MOD: C12 + MT-G2 = Lotsa Fun!

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RMM
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MOD: C12 + MT-G2 = Lotsa Fun!

Host: Ultrafire C12
Emitter: MT-G2 P0 5000K on 20mm Noctigon copper MCPCB
Driver: Qlite 105c modified for higher voltage (zener diode mod) with 4 extra 380mA 7135s, for a total of 12 (4.56 amps estimated)
Cells: 2x Efest 18350 V2 or 2x NCR18650PD (extended)
Optic: SMO with enlarged emitter hole
Tailcap Measurements:
Moonlight: 0.01A (may actually be less)
Low: 0.10A
Medium: 1.25A
High: 4.49A

What can I say? I’ve been doing WAY too much reading on this forum! Smile This build was inspired and facilitated by the great work of many of the great contributors on this forum (special thanks to old-lumens, comfychair, Tom E, DBCstm, ImA4Wheelr, and many others). To think that it was just two months ago that I received my first budget light and began frequenting this forum is astonishing. This is my first completed build, and I felt like sharing some of my experiences here.

Although I have reasonable amount of experience with the finer things in life (mill, lathe, drill press, etc.) and used to have access to them, my current tools and environment are truly “budget”; which fits perfectly into the spirit of this forum. I am currently a law student living in a small apartment with my small family and as such my nice metal workbench has transformed into a study desk, my lathe is now a Harbor Freight rotary tool, and my beefy bench vise has turned into a small suction-cup-mounted device. Juggling family, school, and work doesn’t leave much time for hobbies; such as flashlight building, so my builds are always done at night (when patience has long disappeared) and take a long time to complete. That said, I have enjoyed making these little monsters come to life.

Now on to the build:

This light started life as an XM-L2 C12 with a 3 mode driver which I subsequently swapped for a 105C with a few extra 7135 stacked on it for good measure.

It was pretty bright and I was satisfied with it until I started reading a lot about this… Smile

Reading about comfychair’s C8 mod drove me over the edge… before I knew what happened I was on intl-outdoors ordering one of the big beasts. I also had some reading to do about how to convert the 105c so that it can survive 6+ volts. I figured that the C12 host would be a good candidate because of the large pill and sufficient space (just barely!) to fit 2×18350 cells.

In time, the emitter arrived. Time to get to work!

Hmmm…. it doesn’t fit in the hole (yet!)

I used a rotary tool with a diamond bit to carefully enlarge the emitter hole. It isn’t perfectly round but it is good enough.

Out with the old, in with the new.

Emitter mounted, wires soldered.

Qlite (Nanjg 105c) zener modded, running 12 × 380mA 7135s – thermal grease added to pill threads

Mounted in the pill (with lots of nasty flux residue still on the board!) 4th star chosen for 4-mode (moon-2%-25%-100%)

It’s alive!

This light has the option of either being run in shorty mode (2×18350) or extended mode for more runtime (2×18650)

Here are the cells: Efest V2 IMR 800mah 18350 and Panasonic NCR18650PD

Copper braided tailcap spring with bronze nub removed to gain extra clearance for the 2×18350s

How does it perform? Very well! To the naked eye, the beam is very similar to my SRK. The hotspot isn’t quite as focused, but it is close. The spill is also a bit wider than the SRK. The beam and tint make this light very nice to use inside the house. The four modes make this light more usable than the SRK for close-up work.

I haven’t done any conclusive runtime tests yet, but on full power the 18350s start to dim noticeably after around ten minutes of use. The body heats up fast on full power, but I left it there for five minutes and although it was almost too hot to touch, nothing melted. It can be run on the second to highest power until the batteries run out without getting uncomfortably hot, which still provides quite a bit of light.

Here are a few poor beamshots (I will try and take some better ones in the next few days)
This wall is not white, but more of a cream color.

SRK, MT-G2 C12 at around 4.5A, XM-L2 T6-3A at around 3.8A

MT-G2 left, SRK right


XinTD XM-L2 left, MT-G2 right


Daylight fixed WB, manual shutter, ISO, and aperture. These shots aren’t very good, I’m going to set up the tripod and take some better ones sometime this week. These are not very good comparison shots because I was handholding everything and in a hurry.

SRK

MT-G2 C12

XM-L2 3A XinTD V4

Again, I have to thank everyone on this forum for all of their contributions which made this build possible.

I will update this post with tailcap readings (only accurate up to ~2 amps with my DMM), runtimes, and better beam shots as time allows.

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Edited by: RMM on 10/12/2013 - 18:06
Old-Lumens
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Very Nice! Good to see you stepping into the modding arena. It's addictive.

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18sixfifty
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Congrats on a very cool build.

I’m a junky, I mod lights so I can sell lights so I can buy more light to mod so I can sell lights to buy more lights to mod.

jmpaul320
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i really must own/mod a c8 to mtg2… they just look awesome

Would you mind keeping the wrong flashlight?
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ImA4Wheelr
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Nice work RMM.  Now I want one.

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Well done , sir .

Thanks for sharing .

