BTU Shocker Mod - XM-L2 U2's/SinkPAD's

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Shaquille
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jmpaul320 wrote:
mod that switch! Smile good job shaq!

nahh il just install this switch Smile

jmpaul320
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Shaquille wrote:

jmpaul320 wrote:
mod that switch! Smile good job shaq!

nahh il just install this switch Smile

good lord!

Would you mind keeping the wrong flashlight?
Best wish, May
Tmart service team

 

Soumil wrote:

PLEASE HELP ME GEARBEsT! IM LITERALLY CRYING!

 

Shaquille
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a question... how much volts should the battery carrier read with fully charged battries?

Tom E
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I got 12.55v with the carrier stand-alone - that will drop in the light though, under load.

HHmm, - maybe that was a TN31??? Crap, I'm not sure now, but both lights are series setups I believe.

Shaquille
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Tom E wrote:

I got 12.55v with the carrier stand-alone - that will drop in the light though, under load.

hmm .i get 12.6 .  so this means all 3 battries are in series??? thats not a good thing is it.

Tom E
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Yep! In series you add the voltage, in parallel, amps is additive.

Shaquille
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well thats not good . shouldnt it be in parallel?  such high amps and its in series

relic38
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It should be in series, and yes, it is a lot of power. I do not recommend running down to close to cell depletion. Reverse charging could occur quickly.
Thanks for the pics of the reflector, rdrfronty. I think our reflectors are similar. Did you say you tested throw at 13m? I’ll have to try that. I have to find where my lumens are going…

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rdrfronty
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relic38 wrote:
It should be in series, and yes, it is a lot of power. I do not recommend running down to close to cell depletion. Reverse charging could occur quickly.
Thanks for the pics of the reflector, rdrfronty. I think our reflectors are similar. Did you say you tested throw at 13m? I’ll have to try that. I have to find where my lumens are going…

I tested it 15m. I don’t think it needs done quite that far, but I know its a safe range for 99% of all lights, and I have a location in the house that size, so it works well for me.
Yeah I find your results strange. You did get some lumen increase, though not enough. But 3000 lumens in a BTU should be getting you in the 120k’s minimum, and likely into the 130k’s. Weird. So yeah try testing at a few more distances and see what you get. Your reflector might have a few more ripples than mine, but not much more and not enoughI think to create your issue.
bibihang
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Tom E wrote:

bibihang wrote:
Actually I have to do this because my DRY is broken badly, so instead of calling this as a “mod” it is more likely a repair, lol. Reflow is something like heating the heat sink and let the thermal paste to melt on it? Anyway I do not own any Sinkpad…

Oh, ok. Reflow is soldering the LED onto the star board, but using solder paste, and applying heat to melt the solder paste, then the emitter gently sits down in the proper position with a bonded (soldered) connection on the pads of the star board.

 So a DRY is a different 3 LED light? I know the DRY driver is an option for a Shocker. Ok – think I understand now, yes, for a repair U3’s maybe a good cost effective option then.

I have seen someone explain how to do a reflow in other thread, but I did not look at it seriously as I know I do not have the skill to do so. I am not good at handling tiny things so for me just forget about it Big Smile Anyway what is the good thing about reflow-ing the LED?

To me both BTU Shocker and DRY have some things in common, just that BTU Shocker uses TK70 head (and newer bin of XM-L), having the option of current regulated BTU driver and becomes a monster thrower as well. Both of these lights are sturdy (well I haven’t received my BTU Shocker yet, but I guese it is :P), wired in series and very high output.

Or should I put in this way, that both of these lights do not have complicating and detail-designed user interface like European Supercar, but they are pure, simple, and at the same time giving raw power like American Muscle!

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Tom E wrote:

smodtactical wrote:
Hey Tom do you think you could do a brief guide or instruction list on how you did this mod? Also I was thinking of putting XML2’s in my BTU, can I do it with the stock heat sink? I have some Arctic MX4 paste I could use with the stock heat sink. Thanks!!

Oh boy, where can I start… This is/was a scary mod – it’s difficult taking on a mod job on a light you’ve never done before, and it’s not yours! It’s someone else’s pride and joy, and their investment, oh – and it’s the biggest, most expensive light you’ve ever worked on, and also, your first multi-emitter upgrade you ever did — no problem Surprised. So what do you do?

