Review: CNQG UltraFire 1xAA Flashlight with Clip Host Kit - Mini Review and Mod to XM-L & 14500. VERY Photo Heavy.

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Old-Lumens
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Review: CNQG UltraFire 1xAA Flashlight with Clip Host Kit - Mini Review and Mod to XM-L & 14500. VERY Photo Heavy.

I got some components from CNQG and bought this light at the same time. I didn't really want it, but felt it would be something different and easy.

1q

 

Size

96mm*20.5mm

NetW

43

Material

Aluminum Alloy

Anodise

 - -

LED

for 16mm LED( Not include  )

Power

1xAA(Not include)

Reflector

for CREE XP-E (include)

Driver

 For 17mm (Not include)

Protection

-  -

 Switch

Tail cap switch

 

I felt this might be a simple mod for anyone out there and thought I would try it. I have some photos of the light as it came and then I will do the mod.

1w

It came in a white box and what I got was the bare host, (2 piece, body and head), Glow rings, an aluminum OP reflector, a glass lens, a bare pill and a brass adapter for differend driver diameters. I did Not get the isolator, which shows to be there in the stock CNQG photo.

 

1e

1r

The threads are square cut and cleaner than I expected for the price. I found one spot where the thread was pulled a little and I took care of that with sandpaper.

 

1t

The body has no tail cap, it's all one piece and the clip is a wire clip that locks in the body. It has a Glow cap for the switch.

 

1y

Side shot of the body, notice the double "O" rings. There is enough slop in the head/body fit, when screwing the head on, that the two "O" rings are necessary. Looks to me like it was a Mfg afterthought, when they found out the clearances were so sloppy. Neither "O" ring compresses at all, so I doubt it is water resistant.

 Overall, for the price, it should work for a simple first time DIY guy. The ano is thin, but I had no real nicks or scrapes on it. The threads are better than I expected and the color is ok, even for an olive drab/green.

 

On to the guts;

 

2q

 Here's the driver end of the pill. The step inside is how far down a 17mm driver will fit inside. The outer lip is cut for something to turn the pill in with, but it's very thin and could easily get damaged. This pill is so thin, there's no heatsinking, except for the fact that it screws in the head and has some good contact area there. Unfortunately, the head is super thin too, so it's going to get hot quickly.   Well, let me qualify that. If it stays a 1AA light, with a 500ma driver, then it will not get hot quickly, but you know I don't do mods like that, LOL.

 

2w

 The top side of the pill is where the led will go (on a 16mm star). Notice how rough that seat is in there. That's unacceptable in my book, but I don't have a way to correct it. It's so thin that if I tried to smooth it, there wouldn't be a seat there any more at all.

 

2e

 This brass adapter will fit into the pill and will accept a 16mm driver, instead of the pill's 17mm driver.

 

2r

 The lens is glass and it's very dirty. It also appears that it is coated and the coating was done very poorly. I'm not impressed.

 

2t

 The aluminum reflector has an OP coating, but the led hole is huge! It fits over an XM-L including the square base. I wouldn't want to use the (intended), XP-E in it. It would get lost in there.

 

2y

 Bottom of the reflector is flat. A problem I have with this design is that the reflector will sit flat on the face of the led/star. There has to be an isolator on there, to protect the wires. The other thing I don't like about this design is the fact that the reflector is not spaced correctly from the led (focus) and the height is determined on how high the wires stick up. If you use thin wires and flatten them out and go sparingly on the solder, the reflector will sit down too far. If you use big wires or glob the solder on, the reflector will sit too high. It's not a good system, but for cheap, it's what you get. Just remember that the reflector height is determined by how you solder the wires on the star.

 

2u

 Glow "O" ring that goes in front of the lens.

