my first build, any advice greatly appreciated

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johny723
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a new battery from DX has arrived.
I made a contact board for a new driver. It looks really ugly :D, but should do the job.
But I am still waiting for the XML-2 LEDs on noctigons. It is really annoying to be limited not by your already extremely limited free time, but by shipping…

johny723
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still waiting for the XML 2 emitters on noctigons. The seller did not respond to a paypal dispute, so I have escalated the claim to the paypal. That should speed the things up a bit!

johny723
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this seller http://www.intl-outdoor.com has been ignoring me and all he does is play a dead bug for over a month! All I want now is to unleash the PayPal on him, so that I can get my money from July 29th!!! In the meantime, where can I buy similar XML2 leds on copper stars? I have already given up the idea of getting them from the Outdoor Store!

BTW, will I see some improvement with an AR coated lens? My longterm plan is to unlock the true power of this flashlight. I want to buy a FET driver, unprotected cells or remove protection from these ones, and an AR coated lens when the current driver or batteries die just to reach its full potential.

Rufusbduck
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There is a measure able difference but you would likely only notice it by switching back and forth quickly between them. The human eye sees increased output on a logarithmic scale so a few percent difference is hard to see.

Three Tanna leaves to give him life, nine to give him movement. But what if he eats the whole bag?

Scott

johny723
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Yes I know that, but small details negligible on their own, make a difference when upgraded and fixed at the same time. The FET driver will increase current from roughly 5A to ±6,2A per led. Adding the AR lens will add up to 10% of the total output on top of that, so the change SHOULD be visible. I asked a few people about the difference after the driver change, and they all said it is a visible difference. Almost all high end light have AR coated lenses, so it SHOULD have some effect worth the effort. I do not expect a huge increase in the power, but a noticeable improvement. A lens is not that expensive after all. But I am no expert, and since I do not plan on having multiple lights, I will most certainly buy one AR lens just to see how much it changes the output. I always like to use the full potential of toys I have. I just like doing things properly Smile
Or is it really pointless? Any personal experience???

will34
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An AR lens is NEVER pointless. Smile

I ordered from Intl-outdoors many many times and never got a delay, sorry to hear that.

If you need them shipped fast, try mtnelectronics.com.

As for the thermal adhesive, I used arctic alumina on my lights, it works good.

By the way have you installed the BLF driver yet?

johny723
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No, I don’t have it installed. I have a stock LCK driver, already potted and installed, thats why I say these changes will come no sooner that the current driver or batteries have died.

BTW, would anything get damaged if I tried to dissolve the fujik thermal glue in concentrated alcohol or gasoline? Electronics likes them right? If that was possible, I just might change my mind and mod this driver for a higher current output and remove the protection circuits from cells and get an AR lens at the same time before waiting for anything to die! I am stuck waiting for XML2 leds either way. Provided thaf it is possible to remove the fujik from the driver without damaging it…

johny723
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A rookie question: Which XML-2 leds are the best to get? There are quite a few XML2 led emitters for sale. I have no idea what the differences between them are. Will these CREE XM-L2 U3 1A LED on Noctigon 20mm MCPCB http://www.mtnelectronics.com/opencart/index.php?route=product/product&p... be OK?

will34
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U3 1A = Newest XM-L2 with cool white tint, this one is good if you like pure white light. You can see the temperature rating in the description of each product.

Don’t know about removing the fujik, but I’m not really a fan of stock drivers. There are lots of great custom drivers to choose from with excellent modes. Qlite, BLFDD and the new LD-1 are among my favorites right now.

