Cyclone C88 with 6xAA -finished!

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jamio
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Cyclone C88 with 6xAA -finished!

What would you say about making this light for 6xAA configuration? The idea is add an extension tube and use two parallel connected 3AA battery holders. This will add many benefits to this great light. (review, review2, review3)

= half current drain per battery
= runtime performance will be better than with best currently available 26650 liion
= even alkaline AAs could be used for full power (but nimh will still do much better of course)
= double the runtime (more than double at higher currents as we know AAs can sustain >2.8amps only shortly, 1.4amps will stand much longer)
  approx. 1:10 hour on full 2.8amps with eneloops (according to eneloop.info), or even more with better batteries,  with eneloops XX I would estimate  about 1:30h on 2.8Amps, (then voltage falls below 1.2V per cell)


Assume this configuration for comparison: AA eneloopXX 2400mAh, currents H-2.8, M-0.8, L-0.1

Then for 3xAA runtimes are:
low- 24h
med- 3h
high- about 10min?, then output starts decline

Now runtimes for 6xAA:
low- 48h
med- 6h (300lm for 6h, not bad!)
high- 1:30h (estimated)


As far as I know the extension tube for C88 does not exist, also I don't know of any other budget lights with 6AA config.
So I started looking whether it would be possible to make it with reasonable price and this is what I have: if there will be enough interest - lets say at least 20 people would like to buy, I could get this extension tube built for approx. 12eur/ $15 + shipping. The material used would be aluminum 6060 T6, black anodization. (about anodization I have to note that I'm not sure it will 100% match the black finish of the flashlight, but black - should be very close)

The extension tube will add about 5,5cm (2.2inch) in length, so new length would be about 20cm (7.9inch)

Battery holders can be purchased cheap for example here, or here. It would be very easy to mod them for this use, just correctly glue two together and correctly! link with 2 wires. I can add pictures when my holders arrive.

So anyone seriously interested in this extension tube, please leave a note! As soon as we are 20 at least I'll make the order. For me +1, 19 more needed

Please feel free to post any ideas, advices.. 

jamio

Edited by: jamio on 10/02/2012 - 18:09
jamio
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I had no time yesteday to make a picture, so I'm adding now> it's not real yet, just paintbrushed/gimped how I see the flashlight will look with the extension tube.

 

Cyclone C88 with extension tube for 6AA

 

garrybunk
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I love that idea! 

-Garry

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ezarc
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Interested but would it require a driver swap also? 

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ezarc wrote:

Interested but would it require a driver swap also? 

It absolutely would.  The Nanjg driver is only rated to 6V and even at 6V they get very hot as well as inefficient since they can only burn off the excess current as heat.  You'd need a proper buck driver rated to at least 8.4V-9V and finding one in the proper 17mm size that will output 2.8A-3A is nearly impossible.  The closest in size would be 19mm AFAIK.  Now, in addition to a driver swap you need to fabricate a new heatsink to go with it or at least figure out how to mod the existing one to accommodate the larger driver.

Won't be as simple as adding an extended battery tube I'm afraid. Frown

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I think you'd be better off modifying the battery holders in such a way as to place the 3AA carriers in parallel.  Not a piece of cake, but I don't think it's too hard.

-Garry

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garrybunk wrote:

I think you'd be better off modifying the battery holders in such a way as to place the 3AA carriers in parallel.  Not a piece of cake, but I don't think it's too hard.

-Garry

Then you will need to make it longer to fit 3 carriers (3p3s) instead of 2.  Much easier but much longer.  I'd just mod a Maglite at that point.
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JohnnyMac wrote:

Then you will need to make it longer to fit 3 carriers (3p3s) instead of 2.  Much easier but much longer.  I'd just mod a Maglite at that point.

True, I didn't think of that, although it's hard for me to picture this without sketching it out or laying out the actual carriers.  Ok, well just add 2 extensions (or one long one) and throw in 3 C's or 3 D's!  Yes, at that point the Maglite sounds like the way to go.  Besides, this host is too expensive to do so much extra modding too.

-Garry

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jamio
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ezarc wrote:

Interested but would it require a driver swap also? 

