Adjustable Angle Light - disassembly, mod, beam profile

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dthrckt
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Adjustable Angle Light - disassembly, mod, beam profile

http://www.dealextreme.com/p/stylish-cree-q5-310-lumen-3-mode-led-flashl...

Like many others here, I bought this from DX offers for $7.??.  Actually, I ordered 2, but should have ordered 5.

IMHO, a $10 light isn't often worthy of a formal review.  Just buy it:)

But, I figured I'd start a thread for it, to show a few pictures and here how others guys use/modify theirs.

So...after about 2 minutes of trying this light out, I decided to take the head off.

This is really easy, if you have a couple tools - but before you just stop reading and get started, know that it is a little bit harder to put back together than it is to take apart. 

I simply put the right angle portion of the head (plastic) in my vise (w/ wood inserts on jaws) and left the aluminum portion of the head out to the side where the jaws weren't touching it.

I wrapped the widest part of the head with about 5 layers of duct tape, locked some vice grips on and twisted it until it made a sickening crunching sound as the glue broke away.

Then, just unscrew the head - BUT, as soon as the head is free from the threads on the neck, turn it back the other way (without threading it back on) - the wires inside will be twisted into a spiral from unscrewing the head, and when they un-spiral you will be able to move the head further from the neck.

The 'pill' is the smallest one in the world - just a disc the size of the emitter's board.  It is threaded into the reflector.  Unscrew that (divots on the back), remove it and the emitter, and then you can unscrew the 'reflector'.

I took the reflector, polished it, tested and found it too ringy, so I taped the reflector inside a can w/ BBs and shook it until they made it OP.

NOW this light's beam profile matches its body design - FLOOD!  As you'll see in the photo captions, I also tried two different asphericals that I salvaged from other lights.

I absolutely love this light - and I will probably mod to xml with ucl lens in one and floodier aspherical in the other.

One other note - remember to clean off the glue before reinstalling - I didn't and I think a long run on high made the glue reset Foot in Mouth     Also - wind the wires into a spiral  (counter clockwise) before you screw the head back on!

 

 

These beamshots look pretty terrible - they were taken w/ a cell phone w/ brightness setting turned all the way down and the only real purpose is to demonstrate change to beam profile...

Stock vs Optic Removed

 

 

 

Xeno E03 vs Optic Removed

 

 

 

Stock vs Optic Removed and Glass Aspheric added w/ GITD oring behind it.

 

 

 

 

Stock vs Optic Removed, Plastic Aspheric with GITD oring in front

 

 

 

 

Edited by: dthrckt on 01/14/2012 - 20:49
Lensman
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Thanks for posting this. I too love these little angle lights, one of my happiest purchases so far. Got five of them, gonna order more, some for gifts as they're too good to keep to myself. Only thing I'm not so keen on is the throwy beam; not so good for a work light. I actually thought the head was all one piece, but you've opened up a whole new possibilitySmile Have to wait til I visit my mate who has the necessary tools though. Any tip on removing the glue residue?

EDIT:

Oh, and what on earth are "BB's"?

Haggai
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Lensman wrote:

Oh, and what on earth are "BB's"?

These, I think: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/BB_gun

Lensman
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Haggai wrote:

These, I think: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/BB_gun

Thanks Cool

dthrckt
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You're welcome.  I can't resist taking stuff apart.  It doesn't always go as well.

Yup, those are BBs.  I'll post a closeup of the reflector later, I think it worked very well.

I'm so envious that you were smart enough to buy 5.  I am sure I will end up buying at least that many more.  It is actually better than I expected.  Everyone that sees it wants one.

I used a few Q-tips and acetone on the glue - but you can probably use just a dry paper towel, it is really crusty stuff.

 

 

Lensman
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Well, for my part, I wish I'd been quick enough to get in on the $7 dollar deal like you did. Still, even at $10.50 I think they're still a steal. Even GITD, too, though I must admit the "G" part is a bit feeble on my ones.

