Trustfire AK-47 9x XM-L Driver Defect / Repair / Upgrade / Photos

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Richie086
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Trustfire AK-47 9x XM-L Driver Defect / Repair / Upgrade / Photos

Hi folks,

I decided to purchase one of these even though driver output has been reported as low. Since I ordered from Amazon and using my Prime account, got it in 2 days with free shipping today from this link.

LINK REMOVED DUE TO DRIVER DEFECTS.

I did get a low reading at the tail, about 3.38a. However, this started to fall quick to about 2.89a. No way that could be correct with my Trustfire batteries, and heat not affecting it that quickly. So I popped out the driver, and although a different type than my Skyray 9x T6, I immediately found the problem. One resistor, labeled R820, was not in contact and falling off.

I could be wrong here, but I suspect these drivers are assembled by machine due to the extremely small parts, but regardless, I suspect this is a defect with all Trustfire AK-47’s. Trustfire doesn’t actually make these since they are not on their website, but it’s clearly only one company that produces it. I say this because anyone that has reported on tail current, reports they are unusually low.

This wasn’t easy to re-solder (especially after having a large Dunkin Donuts coffee) but I made the repair, with the aid of a magnifier, and now tail cap current jumped to 5.75a using 3 × 26650 Trustfire cells. So figuring 80% efficiency, it’s up to 5.82w per led. Keep in mind my Skyray 9x T6, which puts out huge amounts of light, is 4.90a at the tail to give an idea how much power this light has.

Below are the photos of the light and a photo of what needs to be repaired.


Resistor pointed out and repaired. Initially it was hanging off. Please check your driver
as soon as you can to verify my findings.

UPDATE

Here are photos comparing the beam of the Skyray 9x T6 to the Trustfire AK-47. To my eye while taking the photos, the Trustfire beat the Skyray in brightness and certainly in LUX readings. The Trustfire has a slightly more condensed beam, but likely due to the 9th LED having a full reflector and being centered in the reflector.


AK-47, 3 × 26650 Trustfire 5000mAh cells. 5.74a+ tailcap, Ceiling bounce, 1,500Lux


Skyray 9x T6, 3 × 26650 Trustfire 5000mAh cells. 4.90a tailcap, Ceiling bounce, 1330Lux

I’ve been getting a lot of PM’s regarding this AK-47 and some of the differences between it and the Skyray 9x T6. I thought I should post a couple extra photos for reference. It should also be noted a seller on Ebay has an AK-47 for sale, but it has the SkyRay reflector on it. The price is good, but make sure you know what you are purchasing.

Although both lights look similar, the AK-47 is actually a different light from bezel to tail cap. Meaning the external components have been machined in a different style, which I personally like better. The most obvious is the reflector which shows the 9th LED actually has a complete reflector, which aids the beam. It also has a very nice GITD o-ring in front of the lens, which the Skyray does not.

The AK is 607 grams where as the Skyray is 621 grams, this is without batteries installed. The Skyray has a thicker battery tube and larger heat fins, likely where the extra weight comes from. But this doesn’t affect performance in any way.


AK-47 left, Skyray right. The AK does not come with the red colored o-rings on the grip. I added those myself on both lights.


AK-47 on left, Skyray on right : A nice clear shot of the reflector differences.

BTW…this is the Ebay seller with an AK-47 but with the Skyray reflector.

http://www.ebay.com/itm/300865490139?ssPageName=STRK:MEWAX:IT&_trksid=p3...

Here are some final beam shots just taken. Camera was on a tripod and settings were as follows: Manual exposure, 1.3 sec, f/2.8, ISO 80. It should be noted the distance for these were 100 feet to the shrubs.

All lights had fully charged batteries, except I popped the SR 9x T6 cells out after the photo and tossed them in the AK-47. Hey, I was trying to give the Skyray a shot at winning Big Smile The following lights have been requested to compare to the AK-47.

AK-47 Vs. Skyray KING, DRY NW Turbo, and SkyRay 9x T6


SkyRay KING CW 6.8a tailcap – HIGH Mode


DRY NW Turbo Mode


SkyRay 9x T6 HIGH Mode


Trustfire AK-47 HIGH Mode

Richie

Edited by: Richie086 on 03/08/2013 - 21:28
dthrckt
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so….what will happen if I get one and I just replace the resistor w/ copper wire J)

Nice job on finding and fixing. It is worth noting that many of us thoroughly inspect a budget light before use Smile

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Richie086
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dthrckt wrote:
so….what will happen if I get one and I just replace the resistor w/ copper wire J)

Nice job on finding and fixing. It is worth noting that many of us thoroughly inspect a budget light before use Smile

Thanks Dt. Interesting idea, like putting a penny in place of a fuse.

