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)
SOIC8 programming clip (Ebay $3,22)
ATtiny 51 USBASP Programmer (Fasttech $2,30)
Software for programming: (Free)
Atmel studio 7.0
MHV AVR Shell
ESwitch.C from Tom E, Modified STAR Momentary with Strobe.
Some pictures before the mod:
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…
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