


It is the new bflex controller.

Ralph E. Powers wrote:Ball park how much do you figure it'll cost us gear-heads?


I'm going say ballpark, around $500. I will probably do somekind of deal where you can get 3 for a $1000 so that more people can get there hands on one and I can still make a little.

I'll post more info on lumens and so on as I get closer to finalizing everything.
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Postby MUD » Aug 27, 2007 11:31 pm

$500.....OUCHY! :shock: I'ma thinkin' it's time to go back to :carbide:
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Postby adleedy » Aug 28, 2007 7:02 am

yeah 500 dollars seems a little steep, does this light address the short comings of the Stenlight?
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Postby JoeyS » Aug 28, 2007 8:18 am

adleedy wrote:yeah 500 dollars seems a little steep, does this light address the short comings of the Stenlight?

Wait you mean the Stenlight has shortcomings? I thought about the only thing people did not like about the Sten was cost. But now the Stenlight is cheap, compared to other custom lights. Now a stock Sten is certainly not as bright as this custom light, but you can always upgrade the LEDs in the Sten.

Aside from that, I think it's a cool light you have there. If stenlight doesn't start putting in the newer LEDs in their lights, maybe you should pick up the ball and run with it, call it the Fiddlelite..
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Postby FiddleCaver » Aug 28, 2007 9:31 am

:laughing: Well, I sortof expected this response. I started this in hopes of proving how the sten ($310), the scurion ($482), and the Lupine Wilma ($863 :shock: ) are all too expensive. My goal with this project was to make a much better light in the same price range as these lights. I see all kinds of people out buying the stenlight, I almost bought one myself until I realized that you're really not getting much for that much money. If I bought one, I probably wouldn't have been happy unless I upgraded the LEDs, the lenses, and the battery. So I just build my own, I've got a better microcontroller, better batteries, and better LEDs. I just can't justify putting them together one at a time for cheap, so that's why I was thinking about the buy 3 and get a deal thing. That said, I imagine if someone were to approach me about making them one, we could work out something that we were both happy with.

Fiddlelite... I like it :grin:
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Postby Jeff Bartlett » Sep 2, 2007 10:03 am

had the opportunity to witness this light firsthand over the weekend and allow me to be the first to say: holy CRAP this thing is bright! =)

unfortunately i didn't have the opportunity to see it perform inside a cave, but i did get to compare it head-to-head with the Scurion and in terms of sheer light output, it blows the Scurion away.

good work man.
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Postby Ralph E. Powers » Sep 2, 2007 11:04 am

Fiddlecaver, Kudos to you for going out and pursuing the American Dream... so what if there are other lights out there... if you know how build your own and if you got a better end product then capitalistic speaking: reap your rewards for all that hard work. WTG!

I would imagine that lights bright as these outside would be spectacular inside a cave. Especially in TAG country where there are vast chambers and huge borehole passages that beg to be illuminated as fully as possible.
It would be good to see the effect in a cave of Fiddlelights and the others via comparison photos. I'd love to see how they'd stack up illuminating the Rumble Room or the Rountunda.

Good luck Fiddlecaver keep up the good work.
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