Q8 modding

1615 posts / 0 new
Last post
Tom Tom
Offline
Last seen: 2 years 8 months ago
Joined: 09/10/2017 - 08:30
Posts: 1162
TheOnlyDocc wrote:
But the tube is also connected with the head through the threads so the current will flow partially from tube direct to the driver and through the threads

I don’t think so, they are anodised ?

Tom Tom
Offline
Last seen: 2 years 8 months ago
Joined: 09/10/2017 - 08:30
Posts: 1162
hank wrote:
Quote:
another potential design flaw, I have seen this earlier in cheap SRK clones

Designers need to keep a thorough list of all the possible bad designs that have been used in the past on any similar product.
There has probably been a financial reason for every corner that’s ever been cut — watch out for those choices to happen again.

Quote:
a brass or copper ring would be far better

Does anyone build driver PCBs with a solid copper ring instead of a trace around the edge of the board?

If this was military kit I’d probably specify a thick electroless nickel plate on the driver ground ring. But it isn’t.

If the cells loaded from the tail, preferably in a carrier, it wouldn’t be a concern.

T18
Offline
Last seen: 2 years 3 months ago
Joined: 02/14/2016 - 15:29
Posts: 1163

DB Custom wrote:
I hear ya T18, that triple triple/quad insert is appealing enough that I might just have to put my 4-jaw chuck on the lathe and learn how to do offset bore. Been meaning to do that anyway, but always seems to be something in the way… (pain, mostly)

Texas, and just who I was thinking about ha ha and TA of course as well, but you Texas guys being relatively local for shipping really have this down that’s for sure and I think this meteor idea would really keep your mind off other issues for quit sometime perhaps or not since your rather a quick study IMHO.
By the way I love your lumber story, I still have that Ti X6 for you someday.. ha ha, I’ve been so swamped for the last 3 years with a intestate probate mess that I haven’t been able to do much of anything that I really love, like mod lights which does help keep the mind off my own DD issues, I feel you there pal..! Hope you are improving albeit most likely slowly, I do know what your going through. Keep on
ImA4Wheelr
Offline
Last seen: 2 months 3 weeks ago
Joined: 02/03/2013 - 14:51
Posts: 7935
Location: SC

Tom Tom wrote:
Flashy Mike wrote:
DB Custom wrote:
FlashyMike, being able to press the driver into ground in the head facilitates current flow through the tube. Ground is of first importance, is also usually the cause for issues when it's weak.
Sorry, I don't get this. The LEDs are connected with 2 wires, and the batteries through the backside of the driver. Positive at the inner brass ring and negative at the outer copper trace. Of course the outer ring needs a good contact to the battery tube, but how do the screws help here? They are just pressing the driver against the front part of the light, where no ground connection is needed. But perhaps I just dont't see an important point ...
I've been saying the same for some time, but it doesn't seem to have sunk in either.

Let me try.  I believe that DBC has the same concern that I do.  That is a tilted driver may not make adequate electrical contact with the battery tube.  A driver that is flat against the driver shelf should theoretically make maximum contact with the tube.  Assuming, the shelf is parallel to the battery tube end.  When you attempt to fasten two threaded objects together via a screw, you often get a gap between the two objects as the threads will line up with the screws threads and the only thing that will actually be tight is the screw head against the first object.

The Miller
The Miller's picture
Offline
Last seen: 2 years 1 week ago
Joined: 12/14/2015 - 12:08
Posts: 9908
Location: Charente France

Are there real issues here or is it “if this is done like this we gain that so that is what I’ll do next”?
Sorry, lots of new posts, got a PM about this thread , trying to read up I see things like “corners cut” and Tom saying “oh gosh” which is not a good sign.

ImA4Wheelr
Offline
Last seen: 2 months 3 weeks ago
Joined: 02/03/2013 - 14:51
Posts: 7935
Location: SC

^

I don't think this is a real issue.  It's just the driver mounting screw holes being too tight and sometimes not letting the driver sit properly.  I would think most lights will work fine the way they are, but one may want to check it if they are using good cells and the light is underperforming.  All that needs to be done to fix it is remove the 2 screws, open the holes just a smidgen, then rescrew the driver down flat.

 EDIT: This post is the same thing.

EDIT2: OTH, it would be a good idea to make the manufacturer aware of the issue.  If they have the 2000 drivers loose, it will just take a few seconds per driver to ream out the holes to a slightly larger diameter.

The Miller
The Miller's picture
Offline
Last seen: 2 years 1 week ago
Joined: 12/14/2015 - 12:08
Posts: 9908
Location: Charente France

Yes Thorfire is planning on using better screws.

