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Thread: Rayovac Extreme 300 Lantern - replacing the LED (Mod)

  1. #1

    Default Rayovac Extreme 300 Lantern - replacing the LED (Mod)

    I decided to start a new thread for this since the previous thread was 150+ replies but had different conversation topics. I wanted a thread that stuck to how to modify the LED on the Rayovac Extreme 300. How to take it apart, how to remove the original LED, and how to soldier in a new one.

    This is the original post, which you can read for more info.

    I just recently replaced the original LED with a Cree XP-G neutral-white. Here's the two parts I brought:

    LED from Shiningbeam:
    http://www.shiningbeam.com/servlet/t...sh-G-R4/Detail

    Arctic Silver Alumina Thermal epoxy
    http://www.amazon.com/Arctic-Alumina...ref=pd_sim_e_1

    The basic steps are to take the thing apart, remove the old LED, and resoldier the new LED. Unfortunately, I didn't take any pictures. Sorry. But here's a few pictures from other CPF users. I'll just put them all here for ease of reference. Credit goes to the original posters:

    Taking apart pictures from <netprince>
    http://oneitguy.com/blog/rayovac-spo...me-xml-upgrade

    Another picture:
    http://imageshack.us/photo/my-images...olderedin.jpg/

    Amazon customer picture of LED:
    http://www.amazon.com/gp/customer-me...e=UTF8&index=2

    Details:
    Ok, like everyone saids, you start by taking out the three screws inside the battery compartment. Pretty simple.

    Next, you remove the outer housing from the inner housing, revealing the LED. I'm really stupid, because at first I thought you have to yank on the globe diffuser. You don't. If you look carefully at the rim of the battery compartment, you'll see two plastic walls. The outer housing (holding the globe diffuser) is actually slipped over the inner housing holding the LED/battery housing. You just put your finger on the wall of the battery compartment and slide the two plastic cases past each other. <netprince>'s first picture shows this well.

    Next, removing the LED. This was tricky for me. If you look at the Amazon picture dated Feb 2011, you can see that the original LED is on a green PCB. If you look at <netprice> second picture, his original LED is on a white PCB. Both the green and white PCB picture show two "rivets". Others have said you have to drill this out to take the PCB off.

    But, the Rayovac lantern I brought in November didn't have rivets. It had a white PCB, but no rivets. It was glued onto the aluminum heat sink. It looked like <netprince>'s picture of the white PCB, but no rivets. I ended up using sand paper to just sand the whole darn thing down to the aluminum heat sink underneath. Not the most graceful solution, but I'm not very handy.

    Next, I used the arctic silver thermal epoxy to glue the new LED to the aluminum base. You basically mix the compound together to create a paste, which sets in a few minutes. You want to put a nice layer of it on the aluminum heat sink and plop the new LED on top, squishing it down a bit to get as much contact as possible.

    Next, soldier the two wires, and you're done. Note, I had to unsoldier the two wires from the control circuit in order to fish them through the hole on top of the heat sink. Also, I tested the LED before spreading the adhesive, just in case I got a dud.
    Last edited by coachclass; 12-31-2011 at 09:50 PM. Reason: clarify

  2. #2

    Default Re: Rayovac Extreme 300 Lantern - replacing the LED (Mod)

    I'm somewhat satisfied with the results. Again, wish I had taken pictures to show you guys. I wish I went with a warmer LED. The top reflector on the Rayovac seems to filter out some of the "warm" spectrum of the LED, leaving the light more white/cool white.

    As far as thermal dissipation, I'm not sure. I've had it on the lower setting (it only has two settings, high and low) for a few hours. Hasn't burned up. I've had it on the high setting for 20 minutes or so (edit: had it one over 1hr now). It's still going, but I don't feel any heat at the base, which might mean that I don't have enough thermal conduction, I'm not sure. I also didn't take any voltage measurements to know how hard the LED is being driven, so I'm not sure how much heat to expect. I'm using 3 eneloop AA's inside AA to D battery adapter.

    Note, you can get AA to D battery adapters that hold two AA per adapter, so it's possible to fit 6 AA batteries in the battery compartment. That should run a long long time. But, note that the three D-cell slots are wired up in series, so if you use the double AA adapters, you HAVE to use 6 AA batteries (three pairs), which makes matching batteries more difficult. You can't just use one 2xAA, and two 1xAA adapters; no mixing and matching like that.
    Last edited by coachclass; 12-31-2011 at 09:47 PM.

