[MOD] Armytek Wizard Pro XHP50 to 4x Nichia E21A

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clemence
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[MOD] Armytek Wizard Pro XHP50 to 4x Nichia E21A

I've been really curious why AT use 12V configured XHP50 rather than 6V. From performance stand point, it's an inefficient route. Boosting from 3-4,2 V to 11-12V. The short runtime and heat produced confirm to this inefficiency.

Things get worse in it's Prime variant. Prime Pro now use XHP5 which by design is even less efficient than XHP50. And I assume AT uses the same driver for both.

 

Below is the chart from my DIY measurement. Couldn't measure anything reliably lower than Main 2 because of my DMM current reading limitation (no sensitivity below 0,1A). As you can see, the efficiency is normal for a boost driver up to Main 3. In Turbo 1 and 2, this Wizard turns into a heater, wasting 40% of the power to heat before it reached the LED!! No wonder it heats up very fast.

At max. power (Turbo 2) the LED only pulls ~1A at 4,2V before gradually lower the output. The driver just can't do sustained boost. This confirms Zak's and Maukka's finding why Wizard Pro and Prime Pro don't live up to the spec (rated at 2300 lumen) outputting only 1500ish OTF lumens. Cross checked with pct.cree.com also confirm this.

 

EDIT: In 6V test the Turbo 1 and 2 modes gave erratic then stayed at much lower output. The highest recorded input was 2,41A @ 4,2V. About half the 12V test (4,44A @ 4,2V). Something is definitely wrong with the driver. Looks like the test procedures damaged it.

 

 

 

As can be seen from the chart above. Boosting to 6V using the same XHP50 LED configured to 6V the driver efficiency increase. But at the expense of much lower output. Only ~0,6A at Turbo 2. More than enough for general uses. But as Zak said, it loses the WOW factor.

I reflowed the same XHP50 on Kerui's XM DTP board.

 

Summary:

  • This is a very good headlamp. Not the easiest one for modification but I proved that Armytek is mod-able. The design and machining is very well built. This is a very strong headlamp unlike others. I really like it for many qualities only Armytek has: The looks, toughness, magnet + charging, new super nice headband (very easy to replace/remove the headlamp when needed).
  • As for the efficiency. Most modes other than the Turbo are perfectly OK. Even the inefficiency in Turbo won't last long, it will switch down to next lower mode automatically due to it's excellent thermal regulation (throttled by the temperature read in the driver board, NOT by the LED temp). This is a fool proof design.
  • If you want a better efficiency in higher output modes, instant fix is to use H1-A or H2-C, depends on what LED you're using. This Wizard will fit 22mm driver with no problem. OEM Armytek use 12V configured XHP50. These drivers already tested by Jensen and their efficiency are very good for such boost drivers.

NOTE: I killed the driver. Dunno, looks like I shorted something unintentionally. Too many clicking with fluctuative input voltage perhaps? The inductor, MCU and e-switch seems to fail now.

 

UPDATE 180202:

Runtime test added: 

http://budgetlightforum.com/comment/1272198#comment-1272198

 

UPDATE 180204:

VR16SP4 installed: 

http://budgetlightforum.com/comment/1273587#comment-1273587

 

UPDATE 180206:

- Runtime and output results (XHP50 vs 4x E21A) added

- Firefly modes, CRI, and tint comparison between OEM and modded

http://budgetlightforum.com/comment/1274480#comment-1274480

 

UPDATE 180220:
- 4x E21A (6V + resistor mod) runtime

http://budgetlightforum.com/comment/1282280#comment-1282280

 

UPDATE 180509:

- 4X E21A 6500K (12V) reached 1400 OTF lumens and beats the original XHP50 in both runtime and output.

http://budgetlightforum.com/comment/1318830#comment-1318830  

 

- Clemence

Edited by: clemence on 05/12/2018 - 06:03
aginthelaw
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Maybe armytek is monitoring this thread and can provide an answer or give you a job

never fear shadows…it means a light shines nearby

The_Driver
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Thanks for the extensive test!
Your wires seem a bit long though. What AWG did you use?

I think in practise it doesn’t matter too much. The Turbo2 mode is not very useful for a headlamp. The runtime is too short and it dims too fast.

zak.wilson has showed that you can use this driver with a 6V Nichia LED and you will get more practical modes (highest mode will be 60min) with higher efficiency (Nichia 144A R9050 @840 otf Lumen for 55-60min).

I agree regarding the Prime Pro XHP-35. I think it would make more sense to keep using a 3V LED. They could just use a higher Bin (XP-L W2) and maybe increase the current to 3.5A to get a bit more brightness.

Could you tell us the designations printed on the ICs on the driver? This could help us understand it better.

clemence
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The_Driver wrote:
Thanks for the extensive test!
Your wires seem a bit long though. What AWG did you use?

