Easiest host to replace driver?


I’m interested in building my first DIY flashlight. I’ve got a Convoy S2 219C triple with the H17F driver pre-built from mtnelectronics on the way, but I want to experiment with different drivers, firmware, and emitters on my own. What’s the easiest host for replacing the driver and emitter MCPCB? I’d prefer to stay with something 1x18650, ideally an EDC-sized light, but if something larger will make my day go much better, I could start with that instead. I’d also prefer to keep the cost of the host under around $40. Cheaper is better of course! :slight_smile:

I’ve heard that the Convoy S3 is a nice light for this, but I’ve also heard about an integrated shelf in the new version, and I don’t understand what that means or what the impact would be on how easy it is to mod.

I also might set up some kind of bench test light so I can play with different drivers. I’m pretty excited about the Texas Avenger driver - 3-channels like the H17F, but open-source hardware and Bistro! :slight_smile:


Convoy S2+ and pretty much anything with a pill are pretty easy to replace the driver and emitters. If you want something bigger I would go for a Convoy C8 (get the new non anodized/clear anodized one from Simon)

EDIT: a pair of split ring pliers might help you in getting the pill out.

How is the driver mechanically connected to the pill? I read somewhere that they are soldered together, while the Convoy S3 (at the time) had a simple driver retaining ring that could be easily removed.

Many people buy the S2 and S2+ as Hosts. this way you get the threaded retaining ring for the driver and installing a FET type driver is as simple as it gets. Pre-Built “S” series usually come with driver soldered in and do not include the retaining ring. Once solder is on the ring threaded area it is difficult to remove and get the retaining ring in. Not impossible but difficult…

Buying an empty host allows the builder to put in the emitter and driver of choice. I have MANY convoy lights and only 2 were purchased as built.

a convoy host is good host for a durable light but if your main intentions is to experiment I’d suggest a P60 host like WF502B or a good WF504B host as it is easier to take out the guts without needing tools to open the light up.

do note that p60 host are terrible at heatsinking so only treat it as a test bench for your parts.

If you get the prebuilt ready to run lights it all depends on how many 7135 regulators you choose. IIRC the 6x7135 or 8x7135 will typically be soldered on but I believe the 4x7135 should come with the retainer ring.

You can also go this route. I’ve recently purchased a couple of cheap Ultrafire hosts from Fasttech and have been pretty happy with the results. ” Ultrafire Host”:http://www.fasttech.com/product/1198400

Contact Simon at Convoy and ask to buy several extra pills along with buying a host — then build each combination you like, and swap them in and out.
Of course then you’ll be wanting more hosts …

I would agree with Jinx that the convoy’s are a good choice. You can get the convoy S2 which is the lowest at fast tech, granted its grey but that did not stop me from picking up 4 as they are a great light. here is a link to host page.


You will find a lot of support from members on any light that you buy and the forums have great information you can view and see.

This is not rocket science and you do not need to be a Rhodes Scholar to figure this stuff out. Those higher end builds you can leave for later after you are hooked, and hooked you will be! A little patience and desire to learn is all you need! You will be changing drivers and emitters in under 5 min’s in no time:)

I would encourage anyone else that has thought about building their own but thought it to complicated, to give it a try!

Good luck and have Fun!

I would also agree Convoy with a pill are amazing, NOT the newer C8 with integrated head. they are a pain, at least for me.

P60 are easy as well, but you need a hot iron to solder to the brass pill and enough flux. otherwise great.

I would suggest a Eagle Eye A6, very nice quality, integrated shelf and very mod friendly :

Photo borrowed from this thread

It’s only available on AliExpress though and minimum order is two,