The HELLFIGHTER mod thread!

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Enderman
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The HELLFIGHTER mod thread!

Welcome!

Recently I was able to get my hands on one of the most well known HID searchlights ever made, the Surefire Hellfighter.

Thanks to Will for making it affordable to a university student like me Smile

 

I have some big plans for modifying and improving this flashlight, so here is the list:

-4x lipo battery briefcase (almost complete)

-replace stock connector with NEUTRIK NAC3MP-HC connector

-upgrade reflector to electroformed reflector from phoenix (to not have to damage the stock one)

-convert fully to LED with shaved-dome XHP70 P2 1C running at 12 amps, heatsinked to the body using heatpipes

 

So let's get started, this project will last several months...

This thing is built like a tank. Which makes sense, because they are often used on tanks.

 

 

The body is in near perfect condition despite being bought used.

The center spring is negative, middle ring is positive, and outer ring (called "power led") is unused.

 

Here I unscrewed and pried off the connector. Apparently the pins are attached to an inner PCB using metal rods rather than to the connector.

 

All accessories have been removed from the bottom because I will never be mounting this to a rail. Getting the latch out is the hardest part, there is a small hole which has a metal pin in it that needs to be hammered out from the opposite side using a small rod.

 

Here you can see all the extra metal pieces and screws, Removing them saves weight and makes the light look a lot cleaner.

 

This is the original connector compared to the new Neutrik connector I want to use.

 

I did a test to try to figure out what that inner circuit board does. Pins A and C are shorted, B is positive and E is negative. D is unused. The circuit board output the exact same voltage that I supplied, so it's not a buck or boost converter. Maybe it's to make the button on the light an e-switch rather than connect the button in-line?

 

This is the second hardest thing I've had to remove from the light, the ring which holds that PCB down from earlier. It was on so tight that I had to drill through my aluminum bar to turn it into a tool to remove the ring.

 

I finally managed to remove the front PCB, you can see behind there is some sort of circuit board potted.

 

Starting to remove the potting material to expose the PCB.

 

Here's the full PCB. There's a few small chips on the back as well, maybe someone can know what it does just by looking at this picture.

 

Taking the PCB out...

 

 

 

More chips on the back of the PCB, along with the pins for the plug.

 

There are two wires left over that go into the handle, these are for the integrated switch.

 

The single piece handle and stand, very pretty Smile Unfortunately the 1st hardest part to remove is still stuck in there, it is the thread from one of the screws that held the tail cap and PCB to the handle.

It seems to be fused on a molecular level using some black loctite, making it impossible to take out. Will need to take it to the drill press :C feels bad to damage such a beautiful piece of aluminum because of this dumb screw.

 

The "tailcap" Smile

 

 

The PCB which I will no longer be using because the new connector needs space. The lamp will be directly connected to the new connector, and *maybe* I will put the switch in line, although I'm not sure if those thin black wires will handle 12 amps very well...

 

Tasks to do next:

-drill out broken screw

-increase hole size to fit new connector

-mount new connector and solder back to the "rings" PCB.

-post pics of the external battery case

 

Thanks for reading!

 

 

Hey, how are you? :)

Edited by: Enderman on 02/23/2017 - 12:19
Lexel
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heat up the screw with a gas burner to get the epoxy melted and srew it out

the wires to the switch are maybe not the problem, but 12A to that switch might kill it very soon
better use it as eswitch?

Enderman
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Lexel wrote:
heat up the screw with a gas burner to get the epoxy melted and srew it out

the wires to the switch are maybe not the problem, but 12A to that switch might kill it very soon
better use it as eswitch?


I tried with a soldering iron, didn’t budge.
I think it I heat it up any more it still start to damage the anodizing, so I’d rather just drill it out.

Originally the lamp only draws 3-4 amps, so they could definitely have put the switch in series no?
I won’t be able to fit that eswitch PCB back in, so if the switch burns out I will just replace it with a beefier one Smile not a problem.
Maybe I can even make the boot transparent and add an LED under there or something, but that’s pretty far off.
It will be a while before I gather the funds for the reflector and heat pipes since I currently have two projects going at once, so it will stay HID for a bit. 3A should be fine for that switch.