  3. #3
    Flashaholic* Vesper's Avatar
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    Default Re: Rayovac Extreme 300 Lantern - replacing the LED (Mod)

    Great info coach, -it's been on my to-do list to get a warmer led in mine. Where do you get the AA to D adapters?

  4. #4

    Default Re: Rayovac Extreme 300 Lantern - replacing the LED (Mod)

    The ones I have came with a battery charger. I've seen them at the usual suspects - ebay, meritline, buy.com, etc for cheap.

  5. #5

    Default Re: Rayovac Extreme 300 Lantern - replacing the LED (Mod)

    I just ordered some 2AA -> D adapters from ebay.

    [link removed]

    From the pictures, they seem a little nicer than the adapter DX sells but are a bit more expensive.

    Ideally, it would be nice to get cheap 3AA -> D (parallel) adapters, but they don't seem to exist.

  6. #6
    Flashaholic Kif's Avatar
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    Default Re: Rayovac Extreme 300 Lantern - replacing the LED (Mod)

    Wow, thanks for the instruction.
    Time to get the parts and start my first mod

    BTW, the light works great with my Eneloop AA batteries + Eneloop AA->D adapters

  7. #7

    Default Re: Rayovac Extreme 300 Lantern - replacing the LED (Mod)

    I wonder what the runtime is starting on high and keeping on high for about six hours? How hot would six hours get? I have dual AA to D cell adapters, so I could fit 6 eneloops in there. As long as it does not not get too hot I am excited about doing this as my first mod. It looks pretty easy. How much brigher is it now than with the stock three LEDs?

  8. #8

    Default Re: Rayovac Extreme 300 Lantern - replacing the LED (Mod)

    Well I just bought the Arctic Silver Alumina Thermal epoxy, one more lantern, and 2 of those neutral white XPG-R5s. This is my first mod and it looks easy enough. I find this lantern to be the best I have come accross for camping. It hinges on both ends, the output is great, it's very rugged, and the ability for the top to come off and hang the lamp upside down works great in situations like hanging it on a branch from a tree, pointed to the BBQ grill or fire for cooking.

    I also want to get a better driver than the stock. I know SHining Beam makes some, but I don't know what would be the best driver for the XPG-R5. Can anyone help?

  9. #9

    Default

    I just bought the lantern and a xpg star, going to try my 1st mod this weekend... btw why are all you guys converting to aa batteries? I got a few Tenergy Centura D cells, this seems like a better option: more capacity plus more convenience not having to mess with converters right?

  10. #10

    Default Re: Rayovac Extreme 300 Lantern - replacing the LED (Mod)

    ... cause we have a crapload of eneloops I guess. But let us know how your conversion goes. I will be doing the same shortly.

  11. #11

    Default

    Hmmm, i just made my 1st attempt. The led lit up when i tested it. But i was afraid one of my solders would come loose, so i hit it again with the solder gun. While the gun was to the solder point, smoke came out from the board where the switch is (is that the driver board?)... i may have fried it, i had to run out the door... what do you think?

  12. #12

    Default Re: Rayovac Extreme 300 Lantern - replacing the LED (Mod)

    Update: I played with the solders again when I got home, got it to come back on.. But it flickers... .. And sometimes the high is low and the low is really low. And it still flickers. My optimistic nature imagines the flickers are the dancing flame of an elegant old wicker lamp... But I would prefer if this one didn't do that... Anybody have any ideas?

    However I did get the modding bug with this attempts, so I ordered a bunch more (warmer) led's, another Rayovac 300 and a couple Colemen High Tech lantern models to mod... By the time I've butchered all 4 of these lanterns I'll probably have some idea what I'm doing... But this the best way to learn..
    Last edited by Chrisdm; 01-08-2012 at 07:16 AM.

  13. #13

    Default Re: Rayovac Extreme 300 Lantern - replacing the LED (Mod)

    My LEDs are in the mail, and the Arctic SIlver compounds and other Rayovac lantern will be shortly. I'll give it a stab too and see what happens.

    I read this somewhere before, but someone used a Shiningbeam driver with 3 or 4 modes regulated. I wonder which one I should buy and attempt ot install.

  14. #14

    Default Re: Rayovac Extreme 300 Lantern - replacing the LED (Mod)

    Everything should arrive in the mail today. If I have time tonight, I will attempt my first mod.

  15. #15

    Default

    One mistake i made was i bought artic silver compound, not adhesive. Theres a separate compound that is the adhesive... so my 1st attempt had the new led board sliding around loose on the heatsink (because i used "compound", not "adhesive" )... take two...

  16. #16
    Flashaholic Kif's Avatar
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    Default Re: Rayovac Extreme 300 Lantern - replacing the LED (Mod)

    I guess Thermally Conductive Epoxies will work great too!?

  17. #17

    Default Re: Rayovac Extreme 300 Lantern - replacing the LED (Mod)

    Well I did not get my "Arctic Alumina Thermal Adhesive (Two Tube Set)" in the mail today. I did get the LEDs and the Lantern in the mail though. I have an older Rayovac SPortsman Xtreme 3D lantern. The older one I would consider "neutral white" from the factory. The new one I just got though, WAAYYY too blueish purple. Need to get these new LEDs installed ASAP.

  18. #18

    Default Re: Rayovac Extreme 300 Lantern - replacing the LED (Mod)

    can't wait to see the difference...please post some pics of before and after. I knocked mine off a 4 foot tall wall onto concrete the other day and it took it like a champ. Didn't even scuff it up thanks to the rubber guards on the top and bottom.

  19. #19

    Default Re: Rayovac Extreme 300 Lantern - replacing the LED (Mod)

    Just curious, what would be a quick way to test the LEDs before I install them? How do I make a circuit out of a battery and some wires? What would I use as a resisitor?

  20. #20

    Default Re: Rayovac Extreme 300 Lantern - replacing the LED (Mod)

    You can test the LEDs by fire them up with two pieces of eneloop in serial ( 2.4V ).

  21. #21

    Default Re: Rayovac Extreme 300 Lantern - replacing the LED (Mod)

    Quote Originally Posted by Microa View Post
    You can test the LEDs by fire them up with two pieces of eneloop in serial ( 2.4V ).
    OK, so this is how it would be? With one wire to the negatives, and another wire to the posititves?


    _____(-)Eneloop(+)(-)Eneloop(+)____
    |_________(-)LED(+)_____________|
    Last edited by CyberCT; 01-13-2012 at 01:28 PM.

  22. #22

    Default Re: Rayovac Extreme 300 Lantern - replacing the LED (Mod)

    Yes, you can see the LED light up if it is alive. 2.4V direct drive the LED in a short time will not damage the LED.

  23. #23

    Default Re: Rayovac Extreme 300 Lantern - replacing the LED (Mod)

    OK I did my first LED mod project and I was successful ... with modding my older 2010 Rayovac Xtreme lantern. The new 2012 Rayovac Xtreme lantern I got in the mail I can't get the damn LED off. But more on that later.

    I took pictures which I will upload later. In short I would say the XPG-R5 neutral white is about 25% brighter than the latest stock Rayovac Xtreme lantern tripple LED setup. The neutral white LED color rendition is pleasing to the eye and the purplish blue color of the Rayovac is pretty nasty. My older 2010 model of my Rayovac which I modded actually had a pretty neutral color renditon, stock, to begin with. I did not take pictures or do a comparison but I would say the neutral XPG is only slighty more neutral than the old setup. My new Rayovac has the same tripple LED setup as the old, but the color is much more bluish purple. NASTY! I did my comparison with the older modded lantern and the newest Rayovac lantern. I did my tests all on the highest setting of the lanterns. I would say the neutral LED color is excellent, and going with anything warm would be too yellow. But it's all opinion I guess.
    However, after doing a 20 minute test standing up, and a 20 minute test upside down, my modded neutral XPG lantern heatsink gets hot each time while the stock Rayovac heatsink gets warm. I took the lantern apart after each 20 minute test and the heatsink was hot both times to the touch. Not absolutely burn yourself hot, but it was still hot. The stock 2012 lantern had the heatsink just warm to the touch each time.


