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Home anodise setup and DIY light


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Hi guys, due to quite a few requests, I have put up a thread on how to home anodise and build a cycle light. The instructions are for a 2000 lumin light with customisable optics. It houses 6 x XPG lights each putting out about 350 lumins. Housing design credit to Troutie. (talented light builder in the UK)



First the anodise instructions:


1) Prepare part well (nice smooth finish) Anodising only highlights the imperfections.


Etch in caustic soda for two minutes or so - rinse well with water

3) Hook up

12V battery charger + to part, and - to lead, leave to stew in weak

sulphuric acid for 45 minutes, rinse well with water

4) dip in Strong DYLON

multi purpose dye at about 50 degrees for a few minutes to get desired


5) boil for 30 minutes in water to seal in colour


Results below -

















Other Anodising notes:


It's that simple, really. here are some links for good

reads. don't over complicate it. I don't use temp gauges or anything

like that. I just got 4 litres of weak battery acid from Battery centre

(specific gravity 1100 - they will know that that means) and a battery

charger. Practice makes perfect. You don't even need to do the etching

beforehand. I just did it this way this time to see what happened. (it a

mad scientist thing!!)


Remember, use DYLON multipurpose dye,

it's the only DYLON one which works. :) (get from Dischem / clicks etc)







Just out of interest, the anodising layer on the alu is the second

hardest substance known to man, the hardest of course is diamond. :)




My first example of home anodising. Colour : Tangarine.

the reason for

the spotted housing was the dodgy aluminium used. The Alu takes the

colour, and the other metals go black from the acid. You can see that

the lid (on the bottom) took the colour well as it was a std alu.









Below the finished product


Hi hubbers, just an update on the annodising light. I built

it up last night with a maxflex driver and 6 x XPG R5 leds. Unbelievable

light!! around 2000 lumins. 4 narrow Carclo optics with two eliptical


Anyways, enjoy the completed pics. - beam shots to follow when I

get a moment.













Beam shots in the next post........









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Now for the beamshots


All photos taken at the following settings

F4 at 4 seconds, iso 100, daylight white balance


control shot




Level one



Level three



Level five




What I like about the beam is the nice side throw as well as the fwd narrow throw.


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That looks like a great light. One question though, why don't you make them and sell them ?


What did this light cost to make ?


Where is the battery ? I've seen some home made lights and the guys put the battery in a bottle which goes in one of the bottle cages but yours are empty.


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Now for the tech details:



Light housing - aluminium (you have to design your own)

Driver - Maxflex (about $35 from taskled - http://www.taskled.com)

Switch - RS components (about R60) - http://za.rs-online.com/web/search/searchBrowseAction.html?method=getProduct&R=0224243

LED lights - XPG's (from cutter in Oz) - http://www.cutter.com.au/proddetail.php?prod=cut937

LED Optics - (Carclo XP 10mm optics) http://www.cutter.com.au/proddetail.php?prod=cut837





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caad4 - thanks, it takes quite a bit of time to make, not really worth my while as a business venture.

dirtbreath - I sourced all the parts from various places, details in thread

IK - I sourced my batteries from DX. Build up my own battery packs. Li-ion's.

The maxflex is a boost driver so anything less than about 18V drives this light nicely. I run the pack in a pouch below the stem or sometimes on the stem, just taped with insulation tape or valcrow.



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How about assembling a kit for hubbers? You could get a few naked housings made up and buy the guts in bulk and sell them as a homemade light kit. What do you reckon a ball park price for something like that excluding batteries would be?

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caad4 - thanks' date=' it takes quite a bit of time to make, not really worth my while as a business venture.
dirtbreath - I sourced all the parts from various places, details in thread



Dude. The reason Woolies sell food is because most people just can not bring themselves to run around the back garden trying to kill a chicken after work. There is a little market here for you to exploit and make a few bucks, sell the kits if you have no interest in making lights, that way you warranty nothing. Besides, you know you want to!


Nice light by the way.
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I have a few more questions if you don't mind.


As far as I know LED's don't give off heat (or very little) so couldn't one use a plastic casing ?

I take it there is a pc board inside your case ?

How does that switch work ? Increase the voltage or increase the number of lit lights ?

Would you mind telling us the costs of this light (excluding the casing).


If a plastic casing could be used then it would be a lot easier to make these.



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plentip, thanks for the nice comments. will consider and let know.


Indigo kid - nothing could be further from the truth, LED's put out huge amounts of heat and one has to try and get rid of all that heat by using heat sinks etc to disipate it. hence alu casing and cooling fins etc.

the switch is a momentary switch. the different levels are controlled by the driver (brain) inside the casing which in programable and customisable depending on your needs. Its a very neat piece of equipment.. very expensive though. at about R300 it doesn't come cheap.


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Indigo, to drive the LED's at the output one needs to generate 1500 - 2000 lumens, you are putting through probably around 1000 - 1200mAh. This probably equates to between 20-23 watts generating temperatures of between 40 - 50 degrees celsius and a plastic housing would simply melt.


The fins on the aluminium housing aid in cooling and you probably find that Arctic Alumina is used to attach the driver to the housing, so in effect the housing becomes a massive heatsink.


Have a look at http://www.taskled.com which will give you an idea of the drivers that are used as well as their heat generating capabilities.




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MoFo!!!!! That is a serious light! I love the fact that you have made it all by yourself. Well done. One day, when i'm big and have the time, i'll try emulate one of these babies.

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On Bike Radar they have a feature of a dude that started like you' date=' one or two lights for friends out of his shed, now he's coining it big time distributing to the world...






Ha Ha   I wish   not exactly coining it in  but they are going out around the world  ,

unless you arrange manufacture in some far east country for a few grains of rice then the margin is very small for a lot of work .


Nice work  Thysmeades
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