Shortened S2+

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Agro
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Shortened S2+

Hey, I’m looking for a builder for my new light.

I want a black Convoy S2+ 18350 shortened like here:
http://budgetlightforum.com/node/53313
so it’s 69-70 mm-long

Also, with a widened optic:
http://budgetlightforum.com/node/52335

Inside:

  • 3*XP-L2 (I will deliver the LEDs)
  • Carlco 10507
  • Texas Avenger driver (I will deliver this one too)
  • Strong electrically and thermally
  • Reverse clicky

Optionally (depending on budget and availability):

My location: EU

djozz
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The XP-L2 will not fit under the 10507, you need a Hi version without dome for that which in XP-L2 is not available (yet). And thermally a S2+ hotrod like you wish will very far from stable, modes up to 2.5 A will be the limit to run it stable (and still way too hot to hold, ~90degC), while on direct drive you probably get 10A or so.

Rufusbduck
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It would probably be ok if you left off the FET and just used 5-6 chips. 69-70mm is certainly doable. I’d offer but I’ve got a few others to finish first.

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

Scott

Agro
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According to
http://www.mtnelectronics.com/index.php?route=product/product&path=60_10...
and
http://budgetlightforum.com/comment/1127582#comment-1127582
they fit.
I’m aware that the highest modes will be usable for a very short time and I’m fine with that. 95% of the time when I need light for more than seconds, I don’t need much of it.
In the former case such S2+ will make a lot of light for a moment, still a lot for several minutes (needed when searching for something) and hours of 50-200 lm.
In pretty much every mode it will be close to a Pareto-frontier when considering output, runtime and size.

Agro
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Rufusbduck wrote:
It would probably be ok if you left off the FET and just used 5-6 chips. 69-70mm is certainly doable. I’d offer but I’ve got a few others to finish first.

Actually the LED supplier told me they’ll get the next batch of V6 bin in c.a. 2-3 weeks and then they’ll be able to tell me if they got 3 W2s in it. I can wait some longer than this.
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Ah, I have not had any XP-L2 in hands yet so I did not know that the dome is different from XP-L. So it does fit the Carclo, sorry for my mistake.

Another question: for the normal S2+ to triple conversion you need a spacer between pill and ledboard, unless you do the trick that Firelight2 did by shortening the head. The spacer will buy you some time in turbo while it absorbs some heat, and short is nice but quite some and extra skillful work. What are your plans?

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djozz wrote:
Ah, I have not had any XP-L2 in hands yet so I did not know that the dome is different from XP-L. So it does fit the Carclo, sorry for my mistake.

Actually, it’s a bit puzzling, because according to the specs, they are exactly the same.
I suspect they are really different, though just minimally, so both stay within tolerances.

djozz wrote:
Another question: for the normal S2+ to triple conversion you need a spacer between pill and ledboard, unless you do the trick that Firelight2 did by shortening the head. The spacer will buy you some time in turbo while it absorbs some heat, and short is nice but quite some and extra skillful work. What are your plans?

I don’t understand the question, so maybe I don’t understand the Firelight2 mod. I haven’t had S2+ in hand, it doesn’t make things easier….

The way I see it, regular single S2+ has the following elements in the head, front->back:
glass->reflector->LED PCB->long pill->driver (at the end of the pill)

Triple optic is shorter than reflector, so one adds a heatsink to act as a spacer:
glass->tir->LED PCB->heatsink->long pill->driver (at the end of the pill)

Firelight2 shortens the pill, but doesn’t move it forward in the head, so a triple looks like this:
glass->tir->LED PCB->heatsink->short pill->driver (at the end of the pill)

Am I wrong and Firelight2 actually moves the pill forward, so there’s a triple but no heatsink:
glass->tir->LED PCB->short pill->driver (at the end of the pill)
?

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Firelight2 does not say if he uses a spacer or not but I’m pretty sure that he did not use one and moved the pill forward for additional length, the light was shortened by 16mm and if you remove 16mm off the pill (I’m at work so I have not one to measure) there’s hardly anything leftover.

