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-   -   The Ultimate Home-Made swirl spotting torch (http://www.detailingworld.co.uk/forum/showthread.php?t=205820)

Nanoman 28-02-2011 10:21 PM

The Ultimate Home-Made swirl spotting torch
 
Last updated 15.5.2012
First of all if you don't know what the SunGun is click here . It's (until now) the best swirl-spotter money can buy. Roughly 400 to buy. 50 for a new bulb. 70 for a spare battery.

The good news is that there's no patent for the SunGun only the light source. You can buy the light source for a few pounds. This means you can make your own SunGun with identical light output for swirl spotting very cheaply.

The Solux bulb I bought for 8.95 + P&P is the one mentioned in the 3M patent for the SunGun! Edit: the bulb is nearer 20 but still worth it.

Check out patent number 5418419 (just type it into google) for the bulb and click here for the SunGun patent application. http://www.google.com/patents/downlo...BAJ&output=pdf

Check out page 7, 2nd paragraph of 'Detailed Description of the Invention'.

Second of all thanks to everyone who shared their knowledge in this thread...

http://www.detailingworld.co.uk/foru...d.php?t=202530

I took the basic idea and developed it with the ultimate aim of dropping the voltage down to safer levels, battery/external power from home/car, being as cheap as possible. This can be made by anyone who can wire a plug with basic tools. *Edit: Don't bother with the fancy external power supplies - it's not worth the hassle* I have left my guide below but to be honest all you need is the guide Bero made.

In my opinion this is what DW is all about - sharing ideas and helping each other.

Zero helpfully made a fantastic build guide which is below. I have taken this a step further with some ideas I had for external power sources. My latest design can go toe-to-toe with the SunGun and win under any circumstances. *Edit: Don't bother with the fancy external power supplies - it's not worth the hassle*

Estimated build cost is 18 for Zero's version or 26 (edit: now near 40 due to bulb price increases) with a colour-corrected bulb with the same characteristics as the real SunGun.

My version costs roughly 45. It could be a bit more or less depending what you've got rattling around in the back of the garage/cupboards.

Here's a teaser for you guys while I type this guide up. It might not be complete tonight so please be patient.

Spec (My Design)
Power
14.4v on-board battery
12v from car via lighter socket
12v direct from a 12v external battery
12v from mains using transformer
Switchable between internal/external power for safety
*Edit: Don't bother with the fancy external power supplies - it's not worth the hassle*

Bulb
12v
4700k
35w
35 deg
99% CRI
[^Same as SunGun]
MR16 GU5.3 connector

Other
Variable brightness using trigger switch
Carry Case

Notes
If you make one please test it before using it and I'd highly recommend not putting in a locking 'on' switch. I've kept mine of for more than 12 mins at full power and there was no sign of heat damage/melting. It's unlikely you'll have it on for longer than 30-60 seconds in practice.

Teaser pic:
http://www.g-r-w.net/sg/teaser.jpg
Note internal/external power switch on the back and DC-in connector on the top. It's difficult to see on this pic but you'll see below that the big cable connects to any of the 3 connectors using a quick-release connector.
*Edit: Don't bother with the fancy external power supplies - it's not worth the hassle*
http://www.g-r-w.net/sg/CIMG1804.jpg
There's even room for a spare bulb.
http://www.g-r-w.net/sg/CIMG1805.jpg
Note internal/external power switch on the back and DC-in connector on the top.

Here it is working off battery power to prove it's real.
http://www.g-r-w.net/sg/CIMG1803.jpg

There are lots of different possibilities with this but hopefully between Zero and I you will have enough information to make one of these yourself.

Feel free to share pictures of your own and specs in this thread to help others and show off your work.

Let's start off with Zero's helpful guide based on the 12v 9.99 drill from B&Q.

Quote:

Originally Posted by ZERO (Post 2651058)
ZERO's "SolarGun" DIY

Firstly I would like to say thank you to Angajatul, Grantwils, Nath69uk and everyone else in this thread for all their input (Apart from Mr.Cooper....no soup for you :p).
3M - I have no personal vendetta against you, I just don't like feeling ripped off. In other words, please don't kill me....:thumb: *pew pew

DISCLAIMER: I am not responsible for any damage that may be caused to you, your property or your collection of white snake posters by following this DIY; you do this at your own risk.

Anyway, lets cut to the chase.

