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Thread: SureFire Kroma :under the hood

  1. #1
    *Flashaholic* McGizmo's Avatar
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    Default SureFire Kroma :under the hood

    Hi guys,

    I just wanted to share a couple images with you. PK gave me a Kroma that wasn't sealed with the liquid weld or whatever it is that now seals the SF lights and keeps me from even considering taking them apart. I was able to remove the bezel from this particular Kroma and peek inside:





    Now I read on occasion how SF is behind the times and not keeping current with LED technology and yes, this light has a Luxeon as its high power LED. However, I challange anyone to show me a more sophisticated LED flashlight in terms of electrical and mechanical engineering and machining! There is a black plastic LED organizer ring on the front end of the 3 mm LED's but the black you see in the mid portion of the LED leads and partially sticking out the rear of the PCB is all one piece of machined aluminum. This is the LED's heat sink and I did not photograph the LED and optic pocket that is machined to host the Luxeon and TIR optic but it is quite impressive. Eight connector pins join the forward section to the aft electronics and switch assembly.

    To this untrained and ignorant person, the engineering of this flashlight is more akin to other personal electronic devices in terms of complexity than it is to a simple tube style flashlight.

    It is what it is and I for one am not going to engage in discussing what it might be; I keep those thoughts and opinions to myself (and maybe share with a friend who doesn't need such feedback from me! ).

    Anyway, IMHO, what it is is most impressive on many levels and simply beyond my understanding. I didn't take it completely apart but I can see three PCB's that are each double sided. 2 functions from the tail switch through 5 channels available from the selector ring gives you a total of 10 different beam outputs. This from a reasonably straight forward user interface.

    I asked Paul if he would mind if I shared the pics and he said go ahead so I have. No further point or motive to this thread here beyond a simple show of under the hood. From a mechanical frame of reference that I feel reasonably comfortable with, the SF A2 broke ground with its billet head. The Kroma continues in such a vein with its integration of metal and electronics with a packaging requiring some sophisticated engineering or so it seems to me; at least in relative terms.
    Build Prices .... some mods and builds (not 4 sale) "Nature can be cruel- but we don't have to be."~ Temple Grandin

  2. #2
    *Flashaholic* greenLED's Avatar
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    Default Re: SureFire Kroma :under the hood

    Don!

    The only time I've seen the innards of a SF, was a KL1 that I helped a friend mod. I was impressed at the level of detail that's found inside these things. Of course one look at the top end of the A2's battery tube should be a hint too...

  3. #3
    Flashaholic* Chronos's Avatar
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    Buttrock Re: SureFire Kroma :under the hood

    Wowza! That is very, very impressive. I simply had no idea.

    Thanks Don for the pics (and the nerve to take your Kroma apart...). Here's hoping it went back together again, and worked!

    OK, so the obvious question: Can you throw a Seoul in there???
    A few favorite lights from: McGizmo, Data, milkyspit, HDS, and Surefire

  4. #4
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    Kiessling's Avatar
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    Default Re: SureFire Kroma :under the hood

    WTH ??!?!?!?! This is looking freaking awesome.

    All this complex stuff is the price for the KISS interface then? I am more than impressed.

    Thanx for sharing!

    bernie
    There is a type of perfection that transcends the quest for lumens. Buying a $250 1-cell light for "lum factor" is like buying a $250 single malt Scotch for the alcohol content.
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  5. #5
    *Flashaholic* McGizmo's Avatar
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    Default Re: SureFire Kroma :under the hood

    Quote Originally Posted by Chronos View Post
    Wowza! .........Here's hoping it went back together again, and worked!

