NEW TrustFire TR-DF003 2x26650 3xCREE XM-L Diving Light

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JohnnyMac
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Excellent write up, DeepDawg!  I know you've helped a bunch of members with this light and given many more a good reason to finally get one.  Your mods really don't sound difficult at all and are well worth the time spent doing.  Bravo!

DeepDawg
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JohnnyMac wrote:

Excellent write up, DeepDawg!  I know you’ve helped a bunch of members with this light and given many more a good reason to finally get one.  Your mods really don’t sound difficult at all and are well worth the time spent doing.  Bravo!

Hey JohnnyMac,

Thanks for the positive comment, I glad I’m helping out.

I would rather think I’m helping those who already have the light rather than encouraging others to buy it. My feeling is that so much was overlooked with the design that I am not comfortable causing additional sales of this beast.

As I mention in several places, I completely expect better options to show up on the market soon that will have magnetic switching like the XTAR D35 or the X-BEAM U2×3 both of which have magnetic switching. Price drops on these are inevitable as more designs and clone start hitting the market.

If you look at other CREE T6 dive lights like the truly wonderful YEZL Q2 which is the exact same product as the KEYGOS S3; they all are beginning to drop fast in price as more designs and their own clones invade the marketplace. Three years ago if I saw a KEYGOS S3 performing on a dive, I would have expected to pay $200+ for it easily. They can now be had with batteries and a charger for under 50 bucks. That’s friggen ridiculous! Sure I had to replace all the o-rings on my S3 but that was cheap and it’s now easily a 200FSW dive light with what truly feels like about a 1000 lumen output.

It’s true that I bought a second TR-DF003 since I’m comfortable with my mods and I was able to get a second one with big 26650’s and a decent 26650 charger at my door for $60. Part of the reason I did that was because I was already invested in one of them PLUS I knew there would be no other way in the future to get spare parts other than to cannibalize one so I could one day service the other if parts begin failing. I was just lucky some poor bloke was dumping a new one as a complete kit with batteries and charger probably because he saw the writing on the wall with these things.

But for now, mine are both modified and working fine and if readers want to take a chance buying these and following my improvements rather than waiting for better options, I think they will likely have the brightest hand-held dive light on the block . . for a while.

But as I mention in my post and as others have confirmed, the claimed output on this model is way off. I see 3800 and 4500 all the time in ads when we all know 1700 lumens is probably about it with the three CREE T6’s in parallel even with 26650 batteries. And if you rewire it for higher output, it gets too hot on land and it will have too short of a run-time to be a good dive light since you can’t add a third battery.

So once again, I personally encourage those who haven’t bought one yet to consider waiting for a better design to become affordable if you can. If not, mod away and you might be happy with the TR-DF003 aka “TuRD”.

I love your forum and thanks again for the comment!

DanielMar2010
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Hey Dawg what was the screw length in the tail. And how did you secure it in detail please?

I own a Trustfire 12XT6 AKA Ultrafire 12T6, Trust Fire 15XT6, Cree XML-T6, Trustfire 15XT6, Trustfire TR-DF003 I like BIG lights and I cannot lie!

Richie086
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Hey DeepDawg,

Here are the photos of how I modded the light. I don’t know if I ruined it for salt water use removing the extra anodizing that I did. I had just assumed all of it needed to go on the threads and inside the head. I still have to order the upgraded O-rings that you suggested, but I still have all the originals plus all the spares they included in the box. Please let me know what you think of what I did. The last photo is simply a shot of what the beam profile looks like outside of the water in case anyone was curious. Thanks again for all the help.

Richie

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DanielMar2010 wrote:
Hey Dawg what was the screw length in the tail. And how did you secure it in detail please?

Between the stiffer head spring and the tail cap mod, I was hoping my home remedy fixes would be improved by people with proper shops like Pokasaha.

The screw I used for the 26650 contact was a 1/4-inch brass Flathead machine screw with the flat head soldered to a small copper plate I made from sheet material. I then ground down the screw until the assembly was the exact height I wanted. I knew I only wanted 2 rotations out to cut power since the o-ring seal range is pretty limited. It’s also why I stiffened up the head spring because I knew there couldn’t be much range in the tail cap o-ring seal so I wanted the head spring to firm up within that limited range.

What frustrated me was how much 26650 batteries can vary from brand to brand so I must now keep the battery sets MATCHED TO EACH LIGHT!!

To hold the battery contact against the bare aluminum cap, I cut a round piece of stiff plastic from the lid of some container and punched a hole in the center for the screw to come through.

I was lucky that the grove that was used to retain the spring existed because I sized my plastic disc such that it snapped tight into that grove while holding the contact firmly against the aluminum cap as you can see in the tail cap pics.

I then used the conductive grease that I mention between the copper disc and the aluminum for improved conductivity. It’s been working great but I would still rather have an even tighter press fit between the copper disc and the aluminum.

At first I tried not using the plastic retainer and I had signs of ground contact loss and intermittent contact even when the tail was backed off as my battery contact would rattle around in there.

And I DO NOT recommend more than one piece for a battery contact. I had the same problem when I tried using thin plates to change the height of my battery contact rather than grinding a permanent height to a single-piece contact.

