[MOD] Zebralight SC64c emitter swaps

33 posts / 0 new
Last post

Pages

Bob_McBob
Offline
Last seen: 2 hours 21 min ago
Joined: 08/14/2016 - 04:53
Posts: 294
Location: Canada
[MOD] Zebralight SC64c emitter swaps

This is a mod I was hoping I could to do as soon as I saw the SC64c was announced, but it took a long time and another BLF member taking the initiative to finally get it done. The stock XP-L2 EasyWhite is ugly enough I returned my original SC64c after determining a mod would be too risky. Recently, BLF member moridin posted about modding multiple SC600-series lights with fairly basic techniques, as well as an easy method of removing the bezel, which inspired me to finally give the SC64c mod a shot.

The SC64c is interesting because the unusual 3V configuration allows a large number of useful emitter swaps compared to most current Zebralights if you can manage to navigate your way around the integrated driver and MCPCB (it’s a pain in the ass!). I documented the mod in an external gallery (see the bottom of the post), but here are some before and after shots.

After disassembling the light, I spent a long time comparing potential emitters with the bare reflector as well as in an Armytek Tiara Pro with a 4000K Nichia E21A as reference. I came to the conclusion the Samsung LH351Ds I obtained from AEDe had the nicest mix of tint, output, and hotspot size with the SC64c reflector. I think a smaller emitter like a 219B, 219C, or the Luminus SST-20-W that is gaining some traction would simply produce too small a hotspot to be useful as an EDC light. Of course, there is always the option of fitting a different reflector or TIR optic in the light if you are handy.

LH351D in SC64c reflector vs. stock SC63w:

219C:

I did some brief initial output testing and measured 743 turn-on lumens vs. 771 stock, which is quite respectable. It will probably be a touch lower after reinstalling the bezel and lens in a day or two when I’m confident everything is working well. I’ve very happy with the mod and incredibly pleased it went off without any major hiccups. This is a quick beamshot comparison with the SC63w. I won’t say it’s the most amazing emitter swap I’ve ever done, but it’s a significant upgrade over stock.

Mod documentation:
https://imgur.com/a/N9scBiB

Tint comparisons for various emitters including digikey LH351Ds:
https://imgur.com/a/9O8Zi4n

Hotspot comparison for LH351D and 219C:
https://imgur.com/a/Rdswb6N
https://imgur.com/a/TEoS1c5

Edited by: Bob_McBob on 10/18/2018 - 15:44
Bob_McBob
Offline
Last seen: 2 hours 21 min ago
Joined: 08/14/2016 - 04:53
Posts: 294
Location: Canada

moridin
Offline
Last seen: 2 weeks 22 hours ago
Joined: 07/16/2011 - 15:36
Posts: 34
Location: Germany

Great Mod! Now I’m thinking again about getting a SC64 Wink
I read about a brownish spot in the center of the beam. Do you see anything like that after your mod?

Cheers
Alex

Tixx
Offline
Last seen: 4 days 11 hours ago
Joined: 08/27/2015 - 22:34
Posts: 177
Location: United States

Very cool! I don’t have the skill to do this myself. One of my favorite lights, it is with me now.

Bob_McBob
Offline
Last seen: 2 hours 21 min ago
Joined: 08/14/2016 - 04:53
Posts: 294
Location: Canada

Stock SC63w on the right:

Geuzzz
Geuzzz's picture
Offline
Last seen: 2 hours 45 min ago
Joined: 10/25/2015 - 10:27
Posts: 702
Location: Netherlands

Nicely done Bob. Congrats on a great light.

Bob_McBob
Offline
Last seen: 2 hours 21 min ago
Joined: 08/14/2016 - 04:53
Posts: 294
Location: Canada

Here’s a brief comparison of the LH351D SC64c and its original XP-L2 EasyWhite installed in a Tiara. If you view the images full size it’s pretty obvious the XP-L2 is much greener and just doesn’t have the same colour pop, which is exactly what it looks like in person.

Bob_McBob
Offline
Last seen: 2 hours 21 min ago
Joined: 08/14/2016 - 04:53
Posts: 294
Location: Canada

I finally got around to pressing the bezel so I can now actually EDC the light.

And since these threads always end with “and I pressed the bezel in some unpictured way, the end” here is how I actually pressed it. This is a precision toolmakers/screwless vise, with soft material at either end of the light to protect the finish. I’ve used a regular bench vise in the past, but I wanted fine control since the bezel is shallow and doesn’t have a fixed stop (SC63w shown for reference).

I have a couple more of these lights on order to try some other configurations, including TIR optics. Will report back with findings Cool

Bob_McBob
Offline
Last seen: 2 hours 21 min ago
Joined: 08/14/2016 - 04:53
Posts: 294
Location: Canada

I also meant to add, final output measurement is 725 lumens turn-on, down from 771 with the stock emitter. Quite respectable! My meter may also be reading the warm high CRI light a little low since maukka’s review sample was 814 lumens stock.

nick779
nick779's picture
Offline
Last seen: 14 hours 9 min ago
Joined: 03/09/2018 - 15:46
Posts: 189
Location: Pittsburgh, PA

I really like the size of the S63/64 but I really dont like the available emitters, nor the non frosted lens. I really like the tint/beam with the LH351 though. Definitely not a mod I would consider doing though.

