Entering flashaholic stage

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MountainMan
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Entering flashaholic stage

Hello all, I recently rediscovered an old Cabelas XPG Xenon 9v flashlight that quit working over 7 years ago, started doing some research and came across the world of P60 dropins, 18650 batteries…all that jazz.
I self taught myself a little bit to know enough to get myself in trouble on this topic, and that’s why I’m here, to NOT get myself in trouble!
I’m wondering if I can use any p60 drop in for above mentioned flashlight, and also if I can run a rechargeable 18650 instead of throwing away cr123’s every week.
My primary use would be for hunting/fishing/camping/backpacking…all outdoor use.
Thanks in advance for any help! (And also, this is my first ever forum post on the internets) 8)

DavidEF
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Welcome to BLF! I don’t know enough to keep you out of trouble with the P60 drop-ins. I don’t even know if a P60 drop-in would fit that flashlight. But, I do know that to get 9v from CR123’s, you need 3 of them ( 3v each). And one 18650 is just about the length of two CR123. So, you won’t be able to do that size-wise. Also, the 18650, at full charge is 4.2v, so it would certainly take two to even get near the rated voltage, and then it would still be lower. There is such a thing as a 16340, which is a rechargeable lithium-ion in the same size as a CR123. But, then you would be over the rated voltage, and I don’t know if your light can take that or not! Most LED lights can, but yours has a xenon bulb. If you did get a drop-in to work in it, you may be okay there, and then you’d have the convenience of Li-Ion rechargeables in the size that the light was made to hold.

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T.H.Cone
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Welcome to the forum, Mountain Man.

I don’t have one, but from what I can tell, the Cabelas light is indeed a P60 host. If for some reason, if it isn’t, then the simple answer would be, no. But since it looks like it is, the thing you need to keep in mind is that drop ins have a voltage window (ex. 3-6 volts) and the window has to match the batteries or cell that are powering it.

Because I’m not super familiar with the light, I’ll further assume that the version you have is powered by 3 cr123a primaries. which means that the tube is essentially as long as 1.5 18650s, so that obviously won’t happen. Now, if find an appropriate drop in (11-13v minimally), you might be able to use three 16340s if they will fit.

Unless someone here knows for sure, the best way to know if they fit is to try them.

Hopefully, one of our fellow members can be more exacting in their answer.

Again, welcome.

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Don't be confused, my Username has been changed from "Cone" to "T.H.Cone".  I'm still the same clown.

ImA4Wheelr
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Welcome to the forum MountainMan.  You came to the wrong place to stay out of trouble.  I would suggest running, but you sound like you have already been bit.

Sorry I don't have any info your project.

Pulsar
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Or you could go with lifepo4 rcr123a cells. They are a pretty close match to cr123a 

MountainMan
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Thanks for all the welcomes and quick replies!
So it looks like if I want to use a rechargeable, it’s going to be the 16340 since I won’t be running the xenon bulb, voltage won’t matter.
It looks like 16340’s run between 3.2-3.7 volts? So I’d have to look for a dropin that would run 9.6-11.1v, correct? Then if I ever wanted/needed to run cr123’s, I would have to have a diferent p60 for that voltage…maybe this isn’t the best idea!

Let’s say I do go that route anyways, any suggestions on brands (and mah) for 16340’s and preferably a universal charger since I’m thinking about switching all my AA-AAA headlamps and flashlights to NiMH batteries, so I could charge all kinds on one charger?

Or should I toss the Cabelas 9v and buy a Fenix pd35 (or similar) and run 18650’s?

Pulsar
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You'd want to say the 16340 will be 4.2v. Lifepo4 cells are 3.6 on a full charge, but quickly go down to 3.2v. If you ran lifepo4 rcr123a cells, you'd definately be able to run cr123a in a pinch. Plus lifepo4 is a "safer" chemistry, so you don't need to be as diligent with safety measures. 

MountainMan
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Thanks for staying with me here Pulsar, so if I bought this LifePo kit, I could use it for my flashlight with any p60 dropin such as this? dropin and I could use either the rechargeables OR standard cr123’s?
Hopefully I did the hyperlink correctly.

Pulsar
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Yeah you should be able to. But I doubt it's anywhere near 1800 lumens. 

MountainMan
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Agreed, i just used that as an example with voltage that would work. Maybe closer to 1,000?
Any suggestions for brand of battery or dropin? Or websites that have great selection and prices for all this kind of thing? That tenergy link I added, would that be a decent setup and price?

