Help understanding and upgrading a light

28 posts / 0 new
Last post
zoom zoom
Offline
Last seen: 2 years 6 months ago
Joined: 12/24/2014 - 02:16
Posts: 439
Location: Ohio, USA
Help understanding and upgrading a light

I am trying to understand why my convoys aren't as bright as other very similar lights. A friend purchased a nitecore p12 and it has better throw and more lux than my 7135*8 convoy, with very very similar dimension reflector. I have tested them against my p60 drop in which has better numbers than s4/s6/p12. I pulled the stock leads off my multimeter and found some 6" sections of 10ga wire and checked the tailcap amps (using the same battery) and got 1.4max with the convoy, 1.7 max with the p12 and 1.8 max p60. 

 

That being said, there has to be a better driver that could push this LED harder on a single cell 18650.. The p12 is the same exact emitter, the p60 is an older xml t6 emitter. Can anyone link me to a driver that would drive the xml2-U2-1a as hard as possible on 1x 18650 that I could swap in my convoy s7 which should be here in a couple days? I want low/med/hi if it's possible I'd like a hidden beacon mode too But it's not too big of a deal.

 

I'd also like to put a better tailcap switch in all 3 convoy lights, the first one failed in less than 24 hrs, the second one failed in 48 hrs, and the other side of the first one broke this morning!! Is there a better quality tailcap switch that will directly swap In a convoy Sx?

Edited by: zoom zoom on 01/14/2015 - 05:57
WarHawk-AVG
WarHawk-AVG's picture
Offline
Last seen: 1 year 7 months ago
Joined: 01/04/2014 - 06:47
Posts: 5071
Location: H-Town

What battery are you using?

The driver/emitter isn’t the only equation in low current output…if you have a sub par battery or one with high internal resistance…that may be ALL the battery can push

Zanders
Offline
Last seen: 1 year 3 months ago
Joined: 07/09/2014 - 07:55
Posts: 191
Location: Sweden

In my first C8 with Nanjg 8×7135 I added one more 7135 after an other to get the amp readings up, nothing happen. I got 14 total at the most and just got 2,8A at the tail end. I thought I burn them out when I solder them. Then I tried a different led, an old XM-L T6 and then it jumped up to I think it was 3,7A. I don´t know about the lumen readings, maybe there is not much gain. Now I try them direct to the batteri on a good heatsink with a fan and read the DMMs before I install them in a light.

WarHawk-AVG
WarHawk-AVG's picture
Offline
Last seen: 1 year 7 months ago
Joined: 01/04/2014 - 06:47
Posts: 5071
Location: H-Town

That 3.7A jump when the prior reading was 2.8A (the true 8*7135) could have been the result of a short, you were direct driving the LED, might have had a short and when you turned on the light, it was running wide open thru the emitter.

Chicken Drumstick
Offline
Last seen: 10 months 1 week ago
Joined: 08/27/2012 - 05:00
Posts: 2762
Location: UK

zoom zoom wrote:

I am trying to understand why my convoys aren’t as bright as other very similar lights. A friend purchased a nitecore p12 and it has better throw and more lux than my 7135*8 convoy, with very very similar dimension reflector. I have tested them against my p60 drop in which has better numbers than s4/s6/p12. I pulled the stock leads off my multimeter and found some 6” sections of 10ga wire and checked the tailcap amps (using the same battery) and got 1.4max with the convoy, 1.7 max with the p12 and 1.8 max p60. 

 

That being said, there has to be a better driver that could push this LED harder on a single cell 18650.. The p12 is the same exact emitter, the p60 is an older xml t6 emitter. Can anyone link me to a driver that would drive the xml2-U2-1a as hard as possible on 1× 18650 that I could swap in my convoy s7 which should be here in a couple days? I want low/med/hi if it’s possible I’d like a hidden beacon mode too But it’s not too big of a deal.

