Trustfire R5-A3 (SA-2) strobe delete and XM-L conversion.

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E1320
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Trustfire R5-A3 (SA-2) strobe delete and XM-L conversion.

I figured I would make a post to make it easier for owners of the Trustfire R5-A3 to find. First mod eliminate the crazy strobe mode and get a more user friendly high, medium and low light selection.

1. Disassemble the light: Remove the battery and then unscrew the bezel and remove the lens and the pill.

2. Disassemble the pill: Once you have the pill out you need to pry the bottom open. The bottom is attached in two places with solder to the brass ring. I used a small screwdriver prying gently until I found were the solder was attaching the bottom to the brass ring. Once you find the solder points heat them with a soldering iron while prying and if you are lucky the bottom will come apart without to much damage. Once the driver is apart carefully remove the tape from the driver board.

3. Change the mode setting: Now you are ready for the hard part. I used a magnifying glass to better see what I am soldering see picture below.

Before

 

Before

 

After

On the top right I circled a blob of solder, that needs to be removed. Heat it up and pull the solder away until the connection to the board is broken. Next step on the bottom right corner of the picture I circled an area were you need to add a small blob of solder. Once this is done you should test it out by applying power to the bottom board making sure you have three modes high, medium and low with no strobe. 

4. Assemble the light: At this point you can assemble the unit by prying the brass ring out and applying solder to the two solder points on the bottom board until it is attached to the brass ring.. Then reapply the tape around the driver board and gently pushing everything back into the pill. If it all fits in then use some pliers to press the bottom board with the brass ring firmly in until it is seated flat.

Put the battery back in and the light is now completed. This is a really nice free mod with a great result.

Tail cap draw with freshly charged Trustfire flame 14500.

High 1.648 amps
Med .467 amps
Low .168 amps

This next mod requires money, you will need an XM-L on a 14mm board and some Fujik or similar adhesive.

5. XM-L conversion: Before you assemble the light you might consider converting it to and XM-L. Tha actual gain in lumens isn't that great but the quality of light it puts out is dramatically improved. The light has a much bigger hot spot with the XM-L and the beam is more neutral and agreeable to my eye. This also allows you to consider a driver upgrade in the future since the XM-L is driven so conservatively. Shiningbeam has a really nice tint 14mm XM-L T6 1D emitter for $11.75.

http://www.shiningbeam.com/servlet/the-253/**NEW**-Cree-XM-dsh-L-T6/Detail

6. Change the emitter: Pry the emitter cover off with a small screwdriver or pull it up with some tweezers. Once the cover is off you can see the emitter is attached with two small phillips screws. Use a small phillips jewelers screwdriver or a small regular screwdriver to remove the screws attaching the emitter to the pill. These can be quite difficult to remove.  Don't worry about destroying the screws since you will be using Fujik to glue the new emitter down. I ended up using a regular eyeglass screwdriver and destroyed the screws. Once the screws are out apply some heat to the solder points on the old emitter being careful not to ruin it, since it can be reused in other projects. Next pull enough wire through to reach the solder points on the new emitter and solder them on. Next apply liberal amount of Fujik or similar adhesive to the emitter base and press it into the pill.

 

 

 

7. Reflector mod: The reflector is really soft so you have some options here. The main goal is to remove the protrusion so it is flat on the bottom and increase the size of the hole to fit around the XM-L dome better. I used a large drill bit to grind away at the protrusion on the reflector and then smoothed it out with a large flat file. The finished product should look something like this.

8. Test it out: Once the new reflector fits flush and tight install the battery and you are ready to rock.

Now you have a three mode XM-L 14500 light, pretty cool if you ask me.

 

Here is a beam shot

Modified XML light on left stock emitter on right

 

Something weird happened to my light, for some reason it pulls more amps with the XM-L. When I went to check amperage at the tail cap with a freshly charged Trustfire flame 14500 at 4.135V I got:

1.813amps on high

.533amps on medium

.194 amps on low

 Now I am completely satisfied with this light. Total investment around $25.

 E

 

 

 Edit: As of June 2011 KD is selling lights with the modable PIC pictured in blue above. The older style modable one from DX is the black one on the top photo. DX is currently shipping ones with a different PIC that is not modable at this time.

Edit/2: I just received a Trustfire S-A2 from DX today 11JUL11 and it has the same driver as the R5-A3 so this tutorial will work to strobe delete this light as well.

I am already visualizing the duct tape over your mouth.

