Convoy H1 - Disassembly, Testing, and Modding

32 posts / 0 new
Last post

Pages

gchart
gchart's picture
Offline
Last seen: 6 hours 36 min ago
Joined: 03/19/2016 - 11:57
Posts: 2874
Location: Central IL
Convoy H1 - Disassembly, Testing, and Modding

I received my Convoy H1 today. After checking to make sure it was working properly, I did a quick disassembly to see how difficult it would be to modify. To my pleasant surprise, the head can be completely taken apart without any soldering or even removing of screws (there are none). Just remove the three retaining rings and slide the innards out.

I didn’t think until after I had it back together that I should have taken some measurements. Oops. Oh well, I can easily do that later.

I think I might have to built a new driver for this: either linear or FET+1, attiny MCU, and RampingIOS or NarsilM with aux LED control.

Components:

  • Unmarked MCU with PIC-style layout
  • One 7138C (constant current driver)
  • Four three-legged chips marked X0RB48 (small FETs, likely AO3400A)
  • Standard issue 16mm aluminum MCPCB

PS – I now have a Sofirn SP40 on the way. I can’t wait to do a head-to-head comparison (pun may be intended).

Edited by: gchart on 05/15/2019 - 09:21
aswang
Offline
Last seen: 1 day 22 hours ago
Joined: 07/17/2018 - 07:53
Posts: 284
Location: Philippines

Thanks for sharing gchart. I’m waiting for mine to arrive and planning on buying a SP40 too. Not a fan of the H1 (1st gen) UI but good to know it’s easily dissassembled.

M3CSL
M3CSL's picture
Offline
Last seen: 1 year 5 months ago
Joined: 05/02/2019 - 05:34
Posts: 223

thanks for this, looks like a light with a high mod factor

Convoy S2+ 219b triple, Astrolux FT02, Maglite 3D, Solarforce L2t

CRX
CRX's picture
Offline
Last seen: 2 weeks 1 day ago
Joined: 04/02/2013 - 15:27
Posts: 4231
Location: Scotland

Like Thumbs Up

gchart
gchart's picture
Offline
Last seen: 6 hours 36 min ago
Joined: 03/19/2016 - 11:57
Posts: 2874
Location: Central IL

Ok, I disassembled it again to dive into the MCU pinout. Before I forget, the driver is 20.9mm in diameter.

First, a nicer up close shot:

Using the SOIC8 pin numbering as follows, here’s what I see for connections:

  1. VDD (battery +)
  2. PWM dimming control of the 7138
  3. Switch input
  4. Main LED on/off control (seems redundant a bit with the 7138 bring actively controlled through PWM, but maybe it can’t be completely turned off using PWM?)
  5. Routed to unused pad next to switch board connections, would be used for a second switch LED if implemented (the switch board has pads for a second, separate LED)
  6. Switch LED, powered by setting the MCU pin to internal pull-up
  7. Voltage divider for voltage checks
  8. Ground

Misc notes:

  • Reverse polarity protection is handled by a FET on the low-side
  • If you wanted a second switch LED color, the hardware exists for it. Or you could bridge the connection and just add a second LED of the same color to illuminate the switch more evenly
  • I’m sure the specs vary by manufacturer, but I see the QX7138 is rated at 20mA – 3.0A, 3.0V – 6.0V, and PWM dimming at 200Hz – 10kHz.
  • The current setting resistors look like they’re set for 2.5A output
  • The QX7138 is described as: a linear constant current LED driver chip with PWM Dimming
  • QX7138 current: ILED = 100mV / RCS * DutyCycle%
  • So the current is flowing through the FETs, but the flow is controlled linearly by the 7138

Current plan of attack: keep most of the existing driver, but swap the MCU for an attiny412 with RampingIOS and hopefully some custom aux-LED control baked in.

Let me know if you have any questions while I’ve got this cracked open and still in stock form.

