My $2.24 triple emitter Mag Mod

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lakemonster1
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I got mine in the mail yesterday. I wired each emitter in parallel and put it back together. I direct drove it on an 18650. I checked the current and its only pulling .33a! I’m going to drop it in my 3d mag tonight and see what it does. Not very impressed so far but its for a nightstand light that never leaves the bedroom. I wonder how much current these led’s can handle?

dchomak
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Something is not right, you should get about 1A
BTW, I ordered and replaced the 3 1W LED’s with 3W cool white ones and now get over 2 amps draw and brightness about equal to my P7 drop in.

Old-Lumens
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I got my bulb and it was an "inny" top plate. That's ok, I just incorporated the whole housing into the build. I got the 3w leds, so it's 9w total. I haven't finished the build yet, but I made a copper plug on the underside of the housing, to make it flush and an aluminum heat sink in the body tube, that the housing attaches to (now). It is bright and close to an SSC P7 in brightness and profile. Mine is cool white, but it's a "little too cool" for me, LOL.

Thanks to dchomak for starting this thread. After the holidays, I will post a build thread on mine. It's not XM-L territory, but it is a respectable amount of light at a very reasonable price. Easy build for a Maglite.

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Flomotion
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So, I want to try this project, what advice would you give for a beam angle on the 3 × 3 watt cool white:

http://www.ebay.com/itm/1-x-MR16-Energy-Saving-3×3W-CREE-LED-Spot-Light-Bulb-Lamp-WHOLESALE-12V-/170833717788?pt=US_Light_Bulbs&var=&hash=item27c67baa1c

Flomotion

nickelflipper
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It took AliExpress (per Shadoww’s post) nine days to get those mr16’s in the post Sad

Kent

Old-Lumens
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Well, it depends on what you want. If you want some throw (not a lot), then 30 degree. The tightest they offer. If you want flood, then 45 degree. If you want a mule, then 120 degree. The larger the degree number, the wider the beam, but I do not feel they are necessarily a direct correlation from stated degree to actual beam degree, from the ones I have tried.

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lakemonster1
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dchomak wrote:
Something is not right, you should get about 1A BTW, I ordered and replaced the 3 1W LED’s with 3W cool white ones and now get over 2 amps draw and brightness about equal to my P7 drop in.

Yeah, something wasn’t right. The 18650 I used was only showing 3.4v on my dmm. I got another 18650 that showed 3.8v (and pulled 2a on my dmm) and tried that. It lit up my backyard! I pulled a fresh one off the charger that was 4.2v and the module was back to barely putting out any light. I then noticed that only one emitter was working. I think the other two got burned up. And I can’t figure out why my dmm was showing such a high amperage.

dchomak
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lakemonster1 wrote:
dchomak wrote:
Something is not right, you should get about 1A BTW, I ordered and replaced the 3 1W LED’s with 3W cool white ones and now get over 2 amps draw and brightness about equal to my P7 drop in.

Yeah, something wasn’t right. The 18650 I used was only showing 3.4v on my dmm. I got another 18650 that showed 3.8v (and pulled 2a on my dmm) and tried that. It lit up my backyard! I pulled a fresh one off the charger that was 4.2v and the module was back to barely putting out any light. I then noticed that only one emitter was working. I think the other two got burned up.

A gotcha on this light is the possibility of a poor thermal contact between the individual emitters and the star, and/or poor thermal contact between the star and the sink. These emitters were originally running on 12V in series or 4V each. I wouldn’t think 4.2 would be too high. I run mine on 3 Ni-MH or about 3.6-4V

The good news is now you have an excuse to install these:

http://www.fasttech.com/products/1609/10001590/1116609-3w-190-210lm-6000...

texaspyro
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Old-Lumens wrote:
I just saw a 9watt on ebay. 3×3w Cree 12v, warm or cool white. For $7 shipped from the US. Got to be one of the most inexpensive mods to do with a Maglite.

I’ve tested a LOT of these type of bulbs. No way is it 9W. You will be lucky if it is 5W.

