Review: Convoy C8 XM-L U2 1B 1x18650 8x7135 Flashlight

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TSellers
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Thanks for the suggestion, I think that is the way to go. I tried building the edge up with just solder, obviously the copper braid makes more sense. However as you point out the Nanjg was what I used the first time and it seemed simpler so I’ll probably just do that and save the direct drivers for another host with a brass pill.

Regards, TS

relic38
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Sounds like a plan.
To clarify, I was thinking to build up the driver edge with solid copper wire (like a piece of electrical house wire), not copper braid. Braid might be a little messier to shape properly.

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TSellers
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You’re right, the braid was not the best method. By the time I had it working by making about 4 folds on top of each other, all I got was low mode. So I gave up and tried another driver I didn’t even know I had. When I was removing the wires I also removed a chip, so I chucked that and grabbed a Nanjg 105c. That worked, but for some reason it’s also stuck on single mode, but at least its high mode by the looks of it so I think I’ll just leave it there. This was not one of the better simple projects I’ve undertaken. Now I’m waiting from some Noctigons and XM-L2’s from IOS for the Solarforce P1 and P1D hosts that are next, hope that goes better.

Thanks for the helping hand!

Regards, TS

relic38
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Single mode when not expecting it can indicate a reflector short on the negative emitter wire. That would bypass the driver and result in one mode, direct drive. Might be worth checking.

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TSellers
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I was hoping you’d have some ideas on that. I placed one of those PVC spacers over the emitter and the white plastic washer also seated itself nicely into the reflector so I left it there. If I remove the reflector I still get the same result, so I was thinking that perhaps the pill retainer is grounding something on the driver to also achieve the same result?

Thanks for that.

Regards, TS

relic38
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OK, good; that possibility has been eliminated.
Take the driver our and check if any solder from the circuit is sticking up level or higher than the 7135 chips. Also check the inner side to see if something could be going on there.
If you have Kapton tape, you could insulate the battery side of the driver from the retaining ring.
There’s always the possibility that the driver is faulty or set for one mode somehow. Since this is your second driver in there, not sure about that though.

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TSellers
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Thanks, I do have that tape so I’ll give it a shot. Hate to admit it but actually my third driver in there, guess due to my poor skill set this has transitioned from a Budget Light to more like something my spouse would buy.

Regards, TS

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I had somehow completely forgot about these C8's, but I was considering buying one of them as a gift for a hunter friend of mine along with a few batteries and a basic charger.  I brought some of my lights out to a bonfire one night, and he immediately said "make me a light, whatever it costs, I'll buy it".  Of course I had my triple emitter lights, but I think he would be impressed with this C8 as his first real flashlight.

I was considering buying the complete light, but I love customizing things.  The host is only $10 (that's insane), and I have some XM-L2's on Noctigons on the way.  Think it's worth it to use those, or should I just buy the complete host with XM-L?

I also saw a few more possible upgrade items and I'm wondering if they are worth it as well...

Brass Pill - http://www.fasttech.com/products/0/10002799/1208600-driver-pillar-wemitter-slot-for-flashlight-diy  Does it fit and is it worth it?  Like that you can secure a 20mm star with screws.

AR Coated Lens - http://www.fasttech.com/products/1606/10001022/1203405-ar-coated-optical-glass-lens

SMO Reflector - http://www.fasttech.com/products/1617/10001275/1220100-aluminum-smooth-reflector-for-cree-xm-l-xr-e-xr- or http://www.fasttech.com/products/1617/10001275/1203500-aluminum-smooth-reflector-for-cree-xm-l-led-emitte ?

All of this may have been covered in this thread, I'm just feeling lazy today Wink

relic38
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Definitely go for the host and build it up.. much more fun Smile
Pill will probably not fit. The standard pill is fine if you plan to use a NANJG or QLite driver.
AR coated lens should fit fine.
Not sure about the reflector, but I think it should fit. I’m a fan of the OP reflector, but it probably does trade some throw for a super smooth beam profile.

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Thanks!

Does a protected battery closer to 70mm work in this host?

dave_
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@JonnyC
My 68mm Button top Sanyos fit with a one cent coin on top, so I would say yes (the coin sticks out, but you can cempletely screw on the tailcap without effort.). The driver spring could be shortened also.

relic38
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I tried a 70mm cell and it fits.

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Awesome, thanks guys

JonnyC
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Got my package today from FT.  I love these hosts.  Waiting for my Noctigon XM-L2's to arrive and then I will build these.  FYI, this SMO reflector is the exact same size as the stock OP reflector - http://www.fasttech.com/products/1617/10001275/1220100-aluminum-smooth-reflector-for-cree-xm-l-xr-e-xr-

The other reflector I ordered should work too, just slightly different.

