Fenix TK61 teardown and mod thread

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18sixfifty
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Thanks for the excellent write up on this light. I wasn’t sure if I was going to resistor mod mine or not, but I think I will now. I already de-domed it and added some thermal paste to the pill before putting it back in.

I also don’t mind the reflector. I’m digging that the light is as lite as it is. The extra weight up front would probably make it top heavy and I like my lights better balanced. 6amps would be nice put I’m still not convinced that the heatsinking is all that great on this light. I wasn’t even sure I cared to push it a whole lot harder than it already is. But reading this I think I’ll just do and and see how I like it that way. I can always swap it back if I change my mind.

Thanks again, excellent job on the post.

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.

dazed1
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Hey man, my friend is in process of modding mine. We will only make a current bump, from 3A to 4/4.2A, with 1x R100 (max for “safe” operation with stock transistor – recommended by Vinh) resistor i think it was. It should get nice bump to around 1000>1350lm i think?

Is dedoming a very hard thing to do? if yes, would it better idea to first order few XM-L2 U2 1A or 1B in order to have replacment if the current led is burnet/damaged during the process, or if it get green tint which i cant stand? thanks in advance.

Fenix TK61 MOD> resistor, transistors, copper heatsink, Artic Cooling MX4, dedome, 3A > 5.7A ~ 1700 lumens > (600.000cd)

18sixfifty
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dazed1 wrote:
Hey man, my friend is in process of modding mine. We will only make a current bump, from 3A to 4/4.2A, with 1x R100 (max for “safe” operation with stock transistor – recommended by Vinh) resistor i think it was. It should get nice bump to around 1000>1350lm i think?

Is dedoming a very hard thing to do? if yes, would it better idea to first order few XM-L2 U2 1A or 1B in order to have replacment if the current led is burnet/damaged during the process, or if it get green tint which i cant stand? thanks in advance.

De-doming is very simple now that they figured out the gasoline method. All you do is soak the emitter in gasoline for a few hours and the dome falls off. After than you have to be very very careful of the emitter though. There are tiny bond wires on it that WILL break if you bump them. They are absolutely fine as long at you don’t rub something like the reflector up against them. A lot of people use rubbing alcohol to get rid of the smell of the gas. I just very gently run mine under warm water until the smell is gone. This seems cool enough that mine came out neutral rather than green. But as always batches vary so yours could be different.

I just resistor modded mine just now. Very simple to do. I used a r025 that I pulled off an old driver and it’s rocking out pretty good now.

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.

dazed1
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Thanks for sharing, i just got my R200, i think i will go for the Vinhn recommendations, even its just ~ 1/1.2A bump, i guess i will get around 250/300lm + from it, over that and even at 4.2A you are risking of burning the transistor, and i’m to lazy to search/ordering an new transistor..

BTW my resistors are 1/2 watts, will that do the job? is 1 or 2W resistors better?

About dedoming, not sure yet, btw do you wash the led it self with water? and even in gasoline? its work after? :~

Sorry i’m fairly new to this stuff, thanks.

Fenix TK61 MOD> resistor, transistors, copper heatsink, Artic Cooling MX4, dedome, 3A > 5.7A ~ 1700 lumens > (600.000cd)

18sixfifty
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dazed1 wrote:
Thanks for sharing, i just got my R200, i think i will go for the Vinhn recommendations, even its just ~ 1/1.2A bump, i guess i will get around 250/300lm + from it, over that and even at 4.2A you are risking of burning the transistor, and i’m to lazy to search/ordering an new transistor..

BTW my resistors are 1/2 watts, will that do the job? is 1 or 2W resistors better?

About dedoming, not sure yet, btw do you wash the led it self with water? and even in gasoline? its work after? :~

Sorry i’m fairly new to this stuff, thanks.

I’m not really sure on the watts of the resistors maybe somebody else can chime in on that. But I have de-domed hundreds of emitters with Gas and they work just fine and stay working too. I have some that are over a year old and still running strong.

