Skylight's 8th BLF OL contest entry, modified flashlight [DDH ML778SL FINISHED]

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Skylight
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The 82mm glass lens of the Haikelite MT07 arrived. The original glass lens of the DDH D8A is a 80mm glass lens which fits tightly inside the flashlight.

That is why I had to use the dremel to remove 2mm of the aluminium in the bezel. I didn’t touch the glass because it would be too risky to break it. Also, I don’t have any experience or tools for working with glass.

The inner part of the bezel has quite a bit of superflous aluminium that can be removed without structural damage, I suppose.

During work

After quite a bit of careful work the 82mm glass lens finally fits.

Nice purple AR coating on the glass lens.

Compared to the old glass lens

Being at it with the dremel I sanded the contact surfaces for the copper spacer in the flashlight.

Before

Finished

I add some measurement fotos of the glass lenses and the copper parts here to give you a better idea about the sizes.

Skylight
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After lots of mechanical work here comes the electrical part of the build.

This is the 30mm TA driver I will use. I will replace the 18AWG wires with 16AWG wires and the second gen. BSM Be Cu springs with third gen. ones.

I reflowed this driver last year. The soldering is a bit messy, I know. I didn’t have much experience with reflowing drivers back then. I already used this driver so it works.

Before I solder the cables on I will flash a new Anduril version on the driver because the version on it doesn’t work well. I can access the MCU better without cables.

The battery carrier for eight 18650 batteries I got together with the long battery tube needs some modification. I thought I had ordered a 2S version but apparently this is the 1S version because I measured 3.5V with all eight batteries inserted.

This is the battery carrier before the modification.

I bypassed all the springs with 2.5mm braided copper wire and made also some improvements to enhance the high current capabilities of the battery carrier.

I drilled holes through the two central PCBs and passed some short 18AWG wires through. This way, I connected the positive buttons on one side to the negative springs on the other side. I also removed the solder bridges that where made for the 3V configuration. I thought it would be easier to just connect the batteries in series instead of figuring out how to change the buttons and springs.

The outer four brass rods conduct the negative from the tail to the head while the central column is positive. I made bridges with 22AWG wire to decrease the resistance and make the battery carrier suitable for higher currents.

The battery carrier is a lot better now. I also had to heat the shrinking tubes around the brass rods because they were quite loose.

The battery carrier for the short tube has an integrated protection circuit that limits the current to 10A. I bypassed the springs on that carrier as well.

For the best performance I will use the flashlight with the 8× 18650 battery tube anyway.

CNCman
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Wow, this is coming together nicely. The copper is tough to work with, but it gets the job done.
Your work on the battery carriers is impressive as well. You are swimming in deep waters on this mod Skylight.
Not many modders have taken on a mod of this magnitude. Kudos for bravery Wink

Agro
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Nice stuff Skylight. Smile

Rdubya18
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Impressive Thumbs Up

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MascaratumB wrote:
I guess you’ll need a shoulder strap to carry it, after putting all that copper inside Big Smile Keep it coming Wink

You are right. Cool The copper spacer weighs around 400g and the flashlight itself around 900g.

MtnDon wrote:
Smile Nice collection of parts!

Thanks, MtnDon.

Skylight
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CNCman wrote:
Wow, this is coming together nicely. The copper is tough to work with, but it gets the job done. Your work on the battery carriers is impressive as well. You are swimming in deep waters on this mod Skylight. Not many modders have taken on a mod of this magnitude. Kudos for bravery Wink

Many thanks, CNCman. I appreciate your kind words. Smile I tried my best and it worked nicely.

I will post more pictures and beamshots tomorrow.

Agro wrote:
Nice stuff Skylight. Smile

Thank you, Agro.

Rdubya18 wrote:
Impressive Thumbs Up

Thanks, Rdubya18.

Skylight
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I just wanted to let everyone know that I have finished my modified flashlight today, 01/03/2021. Crown

I will post the remaining pictures of the mod and the finished flashlight tomorrow.

Tonight I will take some beamshots. Cool

G0OSE
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Skylight wrote:
I just wanted to let everyone know that I have finished my modified flashlight today, 01/03/2021. Crown

I will post the remaining pictures of the mod and the finished flashlight tomorrow.

Tonight I will take some beamshots. Cool


Good on you mate, Thumbs Up , can’t wait to see!
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Good work! That’s a lot of dremelling which must be difficult to get even! How does soldering large chunks of copper together work? Must need a large heat source eh?

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Here are the last pictures of the modification process.

I soldered the led MCPCBs to the 65mm copper plate with 138°C low temperature lead-free solder paste. The copper plate weighs 180g and should be perfect for getting the heat away from the leds fast. When direct driving the XHP70 leds I thought a 20mm star is relatively small and soldering is definitely better than thermal paste.

I connected the leds with 20AWG wires, negative on the outer ring. The plus wire will be soldered to a piece of braided copper, the minus on a pad of the central MCPCB.

I had to shorten the copper rod by another 4mm because it was too long and the bezel didn’t screw on any more.

This is how the copper spacer and reflector will be inserted into the flashlight.

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I soldered three parts of the copper spacer together with 138°C lead-free solder paste. I chose the low temperature solder paste so that I didn’t need to heat up the copper that much.

The finished part

The driver got a double BSM BeCu third generation spring bypassed twice. I bypassed the small inner spring with braided copper wire and soldered a 22AWG wire to the outside of the big spring. The seven XHP70 could draw up to 70 or 80A so I wanted to make sure the beefed up springs can handle this current without melting. I also soldered the 16AWG cables on the driver.

Before I assembled the flashlight I tested the leds and the driver to make sure there are no short circuits and the driver works properly.

Hurray, everything works as expected. Party It is great when leds and driver work at the first attempt.

So I’m ready for the assembly of the flashlight. A last picture before I start.

A lot less parts then in the first full parts line-up.

Filed and cut a 1mm copper piece to fill the central gap where in the normal flashlight the MCPCB sits.

Assembly is mainly adding thermal paste and putting everything together.

The last thing to do is soldering on the main led cables and the switch.

I took a Sofirn Q8 switch and swapped out the leds and resistors. These are special RGB leds that have an integrated chip which makes them changing colors slowly and automatically. They are 0807 leds, a bit wider than normal switch leds but otherwise just the same. You can’t choose the red, green or blue colors separately like in other Anduril flashlights with RGB leds but when they switch through the colors they look very similar.

The switch leds are fully Anduril controlled. I achieved this by connecting a 47Ohm resistor to R1 and the aux led cable to the other end. I flashed the Anduril version from the ROT66G2 on the driver and it works perfectly.

Big thanks go to Scallywag who explained me how he made a lighted switch on his Astrolux MF02 mod. Beer

Final function testing round

Switch leds work, main leds work. Awesome! Cool

As you can see in the pictures above I added some Glow In The Dark tape around the leds which can be seen later in the reflector.

I weighed the flashlight, short and long version, with and without batteries. Before the mod the short version weights 900g, the long version 1000g. The copper spacer should be around 400g.

At this point, I charged the eight LG HG2 cells I will be using in this flashlight, together with the two Golisi batteries of last years build to compare the two.

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Wow fantastic! I looked through your post from this year and then through your post from last year’s contest. Great stuff! I gotta get myself one of those hotplates.

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Looking good ‘Skylight’ Thumbs Up
We are hoping it finishes successfully Big Smile
I like your UYUE 946-1010 Digital Display Constant Temperature Preheating Station? Love
Where did you buy it ?
.
Updated to pics above only Thumbs Up

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With the batteries fresh off the charger I’m heading outside for beamshots.

I will be calling my modified flashlight the DDH ML778SL. DDH is the brand of the host, ML is the same as last year to continue the series, 77 is for 7 XHP70, the 8 is from the original model name because I like it, SL stands for Skylight or superlarge, choose what you like better. Big Smile

The settings are 2s f8 ISO400, WB 4000K. The large tree is 100m away, the tree in the background is 150m away.

Control

DDH ML778SL ceiling 3.2A

DDH ML778SL Turbo

Matainvoy ML18S, modified flashlight from the 7th OL-contest Turbo

Astrolux MF01S SST20 4000K Turbo

Sofirn SP70 NW Turbo

Astrolux EC03 XHP50 5700K Turbo

Animated

Fun fact: For the text in the GIF I had to use black on the beamshots of the DDH ML778SL and the Matainvoy ML18S because they made the snow overexposed with their insane brightness.

The DDH ML778SL has a total wow effect in both the pictures and reality. My Matainvoy ML18S from last years contest is bright already but this is a new level. With the SMO reflector it has a big hotspot with some throw and a lot of spill.

I don’t have the equipment to measure the lumen output but I would estimate it at around 30000 lumens. Not only because I like that number Wink but also because I measured with four batteries and a clamp meter 36A current passing through the main led wires. With good contact inside the flashlight and eight batteries it could be a bit more. So every led gets at least 5A.