Edited by: E1320 on 07/11/2011 - 14:40
phlowcus
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Wow, that's very interesting, thank you!

 

Where did you buy the R5-A3? And, above all, how did you find out about the PIC mode customizing??

 

Is there any components on the other side of the PCB, please? Does your light work your with 1.5V batteries, too?

E1320
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phlowcus wrote:

Wow, that's very interesting, thank you!

 

Where did you buy the R5-A3? And, above all, how did you find out about the PIC mode customizing??

I bought my R5-A3 at DX in January. There were multiple posts about the PIC mode mod here but they were random, incomplete and hard to find.

 

Yes it works with AAs and no there is nothing to worry about on the backside.

I am already visualizing the duct tape over your mouth.

FlashPilot
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Great job E1320. My R5-A3 spends most of its time buried in a drawer because I hate the factory 3 mode selections. I have several XML T6's on 16mm stars that I should be able to whittle down to 14mm and not have to buy and wait for parts. I might need to buy a new soldering iron to get into an area that small.

Did you notice any significant differences in the beam pattern and output? Are there any differences in the heat generated?

Its pushing more amps because the XML has lower resistence than the XPG and the driver isnt a true CC regulated version. Ive seen this phenomenon in several mods with cheap Chinese drivers where Ive swapped lower resistence emitters in place of higher ones.

E1320
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FlashPilot wrote:

Great job E1320. My R5-A3 spends most of its time buried in a drawer because I hate the factory 3 mode selections. I have several XML T6's on 16mm stars that I should be able to whittle down to 14mm and not have to buy and wait for parts. I might need to buy a new soldering iron to get into an area that small.

Did you notice any significant differences in the beam pattern and output? Are there any differences in the heat generated?

Its pushing more amps because the XM-L has lower resistance than the XP=G and the driver isn't a true CC regulated version. Ive seen this phenomenon in several mods with cheap Chinese drivers where Ive swapped lower resistance emitters in place of higher ones.

The brightness appears to be the same but the hotspot appears to be twice as big. It has a really cool looking effect that is much easier on the eyes it almost appears like it has no hotspot at all just a soft floody but very usable beam. 

It definitely doesn't heat up as much or as fast. I am not sure if it because the XP-G was over driven and now the XM-L is very conservatively driven or if that it was not heatsinked good before with just screws holding the emitter down and now it is seated very well with adhesive. 

I am already visualizing the duct tape over your mouth.

phlowcus
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Thanks for the info E1320. I really wonder how that driver is supposed to work with only 1.5v seeing the components of the driver. Or is there any other components which aren't visible on the photo?

E1320
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phlowcus wrote:

Thanks for the info E1320. I really wonder how that driver is supposed to work with only 1.5v seeing the components of the driver. Or is there any other components which aren't visible on the photo?

Here is a picture of the backside of the driver.

I am already visualizing the duct tape over your mouth.

devman
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Sorry to resurrect an old thread, but I have to ask: the new connection we make, is it from the leg to that large blob of solder (near the b- marking) or to the tiny pad just below the leg?

thanks!

E1320
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devman wrote:

Sorry to resurrect an old thread, but I have to ask: the new connection we make, is it from the leg to that large blob of solder (near the b- marking) or to the tiny pad just below the leg?

thanks!

Hey Devman

That's why I made this thread. You can do both, just blob some solder on the tiny pad but that just connects to the giant blob of solder so you can blob the whole thing with no worries. It is so small it is really hard to just get the pad mine has a giant blob on everything and it works fine.

I am already visualizing the duct tape over your mouth.

devman
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Thanks! ... wow, three blobs in one sentence...  That points to the kind of workmanship I actually have the skills for.  woohoo!

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Yeah .. I read this and thought HUH? where are the markings you're talking about ? I never saw any circles  and had no idea what you were talking about ...But I hadn't yet recieved my light yet or tore it apart yet either ..i just am glad to hear someone else didn't get  what you were saying ..sorry devman I don't see a B2 either ..E1230 you need to speak really really slowly and have huge arrows and circles. maybe a 20 minute video with an intermission with  snacks  .. think 4 year old .

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arenat
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I can't see the circles also till today ....

 

 

heinzeins
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Just saw this thread and wanted to try to activate the HML configuration. I opened the pill, removed the masking tape the driver was wrapped in and saw this:

frontback

Its the same PIC, but with a different layout and all legs soldered, so I can't modify it in the given way.