Just soak for a good long time in the gasoline and the dome will fall off. The warmer it is out the faster it will fall off. If after a few hours it hasn’t you can always pick it up and tap the star sideways on something so it falls off, but it’s better to just let it kinda float off by itself. It will come off cleanly. You can even leave them overnight if you want. It won’t darm the emitter at all. After I have pulled them out I rinse mine very gently in warm water. Many others use the rubbing alcohol. They just give it a soak in it then let it dry of course. This is by far the easiest way to double your throw. The biggest thing to be careful of is not bumping the top of the emitter after you have the dome off. If you do it’s likely to kill it. Probably the trickiest part is putting the reflector back on without bumping the emitter. It pays to take your time. I don’t even want to think about the ones I have killed by bumping them because I wasn’t paying close attention.

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.

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Sensing resistor, okay 1/2 watt,   Wink

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Excellent pictures! I always enjoy watching pictures like these. And showing the internal parts of the expensive flashlight is highly appreciated. Thanks

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Thanks alot for the help!

Now i need to know some things,

1. how do you take of the bezel on top? can it be broken if you apply too much pressure with hand? on which side clockwise do you push?

2. Does the contact board take of easily? any tips? do you take it off with screwdriver by applying pressure on both left and right side slowly, step by step, or one is enough?

3. Does the contact board looks the same – its glued in the same way like on the TK75? (my friend will be modding my 75 as well) what if its glued to strong? Sad

4. Dedoming, gasoline vs Nitro-Thinner?

Thank you so much.

Fenix TK61 MOD> resistor, transistors, copper heatsink, Artic Cooling MX4, dedome, 3A > 5.7A ~ 1700 lumens > (600.000cd)

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dazed1 wrote:
Thanks alot for the help! Now i need to know some things, 1. how do you take of the bezel on top? can it be broken if you apply too much pressure with hand? on which side clockwise do you push? 2. Does the contact board take of easily? any tips? do you take it off with screwdriver by applying pressure on both left and right side slowly, step by step, or one is enough? 3. Does the contact board looks the same - its glued in the same way like on the TK75? (my friend will be modding my 75 as well) what if its glued to strong? Sad 4. Dedoming, gasoline vs Nitro-Thinner? Thank you so much.

1.  Mine wasn't glued, but was tight from the factory.  I used some rubber strap wrenches, but you could probably do it by hand if you were determined enough!

2.  I very slowly worked it loose from each side with first a very fine screwdriver then with a larger one.

3.  The contact board is just glued in, although I've never seen a TK75.

4.  Never used nitro thinner, just gasoline and the heat method.  I can imagine that there are some solvents that would also hurt the phosphor, but I'm not sure which ones would. 

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Thanks alot, so by hand its possible to “unscrew” the top bezel (the stainless steel part -just to make sure we talk for the same part) on which side do you rotate it clockwise to unscrew?

Fenix TK61 MOD> resistor, transistors, copper heatsink, Artic Cooling MX4, dedome, 3A > 5.7A ~ 1700 lumens > (600.000cd)

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dazed1 wrote:
Thanks alot, so by hand its possible to "unscrew" the top bezel (the stainless steel part -just to make sure we talk for the same part) on which side do you rotate it clockwise to unscrew?

Yes, the stainless part.  It is threaded normally (RH) so screw the stainless part counter-clockwise.

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Thanks so much!

Fenix TK61 MOD> resistor, transistors, copper heatsink, Artic Cooling MX4, dedome, 3A > 5.7A ~ 1700 lumens > (600.000cd)

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Fresh gasoline, in a warm environment, seems to work best for the de-doming. I just drop it in overnight (making sure it’s sitting dome up) and in the morning if it hasn’t floated off it pops off easily. I use a toothpick to pop it off if necessary, from the negative side. Then use the toothpick to clean any remnants off, making sure to leave the bond wires strictly alone. I rinse with de-natured alcohol to cut the gasoline smell. It evaporates cleanly and is dry within minutes.

I typically use an XM-L2 U2 1A, but even those sometimes have a bit of a green hue to the tint when de-domed. A trade-off, it would seem, to the doubling of throw. If anyone knows of a specific emitter that de-domes to a neutral white or a technique that allows the same, I’m all ears…

Dale

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Dale, lately I've been moving towards the hot dedome method.  This is purely anecdotal, but I seem to be getting slightly less green shift with this method.  More risk, but perhaps more reward.  I have killed a few emitters doing this, but Lisa couldn't put up with the smell anymore!  Our apartment makes things difficult sometimes, and even though I try and do almost everything outside, some smell always makes it in.   

