Need some repair work on a broken BLF A6

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MyRants
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Need some repair work on a broken BLF A6

I'm sure requesting somebody else repair my flashlight is not in the spirit of this forum.  I know I would enjoy the process but it just doesn't make sense for me to invest in the tools, time and practice materials to fix a flashlight I can replace for under $20.00.  But I don't want to just toss it, all it needs is a new emitter.

I'm not looking to hot rod it any more than it already is by design.  Replacing the emitter with another XPL 3D works fine for me.  However, if someone wants to work with a new/different type of emitter I'm open to suggestions. As long as it works reliably with a tint around 5000K. 

The sticking point may be that I prefer not to pay too much more than the retail price of a replacement to get this one working again.

Is anybody jonesing to replace a BLF A6 emitter?

FWIW, I can trade PhotoShop or HTML work if that would help.

Don't tell fish stories where the people know you; but particularly, don't tell them where they know the fish. -- Mark Twain

Edited by: MyRants on 03/20/2019 - 19:24
DavidEF
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Unfortunately, if you can get a new one for $20, and don’t want to spend over that to fix the one you’ve got, I doubt anyone can do it for that, unless they’re just being generous. Just the shipping back and forth takes a big chunk of that $20, unless you’re counting shipping separately. You might have better luck offering to sell it cheap to someone who will fix/mod it to their liking, then buy yourself a new one.

The Cycle of Goodness: “No one prospers without rendering benefit to others”
- The YKK Philosophy

BlueSwordM
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The only thing you would have to do is solder the new MCPCB with the LED directly to the light. That is easy.

Otherwise, it would be better to sell it.

My very own high current Beryllium Copper springs Gen 3:
http://budgetlightforum.com/node/67401
Liitokala Aliexpress Stores Battery Fraud: http://budgetlightforum.com/node/60547

MyRants
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OK, it was worth asking.  

So, assuming I can de-solder the two wires attached to the MCPCB will it just lift out?  Is there anything securing it from underneath?  What grade/type of solder is best when installing the new MCPCB?  What are the minimum/better/best specifications and features for an adequate soldering iron?   Most of the soldering I've ever done was with a torch.

I've read a lot of posts here but all I find is a scrap of information here and another piece there and something maybe relevant off over yonder.  Is there a MCPCB replacement for dummies thread?  

Don't tell fish stories where the people know you; but particularly, don't tell them where they know the fish. -- Mark Twain

BlueSwordM
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It will just lift out, if there is no screw of course.

Here is my basic supply list I always get out when people ask for MCPCB replacement:
- Adjustable soldering iron: https://www.banggood.com/PX-988-90W-Backlight-LCD-Digital-Thermostat-Adjustable-Lead-free-Electric-Soldering-Iron-p-1159783.html
It’s a great iron, and works very well for everything I’ve used it for. It’s my “EDC” soldering iron.

- Replacement tips: https://www.banggood.com/DANIU-12pcs-900MT-Series-Solder-Iron-Tips-for-E...
You will need them, especially for large jobs.

- Solder: https://www.banggood.com/DANIU-100g-63-37-Tin-Lead-Rosin-Core-0_5-2mm-Fl...
This is the one I used before. Works well enough for flashlights.

- Flux: https://www.banggood.com/MECHANIC-Solder-Flux-Paste-MCN225-No-Cleaning-S...BGA-Repair-CPU-Disassemle-p-1319022.html
This is godly, and will make any job extremely easy.

- Thermal paste: https://www.banggood.com/HY810-5g-4_63W-High-Quality-CPU-Thermal-Grease-p-1141023.html
You need it. Of course.

My very own high current Beryllium Copper springs Gen 3:
http://budgetlightforum.com/node/67401
Liitokala Aliexpress Stores Battery Fraud: http://budgetlightforum.com/node/60547

RobertB
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MyRants wrote:

OK, it was worth asking.  


So, assuming I can de-solder the two wires attached to the MCPCB will it just lift out?  Is there anything securing it from underneath?  What grade/type of solder is best when installing the new MCPCB?  What are the minimum/better/best specifications and features for an adequate soldering iron?   Most of the soldering I’ve ever done was with a torch.


I’ve read a lot of posts here but all I find is a scrap of information here and another piece there and something maybe relevant off over yonder.  Is there a MCPCB replacement for dummies thread?  

Dig in and try it. You have nothing to lose

Boaz
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The ability to do basic repairs is important if you want great tints and totally wonderful lights .

The forum proves that waiting around for vendors or manufacturers to put great tints in a light just isn't ever going to happen .IMHO the two NW tints used in the BLF A6  both suck .People like them , but my dog also likes to eat cat ****.

