Match's Mods: Budget P60 Host Extreme Makeover

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Match
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Match's Mods: Budget P60 Host Extreme Makeover

Gentlemen,

 A few weeks ago I got an unexpected surprise in the mail.  JacktheClipper had sent me his old xjc-b12 as a gift to play with.  This is an older P60 style host, and was used by Jack for a number of years.  When I received it, the failed stock switch had been replaced with one from an rc-g2 and the anodizing removed.  

Here's what it looks like broken down:

Since it was well cleaned of all traces of anodizing, I thought I'd have a little fun with it.  Since I've never been a big fan of attack bezels, scaloped tailcaps, and that obnoxious nut under the head, those were the first to go:

Hmm...better, but it still doesn't look quite right.  I took a break from the cosmetic design and decided to get the guts up to snuff...

Seeing as how an XM-L would be an obvious choice here, that's what I went with...but I took a different approach to the optics (more on this later). Here's a pic of the stock pill base.  Notice how thick the aluminum is!  I wish they still made them like this...  The only mod I had to do to the pill was to remove the threading from the top, to allow a 20mm star to fit properly.

I had just received a yellow package from Kaidomain a few days later, and inside was one of these drivers. They claim 3 amps, but I've yet to see it, and it has a few extra modes I really don't care for, but the price was right so into the pill it went.  The XM-L T6 was attached via Arctic Silver epoxy.

Since I'm a stickler for proper heatsinking, the entire base was wrapped with very thick (.65mm) copper, which made for an extremely snug fit into the head...which is always a good thing.

The tailcap switch was redone with a a 16mm reverse clicky from DX, and a new black boot. Looking now, I forgot to take a pic of it, but before the switch went in I added solder to the joints where the spring connects to help reduce resistance. 

  The stock reflector got set aside in leiu of a TIR lens.  A few weeks ago I ordered a few different 26.5mm TIR lens's from LEDsuppy.com.  I tried the narrow, narrow frosted, and wide frosted.  After playing with each for the good part of a night, I realized the one I consistantly went back to was the frosted wide (beamshots later).  It gave such a smooth, wide, beautiful beam.  I really need to get a few more of these.  The neat thing is, they are almost a perfect fit for a P60 host.  They're just shorter than the standard reflector. (Note: I did not use the plastic mount in the picture below...no need to).

So, now with the light's function completed, it was time to turn some attention back to the form.  While sifting through my ever growing Box-O-Parts, I came across a couple of misc. copper plumbing pieces (coupler and encap).  Hooray! A little more machining and baby now has new shoes and a hat to go with that pretty dress.  Here's how it all turned out:

Here's a few side by side with a Solarforce L2P:

I was able to reduce the OAL and diameter quite a bit over a standard host.  Combined with finely rounding all the edges makes for an easily pocketable light.  Because it's still an 18650, the length is still sufficient enough that I don't miss the knurling...at all...

Now for the beamshots: The pics really don't do the Frosted Wide lens justice...it's awesome in use. The battery I thought was fresh for these turned out to only be delivering @2.4a.  Despite that, I'm still  tickled with the output.  For reference, here are the three different TIR lens's (notice the square shape of the emitter visible in with the narrow lens).  Mouse-over in each pic for reference to the manafont UF 3-mode xml:

Summery

 

  Since it's getting rather blasse' to just stuff an xml into any old light (but it's still fun), the only realy avenue left is form factor and style.  The tough thing about style is that unlike hard data (lumen, lux, runtime, etc) it's rather subjective.  So, I leave the final vote to you...Some may like it, other may think I'm off my rocker, and a select few would say "both" (and be correct). Thanks again goes to JacktheClipper for sending me this light and giving me a few hours of entertainment!

As always, thank you folks for humoring me.

 

 

 

-Match

Edited by: sb56637 on 08/26/2014 - 17:29
Match
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I just realized while reviewing this, I had the tripod set up a few feet closer when I took the pick with the MF UF xml.  That's why it may look goofy.

