mod: Wide-Spectrum SRK w/ BLF Driver

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ToyKeeper
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mod: Wide-Spectrum SRK w/ BLF Driver

Today’s mod is an original Skyray King upgraded to use a BLF/Oshpark driver and three different tints of XM-L2 for more vivid color rendering.

The goal

Compared to the original, it will be both significantly brighter and dimmer, it will have more output levels (7 levels instead of 2), it will allow starting in the highest or lowest modes and easily stepping up or down, it will have much faster PWM (~9 kHz instead of ~150 Hz, I think), and it will show colors more vividly than pretty much any other light available. To me, this multi-tint approach looks even better than a high-CRI neutral white like the Nichia 219.

Parts

The original had XM-L T6 1A emitters on aluminum, and the 3-toroid driver with only two levels (100% and 10%, plus hidden strobe). I’m replacing this with three XM-L2 emitters on copper, with tints chosen for relatively optimal spread across the ANSI white spectrum. Plus the new BLF SRK driver from the Oshpark thread, which RMM now sells pre-assembled (I’m not skilled enough yet to build a driver like this on my own, so it’s nice that I could just buy one). The driver is a 32 × 350mA 7135 model, for 11.2A total or 3.73A per emitter.

All parts came from RMM’s store, http://mtnelectronics.com/ .

Tint mixing

I originally wanted to do 6700K (1A tint), 2700K, and something in the middle. The U2 1A tint is out of stock right now and RMM didn’t have anything as warm as 2700K, but I think I found a different suitable configuration instead — T4 7B3 + T6 4C + U2 1D. This works out to about 4700K and 3058 emitter lumens when driven at 9A. It’d actually run at 11.2A, but the 9A value seems reasonable for OTF lumens after loss from optics. To estimate this value, I used the Cree tint chart and output bin specs and came up with this…
>>> (6300 + (3100*0.7998) + (4350*0.9329)) / 2.7327 = 4697 Kelvin
>>> 895 + 1044 + 1119 = 3058 lumens

Although I’d prefer a 1A (~6700K), this might be a better balance since the warmest tint (~3100K) will also not be as warm as I’d like either (8C1/8B4, ~2700K).

For reference, here is the Cree tint chart. It might help explain what things like “1D” and “7B3” actually mean. (click for a bigger version)

Step 1: Taking it apart

I tried to take the bezel off by hand. It wouldn’t budge. I tried to wrap leather around it and do it again so I could grip tighter. Still no luck. So I asked BLF, thinking I’d need a strap wrench or something, and felt a bit dumb afterward because the solution is really simple. Just push it down against the carpet and turn. It comes right off:

Easy.

But it occurred to me that I didn’t need the bezel off just yet, so I screwed it back on gently to keep everything in place for now and avoid damaging the reflector.

Next I needed to get the driver out. I hear that the easiest way to do this is to remove the button, stick something in the hole, and press it out from the inside. The button’s outer ring unscrews if you have the right tools. I used my machinist calipers (a.k.a. dividers):

In retrospect, I think it probably would have been better to use pliers to grab the outer ring and turn it just far enough to make it loose. After a quarter turn or maybe half turn, it can be hand-loosened. Pliers would have gotten a better grip than dividers.

With that off, the next step was harder… pulling the button itself out.

Mine was pretty wedged in there, and I had to grab parts of it with needle-nose pliers or my fingernails and just wiggle it until it started to come out. It took a while. Eventually it popped out and gave me access to the inside of the light though.

Note, in the above picture, that the switch’s O-ring is behind the circuit board for the switch. That means the switch itself is completely exposed to water if the SRK gets wet. When putting this back together, it might be a good idea to wrap part of a balloon or condom over the switch and through the hole its wires go through, to make the switch waterproof.

With the switch hole open, I was able to reach in and pop the driver out. I tried a few things, but what eventually worked was the back end of a crochet needle.

Note that the driver did not come out easily, and I was half-convinced I would break something in the process. This is because the driver was glued down in three places. This shows one of those glued spots:

Here’s what the other side of the driver and inside of the head looked like after getting the driver out:

This is the new driver I want to put in:

At this point, I was ready to start un-soldering things. But first I took a bunch of macro shots of the old driver so I’d have a good reference for where things go if I needed to revert any changes.