Hey, how are you? :)

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All the best on the mod Enderman. You have done well to get this far without damage. i’m with Lexel on removing the screw. A soldering iron will not put enough heat into the screw with the handle acting as a large heatsink.

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.

 

Enderman
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MRsDNF wrote:
All the best on the mod Enderman. You have done well to get this far without damage. i’m with Lexel on removing the screw. A soldering iron will not put enough heat into the screw with the handle acting as a large heatsink.

Thanks Smile
I’ll try to find a burner to create more heat.

Also:
The two wires that go to the switch also come out right inside the hole, so I’m slowly chipping away at the aluminum to get them in a better position for me to widen the hole with a 1” drill bit without breaking the wires.

I tried taking apart the switch, the farthest I got is removing the boot. It seems to be glued in, and the tolerance is so small that the only way to get it out is by destroying it.
But hey, maybe tomorrow I will come up with a solution to open it up.
If I can remove the switch then I won’t have to worry about the wires because I will be able to take them out for drilling and then put them back in.

Hey, how are you? :)

MRsDNF
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Which bit are you drilling out to 1”? The reason I ask If your drilling out an existing hole that is to large and the wall thickness thin the drill bit may well grab. A rotary burr would work better if this was the case.

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.

 

KawiBoy1428
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Too COOL! What a great idea, going to be one heck of a search light! What are the dimensions of the stock reflector? Pics of the reflector?

Way to go Enderman! Thumbs Up

KB1428 “Live Life WOT”

Enderman
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MRsDNF wrote:
Which bit are you drilling out to 1”? The reason I ask If your drilling out an existing hole that is to large and the wall thickness thin the drill bit may well grab. A rotary burr would work better if this was the case.

The largest hole in the back of the handle, where the old plug used to be.
I measured it and there should still be several mms of aluminum on either size to keep it strong.

KawiBoy1428 wrote:
Too COOL! What a great idea, going to be one heck of a search light! What are the dimensions of the stock reflector? Pics of the reflector?

Way to go Enderman! Thumbs Up


The reflector is 4” diameter, here’s one of the pics Will sent me:

I have been so busy modifying the handle that I haven’t touched the main body of the light more than once to test if it works Silly

Hey, how are you? :)

will34
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I’m glad you like it, good to see it being in hands of someone who will put it through real use! Big Smile I never thought there would be anything in the tailcap, judging by the components perhaps it is a LVP circuit?

The Miller
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What a cool project!
What is the size of that reflector?
Do you know where it was used Will?

Enderman
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will34 wrote:
I’m glad you like it, good to see it being in hands of someone who will put it through real use! Big Smile I never thought there would be anything in the tailcap, judging by the components perhaps it is a LVP circuit?

Big Smile
Possibly…
I’m not sure if HID bulbs and ballasts get damaged if running at low voltage.

The Miller wrote:
What a cool project!
What is the size of that reflector?
Do you know where it was used Will?

Thanks Smile
91mm reflector inner diameter, 104mm head diameter.
Only a few mm bigger than the TN42 Silly

Hey, how are you? :)

The_Driver
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What a great host!

Have you though about the new XHP-50.2? It will probably reach the same brightness as the XHP-70, but with twice the Candela.

Concerning the XHP-70. I would go with 9A, much less heat and basically the same brightness.

Enderman
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The_Driver wrote:
What a great host!

Have you though about the new XHP-50.2? It will probably reach the same brightness as the XHP-70, but with twice the Candela.

Concerning the XHP-70. I would go with 9A, much less heat and basically the same brightness.


The 50.2 is still several thousand lumens below the XHP70, even if I overdrove it maybe I would get 4k lumens over 9mm^2, which would not be much more intensity than the XHP70 at 6k+ lumens over 16mm^2.
Less brightness, similar cd, not worth it. When cree releases a XHP70.2 then I might upgrade, but for now the XHP70 P2 1C with a shaved dome is what I will be using Smile

Also, the XHP70 is running at 12A because it’s what was available on the driver I bought.
If you look at this graph, you can see it peaks at 12A.
It seems like the difference between 9 and 12 is not much, but
1) this is N2 bin, not P2 which is much higher, and
2) this is with worse cooling than I use on my flashlights.
The tests done by djozz and other people is just on a piece of copper or small heatsink, since that’s similar to the cooling you will get when putting the LED into a regular flashlight.
I always go overkill on the cooling for all my projects, so that curve in the graph will actually not curve down so soon.

