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Flashlights => LED Mods => Topic started by: 3rd_shift on August 05, 2007, 09:46:10 PM

Title: DIY Maglite c/d led quads @ 500+ lumens with Cree XRE and SSC P4's: lotsa pics!
Post by: 3rd_shift on August 05, 2007, 09:46:10 PM
Also see my older modding adventures.
Modding a 3c with a Cree XRE.
http://flashlight-forums.com/index.php?topic=4081.0 (http://flashlight-forums.com/index.php?topic=4081.0)
And Modding a 4D with a K2.
http://flashlight-forums.com/index.php?topic=4045.0

Now wouldn't it be nice to have a bright and white flashlight as bright as a 60 watt housebulb that runs good on regular unleaded batteries?  8)

The technology is here at last to put one together thanks to Cree and Seoul Semiconductor. ;)

So let's get some tools out and have some fun.

Here we have a 2C and a big 6D.
(http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v313/3rd_shift/SANY0002.jpg)

You may use any Size maglite as long as the power source is around 7.5 - 9 volts as these flashlights will have.
For example, a 2D with 2 lithium ion batteries, or 6AA's in it will also work. ;)
Or a 6c with regular c cell batteries should also be just fine.
Both of these will have thier Led stars series parallel wired for this one.

You may also go for an all parallel setup using a 3C, or 3D light instead based on this pictorial modding adventure I did.

Here is a video showing the disassembly of the two lights.
Broadband internet connection is recommended, and the video will automatically play as soon as you click the link.
If it won't play, grab the newest version of flash player with a google search.
http://smg.photobucket.com/albums/v313/3rd_shift/?action=view&current=SANY0003.MP4.flv (http://smg.photobucket.com/albums/v313/3rd_shift/?action=view&current=SANY0003.MP4.flv)
Here is another video showing disassembly of an older pre 2001 2c Maglite.
It is different.
http://smg.photobucket.com/albums/v313/3rd_shift/?action=view&current=SANY0088.MP4.flv
Here are the bulb holder guts removed with a 5/64rths allen wrench.
(http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v313/3rd_shift/SANY0005.jpg)

Make the bulb assemblies look something like this.
(http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v313/3rd_shift/SANY0011.jpg)

The head needs to be secured so that it won't turn anymore and tear up the wiring inside.
Drill an 1/8 hole about a quarter to a half inch in like this and put a metal plug in there that sits flush,
 or slightly below the top of the hole once inside.
This will jam the threads and stop the head from turning anymore. ;)
(http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v313/3rd_shift/SANY0081.jpg)
A 2D was used to demonstrate this step, but this works with all C/D Maglites that I know of.
Here is another picture with the head removed again.
(http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v313/3rd_shift/SANY0080.jpg)

I made a plug out of a piece of nail. ;)
(http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v313/3rd_shift/SANY0089.jpg)

Edit: 8-25-07
Here's the 6D with the same step now completely done.
It's head is going NO-WHERE now.
It was sold and came back returned with it's wiring torn up.
It's fixed again now. ;)
(http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v313/3rd_shift/SANY0090.jpg)
End of 8-25-07 edit:


This next segment is specially for the D cell

For the D cell, install 4 inch long wires, 2 red (+) and one black (-).
The resistor in the picture is a 5 watt rated 1 ohm.
(http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v313/3rd_shift/SANY0021.jpg)

Re-install the wired switch assembly like this.
(http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v313/3rd_shift/SANY0025.jpg)

Here is a video showing how the resistor was secured.
http://smg.photobucket.com/albums/v313/3rd_shift/?action=view&current=SANY0023.flv (http://smg.photobucket.com/albums/v313/3rd_shift/?action=view&current=SANY0023.flv)

Put in a D cell starsink (5mm thick) for so17 minireflectors, but use khatoid 17mm's instead with thier bottoms widened out for Cree XRE leds.
Q4 strength in this case at over 100 lumens at 350 milliamps.
Put thermal grease under the heatsink before putting it in.
(http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v313/3rd_shift/SANY0029.jpg)
Here is a video of that part of the assembly.
http://smg.photobucket.com/albums/v313/3rd_shift/?action=view&current=SANY0026.flv (http://smg.photobucket.com/albums/v313/3rd_shift/?action=view&current=SANY0026.flv)

