Upgrade for this old 1-2AA junker?

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EdCo
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Upgrade for this old 1-2AA junker?

Does anyone know of a drop-in upgrade for the complete driver/LED module in this style of 1-2AA flashlight? If not, could you recommend a reasonable driver and LED combo - ideally something that will be happy on 1-2 NiMH cells, but 2 cells only would be a reasonable option too.

I've tried to get some reasonable measurements, but it's not as round as it might be, so there's a bit of variation:

  • inside diameter of aluminium thread - 16.4mm
  • outside diameter brass thread - 16.9mm
  • outside diameter un-threaded part of brass housing - 15.8mm
  • inner diameter recess for LED board - 14.4mm
  • inner diameter recess for driver board - 14.9mm
  • length of brass module - ~11mm

Bonus points for a replacement for the crappy plastic reflector laughing

Lightbringer
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Not anything that’d be worth the trouble.

1or2-cell drivers can be had but the only ones I’ve seen are 17mm.

If you do swap that XR-E for an XP-L or somesuch, you could likely replace the reflector with a 17mm TIR lens, but it might need a slight bit of shaving down the edges to fit.

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EdCo
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Worth the trouble is subjective wink - for me it's just about saving this from landfill and having a little tinker along the way.

The driver is pretty weak on 2x NiMH cells - it only matches that "3 Watt" label at 2.85V. Running on a pair of fresh NiMHs it's not much more than half that. An XP-L should be, say, 50% more efficient than an XR-E - so overall it should be possible to give it ~3x the output if I could get an XP-L running at 3W in there.

Lightbringer
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Those boost converters are usually 800mA with 2 cells, like yay.

https://www.fasttech.com/product/1127402-1-2-aa-aaa-1-mode-800ma-linear-...

But again, they’re almost always 17mm, so you’d have to try shaving it down and hope nothing critical (traces, vias) get taken along with it.

Or if you’re willing to forgo alkaleaks entirely and forever, get a regular driver and use it with a single 14500. Lots more options that way, as long as you don’t cook the LED with an abusive driver. A 700mA driver would be about perfect, but at least for short times a 1.05A driver would work.

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samyy
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KD sell a 15mm driver for 1x/2x AA here. . But it has “Hi-Lo-Strobe” mode sequence.

Henk4U2
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I would not go beyond swapping the led for an SST20 and the reflector for a TIR-lens.
Polishing a turd is easy to say, but is hardly economic feasable, unless you have box with spare parts.
Unless you absolutely know that everything fits, or you are able enough to make it fit.

You can buy new parts of course. And when those don’t fit, it will be the start of your spare parts box.
And maybe, very maybe, you can use these parts in the days (years) to come.

What’s more, if manufacturers use different threads for apparently similar lights within their brand, what will be the chance you can buy (or find) spare parts that will fit your specific light.

You are a flashaholic if you are forced to come out of the closet, to make room for more flashlights.

ggf31416
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Modern LEDs like the SST-20 have lower forward voltage that will allow the existing driver to reach 3W more easily. Osram CSLMN1 would be an option too for higher throw but more expensive and I’m not sure if the resulting beam profile would look good.

pc_light
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Edco – definitely plan on dropping in a modern 3V emitter in there to start. You may like the bump up in lumens enough to stop there.

And while you have the emitter PCB out, unsolder the driver board as well and check it out. There may already be enough there for a simple resistor swap to give you another slight bump up. If there aren’t any circuits then as indicated by others try one of the basic 1-2 AA 15mm drivers.

As previously indicated, finding a matching optic would probably be easier than finding a matching metal reflector. Plus if you sub in a 5 or 10 deg (narrow) optic, the concentrated “hotspot” will give the illusion of the light output being brighter.

Starting on an old junker is a great way to learn and working on budget lights is what attracted me to BLF to start with.

Enjoy the modding journey ahead.

Seeking the light.

EdCo
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Thanks for all the input everyone. I've gone ahead and bought a bunch of stuff, much of which will certainly end up in a spare parts drawer laughing

kramer5150
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Nice start… hardest part I think will be getting the TIR to fit right. Everything else looks like it will drop in nicely. 1A will be a nice easy load for this. Note the SST20 can tint shift dramatically when under-driven. I have not seen that on my XPG3 lights.

Good Luck!

flightless22
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Most of these so called ‘junk lights’ have springs loosely connected to the switch and only make good enough contact by compression. Soldering them together and adding a spring bypass should help increase performance slightly. Also get rid of the brass covering if it has it.

To remove press fit switch (works for SK68 lights and many others) secure the tail cap in a vice and place a pen cap hallow side down on the rubber gasket (not touching the center/button) and lightly tap.

Flux/tin the spring and metal tab of the switch with low temp melt solder and place thick sheet of paper between metal and plastic (helps prevent melting the switch) and solder and add wire bypass to the spring.

If the switch is damaged or you need to replace, I’ve had good success with using a thin/small sheet of copper attached to an Omten switch (found on fasttech or convoy aliexpress) and fileing the plastic holder to fit or using hot glue.

Also a dab of hot glue flattened out on the button of the switch works extremely well to make switch feel less mushy.

I should add credit where credit is due, I got the spring bypass idea from Tom E and many others here and have been doing that to many lights ever since.

G0OSE
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Henk4U2 wrote:
.
Polishing a turd is easy to say, but is hardly economic feasable, unless you have box with spare parts.

I don’t entirely agree with that Henk4U2 (partially I do) Big Smile
My polished turd won this years OL contest….. Wink food for thought. That was basically one of these type things at the beginning.
Not always about price, this is a hobby after all. If we all worried about the cost of modding, well this forum would be a bit empty.
I understand where you’re coming from though. Thumbs Up I wouldn’t have bothered doing it just to put back in the same $5 pen light.