Nitecore TINI tear down + emitter swap

Got my Nitecore TINI in today, and decided to swap the XP-G3 for an SST-20 3000K 95CRI.

Although the XP-G3 works very nicely in the TIR optic of the TINI (no tint shift problems), i like warm and neutral high CRI white LEDs, so i decided to swap it.
Could have used Nichia 219C, but the 2700K and 3000K tints i have don’t have a tint i like.
Apparently above the BBL, greenish hue compared to incandescent light.
The SST-20 also has a low Vf, so it’s very suitable for the buck driver the TINI has (just like the TIP).
The tint of these SST-20’s are more cozy rosy. :slight_smile:

Pictures and comments:

All the parts. The tiny metal rod holds the tiny keyring in place.
The Kapton PCB is unfolded.

The driver flap close up.
2.2µH inductor for the buck circuitry.

Under / back side of the Kapton PCB.
This is where i will apply heat locally, to de-solder the XP-G3.

Found a brass / bronze bushing from a bearing of some sorts, probably from an old printer or (its) electro motor.
I used it as a flat hot surface by sticking it on the tip of the soldering iron.
That’s when i found out it had to have been a bearing, because it smoked pretty bad for a while…
Apparently there was still grease inside…

I pushed the Kapton PCB under the LED down on the brass / bronze bushing with tweezers.

XP-G3 removed. They combine the thermal pad with the minus pad, as you can see.
The thermal path directs the heat to the flap n the left, which transfers the heat to the aluminium shell.
There was white Fujik like thermal goo between flap and shell to help heat transfer.

I put a bit of “Mechanic” brand solder paste between LED and PCB and heated it up the same way i de-soldered the XP-G3.
All went without any problems. :+1:

Re-assembled. Nice. :sunglasses:

Thanks for reading.

(edit: pics re-uploaded)


802025 li-ion battery? Curious, I was the other day browsing stuff in AliExpress and that sort of flat format unshielded batteries piqued my interest. Some examples:

Interesting stuff, could be used to overhaul old appliances or DIY new stuff but I wonder how good that @#$% actually is.

Cheers ^:)

Yeah, you can buy all kinds of sizes.
Interesting for building tiny lights that are NOT cylindrical.
Buy a bunch of those micro USB charging boards and you’re half way there.
(well, maybe not half way… )

So i’ve been playing a bit with this tiny TINI, and this LED is very nice. :+1:
Orangey warm and plenty of real red.

But the UI and the buttons of the TINI suck a little…
2 second press for ‘ON’… :person_facepalming:
The momentary ‘turbo’ also has a considerable delay…
I put some foam under the buttons so they’re not pressed as easy as stock, but i think i over did it…

Light leaks through the seams too, also through the mode button, which gives a cheap impression…
The chrome will wear off the plastic frame too… Already a weak spot on the bezel…
Under the chrome the plastic is white / translucent… That’s just dumb… :person_facepalming:

So, the TIP is simply a better light and only about –33- 50 larger*, with more than twice the battery capacity and a better UI.
But the tiny size makes the TINI very cute though.

  • the TINI is 33% smaller than the TIP.
    0.66 x TIP = TINI
    1.5 x TINI = TIP

Nice little mod. Did you see the overhaul that tterev3 did with a TINI, putting MELD into it? He and CRX ought to collaborate some time. They both have insane skills working with super small parts! tterev3’s mod shows that if you’re brave enough, you could swap the MCU and get any UI you want. :wink:

EDIT: I just looked through his thread and saw that you commented on it, so I guess you already saw it. :smiley:

Yeah, i saw that MELD mod.
Amazing crazy soldering job.
I’m not THAT brave, and i lack the knowledge to do something like that.
But he didn’t swap the main LED.

Part timer… :laughing:

LOL :smiley:

But the stock XP-G3 does a good job in the TINI too.
Low Vf, very bright, no tint rainbow effect.
Simply more light output, bigger ‘wow factor’ since the TINI is so… well, tiny. :slight_smile:

Just had a look in that topic, and it should be doable, to swap the MCU.
I don’t know, we’ll see how this light holds up in time.
The little buck driver is definitely cool.

Nice mod :+1: . You have a lot of bare LED.

Yeah… especially 4000K

What do you think about SST-20 3000K and 4000K? I am torn apart which one to get for a KD P60 drop-in.

Awesome mod mate my EDC is using the same SST20 on a triple board running at 3 amps. They have a good tint but i think i prefer a 4500k tint more.

Great build and great report Jerommel, thank you for that.
Might try to put LH351D in mine if I manage to fix the switch failure….

There are some cylindrical LiPos as well.
My favourite example:

It’s my favourite because:

  • it’s from a good manufacturer, not some random Alibaba listing
  • specs are outstanding, compare that to the best 14500
  • they stopped making it though

Haven’t tried the 4000K yet, actually i’m waiting for that order to arrive…
But apparently the 4000K tint is above the BBL, so it has a slight green hue.
Had i known this before i ordered them, i wouldn’t have ordered them.

Nice mod and info thread. Thank you for sharing.

Neat that cathode linked thermal pad emitters can be easily swapped in this light.

Nice job, and this is the money shot:

The dome of the 351D may be too large for the little TIR.
Also, the Vf of the 351D is a bit high, and the TINI has a buck driver, so it will be less bright when the battery starts to run low.

thanks for the details and the pictures!

Pics re-uploaded, which seems to take ages…
Imgur uploads slowly….
Can’t figure out how to put pics in albums either…
But hey, it’s free. :slight_smile: