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Thread: DIY - 17.5 MCP to H4 55w HID host conversion

  1. #1
    Flashaholic* M@elstrom's Avatar
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    Evilgrin07 Professional's Favourite (MotorPRO) 55w HID host conversion

    Professional's Favourite (MotorPRO) 17.5Mcp rechargeable spotlight
    D.I.Y. - H4 HID conversion




    Recently I purchased a MotorPro 17.5MCP rechargeable spotlight from a local retail store 'Kmart' for about $45.00 AUD (you can find additional details in the 'good deals' forum) and was firstly blown away by it's performance and sheer size (it's a monster sized spotlight) but quite disappointed by less than adequate run times, I was looking for a solution...

    Along came CPF's KrisP with an offer to share a (relatively) cheap Chinese 4300K HID kit purchased from eBay, eventually we agreed on a 55w unit






    Unfortunately the ballast complete with it's protruding connectors would not fit the available space in the spotlight's casing, thus some modding will be necessary







    Relevant Dimensional Specifications:

    Battery compartment (W) 68mm x (H) 98mm x (D) 150mm
    Ballast casing (W) 80mm x (H) 90mm x (D) 30mm
    Reflector (W) 123mm x (D) 90mm
    Total mass (modified) 5.0kg





    Step 1 preparing the ballast
    The excess aluminium was cut off the ballast housing (using a hacksaw) and filed down to remove any rough edging, the socket pins were also cut back flush with the ballast casing.



    The bulb-to-ballast loom had it's connector removed and wires stripped back & soldered to the 2 shortened ballast output pins (ensuring correct polarity).



    Next heat shrink was applied to protect & re-enforce the soldered feed connection.




    I carefully cut & peeled the metal crimped cover off (the high voltage line) to gain access to the aluminium collar underneath, this in turn was slowly trimmed away with a hacksaw making sure as to NOT pierce the high voltage line (which would've effectively ruined the ballast), the modified ballast unit was then simply affixed with that wonderful double sided foam tape primarily used to hold external automotive protective door trim/strips in place.






    Step 2 - building a H4 mounting collar/focus shim


    I made 3 attempts to create a suitable shim/collar ending up with the one you see below, with a bit of trick grinding/tool work I was able to retain the original wire clip retention concept for the HID globe, the added clearance equaled 11.38mm (using my digital caliper)




    Specifically I took a piece of 50mm (inner diameter) steel tubing in this case from an old bed frame and cut a 23mm collar from it, making 6 vertical cuts approximately 11.62mm in depth (positioned in relation to the tongues of the globe base) I folded them down to support the globe base (because 50mm tubing is slightly too big), next with the grinder (and cutting wheel) I made 2 horizontal slots opening one up for the retention clip (see diagram below)








    The H4 HID globe was secured using the original bulb retainer spring however due to differing bulb characteristics the HID bulb sits too far into the reflector assembly causing an over focus effect complete with nasty artifacts (still nice and bright though!)

    I compromised between a beam without artifacts & a tight focus point, personally I prefer the pencil beam characteristic & thus was it my goal when setting up the HID globe, below is a beam shot (comparison) using exactly the same set of parameters (note the slight hint of artifact on the unfocused HID), sorry I don't have a tripod for my camera





    Well that's pretty much it for this project for the moment it didn't turn out too bad IMHO, performance is good for an all up cost of around $100.00 AUD though I wouldn't mind using the original low beam feature somehow but that's for another day... perhaps an LED auxiliary lamp OR built in voltmeter? any questions? suggestions feel free to post in this thread


    EDIT - I finally purchased a decent digital camera so here's the long overdue 'true beam shot' this image is of a local derelict farm house located 300 meters (328 yards) from the roadway

    Shutter speed of 2.5sec - Canon Powershot A590IS

    Last edited by M@elstrom; 05-10-2012 at 09:14 AM. Reason: Updated with pictures & final completion data

  2. #2
    Flashaholic* jasonck08's Avatar
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    Default Re: 17.5 MCP to 55w HID host conversion...

    cool... how much was the 55W HID and ballast?

  3. #3
    Flashaholic* M@elstrom's Avatar
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    Default Re: 17.5 MCP to 55w HID host conversion...

    IIRC the total kit was in the vacinity of $100.00 AUD (delivered), so it only cost me $50.00 AUD

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    Flashaholic* Essexman's Avatar
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    Default Re: 17.5 MCP to 55w HID host conversion...

