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Thread: LED or drop-in recommendation needed for Aspheric Maglite Mod

  1. #1

    Default LED or drop-in recommendation needed for Aspheric Maglite Mod

    So about two months ago I made my own P7 4D Maglite and I've been hooked ever since.

    For my next build, I want to do a Silver 2D (or 3D) Aspheric Mag. I have the lens on order and I'll get it in about a month or so. From what I understand, this is a drop in part with no modding needed. (http://www.dealextreme.com/p/50mm-18...s-optics-12834)

    I don't really care if the LED i use is a drop in or if I have to build everything custom. I was going to use the Mac's Cree XM-L drop-in but I don't think that's focus-able.

    I'm looking for any recommendations for what LED looks best with an aspheric lens, keeping in mind that I'll probably be using 3D Ni-Mh batteries (or some 18650 in parallel if i get the 2D size light). I'll also need whatever recommendation to allow the head to be focused in and out.

    Any recommendations at all would be greatly appreciated. SST-50, SST-90, etc... Focus-able drop in preferred LOL

  2. #2

    Default Re: LED or drop-in recommendation needed for Aspheric Maglite Mod

    The der-wichtel SST-50/90 kits work nice, and the heatsink mounts in the tube, so you'll be able to turn the head up and down to focus it. With the driver from that, you could do 2x 18650 or 2x 26650 cells in series, in a 2D with just a spring modification (just had to turn the spring upsidedown on my buddies 2D mag I put together for him)

    If you run the 3D and 3x NiMH then I think you can direct drive a SST-90 IIRC, however I could be mistaken. If youre going to do the direct drive, then either britelumens heatsink, or the DW heatsink (which can be purchased alone, not just in the kit) would work. I dont know if you would need the high or low version of the DW heatsink for that lens.

    For an XM-L you'd have find a flat heatsink and use a star, I havent seen any post-style XM-L heatsinks around. (H22A's flat top heatsink maybe? the post is kinda small at 14.5mm, but since youre not using a reflector you could put a 20mm star on it anyway) And there are a variety of drivers for the XM-L and P7 that you could use in the XM-L light. (Der-Wichtel makes one, single and multi-mode, and plenty of AMC7135 based ones on DX if you do end up making a holder and using 2x Li+ cells in parallel or the 3x Ni-MH)

    As far as which LED, if you wanna go for just a ton of light, the SST-90 would be the choice, if you want something that wont overheat so quickly, then the SST-50 (underdriven if desired) or XM-L would both be a good choice.

  3. #3

    Default Re: LED or drop-in recommendation needed for Aspheric Maglite Mod

    I think I'll go with the SST-50. I was not aware that if you used an aspherical lens, you don't use a reflector. Thanks for letting me know that...

  4. #4

    Default Re: LED or drop-in recommendation needed for Aspheric Maglite Mod

    What driver will you use? And how come you chose the SST-50 instead of the XM-L? I'm also planning to build an Aspheric maglite too.

  5. #5

    Default Re: LED or drop-in recommendation needed for Aspheric Maglite Mod

    der-wichtel makes a 5A driver for the SST-50 kit he has. I was planning on using that. From what I was reading, I didn't see any drop-in type kits for the XM-L that let you be able to focus it. I was also considering at T-6 because I heard you could overdrive that to 5A.

    After looking at all of the options, it seemed like the kit for the "DL" series light I'm getting would be the one that would need the least amount of machining (maybe none at all). I'm not even sure I'm getting the DL series mag-lite yet either. I just rolled the Amazon dice...

    I also don't want the light to overheat. I'm kind of all over the place with so many different options available. I spend most of my time just reading the forums but I usually wind up with more questions than I started with.

    All I know is, when i finish this mod, the silver mag-lite is going to look AWESOME with the aspheric lens on it LoL!


  6. #6
    Flashaholic Epsilon's Avatar
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    Default Re: LED or drop-in recommendation needed for Aspheric Maglite Mod

    DW makes adjustable drivers now, so if you want to use the driver with other leds, that's fine too .

  7. #7
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    Default Re: LED or drop-in recommendation needed for Aspheric Maglite Mod

    MC-E and P7 are poor choices for Aspheric use because the focussed image has a black cross on it.

