Supfire L5-S, dual switch, 1 x 26650

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MtnDon
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Supfire L5-S, dual switch, 1 x 26650

A while back I mentioned in another thread I mentioned I wanted to get my hands on a Supfire L5-S. It is similar to the standard L5 that mtnelectronics sells. The difference is this “S” model has a tail cap on/off switch as well as the side switch, whereas the previous model has only a side switch. The only places I found it available was tmall or taobao. So with the help of Google translate and the cssbuy.com, proxy purchaser I ordered one.

I ordered it through this taobao seller. There were several; this one had sold a few already so I went with it. I ordered in early January. Since I selected a set with 26650 cells it had to be shipped via NLpost, cssbuy’s only relatively cheap shipping service when cells are included. The light cost about US$22 and the shipping added about US$8-9 IIRC plus 1.50 or so handling. It came today.

Here it is placed side by side with one of the Supfire 26650 cells. The cell is marked as 3700 mAh. We’ll see what it tests at later.

Here it is in my hand. The anodizing is a pleasant grey color. There are a few dust bits, the anodizing is well done.

The tailcap with switch

The view showing the USB charge port with cover plug. The plug fits very tightly.

Showing the tube, head and tailcap disassembled. The threads are triangular and not anodized. On the good side though is that the machining is done well, very smooth to thread together.

Also on the plus side is that it is assembled with threaded retaining rings, so disassembly should be easy enough.

Next the head showing the driver board and the tailcap closer up. We’ll see what kind of switch lurks beneath the spring loaded brass button later.

The reflector. It has an XM-L2 emitter; well centered. The lens and reflector are clean.

When charging the side button lights red. When done it should change to blue. We’ll see. It seems odd but to get it to charge, once the USB cord is connected the tail cap switch has to be turned on. No light, but has to be on to charge.

Edited by: MtnDon on 04/24/2017 - 17:32
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When the tailcap switch is turned on the light always starts on High. The side switch cycles to Medium, then Low, then the Strobe and the S-O-S and then repeats.

I’m thinking of the first mod to be changing the driver for one of the mtnelectronics FET + 7135 Driver – 17mm – MTN-17DDm – New Updated Version, setup for electronic switch with 6 custom levels. At least that is my though at present. That can be piggy backed inside. If like the non tail cap switch version the driver is an odd 30 mm size. Of coarse swapping the driver may mean loosing the USB charging. We’ll see. The MCPCB should be a 20mm if the same as the original version.

It came in a nice cardboard box with a lanyard. The o-rings were not lubed at all, but I fixed that first thing. Overall it does seem to be nicely made.

MtnDon
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The head has the same O.D. as the X6. After I dissassemble it I’ll find out if it will be possible to use a triple Noctigon with the Ledil triple optic. Then I’d need to come up with a spacer. It’s a thought, and we’ll see how feasible after tearing it apart. But first i want to play with it as is for a bit.

pinkpanda3310
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Nice. The one thing I didn’t like about the L5 was no lockout. Thanks for sharing.

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pinkpanda3310 wrote:
Nice. The one thing I didn’t like about the L5 was no lockout. Thanks for sharing.

Ditto. That looks awesome! thanks!

-Clark

MRsDNF
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Thanks for posting this up Don. Looks like a nice light.

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".

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Old-Lumens. Highly admired and cherished member of Budget Light Forum. 11.5.2011 - 20.12.16. RIP.

 

MtnDon
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There are also sellers who offer just the light, no cells for about US$15

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Well, the USB charger that is built into the light sucks. No it SUCKS! I kept checking the voltage every so often. It hit 4.17. I plugged it back in and a short time later, still going, it hit 4.3 volts. Put back on charge it hit 4.4 . Still going…. I don’t think I’ll miss the charger when I swap out the driver. Sad, but what the heck. Amps had fallen to .20 from a high of close to 1 amp when the cell measured 3.8 volts.

LightRider
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Nice mtndon! I wouldn’t give up on the charging circuit. You could put a small charging model in there. I’ve been slowly working on a charging circuit that will integrate with our blf drivers. You might want to take a look at my thread.
http://budgetlightforum.com/node/48485

kramer5150
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I have been eye-ing this, which looks like a re-brand of some sort.

https://www.amazon.com/Comunite-rechargeable-flashlight-Torch-Included-B...

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Interesting LightRider. I had seen that thread. If that is a charge board to be used as a piggyback the problem then becomes how to replace the stock board with a new one with the modes / features I want. It is a 30mm if the same as the previous L5. That could be done with oshpark I guess.

kramer5150, that does appear to be a clone… Since it is fulfilled by Amazon it should be returnable if the charger didn’t work as it should. It would be interesting to know if this charger is an anomaly.

FYI, One cell I tested came to test to 3425 mAh, about 8% less than the 3700 label.

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Well, here we are 2-1/2 months later. I have finished step one with this light.

