What did you mod today?

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NeutralFan
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Firelight2 wrote:
I attempted to mod a Zebralight again today. This time my SC80, hoping to replace the cool white XPG with something more modern.

Still no luck.

I can’t get anything at all under the lens retaining ring. Even the tip of a fresh exacto knife blade won’t go in.

Also, pressing down on the lens seems to do nothing. The lens does not go down and there is no gap to insert anything. Perhaps I need to press harder? Or maybe I need to destroy the lens to remove the ring?

I’ve posted this before, but it appears you just need a small wood-carving knife to remove the retaining ring: What did you mod today?

Perhaps it works for some ZebraLights and not on others.

Maybe Bob_McBob would be willing to share his technique: Zebralight SC64c LE w/High CRI Nichia 219B R9080 $150

I’d rather use my flashlight around the house than turn on the lights.

will34
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Emitter swap day…

C8+ SFT40 and PFlexpro micro textured lens, huge upgrade from XPL HI

BLF D80 also modded with SFT40, hotspot has a more defined edge than the C8+ but about 10% less throw. Didn’t change the focus height, looked nice enough with the stock centering ring.

L6 with GT FC40 mod kit, much better beam and tint than stock XHP70, but i wish I ordered a warmer tint instead. The 12V driver Draws 6.7A on high

Firelight2
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Yet another attempt at modding a Zebralight. This time my SC52w.

I was able to get the bezel off. I used a hobbyist x-acto knife with a curved tip. With the tip underneath I was able to go around the edges slightly widening the opening. Once the opening was big enough I replaced the knife with my smallest screwdriver, then my next smallest, and then the screwdriver tip from a Victorinox mini. With that I was able to lever out the ring with no damage to the glass.

But now I’m stumped again…. the driver does not move no matter what I do.

  • I desoldered the two solder blobs to the switch.
  • I removed the 2 screws
  • I cut around the grey potting compound where the driver meets the head.

But no matter what I try the driver is stuff fast. Even inserting a rod into the back of the battery compartment and then hammering on the bottom of the driver with a pliers did not cause it to move even one mm.

I also tried using my hot air gun to attempt to reflow the LED while inside the light. As expected no luck. The heatsinking is quite good and easily wicked off the heat.

Anyone have any suggestions? I’m stumped. Sick

I hope my efforts haven’t killed the light.

Geuzzz
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Firelight2 wrote:
Yet another attempt at modding a Zebralight. This time my SC52w.

I was able to get the bezel off. I used a hobbyist x-acto knife with a curved tip. With the tip underneath I was able to go around the edges slightly widening the opening. Once the opening was big enough I replaced the knife with my smallest screwdriver, then my next smallest, and then the screwdriver tip from a Victorinox mini. With that I was able to lever out the ring with no damage to the glass.

But now I’m stumped again…. the driver does not move no matter what I do.

  • I desoldered the two solder blobs to the switch.
  • I removed the 2 screws
  • I cut around the grey potting compound where the driver meets the head.

But no matter what I try the driver is stuff fast. Even inserting a rod into the back of the battery compartment and then hammering on the bottom of the driver with a pliers did not cause it to move even one mm.

I also tried using my hot air gun to attempt to reflow the LED while inside the light. As expected no luck. The heatsinking is quite good and easily wicked off the heat.

Anyone have any suggestions? I’m stumped. Sick

I hope my efforts haven’t killed the light.

I have read that someone soaked his light in acetone, but I don’t know the side effects on all the components.

thefreeman
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Did you desolder the positive wire ?

Quote:
 Even inserting a rod into the back of the battery compartment and then hammering on the bottom of the driver with a pliers did not cause it to move even one mm.

That’s not going to do anything, there is a wall between the positive contact PCB and the driver, with a small hole for the wire.

Heating the head makes the silicone adhere less.

To properly pull on the driver I put slightly larger screws in the mounting hole (like ~2.3mm screws for plastic)

Firelight2
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thefreeman wrote:
Did you desolder the positive wire ?

Whoops! No I didn’t realize that. None of the posts I looked at on how to disassemble the light mentioned that. Sick Or if they did I missed it.