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Hey Guys
Starting on my first C8 Have brought the convoy ,,,have a smooth reflector and a xm-L2 u2 on a copper board to go in it ,,,,what would be the best driver to replace the stock one with to get some more out of it ??any other advice appreciated,,,, bit of a newbie to this seen

JonnyC
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NANJG 105C or Qlite driver (same thing just different program) with an extra AMC7135 or two soldered on.

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Quick question - Do you think the reflector exerts enough pressure on the MCPCB so that I can use a thermal compound instead of a thermal adhesive?  It would be nice to be able to remove the LED easily if I ever want to swap it.

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I think it is, and that is what is there as shipped.

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Minor update on my C8 build...

Reflector 1220100 from FT is the same as the one that comes in the SMO version of the light, although mine came blemished Sad

Reflector 1203500 from FT has a nice hot spot, but it's ever so slightly shorter so it doesn't exert pressure on the MCPCB, which isn't a problem if you use thermal adhesive instead of grease.

I'm just sticking with the OP reflectors as I like the smooth transition between hotspot and spill.

I installed a XM-L2 on a Noctigon, and a 2.8 amp NANJG 105C w/ one extra 7135 and DrJones' NLITE program.  On a fresh battery I'm only getting between 2.5 and 2.7 amps though.  Maybe there's resistance somewhere, possibly just my multimeter leads.  Or maybe my Sanyo cells sag too much to drive an XM-L2 fully through the 105C.  I'll have to do some more testing.

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JonnyC wrote:

Reflector 1203500 from FT has a nice hot spot, but it’s ever so slightly shorter so it doesn’t exert pressure on the MCPCB, which isn’t a problem if you use thermal adhesive instead of grease.

Some lens measure about 1.6mm thick like most of mine. A 2mm lens (if not already) is what you should use instead of increasing the thickness of the TIM. There’s no reason for adhesive to be noticeably thicker than grease.
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Actually the shorter reflector is focused just fine.  The thermal adhesive isn't for thickness, just used because there's no longer any pressure against the MCPCB.  And adding a thicker lens won't help as the reflector bottoms out in the head.

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JonnyC wrote:

Actually the shorter reflector is focused just fine.  The thermal adhesive isn’t for thickness, just used because there’s no longer any pressure against the MCPCB.  And adding a thicker lens won’t help as the reflector bottoms out in the head.

Never mind.
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Nice pictures in OP Flat Stare

 

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There seems to be a white centering ring place on the LED, I wonder if it would block some of the light coming out from the LED, or ‘push’ the LED out of the reflector?

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I have one of these on the way.

The mode is supposed to be Low > Medium > High, but I will never use Low or Medium.

Can I short the stock driver to make a 1 mode high? or make High the first mode?

Also, what driver came stock in the light?

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CircaM wrote:

I have one of these on the way.

The mode is supposed to be Low > Medium > High, but I will never use Low or Medium.

Can I short the stock driver to make a 1 mode high? or make High the first mode?

Also, what driver came stock in the light?

It has a mode memory. You turn it off on high – it’ll be on high when you turn it on.

CircaM
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Mine arrived today. Sadly, it came with 5 mode . It has the 105c driver.

Where can I find instructions for soldering a different set of modes and mode options?

 

 

 

 

 

 

Pregulla
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It has 2 mode groups: 5 and 3 modes.

Quote:
Switch to low mode. Wait about five seconds for the light to flash. Immediately after the flash, quick-press the button. It will now be in the other mode group.
unknown00101
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CircaM wrote:

Mine arrived today. Sadly, it came with 5 mode . It has the 105c driver.

Where can I find instructions for soldering a different set of modes and mode options?

If you got the Convoy C8 from FT it should have 2 group modes.

H-M-L and H-M-L-S-SOS

To switch groups, switch to low and wait 5 seconds for the light to flash and then give it a quick mode change or full click off then back on. You should now be in the other group of modes.

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CircaM wrote:

Mine arrived today. Sadly, it came with 5 mode . It has the 105c driver.

Where can I find instructions for soldering a different set of modes and mode options?

 

 

 

 

 

 

Mode groups:
Selected by soldering one of the four stars to ground (the golden rim of the PCB)
Rotate the four stars to the bottom of the PCB:

  • Connect the 2nd star from the left to ground: 3-mode: Lo (5%) > Hi (100%) > Strobe
  • Connect the 3rd star from the left to ground: 3-mode: Lo (5%) > Mid (30%) > Hi (100%)
  • Connect the 4th star from the left to ground: 2-mode: Lo (10%) > Hi (100%)
    Default (shorting no star): 5-mode: Lo (5%) > Mid (30%) > Hi (100%) > Strobe > SOS

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