HowTo: Modify Carclo Optics for XP-L Use--For $0.25

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Slim Pickens
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A lot pictures of the Convoy triples that I’ve seen look like the bezel is blocking part of the optic. Anyone care to comment on this?

Caleb-v
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DB Custom
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I put this quad optic on domed XP-L V6 2C's, it pulls 13.21A from a rested Samsung 20R. Smile

will manners
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RMM, is there an ETA for the XP-L V6 3D leds? Smile

Slim Pickens wrote:
A lot pictures of the Convoy triples that I’ve seen look like the bezel is blocking part of the optic. Anyone care to comment on this?

I’d also like someone’s opinion on this. Specifically how much lumens is being lost because of this and if there is a way to rectify the problem.

Rufusbduck
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It’s possible to ream the bezel closer to the OD of the optic but you wouldn’t want to uncover the o-ring.

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wight
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While we are sort of on the subject (OK not really), I’ve just been looking at Ledil’s product line and it seems to me that the Sandra series can be cut down to a 35mm triple without the squished-up optics of the Cute and with less depth. (11.1mm vs 15.0mm). Assuming one was inclined to do such a thing. There isn’t an XR or XM version, but I assume that the XP version can be trimmed as described in the OP and/or using the method described by C_k elsewhere.

EDIT: While I’m writing it all down in this post… I speculate that the Cute-3 uses squished 20mm optics while the Sandra-12 uses ~16.6mm optics.

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DB Custom
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With a freshly charged 20R cell, amps at the tail shows to be 13.79A. 

Output in my lightbox "only" shows 2742.75 at start.

This would imply 685.75 lumens per emitter, at 3.45A ea. 

Something wrong with this picture, should be in the 1200 lumen territory per emitter at 3.45A.

I took heat into consideration building this one, spent the day putting it together...

DB Custom
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Wight, I measure the optic in the CUTE-3 35mm triple at 17.4mm for each TIR.

wight
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DBCstm wrote:

Wight, I measure the optic in the CUTE-3 35mm triple at 17.4mm for each TIR.

Thanks DBCstm, shows what I know. Is that measuring across the longest way?

I’ve been working based on assumptions derived from the 20mm optics (which are of similar height to the 25mm triple)

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RMM
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will manners wrote:
RMM, is there an ETA for the XP-L V6 3D leds? Smile
Slim Pickens wrote:
A lot pictures of the Convoy triples that I've seen look like the bezel is blocking part of the optic. Anyone care to comment on this?
I'd also like someone's opinion on this. Specifically how much lumens is being lost because of this and if there is a way to rectify the problem.

They will be back here in about a week.  

I'm not sure how much is lost, but there has to be a little bit.  The issue is that the o-ring lands are there, so unless you can re-cut the groove or do without the o-ring, there isn't much.  I've thought about opening it up a bit then using some silicone instead of the o-ring, but haven't tried it yet.  I suppose that the easy way to test would be to measure the same driver/LED/cell combination outside the light vs. inside the light. 

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DB Custom
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Wight, from the bottom of the cone to the top of the lens is 13.9mm, each round TIR within the triple is 17.3mm in diameter... near as I can tell with my cheap digital caliper.

Edit: I measured 17.4 across on the mounted one that I've polished the face of. You can see the optics better behind the polished top surface. The second measurements are from an optic that is loose but honeycombed on the surface for the diffusion.

DB Custom
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I de-domed the XP-L's and put a stock optic on it. 

Lumens is up from 2743 to 3326.

Tint suffers.

will manners
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Hmm, seems like either a win lose or a lose win…

Wonder why lumens increased after dedome and optic change. Perhaps you could measure the lumens with the dedomed xpls but with the modified optic.

Firelight2
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will manners wrote:
Hmm, seems like either a win lose or a lose win…

Wonder why lumens increased after dedome and optic change. Perhaps you could measure the lumens with the dedomed xpls but with the modified optic.

Probably shaving off the inside of the optic meant that some light hits the shaved portion and then diffuses. Instead of reflecting off the edges of the optic and then out the front, some of this diffuse light goes out the bottom of the optic and is lost … absorbed inside the bezel.

Light will only reflect inside a TIR optic if it hits the edges of the optic at the correct angle. If it hits the wrong angle it will transmit through without reflecting.

