A while ago an LEO friend of mine was looking for a thrower. He'd tried a few of the mc-e lights that claimed '250yards' (an mc-e edc one, another 8 battery one) and was sorely disappointed. I said flashlights was kinda my thing and asked he let me recommend him something. All he wanted is throw, for chasing bad guys through farmland and forest.
I settled on the MG RX-1, the sleeper thrower of 2009. While there was a lot of praise and chatter for Tiablo, the MG Rx-1 had an afficinado following. The rx-1 had a suprise 2nd resurgence after Csshih's Tiablo ACE-G review. Csshih assembled a few thrower's to evaluate the beam of the Tiablo against, and the MG RX-1, included as a filler comparison light, was impolite enough to top the Tiablo and outthrow the Tiablo's its own debut. With the mg rx-1 clearly outthrowing a light twice its cost, a chain of 'budget thrower' ideas came forth.
When selecting a mod host, why not use a light established as a great thrower: http://www.candlepowerforums.com/vb/...d.php?t=229633
Prior reviews included an medium orange peel reflector to compensate for the dark areas between the 4 dies that compose the mc-e emitter. The mc-e is a poor choice as a thrower because of these inconsistencies in an otherwise large emissive surface. I would replace this with a WJ binned ssr-50 from ARCmania.
The ssr-50 can handle a higher current, though this application presently does not push that limit. The ssr-50 is more efficient than the mc-e. This specific bin I had selected was spec'd for 600lumens @ 1.75A , an increased efficiency of (xxx) emitter lumens. The increased efficiency has knock-on benefits of producing less waste heat, theortically keeping emitter junction tempurature lower which maintians efficiency and intern minimizes waste heat production (though @ 2.8A, this one still gets warm right quick!)
The prior reviews of the rx-1 are with an MOP reflector to tame the mc-e's donut, and did a great job. Unfortunately MOP eats lumens and decreases throw.
I took out the MOP and replaced them with smooth reflector. You can see in the shot below that this really picks up the intensity (bright whiteness) of the mc-e but also reveals the donut with the dark center
Smooth reflector + ssr-50 = excellent. Minimize reflector losses, maxize throw. With an emissive angle of 130degrees, the ssr-50 puts out a wide cone of light. The base of these reflectors had to be openned up to allow the emiter up inside to capture and then focus the beam.
Low resistance mods
Standard hotwire mods to improve the electrical path. The tailcap spring is suprisingly addequate, thick apparently gold plated firm spring. I have a few switches on hand but I was only measuring the tailcap at so the forward clicky switch can stay.
I recalled the first review mentioning the RX-1 drew 1.3A at the tail, yet the driver was rumoured to be an 8x7135 hypothetically capable of 2.5-2.8A (300-350ma per 7135).
Looking through past reviews on the mg rx-1, no-one mentions this inconsistency. Driver is listed as (low), 1000ma(med), 2500ma(high). But the reported 'at the tail' measurements in reviews I saw were ~1.3. Infact, comparing across different brand lights (MG, Olight, Tiablo, JETBeam) the roughly the same drive current appears. Why are all these cpf'ers reporting 1.3A? Why is a 2.8A driver only getting 1.3A? I suspect this is actually an artifact of the users batteries. I took tailcap measures from a number of different lights (Moddoo triple, Nailbender Mc-e, Saberwolf mc-e, Ti Quark R5(high voltage model), MG PLI, MG RX-1 (modded ssr-50) MG RX-1 (stock mc-e), Aurora AK-P7...you get the idea... I was able to produce a shift from 1.1A to 2.8A through different battery options. The lowest output came with blue trustfires, the highest with AW IMR's. Working hypothesis is internal resistance. This really undermines many users expectations of their lights though. Advertised drive currents were no indication of tailcap current (and rating each light at the emitter is beyond the scope of this current project)
Anyway, result of this sideline was reading 2.8A at the tailcap of my modded RX-1, achieving desired result with-out finishing all the mods.
buy AW cells: the best light with the most expensive emitter can only use what energy the cell provides it
pic of AW 18650 current at tail - watch a 'constant' current regulation on a DMM with 3 decimal places and there is a lot going on.
Still to come
-Replace wiring with Mil Spec 24g teflon wire - also proved unnecessary to reach 2.8A, though I'll still do this because I really like the wire and every decrease in resistance is an increase in efficiency, and I'll reach higher levels with lesser batteries.
-Replace the stock lens with UCL for another %5 increase
This blows my friends req. and doubles the range he was hoping for. Its to bright to use high at less than 250feet this light is just coming into its own.
Beamshots on empty house: two mg rx-1's on medium, beautiful hotspot of the ssr-50, remember this is smooth reflector
Beamshot with street lights in the background. Unmodded rx-1 on the left (mc-e), moddified rx-1 (ssr-50) on the right.
donut of mc-e visible at center, sadly center usually where we like the brightest spot to be. With the ssr-50 it's perfect, hottest in the center, nice and bright all around.
*Issues with host and pictures, I'm out taking more pics right now. Check back later, title will be updated
rx-1 (-50) lighting up a house across the street
Entire beam visible, huge cylinder of light reaching out. Pics taken 4:00am local.
Quark 2x123 r5 same shot
The Quark lights up the scene, no hotspot per say, the whole beam is diffuse by this distance. The quark looks to be doing much better against the snow across the street, and its intensity noticeably fades by roof-top.
:I had programed the camera before I left home (its cold and freezing rain out), set exposure -1, iso 400, manual and locked all the settings. Yet something went wrong and I have auto adjust light level. All is not lost: notice the rx-1 (ssr-50) picture is the darkest of them all with a bright beam, and the backgrounds get progressively lighter: this is camera adjusting for lower amounts of light added by the subsequent lights. A backwards way of illustrating which light is more powerful. 3rd round of beamshots coming up tomorrow night...
Rx-1 (-50) on a hydro substation, 150f away
Huge swath of light, reaching out like I could touch the transformer station. Again, the whole beam length is illuminated.
rx-1 (mc-e) same shot. Light beam less intense, visible donut on target
The mc-e version looks good, the dark center of the beam also enhancing contrast and making the beam very visible. But the beam column doesn't look as powerful, it isn't as bright traveling towards target.
JETBeam ProST III, same shot, little apparent illumination on target
I didn't even post the Ti Quark pic (remember that's an xpg r5 spec'd at 990ma drive on max:i've read +1.01A at the tail), it lit up the foreground and no noticable impact on target.