Very nice work.

Bob_McBob
Offline
Last seen: 2 hours 21 min ago
Joined: 08/14/2016 - 04:53
Posts: 294
Location: Canada

Oh hi there Cool

Bob_McBob
Offline
Last seen: 2 hours 21 min ago
Joined: 08/14/2016 - 04:53
Posts: 294
Location: Canada

Since I have some extra SC64cs now, I can finally get some validation the Samsung mod was actually worthwhile. You be the judge. The stock XP-L2 tint is exactly the same as I’ve seen in four different samples of the SC64c so far this year. The beam profile is different with the LH351D; hotspot more defined, but floodier coma. It’s no sw45k, but it looks positively rosy side-by-side, and the significantly higher R9 is quite evident in use.

Stock XP-L2 EasyWhite

LH351D

goshdogit
goshdogit's picture
Offline
Last seen: 3 hours 7 min ago
Joined: 12/03/2015 - 21:28
Posts: 832

Nice work! Thumbs Up I’m staying tuned to see more!

You seem to have a knack for modding Zebras. I was excited to get a 219B R9080 into my H51w, but that involved breaking the lens.

My SC62w has been my trusty EDC for three years.

You’re not helping me to resist opening it… Big Smile

Bob_McBob
Offline
Last seen: 2 hours 21 min ago
Joined: 08/14/2016 - 04:53
Posts: 294
Location: Canada

The issue with the SC62w is it has the same style of integrated driver as the SC64c, and since it’s XM-L2 like many ZLs of that era, you don’t have a lot of options for an emitter swap. The XM-L2 EasyWhite is the wrong voltage, so you’re basically limited to finding a slightly preferable XM-L2. Kaidomain sells a warm white that’s been described as 90+ CRI on BLF, though the product listing doesn’t say it, and that warm a tint isn’t for everyone.

http://kaidomain.com/Cree-XM-L2-T3-7A3-Warm-White-3000K-3250K-LED-Emitter

Bob_McBob
Offline
Last seen: 2 hours 21 min ago
Joined: 08/14/2016 - 04:53
Posts: 294
Location: Canada

JaredM
JaredM's picture
Offline
Last seen: 1 day 3 hours ago
Joined: 10/31/2011 - 13:33
Posts: 473
Location: Donegal, Pennsylvania (SW)

I have an SC63w. I’ve been considering trying to open it up to put in a HI emitter. But never considered it worth it as I can’t find one in the right tint/bin. Biggest issue I have with mine is the tint shift and often thought about a TIR mod to take it the other way (floody) just to blend it better. Also avoiding removing that mcpcb sounds great.

How perfectly do the optics fit? What are the dimensions of the stock reflector?

Bob_McBob
Offline
Last seen: 2 hours 21 min ago
Joined: 08/14/2016 - 04:53
Posts: 294
Location: Canada

Keep in mind Zebralight recently announced the SC64w HI, though as with all things Zebralight there is no way to know when or if it will show up for sale. With that said, Arrow sells a very nice 80+ CRI XHP35 HI in 4500K that may actually be the same one Zebralight uses in the SC600w HI. Zak (zak.wilson) and I have used it in quite a few lights with good results. The more exotic options available right now are a 90+ 3000K XHP35 HI and 90+ 5700K XHP35 HD, both also available from Arrow.

https://www.arrow.com/en/products/xhp35a-h0-0000-0d0hc445e/cree

The optic in my photo is a 10 degree beaded from Yajiamei. It fits fine seated on the emitter, and should be held firmly with the bezel pressed on the glass lens. I won’t guarantee it will work until I’ve had the opportunity to test it more, but it seems like a fairly safe bet. The profile is the typical TIR with most of the output in the hotspot and a small amount of spill. You only lose 5m of throw from stock, which isn’t too bad. Of special interest is that it makes the stock XP-L2 EasyWhite in the SC64c look significantly less hideous, eliminating the puke green corona around the hotspot. It’s still visibly green beside the Samsung version though.

JaredM
JaredM's picture
Offline
Last seen: 1 day 3 hours ago
Joined: 10/31/2011 - 13:33
Posts: 473
Location: Donegal, Pennsylvania (SW)

Hey, Bob. Thanks for the tip on sourcing a nice 35HI. That 80CRI 4500k sounds great to me, considering it’s Cree we’re talking about. Ideally, I go for 5B/5A or 3A/3D. Haven’t had great luck with 4Cs, and never saw a 4A/4D from Cree – ever. If you say that it’s decent though, I’ll give it a try. The HI plus beaded TIR should result in similar throw (which isn’t much) with negligible tint shift. Optics choices are plenty though, so there’d be experimentation..