Beyond the driver issue, the light is great and arrived in flawless condition. I wasn’t initially able to remove or unscrew the reflector to get a look what’s underneath, but will get to that point soon. Threads were excellent and I love the reflector. Initially, it appears it may have a narrower beam profile compared to the Skyray 9x, but I’ll have to see for sure outside tonight.

Here is the Amazon link I purchased from. If you don’t have a Prime account, I think shipping may be about $6.00

http://www.amazon.com/Outdoor-Flashlight-Rechargeable-Trustfire-Waterpro...

Richie

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Nice price, and even nicer that the repair was fairly simple.

How big is that animal in person? Looks like the trustfire thrower host (can’t remember the model sorry).

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Could you take a current measurement w/ 2 cells?

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dthrckt wrote:
Could you take a current measurement w/ 2 cells?

Dave, I get 5.75a with two cells. Same current as 3 cells. However, unlike my Skyray version, this one works great with 2×26650’s.

Richie

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gords1001 wrote:
Nice price, and even nicer that the repair was fairly simple.

How big is that animal in person? Looks like the trustfire thrower host (can’t remember the model sorry).

Here are the hand-holds in both configurations for you. Also, the cooling fins are more compact on this one than the Skyray, but I doubt it’ll have any negative effects.


AK-47 in 2 × 26650 (Works great with 2 cells, also 5.75a at tail)


Here in full 3 × 26650 configuration (5.75a at tail)

Richie

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Nice! That looks smaller than the fit40s, is 26650 and 9 * xm-l, either that, or if we ever meet, don’t be offended if I won’t shake hands….. :bigsmile:

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OP updated with beam shots.

Richie

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Nice, thanks for all.

BT

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The ak-47’s definitely the thrower of the two. Nice comparison shots. :bigsmile:

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Added a few extra photos to the original Post

Richie

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makes me almost want to sell my Sky ray and pick up the AK

nice post richie.

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Is the driver current regulated?

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FMcamaroZ28 wrote:
makes me almost want to sell my Sky ray and pick up the AK

nice post richie.

Thanks FM, I had the same thought as well. But I decided since I love the AK so much, I’m going to modify the Skyray LED’s will all new wiring. Likely 22 gauge and see how much output increases. So I’m going to keep it.

Richie

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Werner wrote:
Is the driver current regulated?

I’m not sure if it is or not. But I love the driver in it due to its versatility and have no intensions of replacing it with anything else.

Richie

Werner
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Have you tried running it with C cells?

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Werner wrote:
Have you tried running it with C cells?

Yes, it needed 4 x C cells to fill it. Naturally it was much dimmer than with Li-ions, but all modes worked fine. Tail cap current was .80a on high mode.

The Skyray 9x T6 would not light up at all with 4 x C cells.

Richie

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UPDATE

The AK-47 exhibits an extremely slow pulse of PWM on low and med, slower than what a heart beat would be and none on High mode.

However, the Skyray 9x T6 exhibits a slightly faster PWM pulse on all modes, low, med and high.

The more I use the AK-47, confirms my initial feelings about it being a better light than the Skyray.

Richie

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Lol faster PWM is better….

Iam not sure how you checked it, but you can quickly place the head to a bit cloth and you will here the noise the higher the noise the higher the PWM frequency. But i can never judge about how good PWM is because I am not one of the sensitive gays guys.
Compare it with a BLFA( and you will here a really high sound compared to the most stock trustfires and so on.

Too sad that 4xC s won’t work… I like that on the TF3T6 so much…

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Werner wrote:
Lol faster PWM is better….

Iam not sure how you checked it, but you can quickly place the head to a bit cloth and you will here the noise the higher the noise the higher the PWM frequency. But i can never judge about how good PWM is because I am not one of the sensitive gays guys.
Compare it with a BLFA( and you will here a really high sound compared to the most stock trustfires and so on.

Too sad that 4xC s won’t work… I like that on the TF3T6 so much…

Hey Werner,

Yes, I’m aware of the cloth method and have used it. With the cloth method, AK produces a hardly noticable whine on Low, and Med, but not on high mode. The Skyray produces a clearly audible whine on all modes.

Typically to check PWM, I mount my camera on a tripod and point the light at a wall and count pulses, if any.

Richie

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By removing the reflector, which requires popping out the driver and removing 2 screws under the reflector and replacing the + and – wires down to the driver with 22 gauge silver wire (same as Old-Lumens uses) on 3 × 26650’s you can increase power to each LED to just over 6 watts+, up from about 5.82w, but my cells static voltage was 4.05 at this point.

