Match's Mods: Tank E07 - Match Edition

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Match
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Match's Mods: Tank E07 - Match Edition

Gentlemen,

 The following is the result of me getting excited about the new BLF edition Tank lights while at the same time being horribly impatient.  The one that excited me the most was the Tank E07. Although learning that the only option would be the OSRAM with no possibility of a clip, and not much agreement over modes, kind of cooled my excitement. A few weeks ago I ordered the E07 from DX, but was underwhelmed with my particular sample.  The led was horribly off centered, and even though these are supposed to be able to handle 14500's, mine would turn blue after @20sec.

That was enough motivation to tear it apart, so let's get on with the pics:

Here is the Tank E07 exposed, with separate shots of the pill and driver. I used a propane torch to gently heat the head, which loosened the glue enough to allow it to be disassembled.

Well...mystery solved on the off center emitter and the overheating.  The glue used to retain the emitter is unfamiliar.  I'm not even sure it's thermal glue.  On top of that, it was gooped up too much on the bottom, which lead to the LED being cocked to one side and have no contact with the pill.

  Easy enough fix.  Using an exacto knife and a small screwdriver to remove the OSRAM emitter, I cleaned up the pill and installed a high CRI XP-G on a 10mm pcb.  Unfortunately the hole was only 8mm, so a bit of file work was in order.  I used arctic silver epoxy to ensure good thermal contact and then covered the electrical connections on top to prevent any potential shorts from the aluminum reflector.

 

 

Considering how tiny everything is, I'm very happy how it turned out.  The reflector also required a little file work to allow for the leads and the hole needed to be enlarged slightly.

A note on the reflector:  Even though I was able to get everything to fit up nicely, upon testing I noticed a slight hole in the center of the beam.  Then again this reflector was designed for the osram, not the xp-g.  It's only really noticeable against a white wall and not in use outdoors.

 Next up is the addition of the QTC pill.  Thanks goes to Jekostas who originally posted this combo here.  I'm not sure how he implemented it, but here's my solution: 

 Inside the bottom of the battery tube is a small brass screw that holds on the back cap.  It is a standard shallow slotted screw, and somewhat of a bugger to remove.  Once out, I filed two notches in sides to allow easier future extraction via tweezers but more importantly to allow the mounting of the qtc pill.  I filled slot with solder to make a flat surface and then used a couple of dabs of epoxy on the sides of the pill for retention.  

  Now, on to the clip.  The Tank E07 comes designed with a tail cap that can be rotated to allow lockout. Someone at Tank may have thought this was a neat idea, even though the nitecore EZAA from which it's copied doesn't have this.  I found it completely worthless.  Well, almost completely worthless...  The cap also has a side steel loop to allow for a keychain ring, which if not used does tend to get a bit pokey in the pocket after awhile.  What I do like about the cap is, after a bit of filing, allows for the easy implementation of a homemade pocket clip.  I had a scrap piece of 316 series SS welding rod that was ideal.  Being quite springy, it did take a bit to get the shape right, but once in place it works flawlessly.  Here's a shot of the prototype clip alongside the original key ring:

  Note that the new clip is much thicker than what it's replacing.  This is a good thing, for it's not going to break anytime soon. Getting the length, angles, and contours right took a bit of trial and error and the base cap had to be notched to allow for proper fitment...but here's how it all turned out:

Epilogue:

I'm very happy how it turned out.  Except for the original slot that was for the keychain ring, it looks like how it should come from the factory.  Retention is top notch and the clip adds a bit more purchase on the light while twisting the head. As far as the beam tint...wow.  This is my first time trying the high CRI xp-g, and at first glance looks more like an incan that it does an led, but with the added benefit of brightness and battery life. Also, no thermal issues now on 14500's.  Maybe it's just me, but I still have mixed feelings on the use of QTC's.  Although they allow for infinite brightness, I find them in use finicky at times.  Also, while it's buttery smooth twisting on to low/med, getting to high takes a bit of effort to compress that little pill.  I'll leave it in there for now, but may convert it back to a single mode in the future.  

As always, thanks for reading,

- Match

Edited by: sb56637 on 08/26/2014 - 17:29
jacktheclipper
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WOW.  So cool . Now why can't flashlight manufacturers hire YOU to design their lights ?

Match , you're the man .

 

E1320
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Very cool, I like it. Nice work.

I am already visualizing the duct tape over your mouth.

sb56637
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Very nice work Match! That's exactly the type of clip that I would like as well. You make it look so easy...

Thanks for sharing! Frontpage'd and Sticky'd.

Budget Light Forum ...where Frugal meets with Flashlight!

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Very nice! You sure do have a great talent for modding. You're also obviously a very patient man!