 

I’d also like to put a better tailcap switch in all 3 convoy lights, the first one failed in less than 24 hrs, the second one failed in 48 hrs, and the other side of the first one broke this morning!! Is there a better quality tailcap switch that will directly swap In a convoy Sx?


I think you have been unlucky with your Convoy’s as lots and lots and lots are owned by members here and as a rule they are very well respected with few major or even minor issues.

Where did you buy them from?

With regards to output. Are you sure you have a 7135*8 driver in there? The Convoys can be bought with 3×7135, 4, 6 and 8 × 7135 chips. This will obviously have a large affect on performance if you actually have a lower performance driver.

As has also been said, what batteries exactly are you using? To see high amps you need quality batteries anything ****fire branded is probably rubbish.

Normal Sanyo/Panasonic ICR’s should with an XM-L2 and 7135*8 driver easily see 2.1-2.3amps at the tailcap. If you move to some higher performance IMR/INR 18650’s such as Efest purples or Samsung 25R’s then you should see 2.8+amps at the tailcap with this driver and emitter and no other changes.

I have the same Convoy driver and XM-L2 in a Convoy M2 supplied by Simon (Convoy-flashlights username on here). With the high performance 18650’s I see 3.14amps at the tailcap and lots of lumens.

With regards to the P12, reflector design and focus might affect throw, if it focuses the hot spot tighter. But I think something else might be going on.

As for drivers, 2 easy options are a Qlite:
http://www.mtnelectronics.com/index.php?route=product/product&path=67&pr...

But the Qlite is really really similar to the stock Convoy 7135*8 driver. So if you do already have this, then I’m not sure swapping it will solve your problem.

Or the:
http://www.mtnelectronics.com/index.php?route=product/product&path=67&pr...

BLF17 Fet driver. This should offer higher output than the Qlite. But may not be the best solution overall depending on your intended use.

Hi-Beam
Hi-Beam's picture
Offline
Last seen: 6 years 3 months ago
Joined: 06/01/2014 - 22:37
Posts: 248
Location: TX

As mentioned already it’s simply a matter of resistance if your unable to reach the maximum rating of your 7135 based driver at this point, resistance in your battery, springs, wires, switch, etc.

The high vf of these new emitters may be playing a role here also.

The most effective solution would be to look into low resistance high drain batteries such as LGHE2, Samsung25R or the high drain Efest offerings.

Other solutions are to braid the springs, check for high resistance in the switches, if found replace them with quality Omten switches and replace the emitter wire with larger good quality silicone wire if not already present.

Omten 17mm

Zanders
Offline
Last seen: 1 year 3 months ago
Joined: 07/09/2014 - 07:55
Posts: 191
Location: Sweden

WarHawk-AVG wrote:
That 3.7A jump when the prior reading was 2.8A (the true 8*7135) could have been the result of a short, you were direct driving the LED, might have had a short and when you turned on the light, it was running wide open thru the emitter.

It´s my test light and I have swithed the leds a lot of times back and forth with the same result. Maybe it´s the drivers that do the voltage drop. I have ordered a few high drains now to get the voltage up a bit. My Zebralight SC62w get 4,02A with the same battery (Panasonic 3400 Protected) and XM-L2. It step down rather quickly to 3,9A but impressing.
The testing goes on Smile
Martini
Martini's picture
Offline
Last seen: 11 months 5 hours ago
Joined: 05/07/2014 - 04:29
Posts: 647
Location: I da ho

In an earlier thread I seem to remember you saying that you had laptop pulls you were using for batteries. Have you done any testing of the pulls to see what shape they were in?

scdaf wrote:
It’s important to have your restraints within walking distance, lest someone needs restraining. Wink
zoom zoom
Offline
Last seen: 2 years 6 months ago
Joined: 12/24/2014 - 02:16
Posts: 439
Location: Ohio, USA

I used the same battery in all 3 lights and checked them back to back. I have also been sitting here playing with the lights, swapping reflectors and holding them in place to check out that aspect, and the reflectors have nothing to do with the brightness at all. My monster p60 drop in is brighter than all with any of the 3 reflectors on it, no question. The 'hotspots' aren't even much different! 