Even though modding the optic doesn’t look like it affects the beam, perhaps it really is causing a loss of lumens.

bdiddle
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DBCstm wrote:

I de-domed the XP-L’s and put a stock optic on it. 

Lumens is up from 2743 to 3326.

Tint suffers.

About what I expected.

Newb

DB Custom
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Firelight2 is probably right, this is why I ordered the ball nose end mill bit...to get a clean cut and a rounded cut in the hopes of keeping the internal reflectors maximized. 

I charged a 20R and ran the light in the light box with the bored quad optics on the now de-domed XP-L V6 2C emitters and got 2387.4 lumens.

Then I ran the light through the box again, immediately after and on the same cell, with the stock optics and got 2849.7 lumens.

So the bored optics lost 462.3 lumens. Fairly substantial, on top of the losses already accumulated from having to de-dome the XP-L's. Previous reading with the altered optics and domed emitters was 2742.75. So de-doming cost some 355.35 lumens.

In theory then, if domed emitters could fit under stock optics they should be making something in the 3200 lumen range in this light. Only theory of course, as the domed emitters just don't fit.

DB Custom
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I worked pretty hard on this light, carving a solid copper pill/heat sink out of a bar of copper with basic tools. The BLF driver was already in this light before and running an XM-L2 just fine. So I kept it and put it in the copper pill with the quad re-flowed to the top of it.

I'm getting some flickering issues. The output in the light box is not steady, runs up and down. And I can see occasional flickering especially in low but it's there in every mode. I drilled a hole and forced a screw into the copper at the ground ring. It broke off. I soldered it to the ground ring in the light, with the solder in contact with the side of head. Same flickering.

Much as I hate to do it, I'm probably about to tear it apart and rebuild it with a new driver. Will more than likely put 4 XP-G2 S2 1D emitters in it when I do.

DB Custom
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A Sony C5 fresh off the charger allows 14.61A to flow, while the lightbox says 2925.6 lumens. ?

That's 731.4 lumens per emitter from 3.65A to each emitter. That amperage should have the emitter up in the 1100 lumen range, being de-domed, 1300 with a dome on. 

This is with a stock quad optic over de-domed XP-L V6 2C emitters. What am I missing? (Aside from 369 lumens 4 times?)

wight
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DBCstm wrote:

A Sony C5 fresh off the charger allows 14.61A to flow, while the lightbox says 2925.6 lumens. ?

That’s 731.4 lumens per emitter from 3.65A to each emitter. That amperage should have the emitter up in the 1100 lumen range, being de-domed, 1300 with a dome on. 

This is with a stock quad optic over de-domed XP-L V6 2C emitters. What am I missing? (Aside from 369 lumens 4 times?)

I’m not sure.
  • How well does lumens/amp scale downwards? If you use a lower-drain cell and get current input down to 5-10A or something does it give you the expected output?
  • How about trying the LEDs, MCPCB, and heatsink without an optic, lens, head, etc?
  • Check with welder’s goggles, are all the emitters flickering or just some?

Still fine, still on a break. One day I’ll catch up with you folks! previous wight catchup Wink
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DB Custom
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If I put a single XP-L in an Eagle Eye X6 and bump the resistors to 3.5-3.6A it makes around 1400 lumens out the front with a reflector.

Looking at the light while on, it will run stable for a while then drop, a semi blink, and be right back to stable again. All the emitters at the same time are affected. It's a sudden blink in the total output. 

Heading off to rebuild it, putting a ramping firmware in it this time but I'll use the XP-L's so when my ball nose end mill comes in I can check with it and see how that works out. Wink

DB Custom
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Took the light apart, pretty much started over.

New Quad board, 4 new emitters, new driver, ramping UI. Soldered a short wire to the extra ground via on the BLF17DD Ver 3.1 board and cut a notch in the copper pill so this wire could come through to the outside. Once the driver was pushing into it's bay this short wire was soldered to the outer body of the copper sink/pill, then filed smooth so the sink fits into the machined ring at the base of the head on this light. So the ground wire is soldered in and sandwiched between the pill and head.

Still has a flicker. Silly Go figure!

