P60 XML - which one to buy?

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Haggai
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P60 XML - which one to buy?

What P60 XML offering is the recommended one?

I want something with at least two modes that can drive the LED to a good use but without heating too much.

I'll use it in an UltraFire WF-502B host. (will I need to use aluminum foil for better heat management?)

Reflection
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i think the 3 mode(hi-med-low) with smooth reflector from manafont is currently the best and brightest.

although there seems to be somewhat of a 'donut hole' in the hotspot.

Match
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Reflection wrote:

i think the 3 mode(hi-med-low) with smooth reflector from manafont is currently the best and brightest.

although there seems to be somewhat of a 'donut hole' in the hotspot.

This.  Although I never notice the donut hole in actual use.

Piers
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If you wan an XM-L drop-in that can be left on it's highest setting with out getting too hot, then you would have to opt for one being driven at a lot less than 3A.

There are some at DX that are rated at around 450lm - http://www.dealextreme.com/p/cree-xml-t6-5-mode-6700k-450-lumen-smooth-a...

 

It really depends on the light/heat ratio you're happy with.

Don
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I like both the KD and Manafont ones.

 

Heat is going to be an issue with both. The Manafont one is brighter, but will likely run hotter. Battery life will certainly be shorter.

 

If you are going to run down a cell on high with either, you'd better pay a lot of attention to getting rid of heat.

 

The numbers from my light tests are always to be found here.

https://spreadsheets.google.com/ccc?key=0ApkFM37n_QnRdDU5MDNzOURjYllmZHI...

old4570
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I think you will find medium puts out a lot of light ...

Most of mine are 300 to 400 @ medium .. About where a Xp-G R5 would be on high ..

And low is anywhere from 30 to 100 on the 5 P60 XM-Ls I currently have [ have the parts to build another drop in shortly ] 

 Always remember , the easiest thing in the world to do , is to expel hot air from your lungs and through some vocal chords ..
The resulting sound may , or may not be worth listening too ….

 

Hobbyfotograaf
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Pook wrote:

If you wan an XM-L drop-in that can be left on it's highest setting with out getting too hot, then you would have to opt for one being driven at a lot less than 3A.

There are some at DX that are rated at around 450lm - http://www.dealextreme.com/p/cree-xml-t6-5-mode-6700k-450-lumen-smooth-aluminum-drop-in-module-with-textured-reflector-55026

I have ordered one of these, but DX is not very fast...

Don
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Hobbyfotograaf wrote:

Pook wrote:

If you wan an XM-L drop-in that can be left on it's highest setting with out getting too hot, then you would have to opt for one being driven at a lot less than 3A.

There are some at DX that are rated at around 450lm - http://www.dealextreme.com/p/cree-xml-t6-5-mode-6700k-450-lumen-smooth-aluminum-drop-in-module-with-textured-reflector-55026

I have ordered one of these, but DX is not very fast...

 

It can be. It just isn't.

I have had things from DX in less than 10 days.

Once.

Out of hundreds of orders.

 

The numbers from my light tests are always to be found here.

https://spreadsheets.google.com/ccc?key=0ApkFM37n_QnRdDU5MDNzOURjYllmZHI...

Hobbyfotograaf
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Don wrote:

but DX is not very fast...

 

It can be. It just isn't.

I have had things from DX in less than 10 days.

Once.

Out of hundreds of orders.

[/quote]

I had to wait almost 6 months for my bike light, it has been here at my door, but i was not at home at that moment. Then the Belgian Post has made a misstake, and they sent it back to DX. After that it was a serious problem to get it back here, because DX first kept replying that they did not recieved it back from Belgium. I am not really happy about there costumer-service...

Once i have also recieved an order in less than 14 days, on avarage it takes about 1-2 months to get an order to Belgium.

Haggai
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How do I take care of heat?

If I wrap aluminum foil around the dropin, in such a way that it better touches the flashlight head - will this be enough?

I have a non-contact thermometer - can I use it to monitor the temperature (at least during the testing phase, not actual use), or when I see that it is too high it will be too late for the LED?

Also - if I see that I can't manage the heat well, is it possible to mod the dropin (suppose I get the Manafont) to lower the amperage the LED gets?