You probably don’t need to remove the protection circuits just yet, unless absolutely necessary and make sure you can shrink wrap them again.

johny723
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I have a question regarding dedoming. What are the risks of dedoming? Any long term effects on the led after the “dome” has been removed? I know that the process of dedoming itself can go wrong, but if it is performed successfully, is there any danger to the LED over the course of time ? I want to dedome my LEDs to increase the throw.

johny723
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I have my money back. Too bad it had to end this way, but the seller did not give me any other choice. I will buy XM-L2 U3 1A LEDs from somewhere else

johny723
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Another colour-related question -too bad I do not know what kind of light I like Big Smile Which LED will have the most “visible” or “usable” light after dedoming??? I dont want to order something wrong, I dont know if these http://www.mtnelectronics.com/opencart/index.php?route=product/product&p... XM-L2 U3 1A LEDs will be OK after dedoming.

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johny723 wrote:
Another colour-related question -too bad I do not know what kind of light I like Big Smile Which LED will have the most “visible” or “usable” light after dedoming??? I dont want to order something wrong, I dont know if these http://www.mtnelectronics.com/opencart/index.php?route=product/product&p... XM-L2 U3 1A LEDs will be OK after dedoming.

Here, try this guy. He has XM-L2’s on Noctigons already de-domed.

The Cycle of Goodness: “No one prospers without rendering benefit to others”
- The YKK Philosophy

johny723
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According to some sellers, a 1A tint is supposed to be the most suitable for dedoming XM-L2 leds, so I will order these

johny723
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Waiting for the emitters from the Mountain electronics.

In the meantime, I think my stock diodes have died. At least one of them, since they are in a series… The light stopped working. The “stop” itself was rather abrupt… And it does not work with either the stock or the new driver. Is it possible that one of them, since they are on aluminum stars, cold not cope with the current from the LCK 5A driver and have died?? I recall that one of them had some dark spots back in time when it worked Big Smile Is 5A too much for them when they are on aluminum stars? Is this likely to be the root of my problems or should I run some advanced diagnostics to find out what is wrong?

johny723
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My leds are finally here!
I “examined” the flashlight and found out one of the stock emitters was dead. It is the one with dark spots. On the bright side Big Smile the driver seems to be OK.

ImA4Wheelr
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Hmmm, I swear I posted to this thread once.  Oh well, must be gremlins or bad memory.

That stock driver is a real good 3T6 buck driver.  Hang on to it.  If this light could hold 4 cells, you could use it to drive the 3 emitters in series at 7 and even more amps.  I'm sure you'll find a good use for it eventually.  Werner has a cool post somewhere on how to piggy back an Attiny13a MCU on that driver.

Yeah, 5 amps is pretty hard on an emitter when it's on aluminum.  Especially, if the aluminum base is not well connected to the host.

I think you made a good choice on 1A's for dedoming.  I and others find that tint works decent for dedoming xml2's.  Sure you know, but the gasoline method is the safest way.  Like the gasoline gently dissolve the dome off.  Much less risk of breaking a bond wire that way.  I like to set the container in the sun so that heat speeds up the dissolving process.  Usually takes about 2 hours that way.  Just don't tightly seal the container as you don't want pressure to build to the point the container bursts.

Looking forward to seeing what you do with this light.  I have one, but I won't be getting around to modding mineany time soon.  Thinking I will copy Ouchy's mod, but dedome like you're thinking about doing.

Best wishes and keep us posted.

johny723
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thanks!
another question: to get the best throw, should I position the emitter as deep into the reflector as possible? right?

ImA4Wheelr
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There is a focal point. Positioning the emitter higher or lower hurts throw and beam quality in most reflectors. Usually, the manufacture has already taken care of that for you.  I keep a variety of isolator rings and swap them until I get the best beam pattern I can.  Hopefully, your stock isolators are just right already.

Some lights, like a lot of SRK's, don't even have an isolator ring.  I find in those that the beam pattern improves dramatically using the above process.

johny723
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OK, but the emitters are dedomed now, so it is not a stock light anymore and I am afraid this case has not been taken care of by the manufacturer. Or am I wrong?

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ImA4Wheelr wrote:

There is a focal point. Positioning the emitter higher or lower hurts throw and beam quality in most reflectors. Usually, the manufacture has already taken care of that for you.  I keep a variety of isolator rings and swap them until I get the best beam pattern I can.  Hopefully, your stock isolators are just right already.

