The SK68 Reborn: *UPDATED with build info & photos.

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DBSAR
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The SK68 Reborn: *UPDATED with build info & photos.

- The light on the right is a SK 68.
- The light on the left is a SK68. ( or at least it started out as an SK68.

This started out as a project to improve the popular SK68 light to something more pocket-friendly, smaller, lighter, brighter, better user interface, etc and it ended up with this.

Starting out, i stripped down a stock SK, spent a a couple hours in my shop on the 3-axis Lathe with the bare aluminum SK68 body parts, and re-machined it a little. Now its lighter, smaller, more streamlined, has a Cree XP-G2 Neutral White emitter, copper pill-plate, a modified Nanjg 105C ( Q-Lite Rev. with 4 modes, Firefly, Low, med, & High, with a reduced number of 7135s to increase run time) Basically a SK68 in my own version of the single AA/14500 popular EDC light. I have re-machined the pill and head internally to increase the flood spot over stock, added a copper star plate, added the 105C driver, re-machined the entire SK68 to a more streamlind EDC light, machined off all the original fins, knurling, etc. and then re-knurled the body with a more aggressive grippier 1/32 pitch knurling along with smaller cooling fins. (and i may re-ad a new pocket clip but in the other direction for use on a ball-cap.)

The photo below shows the XP-G2 emitter, and body knurling.

The next photo shows the body section in the Lathe, where i turned down all the original “bulk” to a more streamlined form, then used a 1/32 machine Knurl to add new knurling to the body, tail cap, and zoom head.

Once i had all the parts re-machined to spec, i then looked over 3 different drivers to upgrade the light to with the new XP-G2 N/W emitter.
in the photo below, (center image) shows 4 drivers. the bottom right is the original single-mode, top right is a 3-mode from another Sipik light, Top left is the 7880 20-mode 1.5 volt driver, and bottom left is a BLF Trustfire 3-mode driver.

i decided to use none of these drivers, and went with a Nanjg 105C ( the Q-Lite 3.04A revision with moonlight, Low,Med,High modes ) but i removed 5 of the 380ma 7135 chips to bring the Amp draw down, and keep the XP-G2 is a good efficient output range while giving it a better run time overall on a single 14500 Li-ion cell.
To fits the 105c in a SK68, it perfectly sits on the internal “shoulder” of the SK body, (as seen in the bottom image of the photo below.)
and is held in place by the pill when its threaded in, giving the 105c a good solid ground and heat sinking around its edge. I had to use a dremel tool and carbide bit however and grind out little “pockets” in the pill in the inside to make room & clearance for the 7135 chips on the Nanjg driver ( as they are really close to the outer edge of the driver.

This raised up the pill slightly, ( the thickness of the PC board of the driver) thus giving the zoom head a bit more zoom-back after i machined off 1.5 mm of the top of the pill, bringing the emitter closer to the lens)
I also machined the inner zoom head’s shoulder deeper to the base to compensate for the raised emitter, ( which was raised up closer even further after i made a copper “plate” to be placed under the XP-G2 star to help with heat sinking.)
The result was a longer zoom range with a wider flood, while retaining the throw focus of the zoom.

Some final touches included a wider O-ring groove in the pill to hold the zoom head better for a better seal and smoother zoom movement, and mild polishing to the smooth part of the body.

- Below is a diagram showing the difference of the machined down SK68 vs the original SK body.
The lower image shows the placement of the 105C driver “pinched” between the pill & body shoulder, and the copper plate under the star to improve heat transfer.

Tests so far on High has a tail cap draw just under 1 amp, and on moon-light mode, it is almost unmeasurable with my fluke meter, with it fluctuating between its lowest scale of 0.001 milliamps and zero, thus giving this light likely a months worth of run time on Firefly mode with a good 14500.

Output is much better tint, and brighter than the original emitter and driver, with a smoother, better, wider flood mode, – and a nice smooth square throw hotspot.

If you have any other questions feel free to ask.
I will get some beam-shot comparison to a stock SK soon. Smile

That Canadian flashlight guy & Lantern Guru -Den / DBSARlight

Edited by: DBSAR on 03/10/2014 - 05:45
Ricflair
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Now that is cool. Good work! Keep us posted. Daddy Like.

RicFlair is on the air with blonde hair & pink underwear!! Whaoooooo!

Firelight2
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WOW that’s awesome!!!! Your modded SK68 looks incredible! 8)

Gj
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Wouldn't it have been easier to buy a lens, a few o-rings and an aluminum rod and go from there? Laughing

DBSAR
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Gj wrote:

Wouldn’t it have been easier to buy a lens, a few o-rings and an aluminum rod and go from there? Laughing

I’m already doing that in another “from-scratch” build project. Smile

That Canadian flashlight guy & Lantern Guru -Den / DBSARlight

totilde
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Amazing job!

Mooooooo

WarHawk-AVG
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Awesome...I would just like some knurling or grooves on the battery end cap...slicker than greased owl spit

Your "streamlined" SK68 is absolutely SWEET though!  Doesn't even look like the same critter!