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texaspyro wrote:
Old-Lumens wrote:
I just saw a 9watt on ebay. 3x3w Cree 12v, warm or cool white. For $7 shipped from the US. Got to be one of the most inexpensive mods to do with a Maglite.
I've tested a LOT of these type of bulbs. No way is it 9W. You will be lucky if it is 5W.
Well, from what I can tell, the leds are bridgelux, not cree and they could be 3w bridgelux, but I don't know for sure. (they could simply be generic Chinese leds too). No markings that I can see. Once it's powered I can see what I get for amp draw and maybe go from there. It will be DD with 3 Eneloops. From what I saw with the initial checks, with 3 Alkalines, it was about as bright as what I remember of the old P7 lights I used to build. I won't be finishing anything till after the first of the year though. This one and the 3-XM-L in a Mag LED reflector...

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lakemonster1
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I bought some of those LED’s from fasttech last night. I find it hard to believe that I fried the ones that were on the star so quickly. I only had them burning for approximately 2 seconds before disconnecting them. How can I test them to see if they blew?

dchomak
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The ones you ordered, the ones I have now are rated at
Operating Voltage 3.0-3.8 -volt

We already know that you saw huge difference between 3.4V and 3.8 volts on your 1W leds. So to go from 3.8V to 4.2 is maybe too much for direct drive. What do you plan to use for a cell or cells? I am using 3-D cells, Ni-MH which give me 4V open circuit. I get a 2.15A on the draw, but these are the 3W BridgeLux leds.

When you solder the new leds onto the star make sure you use a thermal adhesive between first, then solder the leads. If the led is not sinked to the star, it will over heat very quickly. 2A through those 3-1W leds is too much, probably due to over voltage. 4.2 is too high

here are some beam shots

the control, just a 130W equivalent CFL in the lamp post

now a P7 drop in driven by 4- C Cell NiCads in a mag 3D

The 3 – 3W BridgeLux

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Wow!  I like that beam pattern in the last one!

-Garry

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marcl
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Would it not be possible to buy one of these: http://www.fasttech.com/products/1609/10001584/1116601-epileds-3w-200-22...

Then get a bulb from a Maglite, smash the glass and attach the above LED, maybe with some improvised heat sinking. maybe filling the bulb with solder etc, and run it DD?

Or simply make something that resembles the metal part of the bulb. I am thinking, no mods drop it in like the terralux drop-ins.

Marc.

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flyboy
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FMcamaroZ28 wrote:
Do you have some better pictures for where you need to drill / wire in series?

For us Modding beginners?

Yes, please! Directions would be most helpful too. What parts did you need to remove from the switch? I follow directions pretty good, but figuring it out? Not this year, or any other. Very neat mod.
Thanx;
C.

:quest: O.K., I think I got it…Starting from the lower left LED, (the one closest to the solder blob labeled + , which appears to be attached to the + of the LL LED by a trace) run wires and solder the + terminals of the other LEDs, going counter-clockwise, to the blob of solder labeled +.) Do the same for the – terminals. Is that it? What must you do to keep from desoldering the original connections? I doubt my Weller 2 speed 100- 200 watt solder gun would be the proper tool, right? What gauge wire is best?

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dchomak
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Here is another pic and where the changes need to be made

drill or cut where the blue lines point to.
solder the + wires to the locations in red
solder the – wires to the locations in black

Things to be careful of:

If you don’t drill all the way thru, as I did, make sure that the side opposite the drilling doesn’t become dimpled as that bump will cause poor contact between the star and the sink.

After the drilling (or cutting) be sure there is no short to the star.

When you solder the LEDs make sure the led does not lift of the star, the base of the led needs to have good thermal contact with the star. (The second one of these that I made I re-flowed it right onto the pad)

When you put it back together make sure after you put the lenses back in and screw down the face plate there is no rattling in the light, if hear anything loose you need to be sure the lenses a centered correctly in the faceplate.

Good Luck!

The second one I made has the 3W each white LED’s (really 2W) and I used a 2C Mag host. 2 C Cells is not enough voltage but a single 18650 is. Works great.

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Your going to have a blast combing the isle ways at HD and Lowe's when they run sales.    Lots a valuable parts can be found and/or modded for special use... whole new world

 

Old-Lumens wrote:

Great idea! I've never looked at any of the LED light bulbs for the home. That's pretty cool!

 

 

 


OscarM
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i’m planning on doing this mod as well! i’ve already got a cool white led bulb, and awaiting a warm white led buld, and some time, and a good/unexpected host for it…

flyboy
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O.K., thanks for the picture and explanation! Now, what about the switch…doesit need to be removed from the tube or disassembled to mod it?

