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Hi all,

Ive just got my copy of divelight companion with the intention of having a go at making a diy canister halogen or HID light. Before I dive in head first, if anyone has advice I would be grateful for it. I know one or two people have already had a stab at building them...

Ian
 

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Give up all hope of ever getting it to the point where it's perfect and you don't want to change anything else.

Mine has spent more time diassembled in bits waiting for upgrades than it's ever spent in the water.

Currently I'm convincing myself I don't need a torch on any dives, simply because I haven't put the thing back together yet. So it's a great money saver - I don't have a cannister torch, but I don't feel the need to go and buy one, as I have one sitting in bits in my spare room

 

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Ian,

I'm with Dominic on this!  
  My DIY cannister has not been to 1m yet (all testing has been in a bucket) but I've been through two sizes of batteries, various o-rings, etc.  The toughest part I'm having is getting a good seal for both the light head I'm using, which is an old aluminum maglite, and the cannister.... which I guess is pretty much everything.

However, in my garage at night, it works just great!

To be honest, I just haven't had time to deal with it lately as I've been concentrating on putting together a video housing and camera, but as soon as I get back from this upcoming trip to the Isle of Mull, I'm gonna finish that light.  Putting together the electrics was pretty easy, my big problem is finding the right o-ring for my cannister.  I'm using a 4" PVC pipe.

Tony
 

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Make sure you can recharge it without taking the whole thing to bits.

Waterproof boots for toggle switches work well - fill them with vaseline in case of leaks.

Have some way of locking the torch Off when using toggle switches, or protect it somehow to stop it coming on in your dive bag.

Reed switch/Relay switches are simpler than they look to make.

30w halogens are fairly pathetic underwater.  50w halogens are fine.  For real "Nightsun" stuff, Thorn, Osram and Phillips do higher wattage bulbs.  I use an 85w bulb which isn't as white as a 10w HID, but it lights up the whole area like a floodlight.  I get between around 40mins @ 85w before it starts to dim.  I get light from it for around another 40mins before it dies.  However, I have two 12v 7ah Yuasa batteries in my torch, so I can switch to the other battery and bingo, back to buddy-blinding strength!  At 50w, I reckon to have at least 3 hours light.

Make your cannister connection in such a way that you can put a HID head on it when you can afford the pennies.

Bronze plumbing fittings make cheap connectors.

Never underestimate the ability of water to find a way in.

You can never have to much epoxy steel or Araldite.



HTH
 

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[b said:
Quote[/b] ]Waterproof boots for toggle switches work well - fill them with vaseline in case of leaks
Argh! No!
Most boots are rubber - vaseline, being petroleum jelly, will eat away at them. Silicon grease is more likely to give a lasting boot.

[b said:
Quote[/b] ]Have some way of locking the torch Off when using toggle switches, or protect it somehow to stop it coming on in your dive bag.
I just unplug the bulb
 

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Well spotted Dom!  You're quite right - check what your boots are made of first!

The high wattage bulbs can be up to a tenner each, so I'd rather keep them safe in the lighthead.  But it is an option, I'll grant you!
 

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Oh, I leave it IN the lighthead - it's just not plugged in


Besides, I stick to 20 or 35w bulbs - could use a new bulb on every dive without caring about the cost
 

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well ive made the light head, and it water tight down to 20 meters, but can i find any 5" PVC or acrylic, NO, does anybody know were i can get hold of any (in short lengths). phoned loads of companys in the north west but with no luck.

Dave J
 

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[b said:
Quote[/b] (Dave J @ Sep. 04 2003,20:37)]well ive made the light head, and it water tight down to 20 meters, but can i find any 5" PVC or acrylic, NO, does anybody know were i can get hold of any (in short lengths). phoned loads of companys in the north west but with no luck.

Dave J
Dave

Look out at water or gas road works. The blue or yellow pipe (MDPE?) should be ideal. Just see if they have any off-cuts. Or find their base depots, this is the kind of thing that is thrown away.

It is also thick enough to cut a groove for O rings. I have seen video housings made from the stuff, so it is up to it.

Adrian
 

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I'm told the yellow pipe the gas people use is no good for cannister lights - too soft.. oh well.

Anybody wants some, I've got a lump I don't need...
 

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I did wonder about the yellow pipe. While they are both nominally the same materials, I don't know how they are made. The blue stuff should certainly withstand 10 bar.

Adrian
 

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Trust me to have the wrong colour


Anyway.. anybody interested in building cannister lights, especially HIDs, may find these two mailing lists helpful: hiddivelights and scubadiy
 

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Similar vein... Has anybody on these boards made or dabbled with making their own scooter.. i was thinking of making a bog o zepp for mucking around in fresh water this winter..
any pointers??
 

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Quite a few of us have thought about DPVs.  The problems seem to be mainly the source of the motor.  Trolling motors are the norm, but you have to upgrade the seals.  Other motors have been suggested, but the problem always seems to come back to sealing the thing.  I even looked at the jetboat principle using an impeller.

Seedoos are £200-£300 for 20m stuff might be cheaper to get a second hand one of these and adapt it.
 

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Well, I reckon a calor gas tank is just about the right size for a DPV, giving you space for the batteries and motor. And two convenient handles on the back! All I need to work now is how I can seal the thing back up again!
 

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Mdemon said:
59p for 50w at the local cheapo place (Trago).

I thought Ade Kelland had burnt that down? :D
 
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