My first build - a little advice

45 posts / 0 new
Last post

Pages

Berkua
Offline
Last seen: 6 days 5 hours ago
Joined: 10/10/2021 - 21:11
Posts: 21
My first build - a little advice

Hello there, I’m putting together my first build at Mtn. Electronics and was hoping to confirm a few things.

First, I’m looking for a nice balance of performance and battery life. I currently have a Thrunite Archer 1A V3. I like it just fine, but I thought I’d try my hand at building my next flashlight.

Here’s what I’m going to buy. Suggestions and/or advice welcome.

- Convoy S2+ in Black
- QLITE REV.A 7135*6 3.04A LED 17mm DRIVER with Optional guppydrv Universal Firmware
- CREE XM-L2 T6 4C LED on Noctigon 16mm MCPCB

I like a warmer toned light. I’d love something that has a turbo of 600-1200 lumens. I’d also like a nice low moonlight mode.

Do you think I’m on the right track?

Thanks!

Lightbringer
Lightbringer's picture
Offline
Last seen: 3 hours 59 min ago
Joined: 08/30/2016 - 14:12
Posts: 15735
Location: nyc

Black? Been done to death… You can get colored hosts (yeah, I know, “black” vs “colored”… LOL ) in red/grn/blu/cyn/vio/orn with the metal switch.

The 4C is absolutely beautiful behind a TIR lens, but in a reflector has a pretty fried-eggy beam, hotspot a bit too yellow and spill a bit too blue.

Grab a 20mm TIR lens. 60° is nice and floody, one of my faves, but get a smaller angle for something throwier if you want.

09 F9 11 02 9D 74 E3 5B D8 41 56 C5 63 56 88 C0

YuvalS
YuvalS's picture
Online
Last seen: 12 min 16 sec ago
Joined: 09/26/2018 - 10:39
Posts: 477

I don't understand how you gets 3.04A out of 6*7135, each 7135 gives 0.35A so 2.1A in total.
Also, for nice low moonlight mode you need a separate channel with a single 7135 

My FW repository

My BLF/OL contest entries: 7th 8th 9th 

Berkua
Offline
Last seen: 6 days 5 hours ago
Joined: 10/10/2021 - 21:11
Posts: 21

Thanks for the heads up about the color of the LED.

Berkua
Offline
Last seen: 6 days 5 hours ago
Joined: 10/10/2021 - 21:11
Posts: 21

Just copied and pasted a listing from Mtn electronics website and changed the *8 to *6, no big deal…Like I said, it’s my first build. As such, perhaps you can tell me whether or not I’d need to alter my build to get the results I’m looking for?

“you need a separate channel with a single 7135” … How would I do this?

“6*7135, each 7135 gives 0.35A so 2.1A in total.” … Okay, if I only have 2.1A, so I have to change something in my components? Do I need a different emitter? Or does this just mean I’m have lower current and as a result lower lumens?

If you don’t want to answer in long form, maybe you can share a few links you’ve used in the past to learn about this stuff?

chops728
Offline
Last seen: 5 hours 29 min ago
Joined: 08/30/2014 - 16:00
Posts: 1456
Location: Swampland,La

I’ve built plenty S2 lights —- The small footprint LEDs seem to do better in my opinion — SST20 (throwy) XP-G2 (throwy) — Samsung (floody)—-Unless you want some crazy low moonlight the regular Q lite driver works fine with Guppy —— I’d keep it at 3 amps — with all the mode options and Turbo timer it will work fine

I’d buy at least two of each component —— nothing like frying your first driver and have to wait a week for another one

YuvalS
YuvalS's picture
Online
Last seen: 12 min 16 sec ago
Joined: 09/26/2018 - 10:39
Posts: 477

Berkua wrote:
"you need a separate channel with a single 7135" ... How would I do this? 

You have to use another driver with 2 channels in case you wish to have low moon mode 

Berkua wrote:
"6*7135, each 7135 gives 0.35A so 2.1A in total." ... Okay, if I only have 2.1A, so I have to change something in my components? Do I need a different emitter? Or does this just mean I'm have lower current and as a result lower lumens?