    The XR-E is the best, because it emits the light in a narrower angle than most other LEDs.

    You can use a Reflector plus Aspheric to make use of all light - the Aspheric focusses the centre part of the light - the Reflector focusses the light from the LED that spreads wider than the lens.

  8. #8

    Default Re: LED or drop-in recommendation needed for Aspheric Maglite Mod

    And for the DX lens, proper focuspoint for the LED is about 5mm below the edge of the flashlight body. Easiest way to achieve focus is to make your own heatsink from a cylindrical piece of aluminium with a diameter of 34.1mm. Then just mount a starbased Cree XR-E directly on the flat surface.
    The lens will not fit behind the lensholder on the bezel, unless you cut the top rim off the reflector and make a thin spacer out of it. But thats fairly easy to do with a Dremel-tool.
    XR-E always gives the best reach with an aspheric due to high surfacebrightness, and the other LEDs you are mentioning will loose a lot of effect because of a wider angle of dispersion, wich makes their lumens go outside of the lens, creating scattered light to the sides of the hotspot.
    Go for a 3D with a nice driver, a low heatsink and an XR-E R2.... That´ll do the trick!
    The urge for light is strong today....

  9. #9

    Thumbs up Re: LED or drop-in recommendation needed for Aspheric Maglite Mod

    Man, now I'm getting so realllllllly good advice. Sounds like the XR-E is what I'm going to choose...

    I already got a 2D Rebel Mag so I'll have to find a way to make it work...

    I appreciate everyone's feedback very much

  10. #10

    Default Re: LED or drop-in recommendation needed for Aspheric Maglite Mod

    If going with a 2D, you could replace the D-size cells with 3 C-size cells if you modify the tailcap-spring. That would make driver selection easier since you could use a simple linear regulator like the AMC7135. If you still want to use 2 D-size cells you could go with this driver from DX

    http://www.dealextreme.com/p/aa-and-...-2v-input-4735

    If you want more power, just add another driver in parallell.
    Or you could buy a more expensive option from The Shoppe.
    The urge for light is strong today....

  11. #11

    Default Re: LED or drop-in recommendation needed for Aspheric Maglite Mod

    Scattergun,

    How does that driver you linked work? It's a "step up" driver and constant voltage instead of constant current?
    Last edited by Rezolution; 05-16-2011 at 09:19 AM.

  12. #12

    Default Re: LED or drop-in recommendation needed for Aspheric Maglite Mod

    I ordered http://www.dealextreme.com/p/cree-xr...ium-star-15943

    WG seems to be "Cold White".

    Can anyone tell me what current the XR-E R2 can run at? I see that it runs around 3.7V but I wanted to install a constant current driver. The ones I have right now are 1400mA and 2800mA. I'm not sure what it runs at or what you can push it to...
    Last edited by Rezolution; 05-16-2011 at 09:19 AM.

  13. #13

    Default Re: LED or drop-in recommendation needed for Aspheric Maglite Mod

    Scattergun,

    After reading the dx driver reviews, I don't think I'll order a driver from DX. I know you suggested the sandwhich shoppe as an alternative. I'm going to be using two "D" NiMh 11000mah batteries from MaHa. I guess I would need a buck-boost circuit from the shoppe. I'm still not sure (after 2 hours of forum browsing) if I need a buck-boost circuit that's constant voltage 3.7V or if I should go for one that's constant current. I want to get the most out of the diode.

    With a nominal 2.4V battery source, I'm not sure which driver from the shoppe would be my best choice for the XR-E R2 I ordered from DX.

  14. #14

    Default Re: LED or drop-in recommendation needed for Aspheric Maglite Mod

    You can run the XR-E as high as 1400mA but 1A is recommended maximum.
    If you are to use a driver from the Shoppe to be used with two D-cells I´d recommend this:

    http://theledguy.chainreactionweb.co...oducts_id=1107

    And you will be needing a boost circuit to get a voltage suitable for the XR-E. The constant current regulators are basically a circuit limiting current to a fixed voltage, and you don´t have enough voltage from your two D-cells (2,4Volts).
    Last edited by Scattergun; 05-16-2011 at 02:41 PM.
    The urge for light is strong today....