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I'll post full details tomorrow if all works out, but I've got mine cranked up to 5.8A to the emitter now.  There is no way the stock driver MOSFET(s) could handle this kind of current, I have a few burned fingers to prove it! (low tech thermometer! Yell)  If it survives a few 10 minute runs on high, I'll post details here.  I also have a stock light to compare it against and get some readings from (lumens, lux.)  I put the stock emitter back on the stock MCPCB, so the two lights will be equal in that regard.  

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Both the hot de-dome and the 5.8A. Will be watching closely…

Hot de-dome at time of re-flow? I heard that a med firm press on the dome right after re-flowing the emitter makes it pop right off. Haven’t tried it.

Dale

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Some of my best dedomes have been accidental!  Sealed

Here's how I do it (very similar to Vinh's method on Youtube.)

1. Heat emitter until solder flows.

2. With a sharp knife, quickly cut the corners and end of the base of the dome opposite the bond wires.

3. Reheat until solder flows again.  

4. As soon as solder solidifies, take your knife, slide it under the dome, and quickly pop it up and away from you (towards the bond wires.)  If you do this while the dome is still hot enough and with enough precision, you will have a nice dedome.  If you don't, you will have potentially lost phosphor, broken bond wires, or a dome left partially in tact.  I have killed a few emitters doing this, but have been mostly successful.  XP-G2s are much more difficult to do this way since they are so small!  

There is a bit more risk involved with this method than with the gasoline method, but some may feel the tradeoffs are worth it.  

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RMM wrote:

I’ll post full details tomorrow if all works out, but I’ve got mine cranked up to 5.8A to the emitter now.  There is no way the stock driver MOSFET(s) could handle this kind of current, I have a few burned fingers to prove it! (low tech thermometer! YellIf it survives a few 10 minute runs on high, I’ll post details here.  I also have a stock light to compare it against and get some readings from (lumens, lux.)  I put the stock emitter back on the stock MCPCB, so the two lights will be equal in that regard.  

Please post back, eager to know!

Fenix TK61 MOD> resistor, transistors, copper heatsink, Artic Cooling MX4, dedome, 3A > 5.7A ~ 1700 lumens > (600.000cd)

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ImA4Wheelr wrote:
Deleted original comment as too far off topic. When my HX-1175b's arrive, I will figure out how to piggy back a 105c and pull the MCU from the HX-1175b. The same connection should be easy to do with your driver here too (Your stock driver controlling the HX-1175b). You would only need to connect battery positive, battery negative, and then the PWM out from your current MCU. Hopefully, the HX-1175b won't pull power when no PWM is feed to it.

Party

Fingers crossed you get it to work.

Since the TK61 have two buttons. Could use one as a mechanical power button and the other for electronic switch. Smile

 

FlashLion wrote:
Excellent pictures! I always enjoy watching pictures like these. And showing the internal parts of the expensive flashlight is highly appreciated. Thanks

 

Beer

 

18sixfifty wrote:
Thanks for the excellent write up on this light.

Beer

 


@RMM looking forward to hear more about your progress. Will you stop experimenting if you get it to run reliable for 10-15m at 5,8A?


Regarding Dedoming. Could we keep that to one of the many threads that already started? 

One of the relevant threads, and a video too.

A Perfect Dedome?

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vfC3n2jlZY4


I noticed on my lights that the MOSFETS around the resistors looked a bit melted. Id guess its because I held the solder iron too close when playing with the resistors. Or they have seen too much heat when I did some indoor runtime test.  Its recommended to use thermal pads.  I don't use that on my light simply because I want to see how the driver handles it without.  J)

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WOW i can’t imagine anyone run this light 15 mins perma on turbo, isn’t it too much for this modded lights?

I never run more then 1/2 mins max on turbo, even on stock…always circle around the mods.

Fenix TK61 MOD> resistor, transistors, copper heatsink, Artic Cooling MX4, dedome, 3A > 5.7A ~ 1700 lumens > (600.000cd)

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lol.. 1-2 minutes? On a light of this size thats only running a few amps. 

