TR-J18 upgrade options?

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Tom E
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 Just tested the J18 out on 2 ICR KK's, reads 5.2A, does 3630-3570 lumens throw of 35 kcd, very steady during the first 30 secs. Nice light at this size, easier on the components and switch too!!

Jonney_boy
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When/if the switch does decide to melt/cook/die… where would we be able to find replacement switches? Are they fairly standard?

And I to am not ready to spend mega $$ on a new switch, if they last few months to a year at a time i’m good Smile

As for the driver, I ordered the KD custom programed version….. still waiting it to arrive, will report back when I get it installed.

Tom E
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 I thought they were standard switches, you can get at FastTech, I-O, FancyFlashlights, etc., but will confirm. The ones I've been buying are stamped at 2.5A for 240v 1.5A 250v - I've replaced a lot of them, mainly because of quality issues, squeeks, etc. I never melted one, so I'm not sure where/how it breaks down. I saw in one of O-L's mods, he took a switch apart in all it's pieces, then fabricated replacements parts all in copper, I think from copper sheet material - that switch must be awesome -- beware of oxidation though!! (O-L's new thread on that topic).

Update: Just confirmed it's a 1.5A 250v rated switch, Omten brand name - I got 2 spares already of the exact brand name. Good thing is it's an actual brand name, and should be better quality then what you get in a typical C8 for example (not the XinTD - it's a quality switch already). Buy them here for 50 - 60 cents each:

http://www.intl-outdoor.com/omten-reverse-clicky-switch-pbs101-5-pcs-p-566.html or

http://www.fasttech.com/products/1610/10001865/1135000-15a-250v-pushbutton-onoff-switches-2-pack

 Maybe they can be taken apart and beefed up?

2nd Update: Crap! Maybe I replaced it already? can't be sure now...

gords1001
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I’ve got a pack of the omtens, I did my zy-t08 switch making sure it was not the source of low run current. I’ve just found out a host that’s inbound has a 3a switch, I’ll see if that has any id on, may be a bit more robust….

Tom E
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Final #'s on the J18 on fresh off-the-charger TF 5000's, 5.87A measured at tailcap:

   5,235 @start  -  4,998 @30 secs  -->  Darn, just short of 5,000!! Impressive @start though... Wink

There are some driver issues though - slow mode changing, buzzing in low, maybe slightly in mid - gonna check the ground/mount now... Gotta get a wall beam shot -- freak'n thing is blinding on the snow!!

 

Hill
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Try replacing with a 10A Judco switch.

O-L has done this in his Mag mod's so he would be the guy to ask about connecting it to the tailcap.

My lights here and here

 

toddgreen44
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I have read forum post after forum post to the point of almost being nauseated. I have the Trustfire TR-J18 that ive had for about a week now. I am currently running the flash light with four 1.2 volt AA’s @ 2700 mAh’s.

From my limited understanding that would be 1.2 volts x 4 = 4.8 total volts @ 2.7 milliamps per hour? Correct?

I do have 26650 × 3 batteries that are rated at 3.7 volts and 4000 mAH coming in the mail by Tenergy with a battery charger that can and does charge batteries independantly from each other.

My biggest question is that since I am going to be increasing the voltage to 11.1 (which is over twice what I am currently running), am I going to see the luman and lux increase?

I laugh almost evertime I see the “Caution: Hot Surface” sticker on the bell of the light because it never puts off any heat needless to say but there is no way someone could possibly hurt themselves.

Thanks in advance.

Tom E
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 That J18 must be sayin: Feed Me!  Feed Me!

It's amazing it even works!

toddgreen44
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@Tom E.

Thank you for your reply.

I have to correct my previous post. The batteries are AA and NOT AAA.

So do you think I will see an increase in lumens and lux?

Tom E
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 You are greatly under driving it, even with AA's, so the light is probably ok. Others may know more exactly what's going on with driving it at that voltage, but my best guess it will be ok, and yes, you should see a lot more lumens and lux. Think mine did over 3,000 stock with 3 TrustFire 26650 5000's - definitely brighter than a good, stock SRK.

Jonney_boy
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Hum… slight problem…..