There is a choice here on whether to use thermal grease, or arctic alumina adhesive.
I used thermal grease under the Cree XRE stars in this case, and then wired them up just like so.
The (-) sides of the stars are nearest the wire inlet hole in the heatsink.
(http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v313/3rd_shift/SANY0033.jpg)

Load in some batteries with the tailcap off and try it out with a dc ampmeter and cross your fingers.
(http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v313/3rd_shift/SANY0036.jpg)

830 milliamps on some old batteries is quite nice and comfy as the leds are only seeing about 415 milliamps each.
With fresh batteries, this light tops out at 1.1 amps which is still not driving them too hard. More than 1.5 amps is hitting them kinda hard.
We're aiming for relliability and runtime for this one this time around. ;)

Now let's make a mess to hold those reflectors still with.
(http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v313/3rd_shift/SANY0037.jpg)
I used black silicone gasket maker for this.
One may use whatever desired to keep the reflectors planted and centered with.
Give that some time to cure.

Here is a picture of the completed business end.
A little of that black stuff did ooze in, but is still out of reach of the relatively narrow beam angle of the leds. ;)
(http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v313/3rd_shift/SANY0038.jpg)

Here it is embarrassing a 60 watt vanity bulb.  :laughing7:
(http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v313/3rd_shift/SANY0043.jpg)

Now to tackle the C cell

Find and cut some 5/8ths heater hose from the local auto parts store and cut it to 4.5-5 inches in length, then slit it down one side.
(http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v313/3rd_shift/SANY0073.jpg)
3 cr123 batteries, or 2 18500 lithium ion batteries and charger from member AW in the dealers corner at cpf marketplace, or here at ff.

Now cut and reshape the tailspring about a quarter inch shorter so it won't squash the batteries quite so hard.
(http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v313/3rd_shift/SANY0074.jpg)

File, or lightly grind off the sharpest edges off of some SSC P4 led stars.
An adjustable heatsink from member download is used this time.
Mount and glue the stars with thier (-) closest to the center hole with arctic alumina.
Let that cure.
Then file, or shave off any overhanging edges from the stars so that the heatsink can drop right in.
(http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v313/3rd_shift/SANY0046.jpg)

We need to find out what height to adjust the heatsink to.
Put some heatsink grease into it's threads to improve thermal contact between the 2 pieces of the heatsink.
Here is a video of it.
http://smg.photobucket.com/albums/v313/3rd_shift/?action=view&current=SANY0089.MP4.flv
 Even I'm still a bit new to this one, but I managed. ;)
Loosely assemble everything like this and adjust the heatsink height until everything fits ok.
Be careful not to damage or destroy the fragile gelatin domes from doing this.
Some older obsolete luxeon1 stars can be used instead for this step if preferred.
(http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v313/3rd_shift/SANY0049.jpg)

Once that's done and everything fits good in the Maglite head, we need to stop the heatsink from turning any more.
I used blobs of silicone gasket maker for this and let it cure.
(http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v313/3rd_shift/SANY0050.jpg)

Now apply plenty of heatsink grease at the bottom of the Maglite head, it's threads and the sides inside for best possible thermal contact and conductivity from the heatsink's bottom and top pieces.
(http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v313/3rd_shift/SANY0052.jpg)

Perfect. There is heatsink grease there to catch and transfer heat from the top piece of the 2 piece adjustable heatsink assembly. ;)
(http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v313/3rd_shift/SANY0053.jpg)

Reinstall the wired switch assembly (see the D cell assembly for more on this)  with your 5/64ths allen wrench and arctic alumina a 2 watt rated 1.5 ohm resistor just like so.
The two 4-5 inch long red (+) wires are coming from it.
It's other end is soldered to the center tab contact of the switch assembly.
(http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v313/3rd_shift/SANY0055.jpg)

Too much heatsink grease just isn't enough is it?  :snorting:
(http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v313/3rd_shift/SANY0056.jpg)

Here is a blurry photo of the C cell's wiring. 
See the D cell assembly for a clearer picture of the same series parallel wiring, my bad. :dontknow:
(http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v313/3rd_shift/SANY0060.jpg)

Load in some batteries and try it out with a dc ampmeter.
This one pulls about 1.2 amps from 2 lithium ion 18500 batteries.
This is a healthy power draw for this light with these leds at 600 milliamps per led. :)
This light is close to 600 lumens and can still be left on for quite a while without getting too hot.  :thumbup:

This next step is a good idea to keep those metal 17mm reflectors from sliding around and scraping off the soft gel domes from the SSC P4 leds.  :crybaby2:
Regular 2 part epoxy was used in this case.

