I have a Maglite 3D.. what can I do?

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ezeqdb
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I have a Maglite 3D.. what can I do?

 

I want to modify my Maglite 3D. Actually, I have already done it: It has a 5*XRE-R2 module with 2*18650. It is rated around 1200lumen, being pesimistics, it is not less than 1000 lumens because its driven at 2.5A @ 8V (exactly 1 A per led at 4V).

 

The main problem is my budget, I mean, this mod is pretty cheap: the leds + heatsink + reflector is 33USD in DX, and batteries less than 10. I want to go brighter, but not paying hundreds of dollars..

 

I could use my 18650's but I know i will have to buy something bigger, like 26500 or 32600. Considering a total budget of 70 to 90USD, do you have any idea to go brighter than this?

 

(i don't want to have the sun in my hands (well actually I do, but not now Big Smile ), but i wont pay 80 dollars to increase only 20% of brightness)

 

More info of my mod here, in spanish http://www.forolinternas.com/viewtopic.php?f=10&t=730

 

(i think i will have to wait to the next year and make a triple XML)

"no le temo a la oscuridad, la oscuridad me teme a mí"

Edited by: ezeqdb on 11/18/2010 - 16:34
Don
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I can't think of anything for under a few hundred dollars that's going to beat that. I suppose you could swap out the R2's for R5's and increase the drive current.

 

XM-Ls will become available in quantity in a few months, driven at 2-3A, five of those would be very, very interesting. But 7.5A at 8V means IMR 18650's or the unprotected KD 32600s - the IMR 25650 cells would work better but cost more. I've never pulled more than 5A from my KD 32600s. They are quite a bit longer than 60mm and need magnets to connect them together. You will need to shorten the stock Mag spring. That would give you 10.8V nominal - peak 12.6V. A driver that can handle 13V and hand out 15 amps is not going to be cheap unless you can build your own. That said, driving XM-L's at 1A each should give you around 1500 lumens with the existing driver. Driven at 3A each you should get the same output as a 100W incandescent bulb driven hard, around 4500 lumens. Knock off 30% which is usual for actual output lumens and you are still looking at 3000 lumens.

 

And a lot of heat.

 

An SST-360 ought to give up to 6-8000 lumens but you will need fancy battery packs - they can take up to 45A. Getting a reflector that can actually focus that will cost a lot too.

 

You could go incandescent with a fancy Osram bulb, something like a 64440 and 4 IMR 26500 if you can get them. Runtimes will be short and heat ridiculous. 100W bulbs are an explosion or bad burns waiting to happen. Should give you 4000 lumens when coupled with a soft-starter which is going to eat most of your budget all by itself.

 

The numbers from my light tests are always to be found here.

https://spreadsheets.google.com/ccc?key=0ApkFM37n_QnRdDU5MDNzOURjYllmZHI...

agenthex
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Considering a total budget of 70 to 90USD, do you have any idea to go brighter than this?

 

You can buy a HID kit/light. The ballast and bulb probably doesn't mount well in a maglite though.

 

Btw, you forgot to include driver losses.

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ezeqdb
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I suspected this module from DX is the best for the money, if I want to increase the brightness in a 20%, I need to spend 300% of money I already have..

The same with the batteries,  18650 flame trustfire work pretty well and cost 5 dollars, those 3200 are not protected, they have two times the charge, and cost more than three times..

 

The best part of this is that I made a very good choice, the worst is that I can't upgrade it without spending a fortune..

 

Is there any good heatsink around to use with an XRE R2 and an aspheric? (with a good relation quality/price)

"no le temo a la oscuridad, la oscuridad me teme a mí"

xP.1337
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well you already have batteries right?

 

for one, you can redo the leds, go with XPG-R5 1b tint, they are about 7 dollars shipped from DX

so the leds and drivers with the SAME heat sink, and get lets say 400 lumens each, id guess an easy 2000 lumens OR MORE if driven properly

 

Otherwise, you can always do the britelumens upgrade with an SST-90, but the led is 50 bux, and the sink is a chunk of cash too

FlashPilot
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Don the more I look at it, your SST90 Mag seems to be one of the best bangs for the buck in high powered engineered LED Mag conversions. I couldn't build a variable output Mag myself for the price the guy sells them for. Are there any others that you are aware of that do the same for less?