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The difference with the triple is the shape of the pill, standard there is a raised edge on the pill, which is not ideal to mount a 20 mm MCPCP directly to the pill, since only the outer ring will conduct the heat.

To make a standard S2+ fit a triple, the spacer is mounted, (or another milled pill) which fills the gap that is created by removing the reflector.

To make a short version, you may want to mill a custom pill (or buy one copper pill from kiriba ru and saw the end of it)
Copper pill (driver retaining) triple Convoy S2+/EagleEye X2



or you mill the edge of the existing pill, drill a hole through the center for the wiring, and saw the end of the pill to shorten it (i dont know if the thread in the head is entirely made up to the top of the head) so i dont know how far you can actually shorten the head.

ideal, would be a custom milled pill and milled body.

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The threading is not entirely to the top, there were S2+ versions that were close enough and using a thicker o-ring at the lens made it all tight, but the latest S2+ versions I got were a bit less deep so to not have to use a spacer I had to file away a few rounds of threading at the top end of the pill. (my mods were to fit a 18500 while using a 18350 battery tube).

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Using the new 18500 short tube from Jaxman with a 18650 would be a good alternative instead of sawing the head.
You’d still have to remove some threads from the brass pill but if we can make a 18500 light with a 18350 tube, there’s no reason not to be able to do a 18650 light with a 18500 tube.

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X3 wrote:
Using the new 18500 short tube from Jaxman with a 18650 would be a good alternative instead of sawing the head.
You’d still have to remove some threads from the brass pill but if we can make a 18500 light with a 18350 tube, there’s no reason not to be able to do a 18650 light with a 18500 tube.

I checked, all my 18500 converted S2+ shorties with 18350 tube fit a 18650 when using the 18500 tube, the battery fit is even a bit less tight then.
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X3 wrote:
Using the new 18500 short tube from Jaxman with a 18650 would be a good alternative instead of sawing the head.
You’d still have to remove some threads from the brass pill but if we can make a 18500 light with a 18350 tube, there’s no reason not to be able to do a 18650 light with a 18500 tube.

I’ve been thinking about the following choices:
  • 18500 battery, 18350 tube, shortened pill
  • 18350 battery, 18350 tube, shortened head (and pill)

There’s a gap in the range of available 18500s, you can have either 1100 mAh high discharge cells or a range of low discharge ones topping 2000 mAh.
Aspire 18350 is a high-discharge cell with real 1100 mAh.
High discharge 18500 is no upgrade, just larger, heavier for minimally better IR. Unmodified 18350 light would be just as good for less money.
Low discharge has 80% more energy, but using a Turbo mode would kill it (right?).
80% more energy is not a major upgrade for me as 1100 mAh is good enough for 95% of my use. If it’s not, I can take a spare. And well, all work and no play makes me a dull boy. I know, that’s what I chose with my current light.
The cost matters too and if given a major pricing difference I could reconsider. And then, keep watching for new developments on the 18500 market hoping there’s finally something good. But having no quotes so far, I’m targeting what will work best for me, the shorty.

I did not consider 18500 tube, I didn’t know there was such option. Could you share a link to someone doing it? I wonder if it fits well…
I will think about it, though that would be simply a cash-saving option as 18350 just seems better for me.

ADDED:
Actually, inability to play is the reason why I’m looking for a new light. The current one works well enough. I am looking for something that will work a little better (much better is impossible) while giving me the ability to play. I’m still much practicality-oriented and I’m unhappy with the fact that getting some nice output requires a size increase over that 1*AAA Peak Eiger Ultra. I’d like to minimize the increase.

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djozz wrote:
Firelight2 does not say if he uses a spacer or not but I’m pretty sure that he did not use one and moved the pill forward for additional length, the light was shortened by 16mm and if you remove 16mm off the pill (I’m at work so I have not one to measure) there’s hardly anything leftover.

I have never used a spacer in any of my S2+ mods.

Whole point of shortening the pill and removing the forward pill threads is so the entire pill is shorter and can move forward in the head. This opens up space inside the tube for a larger battery.