Some lights, like a lot of SRK’s, don’t even have an isolator ring.  I find in those that the beam pattern improves dramatically using the above process.

Where do you get those rings from? Is there different thickness like a variety pack to try out and then could buy the right size

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John723 wrote:

OK, but the emitters are dedomed now, so it is not a stock light anymore and I am afraid this case has not been taken care of by the manufacturer. Or am I wrong?

You're right.  The apparent light source is no longer the surface of the doom.  Hopefully, someone that has more experience with dedomed xml2's and your light can answer your question.  It maybe something you will have to experiment with yourself.

I would think if you do have to adjust the height, it would be to raise it because the bare emitter is lower than the top of the dome. 

fellfromtree wrote:

Where do you get those rings from? Is there different thickness like a variety pack to try out and then could buy the right size

I have accumulated them over time.  A variety pack would be awesome, but I don't know of any.  I did get a bunch of different ones from one Aliexpress vendor in a bundle.  I just searched my Aliexpress history, but it doesn't show purchases going back that far.  I know Comfychair had a thread on them and that is what linked me to the bundle.  I have to run.   I will try to find the thread tomorrow if you don't find it before then.

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ImA4Wheelr wrote:
I have accumulated them over time.  A variety pack would be awesome, but I don’t know of any.  I did get a bunch of different ones from one Aliexpress vendor in a bundle.  I just searched my Aliexpress history, but it doesn’t show purchases going back that far.  I know Comfychair had a thread on them and that is what linked me to the bundle.  I have to run.   I will try to find the thread tomorrow if you don’t find it before then.

Know this is off topic but can’t find any on Ali. Been using tape and sandpaper, be nice to have different sizes

johny723
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18sixfifty recommends that I place them as deep into the reflector as possible. So be it!

fellfromtree
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Well you can.. But you’ll lose some throw to spill depending on the reflector. There is a perfect spot for throw in the tests I’ve done. Kind of a squirrel here myself

ImA4Wheelr
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^  I haven't seen it put it that way before, but that's a great explanation.  It hits the nail right on the head.

Here is the thread I mentioned above for the isolator rings.  I checked one of the links in Post 8.  It still worked.

http://budgetlightforum.com/node/30585#node-30585

johny723
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I have successfully dedomed the LEDs and mounted them on the pill. I used those stock centering rings and they saved me lots of work, although I had to do some minor adjustments to make it perfectly centered. The thermal glue i used is some cheap junk from DX.com , but I mixed it with a bit of aluminum powder ( actually as much as possible until it was semi-solid to help with thermal conductivity) then I applied a thin layer of the” cheap Chinese junk with aluminum powder” on the stars, added a few drops of acetone to make it temporarily as thin and liquid as possible ( acetone evaporates fast, so it should not have any long- term effects on the strength of the connection) and put the emitters, the pill and the reflector together. I tightened those 2 screws all the way down and even put a 10 kg dumbbell on top of it to make sure only the smallest amount of the glue stays between the stars and the pill. Pics will come later, it is 01:03 am in my country and I am tired.

ImA4Wheelr
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Sounds like great progress.  So it sounds like you are waiting for the adhesive to cure and then just wire the emitters to have the top of the head completed?

You probably already have this planned, but just in case.  When the head is completed, you can run some extra wire so that you can measure current to the emitters and work on your driver in the open. Kind of like this:

johny723
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all put finally together

this is how my thermal glue looked like after adding some aluminum powder. It was white before the procedure, now it is grey

ImA4Wheelr
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Not sure about that thermal adhesive, but having the emitters on copper is the most important part.  I take it the aluminum powder is very fine and that like you said you made it thin with acetone and pressure.  So maybe it will be very effective.  I think thin (even very cheap) paste would be better if your pill and bases were flat.  Testing for thermal sag will tell you if your setup is working properly.

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