TrustFire F20 mod with reflector bonus!

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keltex78
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TrustFire F20 mod with reflector bonus!

I added a Trustfire F20 to a Manafont order I made recently:

My previous experience with my AA/14500 Ultrafire C3 had been rather dissapointing due to poor performance and reliability. I liked the aesthetics of the F20 so I ordered it fintending to do the XM-L Mod. On receiving the F20, I tested with the stock emitter and found the XR-E performance to be similar to that of the C3; like the C3, brightness on alkaline cells was abysmal, and not worth the size/weight tradeoff when used with the 14500s.

 

A few tips about modding this light:

  1. Don't remove the tailcap! Always remove the head to swap cells...
  2. Don't attempt to remove the driver!

The red circuit board with contacts is just a cover over the factory driver that is soldered and then pressed in place. Also, this isn't the easiest mod as you have to solder the new emitter inside a 16mm cup where there is barely room for tweezers to hold the wire in place while you solder... The light from Manafont has the good 5-mode driver that can handle both AA and 14500 voltages.

 

I replaced the factory XR-E emitter with one of my $4.50 Jolly Green Dino U2 XM-Ls which fit perfectly into the pill. Now this light is much more impressive as a pocket/AA-sized light. Brightness on Alkalines isn't overwhelming, but it's nice having the option since I won't always have access to my LiIon charger. Brightness on 14500s is fantastic! It's a very floody beam, but is still bright enough to illuminate a considerable distance. On high with Trustfire 14500 flames, I measured 2A at the tailcap (Don't remove the tailcap!). The solid pill design transfers heat to the body of the light very well, as the unit gets warm very quickly on high.

 

Here's the light I used - $11.09:

http://www.manafont.com/product_info.php/trustfire-f20-q4-5mode-memory-led-flashlight-1aa-p-5499

 

...and the Trustfire Protected 14500 cells which fit perfectly - $6.12/pair:

http://www.manafont.com/product_info.php/protected-trustfire-14500-37v-900mah-rechargeable-batteries-colorful-2pcsset-p-5566

 

Now for the bonus info!

DX has both SMO and OP reflectors for this light. In my parts box, I had an 18mm OP reflector from DX I had ordered for another project that never got started. I discovered that this reflector was the exact same size as the factory F20 reflector, but with a different and more subdued OP finish. I used this in the F20 and got a very nice beam. Less messy than an SMO but not quite as diffused as with the normal OP. I want to buy the SMO version next and see if I can get a bit more throw from this light.

 

The reflector pics on the DX page show threads, but mine did not have the threads, and DX posts confirm that other buyers got the unthreaded version as well. You may not get the exact same OP finish as my reflector per the pics either, so buy at your own risk:

 

OP Reflector - $2.10/each:

http://dx.com/p/18-5mm-textured-aluminum-reflector-5951

 

OP Reflector - $5.20/4:

http://dx.com/p/18mm-12mm-aluminum-textured-op-reflector-for-cree-led-emitters-4-pack-14598

 

SMO Reflector  - $2.22/each:

http://dx.com/p/18-5mm-smooth-aluminum-reflector-5960

 

<edit>Corrected link/pricing to point to the protected Trustfire cells...

 

<Edit: I just ordered both the SMO and OP reflector I linked to above, and it turns out that DS shipped reflectors with threads, like shown on the photos. These do not fit the TrustFire F20.>

 

<Edit 11/17/14: I just noticed that yesterday was the two-year anniversary of my posting this write-up here. I'm still using this light as my EDC without any changes made since I posted this. The light has held up very well. The anodizing is worn slightly, but not extremely so. Unforutunately, Manafont has closed up shop, but this light is still available from other sellers.>


Keepin’ the “B” in BLF

Don wrote:
It sounds like the XM LEDs won’t really be suitable for flashlight use. Pity…

Edited by: keltex78 on 11/17/2014 - 12:49
garrybunk
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Thanks for sharing!  This is on my "to-do" list soon.  I got mine from T-Mart and received the correct 14500 compatible 5 mode driver.  I picked up an XM-L U2 1A to drop into it, but might do a second one with a Nichia 219.