Thanks again for all your help too, Pulsar, and all others. Smile

JaredM
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I’ll start first by saying you’re on a VERY slippery slope my friend and it seems you’ve already taken the first step. All you can do now is enjoy the ride Silly

Anyhow, I have that same light you speak of except the two cell version. Problems with that P60 host is it has a sub 17mm bore in the battery tube. So no real good options for high capacity batteries. Your three options if you choose to utilize the host are 3×16340 li ion or life, or two 14500’s with a sleeve. But honestly, for all the trouble and money for relatively poor cells, you should just get an UF 502B for under 7 bucks.

I would still recommend starting out on a single protected 18650 and a P60. You have endless options and the most beginner friendly platform.

The best “starter kit” in my opinion is this:

UF 502B host
3 amp (two minute step down) XM-L2 3C on copper
Panasonic PF protected 18650
Xtar MC1 charger

All can be had for under $40.

https://fundrazr.com/osturaband

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MountainMan
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Ahhh JaredM! Just the man I’ve been hoping would see this and had gone through my trouble already! Thank you for taking the time to reply.
If I were to go “all in” with the p60 rodeo, would it basically be cheaper and just as good as if I were to go out and buy….say, a fenix 18650 class?

I’m on a tight budget and this latest craze of mine started with almost buying a fenix pd32 2014, then I decided to look into what I could do with the aforementioned cabelas host, which entailed bringing myself up to speed (somewhat) on the rechargeable battery underground, and then all the p60 craze and universal chargers.
I’ve basically skimmed everything but am looking for a firm direction to head at this point.

Sorry for being so lengthy… hopefully the flashlight I decide to do will follow my characteristics in throw! :bigsmile:

viperbart
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That website Jared links to is great, all quality stuff, hand picked by a great active member in this forum. (To answer your question about where to buy)

MountainMan
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Thanks viperbart, that was one of a few I have found and from what I saw it has great prices, and its very nice to hear others say its great and reputable.
I was actually watching the Panasonic 18650 protected 3,400mAh for a few days and sure enough, sold out as of today I believe!

Thanks VB

bugsy36
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Welcome to the circus MountainMan. This is a place where all sorts of people can do all sorts of tricks. Where there is a will there is a way and this place is loaded with all sorts of "don't tell me it can't be done" LOL. Simply amazing people and stuff they do!

ImA4Wheelr has officially warned you to run but from the looks of it you will also ignore that as most of us did Laughing Once you see how you can save money, hot rod virtually any light, you will find yourself getting strange looks from friends and family they watch the transformation caused by the "bug".

I started lurking here almost three months ago. I needed to find a replacement for a Streamlight Strion for work purposes. In the end because of budget I ended up purchasing a Fenix PD35. I can say that it is a quality light and I have no regrets over it but I learned there are many comparable alternatives for a lot less $$. While searching for a good light I became amazed and intrigued by what these guys do and BAM I was bitten. Up to now I have been buying and adding the 1" tube lights to the arsenal because they are so easy for me to carry around (links below).

I really know nothing of the P60 stuff but trying to learn as much about it as I can. I guess the P60 standard is set by the SolarForce, and priced very reasonably. The resident SF expert around here is gentleman that goes by Foy. I have plans to add a couple SF down the road.

Because my Fenix set the bar (for me) I went with the following:

http://www.banggood.com/EAGLE-EYE-X2-CREE-XM-L2-U2-3C-600-Lumens-LED-Fla...

http://www.banggood.com/Eagle-Eyes-F30-CREE-XML2-U2-1A3C-4modes-LED-Flas...

http://www.banggood.com/Eagle-Eyes-F35-CREE-XML2-U2-1A3C-Tactical-LED-Fl...

http://www.banggood.com/Eagle-Eyes-X6-CREE-XML2-U2-1A3C-5modes-LED-Flash... (Expect it here in a couple days)

I also have committed to 4 of these (factory hot-rodded Eagle Eye X6's thanks to several members here)

http://budgetlightforum.com/node/32715#comment-639808

...and a couple Nitecore (P12 and P10). Next will be a couple parts and doodads from Mtnelectronics..and if I screw that up I will just ask him to build the lights for me as he is very reasonably priced.

The point that I am trying to make is that before you delve too far into re-working an old light look into the alternatives. If P60 is what you are after, look at the SF and use that as a measure. Even on a "budget" (as all of us are) you will be surprised at what you will accomplish here. (FYI - The letters "BLF" usually get you 5-8% off when you use as a coupon code)

It's the simple things that we take for granted that cost us the most

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MountainMan
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Bugsy36, thanks for replying and I’d like to glean a little more info from you since you bought the exact fenix I’ve been thinking about. Is it the upgraded 2014 model with 960 lm? How happy with that unit are you?
And, would I be wrong to think that I could have a better and cheaper setup with a p60 host that can run 18650’s? That way I could have a couple different p60’s for my different outdoor hobbies, like a blue dropin for blood tracking, a super high lumen/high throw for pre season spotting, a 4 mode bulb for general hunting, and also a multi colored dropin (red and white, if they exist) for entering stand in early morning/exiting after dark to not spook game. Basically, can these p60’s give me 1,000lm out the front?
I know if I did a setup like that, it would definitely not be packaged as well or look quite as nice asthe fenix, but chrome don’t get you home!