The bottom-line you want to think about in every move you make is that any chance for this much current to break contact it will. This will frustrate you with intermittent function.

DeepDawg
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Richie086 wrote:
Hey DeepDawg,

Here are the photos of how I modded the light. I don’t know if I ruined it for salt water use removing the extra anodizing that I did. I had just assumed all of it needed to go on the threads and inside the head. I still have to order the upgraded O-rings that you suggested, but I still have all the originals plus all the spares they included in the box. Please let me know what you think of what I did. The last photo is simply a shot of what the beam profile looks like outside of the water in case anyone was curious. Thanks again for all the help.

!http://i42.photobucket.com/albums/e309/Trek13/TR-DF003-1_zps7f2d2150.jpg!

Richie,

You sure ground off a lot of anodizing. I see you even ground out the o-ring channels on the handle. Also I can’t see the contact ring on the head very well, and I hate to say this after all the anodizing you’ve removed, but it looks like you may want to be sure you’ve got a good bare metal surface for the ring at the base of the head.

Sure enough, from what I’m seeing, I would be concerned about your o-ring surfaces giving out now at depth pressures.

Not to worry, just don’t dive it as is. If you can, try to bring those o-ring surfaces back to as smooth a surface as you possibly can. It looks like it might be tough access in the o-ring channels on the handle but just get everything as smooth as you can.

The next problem might be having to re-size the o-rings for the amount of material removed but as I said in another reply, the stock o-rings are so big that you may be able to use them but you still need to have a smooth surface or they won’t seal. You will know if you need o-rings with bigger cross section by how hard it is to screw the handle back onto the head.

But if your surfaces aren’t smooth, not only will it leak at depth, but you’ll damage the o-rings every time you unscrew the handle from the head.

When you think you have everything done right, first test dive it without batteries and with silica gel packs to run defense for your electronics in case some salt water gets into the housing. I would say four atmospheres should do (about a 100FSW). But you REALLY don’t want to have salt water hitting 26650’s with a fresh charge inside a cast metal dive light. I would consider that a safety breach.

A bit off topic:

I see in the background that you also have another CREE dive light I have. I think they first hit the market as the MAGICSHINE MJ-810E.

It’s been cloned to death and I had read many complaints that the magnetic bezel wasn’t indexed so it would slide around changing modes all the time. I bought a great look-alike new for $25 on Fleabay. Unbelievably bright for the money. The switch on the one I got is well indexed and holds its mode positions just fine. I just don’t care for the lens seal design so I couldn’t give it the same depth blessing as our TR-DF003 or my KEYGOS S3 with the o-ring mods I’ve done to it but again $25, really??!!

Richie086
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DeepDawg wrote:

Richie,

You sure ground off a lot of anodizing. I see you even ground out the o-ring channels.

Sure enough, from what I’m seeing, I would be concerned about your o-ring surfaces giving out now at depth pressures.

Not to worry, just don’t dive it as is. If you can, try to bring those o-ring surfaces back to as smooth a surface as you possibly can. It looks like it might be tough access in the o-ring channels on the handle but just get everything as smooth as you can.

The next problem might be having to re-size the o-rings for the amount of material removed but as I said in another reply, the stock o-rings are so big that you may be able to use them but you still need to have a smooth surface or they won’t seal. You will know if you need o-rings with bigger cross section by how hard it is to screw the handle back onto the head.

But if your surfaces aren’t smooth, not only will it leak at depth, but you’ll damage the o-rings every time you unscrew the handle from the head.

When you think you have everything done right, first test dive it without batteries and with silica gel packs to run defense for your electronics in case some salt water gets into the housing. But you REALLY don’t want to have salt water hitting 26650’s with a fresh charge inside a cast metal dive light. I would consider that a safety breach.

A bit off topic:

I see in the background that you also have another CREE dive light I have. I think they first hit the market as the MAGICSHINE MJ-810E.

It’s been cloned to death and I had read many complaints that the magnetic bezel wasn’t indexed so it would slide around changing modes all the time. I bought a great clone new for $25 on Fleabay. Unbelievably bright for the money. The switch on the one I got is well indexed and holds its mode positions just fine. I just don’t care for the lens seal design so I couldn’t give it the same depth blessing as our TR-DF003 or my KEYGOS S3 with the o-ring mods I’ve done to it but again $25, really??!!

Hey Deep,

Yeah, give a man a dremel and he’ll grind away the world..LOL. I’ll be sure to check it out very carefully without batteries before diving with it this spring. If I find it isn’t reliable, I’ll dismantle it and use the components for another project.

As for my Cree MC-E lights, or AKA Ugly light, I actually love those lights. I purchased mine from NovaeProducts.com and got a deal on them for about $50.00 each. They’ve since come out with the XM-L version, which is likely what you have. But the link below you can still get either version with excellent service.

http://www.novaeproducts.com/apps/webstore/products/show/1557267

I did perform the “lens spring” mod on both as discussed around the internet several years ago. This was done prior to them ever seeing water and work excellent. Without the spring mode, the lens will start taking in water quickly.

I do wish they had a click-type indexing on the magnetic switch, but if your new one has that, I’d consider purchasing another one, especially if it’s an XM-L.

