Uniquefire UF-T20 mod: 3.05A xpg2-3C dedomed on Sinkpad

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djozz
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Uniquefire UF-T20 mod: 3.05A xpg2-3C dedomed on Sinkpad

This thread by tecmo kept me busy: 100klux in a pocketable light, is it possible? I thought for a while about good hosts, suitable leds, Sinkpads, right amperage, but what still would be a sensible and usefull flashlight (I'm not scaru I'm afraid, I'd love to be scaru but Im just not him Cry)  and decided on the following build:

This is as small as I could made it and still have a usefull flashlight:

It is the Uniquefire UF-T20 aspheric. It is a relatively small 18650 aspheric, but is it really pocketable? For me it is not, but for some others it is.

The stock light is well build, but comes with a XM-L led. Some claim that it is a good thrower, but I think the throw of the stock light is pathetic, I did not have one by hand, but I'm sure it is out-throwed by the Sipik sk68, even though the light I received ($20,97 Manafont) runs the XM-L properly at 3A (it did give off the weird smoke that some others have described fot this light by the way, don't think it is the lube, rather the heatsink glue).

You just don't want an XM-L in your aspheric thrower!

But apart from the wrong led and the initial smoke this light is nice: everything is solid, it can dissipate the heat from a led at 3A (unlike most (all?) other XM-L zoomies), the glass (some have said it is plastic, but it actually glass) aspheric lens has a decent curvature (=short focal length=>still close to the led when fully zoomed in=>so still cathes a good portion of the light when zoomed in) the actual used diameter of the aspheric lens is a solid 32mm (bye bye Aleto Tongue OutWink), and it looks to me much better than any inflated version of the Sipik sk68.

I still had the XP-G2-3C at hand that I accidently had dedomed (living for a while quite nicely in a Romisen RC-G2, sorry Romisen..), and I really like the tint of it (~4000K), even for an extreme thrower I want my tint right Tongue Out. I reflowed it on a 20mm copper Sinkpad, had to sand the sides a bit (the UF-T20 pill has only room for 19mm) and decided not to use thermal paste but just reflow the whole thing onto the brass pill; good for heatsinking and it saves me the trouble of screwing down the board:

As you can see at 1.05 minute the solder paste melts and the board sinks in a bit. Unfortunately  not really level, so after this video I heated the pil up once more and while still hot I pressed the board down on the pill with a forceps. I added a 3.05A Nanjg 105C driver, a blob of solder between driver and pill for electrical contact (brass pills are nice to work with!) and the flashlight was good to go:

beamshots: resp. flood at 2m, zoomed at 2m, zoomed in at 5m, outside tree=30m, outside grass=100m

 

You can see the clean pencil beam. I did not have to blacken the area around the led because the led was dedomed, so no light is scattered backwards to the board via the dome. Sorry for the hasty outside shots, I think my neighbours find me weird enough for now.

And now for the numbers:

The estimated output in lumens (calculated from ceiling bounce readings), with a freshly charged Panasonic CGR18650CH inside:

flood 440 lumens, zoom 280 lumens (=a decent 63% of the flood output)


Throw:

I did a 10 minute testrun, after 10 minutes the light did not become any hotter anymore, so heat production/dissipation had balanced out, it was hot but still not too hot to touch.

Throw is a lux-measurement of the hotspot at exactly 1 meter from the top of the lens. (I also tested at exactly 2 meters and those readings were a precise 4 times less (I measured 27.000 lux at start), so I decided measuring at 1 meter give correct numbers ).

