When I saw recent review of the newest version of the DDT40, I remember how cool I thought it was that you could have throwy main emitters up front, and floody emitters on the side for area lighting. Since I can’t afford/justify the price of a DDT40, I decided to try to make my own.
I already wanted to get a Supfire M6 because I didn’t have any SRK-style lights yet (other than an SP03) but this gave me a new reason: The tripod adapter/port looked too good to be true. Dale gave me some measurements from his, and I immediately started ordering parts. I couldn’t really afford an M6 either, so a kind member here offered a trade.
Here is what the tripod adapter looked like before, it is a threaded hole in the side with a smaller adapter threaded into that.
And here it is with a 4000k XP-L HI on a trimmed-down teeny Sinkpad. I used an HI because I wasn’t sure if there would be enough vertical clearance for a normal dome. I cut a lens/cover out of 3-drawer plastic cart. I’ve used this plastic for other things because it has a nice frosted effect to it. It took quite a long time to slowly sand the plastic down to perfectly fit the rectangle shape around the hole on the M6
For the three main emitters I had planned to use dedomed XP-L’s, but I started with four emitters, and killed two during dedoming. So plan B was to use the stock XM-L2’s, but I only had two XM Sinkpads. So I ended up converting the stock MCPCB to DTP by drilling a hole under the emitter thermal pads and embedding solid copper wire. I would have taken pictures, but it ended up looking kind of ugly. People have done this many times before on the forum, so more info can be found if you’re interested. It ended up being really nice though because by using the stock mcpcb, I didn’t have to fiddle with centering separate LEDs at all. I ended up re-using the stock emitters, mcpcb, centering rings, and even the emitter wires (22awg Silicone).
I probably could have used one driver with one of the more capable larger MCUs, but I am not bright with firmware and I didn’t want to pester someone to spend a lot of time helping me on this one project. So I went with two separate drivers. A FET+4 DoubleDown driver controls the XM-L2’s up front by using the stock e-switch. It has 4-modes, including a 1.52Amp CC medium mode, and FET turbo for max output. For the XP-L on the side, I used an old-school Nanjg at 2.16Amps and programmed it with 3 modes and short-cycle memory. I stacked both on the intact original driver because it looked nice and I didn’t want to permanently ruin it They were attached/potted with Duct Seal underneath.
To more easily control the Nanjg/XP-L, I needed to add a clicky switch at the tail. It took a lot of work cutting traces, adding wires, and drilling holes, so I figured I would add an illuminated tailcap while I was back there. This is the first usage of the Rev5.1 board, and it works very well. “Vampire” drain is down to 0.0207ma, meaning that theoretically if I put 4 Samsung 30Q’s in this light and just left it sit, it would go 65+ years before sucking the batteries totally dry. All that and it’s actually brighter than the tailcap of the light I keep on my nightstand. I also bypassed the springs directly to the switch with 20awg wire.
The UI is a little daunting for a muggle (my wife) to figure out, but it works great for me. You first click the rear switch to supply power to the drivers up front. The illuminated tail shuts off at this point but nothing else happens. You can then cycle through the 4 modes and ‘off’ on the front LEDs by using the side e-switch, or you can cycle through the 3 modes and ‘off’ on the side XP-L by half-pressing the rear switch. Doing it this way means I can have any combination of brightness on the front and side LEDs at any time. Doing a full click on the rear switch gives an instant off to both front and side LEDs, and the illuminated switch comes on to show the light is in “soft-lockout”. I can also always do a partial twist on the battery tube to completely lock everything out (even the tailcap LEDs).
If you’re keeping track of my emitter count, you probably realize I’m missing a couple. 3 up front + 1 side + 3 in the tailcap = 7. I also have a small red led and a green led on either side of the XP-L behind the little window. They aren’t being utilized right now, but the thought is that someday I will be able to add active battery monitoring.
Thanks for reading!