I agree with you, don't remove the tail cap to change cells!  Getting that clip back on in the correct location is a b*tch!

-Garry

My Bike Lights Thread, Optics (TIR) Comparison Beamshots, Diffusion Techniques

, MTBR’s Lights & Night Riding Forum
NOTE: Now hosting my photos from my Google account. Post up if you can’t see them. Older photos hosted on Photobucket or Flickr may disappear (PM me if you want access to them).
apt323
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Thanks for the info on the reflectors. Might have to try a smooth reflector and see how it looks.

I Like the F20 it is my EDC now. I put the XPG2 4C, and Nichia in another and both are nice lights. I think I might do the XML next as I also have one more left to play with. For a small light it will reach a out a pretty good ways with the XPG2 in it, alot more light output then the nichia also. The output on mine with a eneloop is ok with the XPG2, but the nichia and an eneloop is not very good.

Was wondering how to check the tailcap amps thanks for the info on that too!

Think I will get a host kit of this light from fancyflashlights and put a XLM U2 or U3 and an 3a driver.

fran82
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@keltex78

First, thanks.

Now, are you sure that the F20´s from manafont are still coming with the good driver which never fails with 14500?

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

keltex78
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Surprised

fran82 wrote:
@keltex78 First, thanks. Now, are you sure that the F20´s from manafont are still coming with the good driver which never fails with 14500?

Never fails? That's a broad statement...

The F20 I have that I just received on Wednesday has the gold center/red ring/gold ring that is described as being the good driver. I have used AA alkaline cells and 14500 cells interchangeably both before and after my mod, and the driver has not failed.

<edit>The light from Manafont is etched with ".EDC 0.8V-4.5V". And the Decepticons logo? Huwaaah?


Keepin’ the “B” in BLF

Don wrote:
It sounds like the XM LEDs won’t really be suitable for flashlight use. Pity…

rojos
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If you don't mind it being Li-ion only, this mod is probably easier if you start with a bare host.  I think it's worth it just to avoid the pain of disassembly.  The stock emitter on some of these are Fujiked down pretty tight and can be hard to remove due to the design of the pill.

Boaz
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The clicky on the Akoray have always been a pain in the butt ..Are these any better ?

       καὶ τὸ φῶς ἐν τῇ σκοτίᾳ φαίνει καὶ ἡ σκοτία αὐτὸ οὐ κατέλαβεν

                            

       Dc-fix diffuser film  >…  http://budgetlightforum.com/node/42208

keltex78
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So far, no switch trouble from mine... It doesn't feel the greatest, but it hasn't caused any issues/flickering/unwanted mode changes yet.


Keepin’ the “B” in BLF

Don wrote:
It sounds like the XM LEDs won’t really be suitable for flashlight use. Pity…

garrybunk
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I find that my switch is kind of sunk in so you have to press in quite a bit.  A little bit of a nuisance.

-Garry

My Bike Lights Thread, Optics (TIR) Comparison Beamshots, Diffusion Techniques

, MTBR’s Lights & Night Riding Forum
NOTE: Now hosting my photos from my Google account. Post up if you can’t see them. Older photos hosted on Photobucket or Flickr may disappear (PM me if you want access to them).
Nautic
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Just made this mod to my Manafont Trustfire F20. Came with the red ring driver and
works with 14500 all right.

Removed the Q5 and put in a xml t6. The Q5 was glued with Fujik, but a little prying
with a screwdriver did it. Totally different light now. The T6 fit the reflector perfect.

Draws 1.6 amps on high with the 5 mode driver

Cheap quality is good - Expensive crap isn´t

Dimbo The Blinky
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Nautic wrote:
Just made this mod to my Manafont Trustfire F20.

Maybe a thread of “dittos” (“me too”) would develop over this. Not that I’m trying to start one, but in this case, it might be worth it…

As has been reported, the resultsIFF you want a tiny, pocket host from which erupts a large, bright, local light & don’t expect “throw” – are amazing!! I used a “NW” XM-L from CNQ, which turned out somewhat “brown” for my taste (another thread), but even that’s sweet coming out of this tiny tube! If your TrustFire F20 makes you go “wow”, this one wee Mod will make you weep with Joy. (Okay, Joy might not be so easily impressed! Big Smile )

Thank you, Nautic, and everyone else for posting, which led me (and others) to make this decision, which is such a good decision I hope this “Bump” will help pass it further along!