The only thing that you need to be careful about is once you take them apart, the magnetic switch needs to be realigned properly so it turns on the correct mode when the switch ring is turned. In other words, you don’t want to move the ring to HIGH position and have it come on in LOW.

Richie

DeepDawg
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Richie086 wrote:

Hey Deep,

Yeah, give a man a dremel and he’ll grind away the world..LOL. I’ll be sure to check it out very carefully without batteries before diving with it this spring. If I find it isn’t reliable, I’ll dismantle it and use the components for another project.

As for my Cree MC-E lights, or AKA Ugly light, I actually love those lights. I purchased mine from NovaeProducts.com and got a deal on them for about $50.00 each. They’ve since come out with the XM-L version, which is likely what you have. But the link below you can still get either version with excellent service.

http://www.novaeproducts.com/apps/webstore/products/show/1557267

I did perform the “lens spring” mod on both as discussed around the internet several years ago. This was done prior to them ever seeing water and work excellent. Without the spring mode, the lens will start taking in water quickly.

I do wish they had a click-type indexing on the magnetic switch, but if your new one has that, I’d consider purchasing another one, especially if it’s an XM-L.

The only thing that you need to be careful about is once you take them apart, the magnetic switch needs to be realigned properly so it turns on the correct mode when the switch ring is turned. In other words, you don’t want to move the ring to HIGH position and have it come on in LOW.

You replied too fast for me. I also added the observation that in your photo, it looks like you may want to be sure you’ve got a good bare metal surface for the ring at the base of the head since that is what I found to be the point of pressure contact when screwed tight to the handle.

It’s sad how little anodizing actually has to be removed for a good contact when I see how much you’ve removed but you really want to give that current a better place to go than the threads and I would just be sure the head ring is shaved bare where it torques against the handle.

I checked again and sure enough, my Magicshine MJ-810E clone is indeed an XML T6 and does have good indexing on the switch. The Ebay vendor I bought it from had a temporary “Sale” price on it for $25.99 shipped or best offer. I got them down to $25 even which you can see in the sale history. I was the Dec 23rd sale at $25. EDIT: I just noticed that to everyone else, it just shows “Accepted”. I offered $22 but they only dropped to $25 on a counter so I accepted.

I see it’s now back up to a whopping $39.99 shipped! Still a pretty darn good deal. Again, the sale history seems to indicate that no one’s bighting lately at $39.99.

It’s interesting to see a CREE T6 light advertised without a single claim of lumen output but their ad might be why it’s not selling. Now that I have it, I know it’s the real deal and even at $39.99 it’s a darn good light. Since all I own are T6 CREE lights now, it was immediate to see it was the real deal when I looked at it and fired it up next to my other lights.

I think before I would consider doing a spring mod on it, I would first just augment with a thin cross-sectioned o-ring under the lens or flat spacer ring on top of the lens to cause a better crush of the rubber lens seal that is supplied with the light. The problem with the lens seal design on that light is that there isn’t much thread travel on the lens retainer plus it’s an inverse thread design compared to the KEYGOS S3 design which I prefer.

I know many don’t like the S3 because of the single battery but I’ve dove the heck out it and never run down even with my crappy gold Ultrafire 4000mAh batteries. For multiple dives I would recommend having freshly charged 18650’s on hand to load between dives. But you DEFINITELY want to replace the lens o-ring on the S3 before diving it.

300winmag
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So this is what I’ve done. Now remember my threads were FULL of corrosion so this is what I was able to do with a mini wire wheel on a drill press.

While on the boat before the dive I would turn on my lights and make sure they are on high, after getting in the water and descending they would change to a different mode. Every other dive it would randomly pick a new mode to be in.. Weird right? So this Head Mod will stop my lights from changing modes while in seawater? I don’t need to change the modes of my lights, always on high mode LoL

If I do not do the spring mods the LED’s will faintly glow when I bring them up from the water. Would several turns unscrewing the head and wiping it off with a dry towel make the lights shut off completely?

Since my lights are damaged so bad I am thinking of getting another pair before I leave to Mexico and do this mod to them. I would use these as spare parts for the new ones. But as my luck would have it something I missed or a new product will come out just after I purchase another set so I’m on the fence here.

FYI: Here is the light with reflectors, 6’ from the wall.

Here it is without the reflectors, 6’ from the wall. I will have 2 lights running, I’m hoping the shadows won’t be so noticeable.

Thanx for all your help with these lights!!!

DanielMar2010
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Head shave done. photo Dive5_zpsfb500cf0.jpg Removed spring and used a 25 mm brass car wash token. Highly polished with a 8/32×1/2” SS machine thread bolt with head cut off back of token and threaded through coin.  photo Dive3_zps030aeb3f.jpgAmazingly THE COIN FIT EXACT IN THE TAIL CAP.  photo Dive4_zps66b97ef7.jpgI have 4 coins left if anyone needs one. 24.99 mm exactly if you have stock. It was a 1/2“long bolt so I had some adjusting to do. I found I could use a punch to expand coin at edges, and it held it in tight because of close tolerances.. Tested in tub and works great!!! BUT I WANT TO GIVE DEEPDAWG A HUGE THANK YOU!!!! for giving us all a heads up and all the lengthy details needed to do this. Kudos!!! Smile Smile :bigsmile:
Daniel

I own a Trustfire 12XT6 AKA Ultrafire 12T6, Trust Fire 15XT6, Cree XML-T6, Trustfire 15XT6, Trustfire TR-DF003 I like BIG lights and I cannot lie!

