FandyFire Rook Mod. 3AA NiMH in series? Yes, it's done, but I'm on the second one now!

01-13 2013

The FandyFire Rook, did we all get Rooked?

You know there has to be a video title now, for every build. Well do you know how hard it is to find a song about Rooks?

I always thought the Rook looked like it might be interesting, but I didn't want to spend the bucks for it. Well a few days ago, I received a package and in that package were several gifts from a BLF member. One of them was a FandyFire Rook.

I decided to mod this light into a 3AA in series light (the way it should be) and to do something to get rid of the parasitic drain (well maybe not). Anyhow, here's the start of the mod thread. It's going to take some time.

First of all, here's what I got in the mail.



This is always the most fun, the tear down!


If I am going to change to series, the bottom battery contact plate can't be in parallel, so I have cut the contact strips on the back side, so that each terminal can be independent on the back and so that only one will be the new ground.


On the front side, I cut the springs short and put them back on the plate. Then I made one of the contacts positive and bridged it to one negative contact. The springs are shortened to give a couple mm room on the front side, as I will be making the top contact plate for series, from scratch.


Now you can see how the ground to body path works for the Series mod.


On the top side, I will be making another plate, to create the rest of the series circuit and create the positive contact.

This will take some time, as I question the ability of the stock driver/switch to do what I want to do, so I have asked others to give me a hand. Mr. Electronics I am not, but other members here are. This mod may be dormant for a little while, but it's not over till the --- lady sings. I will post again, when I make some more progress.


UPDATE 02-02-13

It is Finished!! The drivers from DrJones came in today and I worked on getting the light up and running.

I had to make several changes to the way I was going about it. Since I wanted to do series, I made that bottom contact plate with two springs for negatives and one flat for positive, so the batteries could face the right way for series. Well, when it came to the top plate, it was a mess. I could not figure out how to have a spring up top and still take the light apart or put it together, to put batteries in it, without having two plates up top. One stationary over the batteries and the other in the head.

It was too complicated, so I dropped that line of attach and went back to having three batteries in the bottom. No problem, just have one positive rest on a spring. That way the top could be three flat plates that would rotate with the head.

Photos are better than words.


So, I had two springs for negative contacts and a flat, for positive. I just put the third spring back in. It will still be a positive contact.


On the back side of that plate, I cut the rest of the back traces, to isolate everything and I ran copper from the negative, to the center and added a spring. This way, the tail cap will not be touching the ground and it can be a lockout.


I removed the ano from the body, where the tail cap seats.


I also removed the ano from the outer rim of the tail cap and scratched the center, so the spring has contact. Yes it looks ugly, but it was a test.


For the top plate I got a package of the round bread boards and found one that fit perfectly! I made the three contact plates out of 3/8"x24ga copper rounds and flattened two sides on each. I soldered them on and attached a positive wire on one contact. The other two are bridged to complete the series circuit. This board was a tight fit into the brass ring in the head and worked great.


Looking down in, when the body and head are screwed together.


With the Tail cap tight, It works!


And with a half turn of the tail cap, it's locked out, no juice.


I put everything back in the head. DrJones driver is wired in along with the electronic switch.


Three Eneloops in place and it's time to screw the head on and go take some Beam Shots!!

Beam Shots. - I am using the Defiant Thrower as a light to compare with, against the Rook.

I have done mouse overs here. The Defiant is MOUSE OUT. The Rook is MOUSE OVER.


Looks like the Rook is brighter. It does have a larger hot spot and a larger spill.


I still like the Rook better!


Now you can see how the Defiant throws, where the rook is more floody.


Same here, the Rook is more floody


Big difference here. The defiant is lighting up that tree, where the Rook is just barely touching it.

Well, that's all folks. Thanks for looking at the build.

Now you need to go sign up for the Giveaway!

Am I the only one that my head starts spinning when OL starts talking like he does in the above. It all looks interesting.

Just curious… besides the parasitic drain, were you displeased with the output? Could you lockout the light with a twist or did it remain grounded?

It looks like a risky mod considering the lack of driver options. I guess you could always do a 7135 driver soldered to a contact board with a small clicky to replace the momentary.

I think it is a great idea to post some music to play at the beginning of a new mod.

I never heard of the group Shearwater, they are an indie group (Independent label) and they are pretty good. Here is a YouTube link of a playlist of some of their stuff.

As for OL’s mod, everytime I re-check how things are going, I will start the playlist at a new spot and read on!

Sometimes you can find the most interesting stuff when you’re not looking for it.

As far as output, it’s hard to say, as when I got it, I could not get it to work. I decided to go ahead and mod it. From what I have read, the output with NiMH was not great, but it looks like on NiMH, the stock driver only gives out about 2 amps to the LED. If the stock driver (when checked out), looks like it can be modified, then it will be used, but if not, then a NANJG 8x7135 with a DrJones reprogram, using the electronic switch would be a likely candidate. As far as a lock out, I have thought about it and it can be done fairly simply. If the ground for the contact plate is transferred to the tail cap, then the tail cap could be the lockout. The threads on the tail end are anodized, so it could work as a lockout. When the tail cap is turned in, the lip can be cleaned of ano, along with the edge of the body, so they make contact and just a little turn would break contact and be the lockout. It’s an option that I need to explore.

Your head starts spinning, think of how I feel, LOL.

I have not forgotten about this mod. DrJones is sending me drivers with his program, so I can get this mod going again. I got some of the double sided copper clad board from Radio Shack and a pack of those round boards, to make/replace the contact plate/driver that was in the head.

Good luck with the mod. I hope it works out for you. I have only used mine with 14500’s and I think it rocks. It’s very bright, nice flood not too ringy decent throw as well. It’s one of my most favorite lights. I use it fairly often in fact I don’t even know if it does have parasitic drain. I haven’t noticed if it does. I suppose if I put it away for a week or two with the batteries in it I might have a problem but I don’t do that with any of my lights.

Well anyway, good luck and have fun.

Looks like another very interesting OL build.

Just making sure you know you need to hold the power button down for two seconds to turn the stock rook on.

I had to search before I figured it out too.

Oops! Too late now, though I expect anyone sending him a light knows what’s in store for it.

It's DONE. See all the photos in the OP.

Have fun and look for the giveaway now.

Nothing has changed. More confused than ever. To top it off the thing (for want off a better word) works like a charm. Back to the Bex and another Nanna nap for me. Well done.

Congratulation for this impressive and useful mod, O-L, i really enjoyed the whole (photo) process!!!

Great mod, Justin! Just wondering : if the stock voltage input was 1.5~4.2V for 3xAA in parallel, then won’t 3xAA in series be 4.5v? :smiley:


Nanjg drivers will work at 4.5v if need be, just alkaleaks won’t last too long I guess. Nice work o-l I like this a lot.

Beautiful work and a fairly simple solution to lockout parasitic drain. You da man!


Nice mod, I dont know how I missed this one.