    Nice tutorial and pics, thanks for taking the time to explain the mod and write it up.
    cheers


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    Flashaholic* AlexGT's Avatar
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    Default Re: 17.5 MCP to 55w HID host conversion...

    I used a piece of PVC pipe to back off the bulb for a nice spot using a 35W HID bulb

    Maybe it can handle the heat of the 55W bulb, From what Ebayer did you purchase the ballast and bulb from?

    AlexGT

  6. #6
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    Default Re: 17.5 MCP to 55w HID host conversion...

    It was the cheapest one we could find. Item number: 190218755945.

    Once you spaced the bulb back with the PVC, how did you hold the bulb in place?

  7. #7
    BVH's Avatar
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    Default Re: 17.5 MCP to 55w HID host conversion...

    Similar situation. You could either drill/punch some new holes higher on the rim or cut the retainer into two pieces and install each one separately. Try different positions until it applies tension on the bulb.
    WWII 60" Anti Aircraft Carbon Arc (Sold), Short Arcs: 1.6KW NightSun, 1KW VSS-3A, .8KW TrakkaBeam, 600 Watt M-134 Gun Light, 500 Watt X-500-14s, 500 Watt Starburst, 300 Watt Locators, Megaray, 150 Watt Set Beam & Communicator, Maxabeam Gen3, LarryK14@52V

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    Flashaholic* M@elstrom's Avatar
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    Au Re: 17.5 MCP to 55w HID host conversion...

    Quote Originally Posted by KrisP View Post
    Once you spaced the bulb back with the PVC, how did you hold the bulb in place?
    Easy... using a metal collar with tongue points for the HID globe, then pot rivet the 'collar' in place on the original reflector mounts


    **N.B. added final project data to original post**
    Last edited by M@elstrom; 05-22-2008 at 11:48 PM.

  9. #9
    Flashaholic* Hallis's Avatar
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    Default Re: 17.5 MCP to 55w HID host conversion...

    Very nice mod, especially after you got the bulb focused to the right spot

    Shane
    -Shane
    My Lights: Ginseng: Polaris TK (Prototype) | FiveMega:HA-Gray 6x123, HA3 8AA-2D, Mag458 PhotonFanatic: CNC-123: EN | Arc: Arc4+ #334 | Mr. Bulk: VIP, Chameleon, Lionheart |

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    Flashaholic* rizky_p's Avatar
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    Default Re: 17.5 MCP to 55w HID host conversion...

    As with any HIDs, Outdoor shots please
    M@g 623->633, M@g 250, M@g 5761, Penta Cree Q2 M@g (Maxflex), 35w HID Spotlight mod,
    M@g Aspherical Q5, M@g P7, Triple M@g P7(DW)

  11. #11
    Flashaholic* M@elstrom's Avatar
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    Default Re: 17.5 MCP to 55w HID host conversion...

    Quote Originally Posted by rizky_p View Post
    As with any HIDs, Outdoor shots please

    Hmmm... that should prove to be a good trick, our digital camera is only rated as ISO100 even taking pictures in artificial lighting conditions (inside/fluorescent) has proven to be beyond the capabilities of this camera

    I did get to play around with it after work (on the way home) and noted it significantly out threw my 4x4's 130w spotlights even in the foggy/misty conditions of last evening...
    Last edited by M@elstrom; 05-24-2008 at 08:18 AM.
    My modest collection HERE & 55w HID spotlight project HERE

  12. #12

    Default Re: 17.5 MCP to 55w HID host conversion...

    Quote Originally Posted by M@elstrom View Post
    Hmmm... that should prove to be a good trick, our digital camera is only rated as ISO100 even taking pictures in artificial lighting conditions (inside/fluorescent) has proven to be beyond the capabilities of this camera

    I did get to play around with it after work (on the way home) and noted it significantly out threw my 4x4's 130w spotlights even in the foggy/misty conditions of last evening...
    Very nice mod!

    I remember you asked me about the 17.5mcp when you saw it in my avatar.
    Now I have something else very powerful in my avatar.

    I have the exact 17.5 million candlepower spotlight you have, except mine is "Professional's Favorite" branded.

    Even with the stock 120W H4 mine has a brighter hotspot than my Power On Board HID, so I can't imagine how bright it must be with that HID!

