Idiot's Guide for Modding?

So watching all this modding taking place really makes me want to tear into this over the winter once hunting season is over. My brain is pretty mechanically inclined, but my life hasn’t led me to much experience in electrical things.

Is there any kind of ‘beginners guide to modding’ somewhere online that would give some good ideas for where to start with some simple mods that could get me going down the right path?

Depends on what you want to accomplish.

I think a simple emitter swap (Replace an XM-L with an XM-L2 on copper) is probably one of the easiest things to do and get a decent visible result. After you’ve swapped one out take it back off, dedome in some gasoline and put it back in. You’ll see a major visible result at pretty much the same difficulty.

Then perhaps pop in a new driver view that result, then pop it back out and stack some chips on it and pop it back in.

That can all be done with some basic soldering equipment, and are not too time consuming once you get some experience with soldering.


You could go more advanced and consume quite a bit more time with a maglite physical modification and conversion to LED & Li-Ion. Requires more tools than the above, files/hack saw/sand paper/dremel/etc.

The mechanical things are very simple, but the electrical understanding of all the possibilities, as least for me, is rather difficult to grasp; however, the members here are very helpful in answering just about anything you may have issues with.

Personally, I would just browse Featured Mods and Modding & DIY for a few hours and look at the crazy cool things people have done and go from there.

Go to RMMs site grab a nw tint on copper and a q lite driver

Take a light you like the feel of and fix it

The NW tint will automatically give you an ah ha moment

All you need is a bit of heatsink paste

some flux ,solder and a decent iron.Pretty simple really ....Must be if I can do it

so the only soldering iron I have is an ancient one that my dad and I used for years working on car stuff. It’s a huge craftsman with a pretty big tip. It would seem pretty clumsy to me to use for soldering on something like a drop-in.

Is there a decent iron you could recommend?


A Weller soldering station is ideal

Cheap ones start around $40 and go up to over $300 for a nice one

Budget Variable Control Option:—374-100

Worked for everything I’ve tried so far.

It does need a different sponge though; I used a 10 cent kitchen sponge and sliced slots in it.

I'd highly recommend a Hakko FX888D for this kind of work - bought mine here: Several of us have this model or it's prior version, the FX888C. Used to have a cheap one - this one made me a better modder, and I'll never go back.

Basic soldering, electronics, and mechanical knowledge is necessary to get started to mod, plus $$$, time, patience, and somewhat steady hands . Plus, if you got to order parts, overseas specially, always order extras - you never know if you may damage, blow something up, or just get a bad one. Now I actually use one of my modded lights in a NiteCore head strap to get light where I want it - medium mode with a 18650 EDC with a 45 degree wide TIR optic. I wear contacts and can't see well with them close up, so, I use those drug store style magnifying glasses for close-up work and works well. Drug stores can be pricey, so I've ordered mine thru Manafont or DX - much cheaper just as good. Actually, you can afford to order a couple of apir at different strengths and still save $$$. I use 2 different strengths regularly - stronger pair for 7135, resistor, close inspections, and other real fine soldering - weaker pair for just about everything else at the bench. I've found I no longer use my lighted loop magnifier much anymore.

Take a look at this thread by Gords.Just what you're looking

for.Go to the start of the thread,I'm still on provisionel licence for driving BLF,can only link to a post,not a thread

woo hoo. someone linked it……its a mess tbh but there’s lots of info in there.

the best advice. get a 40w iron with a fine tip or changeable tips and buy fine tips, it will allow you to try things out and not cost much, if you take to it, burn the iron out and buy a proper station.

pick one of your cheap lights that takes a 20mm star (more space) or buy a host kit, some stars, drivers and contact boards (host kits are generally designed to work and assemble) dive in and have a go, ask questions, we’ll all help out.

Try this thread too. I don’t think I did too bad on this one.

also, you can click on any users name, you’ll see their account, from there you can find all their posts.

so you can look up tom e’s posts, relics, comfychairs, old lumens, matches, chicago x’s johnnymacs to name but a few.

the main thing though is to give it a go, that’s probably the biggest hurdle.

good luck and any questions, just ask either on the forum or pm.

Found this for $91.35 free shipping and two free extra tips.

Have a bunch of parts from Richard but no time no assemble anything………

Try Here
It’s a list of different mods by many of our favourites. :slight_smile:

An easy way to start is to purchase an inexpensive host and the parts to finish it out. You can move up to chopping up lights when your ready.

I like the looks of this. Anyone have experience with this iron or brand?

Oops! Just noticed that’s the same one Tom mentioned above. Looks like I’ll be going for that! 8)

Thanks, guys!

If your eyes are like mine you might appreciate a magnyifying lamp or lens to help inspect your soldering.