Convoy L2/L6 modding thread

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JasonWW
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For those that want to use a lighted side switch on the TexaS Avenger FET driver in the L6, here is the basic layout.

My “power on” led resistor broke off when I tried to put test probes on it to measure the resistance. I hope that’s not a sign that there was an issue with the solder paste. Update, I broke the resistor, paste was fine.

Since I’m running 2 leds in parallel I’ll swap that 4,700 ohm resistor for something double in size. 10k to 20k should be fine.

I never could get my meter to read the resistance across it.

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JasonWW
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Lexel wrote:
JasonWW wrote:
Okay, so it’s best to take it case by case. Don’t assume. Just apply power to the driver and probe around to make sure you find a good voltage source.

My next driver is going to be one of yours and it has a spot to add a “power on” led. Now since the led has to use the same negative wire as the momentary switch, can you tell me which pad is positive and negative?

I labeled them A and B.

Hmmm, maybe it’s not important. I can try the red switch wire to A and the blue switch wire to B. If the LED doesn’t light, I can switch them around.

Nope, that could damage the driver. Pad A is for the red switch wire and pad B is the ground so that gets the blue switch wire.

A is positive switch
LED positive are always on the 4.7k resistors

R1 is not populated as Narsil v1.4 does not support 2s LVP


Can you elaborate on this?

What types of things would the “indicator LED” show you? Something to do with LVP?

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Lexel
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yeah the solder connection is not the issue with this resistor, its just mechanical separated, so the rest of its conductive end still sticks to the solder blob

thos 0603 are pretty fragile if soldered only on one end

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Indicator LED on Pin 7 was added in Narsil v1.3
so v1.2 has no indicator LED feature

Indicator LED
When enabled, the Indicator LED can be used for the following:
- to locate the flashlight in the dark (Locator feature)
- to blink out the battery level
- as a secondary indicator of blinking when the main LED blinks
When the Locator feature is enabled, the LED can be temporarily turned OFF (only in Mode Sets), with the main LED OFF, 1 quick click followed by a click&hold til the main LED goes off. To toggle it back on, repeat the same procedure (OFF -> quick click, click&hold). Note the locator feature is turned OFF when the light is in Lock-Out.

JasonWW
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Lexel wrote:
yeah the solder connection is not the issue with this resistor, its just mechanical separated, so the rest of its conductive end still sticks to the solder blob

thos 0603 are pretty fragile if soldered only on one end


Okay, so that’s why the left side of the resistor looks a bit shorter than the right side. The resistor broke! Lol.

That’s why I can’t get a reading from it. Facepalm

I’m glad to know it’s not an issue with the paste.

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JasonWW
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I just got my TA driver installed. Everything works including the lighted side switch! Yeah, I’m 2 for 2. Big Smile

It’s pulling 12 amps with the Liitokalas at 4.1 volt. Yikes! It might be higher when fully charged. Maybe I should NOT have used 18ga wires? I need to tone it down a little.

The scary thing is after about 10 or 15 seconds I see the light color start to shift towards blue/purple. I quickly turned it down in brightness. Maybe the 20mm DTP copper star is having trouble with that heat? (EDIT, it was my copper shims, not the star or LED)

I tried my KeepPower protected 5200 and got 9.6 amps at 4.2 volts. No color shift seen.

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JasonWW
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I think I figured out the color shift I got. I pulled out my super thin stack of copper shims and tightened the star directly to the flashlight head. Now it seems to be working like I expect it to.

BTW, I added orange leds to the switch this time around just to be different. They are not as bright as the whites, but still okay.

Simple little video here for anyone interested.

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KawiBoy1428
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That will do it!! Big Smile

“IF” it’s a N4 it will handle it, I have seen N2’s turn BLUE at 11.8-12+ amps! I have built many N4’s in that range that are still kicking 2 years going, a better re-flow, board, better thermal contact and grease, you will be OK!

Like Dale says, the devil is in the details!!

I test them outside the light on a sink both LED and driver and weed out the weak! It also gives me an Idea of what I should have when I fully assemble the light. If I don’t get close to what I tested, then I start to look for what could be the problem, usually a bad ground contact.

