Help choosing led and driver for first mod


feeling a little bit overwhelmed by the choices, so I’m seeking advice for my first flashlight mod.

The donor is a unbranded tailclick thrower, 2*18650 with 20mm driver.

The poor soldering job is mine :blush: , but the original didn’t stick.

The pill could be better thermally connected to the body… So I assume that it’s not suitable for high power LEDs. I’m not picky on CRI and tint. Just looking for a reliable driver and LED combo, possibly without the strobe and SOS modes…

Any help is really appreciated :beer:

So it’s a hollow pill? The MCPCB is just resting on a little lip of metal?

As for soldering to the pill, a little flux is very helpful. You’ll also need a very hot soldering iron with a large tip.

I’ve found it pretty much impossible to solder to aluminum pills. I understand you need special high-temp solder and either a blowtorch or a humungous soldering iron… neither of which I have.

For connecting drivers to aluminum pills without retaining rings I do the following:

  • File a small notch maybe 1 mm deep on the edge of the driver.
  • Bend copper solder braid into a U-shape that exactly fits in these notches. The base of the U should be on the side of the driver, while the legs should rest on the top and bottom of the edge of the driver.
  • Apply solder paste to the top and bottom of the solder braid and solder to the top and bottom of the driver.
  • Repeat twice more around the edges of the driver.

This creates 3 contact points on the sides of the driver with direct soldered connections to the ground ring on the driver. These contact points should project enough that it takes some force to press the driver into position. Pressure from the sides of the pill pressing on these contact points insures good ground connection.

Are you talking about something like this Firelight2? Think I fried a driver, need mod help. - #40 by moderator007
I have used that method a few times when nothing else will work.
Sorry for the crappy pics, it’s back before I had a good camera. Still needs the notch for the wire to fit into or other wise it might be to tight.

Yes, the pill is hollow, and the only physical contact with the driver is at the edge.

Thank You for the tips on soldering, I’m planning to do a better job with the new driver…