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Thread: Depth proofing non-dive torches

  1. #1
    Flashaholic* Linger's Avatar
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    Default Depth proofing non-dive torches

    I've read posts before about people conveting MTE or aurora or whatever DX / KD lights into dive torches, but am at a loss for search terms.

    I'm thinking depth proofing an 18650 Aurora P7, but general points may be helpful as well.

    Also, tips?

    Ideas so far:
    -Need to upgrade lens, O-rings
    -heatshrink around body, covering bezel / tail-cap joints. Like a condom for the battery tube, should prevent water ingress
    -convert to twisty / solid tailcap - avoid obvious weakness clicky switch boot: this may alter the project and force me to go with a solarforce L2 as I know solid tailcaps are P / C series compatable option.
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  2. #2
    Flashaholic* Packhorse's Avatar
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    Default Re: Depth proofing non-dive torches

    Best tip.

    Dont bother.

    Get a W200 and mod that. Or even that god awful P7/MCE 2x 18650 light from DX or KD.

  3. #3
    Flashaholic* Linger's Avatar
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    Default Re: Depth proofing non-dive torches

    OK. I had it and I want to improve my dive light options. I have other options.

    How easy was the IST to open up and work with? (or any pics of that part of the process?) A few are still sitting in people's inventory.

    the W200 is longer then I'd prefer, how is it to work with? (*I've just spent 20min reading up on w200, seems like a strong recommendation)

    http://www.scubatoys.com/store/detai...D_Backup_Light

    another AA format but this time clustered, which may win me over. Also oxycheq may be more reliable for quality control. Then again, i'm going to gut it anyway.
    Last edited by Linger; 10-22-2009 at 10:16 PM.
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  4. #4
    Flashaholic* Packhorse's Avatar
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    Default Re: Depth proofing non-dive torches

    The length of the W20 is not an issue for me. I clip it off on my harness chest D ring and tuck it under a but of inner tube HOG style. If used in a glove/goodman handle it may be a little long but I think the run time at full output more than makes up for it.

    IST was easy to open using some strips of rubber for grip. But I do believe the W200 is a much better platform to modify.

  5. #5
    Enlightened
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    Default Re: Depth proofing non-dive torches

    Hi!

    I bought some cheap DX lights and a Fenix TK11 an wanted to dive-proof them. After little looking, trying and thinking, I agree:

    Quote Originally Posted by Packhorse View Post
    Best tip.

    Dont bother.

    Get a W200 and mod that. Or even that god awful P7/MCE 2x 18650 light from DX or KD.
    I have a W200 as is and like it. I have the "awful" light but haven't been diving with it. To me personally, that light is not so awful at all

    There is a new Ultrafire W300 that might make a good modding host.

    Greets from Berlin!

  6. #6
    Flashaholic* gav6280's Avatar
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    Default Re: Depth proofing non-dive torches

    Quote Originally Posted by Nickyan View Post
    Hi!

    I bought some cheap DX lights and a Fenix TK11 an wanted to dive-proof them. After little looking, trying and thinking, I agree:



    I have a W200 as is and like it. I have the "awful" light but haven't been diving with it. To me personally, that light is not so awful at all

    There is a new Ultrafire W300 that might make a good modding host.

    Greets from Berlin!
    Just to note: Waterproof and dive rated are obviously 2 very different things indeed. My coat is waterproof but i wouldn't go diving in it.

  7. #7
    Flashaholic* Linger's Avatar
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    Default Re: Depth proofing non-dive torches

    W200 ordered. Hope it gets here before my next trip (Dec or Jan). I grab the oxychek as well if too much time passes. I'm looking to reduce the size of the dive lights we take on vacation, especially as it will only be reef diving and no great runtimes needed.

    Sad though, I had a few lights I was hoping to seal up and use instead, because they're on hand and it would give me an excuse to mod an otherwise perfectly acceptable led's that must have a few hundred hours on them.
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  8. #8
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    Default Re: Depth proofing non-dive torches

    Hey!

    There's a guy called Hanachan on here, he dive-proofs his normal lights very DIY style. Glue, tape, sealant... IMHO it looks crappy, but seems to work well.

    Here is a thread of his and a flickr set.

    I also have the W200 and think it's a good light for leisure dives. As you said, some reefs, some shine into cracks/caves during day. I've used it as main for a night dive in a lake and it worked like a charm for me.

    Greets from Germany
    Last edited by Nickyan; 10-26-2009 at 01:36 PM.

  9. #9
    Flashaholic* Linger's Avatar
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    Default Re: Depth proofing non-dive torches

    hmm, thank-you. That is exactly the idea, but this isn't the poster or the thread I was hoping to find. The one I recall used an MTE brand light, i think.
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  10. #10
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    Default Re: Depth proofing non-dive torches

    I'm wondering if some "regular" flashlights wouldn't be easier than others.

    I can see problems with clicky switches or momentary switches. I guess it would be interesting to figure out exactly what the problems are to make it easier to find lights that might be appropriate.

    If we don't consider the switch can most of the other problems be overcome?

    With led's you aren't going to need access to the led after initial assembly so that could be permanently sealed I would think.