ImA4Wheelr
Offline
Last seen: 2 months 3 weeks ago
Joined: 02/03/2013 - 14:51
Posts: 7935
Location: SC

^

That might fix it if the screws have a narrower diameter across the threads.

Tom E
Tom E's picture
Offline
Last seen: 34 min 31 sec ago
Joined: 08/19/2012 - 08:23
Posts: 14999
Location: LI NY

The Miller wrote:
Yes Thorfire is planning on using better screws.

Do you recall the discussions we had way back about the wear&tear on the driver ground ring from the battery tube? Think someone said it's not much of an issue, but we wanted ThorFire to make than ground ring a thicker trace than standard. The Q8's I'm testing a lot on are showing wear, but who knows - might take 1,000's on loosens/tightens to fail - I really don't know, but I recall we discussed this in depth, after TF got rid of the brass retaining ring from the first prototype.

djozz
djozz's picture
Offline
Last seen: 2 hours 19 min ago
Joined: 09/07/2012 - 17:04
Posts: 18092
Location: Amsterdam

Tom E wrote:

The Miller wrote:
Yes Thorfire is planning on using better screws.

Do you recall the discussions we had way back about the wear&tear on the driver ground ring from the battery tube? Think someone said it’s not much of an issue, but we wanted ThorFire to make than ground ring a thicker trace than standard. The Q8’s I’m testing a lot on are showing wear, but who knows – might take 1,000’s on loosens/tightens to fail – I really don’t know, but I recall we discussed this in depth, after TF got rid of the brass retaining ring from the first prototype.


I don’t think that Thorfire tickened the ground trace for us.

But this is only an issue once it is an issue, as you say it may take many years to wear through the ground ring or it may be sooner than that.

At least for folks who can use a solder iron a fix is easy once the ground ring is worn away: some solder blobs or soldering a copper wire around the edge will buy you another hundred years.

piyoman
Offline
Last seen: 1 month 3 weeks ago
Joined: 10/02/2015 - 22:31
Posts: 37

I just realized that my plan to swap out the existing 2 green LEDs with pink and blue may not work with the purchase I made. I measured the LED voltage and it’s currently at 2.17v when the batteries are full. It looks like the pink can be swapped in since it works between 2-2.6v but the blue requires 3.1-3.3v to function. Any ideas?

https://www.aliexpress.com/item/Free-Shipping-100pcs-SMD-SMT-Super-Bright-Surface-Mount-0603-1608-Light-Emitting-Diode-LED-Diode/32368361712.html
https://www.aliexpress.com/item/5-colors-x20pcs-100pcs-SMD-0603-led-Super-Bright-Red-Green-Blue-Yellow-White-Water-Clear/32383494488.html

Tom Tom
Offline
Last seen: 2 years 8 months ago
Joined: 09/10/2017 - 08:30
Posts: 1162

The Miller, I think there is only one significant issue coming up here, and some other discussions about how to improve a few things:

1) The holes in the driver for the screws are too small, so the M3 screws, that were a surprise to see in production, (last prototype had M2.5 screws) have to bite into the driver PCB to be fitted, cutting their own threads.

This means that there is a chance the driver won’t be clamped solidly against the head (unless the screws were cranked down hard enough to strip the “self tapped” threads that they had cut into the driver PCB).

Knock-on from this is that the battery tube may not give a good contact all around the driver ground ring. We are seeing witness marks on the ring indicating only partial contact.

That’s why some of us are drilling out the holes slightly larger, to clear the M3 screw threads completely, i.e. at least a 3mm drill. Even then, I think some are seeing only partial witness marks, suggesting incomplete contact, which may, or may not, become an issue, TBD.

Personally I don’t think it is anything to worry about.

My own suspicion is that the drivers might have been drilled for M2.5 screws, and whoever changed that to M3 forgot to update the drilling drawing for the driver.

So if Thorfire are going to fit improved screws (M3 thin panheads ?), please could they also re-drill the driver boards to the proper clearance.

Given that they have 1500 near-completed torches held waiting for new switch LED boards, I assume that the drivers are as-is, the heads are already tapped for M3 screws, so please could they use the waiting time to re-drill the driver PCBs, so when the better screws are fitted, everything is just-so.

It might also be that the bare end of the battery tube is not cut precisely square. If so, this would be a trickier thing to fix.

2) Then we have a secondary concern, that the thin plating on the driver ground ring (was asked to be a heavier pour, 3oz ?), combined with a rough finish to the end of the tube, may lead to a wear problem, long term ?