No, no driver swap will be required! Nanjg driver is one of advantages of this flashlight, it have to remain Wink  As both battery carriers will be connected in parallel, voltage stays at 3.6V, capacity will double and current draw from each battery will be half >> runtimes comparison are in #1 post. Nothing else will be needed just the extension tube and DIY battery holder. Here is the picture how the holder will be made:

3AA parallel

jamio
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JohnnyMac wrote:

garrybunk wrote:

I think you'd be better off modifying the battery holders in such a way as to place the 3AA carriers in parallel.  Not a piece of cake, but I don't think it's too hard.

-Garry

Then you will need to make it longer to fit 3 carriers (3p3s) instead of 2.  Much easier but much longer.  I'd just mod a Maglite at that point.

 

I agree with this, in case of 3 carriers 3p3s I would also rather mod Maglite.

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jamio wrote:

No, no driver swap will be required! Nanjg driver is one of advantages of this flashlight, it have to remain Wink  As both battery carriers will be connected in parallel, voltage stays at 3.6V, capacity will double and current draw from each battery will be half >> runtimes comparison are in #1 post. Nothing else will be needed just the extension tube and DIY battery holder. Here is the picture how the holder will be made:

3AA parallel

Nice work.  Should work very well. I always over think things. Embarassed

trooplewis
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Or........

Buy a spare battery holder, keep three fresh AA's in it. 

When the torch's  batteries run low, swap it for the one in the light.

Problem solved. No custom parts, no wiring, no soldering.

Same result.

Rats, finally sold my 2010 509hp Mustang...now I can buy more lights!

Sold the red one too! Now guess what I drive, doing my penance for 500 hp commuters...

http://dreammustang.com/

http://i884.photobucket.com/albums/ac47/Ha

garrybunk
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trooplewis wrote:

Or........

Buy a spare battery holder, keep three fresh AA's in it. 

When the torch's  batteries run low, swap it for the one in the light.

Problem solved. No custom parts, no wiring, no soldering.

Same result.

 

Umm . . . not if the stats in the O.P. are correct:

 

jamio wrote:

= even alkaline AAs could be used for full power (but nimh will still do much better of course)
= double the runtime (more than double at higher currents as we know AAs can sustain >2.8amps only shortly, 1.4amps will stand much longer)

. . .

Assume this configuration for comparison: AA eneloopXX 2400mAh, currents H-2.8, M-0.8, L-0.1

Then for 3xAA runtimes are:
low- 24h
med- 3h
high- about 10min?, then output starts decline

Now runtimes for 6xAA:
low- 48h
med- 6h (300lm for 6h, not bad!)
high- 1:30h (estimated)

 

Look at the runtime on high comparison.

-Garry

My Bike Lights Thread, Optics (TIR) Comparison Beamshots, Diffusion Techniques


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Old-Lumens
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Once you go to all that trouble (And cost), you might just want to get a member in the US, to send you a maglite. A 2D maglite will take the holders and you can have a 6AA that way. You would also be able to have a good sized heatsink too. It's just a suggestion. A 2D incan Maglite is $15USD and it should take another $15 to send. $30-$35 versus the cost of a C88 + an extension.

Also, those battery holders have a lot of resistance in them. If possible, it would be better to "make a home made holder for 6AA", or at least replace the cheap tin with copper and use gold plated springs. 

It's a fine idea and I'm not saying it isn't a good idea. I'm just giving my thoughts on it.

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trooplewis
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garrybunk wrote:

trooplewis wrote:

Or........

Buy a spare battery holder, keep three fresh AA's in it. 

When the torch's  batteries run low, swap it for the one in the light.

Problem solved. No custom parts, no wiring, no soldering.

Same result.

 

Umm . . . not if the stats in the O.P. are correct:

 

jamio wrote:

= even alkaline AAs could be used for full power (but nimh will still do much better of course)
= double the runtime (more than double at higher currents as we know AAs can sustain >2.8amps only shortly, 1.4amps will stand much longer)

. . .