I think in practise it doesn’t matter too much. The Turbo2 mode is not very useful for a headlamp. The runtime is too short and it dims too fast.

zak.wilson has showed that you can use this driver with a 6V Nichia LED and you will get more practical modes (highest mode will be 60min) with higher efficiency (Nichia 144A R9050 @840 otf Lumen for 55-60min).

I agree regarding the Prime Pro XHP-35. I think it would make more sense to keep using a 3V LED. They could just use a higher Bin (XP-L W2) and maybe increase the current to 3.5A to get a bit more brightness.

Could you tell us the designations printed on the ICs on the driver? This could help us understand it better.

The original AT wire core was 0,4mm thick. I used 0,8mm core.
Will try to mod it later using the H2C or H1A boost driver from Kaidomain. Wizard will accept up to 22mm driver.
Here’s the clearer picture:

clemence
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OP updated with 6V test

The_Driver
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Your results do not match those of zak.wilson.
He measured an input current of 1.1A on the Turbo1 mode when using a 6V LED. You measured around 0.25A.
On Turbo2 he measured the actual runtime instead (55-60min). This should equate to around 2.8-3A.

His results make more sense to me because they basically show double the runtime compared to the 12V LED.

I wonder why yours are different. The one thing I notice is that your cables are very long. Inside the light they are only 1-2cm.

I also find it quite funny that you want to replace the sophisticated Armytek driver with a cheap & simple Kaidomain driver :). But efficiency is important…

This topic is interesting to me because I recently bought this Wizard to do the same mod that Zak did.

clemence
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The problem with my driver is it showed erratic output by the end of the test. In 6V mode only in one brief moment it showed “correct” result (2,41A in turbo 2). Then it’s more like a lower random output before it finally stopped working.
I will test again using different driver. I had to use long wires, will try to cut it down as much as possible later

The_Driver
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I’m guessing you opened yours with your bent screwdriver?

clemence
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The_Driver wrote:
I’m guessing you opened yours with your bent screwdriver?

Yup. But for Wizard you have to be extra pppatient. I spent half a day during weekend just to get the bezel open without damaging anything. Faster route is to break the glass. The glass is there to protect the softer TIR optics (from scratch and dirt). Most optics available (at very cheap price) in Ebay/AE are too thick and don’t allow you to use the OEM glass anyway.
Next time I’ll just break the glass. It’s faster and make the headlamp more resilient for many uses. When the glass break, water will instantly seep in. PMMA TIR is softer but more resistant to breakage, and when the lens damaged, just replace it.
Note: without the glass, future bezel removal will be a lot easier too
The_Driver
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I have to agree. Removing the bezel is quite difficult. I applied some leverage with long scredrivers and also tried pulling up with a bent screw driver, but it only moved maybe 0.25mm.

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The_Driver wrote:
I have to agree. Removing the bezel ist quite difficult. I applied some leverage with long scredrivers and also tried pulling up with a bent screw driver, but it only moved maybe 0.25mm.

 

I managed to open mine today with minimal scratches and no cracked lens. It was easier than expected. I just needed to overcome my fears and apply enough leverage with a screw driver under the ring.

 

 

clemence
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It’s only possible with OEM bezel. I did many bezel removal successfully with no cracked lens nor damaged. But when I ordered the black bezel version. For strange reasons, AT uses two O-rings, sandwiching the glass lens. That makes no room for any tools. Normal Wizard or Tiara have 1,5mm space for pry tools to work.
I think newer Wizard Pro uses two o-rings due to some cracked lens reports.

The_Driver
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Well I just finished modding mine with a Nichia 144A and everything worked nicely. Hardly any scratches and no cracked lens. My light is from this fall, not very old. It only has a single o-ring.

clemence
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Runtime test added:

- Clemence

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Very, very good regulation! It’s very flat and steps down a the end to give you enough time to change the battery.
The prime runs a few minutes less before stepping down. The XHP-35 probably has a little bit higher Vf compared to the XHP-50 because of the smaller dies.

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The_Driver wrote:
Very, very good regulation! It’s very flat and steps down a the end to give you enough time to change the battery. The prime runs a few minutes less before stepping down. The XHP-35 probably has a littl ebit higher Vf compared to the XHP-50 because of the smaller dies.

If you look closely the flashlights didn’t shutting down after the last step down. They continued to run in firefly mode for much longer, (didn’t want to wait) I predict, for another hour or so. Each tests started with 4,19V and ended at 2,85ish V
With Sony VTC the Turbo 2 will have longer flat runtime in Turbo 2. I prefer the 6V mod to get flatter Turbo 2 at much longer (900ish lumens).

