We need major changes in drop in parts

91 posts / 0 new
Last post

Pages

Windsurf
Windsurf's picture
Offline
Last seen: 1 month 5 days ago
Joined: 08/22/2014 - 15:27
Posts: 343
Location: Boston, MA
We need major changes in drop in parts

I know that many members here like to Mod lights. And for many it is the tinkering that is the fun, and not always the end product. But for many of us who can’t or won’t get into Modding we still would like to experiment. And for many of us it is getting to an end product that works the way we want it to work rather than the experimenting.

So what we need is a major reinvention of the critical parts of the drop in. Specifically, we need a pill that can take the LED board and the driver as snap in’s that don’t require soldering. Just as I can put a micro flash drive into my smart phone by sliding a flash drive with exposed copper rails into a slot and get it to work, we need a pill that has rails where we can slide an LED board in and it makes an electrical connection. Plus it always sits exactly centered. Then on the other side of the pill the driver can also slide in and it makes a connection to the LED through pre-made connections. Obviously, this would mean redesigning both the LED and the driver boards to they would fit the rails and make a tight positive connection. Then simply assembling the reflector and springs and dropping it into the flashlight.

Now I am sure that with all the accumulated knowledge on this board this redesign could easily be done. It will open modding to a lot of us who can’t do the tools and solder stuff. PLus it will make it easy to pop various LED’s and drivers in to mix and match and see what the results in seconds. THis will obviously be a revolution in flashlight technology and make someone lots of money. So I hope you modders can make something like this .

bushwhacked
bushwhacked's picture
Offline
Last seen: 6 years 6 months ago
Joined: 11/22/2012 - 20:18
Posts: 537
Location: NovaScotia, Canada

Post a detailed design (pictures) of what you want.

It’s doubtful anything is going to change like you want. This doesn’t mean you can’t have this type of setup though.

With some design from you and some more ideas you may have some people help make this happen for you.

Having ideas is great, to make this happen you’ll probably have to put in a little more in though.

As an alternative, you can ask questions about different dropin setups so you don’t need to mix and match. There is a wealth of knowledge here and everything is shared for you to see. You can ask questions about what led/driver combinations would be best for certain applications or to achieve desired effects.

P60dropins.com (just a redirect for now)

LSX
LSX's picture
Offline
Last seen: 1 month 1 week ago
Joined: 04/23/2013 - 08:38
Posts: 1456
Location: Perth, Australia

Aren’t P60 drop-ins pretty much exactly what you are talking about anyway?? People just buy all the different drop-ins they want and swap them out as they see fit. There are soo many different options available in the P60 format that it is almost guaranteed that there is something available which will suit everyone’s requirements. From tight throwing XP-E2 drop-ins right up to MT-G2 and triples and everything in between. Plus in a lot of cases it is cheaper to buy a ready built complete drop in than it is to buy just the components to make one. P60 drop-ins are about as simple as it gets, I wouldn’t even classify it as modding, you literally unscrew the head drop it in and screw the head back on…

comfychair
comfychair's picture
Offline
Last seen: 5 years 8 months ago
Joined: 01/12/2013 - 05:39
Posts: 6198

To have specialized parts like that made (plastic connector bodies, terminals, brass/copper pills since none of the parts would fit in a standard off the shelf pill, etc.) would take many many thousands of dollars, the folks capable of making that stuff consider 1000 pieces a small order.

Richwouldnt
Richwouldnt's picture
Offline
Last seen: 11 months 4 days ago
Joined: 05/24/2014 - 00:22
Posts: 1354
Location: Reno, NV, USA, Terra, Sol, Milky Way, Known Universe

P60 drop-ins have thermal limitations and I would expect any slide or pop together LED driver parts combination would too. I mean this is often the weakest area even in commercial designs from some manufacturers. I have a SRK clone that came out of the factory with a floating LED mounting plate that does not even touch the light body for a decent thermal path. The only cooling path is through the bolt that mounts the plate to the reflector per RMM who opened and inspected the light. A hopeless hop-up candidate. Per a member who posted about receiving similar lights he was told by the seller that it was done due to customers complaining of their lights getting hot. So eliminate the thermal path so that the light fries internally? In this case the customers were WRONG and should have been told so and the manufacturer was an incompetent idiot.

Also there are potential electrical resistance issues between parts. I have some four 18650 in parallel hopped up soup can lights that are drawing from about 5 to 6+ amps per battery on high and they have been modified with braid added to the springs and heavier wire to reduce resistance so they can draw this kind of amps during maximum light output running. LEDs remounted on copper Noctigons too for thermal cooling.

