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Thread: Surefire L2 with Cree MC-E

  1. #1
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    Default Surefire L2 with Cree MC-E

    Surefire L2


    L2 head disassembled



    Original heatsink



    New heatsink with MC-E (the driver is in the light-body)







    Luxeon 5 (left) - Cree MC-E (right)
    Luxeon 5: 110 emitter lumen at 700 mA, 6,8V
    Cree MC-E: 370 emitter lumen at 700 mA 6,4 V (2S2P)





    Distance to the Wall 3 yards
    Pics underexposed

    Surefire E1L Cree 2stage (on high)


    Stock Surefire L2 (with Luxeon 5)


    Modified Surefire L2 (with Cree MC-E)


    Beamshots / Animation: Link


    IR-Scan: see Post #49

    Surefire L4 / KL4 mod: Link
    Last edited by Energie; 01-11-2009 at 08:30 AM.

  2. #2

    Default Re: Surefire L2 with Cree MC-E

    Wow, great job!

    I want one now.
    Current EDC Lights: Mac Tri EDC 45K 1st Gen. Orange Cerakote, K2-MS, FB1/E1E and ReVo SS | My EDC Items

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    Flashaholic* mudman cj's Avatar
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    Default Re: Surefire L2 with Cree MC-E

    Sweet light!

    What driver are you using?


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    Thread Killer Illum's Avatar
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    Naughty Re: Surefire L2 with Cree MC-E



    did you make that heatsink yourself?

  5. #5
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    Default Re: Surefire L2 with Cree MC-E

    Quote Originally Posted by mudman cj View Post
    What driver are you using?
    Stock driver (approx. 6,4 V, 700 mA) and the original battery-contacts in the head. Same runtime as before.
    Only the heatsink is new (and the MC-E, of course).

    @Illum the nation: yes, the heatsink is homemade.
    Last edited by Energie; 11-22-2008 at 04:34 PM.

  6. #6
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    Default Re: Surefire L2 with Cree MC-E

    Nice :-)
    You don't seem to have any artifacts from the reflector either,which is great.

    Cheers
    Dom

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    Default Re: Surefire L2 with Cree MC-E

    very nice mod...now I am thinking it is something to do with my L2...couple of questions?

    Where did you get the LED

    how did you get the head appart without damaging anything?

    Are you willing to make another heatsink? I want one!

    Thanks

    Boltgun
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  8. #8
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    Default Re: Surefire L2 with Cree MC-E

    Ive got the MC-E here: Link
    I make single pieces only, therefore no additional heatsinks. Sorry.

    The L2 head came appart quite easy. Ive used a heat gun and two strap wrenches.





    Last edited by Energie; 11-26-2008 at 04:41 PM. Reason: pics added

  9. #9
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    Default Re: Surefire L2 with Cree MC-E

    Nice heatsink!
    -Will-

    Sorry, I have retired from flashlight modding & I do not make custom flashlights. Thank you for your understanding.

    My Mod Archive

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    Flashaholic* LLCoolBeans's Avatar
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    Default Re: Surefire L2 with Cree MC-E

    I've got an L2 that disparately needs an upgrade. I was thinking of sending it off to be modded, but this actually looks like a fairly simple procedure. I've got a little milling machine, no lathe though, so assuming I can find some aluminum bar stock of the appropriate diameter, I should be able to mill a heat sink out of it.

    Please excuse my ignorance of LED emitters and electronics in general, but would I be able to use a P7 in place of the MC-E? Would that even be an advantage? The P7 is quite a bit larger in diameter, so I would have to open up the hole in the reflector.

  11. #11
    Flashaholic* LLCoolBeans's Avatar
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    Default Re: Surefire L2 with Cree MC-E

    Another question...

    I've been told using rechargables in this light will destroy it. Is that due to the driver or emitter? Does this mod allow for the use of rechargables?

  12. #12
    Flashaholic* LLCoolBeans's Avatar
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    Default Re: Surefire L2 with Cree MC-E

    One more...

    What is different between the old heat sink and the one you made? Just the seat for the emitter?

  13. #13
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    Default Re: Surefire L2 with Cree MC-E

    The stock L2 driver delivers 6-7 V at 700 mA.
    Vf of the P7 is 3.4-3,6 V, which is to low.