JaredM
JaredM's picture
Offline
Last seen: 47 min 48 sec ago
Joined: 10/31/2011 - 13:33
Posts: 1463
Location: Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

Whoa! I didn’t even know this existed.

What are the reflector/optic dimensions? Height, Outer Diameter, Inner Diameter, and emitter hole diameter?

Thanks!!

gchart
gchart's picture
Offline
Last seen: 6 hours 36 min ago
Joined: 03/19/2016 - 11:57
Posts: 2874
Location: Central IL

JaredM wrote:
Whoa! I didn’t even know this existed.

What are the reflector/optic dimensions? Height, Outer Diameter, Inner Diameter, and emitter hole diameter?

Thanks!!


Height: 9.3mm
Outer: 17.0mm
Inner: 15.0mm
Hole: 7.0mm
gchart
gchart's picture
Offline
Last seen: 6 hours 36 min ago
Joined: 03/19/2016 - 11:57
Posts: 2874
Location: Central IL

Runtime tests on stock setup
Boy, this thing is HOT. And not in a good way… sitting on my desk (room temperature, no air movement), it reached 84°C. I definitely do not recommend running this thing on Turbo for extended periods of time unless you’ve got the perfect cooling environment.

If that SVG iamge doesn’t show up for you, a PNG version is available here

PS – I have a new MCU/firmware ready to go for this… customized RampingIOS on an ATtiny412. Added Aux LED control as well as control for the on/off FET. This headlamp is in dire need of the thermal regulation this will bring.

buck91
buck91's picture
Offline
Last seen: 3 hours 31 min ago
Joined: 07/29/2016 - 08:21
Posts: 572
Location: Michigan

I’d love to pick up an H1 but any ideas if they plan to use a higher CRI emitter in the future? That is something I strongly value in a headlamp.

Thanks for the break down, though!

gchart
gchart's picture
Offline
Last seen: 6 hours 36 min ago
Joined: 03/19/2016 - 11:57
Posts: 2874
Location: Central IL

buck91 wrote:
I’d love to pick up an H1 but any ideas if they plan to use a higher CRI emitter in the future? That is something I strongly value in a headlamp.

Thanks for the break down, though!


I’m not aware of any plans to do so. I know Simon (owner of Convoy) is going to be making some changes based on our feedback, but it doesn’t sound like he’s planning an emitter changed. When asked about using a High CRI SST20 or LH351D, he said:
Simon Mao wrote:
i use CREE XML2 because it has floody beam, SST20 makes the beam too narrow

Source (some good Convoy updates in that thread if you haven’t seen it)

One good thing here, though, is that the H1 uses a standard 16mm MCPCB. So if you feel somewhat comfortable soldering the wires to a new MCPCB, swapping in a new emitter is pretty easy to do.

buck91
buck91's picture
Offline
Last seen: 3 hours 31 min ago
Joined: 07/29/2016 - 08:21
Posts: 572
Location: Michigan

gchart, interesting news. Any clues on what changes to expect? I have no problem doing an emitter swap just would prefer not to on a brand new light.

gchart
gchart's picture
Offline
Last seen: 6 hours 36 min ago
Joined: 03/19/2016 - 11:57
Posts: 2874
Location: Central IL

I think Simon mentioned a UI update (single click for off instead of click and hold) as a possibility as well as maybe weight reduction and better strap. Built in charging has also been discussed.

I wouldn’t say that emitter options are out of the question. He’s been asked about it, so he’s knows there’s the desire. And he’s been switching it up with emitters lately. So who knows for sure.

gchart
gchart's picture
Offline
Last seen: 6 hours 36 min ago
Joined: 03/19/2016 - 11:57
Posts: 2874
Location: Central IL

Quadrupel wrote:
Ever heard about TIR optics? No? Facepalm

With all due respect, that’s not quite how I would communicate constructive feedback. And considering Simon sells TIR optics in his store, I’m pretty sure he is aware of them.
madness
madness's picture
Offline
Last seen: 3 months 4 days ago
Joined: 01/07/2018 - 14:55
Posts: 60
Location: United Kingdom

I’m not that keen on this form factor of headtorch. I’d prefer the emitter mounted centrally.