    OK, so the obvious question: Can you throw a Seoul in there???
    Yes, it went back together and worked just fine. To your obvious question I quote myself:

    ...It is what it is and I for one am not going to engage in discussing what it might be; I keep those thoughts and opinions to myself .....
    Build Prices .... some mods and builds (not 4 sale) "Nature can be cruel- but we don't have to be."~ Temple Grandin

  6. #6
    Flashaholic* Chronos's Avatar
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    Popcorn Re: SureFire Kroma :under the hood

    Quote Originally Posted by McGizmo View Post

    It is what it is and I for one am not going to engage in discussing what it might be; I keep those thoughts and opinions to myself (and maybe share with a friend who doesn't need such feedback from me! ).
    Gee, I was hoping I could fall into the "...share with a friend (or, as I was hoping in my case, a kind, rather dimwitted and thoughtful acquaintance)

    Just kidding.
    A few favorite lights from: McGizmo, Data, milkyspit, HDS, and Surefire

  7. #7
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    Default Re: SureFire Kroma :under the hood

    That looks more sophisticated than my computer!

  8. #8
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    Default Re: SureFire Kroma :under the hood

    I would have bet money on it not being that complex - and I am not a betting man.

    After you see what makes her tick and have an understanding of the costs to engineer, test and manufacture such a beast, helps me justify the $$$ I spend on mine. Really a pice of high technology more than a flashlight.

    I wonder if some of the other "high tech" lights are that involved - U2 may be similar but what about the Fenix stuff - I bet not.
    Some good stuff & a pile of cheap stuff

  9. #9
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    Default Re: SureFire Kroma :under the hood

    Thanks for sharing those pics Don, it is nice to finally get a look inside the head of a Kroma or any other Surefire for that matter.

    The opened head of an A2 like greenLED said should show most, that there is a whole lot more than meets the eye.

  10. #10

    Default Re: SureFire Kroma :under the hood

    Thanks for sharing those pics, Don. Really, really nice and sophisticated electronics! You are braver than I would be! I'd never get it back together again.

  11. #11

    Default Re: SureFire Kroma :under the hood

    can you surf the internet with that thing?

  12. #12
    Flashaholic* EV_007's Avatar
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    Default Re: SureFire Kroma :under the hood

    Excellent images. I love the straight forward interface and innovative design of the Kroma. Thanks for the peek inside.
    TWO is ONE and ONE is NONE, but THREE is more FUN.
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  13. #13

    Default Re: SureFire Kroma :under the hood

    Those pictures are so beautiful ......I think.....I'm....gonna ...cry.

    Nice job, gives me a whole new appreciation of my Kroma.

    I hemmed and hawed about blowing the dough for it but once I got it I was happy. Now I'm even happier.

  14. #14

    Default Re: SureFire Kroma :under the hood

    Those are some very impressive internals. Now they just need to put a Cree Q5 or Lumileds K2 TFFC in there!

    KROMA
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    Flashaholic* Brozneo's Avatar
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    Default Re: SureFire Kroma :under the hood

    Quote Originally Posted by KROMATICS View Post
    Those are some very impressive internals. Now they just need to put a Cree Q5 or Lumileds K2 TFFC in there!
    Now that would be worth buying! Especially if they used a reflector (don't like optics too much)
    BROZNEO

  16. #16
    Flashaholic RainerWahnsinn's Avatar
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    Default Re: SureFire Kroma :under the hood

    Thanks for sharing. I´m happy to own one and proud to show it in my avatar.

    Rainer

  17. #17
    Flashaholic* Tempest UK's Avatar
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    Default Re: SureFire Kroma :under the hood

    Very impressive. Many a time I have nearly bought a Kroma...for some reason something else always seemed more important. Now I want one again

    Regards,
    Tempest

  18. #18

    Default Re: SureFire Kroma :under the hood

    Absolutely amazing, Don! So glad I have a Kroma, otherwise I would need to get one now!
    Bo Hansen
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  19. #19

    Default Re: SureFire Kroma :under the hood

    I finally got a KROMA-MILSPEC today and I'm glad I stumbled upon this thread. Thanks for taking the time to share the pics!

    - Chris

  20. #20
    *Flashaholic* Illum's Avatar
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    Default Re: SureFire Kroma :under the hood

    @#$%!?
    Last edited by Illum; 03-26-2008 at 07:50 AM. Reason: whoops

  21. #21

    Default Re: SureFire Kroma :under the hood

    Got any shots of the unit facing the camera (so we can see what the TIR looks like a bit more). Also, Don, Should I buy a Kroma? (aside the fact that I have to spend my own money)?

