What did you mod today?

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Correllux
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cobaltB12 wrote:
The SST20 in my sofirn C01s died and I replaced it with a Samsung LH351D 3500K. Have no experience with reflow soldering so I bought the version with a 10mm MCPCB. The PCB is thicker than the original though, so I can’t screw the top on fully. Any ideas on how to shorten the reflector so it all fits? Also lost the pocket clip, wondering if there’s a way to make a new one without power tools

Were you able to test the emitter with a multimeter or cell or something to be sure it was the problem? Kind of rare for emitters to die in normal use (usually they only die from physical damage or when really pushing the amps up high for testing or in a hotrod light). I wouldn’t try to shorten the reflector, personally, but with some care you could do that by hand with a finer double-cut file, or sandpaper on a flat surface and time. If you have access to some sort of belt or disc sander that would be easiest. The reflective coatings on reflectors are extremely delicate, though, so you want to avoid all grit and dust getting on there if possible. It would be slightly more work but probably better to sand the bottom of the mcpcb instead, or buy one that is the same thickness as the stock one. If you do a search here or look at the stickied threads, there’s some great info on reflowing your own emitters – there’s a learning curve but it’s pretty simple really and can be done for very low or no cost depending on what you might already have at hand.

Also, don’t forget that Sofirn is pretty great about warranty. They’ll send out drivers or whole new lights (usually) if you contact them. Easier to deal with than many other manufacturers. They sell clips, too, and many other sellers do as well. If you had a clip that was the same/close to the same diameter but the ears were too wide, those can be filed down to suit, just want to smooth it all up nicely when the dimensions are where you want them to be so as not to gouge the anodizing on the body.

cobaltB12
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Thanks for the detailed response! My flashlight wouldn’t light up but it would get hot so I assumed the emitter was the problem. I did initially test the sst20 while it was still soldered on but it wouldn’t light. Weirdly enough after I desoldered it, it lit up on testing with the multimeter. Regardless, it’s working now with the lh351d.
Ah, I didn’t know sofirn would replace a faulty light, will definitely check that out. The original sofirn pocket clip is a little too malleable and not springy enough for my liking so I’ll see if there are any for other AAA lights i can use

Correllux
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cobaltB12 wrote:
Thanks for the detailed response! My flashlight wouldn’t light up but it would get hot so I assumed the emitter was the problem. I did initially test the sst20 while it was still soldered on but it wouldn’t light. Weirdly enough after I desoldered it, it lit up on testing with the multimeter. Regardless, it’s working now with the lh351d. Ah, I didn’t know sofirn would replace a faulty light, will definitely check that out. The original sofirn pocket clip is a little too malleable and not springy enough for my liking so I’ll see if there are any for other AAA lights i can use

Good deal, glad you’re back in action, and you’re welcome! Normal for emitters not to light up with a multimeter while still wired to the driver/host circuit…just not enough juice from most multimeter diode test functions (some can do a good 3v or a little more, but if the circuit is actually complete it will lose enough voltage not to work…but with a bare disconnected emitter all is well even if the meter can only put out 2v for the test). With warranty for Sofirn, they kind of expect you to go through the retailer first (as is the Chinese business custom, opposite of what most of us are used to), and if that can’t be done then Sofirn will usually take care of you. They have different reps for different outlets but messaging them on Aliexpress has worked for me…can also ask to purchase various parts that way and they are super accommodating. Many other companies are not nearly so agreeable or reachable.

Not sure about a good clip for that size. The only small one I have is on an Ultratac K18 AAA and it’s mediocre…plus I think Ultratac may have gone under. If you post a separate thread about that I’ll bet someone here has some good solutions or ideas. If you haven’t already, have a browse on the Kaidomain site to see if they might have anything…or possibly Fasttech.

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gchart wrote:
LED swap in a Skilhunt H300. Previous LED was cold white and low CRI. Used an XHP50.3 4000K 90 CRI from Digikey. DUV is a little positive (slightly green) but overall much nicer.

The stainless bezel had little divots, but I couldn’t get it unscrewed using normal tools so I designed and 3D printed a tool to remove it. Worked perfectly! Big Smile

Nicely done. What voltage is the driver running at? 6V or 12V?

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I did some sharpening and color inversion of the image and it kinda looks like it’s a 12V. The traces from the solder pads go to opposing corners of the emitters split pads.

https://fundrazr.com/osturaband

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Deep carry clip for my variable tint Emisar D4V2:

This clip started as a 2-way clip for an FW3A.

  • I sawed off the backbend portion, then used pliers to add the 2 bends at the tip.
  • I’m quite please with how it turned out. The modding process only added minor scratches to the chrome plating on the clip. The lip is now big enough to slip onto a pants pocket one-handed, and it’s deep carry. Much better than the stock clip.
  • The clip is currently installed on an 18500 battery tube, but it also fits on the stock 18650 tube.
TIFisher
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That is awesome work. Looks like the light came stock with that clip….never know the difference.

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After looking at my previous post #10701, I noticed that 1 of the 219Bs was not flat against the MCPCB. That’s the downfall of taking pics while modding – you can notice issues afterwards.

I took the head apart and saw 2 others were similar. Solder was between the LEDs and the board so no gaps. I think everything would’ve been fine, but not up to my standards. So I put the MCPCB on my electric skillet, tapped down on the LEDs again, and was surprised as to how much extra solder came out. Seems just as much as when I did it the first time.

I put everything back together and now I’m pleased with how the pics look.

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

MascaratumB
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Not modded today, but during the last days.
I modified a Eagtac D25C, which I bought in purpose for this mod.

Modifications performed:
- forward clicky switch, using the original PCB and copper contact ring): it doesn’t stay completely flat / aligned with the tail, but doesn’t protrude much.

- new rubber button, slightly taller than the original

- H17F driver, replaced the original one, but used the brass ring that allows contact between driver/head/battery tube, in the inverted position

- in the head:

  • as a spacer I used a copper piece that I ordered from kiriba-ru a while ago (initially thought for zoomie pills)
  • used a triple DTP MCPCB + optic from FWAA, with 3 Luxeon V2 4000K emitters
  • and I put a piece of orange GITD tape for the “afterglow” effect.

- the lanyard was made with the original lanyard but rearranged

- and the pocket clip was removed.

I’m pretty happy with it, it less big and less large than the OTR 311 which I was using as EDC light, and besides that, it has tha very configurable H17F driver that is probably my most favourite for clicky lights currently Wink

This is probably my new EDC flashlight, and despite not being perfect it is a very nice light. As for the D25C, I like its anodizing very much, as well as the size (compactness Wink )!!

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Nice mods, MascaratumB. That’s a really nice little triple you have now.

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Lotus_Darkrose wrote:
Nice mods, MascaratumB. That’s a really nice little triple you have now.

Thanks Lotus_Darkrose Wink
I was wanting something like this for a while, so I’m glad the mod worked out well Blushing

Oh, and BTW, this is not an original idea (making it a triple) since it has been done before by some other members here on BLF Wink

JaredM
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Nice work MB. I’ve always loved Eagletacs original D series lineup. Best mechanical design around imo.

I’d love to see this next to a FWAA for reference.

https://fundrazr.com/osturaband

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MascaratumB
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JaredM wrote:
Nice work MB. I’ve always loved Eagletacs original D series lineup. Best mechanical design around imo.

I’d love to see this next to a FWAA for reference.


Thanks JaredM Wink
This was my first Eagtac, but I am impress with it already. The original UI, given those blinkies that appear in the main cycle after a while were not my favourite, but it worked well (tightening/untightening). Also, mine had a High CRI SST20 4000K, which was good.

As for the comparison, here it is Wink
Convoy S2 (18350) > OTR 311 > FW1AA > DQG Slim Ti > Eagtac D25C > FWAA > Tool AA (magnetic tailcap) > FW3A 18500 > S1R Baton II

Without mods, the D25C is less than 1mm taller than the FWAA (74.5mm x 74mm)! It is smaller than the FW1AA (76.9mm). Wink

jon_slider
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Novatac Spa
modded to sw30
.

max was 90 lumens stock
now 190 lumens w sw30

joebob4501
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What switch and rubber boot did you swap in? I have a D25C I’d love to convert to forward clicky

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Inside the D25 is a completely standard ordinary clicky switch. Identical in size and shape to what you would find in a Sipik 68.

You should be able to swap it for any generic standard clicky. Just desolder the old one from the board and solder in the new one.

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Yesterday I received my Sofirn order and to comply with air freight regulation regarding batteries (I presume this is a new ordinance), the 26650 cells (2x) were inserted in a cheap host. Well, one of those hosts is no longer an economical zoomie. A bit of modding with some extras I had and one became a fair light.

Smarter XLM -T6 mod

And some beam shots:


At 30” (75cm)


“Flowering” of the die at 12” (30cm). Is this typical of XMLs?


Outside at 30 yards (10m).

When I initially put this project together, many things just so fitted together. But some tweaking will be needed.

1- The emitter is too cold – somewhat in the blue spectrum (although not as much as that last picture, phone auto-exposure makes it look worst).

I doubt it’s a genuine Cree, but for what’s it worth, a closeup of the LED:

So I’ll change to the XML3 from the Convoy S9. I had ordered an XPL-HD for that light.

2- The rear-clicky isn’t correct. Always double tap to get the driver to respond. Even without the switch, just with a wire, the driver is not responsive. Maybe a cap on the board (MTN N-lite) to be replaced?

Oh! I forgot. Some specs:

Low – 26 lumens
Med – 217 lm
High – 560 lm

Tailcap at max: 3.4 Amps using Sony VTC6 fully charged. If this driver is rated at 3 Amps with 8 × 7135, would the excess current draw be from inefficiency?

I would think a proper Cree XML-T6 should give me 800 to 900 lumens at 3 amps (from their datasheet).

MascaratumB
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joebob4501 wrote:
What switch and rubber boot did you swap in? I have a D25C I’d love to convert to forward clicky

As for the switch, I used one of these (https://www.aliexpress.com/item/1572215284.html) sold by Simon of Convoy.
As Firelight2 said, you only need to unsolder the stock switch and replace it by the new one.
As for the rubber boot, that one was from another flashlight (eventually Convoy T2?) and fit well, without protruding too much. I don’t have measurements, but I would say that you can find some suitable here, eventually the 14×6mm or 14×8mm:
https://www.aliexpress.com/store/group/Silicone-Tailcaps/708513_10000003...

The original one will not work well as it is too short for the forward switch.

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Today I decided to try how many amperes I can get Wildtrail WT3M to draw. I changed SST40’s to 5000K XHP50.2’s from Sofirn. I managed to squeeze 26awg wires parallel to the original wires through the small hole in the mcpcb. I also did double spring by-passes with 24awg wire. I also did solder “beds” to both springs that I filed flat. I theorized that it provides bigger contact surface to battery poles.

I measured current with Uni-t 210e clamp meter and 16awg wire and used Molicel P42 battery.

At start it draw 30.5 amperes and stayed above 30 A for a while. Too bad I don’t have any equipment to measure lumens.

I call this trial a success. Big Smile

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Sidney Stratton wrote:

“Flowering” of the die at 12” (30cm). Is this typical of XMLs?

congrats on your mod

imo, no, the cross in the middle of the beam at 12” is not normal, in the lights I use.. but I dont have your light

when I see that cross, I believe the LED is too low, relative to the bottom of the reflector.. I sometimes sand the centering ring to be thinner, to bring the base of the reflector closer to the base of the LED..

at other times I lift the mcpcb with a shim. Copper sheet is recommended. I also have had success using thermal tape, folded into the necessary thickness under the mcpcb, instead of thermal paste.

at other times I remove the centering ring that is lifting the reflector too high above the LED, and install Kapton tape instead, to make sure there is no short circuit from reflector to LED and the solder joints on the mcpcb

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So I would need some challenging work there:

I estimate some .010” clearance as is. The original wiring was flattened to accommodate the LED ‘washer’ and this served me.

I just so checked the reflector body width and is about .300” so I’m good to grasp in the lathe chuck and make a reduction.

BTW, would you think this be a true Cree? The high (maybe 7000ºK) I have disdain and maybe decapitating (shaving) the emitter would lower this. I don’t have many 5050 led options in my bin and pirating the Convoy S9 is just another hurdle. And then the output is below par.

Edit:
Bringing up the star wouldn’t have any effect as the reflector sits on the MCPCB via the gasket. The stack is held together via the bezel.

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Regarding plus-shaped donut hole in beam.
I’m not familiar with that particular reflector. However, I’m not sure it’s that unusual having a donut hole in the center of the beam with a large reflector when viewed at 12”.

The reflector focuses the light forward. Where there’s no reflector, the projection will tend to be dimmer. This should only be apparent at extreme close range. Once you shine the beam a more practical distance it should look fine.