DeepDawg
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Winmag,

Good job on cleaning those once-seized forward threads and on prepping the handle for a shaved head ring mate. I haven’t seen what you’ve done to the head but I’ll assume it looks like nice flat bare shaved metal on the bottom contact ring.

300winmag wrote:
While on the boat before the dive I would turn on my lights and make sure they are on high, after getting in the water and descending they would change to a different mode. Every other dive it would randomly pick a new mode to be in.. Weird right? So this Head Mod will stop my lights from changing modes while in seawater?

No. The head shave mod will stop it from happening AGAIN when you attain depth. It’s pressure that helps those head-threads fail as a ground contact. But the pressure only helps them fail. The fact that they are threads, they are aluminum and they are oxidized are the real culprits.

Changing modes in the shallows is a result of aquatic grounding from tail to head. Also very bad for the drivers and probably what killed yours.

300winmag wrote:
If I do not do the spring mods the LED’s will faintly glow when I bring them up from the water. Would several turns unscrewing the head and wiping it off with a dry towel make the lights shut off completely?

Sorry your lights self-destructed before I could post these mods. And I’m also sorry to tell you this, but the Tail Spring Mod is actually the most important one because the tail threads WILL LOSE THEIR ANODIZING. I’m sure yours already have. And once they do, your light will try to come on as long as that spring is touching your battery chain. It won’t even matter if it’s in the water. The only way to stop it will be to remove the tail cap so the spring can’t touch the batteries.

If I could finger the single biggest design flaw of this light, it would have to be its dependence on the black anodizing on the tail threads to insulate the tail cap from the handle when the tail is slightly unscrewed. Yep, that is the number one dumbest thing I’ve seen in at least a month.

Imagine the stupidity of a design engineer thinking that they could completely and forever insulate one side of a frequent-use threaded metal union from the other by simply anodizing it.

Look at the picture of the tail threads on my used light. They’re now completely bare of even any residue from the original anodizing. I didn’t strip them, I just used the light and as the designers intended, I had to screw down and unscrew the tail-cap at least five times for each dive:

1-Once off to load batteries in it.
2-Once on (a bit) to drive to the dive site.
3-Once all the way down before the light can get anywhere near water. Then do your dive.
4-Once off (at least partly) when out of the water to rinse
5-Once off again to unload the batteries

So for one dive, that’s at least five times of screwing the tail cap threads. And with those original o-rings, they would be mincemeat after one dive.

That anodizing never stood a chance of staying on those threads.

A close second on the dumbest engineering I’ve ever seen is the design assumption that the light would NEVER GET BUMPED and therefore never see a breach in the body’s anodizing thus never short from external sources.

And if Trustfire has a Q.C. department (doubtful) it’s amazingly reckless to go to market when you have not tested in seawater a FREAKING DIVE LIGHT!!!

300winmag wrote:
Since my lights are damaged so bad I am thinking of getting another pair before I leave to Mexico and do this mod to them. I would use these as spare parts for the new ones. But as my luck would have it something I missed or a new product will come out just after I purchase another set so I’m on the fence here.

It looks from your beam shots like you still have function in all three emitters of at least one light.

For you to buy two more of these lights would be to encourage such poor designers and executives. We have plenty of idiots and crooks without rewarding the hiring of more, even overseas. What if you buying two more of these means they will actually manufacture two more of these boat anchors?

The lights you really want are something like the X-Beam U2×3 or the XTAR D35 and they will likely keep dropping in price. We just need to wait for even better pricing.

Hang in there buddy, I think you’ll have at least one of these working right for Mexico.

When is your trip and where do you dive out of?

Dawg

DanielMar2010
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Yeah I got to admit the workmanship and engineering of this light is TERRIBLE.!!! I would think they would of at least tested it. Fortunately we have a fix for some, maybe not all, whom can actually enjoy it for a while before it blows up.

I own a Trustfire 12XT6 AKA Ultrafire 12T6, Trust Fire 15XT6, Cree XML-T6, Trustfire 15XT6, Trustfire TR-DF003 I like BIG lights and I cannot lie!

DeepDawg
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DanielMar2010 wrote:
Head shave done. Removed spring and used a 25 mm brass car wash token. Highly polished with a 8/32×1/2” SS machine thread bolt with head cut off back of token and threaded through coin. Amazingly THE COIN FIT EXACT IN THE TAIL CAP. I have 4 coins left if anyone needs one. 24.99 mm exactly if you have stock. It was a 1/2” bolt so I had some adjusting to do. I found I could use a punch to expand coin at edges, and it held it in tight because of close tolerances.. Tested in tub and works great!!! BUT I WANT TO GIVE DEEPDAWG A HUGE THANK YOU!!!! for giving us all a heads up and all the lengthy details needed to do this. Kudos!!! Smile Smile :bigsmile: Daniel

Bravo Daniel and you’re very welcome!