Assume this configuration for comparison: AA eneloopXX 2400mAh, currents H-2.8, M-0.8, L-0.1

Then for 3xAA runtimes are:
low- 24h
med- 3h
high- about 10min?, then output starts decline

Now runtimes for 6xAA:
low- 48h
med- 6h (300lm for 6h, not bad!)
high- 1:30h (estimated)

 

Look at the runtime on high comparison.

-Garry

Should be about the same, at least with eneloops. With primaries, you will get sag with three that you may avoid with 6, I agree.

Rats, finally sold my 2010 509hp Mustang...now I can buy more lights!

Sold the red one too! Now guess what I drive, doing my penance for 500 hp commuters...

http://dreammustang.com/

http://i884.photobucket.com/albums/ac47/Ha

garrybunk
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I think the big advantage is sustaining the 2.8A output for much longer time (since you're only drawing 1.4A off the cells). 

-Garry

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I agree, and even more so if using alkalines.  I just put a nanjg105c (1.4A) in the tractor supply 3xAA and run time with utilitech alkalines is nowhere near what I calculate it should be (from test discharging utilitechs at 1A w/ hobby charger).  I guess they can't hack the ~40% higher rate as well as I'd hoped.

Anyway, if you wanted to make 2 battery holders (3S) into one that's 2p3s, it might be easier if you ditched the metal contacts on one end of both, epoxied the two into one and then made the appropriate connections.

anyway, Jmac is right, buy a 2D mag - I saw 2D and 3D on clearance at tractor supply this week (available in store only but listed on website).

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jamio
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Old-Lumens wrote:

Once you go to all that trouble (And cost), you might just want to get a member in the US, to send you a maglite. A 2D maglite will take the holders and you can have a 6AA that way. You would also be able to have a good sized heatsink too. It's just a suggestion. A 2D incan Maglite is $15USD and it should take another $15 to send. $30-$35 versus the cost of a C88 + an extension.

Also, those battery holders have a lot of resistance in them. If possible, it would be better to "make a home made holder for 6AA", or at least replace the cheap tin with copper and use gold plated springs. 

It's a fine idea and I'm not saying it isn't a good idea. I'm just giving my thoughts on it.

 

About this mod vs. Maglite - if we consider modding maglite with XML there is this excellent mod made by jayrob on CPF, which I like very much. What I want to say is that to $15 incan maglite you have to add price of all other parts needed to mod, which results in

* Complete modified XM-L T6 Maglite - $129 (not including batteries or battery voltage monitor) Or add $25 for the Rebel build... (also not including battery holders)

 

Now C88 costs $45 with shipping, XM-L, good driver, pretty good press-fit heatsink which is able to divert heat from emitter well, and as was said in reviews, it is very nice looking, well build, feels good in hand, good mass for heatsinking, good beam... and personally I really like its design - simple and elegant. With extension tube attached it still has decent look, not very long (a lot of this is matter of taste of course)

Runtimes are better with maglite and two 5000mAh capacity 32600's, it's different category - but C88 with 6AA need not to be ashamed Smile, it'll hold the same lumen output as good, just shorter - this is how I think about it Smile

 

It is true that those battery holders have a higher resistance, but with freshly charged eneloops the default one shipped with Cyclone can give around 2amps at tailcap. As with parallel setup the overall resistance will be lower and max. current will be 1.4amp/cell - I think they will do okay as they are. But fixing them with a little solder or better springs would help to hold voltage&current even longer. Or one can build its own 3s2p holder, no problem with that.

mio

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I'd like to see a few more people weigh in on this - but if the OP is correct, I'm interested.

KumaBear

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Jamio, JohnnyMac, Gary, dthrckt, et.al - I like the idea of carrying an extra battery holder and/or trying to mod a couple for efficiency.  Can you guys tell from the eBay photos which would be the better one?

KumaBear

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KumaBear wrote:

Jamio, JohnnyMac, Gary, dthrckt, et.al - I like the idea of carrying an extra battery holder and/or trying to mod a couple for efficiency.  Can you guys tell from the eBay photos which would be the better one?