On arriving at the drill section in B&Q I was presented with many options, however there was only one logical choice for the job.

http://gallery.me.com/rightclicksave...12987769780001

€12.20 for everything including a battery, charger and a spare screwdriver bit which I can use somewhere else; bargain.

http://gallery.me.com/rightclicksave...12987769820001

These downlight fixtures are in the lighting aisle and not in the same aisle as the bulbs. There are two options for what to buy here; both include a 35 Watt MR16 GU 5.3 bulb, a 240v to 12v transformer (which isn't needed but can be used for creating a mains supply for the "SolarGun"), instructions for it's "proper" use and either a fixed or tilting ceiling mount.
You can buy either, it really just depends on how fancy you want your paper weight to be. (An internet high five to the person who can think of a detailing use for it :))

http://gallery.me.com/rightclicksave...12987769870001

These bulbs are the same as the bulb included in the kit. You can buy them as spares should you manage to break your included bulb; I opted not to buy these as the money is better spent on colour corrected bulbs.

http://gallery.me.com/rightclicksave...12987769910001

This is everything that is included in the two boxes, save for transport cardboard and instruction manuals which were instantaneously recycle binned.

http://gallery.me.com/rightclicksave...12987769950001

Included in the downlight kit is a bulb, a transformer (currently not in disguise :rolleyes:) and a ceiling mount. The bulb is removed from the ceiling mount by pulling together the ends of the spring clip on the front.

http://gallery.me.com/rightclicksave...12987769990001

Included with the drill is charger, battery and screwdriver bit.
Now would be a good time to put the battery on charge :thumb:

http://gallery.me.com/rightclicksave...12987770030001

The tools required are
  • A Philips head screwdriver (I had a box of precision flatheads nearby so I made do)
  • A fine nose pliers (a snips and a crimper would have been better, but again, it was nearby)
  • superglue (...:rolleyes: nearby but hot glue would have been better)
  • and a file (:eek: I had to leave the room to get this; stress of life :lol:)

http://gallery.me.com/rightclicksave...12987770150001

Firstly you need to remove the 8 screws in the indicated positions.
Remember, the plastic is cheap and the screws need to be re-used so don't be too hasty with your disassembly.

http://gallery.me.com/rightclicksave...12987770190001

The bounty within includes a trigger switch, a battery connector, a DC motor, 8 philips head screws and the soul of a deceased Japanese shogun warrior (Your poltergeist may vary).

http://gallery.me.com/rightclicksave...12987770230001

The next step is to cut the positive and negative cables to the motor. I cut close enough to the motor to provide adequate cable length for the switch but left enough on the motor to make an easy connection should I decide to re-use it.
I then stripped some of the casing from the wire to leave roughly 5mm of exposed wire at the end.

http://gallery.me.com/rightclicksave...12987770270001

I then cut the bulb connection off of the transformer roughly half way along. I later shorted the wires on the bulb connection by 3 or 4 cm as they were too long, so take this in account when cutting yours.

http://gallery.me.com/rightclicksave...12987770310001

The bulb was then pushed into it's holder and then using the forward/reverse slider which is no longer needed, I propped the bulb up against the end wall.
This seemed to hold the bulb in place adequately, however the end of the slider which sat against the drill case didn't sit completely flat.

http://gallery.me.com/rightclicksave...12987770350001

Using a file, I rounded the end of the slider to allow it to sit flush against the curved case. Then, in a further attempt to make slider sit flush, I increased the angle of the chamfered edge from roughly 45 degrees from horizontal to roughly 30 degrees from horizontal.

http://gallery.me.com/rightclicksave...12987770390001

Everything was then put back into the case, with the slider sitting against the plastic pillar at the end, in the channel of the motor mount and against the bulb holder.
It was then glued as per where the arrows indicate.

http://gallery.me.com/rightclicksave...12987770440001

While I was in B&Q, I picked up this bag of wire connectors for €1.

http://gallery.me.com/rightclicksave...12987770480001

They are used for joining wires end to end, so seemed perfect for the task.

http://gallery.me.com/rightclicksave...12987770520001

A connector was crimped onto the earth and live wire from the switch...

http://gallery.me.com/rightclicksave...12987770560001

...and then these were connected to the live and earth cables from the bulb, with the blue wire connecting to the red wire and the brown connecting to the black.

