The other half of the comparison thread - Modding the Nitecore EA4 - It's DONE and Beam Shots are up!

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Old-Lumens
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The other half of the comparison thread - Modding the Nitecore EA4 - It's DONE and Beam Shots are up!

Well, I did an EA8 already, so what could be different about modding an EA4? Four less batteries...

ea41a

Here's the light torn down. It has the same thin star and thin heat sink plate. It has the same plastic holder for the heat sink, switch, driver/contact plate, so it's the same as the EA8. The problem is it's only four NiMHs, so I will be using an XM-L2 led.

 

ea41b

Instead of getting rid of the stock plastic holder and the stock thin heat sink plate, I'm just going to back that thin plate with some copper.

ea41c

That copper round will now fit tight in the body. I made that thing out of 3 squares of copper. I cut them to hexagon shape, flattened them and soldered them together with pressure. Then I filed and finally used a small sanding drum on the drill press, to get the shape. I had some aluminum rod stock the right diameter, so I used it to trace the pattern. I think it's going to work out well.

ea41d

I will cut down the plastic holder so that when it's all together it will still be the same stack height. I believe there will be a lot better heat sinking with this. I will have enough room to slide a DrJones driver in and I will strip the driver so I can keep it as the upper contact plate.

 

ea41e

I have an XM-L2 T6 3C and I have a 3amp DrJones driver. I will add chips to bring it to 4 amps (around 4 amps- 3040mA +350+350+350=4090). I am not sure if I will use the switch that is on the star already or the black one next to it. Both are momentary, but the black one has a nice soft click to it, so I may use it.

 

It's finished, here's a couple more photos.

ass23e

The driver is now just a contact plate.

dstr76

smd switch is in place

bnhmyu9

DrJones driver is glued in place

wed5456

Other side, with the switch wires on

dfvt769

The whole pill, ready to go

fgbuui

It's finished, now for beam shots

 

 

 Beam Shots. These are Mouseovers.

The Mouse Out is the Modded Light  and  the Mouse Over is the Original Light on Turbo.

All settings were the same on the camera.

ae4mo1

ea4mo2

ea4mo3

ea4mo4

ea4mo5

 

The XM-L2 I used was supposed to be a T6 3C, but I doubt it. I think it was a cooler tint than 3C. The stock light was a warm. It was an EA4W, so this shows a good example of warm versus cool.

That's all Folks. I'm done.

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Edited by: Old-Lumens on 06/03/2013 - 03:17
Dale
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Cant wait to see the comparisons after the mods

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i’m a bit surprised you didn’t stay with the stock driver since it should work fine with xm-l2

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Bort wrote:
i'm a bit surprised you didn't stay with the stock driver since it should work fine with xm-l2

Once I add the extra heat sinking, there won't be room for the stock driver. 

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Bort
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Old-Lumens wrote:

Bort wrote:
i’m a bit surprised you didn’t stay with the stock driver since it should work fine with xm-l2

Once I add the extra heat sinking, there won’t be room for the stock driver. 


how long can the 4 nimh stay in regulation on the 105c driver?

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Bort wrote:
Old-Lumens wrote:

Bort wrote:
i’m a bit surprised you didn’t stay with the stock driver since it should work fine with xm-l2

Once I add the extra heat sinking, there won’t be room for the stock driver. 


how long can the 4 nimh stay in regulation on the 105c driver?

Eh probably the entire runtime. Eneloops jump off a cliff shortly after reaching 1.05V at a 5A load.

Based on HKJ’s excellent plot of V vs. Time I reckon between 20-25 minutes continuous full output on High.

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The light is finished and beam shots are up, in the OP.

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That’s quite a difference in output.

Awesome shots.

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Thats quite an improvement. Are you happy with the way its turned out? Which light do you prefer now after the mods? I sound like a broken record.

 

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Those beam shots are good… really good! You did a good job in modding the FL.

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Nice mod as usual, think i gotta pick this up.

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jacktheclipper wrote:

Yes indeed.

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MRsDNF wrote:
Thats quite an improvement. Are you happy with the way its turned out? Which light do you prefer now after the mods? I sound like a broken record.
I'm happy with the fact that the copper really puts the heat out to the body now. When I fired this thing up to do beam shots, the body was warm in less than 30 seconds and after a minute there was no mistaking that this thing was pumping the heat out. Output is better than stock, but it's also a cool white versus a warm white, so much of that is just the fact that cool white always "looks brighter". Overall it was a success, but if I had to choose, I would choose the TR-A9. It has a more defined beam and is a better thrower. It's slightly heavier and I like that. It also does not feel like it's going to fall out of your hand, like the EA4 does. The EA4 is slick and harder to hold onto.

The A9 has issues in stock form. It is touted as 2s/2P, but I found that it was manually changed to 4S by someone along the way. The light I got was 4S in configuration and that's not at all necessary unless they had the wrong drivers for 2S and had to change the lights. It has a cheap glass lens and that's the biggest downfall for me, along with the poor output in stock form.

