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Mine Exploration Forum

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Author Fellows lamps forum.
ttxela

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Joined: 04/09/2007
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Posted: 12/03/2018 13:12:29
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royfellows wrote:

I have just overhauled Ttxela's Magnum Star which was an 8V. Sold 6 years ago the Li Ion power bank was past its landfill date and it had the old Mk1 XML T6's. I made up a new battery and fitted 4 new XM-L 2 U BINS. Regardless of this the lamp was working OK as it came in, just performance down. He looks after it well, it was kept in good condition.


Very much appreciated Roy, although it has seem a fair bit of use from my point of view, living in Cambs means it's probably had a much easier life than FPOP's as I imagine he's underground much more often.

I have read the warnings recently about keeping your batteries indoors in cold weather so now keep all my lamps in the house whereas previously they were kept in the shed with the rest of the gear so that may have contributed to the batteries deterioration perhaps.
IP: 188.39.178.242
royfellows

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Posted: 12/03/2018 14:19:35
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Its not cold that damages the battery cells, its attempting to charge or use them is sub zero.

As far as your cells go, its more likely the Chinese cells that I was having to use at the time due to high cost of Sanyo or Panasonic. This has all changed with electric cars necessitating higher production and hence lower cost.

--

..................a proper engineer not a marketing man.
IP: 88.105.106.10 Edited: 12/03/2018 14:21:46 by royfellows
royfellows

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Posted: 18/03/2018 16:54:28
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First Scorpion sold, the X12.

Below is the complete kit including cycle and tripod mounts etc



(click image to open full size image in new window)

the GoPro helmet bracket is very nice



(click image to open full size image in new window)

I am very proud to be producing this lamp.

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IP: 88.105.106.10
royfellows

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Posted: 26/03/2018 16:01:08
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Scorpion X_12 snap on diffuser.



(click image to open full size image in new window)

Of course the X_8 with its independent floodlights will not need this.

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royfellows

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Posted: 14/04/2018 10:47:48
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I have taken the Scorpion EX off sale temporarily as I have conceived some design improvements. non yet sold, so no issues there.
Basically, an EX with high waterproof integrity, maybe suitable for diving, will have a strong appeal for hard cavers who would rather have tough wear features than the ability to cook bats.

It will feature a single lead with no connecting plug, sealed aluminium battery box with charging through a round access plug together with the combined spot and flood as currently described.
Battery check by blue 'Nightrider' actuated by a second IP68 rated button. Obviously the price may well increase but looking at the current price of competitor lamps I feel little to worry about.

Scorpions do have high waterproof integrity, better than the Lynx, however there is a caution on any prolonged immersion other than a few feet would cause water to pass up inside the cable from the plugs. I am currently testing the limits of this this as I have an 8 feet deep pool, no kidding.

I am aware that no ordinary cavers or mine explorers will be spending 2 hours 8 feet under water though. Diving means diving.

Will advise in due course.

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"You are not consumers, you are the product" Google and Facebook, ''''Masters of the Universe''''
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ttxela

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Posted: 16/04/2018 12:41:29
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ttxela wrote:

royfellows wrote:

I have just overhauled Ttxela's Magnum Star which was an 8V. Sold 6 years ago the Li Ion power bank was past its landfill date and it had the old Mk1 XML T6's. I made up a new battery and fitted 4 new XM-L 2 U BINS. Regardless of this the lamp was working OK as it came in, just performance down. He looks after it well, it was kept in good condition.


Very much appreciated Roy, although it has seem a fair bit of use from my point of view, living in Cambs means it's probably had a much easier life than FPOP's as I imagine he's underground much more often.

I have read the warnings recently about keeping your batteries indoors in cold weather so now keep all my lamps in the house whereas previously they were kept in the shed with the rest of the gear so that may have contributed to the batteries deterioration perhaps.


The Magnumstar has now returned from it's rebuild. I hyave to say I'm very pleased. It's back to its full performance as I remember it in my brief test on receipt.

I've yet to try it underground again but no doubt I will before too long Cool
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pwhole

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Posted: 16/04/2018 13:16:30
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This weekend saw the first test of my new Dragon Ex - on Saturday a trip into Peak Cavern, where I was able to light up the whole of Five Arches, which makes a nice change, as it's a dingy place at the best of times. The Main Streamway up to Far Sump was also rather pretty, now being able to see all the roof from the floor. We also did the grovelly climb up Watershed Aven and into Boom! with no issues, though ironically the 'low' brightness setting is not that low with a rebelay to pass in a 1-foot wide muddy rift! It got very wet and muddy by the end of the trip, so had to be hosed clean.