  BLF has proved that you don't need to spend a ton to get some pretty sweet lights .A nicely designed driver by members here and a great emitter make things about as good as it gets . Whatever you spend on a soldering iron solder /flux and emitters pales in comparison to what you'd have to spend by buying multiple lights and expecting to finally discover a good or interesting tint, high cri light . Yes you can pay people to do mods for you but that gets silly when just shipping alone eclipses the cost of parts needed to fix or upgrade a light .Worst case scenario you become a flashlight modder fanboy and start endlessly promoting them and praising them only because you stupidly spent too much for a light .It happens all the time .people have to justify why they threw down big money so suddenly Mr. modder is a hero . I think if it's not some super custom designed Titanium light like a macgizmo , hanko or kuku than tossing too much money at a light is a sad admission of failure . It's like not being able to change your own oil or make a grilled cheese sandwich. 

 An emitter swap is clearly the fastest way to see real change in a light... and happens with just soldering two wires and some heat sink paste. 

       καὶ τὸ φῶς ἐν τῇ σκοτίᾳ φαίνει καὶ ἡ σκοτία αὐτὸ οὐ κατέλαβεν

                                  https://www.gty.org/

 

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MyRants
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Boaz wrote:

... a sad admission of failure . It's like not being able to change your own oil or make a grilled cheese sandwich. 

 

I can change oil but i choose not to any more. My cooking skills are actually pretty good and constantly improving.  cool

Don't tell fish stories where the people know you; but particularly, don't tell them where they know the fish. -- Mark Twain

RobertB
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MyRants wrote:

Boaz wrote:

… a sad admission of failure . It’s like not being able to change your own oil or make a grilled cheese sandwich. 



 


I can change oil but i choose not to any more. My cooking skills are actually pretty good and constantly improving.  cool

Get a Sous Vide machine and you’ll make perfect steaks

HONDARIDER
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I will fix it if you want to buy the emmiter of your choice and pay shipping back and forth. How do you know it’s the emmiter? May have said already. Only read the OP.

MyRants
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HONDARIDER wrote:
I will fix it if you want to buy the emmiter of your choice and pay shipping back and forth. How do you know it's the emmiter? May have said already. Only read the OP.

Thanks Hondarider, but these other patient folks have convinced me I have nothing to lose and much satisfaction to be gained by performing what they all claim is an easy thing to do.  I'm going to give it a go. 

When it finally arrived it worked.  I disassembled and reassembled it several times examining every little thing I could think of to look at. After lubing the O-ring and threads I reassembled it yet again and it no longer functioned.  I've since learned that this LED should have a dome over it.  This one does not.  I honestly can't say if the dome was present or not when I started playing examining the light.

 

 

 

Don't tell fish stories where the people know you; but particularly, don't tell them where they know the fish. -- Mark Twain

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Is the battery tube around the correct way?

 

djozz quotes, "it came with chinese lettering that is chinese to me".

                      "My man mousehole needs one too"

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.

 

BlueSwordM
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Oh forgot about this :/

My very own high current Beryllium Copper springs Gen 3:
http://budgetlightforum.com/node/67401
Liitokala Aliexpress Stores Battery Fraud: http://budgetlightforum.com/node/60547

Streamer
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Yeh, ^^^^^^ reverse the direction of the battery tube before attempting the fix. Sometimes it works like a miracle.

MyRants
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MRsDNF wrote:
Is the battery tube around the correct way?

I read some posts about that problem.  On my sample the MCPCB sits in the head end of the battery tube and is almost flush with the end of the tube.  The only way I could have the tube reversed is if I screwed the tail cap onto the MCPCB.

Don't tell fish stories where the people know you; but particularly, don't tell them where they know the fish. -- Mark Twain

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MyRants wrote:

HONDARIDER wrote:
I will fix it if you want to buy the emmiter of your choice and pay shipping back and forth. How do you know it’s the emmiter? May have said already. Only read the OP.

Thanks Hondarider, but these other patient folks have convinced me I have nothing to lose and much satisfaction to be gained by performing what they all claim is an easy thing to do.  I’m going to give it a go. 


When it finally arrived it worked.  I disassembled and reassembled it several times examining every little thing I could think of to look at. After lubing the O-ring and threads I reassembled it yet again and it no longer functioned.  I’ve since learned that this LED should have a dome over it.  This one does not.  I honestly can’t say if the dome was present or not when I started playing examining the light.