Try shining the beam 30’. Do you still get a donut hole in the center of the beam? If so, then there may be a problem.

Lowering the reflector:

  • Another way to lower the reflector is to sand the bottom of the reflector down a bit. If you do that, then the light source will effectively sit higher in the reflector. The downside is this is permanent and could cause issues if you want revert the change.
  • Or you can replace the washer with something thinner, such as a layer of Kapton tape stuck on the buttom of the reflector.

jon_slider
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great photos
looks like the reflector would press on the wires if the white plastic spacer was removed, so I would Kapton Tape the solder joints, and remove the white plastic spacer, in hopes of bringing the reflector closer to the base of the LED.

and/or, I would sand the white spacer to be half as thick as it is now. And still insulate the solder joints w Kapton tape.. You can put the tape on the base of the reflector instead of on the MCPCB, your choice..

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Well, I’m going to make a reduction in the reflector base. I reckon I can make some .060” clearance there.
The translucent gasket is what centers the stack so that can’t be removed but I can reduce its thickness from .030” to about .015”.
But what about de-doming the little beast?

Edit:
Thanks for chiming in Firelight2. This reflector is somewhat thin at the base so that’s not an option (reducing the base).
As for the beam profile; at 30” there’s much artifact on the perimeter. Scattered secondary rays from improper focus I suppose. Have a tool shop so whittling down some aluminium isn’t a problem.

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Another thing you could try is using thinner wire to the solder pads on the star. Bit awkward, but it’s doable

  • Strip the silicone from the wire after it enters the slots on top of the star.
  • Use Kapton tape or thermal epoxy to insulate the edges of the star so the bare wire won’t cause a short.
  • When soldering, use less solder and make sure to flatten the solder blob as much as possible.

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Firelight2 :
Do check my last photos. The wires are the smallest (maybe 30 ga) and were flattened at the solder pads.

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You could try inserting a few scraps of copper sheet cut in the shape of the solder pads between the star and the LED. The effect would be to slightly raise the LED in the reflector.

I’m not sure this whole project will accomplish anything though. I find it hard to believe the reflector would be designed to have the LED sit so high up. I suspect none of these suggestions will actually affect the beam in any meaningful way.

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Sidney Stratton wrote:
Bringing up the star wouldn’t have any effect as the reflector sits on the MCPCB via the gasket. The stack is held together via the bezel.

true
when lifting the star, a similar reduction in centering gasket height can help keep the stack height constant, and bezel pressure consistent. In some cases I have also opted to change lens thickness on some builds, or if there is room, tighten the bezel down further.

disclaim
I have zero experience with your light, and cannot recommend non reversible changes.. I most definitely would NOT shave the reflector

I think sanding down the centering ring is a viable option.. but, again, no experiece with your model of light, dont know if the cross in the beam at 12” is “normal”..

fwiw, I just reworked a Novatac w 219b, to lift the star. It had the same UGLY cross in the beam, at 3” from target, plus a ring around the outside spill at 4’ from a wall.. FUGGLY!.

by lifting the star closer to the reflector, and removing the white plastic centering ring, I most definitely DID eliminate the cross in the beam.. I just had to use Kapton tape over the solder joints on the star.. since the reflector presses on those.. and I had to fiddle to get the LED centered, since I no longer have the luxury of a centering ring.

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@ Firelight2:

Don’t quite get at what you are describing? You are presuming I sit the reflector on those solder pads with Kapton intermediary.

@ Jon:

I just reduced the outside of the reflector base to clear the solder points. Now for the reduction of the gasket thickness. A long process as these are polyethylene (or some sort of soft plastic – but higher melt/soften temperature) and don’t machine well. Using sandpaper on a wooden block. Checking for parallelism as I go.

But none have answered my second query; would this be better if I shaved the dome? Is it an actual Cree? Putting more time in a clone than what I expect to have as result may not be worth it.

Edit:

A picture to better describe my intent.

Don’t mind the tape, covering the apertures to not have any shavings in there.

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> I just reduced the outside of the reflector base to clear the solder points.

excellent option
I agree its a pain to sand the centering ring.. I use a block too

I dont know the answers to your shaving and authenticity questions

here is an LED type lookup:
https://budgetlightforum.com/node/26665

I hope you get the beam dialed in Smile

ime the cross in the beam, is definitely related to reflector to LED spacing, and not specific to the LED you chose

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