I have installed a Noctigon 32mm MCPCB with XP-L HI emitters along with the ledil Cute optic. For the driver I’m using one from mtnelectronics. This one. It is one of the FET + 7135 drivers. This has moonlight and is set up with the e-switch option. The driver has 6 custom levels plus the moonlight using STAR momentary firmware, which allows you to start on either the lowest or highest mode from off with either a short tap or long press of the switch. The tailcap switch allows an easy lockout. The e-switch firmware also permits an OFF as well as the various levels. It is very nice being able to back down the levels as well as click your way up the levels.

I also did a bypass on the tailcap spring. I have photos (below) with most of the steps. I neglected to photo the tailcap spring bypass. I also forgot totake any pictures of the disassembled light showing the driver. Stock it has a dual board design driver. I had planned on stripping it and piggybacking the FET driver, leaving out the charger that did not shut off properly. However, I had a misfortune with the board and broke it.

It uses an odd size / shape board. It’s about 29 mm in diameter and has two “ears” that slip into grooves in the head. This makes the board auto key for the USB socket, keeps it in place.

So first thing I needed a board for the driver. I made one from 0.030” brass stock.

I trimmed to a rough size with snips, then filed. The center hole was drilled with the brass between two blocks of hardwood.

I fluxed the brass, applied a little solder paste and positioned the driver on the brass adapter. No picture, but I placed the brass on a piece of 1/8” aluminum stock that had a hole drilled through where the center hole was. Then I applied a little heat to the aluminum plate and in a jiffy that was done.

View of the adapter and other side of the driver.

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For reference, this is the view in the front of the head. The aluminum disc is removable. It threads in and out.

This is the battery tube end of the head. The wires are for the e-switch. Four wires, two for the e-switch operation (black & white). The other 2 are to illuminate the charging indicator LED’s in the side switch location. I capped those leads off for now.

OK. We need aspacer between the Noctigon MCPCB and that threaded shelf insert. If I had a lathe the ideal would be to make a thread in shelf that was appropriately thicker. I don’t so I could not. However I had an aluminum spacer that was for the X6 triple mod. It slips into the head okay as far as diameter. However the stepped part does not reach far enough into the recess in the center of the thread in shelf. It is 1 mm short.

I dug through my scrap box and found a piece of 1mm thick aluminum. I cut and filed a piece to fit. Optic, MCPCB, shelf and head then test fitted pretty good. Here’s a stack image

The X6 spacer was about 0.4mm too long. The bezel would not thread in all the way with the glass lens in place. I did some impromptu machining with my drill press and an end mill.

The next issue is the size difference in the optic and the glass. The glass lens is about 2mm larger. Placing the o-ring between the optic and lens as can be done in the X6 achieves nothing. The o-ring is pushed into the head. A flat gasket might work. So for now the front end is not waterproof. I’m ok with that for now.

Here’s a shot of the size difference

MtnDon
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I assembled the front end of the head; bezel, glass, optic, MCPCB, spacers.

The driver was soldered to the wires from the MCPCB and e-switch

Driver retaining ring threaded into place.

It works!

I have an idea of how to mount a charger board (TP4056) inside the head. I believe there is plenty of space. We’ll see.

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When it gets dark I’ll have to go for a walk!

MRsDNF
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Its good to see the light finished and working Don. Thumbs Up

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.

 

Tom E
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Nice mod! I really like these lights, shame Richard stopped carrying them. If you know me, I don't need the tail switch. I got 2 of the 1st models, and one with the metal side switch which I like much better.

$32 is a bit steep for this light but not that bad really. Was wondering if Ali stored like this: https://www.aliexpress.com/L5 are actually selling the new model, just didn't update the listing.

 

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MtnDon, take a look at these two chargers. I have done a lot of looking researching these small charge circuits and these are the smalles and best I have found. And up to 2amp charge. Heat management needed at 2amps though. I have used them both in different lights. They charge perfectly. Atleast mine did.

Link 1

Link 2

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Thanks for those LightRider. The second link led to a page with 24 items. Which item or was that a slip?

I went for a walk with the modded L5-S. Oooh, I like it! I have a couple of other triples and both have the Ledil Cute-3-SS with a FWHM angle of 19 degrees. This L5-S has the Cute-3-M with an angle of 24 degrees. On paper not much of a difference, however, I think prefer the 24 degree versionfor how I will likely use the light.

I need to charge up one of my Keeppower 5200 cells and see what the light sphere indicates . Tomorrow I hope.

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Give it a try now. It’s 17×18mm and a nice charger

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Thank you, that works now!!

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Nice work MtnDon Smile If you get the charge module installed as well then it will have the spec’s of a much pricier light Thumbs Up

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Does this light have a threaded in aluminum pill that the led sits on?

It looks like it does, so why didn’t you screw it out a little to get a tighter fit as opposed to adding a thin spacer to raise the mcpcb?

