Convoy L2/L6 modding thread

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JasonWW
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DB Custom wrote:
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?


What color are you using? The white are definitely brighter than the orange. 50k sounds good for a darker color. White might need 60k or more to give what your describing.

The reason I originally soldered the resistor to the switch was so I could pull the switch out and do a quick resistor swap and not have to pull the driver.

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

Dang, I should have thought of that. Lol

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Thanks Guys! Big Smile

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This seems to be messing with my ramping firmware, holding the switch down to ramp then releasing it the light turns off. Makes it unreliable to shift directions for the ramp or even use the light. Sad

Normally, powering up the light at the tail switch gives a blink through the emitter to show power-on, now it might blink or it might come on the last mode memory. So, reliability has been compromised with these led’s on the same circuit as the switch.

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DB Custom wrote:
This seems to be messing with my ramping firmware, holding the switch down to ramp then releasing it the light turns off. Makes it unreliable to shift directions for the ramp or even use the light. Sad

Normally, powering up the light at the tail switch gives a blink through the emitter to show power-on, now it might blink or it might come on the last mode memory. So, reliability has been compromised with these led’s on the same circuit as the switch.


Well that’s no good. Where are you getting power for the LEDs from?

One way to fix it for sure is to cut the traces from the 2 leds negative side so they don’t share the blue negative wire. Run a seperate ground wire for the leds. That way they are completely isolated from the switch.

I’ll have to look at the switch some more later because I have to sleep now.

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That’s what I was thinking, separate the ground to the switch from the ground to the LED’s so there’s no disruption in the switch circuitry that toggles the ramp… Gotta figure it out cause now I really like that hot pink glow… Big Smile

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Here’s a potential fix. Use the 2 pads on the back of the switch as led positive and led negative. You’ll need to use an exacto knife to cut the pcb traces around both negative LED pads.

Then run a small wire from one negative led pad to the other negative pad. Flip the polarity of that second LED so the 2 LEDs are in series. Then what used to be the positive led pad becomes the negative led pad. This let’s you use the pad on the back of the switch for a ground wire.

The only hard part is cutting the pcb. Running a tiny wire might also be tricky due to the small space.

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Texas_Ace wrote:
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.

thats not true
in a 1s Setting lets say the SMD LED draws 1mA and has a voltage of 3.2V at that current
on 4V Battery voltage the resistor needs to drop 0.8V @1mA
R=U/I=0.8V/0.001A=800 Ohms

on 2S Setup
on 8V Battery voltage the resistor needs to drop 4.8V @1mA
R=U/I=4.8V/0.001A=4800 Ohms

So if you use 1600 Ohms on a 2S setup doubling the resistor value you get about 3 times the brightness
I=U/R=4.8V/1600 Ohms=3mA

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I had to cut a new piece of PCB with 2 pads for the resistor, (the first one collapsed holding it with hemostats to remove the resistor) I put a 75K resistor on in place of the 51K and now the light works just fine. The SMD LED’s are still bright enough, almost more than I like as they’ll glow pretty bright in the dark. Regardless, at 75K the ramping works fine.

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Same camera, same settings, same position in the same room…

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DB Custom wrote:
I had to cut a new piece of PCB with 2 pads for the resistor, (the first one collapsed holding it with hemostats to remove the resistor) I put a 75K resistor on in place of the 51K and now the light works just fine. The SMD LED’s are still bright enough, almost more than I like as they’ll glow pretty bright in the dark. Regardless, at 75K the ramping works fine.

Cool. That’s a lot easier than modding the switch for a seperate ground wire.

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DB Custom wrote:
Same camera, same settings, same position in the same room…


Did you say that was pink? I didn’t know that was an LED color. I’ll have look again to see if I have some.

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Yep! Smile I looked at what it would take, figured I’d try reducing the impact on the circuit first, might even should have gone with 82K in place of 75K but it works and I’m happy about it… if I see the ramping having any further issues I’ll just swap the 75 out for the next larger in my book and run with it.

