Modding the SupFire X5 pill for a "perfect" fit of a 17mm 2 sided driver

The SupFire X5 is a nice looking light that Summer from DinoDirect offered a discount deal to BLF members. Here's a pic of the light from her posting:

Here is a picture, also from her posting, showing the X5 stock pill on the right:

Here's some photos of the pill mod I did for the X5. Sorry, didn't have my own "before" pics of the pill. The original had a 1 sided 17 mm driver with a brass retaining ring, holding the driver in place, all aluminum, no brass.

Brass ring (FastTech) pressed in, shows copper disc inserts. I grinded down the inner thread part of the pill where the brass ring screwed in, and had to grind the inner walls to get the opening wider for the brass ring:

Top view:

Shows how the 20mm SinkPAD fits. Plan is to use grease, not epoxy, and sand the SinkPAD and pill top til silky smooth (2500 grit):

The original star sitting on top of the SinkPAD for size comparison below. The SinkPAD appears slightly bigger, specially with the flare-outs, and I've found that the SinkPAD's needed to be filed or sanded down to fit where a standard 20 mm fit fine. In the X5, no problem, because the star mount area is a bit oversized.

The bare brass ring used on the left, alternate pill I was thinking of using on the right - this brass pill would be ground down, removing a lot of the threaded portion (lip around the emitter mount), and the outer surface to reduce it's outer diameter, then press fit it in, but also requiring grinding on the inside of the alumimum pill - a lot of grinding but the dremel works great for this stuff. Nice thing about the using the pill is it's more mass than the ring, so maybe more heat sinking, but the ring was less work.

Now you got a pill all set for mounting a standard 17 double sided driver with extras heat sinking in the critical area, just below the emitter. I'm calculating the effective height is the same as the original with the retaining ring, and plan on re-using the original spring on a Nanjg driver setup for 3.85A. The mass of the SupFire X5 a little more than a typical C8, so figuring a U3 1C mounted on the SinkPAD will do well at 3.85A in this setup (it will get hot after a few minutes none the less).

The brass rings are from FastTech here. FastTech also has these pills, though I purchased mine from FancyFlashlights. That's it for now. I'll post updates, or at least final assembly and test results.

Update 02/10:

Star and pill top surfaces prep'ed, sanding up to 2500 grit:

Reflowed U3 1C, set to Arctic Alumina grease:

Nanjg driver with 3 7135's added:

Pill assembled, spring transferred (driver is a 2-5 mode job from FastTech so no mode soldering):

All put together, showing the emitter:

Wall beamshots for comparison, first SupFire X5:

Now XinTD, mod'ed to XM-L2 U2 1C, SinkPAD, 3.85A:

HD 2010, mod'ed w/XM-L2 U2 1C, ~4.1A:

Small Sun ZY-T619, stock (1cell thrower, TF X9 clone):

BLF A8, stock:

Good stuff, thanks for this.

You should get some serious light out of the X5 when this is done. The only question I have is, why not drive it to 3A? Do you get much more light from 3.85a?


Well, if you look at Match's emitter tests for output, and at the XML, most who talked about it, seemed to think 3.5A was the best level of power vs output. I have 3.85A in several C8 setups (XinTD, LightMalls C8, C8 brass pills, TMART C8) and I'm seeing good numbers from that, in the best lights, close to 1,000 lumens (980-990 range). I always add copper to the pills, use short 22 gauge wires, quality epoxy/grease, etc., so I think I'm able to get more out if it. I even took a stock XinTD U3 and increased it from 2.8A to 3.5A, and saw a nice increase (see post #14 in this thread), and post#18 shows the details. Currently, I'm getting over 1100 lumens out of it by raising it to 3.85A and updated the emitter to an XM-L2 on a SinkPAD.

Of course raising the amps by 25% won't results in 25% increase in lumens, it will be less, maybe 14-15%, but that's still decent numbers.

Also, those direct drive lights (LightMalls C8, Keygos KE5, HD 2010, etc.) normally do 3.5A+ and up to over 5A on a good battery, so I'm thinking 3.85A isn't so crazy. What I've also seen in converting a direct drive light to a regulated driver at lower amps, I've gotten higher lumens from the upgrade - could be because of the better heat sinking, not sure. It's funny because the only reason some of those lights got so high a praise was because they are direct drive and very bright, but they are running in the danger zone without adequate heat management.

great write up tom… i have a nice neutral xml on the way from intl outdoor that will be going in this with a 7135 3a driver (might increase current to 3.5a)

do you know if a 3a 17mm driver will fit with some sanding/grinding? or should i just get the copper ring from fast-tech?

Yep, fair play. I guess if you can get rid of some heat then your’e laughing. It’ll be a nice build that’s for sure! It definitely needs an LED swap, if it’s like mine it will have a not so nice tint.

Can’t wait for some beam shots!


Well, the "all aluminum" pill and a new 2 sided driver (I assume that's what you got?) are the problems. The 17 mm width is not the problem, they will fit in diameter fine. Don't think you can use the retaining ring because you can't grab thread to make up for the thicker driver board and the stacked 7135's on top. Even if you could, not sure if screwing the ring down on 7135's is a good idea (someone said it should be ok), but you may need to isolate other active components there. Still, you would be pushing up the brass ring and changing the battery spacing, maybe insignificantly, not sure, if at least reducing your option to shorter unregulated batteries. Other option is to get the driver grounded somehow - wouldn't trust attempting soldering to aluminum (been there, done that), or you could jamm in something like pieces of wire to make a solid contact between the driver ground and the pill. Possibilities with some ingenuity unless others have done this type of mod before you could reference.