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emr454
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flyboy wrote:
O.K., thanks for the picture and explanation! Now, what about the switch…doesit need to be removed from the tube or disassembled to mod it?

^^^^I’d like to know more about this myself. I have a 3D mag that would benefit from an upgrade.

Now, should I go warm white or cool white?

Eric

flyboy
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I think I figured it out. :quest:

I just ordered one of the cool white lights from daBay, Smile now to see if I can find any teflon-coated wire in the basement.

The switch needs to be modified as in the old-timey DD Luxeon mods…cut off the top end where the focusing apparatus is, then wire the switch to the new LED unit. Positive =Center, (soldering that one is a real PITA, iirc.) Negative is the the piece that sticks up to the side. Lose the reflector, or save it for other projects.

Ahhhh,Yes, it’s all coming back to me now! :8) (I think, therefore, I mod!) This mod should work for C or D cell lights, seing as how the heads are the same diameter, and all.

Oh, yes, I can quit whenever I want to, really I can! :bigsmile:

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Very nice, VERY budget mod there!
All I can say: That´s the spirit! Nice beam, can´t argue with that 8)

Gazo
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I just ordered one of these in cool white 9w 3×3w and plan on putting it in a 2C maglite, will I need to do the star mod to make it parallel if I run it on a single 18650 cell ?? any help appreciated thanks

dchomak
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Gazo wrote:
I just ordered one of these in cool white 9w 3×3w and plan on putting it in a 2C maglite, will I need to do the star mod to make it parallel if I run it on a single 18650 cell ?? any help appreciated thanks

BTW, I made a second Mag conversion and this time I used a 2C Mag with a single 18650. My spacer mod is HERE This time I used 3 -3W cool white bridgelux that I got at FastTech. I reflowed them to the pad on the star as I don’t trust the physical contact that is stock. I really like the form factor and beam pattern of this light.
2C Mag Mod

Gazo
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Great thanks for that dchomak, being a newbee can you please explain reflowing ???? The one I ordered was the 3 × 3w cree so looking forward to that coming
Also do you have any idea what tool you used to get the switch out as my 2C is not a allen key like my 2D … Cheers

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Gazo
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Lennart wrote:
http://www.aliexpress.com/compare/compare-maglite-bulb-replacement.html Smile

They are the 3w type 3 × 1w and it says Min. Order: 30 pieces Sad

dchomak
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Gazo wrote:
Great thanks for that dchomak, being a newbee can you please explain reflowing ???? The one I ordered was the 3 × 3w cree so looking forward to that coming
Also do you have any idea what tool you used to get the switch out as my 2C is not a allen key like my 2D … Cheers
The newer Mags take a Torx 8 (T8). Did you notice Lennarts post? It seems those copycat Chinese are selling M16s as Maglite replacement bulbs!
What a riot!

I just remembered, you will probably have to grind the shaft of the T8 to allow it to fit into the switch.

Gazo
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dchomak wrote:
Gazo wrote:
Great thanks for that dchomak, being a newbee can you please explain reflowing ???? The one I ordered was the 3 × 3w cree so looking forward to that coming
Also do you have any idea what tool you used to get the switch out as my 2C is not a allen key like my 2D … Cheers
The newer Mags take a Torx 8 (T8). Did you notice Lenarts post? It seems those copycat Chinese are selling M16s as Maglite replacement bulbs!
What a riot!

I just remembered, you will probably have to grind the shaft of the T8 to allow it to fit into the switch.

Thanks for that will see if I can find a T8 on the bay now. cheers

Gazo
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Update:

My lamp turned up this morning so been modding my 2C maglite this afternoon and I must say I am pleased with how it turned out as I wanted a flood light as my other mags are throwers.

I went for the 3 × 3w bulb

I made a leather spacer tube as running it from a single 18650 cell.

A few pictures.

I made a battery spacer from a nylon rod and 2 old copper pennies. ran a heavy wire through the nylon rod and drilled the 2 pennies and soldered them. works a treat.

I them made a leather cell tube (it’s all I had to hand)
and modded the tail cap spring.

I then rewired the lamp and it all fitted well and works spot on.
Big thanks to the OP for the heads up on this.

Wires are abit over kill but again all I had.

And all working. Smile

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