So, let’s get soldering! Er… un-soldering.

The first thing I took off was the switch wires. It may not quite look like it here, but they have just been removed and still have their old blob of solder stuck to the wire.

Then I thought about removing the other wires on the driver, the ones which drive the LEDs. But on second thought, it seemed a much better idea to leave those attached to the driver and simply remove them from the emitter stars instead. So I started removing the reflector:

That was pretty easy. Just unscrew it, unscrew the bezel, and it all falls right out.

At this point, don’t forget to remove and save the emitter centering rings. You’ll need those again later.

Then it’s safe to un-solder the old emitter stars. Pretty simple, with tweezers to lift each wire while touching an iron to it.

And then the old driver easily pulls right out, complete with red and black tentacles.

The emitter stars came off easily, since they were stuck with thermal paste instead of glue.

The last thing to do in the “taking it apart” phase of the mod is to clean off the nasty old thermal paste. For this, I use isopropyl alcohol (rubbing alcohol) and a tissue. Try to ignore the expiration date on this bottle… it may be five years past its expiration date, but it still works just fine.

And now the pill is clean, and ready to put new stars on. It is, however, rather a rough texture… and I don’t have any of the right equipment to smooth it out. You may need to click to zoom in to see how rough it is.

Step 2: Getting new parts ready

The new parts need a little bit of preparation before I can put them into the light. For starters, the driver doesn’t actually fit. It comes with tabs on both sides to allow you to custom-fit it to make it tight. So, I get to file the tabs off. I don’t have a dremel or anything like that though, so I’ll be using a hand file. This part might take a while.

I’m not sure how long it took, but eventually I got the driver to fit. I had to remove pretty much the entire tab on both sides, to make it look like it had never been there.

Then after cleaning up the mess I left from filing, I got out the new emitters. There are three different tints, from three different brightness bins. The warmest is a 80+CRI model, if I recall correctly.

Each star needed a bit of preparation too. They usually come with a few rough edges, and I don’t want anything getting between the star and the pill to interfere with heat transfer. So, I filed all around the bottom edge of each star to make sure no rough edges would stick out. A small diamond-coated file works well for this, and if you click to zoom you should be able to see one of the rough edges I was getting rid of.

Then to get each star ready, I pre-tinned the pads. I used flux this time, since I finally managed to open my flux bottle after running it under hot water for a while. And now I understand a little better what people mean when they talk about putting solder on the iron and then touching the iron to something. The flux pops and smokes and gets replaced by solder. It’s kinda cool.

Step 3: Hooking up the driver

Since I left the old wires attached to the old driver, and since I wanted to use thicker wires, I need to measure and cut some new wires. The old ones were 80mm long. I decided on 100mm for the new ones, since I want enough room to pull the driver out and reflash it if I want. This might be a fun host for testing firmware. It’s 22 AWG wire, so I don’t think the extra length should significantly reduce overall output.

Also, this will be the first time I get to try out my new wire stripper.

I made a set of three red wires and three black wires.

The driver only has one contact for LED + and one contact for LED -, and the batteries are in parallel, so I need to wire the emitters in parallel too, three wires to each contact. To make this easier, I twisted the ends of the three wires together and pre-tinned them.

My first attempt to tin the wires didn’t work. I tried holding solder up to one side of the bundle and the iron to the other side. Nothing happened. Then I remembered I have flux, and painted flux on the wires. Afterward, it worked quite easily. Hooray for flux! (I think this bottle might be older than I am)

The next issue is that the bundle of three 22 AWG wires is fat, and the hole they need to fit in might be a little too small. I guess I’ll find out later if I have too much wire…

I’ve never soldered anything like this before, so I wasn’t really sure how to do it. Eventually I decided to try holding the wire to one side of the hole while the iron itself was pushing on the other side of the hole, with the wire and both sides of the hole fluxed.

It seemed to work… I think.

For the next bundle of wires, I decided to make the stripped portion shorter.