What makes it curve down is the heat. This is from djozz’s test:
12A 0 seconds 6631
12A 10 seconds 6258
12A 20 seconds 6164
12A 30 seconds 6024
12A 40 seconds 5838
12A 50 seconds 5744
12A 60 seconds 5557

As you can see, when the LED is running at good temperatures you get much higher output.

Hey, how are you? :)

The_Driver
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I would not count out the XHP-50.2. I just checked with the Cree PCT. In K4 Bin it has the brightness of a XHP70 N4 (the bin below P2) and actually has a lower Vf compared to the XHP-70 (usually means that it should take even more current).

XHP-70.2 should be amazing Wink

Enderman
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The_Driver wrote:
I would not count out the XHP-50.2. I just checked with the Cree PCT. In K4 Bin ist has the brightness of a XHP70 N4 (the bin below P2) and actually has a lower Vf compared to the XHP-70 (usually means that it should take even more current).

XHP-70.2 should be amazing Wink


Where are you getting your numbers??
The XHP50.2 K4 is rated at 1380lm max while the XHP70 N4 is 1830lm max… (at 85C, and their rated voltage+current)
http://www.cree.com/~/media/Files/Cree/LED-Components-and-Modules/XLamp/...
http://www.cree.com/~/media/Files/Cree/LED-Components-and-Modules/XLamp/...

Also it doesn’t mean you can just pump more current through the chip. Typically you can drive them at 200-300% their rated spec, which is how you can get 4-6k lumens out of an XHP70.
If you do 200-300% of the XHP50, you would get 3-4.5k lumens.
The current increases exponentially too, so even if you were able to drive it at 400% without it dying it would be using way more current and producing more heat than the XHP70.

The XHP70 is the best way to get high lumens from a small area. The only thing close is the luminus LEDs, but those need special drivers because they use like 20-40 amps and low voltage.
Other options to get high lumen output involve COB LEDs, but I would rather not use that in this light because I want useful throw, not just flood Smile

Hey, how are you? :)

KawiBoy1428
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Dale’s L6 @ just over 12 amps measured 7141.5 lumens at start up! There is no chance in hell that a 70.2 will out throw a P2-1C, maybe a bit more lumens, maybe, but never out throwing it! Big Smile

The 70.2 will be the same as the XP-G3, L.2, 50.2 No throw high lumen crap! Facepalm

Go ahead try to de-dome any of them, you know what you will get, even worse crap! Wink

But you CAN de-dome a XHP70 P2-1C!

It’s going to one bad boy there ENDERMAN! Big SmileBeer

KB1428 “Live Life WOT”

Enderman
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Haha nice Smile
You’re right, a .2 probably will be more lumens less throw since I can’t dedome it, the g3 was a pretty big disappointment.
Who knows though, maybe if the lumen increase is high enough I can deal with a bit less throw.
8k lumens maybe? Silly

This is supposed to be a more practical reflector “flashlight” with spill and lots of lumens, I already have a crazy throw flashlight!

The P2 1C I have is shaved-dome though, I will not be dedoming it because I want to have some protection over the dies since I often drop or touch them accidentally xD
Still should get over 6k lumens which is already 2x more than the Hellfighter HID lamp does.

This afternoon I will be trying to get that last darn screw out, once that happens I can start installing my Neutrik plug.
Even though it’s still not converted to LED I would love to get it working and take it out for some pics with the stock HID setup!