Option 1: Shortened pill, no spacer, shortened head. (this is what I did with my more recent blue S2+)

  • Works with 18350, Jaxman E2L 18500 tube or 18650 body tube to accommodate those cells, though some of the forward threads on those tubes may need to be removed.
  • Gives a very pleasing result with an almost fully-knurled light.
  • Because the head is tiny, when it gets hot, it gets hot mostly just at the head. This works well because you can still hold it by the tube and operate it with the tailcap even if the head is too hot to touch.
  • I have my driver set to 3 amps max output. Any higher than that and the head gets dangerously hot to touch. At 3 amps it gets hot, but not dangerously hot.
  • Temp sensor in the driver dims the output so it’s safe to tailstand even at 3 amps. However, it won’t stay at 3 amps for long as output dims noticeably.
  • This is probably the riskiest mod, at least the way I did it. The risk is in using a hand drill and grinding bit to grind out the threads at the bottom of the shortened head to accomodate an 0-ring. If the bit slips, you could go through the side of the head.

Option 2: Shortened pill, no spacer, but do not shorten the head.

  • In this setup with the longer head, but shortened pill use the 18350 body tube with an 18500 cell inside, or the 18500 body tube with an 18650 cell inside.
  • This ends up with a result very similar to option 1. It’s easier to do in that it skips the riskiest step (shortening the head).
  • However, you no longer have the option of using an 18350 cell in the light. Also, because a substantial portion of the S2+ head has no knurling, you may end up with a light that has less knurling than desired.
  • This mod may be also harder to hold onto while at max power as a larger portion of the light (longer head) will get very hot. There’s less body tube to grip so you may get more of a hot-potato effect.

Option 3: Use a spacer. I have not tried using a spacer in any of my S2+ mods, but I have used a spacer with other similar mods.

  • Advantage of a spacer is the mod is much easier. You don’t need to shorten the pill or grind off pill threads or shorten the head. You can essentially just assemble all the parts and only need to do soldering, making for a very simple mod.
  • The spacer adds ballast so when you turn on in turbo the head will take a little longer to get burning hot. However, because the S2+ still lacks heatsink fins there still isn’t a very efficient path to get the heat out of the light. I expect it would still get too hot to touch, but will just take slightly longer. It will also take longer to cool.
  • However, the resulting light is much longer and you probably won’t be able to shave off much length. My guess is maybe 5mm by shortening the body tube and pill/tailcap threads. Most who use spacers don’t shorten the light at all. In addition to making the light longer, a spacer also makes the light heavier, especially if you use a copper spacer.

The S2+ has a very clean design, nice price, and is a joy to mod. You can make it into a super-compact tube-light. That said, it doesn’t have the greatest heatsinking.

If you plan to run the light at full FET power, you might wish to consider the Jaxman E2L. The E2L has excellent heatsinking for a tube light. I run my E2L on an IMR 18500 with the same DrJones H17F driver and the temp sensor won’t noticeably dim the output even at max turbo. The head gets too hot to touch comfortably, but not blisteringly hot. And when the light is turned off it cools within seconds to a comfortable level.

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Firelight2 wrote:
djozz wrote:
Firelight2 does not say if he uses a spacer or not but I’m pretty sure that he did not use one and moved the pill forward for additional length, the light was shortened by 16mm and if you remove 16mm off the pill (I’m at work so I have not one to measure) there’s hardly anything leftover.

I have never used a spacer in any of my S2+ mods.

Whole point of shortening the pill and removing the forward pill threads is so the entire pill is shorter and can move forward in the head. This opens up space inside the tube for a larger battery.

Option 1: Shortened pill, no spacer, shortened head. (this is what I did with my more recent blue S2+)

  • Works with 18350, Jaxman E2L 18500 tube or 18650 body tube to accommodate those cells, though some of the forward threads on those tubes may need to be removed.
  • Gives a very pleasing result with a fully-knurled body tube.
  • Because the head is tiny, when it gets hot, it gets hot mostly just at the head. This works well because you can still hold it by the tube and operate it with the tailcap even if the head is too hot to touch.
  • I have my driver set to 3 amps max output. Any higher than that and the head gets dangerously hot to touch. At 3 amps it gets hot, but not dangerously hot.
  • Temp sensor in the driver dims the output so it’s safe to tailstand even at 3 amps. However, it won’t stay at 3 amps for long as output dims noticeably.\
  • This is probably the riskiest mod, at least the way I did it. The risk is in using a hand drill and grinding bit to grind out the threads at the bottom of the shortened head to accomodate an 0-ring. If the bit slips, you could go through the side of the head.

