Convoy S2+ Mod With A Lighted Switch

Convoy S2+ Mod With A Lighted Switch

Another Convoy S2+ mod? Really, what’s the point? This is probably the most modded flashlight form out there, so why another? Two reasons:

1. To show how easy it can be
2. To show how challenging it can also be

All in all, I had a great time working on this. If someone would’ve said modding flashlights is “fun” a year ago, I would’ve said you’re crazy. Why modify when there are great flashlights you can buy? Take for example the Emisar D4, which is an awesome flashlight for $40. For that price, it would probably cost more to make one. But, what if you want something slightly different? What if you want to try to build something you haven’t done before? For me, and I’m sure for a lot of flashlight modders out there, it is extremely satisfying to create a flashlight that meets all your specifications.

Here’s what I built:

It has 90+ CRI, forward and reverse mode, memory or no memory, moonlight, low voltage shut-off, pocket clip, lanyard, and a lighted switch. The most important design aspect was tint quality.

Here’s the parts list (knowing that the links will be broken at some point in the future, but the descriptions should still be useful):

Subtotal: $26.71

Parts used for lighted switch:

Subtotal = $4.30

Total costs = $31.01

Here are all the parts (minus the pocket clip):

Here’s the simple part of the mod.
This requires minimum soldering skills and can be completed within an hour.

The S2+ comes with a threaded pill that is very easy to work with. Unscrew the pill counter-clockwise all the way out of the flashlight head. Then unscrew counter-clockwise the driver retaining ring.

Place the driver into the pill and put the wires through the 2 holes on the shelf end of the pill. Then solder the wires to the contact pads on the LED board.

Put some thermal compound on the pill shelf and press the LED board onto it. No need to push hard since it will be pressed in once the head is assembled. Next take the retainer ring and screw it clockwise to secure the driver. Please see below for how I modified the retainer ring. This is not necessary for drivers that don’t have 7135 chips on the spring side, or you could just solder the driver to the pill.

Put the green o-ring all the way into the head, and then stack the reflector spacer, reflector, and glass lens on top of the LED.

And finally, screw the pill clockwise into the head. Then put the flashlight back together and attach the pocket clip. The tail came complete with the switch already assembled. I added some shrink tubing to the clip to prevent scratching the flashlight.

Here’s how the beamshot compares to my JAXMAN E2L. The E2L has triple Nichia 5000K 80+ CRI LEDs. I really like the warmness of the tint in the S2+ and it has a slight rose hue to it. Driven at the max 3 amps, it puts out quite a bit of light and remains comfortable to hold heat-wise after several minutes. And given that it has a CRI R9050 (Ra=90, R9=50), it is very good at rendering red objects.

That’s it! Very easy to have a customized flashlight built by you.

Now for the harder part of the mod, the lighted switch.
I lost track of the number of hours I spent with this. You will need some better soldering skills since the parts are very small, and lots of patience.

For whatever reason, I’m really into lighted switches. I think they look pretty cool glowing in the dark and are useful for finding the flashlight in the middle of the night. There are many ways you can add a lighted switch to a flashlight and this is a must read BLF post if you are interested: D.I.Y. Illuminated tailcap. Some flashlights (i.e. driver and firmware combinations) work just fine with lighted switches. But it seems most of the time adding one will screw up the functionality. It can cause the flashlight to go into the dreaded next mode function, or some other abnormality.

The lighted switch I chose comes with blue LEDs and the part that I really like is that it has dual springs.

You should first determined the brightness of the lighted switch, which is dependent on the color of the LEDs and the resistor value (ohms). Some colors are brighter than others. I learned that my yellow ones were a lot dimmer/inefficient than the green ones. Initially I was planning on using yellow, but my wife liked green better and I agreed. The higher the resistance (more ohms), the dimmer it becomes. You can choose to have it very bright in order to see it during the day, or just bright enough to barely see at night. I like mine in between and chose a 47K ohm resistor. It can easily be changed later if you think it’s too bright or dim.

I also replaced the switch since this lighted switch comes with a generic switch that has caused me issues (flickering) in the past. The Omten switches that come with Convoys are very reliable.

Next is where you need to experiment with different “bleeder” resistors on the driver. The bleeder resistor allows the driver to function normally and is soldered between the positive spring and the negative ground of the driver (i.e. the flashlight body). Normally a 500-800 ohm resistor is needed, but my driver required a 6.9K ohms (4.7K and 2.2K resistors in series). Lower resistance would make the forward press too quick. Higher resistance would make the reverse press too long. And if the reverse press was too long, the mode memory would also be too long or nonexistence.

I also didn’t want to solder the driver to the pill which is normally done when there are 7135 chips on the spring side. The retainer ring is too thick to screw down the driver so I made it thinner by using a Dremel tool. I also moved one of the 7135 chips closer to the spring (circled in red) since it was sticking out farther than the rest. This allowed me to use the retainer ring to secure the driver and in my opinion, a much cleaner look.

Now to install the lighted switch into the flashlight tail. Unscrew the retainer ring clockwise (yes, clockwise) and remove the switch, metal washer, and black tailcap cover.

The plastic washer was a little too big so I sanded down the perimeter. The inside was also too wide over the switch and caused a gap. This made the switch much brighter on one side than the other. So I took another smaller plastic washer, sanded it to the appropriate size, and pressed it into the washer.

The new switch was too wide to fit into the groove of the retainer ring so I sanded down the perimeter to make it fit. Then put in the white tailcap cover, the plastic washer and lighted switch, and screw the retaining ring counter-clockwise to secure the switch.

