Match's Mods: Emitter to Copper Reflow in a 1C mag mod (How To)

Thank you for the compliments. As stated in the opener, I couldn't find anything on the net for an emitter directly to copper. I've seen the digi-key video, and also the nice one done by you as well, but those were pcb to pcb.

The main difference is items such as what to do about the bottom electrical contacts, where to wire up the new contacts, and (as I found out) what a bugger it can be to actually solder to the emitter due to the direct copper mounting being so dang effictive of a heatsink.

Thanks Foy :)

Yup, the single beamshot was done competing against good old South Carolina sunshine. As soon as I get a free minute, I do plan on doing actual nighttime beamshots and will update this thread when completed.
As for the reflector, that's the stock rebel from Maglite. The extra space around the emitter is due to the copper pedistal only being 7mm in diameter. Most Mag mods usually have a 12.8mm star that would fill up the remaining space. I spent quite a bit of time ensuring that the emitter was centered and seated at the correct depth, which also helped in getting the lux readings that I did.

As for wanting one? Stay tuned....I'm actually now considering making/selling some of my mods :)

It's weird, but I like owning lights worked on by by BLF members. I guess that's why I jumped on OL's 3D. Besides being killer good looking, it's Justin's light so I like it. Same with my C88 and F15; the fact that they're among the brightest lights I have is awesome but Erik made them that way so, they're different. Probably what some people like about Haikus and Spys. Foy can't afford that so . . .

I wonder how many XP-G/XM-L Match Mod Minis you could sell? Before I fried my SST-50, I put it in my MMMM with 2 x 14500. Come to think about it; that's how I did fry it. Anyway, during the 30 seconds it lived, it was about the brightest damn MiniMag you've ever seen.

Oh wow, I'm rambling again.


Nope, I am. That's what I get for speed reading, my bad.

I know the feeling, do it all the time.

Damn nice work as usual Match

Yes, very nice!
I noticed that you bought some aspheric lenses. If you mount a XR-E on a copper heatsink with the little pedestal as in the picture above and then put that under an aspheric in addition to being able to drive it hard the beam should be improved since there is nothing else on the same plane as the emitter (due to the pedestal).
Everything else would be out of focus other than the emitter.
I’m curious as to what project you have in mind for the aspherics :slight_smile:

Now, where are those night time beamshots? Do we have some comparison beamshots?

Against KE-5, M10, and the rest of the more expensive throwers?

great post

-could a cre xp-e be trimmed and then soldered to a heatsink and then wired as shown above?

-could the soldering technique described also work on an aluminum heatsink


Did something like this with an MC-E on a brass pill a few years ago...

What you can't see in the pic is that the legs are bent up, then there's kapton tape beneath them. Had to use flux to get a good solder joint on them, then thermal epoxied the wires in place and to aid in heat transfer.

just looking in and they have zinc flux and solder designed for soldering aluminum.

has anyone tried using solder to flow an emitter onto an aluminum heatsink, using procedures as above and the appropriate flux/solder??

Awesome job Match :heart_eyes:

I can’t comment on the zinc solder/flux…haven’t used it yet. As long as the solder doesn’t require a much higher temperature to flow it may work. Again though, I haven’t really looked into it.

Thanks for the compliment!

Nice job on the MCE, but considering how poorly brass conducts heat vs copper or even aluminum did you notice much of an improvement?

In this case, yes. There was no room for a star with this drop-in, so the only two alternatives were thermal epoxy or direct solder.

Thanks for posting this GREAT guide Match. Awesome work as always.

Now after reading, I have a question… Is a good idea to use thermal glue (like FUJIK) instead of flux and heat? I’m a bit worried about burning the emitter and with glue it is easier for me.

@ Techjunkie: Great work. Did you post those pictures around 2009 or something? I recall seing something like that back then.

@ Match: Thanks to your guide and results here I have now completely gone over to XML on copper based PCB's. Just wish something like that was available for the XR-E R2's that I'm so fond of :-( I hate filing away on those contact pads!.

Not really. The thermal conductivity of Fujik isnt much better than of air. Just give it a try. Its really not hard.

As NightCrawl stated...bad idea. One would be better off sticking with a stock aluminum star.

Thanks!! I’m going to try it, but after making mistakes I’m asking another thing…
Is it necessary to have that little raised part to place the LED?
Is it better that way or can I make a flat surface to mount the LED?

It will work fine on a flat surface.