  1. the plan – only doing an emitter upgrade, that’s it. Well, upgrade the wires to something heavier, better, and XM-L2 U2’s on SinkPAD’s. Word is the thicker, bigger stars should fit fine. Take pics along the way – the pics, as it turns out, will be your reference (but I never take enough pics! Always forget).
  2. Tear It Apart!  Well, the driver assembly unscrews – bad thing – you’ll have twisted wires (remember this later). So, it comes apart easy, 1 phillips heard screw in there to hold down that massive reflector, take the screw out, unscrew the bezel (real nice threading by the way on the bezel), pull out the massive, heavy reflector (did I mention the reflector is heavy? Again, remember this for later!!), unscrew the collar that surrounds the reflector to get better access to the LED’s
  3. Desolder the emitter wires – funny, why are the main wires from the driver thinner than the short wires between emitters? (think I found out why – twisting heavy wires doesn’t work well)
  4. pop off the epoxied 16mm stars – left some scratches, but surface will be sanded/polished anyway later, though should have been more careful
  5. Now sand/polish the pill top to 2500 grit, nice and smooth
  6. re-flow the XM-L2 U2’s onto to the SinkPAD – old frying pan method, works great again, test those reflows – looks good!
  7. sand/polish the SinkPAD’s to 2500 grit
  8. Plan on mounting the emitters – I believe AS5 is the best way to go, not epoxy. So, after they are wired, you can freely position/align them. And that super heavy weight of the reflector that’s screwed down with one center screw will firmly hold them, maximizing contact for thermal xfer. Will there be twisting pressure, putting the wires at risk? HHmm, maybe? So use epoxy on the outer edges of the stars to help locking them in to position.
  9. Position the stars by using the reflector, and mark the positions – perm. marker on the actual pill top. This doesn’t have to be precise because these will be on AS5 later, and will be moveable to a certain extent.
  10. All the above was the easy part, now comes the wiring… Plan originally was teflon coated 20 gauge, so soldered to the driver (oh – detailed pics of the driver showed me where to solder!!). I was thinking I could avoid wire twists by using the driver wired, screw the driver in, the after, solder the wires to the stars — No, stupid, that won’t work, because the driver has to be out in order to get to the screw that locks down the reflector! Ok – twist the wire then – No! Teflon coated, silver tinned wire doesn’t twist well, pretty much not at all -this won’t work. So, delay the job while ordering silicone 20 gauge and 22 gauge wire (use 22 gauge if 20 gauge doesn’t work out).
  11. 20 gauge silicone is in – de-solder the teflon wire, solder in the silicone wire – use kapton tape to wrap the red and black wires close to the driver as a strain relief because of the twisting pressure on the actual solder connections.
  12. So all set, leave enough slack so the driver can be pulled out enough to get to the screw, set the stars in the AS5 in the marked positions, cut/solder wires intereconnecting the stars (use your pics as reference again!), then solder the 2 main wires. Ok – this soldering is not so easy – you are working vertically down, into the pill top, and for some reason, it wasn’t easy to get good solder connections – maybe it’s this new wire, not sure.
  13. Now all soldered, but you need to protect the + and – solder points because the bottom of the reflector is flat and will ground the wire connections. Now I chose to use kapton tape here. Also I re-used the XML alignment rings, but they don’t elevate the reflector much off the star, so the kapton tape does it’s thing. Unfortunately I don’t have any of those XML isolation glue-backed rings that are built for 20mm stars, only for 16 mm stars. Do they even make them?
  14. So now you are set to screw down the reflector, then do several CCW twists of the driver in order to CW screw it in, so maybe twists aren’t too bad.
  15. All done? no – assemble the bezel and collar around the reflector — ooops, something is wrong! I secured the reflector, but it’s impossible to get the collar down around it! Crap – the collar has to go on first before the reflector, duh. So, take it all apart, now screw on the collar, and now drop in the heavy reflector — wait, this thing is damn heavy and I got nothing to hold on to – I gotta let this 5 lb hunk of aluminum drop like a 1/4” onto the emitters? Well, let it drop carefully, and precisely. Did I mention this now $150 plus light is not mine? Well if I could put my greasy fingers into the reflectors, no problem. No – not an option, so, let her drop!! I did, and it seemd to work - positioned it, screwed it down, CCW’ed the driver before screwing it in. Now, easily screwed on the bezel with the glass (AR in this case).
  16. Fired it up – wholla, let there be light, and a whole lotta light!

 If you suspect the 20mm SinkPAD thickness may be an issue, I dont’ see it – the reflector may be raised somewhat, but there are so many threads on that bezel, and the way it seats, I don’t see anything noticeable. I really like all the threaded connections on the Shocker – seems to be quality and lots of threads.

HHmm, did I mention the reflector is slighty over-weight? I really can’t understand why – don’t see how it could be used for heat sinking..