With 2.1A you will have a maximum output of about 800 lumens. No need to change anything just take it into consideration  
Emitter Test Results pt4: XML2, XP-E2, XP-G2, and Nichia219! (along with sinkpad tests) | BudgetLightForum.com

BTW you can use the "quote" button to make your comment more readable 


My FW repository

My BLF/OL contest entries: 7th 8th 9th 

Berkua
Offline
Last seen: 6 days 5 hours ago
Joined: 10/10/2021 - 21:11
Posts: 21

Good tip, I’ll pick up a couple components…they’re cheap enough.

Berkua
Offline
Last seen: 6 days 5 hours ago
Joined: 10/10/2021 - 21:11
Posts: 21
YuvalS wrote:

Berkua wrote:
“you need a separate channel with a single 7135” … How would I do this? 

You have to use another driver with 2 channels in case you wish to have low moon mode 


Berkua wrote:
“6*7135, each 7135 gives 0.35A so 2.1A in total.” … Okay, if I only have 2.1A, so I have to change something in my components? Do I need a different emitter? Or does this just mean I’m have lower current and as a result lower lumens?

With 2.1A you will have a maximum output of about 800 lumens. No need to change anything just take it into consideration  
Emitter Test Results pt4: XML2, XP-E2, XP-G2, and Nichia219! (along with sinkpad tests) | BudgetLightForum.com

BTW you can use the “quote” button to make your comment more readable 


Sorry ‘bout that! Thanks, for the replies. I appreciate the info.

MtnDon
MtnDon's picture
Offline
Last seen: 5 hours 12 min ago
Joined: 08/27/2015 - 18:25
Posts: 3842
Location: Canuk in NM

All the Qlite 105C drivers I have bought from mtnelectronics use the 380mA version of the 7135 and come standard with 8 of them = 3.04 amps max output. They are quite a decent driver with guppy.

Berkua
Offline
Last seen: 6 days 5 hours ago
Joined: 10/10/2021 - 21:11
Posts: 21
MtnDon wrote:
All the Qlite 105C drivers I have bought from mtnelectronics use the 380mA version of the 7135 and come standard with 8 of them = 3.04 amps max output. They are quite a decent driver with guppy.

Yeah, the *8 is standard, and they remove as many as you want for an extra fee. I suppose if I have the upgraded firmware that allows for any config, *8 would be fine. I was worried that *8 would be too much of a battery drain, even on lower settings. I also read mixed information regarding issues with flickering and heating up when you use a driver with higher amp outputs.

Again, I’m totally new to this, so I could definitely be mixing stuff up.

MtnDon
MtnDon's picture
Offline
Last seen: 5 hours 12 min ago
Joined: 08/27/2015 - 18:25
Posts: 3842
Location: Canuk in NM

Personally I would not worry about having 3.04 max. Yes the light will get hot, but you can reduce the output lower if needed.

My very first self built light was an S2, with that Qlite driver with 4 added 7135’s, feeding a triple mcpcb and using a Carclo triple optic plus aluminum spacer that is needed when doing a triple like that. I learned a lot and went onwards from that.

Are you wanting something that throws or floods more? Tube lights like the S2, S2+ don’t make the best throwers, IMO. I like the triples as you can swap the optic if you decide you want wider or narrower beam. Plus three of the same emitter are more efficient than a single with the same current.

One thing to be aware of when working on an S2 is that the brass retaining ring that screws into the brass pill to secure the driver will not fit over that driver. That is, the inner opening of the retaining ring does not have a large enough opening to clear the 7135’s on the side of the driver that faces the cell. The ring has to have the inner hole diamter filed larger or the driver is just soldered to the pill.

Once you get used to soldering iron use, you can easily remove 7135’s from a driver like the Qlite. You can also add your own.

Berkua
Offline
Last seen: 6 days 5 hours ago
Joined: 10/10/2021 - 21:11
Posts: 21

MtnDon wrote:
Personally I would not worry about having 3.04 max. Yes the light will get hot, but you can reduce the output lower if needed.

My very first self built light was an S2, with that Qlite driver with 4 added 7135’s, feeding a triple mcpcb and using a Carclo triple optic plus aluminum spacer that is needed when doing a triple like that. I learned a lot and went onwards from that.

Are you wanting something that throws or floods more? Tube lights like the S2, S2+ don’t make the best throwers, IMO. I like the triples as you can swap the optic if you decide you want wider or narrower beam. Plus three of the same emitter are more efficient than a single with the same current.