Here’s how the tailcap looks next to my JAXMAN E2L with a blue lighted tailcap.

Some side notes:

  • I know there are fans of the “Generation 2” lighted switch design, but I really like the look of the mono-tone diffused illumination of the “Generation 1” design. I measured 0.03 milliamps with the lighted switch so efficiency is not a concern here.
  • I know there are drivers/firmware that work just fine with lighted switches, but part of the “fun” was to make this combination work. In hindsight, if I had known how challenging it was going to be, I still would have done the same since I liked the Moonlight Special constant current 7135 driver.
  • I could’ve used the switch that came with the S2+, but since I bought some for a previous mod, it was easier to install a new one
  • I kept the original lens. I thought about getting an anti-reflecive lens, but didn’t want to risk impacting the quality of the tint.
  • I really tried to balance between too much info/pictures and not enough. Trust me, I have lots more pictures that I didn’t post.

I hope this encourages others to modify flashlights. There are no right or wrong ways to mod (well I guess there are some wrong ways and those would be considered lessons learned), it’s just up to your imagination as to how you think your flashlight should be created. And if you run into trouble, there’s always helpful experts here at BLF.

Thanks for reading and please let me know if you have any questions or comments.

Dude, this post should be sticked!!! Awesome description, photos and really nice work you’ve done!!! :wink:

I have some S2+ to mod, I’m just waiting for the components, namely lighted switches (from Convoy Store), drivers, optics, emitters, tailcaps… Basically, I have the hosts :smiley:

I thank you for the work, descriptions and photos posted! Really nice :slight_smile:

I do have one question: to use an already prepared lighted switch with a non-Biscotti driver, do I have to do/use a bleed resistor, or can I just put it in and it will work?! I’m not savvy on those aspects, so I’d appreciate some help!

Can I just suggest one thing? Would you consider use the option “(OPTIONAL) Link to URL:” in the “Insert Image” menu?
That would give the possibility to click and enlarge the images, namely to those that are smaller (like the bleed resistor)!

Thanks in advance! :THUMBS-UP:

Thanks MascaratumB! In regards to your lighted switch, I would first install it and if you have any issues with functionality, then you should add a bleeder resistor.

I will consider adding the URL links, but it seems you should be able to increase the size of the pictures on your computer and still retain the detail. Here’s what it looks like when I zoom in on one of my pictures:

Thanks NeutralFan! And sorry, I didn’t even remembered to “Zoom In” before asking you that :FACEPALM:
Now I can see the details, thank you!

Hum, good advice! I’ll put the lighted switch first and check for the functionality! It’s better that way!

I wanted to make a lighted switch with forward switch (also from Convoy store), but I don’t know if that junction works fine (theoretically and practically) and I also don’t know if it will interact well with the driver’s operation! Not knowing electronic stuff is }P

I guess I’ll have to try both things first :FACEPALM:

All and all, thanks for your reply, and nice work, once again :wink:

If I use Bistro on the MTN-17DD driver do I need a bleeder resistor? I also read that you lose the ability to long press so I wouldn’t be able to reverse modes. That’s really the only thing keeping me from doing this on my lights.

Yes, from my experience, you will need a bleeder resistor on your MTN-17DDm driver with Bistro. That’s what I have in my JAXMAN E2L shown above. Here’s the link for how I installed the bleeder resistor: D.I.Y. Illuminated tailcap - #1599.

Hum… I have some doubts about the bleed resistor, if you can explain I would appreciate!
I modded a S2+ with a MTN-DD 17mm driver with guppy3drv installed.
Using it with a lighted reverse switch (from Convoy) makes it go into “next mode” whenever I turn OFF the flashlight.

My question is: can I take one of the components (resistor, with the number “33” on it) from the tailcap and place it on the driver as you did?
Or do I need an appropriate resistor to install on the driver to avoid that “next mode”?
If so, is there any suggestion for that or do I need to measure that resistance and so on?

Please note that I don’t have instruments to measure resistance or other aspects, nor do I have enough electronic or electric knowledge.

Thanks in advance :THUMBS-UP:

Since you are getting the dreaded next mode memory, you will need to add a bleeder resistor to the driver. I was able to use a 220 ohm resistor (221 printed on it) with my MTN-17DDm driver to get the functions to work as they should. I believe your 33 resistor is 33 ohms, which is probably too low. I would first try a 220 ohm resistor, and if that doesn’t work then try a higher resistor. Keep experimenting until you get it to work.

Nice detailed description NeutralFan. I’m sure this will be handy for lots of us here. :THUMBS-UP:

Sorry, I wrote “33” but it is “331”! My hand failed somewhere in the middle of writing :FACEPALM:
Considering what you said, is it probable that “331” is too much resistance?

Otherwise I’ll have to order some of those 220 (more or less) resistors to try one by one :expressionless:
Or I’ll check on other drivers what they have and check if they have something alike :smiley:

Thanks for the explanation! I’ll try that in the next days :wink:
Nice work again, very helpful!!! :THUMBS-UP:

Ahh, 330 ohms sounds better. :slight_smile:

Yes, I would try less resistance since it worked for me. But who knows, maybe it won’t. These lighted switches can be a little tricky. I bought a 400 piece resistor set with 20 different values in order to experiment. It was very inexpensive ($1.34).

Thanks Neutral fan! I will get some, been searching on AliExpress and found some with 220 ohm. I hope they work!
I just didn’t want to buy 200 pieces when I may need only one! :FACEPALM:
But that will do :wink:
Thanks again for the answers :THUMBS-UP:

It seems this post was another victim of flickrs deletion nonsense. That’s very unfortunate. :rage: