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Thread: Arc6 Upgrades/Mods Thread! Post your thoughts and mods here!

  1. #1

    Default Arc6 Upgrades/Mods Thread! Post your thoughts and mods here!

    XM-L mod completed. See post #19 for details.

    Nichia High CRI mod completed. See post #34 for details.


    Just snatched up my grail light (and my very first EDC!) the Arc6 and wanted to make a 'centralized' Arc6 mod thread as I couldn't really find one.

    Some pics that made me fall in love:






    Now I'm thinking about upgrading the emitter itself. This will be my first mod, but I think it'll be easy since I have some soldering experience and the Arc6 is supposedly upgrade-friendly. The tough part is deciding on which LED to use. I was thinking about a Cree XM-L, but then I read this thread:

    http://www.candlepowerforums.com/vb/showthread.php?291586-I-think-I-ve-figured-out-the-weak-link-in-the-Arc6.

    And it seems that a Cree MC-E is also a good alternative and may even extend run-times by quite a bit! I've PMed fyrstomer about it and will update this thread accordingly.
    EDIT: I'm just a beginner here, so as I understand, the MC-E has a much lower Vf (forward voltage) than the stock P4 and thus takes less energy (watts) at a certain current. Stock Arc6's can draw 4-5A from the battery on level 7 whilst putting 1.5A through the LED. Replacing the LED to one with a lower Vf should slightly extend runtimes. I'll update once I complete my mod with an efficient XM-L.

    Anyways, would just like to see the mods that some people have done to their Arc6 and what recommendations anyone has on the emitter that I should use.
    If anyone also knows the general current draw for each of the levels, that would be great too EDIT: (Found regulated current for each lvl. see below) . Here are the lumen ratings with P4.

    LUMENS
    Here's what the output of the Arc6 (P4) with a rechargeable 123 is at each level:

    • Level 1: <1 lumen
    • Level 2: 7 lumens
    • Level 3: 35 lumens
    • Level 4: 70 lumens
    • Level 5: 100 lumens
    • Level 6: at least 120 lumens
    • Level 7: >120 lumens


    Here's a guess of the output of the Arc6 with a Cree XM-L T6 is at each level:

    • L1 - <18mA (unknown) = ~8 lumens
    • L2 - 80mA = 35 lumens
    • L3 - 250mA = 100 lumens
    • L4 - 500mA = 200 lumens
    • L5 - 700mA = 275 lumens
    • L6 - 1A = 400 lumens
    • L7 - ~1.4A (unknown) = 500 lumens


    NOTE: L1 and L7 are only semi regulated to provide the longest runtime and highest output respectively. Different LEDs will draw different amounts of current in these settings (from my experience).
    CURRENT THROUGH LED
    Below are the estimated current levels through the LED (useful in determining expected output on future LED mods).

    L1 - 1mA (semi-regulated)

    L2 - 80mA
    L3 - 250mA
    L4 - 500mA
    L5 - 700mA
    L6 - 1A
    L7 - 1.4A (semi-regulated)

    TOTAL CURRENT DRAWN AND RUNTIMES
    Below are the measured current levels of my Arc6 (currently with Seoul SSC P4) from a Powerizer 1300mAh 3.0V CR123a PTC protected Battery (current drawn from battery can be around 4-5A from a IMR CR123A battery on L7!) and the associated runtime if the level is maintained (Peter G stated that actual runtimes may be slightly longer since the Arc6 can run on very depleted batteries).

    Arc6 w/ Seoul SSC P4 and Powerizer 3.0V PTC Protected CR123A Primary Battery
    L1 - 6mA = 216 hrs
    L2 - 150mA = 8.67 hrs
    L3 - 540mA = 2.4 hrs
    L4 - 1200mA (3.0V RC123A protected primary apparently only has a max current discharge of 1A) = 1hr
    L5 - 1200mA = 1hr
    L6 - 1200mA = 1hr
    L7 - 1200mA = 1hr

