Match's Mods: Edi-T T11...To He(xm)LL and back

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Match
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Match's Mods: Edi-T T11...To He(xm)LL and back

Gentlemen,

  Today we look at the Edi-t T11, and the consequent results after it has a night of debauchery that ends with a ménage-à-trois with a pile of copper and an XM-L emitter.  I've read elsewhere that such a small and cheap flood to throw would never work with such a large emitter, and definately not one driven over 1 amp (much less 2.8amps).  Oh really? Well, I've never been one to just do as I'm told, so when my little, yellow, air-blistered package of love arrived with my new edi-t I had already started thinking up things to do to it.  

  There's a few problems that need to be addressed when stuffing almost 10 watts into such a small package.  These are power requirements, heatsinking, and final beam quality.


First and easiest is power.  Since it'll be drawing ~2.8a from something the size of a CR123, the only option is a IMR 16340.  There's no getting around the relatively short runtime afforded by the 550mah of the cell, which clocks in at just under 12 minutes.  The price to pay for such a high power to package ratio (try that excuse on your wedding night!).

  The second problem is where the bulk of the modding comes into play.  Flood to throwers  are famously bad at handling heat due in part to the movable head and commonly cheap construction.  As far as the Edi-T goes, it's the most well constructed zoomie I've yet owned.  The pill is the usual thin affair and the head is still separated by a rubber o-ring, but the body has extra mass in the middle, and the overall tolerances are quite tight.  Here's how I went about solving the heat issue to keep my pretty little xm-l from going "poof" prematurely.

  The first thing I wanted to do was add thermal mass to the pill to act as a ballast for the rapid infux of heat on start-up.  This was accomplished by adding a slug of copper inside where it is thermally glued just opposite of the emitter, but because the pill is rather deep it still leaves enough room for the driver to seat fully.  Here's the copper slug:


  Now without a path for that heat to get out, the copper slug would only delay the inevidable, not prevent it.  This is where the heat transfer from the pill to the body, and more importantly, the head needs to be addressed.  This was accomplished by cladding the slide area with 1mm pure copper.  Here's how it's done:

Since anodizing is terrible for heat transfer, the first step was to remove all traces of it from the slide area on the body and on the internal ring in the head. 

Next up comes cutting and trimming the copper strip that will act as the cladding and securing it to the now freshly bare aluminium.

It was attached using a very thin film of thermal epoxy and the end result turned out like this:

After that the the only thing left is a basic emitter and driver swap.  I used an XM-L T6 from illuminationsupply.com and a shiningbeam 2.8A 3-mode driver (mainly because that's what I had on hand...). Here's what it looks like after.  I kind of like the two-tone of copper/black. Note: The slide action is much firmer now due to the almost perfect fit between the slide and copper (Still easily adjustable with one hand).


Note: After playing with modded torch now for a few days I can say the thermal mods work like a charm.  The whole head starts to heat up seconds after turning on in high, then shortly after the body follows suit. I also forgot to mention I used thermal paste on the pill threads.

The only thing left now is to charge the cells and go do some testing to see how terrible this idea really was. Wink

Before we get to the beamshots, here's a look at what Mr. Luxmeter has to say about all this:

Edi-T Stock

Lux: 19.7k

Ceiling bounce: 6.3 

Edi-T XML

Lux: 14.6k

Ceiling bounce: 19.0

Ok, well no suprises there... Now let's see how this translates to the real world.  Up first are beamshots done on my garage at 17 meters.  Exposure was set to 2sec for all shots because I forgot to check it.

Stock:

XM-L'ified:

Next up are a couple of shot onto the roof of my house.  Distance is ~45m:

Stock:

and XM-L'ified:

Next up is a shot down the street at my neighbors house.  Distance is ~200 meters (yes, my neighbors hate me).

Control Shot:

Stock:

and agin, XM-L'ified:

 

Next up is a shot of each of them in the flood setting.  Due to the lens I had on, this definately didn't capture either very well.  

Stock:

and the XML:

 

So, there you have it.  At the beginning I listed beam quality as the third problem.  Unfortunately that one is subjective.  So, I leave it up to you to decide.  Essentially it comes down to do you prefer good throw...OR...almost as good throw with 4x the light output.  If you can live with the truncated runtimes, it's a-no brainer. 

Thanks for reading,

-Match

Epilogue...