Option 2: Shortened pill, no spacer, but do not shorten the head.

  • In this setup with the longer head, but shortened pill use the 18350 body tube with an 18500 cell inside, or the 18500 body tube with an 18650 cell inside.
  • This ends up with a result very similar to option 1. It’s easier to do in that it skips the riskiest step (shortening the head).
  • However, you no longer have the option of using an 18350 cell in the light. Also, because a substantial portion of the S2+ head has no knurling, you may end up with a light that has less knurling than desired.
  • This mod may be also harder to hold onto while at max power as the entire head will get hot. There’s less body tube to grip so you may get more of a hot-potato effect.

Option 3: Use a spacer. I have not tried using a spacer in any of my S2+ mods.

  • Advantage of a spacer is the mod is much easier. You don’t need to shorten the pill or grind off pill threads or shorten the head. You can essentially just assemble all the parts and only need to do soldering, making for a very simple mod.
  • The spacer adds ballast so when you turn on in turbo the head will take a little longer to get burning hot. However, because the S2+ still lacks heatsink fins, eventually it will still get too hot to touch and will take awhile to cool.
  • However, the resulting light is much longer and you probably won’t be able to shave off much length. My guess is maybe 5mm by shortening the body tube and pill/tailcap threads. Most who use spacers don’t shorten the light at all. In addition to making the light longer, a spacer also makes the light heavier, especially if you use a copper spacer.

The S2+ has a very clean design, nice price, and is a joy to mod. You can make it into a super-compact tube-light. That said, it doesn’t have the greatest heatsinking.

If you plan to run the light at full FET power, you might wish to consider the Jaxman E2L. The E2L has excellent heatsinking for a tube light. I run my E2L on an IMR 18500 with the same DrJones H17F driver and the temp sensor won’t noticeably dim the output even at max turbo. The head gets too hot to touch comfortably, but not blisteringly hot. And when the light is turned off it cools within seconds to a comfortable level.


Thanks for clarification.

Actually, I considered E2L. Just picked S2+ because I knew it could be shortened and I haven’t seen anybody attempting it on Jaxman.

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Agro wrote:
.. Am I wrong and Firelight2 actually moves the pill forward, so there’s a triple but no heatsink: glass->tir->LED PCB->short pill->driver (at the end of the pill) ?

No heatsink spacer. I just move the pill forward.

Also, I haven’t tried using a lens in these lights either. The TIR is exposed at the very front of the light. Even with the light bouncing around with my keys, I’ve never had a Carclo optic ever become scratched. That optical acrylic is tough stuff. I don’t think a glass lens is all that necessary.

Even if it did become scrached a 10507 optic is very cheap. It costs less than $2 and can easily be replaced.

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Agro wrote:
… Actually, I considered E2L. Just picked S2+ because I knew it could be shortened and I haven’t seen anybody attempting it on Jaxman.
E2L is a good choice if you want to hotrod it and still want decent heatsinking. Unfortunately, the E2L cannot be shortened much at all.

The E2L uses a single-piece head with no pill. No pill, means there’s nothing to easily shorten in the head. You can recover several mm of empty space in the battery compartment, but that’s about it. Beyond that, to recover more space you’d have to drill out a lot of the inside of the heatsink area. Then you’d have to figure out how to attach your driver into the pill since you’d probably have also had to drill out the driver retaining ring threads. The body tube also dips inwards in the middle of the fins limiting the diameter of what you can grind out.

  • Choose the E2L if you want a hotrod with heatsinking.
  • Choose the S2+ if you want a super-short and compact light.

Since it sounds like your primary goal is to have a compact light, the S2+ is probably a better choice of host for you.