    The MC-E can be wired 2S2P. Then the voltage ist approx. 6,4 V, perfect with the stock driver.
    Each die gets 3,2 V and 350 mA:




    You can use a rechargeable cell: 3,7 V, 1.100 mAh (AWs protected 14670)

    You can use the stock heatsink. But you need a small copper piece under the MC-E, approx. 1,4 mm high.
    Ive made a new heatsink with a slightly smaller diameter (20 mm) than the stock heatsink. So I can adjust the emitter radial after glueing it to the heatsink.

  14. #14
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    Default Re: Surefire L2 with Cree MC-E

    Did you measure the current at the LED? I recall runtime graphs of the L2 showing a much steeper drop off in output compared to the KL4 (L4). I think current to the LED of the L2 is probably 880 or so, if my memory serves me. What does the MC-E pull from the batteries.

  15. #15
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    Default Re: Surefire L2 with Cree MC-E

    Just measured the battery current (with 2 fresh 3 V Surefire cells):
    L2 #A27298 with luxeon 5: 1,01 A
    L2 #A19282 with Cree MC-E: 1,10 A
    KL4 #A39334 with Cree MC-E: 1,08 A

    I think, youre right. Current to the led is higher than 700 mA and probably between 800 - 900 mA.


    Edit:
    current to the led (L2 with MC-E) is 795 mA (with two fresh 3 V Surefire cells)
    Last edited by Energie; 11-30-2008 at 05:57 PM.

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    *Flashaholic* LuxLuthor's Avatar
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    Default Re: Surefire L2 with Cree MC-E

    Beautiful job. I think of doing something similar to boost the output of my stock L2, but like its lower output for a number of purposes (close up work), and ended up just buying new brighter lights. Besides, my L2 was the first "real" light I bought that ultimately led me look at company's other models, and then to this forum...so it has a sentimental place in my heart.

  17. #17
    Flashaholic* LLCoolBeans's Avatar
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    Default Re: Surefire L2 with Cree MC-E

    Ok, I've got everything I need to get started on mine.

    One question though.

    I am going to use the stock heat sink and machine a riser. Is there any reason why I should not use the riser as the jumper connection and solder directly to it?

    Also, I have some copper and some silver that I could use as the material for the riser, I know i can solder directly to copper, can I solder to silver in the same manner?

    Thanks

  18. #18

    Default Re: Surefire L2 with Cree MC-E

    This is a wonderful job!
    One question: how's the donut? Is there an X-shaped null void at the center? I'm amazed it looks to do so well and so throwy with the stock reflector - if there's no donut, that's awesome!

    Look forward to hearing from you =) Great work.
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  19. #19
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    Default Re: Surefire L2 with Cree MC-E

    I've also done this mod and can report that if you keep the spacer height below 1.80mm
    there will be no doughnut.

    Take a peek at post #54 on this thread for details:

    http://www.candlepowerforums.com/vb/...=210173&page=2

  20. #20
    Flashaholic* LLCoolBeans's Avatar
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    Default Re: Surefire L2 with Cree MC-E

    Well, here's my progress so far...

    Here is the heat sink with original emitter removed.



    The MC-E just barely squeezes down into place behind the reflector. This is perfect as this automatically centers the emitter in the reflector and holds it securely. This also gives me a couple of good spots where I can add epoxy and secure the emitter permanently after everything else is done.





    New riser. Dimensions: .5x.25x.048"




    The material used to make the riser, 1oz pure silver bullion investment slab.

  21. #21
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    Default Re: Surefire L2 with Cree MC-E

    I intend to use thermal compound to attach the body of the emitter to the riser. Once that is centered I'll solder the emitter legs directly to the riser to make the jumper connection. Then I'll solder a couple of 24ga wires to the airborne legs for the positive and negative connections. After that's done, press the emitter into place smear everything with compound and insert heat sink.

    This is my first modding project, so if I'm doing something wrong please speak up.

    Thanks

  22. #22
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    Default Re: Surefire L2 with Cree MC-E

    Quote Originally Posted by mcmc View Post
    One question: how's the donut? Is there an X-shaped null void at the center?
    The "X-shaped donut" is slightly visible at short distances (1-2 feet) on a white wall.