Thats taking into account my Trustfire 5000mAh cells don’t dip below 3.8v each under load and assuming an 80% driver efficiency. I’m sure replacing all the 30 gauge wires actually connected to each LED, would increase this number quite a bit more.

Testing the KD driver only using 2 × 26650’s in this light and on high mode, (they don’t work with 3 cells) the stock driver performed better on high mode with the same 2 × 26650’s.

Richie

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OP updated with additional requested beam shot comparisions.

Richie

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Nice pics.
Thats what i like so much about my 9T6 it makes everything bright.
You can clearly see the superb King makes a lot light but with the 9 XML lights the house in the back, the wall on the right everything gets lighted up.

In the first Beamshots the AK74 looked a bit brighter than 9xT6 but in the now posted pics I cant really see a difference between the two.

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Werner wrote:
Nice pics.
Thats what i like so much about my 9T6 it makes everything bright.
You can clearly see the superb King makes a lot light but with the 9 XML lights the house in the back, the wall on the right everything gets lighted up.

In the first Beamshots the AK74 looked a bit brighter than 9xT6 but in the now posted pics I cant really see a difference between the two.

Thanks Werner,

I decided to use a 100 foot beam shot this time. It really allowed all the lights to stretch their legs and show what they each can do. Unfortunately since I’ve posted the Amazon link I purchased it from, they seem to be sold out now.

I believe it was Ric from CNQ that told me once, when unusual lights like the 9x T6’s first come out, he isn’t sure how popular it’ll be. So he’ll only purchase may 6 or 12 and see what happens. Then if the light takes off, he has to get more. Maybe that’s why everyone that’s been purchasing from him, they are all getting different named versions of it. But I’ve only seen this version I have of the AK-47 that can actually be used with only 2 cells if needed. Interesting.

Richie

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thanks richie for them beamshots! it was exactly what i needed. i think i am now convinced on the 9xml’s .
so is amazon the cheapest place to buy the ak47? after brief research, it looks to be the cheapest and the fastest delivery.
hay so since using 2× 26650 is the same tail cap voltage, so you didnt see any change in brightest with your naked eye?
only reason is because i only have two 26650’s and prefer not to buy another if i dont have to.
will king kong’s fit?

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blueb8llz wrote:
thanks richie for them beamshots! it was exactly what i needed. i think i am now convinced on the 9xml’s . so is amazon the cheapest place to buy the ak47? after brief research, it looks to be the cheapest and the fastest delivery. hay so since using 2× 26650 is the same tail cap voltage, so you didnt see any change in brightest with your naked eye? only reason is because i only have two 26650’s and prefer not to buy another if i dont have to. will king kong’s fit?

Hey Blueb8llz,

Yes, there is a 20% reduction not using the light with 3 cells. That extra voltage from the 3rd cell adds a lot, but it still produces a great amount of light. Honestly, the AK-47 is a wonderful light in 2 cell configuration, I couldn’t imagine you’d be disappointed with it.
It’s unfortunate the Skyray isn’t designed for 2 cell operation. I’m trying to get my hands on original stock drivers for the AK-47 so I can toss one in my Skyray 9x T6 for times I don’t want to use it in 3 cell configuration. KK raised top cells would work, but flat tops cells would not. I also purchased some UNprotected MNKE IMR 26650’s from Jason at EDC+, that work excellent due to their raised tops. http://edcplus.com/mnke-imr26650-3700mah-p-5.html

The other problem is over the last week or so, there have been so many different versions of this light that have suddenly popped up, it’s difficult to say what light or driver version would show up at your door. To be safe, that Amazon retailer has restocked and now shows them in stock. At least purchasing from them, if they don’t send what you want, it’s easy to return it back to Amazon. I’d say they are your best bet, not to mention these lights have also suddently gotten expensive depending on whom you purchase from.

If you get one, please post back about it.

Richie

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My cousin got a nitecore tm15 at 2000 lumen yet my trustfire ak 47 supposedly at 10000 lumens is dimmer. I opened it up to take a look if its then resistor is not connected and to my surprise, the resistor arent there at all.

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Any ideas to solve this issue?

Richie086
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Dexter Tang wrote:
My cousin got a nitecore tm15 at 2000 lumen yet my trustfire ak 47 supposedly at 10000 lumens is dimmer. I opened it up to take a look if its then resistor is not connected and to my surprise, the resistor arent there at all.

Dexter,

So I assume the driver appeared to look exactly like the one in my photo of my AK-47? I just want to make sure yours has the same driver as mine. If possible, see if you can post a photo of the driver.

Richie

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Its exactly the same driver just without the resistor. I am using my phone to type this so cannot post picture. Can just use copper wire to connect the two ends?

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