http://gallery.me.com/rightclicksave...12987770600001

The case is then reassembled, the battery is connected and then you're pretty much finished.....now lets go play! :D

http://gallery.me.com/rightclicksave...12987770640001

It was difficult to capture the actual brightness of the SolarGun as I had my camera set to self adjust the exposure, but this should give a rough idea of the brightness.

http://gallery.me.com/rightclicksave...12987770670001

Firstly, here is a picture taken using my LED inspection lamp to highlight the scratches and RDS. It isn't neccesarily the fairest comparison as it is slightly out of focus :censored::wall:

http://gallery.me.com/rightclicksave...12987770740001

Then, using some Menzerna S500 and PO85RD on a SFX-1 pad, I polished an area of my bootlid using my DAS-6 Pro which I got from CYC :wave:. A lot of the RDS remain as the car is an e36 BMW so has typically rock hard paint, but the photo is mostly for demonstration of the SolarGun.
(Any advice of polish/pad combinations would be appreciated :thumb:)

50/50

http://gallery.me.com/rightclicksave...12987770770001

30/70.....and showing where I went over the tape to the right :wall:

http://gallery.me.com/rightclicksave...12987770810001

An untouched area of the boot lid.

http://gallery.me.com/rightclicksave...12987770840001

So that's everything; a DIY "SolarGun" for the low low price of €27.60. While it may lack a feature or two of the 3M Sun Gun, for 5% of the price it does 90% of the job.
I hope that these photos and accompanying DIY have in some very small way paid back to the community for all the information and help I have gathered from it since joining the board :D:thumb:

Happy Modding,

Paul.

I'll add my guide below. Just need to get the pics sized up and remember the steps I did it in.

Suppliers

B&Q - donor drill, bulb holder, 12v transformer, cable
Maplin - DC-in connectors, quick release connectors, alligator clips for car battery
*Edit: Don't bother with the fancy external power supplies - it's not worth the hassle*
Svenlight - Colour-corrected bulb

Here's pretty much all the components you'll need if you want the same things mine has.
http://www.g-r-w.net/sg/cimg1787.jpg
You don't have to have it all. You can pick and choose the features you want. You might only need one option for external power instead of all 3 options etc.

The key things are:
Donor drill
Wire/cable
Bulb holder
Bulb
Something to hold bulb in place with
Connectors (You can choose from crimps, blocks, solder, tape, etc)

For external power you'll need a power cable & your chosen connection method e.g. transformer, cig lighter, car battery.
*Edit: Don't bother with the fancy external power supplies - it's not worth the hassle*

I have a hot glue gun and soldering iron in there which come in handy but aren't necessary.

Here's some of the extra components in detail.
http://www.g-r-w.net/sg/cimg1788.jpg
Top right in the Solux box we have the colour corrected bulb.
Below that we have 4 battery type connectors (3 female & 1 male). These will be used to quick-connect the 12v mains transformer, car battery or cig lighter connection to the power cable. If you only want one external power option you don't need these bits. Likewise you can use another connector of your choice.
To the left of these I have car cig lighter plug.
Below the cig lighter we have heatshrink to keep things professional.
To the right of that we have a mini DPDT toggle switch to switch between internal or external power. Again this is optional but I'd recommend it.
To the right of that we have the male and female DC connectors. Not in my final version I have a different female connector which was more simple to mount. Again there are other ways of making this connection so feel free to make your own mind up.

Let's get started...
http://www.g-r-w.net/sg/cimg1789.jpg
The first thing to do is unscrew the cover and pull it apart to see inside.

This is what you get...
http://www.g-r-w.net/sg/cimg1790.jpg
The first thing to do is cut the red and the black wire which connects to the drill motor. Cut it as close to the motor as you can. I used pliers.

You're left with this.
http://www.g-r-w.net/sg/cimg1791.jpg

At this point all you need to do is connect the bulb using crimps (as per Zero above) or solder. I used crimps to begin with as my soldering iron was kaput. You don't need to solder them but tbh buying a solder iron and some solder is as cheap as buying crimps and crimping tool. It's a bit more professional.
Hey presto!
http://www.g-r-w.net/sg/cimg1794.jpg
You can check it works but putting the clip over the battery (make sure it's charged) and pulling the trigger.