Your now in P2-1C territory!! Thumbs Up

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KawiBoy1428 wrote:
That will do it!! Big Smile

The 18 GA wires?

I think I’ll keep them for now and just run it at 90% or so. Once the batteries run down a little the heat will not be such an issue. Maybe later I’ll switch them to 22 ga or so.

It’s an N4 1A that I just bought from MTN.

I’d love to get a P2 if they weren’t so hard to get and expensive.

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JasonWW wrote:
KawiBoy1428 wrote:
That will do it!! Big Smile

The 18 GA wires?

I think I’ll keep them for now and just run it at 90% or so. Once the batteries run down a little the heat will not be such an issue. Maybe later I’ll switch them to 22 ga or so.

It’s an N4 1A that I just bought from MTN.

I’d love to get a P2 if they weren’t so hard to get and expensive.


No the shims! Thermal transfer or lack of will kill the mighty XHP70 quicker then anything! 18awg is the standard I go by in my lights.

The P2-1C laughs at 12 amps, it Loves the 20700A’s force feeding it at just over 13 amps! Haven’t fried one yet!

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KawiBoy1428 wrote:
JasonWW wrote:
KawiBoy1428 wrote:
That will do it!! Big Smile

The 18 GA wires?

I think I’ll keep them for now and just run it at 90% or so. Once the batteries run down a little the heat will not be such an issue. Maybe later I’ll switch them to 22 ga or so.

It’s an N4 1A that I just bought from MTN.

I’d love to get a P2 if they weren’t so hard to get and expensive.


No the shims! Thermal transfer or lack of will kill the mighty XHP70 quicker then anything! 18awg is the standard I go by in my lights.

The P2-1C laughs at 12 amps, it Loves the 20700A’s force feeding it at just over 13 amps! Haven’t fried one yet!


Oh.

Did you get yours from Cutter and reflow them onto a better star? Wanna sell one?

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scotlarock
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Jason or KB, any idea what kind of numbers the L6’s are reaching with your 12-13 amp setups? SMO or OP reflectors?
Very interesting, and Jason thanks for the video!

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scotlarock wrote:
Jason or KB, any idea what kind of numbers the L6’s are reaching with your 12-13 amp setups? SMO or OP reflectors?
Very interesting, and Jason thanks for the video!

I stopped chasing throw, but with my old driver with R082 resistor pruducing 5.7 amps (due to the KeepPower 5200 protected batteries), a cut down SMO reflector and sliced dome I went from a stock 481 meters to 678 meters. That’s 58kcd to 115kcd or about double the lux.

With just a swap to Liitokalas the amp draw went from 5.7 amps to 7 amps. That’s a nice boost.

Now I’ve got 12.6 amps so I’m sure the throw distance is much further now.

I put a new xhp70 in with the dome still on because I like the extra brightness even though it creates a bigger hotspot and I loose some throw distance. Maybe one of these days I’ll swap the sliced dome xhp70 in there just to see what the throw distance is. Maybe it will hit 800 meters?

I’ve also got a xhp50.2 that I can slice the dome off and swap to my KeepPower batteries to reduce the current draw. That might still draw too many amps, though. If I can keep it to around 9 amps I’m sure it would throw really well.

But like I said, I not too interested in max throw anymore.

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I topped up my Liitokalas and did another amp draw test. It’s funny that the amps increase over the first 10 to 15 seconds then start to drop back down a little then kinda level out. I think a good 30 sec amp draw is right at 12.0 amps. I’m calling that official.

It weird how I got a little higher when the batts were at 4.1 volt, but I didn’t wait more than 10 seconds or so. So maybe it would have dropped down to 12 amps if I had ran it a full 30 seconds.

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scotlarock
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I’m doing a few basic mods of the two L6’s I own and logging the results, at various levels. For me, 8 amps, with the factory driver, and Liitokalas is about maxed out. I am now considering other options. This is why I’m asking about yours and Kawi’s results. Any lumen measurements?

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Dale has measured the P2-1C at over 7,000 Lumens with 12+ amps. (7,237lms at 12.4amps?) IIRC?