Thanks for joining the conversation, bugsy! And thanks again to all who have, this will be my reference for a long time I’m sure!

MountainMan
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Oh, and I must say, this Foy gentleman precedes himself with an OUTSTANDING cache of p60 comparisons that I’ve already read through multiple times and value very much!

Foy, if you do make it onto this thread, I believe it was after reading your thread that I really started to see how good a p60 setup could be for me, and caused me to continue learning about the phenomenon known as flashaholic! So thank you for that lengthy writeup and comparison.

bugsy36
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That is the same PD35. As a light and functionality, it is great. Do I like it - yes (I have one for work and a new one coming "just to have"). Do I use it - nope. My go to is my Eagle Eye F30 (my friend re-appropriated my F35 to his possession. LOL). It's (the Eagle Eye) finish is damned near indestructible as compared to the Fenix. The PD35 is my backup and my loaner. I carry two lights and an extra battery because it is the most important hand tool that I use and someone is always needing to borrow a light because their Strion had to go on the charger (hehe). When that happens they get the Fenix.

I am not sure what a good looking light is. The SolarForce does not look bad at all (to me) but I did not know enough about it (the SF) when I purchased the Fenix. From what I have seen, options are practically limitless with the P60 units and you can get quite a powerhouse for little money compared to buying what is known as a "name brand".

That is what gets you (like me). Let's see $70-$80 for a PD35 or $20 for an Eagle X6 or $40 for a custom built and tested hot-rodded Convoy from Mountain Electronics or a SolarForce for $30...oh crap...give me the last 3 and I will wait another day for the first (PD35)...understand? Three lights for the price of 1 and if you are good at soldering (sadly I am not) you can cause all kinds of trouble like these other guys do here. LOL

It's the simple things that we take for granted that cost us the most

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MountainMan
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I completely understand! Glad the hear the fenix is a great flashlight, but it looks like I will be going the p60 route.
As for soldering, I have a decent Weller with 6 tips, and a needle solder (at least what I call it).
I have soldered many wiring connections, but nothing beyond that, I am afraid I could do it though if I tried. The Lord has blessed me with a mechanical mind and hands that cooperate. Big Smile

How about a solar force L2 for starts? Would that serve me well long term for 18650/P60 platform?

viperbart
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I wouldn’t buy multiple P60 drop in’s for the same host as it’s not easy to remove them when you wrap them with tin foil and bang them in tightly into the host. (You would probably want to do this with a high lumen drop in for heat transfer.)

Good thing is that good host are really inexpensive.

Just my 0.02$

MountainMan
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Viperbart, thanks for that tidbit, would I be able to use one host for a high lumen/heat and then another host for a few p60’s that aren’t high lumen so I wouldn’t have to wrap them and all that/easier to swap?

It should also be noted that I wouldn’t intend on using a really high lumen setting for very long at all, and would have no problem turning to low lumen or turn off for cooling. I walk the woods many times with no light Smile

KawiBoy1428
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Look up Sportac drop in’s no beating in and out, no wrapping b.s. they have a brass heat sink. They have triple Nichias, tripple CW tripple NW and a single XM-L2 that throws well!!!! $30-$40 bucks, Their like a “Malkoff” with out the cost and they are GREAT! Send me the body and I’ll bore it out for 2 protected 18500’s and the Sportacs will run both (cr123’s) Best of both worlds! I do it to Surefire 9P’s all the time, let me know….

KB1428 “Live Life WOT

KawiBoy1428
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I forgot to add this, u can run a 18650 with a cr123 spacer and then run a super high out put multi mode or whatever…..too

KB1428 “Live Life WOT

MountainMan
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Thanks for joining the conversation KawiBoy, owned a ZX6R myself for a few years, that was fun!
Those sportacs look pretty nice, little spendy.
Sorry, but you lost me with boring out and spacers. You’d bore out my cabelas flashlight? That’s how close they are to fitting?! That’s ridiculous! Seems like I’d be better off just getting a new host instead of paying you to bore, paying for shipping both ways….unless I’m seeing this wrong?
I do appreciate the offer though. And we’re fellow Michiganders!