Thanks for all the help, this will really aid in keeping the cells ready to go as I do seem to forget quite often and put it away powered up. No more! Smile

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Yeah, those in the tapes I gave you that look hot pink, they end up a nice exotic purple or lavender when lit. When I was doing tail caps I’d use one of these hot pink and one blue, looked neat.

Edit: I got 160 LEDs in the package I bought, 20 of each of 8 colors. I clipped 6 of each of those and sent them to you. Wink (at least I THINK that’s what I did…)

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just a thought of mine, why not simply solder a 50kOhms tunable resistor on the pad?

then set the brightness as you wish

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Lexel wrote:
just a thought of mine, why not simply solder a 50kOhms tunable resistor on the pad?

then set the brightness as you wish

Word of advice? Make sure there’s a fixed-resistor as the minimum possible resistor you’d want. Otherwise, if it just happens to be near-0 when you first power it up… ✴pouf!✴. Goodbye LEDs.

So if you want the range to be roughly 20k through 50k, you can get a 22k fixed resistor and use a 22k or 25k pot.

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just deliver it at lowest brightness and full resistance, so the user can tune down

add a tiny manual, not to tune below 2kOhms for 2s and 500 Ohms for 1S light

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thinking about modding my l2, currently it has a xpl hi led, is it worth puting a xhp70 into it?

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solRNY wrote:
thinking about modding my l2, currently it has a xpl hi led, is it worth puting a xhp70 into it?

Better off just buying an L6 IMO. Or the S70s is not bad as well for the price.

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solRNY wrote:
thinking about modding my l2, currently it has a xpl hi led, is it worth puting a xhp70 into it?

You will need a driver that fits. You’ll also need to enlarge the hole in the reflector as well as have a way to adjust it’s height. Otherwise you may have a donut hole shaped beam with the SMO reflector.

A sliced dome xhp50.2 will probably give you a nicer, smaller hotspot compared to the xhp70. It’s not as bright, though.

Is your current L2 not bright enough for you or is the hotspot too small in your opinion?

You can get the most out of that xpl with a FET driver.

If you just want a bigger hotspot, then the xhp50 or 70 will do that.

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giorgoskok wrote:
L6 SMO now on fasttech too :

https://www.fasttech.com/products/1617/10032269/7057400-67-6mm-aluminum-...


I ordered this one and it’s good quality. Put it in my L6 today.

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I noticed that with the light rested, cells fresh but rested, my lighted side switch acts up still. Playing with it for a few minutes it quits, so it’s like the cells are too hot at first and after some use then it works ok. The “hot” wire to the switch LED’s is coming from the actual point of intake for the positive power, the lead is soldered straight onto the 18ga lead going from driver pad to XHP-70. So the only common place is the ground wire, which is coming off the MCU. If I run a separate ground wire would that solve this? Or should I go with yet a bit more resistance? I want it to be reliable, of course, even considering the problem I’m seeing is only on the top end of the cells life, I’d like to know it’s going to do what I ask of it when I ask it.

Wondering if a capacitor at the ground wire might help… ???

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solRNY wrote:
thinking about modding my l2, currently it has a xpl hi led, is it worth puting a xhp70 into it?

I went with the XHP50 in one of my L2’s and Love it! No hacking up that beautiful reflector, the emitter fits perfectly. I frosted the dome, it’s pert near emitter artifact free,pert near, but it has 2 very slight faint rings, so if your into perfect WW beam shot gasms, don’t bother, it’s outside in the real world this XHP50 J4-1B at 8.5amps rocks in my L2! Want a little more downrange illumination shave it want even more range de-dome it Wink

Try de-doming a 50.2! Facepalm

Here’s a link to an observation/opinion about the 50.2 from one of our own BLF members, I also agree with his opinion, I tried the 50.2 emitter in several different lights, didn’t like it at all, it’s in the junk box. Big Smile

http://budgetlightforum.com/comment/1111447#comment-1111447


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DB Custom wrote:
I noticed that with the light rested, cells fresh but rested, my lighted side switch acts up still. Playing with it for a few minutes it quits, so it’s like the cells are too hot at first and after some use then it works ok. The “hot” wire to the switch LED’s is coming from the actual point of intake for the positive power, the lead is soldered straight onto the 18ga lead going from driver pad to XHP-70. So the only common place is the ground wire, which is coming off the MCU. If I run a separate ground wire would that solve this? Or should I go with yet a bit more resistance? I want it to be reliable, of course, even considering the problem I’m seeing is only on the top end of the cells life, I’d like to know it’s going to do what I ask of it when I ask it.