I've seen some other solutions, but many seem to do what I did - modify the pill so your driver is mounted into brass.

Finished the mods, results are in!

SupFire X5, before totally stock w/T6, 2.56A measured:

- 635 lumens start, 612 lumens @30 secs, throw: 24 kcd (fresh Pana 3100)

SupFire X5 after, U3 1C on a SinkPAD, 3.85A Nanjg:

- 1122 lumens start, 1081 lumens @30 secs, throw: 35 kcd (Pana 3400 4.19v, 3.63A measured)

With an AR lens installed (original: 41.7x1.5mm, new AR: 41.9x1.9mm)

- 1156 lumens start, 1111 lumens @30 secs, throw: 37 kcd (Pana 3400 4.19v, 3.63A measured)

I got pics to post, will add later - want to play a little first outside with this . I think the results are outstanding to be in the 1100 lumens range, and well regulated. I'll do some temp/time tests as well, so far it's staying cool on short durations.

*** lumens measured in a lightbox constructed of PVC pipe, duplicate of another used here by a BLF member. Throw measured indoors at a distance of 4.3 meters. Both methods are not perfect I'm sure, but the lightbox is doing well so far with the calibration factor I derived, and the throw is more suspect because at such a short distance, the beam might not be focused and contribute to a lower throw #, but my throw numbers seem to match or be close to other identical lights measured.

Pics posted now in opening post...

Very nice prep and mod Tom E. It looks like the copper pad works its magic as they do with your other mods. Thanks again for posting.

That’s really something! Compared to the other lights, the Supfire has quite a bit more spill apart from the larger hotspot. Wonder what Summer would say if she saw all this? :open_mouth:

Well done mate, that’s a proper mod! Great results and great post.

Thank you,


As marcl said. Nice mod. Double anything is orsm.

tom… how do you like the supfire after the upgrade? do you think the 18.99 price was good for a host? it looks a little bit more difficult to mod than say the keygos m10… but is around the same price…

also - any thoughts on de-doming the emitter?

Well, the SupFire came out well with lumens, but it's not the thrower it was touted to be. I'm a little mixed on it, yes, not the modders dream host, I would have preferred a brass pill and SS bezel, but the pill size is nice, and great it takes a 20 mm star, overall quality is pretty good - tailstands and comes with 2 holes for the lanyard so as not to interfere with tailstanding. Also like the emitter centering setup - works well with thermal grease mount - no need to use epoxy, as it came with. I'm no expert on finished so can't comment if it's a quality scratch resistant anodizing, but the appearance compares well with the XinTD - it's bigger in the throat area than the XinTD whcih should help for heat management.

I'm doing a simple run test, laying it on a table, now to see how warm it gets - warm to the feel at 2 1/2 mins, 7 mins quite warm but certainly bearable - not bad...

Update - 10 minutes now, warmth through the whole body - really not bad at all.

Update - 12 minutes now, shutting it off, even the tailcap is warm, throat area the hottest of course, but you can squeeze the throat in your hand and no pain, maybe a bit uncomfortable. Overall, I think it did well, I'm no expert at this though. The heat distribution is a good thing - you want it spread through-out. Everything is functioning fine - no light/temp meter here @work - need to repeat this at home on a fresh battery.

thanks for clearing up the thermal grease/epoxy question i had… being able to not have to glue an emitter down makes it easy to swap later as well

The m10 mod Gords published looks pretty good - never tried that before, may be interesting... The m10 of course is 26650 size light, never worked with an m10 so hard to say, didn't study the dimensions. I think I like the style/look of the X5 better though. I got a UF 2200 at home waiting to be mod'ed (WallBuys 50% deal), and another host from I-O, the T10, which looks a lot like the M10 but 18650 only, SS bezel, large brass pill, anti-roll cigar grip, think it looks sharper than the M10... Can't wait to start on the T10!! More I think about it, in theory, the T10 should be the ultimate host is this size/style category, it's just unproven, no reviews, no idea on it's performance, bean pattern, throw, etc.

T10 Host Link at I-O

i have an m10 on the way i am planning on doing the “gords” mod to… ive got a u3 on alum. pcb im going to put in for now… until i can get a hold of a sink pad

if you want to know anything about the m10 i can take some photos/measurements but from what i understand its a pretty simple driver swap with the 4a driver from intl outdoor

Hey tom, you did a great job on that, that t10 looks smart too, I’m finding I much prefer the DIY hosts, they all seem to have much more meaty pills and less hacking about to get things in. I’ve got this on the way

I’m planning on doing a thread on diy hosts in the hope of getting more people into building/modding, in that respect I’m glad people are getting the use out of the m10 thread as that was the point of posting it, and I like your threads for the same reason, very informative, show just how to go about things, to me that’s the point of this forum, more so than the latest New light threads, its nice to see them, but I much prefer a good build and discussion than a “how much money can I blow on one shopping trip”.

I’m going to have to get back to the one stop mod reference, tidy it all up and throw your builds in, unless you want to post the links/descriptions for me? :bigsmile:

That host looks real nice! I got a few cheap FastTech hosts here on order for builds to sell, w/U3 2.8A drivers. There is a lack of a range of hosts available out there.

I agree - try to show/educate. I'm finding I repeat myself - it would be nice to get the info better organized for reference.

Sure Gords, I could post the link/descriptions - let me look at that thread this evening.

They look great, so $6 for a host? Bargain! Cnqg have a load of different hosts, I’ve got the c8 upgrade which is nice, that Roche on the way, I’m also going to get this soon

And here’s the cnqg host page.