Hey, how are you? :)

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You can seal a dedomed LED with high temperature clear car laquer

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So far I have done the P2-1C TN42 with dome on, shaved and de-domed, and changed the FET to a SIR404 shortened the 18awg leads till their banjo string tight and running 4 VTC5A’s right off the charger, getting 12.82 amps on the hit, so now I’m trying to figure out how to stuff 4 of my 20700A Pany’s in it! Facepalm It’s never ending!!! Big Smile

So I’ll be watching, can’t wait to see the results, in the meantime I have a few more of these things to mod for my Buddies! Wink

EvilThumbs Up

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Enderman
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Nice collection Smile
When finish this hellfighter should perform like one of those TN42s modded with the XHP70, but with better cooling so it can run continuously at 12A.

btw I finally managed to drill the darn screw out, it took a few hours of work, but I got the hole rethreaded and now can attach the light back to the handle!
Next step is to widen the back hole to fit the plug.

Hey, how are you? :)

KawiBoy1428
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Yeah man, they get crazy hot in Turbo, but not bad outside and 6 levels. Really need some kind of active cooling system, got the room in there?

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Enderman
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KawiBoy1428 wrote:
Yeah man, they get crazy hot in Turbo, but not bad outside and 6 levels. Really need some kind of active cooling system, got the room in there?

Yup, plenty of space inside.
I would rather not have a fan though because that would mean cutting vents into the beautiful aluminum body, so what I will try is using multiple thick heatpipes to transfer heat from the LED to the body and radiate it that way.

Hey, how are you? :)

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Selfishly I would love to see a backpack liquid cooled system! Haha that would be something else. Big Smile

Enderman
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rdoc613 wrote:
Selfishly I would love to see a backpack liquid cooled system! Haha that would be something else. Big Smile

Haha that’s definitely possible, battery and cooling in a backpack, only LED and reflector in the light Silly
Some day I will build that, although not soon cause I have no money :C

Hey, how are you? :)

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You’d be a true Ghostbuster!

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Enderman wrote:
The_Driver wrote:
I would not count out the XHP-50.2. I just checked with the Cree PCT. In K4 Bin ist has the brightness of a XHP70 N4 (the bin below P2) and actually has a lower Vf compared to the XHP-70 (usually means that it should take even more current).

XHP-70.2 should be amazing Wink


Where are you getting your numbers??

Cree PCT – way more practical than any datasheet! Together with measurements from djozz that show high-current performance it is possible to calculate most values and get very realistic results.

Of course, it is all specualtion until someone actually tests the XHP-50.2, but I think it will be very good.

Enderman
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The_Driver wrote:

Cree PCT – way more practical than any datasheet! Together with measurements from djozz that show high-current performance it is possible to caluclate most values and get very realistic results.

Of course, it is all specualtion until someone actually tests the XHP-50.2, but I think it will be very good.


By convention, the larger L2 dies on the XHP70 can handle higher outputs than the XHP50 G2 dies.
The harder you drive the LED, the more difference there is.

The tests in the link you showed are only for very low currents, so the difference is minimal.
The 50.2 is actually not much brighter than the old 50, it’s just more efficient.
Hopefully someone can make a graph of the 50.2 outpupt soon.

Hey, how are you? :)

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Kinda big for an EDC light… Big Smile

 

I second the suggestion about using something other than a drill-bit on the 1” hole. Reamer, countersink, something to gradually open it up, maybe even a Dremel to grind away the inside of a scribed 1” circle.

Or if you can get a step-bit to at least 25mm, that should do it. I (carefully!) use a 20mm to match-mod Minimags.

09 F9 11 02 9D 74 E3 5B D8 41 56 C5 63 56 88 C0

Enderman
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Lightbringer wrote:
Kinda big for an EDC light… Big Smile

 

I second the suggestion about using something other than a drill-bit on the 1” hole. Reamer, countersink, something to gradually open it up, maybe even a Dremel to grind away the inside of a scribed 1” circle.

Or if you can get a step-bit to at least 25mm, that should do it. I (carefully!) use a 20mm to match-mod Minimags.


Haha thanks Smile
I’ll try the countersink bit, the regular drill bit didn’t work very well.
If bits don’t work I may just try widening it with a rounded file, it will take a while but should work out.

Hey, how are you? :)

Lexel
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To widen round holes you can use sandpaper head on a dremel

Enderman
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Lexel wrote:
To widen round holes you can use sandpaper head on a dremel

Will try that too Smile

Hey, how are you? :)

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