Yesterday was digging in Longcliffe, which is mostly close-proximity very white limestone, so I didn't need full power at all, apart from looking up the shaft at the end. Again, it got very muddy, and bashed about a bit, but no issues at all. It's on its first recharge now.

I think the only possible risk is in really tight and gnarly stuff, which I am known to do, where the cable may protrude away from the helmet enough to get caught or bashed, but I can always swap to the Stenlight in those conditions I guess. Overall I'm very pleased, and the full power setting really is impressive when there's the space to use it. There may be a Titan trip soon, so that will be the ultimate test I guess.
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droid

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Posted: 16/04/2018 14:12:35
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If it's owt like my old MagnumStar it'll be (literally) brilliant.

Lit up the big Oakley chambers like a pound of magnesium ribbon.....Laugh
IP: 80.189.43.45 Edited: 16/04/2018 14:13:58 by droid
royfellows

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Posted: 16/04/2018 15:15:48
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pwhole wrote:



I think the only possible risk is in really tight and gnarly stuff, which I am known to do, where the cable may protrude away from the helmet enough to get caught or bashed,


Why I enclose cable ties in the fitting kit?
You may have to drill some extra holes though, but it wont weaken the helmet. The cables certainly need tying down along the side of the helmet. An alternative is self adhesive cable secures, but I have never tried them.

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"You are not consumers, you are the product" Google and Facebook, ''''Masters of the Universe''''
IP: 92.10.71.5
pwhole

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Posted: 16/04/2018 18:54:33
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I've threaded an adjustable rubber garden tie that I found at home through the lowest vent hole (it's on a vented Ecrin Roc), which did the trick in the side-centre, but it's the cable-protectors that ensure the stand-off at front and back. It's not really an issue for most trips - we're talking body-sized rifts and crawls here, which I try and avoid where possible, but digging sometimes takes me into that. IP: 81.174.241.13
royfellows

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Posted: 18/05/2018 16:31:43
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Some good news, I am advised that FastTech HK are shipping Li Ion once again, but overland which is up to 60 days!
I have ordered a batch of the Tesla 2070 cells as I still have 4 Lynx deep finned headset shells in stock as used in the X12.
However, it is looking more and more like the last of the big bat cookers.

I am experimenting with the Cree XHP series emitters as a possible route to a Scorpion bat cooker, but results so far are disappointing.

The XHP 70 is out of the equation as its impossible to focus a reasonably tight beam in a headlamp sized reflector. The XHP 35 is a possibility but 3 series would require a 36 volts boost. The XHP 50 is available in a 6 volt configuration which has possibilities for running 3 in series from a boost circuit. Issue is obtainable beam pattern which is poor from a usable reflector, I would need 2 or 3.

Looking at figures they do not give appreciably more bang for bucks over the others. They are quad die by way, Cree seem to be following the current trend in being economical on facts they dont want you to know. The wild card is that output calculated from the data sheet is minimum luminous flux, but they do quote on their website a 'magic' figure of about 2600 lumens, which the Chinese seller have not been slow to quote. This against the data sheet calculated minimum of about 2200.

As far as my lamps go, dropping past design of matching serial LEDs to input voltage using a buck driver would mean a lot of testing before I took anything to the bank.

The redesign of the Scorpion EX is looking more hopeful with the new and to be rebranded model using a plug free cable to a watertight 2 cell aluminium battery case. I have had a skeleton unit immersed at 8 feet for many hours. One thing about the Scorpion is that it sure is waterproof, bar water getting up the cable from the plug. 2 hours at 8 feet produced a single droplet from the cable. One with sealed cable was dry inside after 12 hours.
They are a really good lamp. A customer recently trashed a Lynx Basic by accidentally driving a Land Rover over it. I think a Scorpion with its square box shape would have survived, but I would not encourage anyone to experiment in that direction.
Laugh

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IP: 92.24.18.58 Edited: 18/05/2018 16:32:53 by royfellows
royfellows

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Posted: 10/08/2018 17:35:59
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The Scorpion TGX

This is posted exclusively to aditnow for the lamp buffs as the lamp is still undergoing testing and evaluation as at this time is not in production. So far its showing great promise.

A great deal of thought has gone into this not to mention the time sourcing components, this is why its been on the burner for so long.

I have for some time been aware of the requirements of cavers, especially those who go to extremes and often purchase the expensive Scurion Dive model so as to feel confident that they have a lamp which will stand arduous conditions.
I have tested my regular lamps at a depth of 8 feet which of course exceeds the IP 67 rating and found that about 1 cc of water will enter by passing up inside the cable after an immersion time of about 2 hours. I have concluded that increased waterproof integrity is a prerequisite for any lamp designed for extreme use. This was the thinking behind this project and has been achieved by the elimination of the connecting plug between battery and lamp.