If you don't want to add external power just jam the bulb in using whatever you have to hand (I used a hot glue gun) you're off! Congratulations. Remember you might have to change the bulb at some stage so try and keep it flexible so you don't have to get your glue out again. It shouldn't need changed often (if at all) but it's worth bearing in mind.
*Edit: Don't bother with the fancy external power supplies - it's not worth the hassle*
*That's it done! Don't bother with any of the below*

Here's an internal pic of how the bulb sits.
http://www.g-r-w.net/sg/cimg1792.jpg

*Switch & External power connection instructions to be added here*
You should end up with something like this once all your soldering is done (I know I've got some crimps in there still, it'll be sorted.
http://www.g-r-w.net/sg/cimg1799.jpg
It's not the best pic but coming down from the top is the power cable with the DC in jack. You can see the toggle switch is connected to the internal battery contacts, the DC jack with power going to the main trigger switch.
Slightly clearer here. You can also see how I have glued the bulb holder in place with a piece of aluminium I had lying around.
http://www.g-r-w.net/sg/cimg1798.jpg


Next you need to drill the holes to take the toggle switch and DC jack.
Check your fitmet inside the drill to make sure they'll fit in where you want them and that you can run the cables within the housing. Mark the outside of the drill so you know where to put the hole. Screw the casing back together then drill each hole. I think it's 8mm or 6mm but it tells you on the pack. Be careful not to slip here and go gently.
http://www.g-r-w.net/sg/cimg1800.jpg

Once the holes are drilled and connections made it's just a case of fitting the switch & DC jack to the hole. You might need to do some very minor trimming for a good fit. I just used a craft knife. Here's a pic of mine before I tidy up the connections and shorten the wires etc.
http://www.g-r-w.net/sg/cimg1807.jpg

You can see my 3 external connections here. The mains transformer came with the B&Q bulb holder for 8 - you just need to connect the plug & cable. I used an old power chord I had in the loft and just cut the end off it. It took two minutes.
http://www.g-r-w.net/sg/cimg1802.jpg

Edit: Had some issues with the bulb running off the transformer but it works fine off the car battery. Never actually used the external power source so I probably wouldn't bother next time. Left instructions up just in case anyone wants to know how to do it.

Finally tested the normal B&Q halogen bulb in a home-made version alongside the Solux bulb in the home-made version. What a difference! Here's some pics of the Solux bulb in action...

http://www.g-r-w.net/cimg1817.jpg

http://www.g-r-w.net/cimg1820.jpg

http://www.g-r-w.net/cimg1823.jpg

http://www.g-r-w.net/cimg1825.jpg

http://www.g-r-w.net/cimg1829.jpg

If any traders want to know where to import the bulbs from PM me. For single purchases I recommend searching for Svenlight. Just make sure it's the Solux one with the same qualities as detailed above i.e. 36 degree, 35 watt, 12v, 99CRI (all solux bulbs have 99CRI).

TheGav 28-02-2011 10:29 PM

WOW...
Im going to make one now..cheers for the idea

Hair Bear 28-02-2011 10:33 PM

Fair play mate, that is excellent :thumb:

PJM 28-02-2011 10:33 PM

would it not be easier to modify a cordless torch?

Gaz_Ek4 28-02-2011 10:37 PM

You made a torch?

Nanoman 28-02-2011 10:39 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by PJM (Post 2654835)
would it not be easier to modify a cordless torch?

You can modify a plank of wood to do this - seriously. Most torches aren't 12v-14v and don't have the variable brightness. It's up to you so to answer your question 'it might be depending on the torch'.

Quote:

Originally Posted by Gaz_Ek4 (Post 2654851)
You made a torch?

Yes. Feel free to spend 400 on the branded one which doesn't have as many features ;-)

Andrew M 28-02-2011 10:44 PM

Love it !!!!!!

Thanks for working this out and posting it.

This is def on my "jobs to do" list.

Andy

HornetSting 28-02-2011 10:45 PM

Thats brilliant, I would throw someone some money to do this for me, I wouldnt really have the confidence to do this. Brilliant idea, fair play to you, very impressed.

Eric the Red 28-02-2011 11:00 PM

Why not have a look at this on amazon US

Brinkmann 800-2280-0 Tuff Max LED Spotlight

stewartmak7 28-02-2011 11:14 PM

Nice one mate ! Loved the prototype when I saw it yesterday ! Definatley gave me the confidence now to go and do it ! Thanks mate


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