 


 


 

Is the led not lighting up? If so are you sure it’s the problem and not the switch? Did you try a different battery? From reading your posts it doesn’t seem as if you’ve really narrowed down the issue with the light. If it was me I would try a different battery and if that doesn’t make a difference then determine if the switch is the problem or not (easily done with scrap wire). Also did you check that the retaining rings are all nice and tight?

Edited to say that I forgot to mention that you can also remove the tube from the head and directly apply power to it to see if the led lights up or not.

MyRants
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SIGShooter wrote:
Is the led not lighting up? If so are you sure it's the problem and not the switch? Did you try a different battery? From reading your posts it doesn't seem as if you've really narrowed down the issue with the light. If it was me I would try a different battery and if that doesn't make a difference then determine if the switch is the problem or not (easily done with scrap wire). Also did you check that the retaining rings are all nice and tight? Edited to say that I forgot to mention that you can also remove the tube from the head and directly apply power to it to see if the led lights up or not.

I tried several different batteries, protected and not, buttoned and flat.  I tested each battery in another light.

The retaining ring in the tailcap is solid.  I don't have a tool which will extend the length of the battery tube to reach the forward retaining ring.  There is no play at the MCPCB from the forward side of the battery tube.

I did the wire scrap across the negative battery post and the body. No joy, no LED light..  I didn't think of applying power directly to the LED connections.  I'll try that tomorrow.  I assume polarity matters.

Don't tell fish stories where the people know you; but particularly, don't tell them where they know the fish. -- Mark Twain

SIGShooter
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MyRants wrote:

SIGShooter wrote:
Is the led not lighting up? If so are you sure it’s the problem and not the switch? Did you try a different battery? From reading your posts it doesn’t seem as if you’ve really narrowed down the issue with the light. If it was me I would try a different battery and if that doesn’t make a difference then determine if the switch is the problem or not (easily done with scrap wire). Also did you check that the retaining rings are all nice and tight? Edited to say that I forgot to mention that you can also remove the tube from the head and directly apply power to it to see if the led lights up or not.

I tried several different batteries, protected and not, buttoned and flat.  I tested each battery in another light.


The retaining ring in the tailcap is solid.  I don’t have a tool which will extend the length of the battery tube to reach the forward retaining ring.  There is no play at the MCPCB from the forward side of the battery tube.


I did the wire scrap across the negative battery post and the body. No joy, no LED light..  I didn’t think of applying power directly to the LED connections.  I’ll try that tomorrow.  I assume polarity matters.

The red is positive and black negative on the board that the led is mounted on. You can use either a battery or 3.5ish volt power supply to briefly touch the 2 soldered connections. If it lights then the led is good and since you already did the wire test then it’s probably a bad driver or a lose connection in it. Be careful because it’s possible to de-dome the emitter (although you said it already is, which seems odd to me). The de-dome issue was mentioned in the BLF A6 trouble shooting thread here

If you remove the head from the tube you can use a small head phillips screw driver, etc to push against one of the dimples in the retaining ring to see if it’s lose or not.

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MyRants wrote:

MRsDNF wrote:
Is the battery tube around the correct way?

I read some posts about that problem.  On my sample the MCPCB sits in the head end of the battery tube and is almost flush with the end of the tube.  The only way I could have the tube reversed is if I screwed the tail cap onto the MCPCB.

I think you missed a part.

Lights like the Convoy 2 ( + ) have three parts: the head, the tube and a tailpiece.

The A6 consists of four major parts:
- the bezel: here you find the lens, an O-ring, and the reflector,
- the “pill”: on one side you’ll find the PCB + led, and at the other side the driver + spring, and a retaining ring,
- the tube: a piece of aluminum pipe with threads and O-rings on both sides,
- the tailpiece: with a PCB + spring + switch, a retaining ring, a washer and a rubber tailcap.

1/ MRsDNF has asked you to reverse just the tube. The manufacturer of the A6 does not use oversized pieces of metal. Sometimes two connecting parts just barely make contact, or barely not. Cleaning the rims of the tube and reversing it may help.
2/ Have you tried if the retaining rings on the driver and on the switch are properly fastened?
3/ You can test if the trouble is in the tailpiece by removing that part and short circuiting the (bare) backside rim of the tube with the underside of the battery with a pair of pliers or scissors.

You are a flashaholic if you are forced to come out of the closet, to make room for more flashlights.

MyRants
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BlueSwordM:  Thank you for the shopping list.

 

SigShooter: No joy when power was applied directly to the LED connections.  About removing the head from the tube;  does it just push out the front of the light?  I applied a little pressure with a pencil from the rear and nothing budged.  I was reluctant to push too hard though.