Wondering if a capacitor at the ground wire might help… ???


I still have no idea what your driver looks like. Is it piggy backed on a 30mm board or maybe you added some width to the 17mm driver?
Could you take some pictures of it?

I think it was Tom E that said the shared ground wires should have zero effect on the LED’s circuit so I don’t know why your having a problem.

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KawiBoy1428 wrote:

I went with the XHP50 in one of my L2’s and Love it! No hacking up that beautiful reflector, the emitter fits perfectly. I frosted the dome, it’s pert near emitter artifact free,pert near, but it has 2 very slight faint rings, so if your into perfect WW beam shot gasms, don’t bother, it’s outside in the real world this XHP50 J4-1B at 8.5amps rocks in my L2!

Do you have any more info on frosting the dome? Wouldn’t that reduce output?

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This reminds me that I need to remind Simon about something. He was going to make an OP reflector for the L2 but it got back-burnered…

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Yes Jason, it’s a MTN FET driver piggybagged onto the original driver after stripping the components off of it. (Actually it’s a different driver that I stripped, the board fits though so it’s the contact board) The contact board is bored in the center for a 16 Ga wire which is connected at the top of the spring. The other end of the wire is on the MTN FET driver spring pad, so the FET driver is actually floating on top of a 16Ga lead. Ground for the switch is off the ground ring of the FET driver, positive for the switch is on pin 2 of the MCU.

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I’m not good at visualizing. I need pics to really understand.

How is the fet driver grounded to the flashlight body?

So the switch LEDs are getting positive from the main wire going to the big LED. That should always be battery voltage as long as the rear switch is on, right?

I’m assuming your mcu pin 2 is always hot and it’s waiting for that side switch to close and provide the ground path it needs.

So you have positive power flowing through the switch LED’s to ground. I don’t see how it would effect pin 2, unless…

It may be possible that one of your switch leds is touching the switch body. They get very close and you may have a solder bridge between them. That would cause pin 2 to see a very faint ground signal. Not enough to effect the switch, but maybe enough to screw with the mcu function or led brightness.

I had one of my switch leds get crooked and maybe touch the switch body so I had to remove it and start again to make sure it had a gap. A tiiiiiny little gap.

Man I hate smd soldering. I tend to use a flashlight and my smart phone camera at 5x magnification like a video microscope to easily see how I did after a solder.

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JasonWW wrote:
KawiBoy1428 wrote:
I went with the XHP50 in one of my L2’s and Love it! No hacking up that beautiful reflector, the emitter fits perfectly. I frosted the dome, it’s pert near emitter artifact free,pert near, but it has 2 very slight faint rings, so if your into perfect WW beam shot gasms, don’t bother, it’s outside in the real world this XHP50 J4-1B at 8.5amps rocks in my L2!
Do you have any more info on frosting the dome? Wouldn’t that reduce output?

Reduce output, not much, or to worry about, only your meter will know bro! Big Smile Visually nope.

I use a fine emery cloth or finish sandpaper around 800-1200-1500grt. Very wet, soaked even, like in a bucket of water, you don’t want the grit to become lodged into the silicone dome, or you will have a smoker! Then scrub/clean the dome very well with alcohol and a towel. Sometimes I even polish the dome, I have used tooth paste the white highly abrasive paste, cleanser like the Roman Cleanser/AJAX and water to make a paste, if I don;t have a fine enough paper. Still make sure it absolutely cleaned/scrubbed with alcohol. Blow it off with canned air.

Best to test the emitter after outside the light after cleaning, just to make sure you don’t smoke up your reflector.

That is why I like to build it up outside the light first, take my readings and when i assemble, I know what i should be getting right!

XHP70 SD75

Looks store bought, Cree XHP70HI! Wink

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