Best we can suggest for now is to smooth the end of the tube, maybe apply some conductive lube, and file off any nicks and gouges, to minimise any such wear.

3) Then we are having a debate about whether there is a second current path from the battery tube to the metal of the head, and if so, whether there could be further improvement by making sure this current path gets through to the reverse side of the driver PCB. It’s a pretty academic debate at the moment (but I think that Flashy Mike and I have it correct Wink )

But it is easy for me to pontificate, since I am on the backorder list, so frankly could be talking out of my ar**e

That’s my summary, I’m sure others will chip in where I have got this wrong. I haven’t been following closely today since I have been travelling all day (5 hours driving, 7 hours on 3 trains (thank you Virgin Trains, your WiFi is excellent), then a taxi, and I’ve only just got home and am knackered.

Edit:

I forgot a fourth one: there is a lot of room for improvement at the tail end. Large gains are being reported with mods, bypasses etc, but it also seems that the threads in the battery tube for the screws holding the tail PCB have got anodising in them, and sandblast residue. This is not good for this critical current path. If the threads were masked during anodisation, or tapped post-anodise, that would be a good thing. Meanwhile some are running a tap through them to remove the anodise, and cleaning out trapped sandblast residue.

Tom Tom
Offline
Last seen: 2 years 8 months ago
Joined: 09/10/2017 - 08:30
Posts: 1162
piyoman wrote:
I just realized that my plan to swap out the existing 2 green LEDs with pink and blue may not work with the purchase I made. I measured the LED voltage and it’s currently at 2.17v when the batteries are full. It looks like the pink can be swapped in since it works between 2-2.6v but the blue requires 3.1-3.3v to function. Any ideas?

The voltage you are measuring is simply the Vf of the original LEDs. If you put in a different LED then the series resistor would compensate. If you had no LED fitted at-all, you would measure full battery voltage across the LED pads.

At the very low current levels used here you probably don’t need anything like as much voltage as you might think for the LEDs to light up just fine. If not, a slight reduction in the series resistor value might be all that is needed to get them glowing again. It is really just “suck it and see” (AKA modding).

Djozz has suggested that blue ones dim a bit when battery voltage drops at lower charge levels.

If you plan on fitting one blue, one pink, well it’s anybody’s guess, because they may not be be well matched, using the original one-resistor switch PCB. Or if you are lucky, with the particular LEDs that you bought it might work just fine. Even if so, it might not work for someone else, with different LEDs.

Nobody can assure you that it will work well, you are on your own here, which is part of the fun.

If Thorfire do change it so each LED has it’s own resistor, that would be the ideal platform for this mod.

Etex
Etex's picture
Offline
Last seen: 8 months 2 weeks ago
Joined: 09/29/2016 - 00:57
Posts: 280
Location: East Texas

Looks like I’m getting contact all the way around. Green area didn’t show on one camera view, so I rotated for different perspective.

patmurris
patmurris's picture
Offline
Last seen: 2 weeks 3 days ago
Joined: 12/22/2014 - 15:54
Posts: 1715
Location: Nice, France

The driver retaining screws tapping their way through the driver holes is certainly not a good thing. Anytime one wants put two pieces of anything together with screws, the hole through which the screw passes has to be larger so that pressure can be applied by the screw head.

In this case, screwing tighter will only get the two piece as close as they where when the screw was first inserted. They kind of froze in that configuration… and if not enough pressure was applied at that precise moment then it will stay so unless the screw rips it own thread in the driver board – as Tom Tom explained.

Sorry if i’m kind of repeating what has been said earlier but there seem to be some confusion as to what the issue is on that point. AFAIU it’s not a matter of grounding the driver to the head but rather having it sit flat on the shelve so that the battery tube can make good contact. TF using other screws (with a flat thin head?) will not help – a larger hole will.

Jtm94
Offline
Last seen: 2 months 3 weeks ago
Joined: 02/22/2017 - 05:08
Posts: 400
Location: Pennsylvania

My Q8 is only making contact on one side, and slightly on the opposite side where you can see the battery tube starting to dig in. Only maybe 6 openings.

Tom Tom
Offline
Last seen: 2 years 8 months ago
Joined: 09/10/2017 - 08:30
Posts: 1162
Etex wrote:
Looks like I’m getting contact all the way around. Green area didn’t show on one camera view, so I rotated for different perspective.

Does that not look a bit “edgy” to you ?

I.e. the contact seems to be right on the outer edge of the driver. I’d be happier to see the witness marks solidly in the middle of the driver ground ring ? Except that there are those screw heads in the way.