KawiBoy1428
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I’d bore the light out to 18.7mm the CR123 bore should be 17.5mm so about .024” per side or .048” on the diameter. No biggy about 1/2 hr to do. I’ll PM you a price, I’ll think you might like it? Now you can use rechargeable batteries and still use cr123 as back up’s. Depending on what drop in you have or want to use, many options are now opened up to you. (3) cr123’s (1) 18650 with spacer, (2) 18500’s and so on…if it’s a good host, why not..

KB1428 “Live Life WOT

JaredM
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Like we’ve said. It’s best not to get us started. LOL. In a day you won’t have ANY idea what you want.

I fully stand behind my original statement with a new P60 host (for 18650) and a general usage XPG2 or XML2 3/4 mode dropin.

Maybe the best route for you would be the two stage (for now.. lol) route.

Daily Driver
-SF host (L2T and L2m are my favorites)
-You say you like throw, so get a smooth (SMO) reflector and an XP-G2 running between 2.28 and 3.04 amps (not going to be 1000 Lm OTF but that’s the trade-off for range)
I’d recommend doing this with a 3C or 5A2 tint LED and an NLite 3.04 amp driver with 120 sec turbo timer from Mtnelectronics (RMM is what he goes by around here).. You can easily de-solder one or two chips (I believe in you :p) if you don’t want to run it as hard.
-Panasonic PF protected cell. I personally prefer the PFs over the 3400’s because the actual “usable” capacity is the same or better when running these P60s. The 3400s make up their lead at the very end of their life (discharge cycle), where you won’t be able to achieve max brightness any longer, which is the point that I usually recharge my cells anyhow. Another real world analogy would be if you lived and drove only in a congested city, the 3400 would be a car with the same or slightly worse city MPG rating than the PF, but moderately higher HWY rating. If you don’t drive on the highway though, you’ll never see the benefits. Make sense?
-MC1 charger. $5 universal tiny awesome charger. ‘Nuff said.

Hunting special
-UF 502B host
-OP reflectored RGBW XML running this driver
-3400 or PF juiced up by the charger you already have

https://fundrazr.com/osturaband

No affiliation, just a fan.

JaredM
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Or if you can be somewhat patient. The hottest truly “budget” light going right now is the EagleEye X6 we’re brewing up in the ongoing Group Buy. For around $20, an almost perfect light can be yours. That one WILL do 1000 OTF and out-throw an XP-G2 P60.

This would serve as the DD of the two. A P60 is still indispensable for the specialty setups though (RGB/UV/IR)

https://fundrazr.com/osturaband

No affiliation, just a fan.

MountainMan
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Wow lots of info there, thanks Jared! All the advice for hunting/long throw setup kinda went over my head lol.
I just ordered a solarforce L2 for dirt cheap to get me started, and did a laptop pull from my own laptop that was laying around, broken anyways, hopefully they still have some life!
I also ordered the new Opus C3100 v2.1 with the BLF discount, went with that because I will be running eneloops in my aa/aaa headlamps and other flashlights at some point.
How do I sign up for that group buy flashlight and is there an estimated time they will be shipping out? I tried reading through the thread but it was jumbled with updates and didn’t get much usable info out of it.
I hope everyone is enjoying their long weekend and spending at least SOME time off BLF and with family! Wink

bugsy36
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Just read the first page and read the update there. Getting in on the x6 is just a matter of ordering when they become available. 

It's the simple things that we take for granted that cost us the most

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Calmaja
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For standard setup, I prefer Solarforce L2P (HA III) + Int’l outdoor drop-in XM-L2 or Nichia. Depend on your need, higher output or higher cri.
There’re options depend on your preference for tint and modes.
If you prefer throw, pick smooth reflector. Imo standard P60 more practical for short range, so orange peel reflector for me.

DavidEF
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bugsy36 wrote:

Just read the first page and read the update there. Getting in on the x6 is just a matter of ordering when they become available. 


I’ve been following along in that GB since the beginning. They are keeping an interest list, asking whether you prefer NW or CW, but at the opening of the GB, when it gets to that point, it should be just as you said, just ordering what you want. I think the original intent of the interest list was to get to 200 pcs and get a free BLF logo on the lights included. Now, it is probably most useful to Neal, so that he can make sure banggood has enough stock. A while back, he promised to order at least 500 when they are ready. Now, the interest list is already close to 500, so he may have to go higher to have enough to go around! I’m on the list for three lights, and several others are in for four or more!

It’s gonna be a great light at the expected price point of around $20USD, fully customized! It is a beautiful light, too. It would be a great choice to get started into this hobby. Dale (DBCstm) and others have already bought a stock version of this light and shown it to be very mod friendly. There just isn’t anything to not like about this light, unless the “no mode memory” thing is a problem for you. The stock light has memory, but the BLF Edition X6 will not have.

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

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