    MC-E, distance 3 inch (SF L2 on high)


    MC-E, distance 10 inch (SF L2 on low, pic underexposed)


    LLCoolBeans:
    Ive seen your question about soldering in the machining section.
    Silver is an excellent heatsink.
    But there is a problem. The thermal paste between the silver heatsink and the MC-E leads the heat from soldering direct to the dies. I think, more than 1-2 seconds soldering may damage the MC-E.

  23. #23
    Flashaholic* LLCoolBeans's Avatar
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    Default Re: Surefire L2 with Cree MC-E

    Quote Originally Posted by Energie View Post
    Ive seen your question about soldering in the machining section.
    Silver is an excellent heatsink.
    But there is a problem. The thermal paste between the silver heatsink and the MC-E leads the heat from soldering direct to the dies. I think, more than 1-2 seconds soldering may damage the MC-E.
    Dang! That throws a monkey wrench into the works. It's definitely going to take more than 1-2 seconds.

    I guess there's one way to find out for sure.

    Anyone else have an opinion on this? Am I going to cook the emitter trying to solder the legs to the silver riser?

  24. #24
    Flashaholic* mudman cj's Avatar
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    Default Re: Surefire L2 with Cree MC-E

    Its not advisable. But, you could insert a thin heat shield between the silver and the LED thermal pad while you solder, then remove the shield, work thermal grease/adhesive into the gap, and press into place. This will bend the LED leads slightly, but will not break them. The hardest part will be working the thermal grease/adhesive into the gap.


  25. #25
    Flashaholic* LLCoolBeans's Avatar
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    Default Re: Surefire L2 with Cree MC-E

    Quote Originally Posted by mudman cj View Post
    Its not advisable. But, you could insert a thin heat shield between the silver and the LED thermal pad while you solder, then remove the shield, work thermal grease/adhesive into the gap, and press into place. This will bend the LED leads slightly, but will not break them. The hardest part will be working the thermal grease/adhesive into the gap.
    That would be more work than just doing away with the riser/jumper combo altogether and using a wire like Energie did. The only reason I thought of the idea was to make less work for myself and not have to change any of the original components. I can always just cut off the little ears on my riser and drill two additional holes in the heat sink for the jumper wire. Looks like that may be what I need to do.

    Dang! And I thought my solution was so slick. Oh, well, live and learn. It is my first mod after all.
    Last edited by LLCoolBeans; 12-31-2008 at 04:14 PM.

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    Default Re: Surefire L2 with Cree MC-E

    I think, a jumper wire is the way to go.
    You can lead the jumper wire through the stock heatsink,
    or:
    drill two small holes and use a small file to make room under the silver heatsink.








  27. #27
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    Default Re: Surefire L2 with Cree MC-E

    That's a fine idea, but I don't think my riser is thick enough to accommodate a groove deep enough to envelop a 24ga wire with insulation. This also would reduce the amount of surface aria in contact with the heat sink.

    I'm going to rethink this tonight, but I'll probably just end up drilling two new holes in the stock heat sink.

    Thanks for your help on this guys.

  28. #28
    Flashaholic* LLCoolBeans's Avatar
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    Default Re: Surefire L2 with Cree MC-E

    Well, I got it all back together finally. I had a lot of trouble learning to solder wires to those tiny emitter legs. That was a lot more difficult than I had originally imagined. Got the hang of it eventually though, but there was one casualty. Luckily I bought two emitters.

    Cut the ears off of my riser and used a jumper wire.

    It's working now, but I'm not seeing any noticeable increase in brightness. It would appear to be about the same brightness as the Luxeon 5 was. Except for that the Lux 5 had a nicer tint and less artifacting. Dang! Did I do something wrong?

    No doughnut but the X is pretty prominent.

  29. #29
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    Default Re: Surefire L2 with Cree MC-E

    It should be noticably brighter than the LUX V.

    I run mine on a single RCR and its still way brighter than a stock KL4.

    Sounds like there may be a problem....are you using FRESH batteries?
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  30. #30
    Flashaholic* LLCoolBeans's Avatar
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    Default Re: Surefire L2 with Cree MC-E

    Quote Originally Posted by DaFABRICATA View Post
    It should be noticably brighter than the LUX V.

    I run mine on a single RCR and its still way brighter than a stock KL4.

    Sounds like there may be a problem....are you using FRESH batteries?
    Yea, that was the first thing I tried.

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