The screw/switch on the bottom of my E01 gave out and refused to make consistent contact with the bottom of the battery, so I removed it with some force and filled down the screw a bit. After cleaning and shortening it to length, I screwed it all the way back into the body till it jammed with a bit of force. No need to keep the rubber plunger or retainer from the screw assembly. Now I use the head as a twisty. No more battery squashing at the tail (my eneloops were getting killed!), consistent contact 100% of the time and its so much easier to turn on/off now with one hand. I suspect that everyone with an E01 will eventually face this as the cheap switching system wears. Mine went within the first week.

jekostas
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Very nice.  The way I ended up dealing with the QTC was this - I got two very thin aluminum discs that fit inside the battery tube with little play, and made a very small ring of craft foam.  I glued the craft foam to one of the discs, put the QTC in the middle of the the craft foam ring and glued the top disc on.

The craft foam compresses enough for me to get ~80% output from the light sans QTC, and the discs protect the QTC from wear and tear.  The bonus to the setup was that it prevents the batteries from getting crushed.

Since the foam is so cheap I don't mind just ripping the thing apart if I have to replace the QTC.  Pictures if I can figure out what the chuffing hell I did with that light.

FlashPilot
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jekostas - Great idea. I thought about QTC but didnt think Id run this light in anything other than 100% output. The end of the screw was quite sharp with a poorly cut slot to place a small regular screw driver blade. It was like a sharp little auger and only a matter of time before it punched a hole in the bottom of a battery (very crappy design). I cant tell from Match's photos if his is the same. Do you think the QTC would get crushed without the surrounding foam?

Match -  Do you use a dremel for most of your work? Are you a dentist by trade? J/K! Smile

ZW99GT
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Might you have access to a Fenix LD15 (XP-G) to compare this one with? I would imagine it's quite brighter with the 14500??? The Fenix isn't supposed to take 14500, and I'm too scared to try it Undecided

I also stole the clip off my old Streamlight Stylus and it snapped on quite beautifully.

 

 

Don
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Now that is a really impressive bit of work. I'm not one for pocket clips, but you definitely made it much (Match?) better than it came from the factory.

 

The numbers from my light tests are always to be found here.

https://spreadsheets.google.com/ccc?key=0ApkFM37n_QnRdDU5MDNzOURjYllmZHI...

fishinfool
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        Match     

 

 

Don wrote:

"But as I said long ago, you are more likely to be killed by a dead fish dropped by a seagull in the Sahara Desert than by a lithium ion

edc
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 Legend!

 

http://i1193.photobucket.com/albums

jekostas
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FlashPilot wrote:

jekostas - Great idea. I thought about QTC but didnt think Id run this light in anything other than 100% output. The end of the screw was quite sharp with a poorly cut slot to place a small regular screw driver blade. It was like a sharp little auger and only a matter of time before it punched a hole in the bottom of a battery (very crappy design). I cant tell from Match's photos if his is the same. Do you think the QTC would get crushed without the surrounding foam? Smile

The foam is mostly there to keep the edges of the metal discs I used from contacting and completing the circuit (and therefore bypassing the QTC completely).  And yes, that little screw is a PITA, one of the reasons I installed the little QTC sandwich in the battery tube and not at the head.

Match
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Thanks for the nice comments, guys!

I do use a dremel for a bit of the work, but I actually use a good set of files more.  The emitter for example, was filed by hand.

I don't have an LD15 for comparison, but later on I'll measure it in the I.S. to give an idea of output.

Mine E07 also came with a poorly cut slot in the brass screw in the base.  I just never used it enough to hurt any cells.  I did file it flat first before cutting the notches, filling with solder, and attaching the qtc. (Just noticed that pic isn't showing up....will have to fix that later).

Langcjl
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And I don't even know a high CRI XP-G from a normal XP-G :~

Piers said " ....but who wants enough light, when you have the option for far too much "

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jacktheclipper wrote:

WOW.  So cool . Now why can't flashlight manufacturers hire YOU to design their lights ?

Match , you're the man .

 

Yes Mr .Match You are the man ...and your wife, she's the woman .

       καὶ τὸ φῶς ἐν τῇ σκοτίᾳ φαίνει καὶ ἡ σκοτία αὐτὸ οὐ κατέλαβεν

                            

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

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Boaz wrote:

jacktheclipper wrote:

WOW.  So cool . Now why can't flashlight manufacturers hire YOU to design their lights ?

Match , you're the man .

 

Yes Mr .Match You are the man ...and your wife, she's the woman .

LOL!
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Really nice work, as always, Match! 8)

Jekostas, I've thought about doing what you did with the qtc a while back except I would use 3M super tape for the foam insulator, but can't figure out where to get copper, brass, or even aluminum disks. All I can find are washers and obviously that won't work. Big Smile I could cut my own out of sheet stock but the resulting imperfect roundness and/or time shaping the disks is a real put off. I'm sure open for suggestions.