Don
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The only really practical thing is to make the dropin a tight fit with aluminium. It would be possible to put a resistor in the tailcap to limit current, but it'd need to be fairly large to handle the power. I've not yet managed to cook the LED or driver in any dropin, but then I'd rarely have a light on full power for a very long time.

It would be interesting to see how hot the dropin got out of a light body - I'd love to have a thermal imaging camera but those things are not even slightly cheap.

I'd just get plenty of aluminium (or copper foil if you can find it for a sensible price) wrapped round the dropin until it is a tight fit in the light.

 

The numbers from my light tests are always to be found here.

https://spreadsheets.google.com/ccc?key=0ApkFM37n_QnRdDU5MDNzOURjYllmZHI...

Rolz
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I've read that some people have used copper tape around the drop in instead of the aluminium. Is there anywhere that inexpensive tape can be bought that works ok? I know that copper tape with adhesive can be bought of ebay quite cheaply but I'm not sure if the adhesive acts more like an insulator.
Haggai
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I've read a little about the Manafont dropin - the main problem with it seems to be low PWM frequency? (~120Hz)

Also - how should I wrap it with aluminum foil? Any guide available or should I just try to make the most contact between the dropin and the host head? How will I know I made good job? Will I be able to run on "high" longer? How long?

So many questions... Smile

Don
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It depends on whether PWM flicker bothers you or not - it doesn't worry me in the slightest. Others here are very bothered by it. It is best to try for yourself and see if it bothers you. If normal fluorescent lighting bothers you, then PWM flicker will probably annoy you intensely.

 

Foil wrapping. By the way, the dropin used is the Manafont one.

Take a piece of foil - the thicker the better - what we are trying to do here is fill the air gap between the body of the dropin and the body of the light with metal as it will conduct away heat rather better than an air gap. The heavy foil containers that takeaway meals are served in here are ideal. I didn't have any really heavy foil so used what i had.

foil

Fold it over and over till you have a straight strip about 30cm long and 12-15mm wide. This is more than we will need but it isn't as if kitchen foil is expensive.

strip

The brass part of the dropin is where the heat is generated - the LED and driver both live in there, so we particularly want to fill the gap between the brass bit and the throat of the ligh.

Drap oan

So we wind the strip of foil round it, starting at the base. Don't let any of it overlap the bottom of the brass bit - it might short out the cell when you switch it on. Your reward for that will be no light and a damaged battery unless the protection circuit cuts in.

Wrapped

The idea is that it should be a tight enough fit in the body that the dropin will stay in place against the pressure of the spring trying to force it out. There is too much material in this picture - it won't even go in to the throat of the light.

Won't go any farther

So I chop off some of the excess.

Nothing succeeds like excess

It should still require some force to shove the dropin into the body. Once it is there it shouldn't spring back out. At this point take off the tailcap and look down the battery tube to make sure no foil has got anywhere near the + contact. If it has, the dropin has to come out to have this sorted out.

Done!

Screw it all back together and enjoy!

 

If you are using thin material like this, every time you remove the dropin you will have to re-wrap it. This takes a lot less time than it took to write this.

 

The numbers from my light tests are always to be found here.

https://spreadsheets.google.com/ccc?key=0ApkFM37n_QnRdDU5MDNzOURjYllmZHI...

old4570
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Nice pictorial :

I would wrap it tighter though ..

When finishing , make it neat , and I make sure the top layer is overhanging the reflector - towards the pill - just a little so when pushing it in it does not flow forward , and then be in need of trimming . A nice tight and neat wrap . Sometimes I even glue the al-foil so it becomes a tight and near permanent feature of the pill ... 

 Always remember , the easiest thing in the world to do , is to expel hot air from your lungs and through some vocal chords ..
The resulting sound may , or may not be worth listening too ….

 

Don
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So would I normally - but not enough hands and the assistant wouldn't lend a paw. I just relied on force - use too much and cut it back till enough force shoves it all into place. Using this technique it is vital to check there is no overlap at the bottom.

I must go out and buy some heavy foil containers for the purpose, after all, what we are trying to do is fill it with metal.