    Arc6 w/ Cree XM-L and Powerizer 3.0V PTC Protected CR123A Primary Battery
    L1 - 18mA = 72 hrs
    L2 - 150mA = 8.67 hrs
    L3 - 540mA = 2.4 hrs
    L4 - 1200mA (3.0V RC123A protected primary apparently only has a max current discharge of 1A) = 1hr
    L5 - 1200mA = 1hr
    L6 - 1200mA = 1hr
    L7 - 1200mA = 1hr

    Arc6 w/ Nichia 219 and Powerizer 3.0V PTC Protected CR123A Primary Battery
    L1 - 10mA = 130 hrs
    L2 - 150mA = 8.67 hrs
    L3 - 540mA = 2.4 hrs
    L4 - 1200mA (3.0V RC123A protected primary apparently only has a max current discharge of 1A) = 1hr
    L5 - 1200mA = 1hr
    L6 - 1200mA = 1hr
    L7 - 1200mA = 1hr

    Of course, these are theoretical numbers. It's not advised to draw near 1A with a PTC protected CR123A battery. It'll reduce its capacity greatly (lasting minutes instead of 1hr). So the law of diminishing returns is exaggerated in this case. I wish I had a IMR RC123A to test this light out with. If anyone can provide current draws from their battery/LED setup, I'll update the thread accordingly.
    Thanks!


    MAINTENANCE/REPLACEMENT PARTS
    Due to the discontinuation of the Arc6, I figured that I'd make this thread a source for compatible replacement parts. If you guys know of compatible replacement parts/sources for the Arc6, be my guest and show me your input.

    Parts
    As of Mid 2012, the following parts can still be brought directly from Arc Flashlight:
    Guarded Sleeves (with titanium clip)
    Unguarded Sleeves
    UCL Window/Optic
    Reflector (Seoul P4, but works lots of current emitters as well)

    Lubrication/grease
    Piston Drive maintenance/grease preferences can be found in this thread: http://www.candlepowerforums.com/vb/showthread.php?242414-Comprehensive-Grease-and-Lube-Thread

    O-rings
    The stock Arc6 uses 3 red silicone o-rings of 2 different sizes. Both the o-rings in the head are the same, while the one on the piston drive is slightly smaller.
    The replacement dimensions of the the O-rings are listed as:
    1x Head O-ring: #17
    1x Piston O-ring:
    #15/16
    1x Bezel Window O-ring: #19

    USER MODIFICATIONS
    PS: And since this is a Arc6 mod thread, I've included some relevant threads/pics below (will update thread as more mods are found)
    Note, Pics are NOT mine. Credit goes to the true owners.

    Discussion of upgrading LEDs:
    http://www.candlepowerforums.com/vb/showthread.php?327232-Anyone-else-miss-their-ARC-6

    Arc6 with Cree XM-L:


    Arc6 with Cree MC-E: http://www.candlepowerforums.com/vb/...did-it-anyway.



    Arc6 with Cree XPG emitter:


    Arc6 with Nichia 219 High CRI


    With Trit Piston Mod (triple trits and larger surface area for thumb press without button bevel):



    With O-ring Rubber grip mod:



    With McGizmo C-Pak mod (changes UI into a twist to change mode clicky):



    With McGizmo PD Pak:



    With Grip Ring mod (I like this one. Wished Arc would have designed the unguarded sleeve with a grip in the first place):



    Makes you wonder if anyone has tried a flush button Arc6 PD on their McGizmo.......

    Everyone knows that the Arc6 got its heritage from the legendary McLuxIII series PD lights. The inside of which looks like this:

    McLuxIII PD Head (notice two large drilled holes for the + and - LED power leads and the singular smaller hole for the mounting screw for the board)


    Contrast to the Arc6 guts:

    Seoul P4 on the left and a "popular/original" Luxeon K2 TFFC mod on the right. Arc overuses the thermal grease on their lights. The right picture is much cleaner due to the modder's skills.
    As with the McGizmo, there are two holes for the + and - LED leads (3 and 9 o'clock with the LED) and a mounting screw for the converter board (silver end of the screw is seen at 6 of the LED). Also note the large circuit element at 12 o'clock which I believe is the temperature monitor for the Arc6 (correct me if I am wrong). EDIT: It has been confirmed that the device is an inductor by several sources, not a temperature sensor as I haphazardly thought (see post #12).