  15. #15
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    Default Re: LED or drop-in recommendation needed for Aspheric Maglite Mod

    Quote Originally Posted by Rezolution View Post
    . . . . . I'm going to be using two "D" NiMh 11000mah batteries from MaHa. I guess I would need a buck-boost circuit from the shoppe. . . . . . .
    Two NiMH cells will deliver a maximum of 2.8 volts under load, so you only need a Boost Driver to drive any White LED.


    Quote Originally Posted by Rezolution View Post
    . . . . . I'm still not sure (after 2 hours of forum browsing) if I need a buck-boost circuit that's constant voltage 3.7V or if I should go for one that's constant current. I want to get the most out of the diode. . . . . .
    All LED Drivers are designed to supply constant current - if you feed an LED with constant voltage, the current through it may double as the LED warms up. All Drivers specify the maximum and minimum voltage they can supply from a certain input voltage, while maintaining current regulation, so that you know what diodes and how many you can drive with it.

  16. #16

    Default Re: LED or drop-in recommendation needed for Aspheric Maglite Mod

    Quote Originally Posted by Scattergun View Post
    You can run the XR-E as high as 1400mA but 1A is recommended maximum.
    If you are to use a driver from the Shoppe to be used with two D-cells I´d recommend this:

    http://theledguy.chainreactionweb.co...oducts_id=1107
    I'll be ordering this driver today, thanks for the helpful advice.

    So from reading all the information on the driver page, do you know if it's preset to drive the LED at 1A if I supply 2.4V to it? I don't see any instructions for it on the website. I just see a comment that says " Output adjustable: Set by two SMT (0603) resistors"

  17. #17

    Default Re: LED or drop-in recommendation needed for Aspheric Maglite Mod

    That particular one is set at a fixed current of 1A. You can order it with other resistors for other currents.
    The urge for light is strong today....

  18. #18

    Default Re: LED or drop-in recommendation needed for Aspheric Maglite Mod

    Sweet, that looks like it's exactly what I need. I'm pretty excited about this aspheric project... I can't wait to get all the parts.

    The final challenge will be trying to figure out how to make a heat sync for it and how to pot the driver. I saw your earlier recommendation for 34.1mm chunk of aluminum.

  19. #19

    Default Re: LED or drop-in recommendation needed for Aspheric Maglite Mod

    Easiest way is just by making it on a lathe, then drilling a hole to one side of it for the wires to go through. Then glue the driver to the underside of the heatsink.
    The urge for light is strong today....

  20. #20

    Default Re: LED or drop-in recommendation needed for Aspheric Maglite Mod

    I'm actually tihinking of direct driving this with a single 18650 battery. They only problem is, I don't have a data sheet to tell me what happens with this on a fully charged 18650 (4.2V).

    I know this is supposed to run at 1A @ 3.7V, but does anyone know how many amps it pulls at 4.2V?

  21. #21

    Default Re: LED or drop-in recommendation needed for Aspheric Maglite Mod

    If going with a single 18650 the GD1000 is a bit overkill! Just buy an AMC7135 and run it at 1000 or 1400 mA! A lot cheaper, and very robust solution!
    The urge for light is strong today....

  22. #22

    Default Re: LED or drop-in recommendation needed for Aspheric Maglite Mod

    Allrighty, I finally have most of the parts and I'm just waiting on the heatsync now. So anyone care to comment on the LED? I have an XR-E R2 and an XM-L T6. I know the XM-L is brighter, but will it make a better thrower than the R2? If it's going to be comparable because of the surface brightness of the R2, then I would probably go with the R2 because I'd be running it at 1400mA instead of 3000mA (with the XM-L).

    Whichever one is the better thrower is the one I want to go with...

  23. #23
    Flashaholic* Techjunkie's Avatar
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    Default Re: LED or drop-in recommendation needed for Aspheric Maglite Mod

    Quote Originally Posted by Rezolution View Post
    Allrighty, I finally have most of the parts and I'm just waiting on the heatsync now. So anyone care to comment on the LED? I have an XR-E R2 and an XM-L T6. I know the XM-L is brighter, but will it make a better thrower than the R2? If it's going to be comparable because of the surface brightness of the R2, then I would probably go with the R2 because I'd be running it at 1400mA instead of 3000mA (with the XM-L).