 

Do you find any difference in throat diameters in different lights?

 

The numbers from my light tests are always to be found here.

https://spreadsheets.google.com/ccc?key=0ApkFM37n_QnRdDU5MDNzOURjYllmZHI...

Haggai
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Wow Don - a million thanks!

You've just made me a lot more comfortable with purchasing the dropin. Smile

Just one more question - how long do you think I could run the Manafont XML on high with the aluminium foil wrapping before it gets too hot? If it gets too hot to the touch it may be too late for the LED and driver or is there a "grace period" before they become damaged?

fishinfool
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A big thanks from me too Don.  I've always wondered but never wanted to ask so thanks for asking Haggai. Smile

Don wrote:

"But as I said long ago, you are more likely to be killed by a dead fish dropped by a seagull in the Sahara Desert than by a lithium ion

Rolz
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Don thanks for the guide with photos on how to correctly foil wrap a drop in. Greatly appreciated.

fran82
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Haggai wrote:

 how long do you think I could run the Manafont XML on high with the aluminium foil wrapping before it gets too hot? If it gets too hot to the touch it may be too late for the LED and driver or is there a "grace period" before they become damaged?

 

I am interested into knowing that too. Will resist 1 hour torture test on HIGH while it draws more than 2,8Amps?

This post/thread "may" contain referrals, a little contribution I "earn" in form of points ONLY if you buy the item. The purpose is to redeem items using the points and then making reviews of them in the forums to shar

Budgeteer
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Don wrote:

Do you find any difference in throat diameters in different lights?

I do, no single host i have has the excact inner diameter. There is a slight variance withing same type/version hosts as well.

kragmutt wrote:

They're gonna send you a green redcat with a black LED.

JAS
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Thanks Don for the excellent pictorial guide. Alternatively I was wondering how effective will it be if we wrap it with thin copper wire. Did anyone tried this?

 

Haggai
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That was fast... ordered yesterday evening from Manafont, and now I got a shipment notice with registeration number. 

skulless
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Thanks Don! Can we make that post a sticky?

I got my drop in on Monday, haven't had time to do anything yet. Well, my cells, dmm are not even here yet.

Don
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Haggai wrote:

Just one more question - how long do you think I could run the Manafont XML on high with the aluminium foil wrapping before it gets too hot? If it gets too hot to the touch it may be too late for the LED and driver or is there a "grace period" before they become damaged?

About the length of time the battery charge lasted - 40 minutes. Less if I wasn't using my hand as a heatsink. If the snow stays away I'll find out next week as I hope to be off into the wilds with the assistant to annoy the local wildlife and do some longer-range beamshots. About 1km from here

Last time I went there was great weather every day, but as soon as it got dark, it rained every time.

 

The numbers from my light tests are always to be found here.

https://spreadsheets.google.com/ccc?key=0ApkFM37n_QnRdDU5MDNzOURjYllmZHI...

Don
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JAS wrote:

Thanks Don for the excellent pictorial guide. Alternatively I was wondering how effective will it be if we wrap it with thin copper wire. Did anyone tried this?

I honestly don't know if that would be better or worse. You would have to be careful that the wire didn't go to places it shouldn't but a blob of solder would hold it in place. It might take a long time to wind it neatly and tightly - you would probably want to use very fine wire so you could stuff as much of it into the gap as possible. If you do try this, I would love to hear how it worked.

Make sure it is tinned or plain copper wire, not the enamelled stuff used for winding transformers and inductors - the enamel would be a very poor conductor of heat.

What we are trying to do is to replace any air gap with metal so a tightly wound dropin ought to conduct heat away from the dropin very well. Once it is wound, dipping it in solder (After masking off everything you didn't want soldered) to keep the wire in place and fill as many remaining air gaps as possible ought to give excellent results.

 

The numbers from my light tests are always to be found here.

https://spreadsheets.google.com/ccc?key=0ApkFM37n_QnRdDU5MDNzOURjYllmZHI...

Haggai
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Don wrote:
About the length of time the battery charge lasted - 40 minutes. Less if I wasn't using my hand as a heatsink.

What does that mean? The driver would shut off the LED if it got too hot?