 

Overall, I feel that for the price, this would be good for someone wanting to try their hand at modding. The 16mm star fits in well, the 17mm driver fits in, the tolerances may not be the best on the threads, but they work and don't bind up. With a glass lens and aluminum reflector, it is good for your first try at modding and it will be small enough for EDC. Just know that it needs to be an AA light, without some other more serious mods. 1xAA and a 500ma driver would be ok, but anything stronger would get hot fast.

 

On to the Modding! (In the next post).

 

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The BLF Modding Links Thread 

http://imageshack.com/a/img922/1374/jQ2wdL.jpg

 

Edited by: sb56637 on 08/26/2014 - 17:27
Old-Lumens
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I'm turning this light into an XM-L light, with a NANJG driver.

Here's the components that I need, besides the kit in the original post.

3q

XM-L T6 3C led on 16mm star, NANJG 105C driver and the missing isolator from the kit.

 

3w

Looking at the driver end of the pill, I see there is about 5mm of air space below the driver seat. I know my driver is thin, so I should be able to get a little copper in there, to help with the heat.

 

3ea

 These are copper rounds that I bought on Etsy. They are 20ga x 5/8" round and they are too big in diameter, but I will take care of that shortly.

 

3e

 Looks like the driver would take up about 1.5mm of depth, when it is in the pill.

 

3r

 The three copper rounds will take up about 3mm or less in the pill.

 

3t

 I put 60/40 rosin core solder on two of the rounds and I will solder them all together.

 

3y

 I use whatever is handy, to press on the hot rounds, to squeeze excess solder out of them.

 

3u

 Since the 5/8" dia rounds are too big, to go down in the pill, I just use a file to take off the outer edge a little. I have done this stuff so many times, I don't measure any more, I just do it by eye.

 

3i

 Here's a way to do it easier and get it round. Use a marker to just blacken the edge a little, all the way round and then use the file to remove the black. Do that till the piece fits in the pill. It's easier than "doing it by eye."

 

3o

 Here's the finished copper insert

 

3p

 Side view shows that there really isn't much solder in between layers, so it's all good and will take heat fast.

 

3a

 How it looks in place. I still have room for the wires to fit in between the driver and the copper. The pill weighed less than 1 gram before the copper. Now it will weigh over 6 grams. Not a lot, but definitely an improvement.

 

3s

 I marked the holes for wires, using the pill as a pattern and I am ready to mark them with a punch, prior to drilling.

 

3d

 The finished holes and a sanding block takes care of any rough spots, from drilling.

 

3f

 I have applied solder to the star and to the wires.

 

3g

 The star is now ready to go into the pill. I use AA (Arctic Alumina Adhesive). I will glue the star and also the copper heat sink in place.

 

3h

 Any more, I find a socket that will work to hold the led down to the pill and clamp it all on the bench.

 

3j

 I do the same with the Copper heat sink.

 

3l

 I always have ground problems with these tiny pills, so I have gone to wrapping a piece of wire through one hole in the driver board and that makes it a hard press fit into the pill. It hepls to make contact.

 

3z

 Then I solder the wire at the edge, to make sure I have good ground. The pill is done and ready to test out.

 

3x

 I had to cut down the isolator to the diameter of the reflector, so it would clear the top of the pill, when the pill screwed in.

 

3v

 Here's everything in place, in the head.

 

3b

 From the top.

 

3n

 Here's the size of the light in my hand. It's small enough for an EDC.

It has three modes, hi/med/lo and I could only test by holding up two AA Alkalines to it, with a wire. I don't have any 14500 batteries, but from the length, I know it will only take an Unprotected 14500. A Protected will be way too long for this mod.

 

That's it...

 

BEAM SHOTS.

 

111

 

 

222

 

ISO 100, F:2.7, Daylight WB, 1 second shutter speed. Both shots.