    Whichever one is the better thrower is the one I want to go with...
    It depends on how hard you drive the XM-L. I have three Mag 2D lights, all with the same DX 12834 aspheric lenses and the LEDs recessed into the neck for perfect focus. One is an XM-L overdriven to 5.0A, one is an SST-90 driven to 7.5A and the last is an XR-E slightly over driven by the old KD drop-in. The XM-L is the champ of the three. Compared side-by-side, it's die image is brighter (and bigger) than the XR-E. The SST-90 is the largest and casts the most light, but it's not the brightest of them. As far as throw goes, if I could find a distance great enough to test, I'm sure the XM-L would win, however, I've never travelled with them and the furthest tree top that I have line of sight to from my house is only ~500 ft. away and they all do an excellent job of lighting up the foliage.

    Based solely on your 3*NiMH power supply, I recommend the XM-L because it has the lowest Vf and will be very easy to regulate to a very high current for a long time. I recommend beginning with a 2.8A 8*7135 regulator and once you're satisfied that your heatsinking is good enough, you can slave an additional 1.4A regulator for a total of 4.2A. You will NOT be disappointed.

  24. #24

    Default Re: LED or drop-in recommendation needed for Aspheric Maglite Mod

    Quote Originally Posted by Techjunkie View Post
    It depends on how hard you drive the XM-L. I have three Mag 2D lights, all with the same DX 12834 aspheric lenses and the LEDs recessed into the neck for perfect focus. One is an XM-L overdriven to 5.0A, one is an SST-90 driven to 7.5A and the last is an XR-E slightly over driven by the old KD drop-in. The XM-L is the champ of the three. Compared side-by-side, it's die image is brighter (and bigger) than the XR-E. The SST-90 is the largest and casts the most light, but it's not the brightest of them. As far as throw goes, if I could find a distance great enough to test, I'm sure the XM-L would win, however, I've never travelled with them and the furthest tree top that I have line of sight to from my house is only ~500 ft. away and they all do an excellent job of lighting up the foliage.

    Based solely on your 3*NiMH power supply, I recommend the XM-L because it has the lowest Vf and will be very easy to regulate to a very high current for a long time. I recommend beginning with a 2.8A 8*7135 regulator and once you're satisfied that your heatsinking is good enough, you can slave an additional 1.4A regulator for a total of 4.2A. You will NOT be disappointed.
    I actually wound up buying a Grey 2D krypton mag for the host. I made up a (2)D to (1) 18650 battery convertor, so that's what I'll be using. I have (1) 5-Mode 2.8A driver, (3) 1.4A drivers, and (1) 1A driver.

    I think I should be able to use the (3) 1.4A drivers as you suggest. Do you just wire them in Parallel to the XM-L (or do you put them in series, I don't know anything about driver sandwiching)? Do they all need to be potted together? I guess I need to put insulative material in between all of them? If I'm going to be running at 4.2A, I'm probably going to need to make it (2) 18650 in parallel.

  25. #25
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    Default Re: LED or drop-in recommendation needed for Aspheric Maglite Mod

    Quote Originally Posted by Rezolution View Post
    I actually wound up buying a Grey 2D krypton mag for the host. I made up a (2)D to (1) 18650 battery convertor, so that's what I'll be using. I have (1) 5-Mode 2.8A driver, (3) 1.4A drivers, and (1) 1A driver.

    I think I should be able to use the (3) 1.4A drivers as you suggest. Do you just wire them in Parallel to the XM-L (or do you put them in series, I don't know anything about driver sandwiching)? Do they all need to be potted together? I guess I need to put insulative material in between all of them? If I'm going to be running at 4.2A, I'm probably going to need to make it (2) 18650 in parallel.

    With a 3.6-4.2v power supply like you're planning, you could parallel all three 1.4A drivers before the XML (potting them or insulating them with kapton tape to avoid shorts), or you could slave one or two of them from the 2.8A multimode driver, as described in this pic:

    The only difference in your case being that all the green lines would go to the single XM-L. By slaving the single mode regulators from the multimode regulator as shown above, you would maintain the mode features provided by the first regulator instead of only having the single (full blast) mode.

