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Old 04-17-2011, 04:17 AM #1
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Cool Solarforce build (drop-in style)

A good friend of mine gave me this ***y host and I built a drop-in module for it. (its running around 500-600mw, so quite concervative).

The solarforce host itself is pretty well made and looks very good, im suprised myself that I haven't ever used it before.

Two lasers built in two days.. a first for myself


The drop-in


In you go


And a quick shot from my other build:
(the other thread:





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Old 04-17-2011, 04:44 AM #2
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Default Re: Solarforce build (drop-in style)

what the!? That is beautiful. Not only am I a sucker for Solarforce hosts (I just love em, what can I say) - - but if that's as 405nm as it looks in the pics I am damn envious. Brilliant, well done
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Old 04-17-2011, 04:47 AM #3
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Default Re: Solarforce build (drop-in style)

I think they're both 445nm.
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Old 04-17-2011, 04:49 AM #4
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Default Re: Solarforce build (drop-in style)

Proto is right

and dane, I can only wish it did

its the CMOS on the camera saturating from the intensity of the light, and picking it up as purple rather then blue.

Thanks for the kind words.
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Old 04-17-2011, 05:23 AM #5
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Default Re: Solarforce build (drop-in style)

Ahh I see, I thought for sure it was a 405 - but as you say that I've also had some blue laser pics turn up more purple than blue do to lighting/camera settings ect. Still, nice pics
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Old 04-17-2011, 09:14 PM #6
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Thumbs up Re: Solarforce build (drop-in style)

Absolutely magnificent
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Old 04-17-2011, 10:13 PM #7
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Default Re: Solarforce build (drop-in style)

How did you manufacture that drop in? Because I am interested in making all my future builds drop-in modules, but I don't have a lathe or a mill... only a table grinder, a metal-cutting band-saw, a drill and a dremel.

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Old 04-17-2011, 10:52 PM #8
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Default Re: Solarforce build (drop-in style)

I had an original drop-in for a flashlight, what I basicly did is remove the original board and LED, and then drilled out a hole where the LED sat, and also bored out a hole through the reflector (that can be done with a drill, but with a lathe you get it centered nicly).

This allowed me to house the driver vertically. and electrically attach it to the original LED driver's base and spring. (unforchantly I needed to canibalize the driver to do this)

At this point, I needed to make a heatsink that will later be epoxied onto the former reflector, forming a complete module out of the 2 halves (the former drop-in and the new heatsink).

The only way I can think of making the heatsink "latheless" is to drill a hole in some round stock (that will fit a module, I used an old brass one I had handy.. but aixiz or something like that), then put a bolt through it and tighten the piece around the bolt with a nut, and then stick it into your drill... functioning as a makeshift lathe. (and then using a file to shape it to size.)

This is fairly crude method, but is the only other thing I can think off without resorting to filling it by hand and without using a lathe.
Hope that gives you an idea how to go on about it.

(I will probably need to do a tutorial about this, but find a way to do it without using my lathe or mill)

And here are some more pics I wanted to post:
The two newborns chilling on the machine:


And a shot with 2' exposure:

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Old 04-18-2011, 05:24 AM #9
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Default Re: Solarforce build (drop-in style)

I didn't understand that very last part... want to explain again?
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Old 04-18-2011, 11:57 AM #10
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Default Re: Solarforce build (drop-in style)

Um, which part? can you reply and qoute the part you didn't understand?

Ill have a better idea how to reply.
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Old 04-18-2011, 05:17 PM #11
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Default Re: Solarforce build (drop-in style)

How to make the makeshift lathe.

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The only way I can think of making the heatsink "latheless" is to drill a hole in some round stock (that will fit a module, I used an old brass one I had handy.. but aixiz or something like that), then put a bolt through it and tighten the piece around the bolt with a nut, and then stick it into your drill... functioning as a makeshift lathe. (and then using a file to shape it to size.)
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Old 04-18-2011, 11:37 PM #12
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Default Re: Solarforce build (drop-in style)

I assume when you said drill, you meant a drillpress, this method will work, however if you meant a hand drill, then I have another one:

What I originally meant is, that you start out with a piece of round stock (just a cylinder of aluminum). and then you use your drill to create a hole big enough to house your module and driver (just as a regular heatsink).

After this hole has been created, you should put a nice fat bolt that will fit snugly into the hole, and hold it tightly with a nut, more or less after that you will have a piece of aluminum, with a hole in it, and now a bolt sticking tightly.

Afterwards, you place the part of the bolt that sticks out, and tighten that in the chuck of the drill (as you would with your drillbits, but a bolt instead).

The piece will start spinning, and then if it is a drillpress, you can use a file to start shaping the aluminum piece to the propper size (crude way of doing it, but it works).
If you have a hand drill, still do the same thing, but rather then shaping it with a file, you will turn on the handrill, and hold the piece against a grinder (gently so it doesn't rip it out of your hand).. more or less the same idea, just applied differently..

I hope that made sense now, if something is still unclear, don't hesitate to ask.

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Old 04-18-2011, 11:48 PM #13
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Default Re: Solarforce build (drop-in style)

Yeah, haha, I wish I had a drill press... the only one I had was the one my teacher gave me, but that was a crappy 40 year old one and it crapped out on me after about a week of use. So yes - just a hand drill at the moment.

But what I was thinking of doing was taping the drill's trigger in the "on" position, then putting it in a vise, and then just using a file to grind it down that way, because my grinder is not very reliable (or I am just not very strong?).
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Old 04-18-2011, 11:59 PM #14
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Default Re: Solarforce build (drop-in style)

That could work if you could get the handrill stable enough.

The method I describe seems to work pretty good, I can grind stuff pretty easy on bench grinders and angle grinders without much effort... maybe you have the wrong wheels for it?

(also, best to use wheels designed for aluminum, anything else and your wheels will get gummed up from the aluminum you are working on).

Keep in mind though, either way you go on about this, it will take forever and a day without a lathe.

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Old 04-19-2011, 12:01 AM #15
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Default Re: Solarforce build (drop-in style)

I don't mind working in the garage for hours... I enjoy it. But yeah - my wheels have gotten all gummed up, that's why they don't really catch anymore... and wheels will probably be pretty damn expensive, yeah? Considering I just had to load out $200 for an accident today plus whatever the accidentee will require for repairs... damn. No money left!
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Old 04-19-2011, 12:18 AM #16
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Default Re: Solarforce build (drop-in style)

Ouch dude.. sorry to hear that.

The wheels aren't too terribly priced I think... IIRC they cost me 10$ per wheel (for an 6" bench grinder).

I dont use my grinder much, so my wheels are still in good condition.

(trust me, I know about bieng in the garage for hours and hours.. I keep fighting my lathe and in the process throwing out more cusses and bad words then a fisherman).. but I half enjoy listening to the profanities that come out of my mouth

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