- Clemence

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UPDATE 180204:

Finally, after tedious drilling to avoid short circuit the ultra thin dielectric.






And to those doubting the white paint….

EDIT: based on Maukka’s test the Wizard must be using 70 CRI LED

- Clemence

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Wow, I love it. I’m perfectly happy with my XM-L2 wizzard, but your mod wants me to buy the XHP50 version just for this modification

The_Driver
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The difference seems way too big…
My only interest now is the throw.

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The_Driver wrote:
The difference seems way too big…
My only intrest now is the throw.

I’ll post a video for you later

- Clemence

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Here’s the test result:

Being an R9080 the 4xE21A is dimmer than XHP50. But lower forward voltage makes for longer regulated and total runtime. At max current the difference was almost 0,5V. I adjusted the correction factor for lumen output because I forgot I moved the input hole to the side of my integrating box.

Armytek Wizard Pro WW
T1: 755 lumens
T2: 1394 lumens
M1: 26 lumens
M2: 138 lumens
M3: 333 lumens
FF1: 0,05 lumens
FF2: 0,36 lumens
FF3: 2,56 lumens

Armytek Wizard Pro + VR16SP4 (4 x E21A R9080)
T1: 591 lumens
T2: 1104 lumens
M1: 43 lumens
M2: 116 lumens
M3: 266 lumens
FF1: 0,095 lumens
FF2: 2,47 lumens
FF3: 4,4 lumens

As you can see from above. In lower current those E21As are more efficient but not so at higher current. In FF modes, the white paint also boost output. I didn’t believe my numbers too. So I opened a brand new Wizard Pro and rechecked it, yes it is. Unless I got two Wizard Pro with lower than average FF modes, then it is what it is.

- Clemence

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Thanks for all the testing!
The output is rather low, but that way to be expected. The normal Wizard with cw XHP50 does 1800otf Lumens in T2 and 900 in T1 acccording to Armytek (yours seems to be a bit dim, even if ww).

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The_Driver wrote:
Thanks for all the testing! The normal Wizard with cw XHP50 does 1800otf Lumens in T2 and 900 in T1 acccording to Armytek (yours seems to be a bit dim, even if ww).

The WW XHP50 Wizard Pro doesn’t actually achieve the OTF lumens Armytek claims. Zak reported it in his review last year, and my ceilingbounce shoebox results also agree with Clemence’s results to within the margin of error.

http://budgetlightforum.com/node/55691

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The drop in lumens is well justified and totally worth it for such a beautiful clean beam with 9080 LEDs vs the stock 70 CRI OEM.
Well done Clemence!

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The_Driver wrote:
Thanks for all the testing! The output is rather low, but that way to be expected. The normal Wizard with cw XHP50 does 1800otf Lumens in T2 and 900 in T1 acccording to Armytek (yours seems to be a bit dim, even if ww).

As promised:

- Clemence

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Thanks! I believed you before ;).
Do you have a lux meter? My interest is in the higher modes, 1-4h.
If you don’t have one, you could also do a video outside against a wall from a few meters distance.

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The_Driver wrote:
Thanks! I believed you before ;). Do you have a lux meter? My interest is in the higher modes, 1-4h. If you don’t have one, you could also do a video outside against a wall from a few meters distance.

I’ll do it later this week. I also forgot to connect the LED switch wire. You can see it in my video, the button didn’t lit up, doh! Facepalm
Yes I have a lux meter (TASI-632A), that’s how I did the measurement. The cd must be much lower since the quadtrix E21A has very broad beam, almost as wide as the spill. This is perfect for any close works and around trekking but not for runners like you.

EDIT:
I used Djozz standardized flashlight he sent me. My test result also not too far off those of Maukka’s and Zak’s. I don’t know how AT test their flaslights. IMHO it’s almost impossible to get 1800 OTF lumens using current driver and optic set. The bezel alone eats up ~5% off the output, AR coated glass ~2%, TIR optic ~20%.

- Clemence

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clemence wrote:
The_Driver wrote:
Thanks! I believed you before ;). Do you have a lux meter? My interest is in the higher modes, 1-4h. If you don’t have one, you could also do a video outside against a wall from a few meters distance.

I’ll do it later this week. I also forgot to connect the LED switch wire. You can see it in my video, the button didn’t lit up, doh! Facepalm

Could you also do it with a protoype pCB if you have one lying around with LEDs on it?

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UPDATE 180220:
4x E21A (6V + resistor mod) runtime

4x E21A on VR16SP4 in 6V 2s2p config (2x sm403 R9080 & 2x sm503 R9080)
Resistor changed from 0,05 Ohm to 0,025 Ohm (2x R050 stacked in parallel).