    Is it that hard to seal the twist off end cap?

    I would think even a clicky might work better than a toggle as long as you want the light on the entire time underwater.

    If you have to use tape/wrap section in plastic and that sort of thing I agree it's better to get a better platform to modify.

    How about a light that is always on when the tail cap is screwed down. Back it off to turn it off above water and tighten it down just before submerging. How about something like the Sureface 6P with a solid tail cap rather than the momentary switch (a cheaper knockoff that is)?

  11. #11
    Flashaholic* Linger's Avatar
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    Default Re: Depth proofing non-dive torches

    I understand where you're coming from with the always on idea, but I'm a multi-mode man myself. I'm not going to want to safety stop with my torch blazing away at 'where is the lead-line to that wreck?' output mode.

    I've been down that road though. My conclusion was to buy a waterproof Otter case (guarenteed to 100f, lots of reports people using them much deeper). A clear otter case is a cheap ready-made indestructible shell; build you light inside and shining through the case. Turn it on while you're on the boat and close up the case. Perfect. (even better with a magnetic switch - then you've got mode capability).
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  12. #12
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    Default Re: Depth proofing non-dive torches

    That makes for a rather bulky dive light doesn't it!

    Quote Originally Posted by Linger View Post
    I understand where you're coming from with the always on idea, but I'm a multi-mode man myself. I'm not going to want to safety stop with my torch blazing away at 'where is the lead-line to that wreck?' output mode.

    I've been down that road though. My conclusion was to buy a waterproof Otter case (guaranteed to 100f, lots of reports people using them much deeper). A clear otter case is a cheap ready-made indestructible shell; build you light inside and shining through the case. Turn it on while you're on the boat and close up the case. Perfect. (even better with a magnetic switch - then you've got mode capability).

  13. #13
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    Default Re: Depth proofing non-dive torches

    I thought I'd resurrect this thread if Linger is still around and thinking about converting some of his lights.

    I've experimented a bit since this was originally posted. If you are just going on a tropical vacation and aren't counting on the light as you would in a cave or something it's not hard to convert some of these lights.

    Just don't do this on something that you've spent a lot of money on or for use in a critical application.

    Many of these DX lights are "water resistant" and for the most part this will keep the water out except for the lens and tail (long threaded areas with small o-rings).

    Convert the tail cap from a clicky to a twisty (easy to do). This leaves the lens area.

    The problem is mainly that the o-ring design is just not there for total dive proofing. The o-rings generally aren't supported with a ledge in the non-dive models so there's only so much you can do.

    If you are going to stay in the 30 meter area or shallower you don't need to change the o-rings or glass. If you have a better o-ring use it of course but a little marine silicone sealant will do everything you need for the most part.

    I've gotten most of my information from actual testing of cheaper lights. You don't need to wrap anything up or fill areas full of sealant.

    Use sealant on the thread such as a bezel or the head. You won't need to get back in there with a led as there's no bulb to wear out. The sealant is mainly just to help keep the bezel tight. Many of these lights have long threaded areas and a small o-ring. It basically works as is. It doesn't hurt to smear a little sealant on an exposed driver board if the board is otherwise sealed (as in buried in a heat sink or something). This just gives you some protection if it does happen to flood.

    Use sealant on the interface between the glass and the bezel and a little in the groove with the o-ring. I've taken my test lights a little below 30 meters. I started out with more sealant then needed and have removed all sealant from the outer face of the glass now.

    So just a little selective sealant under the bezel, in the o-ring groove and on the threads and convert the clicky to twisty and that's it.

    I didn't do anything to the threads of the tail cap since you need to get in there to change the batteries.


    I'm sure there is a (depth) limit to this approach and for extensive modifications of emitters and drivers or anywhere you have to do a lot of work I'd do as other do and use a W200 or other proven host.

    For lighter fare my approach described above seems to work. I dive at least weekly and I've brought along test lights on most of my dives just to get some test data. It's not as hard as I would have thought to dive proof some of these lights to moderate depths and they don't have to look like they've been modified.

    FYI- converting from clicky to twisty is basically just a matter of removing the clicky and filling in the hole with 2 part epoxy.
    Last edited by gcbryan; 12-08-2009 at 11:44 PM.

  14. #14
    Flashaholic* Linger's Avatar
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    Default Re: Depth proofing non-dive torches

    Hi
    That is about what I was thinking. I found the MTE thread that got me onto the idea. I've modded up an 18650 Aurora with P7 and PWM controller, I"ll mail some 18650's down a month early just incase my lithiums don't make the flight.
    I spent a long time looking at my dive lights, and non-dive lights before making that post.
    It's for vacation diving, last trip I took a 4C and 8D primaries and I'm just not going to carry that many batteries again. Yes just rec dives, 0 risk and I'll have rated dive lights for back-up (and probably backup-backup). I've got some extra glass lens so I'll double them up, they want to flex into the center and crack but doubling it, even if the lip is exposed, is sufficient as there won't be a catastrophic failure around the entire seem (I have some norland 61 for sealing around bezel).
    Last edited by Linger; 12-09-2009 at 12:25 AM.
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