 

If I get you pictures of the p60 driver can you guys help me identify it and find someplace that sells the same or better drivers? They both (all 3 lights actually) look like they're the same size.

pilotdog68
pilotdog68's picture
Offline
Last seen: 9 months 1 day ago
Joined: 05/30/2013 - 23:31
Posts: 6422
Location: Held against my will in IOWA, USA

Where did you buy the P60?

A normal 8*7135 driver will do 2.8amps under perfect conditions. If the driver in the Convoy is ACTUALLY an 8*7135 driver, then the problem is not the driver. Like others have said, the issue is most likely the battery, springs, and wires. High Vf at the emitter could be contributing as well.

My Favorite Modded Lights: X6R, S8 , X2R , M6, SP03

Major Projects:  Illuminated Tailcap, TripleDown/TripleStack Driver

zoom zoom
Offline
Last seen: 2 years 6 months ago
Joined: 12/24/2014 - 02:16
Posts: 439
Location: Ohio, USA

I guess the only thing I can do then is start eliminating the potential issues you guys have pointed out. i'll dig up some decent wires, 18ga speaker wire to solder to the top and bottom of the springs, maybe to the led too if it will fit, I'm guess it might be too heavy? Does it have to be high heat insulation? I can dig up some wires from an old 220v heater If I have to. 

 

I just don't understand how (with the same battery) the convoys aren't putting out like the others, Hopefully this will cure it. Lux meter readings on my phone were 11,500 with my monster brand p60 light, and 9,000 with the convoy. Didn't check the p12 yet. Will update with pics, thanks!

Chicken Drumstick
Offline
Last seen: 10 months 1 week ago
Joined: 08/27/2012 - 05:00
Posts: 2762
Location: UK

I fail to understand why you won’t accept that your batteries might be the reason.

You have also not replied to what batteries you are using.

The Nitecore is a much more expensive product, using different electronics, so it maybe just copes better with crappy cells.

But without seeing anything it’s hard to tell. Are you able to post any pics or beamshots? (using a static exposure and aperture).

Also have you checked that your Convoy’s really are 7135*8 driver ones? If not, then no matter what you do, they will never offer up the lumens.

There really should be no need to mess about with wires and braided springs —- find the issue and solve that first. Then try modding. Smile

Zanders
Offline
Last seen: 1 year 3 months ago
Joined: 07/09/2014 - 07:55
Posts: 191
Location: Sweden

As the others sayes, try another battery. Way to low amp readings.

zoom zoom
Offline
Last seen: 2 years 6 months ago
Joined: 12/24/2014 - 02:16
Posts: 439
Location: Ohio, USA

I am sorry I forgot to mention the batteries are Sanyo 2400mAH laptop pulls. About 4 years old. 

 

now my problem might be the batteries are a bottleneck. I replaced the lead wires  with a thicker gauge wire, can't say what it is exactly I took a 20awg wire and pulled half the strands out, but it's still thicker than what was in there.

 

confirmed 100% it is a 7135*8 driver. 

 

http://i59.tinypic.com/5v6f6c.jpg

 

im the worst at taking pics when I really get into something. i have good news and bad news. Replacing those wires does bump up the amps to 1.7-1.9. But I lost all my modes. The light works on high mode only. 

 

I am having trouble getting the copper hot enough to seal the board back in it. 

 

Lux reading is jumping over 11,500, almost up to 12,000! And the light gets hotyet faster, which would be fine since I only need high mode in short bursts, if I just had low and medium modes I'd be in good shape and ready to buy a better battery.