… and it looks like both wires got soldered on okay.

After soldering, I could’t really tell much from the back side.

With those connected, it’s time to put the wires through to the front part of the pill. However, it seems that two 22 AWG wires just barely fit through the holes. I had a hard time cramming these through, and I’m glad I didn’t strip the ends first.

On the other side, it occurred to me that the LED wires may be extra-long, but I didn’t swap the switch wires. I hope they’re long enough to let me pull the driver out for easy reflashing later.

… and the negative wire bundle fell out. Oops. I guess I didn’t solder that on very well after all. It’s good I found out now though, instead of later.

So, I resoldered both wire bundles, this time making sure that they actually went through the holes. I think they’re solid enough now.

On the back side, I can see at least one wire sticking out, and I think the other pad has the wires all the way through too.

Next I connected the switch wires to the holes marked “SW+” and “SW-”. This was the same basic approach as the LED wires, but a lot easier.

… and the back side shows they are indeed all the way through the hole.

Step 4: Hooking up the emitters

Back to the front side, I still needed to strip the wires leading to the emitters. This was fairly straightforward… just pull a pair of wires forward, use the wire stripper on them, and push them back down into their hole. I tried to keep the stripped portion reasonably short, but not so short that the wire insulation would get in the way while soldering.

Next I decided where the three emitters should go, using a UV light to help me figure out which one was which so I could arrange them. It doesn’t show well in the picture, but in person the warmest emitter lights up bright orange, the neutral-ish emitter lights up yellow, and the cool white emitter lights up in more of a blue shade.

After arranging, I put thermal paste (Arctic Alumina) on the back of each star one at a time, placed the star with the “+” mark toward a red wire, and then slid the star around to help thin and spread the paste. I used tweezers quite a bit here, both for placing the stars and for sliding them around with pressure applied.

Then I tried to push the wires back even more, and bend the ends to get them roughly into the places they’ll need to be.

From there, it was a relatively simple matter to solder the wires to the star pads. However, with wires this thick (22 AWG), it was a bit difficult to get the wires exactly where I wanted them… and the wires kept pushing the stars out of place (or even lifting the star up off the pill). This is a little annoying for now, but it’ll all get fixed while putting on the reflector. (also, my soldering was pretty messy… still not very good at this)

Remember those centering rings from earlier? It’s time to put those back on. In my case, I found that my sloppy soldering kind of got in the way on a couple stars, so I had to file down two sides of the ring to make it fit better. I didn’t file those until after this picture though.

Step 5: Sanity check

At this point, every electrical component was connected, so I decided to test it to make sure I hadn’t botched anything badly enough to prevent it from turning on.

It lives!

When I took the battery tube off after the test, I noticed something. My little baby now has her first positive battery ring scratches! I’m a proud mother.

Step 6: The reflector

So, then I put the reflector on. It was kind of a pain, since the LEDs weren’t even close to centered. I had to put it on loosely, reach carefully into the reflector with needle-nose tweezers, press down hard on the centering ring, and try to drag the emitters sideways to fit. Then flip the light over, tighten the reflector screw a bit, and repeat. Eventually I had it tightened down with the reflectors centered into place.

And I put the battery tube back on. Or, at least I tried to… but every time it even started to thread in, the light would turn itself on. I didn’t press the button or anything…

So I had a short. My guess was that the reflector was shorting ground to one or more of the emitter leads. D’oh. My sloppy soldering and thick wires were probably too thick.

I removed the reflector again for a second quick sanity test, and it still worked fine with the reflector off. So, it’s a reflector short.

Normally, I’d cover the back of the reflector with Kapton tape. But I don’t have any Kapton tape, and don’t know any places to get some on short notice on a Sunday evening. So I used electrical tape instead. The easiest way I found was to put a piece over the reflector hole, then cut it out with an Xacto knife. Tweezers were also necessary, to pull and provide enough tension for the knife to cut effectively.