I’m a caver, so I always judge headtorches on their suitability for caving. I’m afraid the H1 has a poor choice of output levels.

You can never have too many torches........just not enough darkness

Hellie112
Hellie112's picture
Offline
Last seen: 22 hours 54 min ago
Joined: 05/18/2013 - 08:48
Posts: 109
Location: The Netherlands

At least we know the thermal contact with the led and host is good. Better a hot host than an burned out led.

gchart
gchart's picture
Offline
Last seen: 6 hours 36 min ago
Joined: 03/19/2016 - 11:57
Posts: 2874
Location: Central IL

Thermal path is really good. I just finished up the MCU swap last night. My runtime test is wrapping up right now. RampingIOS with it’s thermal capabilities are just what the doctor ordered!

I coded the MCU to try and stay at 60°C. The body stayed at 56-57°C, so very close to the MCU’s temp.

aswang
Offline
Last seen: 1 day 22 hours ago
Joined: 07/17/2018 - 07:53
Posts: 284
Location: Philippines

gchart wrote:
Thermal path is really good. I just finished up the MCU swap last night. My runtime test is wrapping up right now. RampingIOS with it’s thermal capabilities are just what the doctor ordered!

I coded the MCU to try and stay at 60°C. The body stayed at 56-57°C, so very close to the MCU’s temp.

Sounds great gchart!! Any chance you’re selling dropin mcus for this one?

gchart
gchart's picture
Offline
Last seen: 6 hours 36 min ago
Joined: 03/19/2016 - 11:57
Posts: 2874
Location: Central IL

aswang wrote:
Sounds great gchart!! Any chance you’re selling dropin mcus for this one?

Sure! PM on it’s way
gchart
gchart's picture
Offline
Last seen: 6 hours 36 min ago
Joined: 03/19/2016 - 11:57
Posts: 2874
Location: Central IL

Runtime Comparison (with temperatures) of the Stock UI vs RampingIOS with temperature regulation set at 60°C

gchart
gchart's picture
Offline
Last seen: 6 hours 36 min ago
Joined: 03/19/2016 - 11:57
Posts: 2874
Location: Central IL

Some outdoor beauty shots:

And side-by-side with the Sofirn SP40:

Comparison notes:

  • The Convoy H1 is slightly heavier than the Sofirn SP40 (70g vs 59g, respectively, without battery and without strap)
  • The SP40 is slightly brighter
  • The SP40 has micro-USB charging (nice convenience, but makes modding slightly more difficult)
  • The Convoy H1 lacks any kind of step down (in stock form) and get ridiculously hot
  • The Convoy H1 is very mod-friendly, and an attiny412 with RampingIOS makes it great
  • The H1’s “hold for off” will not be as well received as the SP40’s “click for off”
  • The SP40’s kit, overall, is a bit nicer: 18350 tube included, nicer strap
  • I like the H1’s button position better (on side vs on end)

hasddie293
hasddie293's picture
Offline
Last seen: 1 week 1 day ago
Joined: 03/05/2019 - 08:53
Posts: 334
Location: Brunei

Is there any new news about convoy H1? I heard they upgrade the UI? Is that true ??

Is there any headlamp that used HiCri led? I saw a thread modding H1 go hicri..

In search of the most ideal flashlight in town:
1. BRIGHTNESS
2. Durabillity
3. Design
4. Quality
5. Price$$$

Quadrupel
Quadrupel's picture
Offline
Last seen: 30 min 57 sec ago
Joined: 12/03/2017 - 10:40
Posts: 570
Location: Lithuania

I guess my FET+1 driver with Anduril or Zebrilight like UI can perfectly fit in Smile (Made for Skilhunt H serie headlamps)
IMG-20200107-204716

StuG_IV
StuG_IV's picture
Offline
Last seen: 4 months 3 days ago
Joined: 08/01/2018 - 09:49
Posts: 7
Location: Italy

Is it necroposting if I bring this back from the dead? I’m really interested in the current h1 situation, but it seems to still be the same as it has been for the past year or so.

