Building a headlamp

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Building a headlamp

Postby hardcorecaver » Apr 12, 2008 2:47 am

Hello, I am aware that is cheaper to buy a headlamp rather than built one yourself. I want to build a headlamp for fun. Does any one have any circuit diagram for any types for headlamps? i would prefer a 4 led using two AA batteries. Thanks
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Re: Building a headlamp

Postby YuccaPatrol » Apr 12, 2008 8:52 am

Sounds like fun. If you haven't already found it, go here http://www.candlepowerforums.com

All the info you might even want and knowledgable people who build their own lights. . . .

I've only modified some PT Apex headlamps, but some of these people REALLY get into it. . . .
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Re: Building a headlamp

Postby Adam Craig » Apr 13, 2008 7:47 pm

Here's a very useful headlamp diagram. Heck, it doesn't even need those dumb AA's :rofl:

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Re: Building a headlamp

Postby fuzzy-hair-man » Apr 13, 2008 10:20 pm

hardcorecaver wrote:Hello, I am aware that is cheaper to buy a headlamp rather than built one yourself. I want to build a headlamp for fun. Does any one have any circuit diagram for any types for headlamps? i would prefer a 4 led using two AA batteries. Thanks


Hi,
I think it is possible to build some very powerful headlamps relatively cheaply, the trick I think would be to keep them and the things you need to do as simple as possible.
Rather than looking to create your own circuit I'd look to get an off the shelf circuit, one's such as offed by taskLED seem pretty versatile and they have several UI (User Interface) so you are likely to find a UI that suits your purpose.

Using 4 LEDs an only 2 AA batteries you'll need a boost circuit (boosting the ~3V from batteries to something like the voltage required (voltage forward Vf) by the LEDs), I think but I'm not sure if you want this to be the most efficent you want your battery voltage to be close to the Vf of LEDs. Unless you are running the light on low almost all the time I think you might have a very limited battery life on 2AAs.

For me the biggest problem is trying to make the light design elegant but waterproof (I want a tough waterproof lamp IPX8 otherwise I'd stick with an Apex) the IP68 switches I can find are all pretty large and this doesn't help with keeping a design compact... :down: I also would prefer being able to independently control flood and spot beams.

I think I have a design, think two Crees operated independently with thier own circuitry (so they are a backup for each other) one will be a focused spot beam the other a flood type beam, the headlamp should be about the size of a Sten (the benchmark for me) at the moment it is cheaper than the Sten but it's catching up quickly :doh: :roll: Maximum brightness should be close to 360 lumens. :exploring:

I'll post up photos etc once I have one working and completed... the only thing I'm not happy with at the moment is the UI, its not everything I would have wanted because I'm using part of some torches so I have to put up with thier UI, but hey you can't have it all right...
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Re: Building a headlamp

Postby evan.r.hayes » May 20, 2008 8:19 am

fuzzy-hair-man wrote:For me the biggest problem is trying to make the light design elegant but waterproof (I want a tough waterproof lamp IPX8 otherwise I'd stick with an Apex) the IP68 switches I can find are all pretty large and this doesn't help with keeping a design compact... :down: I also would prefer being able to independently control flood and spot beams.


I thought about designing my own, but I realized that no matter how good a circuit I could design, it would be severely lacking a watertight and durable case. A friend who has a Sten told me about how it's engineered, and I was quite impressed. I'm saving up to get one myself.
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Re: Building a headlamp

Postby potholer » May 20, 2008 8:49 am

The case is certainly a major part of the lamp design.
Personally, I went for a mining headset for my homebuilds, which has excellent headset/cable durability and fairly good waterproofing, but isn't fantastic in terms of size or weight, and has limits in terms of heat transfer.

On waterproofing, if you're sorting out a circuit yourself, it is generally possible to make something has some kind of resilience against damp.
I'd personally prefer a light in a pretty waterproof case that would work fine with the case full of water to a light in a supposedly fully waterproof case that died at the first sign of leakage.
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