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Very nice and well thought out mod, you have made yourself a awesome performing flashlight Smile . I will not confess what my first  mods were, but they were way more simple than this one, well done!

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Well done RMM. Those MTG-2’s can become addictive. love your mod and even better it works. Whats next?

 

djozz quotes, "it came with chinese lettering that is chinese to me".

                      "My man mousehole needs one too"

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MRsDNF wrote:
Well done RMM. Those MTG-2’s can become addictive. love your mod and even better it works. Whats next?

Since you asked, I’ve got a few in the works (but nothing too original):
1. 3D Maglite XM-L swap (to run on alkalines, will be a Christmas present).
2. ZY-T08 de-domed XM-L2 on copper, maximum amps possible (will be my first de-domed thrower). Not sure yet what driver I will end up with, I think I’m going to try and turn up the stock driver first on this one. Will be using Samsung 20R batteries for this one.
3. Trustfire 3T6 with DRY driver swap.

None of these are as cool as what you guys do, but I am having fun and hope to continue to increase my skills.

I still have a long ways to go when it comes to soldering, but I finally am feeling a little more competent. Before starting this flashlight hobby I had lots of experience welding with my various jobs (Mig, Tig, etc.) but no real experience soldering. My first few attempts were pretty frustrating until I did some reading; I found out that you don’t solder like you weld. I bought one of the Yihua stations from Hobbyking which is much nicer than the $3 Harbor Freight special I was using. I have also been watching a lot of helpful YouTube videos on soldering. Most importantly, I have been practicing and getting some experience. I still have a long way to go; some of the stuff I see soldered on here looks like a work of art. Right now I’m at the “it’s shiny, strong, and conductive” stage; better aesthetics will come with time.

I was really glad when I put it all together that the zener/resistor modded driver worked correctly. I checked everything as I was working, both visually and with the DMM, but I’ve worked on enough projects to know that if something can go wrong, it WILL go wrong with me! Wink

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LinusHofmann
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This is really cool, well done! Can’t wait to get my Mt-g2s and have a play. Out of curiosity the c12 is identical to the c8 apart from the extra heatsink fins right?

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LinusHofmann wrote:
This is really cool, well done! Can’t wait to get my Mt-g2s and have a play. Out of curiosity the c12 is identical to the c8 apart from the extra heatsink fins right?

Yes, they are very similar, but vary a lot from manufacturer to manufacturer, so it is hard to make a blanket statement. Along with the extra external heatsink fins, the pill in my C12 is larger and has more contact area than the pill from my XinTD V4.

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Excellent work, RMM! One of these days I will have a go with an MT-G2. Smile

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   I have been trying to modd my c-12  and have failed miserabley this week I still haven't had a chance to find out why but I was. Changing the  driver to a 8 chipped 380 mAH 7135's on and a XML2T5 on a 16mm  copper star with no luck anyhow as soon as things slow down ill take a looksie but kudus on a MT-G2 I love the MT-G2 emitters huge hot spot. 

Lj

Gj
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That's a great build. Smile

 

Where do you get a C12 extension tube?

RMM
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Gj wrote:

That’s a great build. Smile

 

Where do you get a C12 extension tube?

From eBay. I couldn’t find one anywhere else that fit right. It was more than I wanted to spend, but it was the only option I could find.
$8 C8 Extension Tube

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RMM
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Added tailcap measurements to OP.

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Really nice job RMM! Hhmm - like that C8 extension tube, for $8 shipped from US, not that bad really - it's an unusual item. I didn't know they were available.

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Great mod RMM! One of these days I'll do an MT-G2 build!

-Garry

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RMM wrote:
Gj wrote:

That's a great build. Smile

 

Where do you get a C12 extension tube?

From eBay. I couldn't find one anywhere else that fit right. It was more than I wanted to spend, but it was the only option I could find. $8 "C8 Extension Tube":http://www.ebay.com/itm/321127903792?ssPageName=STRK:MEWNX:IT&_trksid=p3...

Thanks, I just saw your post. A little pricey considering Banggood just had a whole C8 for $8.88, but what can you do? Money Mouth

 

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Great mod! They way you do this is quite clean and thorough.

RMM
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Thanks for the comments!

You’re right, $8 really isn’t that expensive but it is hard to swallow when you know that you can buy entire budget lights for less than that! Big Smile He doesn’t have very many left, so if you are interested in one it might be good to pick one up. The anodizing isn’t perfect, but it is good enough and the threads are good.

I have debated cranking up the current on this a bit more by adding a few more 7135s but I think I’ll leave it as is for now. On one hand, there are three lower power modes that are very usable, an MT-G2 deserves to be driven hard, and high could function as turbo mode that only sees limited use. From what I’ve seen, think that I could see 6 amps on these cells with On the other hand, I think that 4.5 amps puts out a good amount of light, doesn’t slam the batteries too hard, and can be run for 5+ minutes without getting too hot to hold.