The bored optic works ok as far as looks go, it has a bigger "hot spot" with bunches of artifacts around the periphery, like  many petaled flower. Only really noticeable if you're close, like a wall in a room 8-10' away. With the domes on the XP-L V6 2C the color is white. Much better. Losses or no losses, I'm liking it just like this. The ramping firmware works well, can be turned off from any place you stop along the way and comes back on where you left off. Or a press and hold from off gives low. A double click from off goes to High. 

Lotta light from this small no name cheap side clicky. Not even sure where it comes from. Manxbuggy1 gave me 2 of em and they're pretty dang nice little lights, with a very strong magnet in the tail that will still hold the light horizontal even with this chunk of copper in it.

Bottom line is, this method of fitting the optics works. There may be some caveat's, but it works. The better tint makes it well worth any trouble it is to make the bit from a torx 25.

Edit: Forgot, it's now making 2988 out the front with a low of 10.5.  Same Samsung 20R I've been using.

wight
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Does the flicker happen when you bridge gate to bat+?

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RMM
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No doubt anything we do to these optics, polished or not, will hurt output.  What we really need are some purpose built XP-L optics, but for now this and dedoming will have to do.  

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ToyKeeper
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DBCstm wrote:
Still has a flicker. Silly Go figure!

BTW, did you compile that firmware with the red/green indicators enabled? It’s possible that they’re getting toggled and diverting some of the power to somewhere else.

Just a thought; might be worth rebuilding with that part disabled (if you haven’t already), in case that might explain the flicker. I don’t think it makes any difference if nothing is connected to those pins, but it’s hard to say for sure.

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Sorry if this is covered elsewhere. But where can you get the bits to build a triple S3?

wight
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Chicken Drumstick wrote:
Sorry if this is covered elsewhere. But where can you get the bits to build a triple S3?
Post #3249 through 3253 or greater. AFAIK RMM carries everything you need in his store – http://www.mtnelectronics.com/

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DB Custom
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If the alteration of the optics in this manner costs us output, then I wonder…

I got the ground issues solved in this PH-08 side clicky FastTech light. And now it’s seeing a little over 15A from an Efest 35A. The lightbox shows me 4147 lumens, from altered Quad optics! And it’s hotter than a $2 pistol on Bourbon St.!!

The 3/4” × 1” copper pill in the head gets the light too hot to hold in about 45 seconds on high. Smile

So how many lumens would the 4 XP-L V6 2C emitters be putting down range under pristine optics? Interesting…

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If I understand correctly, dedomed XP-L has roughly the same beam pattern as domed XP-G2?

With the loss of modifying the carclo optics in mind, what would give more light at about 6A total for triples? Dedomed XP-Ls in unmodified optics, or XP-G2s?

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Cool!

Some tweaks to making the drilled out holes on the emitters even more polished.

Tools you need:

  • T25 bit
  • Hardened steel file
  • Clamp
  • Ultra fine sandpaper. P2000 or finer
  • Fine/Very fine sandpaper. Around P150
  • A piece of round stick at approximately same diameter as the T25. You could use the tapered half of a ballpoint pen in stead of the stick.
  • Glue

To file down the T25 Torx:

  • Attach the steel file to the table using a clamp.
  • Plug the T25 into your screwdriver, and run it at an angle on the steel file, to get the right tapering.
    To polish the T25 even further you could run it at an angle on a piece of ultra fine sandpaper.

Now you could glue some ultra fine sand paper to the tapered T25 (or the ballpoint-pen) and use that for polishing the emitter. Or you could taper the round-stick:

  • Lay out a piece of fine sandpaper on the table. You could wrap it around a book or something of similar size, and fix the book/sandpaper to the table with your clamp.
  • Plug the round-stick into your screwdriver, and run it at an angle on the fine sand paper, to get the right tapering.
  • Glue some ultra fine sand paper to the tapered round-stick and use that for polishing the emitter.
  • Observe
  • Rejoice Silly

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Are people still using this T-25 torx bit method to open up XP-G optics for XP-L’s? I’m considering taking a Revtronic (Nitefighter) BT40s and swapping the stock XP-G2 emitters for XP-L2’s (and I don’t think replacement optics are available for this light). Originally I was going to go with XP-G3’s, but I’m not tempted to try the new XP-L2’s.

Thanks,
-Garry

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