(http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v313/3rd_shift/SANY0061.jpg)

Apply it to the tops of the emitter flanges without it getting onto the domes themselves.
Then apply it to the bottoms of the reflectors and set them down on top of the led shoulders and "bullseye" center them as you do.
Let it cure hard 1st with the flashlight standing straight up.
Do not install the bezel yet.
If some excess runs down onto the stars, that is actually good.
We want that to happen in this case for a good adhesive grip to hold the reflectors still and centered when the bezel is put back on later. ;)
(http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v313/3rd_shift/SANY0062.jpg)

Beamshots! :naughty:

Here it is also embarrassing a 60 watt vanity bulb.
(http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v313/3rd_shift/SANY0068.jpg)

On the right is the 6D 4x Cree XRE at 9 volts x 1.1 amps.
Center is a 2c MiniMonsterQuad with 4 WWOT Luxeon5 leds at 7.5 volts x 3.5 amps.
Left is the 2c 4X USWOH SSC P4 led at 7.5 volts X 1.2 amps.
(http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v313/3rd_shift/SANY0071.jpg)

Same lights versus a Thor 15 million candlepower rated cordless gelcell spotlight.
(http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v313/3rd_shift/SANY0072.jpg)

Happy modding! :thumbsup:
Title: Re: DIY Maglite c/d led quads @ 500+ lumens with Cree XRE and SSC P4's: lotsa pi
Post by: nanotech17 on August 08, 2007, 12:17:32 AM
Thx 3rd_shift,
Great mod  ;)
when i look at the parts number,
you must have used the silicone
coated wirewound resistor then.
and also do you think 19mm fraen reflector would fit?
what about these resistor is it the same?
http://cgi.ebay.com/5-Watt-Power-Resistors-1-Ohm-Lot-of-4_W0QQitemZ220137086241QQihZ012QQcategoryZ4660QQrdZ1QQssPageNameZWD1VQQcmdZViewItem
Title: Re: DIY Maglite c/d led quads @ 500+ lumens with Cree XRE and SSC P4's: lotsa pics!
Post by: Geologist on August 08, 2007, 11:11:39 AM
Uh - sticky!!!!!!!
Title: Re: DIY Maglite c/d led quads @ 500+ lumens with Cree XRE and SSC P4's: lotsa pi
Post by: regentag on August 09, 2007, 08:47:44 AM
Well, I'm impressed.   :thumbup: :thumbup:

Cheers,
Title: Re: DIY Maglite c/d led quads @ 500+ lumens with Cree XRE and SSC P4's: lotsa pi
Post by: 3rd_shift on August 11, 2007, 03:18:15 PM
Updated 1st post with a couple more videos and pictures.  ;)
Title: Re: DIY Maglite c/d led quads @ 500+ lumens with Cree XRE and SSC P4's: lotsa pics!
Post by: EricMack on August 11, 2007, 03:45:50 PM
OK, time to break out the soldering iron...  :thumbup:
Title: Re: DIY Maglite c/d led quads @ 500+ lumens with Cree XRE and SSC P4's: lotsa pics!
Post by: arewethereyetdad on August 11, 2007, 06:18:26 PM
OK, time to break out the soldering iron...  :thumbup:

Oh, puhlease.  More like "time to break the soldering iron."  :laughing7:

Gorgeous work, 3rd!  :thumbup: :thumbup:
Title: Re: DIY Maglite c/d led quads @ 500+ lumens with Cree XRE and SSC P4's: lotsa pics!
Post by: EricMack on August 11, 2007, 08:09:34 PM
OK, time to break out the soldering iron...  :thumbup:

Oh, puhlease.  More like "time to break the soldering iron."  :laughing7:

Gorgeous work, 3rd!  :thumbup: :thumbup:

You're such a tool,   I wouldn't sleep well tonight if I were you, Skybus has $30 fares to KC, guess what I just found....  ;)
Title: Re: DIY Maglite c/d led quads @ 500+ lumens with Cree XRE and SSC P4's: lotsa pics!
Post by: arewethereyetdad on August 11, 2007, 08:57:09 PM
OK, time to break out the soldering iron...  :thumbup:

Oh, puhlease.  More like "time to break the soldering iron."  :laughing7:

Gorgeous work, 3rd!  :thumbup: :thumbup:

You're such a tool,   I wouldn't sleep well tonight if I were you, Skybus has $30 fares to KC, guess what I just found....  ;)

Got me.  I'll be good.  :laughing7:
Title: Re: DIY Maglite c/d led quads @ 500+ lumens with Cree XRE and SSC P4's: lotsa pi
Post by: 3rd_shift on August 12, 2007, 06:45:48 PM
 :rotflmao: :headbang:

I must admit;
There are at least 2 of you in this thread that I would love to have help me moderate my forum if I ever get time to get that one going.  :thumbup:

But for now, if anyone has links to parts that can be used to make lights like these, please do feel free to post links to those. ;)
Stuff like;
Heatsinks, emitter stars, resistors, driver boards, etc.
Even good deals on Maglites can help too.

I'm all done with selling modded Maglites for a while.
I would like you guys to do this instead and discover the joy of Magmodding like I did over 3 years ago.  :wav:
Title: Re: DIY Maglite c/d led quads @ 500+ lumens with Cree XRE and SSC P4's: lotsa pi
Post by: regentag on August 13, 2007, 01:22:30 AM
Oh,,, pshaw!  You're too kind.

Flattery will get you everywhere! :-[

Don't know much about your forum, but everyone knows Troy has a 'thing' for Maglites.

Title: Re: DIY Maglite c/d led quads @ 500+ lumens with Cree XRE and SSC P4's: lotsa pi
Post by: arewethereyetdad on August 16, 2007, 01:09:18 AM
Oh,,, pshaw!  You're too kind.

Flattery will get you everywhere! :-[

Don't know much about your forum, but everyone knows Troy has a 'thing' for Maglites.



Yeah, for me it's always a toss-up between my Ti 27LT proto and my 2AA mag.  :laughing7:
Title: Re: DIY Maglite c/d led quads @ 500+ lumens with Cree XRE and SSC P4's: lotsa pi
Post by: regentag on August 17, 2007, 06:52:25 PM
Reminds of that old joke...

"... well, I don't have a Ti 27LT proto bound and gagged in my hall closet!"

:rotflmao:

Title: Re: DIY Maglite c/d led quads @ 500+ lumens with Cree XRE and SSC P4's: lotsa pics!
Post by: Geologist on August 17, 2007, 07:23:25 PM
Reminds of that old joke...

"... well, I don't have a Ti 27LT proto bound and gagged in my hall closet!"

:rotflmao:



OK THAT is funny :rotflmao:

3rdshift - whats next?  something beyond the Mag Host?
Title: Re: DIY Maglite c/d led quads @ 500+ lumens with Cree XRE and SSC P4's: lotsa pi
Post by: 3rd_shift on August 17, 2007, 09:39:03 PM
I really should go beyond the Maglite host.
It's actually my main limitation now in the quest for more lumens.
For now, it's all I have time for, and it's widely available for anyone else to copy what I did.
I encourage that with all my heart in fact. ;)

When I have more time, I seriously do want to make, or have made, my own lights.
I could then dust off my old business name of "3rd Shift Lights" and put that on them. :)
These would also say "Made in Texas."  8)
Title: Re: DIY Maglite c/d led quads @ 500+ lumens with Cree XRE and SSC P4's: lotsa pics!
Post by: Geologist on August 18, 2007, 02:42:06 PM
3rdS- we will be waiting for the 3S Special!
Title: Re: DIY Maglite c/d led quads @ 500+ lumens with Cree XRE and SSC P4's: lotsa pi
Post by: 3rd_shift on August 23, 2007, 09:50:48 PM
I updated the 1st post with links to my other 2 how to's so that anyone can get to them from here.
Geo, you may unsticky those now to make some room for others. ;)

Edit: Added this important step to post #1.