The thing that has surprised me the most is that this light has quickly become my favorite all purpose light for use around the house, and it now resides on my nightstand. The wide, smooth beam pattern and attractive tint make this one a winner. Moonlight is nice for getting up early in the morning and during the night without disturbing anyone, low provides plenty of light for completing tasks in the dark, medium lights up entire rooms, high is just too bright for anything too close but is great for wide open spaces.

This thing isn’t a great thrower (my XinTD V4 and ZY-T08 are better at long range), but it is a great light for everything else.

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Nicely done! I know you’re loving it, as I love mine. I have an MT-G2 on a Noctigon coming my way, with a Qlite already modified and waiting, to put in my M8. Already tried the hybrid reflector on the light engine in my K3 and the beam is very satisfying to me, so I’m very much looking forward to my 3rd MT-G2 light.

I haven’t chosen star 4 yet, but your work here makes me think I need to. Might do that to the M8 and expand it’s horizons. Wink Thanks for that tip.

When you get ready to really put your mind (and hands) to work, figure out how to add some copper to pull the heat away from that monster, you’ll see your run times go up! Wink

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RMM. I’ve added your mod here as it is relevant to the thread. Cheers.

 

djozz quotes, "it came with chinese lettering that is chinese to me".

                      "My man mousehole needs one too"

old4570 said "I'm not an expert , so don't suffer from any such technical restrictions".

Old-Lumens. Highly admired and cherished member of Budget Light Forum. 11.5.2011 - 20.12.16. RIP.

 

RMM
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DBCstm wrote:
Nicely done! I know you’re loving it, as I love mine. I have an MT-G2 on a Noctigon coming my way, with a Qlite already modified and waiting, to put in my M8. Already tried the hybrid reflector on the light engine in my K3 and the beam is very satisfying to me, so I’m very much looking forward to my 3rd MT-G2 light.

I haven’t chosen star 4 yet, but your work here makes me think I need to. Might do that to the M8 and expand it’s horizons. Wink Thanks for that tip.

When you get ready to really put your mind (and hands) to work, figure out how to add some copper to pull the heat away from that monster, you’ll see your run times go up! Wink

I really like the fourth star on the Qlite… but I realize that it may not be everyone’s cup of tea. The good thing is that it’s easily reversible/changeable if you don’t like it.

I’m not sure that adding a little bit of copper would really extend my run time by much. I thought about putting some in the back of the pill behind the star, but really all it would do is add a tiny bit of thermal mass, not aid in removing that heat. The pill is large enough and has good contact with the body and fins, which heat up fast telling me that they’re doing what they’re supposed to do: remove heat away from the star/driver. I am building a ZY-T08 MT-G2 right now that I’m going to try for maximum amps on… then I can compare the two.

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DB Custom
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I’m not talking about a little bit, more like several ounces. It does much more than add a tiny bit of thermal mass. Wink

comfychair
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Mass isn't a magic bullet that makes heat evaporate or teleport into a parallel universe.

DB Custom
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Tell that to the Elephant taking a 300gr .454 Casull in the brain.

Edit: A rogue Elephant that had been rampaging villages and killing men, women and children happened into a village where there was a hunting guide. Not having his rifle handy, he shot it with this very powerful handgun. Dropped it in it’s tracks, effectively dissipating it’s heat with a little bit of mass. The villagers treated him like he was a god.

That said, if mass isn’t so critical, why is it always at the top of the list in the most powerful lights? It might not be magic, but you don’t get far without it.

RMM
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DBCstm wrote:
Tell that to the Elephant taking a 300gr .454 Casull in the brain.

Apples and oranges. Let’s keep this friendly!

If a pill is thin under the mcpcb and having a hard time transferring heat to the rest of the pill, then maybe adding copper under the mcpcb would help.

Adding excess mass does nothing to solve the thermal problem if it’s not getting the heat out to where it can be radiated to the air. Surface area is really what would help in this case, but then you lose the benefit of the small light. (same goes with adding unnecessary weight)

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Gj
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RMM wrote:
DBCstm wrote:
Tell that to the Elephant taking a 300gr .454 Casull in the brain.
Apples and oranges. Let's keep this friendly! If a pill is thin under the mcpcb and having a hard time transferring heat to the rest of the pill, then maybe adding copper under the mcpcb would help. Adding excess mass does nothing to solve the thermal problem if it's not getting the heat out to where it can be radiated to the air. Surface area is really what would help in this case, but then you lose the benefit of the small light. (same goes with adding unnecessary weight)

I think that's true for continuous run times, say >10 min., but many people use a turbo mode for 30sec to a minute, then have a light off or on low. Then a massive pill is a thermal analogue to a capacitor in an electrical circuit, quickly accepting the heat from the led on high to be dissipated more slowly when off or on low.

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The differences between playing with a light and working with a light I suppose.

When a storm knocks down a large tree that has to be cleared from the road, or a fenceline, and it takes an easy hour to do, you don’t want your emitter sliding off it’s star. When your $600 pedigreed pup gets under the fence and is lost in the back 40, you don’t want to keep shutting the light down so it can cool while you look for the poor guy.

But I hear ya. Always a compromise, as with so many other things…

Gj
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I thought this thread was about a fun pocket light, more than a heavy duty work light.

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