[Review] ThorFire TK05 1xAA/14500 eSwitch

25 posts / 0 new
Last post
gchart
gchart's picture
Offline
Last seen: 3 hours 49 min ago
Joined: 03/19/2016 - 11:57
Posts: 1163
Location: Central IL
[Review] ThorFire TK05 1xAA/14500 eSwitch

Introduction: the ThorFire TK05 is a brand new AA / 14500 flashlight with a side e-switch and a Cree XP-G3 LED. The styling is rugged, featuring a few crenelations on the bezel and very large, grippy, knurling. The large, checkered knurling is a welcome break from what you’d typically find on a flashlight. It seems solid and is a decent size – it fits comfortably in the watch pocket of my jeans with just a little bit protruding from the top.

LED Tint: the LED tint is stated as being 5350-5700K. I’d say my sample seems a bit cooler than that. The hotspot is noticeably blue and even a few non flash-a-holics have commented on the color of the beam. What I haven’t noticed, however, is the tint shift that is all too common with the XP-G3. I would guess that the orange peel reflector is helping to blend the colors a bit.

Beam Pattern: as you’d expect from a small EDC flashlight with a narrow and shallow reflector, the beam is quite floody with useable spill. The TK05 is good for close range work – excursions around the house/office/garage, working on the car, general household work, etc.

Modes: the TK05 has three modes plus a hidden strobe mode. According to the manual, they are 13 lumens – 100 lumens – 600 lumens on a 14500; or 5 lumens – 70 lumens – 240 lumens on a AA battery. I don’t have equipment set up yet to take measurements, but in comparison to other flashlights, those numbers seems about right. One note on 14500 compatibility – you’ll need a button top. There is physical reverse protection that prevents flat-tops from making contact with the brass button on the driver.

UI: the operation is pretty standard. Press and release the side switch to turn on the flashlight, press and hold the switch to turn off the light. While on, press the button to advance modes. Double click from any mode to activate strobe. There is no electronic lockout, but physical lockout is easily achieved but a slight twist of the tailcap.

Other Features: when running on a 14500, there is a 3 minute turbo timer at which point the flashlight will step down to medium. A tap of the switch will take it back to high. While the flashlight was warm at this point, it was nowhere near hot and could still be held comfortably. There is mode memory where the current mode with be remembered if used for 3 seconds. Also, there is low voltage protection at 2.8 volts.

Build Quality: the TK05 feels very nice and solid in hand. The anodizing is good and similar to what you’d find on other recent ThorFire flashlights. The side button protrudes from the tube a bit. This makes it easier to find, but also easier to accidentally activate. I haven’t had a problem with that yet, but I’ve also been physically locking it out most of the time just to be safe.

Conclusion: I feel like the TK05 is a keeper, I’d give it four and a half stars (out of five). I think with this light, I’ve found my new EDC. My only problem is that bluish XP-G3. I realize the average consumer probably sees the bluish light, recognizes it as characteristic LED, and goes “ohhh ahhh”. But really, I’d love to see this with a 4000K-5000K (neutral) LED – then I’d give this flashlight a full five stars. I think I’m going to replace the LED and then carry the TK05 daily.

Purchasing & Discount: the TK05 is currently available on Amazon (non-affiliate link). Miranda at ThorFire has kindly provided a 20% off code for BLF members: L4SPZS6H

Disclaimer: I was kindly provided this light for review by ThorFire. That said, all remarks are my own and I’ve done my best to try and be unbiased.

Click images to see them full size

General shot of the new ThorFire TK05

Disassembled next to a protected 14500 cell

Line up for size comparison, left to right: TK15S, TK15, TK05, Klarus Mi7, unprotected 30Q

Beamshots, left to right: ThorFire TK05 (XP-G3), Klarus Mi7 (XP-L HI), Convoy M1 (XP-L 5000K)

Edited by: gchart on 01/11/2018 - 09:21
gchart
gchart's picture
Offline
Last seen: 3 hours 49 min ago
Joined: 03/19/2016 - 11:57
Posts: 1163
Location: Central IL

Modding Post
As stated in the review, I really like this flashlight except for the stock LED. So what do you do? LED swap! I just ordered some Samsung LH351D’s in 5000K from Digi-Key with the intention of putting one in this light. See the reviews of that LED by Texas_Ace and maukka . That should give me a neutral tint AND even more lumens (perhaps 740 instead of 600?). Per a Digi-Key sales rep, their current stock of those LH351D’s are bin code F2R1W2, which just happens to be the same bin code as what Texas_Ace and maukka reviewed.

