DQG tiny 4 18650 triple mod

I’ve read a lot on this and the “other” flashlight forum. Learned a lot in the past few months, thanks for all the great info!

Hereby my first mod review! Warning, quite picture heavy…

I liked the size & looks of the DQG 18650 for a while. I like small EDC pocket rockets. Usually I keep a modded 10440 Thrunite Ti with me, but 18650 is nice for good runtimes.
Modding it seemed quite a nice challenge, so I just started ordering the parts and see how far I could get :smiling_imp:
Firelight2 did a mod on the 3rd version, which was very helpful for me in this mod of the DQG #4! Hopefully this can help some others in modding the #4.

I never made a triple, so this had to be it! The parts I used:

DQG 18650 tiny 4 (Gearbest sale, $25,49)
Noctigon DTP triple MCPCB incl. gold plated jumpers (intl-outdoor $3,79)
Carclo 10507 triple optic (intl-outdoor $2,98)
3X XP-L Hi V2-4B Neutral White 4500K LED (Kaidomain $17,67)
BLF A6 A17DD-L FET+1 driver (Banggood $5)
0,8mm copper heatsinks (Banggood $2)
21.3 x 1mm AR coated glass lens (Kaidomain $2,14)
22AWG wire (~0)

Total: $59,07

Additional cost:
SOIC8 programming clip (Ebay $3,22)
ATtiny 51 USBASP Programmer (Fasttech $2,30)

Software for programming: (Free)
Atmel studio 7.0
ESwitch.C from Tom E, Modified STAR Momentary with Strobe.

Some pictures before the mod:
DQG head

DQG head underside

DQG head inside

The bezel is unglued and unscrews easy.
Thereafter I heated the head with a heater gun and was able to push the whole board out in the vise, placing a wrench socket around the LED. In this process the microswitch popped off, but fortunately it was still OK. No further damage was done.

The 0,8mm heatsink was too thin, so I soldered two plates together and hand filed it to fit. Also the cutout for the switch was hand filed and a hole drilled for the wiring to the LEDs. Finally I gave it a polish.

I filed the edges of the Noctigon board and the carclo optic down, so they fitted the head. Parts:

I placed the heatsink, Noctigon board, Carclo, Oring and Glass lens. The top end fits without rattling:

The switch press fits and stays in position without glue. Works as it should.

Next I reflowed the Noctigon board with the XPL’s and gold plated jumpers to parallel configuration. First added solderpaste to the LEDs & MCPCB and added solder to each solderpoint on the MCPCB.

Then I placed everything in position and held my soldering iron underneath the board until it all settled. I pushed the leds down with the carclo optic to get them seated all the way, but this cracked the white coating adjacent to the phosphorous layer a tiny bit. Fortunately all LEDs worked fine and nothing was broken… I had to do it twice, since I misalligned the LED’s the first time. The LED underside with the > goes to + side, I thought the > had to point to the + side at first… :smiley:

Next the driver was up. The brass 17>20MM retaining ring I bought was no good, but I could salvage the original retaining ring. I soldered a blob on the + terminal.

Then I had to Flash the driver with a momentary firmware.
I followed this how-to from Hoop. Watch out, the colored ribbon on my sample was on the other side. 1-8 was 8-1.
Modded the clip and ribbon:

Next I made a .hex file of the STARmom modded by Tom E with the modifications;
#define MODES 0,1,12,102,255
#define TURBO_TIMEOUT 938 // 15 Seconds

and flashed it to the Attiny13A of the BLF driver.

Next I soldered the two wires I previously soldered to the microswitch to the Attiny13A pin #2 and ground. Then I replaced the original wiring to the MCPCB with 22AWG. Unfortunately that’s the heaviest gauge I’ve got.

Then I soldered the driver to the original retaining ring (upper left on picture above) and placed it in the head. It was a press fit, but I will add some thermal glue later.
It fits without any room to spare.

Added the heatsink and MCPCB (Thermal grease still needs to be added!)

And it all fits!

Now… Does it work? Hell yeah! :partying_face:
Here’s a comparison shot with my Nitecore P12GT on the left, modded DQG on the right:

There are a few flaws still though.

1: The light doesn’t turn off. It starts in a sub moon and then cycles through all modes as it should. Strobe works fine. It’s just that it doesn’t shut down, so I have to unscrew the tailcap 1/4 turn.

2: One of the leads to the MCPCB unsoldered itself. This thing get’s crazy hot in 15 sec’s. I’m going to add heavier gauge wire and thermal grease and see where it goes from there.

3: The glass lens is a bit small. I think 21,9mm or so would be perfect.

4: As expected, it get’s blazing hot in about 15 sec’s. I have a X6 driver underway and hope to reflow it with a Attiny85 and add Narsil to get thermal limiting.

This thing is so small and stupidly bright! I also love the warm tint. Way more lumen than the P12GT and has a higher ceiling bounce than my UV-S5 :smiling_imp:
A quick tailcap amp reading showed 13,8A!

I love this light!