(Day dreaming) A quad e21a sure would be a sweet setup in these though..

JaredM
JaredM's picture
Offline
Last seen: 1 day 3 hours ago
Joined: 10/31/2011 - 13:33
Posts: 473
Location: Donegal, Pennsylvania (SW)

Just curious, has anyone been brave enough to try these drivers on a 6V emitter? Clemence did something like that in the Armyteks I believe. Had reduced current, but worked IIRC. Being that I almost never use Max/turbo due to heat, that could work out just fine for me.

Bob_McBob
Offline
Last seen: 2 hours 21 min ago
Joined: 08/14/2016 - 04:53
Posts: 294
Location: Canada

The Armytek boost driver will happily supply 12V or 6V, you just get reduced output from a 6V LED because the current stays the same. I’m not sure how ZL’s drivers behave because as far as I’m aware only moridin and I have done emitter swaps on lights produced since they stopped using XM-L2s across the range. There isn’t a 6V emitter I know of that would fit the pads in the SC63w.

Bob_McBob
Offline
Last seen: 2 hours 21 min ago
Joined: 08/14/2016 - 04:53
Posts: 294
Location: Canada

Nichia 219B R9080 sw45k

505 lumens of rosy R9080 goodness at turn-on, with a fairly tight beam. I think some people might prefer it with DC-fix or a floody 15 degree optic. I have some issues with beaded optics because they tend to project the shape of the LED package when the dome is too small.

goshdogit
goshdogit's picture
Offline
Last seen: 3 hours 7 min ago
Joined: 12/03/2015 - 21:28
Posts: 832

Gorgeous! Love

Bob_McBob
Offline
Last seen: 2 hours 21 min ago
Joined: 08/14/2016 - 04:53
Posts: 294
Location: Canada

sw45k tint vs. stock (different distance to the wall so ignore the beam profile)

This is an SC600w III HI at the same output and distance as the sw45k shot to get a feel for how throwy it is.

I think my personal preference for this light is to diffuse the beam, which really makes the sw45k shine. This is a 15 degree frosted optic, which lowers output to about 430 lumens. The other options are either etching the back of the stock lens or supplying some D-C fix, which would probably both have a similar output loss.

Gunga
Gunga's picture
Offline
Last seen: 9 hours 26 min ago
Joined: 11/28/2014 - 16:56
Posts: 1639
Location: Vancouver, Canada

So where do I sign up for one of these!

Bob_McBob
Offline
Last seen: 2 hours 21 min ago
Joined: 08/14/2016 - 04:53
Posts: 294
Location: Canada

I’ve been convinced to build a few of these so I will keep you updated Smile

CRX
CRX's picture
Offline
Last seen: 49 min 43 sec ago
Joined: 04/02/2013 - 15:27
Posts: 3019
Location: Scotland

Nice work Thumbs Up

richnpc
Offline
Last seen: 8 hours 48 min ago
Joined: 07/17/2011 - 10:59
Posts: 306
Location: USA

How could I miss this thread, subscribed, and watching for further updates. I may be interested too.

Bob_McBob
Offline
Last seen: 2 hours 21 min ago
Joined: 08/14/2016 - 04:53
Posts: 294
Location: Canada

Here’s a big batch of beamshots with various configurations at reasonably similar outputs. My personal preference is for the d-c fix because it isn’t too floody and maintains reasonable output and throw. With clear glass I measure 505 lumens and 5135 cd at turn-on, or 143.3m throw. With d-c fix it drops to 465 lumens and 2745 cd, or 104.8m throw. I also have some OEM frosted glass on the way to try, which I suspect will be somewhere between the frosted optic and d-c fix.

SC63w control shot:

LH351D:

219B w/clear glass (505 lumens):

219B w/d-c fix (465 lumens):

219B w/15 degree frosted optic (440 lumens):

219B w/frosted glass (465 lumens):

clemence
clemence's picture
Offline
Last seen: 1 hour 59 min ago
Joined: 07/12/2015 - 02:58
Posts: 1783
Location: Bali - Indonesia

Now you must ask for credit to ZL since they’re annoucing the LH351 version! Only saw this via our whatsapp chat, thought you haven’t post it here. I like the TIR optics for it’s many options. Don’t close the bezel yet. You better make another sacrificial bezel from PEEK or any hard strong plastic for future lens change (I know you WILL do it soon).

Great job dude.

- Clemence

Bob_McBob
Offline
Last seen: 2 hours 21 min ago
Joined: 08/14/2016 - 04:53
Posts: 294
Location: Canada
clemence wrote:
Great job dude.

Thank you, that means a lot coming from you Grad

Bob_McBob
Offline
Last seen: 2 hours 21 min ago
Joined: 08/14/2016 - 04:53
Posts: 294
Location: Canada
Gunga wrote:
So where do I sign up for one of these!

I just posted a small number of these for sale Smile

http://budgetlightforum.com/node/63288

Pages