I have no plans for the driver, but the retaining ring is easily removable. Note, it is reverse threaded. Further note that someone in the manufacturing facility made a mistake and put a Sofirn-branded driver in the flashlight. ThorFire has acknowledged this and reportedly addressed the issue.

Here you can see the bezel screws off easily, no glue. And it looks like the MCPCB has thermal paste underneath, not adhesive. LED swap should be easy. I’ll wait until the LEDs come in before I actually remove it.

to be continued…

Ok ladies and gentlemen… disassembly and LED swap time!

First up, it looks like the driver is ~ 16.3mm. The switch board is integral with the main driver board, see pics below. I have more pictures if you’re looking for something specific. Also, the MCPCB is a standard aluminum one, approx 14mm with two small holes to fit the wires through – it wouldn’t be terribly easy to put back in place. I filed down a 16mm copper DTP board and used that for the new Samsung LH351D in 5000K.

Original LED (right) vs new LED (left). Note the dome on the LH351D is a bit bigger (almost XP-L size) but seems to fit into the reflector hole ok without any modifications. MCPCB is approx 14mm. I filed down a 16mm copper DTP to fit without any issues.

The driver measures around 16.3mm. Integrated switch board. Modding the driver is likely not for the faint of heart.

DoubleA
DoubleA's picture
Offline
Last seen: 2 months 2 weeks ago
Joined: 07/04/2017 - 01:55
Posts: 401
Location: Dark side of the Sun

I smell sofirn. LOL

and on the first day he said "Let there be light"...

gchart
gchart's picture
Offline
Last seen: 3 hours 49 min ago
Joined: 03/19/2016 - 11:57
Posts: 1163
Location: Central IL

DoubleA wrote:
I smell sofirn. LOL

I checked out Sofirn’s current line-up and didn’t see anything that I felt would use this driver. Thought it’s entirely possible that they will in the near future. To be fair to ThorFire, I don’t want to get to far into that discussion. I’m sure they’re separate companies, though they do have some portfolio overlap and occasional mis-branding of products. To me, that sounds like problems at the ODM, not necessarily the two companies that are marketing and selling us the lights. I’m no expert in their processes, though, so I’m not fit to speculate too far.
Sprinkles
Offline
Last seen: 6 days 19 hours ago
Joined: 02/07/2012 - 13:06
Posts: 376
Location: NorthernCA

Just curious, what’s the e-switch mounting like? Is the driver a dual board with the e-switch mounted on the second one? Looking at modability – thanks!

DoubleA
DoubleA's picture
Offline
Last seen: 2 months 2 weeks ago
Joined: 07/04/2017 - 01:55
Posts: 401
Location: Dark side of the Sun
gchart wrote:
DoubleA wrote:
I smell sofirn. LOL
I checked out Sofirn’s current line-up and didn’t see anything that I felt would use this driver. Thought it’s entirely possible that they will in the near future. To be fair to ThorFire, I don’t want to get to far into that discussion. I’m sure they’re separate companies, though they do have some portfolio overlap and occasional mis-branding of products. To me, that sounds like problems at the ODM, not necessarily the two companies that are marketing and selling us the lights. I’m no expert in their processes, though, so I’m not fit to speculate too far.

Well Sofirn has every products Thorfire sells, with a different driver of course. Also just a few weeks ago Jaxman was whining about Thorfire copying their design in E3 thread if I believe correctly.

and on the first day he said "Let there be light"...

gchart
gchart's picture
Offline
Last seen: 3 hours 49 min ago
Joined: 03/19/2016 - 11:57
Posts: 1163
Location: Central IL

Sprinkles wrote:
Just curious, what’s the e-switch mounting like? Is the driver a dual board with the e-switch mounted on the second one? Looking at modability – thanks!

I’m hoping to do the LED swap within the next week. While I’ve got things taken apart for that, I’ll try popping the driver out and getting some pics.
FPV
FPV's picture
Offline
Last seen: 1 month 1 week ago
Joined: 07/14/2017 - 12:36
Posts: 546
Location: Traveling on the job

Thank you for the review, I am a ThorFire fan and always had very positive experiences with their products. Since I can’t find a convoy AA yet I might want to pick this one up. e-switch is even better than expected.

MascaratumB
MascaratumB's picture
Online
Last seen: 2 min 8 sec ago
Joined: 10/29/2016 - 12:12
Posts: 2532
Location: Portugal

First of all, nice review gchart Wink Thanks for showing this Thorfire, never knew about it and it seems a very nice flashlight Wink

gchart wrote:
DoubleA wrote:
I smell sofirn. LOL
I checked out Sofirn’s current line-up and didn’t see anything that I felt would use this driver. Thought it’s entirely possible that they will in the near future. To be fair to ThorFire, I don’t want to get to far into that discussion. I’m sure they’re separate companies, though they do have some portfolio overlap and occasional mis-branding of products. To me, that sounds like problems at the ODM, not necessarily the two companies that are marketing and selling us the lights. I’m no expert in their processes, though, so I’m not fit to speculate too far.

I will not feed this discussion further, maybe I’ll try to clarify it for myself and other members, as well!
So, about what you said, I guess you are right, in some way.

The “in some way” part is due to the older version of the SP10A, that had a 3 modes + strobe driver (on 14500: 10lm > 89lm > 500lm). Different mode spacing and different rating lumens, for sure.

Currently, the SP10A version has 3 modes + High + strobe (on 14500: 2lm > 60lm > 224lm + 573 lm + strobe) & lockout .
The SP10A, in the new version, seems to be replacing the black SP10B, once the SP10B is now being sold in blue and red only (a AliExpress store).

So, what you say is right, there is no flashlight with that configuration from Sofirn, currently. But there was, before! Wink
Also, the mode spacing of the Thofire is somehow similar to the Sofirn SF14 (5lm > 110lm > 600lm), but I guess this won’t be relevant as this is a tailclicky Wink

Also, the LED tint apparently is very different among any of these models, once the Thorfire seems to be more “blueish” as you said, and the Sofirn’s have a more Neutral White tint, with some “yellowish” shifts here and there Wink

Once again, thank you for this review Thumbs Up

REVIEWS : Amutorch S3 /  AM S3 vs Neal 219c  /  Amutorch AM30 / Nitefox UT20 / Sofirn SF14 & SP10A / Sofirn SP32A / Sofirn SP10B / Odepro KL52 / Acebeam H20 / SS AAA / Wuben TO10R / BlitzWolf BW-ET1 / Odepro B018 / DQG Slim Ti / XTAR PB2 Charger / Nitefox ES10K / Nitefox K3 / Amutorch AX1 / Amutorch VG10 / Olight M2R Warrior  / OTR M1

Mods and tricks: 1 / 2 / 3 / 4 / 5 / 6 / 7     Convoy S2+ TIR Lenses: XML2 / XPL-HI     Others: Convoy S2+ Mini (Biscotti 3 & 1*7135)     Sofirn K6 Discussion: 1 / 2 / 3    Triple TIR & XP-G2                   MY GIVEAWAY (FW3A) = ACTIVE

DB Custom said: "Hide your billfold, cut up your credit cards... you're a perfect candidate for full blown flashaholism and will soon need dedicated flashlight cabinets. [...] Have fun! Modding is next... :P" 

 

MascaratumB
MascaratumB's picture
Online
Last seen: 2 min 8 sec ago
Joined: 10/29/2016 - 12:12
Posts: 2532
Location: Portugal

One thing I noticed on your review:

gchart wrote:
One note on 14500 compatibility – you’ll need a button top

Is this because of the driver’s shape? Or due to the interior distance between tailcap spring and driver?
I’m just asking because – again – on the Sofirn lights, unprotected button top (of their brand, that are smaller than Sanyo UR14500P) and unprotected flat top Sanyo UR14500P fit nicely and work without rattling! On the contrary, due to the battery tube inner diameter, it may be hard to fit protected batteries, as they are thicker…

I was just curious about this! Sorry to post 2 times in a row Oops

REVIEWS : Amutorch S3 /  AM S3 vs Neal 219c  /  Amutorch AM30 / Nitefox UT20 / Sofirn SF14 & SP10A / Sofirn SP32A / Sofirn SP10B / Odepro KL52 / Acebeam H20 / SS AAA / Wuben TO10R / BlitzWolf BW-ET1 / Odepro B018 / DQG Slim Ti / XTAR PB2 Charger / Nitefox ES10K / Nitefox K3 / Amutorch AX1 / Amutorch VG10 / Olight M2R Warrior  / OTR M1

Mods and tricks: 1 / 2 / 3 / 4 / 5 / 6 / 7     Convoy S2+ TIR Lenses: XML2 / XPL-HI     Others: Convoy S2+ Mini (Biscotti 3 & 1*7135)     Sofirn K6 Discussion: 1 / 2 / 3    Triple TIR & XP-G2                   MY GIVEAWAY (FW3A) = ACTIVE

DB Custom said: "Hide your billfold, cut up your credit cards... you're a perfect candidate for full blown flashaholism and will soon need dedicated flashlight cabinets. [...] Have fun! Modding is next... :P" 

 

gchart
gchart's picture
Offline
Last seen: 3 hours 49 min ago
Joined: 03/19/2016 - 11:57
Posts: 1163
Location: Central IL

The Sanyo UR14500P is the unprotected cell that I tried (my only unprotected 14500 that I have on hand). There didn’t seem to be any rattling, so I figured it wasn’t a length issue. While the driver side is a button, the tailcap has a pretty long spring that should accomodate a lot of cell sizes. I didn’t have any problems with the diameter of my protected Wuben-branded 14500 – it has room to spare.

MascaratumB
MascaratumB's picture
Online
Last seen: 2 min 8 sec ago
Joined: 10/29/2016 - 12:12
Posts: 2532
Location: Portugal

Hum, maybe the button on the driver is more recessed, then! Or maybe there is no connection between the “safe” ring and the button!
Thanks for clarifying Wink

REVIEWS : Amutorch S3 /  AM S3 vs Neal 219c  /  Amutorch AM30 / Nitefox UT20 / Sofirn SF14 & SP10A / Sofirn SP32A / Sofirn SP10B / Odepro KL52 / Acebeam H20 / SS AAA / Wuben TO10R / BlitzWolf BW-ET1 / Odepro B018 / DQG Slim Ti / XTAR PB2 Charger / Nitefox ES10K / Nitefox K3 / Amutorch AX1 / Amutorch VG10 / Olight M2R Warrior  / OTR M1

Mods and tricks: 1 / 2 / 3 / 4 / 5 / 6 / 7     Convoy S2+ TIR Lenses: XML2 / XPL-HI     Others: Convoy S2+ Mini (Biscotti 3 & 1*7135)     Sofirn K6 Discussion: 1 / 2 / 3    Triple TIR & XP-G2                   MY GIVEAWAY (FW3A) = ACTIVE

DB Custom said: "Hide your billfold, cut up your credit cards... you're a perfect candidate for full blown flashaholism and will soon need dedicated flashlight cabinets. [...] Have fun! Modding is next... :P" 

 

gchart
gchart's picture
Offline
Last seen: 3 hours 49 min ago
Joined: 03/19/2016 - 11:57
Posts: 1163
Location: Central IL

Here’s a closer picture of that. I’d guess the button is recessed 1mm or so. I don’t have a DMM with me to measure continuity.


click for full size image

MascaratumB
MascaratumB's picture
Online
Last seen: 2 min 8 sec ago
Joined: 10/29/2016 - 12:12
Posts: 2532
Location: Portugal

gchart wrote:
Here’s a closer picture of that. I’d guess the button is recessed 1mm or so. I don’t have a DMM with me to measure continuity.


click for full size image

Thanks for the pic gchart! It is recessed, indeed, but not more than the drivers of the flashlights I mentioned. Strange that the flat tops don’t work on that and work on mine Flat Stare
I was seeing my drivers and perceived that at least the Sanyo UR14500P flat top fits that “ring” perfectly so it probably makes contact with the button. Others with the button top just make contact with the driver’s button, not the ring.

Thanks again and sorry for bothering with these questions Facepalm

REVIEWS : Amutorch S3 /  AM S3 vs Neal 219c  /  Amutorch AM30 / Nitefox UT20 / Sofirn SF14 & SP10A / Sofirn SP32A / Sofirn SP10B / Odepro KL52 / Acebeam H20 / SS AAA / Wuben TO10R / BlitzWolf BW-ET1 / Odepro B018 / DQG Slim Ti / XTAR PB2 Charger / Nitefox ES10K / Nitefox K3 / Amutorch AX1 / Amutorch VG10 / Olight M2R Warrior  / OTR M1

Mods and tricks: 1 / 2 / 3 / 4 / 5 / 6 / 7     Convoy S2+ TIR Lenses: XML2 / XPL-HI     Others: Convoy S2+ Mini (Biscotti 3 & 1*7135)     Sofirn K6 Discussion: 1 / 2 / 3    Triple TIR & XP-G2                   MY GIVEAWAY (FW3A) = ACTIVE

DB Custom said: "Hide your billfold, cut up your credit cards... you're a perfect candidate for full blown flashaholism and will soon need dedicated flashlight cabinets. [...] Have fun! Modding is next... :P" 

 

gchart
gchart's picture
Offline
Last seen: 3 hours 49 min ago
Joined: 03/19/2016 - 11:57
Posts: 1163
Location: Central IL

Hmm, I might have to double check. I do recall a slight indentation on the top of my Sanyo (likely caused by too much pressure from the Mi7 that it’s usually in). Perhaps thats enough to prevent it from making contact.

gchart
gchart's picture
Offline
Last seen: 3 hours 49 min ago
Joined: 03/19/2016 - 11:57
Posts: 1163
Location: Central IL

Ok, the modding post has been updated with the LED swap and driver info.

.

Also, I did an output/runtime graph with the original XP-G3 LED, the new LH351D, and the Klarus Mi7 for comparison. I just started using my light meter & tube, so I won’t claim to be accurate on lumen measurements, but the relative values should be fairly accurate. Some observations:

  • Out of the box, the TK05 seems to underperform, at least when compared to the Mi7. I suspect the 600 lumen claim is a bit elevated.
  • The TK05 runs in turbo for 3 minutes followed by a ~75% decrease whereas the Mi7 is considerably less conservative.
  • Due to the above, the Mi7 gets and stays hot while the TK05 does not.
  • Swapping the XP-G3 for a 5000K LH351D results in MUCH better tint. I hated the tint, but really like it now.
  • The LED swap also brought along a lot more lumens. About 50% more in turbo and 30% more in post-turbo stepdown.
  • Runtime is approximately the same before & after the LED swap.
  • Turbo on the TK05 with the LH351D nudges out turbo on the Mi7.
  • Big side note: the TK05 was tested with a Wuben-wrapped 600mah 14500. The Mi7 was using an Sanyo 800mah 14500. I want to see if I can get the TK05 to work with the Sanyo cell and retest it.

Now onto the graph… time scale is in minutes. Brightness scale is a a percentage based on the original TK05 brightness in turbo.

Persechini
Persechini's picture
Online
Last seen: 11 min 55 sec ago
Joined: 07/11/2017 - 03:32
Posts: 503
Location: Brasil

So, a sofirn driver in a thorfire host confirms we can refer to them as one company?

In my Tree

My collectionEmisar: D4 / D1 / D4 (broken) ― Convoy: C8 Clear / S2+ Clear / S2+ / S2+ UV / S6 ― Nitecore: Tube / Thumb / Concept 1 / HC30 / HC33 / TIP / TIP CRI / TINI ― Lumintop: Tool AAA / Tool AA / HLAAA / EDC05 ― Sofirn: SF10 / SF12 / SF12 / SF14 / SF14 / SF14 / SP10A / SP10A (gifted) ― Jaxman: E3 ― UTorch: UT01 ― Trustfire: Z2 ― Skyfire: SF-065 (trashed)

gchart
gchart's picture
Offline
Last seen: 3 hours 49 min ago
Joined: 03/19/2016 - 11:57
Posts: 1163
Location: Central IL

I’d say no, but I’d say it confirms they share a manufacturer/supplier.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Original_design_manufacturer

Persechini
Persechini's picture
Online
Last seen: 11 min 55 sec ago
Joined: 07/11/2017 - 03:32
Posts: 503
Location: Brasil

The same manufacturer was given, since their line-up is almost identical, modes, switches. They being the same company I think is likely

In my Tree

My collectionEmisar: D4 / D1 / D4 (broken) ― Convoy: C8 Clear / S2+ Clear / S2+ / S2+ UV / S6 ― Nitecore: Tube / Thumb / Concept 1 / HC30 / HC33 / TIP / TIP CRI / TINI ― Lumintop: Tool AAA / Tool AA / HLAAA / EDC05 ― Sofirn: SF10 / SF12 / SF12 / SF14 / SF14 / SF14 / SP10A / SP10A (gifted) ― Jaxman: E3 ― UTorch: UT01 ― Trustfire: Z2 ― Skyfire: SF-065 (trashed)

MascaratumB
MascaratumB's picture
Online
Last seen: 2 min 8 sec ago
Joined: 10/29/2016 - 12:12
Posts: 2532
Location: Portugal

gchart wrote:
I’d say no, but I’d say it confirms they share a manufacturer/supplier.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Original_design_manufacturer

+1!

BTW, I’ve seen Thorfire flashlights for a while before seeing Sofirn. BUT, indeed, they probably share some parts / suppliers!

And I don’t have any Thorfire, but I’ve read and seen some reviews – gchart’s included – and they really have pretty nice lights Blushing

REVIEWS : Amutorch S3 /  AM S3 vs Neal 219c  /  Amutorch AM30 / Nitefox UT20 / Sofirn SF14 & SP10A / Sofirn SP32A / Sofirn SP10B / Odepro KL52 / Acebeam H20 / SS AAA / Wuben TO10R / BlitzWolf BW-ET1 / Odepro B018 / DQG Slim Ti / XTAR PB2 Charger / Nitefox ES10K / Nitefox K3 / Amutorch AX1 / Amutorch VG10 / Olight M2R Warrior  / OTR M1

Mods and tricks: 1 / 2 / 3 / 4 / 5 / 6 / 7     Convoy S2+ TIR Lenses: XML2 / XPL-HI     Others: Convoy S2+ Mini (Biscotti 3 & 1*7135)     Sofirn K6 Discussion: 1 / 2 / 3    Triple TIR & XP-G2                   MY GIVEAWAY (FW3A) = ACTIVE

DB Custom said: "Hide your billfold, cut up your credit cards... you're a perfect candidate for full blown flashaholism and will soon need dedicated flashlight cabinets. [...] Have fun! Modding is next... :P" 

 

agent80
Offline
Last seen: 4 hours 58 min ago
Joined: 01/06/2013 - 02:28
Posts: 303

Thanks for clarifying the timed drop on the TK05 and comparison with the Mi7.

gchart wrote:
Ok, the modding post has been updated with the LED swap and driver info.

.

Also, I did an output/runtime graph with the original XP-G3 LED, the new LH351D, and the Klarus Mi7 for comparison. I just started using my light meter & tube, so I won’t claim to be accurate on lumen measurements, but the relative values should be fairly accurate. Some observations:

  • Out of the box, the TK05 seems to underperform, at least when compared to the Mi7. I suspect the 600 lumen claim is a bit elevated.
  • The TK05 runs in turbo for 3 minutes followed by a ~75% decrease whereas the Mi7 is considerably less conservative.
  • Due to the above, the Mi7 gets and stays hot while the TK05 does not.
  • Swapping the XP-G3 for a 5000K LH351D results in MUCH better tint. I hated the tint, but really like it now.
  • The LED swap also brought along a lot more lumens. About 50% more in turbo and 30% more in post-turbo stepdown.
  • Runtime is approximately the same before & after the LED swap.
  • Turbo on the TK05 with the LH351D nudges out turbo on the Mi7.
  • Big side note: the TK05 was tested with a Wuben-wrapped 600mah 14500. The Mi7 was using an Sanyo 800mah 14500. I want to see if I can get the TK05 to work with the Sanyo cell and retest it.

