My first mod thread! WooHoo!

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DavidEF
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My first mod thread! WooHoo!

Well, I’ve been around here a while, but I still consider myself to be a noob! Maybe not any more, though. After all, I’ve been giving my opinion on various threads for quite a while now as if I know something (HA!). I also completed my first BLF / Old Lumens Scratch Made Light Contest light this past go-round. I’ve secretly been doing simple mods along the way, but never posted a thread on one. ImA4Wheelr’s (currently running) Giveaway, in which he requires the entrants to post a link to one of their mod threads, finally convinced me that I needed to do this thing! So, here we go…

I modded a tiny zoomie light that I picked up at Lowe’s a while back. I had bought the light just for the purpose of modding. In fact, I even designed a driver board to go in it. But, when I looked at it again, I realized my design had a flaw that made it unsuitable for this light. So, I decided to proceed without a driver. I took pictures along the way, so I’ll let them do most of the talking from here on.


Here’s the light. It’s a zoomie. It has a clicky switch. And it came with four button cells in series directly powering the cheap 1/2-watt LED in the head.


Pieces-parts all over the place! You can see it’s actually not too shabby for a cheapie little light. It has a screw-in pill, orings around the head, the pill, and the tailcap, and a decent-looking clicky switch.


Here’s the LED. The PCB has vias around the rim where it grounds to the shell. The spring is soldered directly to the other leg of the LED.


Here’s the PCB I’m going to use for the LED. The original PCB was mounted to the underside of the pill, so I’ll use it as a contact board. I just had to remove the LED from this board, file it down to size, and solder a Nichia 119B (EDIT: oops! 119A) where the cheapie LED was.


I drilled through the PCB (yeah, after the LED was soldered on), so I’d have a way to get the wires to the top. I soldered the wires to the original PCB where the LED had been.


Then, I put the two PCB’s in the pill, pulled the wires through the holes and soldered them down. Finally, I put it all back together. I tested it with the four button cells, then took them out and stuck a 10180 inside.

Beamshots are up next. First with the button cells, then with the 10180. I forgot to take a picture of the beam before the modification for comparison. Sorry about that. Oh yeah, sorry about the junk in the pictures as well. These pics were taken in my basement.

Well, I hope you liked it. I had fun. I did some things I hadn’t done before, and it worked anyway, so yeah, good stuff! I may one day fix my driver design and use that to do one of these again, with a brighter LEDand modes! I’m kinda bummed I didn’t get to use a driver in this one. I think for it’s size, it could really impress even normal, non-flashaholic people if it had a little more output and some fancy mode switching. But, I’m still happy with how it turned out. Thanks for watching!

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

Edited by: DavidEF on 03/22/2017 - 07:00
CRX
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What a cool wee zoomie, love it! (searching for one now) LOL Nice mod Thumbs Up

DavidEF
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Thanks, CRX. The only thing I don’t like (other than not having modes) is that the zoom never brings the LED into perfect focus. It was that way before the mod, probably because the fully-focused image of the cheap LED would be hideous! My driver board has the LED footprint on the back, so by putting it under the shelf, it would move the LED further away from the lens, and bring the die into focus when fully zoomed. I just really need to do this mod again when I get my boards made (after fixing the error).

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

chouster
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Congrats on your first mod thread, David. Oh and on that cute little zoomie of course! Beer

I mentioned a couple of my mods here and there, but I have yet to post my own first mod thread.

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Love the mod David. Well done. The million dollar question, whats next on the hit list? Smile

 

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.

 

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Very nice, Like CRX, I’d love that zoomie too for modding, it looks good and has many options!

Where did you source the 119B ? Last year I was looking for one to test a 119 board and it was impossible to find. Luckily I found some old stock 119A on Ebay, and even he had only 5 left.

The Miller
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Nice, so small and cute
Thanks for posting and to ima4wheelr!

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djozz wrote:
Very nice, Like CRX, I’d love that zoomie too for modding, it looks good and has many options!

Where did you source the 119B ? Last year I was looking for one to test a 119 board and it was impossible to find. Luckily I found some old stock 119A on Ebay, and even he had only 5 left.


Sorry, I was remembering wrong. I don’t have any 119B, only the 119A that I got from texaspyro a while back. I’ll edit the OP to prevent confusion. Edit: done.

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

ImA4Wheelr
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That's a sharp looking mini light.  Nice mod DavidEF.  I think you may have started a new trend.  This thread should be named Micro Zoomie Mods.  I want one now.

I need to check out the wording in the GAW OP.  I didn't mean for folks to have to create their own mod threads, but I'm glad this one was created.

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ImA4Wheelr wrote:

That’s a sharp looking mini light.  Nice mod DavidEF.  I think you may have started a new trend.  This thread should be named Micro Zoomie Mods.  I want one now.


I need to check out the wording in the GAW OP.  I didn’t mean for folks to have to create their own mod threads, but I’m glad this one was created.


Well, TBH, I don’t remember how it was worded either. I probably just assumed that you meant for it to be in it’s own thread. I myself prefer that people post a build thread rather than just post a pic of the finished product into someone else’s thread. To me, it’s more fun to see how it’s made. So, even if you didn’t/don’t require it, I would have done it anyway. Wink

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

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^

Totally agree.  Much easier to find down the road.  Now, I'm off to find rechargable 10180's.

Mike C
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A very nice little modded light indeed. Good stuff!

Xseryi
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Nice mod! I like that zoom!

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The light was found at Lowe’s Home Improvement and it is a LUX-PRO LP-130. They have a few colors to choose from. I bought the gray one, but there is also black, blue, and pink. I can’t remember the exact price I paid, but it was a few bux. I’m thinking around five-ish.