    First off I will say this mod is pretty easy. I took the three screws out that hold the lantern compartment together. I mixed the two Arctic Silver compounds together in a 1 to 1 ratio like the directions say, on aluminum foil, and quickly applied them between the stock heatsink and the penny, and between the penny and the XPG LED. I let it sit for an hour and half. It was hard to the touch and my fingernail would barely cause a mark, which is what the directions said. I would say there's enough compount in those tubes to mod at least 10 lanterns, if you wanted to know.
    I took a pre 1982 penny which was composed mostly of copper (post 1982 pennies are made of mostly other metals) I think the threshhold year was 1982 I read on the internet, but you should double check on the internet to be sure. I used a 1968 and 1974 penny. One penny for each lantern. I filed down each side of the penny till you couldn't really tell it was a penny anymore. I used one of those long metal filers you can get at home depot. It probably took 45 minutes to file it down completely.
    There is a hole in the center of the stock heatsink and I wanted the LED to be touching a heatsink 100% so I decided to use a penny between the LED and the heatsink.
    After an hour and a half of drying for the compound, I used a $15 soldering iron I got at Home Depot today to solder the postive and negative ends with the stock lantern wires. Loaded my eneloops in the ebay 2AA to D cell adapters (I only loaded one eneloop in each adapter though for the test) and that's how I conducted my tests with both lanterns.

    I did test both LEDs when I got them. I tried just one battery but it did not work. Two batteries did work. I used a Fenix LD20 tube to put both Eneloops in and used old speaker wire to wire up the test setup. Both worked obviously.
    Last edited by CyberCT; 01-14-2012 at 09:24 PM.

  24. #24

    Default Re: Rayovac Extreme 300 Lantern - replacing the LED (Mod)

    Why you need to put a copper penny between the LED and the stock heatsink which will increase the thermal resistance. Also, apply the Arctic Silver layer as thin as possible and press the MCPCB until the Arctic Silver is set. Don't press on the len of the LED.

  25. #25

    Default Re: Rayovac Extreme 300 Lantern - replacing the LED (Mod)

    Quote Originally Posted by Microa View Post
    Why you need to put a copper penny between the LED and the stock heatsink which will increase the thermal resistance. Also, apply the Arctic Silver layer as thin as possible and press the MCPCB until the Arctic Silver is set. Don't press on the len of the LED.
    Yes I made sure to press on the PCB and not the LED. What do you mean the copper penny willl increase thermal resistance? If anything I thought it would transfer the heat BETTER than if it wasn't there. The whole stock heatsink got hot so the heat is obviously transferring well from the LED.

  26. #26

    Default Re: Rayovac Extreme 300 Lantern - replacing the LED (Mod)

    CyberCT, was the stock PCB riveted or glued to the heatsink? Mine was glued, and I couldn't pry it off... Another person also said theirs was glued (versus the rivet mount of the original modder's instructions, which had to be drilled out)... The last guy's solution was just to file the stock LED/PCB down to the metal. Not an elegant solution, but I couldn't find a better way...

  27. #27

    Default Re: Rayovac Extreme 300 Lantern - replacing the LED (Mod)

    coachclass / Chrisdm

    Have you both noticed the whole heatsink getting hot when on the high mode? I put the bottom assembly together (so it looks like the stock lantern without the stock removable top on) so the LED and heatsink were covered. 20 minutes later I take it apart and the whole heatsink was hot (not boiling hot, but hot). I left it for 20 minutes facing up. Took it apart checked the heatsink and it was hot. Then after it cooled I hung it upside down for 20 minutes assembled like stock, took it apart, and the heatsink was hot. So either upside down or right side up, it didn't seem to make a difference.

  28. #28

    Default Re: Rayovac Extreme 300 Lantern - replacing the LED (Mod)

    Chrisdm, the xacto chiseling blade may be helpful to pry the MCPCB off the heatsink.

  29. #29

    Default Re: Rayovac Extreme 300 Lantern - replacing the LED (Mod)

    Another user used a copper pipe end cap as a heatsink with good results, so I don't think there is a problem unless I'm missing something:
    http://www.candlepowerforums.com/vb/...ck-(Pics-added)

    I will have to try the xacto chiseling blade to get that damn heatsink off. I really want to find a good driver now for the lantern to use the batteries more efficiently. When trying to file the stock LED off, I accidently filed the wires down too so I will have to replace the wires. Getting them thread through and angled through the small hole is going to be a pain.

  30. #30

    Default Re: Rayovac Extreme 300 Lantern - replacing the LED (Mod)

    CyberCT, I don't have a Rayovac lantern. I studied those pictures again and found out why they put a piece of copper between the MCPCB and the heatsink. The MCPCB is 12.8mm or 14mm which requires a piece of metal to increase the contact area and cover the hole in the heatsink. If you are using 20mm star, in my opinion, it is not necessary to place a copper coin there.

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