I did the reflector gradual-tightening-and-centering thing again with tweezers, and eventually got it back into place. I think I got a few small scratches onto the reflector in the process too, near the narrow end, and some fingerprints on the flat front part when I wasn’t careful enough. And some dust and hair. I did not attempt to clean it though, aside from simply blowing it off. I’ve heard too many stories about reflectors getting scratched even by microfiber lens-cleaning cloth. Anyway, here it is after putting it back on:

Note: Cereal_killer gave me a really helpful suggestion for handling reflectors… Wear a glove. ZOMG, why didn’t I think of that? No more fingerprints! Disposable rubber “exam gloves” are only a few cents each, and would be perfect for the job.

Step 7: Put it back together

Putting the rest back together is easy. Well, aside from the driver wanting to pop out because I didn’t get its press-fit quite tight enough. In any case, it went back together quickly. The only odd thing is that the battery tube now rotates to a different position when it’s fully tightened. My lanyard used to attach directly below the button, and now it’s about 100 degrees tighter. Not a big deal though, I can just re-thread it.

Tints and Beam

After getting everything back together, here is what the front of the light looks like when it’s on at the lowest setting:

… and how it looks when I shine it at a wall from nearly point-blank range:

If I pull the light back a little (less than a meter, IIRC), the hotspots all blend together into a white tint:

The overall tint came out just slightly warmer or more yellow than I intended. It might be better to use a 3* tint for the middle instead of a 4C tint. Or perhaps use a 1A tint at the cool end instead of 1D. It still looks very nice, but my BST-wide puts out a slightly more pleasing beam. But then, if your eyes prefer warmer tints, maybe this would already be “just right”.

Diffuser film

After using it for a little while, I decided that the SRK was too throwy. Normally it would be okay, but it seems like the wide-spectrum output is a bit pointless when there’s such a huge difference in brightness (and color temperature, I think) between the hotspot and the spill. So I added some DC-Fix to the lens to smooth out the beam. This makes the SRK much more of a flooder, and more useful up close (which is where I actually want to see colors vividly).

If you make a wide-spectrum light, I recommend making it floody to get the best and most vivid colors.

Adding the film is really straightforward. Take out the lens, clean it thoroughly, put it onto some DC-Fix after removing the protective backing, then cut around it with a thin, sharp knife. Rub it thoroughly to push out air bubbles, and it’s good to go!

Here’s the front of the light with the diffuser film on:

Or, approximately the same thing with some ambient lighting from the room:

As aoeu pointed out, the picture above looks an awful lot like Mickey Mouse with his face lit up by a smile. I think this mod made my light happy. Smile

After adding DC-Fix, I re-tested the SRK in my light box, and found that the results were about 3% lower than without the DC-Fix. So, this type of diffuser apparently sacrifices about 3% of the total output in order to make the beam smoother. Of course, I also didn’t recharge the batteries first, so it could potentially be a little bit due to less-fresh cells.

Output

Before any changes, my light box measured the light at 2112 lumens OTF. I don’t have the light box fully calibrated, but I think that’s at least in the right ballpark. I’d expect about 2200 lumens after calibration.

After finishing my changes (but before DC-Fix), I measured again. The results were:

  • Level 1: 44.6 lm OTF
  • Level 2: 86.2 lm
  • Level 3: 300 lm
  • Level 4: ???
  • Level 5: ???
  • Level 6: ???
  • Level 7: ???

At level 4 and above, for some reason, my light meter bugged out. It flashed some sort of error at me. But I still wanted to know what the highest output was, so I did a really simple ceiling bounce test. I tested level 3 via ceiling bounce in a small white bathroom, then tested level 7, and based on a simple linear ratio, I got the following:

  • Level 7: 3098 lm OTF

Very close to my earlier theory-based estimate of 3058 lumens!

I’ll have to get better measurements after building an integrating sphere, which probably won’t happen for a few weeks.

Also, I’d love to get tailcap amperage measurements, but the SRK makes that kind of a pain and my DMM only goes up to 10A. I’d probably blow up my DMM if I tried to measure the highest mode, or if there were any amp spikes during measurement.

So I think I’ll just trust that it’s actually 11.2A since the lumen measurement came out so close to my estimates. If any of the 7135 chips aren’t fully connected, or if something else isn’t fully up to par, I’ll probably never know.