Bought my R5-A3 in August 2010 at DX. Tail cap draw with flammed 14500 is about 1.6A.

Do you have an idea how I can remove the strobe?

E1320
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Sorry about the next to invisible circles guys, they look really bright on my PC but on my laptop they were hard to see, so I should have assumed some other folks might have the same problem.

 

Heinzeins that light has a different PIC than the one in this post, it might be doable but not with this method. The light I originally got shipped from DX in January and as far as I know the newer ones and some of the older ones have a different PIC like yours. I have the one from KD on order because that one is supposed to have the PIC that is modable. I will update when I get the light from KD.

I am already visualizing the duct tape over your mouth.

heinzeins
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Thanks for the info, nonetheless will I put a XM-L in it, just ordered some at Shiningbeam Smile

samol
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I just made the strobe and xm-l mods.

I ended up with a four mode flashlight, High, Mid, Low, Fast strobe. I probably made a poor soldering job.

I noticed that the build quality of the Kaidoman flashlight is really lower than my previous DX version (with a non moddable driver), the crown is not deburred and not perfectly aligned with the body, the tail-clip a lot more flexible.

Ps : I just noticed that I didn't put the blob of solder on the right place ! I shunted the little resistor on the second leg from the left instead of adding solder on the third leg !

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I was thinking of getting one [    R5-A3   ]   , but  realizing there were two different drivers , its sort of pot luck .  

 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 ….

 

devman
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Boaz: The B- terminal is there, big white printing silkscreened at the very bottom of the pcb... it's like the only thing in that area that stood out enough for me to reference.  although with my solder skills, I might end up blobbling all the terminals together and making it a direct-drive light!

moral of the story? 8.9" netbook screens suck. suck worse than smartphones. suck suck suck.

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heinzeins wrote:

Just saw this thread and wanted to try to activate the HML configuration. I opened the pill, removed the masking tape the driver was wrapped in and saw this:

frontback

Its the same PIC, but with a different layout and all legs soldered, so I can't modify it in the given way.

Bought my R5-A3 in August 2010 at DX. Tail cap draw with flammed 14500 is about 1.6A.

Do you have an idea how I can remove the strobe?

Ive got the same driver as you, and what a bugger it was to get out. I had to remove about half the brass retaining ring with a dremel tool to make enough room for the driver to slide past it. If you find a way of deleting the strobe on this driver, please let us know. Like you, Im modding mine with a XML.

I noticed that you chipped your inductor spool. I did the same. Surprised My fingers are crossed that it will still work after all the abuse I just gave it during surgery.

heinzeins
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FlashPilot wrote:

Ive got the same driver as you, and what a bugger it was to get out. I had to remove about half the brass retaining ring with a dremel tool to make enough room for the driver to slide past it. If you find a way of deleting the strobe on this driver, please let us know. Like you, Im modding mine with a XML.

I noticed that you chipped your inductor spool. I did the same. Surprised My fingers are crossed that it will still work after all the abuse I just gave it during surgery.

I had no problems getting the driver out: I removed the outside plate with an soldering iron and could ecxtract the driver board with my fingers. I'm quite sure the spool looked like this before. I haven't changed the emitter yet, but the XP-G still works perfectly.

I'll let you know if I find a way to delete the strobe, but I'm not very optimistic.

E1320
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I finally got my R5A3 from KD today and looky here it has the modable PIC.

After my 5 minute solder mod, so ugly but good enough to do the trick.

 

 

 

This is a great deal at $14 bucks to have a 3 mode R5 light with no stupid flashy BS. Get one before they are all gone.

I am already visualizing the duct tape over your mouth.

FlashPilot
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heinzeins wrote:

FlashPilot wrote:

Ive got the same driver as you, and what a bugger it was to get out. I had to remove about half the brass retaining ring with a dremel tool to make enough room for the driver to slide past it. If you find a way of deleting the strobe on this driver, please let us know. Like you, Im modding mine with a XML.

I noticed that you chipped your inductor spool. I did the same. Surprised My fingers are crossed that it will still work after all the abuse I just gave it during surgery.

I had no problems getting the driver out: I removed the outside plate with an soldering iron and could ecxtract the driver board with my fingers. I'm quite sure the spool looked like this before. I haven't changed the emitter yet, but the XP-G still works perfectly.

I'll let you know if I find a way to delete the strobe, but I'm not very optimistic.