Unless you want minimal power draw lights soldering is necessary IMO. Years ago I had an Audi Fox. It had a design flaw where a inadequate connector was used for a high current circuit connection. The connector overheated and eventually opened in virtually every car and there was never a recall issued. No running once it failed as the connector was in the electric fuel pump wiring.

Rich Wood
Reno, NV

musicmagic
Offline
Last seen: 6 years 11 months ago
Joined: 10/28/2013 - 09:53
Posts: 984
Location: CT

my solution: get a separate P60 for each application. If you want to keep costs down, you don’t have to use top of the line stuff on every drop-in.

edit: or just have bushwhacked make you a bunch

If you can’t blind them with your brilliance, baffle them with your bullcrap.

The real currency in the world is not money, it’s trust.

bushwhacked
bushwhacked's picture
Offline
Last seen: 6 years 6 months ago
Joined: 11/22/2012 - 20:18
Posts: 537
Location: NovaScotia, Canada

musicmagic wrote:

edit: or just have bushwhacked make you a bunch

I sent him my ideas and solutions for this and the other problems he’s posted about. Sent last night at my campfire before this post came up.

I don’t think he wants my help.

P60dropins.com (just a redirect for now)

Gurthang
Offline
Last seen: 3 years 5 months ago
Joined: 05/05/2012 - 10:56
Posts: 597
Location: Maine

There have been LOTS of threads here and CPF looking for a modular P60 solution. I’m talking 5-6 yrs plus of ideas and discussion. Comfy & Rich make excellent points.

IMO…. modular designs are a solution looking for a problem. Sorry it that upsets the OP but I’ve used a ton of drop-ins, tried to make a simple connector for LED to driver, screw down LED board, etc. The P60 format is too limited for anything more complicated than a driver, a few wires, and a LED [or three].

I recall a very well made “screw-down” idea that used threaded rings to secure the driver and the LED. Problem? Yep, it could only use a 10-12 mm MCPCB and a small driver [maybe 14-15 mm]. And you still had to solder wires… plus the drop-in wall thickness was very thin, and it required a new reflector design to fit down into the pill.

Best idea I’ve seen for a P60 improvement is a genuine 100% copper pill w/ a thicker LED platform, machined FLAT. That I would pay $$ for.

Ricflair
Ricflair's picture
Offline
Last seen: 3 years 3 weeks ago
Joined: 08/16/2012 - 08:24
Posts: 945
Location: Louisiana, USA

Once you navigate all the options, P60’s are still fun & easy. Tail switches are easy to change with almost no tools. Lego Surefire’s & Solarforce are easy & fun with no tools. P60’s & battery combination options are endless. Gosh, I wouldn’t even know where to start.

Maybe a C8?? & some lego parts. 1 cell, 2 cell or 3 cell bodies, Bored & non bored, Orings, glow rings, glow powder & epoxy. Or Bunch of expensive Surefire E series lights & a few adaptors E to C & P, can really make for sum surefire P60, malkoff, UC lens, McClicky, glow button fun.

I have plenty of “custom” lights by doing various combinations of the above. Surefires, Mag lite, Solarforce fun can be had by checking out the link so provided below. Anyone new in this will enjoy it. Prices are a tad high, but…..it is a good reference & you get what you pay for usually. Cheaper versions can be had by searching online.

This is just one of the many sites that have cool stuff.
http://www.malkoffdevices.com

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

bushwhacked
bushwhacked's picture
Offline
Last seen: 6 years 6 months ago
Joined: 11/22/2012 - 20:18
Posts: 537
Location: NovaScotia, Canada

I was thinking small male or female posts on the driver and a small connector coming from the led leads. The driver would be held in with a brass ring.

Shock proof, no. Would it allow you to pop out led and driver, yup. Thermal paste and everything would be messy and at higher current it probably wouldn’t be great.

P60dropins.com (just a redirect for now)

LowLumen
Offline
Last seen: 3 hours 34 min ago
Joined: 09/01/2012 - 21:15
Posts: 418
Location: Sierra Foothills, CA

Sounds like the only thing between you and the mods you want to do is the soldering.
Go down to your local Radio Shack and for $10-$20 you can get a 25watt solder iron and some solder. It is not hard at all to learn to solder and do it well. These small parts with relatively high current, it is the only way to get a good connection. There is already enough current lost in the switch, springs, and tail fittings.