Final thoughts

I did this mod during the day, so I haven’t had a good chance to really test it at night yet.

So far, I really like it but the interface can be a little confusing. I’m accustomed to Zebralight’s UI, where a short press turns it on in the high mode and a long press turns it on in the lowest mode. The STAR momentary-switch firmware does the opposite though, so I keep getting it backward.

I didn’t glue the driver in, and I made the wires extra long, so I hope I’ll be able to experiment with firmware on this host.

Edited by: ToyKeeper on 06/13/2014 - 18:54
Richwouldnt
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Thanks. Your text and photos give me a good picture of how to disassemble a SRK or clone. My two have driver boards marked JB and JB-A on the battery contact sides. JB-A on the black SRK and JB on the SecurityIng. Red finish, I presume solder mask, on the non copper visible board parts on both. Both are 5 mode lights as received with 3 levels plus strobe and SOS.

Rich Wood
Reno, NV

DayLighter
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Nice detailed work.. Beer Beer
Does it get hot faster than with the old SRK driver on HIGH mode? :bigsmile:

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

wight
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Good writeup. Others on BLF have wanted the modes in reverse order as well. IIRC the fix a simple change, but you must be careful not to mess up the Turbo step-down (assuming you are using that). I don’t have a link to a post right now.

Maybe the change was as simple as:
if (press_duration > 0 && press_duration < LONG_PRESS_DUR)
vs
if (press_duration > 0 && press_duration > LONG_PRESS_DUR)

Still fine, still on a break. One day I’ll catch up with you folks! previous wight catchup Wink
list of my drivers & variants (A17DD, FET+1 stuff, WIP stuff, etc)

Helios-
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Excellent pictures! Very nice build! :bigsmile:
Oh and nice leatherman squirt. I’ve been keeping an eye out for a squirt PS4 with torx pivots.


Counterfeit 18650s, 2,<a href=“http://

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What an amazing story. I love your persistence and applaud your effort. My daughter is not much into lights but liked your nail(s). Whats next on the modding list? You have set your bar at a high level. Again well done. Smile 

 

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.

 

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Yes, it gets warm pretty fast on the highest level. To be honest though, I try to avoid leaving any light on the maximum level for very long. I haven’t actually left this on turbo for more than 20 or 30 seconds yet, but even that is enough to turn it into a hand-warmer.

It definitely heats up faster than my Blackshadow Terminator… but then, my ceiling bounce test also tells me that this is significantly brighter than the BST.

As for mode order or UI button mappings, I don’t even have any flashing hardware yet. Firmware might be my next adventure, and I’ll probably be doing a lot more than just swapping the button mappings. However, that simple change might be a good “hello world” type test, to make sure I have the toolchain working.

The Squirt ES4 is new to me as of a few days ago. The TSA took my Juice S2, so I decided to try replacing it with something smaller and better-suited for modding.

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Fantastic job. I have one question.
What is DC-Fix exactly and where did you get it?

Edit: yea I know that’s actually 2 questions.

ToyKeeper
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MRsDNF wrote:
What an amazing story. I love your persistence and applaud your effort. My daughter is not much into lights but liked your nail(s). Whats next on the modding list?

Heh, nail(s)? Smile This was the first time I ever tried nail wraps. A friend just got into them and gave me a sample. I didn’t really like how it turned out though, and finally took them all off this morning except for my thumbs. They’re kind of holding together some tears in both thumbnails, so I’ll wait until that part is grown out.

The problem with nail wraps is… well, have you ever tried to wrap a piece of paper around a globe… without allowing any creases in the paper? Same problem. I like regular nail polish much better.

Anyway, that was kind of a tangent.

The next mods on the list are: Start writing attiny13a firmware, and make an aspheric thrower with de-domed XP-G2. But I don’t have the hardware yet for flashing firmware, and I’ve been dragging my feet on the aspheric mod because it has a hollow pill and I haven’t bothered to find the raw copper I need to build a heat sink. It might be better to just get a UF-T20 to mod instead (much better host and better thrower), and leave this one (UF-838) as only a flooder.