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

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I manage to order 2 of them (red ones) from the Lux-Pro website, they appear to ship abroad without altered shipping costs. Or else I will get an email today or tomorrow that it was a mistake. Party

Let’s see if they hit Amsterdam! Thanks for the detailed information about this little thing, David!

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ImA4Wheelr wrote:

^


Totally agree.  Much easier to find down the road.  Now, I’m off to find rechargable 10180’s.


Oh, the stack of button cells is a bit longer (and a bit wider) than the 10180, so if using the stock springs, they won’t get compressed all the way. Since the springs are so small and thin, it might be better to replace them anyway. I didn’t because I wasn’t too worried about it at the time. The cell doesn’t rattle, so it’s fine for me. But I’m sure it would get more power to the emitter if it had complete compression, and even more if it had better springs. Alternatively, a spacer could be stuck between the battery and the tail spring to make it compress better.

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

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10250, fet driver and some copper I’m thinking LOL
Will need to check the website, only place I could find them was amazon for over £50 Sad

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CRX wrote:
10250, fet driver and some copper I’m thinking LOL
Will need to check the website, only place I could find them was amazon for over £50 Sad

I payed $16.50, for two plus the shipping.
https://luxproflashlights.com/index.php/luxpro-retail-flashlight-key-cha...
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CRX wrote:
10250, fet driver and some copper I’m thinking LOL
Will need to check the website, only place I could find them was amazon for over £50 Sad

If anyone could shoe-horn a 10250 in there, it’ll be you! If you remove the springs, I’d bet it’s already really close. And I’m certain that tail cap switch pocket could be modded to be more compact and give up another millimeter or two. That would probably do it! If you do a FET driver, I hope you put a XP-L HI in there. In my previous testing (with a set of parallel emitters) I was able to see about 1 1/2 amps from one Veleno Designs 10180 cell! Perhaps you could eek out a bit more from the 10250 cell? If you could get 2 amps to a XP-L HI, then you’d have over 800 emitter lumens in that tiny zoomie! Crazy

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

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djozz wrote:
I manage to order 2 of them (red ones) from the Lux-Pro website, they appear to ship abroad without altered shipping costs. Or else I will get an email today or tomorrow that it was a mistake. Party

Let’s see if they hit Amsterdam! Thanks for the detailed information about this little thing, David!


wow, just got a shipped notice, they are fast Smile
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CRX, and anyone else who might be interested: I just took some rough measurements. The stack of 4 button cells (finally looked at what they are – LR44’s) measures about 21mm long. The inside of the host was very roughly measured to be ~28mm deep. With the 10180 in, the measurement to the back of the tube is ~10mm. I measured the total length of the threaded portion of the tailcap plus the uncompressed length of the tail spring, and it was ~12mm, so the springs are compressing just ~2mm with a 10180 inside. When fully compressed, the tail spring gives ~6mm of compression as it sinks into the tailcap and the top spring gives ~3mm compression. So, if you happen to have some 10250 cells, or if they happen to be easier/cheaper for you to get than 10180’s, you shouldn’t have any trouble fitting them in (without modding, I think). I don’t have any 10250’s to try, or I would.

Also, I’m charging up my 10180’s for a shootout. Getting ready for another beamshot because I realized two things this morning:

  • I didn’t make sure the cell I tested with was at full charge before taking the beamshots.
  • I also have a DQG Hobi that I could compare this to, since it uses a 10180.

Edit: Well, the zoomie light didn’t do any better with a freshly charged cell, and the Hobi didn’t have a tight enough beam to compare. So, no new pics today. Sorry!

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

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Thanks, I might still get one or two but, I got no patience LOL

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CRX wrote:
Thanks, I might still get one or two but, I got no patience LOL

You’re just ridiculous! But in a good way! Wink

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

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Nice mod DavidEF.

Thanks for showing the steps you took to make the Nichia work.

I’m sure the better tint in itself was worth your efforts, but can you also comment on the brightness compared to the original LED?

I’d rather use my flashlight around the house than turn on the lights.

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NeutralFan wrote:
Nice mod DavidEF.

Thanks for showing the steps you took to make the Nichia work.

I’m sure the better tint in itself was worth your efforts, but can you also comment on the brightness compared to the original LED?


Yeah, the original LED was a cheapie Straw Hat shaped “1/2-watt” LED. Those are actually never more than 100mA rated, so really about 1/3-watt total. Generously assuming 100 lm/w, you’d get around ~35 emitter lumens. If you look at my beamshots in the OP, it would be less than half the brightness of that dimmer looking one. Both of those beamshots were taken with the new LED, but the dimmer one was taken while using the 4xLR44 button cells that came with the light. The ~35lm light is plenty for most tasks in dark areas, if that’s what you’re wanting to know. It wouldn’t show up much in a well lit area, whereas the Nichia LED will make a really bright spot on a wall or ceiling, even with ambient lighting.

I’m sorry I don’t have a beamshot of the light before the mod. Maybe I’ll buy another (since I want to do this again anyway) and get that pic up for all of us to compare. I also don’t have an integrating sphere to measure actual output numbers. But, using a bit of relevant data on the rated performance of the LED’s themselves and a heaping helping of Guess-timation, I’d say the zoomie now makes anywhere from 6x to 10x the original light output. Hope this helps!

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

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David, would you be able to re-upload the pics? Smile

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Hey Agro. I haven’t been around BLF very much lately. I can re-upload the pictures. But it might be a while before I get around to it. Google keeps changing their server settings or something. Those pics are still in my Google Photos, so the links should have been good. I’ll have to figure out what the deal is. Is there something specific you’re looking for?

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

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Nothing specific really, I find the mod interesting and would like to see how did it go. Thanks. Smile