I’d like to see a picture because I also tried a contact with a threaded union in it and still had ground loss troubles. But come to think of it, that was before I did the head shave mod so it may have been that instead an intermittent break within my battery contact and my contact has never been all that tight against the inner tail.

And as I’ve mentioned, I’m not super happy with my plastic retainer and it sounds like your hammered token fits much tighter against the bare aluminum inner cap. I may well just size a stainless circlip to fit in the grove that once held the spring. Then I could create serious pressure to hold the contact base against the inner tail. I’ll post pics if I do.

For sure what I originally tried to make, was a battery contact that was height adjustable with threading but I am fairly sure depending on conduction through yet another threaded union within the battery contact is too risky with these currents. That’s why my current contact components are all soldered together.

MAYBE copper threading with my copper conductive grease would be a safe bet if combined with a high pressure fit against the inner tail cap using a circlip. As I said, I’ll post pics if I do it.

I have been so surprised at how different things go 12 minutes into a dive than they do on the surface.

Good luck with your fix and I hope all goes well!

DeepDawg
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DanielMar2010 wrote:

Head shave done. photo Dive5_zpsfb500cf0.jpg Removed spring and used a 25 mm brass car wash token. Highly polished with a 8/32×1/2” SS machine thread bolt with head cut off back of token and threaded through coin.  photo Dive3_zps030aeb3f.jpgAmazingly THE COIN FIT EXACT IN THE TAIL CAP.  photo Dive4_zps66b97ef7.jpgI have 4 coins left if anyone needs one. 24.99 mm exactly if you have stock. It was a 1/2” bolt so I had some adjusting to do. I found I could use a punch to expand coin at edges, and it held it in tight because of close tolerances.. Tested in tub and works great!!!

Daniel

Looking good Daniel!

Everything looks held tight. Perhaps not too removable but it looks like a good fit.

Screw is about 1/2-inch so I’m guessing you’re using 18650’s.

And I trust it is bumping to the next mode for you while the tail is screwed down tight and also cutting power within o-ring seal range (unscrewed about two rotations out)?

Thanks for sharing and show us underwater pics and video!! 8)

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Actually I needed to cut it way down for the 26650’s Rotations and cutting power all working PRIMO! And I love the BUMP!! :bigsmile: Wink
And I DO KNOW WHAT THE B MEANS BY NOW!!

I own a Trustfire 12XT6 AKA Ultrafire 12T6, Trust Fire 15XT6, Cree XML-T6, Trustfire 15XT6, Trustfire TR-DF003 I like BIG lights and I cannot lie!

DeepDawg
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DanielMar2010 wrote:
Actually I needed to cut it way down for the 26650’s Rotations and cutting power all working PRIMO! And I love the BUMP!! :bigsmile: Wink

That’s excellent news. Great work!

DanielMar2010 wrote:
And I DO KNOW WHAT THE B MEANS BY NOW!!

Ah yes, the cry of the frequent BLF poster!

It looks like I got an “L” this time. :bigsmile:

Dawg

300winmag
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Deepdawg,

We are leaving on March 27 and staying till April 10. We’re all staying withing walking distance of central Playa Del Carmen as we always use Steve the owner of Reef Quest Divers as our guide. Dudes got skill and he’s a great guy to dive with. I find it hard to put trust in most instructors but I have nothing to worry about with him.

All the reviews I’ve seen of this light in the past 6 months say its putting out 1300 to 1500 lumens… That Xtar D35 puts out 2300 lumens, unfortunately it runs on 18650s but If I find out I can take out the refector and use it for a video light I just might buy 2.
Thanx for the heads up Deepdawg! I will continue moding this when I get home tonight.

300winmag
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That X-Beam looks good but the exaggeration of lumens reminds me of this light lol. I have a feeling it will bring problems as well.
But it does take 26650s!!!! Your right about both these lights needing to come down in price, thats a lot of money for cheap Chinese lights.

DeepDawg
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300winmag wrote:
Deepdawg,

We are leaving on March 27 and staying till April 10. We’re all staying withing walking distance of central Playa Del Carmen as we always use Steve the owner of Reef Quest Divers as our guide. Dudes got skill and he’s a great guy to dive with. I find it hard to put trust in most instructors but I have nothing to worry about with him.

That sounds like a great trip. You’re lucky indeed to have the same person living down there that you can count on.

300winmag wrote:
All the reviews I’ve seen of this light in the past 6 months say its putting out 1300 to 1500 lumens… That Xtar D35 puts out 2300 lumens, unfortunately it runs on 18650s but If I find out I can take out the refector and use it for a video light I just might buy 2. Thanx for the heads up Deepdawg! I will continue moding this when I get home tonight.
300winmag wrote:
That X-Beam looks good but the exaggeration of lumens reminds me of this light lol. I have a feeling it will bring problems as well. But it does take 26650s!!!! Your right about both these lights needing to come down in price, thats a lot of money for cheap Chinese lights.

Yeah, I just list them because, for now, they are the only triple CREE hand-held dive lights with magnetic switching that I’m finding for reasonable pricing. Most reading this forum know the realities of output. But even in parallel, three CREE T6’s aren’t bad. And mark my words; whether it’s by the original manufacturers or not, the price on those designs will be dropping plus newer designs will start crowding the market to also help drive prices down.