FlashPilot
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I have an early model TrustFire TR-1200 (5 x very well driven XRE Q5’s). It was made well before the lousy weak driver issues arose that currently plague them today. I have thought about modding it with higher output LEDs, but at their current state of technology, the perceived additional levels in brightness wouldn’t be worth the effort or expense to me. This thing would become unusably hot after 3 minutes with 4 or 5 x SST50’s (not to mention the stupid short runtimes) and I want something I can carry in the field and actually use.
I attended a police convention a few months back. When the subject of flashlights was mentioned, several of us produced a variety of throwers. Everything from Catapults to Eagletec, Fenix TK-40, Jetbeam M1X and quite a few other very notable lights showed up in the parking lot for comparisons. I can say the one that got the most attention was my TR-1200. Granted that some of its advantage is in the brilliant white beam tint that adds much more punch and definition downrange than the SST’s or MCE’s that showed up to play. The biggest revelation to me was that there is no substitute to the human eye when comparing beams, tint and output. This really becomes evident with higher powered flashlights. IMO photos and LUX comparisons don’t do such a great job in comparing them. There are many technical reasons why but that’s a conversation for another thread and has already been discussed. Among the many lights, there was no indecision between the several guys in which lights were the brightest to the eye, and then sorting them in descending order. Our eyes all saw the same thing and processed them accordingly, albeit that it did take some time to sort them all out. The comparison was focused mainly on range and output in the typical search ranges of 100-400 feet. Conditions varied from well light parking lot tarmac with parked cars to areas that were almost completely dark with darkened buildings and parked cars. The large expanses of blackened fresh tarmac absorbed light like a hungry sponge, which added to our ability to concentrate on what was happening down range and not in the peripheral vision. We also had a dark tall grassy field on the other side of the building with a tree hedgerow at about 350-400 feet to play in.
I'm looking forward to XML’s... as is everyone else. But then the initial data sheets are already showing some disappointments that have watered down my dreams of what this new LED should have been.  Perhaps they will become much better in the next 1 or two years. OR... perhaps they will be much better than anticipated when packaged with correct optics and driven properly. Hey, at least we all want to see that but I doubt it will happen.
As an aside, I went for a bike ride to test two identical P7 lights simultaneously while mounted on my handlebars. The difference in brightness between having one or both lights on was negligible under most conditions. While traversing tricky terrain, the second light added some additional definition to heavy foliage in the near to intermediate beam range, but certainly not compelling enough for me to ride with two of them. Its similar to losing a bulb in your auto headlamp. Its dimmer driving with one bulb but certainly not nearly twice as bright with two of them.
For now, I'm quite happy with my TR-1200. It will take a quantum leap like Don’s SST90 Mag to impress me, but that also has its extreme uses and extreme limitations. One thing is for sure. It’s a great time to be alive and be flashaholics! Almost as much fun is converting those who are not.
xP.1337
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I personally dont like the styling of the TR-1200. first off its WAY too nose heavy

Id prefer the Mag D conversion ANY day. why? confort AND portable power

if i need something THAT long, i need something with the power to come with it.

how long does 3 18650s last? not long enough in my book to warrant something that big.  Id much prefer the bigger D li-ions.

simple, more power.

and i can still hit someone with it lol

agenthex
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The biggest revelation to me was that there is no substitute to the human eye when comparing beams, tint and output. This really becomes evident with higher powered flashlights

 

Technically it's down to the difference in dynamic range between eyes and cameras. That and a lot of beamshots are poorly done.

 

Even a sst-90 is not going to be that much better than a 1200L, certainly not in throw. The surface brightness is too limited.

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ezeqdb
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My module admits 8,4V max in theory, but the one of the TR1200, up to 13v. Some people from DX use my module with 3 liions, and some other say they burned it.. i don't know if i should try or not..

 

A third battery will increase considerably the runtime, because it will be suck around 1.6A from each (now its using 2,5A from each), and lower current draws increases the battery life. 

"no le temo a la oscuridad, la oscuridad me teme a mí"

FlashPilot
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xP.1337 wrote:

I personally dont like the styling of the TR-1200. first off its WAY too nose heavy

Id prefer the Mag D conversion ANY day. why? confort AND portable power

if i need something THAT long, i need something with the power to come with it.

how long does 3 18650s last? not long enough in my book to warrant something that big.  Id much prefer the bigger D li-ions.

simple, more power.

and i can still hit someone with it lol

Sorry but I completely disagree with all of your observations, as would each and every of the 50+ law enforcement officers, bush pilots, firemen, professional guides and flashaholics that have handled it.

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ezeqdb wrote:

My module admits 8,4V max in theory, but the one of the TR1200, up to 13v. Some people from DX use my module with 3 liions, and some other say they burned it.. i don't know if i should try or not..

 

A third battery will increase considerably the runtime, because it will be suck around 1.6A from each (now its using 2,5A from each), and lower current draws increases the battery life. 

I think your driver is different from the TR-1200 so I wouldn't risk the 3rd 18650. Even if it would handle the extra voltage, it doesn't make it any brighter at turn on, but it does run for the length of the burn in full regulation (with 3 x 18650) till one of the pcb's on my protected cells disconnects. In 2 x 18650 config, it runs for about 30 min before going into direct drive and wont pop the protection circuits at all (typical of most all protected cells with this type of driver in direct drive mode when not driven hard near battery exhaustion). With so much light on tap, its hard to notice till the batteries are nearly sapped anyway. The third battery on the TR-1200 may only give you about another 20-30 min of run time, but it burns at maximum output during the entire duration due to the regulated driver. Again, I have an early TR-1200 and the new ones are built with crappy drivers. I think someone else on this forum bought a TR-1200 or one of its clones from another distributor and thought it was up to snuff, as indicated by DMM tailcap amperage readings and far better light output from the one he returned to DX.

xP.1337
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FlashPilot wrote:

xP.1337 wrote:

I personally dont like the styling of the TR-1200. first off its WAY too nose heavy

Id prefer the Mag D conversion ANY day. why? confort AND portable power

if i need something THAT long, i need something with the power to come with it.

how long does 3 18650s last? not long enough in my book to warrant something that big.  Id much prefer the bigger D li-ions.

simple, more power.

and i can still hit someone with it lol

Sorry but I completely disagree with all of your observations, as would each and every of the 50+ law enforcement officers, bush pilots, firemen, professional guides and flashaholics that have handled it.