ME NEW, ME LIKE BIG LIGHT.

Bribo
Bribo's picture
Offline
Last seen: 5 days 2 hours ago
Joined: 09/05/2012 - 20:46
Posts: 225
Location: vancouver

I am also interested in upgrading my H1’s to include thermal regulation and a better UI.

Mihalich
Mihalich's picture
Offline
Last seen: 2 days 1 hour ago
Joined: 01/17/2013 - 05:42
Posts: 2
Location: Russia

Little upgrade. Tir is more sutable for me:

Compare with anothe one:

Hmm… Something wrong with photo:
https://ibb.co/CvKyJ4r
https://ibb.co/QQHP7Xg

Sunwayman C20C/Tamagotchi edition
Convoy a small amount, including H1

gchart
gchart's picture
Offline
Last seen: 6 hours 36 min ago
Joined: 03/19/2016 - 11:57
Posts: 2874
Location: Central IL

Yup! I just got my Yajiamei shipment in a couple weeks ago and swapped mine for a pebbled TIR as well. Makes it much better for up-close tasks.

I needed to be careful about the height. I first tried without the reflector centering gasket and there wasn’t enough height to push the MCPCB against the shelf. It must have been floating a little because the LED started to turn blue and the bottom of the TIR started to melt. I stuck the gasket in there to add some height and it’s worked well since.

Bribo
Bribo's picture
Offline
Last seen: 5 days 2 hours ago
Joined: 09/05/2012 - 20:46
Posts: 225
Location: vancouver

Hey Gchart, what TIR worked the best for you ?

In addition to updating all My H1’s with your drop-in MCU’s I changed the locator LED to blue, added a Sofirn Gummy and made up a custom camo headband. Ramping OS with a locator LED makes this light shine IMHO

!20210220-134501-2!
Cheers

gchart
gchart's picture
Offline
Last seen: 6 hours 36 min ago
Joined: 03/19/2016 - 11:57
Posts: 2874
Location: Central IL

Glad you’re liking yours! I get a lot of use out of mine.

I picked up a few different sizes, but I think I ended up with the 60° version of these for up close work

EasyB
Offline
Last seen: 5 hours 14 min ago
Joined: 03/09/2016 - 15:24
Posts: 2134
Location: Ohio

I’m a big fan of convoy and the H1 looks great, but I wish they made it lighter since that is very important for a headlamp.

My H03 weighs 44g, and I can feel the extra weight of my 56g wowtac A2, so for me that 70g of the H1 is unfortunately enough to keep me from getting it.

Gchart, that stock lumen vs time graph doesn’t look very regulated. Is that just heat and a high Vf LED that makes it look sort of direct drivish?

gchart
gchart's picture
Offline
Last seen: 6 hours 36 min ago
Joined: 03/19/2016 - 11:57
Posts: 2874
Location: Central IL

I agree the graph kinda looks that way, but it’s using the 7138 linear regulator (a cousin of the 7135).

I haven’t weighed it, but I think the updated version of the H1 trimmed down the weight a little bit. I agree of headlamps it might be a bit heavy. I’ve worn it for a few hours at a time before and it is a bit heavy but that weight also helps provide extra thermal mass. Just depends on your needs in a headlamp.

Bribo
Bribo's picture
Offline
Last seen: 5 days 2 hours ago
Joined: 09/05/2012 - 20:46
Posts: 225
Location: vancouver

I don’t really notice a difference in weight between the H2 and my lightest light, the Zerbralight H600. I just weighed them with the same battery and stock headbands and came out at 150g vs 120g, so definitely a difference but the better headband seems to counter this extra weight somewhat. Sofirn SP 40 wins for heaviest 18650 light at 155g.

Pages