Match's Mods: 3XP-G modded Mini-Maglite (version 2.0)

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Match
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Match's Mods: 3XP-G modded Mini-Maglite (version 2.0)

Gentlemen,

This project started with a teaser post 3 days ago...Today (last night, technically) it lives.  From outside appearances,  except from the front, it looks like any other 2xAA mini maglite.  Stock dimensions, stock tail, stock finish.... a real sleeper! Behind the front lens though lies a lot of lumens.  How many?


Damn good question:  I tried two setups, one at 1.4a to each led and 950ma to each led.  Not having and intergrating sphere, I can only go off other published data. For example, at 1.4a the general consensus on the emitter lumens seems to be @ 1350LM.  I wonder if that makes this the highest lumen mini-mag yet? Enough speculation, let's get into the build!

The first step, as usual, is complete disassembly.  After writing down all the dimensions, a quick design sketch showed me that I had a bit over 20mm width by 16mm deep space to work with comfortably... i.e.  not much.  

Easy enough to do straight with a drill press.  I used two blocks of v-notched wood covered with scrap leather as the clap and to prevent marring the head.  I also drilled it slightly under 20mm (19.7mm) to allow hand lapping the copper pill/heatsink later.  Once that was done, it was time to move onto the pill.  In this case, the pill is (needs to be) a big hunk of pure copper. Since the diameter was @20mm, I was able to bore out the tail to exactly 17mm to allow the driver to fit completely.  A lot of grinding, polishing, sanding, and coffee went into this and here she is:

and one more:

 

With the hard part out of the way, it's time to turn attention to the star and driver:

 

After that, it's time to put everything all together.  I lapped the star and the top of the pill to make a perfectly flush seating surface, then used artic silver with Fujik on the very rim to seal it down.  The driver slides into the back, with the inductor bottoming out inside just as the base is flush with the rim...pefect!  (Note, driver has now been thermally potted with fujik inside the pill):

and one from the rear:

 

The last step left was to prep the body tube to maintain stock twist for on/off (opposite now). I removed the silly stock plastic parts and used a stepper bit to slowly enlarge the opening.  This was done to ensure the no contact is made to the positive center post by the body. The anodizing is removed from the top of the body to allow it to make and break contact with the negative ring on the pill.  Simple yet elegant.

Now comes assembling the light.  The pill slides in and bottoms out leaving the proper spacing for the optics.  Here's the undershot:

 

And now, the finished product!

World's brightest mini-mag

world's brightest mini mag mod

And a couple of shot of how it would look if purchased this way Tongue out

 

Here's a shot I took while in an overlit office in the middle of the day:

 

  And that's it!  Total project material cost turned out to be under $30, and that includes the light.  Using two flame trustfire 14500's I get @ 1.5a at the tail which is roughly 1a to each led.  I'm quite suprised on how well the design handles the heat.  Gripping the head firmly is definately a necessity.  Operation is simple and robust with a slight variation to the stock twist-off / twist-on design.  I'm pretty happy the way this project and design worked out.  All the parts fit together like a swiss watch, but then again hand lapping and sanding comprised 80% of the project time on this.  Only thing left now is to name my baby:  Mini-Match? suggestions?  As always if you have any questions, please ask.  I'm sure I've left a bit out, because I'm trying to post this quickly before going out to dinner with the wife.... Thanks for reading.

Update 4/2/2011

 I've sinced modified this original Mini-Match (thread here) with the addition of a QTC pad, which now gives the torch infinately variable output Cool


 

Edited by: sb56637 on 08/26/2014 - 17:29 Reason: sb56637 replaced budgetlightforum.cz.cc with budgetlightforum.com via Scanner Search and Replace module.
fishinfool
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Wow! Simply amazing Match!

I like Mini-Match.  Mini-Match's Mini-Mag.....Cool

Maybe you can do a few beamshots when you get a chance.

Don wrote:

"But as I said long ago, you are more likely to be killed by a dead fish dropped by a seagull in the Sahara Desert than by a lithium ion

Piers
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Oooh! You've really out done your self there, amazing work.

 

It's so well done it looks like they should all be like that, the ones we normaly see must be fakes Smile

 

Now you just need to make a few more of those pills up and stick them on CPF for about $400 each! Silly

scruffy dog
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outstanding

 how much could you do a few for your friends at BLF

 i would pay a fare price  i will take 2 if you ever decide do them

old4570
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That is a very nice mod ...