They look the same to me except for color. Both have similar construction with contact points and mods needed. Order one of each.
jamio
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JohnnyMac wrote:

KumaBear wrote:

Jamio, JohnnyMac, Gary, dthrckt, et.al - I like the idea of carrying an extra battery holder and/or trying to mod a couple for efficiency.  Can you guys tell from the eBay photos which would be the better one?

They look the same to me except for color. Both have similar construction with contact points and mods needed. Order one of each.

I think likewise, they are the same just different color and the whites are a bit cheaper. I already ordered two whites, when they arrive I'll post if they are different from the one shipped with cyclone.

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trooplewis wrote:

Or........

Buy a spare battery holder, keep three fresh AA's in it. 

When the torch's  batteries run low, swap it for the one in the light.

Problem solved. No custom parts, no wiring, no soldering.

Same result.

Well, technically you are right about this when considering lower currents e.g. med 0.8amp.  Because eneloops have very good discharging curve the difference between using one+one spare 3AA pack or one 3s2p will be very little in this case.

But we are all interested in high outputs and long runtimes, aren't we? Wink  (now with AAs)

 

KumaBear wrote:

I'd like to see a few more people weigh in on this - but if the OP is correct, I'm interested.

Why wouldn't the OP be correct? Smile It is very simple, once again example for full current 2.8A:

one AA battery pack = 2.8amps load per pack (and each battery in pack)

two parallel AA packs = 2.8a / 2  = 1.4amps load per pack (and each battery in both packs)

Then just compare on discharge graph (datasheets for eneloops are here) and look how much mAh it will give till voltage drops below LED Vin (+voltage drop on driver) at given current. Generally, the lower current draw from battery the better for battery, advantage of lower current draw with two parallel packs will be even more significant with lower quality AA, alkalines or in cold weather, when runnig the light on high with single pack wouldn't be possible, or very short only.

 

mio

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Hello all, I had not much time last few days to write but was still working on this project to move it forward. I see there are few of us interested in this idea yet and I feel the problem is that I have no real data about runtimes and performance, nothing to show that it really works as expected. Now good new is that I've finally found a supplier who is willing to make a first prototype of the extension tube with a reasonable costs!

I estimate it will be done next week, and I'm still waiting for my two AA carriers. (I ordered almost month ago) So as soon I'll have all together and build, I'll run the runtimes tests with light output, temperature.. everyone interested hold on for a while!

I would also like to try and mod the default pill, it works good, but I'm curious if it could be better Smile

So for now with a lot of not confirmed, let's wait till next week and then will see if this mod is actually worth it.

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jamio wrote:

Old-Lumens wrote:

Once you go to all that trouble (And cost), you might just want to get a member in the US, to send you a maglite. A 2D maglite will take the holders and you can have a 6AA that way. You would also be able to have a good sized heatsink too. It's just a suggestion. A 2D incan Maglite is $15USD and it should take another $15 to send. $30-$35 versus the cost of a C88 + an extension.

Also, those battery holders have a lot of resistance in them. If possible, it would be better to "make a home made holder for 6AA", or at least replace the cheap tin with copper and use gold plated springs. 

It's a fine idea and I'm not saying it isn't a good idea. I'm just giving my thoughts on it.

 

About this mod vs. Maglite - if we consider modding maglite with XML there is this excellent mod made by jayrob on CPF, which I like very much. What I want to say is that to $15 incan maglite you have to add price of all other parts needed to mod, which results in

* Complete modified XM-L T6 Maglite - $129 (not including batteries or battery voltage monitor) Or add $25 for the Rebel build... (also not including battery holders)

 

Now C88 costs $45 with shipping, XM-L, good driver, pretty good press-fit heatsink which is able to divert heat from emitter well, and as was said in reviews, it is very nice looking, well build, feels good in hand, good mass for heatsinking, good beam... and personally I really like its design - simple and elegant. With extension tube attached it still has decent look, not very long (a lot of this is matter of taste of course)

Runtimes are better with maglite and two 5000mAh capacity 32600's, it's different category - but C88 with 6AA need not to be ashamed Smile, it'll hold the same lumen output as good, just shorter - this is how I think about it Smile

 

It is true that those battery holders have a higher resistance, but with freshly charged eneloops the default one shipped with Cyclone can give around 2amps at tailcap. As with parallel setup the overall resistance will be lower and max. current will be 1.4amp/cell - I think they will do okay as they are. But fixing them with a little solder or better springs would help to hold voltage&current even longer. Or one can build its own 3s2p holder, no problem with that.

mio

Yes, jayrob's mod is nice, but of course it could be done for less than $50 for the whole thing, minus 3 or 4 AA batteries. Depends on who and how.