Richwouldnt
Richwouldnt's picture
Offline
Last seen: 11 months 4 days ago
Joined: 05/24/2014 - 00:22
Posts: 1354
Location: Reno, NV, USA, Terra, Sol, Milky Way, Known Universe

What I consider to basically be a variation on the P60 drop-in is the design of the drop-ins for the EagleTac T20C2 MkII light. I have one and the drop-ins screw into the light body using a left hand thread. At first glance the drop-ins look about like a P60 and I suspect that the short threaded contact may give an even worse thermal path than the standard P60 does, particularly if the P60 is installed with a foil wrap and thermal compound used. At the time the EagleTac light and modules were designed the limitations of the P60 were well known so they had the opportunity to design a much better drop-in arrangement from a thermal cooling standpoint and so far as I can see they blew it.

If going to have interchangeable modules we cannot have a true integral LED mounting table with the light head. Therefore I would like to see a C8 size module and host designed from scratch to have the module make maximum possible contact with the flashlight head when installed, possibly by using a full length screw thread mating between the parts with thermal paste on the threads? The other possibility would be to make interchangeable thermally optimized heads which screw onto a combined battery holder and switch as Solarstorm has done for some of their high output light heads.

Rich Wood
Reno, NV

islisis
Offline
Last seen: 5 years 10 months ago
Joined: 03/22/2013 - 23:22
Posts: 352
Location: Tokyo, Japan

i wish the industry could promote flashlights with compatible pill threads. or that an aftermarket for pill adapters existed. the e-cig industry puts the flashlight one to shame in this area.
at any rate, don’t hold your breath…
http://budgetlightforum.com/node/20863

Gj
Gj's picture
Offline
Last seen: 10 months 3 weeks ago
Joined: 06/26/2013 - 15:44
Posts: 3066
Location: NY,USA

Basic soldering isn't that hard. Get some instruction, get an iron, get some practice. It does take practice, but not years of practice.

Once you can do some simple soldering, your best bet for this sort of thing is probably Convoy C8 hosts (~$9) and the brass pills from Gearbest ($3.80). Then you can try a large number of combinations relatively cheaply. They even have extension tubes that fit the Convoy if you want an MT-G2.

Windsurf
Windsurf's picture
Offline
Last seen: 1 month 5 days ago
Joined: 08/22/2014 - 15:27
Posts: 343
Location: Boston, MA

If I had the engineering background and hands on experience I would design the modules myself and become wealthy!!! :>) I can imaging what it would look/work like but it wouldn’t be based in science. So take this description as a starting point for a discussion and not a proposal for a real solution.

All parts would have to be changed to work on this module. The LED would be placed on a rectangular board the two long edges are coated in conductive metal. One edge positive and the other negative. So when the card slips into the rails it makes a connection to the two edges. The rails would be wired through the pill to the other side of the pill that would have similar rails for the driver board. An alternative is the rails would still be on the pill to hold the LED card but the LED card would have two wires with a plastic computer style clip on it like they use in plugging computer parts inside a CPU. The driver goes on the bottom the same way and either is conducted through the rails or the driver has a similar set of wires with a computer clip on it and the LED and driver can just clip together. Now if I want to try a particular LED with different drivers, power strengths, modes, voltage spreads I can easily pop different drivers in.

The rest of the parts would hardly be modified at all. I can’t guarantee this is anywhere near the answer, but I think it is fairly clear that there is no complicated reason why these parts can’t be standardized and modularized in a way that more people can easily play mix and match without the need for drilling, sanding, soldering, etc. It just takes design and then a manufacturer to put out the first set. After that people will be flocking to the suppliers doors looking to buy parts so they can also get into the fun of modding. I suspect the number of people building their own drop ins would increase by 400 or 500%.

There is nothing complicated about flashlights that can’t be modularized. Second, every industry starts as hands on cut, drill and snip but eventually everything gets modularized if for no other reason than to make the manufacturing process easier with higher quality controls. I’m just suggesting that the people here who have the most hands on experience do the design, and take out the patents and make money while making everyone’s life easier. It will happen eventually

I know for some of you there is resistance to changing because doing the hand craft work is fun. I’m sure you can still build, drill and solder and market your product as hand made for a premium. But for the rest of us let’s make it easier. If I can build a computer by snapping in parts, and clipping on wires there is no reason we can’t do the same with a flashlight..

Why do this? Some of us have poor eyesight and will find it difficult to work with small parts, other might not have steady hands, some don’t have tool bench with a vice etc to make it easier.But I think this makes sense. IMO

Windsurf
Windsurf's picture
Offline
Last seen: 1 month 5 days ago
Joined: 08/22/2014 - 15:27
Posts: 343
Location: Boston, MA

Ricflair wrote:
Once you navigate all the options, P60’s are still fun & easy. Tail switches are easy to change with almost no tools. Lego Surefire’s & Solarforce are easy & fun with no tools. P60’s & battery combination options are endless. Gosh, I wouldn’t even know where to start.