I think acetone is probably now one of those "resticted" products here in the UK (like so many chemicals that actually work), so I'll probably try methylated spirits first. Maybe petrol would work. Course, I'll have to get the head off first. Just tried without a vice. That must be some kinda glue..Undecided

dthrckt
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OH, i thought you were in on the deal, now i feel better lol

they definitely used way too much glue.

I'll edit the first post in a few minutes, I just took a pic of it in the vice so you can see what I did.  The vice is just to hold it in place - if you just hold it in your hand it will probably break at the angle.

It took a considerable amount of force - at least for something this small.  I had resigned myself to the possibility of destroying it, and thought I had done so when it came loose...

here's a good product for removing adhesive, not sure if it is sold there. it is not a strong solvent like acetone (won't strip paint).

http://www.amazon.com/MAGIC-AMERICA-GG12-Goo-Gone/dp/B00006IBNJ

they make it in the same size w/ pump sprayer - much more convenient.

dthrckt
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OH - one other tip - before you try to unscrew the head, run the light on high until HOT!

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Mine came yesterday and the first thing I could think was why I didn't buy more for $7.49........................

I like your new pattern and will have to do that mod after I get done with the snowblower.

dthrckt
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Thanks, it is very easy, just be patient putting it back together.  Tweezers help place the wires in the reflector.

btw, we live within ~50 miles of each other

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one other note - reflector polishing

very fine steel wool, then JB Bore Brite on cotton w/ electric drill (turtle wax automotive polishing compound is a good substitute), then 'mother's aluminum polish, then BBs, then cleaned w/ acetone.

Stittville Ed
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For the reflector I have all kinds of automotive detailing compounds and polish's so thats no problem.

How did you do the BB's????????

Just a bunch in a bag with the reflector ????????

You near Syracuse?

 

dthrckt
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yup, right on the city line w/ dewitt

First I wrapped it in tape (to protect threads and from glue), then put a dollop of hot glue on the back and stuck it to the inside bottom of a jar.  Pour in BBs, screw on lid and shake hard.  If you want more texture put a hole in the lid, hold it with lid down and blast air in the hole from compressor.

I just wanted a light texture on this one, since it is already plenty floody.

Incidentally, this also work hardens the aluminum a little bit, which is nice because it is so soft.  I do bigger stuff in my blast cabinet but that's overkill for anything this size...

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Thanks for doing this, now I know how to disassemble mine to do something about the spotty beam. I'm probably just going to apply some frosted tape to act as diffusing film.

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Yes, thank you from me too dthrckt, very useful stuff. One thread I'll keep bookmarked for a good while. Got the drivers link in soytnly's Sipik thread too Wink

dthrckt
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very welcome.

you could try the tape right over the existing optic - but if you remove it you'll need a lens to put the tape on.

how about a few more links:)

both lenses are too big but barely (20.5 should be about perfect).

http://kaidomain.com/product/details.S004330

http://www.dealextreme.com/p/22mm-5-5mm-30-60-degree-99-transmittance-gl...

this is the oring pictured in the head, could be a hair larger inner dia., but good enough 4 me

http://www.dealextreme.com/p/glow-in-the-dark-water-tight-silicone-o-rin...

also - on utilitech AA I get 2.2A at the tail!!!!  That will wipe that battery so fast lol  but that's OK w/ me!

EDIT: it is finally dark, at least inside - this thing makes an AWESOME light clipped to a hat - one more click in the angle would be nice, but it is great anyway.  Doing this I discovered something strange - pwm is MUCH more audible (only on low) when clipped to my black hat?

Volk
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You should try to put the magnet on something made of thin metal while the light is in low mode. Talk about loud PWM noise...

dthrckt
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Volk wrote:

You should try to put the magnet on something made of thin metal while the light is in low mode. Talk about loud PWM noise...

wow you're right - don't know why though?!

I might go w/ no lens at all so that heat can escape, and just find a bottle cap or something to cover it in my pocket.

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added a pic of tailcap

stock, from top of spring to threads I measured 1.4 ohms

pulled the spring, stripped the inside of the tailcap (I think it is paint) with oven cleaner, wrapped copper braid on top of spring then around bottom coil and replaced it.

now it measures 0.4 ohms.

Insignificant increase in lux readings, but I bet AA batteries last longer.