Unless a light can be used until its uncomfortable hot its no good IMO. 

My hottest light (so far) is my hotrodded tintmixed/widespecturm 30+ amp 9-XM-L fandyfire. The front of the head can reach about 140C/280F in around 15 minutes. I wont dare to think how hot the 12 XM-L light pictured in OP could become once that is pushed way harder.  0:)

My first runtime test after I resistor modded the TK61 was around 15-20 minutes on Turbo. I just did another one at 30 minutes. Indoors. No breeze. Tailstanding. Quite hot indoor temperature. Gets uncomfortable to hold after around 15-20 minutes. Too hot for me to hold after 30 minutes. Outdoor I would expect it to run from full to empty batteries on Turbo without issues.

Again, I cant speak about long term reliability, but real outdoor use will never see anywhere near the temps I get indoors. 

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But i don’t understand, if you are not professional or some search and rescue, why do you need super mega 1600lm, and like 500.000 cd constantly for 15 mins? for example last night my TK75 was modded to ~ 4400 lumen, or 4.68A (based on some other user measurements with same resistor R015)

The light has become insanely bright, like stupid bright, now compared to before OMG effect.

The light heats up like ~ 40% faster or even more. I was going from turbo > high like on every 30 seconds, i just don’t need constant turbo if its not real need, for fun few mins on max and cycle is pretty good for me…while still having low temps and better relaibility – less pressure on the light.

BTW this lights T(K75/61) have no over temperature protection afaik, so i would strongly advise against testing modded lights in hot rooms without fan…..you have no need for that, just a friendly advise.

Fenix TK61 MOD> resistor, transistors, copper heatsink, Artic Cooling MX4, dedome, 3A > 5.7A ~ 1700 lumens > (600.000cd)

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Some of us want to play with em, have no real need to use em. Others want to be able to put a light to work, and do exactly that. Mostly I play with the lights I modify, I take them walking to take the trash down to the road once a week, a 300 yd walk down and then playing with Turbo and such on the walk back, stopping to compare and test along the way. But sometimes I have need of a light to use, and then it’s from 10-15 minutes to maybe hours. So I like to keep in mind that any light I build may actually be put to work. I expect it to handle that, or what’s the point? I know I’ve modified some lights to the point that the higher levels will burn through the cells too quick to be useful, but am trying to use more levels now so there will always be a position that can be selected for an optimized power/runtime equation.

And such is the nature of the beast. Letting the desire for MORE overpower the actual needs is all to easy. But, a change of scenery can often show that what we’re happy with at home may not be viable elsewhere. A cave, a mountainside where the valley is distant, wide open spaces can devour even the biggest baddest light out there. Large bodies of water do the same.

For me, it’s just finding that I have the ability to push a light to it’s extreme. I’m having fun with it, and right now that’s what it’s all about. Smile

Yesterday I took my wife shopping form some new black slacks to wear on photography shoots. Carried my MT-G2 Sinner Ti as is now my custom. In a nice store like Dillards, having the MTG2 was very handy, making it easy to see the navy blue vs black. Wink Without the light, I was getting it wrong under the store lighting. Put em to work…

Dale

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I understand the need to have a massive amount of light, but now with the mod, my high is like 1600 lumens, so you want to say that that’s not enough for a walk? Big Smile

I know i know wrong forum to say hat buy still Big Smile

Generally i use 400 (now 500 lumens i guess) mod from my regular yard checkups, sometimes i blast full power of 3000 lumens which illumuinate my whole yard, and i can imagine now with ~ 4.400 lolz. Anyway i hope you guys don’t get me wrong, i love massive output lights, but just i’m used to cycling trough modes, and no that’s not to preserve the lights, its just an habit, don’t know why i do that Smile

Fenix TK61 MOD> resistor, transistors, copper heatsink, Artic Cooling MX4, dedome, 3A > 5.7A ~ 1700 lumens > (600.000cd)

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We have some pretty awesome storms roll through, and with the fast growing Hackberry trees on fencelines (courtesy of the birds) we routinely have a large tree down from high winds, and usually across a road out in the country. We don’t wait for the County to come clear the road, but voluntarily grab up the chain saw and clear the way. My 5000 lumen M6 will be great for lighting up such a scene, but will it last for the hour or two it’ll take to cut a 28” thick tree into small enough pieces to clear the road? Maybe still in the rain?

