Brian Chamberlain
Software Engineer & Electronics Nerd

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Light Seas

Prototype of a slimmer rechargeable SCUBA diving light


Background

As a SCUBA diver I was not happy with the size and bulk of dive lights. I wanted a slim dive light that could easily slip into my BCD pockets and be rechargeable by USB. Disposable batteries are bad for the environment and a pain to carry around on vacation (not to mention are expensive in remote locations).

Things I learned

On this project I designed a circuit board based off a reference design. To help with this I used an early version Upverter. It was just the level of complexity I needed at the time. The team there has a great product. They were very helpful in assisting me make my design better. Through that site (at the time) I was also able to order the PCB's from the fab. I think (based on the color) that they came from OSHPark. I highly recommend OSHPark for all your low run PCBs. Here's the project page on Upverter LED Driver for Luxeon LEDS by breakpointer 1123f5400db2636c - Upverter

You'll notice that the enclosure is a deodorant container. Gillette Cool Wave Clear Gel to be precise. This was my go-to deodorant for a while. Gillette Cool Wave product

Pretty funny I think. I actually was able to use the screw wheel to experiment with a magnetic reed switch as the On/Off switch.

The monster sized battery came from Adafruit along with the charge controller pack. The LEDs are 1Watt Luxeons from Sparkfun. They put out a whole crap load of light. No joke. Thought, probably not by today's standards...

Results

The project worked and I took it on a few non-diving trips to use as a flashlight. The epoxy resin I used to embed the LED lights started to yellow over time. That is pretty common for that material. After a year or so after moving on to other projects I eventually dismantled the project for parts. As a product I would have to compete with the many other great LED dive light manufacturers out there. LED lights are pretty much the standard these days.

PCB's from OSHpark! divelight pcbs

Hand soldering SMD parts. A bit challenging. Circuit works though! divelight circuit test

I wanted to experiment with embedding the LED lights in a resin epoxy. I needed a smooth surface for the front on the lens. I had a battery around and it seemed pretty smooth. I used it. divelight lens model

Here is the mold making divelight cured mold divelight mold cutaway

The LEDs get pretty hot so I stuck a couple big bolts on the back? Seemed like a good idea at the time. divelight led heatsinks divelight heatsinks glued It seems pretty smooth in there. divelight extracted mold

To keep the LEDs at the right depth in the epoxy mold I had to build a crude 'holder' divelight crude part mount

Like this divelight part in mold

After it was all cured I tested it out. Everything still works! Success? divelight lens set divelight led lens test side divelight lens led test

All assembled in my designer enclosure. divelight assembled divelight assembled batteryside Testing with the light divelight assembled test top

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