You might not want to do this if you'll use 14500s because it might be direct drive on high (1.5 to 2A, depending on cell I tried).

Haggai
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Volk wrote:

You should try to put the magnet on something made of thin metal while the light is in low mode. Talk about loud PWM noise...

Mine don't need thin metal to whine when I put them on low. Smile And it's loud enough to be heard from 1 meter away. Surprised

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I love the design of this thing, was eyeing Fenix original at first, but for the money and battery life and lumens that it can push out the front it was waaay too expensive, I found the same clone on ebay little below 9$, search for "angle led flashlight". I think Im gonna buy one myself soonish and then come back for more info about modding its lens for better throw Big Smile

Note that first result, if you use "worldwide" filter will be from ebay uk 2xAA tripple led flashlight, looks tempting but its probably with lots of flood and cold blue light with probably no modes, at least nothing mentioned in description.

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Haggai wrote:

Volk wrote:

You should try to put the magnet on something made of thin metal while the light is in low mode. Talk about loud PWM noise...

Mine don't need thin metal to whine when I put them on low. Smile And it's loud enough to be heard from 1 meter away. Surprised

Mine is super loud on low, too.  Glad it's not just mine. Wink
dthrckt
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vēer wrote:

I love the design of this thing, was eyeing Fenix original at first, but for the money and battery life and lumens that it can push out the front it was waaay too expensive, I found the same clone on ebay little below 9$, search for "angle led flashlight". I think Im gonna buy one myself soonish and then come back for more info about modding its lens for better throw Big Smile

Note that first result, if you use "worldwide" filter will be from ebay uk 2xAA tripple led flashlight, looks tempting but its probably with lots of flood and cold blue light with probably no modes, at least nothing mentioned in description.

you might be surprised by how much it throws stock, but it could be improved w/ lens.  I'll try my aspheric lenses again at some point and post lux readings. 

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Really interesting thread. Smile

 

dthrckt wrote:

You might not want to do this if you'll use 14500s because it might be direct drive on high (1.5 to 2A, depending on cell I tried).

I am pretty sure it is. I was doing some maintenance work on a bike today and this was the light I grabbed for no particular reason at all. As always, if a light will take li-ions, that's what I'm going to use. So I attach the light to a steel beam and get to work. I haven't even taken the gas tank off when I notice the beam is turning into a familiar angry blue. Then it starts flickering, goes off and before I can get to it, comes back on. The whole thing was over in less than 30 seconds but I'm sure the phosphorus layer didn't like it too much. When I switched it off, the head was too hot to touch.

The battery (a protected TF 14500 "flame" battery) looks fine and measured exactly 4.0v when I pulled it out. Total runtime before today must have been 15 minutes or less (ie. both the light and the battery were practically new). When I briefly put it back in, the light pulled 2.1A. Well, yeah, not good if you care about durability. Like I said, the battery looks okay but the light has now been relegated to NiMH-only duty.

dthrckt
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good idea in stock form.  it is too hard on alkys for them to give much run time.

when I was taking beamshots the thing got so hot I couldn't believe it.

I considered adding some mass to the head but i don't think it is worth the time.  If you need more light, use something bigger, or use two Smile

It is the handiest automotive work light I've used...

Lensman
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Just in case anyone's interested, here's a blue version: http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/190555132551?ssPageName=STRK:MEWAX:IT&_trksid=...

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Hello everyone,
I know this is an old thread, but is there any chance to have the images up again?
Thank you

Heather
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I am interested in this flashlight.
Thank you for sharing.

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dthrckt wrote:
I took the reflector, polished it, tested and found it too ringy, so I taped the reflector inside a can w/ BBs and shook it until they made it OP.

OOOOOOOO!!!!

That’s a nice, high-performance tip, dthrckt!!

THANK YOU!!

(Until I try it, that is! Wink )

“There is no darkness but ignorance.”

vēer
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Its a nice light, Ive bought 5 of them. One of them was DOA – defective on arrival – turn it on in high mode, it will start to flicker, after some while it will stop.
The same occured later on with one more light.

Any ideas how to fix this?

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Where did you get them from?

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