    Arc6 + Cree XM-L + Carclo TIR (narrow, clear) (see post #15 for Fyrstormer's Arc6 + Cree MCE + frosted TIR)
    Last edited by Torchaddict; 06-09-2012 at 12:57 PM.

  2. #2
    Flashaholic* NoFair's Avatar
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    Default Re: Arc6 Upgrades/Mods Thread! Post your thoughts and mods here!

    Mine has a R4 neutral white XP-G in it, titanium clip screws and green trit in the piston.

    I've been contemplating putting a T6 neutral XM-L in it since the one in my V10R AE has the tint closest to midday sunshine of any light I've used. Not sure about the bin on that XM-L so I haven't gotten around to swapping out the XP-G.

    It runs noticeably cooler than when it had the stock Seoul in there, it is also very much brighter. Haven't tested the runtimes yet, but with normal use an IMR lasts for ages before needing a charge.

    The Quark reflector fits with a little modification in case Arc doesn't have any spares left.
    Last edited by NoFair; 04-16-2012 at 10:40 AM.

  3. #3

    Default Re: Arc6 Upgrades/Mods Thread! Post your thoughts and mods here!

    Oh, so you also use a more suitable reflector? I was just planning to swap the emitter and use the stock P4 reflector in the Arc6.... Would I run into any issues in doing so?

  4. #4
    Flashaholic* NoFair's Avatar
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    Default Re: Arc6 Upgrades/Mods Thread! Post your thoughts and mods here!

    The original Seoul reflector that sits in my Arc6 has lots of room around the XP-G. A XM-L should fit fine. It will probably be pretty floody, but the beam should be smooth.

    The Quark reflector is just for people who mess up theirs or want a reflector fitting snugly around the emitter. I use the original and I'm very happy with the beam it produces with a xp-g.

    Pics of the XM-L mod when you are done?

  5. #5

    Default Re: Arc6 Upgrades/Mods Thread! Post your thoughts and mods here!

    Oh I see. I think I have everything in order except that I can't seem to figure out how to prevent the reflector from shorting out the LED across its terminals. In the original design, the P4 LED is surrounded by a plastic bezel that the reflector rests upon, but on the new XM-L LEDs, it seems that there is no such option...

    I'm thinking of using electrical tape on the reflector's base, but wouldn't the tape melt due to the heat from the LED? It doesn't seem like a smart option.

    BTW, yes, I'll take lots of pics of the modding process!

  6. #6
    Flashaholic* NoFair's Avatar
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    Default Re: Arc6 Upgrades/Mods Thread! Post your thoughts and mods here!

    Quote Originally Posted by Torchaddict View Post
    Oh I see. I think I have everything in order except that I can't seem to figure out how to prevent the reflector from shorting out the LED across its terminals. In the original design, the P4 LED is surrounded by a plastic bezel that the reflector rests upon, but on the new XM-L LEDs, it seems that there is no such option...

    I'm thinking of using electrical tape on the reflector's base, but wouldn't the tape melt due to the heat from the LED? It doesn't seem like a smart option.

    BTW, yes, I'll take lots of pics of the modding process!
    Electrical tape is a bit iffy. It doesn't melt, but it will often wear through and you will get a short anyway. Thin plastic (from clam packs etc.) works fine. Lots of other more high tech solutions out there as well

    Just make a round piece with a hole matching the XM-L and you should be fine. If you drill a round hole for the emitter the mod looks a bit cleaner, but it doesn't really matter..

  7. #7
    *Flashaholic* fyrstormer's Avatar
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    Default Re: Arc6 Upgrades/Mods Thread! Post your thoughts and mods here!

    I'll post a pic of my MC-E version a little later. I eventually gave up on using a reflector, and went with a frosted TIR optic sanded to fit in the Arc6 head.

  8. #8

    Default Re: Arc6 Upgrades/Mods Thread! Post your thoughts and mods here!