Repair a fence after a drunk drives through it and hopefully before cows get out? Black cows? In the night? With wide open spaces easily a mile in length? 1600 lumens isn’t enough. Unless it’s focused like a laser. Wink [not difficult to repair the fence with lesser light, but finding the cow critturs is another story altogether…]

Dale

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Keep in mind, your situation is quite rare, i’m talking generally here, you have the real need, but not all does Smile

That’s why i said if you don’t have the real need, serious rl scenarios, its not a must. Cheers Smile

Fenix TK61 MOD> resistor, transistors, copper heatsink, Artic Cooling MX4, dedome, 3A > 5.7A ~ 1700 lumens > (600.000cd)

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If your TK75 is running 4,68A at each emitter. Assuming that is what you mean. You are looking at 14 amps divided on 3 emitters. That is a whole different heat level than the 3A or more from a modded TK61.

Why would I not want to run a 1600lm 500kcd to run for 15 minutes? Or at least know its up to the task. Why would you want to dim down all that glorious throw if you have the runtime for it? Big Smile

If im up on the mountains when its dark its useful to have good range. And I can use all the range I can get. Same if you are in a boat. You can never have enough light or range from a handheld flashlight. I even enjoy being able to light up mountainsides when Im at trails beside them. 

Even just for fun I still enjoy pushing limits and lighting up things in the distance. Why have 1-2 minutes of fun when you can keep going longer...

Doing some extreme testing indoors is useful to know if it will handle the heat. I never post anything about a resistor mod unless it seems to be somewhat reliable in a bit of extreme testing. When that is said.  I cant guarantee anything about reliability really. But I can do tests that can help others to get a better picture of what the light is capable of or how it acts.

Like Dale said, I actually expect my flashlights to handle some work if its put to the task.

What is the point of buying a Ferrari, get in tuned, and then barely use it above 4000 rpm and never run it faster than 50 miles an hour or slower? I like to be able to use certain things. Id like to know something is up for the task. Any task its supposed to handle, and if its not. I will improve it. That is what modding is all about to me. Improving lights. If I have made an unreliable light, then its not a good mod. Id rather find the limits of a light indoors, than outdoors when its actually needed...

Pushing a light well beyond 100 Celcious might be a bit over the top. I tried to make an omelett on my 9 XM-L light btw. 0:) Maybe I made a multi purpose camping light. You know, cooking stove and flashlight all in one. Big Smile   As long as emitters are mostly below 150C and as long as the batteries are below 60C, and as long as driver circuits can be replaced, I don't have issues testing limits. I even enjoy it.

dazed1 wrote:
I understand the need to have a massive amount of light, but now with the mod, my high is like 1600 lumens, so you want to say that that's not enough for a walk?

Need at least 3000 for a walk.. 1600 lumen is so 2013..  lol

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dazed1, not rare at all for the 20 million people living in Texas. Just sayin…

Dale

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Hahahah you made me laugh for sure with the 2013 part Big Smile

Anyway, i guess i’m like this because i use 95% of the time my lights for urban areas i live in the capitol city Sad

BTW i never said i don’t use my lights on turbo, i’m just more for different turbo usage, turbo few mins > high > low, then after 10 seconds again turbo and so on..

So yea, its similar runtime, just not constant. BTW about the amps, not really sure how that works, but i guess its ~ 4.6/4.7A per led? i’m confused by all of this driver (regulation)>cells>parallel>series things, so i’m not sure but i think you are right, its 4.7A per led, resulting in 14A….

Also one more thing, i heard that when volts drop, the amps rise, but is this drain from cell only? i’m guessing the amps to the leds never increase more then 4.7A right? sorry still just a noob Big Smile

Fenix TK61 MOD> resistor, transistors, copper heatsink, Artic Cooling MX4, dedome, 3A > 5.7A ~ 1700 lumens > (600.000cd)

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If it can't hold up to 10 minutes turbo, it's no good.  This is a $200 (modded) super thrower and it should be able to run until it gets too hot to hold or until the cells die.  

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