Gearbest sk68 clone modding

It’s high time I get into modding!! I managed to disassemble the GB sk68 clone version very easily and I can see a direct emitter swap being easy…even a driver replacement.

Can I use this star with a 1.2V Nimh battery?

Any other I could use? Do I need to change the driver to something better (not too costly though)
What you guys think.

You need a 16 mm base for sk68.

You better use a 14500 li-ion battery and take a 3 mode driver. Don’t forget the thermal grease.

It will be to give away (to non flashaholics) as the stock (lattice bright??) emitter is just way way too poor. It will only run on AA battery to be honest. So I just need something with decent brightness. If only an emitter swap will provide good results, I’m all for it! What driver you recommend?

A driver change has only few options: the driver of the sk68 is 15mm diameter instead of the usual 17mm.

Leave the stock driver, just swap the LED to XP-G2 (or XM-L2) for a bigger hotspot.
A more powerful driver will drain the AA battery too quickly or overheat the LED (especially if the pill is hollow)

I’ve swaped the emmiters for 219b nichia from IOS. The copper board will give you a more reliable heat transfer, so I would suggest to go for XP-G2 form IOS mounted on Noctigon stars. They are a little less then 4$ so I think it is worth the price.

with the 500mA max that an AA can deliver, the stock board in the hollow pill will do fine. I have even run a stock sk68 without cooling on a 14500 from freshly charged 'till empty without problems and even without much heat sag.

(hollow pill problems, schmollow pill problems )

I think the GB drivers even deliver less then 500ma, mine are pretty dimm on eneloops. I’ve just put them in to never have to touch those again :D.
You’re right, they should be fine.

Ouch…So I guess I also need a driver……Starting to look complicated…Looking around a bit. Thanks for saving me the hassle man.

Yeh, once you get into drivers they get expensive.

Djozz is right that as these are sold, it doesn’t make any important difference whether it’s a hollow pill (the LED board rests on a little ledge) or solid (LED board has a solid plane behind it, wires coming through little holes)

But when you have the lens and tailcap off, shine a light through the tube and see how well the LED board actually fits against that little ledge.

These cheapies often have the LED on a distorted extra-small diameter aluminum backing that barely makes contact with the ledge at all, just touches in 2 or 3 places. Light shining through the battery tube shows all around the edge making the gaps obvious.

You can improve on that contact.

I’ve gotten these hot enough to melt the LED off the board by improving the driver and then, um, sitting the light on a shelf to try to use it as a work light for more than ten or fifteen minutes.
Note to self, always have another light source when working under the house at night ….

Maybe a Hugsby XP11 1AA or XP12 2AA would be a good option of the box, only 5$, one mode, review by ImA4Wheelr is in the 10$ flashlight reference.
I think the head was glued on those though, but that also makes for reliability.

The sk68 is a challenging host to start your modding carreer. Much easier is a Convoy tubestyle 18650 light for example.

I agree, or a P60 based light.

BTW guys.
I’m going to mod a “decent” Sipik clone - Ultraok ZS-2 (solid pill, good threads and anodizing), to make it a pocket throw rocket.

I want to swap the driver for a 3-mode (2 amps on high) one (I think 3 amps will be too much for a 14500)
and drop in an XP-L V6 OR XP-L V2 HI.

So can anyone tell me, which of the LEDs will give a better throw for a lensed flashlight? I guess the XP-L HI will give a tigher hotspot, right?

If you’re looking for throw at around 2.0a you may want to consider an XP-E2.

Nope. XP-E (and 2) is outdated, and gives low lm/w.

Actually, when I come to think of it.. thats probably one of the first "light" Ive ever modded. A P60..

Although Im trying to greatly reduce my mini collection of flashlights, over the years Ive never seen a succesful AA driver that can be bought separately, but if there is one, Id like to keep a few as back-up, in case a light breaks.

> AA driver

There’s the SK68/BLF 15mm driver, is that what you’re looking for?
(for li-ion, not for 1.2 or 1.5v)

I have had good experience with the LEDs from FastTech. For example this and this. These are 14mm ones that I used to mod these “600 lm” smaller flash lights. However, if you want to use on SK68, you can buy their 16 mm versions. They all at about $1.55 a piece.
I would safely say that they can give me over 100 lm (LED lumen) on AA and 300 lm on 14500.
The only issue I had with FastTech was their free shipping is very slow. Next time when I order, I will probably pay $1 more to get either a tracking number or USPS mail. I would say it will be worth it.