And I agree on quality question for the X-BEAM since I think the same parent company (Shenzhen) makes Trustfire.

But even knowing how to fix our TuRDs I can’t in good conscience recommend that someone actually pay for a new one just to invest hours and more money into making it work. Life’s too short, our time is worth something.

It’s 2013, there is no excuse technologically or economically for producing such a crappy product. I’d like to see a detailed review on the X-BEAM U2×3 pulled apart to see how easy it will be to replace o-rings and such and also to get a reality reading on output. Every import dive light I’ve bought has benefited from resizing and/or improving the o-rings. Once that’s done, they’ve been great with our one obvious exception.

Dawg

300winmag
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Shaved head is done…

This is what I’m using for my “Bump Gun”…

Now before I go ahead and start cutting I need to know what size to start off with.
I am using the 26650 batteries that came with the light.
From the bottom of the tail cap to the top of the bump gun what size are they?
I’m guessing the total height of my bump gun should be 1/2?
Should I start at 3/4 and work my way down?
I am going to solder all the way the way around the brass… ah crap I can’t solder to aluminum.

Edit: With nothing in the tail cap and no material in the head coil my batteries don’t even move, not even when I bump it.
I cut the bolt and made it 5/16, I put it in the tail cap and I can screw it almost all the way down. It turns on and turns off by moving the tail cap the last 1/8 of an inch lol. I could make the bolt longer but that is putting more pressure on the head screw so how am I supposed to bump the light?

DanielMar2010
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Hey 300winmag. As for the height on mine I hardly have 1/4”. Not too sure if toilet flange bolt will stay put without retainer. You could do like Dawg and put in a SS Circlip to hold it. Mine I set with a punch and it rings tight. Makes a nice ping sound so I know its happy. Another nice thing about my coin trick is if I need to re-adjust I just unscrew the screw out of the brass coin or just grind it in place.

I own a Trustfire 12XT6 AKA Ultrafire 12T6, Trust Fire 15XT6, Cree XML-T6, Trustfire 15XT6, Trustfire TR-DF003 I like BIG lights and I cannot lie!

DeepDawg
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300winmag wrote:
Shaved head is done…

This is what I’m using for my “Bump Gun”…

Now before I go ahead and start cutting I need to know what size to start off with.
I am using the 26650 batteries that came with the light.
From the bottom of the tail cap to the top of the bump gun what size are they?
I’m guessing the total height of my bump gun should be 1/2?
Should I start at 3/4 and work my way down?
I am going to solder all the way the way around the brass… ah crap I can’t solder to aluminum.

Edit: With nothing in the tail cap and no material in the head coil my batteries don’t even move, not even when I bump it.
I cut the bolt and made it 5/16, I put it in the tail cap and I can screw it almost all the way down. It turns on and turns off by moving the tail cap the last 1/8 of an inch lol. I could make the bolt longer but that is putting more pressure on the head screw so how am I supposed to bump the light?

So far your handle and head shaves look good.

I suggest that you clean that contact ring on that inner tail cap where it meets the handle ring when the tail is screwed tight. It’s a critical ground contact point so I sanded mine and keep it clean.

Making the battery contact (I think you’re calling it a bump gun) is the trickiest part of this mod and will take some time because of the limited thread range that is within O-ring seal.

It’s SO important to hear your batteries begin to rattle with the tail unscrewed two-rotations from tight. If it’s beyond two rotations to rattle, then you risk losing o-ring seal when cutting power under water. What that really means is you will not be able to cut power in water. If power cuts too soon, then your spring won’t be tight enough when powered on and it will constantly change modes with the slightest bump. Pick good batteries because they will be matched to the battery contact insert you will make unless all your batteries are EXACTLY the same length.

That toilet bolt sure is long! I like the big flat head on it but you will only need, say, a 1/4-inch of total bolt length from the back of the head when combined with that brass back-plate I see next to it that you will solder it to. And even then you will be grinding it down as you fine-tune it.

And remember, something has to hold it very tight against the inner aluminum.

You might want to cut the bolt off before soldering it to that plate. It might be easier that way. I only had to pull about 1/16 off of the 1/4-inch brass screw I started with so my TOTAL battery contact height was about 1/4 –inch.

Either way, if you look at my third photo in post 223, you can see how far my batteries extend beyond the tail ring without compression. You can also see that it’s different for each of my lights!! So each light ended up with a different contact height. One battery contact is 0.26-inch and the other is 0.31-inch.

Since you know the end of the handle has to meet that bare metal inner tail cap ring. That will give you a starting point for total contact height. You just have to push on the batteries to see how far they’ll press into the handle and use that to figure how much room you have.

Or, you can practice by stacking more and more pennies in the tail cap until you finally can’t screw it down with batteries loaded. Then remove about three-pennies worth and the remaining stack of pennies should be pretty close to the contact height you want. PLEASE, PLEASE REMEMBER: TWO ROTATIONS OUT TO POWER OFF or two rotations to battery rattle.

If you have zero room as you suggest, it makes no sense since you’ve had batteries in there with a spring already. Even if you have odd-ball batteries, I don’t see how you ever loaded batteries when the spring was in if you can’t load them now. I edited it so it might help to re-read the tail cap mod section. Remember, total height of the battery contact will only be about 1/4 –inch with most 26650’s

DeepDawg
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Greetings fellow TuRD owners.