I have the impression (I don't know why) that my luxreadings are on the low side (luxmeter: Tondaj LX-1010B). I have never been able to calibrate it to a known light source. (Fun: this luxmeter claims on the housing to measure up to 50.000 lux, but the actual reading goes over 100.000 no problem)

The tailcap reading at start was 2.97A, battery loaded to rest voltage 4.21V

throw at start: 108 klux

throw at 30 seconds: 107 klux

throw at 2 minutes: 105 klux

throw at 5 minutes: 101 klux

throw at 10 minutes: 101 klux

The tailcap reading after 10 minutes 2.62 A, battery rest voltage 3.87 V

 

Conclusion:

It appears that this build is indeed able to throw over 100.000 lux@1meter, jeehaw! And the light is still kept usefull: runtime on 1 18650 will be about an hour on high (depending on battery type), the light can indeed run on high for longer periods while maintaining output (so the heatsinking is good), and whenever you don't want a pencil beam (this may just happen occasionally Wink) there's always a nice 440 OTF lumen flood option.

I have almost forgotten the beam of this light when it had the XM-L in it Laughing.

Thanks for reading!

kevind43
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very nice build.

the stock pill has a raised 16mm pad. did you machine that down or just leave it so there is an air gap around the outer edge of the 20 mm sinkpad? the lens in the ones i’ve built are 38.02 mm. yours is 32mm?
djozz
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kevind43 wrote:
very nice build. the stock pill has a raised 16mm pad. did you machine that down or just leave it so there is an air gap around the outer edge of the 20 mm sinkpad? the lens in the ones i've built are 38.02 mm. yours is 32mm?

Thanks!

There was indeed a raised 16mm pad, i left it like that, I reckoned that a 16mm diameter solder joint was more than enough for the heat to get away and the brass under the gap was thick enough to maintain a good heat-path.

The lens when taken out of the flashlight is indeed 38mm, but in the flashlight, with the retaining ring in place, 32mm is effectively used.

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Very cool! Good job there. I’d love to have a lil thrower like that.

My plans have been wrecked from the start. I ordered a UF-V3 type light from DX and they sent me an aspheric. I ordered two 16mm xp-g2 from ff and they sent them to me on 10mm stars.

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Thanks djozz for the video and the mod.

 

djozz quotes, "it came with chinese lettering that is chinese to me".

                      "My man mousehole needs one too"

old4570 said "I'm not an expert , so don't suffer from any such technical restrictions".

Old-Lumens. Highly admired and cherished member of Budget Light Forum. 11.5.2011 - 20.12.16. RIP.

 

djozz
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Tecmo wrote:
Very cool! Good job there. I'd love to have a lil thrower like that. My plans have been wrecked from the start. I ordered a UF-V3 type light from DX and they sent me an aspheric. I ordered two 16mm xp-g2 from ff and they sent them to me on 10mm stars.

Thank you Tecmo, you were the start of this. Hope your plans come together soon, the UF-V3 seems like a very good light. High time you learn how to reflow leds then Wink.

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do you have any stock lights or maybe a c8 to compare readings to? nice light by the way. over 100k is good numbers. i was just hoping for something to compare my thrower lux to when i get my meter, as im sure my meter will be less than accurate lol

Tecmo
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djozz wrote:

Tecmo wrote:
Very cool! Good job there. I’d love to have a lil thrower like that. My plans have been wrecked from the start. I ordered a UF-V3 type light from DX and they sent me an aspheric. I ordered two 16mm xp-g2 from ff and they sent them to me on 10mm stars.

Thank you Tecmo, you were the start of this. Hope your plans come together soon, the UF-V3 seems like a very good light. High time you learn how to reflow leds then Wink.

Reflow?? I almost blew up the light I did mod with a simple soldering job Smile At least I’m 2 for 2 on dedomes.

kevind43
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djozz wrote:

kevind43 wrote:
very nice build. the stock pill has a raised 16mm pad. did you machine that down or just leave it so there is an air gap around the outer edge of the 20 mm sinkpad? the lens in the ones i’ve built are 38.02 mm. yours is 32mm?

Thanks!

There was indeed a raised 16mm pad, i left it like that, I reckoned that a 16mm diameter solder joint was more than enough for the heat to get away and the brass under the gap was thick enough to maintain a good heat-path.