    And you really picked the right light for an HID mod, because it has a larger reflector than the 15mcp Thor and the Costco HID (I have heard the 15mcp Thor and Costco HID have the same size reflectors, and my 17.5mcp has a larger reflector than my 15mcp Thor).

    Where did you get your "Motorpro" version?

  13. #13
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    Default Re: 17.5 MCP to 55w HID host conversion...


  14. #14
    Flashaholic* M@elstrom's Avatar
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    Thumbs up Re: 17.5 MCP to 55w HID host conversion...

    I'm currently getting around the 40 minute mark for runtime which was better than when it ran the 120w H4, could be my SLA isn't up to snuff as I expected a little more as far as runtime goes, perhaps a 12mAh might be in order?

    Hopefully to KrisP's delight I've managed to fit the ballast unit flush to the rear of the reflector cavity (details in opening thread), suffice to say there's now plenty of clearance behind that HID bulb

    I'll endeavour to try and 'borrow' a better quality digicam for some nice night beamshots... I can't wipe the grin off my face whilst using this thing, sadly now because I've been spoilt by such lumen output even my 50w hot-wire M@g seems a little lack luster

    I've already been requested to do another 'upgrade' to my Father-in-law's MotorPRO spotlight (purchased earlier the same day) so I might be busy again soon (those collars took a few hours of painstaking measurement & trimming), in fact it's got me looking at what I used to think was a pretty good set of lights on our 4WD and thinking HID retro fitment!
    My modest collection HERE & 55w HID spotlight project HERE

  15. #15
    Flashaholic* Pila_Power's Avatar
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    Default Re: 17.5 MCP to 55w HID host conversion...

    Well after reading all of this I just HAD to rush out to K-Mart and buy myself one of these BIG hosts... and I got a pleasant surprise - 25% OFF SALE!!! So I scored one of these bad boys for $25!! Oh yeah baby!!

    I might go back for another one after reading you were told they are on clearance M@elstrom.

    I found the same seller and got an auto kit (2 x bulb, ballast etc) for $100AUD and matched the H3 bulb and 4300 colour temp. Hope you guys don't mind!

    So, do I make 1 or 2 of these? I'll start out with 1 and see if any of my mates wants to buy the next one I make.

    I will post back with more deets after the parts arrive, hope you guys don't mind if I ask a few assembly questions along the way?

    Cheers,

    Pila.
    Ahhh...so glow me!

  16. #16
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    Default Re: 17.5 MCP to 55w HID host conversion...

    You'll have to ask M@elstrom as mine is still sitting around incomplete... I've been too lazy

    Make sure you've ordered a H4 kit, not H3.

  17. #17
    Flashaholic* Pila_Power's Avatar
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    Default Re: 17.5 MCP to 55w HID host conversion...

    AAHHH!! Why is this please?

    I'm just emailling them to change to the H4 now... I ordered H3....
    Ahhh...so glow me!

  18. #18
    Flashaholic* M@elstrom's Avatar
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    Default Re: 17.5 MCP to 55w HID host conversion...

    Quote Originally Posted by Pila_Power View Post
    AAHHH!! Why is this please?

    I'm just emailling them to change to the H4 now... I ordered H3....
    Because the 'host' base is different... this project uses a H4 (dual halogen style) automotive globe fixture NOT the H3 spotlight/driving light type globe socket

    PM sent
    Last edited by M@elstrom; 06-12-2008 at 04:53 AM.
    My modest collection HERE & 55w HID spotlight project HERE

  19. #19
    Flashaholic Drewfus2101's Avatar
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    Default Re: DIY - 17.5 MCP to 55w HID host conversion

    What batteries is it running on? The original ones that came in the light?
    over size sig image removed

  20. #20
    Flashaholic* Pila_Power's Avatar
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    Default Re: DIY - 17.5 MCP to 55w HID host conversion

    Yeah i think the orig batt is a 12V 7mAh SLA??

    Mine's charging right now but I didn't pull it out yet to see what value it is.

    I hope to stuff a few smaller series wired SLA's into a backpack for a portable pack. Either that or run it off a car 12V system.

    Thanks for the H3 / H4 advice, I confirmed my order with them today and specified for the H3 to become H4.... fingers crossed....

    Off to go buy another host tomorrow!!
    Ahhh...so glow me!

