Another Nitecore EA8 to Mod, haven't I done this before? Finished, Beam shots are up

A little music while I work.


So, I couldn't resist another EA8, especially when it was already mostly apart when I got it. What is it about the Nitecore lights? It's a love/hate relationship. I really love the look and feel of the EA4 and EA8.

Here you can see the light torn down, torn apart, stripped, gutted, bashed and abused. I am not going to do a huge change with it, you know I never do.Wink I have already gotten the head off the body by using a torch, vise and Crescent wrench. I heated the joint till "goo" started to come out around the seam. Then I tightened the head in the leather jawed vise and used a folded paper towel around the flats on the body and used my big crescent wrench to turn it out. Worked like a charm.

I have removed all the components from the stock driver, which will end up being just a contact plate, as I will be using a DrJones linear NANJG driver in it, with a SMD switch. I'm not making a big heat sink either. I have resolved myself to the fact that the stock plate worked for Nitecore, so I am just going to up the ante by using a copper one in place of it. Notice the copper disc and the copper star next to it. Looks like an XM-L will go in this one and I do believe I am going to make a floody light out of it, by stippling the reflector.


The Copper plate that will replace the stock Aluminum one, is made out of two 36mm discs soldered together. 36mm is too big, so I had to shave the OD down. I chucked up a dremel bit into the drill press and handheld the soldered plate on the drill table, while turning the plate against the bit, (rotating at 3200rpm). Then, when I got real close to the right diameter, I switched to a dremel sanding drum and finished it off a little at a time till the disc will press fit into the body, like the original, well, tighter than the original. I felt that I got lucky, because the disc really looked uniform, so I used calipers to check about 12 spots around the disc. It is no more than .005" out of round. Like I said, I got real lucky. I've never gotten one that close to round before, by hand. Oh, and Jack, I did it by eye.Wink


When I solder discs together I solder one side of one disc and flux the mating side of the other. Then I put lots of pressure on them as I heat and it squeezes out the solder, leaving a very thin layer. Hopefully that makes for better heat transfer.


That's all for tonight. It's so nice now, the cool weather has come in and working at night in the garage is fun again. All the whining, bitching and resignation to not do these mods disappears when I get out there and I can leave the world behind for a while and get lost in this modding experience. It's like a drug and I am an addict. I can't hardly walk away even though, at times, I want to...


Well, as usual, problems plagued me on this build and not as usual, revelations caused me to think differently, but it's done.

It took me about 3 days and a direct wake up call from another member before I realized that this light was gifted to me. I really did not know in the beginning and sadly, it took time for me to wake up. Besides that I had issues with the build and one of them was totally unexpected. You will see later on.


Contact Plate and driver. Driver is inside the stock plastic holder.


Top side. An XM-L T6 3C is on the copper plate. The driver has 12x380mA chips on it.


SMD switch on an XM-L star


The first time I put this light together, the led spun off the star. What I found is that the soldering (reflow) was not done correctly at all. There was a big gob of solder paste under the led and it had not been reflowed to where it stuck, except by just a thread. I had to remove the star, clean it all up and reflow it myself. I had several of these come from CNQG when they were discounted, now I will have to reflow them all, to make sure they are done right. Kinda, Sorta pissed me right off...


The DrJones driver has two main modes, High and Medium. I figure ramping takes care of all the rest pretty easily.

Oh, I went ahead and stippled the reflector to see if I got a larger spot and more spill. Well, I got a little larger spot and hardly any more spill.






High. I could not hit the end of the pond with any real brightness, so it's not a thrower any more. More of an aborted attempt to be sucessful. Oh well...


That's it. Now that I know it was a giventome light, I will save it for a Christmas giveaway.

I find your mods incredible, most of the time you use just a dremel to do lathe jobs, boring, sanding… You must be sponsored by dremel! Contact them and ask for some money or equipment!
Looking forward to seeing updates on this light

I'm going to have to borrow that technique. It sounds similar to how comfychair does it. Would you be so kind as to pass on your source for those big copper discs too?