    Quote Originally Posted by NoFair View Post
    Electrical tape is a bit iffy. It doesn't melt, but it will often wear through and you will get a short anyway. Thin plastic (from clam packs etc.) works fine. Lots of other more high tech solutions out there as well

    Just make a round piece with a hole matching the XM-L and you should be fine. If you drill a round hole for the emitter the mod looks a bit cleaner, but it doesn't really matter..
    How about trying an oring as Flucero28 did with his HDS Rotary mod? Would that work if I covered the +/- contacts? I guessing that I'll need a 7mm ID o-ring since the XM-L is 5mm x 5mm correct?
    What's the best method you have seen without utilizing machinery?



    BTW, looking forward to the MC-E pics fyrstormer!
    Last edited by Torchaddict; 04-17-2012 at 02:32 PM.

  9. #9
    *Flashaholic* fyrstormer's Avatar
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    Default Re: Arc6 Upgrades/Mods Thread! Post your thoughts and mods here!

    The O-ring looks like a good solution. McGizmo also uses that in the Haiku XP-G.

  10. #10
    Flashaholic* spc's Avatar
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    Default Re: Arc6 Upgrades/Mods Thread! Post your thoughts and mods here!

    I have used automotive gasket material. Its high temp and can be cut easy. Can get at auto zone or any of those places. I forget the exact name, but its nice and thin too. And you can buy hole punches in all different sizes at any craft store for making a perfect hole for the emitter...

  11. #11

    Default Re: Arc6 Upgrades/Mods Thread! Post your thoughts and mods here!

    I found your MC-E mod fyrstormer, OP is updated to add it. Thanks!

    Does anyone have the circuit diagram for the Arc6? Might be interesting to have a look. And what's at the 12 o'clock of the LED (see last pic of OP)? Is it a temperature sensor? Hard to tell.

  12. #12
    *Flashaholic* fyrstormer's Avatar
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    Default Re: Arc6 Upgrades/Mods Thread! Post your thoughts and mods here!

    The MC-E mod now uses a frosted TIR optic instead of the reflector, and that reflector is now cozy inside my new Jetbeam TC-R1. The MC-E is very difficult to focus properly and the frosted TIR optic is the closest I've come to a good solution. I need to take a picture of what it looks like currently.

    The circuit diagram is massively complex and some of the parts aren't even necessary. I've knocked capacitors off the driver boards for both my Arc6s, and after talking to Peter Gransee, I confirmed that they were only there to act as dampeners to reduce electrical noise, and they weren't actually necessary for proper operation. I wish I knew which parts are unnecessary, because I'd like to clear up the driver boards by removing them.

    The thing that sticks through the heatsink bulkhead is either an inductor or a power transistor, if I remember correctly. It's not a temperature sensor. The temperature sensor is actually the LED itself; the electrical resistance of an LED decreases as it warms up, so the current flow through the LED will increase, and the circuit can approximately measure the temperature of the LED by measuring current flow at the specified voltage. When the current flow exceeds a certain specified level, the light ramps down to a lower setting.

    Regarding the Quark reflector: Can someone please post a picture of the Quark reflector next to the stock Arc6 reflector? I'd like to see how similar they are in size and shape.
    Last edited by fyrstormer; 04-20-2012 at 10:49 AM.

  13. #13
    Flashaholic* NoFair's Avatar
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    Default Re: Arc6 Upgrades/Mods Thread! Post your thoughts and mods here!

    If my titanium Quark 2Xcr123 wasn't such a PITA to open I'd post pics

  14. #14

    Default Re: Arc6 Upgrades/Mods Thread! Post your thoughts and mods here!

    I too would love to see a Quark reflector.

    Updated OP to display measured current drawn from my battery. If any others wish to measure amperage draws from their setups, post them here and I'll update the OP. Thanks!

    EDIT: Note that to unleash the Arc6's full potential, you should use IMRs. I now have my settings to L1, L2, and L3 (virtual), as the primaries can't take too much of a beating on current draw.
    Last edited by Torchaddict; 04-25-2012 at 12:34 AM.

  15. #15
    *Flashaholic* fyrstormer's Avatar
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    Default Re: Arc6 Upgrades/Mods Thread! Post your thoughts and mods here!

    Finally a picture of the current state of my Arc6 MC-E, alongside my Arc6 K2.


  16. #16

    Default Re: Arc6 Upgrades/Mods Thread! Post your thoughts and mods here!