Maybe a C8?? & some lego parts. 1 cell, 2 cell or 3 cell bodies, Bored & non bored, Orings, glow rings, glow powder & epoxy. Or Bunch of expensive Surefire E series lights & a few adaptors E to C & P, can really make for sum surefire P60, malkoff, UC lens, McClicky, glow button fun.

I have plenty of “custom” lights by doing various combinations of the above. Surefires, Mag lite, Solarforce fun can be had by checking out the link so provided below. Anyone new in this will enjoy it. Prices are a tad high, but…..it is a good reference & you get what you pay for usually. Cheaper versions can be had by searching online.

This is just one of the many sites that have cool stuff.
http://www.malkoffdevices.com

I like the Solarforce P60’s. They have a great balance and feel. There are enough parts, body extensions, etc to make all sorts of models. However the limits are different battery configurations require different voltage in the drop in. And Drop ins are the more expensive part of the flashlight. So I don’t want to accumulate lots of drop ins sitting in a box if I can help it. I would buy some cheap ones from various retailers, but I have no confidence in the quality of the materials or workmanship, and many of the custom ones are too expensive. So that leaves me only to buy the Solarforce ones which are out of date for the single CR123, and 4 CR123 configurations.

Solar
Offline
Last seen: 1 year 4 months ago
Joined: 05/05/2014 - 14:27
Posts: 270

Sounds like you want a light made from Legos. The thermal conductivity would suck though.

bushwhacked
bushwhacked's picture
Offline
Last seen: 6 years 6 months ago
Joined: 11/22/2012 - 20:18
Posts: 537
Location: NovaScotia, Canada

P60dropins.com (just a redirect for now)

comfychair
comfychair's picture
Offline
Last seen: 5 years 8 months ago
Joined: 01/12/2013 - 05:39
Posts: 6198

I think maybe you are overestimating the number of people who want to build their own P60 drop-ins but don't know (or care to invest the time/effort to learn) soldering and basic electronics.

LSX
LSX's picture
Offline
Last seen: 1 month 1 week ago
Joined: 04/23/2013 - 08:38
Posts: 1456
Location: Perth, Australia
comfychair wrote:

I think maybe you are overestimating the number of people who want to build their own P60 drop-ins but don’t know (or care to invest the time/effort to learn) soldering and basic electronics.

+1

If you can assemble a “modular” drop in the size of a P60 with different components, you can solder two leads to an emitter star.

Rufusbduck
Rufusbduck's picture
Offline
Last seen: 9 months 1 week ago
Joined: 04/04/2012 - 15:34
Posts: 10389
Location: Golden state

It’s an idea. It would require changes in design of the pill, the driver, the mcpcb, and the reflector and might take up volume from an already inadequate heat sink space. I’d rather see Solarforce either modify their heads to better fit drop ins or come up with a drop in that better fits their heads and has decent threads between the pill and the reflector.

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

Scott

Windsurf
Windsurf's picture
Offline
Last seen: 1 month 5 days ago
Joined: 08/22/2014 - 15:27
Posts: 343
Location: Boston, MA

musicmagic wrote:
my solution: get a separate P60 for each application. If you want to keep costs down, you don’t have to use top of the line stuff on every drop-in.

edit: or just have bushwhacked make you a bunch

:>) I’m trying to stay in the spirit of the budget forum.

Windsurf
Windsurf's picture
Offline
Last seen: 1 month 5 days ago
Joined: 08/22/2014 - 15:27
Posts: 343
Location: Boston, MA
Solar wrote:
Sounds like you want a light made from Legos. The thermal conductivity would suck though.

Well I hope the engineering minds here will focus on these issues and come up with solutions.

Windsurf
Windsurf's picture
Offline
Last seen: 1 month 5 days ago
Joined: 08/22/2014 - 15:27
Posts: 343
Location: Boston, MA
bushwhacked wrote:
!{width:75%}http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-9OSxAQEubj8/TfXwK9RTBxI/AAAAAAAAA-A/_vRxCnanVF...!

funny cartoon. Not trying to convince anyone just trying to stimulate some ideas and conversation.

Windsurf
Windsurf's picture
Offline
Last seen: 1 month 5 days ago
Joined: 08/22/2014 - 15:27
Posts: 343
Location: Boston, MA
comfychair wrote:

I think maybe you are overestimating the number of people who want to build their own P60 drop-ins but don’t know (or care to invest the time/effort to learn) soldering and basic electronics.