Johnny

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What i have to say? Great work. I'm waiting for matchforce.com, a on-line shop where i can buy match modded light..

"There are always new jobs, women, and apartments......there is only ONE BLF." - Chicago X (27/03/2012)

okwchin
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Match wrote:

Thanks for the nice comments, guys!

I do use a dremel for a bit of the work, but I actually use a good set of files more.  The emitter for example, was filed by hand.

 

Filing Emitters by hand - hahah - last time I did this I used a file that was too coarse and it bit into the aluminium and I lost grip and filed the dome of the emitter of my neutral XM-L! Good to see yours is still nice and tidy (hehe!!)

Lovely mod with the XP-G! and a beautifully bent clip.

 

Much respect!

"like everyone else - I’m looking for my next “last” flashlight" -  ohnonothimagain

devman
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I have to ask, where did you find an emitter on a board that small? 

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This one would possibly  fit in stock condition... but the contacts are very close together.

devman
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Thanks Vectrex.  Shipping kills it deader than dead, unfortunately.  Total price would be more than the light itself.

Match
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illuminationsupply.com sells xp-g's on 10mm pcb's.  Unfortunately that was still too big, hence the hand filing to make it fit.

devman
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Match wrote:

Thanks for the nice comments, guys!

I do use a dremel for a bit of the work, but I actually use a good set of files more.  The emitter for example, was filed by hand.

I don't have an LD15 for comparison, but later on I'll measure it in the I.S. to give an idea of output.

Mine E07 also came with a poorly cut slot in the brass screw in the base.  I just never used it enough to hurt any cells.  I did file it flat first before cutting the notches, filling with solder, and attaching the qtc. (Just noticed that pic isn't showing up....will have to fix that later).

How the #%@ did you get that screw out?  I've got a screw and 2 separate chunks of what used to be the head, now.

Match
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devman wrote:

How the #%@ did you get that screw out?  I've got a screw and 2 separate chunks of what used to be the head, now.

The little brass screw.  Yup, kind of a pain, since it has a very shallow slot.  I used a thin hollow ground flat screwdriver and A LOT of pressure to keep it in the slot, then slowly turned.  Also, make sure the cap is screwed in, and not in the "lockout" position.  Once it's out, I performed the above mod to make it much easier to install/remove in the future. 

Sorry about your cap.  One fix would be to make a new one out of brass.  I may try this anyways because I think it would look pretty sharp.  

devman
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No worries.  I was already digging through my random parts bin looking for one to match the snazzy ring near the head.  I've lost the lockout feature, but otherwise no big deal.

That said, I don't know if I'd buy it again, given the choice.  They did NOT make this little sucker to come apart easily, and the off-center emitter is driving me nuts.

Match
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Off center emitter...yup, that's what finally caused me to mod it.  The head will come apart easily enough if you use a propane torch.  Remove the O-rings first, then apply heat to the black aluminum above the threads.  It doesn't take a whole bunch, but it has to be hot.  I have two sets of pliers that I've made leather covers for the jaws so as to not gall the flashlight. Heat it up, and give it a light twist (standard threads).  If it doesn't break loose with medium effort, heat it up some more. 

Even without doing an emitter swap, you can center the original OSRAM which will improve the beam quite a bit. (and replace that awful glue they use as thermal compound!).

devman
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Hmm...  Best I can do is a butane lighter.  Not sure if that will work, but I can try.  Might freeze the sucker first, try to crack the glue.

A quick re-seat and some thermal glue, and hopefully I'll be back in business!

Don
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Don't need a torch. Just a lot of force.

http://www.jayki.com/5538

 

Start about half way down the page. Extreme force will do it - torch not needed.

 

But I do mean extreme force.

 

The numbers from my light tests are always to be found here.

https://spreadsheets.google.com/ccc?key=0ApkFM37n_QnRdDU5MDNzOURjYllmZHI...

Match
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Don,

  As anyone who knows me well can attest, I'm an extreme advocate of excessive force whenever possible.  Lately though, I've come to appreciate how a bit of heat in the right spot makes everything much simpler.  That, and it really cuts down on the scratches from the accidental slip from the pliars/vice Smile  (my poor skyline II pill looks like it was shoved head first in the garbage disposal for a few minutes )

Don
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Match wrote:

Don,

  As anyone who knows me well can attest, I'm an extreme advocate of excessive force whenever possible. 

 

Me too!

:bigsmile:

 

The numbers from my light tests are always to be found here.

https://spreadsheets.google.com/ccc?key=0ApkFM37n_QnRdDU5MDNzOURjYllmZHI...

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