Question . what driver did you use ? 

 

Congratulations !  Bye the way ...  

 Always remember , the easiest thing in the world to do , is to expel hot air from your lungs and through some vocal chords ..
The resulting sound may , or may not be worth listening too ….

 

Don
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Mini-Match definitely!

What really impresses me is that you did it all without a lathe.

I imagine it gets more than a little warm.

 

The numbers from my light tests are always to be found here.

https://spreadsheets.google.com/ccc?key=0ApkFM37n_QnRdDU5MDNzOURjYllmZHI...

okwchin
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Its sooo pretty....!!!

 

I too am interested in what driver and where you got them from. My guess is thats its a 2.8A multimode driver, Driving the LEDs in parallel.  Wonder where you got the triple emitter star. I can read LUXDRIVE on it.. INDUS star 008.

1.5A on the tail, at what is probably 7.4v (say, worst case) is close to 3C discharge rate? thats 20 mins BURNtime. 10 watts of burn!

 

WHat do you use on the drill press, obviously not your standard twist drills. Its soo clean and square!!

"like everyone else - I’m looking for my next “last” flashlight" -  ohnonothimagain

jekostas
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Three XP-Gs and a 2x14500s in a Maglite body?  How about "house warmer" for a name?

Seriously awesome job, though.  Looks like an insane setup.

So buddy, when ya gonna start selling Match Mod Specials?

Oldienea
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Very solid work.

I suggest to call it Mini-Match 3-G, just in case you want to do a different version on the same hoist later. For example the Mini-Match 1-L. (What could I mean with 1-L??Wink)

sb56637
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Exquisite work there Match! Outstanding attention to detail, and it's nice to know that inside your light you have such a clean, simple design that even I can understand, instead of a concoction of spaghetti and glue like in some other lights. And at the end of this $30 project, I bet you got a lot more satisfaction out of it than a certain other poor guy who spent $30,000!

Frontpage'd and Sticky'd, I just added one of your finished photos into the teaser section so it's prettier on the front page, look ok?

Budget Light Forum ...where Frugal meets with Flashlight!

Huny74
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Great work, Match - again! Thanks for sharing  Beer

Suddenly I don't like my 1 x XP-G Mini Mag any more... Wink

Question (I may have missed it): what driver did you use?

Match
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Thanks for the kind words guys.  This torch is quickly becoming my favorite.  I'm not normally a fan of twisties, but when the stock plastic junk is removed and the threads cleaned up the action is silky smooth...and very precise:  A 1/4 turn will lock it out. I've caught myself just sitting there turning it on and off ... I really need to get some outdoor beamshots up.  Amazing amount of light for such a tiny package, and I love the beam pattern.

 

scruffy dog wrote:

how much could you do a few for your friends at BLF?

Good question.  Honestly I don't know... I make these posts to help show others how to make/mod their own lights. I never intended for it to sell, and I would be embarrassed to mention how much I'd need for this particular one considering the hours of design, testing, machining, and assembly.  But, once the first one's done, the rest is merely repetitionWink.  That's a good question though...How much do you think something like this should be priced at? Or, more obscenely, how much something like this would go for on another site? Please note the materials alone would probably be closer to $50 (I had either stuff on hand or found a rediculously good deal on the others).

 

Don wrote:

What really impresses me is that you did it all without a lathe.

Sorry to disappoint you on this one, Don...but I did use a lathe on the heatsink.  Hand filing 1" barstock down to exacting dimensions didn't sound like a good plan.  Even with hand fitting, I would never have been able to hold the correct tolerances if done completely by hand.

okwchin wrote:

Wonder where you got the triple emitter star.

  The star and optics come from ledsupply.com I think I'm going to do another one in Warm tint! 

 

Old4570 wrote:

Question . what driver did you use ? 

I had an unused driver laying around from an old failed project.  It came out of this drop-in. I was able to change the current output by varying the sense resistor.  I'm going to try to find a different one though....after seeing how nice the twist action on the head is, it'd be nice to have a multi-mode, not to mention would make it immensely more useful (It's hard to imagine NOT needing 1k lumens all the timeTongue out)

 

Oldienea wrote:

I suggest to call it Mini-Match 3-G

  Well, Mini-Match it is! (3G editionWink)

 

  




old4570
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Thank you ..