The lens when taken out of the flashlight is indeed 38mm, but in the flashlight, with the retaining ring in place, 32mm is effectively used.

agreed, 16mm solder joint way better than white goop. soldering that sink pad to the pill is an awesome idea. i bet you start start a trend with this Wink

djozz
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Pulsar wrote:
do you have any stock lights or maybe a c8 to compare readings to? nice light by the way. over 100k is good numbers. i was just hoping for something to compare my thrower lux to when i get my meter, as im sure my meter will be less than accurate lol

I'm sorry, nothing is stock anymore when in my posession for a while Laughing. And I'm the only flashaholic who does not own a C8 (don't like the design).

My ceiling bounce lux-readings are always compared to a Thrunite Ti with a fresh Duracell alkaline (that is said to output 60 lumens), to convert them to lumens. So the lumen numbers are not very accurate, but I would be surprised if they are more than 10% off.

Has anyone here on BLF actually calibrated their luxmeter? Is it doable at all?

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djozz wrote:
And I’m the only flashaholic who does not own a C8 (don’t like the design).

lol… i think im the only one without a working p60 host or an sk68… same reasons
kevind43
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Pulsar wrote:
djozz wrote:
And I’m the only flashaholic who does not own a C8 (don’t like the design).
lol… i think im the only one without a working p60 host or an sk68… same reasons

you are not alone. i don’t have a working p60 host(as long as enough parts to put one together doesn’t count) or an sk68 either…but i do have two c8’s!

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Thank you for such a great detailed how-to post. I have 3 T20’s and have been rather pleased with their stock performance. But now after reading your post, Im completely amazed with your results in such a small and easily modded package. Your reflow of the sinkpad directly to the brass pill was brilliant! In an age with more and more AL pills, its nice to still find some made of brass. I have 20mm sinkpads and some 16mm on order. Thanks to you and tecmo, we all now have a relatively easy conversion for the cheap pocket mega-thrower. Also, I didnt realize the lenses were glass. They are all very good quality in the 3 examples I have, as are the hosts. I also agree with your observations about the heat sinking. Even when not on sale, these lights are still a great bargain. IMO, buy them before they change the pills to aluminum. Those are usually the first changes they make when trashing a once great light. Next will be the lens.

I just realized that my T20’s were purchased at wallbuys… I hope the pills are brass. Anyone know? Edit – its brass. Smile

Probably a silly question, but after your mods, are you happy with the lights performance at the fringes of its range? In other words, does it throw photons way out there?

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That looks cool. Now I'm thinking if I should do the same with my Smallsun ZY-C10.. but its made for XRE. :/

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Great mod, I love it. The UF-T20 is a great light to mod. I have a direct drive single mode XRE R2 in mine mounted to my scoped rifle. It easily out throws anything else I have, plus I like the fact that the zoom is threaded so it won’t zoom out from the recoil of my .308.

I am already visualizing the duct tape over your mouth.

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 I got a stock T20 from WallBuys, and yes, it does have a brass pill, actually it's a C8 sized brass pill, so got some flexability there. I got an XP-G2 on a 20mm SinkPAD waiting on what to use it on - this sounds perfect, though it's got the dome.

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Hey its E1320! How you doing?

Im with you on that nightcrawl do the same thing to a C10. I personally like the C10 better, in the looks and it performs better then in the xre (green) department.

Put it in Tom! Interested in whats the difference in dome and no dome!

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thanks for posting this. I’ve been considering almost the exact same mod. I already did the sinkpad soldered to brass pill with a green xpe, but for the next one I’m going with white, but haven’t decided which emitter.

I think I’d prefer xpg2, but I might do xml2 with everything else the same (though I prefer 5000k) so we can compare numbers.

djozz
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FlashPilot wrote:
Probably a silly question, but after your mods, are you happy with the lights performance at the fringes of its range? In other words, does it throw photons way out there?