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I use thin wires on the XHP series LED’s to reduce the power. Generally no thicker then 24awg. Max lumens are going to be seen between 8-10A

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When I built my triple XHP50.2 I stole the UCLp lens out of my L6. So my L6 now has the glass lens that came in the S70. (I know, right? ;P ) I’m only seeing 7072.5 lumens out the front now. Need to get another UCLp lens from Chris…

Edit: Some clarification… When Chris ships the UCLp lens it has a blue plastic covering on both sides for protection. When I pull a glass lens from a light and install the UCLp I usually put the blue plastic on the old lens and mark on the plastic what light the lens came out of and the date. Well, when I stole the UCLp for my own custom build and tried to re-use the original glass lens the blue plastic pulled off AR coating in patches, ruining the lens. Hence, the S70 lens in the L6.

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Hey TA, look… Jason got the square ATTiny85’s as well. lol

I was trying to use a regular resistor at the switch for these SMD LED’s, the little metal end cap pulls off easily, breaking the connection every time I try to put the light back together. So I need to source one of those inline components like Jason used, the blue with rings on it for ID?

Edit: Or I can spend a bit more time and JB Weld it sealed so there’s no pull on the wire. I have a new tube of Water Weld that’ll set up in minutes, should I go that route. Was using a 22K, might go with a 24K and use the JB Weld…

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scotlarock wrote:
I’m doing a few basic mods of the two L6’s I own and logging the results, at various levels. For me, 8 amps, with the factory driver, and Liitokalas is about maxed out. I am now considering other options. This is why I’m asking about yours and Kawi’s results. Any lumen measurements?

That’s close to my maxed out factory driver (using a wire across the sense resistors). I got 7.7 amps, also with Liitokalas. That’s all most folks need.

I don’t have a light box to measure lumens so I can’t help you there.

I think a FET driver is the only way to go brighter. I haven’t put it through the paces yet. After a typical 40 hour work week I’ll check the batteries. I’m usually at 3.6 to 3.8 volts. I think the FET drivers start out bright then get noticably dimmer as the voltage drops. Constant current drivers tend to be more consistent with output as the voltage drops. I’ll have to wait and see how this FET driver acts.

The other reason you might want to swap drivers is for the ramping firmware. I have to admit, it’s pretty sweet. Plus I can finally program out the blinky modes as well. One click on and one click off with the side switch is what I always wanted with this light. Plus I have the lighted side switch to help me find the button. Just perfect! Smile

You’d better contact Lexel quick if you want one of these drivers as he’s about to start making the next, and maybe last, batch.

MTN Electronics also has a FET driver, but it doesn’t have ramping, just brightness modes.

A 3rd option would be like DB’s driver. A FET that he flashed with TK’s ramping firmware.

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DB Custom wrote:
Hey TA, look… Jason got the square ATTiny85’s as well. lol

I was trying to use a regular resistor at the switch for these SMD LED’s, the little metal end cap pulls off easily, breaking the connection every time I try to put the light back together. So I need to source one of those inline components like Jason used, the blue with rings on it for ID?

Edit: Or I can spend a bit more time and JB Weld it sealed so there’s no pull on the wire. I have a new tube of Water Weld that’ll set up in minutes, should I go that route. Was using a 22K, might go with a 24K and use the JB Weld…


What I should have done was solder the led power wire to the driver and the switch and put the resistor in the middle of the wire and cover with heatshrink. It’s kind of difficult getting the switch in the hole with a big resister soldered to it.

The resistor is your basic “through the hole” type component that was used before smd. The color banding tells you the value. It’s easier to use a multimeter, though. They are way tougher than smd resistors.

I got 2 big variety packs of them at Radio Shack, which was closing down. They were liquidating parts. The carbor film resistors were all gone, but they had these metal film style left. Normally $10 a box, I got them for $1 each. Wink

I could send you some 5k and 10k ohm ones if you want.

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Thanks for the info. I used 20 ga silicon fm driver to xhp-70 on mine. My cheap meter says not to run load more 10-15 seconds, so I’ve been only doing about 5 seconds.