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Different ways to skin the same cat, I did cut some of the brass from the front of the pill and replaced it with some unthreaded copper in order to push the optic up against the bezel. This one measures 101.37 mm but the wood section is 31.5 mm and it takes a 16650 so by eliminating the wood area it would be sub 70mm with a 16340. It’s possible to do it this way for an 18350 but is a bit more difficult to pull off. In this pic you can see how the battery tube now extends up into the head.
That length plus the threaded ends of the tube are the minimum length of the cell since both the driver and tail switch springs are reduced to the minimum length. The switch button spacer is also thinner with the button shaved to compensate.
The mod isn’t done this way because it’s better, it’s just how I add the wood and still maintain circuit continuity.

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

Scott

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Nice work Rufus!
That nutwood look really looks classy.

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It just occurred to me that it’s not a major problem to have the head glued to the body, as long as the glue can be easily dissolved. Then, threading the head becomes unnecessary. I guess this makes the mod quite a bit simpler…

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Agro wrote:
It just occurred to me that it’s not a major problem to have the head glued to the body, as long as the glue can be easily dissolved. Then, threading the head becomes unnecessary. I guess this makes the mod quite a bit simpler…
Unnecessary.

Convoy S2+ already has threads all down most of its length for the pill. These same threads are also used to attach the battery tube.Since the threads are already there, all adding glue would do is threadlock those threads. It would make checking or upgrading the driver much harder and really wouldn’t add much to the strength of the light.

Unless you want to add a wooden sleeve like Rufusbduck, gluing the head won’t actually provide much benefit.

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The wood is admittedly a distraction but the technique allows for changing the length in either direction, shorter or longer. The recent trend has been for shorty mods but there are also some asking for extension tubes for various lights and this is one DIY way to get them. I’d say Fireligth2 has an easier method to get shorter.

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

Scott

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Firelight2 wrote:
Agro wrote:
It just occurred to me that it’s not a major problem to have the head glued to the body, as long as the glue can be easily dissolved. Then, threading the head becomes unnecessary. I guess this makes the mod quite a bit simpler…
Unnecessary.

Convoy S2+ already has threads all down most of its length for the pill. These same threads are also used to attach the battery tube.Since the threads are already there, all adding glue would do is threadlock those threads. It would make checking or upgrading the driver much harder and really wouldn’t add much to the strength of the light.

Unless you want to add a wooden sleeve like Rufusbduck, gluing the head won’t actually provide much benefit.


I misunderstood the following part:
Quote:
I used the same technique described in Step 1 for grinding out a driver ledge in the back of the driver to grind out the bottom couple mm of threads in the head. This allows the head to fully seat and still be o-ring sealed. this operation was the hardest part of the mod. I messed up the first time and had to take a little more off than I anticipated when the grinding bit slipped. Fortunately, for anyone else trying it, this step is also purely optional. It’s only needed if you want a waterproof light and don’t want to glue the head to the body tube.

You’re not threading the head. You’re removing threads. Right?
Anyway, if it’s hard and can be avoided with the only inconvenience of needing to use a solvent and re-glue when I want to access the head, I’m OK with skipping this step.
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Firelight2 wrote:
Also, I haven’t tried using a lens in these lights either. The TIR is exposed at the very front of the light. Even with the light bouncing around with my keys, I’ve never had a Carclo optic ever become scratched. That optical acrylic is tough stuff. I don’t think a glass lens is all that necessary.

Even if it did become scrached a 10507 optic is very cheap. It costs less than $2 and can easily be replaced.


But it won’t work well with a widened head opening.

Pros and cons of widened + glass, compared to regular and no glass:

  • 2-4% lm loss on the glass
  • will never have to replace optic
  • ~1.5 mm longer flashlight
  • 310 lm gain from widening
  • somewhat better throw
  • no GITD o-ring
  • extra work

Bare TIR doesn’t look bad really.
(Edited to add 10% bezel light loss result)

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The narrow bezel on the S2+ can be fixed if you want to open it up more. Just take a small file or sandpaper to the opening. You can widen it more and still have it secure without the glass.

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Actually I’ve been searching for precisely this mod in the last hour Wink
Thanks.