Also, forgot to add that all O-rings are in place, including a really thick one above the lens. No concerns with water here.  Which is a good thing, because removing the head would be quite the challange! I had to use Arctic Silver epoxy to hold it on because there wasn't enough meat in the copper pipe end to warrent threading. ( a propane torch would loosen it up enough to slide off if it ever needed it, which it shouldn't).

jacktheclipper
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Absolutely Awesome . You've done it again ! I never imagined that junky old light could become a work of art .

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I have been wanting a lathe for just that reason. A whole lot of lights could benefit from having all the extra stuff machine off. I have to do it with my grinder. Not so pretty.

Piers said " ....but who wants enough light, when you have the option for far too much "

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Piers
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Well that's the nicest light I've seen in a long time and not just because I'm a sucker for anything copper.

 

Awesome work as always Smile

33696933
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that is magnificent!

photon1k
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Very nice Match! A bit of retro '50s crossed with some sci-fi raygun styling - very cool. To say I like it is an understatement.

Off your rocker? I don't think so. The only relevant question to be asked here is: At the end of the day, did you have fun doing it? And I'm guessing the answer to that would be a resounding YES!

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Great light Match.  If I saw that guy on a site somewhere for the right price, I would buy it.  Love how simple and uncluttered it looks.

Foy

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Awesome job, Match! Beautiful machining. 8)

df2dot
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inspiring , if it wasnt 3000 degrees out i would have when out an worked on one of my mods.

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Nice copper! And sweet machining. You seriously were able to take off the flat faces below the head? Nice work Match! Thanks for sharing. You're on the frontpage and sticky.

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

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Great job.. As usual!

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sb56637 wrote:

Nice copper! And sweet machining. You seriously were able to take off the flat faces below the head? Nice work Match! Thanks for sharing. You're on the frontpage and sticky.

Thanks all.  Ya, the flat faces which resemble a big nut were the first things I wanted to get rid of.  I know they're put on most P60 hosts as an "anti-roll" mechanic...but I've never cared for them.

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Almost time to go build a host all your own ?   

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The resulting sound may , or may not be worth listening too ….

 

Match
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old4570 wrote:

Almost time to go build a host all your own ?   

Been there, done that Tongue out ... http://budgetlightforum.com/node/2261

It's a theme I'm going to revisit though....with a lathe this time! 

agenthex
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Match, you mention the TIR optic above. Is it drop-in (or close to) replacement for reflectors on p60 hosts? Does it in them with the center drilled out, or maybe some support has be made for the pill to stay put??

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It's the same diameter, but a fair bit shorter than a stock P60 reflector...so no, it wouldn't be a direct replacement. However, with a bit of adjustment/mod to the pill, one should be able to make them work in almost any host. Yes, there's a hole in the bottom to help center the lens on the emitter.

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It's the same diameter, but a fair bit shorter than a stock P60 reflector...so no, it wouldn't be a direct replacement. However, with a bit of adjustment/mod to the pill, one should be able to make them work in almost any host. Yes, there's a hole in the bottom to help center the lens on the emitter.

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So, by "replacement", do you mean use instead of the reflector (not just cut off the top of the reflector or drill it out)? How would that work without the diameter of the reflector to fill in the space in the host? Spring pressure?

I was originally thinking you just stretch out the spring to make up the height, but without the cylinder of the reflector to center it (and conduct heat) that wouldn't work.

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I think your confusion is stemming from thinking this was a typical/modern P60 drop-in and a direct swap. 

Notice the pics of the mod above?  This particular light had a different style drop-in that what's normally out there today (it's much thicker, and in my opinion, better...).  Despite that, I still added a thick copper sleave to take up the remaining space with the body and provide great heatsinking. Also, I compensated for the TIR lens being shorter by making a new head for the light.

The TIR lens just sits on top of the emitter.  The stock reflector isn't used.  Having said that, one could use it if they cut the top half of the reflector off and just used the bottom half as  a spacer.

Hope that helps clear it up.

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Ok, I assumed you were talking about generic p60's.  I've used asphericals on them but that doesn't really produce the best beam. It's interesting to me (and probably others) if we can find a reasonably easy drop-in replacement for better optics. Reflectors are ok, but TIR's give lights that extra kick in the pants.

Reading this makes you smarter: http://lesswrong.com/

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that's a very nice drop you got...

plan to revived my "china-made" old taclights also with this dropin...Laughing