    Wow. Nice collection! I'm guessing that you prefer the McGizmo PD pak over the stock one? I actually managed to confuse the back of my arc6 with the front once in the dark (both front and back are crenelated). But I still like the unique, weight saving matching look. I was 'lucky' to have one that the HAIII matched perfectly with the head. It really is a nice unique dark grey 'brushed metal' finish.

  17. #17
    *Flashaholic* fyrstormer's Avatar
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    Default Re: Arc6 Upgrades/Mods Thread! Post your thoughts and mods here!

    The Arc6 battery pack does look great, no doubt about it, but it was too slippery for me to hold comfortably. (that's why I tried the O-ring grip mod first, but nowadays I'd probably go for textured Cerakote instead.) Anodizing retains oil very effectively, which is why BMW anodizes the inside of their aluminum engine blocks, but that also means the my ability to grip the Arc6 was dramatically reduced in adverse conditions -- which sometimes could mean "when I hadn't washed my hands recently." I got tired of it, and I didn't want to risk damaging the Arc6 battery tube by dropping it tail-first, so I went on a wild goose chase to find someone with a spare McGizmo Ti PD Pak they would sell me. Titanium, by comparison, hates retaining oil, and the fine machining lines add a substantial amount of "gecko grip" that the smooth finished surface of the Arc6 battery tube lacks.

    A few months later, McGizmo accidentally ordered a set of Clicky Paks with the PD-head interface instead of the E-series interface, and I bought three of them from him. Two of them went on my Lunasol lights, and the third went on my other Arc6. The twisty+clicky interface works better with the MC-E mod because it's such a floody light that I really only retain the low mode as an option in case I ever need it.
    Last edited by fyrstormer; 04-25-2012 at 10:59 AM.

  18. #18

    Default Re: Arc6 Upgrades/Mods Thread! Post your thoughts and mods here!

    Yeah, I love the look of the Arc6 HAIII. It's so shiny, yet extremely durable. Other finishes, even on 'workhorses' such as the HDS System EDCs are grippy, but 'feel' less durable to me. I'd like a bead blasted look, but just can't get over losing the shiny, brushed look of the original! It's that nice in person!

    Loving the bead blasted look of a 007.

  19. #19

    Default Re: Arc6 Upgrades/Mods Thread! Post your thoughts and mods here!

    Mission accomplished! Wow, that took a lot of time and effort. Despite Arc Flashlight's description of the Arc6 being user upgradeable, don't believe them. This was obviously a very difficult mod to complete. Unlike modern flashlights, there is no pill that can be pulled out and fiddled with. You have to deal with the LED and driver at the same time:




    Beam is amazing from the Arc6's flawless reflector. I did some current measurements and was really disappointed that there were absolutely ZERO efficiency gains ( in terms of current draw) despite the lower forward voltage of the Cree XM-L LED. In fact, L1 now uses 18mA of current, rather than 6mA! The other levels seem to be the same. Obviously, the flashlight is MUCH brighter than with the Seoul SSC P4 on all levels. I was hoping the "moonlight" would stay low and that the long runtimes would remain, but that's not the case. Instead of L1 being a long lasting (10 days!), dim moonlight setting, it has become a decent running (3 days) much more daylight usable option. I don't know if my accidentally "knocked" out capacitor did anything to affect power draw.

    To give you an idea of how the brightness has changed, I compared my Arc6 to my cheapo Ultrafire C3 (Cree XR-E) since I do not have a lux meter: The Ultrafire C3 with 2*AA has been touted and measured to be around 120-150 lumens on high. The Arc6 with XM-L on L3 definitely beats that. It's very bright now. Compare it to the 35 lumens stock... The Arc6 L1 is slightly lower than the low of the Ultrafire C3 with 2AA (~10 lumens).

    Here is a chart of Lumens vs current through the LED to give us an idea of what the expected output is like:

    Using this chart, my experience and the info given by Arc Flashlight, an XM-l should produce:

    L1 - 1mA = ~5 lumens
    L2 - 80mA = 35 lumens
    L3 - 250mA = 100 lumens
    L4 - 500mA = 200 lumens
    L5 - 700mA = 275 lumens
    L6 - 1A = 400 lumens
    L7 - 1.4A = 500 lumens

    I have no idea if these are true OTF values.