I'd like to start using your technique and bigger copper discs since it takes so long to hammer copper pennies to wider widths, sand them flat, then hand file the edges. It takes at least a couple pennies to get copper as thick and wide as what you're using, and isn't nearly as round as it would be with your technique. Not even close.

It's going to be another great O-L light. Looking forward to watching it progress.

Better check the date code on those pennies. They haven't been made of actual copper since 1982. I don't think Zinc will work so well. ;)

Isn’t it illegal to destroy Gubmt property? The penny police will probably persecute, plead your petty pleabargain, perhaps the people won’t prosecute.

Split a copper water pipe, easy to get flat sheets of copper from that. And it’s pure copper. :slight_smile: Drill a hole in 2 corners, screw it to a piece of wood, use a hole saw in your drill press with the centering bit removed to cut rounds. If you need a donut shape, keep the centering drill in, bore out a circle in the larger diameter without going all the way through, then cut the smaller diameter with a second hole saw. Remove the bit (or not) and go back to the larger hole saw to complete the “washer”. Nice round copper washer.

There’s always another way, it would seem.

Nice work again Justin. Might want to consider a piece of leather to grip the battery tubes with so your plier jaws don’t mar up the finish, paper towels cut through so easy. A leather belt can also be used to make a strap wrench, works pretty good too.

great to see that you’re back on the horse again OL :slight_smile: I completely understand what you mean about leaving the world behind when you’re working on a light, it’s one of the appeals of making stuff for me too. More often than not I’m surprised when it’s 11 or 12 at night and I thought I’d only been in the garage for an hour or so.

Quick question about removing the head (I have a P16 I’d like to mod). You use a propane torch right? How hot does it have to get before the goo melts? Does it affect the switch boot or the driver at all (I’d like to keep both of them for mine)? Does it discolour the anodising at all or is that not an issue with HaIII anodising? Thanks!

Try putting the parts in a Zip-lock bag and dangling them in boiling water for a minute or so - works like a charm. If it cools too fast you might have to do it a second time. I’ve even screwed the pills out of old Fenix L2Ps that way, just with needle nose tweezers. You have to work fairly fast, as they set up again as soon as they cool off.

@leaftye - I use sources from Etsy and from Artfire. I usually just go to the sites and do a search for the size I want, like "22 copper dics" or 22 copper round", (22 being whatever size you are looking for). Sometimes I just do a search for copper disc or copper round, to see what's new out there. The sellers change and I don't use a lot of this stuff, so I just do a search and look for the lowest price. Here's the link to the big ones I bought last time.

@DBCstm - Sure, but what's your point?Wink And who wants to work that hard any more?Tongue Out Oh, never mind, we do all the time...

@mattthemuppet - I use a small butane torch. The style that is sometimes called micro, but it is hand held, where you fill the butane from the bottom.

@ Tumbleweed48 - I did not think water would soften Red Loctite. On these EA8 heads, I usually have to heat to the point where the O ring turns soft before it will budge, so that would suggest temps of over 300 degrees.

Of COURSE you did it by eye .

There are some things that money can't buy

So Old-Lumens makes these things by eye

He simply won't quit

Until all the parts fit

If it takes 'till his one hundredth try

For an old man he's certainly spry

To make circles he doesn't use pi

He just looks at a thing

In his mind sees a ring

And he cuts off what doesn't apply

He's got talent , let no one deny

At discovering what works and why

With his hands , tough and scarred

He will work very hard

To make something on which you'll rely


Nice! We’ve got someone else too with talent around here. (Hint: It aint me. And I quoted him in this post. :wink: )

jacktheclipper! You are the master of prose. I am honored.

thanks for the tips. I’ll try the boiling water first, then the torch method.

Well said Jack, and every word spot on. :wink:

Will be interesting to see the your next EA8 build. I consider the original to be one of the center pieces of my collection. A dedomed MTG2 produces a beautiful result with this light.

Finished with beam shots, turned out fairly bland.

looks pretty cool for a 3C light. Not a bad light though, by any means.

I also had a badly reflowed LED from CNQG. I don’t see any point buying from there when there are so many other decent options now.