Haven't been camping with it yet, just annoyed some neighbours by searchlighting the little square I live in. I have a reflector based budget thrower build (49mm reflector, dedomed xpg2, 2A) that throws 70 klux, and I don't like the spill much because everything in close proximity is lighted up as well and so distracts from what you want to light up in the distance. This one effectively has no spill at all. And I can also hearthily recommend a neutral tinted led for a thrower like this, very nice in the outdoors.

But to directly answer the question: o yes, those photons get there alright! Huge fun!

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Simply amazing results!  I can't help but think that it would be even better if the LED was not dedomed.  Dedoming works great on a reflectored light because it's the spread of unfocused light from the LED hitting the reflector that helps focus and throw the light down range.  In an aspheric light you want the light from the LED focused into the center of the lens, not the walls of the head.  Leaving the dome on the LED should focus more of the light into the center of the lens than the same LED without a dome.

I had an XR-E ftt light that I accidentally dedomed and it ruined the output in comparison to when it still had the dome.

bibihang
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Now I wonder where can I get XPG2?

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 My plan is 3.85A Nanjg, custom programmed, domed, so we'll see if I can make 100 kcd w/domed but at higher amps with the XP-G2. My usual C8 builds are 3.85A with copper discs added, so think it will be ok for the T20 (my builds are typically pushing it Smile). At those high amps, I've found the Pana PD 2900 is excellent to get full amps for 3.85A with XM-L2/SinkPAD combos, and the Samsung INR 1500 I got from FT is actually a little better.

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JohnnyMac wrote:

Simply amazing results!  I can’t help but think that it would be even better if the LED was not dedomed.  Dedoming works great on a reflectored light because it’s the spread of unfocused light from the LED hitting the reflector that helps focus and throw the light down range.  In an aspheric light you want the light from the LED focused into the center of the lens, not the walls of the head.  Leaving the dome on the LED should focus more of the light into the center of the lens than the same LED without a dome.

I had an XR-E ftt light that I accidentally dedomed and it ruined the output in comparison to when it still had the dome.

I used to think the same thing (de-dome for reflectors but not aspheric), but DrJones’ post about this topic claims that throw is increased for aspherics, too.

I dedomed an xml2 for my 7g5v2 and that made a huge increase w/ the aspheric lens.

I get 180k lux @ 1m (measured at 13ft). It has slightly higher current than stock because I upgraded driver wires, and I am using a copper sinkpad. When it was in stock config my measurements were slightly lower than selfbuilt’s numbers for the 7g5v2.

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dthrckt wrote:
JohnnyMac wrote:

Simply amazing results!  I can't help but think that it would be even better if the LED was not dedomed.  Dedoming works great on a reflectored light because it's the spread of unfocused light from the LED hitting the reflector that helps focus and throw the light down range.  In an aspheric light you want the light from the LED focused into the center of the lens, not the walls of the head.  Leaving the dome on the LED should focus more of the light into the center of the lens than the same LED without a dome.

I had an XR-E ftt light that I accidentally dedomed and it ruined the output in comparison to when it still had the dome.

I used to think the same thing (de-dome for reflectors but not aspheric), but DrJones' post about this topic claims that throw is increased for aspherics, too. I dedomed an xml2 for my 7g5v2 and that made a huge increase w/ the aspheric lens. I get 180k lux @ 1m (measured at 13ft). It has slightly higher current than stock because I upgraded driver wires, and I am using a copper sinkpad. When it was in stock config my measurements were slightly lower than selfbuilt's numbers for the 7g5v2.
Really?? Do you have a link to that post?  I'd love to hear what he wrote about that.  I think it's awesome that it increased output on your 7G5v2.  Sure doesn't make sense on the surface but I'd love to be wrong about it. I may have to arrange for the same mod on my UF-T20.  :bigsmile:
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20mm pads have been ordered. My already xp-g2 modded T20 will be getting copper and 2.8a in the near future!

