Haikelite HK90 tear down

Wow. Ok. I was shocked by my initial (mis)understanding. Still a very odd design ‘feature’ with that grease cavity lol. Really don’t know what the thinking is there.

The shelf is anodized, btw?

Nope, it's bare - post #1 updated with a pic of the shelf. They did some things right, but the burrs on the holes and edges of the MCPCB is not good. Unfortunately I find this on many lights.

Yea, can't figure out what they were doing with the thermal grease. Maybe storing it for future use?

Thanks for the extra pics. Really clears things up.

Not having a good thermal path to the reflector seems like a missed opportunity. A proper thickness washer in the center could potentially help pull away more heat in the first minute of runtime.

How are the + traces routed?

The traces, + and -, on the MCPCB are a little strange - one wraps of each LED wraps around the LED. On the driver, it's a straight connect of wires to thru holes to the brass ring.

This light is a pass for me. Thanks for the breakdown.
Not the quality I seek.

This is why tear downs are so valuable - you don't really know what you are buying. It's a shame these tear downs seem to be a thing of the past, and they either don't exist or are difficult to find for more popular name brands, but I don't think a NiteCore, Imalent or AceBeam tear down would fair any better.

Overall, even though they have a strange usage of thermal paste, the copper heatsink plug is a good thing to see in there, plus the large thick copper MCPCB is better than 3 separate ones. I also can't find anything wrong with the reflector and AR treated glass.

I think Haikelite is another example where they don't advertise or list all the features the light has:

  • advantages of 6063 aluminum over the standard, cheaper 6061
  • large copper heat sink
  • double high performance FET's
  • switch LED's configurable by Anduril (not even in the included manual)
  • dual tripod mounts

Yikes! This light is almost $300 and has stuff like a hollow heatsink filled with thermal paste? Ugh.

Thanks for the teardown; agreed, they are very valuable, and decreasing in prevalence.

I only ever buy lights to use as hosts, so really appreciate a teardown of an interesting light.

As for this light, well, from those images, there are design and construction elements which seem poor:

  1. Why use a separate chunk of copper if you’ve already machined a shelf?
  2. Why then fill that copper with heaps of thermal paste? Was more copper too expensive? If so, see #1.
  3. Issues you mentioned with the copper chunk and (more worryingly) the MCPCB having proper thermal contact.
  4. That Alu plate serves no obvious purpose other than retaining the (itself useless) thermal goo pile.
  5. With a reflector that large and heavy, either machine it to be lighter, or use it’s thermal mass to delay overheating. If they’re throwing out thermal paste, put some there instead.

Overall, it appears to me that they either didn’t care enough about their design, weren’t capable of improving it, or (most likely) wanted to release a new light with the latest emitters in fashion at the moment, with little care or consideration.

I’m sure that this light would be moddable in interesting ways (as of course you and others did with the BTU), but for $350, over twice the BTU’s price, I’d expect better.
Though, given what I’ve seen and experienced with Haikelite in the past, I’m not at all surprised.

Just fyi, we are talking about $136 worth of LED's alone in this light, based on Hank's prices and $250-$260 is the average discount price of the HK90. It's unfair to compare the cost to a BTU Shocker.

Copper heatsinks, below the shelf, was and still is a common modding technique - I've done probably dozens of them this way. The use of the paste here is the odd thing, though I still think the copper heatsink helps more than hurts.

We are talking about some major bump up in specs. The HK90 is roughly 8 times the candela of a Shocker and 4-5 times the lumens, mainly because of the $136 in LED cost, combined with a high performance driver. For modding, it's a modder's dream: keep the stock LED's (best available), and keep the driver. Not much to do except usual tweaks like sanding the MCPCB/shelf contact surface, re-grease, maybe bump up the wires to 18 AWG, maybe bypasses on the springs.

In a likely futile attempt to explain the odd design here, what are the chances that the hk04 driver fits nicely on the copper puck?

Thank you for the teardown, much appreciated.
Even if I wasn’t interested with this flashlight at first, I might have be if the design had been top notch. I doesn’t think that it is bad but the triple SBT90.2’s MCPCB would have benefit to be a bit thicker with a thicker shelf instead of a copper patch inderneath that doesn’t touch the housing.

Thanks for the tear down mate!
Also cost if you buy a brand name light and tear it down and break it, You will be crying this light is also expensive but at least lights like the haikelite are a bit easier to take apart. Except for the glued in driver sigh.

Oh boy, I'm doing a real bad job if you think it doesn't touch the housing - of course it does! It's screwed down solid to the shelf with a large contact surface, just that there's no thermal grease between those 2 surfaces. If I were modding this light without that stock copper piece, I might have done the same thing in a mod, with added grease of course .

Thank goodness they added a big hole in the driver to make it easier to remove than a Sofirn SP36...

Goin back in time, drilling a hole in the stock driver is what we used to do, but fortunately Haikelite laid it out so there's no components on each side of the hole, so no damage using a pry tool.

Something like this could work out well, replacing the stock screw:

The screw is a direct connection between the copper plug and the reflector, and swapping from steel to copper should help. I'm not sure of the screw size, only guessing here, plus it's rather pricey.

Where do you get copper hex bolts? Parkrose Hardware?

Pic above has a link to an eBay listing.

Min qty here is 25K (ouch!): https://www.zenithind.com/copper-machine-screws-1730607.html

But at least someone makes them

I didn’t think of discount prices, so that makes it more reasonable. The emitters are all well and good, but the overall quality just seems lacking.

As for the copper block, that’s fine in modded lights - I’ve done similar things in the past before I had a lathe, but in a machined light, I just don’t get it…

Maybe I’m just being too picky. It does look decent for some modding.

I wish more people would do teardowns, but of course they risk causing damage.

The copper machine screw could be soldered/brazed to the copper heat block.

Holy smokes $15 for 2 bolts. I guess better than buying 25,000 at once.

I want to compare lumen and throw specs with the X65. Could this humble light possibly be a X65 killer? I also want to see for myself how the HK90 beam profile and beam performance compares with the X65. I just increased my odds of living to see the day when that can actually happen. Not by any expensive high-tech, recent advanced medical intervention, but by a much less costly means: I simply ordered another HK90. One of them should come in before the other one, later or sooner, I think, while there is still time.

Thanks for your graphic display of its guts.