What a great site, I finally found a support group for my addiction! I love lights and this site has got me willing to experiment. I have a light that I would like to mod. It is an X-glow ALC-0212C http://www.favourlight.com/1/?products/print/ALC-0212C It has a XR-E diode and runs on two c cells and is rated at 136 lumens. It had a cheap plastic reflector which I replaced with the OP reflector from my Tiablo MA6. That change added to throw and I would like to get some more brightness out of this light. I light the C cell format but understand it made be a limiter for voltage. The light is regulated but I can't find at what voltage.
My question is can add more voltage safely by building a carrier for a single 18650 ( I have a lathe and a mill) or will I cook the driver. I am very skilled in the shop but am new to electronics. :) any ideas would be most welcome. I have read the sight for teh last two nights but can't find anything on c cell lights.
If you toast it .. it was probably lame in the first place .. big whoop, your out a few bucks .like old4570 said... buy a decent emitter if that happens ..maybe a blessing in disguise :P what does it break down into ?? 9 pieces ?? this isn't rocket surgery .
I always liked the posts on cpf where the guy shows up and asks a few odd questions and a few more and then asks what do you think about doing it this way ,,,and then shows some very cool titainium light he's made and people are falling all over the floor ..meanwhile the guy is just reeling them in .. he obviously owns a factory , has 30 employees ,engineers on staff ,cad cam,lasers ,the whole 9 yards .. fun to watch cpf guys drooling over someones designs .a nifty way to build hype for a product ..just act like you're doing it all in your garage with a chisel..:P
I thought I might try something else before I started making chips. I measured the draw at the tail cap at .78 amps with two c cells. Then I stacked three c cells in the tube and used my DMM to make the ground connection. I fully expected smoke, what I got was a 2.02 amp draw and a very bright light. Voltage of the stack of c cells is 4.5 volts and I ran power to the light for almost 5 min. Still no smoke.
So... now I'm not sure I want to just run 3.7 volts from a single 18650. I know I'm greedy, but are there any battery configurations that will fit the 2 cell tube but have 4.5 ish volt output voltage?
I was even looking at making a tube extension but I don't want to make the light to long.
From what I've read, dumping a higher voltage through the emitter than the designed amount won't help nearly as much as a higher current, and is more likely to cause some roasty-toasty blue smoke goodness.
From a _good_ 18650, you can expect to be able to pull in excess of 3A, or be dissipating somewhere just north of 12 watts of power. At that point, you need to be careful of the heatsinking, as well as quality of the driver, switch and emitter.
You guys have got my curiosity up and I wanted to see the limits of the unknown driver in this light. It is the same emitter as as my Tiablo MA6 but no where near as bright. So I started adding C cells to the stack. With each one I took a tail cap reading and let the light burn for 5 min. I stopped at 6 cell which pulled 5.2 amps and still burning after 5 min. The battery voltage was only 8.2 when I measured it after the run cycle. It is very bright and there is an audible snap when the circuit is made with the leads. The head of the light was warm to the touch. I am now convinced that the driver is decent. I wish I could get it out without destroying it, so that I could find out what it is. Now I have to decide; do I want to power it with one 18650 at 3.7 - 4.2 volts or two rcr123s at 8ish volts but less current. Which is better voltage or current capacity?
I finished my 18650 adaptor tonight and am pleased to say it works very well! With a 2600mAh Tenergy protected cell, charged to 4.2 volts, it pulls 2.4 amps and throws a very nice full beam using the OP reflector from my Tiablo MA6. It doesn't throw as far as the MA6 but will make a great truck, boat, snowmobile carry light. Have to rate this as a complete success.
One of the best parts of this site is that everyone pitches in. Glad I could (be among those that) help.
If you're interested in a quick mod, check the springs and such on your light. I know it's overdone a lot lately, just like the xml-in-anything craze, but you might consider if you can slip a QTC pill in that sucker. If you've got a single mode light, being able to run at less than max brightness might be a good option.
I'm having one of those nights. (: I pulled the light apart about ten times to make an insulator between the star and the reflector. On the last assembly I thought I would like to try two CR123s vice an 18650. I had used 6 c cells last night without any trouble and the voltage was similar. I used the DMM to complete the circuit, I got a small flash of light.. then nothing. I can't get the light to power up in any configuration. There was no smoke and the assembly does not smell of smoke, but I suspect that I have over powered something. Just don't know enough to figure out what yet.
I guess now would be a good time to upgrade. The driver is 26mm in diameter and just marked with the model numbers of the light "ALC-0212C", The stack height of the driver and star are about 16mm. I would like to stay with the 18650 that I just built an adaptor for and go up in output. Can anyone recommend a driver/emitter combo that is available in Canada that would be an upgrade for this project.
Signed: feeling less capable with electrons than I was a few hours ago!
Well, never one to leave well enough alone. I was in Costco yesterday and picked up the three pack of LED lights for $19.95 (3XAAA and Cree XP-C). I have read about the plastic reflectors and bad switch design, but wanted to mod them and it was a cheap way to practice. The first thing I did was tear it down to the basic components and noted that the pill/star was the same dimension as my wounded X-glow.
It was 5 mm shorter than the driver/emitter from the X-glow but I turned a spacer from aluminum and bolted the light together with my 18650 conversion and an aluminum OP deep reflector from my Tiablo MA6.
In the stock host it pulls about .55 amps at the tail cap – now it pulls 2.1 amps
On the wall the light (hot spot) is no brighter but outside it seems to have twice as much light, with a lot more spill. It is almost identical to my LP Hunter M1 T with a Smooth reflector.
There is no discernable heat and after leaving the light on for 30 min on a fresh 18650 the light was just mildly warm to the touch.
I’m pretty happy with the outcome.Next is to modify the second light to fit a 18650 with a twist tail to make it direct drive and get ride of the shitty switch.
Last night I turned a sleeve to drop in 2Xcr123 into the costco lights. I tossed together a couple of spacers to act as twist switch. WOW a very bright light, bright white no blue tint, tight hot spot. Draws 2.25 amps on fresh 123s,...but the current drops by .1 amps every couple of seconds. Run time is less than 4 min before the current fell to 0.8 amps. The batteries had been drawn down to 2.2 volts. I also tried 2 RCR123, which drew 2.85 amps. The emitter was very blue and lost a significant amount of output. Pretty sure that is a sign that the emitter is being over driven to the point of failure. As result I stopped that line of testing.
As bright as the 2X123 are, the light is just a "flash in the pan" on this configuration and not usable. I will call this a fun experiment, but I will look at running a single 18650 next.
I'm sorry; I'm not sure how to insert pics into the forum. I also only have a small point and shoot Digital camera. I will do my best with my limited photo skills if you can point me to the image posting tutorial.
Yep. Gotta love the ongoing advances in material sciences. QTC switches, synthetic sapphire lenses, lithium-ion capacitors (no, that's not a typo) and new battery cathodes, LED improvements... In less than 5 years, this hobby will look completely different as some of this stuff becomes mainstream or just comes down in price.
Anyways, you just missed the last organized buy of QTC pills, but there's a fair demand so if you're patient another will happen sooner or later.