Now onto the graph… time scale is in minutes. Brightness scale is a a percentage based on the original TK05 brightness in turbo.

Firelight2
Firelight2's picture
Offline
Last seen: 8 hours 12 min ago
Joined: 04/08/2011 - 15:17
Posts: 2725
Location: California

Modded my TK05 last weekend.

  • Replaced the driver with a 17mm e-switch driver with D4 UI from Mountain Electronics
  • Replaced stock aluminum star with 16mm Copper Noctigon (filed down to 15mm so it would fit)
  • Replaced cool white XPG3 with 4000K XPL HI 5A2
  • Replaced stock momentary pushbutton with Radioshack 2.5 mm momentary tact switch.
  • Added aluminum ring around outside of metal button to greatly reduce chances of accidental activation during pocket EDC.

Overall a fairly straightforward mod with no serious issues.

The internals of the light look virtually identical to the Sofirn SP10A and 10B. The driver looks the same right down what appears to be identical layout of components. The inside of the switch button looks the same. I think the star and reflector are probably the same too. Only differences appear to be the external body design.

I wouldn’t be surprised if both Sofirn and Thorfire use the same factory.

gchart
gchart's picture
Offline
Last seen: 3 hours 49 min ago
Joined: 03/19/2016 - 11:57
Posts: 1163
Location: Central IL

Sounds like some good mods! LED replacement is a must, I feel like. I hesitate on the driver because I really like the option of throwing a AA in there if I need to. I’m not familiar with the momentary tact switch – what’s with that?

Firelight2
Firelight2's picture
Offline
Last seen: 8 hours 12 min ago
Joined: 04/08/2011 - 15:17
Posts: 2725
Location: California

gchart wrote:
… I’m not familiar with the momentary tact switch – what’s with that?
Like many of these small side-switch lights, the switch is built-in to the driver.

Replacement drivers from Mountain Electronics do not come with a switch… so if you want to do this mod you’ll need to add one.

I haven’t had any luck in my attempts to remove the switch from the stock driver, so instead I use a replacement switch. Any small momentary pushbutton switch will do. All you need to do is wire it up to the driver, then hold it in approximately the right position so the top of the new switch is at about the same point as on the stock driver.

Before gluing I recommend you test your driver outside the light to make sure the driver and switch works. I use a AA battery carrier with 14500 in it connected to the driver with alligator clips. I temporarily solder a star with an old LED to the driver wires. If the light works then it’s time to start gluing.

Once you have confirmed that it works and that the wires do not get in the way so that the switch can placed in approximately the right position it’s time to glue the switch on. For this glue job I started with some fiberfix glue . This is basically just superglue, but it cures instantly when you shine the little light on the other end of the dispenser on it. My goal with the fiberfix was just to provide a little temporary support so I didn’t use too much.

Then I used a much larger quantity of arctic alumina thermal epoxy around the sides of the switch and surrounding wires to anchor everything in place. I figured the epoxy would hold much better than the super glue once the driver got hot. So I used enough arctic alumina to hold even if all the super glue gave way.

After that, just wait 10-15 minutes for the epoxy to cure enough then insert the new driver into the light.

moderator007
moderator007's picture
Online
Last seen: 1 min 58 sec ago
Joined: 12/23/2012 - 04:47
Posts: 2327
Location: North Carolina

I ordered several different types of tactile switches from banggood for modifying these smaller lights. https://www.banggood.com/search/tact-switch.html
I personal like the switches with a metal shell, the outer shell can be soldered on to help hold them in place if your careful.
I just modified a DQG tiny with a triple nichia using a BLF X6 FET + 1 7135 driver running NarsilM using this switch.
https://www.banggood.com/100Pcs-Tact-Tactile-Push-Button-Switch-SMD-Surf...
About the easiest switch mounting I have done with this setup.