 

RobertB:  I'm very happy with my Weber thank you. cool

 

MRsDNF, BlueSwordM, Streamer & Henk4U2:   Are you suggesting I remove the "pill" and reinstall it in what is currently the tail end of the battery tube? (Pls see my response to SigShooter above.)  This is probably unnecessary, but without pictures it didn't really happen:

Inside tube peering forward

For reference, Image 1.

I found a pair of needle nose pliers which reach down to those two divets (one at about 11:00 o'clock, the other just visible at the bottom of the image.)  I applied quite a bit of pressure in both directions and it didn't budge.  Apply more torque?  Counter-clockwise?

 

Pieces parts

For reference, image 2.

Battery tube exterior

For reference, image 3.

The LED wires are just visible on the left end (the head).  On the other end (the tail) the distance from the o-ring to the end of the tube is visibly longer than the similar distance on the head end. 

One more thing.  If that retainer ring can actually be unscrewed, there are no interior threads at the tail end to mount it and the pill to.  Is it a press fit? 

Don't tell fish stories where the people know you; but particularly, don't tell them where they know the fish. -- Mark Twain

DavidEF
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Something doesn’t look right in the construction of your A6. Where did you get it from? Here is the Banggood page for the BLF A6. You can see some pictures of it taken apart. It is different than yours internally.

BLF A6 at Banggood

EDIT: Just now realized, you do have another section to take apart. That part with the driver in it is a separate piece from the battery tube and can be unscrewed from it.

The Cycle of Goodness: “No one prospers without rendering benefit to others”
- The YKK Philosophy

HONDARIDER
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MyRants wrote:

HONDARIDER wrote:
I will fix it if you want to buy the emmiter of your choice and pay shipping back and forth. How do you know it’s the emmiter? May have said already. Only read the OP.

Thanks Hondarider, but these other patient folks have convinced me I have nothing to lose and much satisfaction to be gained by performing what they all claim is an easy thing to do.  I’m going to give it a go. 


When it finally arrived it worked.  I disassembled and reassembled it several times examining every little thing I could think of to look at. After lubing the O-ring and threads I reassembled it yet again and it no longer functioned.  I’ve since learned that this LED should have a dome over it.  This one does not.  I honestly can’t say if the dome was present or not when I started playing examining the light.


 


 


 

It is pretty simple. Just wasn’t sure if you wanted to invest in soldering supplies. This is how it all starts. I have 5 soldering irons and a box full of wire, small plyer sets, fluxes, cleaners and etc. It keeps growing. Usually starts with a small job then you say “ I wish I had that tool” or “ Wish I had a flux pen “ and before you know it, you will have a box full of stuff. Good luck with the repair.

MyRants
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DavidEF wrote:
EDIT: Just now realized, you do have another section to take apart. That part with the driver in it is a separate piece from the battery tube and can be unscrewed from it.

Wow!  Thank you profusely DavidEF.  That's going to make things much easier.  I thought it was kind of a dumb way to build it, but I've never had an Astrolux light before and besides, I'm a Noob.  Do I have to change my user name to Missing Tube Guy?

Yes, I'm embarrassed. embarassed

Regardless, turning the battery tube around did not produce any light at the LED.   And yes, I put a battery in it.frown

Don't tell fish stories where the people know you; but particularly, don't tell them where they know the fish. -- Mark Twain

MyRants
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HONDARIDER wrote:

...This is how it all starts. ... Usually starts with a small job then you say " I wish I had that tool" or " Wish I had a flux pen " and before you know it, you will have a box full of stuff. Good luck with the repair.

Tell me about it.  Anybody want to buy a Radial Arm Saw? Tablesaw? Bandsaw? Belt Sander?  How about a Valkyrie?  Leathers, helmets, heated suits and really good gloves?  I have some golf clubs someplace.

I could go on.

Anyway, Thanks again to everybody for the advice.  Your schoolin' me good.

 

Don't tell fish stories where the people know you; but particularly, don't tell them where they know the fish. -- Mark Twain

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Guilty as charged. I've definitely made this mistake!

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DavidEF wrote:
Unfortunately, if you can get a new one for $20, and don’t want to spend over that to fix the one you’ve got, I doubt anyone can do it for that, unless they’re just being generous. Just the shipping back and forth takes a big chunk of that $20, unless you’re counting shipping separately. You might have better luck offering to sell it cheap to someone who will fix/mod it to their liking, then buy yourself a new one.

I had a fairly nice light that I maimed, trying to get a pic of the emitters for a buyer.
I donated it to DB custom, as he has always been super helpful.
For him, to pop new emitters into it, for his own use, it was perfect.
Too cost prohibitive to ship back and forth AND pay for the 4x emitter job….

.02

anyone in NE ILLinois into get togethers?