Inspiration and build:
Lots of parts came together for this magmod. I am trying to get as much light as possible out of a 2D mag (which slips into my coat's pocket nicely) while aiming for around half-an-hour's runtime, which is usually enough for me. Also want to stick with NiMH for now.
I got a FM tri-bored 2D mag (nice ) some time ago and the other parts have been coming in slowly.
I originally intended to replicate AWR's M85 (regulated Mag85) so I built a 9xGP2000 4/5A battery pack by end-to end soldering. Andrew warned there was little depth available for springs etc so I aimed to hardwire the pack to the mag switch.
Before getting the hotdriver, I constructed an un-regulated Mag85 for practise and made sure to rest the pack well before switching on. I did the major resistance fixes (tail spring, bulb holder spring and ground path) and used a FM bi-pin adaptor in the mag socket.
That was one nice, bright light, tho I did find the beam was artifacty on flood with a smooth reflector, and my medium stipple really killed the throw.
Then the excitement about the 1164 @ 9.6v started and so I decided to try them out.
The bulbs and hotdriver arrived at about the same time, so on with the build.
First the already modified switch needed a groove to allow the -ve hard wire to run through:
And then both wires were soldered onto the appropriate contacts. The +ve I've since moved down a couple of turns on the spring and made more groves in the underside of the switch to allow the wire to sit flush - that battery pack really is tight!
I started with mini Tamiya connectors, but while they fitted into the tailcap on their own, with wires attached, no way. So I tried bullet connectors from CBP. Here are the switch and a charging adaptor I made up:
And the battery pack (the tape will be tided when I'm finished!):
But these connectors were still so tight a fit that the tailcap was biting into the wire insulation
Some more looking around found some 9v snap connectors. They came with very thin wire, so I tried them at full length running the 1185 for 10 minutes, they didn't get more than slightly warm, so I cut them off as short as practical and they seem to work. Again, the tape will be tided and replaced with heat shrink when I'm done (going to run new wire everywhere too):
AWR was slightly worried that running the 9 cells into 9.6v would be more diference than the hotdriver would be happy with, but he then said (direct quote) "i'll replace the FET if it gets damaged in the name of science, so don't worry about trying." With a great offer like that, nothing to lose
And I was taken with the idea of being able to regulate the bulb through to what should be 1900mah or more of 2000mah quoted (they'll hold 1.1v to about 1900 at 15amps and I'm pulling just over 4amps). Which should give 25 minutes or so of running.
Amazingly, it all worked fine first time!
Review, comments and beamshots:
This torch is noticably brighter than the Mag85 So success there from the start
My Scout Troop are very impressed with the speed it sets paper on fire
The beam pattern, particularly with the smooth reflector, has what I instantly dubbed an "X-wing" artifact pattern (quick and dirty beamshot):
: 4 "wing" shadows and a bright hotspot either side of the central shadow looking a bit like the engines (am I the only sad geek around? ).
Anyway, this bulb throws much more light onto the trees down the field (150metres give or take) behind our house than the Mag85. Using the same smooth reflector each time, my ROP kinda reached them (you were aware of the hotspot without it really helping), the Mag 85 lit them a bit (enough to be useful), one tree at a time, the M64 lights them 3 at a time to the same sort of level as the Mag85. But the artifacts are really noticable. So it won't focus as tightly/cleanly but there's a lot more light down range.
The medium stipple (adjusted to the tightest spot it will) means that the Mag85 will hardly touch those trees (although the way to them is well lit!) but the M64 really starts to look good as the stipple cleans up the beam and doesn't seem to affect the throw much. So you end up with a bunch of nice light over 2 or 3 trees.
Turning the MS to flood, the M64 really fills my whole back garden - looks like day time to my eyes. Reaches a good half way across the field too. The Mag85 was already OK like this but the MS sacrificed too much throw to want to use it.
I've got a simple-ish digital camera, which does have manual control so I know the settings are similar for all these photos. However, they are very underexposed compared to what my eyes see and it's been too cold to want to mess around with the settings too much, so the pics below aren't as much use as they could be (all suggestions greatfully received). They were taken at iso100 f2-6 speed1-15. The trees used are in our back garden, not the ones down the field. I also tried the camera on these, and its automatic mode, across the field but it couldn't pick anything up.
The spot pictures are clipped but otherwise untampered with, the M64 is slightly brighter overall but not a great difference at this range. Despite the pictures looking black otherwise, the spill beam on each is doing a reasonable job of lighting everything else (much better than the spot of a standard 2D mag!).
The flood pictures I had to work on the contrast with. I used the automatic settings on PaintShopPro, I'm not sure if the same settings have different actions on different pictures. When I put them all together, I was suprised to see that the sky was coming brighter as well on the M64 pics, especially the med stipple shot. I looked for a while, and wondered about the image program as above, but decided that despite the washed out colours (bright and clear to my eyes in real life) and possible enhancment problems, the pictures were actually a pretty good represenation of the differences between the torches. So maybe it's the limitations of the camera. Anyhow, the M64 on med stipple flood really is that much better than the Mag85. Lights the trees, the hedge, the climbing frame, everything Also notice artifacts on the M64 smooth shot
I love throw so I'm waiting to get FM's 3" head on this, but until then I'd say, with the medium stipple reflector, it's got the Mag85 either drawn or beaten on every count. The smooth gives too poor a beam quality to want to use.
Anyone got a light stipple I could try ?
Or any ideas on getting any more light out a 2D?