Oh, and I still need to post about making a light box, and still need to make an integrating sphere. And figure out how to properly calibrate them.

And then there’s the 1×18650 variable-speed strobe light. And some others.

I hope that the excessive detail and pictures will help other inexperienced people get into modding lights. At the very least, I think it shows that a lot of mods are actually pretty easy. It doesn’t take much to turn a budget light into something awesome. (I think it took less than an hour to upgrade my HD2011 to a Nichia 219B w/ Qlite NLITE driver)

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Awesome mod! Love that 32*7135 build…glad they are working out for people…Mattaus did an incredible job with that build! Really pushes the amps if you have good batteries

Definitely want to see beam shots and your take on the clarity of the colors you get with a wide spectrum flashlight…I know with a neutral tint emitter (4C) the colors look that much distinct and clear rather than running a warm (yellowish color) and cool (bluish color) now with all three all the colors should really stand out and be that much more vibrant!

Excellent job and build…I am going to do the same with my 3*XM-L SRK but instead of XM-L’s going to convert to a quasi thrower with XP-G2’s in it, run at a little hotter than 300% output 1750mA, XM-L’s run at 3A at 300% output, XP-G2’s at 1500, but they get hot reaaaaly fast! (and my SRK doesn’t have a heatsink…so after ordering a 50mm copper round [20ga] will build a heatsink shelf and then bond the sinkpads to that.)

Love the build

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Hi-Beam wrote:
What is DC-Fix exactly and where did you get it?

It’s a diffuser film, intended to go on windows to let light through without allowing anyone to actually see what’s happening on the other side.

What I got was “DC Fix 3460211 Sand”, and it was $20 for a lifetime supply. Well, a roll 45 cm by 200 cm anyway, which for torches is more than I’ll ever need. You can also get envelope-sized sheets from some community members for a few dollars, but I knew I’d probably use more than that so I just got a whole roll.

I got mine from Amazon, but that was just because it was more convenient than ordering from Germany (where it’s made, IIRC).

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hehe Mickymouse is happy!

I like the thread. Never modded before and it gives me a good idea on what's involved.

ToyKeeper
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WarHawk-AVG wrote:
Definitely want to see beam shots and your take on the clarity of the colors you get with a wide spectrum flashlight…

I am going to do the same with my 3*XM-L SRK but instead of XM-L’s going to convert to a quasi thrower with XP-G2’s in it, run at a little hotter than 300% output 1750mA, XM-L’s run at 3A at 300% output, XP-G2’s at 1500, but they get hot reaaaaly fast! (and my SRK doesn’t have a heatsink…so after ordering a 50mm copper round [20ga] will build a heatsink shelf and then bond the sinkpads to that.)

Beam shots… I can do that. Probably some with and some without the diffuser film. And even more interesting are the shadows it casts, since they have multi-color edges. But I can’t really get pics to demonstrate how vivid the colors are. All I can say is that my BST-wide produces the best color of any light I’ve ever used, including nice Nichia 219 neutral high-CRI lights.

As for the XP-G2 thrower mod, why stop at 1750mA? I’m not sure how much heat a SRK host can really take (especially if you must build the heat sink yourself), but the XP-G2 can run at 3A or 4A with sufficient heat sinking. You could use this 32×7135 driver for it. And if you want it to be extra throwy, de-dome the emitters first. I hear you can get 125 kcd of lux with de-domed XP-G2s in a SRK. I think 18sixfifty has made some like this… more lumens than a stock SRK and about 5X as much throw. Even if the host can’t really take that much heat, you could still use it as a “turbo” mode.

ToyKeeper
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aoeu wrote:
hehe Mickymouse is happy!

Oh, wow. I didn’t even notice that. I think I must point this out in the OP.

Also, I’m glad it was educational for you. That’s why I posted a write-up. Smile

comfychair
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The Oshpark boards are thinner than the original drivers which is why your tube-to-head alignment changed (also in some cases the ground ring on the driver won't even touch the face of the battery tube, and the light only works if the ground is carried thru missing anodizing on the threads). I add solder blobs and then mill them down to the same thickness as original, though you can use anything as long as it's the right thickness. Nonconductive is actually better, since a lot of lights have flaky anodizing in the threads and won't lock out properly if the driver has a ground path to the head (it only needs to touch the battery tube).

http://75.65.123.78/blf-srk/Dsc07619.jpg

 

Also, if you have the stuff to do it, reflash it with a fast-PWM version of the firmware. It's much quieter and still works fine on both the 7135 and FET drivers.