I got my KD driver, Got it installed and. .. um… nothing….. it won’t work…

If anybody has any ideas what it could be.. please let me know… here’s what I did..

Removed the old driver (just cut the 2 wires). soldered the new kd driver in.. red to red.. black to black.

Removed the center spring from the old driver… soldered to the centre of the new driver (added braid).
Added braid to the tail cap spring….. put everything back together… “nothing”.

Looking at the driver.. I am assuming that the outside “ring” of contact is the negative and the inside center is positive. The large outer spring seems to be not making contact… so… soldered the large outside spring to the top contacts… no luck still…

Looked again.. “maybe” the negative is the contact on the BOTTOM of the driver…. found a contact that bridged down.. added a bit of braid to connect to the bottom contact (outer ring of the driver).. still no luck.

What I did notice tho is that with the tail cap off and batteries in.. if I try and “jump” the battery to the battery tube, I do get a “tiny” spark.. which is telling me that something is trying to work.

Few things I guess I wanted to see if anybody could clear up.

a) is the negative contact the on the top or the bottom of the driver (or is it both).
b) do you think it is a driver problem?? or do you think it’s a problem with the batteries (trust fire flames 3000mah… they did work before fine before the light went dim all of the sudden… prompting me to swap drivers).

Richie086
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Jonney_boy wrote:
Hum... slight problem..... I got my KD driver, Got it installed and. .. um... nothing..... it won't work... If anybody has any ideas what it could be.. please let me know... here's what I did.. Removed the old driver (just cut the 2 wires). soldered the new kd driver in.. red to red.. black to black. Removed the center spring from the old driver... soldered to the centre of the new driver (added braid). Added braid to the tail cap spring..... put everything back together... "nothing". Looking at the driver.. I am assuming that the outside "ring" of contact is the negative and the inside center is positive. The large outer spring seems to be not making contact... so... soldered the large outside spring to the top contacts... no luck still... Looked again.. "maybe" the negative is the contact on the BOTTOM of the driver!??!.... found a contact that bridged down.. added a bit of braid to connect to the bottom contact (outer ring of the driver).. still no luck. What I did notice tho is that with the tail cap off and batteries in.. if I try and "jump" the battery to the battery tube, I do get a "tiny" spark.. which is telling me that something is trying to work. Few things I guess I wanted to see if anybody could clear up. a) is the negative contact the on the top or the bottom of the driver (or is it both). b) do you think it is a driver problem?? or do you think it's a problem with the batteries (trust fire flames 3000mah... they did work before fine before the light went dim all of the sudden... prompting me to swap drivers).

 

Johnny, did you ever get the issues ironed out on this light?  If it still doesn't work, try posting some photos of the work you did.  Also, the KD drivers have a slight delay when using the tailcap or taking current measurements with the tailcap removed.  Also, what batteries are you using.  If it's assembled correctly, it could also be the cells are not powerful enough to drive the light.

 

Richie

Tom E
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Wish I saw this yesterday. The TF 3000's are notorious for switching off under high amps demands - I got a few. They are fine under lower loads. I had older good 3000's, and seen the newer ones switch off, so maybe that's what you are seeing?

Jonney_boy
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As of right now, I didn’t manage to get the light working yet. When I get home tonight I will post some pictures of what I have done so far.

As for the batteries… I do have a sneeky feeling that could be the problem. Sometimes the light will flash (very very very dimly) before it shuts off…I mean just a quick flash and I have to have the room lights off to see it…. prompting me to think that it’s a battery issue.

I guess my next question is….. if shopping for batteries on a budget.. what would you guys recomend. I perfer to have something protected for a piece of mind and in 18650’s. I am willing to step up to 26650’s if necessary but it would mean I need to get a charger too Sad

Richie086
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Jonney_boy wrote:
As of right now, I didn't manage to get the light working yet. When I get home tonight I will post some pictures of what I have done so far. As for the batteries... I do have a sneeky feeling that could be the problem. Sometimes the light will flash (very very very dimly) before it shuts off...I mean just a quick flash and I have to have the room lights off to see it.... prompting me to think that it's a battery issue. I guess my next question is..... if shopping for batteries on a budget.. what would you guys recomend. I perfer to have something protected for a piece of mind and in 18650's. I am willing to step up to 26650's if necessary but it would mean I need to get a charger too :(

 

Hi Johnny,

I have to go out for a few hours.  Let's all get back to this tonight and see if we can all help get your light shining bright. 