    XM-L MODIFICATION DETAILS

    I used some pictures that are not mine to better illustrate the mod. Ownership and credit belongs to original owners.

    Equipment Used:
    1. 15W-30W Soldering Iron with small tip
    2. Solder, water soaked pad
    3. Solder Wick/Plunger (to remove solder)
    4. Cree XM-L LED mounted on 16mm x 1.5mm Al Star
    5. Black and Red Silicone Wire (
    24 AWG MAXIMUM, smaller 28 AWG prefered)
    6. O-Rings (ONE 1mm x 7mm, TWO 1.5mm x 19mm, (optional) ONE 2mm x 18.5mm)
    7. Nail Polish (clear)
    8. Precision Philips Head Screwdriver
    9. Thermal Paste
    10. Wire/Cable Cutters
    11. Wire Strippers
    12. Rubbing Alcohol
    13. Q-tips
    14. (Optional) Hammer, File, Copper Penny (pre-1982), Scotch Tape, Insulating Epoxy
    15. Knowledge from CPF and CPF Forum Members (thanks to fyrstormer for answering all my questions! Couldn't have done it without ya!)
    16. Good pair of tweezers


    Once I gathered everything, the first step is to remove the current LED from the driver board. This is not as simple as it sounds since there is no way to remove the LED from the flashlight head to desolder it from the driver board (eg the Arc6 does not utilize a light engine "pill" format). Instead, you have to carefully desolder the LED wires from the driver itself while the whole thing is still installed in the head. Unfortunately, the Arc6 driver board is exceedingly complex and compact to boot. This is where a small, filed down (needle point) soldering tip is needed.

    Once the driver has been desoldered from the LED wires and detached form the head, store it in a safe place. The LED now has to be removed from the head but.... It is thermally epoxied in place! So much for ease of removal. I tried soaking the whole thing in isopropyl alcohol to no effect. I even tried a citrus degreaser and it kinda worked... It removed the LED, but also destroyed it by dissolving it away. Lesson learned: You are going to have to destroy the legacy emitter.

    After cleaning the LED debris from the head, its time to shape the XM-L board to fit inside the head. Instead of using the much more common 10mm or 16mm star carrier board formats that are currently in use, the Arc6 employs the old nearly non-existent 8mm round standard! So instead of buying a XM-L bare and refluxing it on a 8mm board (couldn't find them pre-mounted) I opted for a 16mm star (the ID of the Arc6 is ~17mm wide). Utilizing a 16mm board did several things as follows.



    Pros:
    1. Availability
    2. Pre-mounted XM-L LED (no reflux)
    3. Debatable Thermal management (larger heatsink to spread out heat to more areas)
    4. "Self" centering (16mm is close to 17mm interior diameter. A 10mm board would be a poor choice)
    5. Better reflector integration (no wires to push the reflector away from the emitter, it can basically be as close as can be for a perfect beam)

    Cons:
    1. The round board shape interferes with protruding inductor
    2. Board interferes with protruding driver board mounting screw
    3. Board will have a 8mm round, 1mm deep air gap directly underneath the emitter
    4. Reflector resting on board means that it will be moved 1.5mm forward. Smaller bezel o-ring is needed to allow for more room.



    Obviously, as is, the 16mm board will not fit inside the Arc6 head with the driver board installed at the same time. This is very unfortunate, and this is where the scotch tape, and file come into play. I used the tape to cover and protect the emitter while I filed the board down to the proper shape to allow the board to fit inside. It important not to let the metal shavings touch the emitter or get under it. A short may occur. Even using compressed air to clean it afterwards may force metal shavings under the emitter and cause a short. It is also important that you DO NOT file the underlying contact path (outlined in red) that can be seen. This path is isolated for a reason. Do not go near them.



    Proper shape:



    But we are not done yet. Before I installed the emitter, I decided to file down and pound a copper penny into a 8mm round slug that would fill most of the gap under the 16mm shaped board. It takes a lot of patience to do so...