Multi mode 17mm driver for 8.4v  ???   Does such an animal exist ..  

19mm I know of ..  

 Always remember , the easiest thing in the world to do , is to expel hot air from your lungs and through some vocal chords ..
The resulting sound may , or may not be worth listening too ….

 

ezeqdb
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This is just beautiful Smile

"no le temo a la oscuridad, la oscuridad me teme a mí"

xP.1337
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man. i dont have access to the tools to make the pill in this one! nice tho anyways!

dorpmuller
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Crap... no machining access either... that's a beautiful job.

I'm certain the star came from LED Supply. I use them a lot-real good people!

I seriously want to do some of these, like my triples I did.

If you could make these heatsinks, I'd take at least two, depending on price. I don't think the plumbing aisle would have anything I could use.

Seriously, please let me know.

Rich

"I am the flashlight king! I can light anything!"

moviles2
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very nice dropin and mod

Match
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Hey guys...I just shot this tonight.  It's my first attempt at a video, so please be gentle.  I grabbed 3 other ligths at random aid in comparison.  They are a stock 2xAA mini mag, an EDI-T T11, and a Zebralight SC60.  The little "shoot-n-share" camcorder I used looked like it only captured a fraction of the light from all of them, as they're all much brighter in real life. 

  A few notes:  Wanting to keep under the 1.5C max discharge of my trustfires, I'm running the mini-match at 2.2A total (1.15 at the tailcap).  Besides not killing my cells, this seems to be a pretty good sweetspot for output vs heat and battery life. In usage it looks like it's easily putting out double the light of the Zebra, with a huge hotspot. I just got a luxmeter so I did some ceiling bounce lux readings (I really need to build an I.S.).  Here they are:

Stock mini-maglight: .6 lux

Zebralight SC60:  9.3lux

Mini-match: 20 lux

Manafont XM-L drop-in (3.2A taildraw): 25 lux

 

More to come later.

jacktheclipper
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WOW

fishinfool
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Cool video Match.  I was wondering if you can do a whole lot more video time with the triple on your neighbors house. :bigsmile:

Don wrote:

"But as I said long ago, you are more likely to be killed by a dead fish dropped by a seagull in the Sahara Desert than by a lithium ion

scruffy dog
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thanks for sharing

VERRRRY NICE

SashiX
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Excellent mod, match Crown Do you have any wall beam shots? 

Match
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I was just playing around with NiZn cells in this just to see what it would do.  I was actually suprised.  They drove it for over a half an hour (when my patience ran out).  Obviously not as bright as the 14500's, but still brighter than the Zebra SC60.  Here's my little comparison with the NiZn added:

Zebralight SC60:  9.3lux

Mini-match (NiZn): 11.5lux

Mini-match (14500's): 20 lux

Manafont XM-L drop-in (3.2A taildraw): 25 lux

 

Not suprisingly regular alkalines would not fire it up.

Match
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Ok...here's some white wall shots as compared to the Zebralight SC60.

SC60 always on left, Mini-Match on right:

 

SecaRob
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Very nice work Match.  I admire you guys that have the patience and skill to create items like this

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Very impressive Match! Thanks for posting.

ezeqdb
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It would be great to find a driver with modes for this light

"no le temo a la oscuridad, la oscuridad me teme a mí"

xP.1337
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i think you should start selling the heat sinks/pills

Match
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Update:

I have finally been able to source another driver for this project.  The only problem was it was 19mm vs 17mm, which required a complete rework and redesign(big pain in the butt...).  It was just easier to start with a new light (red one this timeTongue out).  Here's the list of changes:

- 3.2A supplied to the triple xpg star

- Neutral White

- 3 Modes: low, med, high

-Mode memory

- Reverse battery protection, low voltage protection,and probably most importantly, thermal protection ( the board will drop to low mode if temp gets too high) 

May I present the Mini-Match version 2.0

 

I'll try to get some better pics and some beamshots up later. 


Budgeteer
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Wow what a set of features. Looks like a sellable product in a much higher range than budget easily.

kragmutt wrote:

They're gonna send you a green redcat with a black LED.

ezeqdb
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Neutral tint + multimode with no-strobes + thermal protection.. thats a dream.. I want one.. Cry

"no le temo a la oscuridad, la oscuridad me teme a mí"

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