ImA4Wheelr
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Pocket friendly and SK68 can actually be used positively in the same sentence.  Of course, "DenBarrettSAR's modded", has to be included to make it truthful.  Looks great.

DBSAR
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WarHawk-AVG wrote:

Awesome…I would just like some knurling or grooves on the battery end cap…slicker than greased owl spit

Your “streamlined” SK68 is absolutely SWEET though!  Doesn’t even look like the same critter!

i have knurled the tailcap on this rebuild to fix that. Smile ( and i agree that the smooth stock SK68 tailcaps can be a pain to remove after eating french-fries or with wet hands.

That Canadian flashlight guy & Lantern Guru -Den / DBSARlight

cabfrank
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Man, that looks excellent!

Gj
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DenBarrettSAR wrote:
WarHawk-AVG wrote:

Awesome...I would just like some knurling or grooves on the battery end cap...slicker than greased owl spit

Your "streamlined" SK68 is absolutely SWEET though!  Doesn't even look like the same critter!

i have knurled the tailcap on this rebuild to fix that. Smile ( and i agree that the smooth stock SK68 tailcaps can be a pain to remove after eating french-fries or with wet hands.

Need ketchup, then your fingers are sticky enough to change cells. Laughing

MRsDNF
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As the others said. Looks amazing.

 

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.

 

B25364
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you are the man

DayLighter
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wow.. you’re definitely fit the bill as a flasholic.
spending a lot of time and effort to convert a $3 light Big Smile
nevertheless, it’s beautiful looking light Beer

The only way to do a great work is to love what you do.

DBSAR
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DayLighter wrote:
wow.. you’re definitely fit the bill as a flasholic. spending a lot of time and effort to convert a $3 light Big Smile nevertheless, it’s beautiful looking light Beer

To me (and many of us here in the Budget Light Community Silly )
it’s the satisfaction & challenge of improving a $3 light to a light that is worth more to us, and more functional to us to perform & look like a higher costing light.

That Canadian flashlight guy & Lantern Guru -Den / DBSARlight

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DenBarrettSAR wrote:
DayLighter wrote:
wow.. you're definitely fit the bill as a flasholic. spending a lot of time and effort to convert a $3 light Big Smile nevertheless, it's beautiful looking light :beer:
To me (and many of us here in the Budget Light Community Silly ) it's the satisfaction & challenge of improving a $3 light to a light that is worth more to us, and more functional to us to perform & look like a higher costing light.
And it's *shiny* Big Smile
Mr_Krabs
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That is pretty cool. But you basically turned the SK68 into a C78 Silly

raccoon city
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do_want_sk68_090

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@DenBarretSAR
How did you get that roughened part in the middle to be wider on the modded sk68?

WarHawk-AVG
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Mr_Krabs wrote:
That is pretty cool. But you basically turned the SK68 into a C78 Silly !http://i1351.photobucket.com/albums/p788/josephangsuco/1057208-4_zps4c5b...

OH SNAP!

http://dx.com/p/torch-light-c78-flood-to-throw-zooming-cree-q3-wc-130-lu...

But doing it yourself was a WHOLE lot funner and he learned stuff

djozz
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That is what makes the sk68 much better! And nicer than the c78 I think. Lumatic had a go on something like this a year ago, but you did it more thoroughly.

DBSAR
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priest77 wrote:
@DenBarretSAR How did you get that roughened part in the middle to be wider on the modded sk68?

The knurled middle part is actually slightly narrower now that the original SK68. i machined the SK body down to a smooth tube, then re-knurled the body area.

That Canadian flashlight guy & Lantern Guru -Den / DBSARlight

DBSAR
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raccoon city wrote:

do_want_sk68_090

its now “Racoon hand sized” too. Smile

That Canadian flashlight guy & Lantern Guru -Den / DBSARlight

relic38
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That is awesome! Great work DB!

Welcome the night.

My Reviews   My Mods    http://budgetlightforum.com/search?

deathless
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That is pretty sick. Keep us posted.

ImA4Wheelr
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Mr_Krabs wrote:

That is pretty cool. But you basically turned the SK68 into a C78 . . .

Well, I don't believe that DBSAR or anyone else ever claimed what we do around here makes sense.  Prolly wouldn't be much fun if it did.

scooby214
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Sweet looking light! I’d buy a light like that. Big Smile

DBSAR
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Topic is now updated with photos and description. Smile

That Canadian flashlight guy & Lantern Guru -Den / DBSARlight

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Damn, i which I own the right amount of toys…errr…tools to do this al for myself!!!
(once when I worked at the Federal Institute for Materials Research and Testing they had a sweet machining shop! Damn I was thinking about an “internship” there…)

Great work man!

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That´s nice! I´m in!

No really, that is really a nice light!

DBSAR
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MrCG wrote:
That´s nice! I´m in!

No really, that is really a nice light!

my next project is to build a small anodizing tank to be able to re-anodized the aluminum parts. Smile

That Canadian flashlight guy & Lantern Guru -Den / DBSARlight

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