One thing to be aware of when working on an S2 is that the brass retaining ring that screws into the brass pill to secure the driver will not fit over that driver. That is, the inner opening of the retaining ring does not have a large enough opening to clear the 7135’s on the side of the driver that faces the cell. The ring has to have the inner hole diamter filed larger or the driver is just soldered to the pill.

Once you get used to soldering iron use, you can easily remove 7135’s from a driver like the Qlite. You can also add your own.

Great information, thank you! Yeah, I am not well practiced with a soldering iron. This is a fun build that allows me to practice and learn a bunch of new skills.

I’m not looking to illuminate something that’s super far away … I’m more interested in a nice flood with a tiny bit of range. A nice EDC that I can use to walk my dog a night, night walks in the woods, working on my car or tractor, around the house, etc.

Berkua
Offline
Last seen: 6 days 5 hours ago
Joined: 10/10/2021 - 21:11
Posts: 21

One other question I had is regarding thermal compound/adhesive. I’ve, again, seen differing opinions about whether it is best to use thermal compound or a permanent bond with thermal adhesive. My gut is leaning toward thermal compound, so it is easier to make adjustments or completely change my build at any time.

Any recs on this?

I was going to buy Arctic Ceramique 2 Thermal Compound from Mtn. Electronics. It’s inexpensive and you get quite a bit for your money. I know many people recommend Arctic Silver 5 Premium Thermal Compound, but if I could get something decent for less, I’d rather have a lower cost entry point in the beginning.

Thanks!

YuvalS
YuvalS's picture
Online
Last seen: 12 min 16 sec ago
Joined: 09/26/2018 - 10:39
Posts: 477

Berkua wrote:
One other question I had is regarding thermal compound/adhesive. I've, again, seen differing opinions about whether it is best to use thermal compound or a permanent bond with thermal adhesive. My gut is leaning toward thermal compound, so it is easier to make adjustments or completely change my build at any time. Any recs on this? I was going to buy Arctic Ceramique 2 Thermal Compound from Mtn. Electronics. It's inexpensive and you get quite a bit for your money. I know many people recommend Arctic Silver 5 Premium Thermal Compound, but if I could get something decent for less, I'd rather have a lower cost entry point in the beginning. Thanks!

For 3A maximum current it does not really matter. Unless you want to keep the light on turbo for a long time, heat dissipation is not a real issue for you.
You can use a 2$ thermal paste from AliExpress, it is a week adhesive so can be removed if you want to

My FW repository

My BLF/OL contest entries: 7th 8th 9th 

Berkua
Offline
Last seen: 6 days 5 hours ago
Joined: 10/10/2021 - 21:11
Posts: 21

Okay, I decided on a different LED that looks to have a decent description of color accuracy, tiny, and output.

Here’s my build lineup. I may throw in some glowing gaskets, etc., but what do you guys think in terms of a basic first go?

  • https://www.mtnelectronics.com/index.php?route=product/product&product_i...
    — Nichia 219C D280 on 16mm MTN DTP CU – 80+ CRI 3000K
    — R8000 CRI Rank (~80 CRI)
    — 3000K 3-step MacAdam centered ellipse temperature
    — Low vF allows for tons of output and easy regulation, even at high amps
    — Similar output to an high-bin cool-white XP-G2, but with much better CRI and tint; also easier to hit 5A+ due to the extremely low vF requirement

I feel pretty good about my choices. I’m not looking to reinvent the wheel. Hopefully I learn a bunch and can come back with a better project after this one. Smile

chops728
Offline
Last seen: 5 hours 29 min ago
Joined: 08/30/2014 - 16:00
Posts: 1456
Location: Swampland,La

You’ll need a different centering ring —off the top of my head I can’t remember which one works with the S2 reflector

https://www.mtnelectronics.com/index.php?route=product/product&path=25_8...

https://www.mtnelectronics.com/index.php?route=product/product&path=25_8...

Berkua
Offline
Last seen: 6 days 5 hours ago
Joined: 10/10/2021 - 21:11
Posts: 21

chops728 wrote:
You’ll need a different centering ring —off the top of my head I can’t remember which one works with the S2 reflector

https://www.mtnelectronics.com/index.php?route=product/product&path=25_8...

https://www.mtnelectronics.com/index.php?route=product/product&path=25_8...