My Convoy L6 thread with Texas Avenger FET driver, Narsil ramping firmware, lighted side switch and cut down SMO reflector. Lots of amp draws on stock driver as well.

http://budgetlightforum.com/node/54477

Tom E
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Yep, here's pics from an old L5 (rubber button) I modded:

 

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It looks like the old L5 does not have a self contained switch. I guess the switch was built onto the driver.

This new L5 looks pretty ideal for a 6 volt, zener modded driver to power a xhp70 using 26350’s. It’s a high drain driver, but you have the rear switch to act as a lockout.

I could switch the rear switch on when I get to work, have the side switch illuminated to tell me it’s powered up, then control it with the side switch. Power it off at the end of work. I recharge the batteries once a week so the drain while in standby mode should not be a big deal.

I think this new L5 design is just right for my needs.

My Convoy L6 thread with Texas Avenger FET driver, Narsil ramping firmware, lighted side switch and cut down SMO reflector. Lots of amp draws on stock driver as well.

http://budgetlightforum.com/node/54477

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JasonWW wrote:
Does this light have a threaded in aluminum pill that the led sits on?

It looks like it does, so why didn’t you screw it out a little to get a tighter fit as opposed to adding a thin spacer to raise the mcpcb?

I’ll try to explain w/o disassembly and better photos.

The screw in pill has a recess milled in the center. The recess is 3 mmdeep.

The X6 spacer is about 31 mm O.D and 8.6 mm thick. One side or end of the spacer has the diameter reduced to 21 mm. That 21 mm diameter protrudes 2 mm.

So,the X6 spacer fits into the recess and the pill and X6 spacer only touch on the outer rim area. The 1 mm spacer disc I made fills the space between the 21 mm diameter portion of the X6 spacer and the pill center.

The MCPCB fits flat against the front end of the X6 spacer as normal. Except I removed a fraction of a mm off the front end of the X6 spacer to enable the bezel to screw in more.

I hope that clarifies things.

MtnDon
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Battery: Keepower 5200 mAh 26650.

Fresh charge, cell rested for a couple of hours.

Metering with the integrating sphere and meter that JoshK put together.

After 30 seconds on Turbo I have 2920 lumens.

Pretty happy with that.

Now the sad news… After packing away the sphere and meter I picked up the light and turned it on (rear switch), then tapped the side switch 2x. The light did not come on like it should have. Tapped again and nothing. Did a long press to go backwards. Nothing. Long press again. Nothing. Another long press and it roared into Turbo. ???

After messing about for a while I find I have something like a moonlight or low mode and the three highest levels. (Driver is setup for ML and 6 increasing levels, [1] 1.5% [2] 4% [3] 10% [4] 25% [5] 50% [6] 100%I removed the head from the battery tube and could smell that something had released magic smoke. Crying The chips all look okay… no bubbles, etc.

Any idea what might have gone wrong? Thanks

I have another driver with same specs that I know works and it has worked in another light for some time.

JasonWW
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So you lost 2 of the 7 levels? Sounds odd. I have no idea what could have happened.

Could you do a beam shot on the wall? I wanted to compare it to the DQG Tiny 26650 7x xpg2. It’s got a clear lens which makes for weak spill lighting. I’m thinking your textured lens might provide brighter spill lighting which I prefer.

My Convoy L6 thread with Texas Avenger FET driver, Narsil ramping firmware, lighted side switch and cut down SMO reflector. Lots of amp draws on stock driver as well.

http://budgetlightforum.com/node/54477

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I clarified what I stated above. It seems that ML is there some of the time, the next 3 low levels are gone and the highest three are there. ML is iffy, sometimes it comes on and sometimes not, mostly not now. I have better luck if I power on, then use a long press to reverse to Turbo, then level 5 and level 4, then nothing several times. Seems like the MCU is working, the FET us working, hence the highest levels work, but maybe not the 7135???

I pulled the driver and replaced it with another I had. Of course it was not quite so simple as the first driver was 20 mm and the other I have is a 17 mm. So, I first soldered a 17-20 brass adapter ring to the brass plate, then mounted the 17 mm driver and reconnected the wires. Perfect light again.

I have a some 7135’s someplace…. what box, what compartment did I put them in???

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Think'n bad 7135, yes.

Ohh - and yes, old original L5 had the switch driver mounted. The new metal switch L5's went to a separate switch PCB, like an SRK.

 

There are 3 version of the L5 now:

rev 1 - black rubber switch

rev 2 - replaced switch with a metal switch on a separate PCB

rev 3 - added tail switch and USB charging

 

Though I do like the L5 in rev 2 or rev 3, it's a big light for a typical 40 mm head diameter light. The Lumintop SD26 is way more compact, though also a bit smaller reflector.

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I’ll try replacing the 7135; I found the three I have saved from a driver I removed them from.

I have to admit the L5 is a little on the large size. However, that helps make it relatively easy to work on the head. I’d like to see a 18650 size tube on the same head, maybe. Anyhow, it is a nice light and might be even more cool with Narsil and a triple.

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