As Tom mentioned, you should stop using those batteries, they'll never work in that light.  I know we are all on a budget, but care must be taking when purchasing batteries for these high power lights.  Perhaps the flashlight could be considered budget.  However, budget batteries will only cost you more money in the long run, or something much worse.

Richie

Tom E
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I'm using the TF 5000 26650's in mine (from FastTech), still relatively cheap but more power - this light w/updated driver needs Power. It's saying Feed Me! Richie makes a good point - this is a high powered light, you need batteries to match that. With multi cells in series like this light, they should be protected and with good power. I wouldn't suggest using 18650's in it, but if you have to, something like KeepPowers would do well. Wait until Richie checks back though, maybe more views as well.

relic38
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Tom E wrote:
I’m using the TF 5000 26650’s in mine (from FastTech), still relatively cheap but more power

Same here, I use the Fasttech TF Flame 26650 in high powered lights too. I will note that they are not 5000mAh, actual capacity is 4000mAh.
As for the charger, you have some options out there.
Good 18650 cells could do just fine too, and will keep things a bit lighter. Since the 26650s mentioned are about $16/pair, they may be the best value for this beast of a light. You would need two pairs, so $32, plus a charger. The ML-102 from Fasttech works (just barely) and at $7 it keeps you just under $40 for the power source.
A nice 26650 charger is available from I-O and the price is real nice too.

I have the ML-102 but not the I-O one so I cannot speak to the quality of it.

Welcome the night.

My Reviews   My Mods    http://budgetlightforum.com/search?

Jonney_boy
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Haha, ok.. I guess the first step would be to retire those 18650 flames…. and get something more decent without completely killing the bank…….

I guess my current plan would be to get a set of 26650 TF flames combined with a Xstar SP2 charger. I have a habit of charging batteries overnight and unplugging in the morning…. thus.. I MUST have protected cells + a charger that will shut off. I’m currently using a xstar WP2 II charger and am happy with it.

With the ugpraded drivers, will the 26650 TF flames have trouble with shutting off during high draw applications?

Tom E
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 My J18 is doing just about 5,000 lumens measured on 3 TF 26650's. On 2 TF 26650's, the driver takes less power. So, I don't see a problem with them in either configuration. I don't recall what the amps tailcap measurement was though.

Jonney_boy
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OK back home now and managed to snap a few pictures… let’s see if this will help.

First picture is of the head, fully put together
http://i1137.photobucket.com/albums/n512/Jonathan_Lam/flashlight/DSC_733...

This is the KD driver, sitting in the flashlight.
http://i1137.photobucket.com/albums/n512/Jonathan_Lam/flashlight/DSC_733...

This is the springs attached to the driver.
I soldered the center spring to the centre gold pad. I soldered the big outside spring to two of the 4 outside contact pads.
http://i1137.photobucket.com/albums/n512/Jonathan_Lam/flashlight/DSC_733...

When it did not work, I was not sure if the contact was on the BOTTOM of the driver so.. looked at the bottom of the driver. Found a link that went to the stop, and soldered a little bit of copper braid down to that point.
http://i1137.photobucket.com/albums/n512/Jonathan_Lam/flashlight/DSC_733...

Another shot of that “connection” I made to the bottom ring of the driver
http://i1137.photobucket.com/albums/n512/Jonathan_Lam/flashlight/DSC_734...

Final shot of the driver connected to the flashlight.
http://i1137.photobucket.com/albums/n512/Jonathan_Lam/flashlight/DSC_734...

One final question. I looked on fastech and they have
TrustFire 26650 3.7V “5000mAh” Rechargeable Li-ion Batteries (2-Pack)
but when ordering, it gives me a drop down option for the
TrustFire 26650 3.7V 4000mAh Protected Rechargeable Li-ion Batteries (2-Pack)

The one I want is the first 5000mAh correct? and these cells should be protected?
http://www.fasttech.com/products/1420/10000901/1076400

Tom E
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Get the ones with the red/gold trim, labeled at 5000, but actual capacity they state is 4000 mah. The 4000 labeld ones I've never seen/heard of before. Both are protected.