That could be true. But I look at the number of people on websites like this and how many are actually doing their own mods. My guess is less than 10% of the members here are making their own mods.And since these powerful LED flashlights are fairly recent I suspect as they become more popular even more people will want to give it a try. I could be wrong but I suspect more people will want in.

Windsurf
Windsurf's picture
Offline
Last seen: 1 month 5 days ago
Joined: 08/22/2014 - 15:27
Posts: 343
Location: Boston, MA

My goal in this thread is to stimulate conversation and hopefully some ideas to improve these lights. I have no problem with people making and selling souped up drop ins. And from what I have seen them are very reasonable priced for the amount of time and effort put into them.

My standard for buying a drop in is that it has to achieve a better price to lumen ratio. Now I can buy an under powered drop in from Solarforce for $16.99 and have confidence in their product. But I know we can squeeze some more light from these items. So if I buy a replacement drop in that costs twice as much then it has to return at least twice as many lumens. If the drop in cost 40% more then it has to deliver 40% + more lumens.

I’ve looked at some of the budget drop ins online and most of them don’t make as many lumens as those sold by Solarforce. The custom made drop ins are more powerful but also cost twice as much as the Solarforce ones. So nothing meets my standard which is why I am thinking about building my own. But then there comes the time and effort, having bad eyesight and no work room to do soldering etc and I think if these were just easier to use, modular, then I would build exactly what I want.

As I mentioned before I am not looking to build a pocket light house. When I need a flashlight I will probably not going to be at home so the large light house flashlights won’t be available. When I am out I need to have a small light on my person, in my pocket or in my backpack. The P60 is perfect. But I want to most light I can get for a budget.

I may play around with swapping reflectors to see how that changes the light display. My current solarforce XM-L2 with OP reflector is quite powerful. But I wonder how the light will be with a SMO? One of the things I like about the Solarforce drop ins is they have a wide volt spread so they will work with either 2 or 3 CR123’s. Many of the drop ins online don’t have this flexibility.

If I give building a try who do you recommend I get the parts from.

My goal is to make the assembly easier for those who aren’t as handy.

bushwhacked
bushwhacked's picture
Offline
Last seen: 6 years 6 months ago
Joined: 11/22/2012 - 20:18
Posts: 537
Location: NovaScotia, Canada

http://www.kaidomain.com/product/details.S023715
http://www.kaidomain.com/product/details.S023710

These are xpl emitters but they have xml and xpg as well. Cheaper than solarforce, which they have too, and much brighter. These have a wide voltage range too.

P60dropins.com (just a redirect for now)

comfychair
comfychair's picture
Offline
Last seen: 5 years 8 months ago
Joined: 01/12/2013 - 05:39
Posts: 6198

It doesn't really matter how brilliant the design, it will still have to fit in the P60 lights and remain easily swappable so it will still have similar performance limitations. The only change will be that the new proprietary Lego parts will be many times more expensive than standard parts.

You know, learn to solder and read up on some basic volts/amps/watts and your angst over not being able to build your own stuff will be greatly lessened.

Windsurf
Windsurf's picture
Offline
Last seen: 1 month 5 days ago
Joined: 08/22/2014 - 15:27
Posts: 343
Location: Boston, MA

Let me ask this group are there any good mod videos where someone walks through the whole process from picking out the right parts, to step by step assembly and discussing how different parts would effect the out put of the drop in? I’m asking about a simple drop in assembly without extra drilling or sanding etc. Straight off the shelf parts.

Richwouldnt
Richwouldnt's picture
Offline
Last seen: 11 months 4 days ago
Joined: 05/24/2014 - 00:22
Posts: 1354
Location: Reno, NV, USA, Terra, Sol, Milky Way, Known Universe

Actually I am surprised that no one has come up with a larger drop-in intended to fit a C8 size light but with large solid pills and as optimized a design as possible for good heat transfer. Have the light head threaded and the drop-in screw into it over a relatively long contact distance for a good heat path. Afraid that it has not happened due to needing a sizable company to produce it. If Surefire had not have developed the P60 standard and it’s associated drop-ins then I doubt that there would be modular flashlights and their drop-ins available today.

My own feeling is that the SolarForce light heads I have are bored a bit too large to provide optimum contact with their own drop-ins and no metal wrap is going to provide as good a contact and thermal path as a truly precision fit between a drop-in and light body with thermal compound helping the heat transfer. Not sure if Surefire heads are bored tighter in an attempt to provide a tighter drop-iin fit as I do not own a Surefire light.

Rich Wood
Reno, NV

comfychair
comfychair's picture
Offline
Last seen: 5 years 8 months ago
Joined: 01/12/2013 - 05:39
Posts: 6198

Pages