  21. #21
    Flashaholic* M@elstrom's Avatar
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    Default Re: DIY - 17.5 MCP to 55w HID host conversion

    Quote Originally Posted by Drewfus2101 View Post
    What batteries is it running on? The original ones that came in the light?
    Yes the original 12v 7Ah SLA's, I hope to migrate to 12Ah's but size and space will be the determining factors!

    Still the original 120w H4 pulled 10A @ peak so the 5.5A of the HID balast/burner configuration theoretically provides a longer run time (minus the startup draw), I can't actually confirm this because I never used it to it's full (continuous) capacity whilst in Halogen trim, however I have been getting around 40mins plus out of this HID conversion (constant usage), it is possible my SLA isn't in the best of health
    My modest collection HERE & 55w HID spotlight project HERE

  22. #22
    Flashaholic* Pila_Power's Avatar
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    Default Re: DIY - 17.5 MCP to 55w HID host conversion

    So say 40 mins using a 12V 7.0 SLA - what do you suspect the 12V 12AH will offer?

    I'm ordering a couple of the 12V12's from work today. They'll fit with some minor tweaking and dremmelling I'd say.

    I kinda measured from the specs and it should be a close fit.

    I'm also wondering from other threads I have read here recently about using Lithium cells instead to increase runtime and decrease weight.

    Anyone care to chime in on this? Is the lithium expense worth it really?
    Ahhh...so glow me!

  23. #23
    Flashaholic* M@elstrom's Avatar
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    Default Re: DIY - 17.5 MCP to 55w HID host conversion

    Quote Originally Posted by Pila_Power View Post
    So say 40 mins using a 12V 7.0 SLA - what do you suspect the 12V 12AH will offer?
    I wouldn't care to speculate on that, TBH I was hoping for longer on the 7Ah SLA but the ballast/burner 'charging up' process consumes higher Amps than during normal usage, that is to say continuous usage with only the initial start up cycle will provide the maximum runtime

    I look forward to hearing the specifics on how you got on with those proposed 12aH's SLAs, as for Lithium-Ion cells they may be lighter and provide increased run times but... they have special needs in regards to charging, handling & discharging whereas the SLAs are far more forgiving (and cheaper) IMHO!
    My modest collection HERE & 55w HID spotlight project HERE

  24. #24
    Flashaholic* Pila_Power's Avatar
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    Default Re: DIY - 17.5 MCP to 55w HID host conversion

    hehe cheaper still if you can get work to buy em for you

    Which reminds me - I was in there and I had forgotten to order them dang nyabbit!!
    Ahhh...so glow me!

  25. #25
    Flashaholic* Flashanator's Avatar
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    Default Re: DIY - 17.5 MCP to H4 55w HID host conversion

    M@elstorm dunno how big ya 17.5MCP. I can fit a heavy 12v 12ah SLA no probs in my mega illuminator with room 2 spare But lithuim is so much better, its criminal. I will never go back to SLA. EVER!!!!!



  26. #26
    Flashaholic* Pila_Power's Avatar
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    Default Re: DIY - 17.5 MCP to H4 55w HID host conversion

    The criminal part is the expense!!!
    Ahhh...so glow me!

  27. #27

    Default Re: DIY - 17.5 MCP to H4 55w HID host conversion

    Could somebody please post a link to a relevant item as there are so many it's confusing, and the old link is non existent now.

  28. #28
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    Default Re: DIY - 17.5 MCP to H4 55w HID host conversion

    If you're referring to the HID kit, just search eBay for "55W HID H4 4300K" and you'll find various priced kits, we just bought the cheapest.

  29. #29

    Default Re: DIY - 17.5 MCP to H4 55w HID host conversion

    ok i found this one.It seems to have an extra box with it that maybe an igniter from what I have read, I assume its separate because it will not fit inside the slim ballasts?

  30. #30

    Default Re: DIY - 17.5 MCP to H4 55w HID host conversion

    Hello, it's been awhile since i came back to the forums. Last week i did the same mod with a Autocraft 20 mcp spotlight, but the run time would only last 5 minutes before it flickers. It will last a good 5 minutes, after that 12.00v drains pretty quick to 7.00v and flickers. Once the load is off the battery jumps back up to 12.40v. The spotlight is the same as the one mention above, i'm also using the same 55w ballast and bulb. The boat's 125ah battery powers it good but not the 7ah sla, anyone know what I'm doing wrong here? Ballast input max draw is 10amp and normal run is 3.2amp. Could it be the ballast or is 55w and 10amp initial start up too much for the 7ah sla.

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