Nevertheless, it looks like plenty of contact area.

Difficult to judge at a distance.

Tom Tom
Offline
Last seen: 2 years 8 months ago
Joined: 09/10/2017 - 08:30
Posts: 1162
Jtm94 wrote:
My Q8 is only making contact on one side, and slightly on the opposite side where you can see the battery tube starting to dig in. Only maybe 6 openings. !{width:75%}https://i.imgur.com/h8tH2w9.jpg?1!

Oh crap. That’s not good.

Tom E
Tom E's picture
Offline
Last seen: 34 min 31 sec ago
Joined: 08/19/2012 - 08:23
Posts: 14999
Location: LI NY

I'm using 1/8" drill bit to drill out the driver holes a little bigger. It's working well so far, but also replacing the flatheads with button tops.

I did find definite glue substance at the screw holes on the spring/tail PCB on one Q8. Why on one Q8, and nothing on others - no idea. Cleaned it off with 600 GRIT - that seemed to work well, in thin strips, folded, using the thumb nail to get in there. They do a not job of keeping the aluminum surface clear of anodizing, then put a layer of glue on it - I don't get it. Also had one badly stripped out tail PCB screw. Had to use a cutting wheel on the rotary to cut a slot in the head, then slowly worked it out with a flat-bladed screwdriver.

hank
hank's picture
Offline
Last seen: 1 week 4 days ago
Joined: 09/04/2011 - 21:52
Posts: 9599
Location: Berkeley, California

Quote:
only making contact on one side

Yep, that’s what I saw on mine — except one of the screws was in line with the middle and the contact mark skipped that part of the ground ring, like the PCB was pulled slightly down along the radius where the screw happened to be.

Bother!

Etex
Etex's picture
Offline
Last seen: 8 months 2 weeks ago
Joined: 09/29/2016 - 00:57
Posts: 280
Location: East Texas

Jtm94, zooming in on yours I see contact from 2:45 thru 11:00 (clockdial reference), continuous.

Tom Tom, It does run out at the very edge, A.)the battery tube is only 0.057” thick B.) The driver board leaves a small gap between outter perimeter and head body. You can site straight down the threads and see the gap.

fixed it
Offline
Last seen: 1 year 11 months ago
Joined: 12/08/2015 - 14:27
Posts: 396
Location: Canada

Etex wrote:

Is the wear on that ground ring as bad as it looks in the picture? It looks like it already went through the copper layer in places.

And what happened to the + ring? Did it shrink along the way to make room for the screws? I don’t remember the early prototypes (without brass) wearing on the very edge of the ring like that. It’s probably not an actual problem like the ground ring but it looks really stupid.

Etex
Etex's picture
Offline
Last seen: 8 months 2 weeks ago
Joined: 09/29/2016 - 00:57
Posts: 280
Location: East Texas

Fixed it,

Don’t think so, I scratched a small area pretty hard with a drill bit, the brass is thicker than it looks, I believe. Did not pierce thru.

vwpieces
vwpieces's picture
Offline
Last seen: 2 months 3 weeks ago
Joined: 07/17/2016 - 19:49
Posts: 2181
Location: PA, USA
Tom E wrote:

I’m using 1/8” drill bit to drill out the driver holes a little bigger. It’s working well so far, but also replacing the flatheads with button tops.


I did find definite glue substance at the screw holes on the spring/tail PCB on one Q8. Why on one Q8, and nothing on others – no idea. Cleaned it off with 600 GRIT – that seemed to work well, in thin strips, folded, using the thumb nail to get in there. They do a not job of keeping the aluminum surface clear of anodizing, then put a layer of glue on it – I don’t get it. Also had one badly stripped out tail PCB screw. Had to use a cutting wheel on the rotary to cut a slot in the head, then slowly worked it out with a flat-bladed screwdriver.

I wasn’t hallucinating. Thumbs Up
I swear I saw another post with glue on the tail PCB screws. Paged all the way back to my Q8 arrival post, scanned it over and no joy finding it. 45min I quit. I am glad you found glue for my own sanity.

fixed it
Offline
Last seen: 1 year 11 months ago
Joined: 12/08/2015 - 14:27
Posts: 396
Location: Canada

Etex wrote:
Don’t think so, I scratched a small area pretty hard with a drill bit, the brass is thicker than it looks, I believe. Did not pierce thru.