I have looked at other lamps and don’t feel happy with the designs of battery cases that open up for recharging. The off the shelf component I use for my battery case would run the risk of gasket displacement, I have therefore designed it with a removable plug to give access to a jackplug socket, the plug is rated to 10 BAR and only requires finger tightening.

Obviously with a lamp of this design there are two potential issues. One is the risk of accidental switch on as described above, the other is the standby current drain depleting the batteries.
These have been addressed as described later.

I have taken a lot of input from my use of the Imolent DX80 rechargeable torch. The lockdown feature from the single operating button has proved unreliable with the torch coming on inside its case and burning a hole through it. Not good enough. I have therefore opted for a two button design

Designed as a waterproof to IP68 5 metres and impact resistant lamp, possibly suitable for diving with higher rated buttons (expensive!), but as yet untested. The lamp has been tested to a depth of 8 feet for days, this is the best I can do with facilities available. All lamps of this type will be tested in this way before final assembly. It has been deliberately designed for the extreme caving market and is engineered to take hard use and abuse.

In line with the lamps tough assignment its fitted with 4mm laminated glass.

Key features:
Lockdown by separately controlled CMOS safety lock, draws approx 16 uA (16 millionths) amp on standby.

Permanent cell connection, no plug to allow water to pass up inside the cable.

4mm Laminated Glass

IP 68 5 metre immersion extended control buttons, 8 Newtons pressure, resistant against mud and accidental activation

Cell charging plug 10 BAR pressure rated.

GoPro mounted with full GoPro compatibility

Available in three types. TGX (standard) Tight spot beam and flood, power divided equally, TGX-B twin beams and low level roomlights, TGX-F bare flood emitters to suit some cavers.

Max output 1800 lumens.

Simple push button operation

Three easy programs.
Quick touch #1 On - walk mode, middle, and max.
Longer touch #2, On - the flashes for those who like them.
10 sec press #3, On - 10 different brightness modes starting with a low mode up to maximum.
Battery level indicator acts as pilot light. Green, amber, red, and flashing red.
Additional blue strip ‘nightrider’ battery indicator on power up
Weight 180 grams.

Description
The lamp utilises an all in one cable without a plug that would allow water to get inside the lamp by getting up inside the cable, and a sealed battery box. The 2 X 18650 serial Li Ion cells charge by removal of a 10 BAR rated plug to expose a standard 2.1 mm jack plug socket. Spare plug supplied with each lamp. The charger for this lamp has a jack plug rather then the usual XT 60.

The lamp utilises a soft switching design governed by a CMOS controlled safety lock. As such it has 2 buttons, the left is the lock and unlock control, the right the main on/off and power control. On locked standby the current consumption is about 16 uA or 16 millionths of an amp. Pressing this button and holding down for a short while will unlock the lamp and cause the blue ‘nightrider’ battery indicator to light up indicating the battery state. Releasing this, the battery indicator will go off and a green ‘all well’ LED to illuminate. The lamp can then be powered up by the right hand button.

The “B” model will have its low level room lights additionally switched by the safety lock as they will only be drawing 60 mA and would take a considerable time to flatten the battery should it become activated accidentally.

The buttons are of the extended type in order to minimise the intrusion of mud etc off the operator’s finger and have a fairly strong return spring requiring a force of about 8 Newton’s (1.8 LBS) to make contact. The lock switch is also not instantaneous but engages after about 1 second.

A rear heatsink stands proud of the buttons and passes between them making accidental activation of both buttons simultaneously very difficult.

Pressing the right hand button will turn on the lamp to standard mode, two more presses cycle through middle to high which is about 1800 lumens. While on, a long press will go into the ten sub modes, an extra low up to the high. Long press while off will initiate the flashes for those who want them. This driver is a modified ‘off the shelf’.

The CMOS lockdown PCB is my own design and build and cannot be purchased off the shelf. I searched the Internet for a schematic for a circuit of the type but was unsuccessful. It’s possible that the Maxim controller is a recent development. It certainly makes design of this type of circuit an easy matter
and I am able to easily assemble this using plain stripboard. Having custom PCBs made up would jack up the price of the finished product.



(click image to open full size image in new window)

I make a point of using electrolytic capacitors; note the remarks re the ESR in the schematic, ceramic capacitors are conductive to ESR issues. The Maxim controllers are good but an expensive little chip, I am pondering on the possibility of using them to make an analogue multi mode driver, I need a life.