I’ve made another discovery and I’ve made a few more EDITS to my mod post (number 223) and sorry but they include a disclaimer that I should have put up originally and that most will laugh at but will understand nonetheless. As before I will leave the edits bold for a while.

I finally solved yet another P.I.T.A. mystery of our TR-DF003’s. I just discovered that the logic chip can make bump mode-changes tricky sometimes particularly when going from mode 5 (SOS) to mode 1 (HIGH).

Bumps work great going from mode 1 to 2 to 3 to 4. But I was noticing that when I got to mode 5, about half the time I would bump it and it would just stay in SOS mode, which has a strobe sequence with some very long OFF PHASES and makes you think your light is toast or something.

Well good news! If you are also noticing this, it is not a malfunction of the light nor a result of poor mod work.

What was happening is that half the time I was bumping it BETWEEN DOTS and DASHES of the “SOS” sequence (during OFF phases) and half the time I was bumping it DURING DOTS AND DASHES (during ON phases).

You can bump the heck out of it during an off phase of a slow strobe like SOS and it won’t change modes because to change modes, the logic chip needs the power cut for a duration that runs at least partly into an ON-PHASE. The original design assumed you would unscrew the tail and then re-screw it to change modes. That was a long power cut.

The power cut from a bump is quite short, so for the rapid strobe, a bump is usually a long enough power cut. But for the slow SOS mode, there are many long pauses between the letters and at the end of the SOS sequence. You can either try timing your bumps to catch it ON, or just keep bumping until you catch it on by accident. Obviously, it will be easiest to catch it during one of the 3 dashes of the “O”.

So again, if you’re also seeing this, it’s “normal” not a malfunction.

300winmag
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I cut the bolt down just after posting the pics yesterday and im not worried about holding it in place just yet. I want to get that contact the right size first. I will get rid of the anodizing on the tail and cap today too. Should be done today!!

Oh I went on fleabay and did a “make me an offer” on the Xrar D35. I offered him 425 for 2 big sets and he came back with 650 lol
650 for 2 cheap Chinese lights lol. Ah well dont hurt to ask.

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300winmag wrote:
I cut the bolt down just after posting the pics yesterday and im not worried about holding it in place just yet. I want to get that contact the right size first. I will get rid of the anodizing on the tail and cap today too. Should be done today!!

Oh I went on fleabay and did a “make me an offer” on the Xrar D35. I offered him 425 for 2 big sets and he came back with 650 lol
650 for 2 cheap Chinese lights lol. Ah well dont hurt to ask.

Nice job on the bolt and nice try on the offer. Don’t give in.

I agree with you, that is WAY too much money for an internet purchase from a vendor overseas. These vendors need to realize they will never move much volume at those prices given the HUGE risk buyers are taking buying from some anonymous vendor in China. Case in point with our Trustfire TuRD’s.

Trustfire owes you AT LEAST one free light and they probably owe me that plus a royalty gratis for my fixes – LOL.

It looks like you’ve done a good job of getting at least one of your TR-DF003’s back on the road with my mods.

Is your other one really completely shot?

Can you team the rescued one with something reliable like this?

I’ve got one with a lens o-ring system I modded that I would now swear-by to 200 FSW, I LOVE the magnetic switching and amazingly, the HIGH mode feels like an honest 1000lm (not the 1600 claimed). It’s yours with batteries and a charger as modded for $55 if you want it. If you promised not to mess with the lens bezel, I’d even put a 30-day warranty on it and you’d probably have it in four business days. I’ve been seriously impressed with its performance and run-time. For a single 18650 T6, it just keeps running and running and it’s T6 has got a beam from heaven and it is SOOO compact and has plenty of low modes if you want to conserve battery until you’re ready to shoot.

The UK Light Cannon HID still retails at $300 each and during the holidays, I saw the Light Cannon eLED drop to $150 during a whopping sale event. At 800+ lumens, the eLED is nearly twice as bright as the HID and about half as bright as our TR-DF003 (when in HIGH and working.) I just think you can get so much more lumen these days with much smaller lights and I’ve never been a big fan of the eLED’s heat sink poking through the lens like that.

The D35 probably has the same output as the TuRD and the X-BEAM might be slightly brighter from what I’ve read about the U2’s. I prefer the X-BEAM only by design since it uses 26650’s and U2 emitters. But neither is an Underwater Kinetics product with the UK lifetime warranty, neither is made in the USA and neither is sold from a US vendor so I will need to see MUCH lower pricing on those before I’m willing to risk ending up with another TuRD.

UK is great, I’ve owned six of their models over the years and only once did I have a Light Cannon flood. I sent it too them with a letter and they sent it back with all new internals. What’s remarkable about every UK light I’ve owned, is that the batteries are loaded through the head using a SINGLE O-ring seal and when used properly, they very rarely flood. I’ve owned 2 Q40’s, 2 C8’s and 2 Cannon HID’s. People love them and for that reason I’ve been able sell every one of them except my last remaining HID Cannon (which I still Love).

