TK05 go boom

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Lightbringer
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TK05 go boom

Okay, I got 2 to play with, one still works perfectly, the other just kinda… “faded”.

Half-spent alkaleak, was perfect the first few minutes, but then I’m shining it around, and not getting any noticeable output. I look at the LED, and it’s actually on, and goes low/mid/high with each successive press of the button, but at only about 1/100th the brightness!

So L/M/H is more like firefly/low-moonlight/kinda-moonlight. Even strobe (doubleclick) does the fast/slow strobing, but at barely moonlight levels.

Tried several alkaleaks, same deal.

Huh… just tried a 14500, same deal, in fact, same brightness levels (ie, not proportionally brighter because of its higher voltage).

This is the oddest thing. Anyone ever experience that before?

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toddcshoe
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Had that same thing happen on a Sofirn one time. They said it was a driver issue and sent me a new one. Still have the old one in the drawer. Never did change out the driver to confirm that. Nor did I ever take it apart at all to even look at it. Guess I should.

Lightbringer
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Wellp, I sent Miranda a PM, so maybe she can recommend something.

I really really don’t want to return the light. I’ve gotten to like it. Innocent

A driver should be pretty easy to replace, I hope. Big Smile

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toddcshoe
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Should have said, they sent me a whole new light and didn’t require the old one sent back. So I still have the complete semi working light in the drawer.

AlexGT
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I have a related question, the side button on my TK05 light rattles when I shake the light but it functions normally, I think that there is a seal or gasket missing on the switch, does your side button on your light rattle?

Lightbringer
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toddcshoe wrote:
Should have said, they sent me a whole new light and didn’t require the old one sent back. So I still have the complete semi working light in the drawer.

Wellp, I asked if she’d be able to send a driver so no one’d have to send a whole light, but we’ll see.

But yeah, from the thankfully few experiences I’ve had along these lines, it’s usually one of two things.

• Light’s discontinued, etc., no more to send as replacements, but here’s a refund for you, and keep the old light as a souvenir.

• Or if there are lights still in stock, here’s a new light, keep the old light as a souvenir.

I figure it’d be cheaper’n‘easier to just send a driver if they got one, vs a whole new light. Sure, I’d want a working light, but I don’t want to be too much of a bother.

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Lightbringer
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AlexGT wrote:
I have a related question, the side button on my TK05 light rattles when I shake the light but it functions normally, I think that there is a seal or gasket missing on the switch, does your side button on your light rattle?

Naw, mine rattles, too.

Didn’t even notice it ‘til you pointed it out. Flat Stare

Didn’t take apart anything, but if I do, I’ll let ya know what’s in there.

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Zappaman
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Patient: “Doctor, my light rattles when I shake it!”

Doctor: “Then don’t shake it!” (padaladap…tschee!)

ZappaMan

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hey, I did a review of this light I posted a few days ago, same rattle, but I ran it in water for 15 minutes with no issues.

Zappaman
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As Blackbeard said in his (great) review… my Sofirn SP10A switch DOES have the same rattle- I guess it’s a “standard feature” like Chevy and GM used to have.

Pretty obvious… Sofirn and Thorfire have the same suppliers lately.

ZappaMan

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thanks Zappaman, I hope Lightbringer can get a warranty replacement, those symptoms sound like it’s a goner.

slmjim
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Lightbringer said, "L/M/H is more like firefly/low-moonlight/kinda-moonlight. Even strobe (doubleclick) does the fast/slow strobing, but at barely moonlight levels.

Tried several alkaleaks, same deal.

Huh… just tried a 14500, same deal, in fact, same brightness levels (ie, not proportionally brighter because of its higher voltage).".

 

 

I have one that behaved the same way new, out of the box, regardless of alkie, NiMh or 14500 cell. Thorfire/Miranda replaced it quickly & courteously, no return request.

 

I'm trying to decide whether to:

1) keep it as-is as a dedicated moon/micro-candle,

or

2) try repair/replace the driver.

 

I'm new to disassembly & modding, so this is my first bus ride into the guts of any light, much less a dual-switch light.

 

A close look at solder joints might reveal the problem, but I suspect that's unlikely.

Firmware reflash? I've done many hundreds of firmware flashes on copiers/printers/scanners/MFP's/NIC's in my career, but never on a flashlight. That's one learning curve I have yet to climb.

My amateur guess is a driver component failure.

 

I've made a half-hearted attempt at removing the driver retaining ring using a reversible snap ring plier, but it's either chemically locked or King Kong tight. Don't know if it's reverse thread either.

 

I did a forum search yesterday looking for TK05 mods and/or driver replacements with no luck. I'll be watching this thread to see what develops.

 

EDIT: Gotta find a tool that allows me to apply more torque to a retaining ring. The reversible snap ring pliers won't take much torque without twisting out of alignment.

Great... Carnac the Magnificent tells me I just signed up for yet another expensive hobby.

Snoballz
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I have a Sofirn SP31 that does that. Will sometimes shine at full brightness for a few seconds and then goes to barely visible with all modes including strobe. Since I bought it secondhand I never bothered to ask to have it replaced.

Lightbringer
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Wellp, given the similarity between Thorfire and Sofirn lights, I just went’n‘ordered a few SP10 drivers. Best case, one’ll just drop in and I’ll be able to salvage the light. Worst case, I’ll have to “adapt” it to fit somehow.

Side-by-side, the dimensions look close enough I might be able to shoehorn it in without too much trauma.

