Build #3 Update: Oct 22, 2013 - Batch #6 Progress

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Build #3 Shipping Tally to Date (as of 10/16/13):
Taillights Shipped: 76
Headlights Shipped: 26
Number of lights currently in process: Batch #6 = 6 tail
Total lights remaining to be built: 22 taillights, 6 headlights
On deck for shipping:
Wouter B., Larry H., Bruno D., Khai L., Luke G., Greg B.

Sorry for the blog blackout here lately! Seems like the car gremlins keep getting wet around here and multiplying, but I've finally gotten most of the repairs finished. OH, and if anyone has a 2004 to 2006 Toyota Sienna and wants to know how to fix your power sliding doors for the cost of a $10 digikey motor instead of the $1200 dealer fix, just let me know.

But on to the lights....
Since starting build three, I've gotten more efficient at putting lights together and getting things properly sealed (thanks to some extreme weather testing in Germany). Also, I've had to "repair" 2 or 3 lights that had developed a bad case of "switch bounce." The fix is to solder a small 0.1uF ceramic cap directly across the switch leads on the lid. So just as a precaution, I'm now adding this capacitor on all subsequent lights, including the current shipping list above.

I just finished a batch of 9 taillights, which seems to be about the right number to do all at once. Fairly easy to keep up with, but not so many that I start to go crazy with the monotony of some of the procedures, particularly the soldering. Moving on to the corresponding headlights now. The lid assemblies are done. Ready to start on the main housings now. I'll try to get some pictures up soon.

June 12
Working on getting a couple of lights packed up to go in the mail tomorrow. Just finished charging the batteries. I always put a full charge on the battery that I'm shipping, WITH the charger that I'm shipping, just to make sure everything is 100% functional.

On an unrelated note.... I'm pretty sure my neighbors hate me now. I had mowed grass before in the evening with 1 DS-1300, but never with 2, slightly angled out. I may never mow in the daylight again. Just for fun, here's a couple of pictures.
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June 17
Did successfully manage to get a few more lights in the mail this past weekend, but still haven't started the new batch of headlights. Had one interesting exchange with a customer in Arizona. I believe he may have found the operational limits of the headlight design, riding at night, with the light on the helmet, running steady mode 5, with air temps at 95-100F. No, that's not a typo. He was having the light throttle back on him because of the thermal protection circuit. Rather than increase the thermal cutback limit (which would create undo stress on the LEDs), we decided the more prudent approach would be to program the medium power level to L4, which is still very usably bright, but significantly less wattage, which should allow constant operation (with moderate motion) without the light cutting back. This should provide good L4 lighting, but still allow access to L5 for bombing down hills with lots of air-flow.

June 20
Sat down to start working on headlights in earnest, night before last, and low and behold, I found out that I had run out of Artic Alumina. I just knew I had another set of syringes in a box somewhere.... NOT. Oh well, more on the way. I took that evening to do a little "inventory" control, and as a result I had to revise the "total remaining to be built" number down to 58. Have also ordered some additional mounts to round out all the final orders.

June 23
Slowing chipping away at getting my paid orders out the door.... Received my new shipment of Artic Alumina. Ready to start assembling more lights.... BUT, walked upstairs to my office/work-area yesterday to find out that the upstairs A/C unit had quit and the temps in the room were hovering around 100 deg! Just crazy. Hopefully getting that fixed today.

July 8
Hope everyone had a great 4th! Back from vacation and I now have a fresh crop (batch #4) of semi-completed lights on my bench (5 head, 10 tail). Main LED boards are all adhered with series jumpers. Power wire o-rings installed. Lid assemblies finished. Remaining tasks:

Mate the lids with the electronics
Prep and install power wire
Solder power wires and install circuit board
Solder drive wires to LED boards
Lube and install o-rings
Fit lenses and lens cover

On a totally unrelated side note, I got to ride a slick Greenspeed trike while out of town. Unbelievably fun, but I wouldn't want to ride it in traffic without a DS-500 and/or an orange flag sticking up.

July 14
5 headlights completely finished up tonight and ready to ship. 10 taillights probably 4 to 5 hours away from being finished. Sandy, yours are shipping out tomorrow. Charles, you and Key are next....
After these three ship, I'll be emailing the next group on the reserve list.

July 17
5 of the 10 taillights electrically complete as of last night. All that remains for them is o-ring install, lid, and lenses. Will finish those up tonight. The remaining 5 are ready to have their controller boards installed.

July 23
Down to just finishing up the last 5 taillights for this batch. Shipping out more lights today, including a set for James! Many thanks to James for hosting the web site and doing a great job of solving problems along the way.

Aug 2
OK, down to only 11 more headlights and 32 more taillights to build. On to the next batch of 10....
Shipping them out as soon as I build them. If you're on the reserve list and haven't contacted me lately, shoot me an email if you want to expedite yours.

Aug 19
Made some good progress last night on the current batch of 10. 3 of the 5 taillights are 80% complete with the remaining 7 lights around 50% complete. Hoping to make more progress tonight.

Aug 22
90% done now on the 5 taillights (only the lens cover install remains). 60% done on the 5 headlights, one of which will have a custom remote, so the wire harness is slightly different. Also about to build a Lupine battery adapter. I'm fairly certain, but can anyone confirm that the positive lead is on the "pointed" side of the plug?

Aug 29
Finished all 5 of the taillights. Only thing that remains for the 5 headlights is to install the lenses, and lens cover. Will be working on getting invoices out to the guys on the list that are currently in line for this batch.

Sept 5
Down to just finishing up a couple of custom remote headlight switches and installing a few lenses for the current "in progress" set of lights. Shipped out a couple today. Will be starting another batch of 10 very shortly.

Oct 14
OK, I'm back on the "wagon" again, after having fallen off to take care of some family medical stuff... Whew! Finished assembling the extension bars last night for ALL of the remaining lights. I currently have 6 taillights in process, awaiting power wire install and electronics integration.

Oct 22
Working on invoices and adding a few more names to the shipping on-deck list.
The six taillights currently in assembly are nearing completion. All that remains is:
Lid assembly (o-ring and attach to main case)
Lens cover assembly
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    Quote Originally Posted by shark_attack
    Feedback from germany: I driven 4.600 KM with the DS-500 without problems. So, I take pride in the words "Its the best tail light of the world"
    greetings from germany
    Thanks! I figured that was you, but didn't recognize the name. I'm rarely on Facebook these days. By the way, love your Shark Attack graphic. Really slick. Did you come up with that yourself?
    Now I can tell my wife I need the light for the lawnmower and not my bicycle. Hope nothing else breaks at your house.
    Quote Originally Posted by Stephen
    Thanks! I figured that was you, but didn't recognize the name. I'm rarely on Facebook these days. By the way, love your Shark Attack graphic. Really slick. Did you come up with that yourself?
    Okay, thx . The logo - SA. Yes, its my own idea. The font is from "TRON". Currently i ve a new logo:

    Today, i will post wonderful night pics from the DS-500. (Kickelhahn @ night, 6 km distance)

    Best regards
    I am feeling lucky tonight!!!