The head needs to be secured so that it won't turn anymore and tear up the wiring inside.   :BangHead:
Drill an 1/8 hole about a quarter to a half inch in like this and put a metal plug in there that sits flush,
 or slightly below the top of the hole once inside.
This will jam the threads and stop the head from turning anymore. ;)
(http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v313/3rd_shift/SANY0081.jpg)
A 2D was used to demonstrate this step, but this works with all C/D Maglites that I know of.
Here is another picture with the head removed again. :P
(http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v313/3rd_shift/SANY0080.jpg)

Title: Re: DIY Maglite c/d led quads @ 500+ lumens with Cree XRE and SSC P4's: lotsa pics!
Post by: Aircraft800 on October 08, 2007, 11:37:28 AM
I still hoping that someone posts some good resources to where I can find all of these parts. DX has some emitters, The Shoppe has some too, but noone has those fraen reflectors you talk about :'(

I need to gather all of my parts first.

Thanks!
Title: Re: DIY Maglite c/d led quads @ 500+ lumens with Cree XRE and SSC P4's: lotsa pi
Post by: 3rd_shift on October 09, 2007, 11:03:47 PM
cpf market place.
Or www.photonfanatic.com
Photonfanatic has the reflectors for SSC P4's.
These are plastic and ideal for Cree XRE's actually with minimal modification.
Just widen out thier bottoms with a small sharp tool for the Cree XRE's and put-em on bullseye dead centered. ;)
Don't forget to check in the group buys area for some excellent Cree XRE stars.
Title: Re: DIY Maglite c/d led quads @ 500+ lumens with Cree XRE and SSC P4's: lotsa pics!
Post by: gyssedk on November 16, 2007, 10:57:40 PM
i have a question for 3rd_shift, why dont you use the electronic boards for the power supply?

dont you loose a lot of energy in the resistor in the form of heat?

just me wondering?

Claus
Title: Re: DIY Maglite c/d led quads @ 500+ lumens with Cree XRE and SSC P4's: lotsa pics!
Post by: 3rd_shift on November 24, 2007, 05:59:43 PM
I have used those and liked them.
In this case, the battery voltage was not much above the voltage needed by the led emitters.
Plus the batteries used (nimh D cells for the 6D, lithium ion, or even lithium 123 primaries for the 2c) have a fairly steady output during thier discharge for good runtime and excellent performance throughout it.
As such, a slight amount of resistance isn't much waste in this case.
Heck, in this case, a regulator board would have wasted as much, or more of the power than a simple and slight resistor would have on a well balanced circuit like this.

Also, MrBulk's Lionhearts and Lioncubs were really direct drive with thier pulse width modulated boards for good efficiency and good led whiteness tint consistency at all brightness levels.
I have liked those.

This project is really meant for those wanting maximum bang for thier buck with the least amount of Murphy's law to fight with. ;)
Title: Re: DIY Maglite c/d led quads @ 500+ lumens with Cree XRE and SSC P4's: lotsa pics!
Post by: nolan on March 21, 2009, 12:47:49 AM
I of course realize that this is an old thread, and it is quite likely that most people here already know this. But in case anyone doesn't know. 3RD shift passed on to whats next. I really liked the guy and I learned a lot from his posts. So I decided to add this here. I should have done way before now. RIP 3RD SHIFT :(
Title: Re: DIY Maglite c/d led quads @ 500+ lumens with Cree XRE and SSC P4's: lotsa pics!
Post by: p moore on March 23, 2009, 01:14:54 AM
But the light still burns!
Title: Re: DIY Maglite c/d led quads @ 500+ lumens with Cree XRE and SSC P4's: lotsa pics!
Post by: rera on October 14, 2010, 09:19:09 PM
Here is another video showing disassembly of an older pre 2001 2c Maglite.
It is different.
http://smg.photobucket.com/albums/v313/3rd_shift/?action=view&current=SANY0088.MP4.flv (http://smg.photobucket.com/albums/v313/3rd_shift/?action=view&current=SANY0088.MP4.flv)
 

I can't see the video. Do I need a password?