Will see…

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Lightbringer
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Snoballz wrote:
I have a Sofirn SP31 that does that. Will sometimes shine at full brightness for a few seconds and then goes to barely visible with all modes including strobe. Since I bought it secondhand I never bothered to ask to have it replaced.

Wonder if it’s anything to do with a sense resistor somewhere. Ain’t a battery issue, else it wouldn’t turn on at all. Thinking maybe the resistance jumped up a lot, so just a little current would raise the sense voltage a lot. Just like doing a “resistor mod”, but in reverse.

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moderator007
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I have had a similar thing happen to one of my lights. The cause was a bad reflowed led to the MCPCB. Worked fine until I turned it on high then just a faint glow. Wasn’t making good contact and when I turned it on high It overloaded that bad connection and just gave a glow of the led after that no matter what I did. I would try reflowing the led first before changing the driver just to eliminate the possible cause and it doesn’t cost a thing. Wink
The bad part was, it was me who had reflowed the led the first time. Facepalm

Lightbringer
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Hmm, the equivalent of a really high resistance in series with the LED… now you tell me. Big Smile

Wellp, I imagine I can use the nekkid drivers for something else. Nice boost drivers, I’m sure I could do something with them…

 

Ooooh, this’d be a good excuse to toss a 219B in there…

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moderator007
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Reflowing the led fixed my glowing led issue. Didn’t cost me anything but time.

Zappaman
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moderator007 wrote:
Reflowing the led fixed my glowing led issue. Didn’t cost me anything but time.

The “dreaded” cold solder point. THE cause of 95% of ANY failures I’ve had in anything I’ve modded badly (or often fixed… as some here re-flowing the LED).

USE that resin! (and make sure the flow burns you fingers properly before removing the iron— when the tears start, the joint is usually solid— “burn once, solder once” Wink

ZappaMan

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moderator007 wrote:
...just a faint glow. Wasn't making good contact...

 

BINGO!

 

Reading 007's post made me think. (Seldom a good thing, but this time it worked fine...)

I unscrewed the head, removed the reflector, turned the light on (still dim) and used a pencil eraser to gently apply pressure to the emitter, pushing it toward it's board. Was promptly flash blinded by brilliance. The emitter that is, not my thought.

Being new to this hobby and not having experience, I would appreciate some advice here.

I'm no stranger to soldering. Early in my career I was doing component-level PCB repair in the field. Much of it was replacing hot-running rectifiers & voltage regulators that had failed because they had heat stressed their solder joints to the point of cracking. I still solder leads to switch terminals in some applications, mostly vintage motorcycle switchgear.

Anyway, I've seen a modding thread that talks about reflowing LED's. Must read that. Lightbringer mentions installing a Nichia emitter. I'd be interested in doing that, too.

So, advice needed please:

The only two soldering tools I have are an ancient Weller 25w stick with a conical tip from my days in the field. The other is a heavy 100/150w gun with a blunt chisel tip.

Is the 25w stick underpowered to reflow this particular LED? Is the gun overpowered?

Replacing the emitter is attractive. I'd like to do so by replacing the board/emitter (MCPCB?) as an assembly. That would give me a different light, while at the same time having the opportunity to try my hand at reflowing the original emitter, using it as a sacrificial component if I make a mistake.

What MCPCB/Nichia emitter assembly would I order and from where that would be a two-wire drop-in for the TK05?

Thanks for the assistance, all!

Great... Carnac the Magnificent tells me I just signed up for yet another expensive hobby.

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moderator007 wrote:
I have had a similar thing happen to one of my lights. The cause was a bad reflowed led to the MCPCB. Worked fine until I turned it on high then just a faint glow. Wasn’t making good contact and when I turned it on high It overloaded that bad connection and just gave a glow of the led after that no matter what I did. I would try reflowing the led first before changing the driver just to eliminate the possible cause and it doesn’t cost a thing. Wink The bad part was, it was me who had reflowed the led the first time. Facepalm

My sp10 had a similar issue, and I only happened across it because of another members review. My led was not sitting flat. When I inspected it, it was raised to one side with a horrible cold solder connection. It worked, but once I heated it and tapped the oz Big Smile of solder out from under it, it was much brighter.
And to slijim, 25w might not be enough to unsolder the wires on the mpcb. 100w would certainly do it, but a large tip might cause problems. As far as reflowing, I use my wife’s electric griddle. though she doesn’t know that.

Brianbug

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My SP 10 b emitter fell off completely. It would operate dimly at first then not at all. Here is an excellent video on how to reflow an emitter for the noob like myself.

https://youtu.be/B3F68ubfBkk

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That iron will get hot enough to reflow it will just take a couple mins. I normally use a cigarette lighter. And have the mcpcb clipped into something. Takes like 10 seconds to reflow. I use a Weller 40watt iron and the lighter is still my favorite way. You can use a hot plate as well just need to get your solder or solder paste to melting temp. And the led kinda sucks it’s self and centers on the mcpcb. I use tweezers to push any excess solder out

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slmjim wrote:

moderator007 wrote:
...just a faint glow. Wasn't making good contact...

 

BINGO!

 

Reading 007's post made me think. (Seldom a good thing, but this time it worked fine...)

I unscrewed the head, removed the reflector, turned the light on (still dim) and used a pencil eraser to gently apply pressure to the emitter, pushing it toward it's board. Was promptly flash blinded by brilliance.

 

Thank you! I pressed down on the LED of my glowing Sofirn and it lit up to full power. Guess I need to learn how to reflow emitters.