  22. #22
    *Flashaholic* McGizmo's Avatar
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    Default Re: SureFire Kroma :under the hood

    Quote Originally Posted by Lightingguy321 View Post
    Got any shots of the unit facing the camera (so we can see what the TIR looks like a bit more). Also, Don, Should I buy a Kroma? (aside the fact that I have to spend my own money)?
    Sorry, no other shots of it. As to if you should buy a Kroma? If you have need or use for its features, primarily the red and blue LED's then maybe so. If not, then maybe not.

    I think the Kroma is an incredible platform with all kinds of potential as is and in other possible variations (yet to be offered; if they will be offered).
    Build Prices .... some mods and builds (not 4 sale) "Nature can be cruel- but we don't have to be."~ Temple Grandin

  23. #23
    Flashaholic* 65535's Avatar
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    Default Re: SureFire Kroma :under the hood

    They happened to have a Milspec kroma with all the bells and whistles at plaza cutlery, next time I go I may have to pick one up. Certainly is a hell of a light. PK has his work cut out for him when designing lights for SF. Thanks for the pics McG,
    Hobbyist LED information Website
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  24. #24
    Flashaholic* FrogmanM's Avatar
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    Default Re: SureFire Kroma :under the hood

    Thats like looking under the hood of an old american muscle car: classic!

    +1 to Plaza Cutlery

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  25. #25
    Flashaholic Masque's Avatar
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    Default Re: SureFire Kroma :under the hood

    Wow. Those two LARGE screws next to the headsink just SCREAM "take me out! Take me out!"

    I suppose it's not as simple as two screws and dropping the optic, but one can dream.

  26. #26
    *Flashaholic* Illum's Avatar
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    Default Re: SureFire Kroma :under the hood

    mmm, I didn't expect to see completely different driver boards between the Kroma and the PKEF lights...
    compared to Iced_theater's review of Surefire PKEF-A: An inside look
    unfortunately the links to the pics after a year old decided to crap out
    I've loaded the pics I can find from cache here, without the permission of Iced_theater here: http://s60.photobucket.com/albums/h38/Rssl_wei/PKEF-A/

    its different, very different

    Quote Originally Posted by Chronos View Post
    It is something of a prototyoe of the Kroma. It uses a LuxV (vs. LuxIII in Kroma) and 5mm LEDs in the ring vs. 3mm LEDs for the Kroma. The head is also considerably larger, something of a "turbo head" to fit the larger diameter LEDs and optic.
    anyone have a clue as to why the driver boards require 2 ports of 4 traces to a second PCB while typical multi-mode boards usually just have 2?
    Last edited by Illum; 03-26-2008 at 07:45 AM.

  27. #27
    *Flashaholic* Size15's's Avatar
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    Default Re: SureFire Kroma :under the hood

    The Kromas are developed from the DEF/PKEF lights so I am not surprised to see a difference

  28. #28
    *Flashaholic* Illum's Avatar
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    Default Re: SureFire Kroma :under the hood

    redesigning a light is one thing, redesigning a driver board is...well, not outside our expectations from a company of this caliber

  29. #29
    Flashaholic* Cydonia's Avatar
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    Default Re: SureFire Kroma :under the hood

    That's amazing alright!
    Forgive my blasphemy, but it's scary almost... Am I the only one to think of it in this way?

  30. #30
    Flashaholic* mwaldron's Avatar
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    Default Re: SureFire Kroma :under the hood

    Quote Originally Posted by nobita View Post
    can you surf the internet with that thing?
    No, but I hear a hacker group has a Pac Man port in beta...

    I knew I should have bought that Kroma MilSpec from CPFM a few weeks ago. Perhaps I'll wait for the upgraded high-beam though.
    New Years Resolution 2010: I will neither purchase nor recommend any LED light that is not at least neutral, preferably warm.

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