PS: I’m sure I left out some details (and mistakes) either forgetting or too embarassed to admit Embarassed.

 

Thanks so much! Seems quite involved so its going to take time.

I ordered X-ML2 T6 LEDs (as oppose to XM-L2 U2), do you think the gains in the T6’s will be good over the XM-L U2 in the stock BTU shocker?

How hard is it to switch the BTU driver with the DRY driver?

Tom E
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Without copper stars with a direct thermal path (SinkPAD style), maybe not much, but with SinkPAD's, should see a good bump.

smodtactical
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Tom E wrote:

Without copper stars with a direct thermal path (SinkPAD style), maybe not much, but with SinkPAD’s, should see a good bump.

Thanks tom, what about installing the Dry driver? I’m going to do it once my dry driver gets here because it seems that my turbo mode on my BTU isn’t working (Turbo looks the same in all my beamshots as high and there is no step down from it after 4-5 mins thats even gradual).

Can you direct me to any place that discusses installing it? Thanks!

Tom E
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smodtactical wrote:
Tom E wrote:

Without copper stars with a direct thermal path (SinkPAD style), maybe not much, but with SinkPAD's, should see a good bump.

Thanks tom, what about installing the Dry driver? I'm going to do it once my dry driver gets here because it seems that my turbo mode on my BTU isn't working (Turbo looks the same in all my beamshots as high and there is no step down from it after 4-5 mins thats even gradual). Can you direct me to any place that discusses installing it? Thanks!

Boy, sure wish we could drop yours in the lightbox to confirm, too bad your not just down the block! Have'nt seen the Dry driver, but I'd have to assume it's got the same form factor as the stock driver?? Maybe big assumption. Here's pics of the stock driver:

I dodnt' look into trying to pop it out of the alum threaded piece, so not sure how hard that is. Also, the Dry driver may be mounted differently? Really I have no idea... I suggest you try to contact Ric about the driver swap -- hoping he'll respond.

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Tom thanks so much for the pics! They are very helpful. I contacted Ric about it so hopefully he will respond.

I’m open to getting a light meter to test the turbo mode out… is there any recommendation you can make for one for me to get?

Thanks!

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The driver is easy to take out of the ring. There is a small ring that holds it in. It doesn’t have any holes in it, so I just pressed down on opposite sides of the small ring with needle-nose pliers and turned and it started moving. Once it moves it will be easy to turn the rest of the way.
The DRY driver doesn’t have the tall board, just a small daughter board. It is supposed to fit in the same spot as the original driver.

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relic38 wrote:
The driver is easy to take out of the ring. There is a small ring that holds it in. It doesn’t have any holes in it, so I just pressed down on opposite sides of the small ring with needle-nose pliers and turned and it started moving. Once it moves it will be easy to turn the rest of the way. The DRY driver doesn’t have the tall board, just a small daughter board. It is supposed to fit in the same spot as the original driver.

Hey thanks Relic! Once you put it in, do you have to solder it in? Or I guess solder the red and black wires onto it?

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Yup, just the wires. Tightening down the ring can get interesting because of the lack of holes.
I did manage to add a hole in my finger with the pliers. Maybe try not to push down too hard. I don’t think it has to be as tight as I tried to tighten it Big Smile

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Rich2250
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man, now I’ve got to tear apart my btu. so the xml2 u2 is the way to go, or has a better one come out in the past week?

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Rich2250 wrote:
man, now I’ve got to tear apart my btu. so the xml2 u2 is the way to go, or has a better one come out in the past week?

I think you will be happy with the XM-L2 U2 swap for a good while. It’s an impressive mod.
Rich2250
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would sony 30a’s be safe to run in a shocker?

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Rich2250 wrote:
would sony 30a’s be safe to run in a shocker?

I would assume so. But why would you want too? Any good Panasonic based 18650 can handle the 3.8A it draws from each cell. Even bumped a little it’s a non issue. I guess if its ultra low resistant, it might get a little jump in output. I know Panasonic PD’s did give my BTU a little boost in Tom E’s testing. If that’s the goal I can understand using them.
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relic38 wrote:
Yup, just the wires. Tightening down the ring can get interesting because of the lack of holes. I did manage to add a hole in my finger with the pliers. Maybe try not to push down too hard. I don't think it has to be as tight as I tried to tighten it :D

Next time you have it apart cut two notches in the face with a hacksaw or small file. Same thing I do with those silly lens retainers in the head of a 501b.