Here's the "...and back".  I've played with it now for a bit, and while fun, didn't really serve a purpose for me.  I belive the xm-l may have potential for an aspheric, but it would have to be driven to the max (5amps?) to get the die brightness up, and of course have a larger lens.  All of that won't be happening in my 'lil edi-t.  So, I did a driver/emitter swap again.  Since the heatsinking now far exceeds stock, I put the stock emitter back in along with a 3-mode 1.4amp SB driver.  It's midday, so no beamshots, but here's how the lux numbers look now:

Edi-T Stock:  19.7k

Edi-T@1.4a: 23.2k

So, it picked up an extra 3.5k lux.... There's still room for improvement going from the stock Q3 to an R2, but hell, I'm happy Smile


Edited by: sb56637 on 08/26/2014 - 17:29
fishinfool
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That's awesome as usual Match!  I myself like more flood than throw but that's just me.  You can have all the throw you want but there's only so far the naked eye can see.:glasses:

 

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

Kokopelli
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Awesome indeed. A professional job. I guess it would make a great flooder at the medium zoom. I wonder how my Randar XML Zoom is going to be. Your result made me inpatient.

xP.1337
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just what i figured would happen with a flood-to-throw light upgrade.

loss of concentration, which is part of the appeal of these flash lights.

funny that i ordered the edi t11 about 2 weeks ago, and it still hasnt shipped from DX....sad

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Can't say i like the light in true fairness but i can't be quiet for your exquisite craftsmanship. Good job! I like your craftsmanship and commitment. I wish i had the tools...

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That's a great job! (we really need a "thumbs up" smiley Smile )

I was thinking of doing a similar project (with much more amateurish execution, I predict), but in light of your results I think I'll skip it - I guess there is a need for a suitable lens, which will concentrate the light closer to the size of the original XR-E.

ezeqdb
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Excelent Job Match! like all yours!

Have a look at this curves, I think a CR123 primary may give a good current draw.. I would like to know if DX cheap CR123 are good enough..

"no le temo a la oscuridad, la oscuridad me teme a mí"

Match
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Thanks for the comments, guys.  This was more of a proof of concept and to show one way how it could be done. As far as the beam pattern, I look at it more as a "Long Range" Flooder. Currently I'm having fun with it, so I'll play with it for awhile. The flood is amazing on high...the pics really didn't do it justice - it's a very even beam.  

What I may try now, since it can now handle the heat, is to put the stock emitter back in and drive it as hard as possible just to see how high of a lux reading I could get out of something this size.  Hmm...may try that tonight.

 

Budgeteer wrote:

 I wish i had the tools...

This mod really only required sandpaper, thermal glue, a razor knife, and some copper strips.  The copper slug does not have to be as round and smooth as shown in the picture.  In fact, it only has to have one flat side to make contact inside the pill opposite the emitter.  Using a hand file... in half a beer's time you could make one.

sb56637
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Nice! I love it. When I saw your title, I thought maybe you converted it to an XM-L and then converted it BACK to the original.  Silly But seriously this is a really nice piece of work, and very clever heatsinking. And nice looking light there by the way.

Frontpage'd and Sticky'd.

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Well... my tools department is very lacking... i don't even own a decent drill and any file. I have however sandpaper of various grits.

Btw, there is much fuss lately for lead based solder... Soon, only lead free will be available which is a pain to work with. I suggest all who do or plan to DIY to stock some while still available. My solder melts at 270 cesius or so... the standard lead free does at 400+ or so iv'e been told. Tried the lead free a few days ago and i was very unimpressed.

kragmutt wrote:

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

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Budgeteer wrote:

Well... my tools department is very lacking... i don't even own a decent drill and any file. I have however sandpaper of various grits.

Btw, there is much fuss lately for lead based solder... Soon, only lead free will be available which is a pain to work with. I suggest all who do or plan to DIY to stock some while still available. My solder melts at 270 cesius or so... the standard lead free does at 400+ or so iv'e been told. Tried the lead free a few days ago and i was very unimpressed.

 

Know the feeling!

 

It does need a more powerful soldering iron. But if Slovenia interprets the COSHH (Control of Substances Hazardous to Health) regulations the same way as they are here, the "consumer" shops will only sell lead-free but the "trade" shops will still have the leaded stuff. I still have about 450g of a 500g reel of leaded stuff I bought years ago.

 

I can solder with the lead-free stuff but prefer not to. It needs much more heat and a longer wait for the iron to heat up. I have a 50W thermostatically controlled iron but it needs to be cranked up to almost maximum to work with lead-free solder.

 

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

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

sb56637
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Budgeteer wrote:

Well... my tools department is very lacking... i don't even own a decent drill and any file. I have however sandpaper of various grits.

Btw, there is much fuss lately for lead based solder... Soon, only lead free will be available which is a pain to work with. I suggest all who do or plan to DIY to stock some while still available. My solder melts at 270 cesius or so... the standard lead free does at 400+ or so iv'e been told. Tried the lead free a few days ago and i was very unimpressed.

Ha, I should start selling lead based solder from here. Around these parts they even still put lead in the gasoline, to say nothing of the solder.

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Excellent mod, Match Crown

And the result of this mod... as I suspected. The standard aspherical lenses are made for a small die, Q3-Q5 normally. As XML has a much bigger die, those lenses can't concentrate the beam as well, so the throw is less intense, but the ceiling bounce is much bigger, logically. So, I think we need aspherical lenses with less (if I'm not wrong) curvature Flat Stare to get more concentrated beam. Ceiling bounce could be a little bit less intense also. 