I love the big hotspot and the round spill of this flashlight. The tint mixing of 3000K and 5000K leds together with the 90 CRI of the four 5000K leds gives a nice rosy and warm tint. It is maybe around 4000K. The tint shift is not very noticable, it integrates nicely. Two white wall beamshots:

This year’s OL contest has been just as great fun as last year’s contest. Many thanks to everyone who organised the 8th OL contest, to the participants and everyone who reads and comments build threads. Crown Thumbs Up

I am proud to be part of the great BLF community and to contribute with my humble modding capabilities. Blushing

I will end this build thread with a picture gallery of glamour shots of the DDH ML778SL. Enjoy the big reflector with seven leds, the RGB switch leds, the low moonlight and the GITD tape glowing.

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Sorry Skylight, I deleted my well wishing post (twice lol) as it was in the middle of your entry, evidently you were uploading as I typed!

I’ll do it again here lol! well done! looks great, congratulations on a fantastic build, also – it looks even more amazing now! love the glow!

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Wow loads of light ! Great job !

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Nice and neat mod Thumbs Up

Skylight
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Sunnysunsun wrote:
Good work! That’s a lot of dremelling which must be difficult to get even! How does soldering large chunks of copper together work? Must need a large heat source eh?

Yes, dremeling is not easy. You need to work carefully and always try if the reflector or the lens fits so that you don’t dremel away too much material.

I soldered the copper parts together with my hot plate. It works great and with the large contact surface it has no problem to heat the whole copper. With a hot air station it would be simply not possible.

Sunnysunsun wrote:
Wow fantastic! I looked through your post from this year and then through your post from last year’s contest. Great stuff! I gotta get myself one of those hot plates.

Many thanks, Sunnysunsun. Glad you liked my builds. Smile The hotplate is indeed very useful for this kind of mods like soldering copper or reflowing leds on bigger MCPCBs.

CNCman wrote:
Looking good ‘Skylight’ Thumbs Up We are hoping it finishes successfully Big Smile I like your UYUE 946-1010 Digital Display Constant Temperature Preheating Station? Love Where did you buy it ? . Updated to pics above only Thumbs Up

Thanks CNCman. Thumbs Up I finished the flashlight successfully and it is just as awesome as I imagined it if not even more awesome. Cool

I bought this hot plate on Aliexpress. It is this one . You find it also in other shops on Aliexpress. The shipping is always a bit expensive because that thing is heavy. The shipping was free when I bought it.

G0OSE wrote:
Sorry Skylight, I deleted my well wishing post (twice lol) as it was in the middle of your entry, evidently you were uploading as I typed!

I’ll do it again here lol! well done! looks great, congratulations on a fantastic build, also – it looks even more amazing now! love the glow!

Thank you very much, G0OSE. Smile Very nice that you took the coherence of my posts into account. I didn’t mind any posts yesterday as I was very busy with posting fotos.

Rdubya18 wrote:
Wow loads of light ! Great job !

Thanks Rdubya18. The brightness of 7 XHP70 is really insane. Crazy

lumenzilla wrote:
Nice and neat mod Thumbs Up

Thanks lumenzilla. I tried to do my best.

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I’m just adding a little comparison between the flashlight before and after the mod here. The DDH D8A with one XHP70 on the left versus the DDH ML778SL with seven XHP70 on the right. Have a look and tell me if the mod changed anything. Big Smile

Of course the appeareance is a bit different due to the snow. The settings were slightly in favor of the D8A. Otherwise throw is almost the same, brightness especially of the spill and hotspot size increased by a lot.

Another thing I noticed while taking beamshots was, that the flashlight became quite a bit heavier, mostly at the head. It weighs a whopping 1.8kg now and is difficult to hold with the arm stretched out. No one you let try to hold it expects it to be so heavy.

The head of the flashlight becomes warm after a few times of activating Turbo. Heating 400g of copper seems to be no problem for seven XHP70 leds. I didn’t run it long enough that it be comes actually hot.

I always had an eye on the Imalent DX80 and its incredible brightness. Now that I have build me my own DX80 a dream has come true. It has one led less than the DX80 but it has a 4000K rosy tint, 85CRI and Anduril. High cri and rosy neutral white leds are what I miss the most in all the high output flashlights. The tint mixing with 3000K 70CRI leds got rid of the green tint that 90CRI XHP70.2 generally have. Additionally, this flashlight is my own work and creation. Love

This were just a few side notes on my modified flashlight that I wanted to add.

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I finally took the time to read this mod, and wow it is very well done.

I see a lot of classic BLF techniques to make stuff that don’t fit, fit. And many many hours of hard work.

You deserve to get 30,000 lumen out of this! Smile

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Nice Finish ‘Skylight’ Thumbs Up
I was concerned you may have unforeseen problems finishing this mod due to its complication of assembly.
We are very Happy to see your successful completion. Big Smile Great Job Big Smile
.

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Well, 1kg of a light with that amount of lumens is harmony Wink
Well done again Skylight! I like your “heavy metal” mods Thumbs Up Beer

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