Convenient budget spacer for Triple EDC found... @ Lowe's!

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keltex78
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Convenient budget spacer for Triple EDC found... @ Lowe's!

I was at Lowe's a couple of days ago looking through the plumbing parts for a suitable piece to use for a spacer in my triple build. I'm using a Convoy S2 and the 20mm Nichia triple from KD for this project. After about 30 minutes of browsing, I located this "3/4 PEX test plug": it's a brass piece that looked suitable, only about $2, so I bought it.

On opening the package, I measured the plug and found some interesting dimensions:

  1. The OD of the head is... 20mm - Convenient
  2. The OD of the narrow portion of the plug is... wait for it... 16mm!

I used a dremel to cut just above the lower ridge on the plug and the piece seats perfectly into the S2 pill, while the 20mm PCB fits onto the flat surface perfectly. And it's brass, so this piece can be soldered directly onto the pill, for maximum heat transfer. If you have a copper PCB, it could be soldered as well. I assembled this temporarily using the aluminum PCB, Fujiked to the plug, and the plug pressed against the pill by threading the pill in. Even with the non-optimal thermal path, this does an excellent job of transferring heat into the body of the light, which became uncomfortably hot very quickly (using a 2.8A driver). I intend to add solder soon to help transfer, and I may eventually reflow the emitters onto a copper board.

This plug is hollow, but it still has a lot of mass in the head, and the walls are fairly thick. The machining process leaves it tapered on the inside making it very easy to drill out the center for the wires without any special tools or centering issues.

Things to do:

  1. Remove the Fujik and lap the spacer and base of the PCB to improve contact
  2. Fine-tune lip of spacer to ensure level seating against pill
  3. Solder pill to spacer
  4. Possibility? Press/solder appropriately-sized tubing, cap, or similar material into ID of spacer to increase mass and cross-section for better contact to pill
  5. Possibility? Reflow emitters onto Copper PCB: I don't have any suitable high-current cells, and am using a 2.8A driver, with no current plans to upgrade, so I'm not sure this is necessary.
  6. Buy a second one: I have the CW triple-XPG2 from KD as well, and would like to make a second triple for when Lumens are more important than CRI
  7. Buy some narrower Carlco optics? The optic KD ships with this is very floody, I would compare this to my single XM-L light using the 45-degree FT optic. The KD optic is stamped with a BICOM logo, so I assume it to be this optic: http://en.bicomoptics.com/Productshow.asp?BigClassID=5&SmallClassID=30&Pid=582&ProClassID=103&Pro_ClassID=104, said to be ~22-degree, but this seems to be much floodier.

 


Keepin’ the “B” in BLF

Don wrote:
It sounds like the XM LEDs won’t really be suitable for flashlight use. Pity…

Edited by: keltex78 on 03/13/2015 - 15:31
hank
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dchomak
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I just LOVE this kind of stuff!

tristanxoxo
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That’s awesome dude…thanks for sharing this!

adnj
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Nice!

LinusHofmann
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Nice find! I love these brass plumbing parts for light mods. I have a whole box full of random bits that often come in handy as spacers or improvised heat sinks.

pilotdog68
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Here is another image in case anyone has trouble finding it. Click for full size image.

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

Major Projects:  Illuminated Tailcap, TripleDown/TripleStack Driver

dchomak
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It’s a 1” Shark bite plug. I saw it on clearance and knew it would be good for something so I got 1.
Never used it though. maybe someday.

keltex78
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pilotdog68 wrote:
Here is another image in case anyone has trouble finding it. Click for full size image. !{width:50%}http://i.imgur.com/fa96pG2.jpg!:http://i.imgur.com/fa96pG2.jpg[/quote]

pilotdog68, thanks for posting that picture; I had saved the package from mine and was planning to post a photo here, but you saved me the trouble! 8)

Anybody else notice Lowe's' typo on  the sign and that they are selling a "pulg"?


Keepin’ the “B” in BLF

Don wrote:
It sounds like the XM LEDs won’t really be suitable for flashlight use. Pity…

pilotdog68
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lol that’s funny

Btw, Home Depot has the same thing for the same price as well.

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

Major Projects:  Illuminated Tailcap, TripleDown/TripleStack Driver

keltex78
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Update:

I went back to Lowe's and found a 1/4" brass nipple that has an OD that fits into the ID of this plug very tightly. I was able to cut a short piece, then solder into the plug, and file it down to a flush-fit. This is a much thicker walled piece, and results in the spacer having more mass and a much wider flat spacer-to-pill contact. I soldered the spacer onto the pill, lapped the pill smooth, and re-assembled. The additional brass and solder makes the light noticeably heavier; I don't know how much it helps heat transfer, but it does get hot quickly...


Keepin’ the “B” in BLF

Don wrote:
It sounds like the XM LEDs won’t really be suitable for flashlight use. Pity…

zoom zoom
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Awesome find, thanks for sharing!

LED Boatguy
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Very nice find. I just bought an aluminum equivalent from Mountain today.

DB Custom
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Interesting, but I would think the emitters would overheat on that aluminum mcpcb with an FET driver. (brass heat sink or no)

I’d get a Noctigon triple from Richard and protect my investment on the emitters if I were you, then re-flow solder it to the heat sink for good measure.

I’ve seen these triples pull over 12A, 3400 lumens. Unless that’s a direct thermal path SinkPAD (which I know it’s not because it’s not white) you’re likely to lose an emitter soon.

Edit: See if you can touch the thermal pad extension beside the emitter with one probe and the aluminum base with the other, you’re checking for continuity. About a 99% chance you won’t find it. The aluminum mcpcb’s have a masking layer underneath that pad that prevents direct path to the base metal. Wink

keltex78
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The builds using aluminum boards are being moderately driven, at only 3A. I used the generic 8× 7135 driver from FastTech, and it works well for these lights. My FET-driven build had extra mass added to the spacer, to allow additional heat sinking, plus more surface contact with the pill. It used the DTP Noctigon triple board, and all components soldered for maximum heat transfer. Basically, the entire build is a DTP into my hand!


Keepin’ the “B” in BLF

Don wrote:
It sounds like the XM LEDs won’t really be suitable for flashlight use. Pity…

DB Custom
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Ahhh! I see… must’ve missed something somewhere. Just wanted to be sure you knew the FET demanded DTP from the mcpcb. Wink

Mr. Nobody
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Someone is going to lowes tmrw

keltex78
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I just bought the last two at my local Lowe’s… The bin was full of other plugs and fittings and I had to dig to find these. I’ve bought five of these plugs, made three spacers, and they’ve all worked well. Just need a dremel with a cut-off wheel to cut them to the length needed for your host.


Keepin’ the “B” in BLF

Don wrote:
It sounds like the XM LEDs won’t really be suitable for flashlight use. Pity…

cmflippen
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Yes, I know. Massive thread bump. But I hope you guys don’t mind.

I made a spacer for my Convoy S2+ using one of these and it works great. Very simple build that only took half an hour or so. For $1.50 I’m happy with the performance.

Here’s a short video showing it:

teacher
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cmflippen wrote:
Yes, I know. Massive thread bump. But I hope you guys don’t mind.
Why should anyone mind? They will get over it if they do. Wink
Thank you for sharing the video!!! Thumbs Up
Smile

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power911
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ahh… thanks for the thread bump

now I remember what I wanna buy when I visit my local plumbing store

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