Solarstorm SP03 - PD68 Mod

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pilotdog68
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Solarstorm SP03 - PD68 Mod

This is my new favorite “Big” light. I have one or two other lights that are brighter, and I have a couple other lights that will throw a tiny but further, but I don’t have any others with such a great balance of both plus fantastic run times and more compact than my other monsters. This is how I got there.

(SP03 is in the middle)

I traded a fully modded X6-SE for this light from another member here at BLF. He wanted something smaller, I wanted something bigger so it worked out perfectly. Otherwise I would probably never get my hands on something with an msrp this high. The SP03 is a pop-can light similar to an SRK but with a much bigger head/reflector and a removable handle. If you haven’t checked out the reviews, you should. Overall it’s awesome. One thing I didn’t like was the Battery+ contact. It was just a plated ring on the driver just like an SRK or a Courui. I’ve noticed on my Courui that it wears very quickly, so I wanted a more durable contact like a Blackshadow Terminator has.

(the stock contact, photo cred to JM)

I took the driver out (which was a royal pain due to glue) and took it with me to Home Depot and bought a sampling of washers with different coatings the same size as the contact ring. The first one I tried was cheap zinc-plated steel. I ruffed up one side with sandpaper, applied some aggressive plumbers flux, and hit it with a torch. Sure enough my solder stuck to it and I was able to solder it to the driver. I polished the other side and now I have a nice Batt+ contact that won’t wear down.

When you order from Oshpark, you order in sets of 3, so I had DoubleUp driver boards leftover from my G36 mod. I piggy-backed it onto the stock driver and potted the underside with duct-seal to keep anything from shorting out. The driver gives me a FET turbo, a non-PWM mid mode of 1.5amps, and I gave it a low mode of 0.075amps. On four Samsung 30Q’s High should be pretty smokin, mid is very usable and will last close to 8 hours, and low will last 160 hours (6.5 days) before I need to recharge.

For the emitters I dedomed three XM-L2 “U3” 2A’s. In the beamshots below they look quite green, but that’s because I didn’t adjust the white balance on my camera. The tint is pretty nice in real life. They are all wired in parallel. I used 18awg to ground the driver to the contact board and to run from Batt+ up to the first emitter, then 20awg to connect Batt+ to each emitter and take Led- down to the driver. I also used 20awg to bypass the tail springs. I didn’t do anything on the other side of the tail PCB because the traces were already huge.

Again, I don’t have a way of doing any real measurements on this light, so here are two comparison beamshots. These look dark because I wanted to show a real comparison between one of my brightest lights and my best thrower. I used ISO 50 and 1/2000 exposure time on my camera. In both images the SP03 is on the right. The left image is with my Courui with dedomed XP-G2 and FET driver running on Samsung 20R’s (not 100% charged), the right image is with my DST XHP-70 running at 8amps. As you can see there is a donut in the DST’s beam. There also appears to be a donut in the Courui’s beam, but that would have disappeared had I been able to back further away from the wall.

My Favorite Modded Lights: X6R, S8 , X2R , M6, SP03

Major Projects:  Illuminated Tailcap, TripleDown/TripleStack Driver

Edited by: pilotdog68 on 12/28/2015 - 09:30
MRsDNF
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Very nice pd. This mod should increase throw immensely.

My current and or voltage measurements are only relevent to anything that I measure.

Budget light hobby proudly sponsored by my Mastercard and unknowingly paid for by a hard working wife. 

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

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.

 

DBSAR
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Nice mod! Smile love the SP03’s large triple reflector and design.
You could always mod your SP03 to get 11000+ lumens like this one. J)

That Canadian flashlight guy Eh! -Den / DBSARlight

pilotdog68
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MRsDNF wrote:

Very nice pd. This mod should increase throw immensely.


I post late at night here because I know you Aussies always have nice things to say Smile

It’s really just a simple driver/emitter swap, but I’m very pleased with the results.

My Favorite Modded Lights: X6R, S8 , X2R , M6, SP03

Major Projects:  Illuminated Tailcap, TripleDown/TripleStack Driver

pilotdog68
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DBSAR wrote:
Nice mod! Smile love the SP03’s large triple reflector and design.
You could always mod your SP03 to get 11000+ lumens like this one. J)


That light is to me the ultimate “mod”. It’s about the most you can do without starting from scratch with a lathe or pipes/etc. But I don’t think you could call it compact anymore lol.

My Favorite Modded Lights: X6R, S8 , X2R , M6, SP03

Major Projects:  Illuminated Tailcap, TripleDown/TripleStack Driver

DBSAR
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true its definitely not compact anymore at a foot long. (and heavy with eight 18650 cells.

That Canadian flashlight guy Eh! -Den / DBSARlight

FmC
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Hey - I thought the group buys were killing off the modding, & you come along & ruin it with something nice like this! Wink

 

djozz
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Nice mod! And it looks very do-able too Smile I guess 3500 well thrown lumen ?

pilotdog68
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FmC wrote:

Hey – I thought the group buys were killing off the modding, & you come along & ruin it with something nice like this! Wink

 


Haha that thread was the whole reason I posted this. Normally I wouldn’t take the time for pics and such on a emitter/driver swap.

djozz wrote:

Nice mod! And it looks very do-able too Smile I guess 3500 well thrown lumen ?


I would guess right around there, I could probably get more with a UCLp lens (I wasn’t very careful about keeping the stock lens clean). It really is a very useful beam for outdoors

My Favorite Modded Lights: X6R, S8 , X2R , M6, SP03

Major Projects:  Illuminated Tailcap, TripleDown/TripleStack Driver

Ouchyfoot
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Very nice mod. I guess I'll have to add the SP03 to my list of future hosts. When modding, I always like the "little finishing touches" like taking the time to "Plate" the battery contact area on the driver.Wink

mattlward
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I have been looking for a decent SRK replacement, but a little pricey. Windyfire has it on their site for 54 and change, don’t know what shipping would be. Looks well built as well.

EDC rotation:
Convoy S2+, 6*7135, XM-L2 3D, 10 degree TIR, PilotDog lighted tailcap.
Convoy S2+, H17F, XM-L2 4C, lighted tailcap
Zebralight SC52w-L2
Olight S1A
Olight S1R