I wish you luck with it and I look forward to seeing what you have come up with. Modding is the essence of invention (I think), so good for you, for trying it out!

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jamio
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Yes the price is much better if you can save costs of international shipping for mag and all the parts needed. Also if you can do the parts for yourself.. Anyway, after cyclone will be finished, mag is very close to be another flashlight to mod, guess everyone here owns at least one Tongue Out

jamio
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Things have moved forward today and finally the ordered battery holders arrived! What is even better - the extension tube was finished meanwhile also and fits the Cyclone very well, have a look at pictures!

About the new battery holders quality - they are the same as the one shipped with Cyclone, as expected, I'm really curious how they will perform in parallel. The extension tube is not anodized yet and I will only paint it black, for testing will be good as it is. Now as soon as I build the batt.holder will do the tests and post the results!

 

c88 and extension tube

c88 with extension tube

ezarc
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Nice jamio, looking forward to how this ends up.

I would probably leave the tube silver myself, black paint will probably look bad close up Tongue Out

When do you plan to modify the battery holders?

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ezarc wrote:

Nice jamio, looking forward to how this ends up.

I would probably leave the tube silver myself, black paint will probably look bad close up Tongue Out

When do you plan to modify the battery holders?

Will build the holder tomorrow and test in the evening, that is the plan.

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The battery holder is finished! I didn't want to rush things and rather let the glue dry during the weekend. Here are pictures of how I made it, maybe it'll be usefull for some of you Smile

 

1 - cut these metal sheets as marked  (be sure to cut the right ones, one on (+) and one on (-) side, as the arrows pointing)

img1

 

2 - remove the metal sheets on the other sides
- now I soldered to each one little brass pill for better contact, but this is optional
- prepare two about 12cm long wires  and solder blue to (-) and red to (+) sheet. The blue is soldered on top side (as seen better on next picture) and the red is soldered on the inside - it is better for (+) protection against accidental short circuit with flashlight tube or driver

3 - drill hole in the plastic wide enough for the (+) cable, put the cable through and glue both sheets back to plastic holder

img2

- here is detail of how the blue cable is soldered, unfortunatelly I forgot to take image for the red cable, it is soldered from bottom of the sheet

img3

 

Now on the sides that will be glued together:

4 - cut small groove for blue cable, ideally with A shape so the cable 'click' in - this will help later at gluing
5 - bend the cables as on picture, cut for proper lenth and solder them to parts cutted in first step
img4

 

6 - clean both plastic surfaces (I used alcohol),
- apply enough glue in the middle of both plastic parts, also coat cables with a little glue
(the glue layer will be about 3mm thick when both parts are glued - the cables are glued in between and their thickness make those 3mm, so the best is apply enough glue in the middle  and when both parts are pressed together, glue will fill the space)

7 - carefully put the metal sheets on place, each on opposite holder, (easy because cables are long enough) align cables and press both parts together
- fill the glue where its still missing and remove excess glue
img5

 

Freshly glued, I used white Mamut glue from Den Braven, holds like crazy and the work is very good with it

img6

 

While the glue was drying, I also soldered the springs to the contacts

img7

 

And, final 3s2p holder - just added red/blue insulating tape to the ends to avoid accidental wrong inserting

img8

All parts are the original used in holders, there were only little brass pills added on each end and springs were soldered. I'm very curious how many amps will this modified holder be able to provide. I didn't test it yet but will do it very soon...  Now the next I want to do is direct-solder led to custom copper heatsink similar to Match's latest test. If all will go well the heatsink will be made this week!

So this is it for now, will post any update I'll have

 

 

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Gotta give you props, you are making it happen!

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