Hi-Beam
Hi-Beam's picture
Offline
Last seen: 6 years 3 months ago
Joined: 06/01/2014 - 22:37
Posts: 248
Location: TX

You now have a short to ground since you lost all modes, you are running direct drive bypassing the driver which further proves that the batteries are your bottleneck.

zoom zoom
Offline
Last seen: 2 years 6 months ago
Joined: 12/24/2014 - 02:16
Posts: 439
Location: Ohio, USA

Bottleneck from 1.9amps to 2.8, but if the light wouldn't go past 1.4amps with a crappy battery it also wouldn't go past 1.4 amps with a good battery Would it?

 

 

is this my bridge to ground?

 

http://i59.tinypic.com/30jphqs.jpg

 

Its all all I can think of that would cause a problem.

Martini
Martini's picture
Offline
Last seen: 11 months 5 hours ago
Joined: 05/07/2014 - 04:29
Posts: 647
Location: I da ho
zoom zoom wrote:
I am having trouble getting the copper hot enough to seal the board back in it.

What are you using for a soldering iron? Are you using any flux or are you just trying to reflow the solder thats already there without adding new flux?

scdaf wrote:
It’s important to have your restraints within walking distance, lest someone needs restraining. Wink
Zanders
Offline
Last seen: 1 year 3 months ago
Joined: 07/09/2014 - 07:55
Posts: 191
Location: Sweden

zoom zoom wrote:

Bottleneck from 1.9amps to 2.8, but if the light wouldn’t go past 1.4amps with a crappy battery it also wouldn’t go past 1.4 amps with a good battery Would it?

 

 

is this my bridge to ground?

 

http://i59.tinypic.com/30jphqs.jpg

 

Its all all I can think of that would cause a problem.


Have you tried your fiends P12 battery in yours or the other way and get a reading?
Hi-Beam
Hi-Beam's picture
Offline
Last seen: 6 years 3 months ago
Joined: 06/01/2014 - 22:37
Posts: 248
Location: TX

Yes it would.

You have 2 legs on the MCU shorted. The MCU is the large chip with 8 pins/legs. Remove the bridge with your soldering iron.

Beachlogger
Offline
Last seen: 1 month 1 week ago
Joined: 12/04/2013 - 23:08
Posts: 994
Location: S.E. Alaska

Something to consider, the s7 is stainless and not a good conducter of heat, mine with 8* gets pretty hot after several minutes, this might not be the best host for a hot rod

zoom zoom
Offline
Last seen: 2 years 6 months ago
Joined: 12/24/2014 - 02:16
Posts: 439
Location: Ohio, USA

Zanders wrote:
zoom zoom wrote:

Bottleneck from 1.9amps to 2.8, but if the light wouldn't go past 1.4amps with a crappy battery it also wouldn't go past 1.4 amps with a good battery Would it?

 

 

is this my bridge to ground?

 

http://i59.tinypic.com/30jphqs.jpg

 

Its all all I can think of that would cause a problem.

Have you tried your fiends P12 battery in yours or the other way and get a reading?

 

he didn't get batteries he's using ones I gave him.

 

I took the bridge out of those legs. It had a low/strobe/sos mode for a minute, I took it apart again and looked, put it back together and now it won't turn on :/ 

 

i I can bypass it and get 2.5A from the bottom of the battery to the + on the led

zoom zoom
Offline
Last seen: 2 years 6 months ago
Joined: 12/24/2014 - 02:16
Posts: 439
Location: Ohio, USA

Ok so... The reason the light didn't work at the end was because of the tailcap switch, it broke, again. I think I got it this time it wasn't sitting flat on the board, so I popped both sides loose and re soldered them After making sure it was sitting perfectly flat.

 

so the circuit board/driver might be ok, but it was too late haha.. I already found a piece of delrin, turned it down to house a spring that is actually a helicoil cut in half, and one wire going down to the + post on the emitter board. I bridged the - side straight to the copper pill. 

http://i58.tinypic.com/71qmxd.jpg

Its drawing upward ward of 3.1 amps with spikes As high as 3.4 with a battery reading 3.16V. 

I'll probably leave this light the way it is for now and see what happens when the other one comes in. It's every bit as bright as my p60 now, possibly a hair brighter, but it (the p60) still only reads 1.8A?!?!?!!!! 

 

I guess the next phase would be to overdrive it, I think that's what the boost drivers are for isn't it? I don't care about battery life I have a bunch of them. 

pilotdog68
pilotdog68's picture
Offline
Last seen: 9 months 1 day ago
Joined: 05/30/2013 - 23:31
Posts: 6422
Location: Held against my will in IOWA, USA

So the battery is directly driving the emitter now? If so, that’s as much as you’ll get. A boost driver ups the voltage at the expense of current. You can’t get any more power than your battery can provide.

My Favorite Modded Lights: X6R, S8 , X2R , M6, SP03

Major Projects:  Illuminated Tailcap, TripleDown/TripleStack Driver

Hi-Beam
Hi-Beam's picture
Offline
Last seen: 6 years 3 months ago
Joined: 06/01/2014 - 22:37
Posts: 248
Location: TX

You should be using a fully charged battery for taking current readings.

Boost drivers increase voltage, an example would be when driving a 3.2 vf emitter from a 1.5 volt Alkaline or 1.2 volt NI-MH.

zoom zoom
Offline
Last seen: 2 years 6 months ago
Joined: 12/24/2014 - 02:16
Posts: 439
Location: Ohio, USA

The first couple posts were all from the same fully charged battery. when I got done with the light all I had was that one battery on me. 

zoom zoom
Offline
Last seen: 2 years 6 months ago
Joined: 12/24/2014 - 02:16
Posts: 439
Location: Ohio, USA

I just want to apologize to you guys lol, I have a problem, and I really can't stop myself, and not sure if I even want to if I could. I like to 'tinker'.......with everything. I really like this forum you guys are great so far and the search function works very well! I do some stupid stuff occasionally...well alot... but eventually I will get it right, and usually when I do, it's so right it's not right! My wife is glad my focus has shifted a little lately, so she unknowingly thanks you guys too. Flashlights are a whole lot cheaper than custom cars. Smile When I started this thread I didn't know anything about "direct drive," it popped up in a search and when I accidentally bypassed the driver the first time I wanted to see that fully functional... I'll probably keep this one how it is until I get some GOOD batteries and screw up modify the s7 when it gets here. Should know more about these current batteries soon, I received the XTAR vc2 charger today, it gives mAH ratings.

Hi-Beam
Hi-Beam's picture
Offline
Last seen: 6 years 3 months ago
Joined: 06/01/2014 - 22:37
Posts: 248
Location: TX

No worries, we all start somewhere.

As soon as I was old enough to hold a screwdriver I would take everything apart just to see how it worked, as you can imagine my parents were not to happy about it either… until I started repairing everything that broke and saving them lots of cash.

zoom zoom
Offline
Last seen: 2 years 6 months ago
Joined: 12/24/2014 - 02:16
Posts: 439
Location: Ohio, USA

Alright a little update. The LED is accidentally dedomed, and where I thought I had fried it, it had actually twisted when I had the pill so hot bypassing and direct driving it. I got the pill hot again, twisted the led back and let it cool, and now it works fine. The problem with it now is the contact pad on the pcb, the piece of copper the + wire would solder to is ripped off. I scratched the board back toward the emitter to show a little more copper but it's impossible for me to get a good solder blob on it that will stick. 

 

So I'm excited to have a good working fully dedomed xml2-U2 laying around but Kinda mad at myself for ruining the pcb. Maybe I'll use the LED on a future light? Ive been reading up on how someone just mounted the LeD to a solid copper disk, but I don't know what he's talking about when he says he filed something on the LED down to reveal spots to solder to on the corners?! 

 

The driver board may still be good but I'm going to use it to practice stacking drivers. I have a "build" in mind for a modified convoy c8 that I want to try but I don't know how if it will even work.