Thanks but my driver no longer works. I think mine was made as an experiment. With the brass collar as thick as it was, it must have been pressed in after they inserted the driver. Even after spending ages dremeling the brass collar to make it thinner, it was still incredibly tight removing the board. By the time it came out, all the poking and pulling had taken its toll. Another nice surprise on mine; it came with an XPE! Not an XPG. No wonder it never seemed that bright. I removed the emitter dome to experiment with the beam pattern before removing the star and commencing with the driver removal.

I think a 17 mm driver ground down to 16.5mm will work. Can anyone recommend a good AA/14500 driver?

If not, I might buy a 2800mA 7135 based driver and remove one of the 7135 chips to make it into a 2450mA driver. Even that doenst sound to good given the limited capacity of 14500's and that it wouldnt run in regulation more than a few minutes.

Any thoughts guys?

E1320
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Hey Flashpilot that really sucks, I had a hard time getting the first one apart. I think the heat cycles this light goes through welds it shut, it gets really hot on high and then cools and that welds the whole pill together. The new one I got today came apart easy, but I only tested it for a second to make sure it worked. If I was you I would get the NANJG 105 2.8amp driver from Shiningbeam and the 14mm XML also from them and just use high as a turbo mode you would still have a really bright usable medium and the low would be about the same. You wouldn't be able to use AAs anymore, but you would have a very impressive pocket rocket.

I am already visualizing the duct tape over your mouth.

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I burnt mine up just like that .. There was nothing in between my reflector and the emitter to keep if from shorting out .It's got a metal reflector why no plastic ??. It did it on a 14500 too ..Dang that's the first one I've had that happen to ..And I just finished modding 2 nitecores..I guess I'm happy it happened here on a cheaper driver ..rats . Sad

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E1320
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I just received a Trustfire S-A2 from DX today 11JUL11 and it has the same driver as the R5-A3 so this tutorial will work to strobe delete this light as well.

http://www.dealextreme.com/p/trustfire-s-a2-cree-xpc-wc-q5-3-mode-230-lu...

I am already visualizing the duct tape over your mouth.

E1320
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I just wanted to update this post. The driver from the SA-2 is now in a stainless C-3. I sold the SA-2 and the new owner was disappointed that I did the strobe delete mod so I swapped the pill with the SA-2 pill they have identical threads and are fully interchangeable. I now have a really cool stainless C-3 with an XPG and no unneeded flashy strobe modes.

I am already visualizing the duct tape over your mouth.

FlashPilot
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After breaking my driver, Im now running mine direct drive on protected 14500's to an XM-L. So far, Im very pleased. The thick heavy host takes a few minutes to heat up to the point where its hot. Im glad its not a thin walled design.

1 mode. 3.42A at the tail... darn bright and no poof yet.

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FlashPilot wrote:

After breaking my driver, Im now running mine direct drive on protected 14500's to an XM-L. So far, Im very pleased. The thick heavy host takes a few minutes to heat up to the point where its hot. Im glad its not a thin walled design.

1 mode. 3.42A at the tail... darn bright and no poof yet.

Wow! You're getting 3.4A at the tail from just a protected 14500??  I didn't think they pushed more than 2A unless it was an IMR 14500.
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I had the same experience with a sipik 68 I XML'ified and did direct drive with. 3,1-3,4 A. Fun light!

But it is WAY over the consensus limit of 2C for the 14500 battery so i modded it back to original. Did not want a pipe bomb, however small it is.

~ Ledsmoke ~

Dutch humor:

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Today I got my R5-A3 from kaidomain and it is the new version with red driver that is using the 10 pin mcu. I tried to remove solder that is connecting two legs (2,3) and got 5 modes (h/m/l/strobe/sos) instead of default 3(h/l/strobe) but I don’t know how to get h/m/l Sad I believe that it is there but I just don’t know what should i connect together. Shortening pins 3,4 didn’t work. Maybe someone realised how to do that?

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Hey guys,

Tried to avoid the “flashlight bug” for a while, but couldn’t fight it for too long and ordered a few goodies over the last couple of weeks.. darn.. :).

I dropped my R5-A3 the other day and can’t get it to work again.
Guess it is time for my first mod :D.
Either the driver or the LED must be dead, as the clicky from my spare R5-A3 did not do any good either.

Can’t get the pill open even with brute force. Will try tomorrow as suggested by heating with a soldering iron first.
Could you guys please recommend me a driver and XM-L LED that will fit the R5-A3?

Regards,
brunswick

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