May be time for a new one.

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Etex wrote:
Thanks for the info. I used 20 ga silicon fm driver to xhp-70 on mine. My cheap meter says not to run load more 10-15 seconds, so I’ve been only doing about 5 seconds.

May be time for a new one.


If your using a multimeter your never gonna get accurate results. Clamp meters are the way to go. Most folks on this forum use the Uni-T UT210E. There were some coupon codes for it at Banggood for $28, but I think they expired. I ended up buying mine on Amazon for $38. It’s a great ammeter, but so so voltmeter. It’s got the features I need like auto turn off so I don’t run down the battery. I hate that!

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Here’s a 300 piece kit for $1.53 on eBay. http://www.ebay.com/itm/172555310586

Here’s mine.


This time I covered the resistor in heatshrink for safety reasons. On the 3rd one I build I’ll put the resistor floating in the middle of the wire for durability reasons. I broke the connection between the resistor and the switch getting the first driver out to put the TA driver in. Gotta revise the design. Smile

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Couldn’t we just take power off the #8 leg of the MCU for >5.5V as controlled by the Zener or LDO? Then it wouldn’t take as high a resistor value because the voltage would be closer to the SMD LED requirement. Am I thinking right? I know the MCU has a 5.5V max, so…

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Thanks Jason, I think I’ll just use an old pcb and carve a block out of it with 2 pads on it for my resistor to solder to, then I can put it inline on the positive lead and the metal caps on the resistor won’t be holding the wire, the board will. That should work. Smile

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DB Custom wrote:
Couldn’t we just take power off the #8 leg of the MCU for >5.5V as controlled by the Zener or LDO? Then it wouldn’t take as high a resistor value because the voltage would be closer to the SMD LED requirement. Am I thinking right? I know the MCU has a 5.5V max, so…

No, this would effect the voltage that the MCU sees since it is simply a 200ohm resistor that is dropping the voltage for the mcu (the zener is there just in case for voltage spikes).

Using a high value resistor is not an issue in the slightest anyways, this is how most LED’s are ran.

You could even use a pot to make it adjustable if you had enough room, in fact on larger drivers like the Q8 that would be a very good idea.

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DB Custom wrote:
Couldn’t we just take power off the #8 leg of the MCU for >5.5V as controlled by the Zener or LDO? Then it wouldn’t take as high a resistor value because the voltage would be closer to the SMD LED requirement. Am I thinking right? I know the MCU has a 5.5V max, so…

What’s wrong with using a high resistor value? Should be no big deal. 2 LEDs in parallel with a 15K resistor is giving me a 0.4 milliamp draw. The driver itself has a 0.08 milliamp draw. So 0.48 milliamps in total.

On the TA driver I have, does that “power on” positive pad give full battery voltage? I didn’t check. I assumed it did.

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When I was doing these lighted tail caps on a Bistro driver with a single cell, each SMD LED took an 11K resistor for the low glow I like. So the pair in parallel would take a 22K, right? But that was single cell, so would I use twice that for the 8.4V supply of the L6 to get a similar result… like 44K? Or to get even a bit lower a 51K?

I cut a rectangular portion off an old driver that has two pads on it, soldered a 51K resistor to these pads. Then I soldered a 22ga lead to each pad, inline, and will either use shrink tubing or a cocoon of JB Weld to insulate it. Does this sound right or way off base? I want a low glow, not even discernible in a lit room but visible in the dark.

Haven’t hooked it up yet, wanted to check here and see if I was thinking right.

Edit: Just realized that on the Bistro with lighted tail cap there was a bleeder resistor off the driver, so the full cell’s Voltage wasn’t going to the two tiny LED’s to begin with and I still used an 11K resistor. Hmmmm…. so what value should I use?

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The value totally depends on how bright you want it. 25k-50k is a reasonable guess for 2S input.

I generally find that ~50k of resistance is ok for tailcap LED’s @1s but I have them pretty dim, With 2s input they will be twice as bright, which should be ok.

So yeah, I think a 51k resistor should be a good starting point if nothing else.

You can simply hook it up to 2s batteries to see what it would look like.

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