Oh, thanks! A short would be bad Smile

chops728
Offline
Last seen: 5 hours 29 min ago
Joined: 08/30/2014 - 16:00
Posts: 1456
Location: Swampland,La

Always check from the + of the driver to the Host for a short before trying to put a cell in it —I’ve cooked a few drivers hurrying

Nachtfeuerzeug
Nachtfeuerzeug's picture
Offline
Last seen: 1 day 3 hours ago
Joined: 08/31/2013 - 16:10
Posts: 702

Hello!

Good light platform to experiment with.

I really like adding a TIR, 60° or 45°. Heck, buy both. I like the 45° for better throw.

https://www.mtnelectronics.com/index.php?route=product/search&search=tir

What I like about these is:

  • the diffuse but focused (?... lol) pattern;
  • no issue with shorting the system with an aluminum reflector

I'd still use the insulator/centering ring for optimum vertical adjustment

Here's one of my posts with TIRs from another manufacturer:

https://budgetlightforum.com/comment/1722178#comment-1722178

 

EDC

FW3A, SST20 4000K || S21A, Crescendo Mtn20DD, LH351D 4000K || SP32A, SST40 5000K

Recent/ongoing Mods:

S2+, TexAven 17mm, LH351D | S21A, Crescendo 20mm, XPL HI 5000K | L2 w/Mtn17DD Zener Guppydrv, XHP-50 | C8+ OP, DD XHP-50

SP32A w/SST40 5000K | TIR Upgrades | EagleTac clip | Ultrafire C2 w/6A 20mm & LH351D | S2+, Biscotti, Nichia 219C 2700K |

Reviews:

Sofirn SP31 v2.0 Tactical Flashlight (Cree XPL HI) || Sofirn SD05 Scuba Diving Flashlight || Sofirn SC31 USB Rechargeable (XP-G3) || Sofirn SC31 Pro 5000K

Berkua
Offline
Last seen: 6 days 5 hours ago
Joined: 10/10/2021 - 21:11
Posts: 21
Nachtfeuerzeug wrote:

Hello!


Good light platform to experiment with.


I really like adding a TIR, 60° or 45°. Heck, buy both. I like the 45° for better throw.


https://www.mtnelectronics.com/index.php?route=product/search&search=tir


What I like about these is:



  • the diffuse but focused (?… lol) pattern;

  • no issue with shorting the system with an aluminum reflector


I’d still use the insulator/centering ring for optimum vertical adjustment


https://imgur.com/icCY9A3


https://imgur.com/Vb42S1x


Here’s one of my posts with TIRs from another manufacturer:


https://budgetlightforum.com/comment/1722178#comment-1722178


 

Thanks, I am pretty pleased with the setup. I’m a bit disappointed that the S2+ hosts seems to be out of stock in most cookies right now, but there’s always next time.

I’ll definitely be grabbing a diffuser, they look great.

I had to go elsewhere for the right sized spacer/insulator.

Now to get practicing on my soldering skills while I wait!

chops728
Offline
Last seen: 5 hours 29 min ago
Joined: 08/30/2014 - 16:00
Posts: 1456
Location: Swampland,La

What kind of Soldering Iron/Station do you have

Berkua
Offline
Last seen: 6 days 5 hours ago
Joined: 10/10/2021 - 21:11
Posts: 21
chops728 wrote:
What kind of Soldering Iron/Station do you have

I know it’s not the best or anything, but I picked this up on Amazon. Cheap and hopefully will last a tiny bit.

Anbes Soldering Iron Kit… https://www.amazon.com/dp/B06XZ31W3M?ref=ppx_pop_mob_ap_share

chops728
Offline
Last seen: 5 hours 29 min ago
Joined: 08/30/2014 - 16:00
Posts: 1456
Location: Swampland,La

You might be alright soldering to that brass pill of the S2 but I don’t think that will heat up enough for heavy copper

Berkua
Offline
Last seen: 6 days 5 hours ago
Joined: 10/10/2021 - 21:11
Posts: 21
chops728 wrote:
You might be alright soldering to that brass pill of the S2 but I don’t think that will heat up enough for heavy copper

It’s an Amazon purchase…I can return for free. Do you have a different budget recommendation? I want to do it right, and if this soldering iron is going to give me poor results, I don’t want to use it.