EDIT: Corrected error in the pricing in parts list

That’s amazing! So much light out of such a small …… uh…. light! :smiley:

Incredible mod, I am in awe of your skills as I am of Firelight2’s skill in his mod. I do like that the DQG IV head is not glued like the III was. I do not know if I will ever do more than put a warm white XM-L2 into mine, but this is an awesome mod…

Well written and the pictures are very helpful. The wood block for reflowing is somthing I will use, my helping hands thingy always droops at the worst time…

I use Qtips to press my LED’s down, I have cracked one XPL HI, and so I use the Qtips. I have thought about a spacer and some tape to do triples better, currently my Qtip skills on triples are pretty funny looking trying to hold all three apart at the right distance. It works, just aggravating at times.

EDIT: Did you get an amp draw on the constant on sub moonlight mode? It may be worth just leaving it as a “lit head” much like the lighted tail cap PD68 does…

Very nice mod !
Could you give more info for the driver ? I mean how to connect the the side switch


Thanks for the nice replies! I guess I got lucky on quite a few stages in this mod…

@ReManG these blocks aren’t just blocks offcourse. It’s a real high-tech Dutch soldering system :laughing:

I was actually thinking I really need clamps next time. One shiver and all plumets to the ground…

Won’t you easily move the leds with a qtip and risk shorting them out?

The reading on “off” gave 0,025A. So a bit more than sub-lumen I guess. Guess that drains the battery in 5 days. While I wasn’t planning carrying this thermal granade without lockout anyway , I still hope someone has an idea why it’s not turning off…
Maybe a ground problem? Or the “1” level I programmed the firmware is too low and gives errors? I need to redo the “high” anyway, since 40% is still thermally unstable. Will try 30% next time.

@Giorgioskok the microswitch connects to ground (outer ring on driver) and Attiny13A pin #2. This is the “switch” pin in the firmware from Tom E which I flashed to the BLF driver. I soldered it with 22AWG wire, but I guess thinner wire would be easier.

Wauw mooi man!
Very nice!

@Dutcheee thank you for the info :wink:

Very nice mod, dutchee! And well documented as well :slight_smile: I hope you will find why it does not switch off.

I did a few small S2+ triples that draw around 14A, the heat path to the shell must be very well attended to, and the high mode is just not for anything more than a few seconds, the heat also messes with the timing of short and medium presses of the BLF-A6 driver.

And I admire that you got the software part working, it is something I will never master.

Thanks for posting, great mod. :beer:

It’s satisfying to bring together a light which you have modded many aspects of.

Well done.

Now that is a little hot rod. Orsm work.

G'Day Dutcheee,

Great work.

Best Regards,


Great mod Dutchee!

Glad you found my DQG Tiny III mod helpful. :sunglasses:

The key to prevent the star from overheating is thermal grease. In a more recent mod I found I could actually get away with basically a hollow pill with nothing under the star… as long as I had plenty of thermal grease at the edges of the star. This is how I did it in my latest triple (Sunwayman C10R running a FET driver, triple XPL-HI and an Efest IMR purple 18500 cell). With the 18500 cell sitting where the stock driver used to sit there wasn’t room for a heatsink. With plenty of AS5 at the edges of the Noctigon triple the emitters don’t overheat and the leads don’t desolder themselves.

Thanks, I really was fulfilling to put all my gained knowledge from BLF to good work. This light would’ve never seen daylight without all the contribution on this great forum!


Some pictures of the intergrated driver/mcpcb of the stock DQG. I think a reflow will be quite a challenge. Besides that, the switch tends to “catch” between the slotted opening in the head, so preventing it from snapping off is difficult. Maybe just in my sample…

@Djozz I’m always awed looking at your mods. If you just follow Hoop’s post and all the liks he shows, it will be a piece of cake for you! I got less lucky reprogramming the original BLF firmware to erase the turbo stepdown for another light I’ve got, so not out of the woods myself!

Thanks about the info about the timing. I thought I was seeing some erratic behavior in the 15sec turbo stepdown. It seems not to step down when (over)heating.

great work!

thank you for sharing :slight_smile:


Thanks for the driver pictures. I was going to give it a try with a 100W iron on the battery side contact while still in the head. Then attempt to put the new one on… One day, not anytime soon…. Thankfully the NW is a nice tint and not like a greenish one like some other brands have…

Do you think the switch could be desoldered before pushing the driver out? Looks to be a bear either way, but so glad it worked out for you on this mod… that looks incredible. Narsil and temp regulation would be the bees knees for a light like this…

Nice mod, it must have been quite a deal of work to put this together!

Wow, just wow,
nice work :slight_smile:

Great mod!

Great work!
I’m dreaming of build my own triple, dunno when. LOL.

What kind of solder did you use? Switching from lead based to unleaded solder should help both with elevated temperature and thermal conductivity(especially those heatsink plates soldered together). Here is the table of (almost?) all solder alloy types with melting points, and thermal conductivity for more common alloys:

Sn-Pb37 have thermal conductivity of 50.9 W/(mK) with melting point of 183C whereas Sn-Cu3 have 70.4 W/(mK) and melting point around 227C
(pure aluminium for comparison have 240 W/(mK) and copper about 400 W/(mK))

I know that there are some durability drawbacks in using unleaded solder but mainly in low temp environment so not exactly the flashlight related :wink:
I’m not familiar with any issues within flashlights. Anybody have any experience?