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Old 01-12-2013, 08:14 AM   #71
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No, I haven't installed the external speaker connections in the new "external connections" junction box where the scare light used to be. Plus, I don't have the right music ... yet. Z
All you need is four quavers, a group of five quavers, and a group of four semiquavers and some big mother speakers.
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Old 01-25-2013, 10:13 AM   #72
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Got my spotlights from Hong Kong last night, one day early. This is definitely a $20 light bulb in a $100 fixture, all for $12. It looks as good as its photo and, at 3" diameter, will look good in a temporary hangar on the side of the Safari.

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The cord on mine has 3 wires. Two of them had a small amount of the lead stripped, and it turns out they are the power wires. No clue yet on wire number 3.

My meter says these are 6.5W (.48 A), not 10W, which is OK by me. When you take it apart you find a tiny circuit board wrapped in insulating tape and it looks like it has the A61 regulator. Despite this, the unit dims very nicely. I tried 35, 47, and 56 ohms, all of which produced reasonable amount of light. I'll use the 47 ohm resistor for dimming, which results in a current of 0.095 A.

The light pattern has a bright circle 15" diameter at 36" distance and a flood area about 80" diameter at 36" distance. I was able to double the diameter of the bright spot using a circle of sanded acrylic against the lens, but the larger flood area didn't change much. Still, hanging at mid-window height on the side of an Airstream, this little light will look good and provide good under-awning light. As a spotlight shining more out than down, it easily compares to the scare light. Two of these hanging out on the extended awning arms and you've got a party!

Zep
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Old 01-25-2013, 11:26 AM   #73
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Awesome!
That idea of putting some on the awning legs...
I like that!

The RGB version of the lamp has 3 wires.... mine only has 2...

For the electric morons out here(me!), can you give us a quick lesson on testing what the draw is on a lamp?
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Old 01-25-2013, 12:09 PM   #74
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..The RGB version of the lamp has 3 wires.... mine only has 2...

For the electric morons out here(me!), can you give us a quick lesson on testing what the draw is on a lamp?
Mine is definitely warm white. Hmmm....

Testing current: Lots of small voltmeters have the ability to measure current directly. You jus hook it up in series with the light (selecting the right scale, of course). Be careful, these little meters (get one for $4 at Harbor Freight) usally have two current settings, 10 amp or 200 milliamps. Most of these LEDs we're talking about draw between 190 milliamps and .5 amps, so always start with the 10 amp setting. There is a little fuze inside on the 200 ma setting that will blow and then you lose all your current measuring capability, but all the other features will still work fine.

If your meter only measures volts and resistance, then you must have a resistor. Use the formula E=IR (volts = current times resistance, don't ask me why "E" is volts, but it stands for electromotive force). Then you hook the resistor up in series with the light and measure the voltage across the resistor (not across the light--LEDs don't act like a resistor like the old incandescents did). So, if you use a 47 ohm resistor and measure 4.47 volts, the current is 4.47/47=0.095 amps. (for LEDs, you need to initially use resistors in the range of 20-100 ohms. I have used higher values once I've determined the characteristics of the particular LED.)

You need a meter that measures current directly in order to find out what the LED current is at full brightness (that's without a resistor).

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Old 02-01-2013, 09:41 PM   #75
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I made some diffusion lenses for the spotlights today. One was made of polysomething 0.050" thick and the other was acrylic 0.093 thick. I cut a circle to fit inside the front screw-on frame piece. I set the piece up on some wood blocks and used a heat gun on the plastic to allow it to sag into a dome shape. The poly sags pretty fast once it gets up to temperature. The acrylic, being thicker, takes some time to heat to a sagging temperature and I put a few bubbles in it. I think it's more susceptible to bubbles, but the thickness contributes to that.

You can see the poly lens sagged into a bigger dome and as a result makes a bigger diffused light pattern. The smaller dome of the acrylic lens didn't seem to affect the size of the inner/brighter circles much. The bubbles weren't visible in the projected light pattern. I think I like a dome about half way between these two. With a little more heat, plus some patience to avoid making bubbles, I think the acrylic can make for a bigger dome.

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The "useable" light area means it's plenty good for walking around, finding things, and avoiding bumping into stuff.

Zep
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Old 02-01-2013, 09:51 PM   #76
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Gotta love ya Zep... you are the man!
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Old 02-02-2013, 10:01 AM   #77
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...The "useable" light area means it's plenty good for walking around, finding things, and avoiding bumping into stuff.

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I forgot two things. The pattern was made with the light 3' off the floor and tilted up and out about 45 degrees. If the light is up about head high on an awning arm or hanging on a window frame, the circles would be twice as big. In that case, the smaller dome is probably perfect, since you don't necessarily want a lot of light going horizontal out into space and doing no good. Duh.

You also have to sand the plastic dome with fine sand paper in order to get the diffusion. I only sanded the inside surface--you presumably could get more diffusion, but maybe less illumination, if you sanded the outside, too.

The polysomethingorother comes in about a 1' square at HD for $2. The acrylic is a rectangle with about twice as much area for $5.

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Old 02-02-2013, 10:34 AM   #78
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You can use air pressure to blow bubbles from polycarbonate. Take two matching pieces of ply, make a hole in one the side of the bubble base you want (doesn't need to be round) and make a matching fitting on the other piece to admit air. clamp thoroughly w/ lexan inbetween and heat; add air pressure to form bubble.

DIY Forming Lexan Canopies - Page 2 - Pelican Parts Technical BBS

Might make a nice change from those flat porthole windows
.
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Old 02-02-2013, 08:08 PM   #79
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I can take a hint. Turns out that Boyle beats Newton hands down when it comes to forming hot plastic!

I used the light bezel as an open die, with a piece of plywood with a hole in the middle (for the air) as the retention device. Worked great. This dome projects about 1/4", which means it's about 3/8" high (the bezel is fairly thick). I made a second dome that projects 7/16". There is only a slight difference in the diffusion pattern, but I like the higher dome for an area light.

Don't be too aggressive with the air. You will jump when the disc blows apart! On the other hand, I didn't have a real tight fit to the air, which allowed a fair amount of leakage flow--this helped prevent blowouts and also cooled the disc very quickly--it was stable in less than 30 seconds.

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Zep

PS--thanks Bart.
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Old 02-15-2013, 08:21 AM   #80
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I finally decided on how to hang the front spotlight. I made a narrow arm that is attached by using two of the screws that fasten the front window awning rail. The arm has a slot in it that the flange on the light's frame slips into. It sticks out to the side of the window so that when the awning is installed, the light is still able to illuminate under the awning. The arm provides the ground path, so only one wire is needed for the light. The power takeoff point is in the banana skin just to the right of door. (These spots are only installed when parked.)

These photos show how much illumination is available from the two spotlights and the over door light--the spots are on dim and door light is on bright. The total current draw is about 1 amp, including the marker lights. Note the the color of the step light--it's not that blue to the eye, but it is easy to see that it is definitely not a warm white.

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It's a little unfair to assess the illumination level on the white snow--the bare ground doesn't glow that bright! However, the illumination level is quite bright even without the snow.

Zep
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Old 02-15-2013, 08:30 PM   #81
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It's a little unfair to assess the illumination level on the white snow--the bare ground doesn't glow that bright! However, the illumination level is quite bright even without the snow.

Zep
Agreed, the reflectivity of the snow does exaggerate the illumination, but the whiteness of the snow really shows off the light pattern and how even the illumination is. This is darned impressive to me!

I look forward to getting some big tasks behind me and work on some fun stuff like LEDs inside and out.

Good job sir!

Steve
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Old 02-18-2013, 03:47 PM   #82
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Zep....
Did you only buy the flat lens versions?
Cos I have the convex ones... and I just had a brain storm...
I took the lens out and turned it inside out....
It fits!
The light is no longer a circular beam... its a mega flood light!
Light comes out of the lens and has a virtual 180 soft wide beam... little focus, just super wide and consistant!
I like it!
Try flipping your home made lenses?
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Old 02-18-2013, 04:20 PM   #83
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Nice work ... I will try you solutions

Thanks
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Old 02-18-2013, 04:38 PM   #84
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Tricky to take some pics but here is the best I could do...

Lens in normal position...



Light output sitting on bench sideways...
You can clearly see the focused beam.




Light output vertical about 1 or 2" off bench..




Lens reversed...



Sideways on bench..
Note flat and wide flood of light.



Again, about 1 to 2" off bench..

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