Thanks. It might be dirt from the tube which makes it look worse than it is. Time will tell anyway.
Tom E
Tom E's picture
Offline
Last seen: 34 min 31 sec ago
Joined: 08/19/2012 - 08:23
Posts: 14999
Location: LI NY

vwpieces wrote:
Tom E wrote:

I'm using 1/8" drill bit to drill out the driver holes a little bigger. It's working well so far, but also replacing the flatheads with button tops.

I did find definite glue substance at the screw holes on the spring/tail PCB on one Q8. Why on one Q8, and nothing on others - no idea. Cleaned it off with 600 GRIT - that seemed to work well, in thin strips, folded, using the thumb nail to get in there. They do a not job of keeping the aluminum surface clear of anodizing, then put a layer of glue on it - I don't get it. Also had one badly stripped out tail PCB screw. Had to use a cutting wheel on the rotary to cut a slot in the head, then slowly worked it out with a flat-bladed screwdriver.

I wasn't hallucinating. Thumbs Up I swear I saw another post with glue on the tail PCB screws. Paged all the way back to my Q8 arrival post, scanned it over and no joy finding it. 45min I quit. I am glad you found glue for my own sanity.

Yea, I thought you were nuts, but... tongue-out

Actually I've seen the same thing on just one screw hole on a couple other Q8's, but more mildly applied, but now that I saw a bad case, it's clearly used on the other Q8's, but not as much. Between that and the sand Facepalm .

Now I did see a bump on 2 lights I modded with replacement screws on driver and tail PCB, solder on the spring side of the tail screw hole rings, cleaning up of the PCB to battery tube contact, and applying NO-OX-ID to the contacts. the bump was only about 200 lumens though, at 30 secs.

Adding the spring bypasses now should be a bigger bump.

 

 

Jtm94
Offline
Last seen: 2 months 3 weeks ago
Joined: 02/22/2017 - 05:08
Posts: 400
Location: Pennsylvania

Quote:
2:45 thru 11:00

More like just around 4. One side of my driver is very wore and the exact opposite side it is making “some” slight contact. I’ve stared at the board until my eyes hurt and there is in no way continuous contact all the way around. I think I may take some sandpaper flat on a glass surface then smooth up the face of the battery tube.

Also Tom E:
I made a post about glue on my tail pcb screws as well. It wasn’t very hard, more like sticky/gummy. I just took a shop rag with some rubbing alcohol and cleaned up all of the surfaces. I need to open the flashlight head hole in my approximation shoebox so I can see if any of these changes are boosting my brightness or if it was all for nought. You seemed to have really bad luck with your screws, I was very cautious removing mine due to your warnings, but they all are in good shape. Someone must have been a little too heavy-handed when screwing yours down.

hank
hank's picture
Offline
Last seen: 1 week 4 days ago
Joined: 09/04/2011 - 21:52
Posts: 9599
Location: Berkeley, California

So what do you do to get the tail PCB out?
Does it unscrew?
Push out from inside the battery tube?
Shake really hard?

tekwyzrd
tekwyzrd's picture
Offline
Last seen: 1 week 1 day ago
Joined: 11/14/2015 - 01:15
Posts: 1340
Location: Northeastern Ohio

I’m still waiting for mine (package in MI but fedex changed expected delivery from 9/21 to 9/25) but based on the ground contact issue I plan to do what I did with my Chimera – form a piece of 12 awg copper wire into a ring to fit into the space between the threads and driver, pound it with a hammer to thin and widen it, sand the flattened surfaces, and use it as a retainer/contact ring between the driver and battery tube. The end of the tube may require a bit of sanding to position the o-ring correctly and adjust alignment of the flats on the tube with the head as desired but it worked nicely on my Chimera. Good contact all the way around and enough output from the xhp70.2 on the wall 12 ft away in a room lit by a 60w equivalent ceiling light to make me squint when I touch the fwd clickie tailswitch.

Nothing travels faster than the speed of light with the possible exception of bad news, which obeys its own special laws. – Douglas Adams

vwpieces
vwpieces's picture
Offline
Last seen: 2 months 3 weeks ago
Joined: 07/17/2016 - 19:49
Posts: 2181
Location: PA, USA

Been wanting to get NO-OX-ID but never think bout till I could use it. Buddy uses it in his Auto repair for bad connections. It eats up the green. But he said its pricey.
I did also use an M2.5 tap to clean out the tail holes and get glue and anodize out. I did find the sand powder in the driver screw holes. The 1/8th in drill works well for the driver holes and the screws aren’t bottomed out before tight on that size hole.

Thanks Jtm94, now I recall the user name. Can I have my 45min back?

I’m Not Crazy!

I’m Not Crazy!

I’m Not Crazy!

Really… I’m not.

Pages