A TrustFire F20, with a real Cree XM-L (or XML, for the SEO), of your choice of chromaticity bin, is a truly worthy EDC torch; and would make an excellent First Project for any new Modder!

“There is no darkness but ignorance.”

keltex78
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DX is shipping threaded reflectors (like the picture on their site shows) now so they do not fit the F20. I had ordered the SMO and a spare OP, but they are both threaded now...

Cry


Keepin’ the “B” in BLF

Don wrote:
It sounds like the XM LEDs won’t really be suitable for flashlight use. Pity…

sonofbuster
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Dimbo The Blinky wrote:
Nautic wrote:
Just made this mod to my Manafont Trustfire F20.

Maybe a thread of “dittos” (“me too”) would develop over this. Not that I’m trying to start one, but in this case, it might be worth it…

As has been reported, the resultsIFF you want a tiny, pocket host from which erupts a large, bright, local light & don’t expect “throw” – are amazing!! I used a “NW” XM-L from CNQ, which turned out somewhat “brown” for my taste (another thread), but even that’s sweet coming out of this tiny tube! If your TrustFire F20 makes you go “wow”, this one wee Mod will make you weep with Joy. (Okay, Joy might not be so easily impressed! Big Smile )

Thank you, Nautic, and everyone else for posting, which led me (and others) to make this decision, which is such a good decision I hope this “Bump” will help pass it further along!

A TrustFire F20, with a real Cree XM-L (or XML, for the SEO), of your choice of chromaticity bin, is a truly worthy EDC torch; and would make an excellent First Project for any new Modder!

is this the emitter you used for your mod? and do you happen to have a comparison of the beam to a Balder SE-1 also in NW? thanks!

Dimbo The Blinky
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IIRC (not guaranteed) mine was actually the “3C” version here :
http://www.cnqualitygoods.com/goods.php?id=1302

I can’t see why they’d make a special SKU for 3B vs. 3C… It’s not like there’s much of “that” color in an XM-L beam anyway. (XM-L = lots of colors in rings with a wee spot of “white” in the middle) Maybe “3B” will be better…

Sorry, I have no SE-1. I do have another F20 with another “3C” XM-L from FastTech… Not exactly the same!! I started to shoot the two “3C” beams alongside a stock F20, but work got in the way… I’ll have to get batteries charged & set up the wall & apparatus again…

All in all, if you can live with the color rings, generally any XM-L will open up the beam and give you a large (colorful) ball of task-lighting. (Trying to make this host throw is silly, IMNERHO.)

As soon as I get back from work, I’m moving to the last phase of my nefarious experiment: a “stock” (apparently CW) XM-L salvaged from a different upgrade … I hope to bring you side-by-side shot of all four choices…

Dim

“There is no darkness but ignorance.”

1afc
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First post so Hi to all.

I’m not a modder just casual user so take this suggestion as you like.

Firstly I like the Convoy product. I have an S8 and the build quality is good but I also like
The Low is really Low and good for lots of jobs
Has two groups so you don’t have to put up with cycling through the strobes
It has memory so it switches on where you switch ff.

Those were the things that I went looking for in a 14500 light but as you found, Convoy don’t have a 14500 light.

I ended up with a Ultrafire UF-H2B
It is adjustable between max and min output. Really wanted this as 14500s don’t run forever.
It also has memory so it remembers what output level you picked and starts from there next time.
It has a very floody beam. Great if that’s what you want but remember it’s not run by a 18650 so I wasn’t expecting a spotlight anyway.

Other good
Small light 80mm
has magnetic tailcap
has a right angle light so it will easily clip to clothes and point forward

Bad
Apparently has parasitic drain so you have to turn the endcap (1/8 turn is enough) to disconnect the circuit.

HTH and I’ll follow to see other suggestions.

Cheers

1afc
Australia