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Something tells me to buy Shocker Mods. lol J)

relic38
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comfychair wrote:

relic38 wrote:
Yup, just the wires. Tightening down the ring can get interesting because of the lack of holes. I did manage to add a hole in my finger with the pliers. Maybe try not to push down too hard. I don’t think it has to be as tight as I tried to tighten it Big Smile

Next time you have it apart cut two notches in the face with a hacksaw or small file. Same thing I do with those silly lens retainers in the head of a 501b.


Yeah, that’s a good idea. The 10-15 times I’ve had this apart, I still haven’t added notches… the pliers have added deep enough scratches to be considered notches now Wink

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Rich2250
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just got back in from playing with my shocker. its a beast man. very clean tight beam. It’s amazing what can be done these days. I would love to see it modded like you have done. How are you centering the emitters? Do you use the original holders? Again, kudos bruddah!

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Rich - you are probably talking to relic or comfychair, but just finished another Shocker mod, finally. Got 25% increase in lumens, 38% increase in candela. On KeepPower 3400's, lumens at 30 secs is 3,597 and throw is 167 kcd. On fresh Pana PD's (no magnets, just straight), lumens at 30 secs is 3,685 and throw is 173 kcd.

 Before the mods, base #'s on stock Shocker plus UCL/p on Pana PD's using magnets: lumens at 30 secs is 2,937, throw is 125 kcd.

 Used XM-L2 U2 1C's from IS, 20 mm SinkPAD's (from VOB), 20 gauge silicone wire, AS5 under the SinkPAD's and a little Fujik on the edges of the SinkPAD's to help lock it down. I did re-use the original centering plastic rings, but Fujik'd them in place to hold them. Then, custom cut 3M plastic isolator rings (from IOS I believe) to cover the wire connectors. Also, using the stock Shocker driver. The battery carrier was modifed for just the 3 battery springs - bent the top loop inward of each of 3 springs, then soldered in solder wick wire (1.5mm) after wiping them down in iso. alcohol, and added extra solder to the base of the springs. I also (always now) sanded/polished the bottoms of the SinkPAD's and top of the pill from 240 grit to 2500 grit (8 levels of grit). The pill top if the shocker has heavy circular machine marks and made sure they were gone.

 What's weird is the lumens on the Pana PD's actually goes up during the first 30 seconds, but on the KeepPowers, it goes gently down, but only like 40 lumens.

 That was all!! Nothing to it! Smile  (just a few days...) Now time for the next, and next, ......

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Cool Tom. Looks like your going to be busy with a bunch of BTU’s now Smile
Hopefully its a little easier now that you have done a couple of them.
Anyway, anybody on the fence about modding your BTU – DO IT. A BTU is an awesome light – a BTU with XM-L2’s on copper Sinkpads, put together with expect care by someone like Tom = a BEAST of a light!!
Look at it this way – a BTU modded can have 30-40% more throw & still put out 5-10% more lumens than a RC40. And a BTU and all parts needed can be bought for about 1/2 the price of a RC40. And with this quality work like above, I dare say it has quality to match the RC40 too.
And not knocking the RC40 – it’s pretty much King Kong of the high lumen throwers on the market and being from Fenix I’m sure its an excellent light. But that light as a baseline shows just how impressive these BTU’s can be.

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Spending some time now on the battery carrier, can't quite figure out the overall design   some good points, some bad points. The springs look like high quality and soldered well in place, but they are so soft considering all the weight involved. I was thinking of replacing them all, but not sure if the springs I buy are really any better, they may be worse. I've seen the plating just chip off on some springs, like when you bend the top loop of the wide end. A TN31 or TK75 carrier is soo much more cleaner and tighter in design, though the stand-off pedestals and caps look high qual on the Shocker.

 Two things though are definite: bend the top loop on the 3 battery springs, and add more solder to the base of all springs. I did the solder wick down the middle of the 3 battery springs, but didn't remove the springs to do it - was able to solder the bottom to the outside to get a solid connection to the base. Would have prefered removing the springs, but they had a pretty clean solder job on the springs so wasn't sure how easy it would be to remove them. Overall though with the spring mods, I got about exactly 100 lumens out of it, with KeepPower's or Pana PD's. Makes me wonder now if the 2 springs to the driver would have paid off mod'ing as well...

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Tom E has pretty much done everything I have done, except I went a little further and smoked the driver Wink
I have much lower measurements, but the modded BTU is easily the brightest light I have, both in throw and lumen output.
I’ve heard people say it is too heavy or too awkward, but I’ve put it through the paces and it works well. The weight is no problem, side clicky would be nice.

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