Richie086
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Jonney_boy wrote:
OK back home now and managed to snap a few pictures… let’s see if this will help.

Jonney,

The photos look good. The only thing to be careful about is the amount of copper wire on the +B spring. I’ve found if that spring becomes to tight or firm, it can put dents in the top of the battery. If you see this happening, I’d desolder that spring and simply replace it with a new one. It can also cause the batteries to not fit correctly too when trying to screw the tail cap down. So please be aware of these things.

Richie

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Thanks Richie086, On the B+ spring I only soldered the copper onto the driver. the braid is just wrapped on the end of the spring (where the cap sits). I did it this way so the spring still “works” and is not rock hard Smile

I guess the next thing to try is the batteries. I ordered a new set of 26650 TF flames off fastech and a new sp2 charger off ailexpress…. should be here in a few week. Hopefully that will fix everything… Fingers Crossed Smile

I will keep everybody posted.. and THANK YOU everybody that helped.

Jonney_boy
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Another update:

I got the trustfire flames 26650 today…. they where showing about 3.7 – 3.8v when I got them (sorry, I have a really old analogue meter which is not very accurate). Popped them into the flash light and .. um.. NOTHINGDOH..

As I don’t have my sp2 charger yet, I stuck the 26650’s into my WP2 II charger (one at a time) set at 1A charge…. with 2 full batteries…. NOTHING….

the 3rd battery is now charging… I will try again tomorrow when the last battery is full and see if there is any improvements… sigh.

Jonney_boy
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Nope, the light does not work.. with any batteries…. quick summary of what has happened.

I had some 18650 flames (3000 mah)… it worked… for about a week…. then the light got really dim. I mean…. maybe 400lm OTF on high… my el-cheapo single T6 light could easily outshine it….

This prompted me to think, the driver burned out (a few cases of this on BLF)…. so I ordered the customer programmed IO driver.

got that installed (as per pictures above).. and the light would not turn on….. if I have all the lights off in the room.. and I bypassed the switch.. I might get a very very very faint flash.

Figured it was the protection circuit in the TF flames (18650) not giving the light enough current… so .. ordered some 26650 flames..

which brings me to today….. got 2 cells charged as of now and it won’t turn on at all.. not even a flash. I tried by-passing the tail cap and still no luck at all….. I will have the 3rd cell charged by tomorrow morning (using a xstar wp2 charger which is not really setup to charge 26650’s… this is taking forever.. LOL).

so… as i stand… I have a $150 beating stick.. for “just in case” I get attacked..

Richie086
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Maybe order one of the KD drivers for it and toss the stock driver out. TomE has had great results modifying his.

Richie

mi bill
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I Think TomE ordered the driver from I-O and Jonney_boy got his driver from KD. is that rhight?? I ordered one from I-O but it has not arrived yet. Mine was just about as bright as my SKR but now does not turn on at all.

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I opened up my J18, noticed that there is a spring soldered onto the driver. I see IO’s driver, there is no spring there..So should i buy new spring & solder onto the new driver or i re-use the spring on the original driver? No harm using the original spring right?

Also, what is the size (diameter) of o-ring to buy, to fit the rear tail cap there? there are 2 gaps there; and what is the size of the “press to on light that rubber”? (Dunno what it is called.)

**Erm, by any chance, anyone know TF-100; is the LEDs also in series? Cos thinking to get driver for both lights.

Thanks.

Jonney_boy
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The driver I have is from IO….

I got everything charged up now and…. nothing Sad won’t turn on at all.

As for the spring, I just re-used the original spring and added some copper braid. I tried to order some AA springs and C cell springs and both didn’t come in the size that would have worked..

The next then I am wondering is if the factory (or IO ) got the wire colours backwards. I mean.. I connected red to red and black to black………. maybe I should try connecting it the other way around???? What happens if you drive led’s backwards?

Tom E
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Yikes! Let me check my J18 tonight - I know I definitely went red-red, black-black but thought there was "+" and "-" labeled somewhere. I assume you tried jumpering around the tailcap to eliminate any possible problem there.

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