 

My PayPal address: oldlumens (insert the @ sign here) gmail.com

My YouTube Flashlight Video Channel

The BLF Modding Links Thread 

http://imageshack.com/a/img922/1374/jQ2wdL.jpg

 

Lumatic
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The human lathe and mill. Outstanding. Makes it look easy. 8)

“When I buy something in bulk you should prolly buy at least one too.”…..“They that have light shall rule the night.”…..“Flashaholics feel depressed without darkness.”…….“I’m a very terminal torchaholic. My entire life just flashed before my eyes

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Very nice as usual. Smile

The host has a tailcap, well sort of. The switch can be unscrewed from the body and the clip can be removed (check out the images in E1320's review of the host).

The ano is thin, I noticed the clip eats right through it very fast.

scaru
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OL, would you be interested in some 14500 primaries? I have a bunch of them I got for a dollar a piece and I can send you a couple if your interested. Big Smile 

I'll add that these are safer than normal lions and can be thrown out when they die. No multimeter required. 

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scaru wrote:

OL, would you be interested in some 14500 primaries? I have a bunch of them I got for a dollar a piece and I can send you a couple if your interested. Big Smile 

I'll add that these are safer than normal lions and can be thrown out when they die. No multimeter required. 

PM sent

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Your method there of beefing up the pill with copper is exactly how I've been doing it with p60 pills for some time.  It makes a huge difference, doesn't it. Smile

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JohnnyMac wrote:

Your method there of beefing up the pill with copper is exactly how I've been doing it with p60 pills for some time.  It makes a huge difference, doesn't it. Smile

Yup, easy to do and quick. I've done it with P60 pills too, in fact just about any pill with room to fill.

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mfpmax
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Excellent, even though I may not ever actually do it, I looked at this host and thought about it getting one and throwing in an XML myself.

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Threads look decent: cool.
Sloppy finishing pass on LED side of pill: what the?

I’ll have to get me some copper rounds.

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I use Bopper, on Etsy. There's a bunch of sellers there, due to all the jewlery supplies. I get my copper sheet on Etsy too.

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Some of these hosts are overly expensive and many times not what you were expecting. I have a steel 26650 host that was almost $50 and still had flaws and just too few threads to effectively screw the head after the driver. Empty hosts should go at way cheaper and encourage one to buy special tints, drivers or reflectors/TIR lenses. They are almost the price of a very well built Solarforce light.

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Thanks for the review Old-Lumens. I looked at this host awhile ago tossing up whether to get it or another red one. I went the red option again. I think I'm glad I did now. Love the hand work as usual. Cheers.

 

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Thanks very much! Frontpage’d and Sticky’d.

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Thanks for the great write up Old-Lumens. That heat sync makes me drool.

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Great as usual, OL. Beam shots? Any thought of selling this one?

PA40, O.L. Mule TS, Fenix EO1, Old Dorcy 1xAAA Gen 2 (Link), Princeton Tec

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ntg wrote:
Great as usual, OL. Beam shots? Any thought of selling this one?
Beam shots are waiting for a 14050 to arrive, compliments of scaru. Sale thread will come after the testing and beam shots.

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Woot, OL hopping on the LiIon-train? Silly

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NightCrawl wrote:

Woot, OL hopping on the LiIon-train? Silly

Lithium primary, only so I can test the light.

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Old-Lumens wrote:

NightCrawl wrote:

Woot, OL hopping on the LiIon-train? Silly

Lithium primary, only so I can test the light.

Yeah, they're much safer but not rechargeable. They have a max voltage of 3.7 volts (marked as 3.6) and will not vent despite me trying to get them to. Big Smile 
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Nice Justin! Thanks for sharing AGAIN…more of your methods. I always enjoy seeing what you do!! Thats a neat little Mod!!!

Dan

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jamio
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This is one of the best pictured and commented mod I have seen. Good job O-L, I like it! I'll be building AA light from this host too but maybe with Nichia 219. Looking fw for the beamshots.

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Beam shots in post #1

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Ace read, just what I hope to do, as soon as I know what I’m doing ha ha, won’t be anytime soon.