 

My vote goes for the A9 in modded form and the EA4 in stock form.

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wow – nice mod!

Would you mind keeping the wrong flashlight?
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Thank you for the pics! It looks brighter, more spill, but I do prefer the warmer tint.

Old-Lumens wrote:

Once I add the extra heat sinking, there won’t be room for the stock driver. 

I was wondering if the stock heat sinking could be improved but I guess there isn’t enough room.

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Very nice mod! I need to find some copper to do press in heatsinks for some other lights.

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An MT-G2 with 14500s in the ea4 body would have been cool given the improved the heatsinking. Despite what appears (from your ea8 teardown) to be a small contact between the heatsink pad and the walls of the body, my stock ea4w seems to gets warm almost immediately. In a low power device like the XM-L led is there more heat generated than the flux between the 2mm disc and the body can handle? If not they’d probably get quite a bit of mileage simply by improving the interface between the parts.

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Is that the same micro switch you referenced before? Nice build. I learn with each build but it’s still hard to acquire more skill doing infrequent work. You do an excellent job pushing your skills to keep up with your enginuity.

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Rufusbduck wrote:
Is that the same micro switch you referenced before? Nice build. I learn with each build but it's still hard to acquire more skill doing infrequent work. You do an excellent job pushing your skills to keep up with your enginuity.
Both sytles of switch came from Spark Fun.

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Old-Lumens wrote:

ae4mo1

This is my favorite shot. Apparently your new mod is so powerful that it vaporized your garbage dumpster! Shocked Better be careful with your garage door too. :bigsmile:

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Question. How easy is the switch to remove. Most importantly would it be easy to replace the rubber switch boot? Is there any locktite on the light or is disassembling it pretty straight forward? I have taken apart about 6 or 7 lights- but my concern with this one is screwing it up because it might be sealed.

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mhanlen wrote:
Question. How easy is the switch to remove. Most importantly would it be easy to replace the rubber switch boot? Is there any locktite on the light or is disassembling it pretty straight forward? I have taken apart about 6 or 7 lights- but my concern with this one is screwing it up because it might be sealed.
There is no loctite. The "pill", consisting of the led/star, driver section (plastic) and the contact plate all come out the front, by pushing from the back, (against that upper contact plate. I used a 1/2" rod against the contact plate and tapped lightly till it all came out.

You can replace the rubber boot after that is all out. It can be troublesome to fit it all back in, since nothing really holds the boot in. There's a boot and button and all that has to be laid in the light and then the rest has to slide back in in proper alignment.

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Old-Lumens wrote:

mhanlen wrote:
Question. How easy is the switch to remove. Most importantly would it be easy to replace the rubber switch boot? Is there any locktite on the light or is disassembling it pretty straight forward? I have taken apart about 6 or 7 lights- but my concern with this one is screwing it up because it might be sealed.
There is no loctite. The “pill”, consisting of the led/star, driver section (plastic) and the contact plate all come out the front, by pushing from the back, (against that upper contact plate. I used a 1/2” rod against the contact plate and tapped lightly till it all came out.

You can replace the rubber boot after that is all out. It can be troublesome to fit it all back in, since nothing really holds the boot in. There’s a boot and button and all that has to be laid in the light and then the rest has to slide back in in proper alignment.

Thanks for the prompt response. Nitecore is offering a replacement on these lights if you email their service department. But only if your boot is comprised of the old material and is currently defective. While my boot for now is ok, I see the eventuality of my piercing the boot or something (inadvertently) and having to replace the switch. Only Nitecore is saying it does not want you to attempt this yourself. Of course the boot may degrade several months down the road because it is made of the old stuff. Anyway, it’d be nice if you could just buy some of these switches. Oh and going back and looking at your ea8 thread, man there’s some cheap “S” inside, isn’t there. I guess all the money is in the driver design, and not the build materials. Oh well. Anytime I ever spend this much again on a light, I’ll look for a full dis-assembly first.

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Old-Lumens wrote:

Rufusbduck wrote:
Is that the same micro switch you referenced before? Nice build. I learn with each build but it’s still hard to acquire more skill doing infrequent work. You do an excellent job pushing your skills to keep up with your enginuity.
Both sytles of switch came from Spark Fun.

Hiya matey, can you give any more details on the switch used in this mod please?? I’m doing a similar mod having been given a broken EA4 to play with. But I’m having trouble finding a suitable switch to use.

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The black switch looks just like the momentary switch on some lasers I destroyed experimented with.

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Has anyone replaced the black switch side cap with a more translucent cap?

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Rufusbduck wrote:
The black switch looks just like the momentary switch on some lasers I -destroyed- experimented with.

LOL, you too? I finally had to make the decision to just avoid lasers completely, they don't survive more than about 5 minutes after I first touch them.