    Now that I've said that, I urge you to reconsider. Building a 2P 18650 battery carrier is very tricky business and a short could be disasterous enough to mame you. For just a few dollars, you could tuck the 7135 based regulators away for another project and run your 2*18650 in series with an inexpensive buck driver, like DX sku 20330, or 57779, or 50025. Those drivers would accept the 8.4V input of the 2 in series Li-Ion batteries and instead of burning off the excess voltage, they DC-DC down-convert the Vin at low amp to Vout at higher amps, with >82% efficiency. In the order I listed them, their output (without modifying sense resistors) is 2.5A, 3A, 3.5A respectively. The last has typical mode memory (returns to last mode used), while the middle one has rather annoying "next mode" memory (always goes to next mode in sequence on next power-on). (The first is single mode.)

  26. #26

    Default Re: LED or drop-in recommendation needed for Aspheric Maglite Mod

    Well, no one wants to get mamed LoL. I'll stick with the single 18650 or I"ll get a single d-sized lithium (I forget the number convention for it but I know DX doesn't sell them). Then I'll just put the three 1.4A in parallel as you suggest. That should do it

  27. #27

    Default Re: LED or drop-in recommendation needed for Aspheric Maglite Mod

    I am very interested in modding a Mag into Aspheric... But am not able to do any machining, soldering, or buying the small parts like driver/star/heatsink and combining them....

    Is there a pre-made drop-in that would go into a D or C cell mag and then just need to add the lens and change/remove the reflector to do this? I was reading Lux Luthers thread about Aspheric mags from like 3 years ago and apparently Kaidomain used to sell a kit that was basically drop in module+lens for mag but they dont see it anymore that I can find.. http://www.candlepowerforums.com/vb/...-Mag66-amp-625

  28. #28

    Default Re: LED or drop-in recommendation needed for Aspheric Maglite Mod

    Well I finally got around to doing the aspheric mod that I've been planning for almost 4 months now. I got two H22A heatsyncs from Setapong. The first LED i tried was the XR-E R2. I was very dissappointed with it, even when i ran it at 2 amps. It wasn't very impressive at all past 50 feet (I'm probably spoiled though with all my high power lights).

    After another person in the thread suggested trying the XM-L T6, I decided to give it a shot. Well, let me tell you, the T6 put the R2 to shame! Shame, I say, shame!!!

    I thought this light was going to be for play/show only but i found an intersting side effect of the aspheric lens. When I screw the mag head all the way in, it actually gives a giant round (usable) flood light!. It slowly decreases in size and gets to be "squarer" by the time it hits the o-ring. It focuses perfectly a little bit past the o-ring.

    I was going to grind the lip off of the H22A heatsync but I was so impressed with the floodyness of the light when the head is screwed all the way in, I didn't want to mess with it.

    So after 4 months of planning, changing the LED out, and going with a direct drive instead of a board, I actually wound up with a very usable (and cool) light that can be focused into a massive throw monster! When you shine the light in the dark on a rainy night, it actually looks like a laser beam coming out of the end of the mag LoL!

  29. #29

    Default Re: LED or drop-in recommendation needed for Aspheric Maglite Mod

    I was really enjoying the aspheric XM-L T6 mod but something didn't seem right with it...

    It would run for a full hour and be very cool to the touch. The first battery setup I was using was a single 18650 with PVC spacers and a dummy AA. I noticed that it would only supply about 2 amps at 4.2V and dropped all the way down to 1 amp when the battery reached about 3.3V.

    I decided to try 4 Eneloops instead of the single 18650. These Eneloops push the direct drive current to 4.4 amps when the batteries are fully charged. After about 30 minutes of use (3 rounds of 10 minutes) the batteries are still supplying about 3.3 amps. The light is drastically brighter with the Eneloops and gets very warm after about 10 minutes... At least now I know I'm pushing the diode to it's max potential (or maybe a little bit past it LoL).

    Much more impressive now!!!

  30. #30
    Flashaholic willieschmidt's Avatar
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    Default Re: LED or drop-in recommendation needed for Aspheric Maglite Mod

    I made a direct drive 2D Mag using 2 D cell Tenergy permiums. It powers a Phatlight PT-54 red led using the DX aspherical lens. Just the thang for critters. The vf is just about perfect and pulls 8a+. Made my own heat sink out of copper & aluminium and the stock switch is used. Simple and it works.

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