Without resistor mod, the output in 6V was roughly 70% (800-ish lumens) of the 12V (4x E21A). The output in T1 & T2 was perfectly fine but Main1, Main2, and Main3 modes became too low to be useful for daily uses.

I tried to get almost the same output as in 12V by further reducing the current sense resistor to 0,016 Ohm (triple stacking) but didn’t like the short regulated runtime for just a little extra output. Bypassing the current sense resistor made the driver behaved very similar to direct drive with almost little to no regulation (OEM 3200mAh battery). 0,025 Ohm is the best overall (output – runtime – temperature).

With 144AM R9050 and 0,025 Ohm resistor mod the max output should be very close to 1100 – 1200 lumens. But I prefer the E21A for it’s higher CRI and better efficiency at lower modes.

It’s interesting that the 6V mod doesn’t do much to add more regulated runtime. With 0,016 Ohm resistor, the output and runtime were closely matched the 12V, both using 4x E21A. Based on earlier observations on E21A R7000 behaviour: it’s very efficient up to 3A despite being a domeless, closely matched 144AM R7000 domed performance. I strongly suspect the problem is in the driver design. This driver is just too small to handle more than 15 watt output. Even the OEM 12V XHP50 can only deliver regulated max output for a brief minutes (under unrealistic water cooling). Bob McBob did a test at freezing 2,5C and the result still far from the water cooled one.

My suggestions for sensible high CRI R9050/R9080 modification outcomes are:
- 6V without resistor mod for longest regulated runtime. About 700ish lm (4x E21A) or 800ish lm (144AM) OTF output, dim Main modes, and extremely dim firefly modes.
- 6V with 0,025 ohm resistor mod for long regulated runtime. 971-1000 lm (4x E21A) or 1200 lm (144AM) OTF output and ideal Main and firefly modes. Additional benefit: doesn’t need to to use high drain battery – more extra capacity potential. Re-potting can be tricky, Loctite Stycast is a good option.
- 12V + 4x E21A without resistor mod for better regulated runtime than OEM XHP50. 1000-1100 lm OTF output, slightly dimmer main modes (Main1 is slightly brighter), and much brighter firefly modes.

EDIT: forgot to include the output

Armytek Wizard Pro WW
T1: 755 lumens
T2: 1394 lumens
M1: 26 lumens
M2: 138 lumens
M3: 333 lumens
FF1: 0,05 lumens
FF2: 0,36 lumens
FF3: 2,56 lumens

Armytek Wizard Pro + VR16SP4 (4 x E21A 12V)
T1: 591 lumens
T2: 1104 lumens
M1: 43 lumens
M2: 116 lumens
M3: 266 lumens
FF1: 0,095 lumens
FF2: 2,47 lumens
FF3: 4,4 lumens

Armytek Wizard Pro + VR16SP4 (4 x E21A 6V) + 0,025 ohm resistor
T1: 523 lumens
T2: 977 lumens
M1: 32 lumens
M2: 91 lumens
M3: 217 lumens
FF1: 0,079 lumens
FF2: 0,74 lumens
FF3: 1,72 lumens

- Clemence

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Another boost gain using proper optic: 1400 OTF lumens in R9080! 300 lm gained over stock TIR optic.
As the LED die size increase, TIR optic selection becomes more critical.
4x sm653 D240 E21A R9080 are certainly outputs lower than an XHP50 CRI 70, but combined with proper optics the OTF output is dramatic.


I measured the output of 4000K (D220), 4500K (2× 3000K D200 + 2× 4000K D220), and 6500K (D240). Then I interpolated the lowest possible number using the flux bin to get approximation of 2000K D160 output. The flux bins adhere closely to the measured output. D240 E21A gets much brighter than XHP50 at lower current.

Armytek Wizard Pro WW (OEM)
T2: 1394 lumens
T1: 755 lumens
M3: 333 lumens
M2: 138 lumens
M1: 26 lumens
FF3: 2,56 lumens
FF2: 0,36 lumens
FF1: 0,05 lumens

Armytek Wizard Pro WW 4xE21A (2000K D160 – 6500K D240)
T2: 903 – 1400 lm
T1: 475 – 758 lm
M3: 205 – 330lm
M2: 86 – 145 lm
M1: 18 – 50 lm
FF3: 2,5 – 5,4 lm
FF2: 0,5 – 2,8 lm
FF1: 0,02 – 0,095 lm

- Clemence

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I’d like to understand why did you gain that 27%, but I fail so far…
How did you modify the optics?
Do I understand correctly that the emitting surface doesn’t fully fit in the lens opening? I guess opening is what you call aperture?
Assuming yes…there are just a fairly small corners that are under the flats. Even if light from them went straight through the optics without any loss…that doesn’t seem to be 27% of LES…and the OEM TIR doesn’t black it out, it should pass most of it forward as well.

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