I even considered mounting this triple CREE head from the TuRD into a customized UK C8 Sunlight chassis but I was too concerned about mounting that much heat potential into a plastic light housing because I would have powered it with the UK 12V rechargeable pack; too dangerous for my taste.

Another SAFE option is the TUSA TUL-1000 but at nearly $600, I must admit I’d rather have 2 D35’s or three X-BEAMS. Why? Because if you leave the TUSA TUL-1000 on high, your run-time is pretty short. They claim 60-minutes but it’s not holding full output for that much time. But if you leave it on a low mode until you’re ready to record, then that high setting is FANTASTIC even though it’s only 1000 lumen. But, like UK, I also love the TUSA warranty and support. I just don’t want to spend almost $600 on a 1,000 lumen light.

300winmag
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I have done everything and cant get the light to switch modes while bumping it. 2 rotations back and I get a rattle from the batteries so thats good. I tried putting 2 small pieces of vinyl in the head spring and using less or more. After bumping it the battery contact comes loose from the piece of plastic holding it down… grrrrr lol

Thinking about gluing the battery contact down by gluing the sides….

DeepDawg
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300winmag wrote:
I have done everything and cant get the light to switch modes while bumping it. 2 rotations back and I get a rattle from the batteries so thats good. I tried putting 2 small pieces of vinyl in the head spring and using less or more. After bumping it the battery contact comes loose from the piece of plastic holding it down… grrrrr lol

Sounds like my trial and error stage-LOL

Sorry for your frustration. I also spent quite a lot of time trimming the contact length to power off at precisely two rotations out.

Daniel’s is working because he worked with his contact height and then punched his contact into place to ensure a very tight press against the aluminum in the tail cap for excellent conductivity.

Winmag, I cannot adequately emphasize how important it is to get the exact height right on your contact. And also how important all of this ground contact conduction stuff is. With the currents used in these lights and the fact that you’re asking aluminum to pass current through pressed contact joints, you must keep every move you make very conductive.

I know it’s a long write-up and so it’s asking a lot, but if you really do everything as I lay it out, you will turn this P.O.S. into a good working light. I believe those toilet bolts are just coated steel.

Remember, I used only solid brass and copper components for my battery contact and even those are soldered together as one. And on top of that, I used the copper conductive grease where it meets the aluminum tail cap. You won’t need to do that if you can create a tight enough pressure when fixing your contact to the tail.

Keep on it and you’ll get it right.

300winmag
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No the bolts are brass all the way through.

I can get it to where when I bump it the light goes out for a split second but won’t switch modes.

Why the material in the head spring though?

I got my other light to work by replacing the driver so thats all good there just need to do these mods to it.

I though about putting this head into my UK D8 light but just as you though the plastic is worrisome.

I am going to send that retailer a reply to his $650 quote and explain to him our views lol.

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300winmag wrote:
No the bolts are brass all the way through.

Glad to hear it, that will help. You still have to solder any pieces as one and get good contact with the tail.

300winmag wrote:
I can get it to where when I bump it the light goes out for a split second but won’t switch modes.

It’s either the recent discovery I just posted or your driver may have issues.

300winmag wrote:
Why the material in the head spring though?

With my battery contact sized for two rotations out to cut power, my head spring was too soft and I still got too many accidental bumps. Anything to stiffen the head-spring and/or reduce its compression range will reduce accidental mode changes. It worked well for me.

300winmag wrote:
I got my other light to work by replacing the driver so thats all good there just need to do these mods to it.

Glad to hear. That’s how I did it. I perfected the first light and then it was smooth sailing to mod the brand new one as well. I must admit that having two of these working well is a formidable underwater light force.

300winmag wrote:
I though about putting this head into my UK D8 light but just as you though the plastic is worrisome.

True dat!

300winmag wrote:
I am going to send that retailer a reply to his $650 quote and explain to him our views lol.

I wouldn’t bother. Once you get the second TuRD back on the road, you’ll be fine. Meanwhile, let the natural market forces drop prices. I promise they’ll fall.

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I just got a great question from another member via PM.

Hello DeepDawg,

I am also a fellow diver, from________, and in need of a really bright torch to fit in my BCD, preferably something that runs on 18650 batteries.
As it seems you are both experienced with torches and diving, I thought I’d ask for your recommendations.
I saw your modded TF003, and it looks like a beast! Unfortunately I don’t have the time or experience to mod a torch, I’d just like to buy one, throw my 18650’s in it and away I go. Would be happy to spend anywhere up to $100 on a really good torch.

Thanks for your time!

————————————————————————————————

My response:

Hello ________.

I put a link in post 265 to one of these and mine is now fine.

But you want something ready to go. The problem is I only know of economical CREE T6 lights coming from China and I have had to “FIX” every one of them with better o-rings, sorry.

The safest bet for under $100 that you may not have to mod is one of these.

They’re not pretty but bright as heck! They’re also super cheap without batteries.

It would be best to replace the o-rings but you probably won’t need to immediately. I have 2 and LOVE them. They have no magnetic switching but they shut off just like my modded TR-DF003.

I hope that helps. Best of luck.

Edit: As for fitting in a BC pocket, the first link would be better but having two vs. one 18650 does give the second one a longer run-time.

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