DBSAR
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Awesome job on this mod ! Smile great idea of the tint blending to achieve a good balance. would be great to see some beam shots comparing it to other lights of single tints.

That Canadian flashlight guy & Lantern Guru -Den / DBSARlight

aoeu
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^^ Yeap that’s the solution. You won’t be able to ‘re-thread’ it. That’s not something you can change.

ToyKeeper
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aoeu wrote:
^^ Yeap that’s the solution. You won’t be able to ‘re-thread’ it. That’s not something you can change.

Oh, I re-threaded the lanyard. It was easy and took only about a minute. Now it attaches almost directly underneath the button again. Smile
ToyKeeper
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comfychair wrote:
… in some cases the ground ring on the driver won’t even touch the face of the battery tube, and the light only works if the ground is carried thru missing anodizing on the threads …
Also, if you have the stuff to do it, reflash it with a fast-PWM version of the firmware. It’s much quieter and still works fine on both the 7135 and FET drivers.

Fortunately, this was an original pre-clone SRK and has good anodizing and good lock-out.

Whatever firmware RMM put on it (“SRK Special” STAR firmware), it doesn’t make any sound that I can hear. I don’t think I’ll need to change it for noise reasons, but I would still like to play with firmware in general.

Edit: Also, I’m not sure what speed the PWM is. I haven’t checked that yet. However, it looks faster than a typical 4.5 kHz nanjg. I’m just not sure if it’s 9 kHz or 18 kHz. I’ll try to compare it against my XinTD C8 V4 (18 kHz) to see if I can figure it out, but my method isn’t very precise… just waving a thin white sheet through the beam as fast as I can, and trying to estimate the distance between “frames”. At 18 kHz, I can barely move it fast enough to see frames. Regardless, it runs silently and the PWM is fast enough that I haven’t noticed it when not looking for it. (at 4.5 kHz or below, I see PWM even while I’m not trying to, and it’s distracting)

M4D M4X
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great thread!

A-grade pictures

nice text!

thank you for sharing. Smile

PLEASE NOTE
i do not work in "reviews, deals and codes" for the time being
maybe M4D M4X will return one day, but until then:

THANK YOU FOR YEARS OF YOUR SUPPORT AND FRIENDLY CONTACTS!

jmpaul320
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A great mod and a very instructive thread! Thanks for sharing!

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

 

Soumil wrote:

PLEASE HELP ME GEARBEsT! IM LITERALLY CRYING!

 

Chloe
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Nice mod and write up! :bigsmile: I don’t have any multi-emitter lights yet (not really a need for one), but now I am curious about combining tints, maybe for kitchen lighting as I’m still using halogen.

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I just realized I forgot to waterproof the switch when I was putting it back together.

The O-ring for the switch is behind the circuit board the switch rests on, which means the switch is exposed to water if the light gets wet. I don’t know what would happen if it got wet (maybe it’s designed to handle that?), but I don’t really want to find out.

The easiest way I can think of to waterproof it is to wrap the switch in part of a balloon or condom, with the wrap pulled back through the same hole the wires go through (and then cut off the excess rubber somewhere inside the head). This should protect the switch and still form a seal with the O-ring behind it. I hear it might also improve the feel of the switch, but I’ve never had an issue with how my SRK switch feels.

The lens has a nice O-ring, the battery tube has an O-ring, I didn’t check if the tail cap does… that just leaves the switch as an entry point for water. (Yes, the tail cap is removable; however, it may be very hard to twist the first time, and mine feels pretty stuck)

Richwouldnt
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Just wrap the tail cap with a fairly large rubber band, doubled. I use the ones that come on bunches of asparagus. Makes an excellent anti slip surface to grip for getting the cap off.