It should be noted that the output of these is in the form of what I would call “voltage logic” which is a flip flop + and 0 voltage but with the inability to generate any current. The inductive load driver is necessary due to this, its logic activated, and also to the magnetic tendencies of the relay coil, the “inductive load”. They are good for up to 50mA which nicely covers relay coils.

Note that the schematic shown is designed for a 2 series Li Ion input, single or parallel cells would only require the left hand section (5V), this would work fine with the lower voltage range.

Lamps will be delivered in an ‘off’ state and will initiate on first charge same as a lot of electronic goods for safety in transit, so purchasers will need to charge before use. Returns will require the lid removal from the battery case and a physical disconnection (mini Deans) as per supplied instructions. Again, this is for safety in transit.

Prices will be £195 for the standard and F model, £225 for the B. Provisionally.

Gallery

1/ Model variantions



(click image to open full size image in new window)

2/ Rear view, buttons etc



(click image to open full size image in new window)

3/ The lamp



(click image to open full size image in new window)

4/The power up 'Lightshow'



(click image to open full size image in new window)



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ChrisJC

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Posted: 10/08/2018 19:07:46
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So your CMOS circuit is basically an on/off circuit, controlled by pressing one of the buttons. How is this an improvement over your fire-starting lamp?

I would have ditched the NUD3112 and just used a FET+Diode, but perhaps you are constrained for space.

Chris.
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royfellows

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Posted: 10/08/2018 20:26:08
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Hi Chris

The toggle switches I normally use are rated to IP67. I now fit rubber boots and seal the threads to uprate this, but would feel uncomfortable using this method for this series of lamps. Rubber boots can tear, and it is supposed to be a tough lamp for extreme usage.

Off - (On) push buttons are available rated to IP 68 5 metre, as used, and IP 69 10 BAR, for a price I dont have the nerve to mention!
There are IP 68 or more toggles, about an inch across, no kidding.

The lamp is not designed as a bat cooker, but as I describe.

NUD3112, IC chips reduce components and simplify circuits, surely more elegant?

The Scorpion design has loads of internal space and very easy to mount components.

Yes, and you spotted a typo. Grrr


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IP: 88.108.27.101 Edited: 10/08/2018 20:29:08 by royfellows
royfellows

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Posted: 10/08/2018 21:36:12
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Back again
Chris, you have jerked my memory.
Originally I envisaged this lamp as a return to low voltage and drew my schematic accordingly but using your method, a FET and diode. However I could see an issue whereby due to the Vf drop on the diode the On/Off controller would fail at battery 3V (low bound on controller is 2.7V), even using a schottky with its lower Vf drop.
The whole purpose in using low voltage would be the 'slow death'. I then further realised that I would not get this anyway as the lamp would go out at 2.7V, about 0.2V above battery management threshold.

Then mooching about I hit the NUD3112 and saw a better way still to do things.

The inner workings of my mind. We a right bunch of geeks.
Laugh

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sinker

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Posted: 10/08/2018 22:00:42
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royfellows wrote:



The inner workings of my mind. We a right bunch of geeks.
Laugh



Agree Wink


Laugh

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royfellows

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Posted: 10/08/2018 22:35:03
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Got it wrong anyway. original low voltage circuit didn't need the relay as all was same voltage, just used a MOSFET to switch the load.
Its the time of night. I'm off to bed, had enough.

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The Fresh Prince of Portreath

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Posted: 11/08/2018 17:56:28
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Last of the big bat cookers Sad

A sad sentence to read.

It's like saying you are exiting the world of building dragsters and getting a job at your local ford garage.
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royfellows

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Posted: 14/08/2018 15:11:12
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The Fresh Prince of Portreath wrote:

Last of the big bat cookers Sad

A sad sentence to read.

It's like saying you are exiting the world of building dragsters and getting a job at your local ford garage.


Its not my choice.
I cant get the deep finned headset shells (HK) anymore, I am just assembling a Lynx X12, 3 headsets remaining afterwards.

I have looked at a Scorpion using 3 series XHP 50s but China has stopped making the boost drivers suitable and its not economically viable to have some made up due to cost, never mind development time etc.

Thing is, the Scorpion X12 is 3500 lumens, hardly to be sneered at.

Nothing is like it was though is it?
The car (Europecars rentals) I am driving about in has been described as a 'hairdressers car'

RF driving a 'hairdressers car'!
Its a bit like Conner McGreggor taking up crochet.
Laugh

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gNick

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Posted: 14/08/2018 16:40:18
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I can envisage you as a hairdresser Roy, if having your hair cut by a man wielding a Katana could be described as a hairdresser...Devil

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