Thanks for telling me.

chops728
Offline
Last seen: 5 hours 29 min ago
Joined: 08/30/2014 - 16:00
Posts: 1456
Location: Swampland,La

I’ve been using these for years —- I use genuine HAKKO tips —- they work well and cheap enough to replace when they fail ( they last a couple years with moderate to heavy use)

https://www.ebay.com/itm/371993129984?hash=item569c84b400:g:4O4AAOSwkJVg...

These are the 2 Tips I use all the time —I have 2 stations— one with each tip

HAKKO T18-B shape – B
HAKKO T18-D32 shape -3 2D

Berkua
Offline
Last seen: 6 days 5 hours ago
Joined: 10/10/2021 - 21:11
Posts: 21

So, I just got my build parts today, and I’m a bit disappointed. I bought a 17” driver to go along with the Convoy S2+, but the retaining ring doesn’t fit back on once the driver is seated. The 7135 chips are in the way.

I got the QLITE REV.A 7135*8 DRIVER.

Is this a normal occurrence?

Please let me know if there is anything I can do.

Thanks!

Nachtfeuerzeug
Nachtfeuerzeug's picture
Offline
Last seen: 1 day 3 hours ago
Joined: 08/31/2013 - 16:10
Posts: 702

Yes, that is common. Before the S2+ came out, there was the S2 & S6 and we all had to solder in the driver.

The 12 group, ramping and 4 mode 17mm drivers are easier to install in the S2+ and I like the retaining ring quite a bit. They do, however, come lose and you won't have the issue with soldering. You picked a good driver and Guppydrv is nice.

EDC

FW3A, SST20 4000K || S21A, Crescendo Mtn20DD, LH351D 4000K || SP32A, SST40 5000K

Recent/ongoing Mods:

S2+, TexAven 17mm, LH351D | S21A, Crescendo 20mm, XPL HI 5000K | L2 w/Mtn17DD Zener Guppydrv, XHP-50 | C8+ OP, DD XHP-50

SP32A w/SST40 5000K | TIR Upgrades | EagleTac clip | Ultrafire C2 w/6A 20mm & LH351D | S2+, Biscotti, Nichia 219C 2700K |

Reviews:

Sofirn SP31 v2.0 Tactical Flashlight (Cree XPL HI) || Sofirn SD05 Scuba Diving Flashlight || Sofirn SC31 USB Rechargeable (XP-G3) || Sofirn SC31 Pro 5000K

Berkua
Offline
Last seen: 6 days 5 hours ago
Joined: 10/10/2021 - 21:11
Posts: 21
Nachtfeuerzeug wrote:

Yes, that is common. Before the S2+ came out, there was the S2 & S6 and we all had to solder in the driver.


The 12 group, ramping and 4 mode 17mm drivers are easier to install in the S2+ and I like the retaining ring quite a bit. They do, however, come lose and you won’t have the issue with soldering. You picked a good driver and Guppydrv is nice.

Okay, that makes sense. I looked into it a tiny bit, and it seems the soldering iron needs a bit of help with the thicker brass pill. Many people suggest preheating the pill somehow. I even saw a suggestion to use a butane torch and melt the solder directly, without the use of a soldering iron.

Have you found that a soldering iron won’t get the brass hot enough for a solid connection?

chops728
Offline
Last seen: 5 hours 29 min ago
Joined: 08/30/2014 - 16:00
Posts: 1456
Location: Swampland,La

If it’s a good enough Iron it will work fine — try tinning a little spot in a couple places on the pill —then it will solder pretty easily

MtnDon
MtnDon's picture
Offline
Last seen: 5 hours 12 min ago
Joined: 08/27/2015 - 18:25
Posts: 3842
Location: Canuk in NM

Sometimes I tin a couple of spots before assembly, using a torch. Then the two pieces can be sldered at the tinned spot with less trouble, less heat/time. An iron that can get real hot at highest setting with a broad flat tip helps.

If you do pretin be careful not to get solder running into the place where you want to fit the driver. If you do, that will need removal. Not a real big deal but nice to avoid if possible.

Pages