Don wrote:
If the snow stays away I'll find out next week as I hope to be off into the wilds with the assistant to annoy the local wildlife and do some longer-range beamshots. About 1km from here

Last time I went there was great weather every day, but as soon as it got dark, it rained every time.

Oh, you just made me want to go back to Scotland... Been there only for six weeks, but it was splendid and I really want to come back to all the wonders of this land that I've seen (and tasted! Smile ) and to fill in what I've missed (the Outer Hebrides, Shetland, and many isolated places I could not get to with public transportation). I really enjoyed the nature, castles, people, highland games and the taste of whisky, and I even learned to play pool (by an englishman at my hostel). Hmm... must go back there. Smile

Don
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No, I'd not be very happy to let pretty much any light run a battery empty on full power without some sort of heatsinking. Your hand is good for this as your blood will take the heat around your body. Quite a lot of lights can become painful to touch of you don't let them lose heat through your hand. The Ultrafire C3 SS will become painful to hold in about three minutes on high with a 14500.

40 minutes is about as long as a typical 18650 will run one of these on high. Most drivers won't shut of on excess heat - the only ones I can think of that do are the Ra lights ones but those aren't remotely close to budget lights. Some of the more powerful Fenixes may do.

 

I want to do a runtime on these anyway so will charge up a cell and keep an eye on temperatures while I do so. Unfortunately I can't log temperature at the same time as output but I have some ideas for that which I hope to have time to play with next week. What I really want is a thermal imaging camera, which my brother's company would be happy to sell me - at the price of a good new car. 

 

The numbers from my light tests are always to be found here.

https://spreadsheets.google.com/ccc?key=0ApkFM37n_QnRdDU5MDNzOURjYllmZHI...

Don
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4530 lux at switch-on.

Temperature of head at switch-on 18.7C. This is the foil wrapping as seen in the pictures above.

At 1 minute 24.9C

3 minutes 32C - output down to 3800lux.

5:30 39.8oC

Here is the setup.

Metrication

The meter on top of the lightbox is measuring microamps from the solar cell at the far end of the lightbox that I use for output and runtime measurements - it is connected to the PC you can see on the far left of the picture. The meter on the right measures lightbox lux which I divide by 892 and multiply by 160 to arrive at "my lumens".

The meter on the left is measuring temperature. There is a small thermocouple taped to the head. In theory I ought to be able to attach both meters and log data - in practice the £W@$%%$^& Windows drivers only see one meter at a time and it appears to be completely random which one.

 

10 minutes 50oC 3560 lux

The foil is working. Even the tailcap is getting hot. I will stop at 60oC as the internals will be getting a lot hotter. Normally I would point a large fan at the light while doing runtimes on high.

14 minutes 54oC 3500 lux

 

The numbers from my light tests are always to be found here.

https://spreadsheets.google.com/ccc?key=0ApkFM37n_QnRdDU5MDNzOURjYllmZHI...

Haggai
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Don wrote:

What I really want is a thermal imaging camera, which my brother's company would be happy to sell me - at the price of a good new car. 

I think most digital cameras can pick up infrared (maybe you'll need to take off the internal IR filter), so you could make a "poor man's thermal imaging camera" by using a filter that passes only IR, and use time-lapse photography or even record a video of the flashlight.

You can perhaps get the temperature values by using fixed exposure settings and calibrating the gray level with a known temperature heat source and a non-contact thermometer.

But that's a lot of work and I have no idea how accurate such a device can be...

Don
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17 minutes 58oC 3420 lux

58oC is painful to hold for most people - if it is in your hand it will not get quite so hot and it probably hasn't reached LED damaging temperatures. You will know when the driver hits 160oC - the solder will melt and it will fail.

19 minutes 59.5oC 3380 lux

20 minutes 60oC 3360 lux

 

I switched it off at 20 minutes. In your hand it might be good for 25 minutes till it became uncomfortable to hold.

I will let the light cool, let the battery cool, recharge it and remeasure the output.

 

The numbers from my light tests are always to be found here.

https://spreadsheets.google.com/ccc?key=0ApkFM37n_QnRdDU5MDNzOURjYllmZHI...

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