Match
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sb56637 wrote:

Nice! I love it. When I saw your title, I thought maybe you converted it to an XM-L and then converted it BACK to the original.  Silly But seriously this is a really nice piece of work, and very clever heatsinking. And nice looking light there by the way.

I just updated the end of the original post with an epilogue of sorts.  That was my origional intention, but just ran out of steam posting it that night.  It's back, but not quite to origional Cool

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  I think that is the art

 

creativity that gets translated into aomething interesting .

Just keep it simple as many of us are slow learners //Maybe mostly out of fear .thanks for making it look possible.

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

                            

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

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Hi Match,

Another nice mod...I was wondering how did you remove the emitter?  Thanks in advance Smile

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mintec wrote:

Hi Match,

Another nice mod...I was wondering how did you remove the emitter?  Thanks in advance Smile

With a careful twisting action on the two indents using a needle nose pliars.  The thermal glue used will break loose easily.  Just be sure to disconnect the leads first.

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Match wrote:


With a careful twisting action on the two indents using a needle nose pliars.  The thermal glue used will break loose easily.  Just be sure to disconnect the leads first.

Thanks for the fast reply...I don't think I'm there yet...how do you get the black thing out thats on top of the emitter?  Thanks again.

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mintec wrote:

Thanks for the fast reply...I don't think I'm there yet...how do you get the black thing out thats on top of the emitter?  Thanks again.

Ah, the black thing...yup it's kind of a bugger.  I wouldn't try prying it from the top, or you'll run the risk of damaging the emitter.  I used a razor blade to remove the solder between the driver and pill, then carefully removed the driver.  There's enough length in the wire going to the emitter to push the driver off to the side, which will allow you to use a small screwdriver to push up through the pill holes and pop out the black emitter cover.  Just gently push on one side at a time and it will come out.  Then you can un-solder the leads on the emitter to continue complete disassembly.

Hope that helps.

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Match wrote:

mintec wrote:

Thanks for the fast reply...I don't think I'm there yet...how do you get the black thing out thats on top of the emitter?  Thanks again.

Ah, the black thing...yup it's kind of a bugger.  I wouldn't try prying it from the top, or you'll run the risk of damaging the emitter.  I used a razor blade to remove the solder between the driver and pill, then carefully removed the driver.  There's enough length in the wire going to the emitter to push the driver off to the side, which will allow you to use a small screwdriver to push up through the pill holes and pop out the black emitter cover.  Just gently push on one side at a time and it will come out.  Then you can un-solder the leads on the emitter to continue complete disassembly.

Hope that helps.

Thanks for your help Match...my driver was not solder on, it was held in by a retaining ring that was press in.  I used a tiny screw driver that was sanded down like a chisel and I used it and hammer to pry the retaining ring out.  then I used your suggestion to poke out the black led retaining piece from behind.  

The beam shot is my xp-g r5 with 1.4a driver modded Edi-T T11 and Romisen RC-29 Q5 at 15ft.  The Romisen hotspot it just a tad brighter than the Edi-T T11.  

Edi-T T11 pillbeam shot

Match
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Congrats on the successful mod, Mintec! I'm glad it all worked out well.  

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Match, I absolutely LOVE what you've done with your EDI-T T11... well, before you changed it back, anyway. Wink

I'd like to do something similar with mine but I don't know the PCB & star measurements, and I have NO idea where to find 1mm copper sheeting; I think I can find a metal slug, albeit something besides copper (probably steel).

Any advice you might be able to provide would be much appreciated.

Take care! Smile

Match
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I want to say it was 16mm star, but it's been awhile.  I actually just used a 12mm star and centered it.  Your best bet for the copper sheeting might be a local craft store. Some sell it for gilding purposes. 

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wec777 wrote:

...and NO I don't work for DealExtreme; I'm just a fan.

Wow a DX-fan, your threshold for disappointment must be really high. Wink

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I have one of these and the switch doesn't click any more.  Do you have any suggestions on how to open the butt-end of the torch?

 

It seems to be one piece of aluminium with the switch going in from the outside - so do I have to pull the rubber switch cover out?   Or is there some kind of glue holding a thread together?

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Okay to disassemble the switch you have to unscrew the black plastic ring which is around the tail switch.  It doesn't look like it unscrews so you might need easing oil, and even drill a couple of small shallow pit-holes to get a grip on it.  Thread is normal right hand threading.

My switch had come apart inside - its not hard to reassemble though once you get the rubber cap off.

If you do the cap ring up too tight then the switch won't click properly.

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Welcome to the madness, Criggie!

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Aloha and welcome to BLF Criggie!

 

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

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hallo..ia have a question..this edt-t torch could be the smallest zooming slide system thing..but,i think,the tailcap is too long..it look like,its from any different torch..any idea,which tailcap could fit into this torch? any smaller…shorter…thanks a lot.

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