 

exactly how long down that thing last?

20 mins? lol

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Aprox 1.5 hours in regulation with 3 x 18650.

Aprox 1.5 hours continuously dimming with 2 x 18650.

xP.1337
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thats better than i thought it would last, but not good enough for something that big in my eyes

 

to each their own

FlashPilot
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Thats the price you pay for high output that completely embarrasses most of its very expensive competition. Id advise those not looking for the brightest cheapie light to completely stay away. For kicks, I just compared it in 3 x 18650 configuration to my 3D rebel Mag. With batteries in both, the mag is HUGE, poorly balanced, has a larger clunky heavier head, is much longer in length, much fatter body tube, much more unwieldy and uncomfortable to hold, and weighs A LOT more.  Do I still like my MAG? Hell yes! Very long reliable run times with mediocre output and narrow beam. It makes for a great club if necessary.

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i figure if im gonna carry something that big, im not concerned as much about output as longevity. 

i love my 3d for its HOURS of use.

i can expect to get the same retro-ing it to 5x R5 Crees

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ezeqdb, any more thoughts to modding your 5 x XRE?
agenthex
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i figure if im gonna carry something that big

 

The 1200L isn't really that big. It's basically a 18650 thrower size with an extra battery section.

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xP.1337
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lets put it this way, if i cant put it in my pocket, theres no way its gonna be an 18650 light

 that many 18650s in series can be VERY dangerous. i wont mess with it

 

ill make a driver for 3x D Ni-MH that are 10,000mah.

while a bit heavier, and not much more capacity than an 18650 (9.62 Whr vs 12 Whr, based on 2600 mah 18650)

its ALOT safer.  also can drop alkaline or other D sized batteries without an issue

BIG plus for a big flashlight

 

and of course it works better as a weapon lol

 

i LOVE 18650 flashlights, BUT, i like pocket ones that can also take cr123a's in an emergency

whats the point of a flashlight if you CANT use it one your 18650's (which are RARE) run out? CR123's are in most stores in the US

 

 

for a flashlight of that size, that will be used out backpacking, in the wild, or at home as an emergency flashlight, it is MUCH better of an idea to leave it using standardized batteries.

you cannot go to most stores in the US and pick up an 18650. not a good survival idea to expect them to be sitting around CHARGED when the **** hits the fan lol.

 

ezeqdb
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I wont modify it anymore.. anything I could do, will cost me a lot of money, and will not increase the bright or runtime so much.. I know I can use a TR1200 body, but i like this one, i just find the 3D digital-camo a pretty nice body

 

I may wait some months, when newer leds were released, like XML or some new XPG that were much brighter than R5 i will reconsider it...

 

Thanks to all of you, and if you want to upgrade your maglite, this is one of the best options.

 

PS: do you know which is the cheapest heatsinks to mount a led in a maglite?

"no le temo a la oscuridad, la oscuridad me teme a mí"

agenthex
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All of the Luminous/Cree headsinks are pretty much cross compatible, but the "cheapest" I've seen is ~$15-20, not surprising for such a limited market.

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an R5 can produce almost 500 lumens at 1.5 amps.....

what more can u ask for? lol

 

XML will be more, but will cost more per LED

 

at 7 bux an LED, i would say the R5 is the BEST bang per buck LED you can buy at the moment.

that is until XML hits that price range on a 14mm board lol

ezeqdb
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5*R5 would be perfect.. but I still have the problem of finding a multimode driver with a max output of exactly 7,5A

"no le temo a la oscuridad, la oscuridad me teme a mí"

agenthex
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There's that one 5*cree serial boost driver at DX with optional mode board. But it's 26mm and someone here who got a light similar to the 1200L says the circuit used by these 5*cree modules is 20mm.

 

It's 1A in serial instead of 7.5A, but there's probably some mod to go bit higher. You're not going to get a 7.5a "flashlight" driver for little $. However there is a driver (LDO10C) available at Arrow online that does this in another form factor.

 

http://www.candlepowerforums.com/vb/showthread.php?t=261514

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ah but thats 10 amps... thats a bit steep for R5.

probably good for XM-L..... well 3 of them at least lol

 

 

OP, would you mind reposting your method of original mod for all of us here?? i dont speak spanish AND your link doesnt work lol

just out of curiousity

ezeqdb
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Here is the review, (understand my english and) enjoy it!

 

http://budgetlightforum.cz.cc/node/869

"no le temo a la oscuridad, la oscuridad me teme a mí"