Thanks for the detailed post and awesome mod!

Mike

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Wow. The XP-G2 continues to impress me with its flexibility. djozz, I think you’ve even usurped the DEFT-edc for size/throw.

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JohnnyMac wrote:
Really?? Do you have a link to that post?  I’d love to hear what he wrote about that.  I think it’s awesome that it increased output on your 7G5v2.  Sure doesn’t make sense on the surface but I’d love to be wrong about it. I may have to arrange for the same mod on my UF-T20.  :bigsmile:

last paragraph of first post for a direct comment http://budgetlightforum.com/node/15818

it didn’t make sense to me either, until I re-read his entire post a few times lol

edit: also, i might add, dedoming made the 7g5v2 reflector head somewhat useless for me. the spill is so dim that I might as well use the aspheric…

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Slim Pickens wrote:
Wow. The XP-G2 continues to impress me with its flexibility. djozz, I think you've even usurped the DEFT-edc for size/throw.

Well, that would have been nice, the DEFT-edc has about the same length, but the head diameter is 33.6mm versus 44mm for the UF-T20, the weight is 114 gram versus 174gram for the UF-T20, so it really is a bit smaller. The throw of this build is better though, the DEFT gets to 86klux, I measured 108 (I guess that if this light gets a bit better battery and used a cool white led instead of a 3C it may get to 130klux Smile). So I'd say it's the same league, which is already very nice for a light that has costed me 32 dollars alltogether.

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Sorry, still having fun with the light Smile. Want to share this pittoresk rainy beamshot  I just made (just before going to sleep). (According to google those two tiny trees in the hotspot are 83 meters away). Good night to you all !

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Crap - I gotta get this T20 mod done!

 I just finished a C8 mod: XM-L2 T6 0D/SinkPAD, Nanjg 3.85A. Best #'s after doing the solder flux wick (ooops!) mod to the tailcap spring (picked up 60 lumens btw...), got 1230 @start, 1200 @30 secs on a fresh Panasonic PD. This is only 30 lumens less than a C8 XM-L2 U2 1C/SinkPAD on the same battery, same fresh state, same driver, etc. The T6 0D is clearly a bluer beam pattern though, but I've seen worse XML T6's.

Update 03/20: T20 mod Done! Upgrades: Nanjg 3.85A, 2 copper discs soldered in the pill, XP-G2/SinkPAD, sanded down to fit tight, added solder wick to both springs, replaced switch and rubber boot (blue GIT).

 Before mods, stock: fresh Pana B unpro, 3.7A measured, lumens: 731 @start, 615 @30 secs, throw: 34 kcd

 After mods, fresh Samsung INR 1500, 3.89A measured, lumens: 670 @start, 646 @30 secs, throw: 75 kcd

 Just not sure of XP-G2's bin/tint, but not bad results. In theory, maybe would get 150 kcd dedomed, but I'm still working on a successful dedoming...

 Here's some photos of the build:

 Did two 3.85A Nanjg drivers together, one a C8, other the T20:

 

On the left is the T20 pill orginal pill, on the right is a C8 pill all polished up:

The T20 pill prep'ed and the SinkPAD all prep'ed and sanded down. For the contact surfaces, I sand starting at 220 or 400, then go all the way to 2500 grit to get them perfectly polished for a smooth contact with thermal grease:

There are 2 copper discs in there, soldered in using solder paste and a torch:

Assembled, tested. LED wires are 22 gauge, silver tinned, teflon coated.

djozz - really liked your picture of this view so stole your idea and did the same shot!  It is impressive showing people this direct look at the emitter and SinkPAD.

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Tom,

That is some nice soldering on those nanj piggy backs.   Care to put forth any tips on how you get the solder to span the gaps between the pins so neatly?

I can do it once in a while, but most often I end up using a piece of wire.

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