Rich Wood
Reno, NV

Helios-
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The condoms are for my flashlight, I swear!

I recommend party balloons. Party


Counterfeit 18650s, 2,<a href=“http://

Illuminaria
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comfychair wrote:

Nonconductive is actually better, since a lot of lights have flaky anodizing in the threads and won’t lock out properly if the driver has a ground path to the head (it only needs to touch the battery tube

My very first SRK light from Amazon had the amazing ability to turn itself on after taken out of lockout; this in turn bubbled the top of dresser before I returned to room Shocked . Point is I want to ensure good lockout if batteries not pulled for the road.

ToyKeeper , nice build and shots!

ToyKeeper
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I’m not too worried about anodizing or lockout. I’ve had this light for about 2 years now, with batteries in it most of that time, and it has never had any issues. I loosen the battery tube a half turn when not in use, and that gives it enough space that I can’t turn it on no matter how hard I press the two halves together.

Since I got a SRK fairly early from a good batch, I ended up paying more for it… but it has basically none of the issues the clones have.

However, the driver is no longer glued into place, so it’s possible the driver could pop up and touch the non-anodized part of the tube. Hasn’t been an issue yet, but I’ll keep an eye on it. For now, I’ve simply made sure to store it bezel-down so the weight of the batteries will help hold the driver in place.

When (or if?) I finish mucking about with firmware, I’ll see about gluing (or maybe shimming) the driver down to prevent this potential failure mode. I don’t want to make it too stuck though, in case I decide to upgrade it again later.

DB Custom
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Cigars? Wink

Looks like you pretty much intuitively figured out some of the potential hiccups. You might want to clean up the battery side of the board by snipping off or filing off where the wires come through. I don’t like any possibility of a positive cell top touching that negative wire, or vice verse. Sometimes an attempt to solder the ground can allow a cold joint, and this might end up sloughing off and floating around in the light, possibly touching a wire top and cell at the same time. Stuff happens.

When locating the emitters, I find it easier to use Arctic Alumina Thermal Adhesive, place the stars with centering rings on the emitters onto the reflector, with it upside down and adhesive on the stars (no wires showing through the shelf) place the light down over the reflector assembly and looking through the driver side make sure your wire holes are clear. Screw in the screw, make it firm, and go get yourself a drink, a snack, the clothes out of the dryer…whatever. After about 10 minutes you can pull the reflector and the stars will be firmly in position exactly where they go. Wire em up, easy peasy…no moving around from the wire tension. I find too that using the Arctic Alumina Thermal Adhesive to dab over the wired connections insulates them from the reflector quite effectively without worrying about tape slipping and then a short. I also mix enough extra at this point to re-enforce the positive and negative connections on the board, also ensuring they don’t short or come loose under tension. Potting the wires, as it were.

Other than that, you’ve done an excellent job already and handled the little bumps with aplomb! Nicely done.

(If an occasion demands removal of a star or wire that is glued in the above manner, heat it with the iron for a short time and it will generally release fairly easily Wink )

Illuminaria
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Nichia NVSL219BT 4500K 92 CRI LED on 16mm Noctigon from RMM.

This is what I want to try next just to see….

We used to use colored gels and dichroic filters on rented stage lights, during my AV work in the N.O. Marriott, when requested to make the colors “pop” on stage. This was 30 years ago so forgotten a lot. I just want to see what a so called full spectrum LED can do compared to lower CRI single LED.

If you have BTDT then I’ll just move on to something else.

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Very nicely built, very well written!

“Hard writing makes easy reading”

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DBCstm wrote:
(lots of good advice)

Thanks! I had wondered a bit if I should trim the wires on the battery side of the board, but hadn’t thought of any of the other things you suggested. That’s a really great way to get the emitters centered without fuss or risk of scratching things. Sharp objects make me nervous near the easily-scratched reflector and the soft dome of the LED. And although my quick search for “alternative to kapton tape” did bring up the idea of non-conductive paint, it didn’t occur to me to try the arctic alumina sitting right next to me. The electrical tape I used is pretty much guaranteed to make a mess and need to be re-done if I ever take the reflector out again.

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