Up to two hours


~4W @ 600 Lumen


25€ with charger

Create a magnetic 4 watt high power LED head lamp for applications like
longboards out of an old hard disk drive for less than 25 $. The case of the HDD can be recycled to a nice room light.

Skating at night can be really dangerous. Other road users won’t see you and you can’t see the road you are riding on. That’s why I invented the Beamboarder. It’s a mobile head light that allows you to ride for up to two hours in absolute darkness with a sight of several meters. The LED and the rechargeable battery can easily be attached to your board on any ferromagnetic material. The Cree LED is a high power light source out of an array of several LEDs with the highest standard of light efficiency you can find actual on the market. Only minimum changes on the longboard truck have to be done. The construction of the lamp is possible with a small amount of money and equipment. Even it’s easy, there are several risks for you and other road users you have to keep in mind. The following instruction shall guide you through the experience I made and how you can build your own Beamboarder by yourself. Keep in mind that this product is still in early prototype status.





  • 3.5’’ Hard Discs Drive with large capacity - SSDs will not work ;)
  • Cree XLamp CXA1304 9V High Power LED - This is the magic
  • Tensai TR-9.6V (9V-Block) 270 mAh Ni-Mh Rechargeable battery -The only battery I found yet that fits to the LED
  • 9V battery clip with about 15 cm wires - Do not buy the cheapest one.
  • Arctic Alumina Thermal Adhesive -The minimum quantity I could find is with 5g.
  • Thick heat shrink tube with a diameter of about 3 cm
  • LED optic like an old skate bearing or 3M bumpon
  • Battery Charger for Ni-Mh

Upcycle the case:


Step 1: Preperations

At first you will need an old 3.5” hard disc drive (HDD) with as many gigabytes as you can find. Old HDDs with high capacity for their time will have huge magnets from my experience. These HDDs often have multiple discs. Open the case with a Torx 8 screwdriver. Under the large sticker on the cover you will find additional screws that you have to remove. After opening the coverage you see two thick iron plates at the end of the read head. These two plates hold your magnets. In most cases you can remove the first magnet-plate with a lever. The force between the two magnets can be quite strong. For the second magnet-plate you have to remove the read head with a screwdriver. Sometimes this plate is also fixed by some screws on the other side of the HDD. The Beamboarder is based on these two plates. Handle them with caution. When they snap together uncontrolled your finger or the magnets can get damaged. The LED must fit on the iron plate without overlapping. Look at the LED datasheet for the dimensions. A large plate will decrease the temperature of your LED what causes a higher efficiency and longer lifetime. With a small plate the LED is getting to hot and the lifetime will decrease. If you cannot touch the metal anymore do not use it in this way. Try to find HDDs with large plates and stronger magnets.

<p>There is a company that is doing this its called Ekick Technologies. Check them out. http://www.ekicktech.com</p>
This combined with the longboard under glow (another instructable) would be a really cool night setup.
<p>Really amazing man ! </p><p>I'm would like to buy the led on digikey (http://www.digikey.fr/product-search/fr?x=16&amp;y=15&amp;... but wich one should I order ? There are a lot of CXA1304 on this page..</p>
<p>For the 9V Battery you will need the 9V version.</p><p>If you want the most light you can get, use the one with the highest lumen/watt value.The Light will be very &quot;cold&quot;.</p><p> You can also look at the CCT (K) values. Small values will result in a warm light with lower efficency. High values will have cold light with high efficency. You will never find both. In privat rooms the warm version with lower CCT values will be more comfortable.</p>
<p>SO MANY APPLICATIONS! I dig this... where did you get the LED? I need one just like that</p>
<p>You will get them from Mouser or Digikey...The Arctic Alumina Thermal <br>Adhesive I ordered at ebay. The LEDs are really amazing. You can <br>stick them to everything as long as you get them cooled properly.</p>
<p>you beat me to it, i wouldn't have been able to come up with a cool name like the beamboarder tho..! very nicely done sir, your video is amazing. following....</p>
<p>Fist I wanted to call it Beamrider, but the name was used a lot when I searched for it. As missile guidance for example: </p><p><a href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Beam_riding" rel="nofollow">http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Beam_riding</a></p><p>So i changed rider to boarder...;)</p>
That's an amazing, idea, what inspired to create such a magnificent thing ?
<p>I did a lot of self study on high power LEDs beside my actual study and had a lot of old HHDs. So first I build a simple lamp for my lab and after that the beamboarder. </p>
Look at my pic and the doll is on my element skateboard
<p>I think using a reflector from small torch might give a long range.</p><p>COOL</p>
Great idea! You should do one where the light is run from a electric motor connected to the axle of the skateboard. you could have no battery so it just turns on when you are moving, or incorporate a battery if you want so the motor charges it up for extra power too! Just an idea! Great instructable though(:
<p>Cool instructable.</p>
I voted for your instructable please vote for mine. It's a win win. Thanks so much! My instructable: &quot;how to make a light for your glovebox at night&quot; thanks so much! <br><br><br> Great idea!
<p>Fantastic idea!</p>
<p>Nice job!</p>
<p>Nice job!</p>
That is such a great idea that you totally might drive into something that is just out of the range of your beam such as the border of the sidewalk. I mean as soon as you feel save because you have a light on your skateboard you will increase the speed of travel. But the range of your light will always be the same. This means the faster you drive the worse you can react to situations.

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