Unfortunately, my misguided attempts to modify the light appears to have destroyed it. Tired

I reassembled it, but now the light doesn’t work properly. It doesn’t turn off. Pressing the switch causes the light to turn off only while the button is held down. And while holding it down I can see it cycle through the modes, but the moment I release the button, the light goes back to max power.

I don’t think I’m going to attempt to modify a Zebralight ever again.

I can’t even take a close look at the driver to see if maybe something got shorted or dislodged, since I can’t remove the PCB.

EDIT:

I opened it up again to attempt to remove the positive wire. But how do I do that?

The tip of the wire passes through a hole below the left screw. The hole is completely filled with solder, which I can’t remove. My solder sucker isn’t long enough and doesn’t have enough suction. Also, even when I keep that solder liquid by keeping the tip of my iron in it, the driver still does not move at all when I insert a pick into the screw holes and try to pry it up.

I need more detailed instructions on how to remove an SC52 driver. The existing pictures on the internet are not sufficient.

thefreeman
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I never opened a SC62, usually there is no solder in the plated through hole and the wire is soldered to a pad next to it, but in the case of the hole filled with solder ( e.g. in the SC700 there is no pad, instead of a wire it’s a solid pin soldered to the through hole) then you need to do as you did, pull on the driver while melting the solder, add a lower temp solder (ZL use lead free solder) so that it melts more easily.

And as I mentionned it’s easier to pull with screws to grab on :

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CNCman wrote:
Xandre wrote:
Modding the Wavien:

https://www.taschenlampen-forum.de/threads/s-ansmaxabeam-nachtt%C3%B6pfl...

Regards Xandre


.
Now that is to complicated for me to understand. I will look more into this weekend. But that is some serious modding going on over there at TLF. Thanks for sharing that over here at BLF. Big Smile
I will check out your forum as well. Wink
.

You are welcome

Thanks for the kind words

You have also my attention Beer

Allways interesting builds Thumbs Up

Regards Xandre

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will34 wrote:
BLF D80 also modded with SFT40, hotspot has a more defined edge than the C8+ but about 10% less throw. Didn’t change the focus height, looked nice enough with the stock centering ring.

I agree that SFT40 and D80 are good match. The reflector and green coated glass make the beam look better than from other hosts.

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First time dealing with 4xE21A. They’re too tricky for me. Using Convoy S15 (4500K) and Non-branded S2+ (4000K) as hosts.

- Reamed Convoy’s 4040 gasket
- 4×26awg (same length) each
- Non-AR glass & “Sandblast 215” sticker
- OP Reflector
- Convoy 4 modes driver (tested 5.2A max)

Dunno what lumen loss I get. Lol

Limited English, still working on it.

jon_slider
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PeyoX wrote:



congrats on your mod, and thanks for the great photos

you might have better luck blending the dark center with a pebble tir, than with that dc fix..

—-

Last night I “modded” the dome light in my subaru. I removed a 13w incandescent, and installed a 5W LED.. Lumens tripled, and power use went down 60%

But the spectrum quality of the LED light is disgusting, so I went back to incandescent.

stock:
.

Warm White LED:
.

I choose quality over quantity.

contactcr
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I’m very much considering modding a Streamlight pistol light:

Anyone modded one of these? I’ll measure the spectrum and lumens soon and decide what to do but I may just leave it to retain warranty.

PeyoX
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jon_slider wrote:

congrats on your mod, and thanks for the great photos

you might have better luck blending the dark center with a pebble tir, than with that dc fix..

Thanks jon_slider , I’m sorry if the photos is too much Smile . Yeah, but I still don’t know what Pebble TIR that would fitted well. Also, what degrees would be match between throw and flood? I don’t have any experience with Pebble TIR before, any idea? Big Smile

Limited English, still working on it.

MascaratumB
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WARNING:
What you’re about to see is pure bastardization and flashlight modding blasphemy Evil

First there was this Cool
(well, it misses a triple DTP MCPCB with Nichia 219c 5000K 70CRI and a triple TIR optic Oops You can find them here :D)

Then, there was this Flat Stare

And in the end…there was this Blushing

I’ll tell you what I did! I did what could be considered a “bastardized” FW1AA!
Why bastardized? Because it doesn’t have Anduril Silly It could have it, but… it wouldn’t be the same Big Smile

So, what does it have?

  • bezel, head, the screw on the shelf, driver retaining ring, tube, tail, and inner o-rings from the FWAA
  • TIR optic from a deceased Olight S1R Baton
  • DTP MCPCB from a the Eagle Eye X3R (not filing or grinding needed, fits perfectly LOL )
  • Samsung LH351D
  • 3535 gasket in buttefly shape (wings were cut Evil )
  • “blue aqua” GITD tape
  • the driver is a 17mm DrJones H17Fx Driver w/ lucidrv2 – 7135 + FET
  • reverse clicky switch with a slightly larger PCB (not from Convoy)
  • transparent 18mm rubber button with the inner “tongue” shaved and placed in reverse position Glasses
  • outside white/transparent o-rings from the Jaxman E3

CONS from this mod?
- well, it is taller than the FWAA and even the DQG Slim Ti AA, and there are some “gaps” that I tried to cover with the white o-rings Innocent

- the switch is not stuck in place, it is pressed by the tube, which is in reverse position for that purpose

- it does get HOT AS FOOK in higher levels, since there is no mass to absorb that heat

- I cannot fit a forward switch, for momentary modes, because it is too tall for that tail space Oops

PROS of this mod?

- It is just cool AF to have it and it will be even smaller than the real and upcoming FW1AA Silly

Details below! Silly

jon_slider
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Thats cool as FWAA (except its a FWFX1 now), but…

the body is upside down… lol Innocent

MascaratumB
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jon_slider wrote:
Thats cool as FWAA (except its a FWFX1 now), but…

the body is upside down… lol Innocent

Ahah Big Smile Naming this will be a weird thing to do Wink

As for the tube, yup, I needed to use it that way to secure the switch PCB, considering that the other end as a wider opening that doesn’t allow contact with the PCB. So I needed to do that.

The other option would be…using the tube of another flashlight, which is also possible Innocent

NeutralFan
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PeyoX wrote:
jon_slider wrote:

congrats on your mod, and thanks for the great photos

you might have better luck blending the dark center with a pebble tir, than with that dc fix..

Thanks jon_slider , I’m sorry if the photos is too much Smile . Yeah, but I still don’t know what Pebble TIR that would fitted well. Also, what degrees would be match between throw and flood? I don’t have any experience with Pebble TIR before, any idea? Big Smile

I’ve had great luck with removing the donut holes in quad E17A LEDs by sanding down 1 side of the lenses to make them frosted. You can experiment with how much flood vs throw by using different sandpaper grit. But too high of grit (ie. less of a frosted lens) may still result in a slight donut hole. But at least you can control the final beam vs buying something to cover or replace the lens.

I’d rather use my flashlight around the house than turn on the lights.

Firelight2
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thefreeman wrote:
I never opened a SC62, usually there is no solder in the plated through hole and the wire is soldered to a pad next to it, but in the case of the hole filled with solder ( e.g. in the SC700 there is no pad, instead of a wire it’s a solid pin soldered to the through hole) then you need to do as you did, pull on the driver while melting the solder, add a lower temp solder (ZL use lead free solder) so that it melts more easily.

And as I mentionned it’s easier to pull with screws to grab on :


Thanks for the screw trick. With that I was finally able to remove the driver from the light.

Unfortunately, it took an enormous amount of force. The board bent slightly and some traces and parts ripped off.

I tried connecting the extracted driver to a battery and switch outside the light. It’s irretrievably dead.

Now I have to figure out what to do with the broken light. The anodizing, lens and switch are all in perfect condition. It would be a shame to just toss this. Some options:

  • I wonder if Zebralight would be willing to fix it. Or if they have an old SC52 driver they can send me. I guess I’ll try sending them an email. They’re pretty good about responding.
  • or perhaps I can use it as a host. It’s not great since the space inside the head is so small owing to the one-piece driver/star, but I could probably transplant the guts from an FWAA into it.

EDIT: Quick response from Zebralight. They can’t repair it as they have no SC52 boards in inventory. I guess this light is now a host for me to try to put something else inside.

I guess in attempting to mod this I probably should have started with one of my defective non-functional Zebralights rather than one that was working perfectly.

Geuzzz
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That’s to bad firelight. Makes me scared for modding my sc64.

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I just finished a Convoy 4 × 18 mod with a 86mm reflector upgrade. HERE
.

.

.

.

.

Firelight2
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Geuzzz wrote:
That’s to bad firelight. Makes me scared for modding my sc64.

Taking a closer look at the driver I now see what happened.

The bypass hole for the positive driver wire was completely filled with solder. I wasn’t able to remove it as my solder sucker wasn’t strong enough, and I couldn’t get solder braid in.

To remove the driver, I inserted my soldering iron into the bypass hole while lifting up on the screws with a pliers.

Unfortunately, even though the solder seemed molten, the positive wire actually hadn’t released. And it’s possible the tip of the wire accidentally bent downward and resoldered itself to the positive pad on the top of the driver while I was trying to remove it. The head is quite small and between my iron and the pliers I couldn’t see anything when I tried to remove it.

When I exerted force to remove the driver, it actually ripped the positive contact bondpad from the board, along with the metal can lining the bypass hole. Also ripped off the board was a large trace on the underside that went under the inductor coil from the positive wire to a capacitor. This trace coming off actually tore chunks out of the body of the coil and left the coil dangling from the board.

I also noticed that one of the switch contact pads on the board is dangling. Looks like it ripped mostly off, but is still connected.

As-is, the board doesn’t work at all.

On the upside, I gained some valuable insight into how Zebralights are constructed and what not to do to them.

To think… I might have avoided this problem had I purchased one of those super-powerful cheap solder suckers someone on BLF was talking about 2 weeks ago.

thefreeman
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Firelight2 wrote:

Unfortunately, even though the solder seemed molten, the positive wire actually hadn’t released. And it’s possible the tip of the wire accidentally bent downward and resoldered itself to the positive pad on the top of the driver while I was trying to remove it. The head is quite small and between my iron and the pliers I couldn’t see anything when I tried to remove it.

To think… I might have avoided this problem had I purchased one of those super-powerful cheap solder suckers someone on BLF was talking about 2 weeks ago.

I’m not sure it’s possible to remove all the solder with a wire in a plated through hole even with a powerful solder sucker.

One other trick that I use is to lower the temp of the SAC/SnCu solder with BiSn which melts at 140C, and when things still don’t want to come off I add lead to it, which depending on the proportion of Sn Bi and Pb can melts as low as 95C (Rose’s metal).

PeyoX
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NeutralFan wrote:

I’ve had great luck with removing the donut holes in quad E17A LEDs by sanding down 1 side of the lenses to make them frosted. You can experiment with how much flood vs throw by using different sandpaper grit. But too high of grit (ie. less of a frosted lens) may still result in a slight donut hole. But at least you can control the final beam vs buying something to cover or replace the lens.

Thanks for the suggestion NeutralFan. I’ve done the sandpaper trick while waiting the diffuser stickers to arrive. At first, I tried the 800grit, then tried to the lower and lower grit. At final, 240 grit for one side and 400 grit for the other side, it improves a lot but the donut hole still appeared. Lol

Limited English, still working on it.

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MascaratumB wrote:
WARNING:
What you’re about to see is pure bastardization and flashlight modding blasphemy Evil

Holly molly!

I have a plan to do something similar by replacing stock driver with Tool AA driver or Reylight Pineapple driver.
The goal is to have a triple AA flaslight which support NiMH.

The main challenge would be replacing e-switch with standard clicky one without changing its form factor.

MascaratumB
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lumenzilla wrote:
MascaratumB wrote:
WARNING:
What you’re about to see is pure bastardization and flashlight modding blasphemy Evil

Holly molly!

I have a plan to do something similar by replacing stock driver with Tool AA driver or Reylight Pineapple driver.
The goal is to have a triple AA flaslight which support NiMH.

The main challenge would be replacing e-switch with standard clicky one without changing its form factor.

Hum, then, if I may suggest, the 17mm driver from Jaxman E3 (3 modes, no memory, which supports Ni-MH and 14500, although it is more suitable for Ni-MH) would be a suggestion for this light (FWAA)! It takes only button top batteries, though!

As for the switch, you can adopt the solution I adopted in mine! It is not absolutely secure but it works Wink You just need to find a PCB that is large enough to make contact with the edges of the tube without falling into it.

OR, you can try to solder a switch to the original FWAA PCB, after removing that metal sheet (that acts as “switch”).
In case you need some hints on this, let me know Thumbs Up

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Since I now have nice Zebralight SC52w host in need of guts, I’ve been thinking of what to do with it.

I’m leaning towards the following:

  • Mountain Electronics driver flashed with Anduril
  • 20mm triple star filed down to fit.
  • Carclo 10507 optic with top leg snipped off.

Biggest concerns:

  • Mountain Electronics driver – I have a small one on hand that should fit in the space available, but the quality of these drivers has left a lot to be desired. 2/3 of the ones I got didn’t work properly when tested outside of a light. Much of the problem seems to be bad 7135 regulatator chips. Hopefully if that’s an issue I can just reflow a replacement onto the board. If the driver really doesn’t work I’ll have to consider whether to try ripping one out of another light, taking one from an FWAA, or ordering another from Mountain.

  • Space for the driver – The SC52w used a single board that contained both the LED and driver. I can’t do that in my replacement guts which is why I plan to install a triple. It should be possible to have a small driver float in the space where the original board used to go. Above this I will place a copper platform for the new star to go on. What makes this workable is that a Carclo triple-tir optic is shallower than the original aluminum reflector. However, until I test I won’t really know how much room is available. If there is insufficient space my backup plan is to try grinding or drilling out much of the original shelf. However, I’d like to avoid doing that is there is a substantial amount of mass for thermal management.
  • Filing the star – It looks like the optic should fit with little or no modification other than removing one of the legs. However, a substantial amount of material will need to be removed from the star to make it fit. I think the first step on this mod is to start filing the star down. This could take quite awhile. Also, The still will still need to work after it is filed down.
  • Emitters – I’m currently short on good spare emitters. I have an order coming from Kaidoman, but it hasn’t arrived yet. If I do this mod before they arrive, I’ll have to find some spare emitters to use or salvage them from an older mod.
  • Sizing everything to fit properly under the retainer ring – this is tough since the retaining ring does not screw on. Make the shelf too tall and the ring won’t socket. Too deep and it won’t seal. I’ll try to handle this like I did with a similar mod in a DQG Tiny III: Make the shelf a bit too short then add copper disks to bring it to the proper height.
  • To make the light easier to mod in the future I’ll probably leave off the glass lens and just have the optic resting on the edge of the retaining ring (hopefully with enough room for an o-ring). The lens fully recesses into the retaining ring so there would be room for it, but installing the lens makes it VERY hard to remove the retaining ring for maintenance, repairs or emitter swaps.
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Skilhunt H04 Mini RC with Nichia 219B sw45k D220 R9080

Skilhunt H04 Mini RC with Nichia 219B sw45k D220 R9080
thefreeman
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It seems like the link is broken.

contactcr
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thefreeman wrote:
It seems like the link is broken.

The classic BLF “X” problem. Click

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jon_slider wrote:
Last night I “modded” the dome light in my subaru. I removed a 13w incandescent, and installed a 5W LED.. Lumens tripled, and power use went down 60% But the spectrum quality of the LED light is disgusting, so I went back to incandescent. I choose quality over quantity.

 

If you're interested, I discovered these guys on ebay years ago and they offer many bulbs in 40K, 41K, and/or 45K.  They were the only ones I could ever find in neutral temps and the CRI on them is pretty decent...just took a handful of colored items out to the car for a viewing with a more critical eye and while not as nice as what we're used to with flashlight emitters and considering the reduced lumens of these bulbs, the colors pop pretty well and it's easy to tell varying shades/hues of the same color.  I haven't used any of their warm temp models, though.  If your subie uses a festoon bulb back there then the options are more limited unless you want to swap out the holder.  They've got a vehicle-finder on the site, too, and for the three I've done it has been accurate (unlike some bulb mfr catalogs...).  Prices are a little higher than the sea of cold-white ebay sellers but they're well packaged in esd bags and shipped in boxes.  I think their stated lumens for each bulb model and the temps within each model seem pretty accurate as well (no 600 lumen 194 bulbs here...lol). 

https://www.superbrightleds.com/

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