Solarforce Skyline I - Xm-L-ified...

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Piers
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Solarforce Skyline I - Xm-L-ified...

Earlier in the year I recived a damaged Skyline 1 and it's un-damaged replacement. I ordered an XM-L T6 and an 8x7135 driver from KD.

Just two and a half short months later...bah! They finaly arrived.

 

I would have taken photos of the parts while I was fitting them, but sadly my camera was rather more broken than expected and I couldn't wait for it's replacement. Silly

 

Removing the existing driver from the Skyline is obviously not something Solarforce thought anyone would want to do, it's held in place by a c.15mm long interference fit brass tube. It is obviously rammed home under some preassure and there's not much hope of just pulling it back out.

 

I eventually came up with rather an easy way to remove it - I used a 1mm drill bit in a pin-vice and drilled down the length of one of the sides, turning the ring into a big brass circlip.

From there it just needed a little squeeze and it slid straight out.

 

As the reflector had been damaged around the LED hole (for which I'm sure there has to be a better name), I chose to file the bottom off it. This would allow the reflector to sit a little closer to the lower profile XM-L...it does look a little ugly though.

 

Anyway, the good news is I've now got a shiny new (to me) camera an Olympus E-410. It seems to be very nice...and I'm sure once I've figured out what any of the 20 or so buttons do I should be able to take some half decent photos again.

 

While obviously leaving the camera on automatic isn't good for comparative beam shots, it's the best I can do at the moment Silly

XM-L on 1x18650, XR-E on 2xCR123 as that's (stupidly) how it performs best in it's default setup.

(Mouse over for before and after)

 

 Here's a beam shot at 10m of both Skylines side-by-side, the noticibly less bright hotspot is the XM-L

These two pictures (mouse over) show the diffrence in a rather more easily seen way.

The XR-E shows it's "white laser" style beam where as the XM-L is much less focused and rather more spill.

 

I took the XM-L for a walk int he park last night and was rather amazed with the result. The Skyline while fun, isn't in truth very useful - I can't think of many occasions where you would want to realy light up something far away but not want to be able to see you own feet!

The XM-L version is fantastic, it doesn't throw quite as far but it lights up everything between you and what ever you've pointed it at.

 

I measured the current on the XM-L light with a battery just of the chager and was rather pleased with the result, exactly 2.80A.

Which is of course what it should be, but it's nice to know my multimeter is accurate.

To aid heat transfer I filled the area between the head and the underside of the reflector with foil, I ran 2 flame Trustfires through it on high and it became nicely warm...about as hot as my L2P KD-XML does after about 10minutes. So that big head is working quite nicely as a heatsink.

 

At the moment it's still using the dimmable switch that came with it. The dimming function no longer works - as soon as it starts to dim the driver cuts out.  So far no problems with the switch at 2.8A it switches nicely between the modes and doesn't seem to be misbehaving yet. However...I suspect the switch is slightly limiting the current reaching the emiter and will switch to a normal switch (as always, when ever those arrive:)

 

So in summation I have to say I really like it and would recomend the emiter swap to anyone who would prefer a rather more useful Skyline.

 

***

Sorry fo the length of this, I just can't get away from using 4 words where 1 would have been perfectly fine Silly

Edited by: Piers on 04/20/2011 - 00:39
Foy
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Absolutely superb.  The "ultimate" Skyline 1.

Foy

No referral links and nothing embedded . . . ever.

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jamesearljonesi...
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Great Job! its probably a better setup than the original under driven skyline. maybe some distace pics.Thx

03/04/16 

 

8 lives left

mizjif
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Wow, that is an awesome upgrade!! Well done sir. I am impressed. Especially on your solution to disassembling the skyline!

Piers
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jamesearljonesisascab wrote:
 maybe some distace pics.Thx

 

Yeah, I'll take the camera with me next time I'm out some where dark. I'm still not terribly mobile and only went out last night because I was getting cabin fever Silly

 

I tried a few distance shots when I took these photos, but where I was taking the photos is rather well lit with street lights and with my very limited camera skills I couldn't get anything worth posting.

Budgeteer
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Good job! I always tought the beam would look more concentrated with such a reflector. I was obviously wrong. Have you fiddled with fine tuning emitter to reflector distance?

kragmutt wrote:

They're gonna send you a green redcat with a black LED.

Match
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Very nice, Pook!  I completely understand about having to fight to get the drivers out of these things...

I really like the beam pattern with the xml upgrade...and can definately see how it would make the light a bit more useful.

Boaz
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I think I've  always questioned the skylines  usefulness in the first place . Clearly the word"THROWER" is somehow a keyword and it is always a highly read thread when discussed .Beyond a simple xpe r2 I personally have no need of  a thrower and doubt 95% of the population does either .It sounds like you probably should have just sold the skyline to someone who needed to see the uselessness of a real thrower ,and bought another light..But hey ...Who doesn't like breaking out the drill??

                 υμεις εστε το φως του κοσμου ου δυναται πολις κρυβηναι επανω ορους κειμενη

                            Dc-fix diffuser film  >…  http://budgetlightforum.com/node/42208

Piers
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As the first Skyline they sent was de-domed and quite dead on arrival, they sent me another....So I still have a stock one Smile

charlestt
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Hi Piers do you have a pic of the brass ring ? i can't see it on mine..

 

 

 

 http://i776.photobucket.com/albums/yy41/charlestt225/Sig/A1200023-1.jpg" width="159" he

Piers
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My photographic skills are currently very limited, so this is probably the better way to show you...some 3d models.

 

If you uncrew the head and the battery tube you end up with a part that looks like this from the rear, the brass ring is marked in red.

 

The ring is press fit into the casing, with the driver trapped behind it - exploded view

I removed the battery contact by drilling two small holes then twisting it with round nose pliers, it came out easily that way. Brass is quite soft and drills easily even by hand, so drilling down the length of the ring dosen't take too long. Then all you need to do is squeeze it a little and you should be able to pull it straight out.

 

Hope that helps.

Match
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Pook, that's an outstanding reference for the skyline pills you made there.  Also, I like your idea about splitting the brass ring. Much better than the "5lb mallet" method I used on my skyline II Smile

charlestt
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Thanks for that Piers that's what i thought you meant but the ring on mine looks flush to the driver so i don't know how i will be able get a grip of it.

Also does the black disc around the driver come off ?

 

 

 

 http://i776.photobucket.com/albums/yy41/charlestt225/Sig/A1200023-1.jpg" width="159" he

Piers
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The black plastic disk is just push fit in as well, I drilled a small hole in that as well and then pulled it out by slipping some L shapped tweezers through the hole and pulling.