    Now prep the emitter. I coated the small contacts with insulating nail polish to further prevent a short from the reflector. Cleaned the pads with alcohol and tinned them with solder and soldered the +/- wires to them.

    OK, time to prep the driver board to accept the LED. I then coated the exposed inductor wire and contacts with insulating nail polish so in the case of the 16mm board making contact with it. Clean the contact areas with alcohol. Install the emitter first. I put some thermal compound on the copper slug and put it inside, then placed a couple dabs of the compound on the 16mm board, routed the cables through their respective holes, and installed the emitter/board on top. I centered the emitter by using shims made out of scotch tape.

    Place the small o-ring (1mm x 7mm) so it straddles emitter. This size of an o-ring will be compressed by the reflector and provides a <0.3mm gap for the reflector from touching the nail-polish covered contacts. It also keeps pressure off of the LED and onto the board. You want as small of a gap as possible for better beam quality. Place the reflector on top. Now substitute the standard #19 Bezel O-ring with a 1.5mm x 19mm one. The newer o-ring is slightly thinner than the original and serves to allow more room for the reflector since it is now sits almost 1mm higher than it should be. The original O-ring will not work here. Replace the lens and screw down the bezel.



    Now with the LED centered and in place, turn the head around and cut the exposed +/- wires to just the right length. I used 24AWG wires and that was almost a mistake. 24 gauge is the maximum thickness that is allowed since there is absolutely no room for the wires when the driver is screwed down. If the wires are too thick, or even too long, there won't be enough room in the head to house them. There is no room for error. Cut the wires correctly and shim them through their respective holes (+ wire goes right next to the green inductor wire). Use silicone wire; it's very flexible and temperature resistant. Solder them in place carefully! During the soldering process, I bumped a capacitor (C7) and it fell off! Fortunately, the Arc6 doesn't need every single one of its many circuit components. I epoxied the damn thing back into place, essentially potting it. I recommend that modders at least "pot" their fragile electronics with insulating epoxy BEFORE beginning a mod on the Arc6. If you manage to knock something out of place, don't try to solder it back. You have to reflux it, otherwise you'll most likely do more harm then good. You can also use a CONDUCTIVE epoxy to glue it back into place. I just lazily placed it where it belonged and potted it. Probably doesn't have a great connection, but better than nothing I guess...

    And you're finally done! An optional 2mm x 18.5mm O-ring can be used as a grip ring to improve handling. It doesn't need glue to stay put. Sits there nice and tight.



    Overall, I'd rate the mod a 7/10.

    It brings the amazing 3 stage piston drive light to current bleeding-edge standards (IMR CR123's should reach 500+ lumens on L7), but is extremely difficult for a noob (like me) to undertake, risks damaging the light, and costs you a low setting with 10-day runtime. I'd do it over again though, since the light is now much, much more useful as an EDC and 3 days at 2-5 lumens is more than enough to me. It can go at 100+ lumens for over 2hrs, meeting current efficiency standards as well. No more does the Arc6 have to be known as a "gas guzzler." The most difficult part was planning the whole thing. It's very easy to miss something (smaller o-rings, smaller wires, shims, etc), but I've done the hard part for you!

    Pros:
    1. Brings the Arc6 up-to-date in runtime and output
    2. 100+ lumens for 2+ hrs.
    3. 500+ lumens at L7 "afterburner" (in theory)
    4. More useful EDC 5-10 lumen (guessing here) level

    Cons:
    1. Time consuming mod
    2. Risks damaging the light
    3. 3-day L1 runtime vs 10-day


    Note, that although the tint seems very blue in the pic, it is actually white with a very, very slight purple hue spill in real life.
    Last edited by Torchaddict; 05-22-2012 at 06:26 PM.

  20. #20
    Flashaholic* NoFair's Avatar
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    Default Re: Arc6 Upgrades/Mods Thread! Post your thoughts and mods here!

    Looks good I just got a round 10mm PCB (from Cutter) with my emitter and reduced the diameter to 8mm. Fits perfectly in the slot for the Seoul and is centered.

  21. #21
    *Flashaholic* fyrstormer's Avatar
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    Default Re: Arc6 Upgrades/Mods Thread! Post your thoughts and mods here!

    Nice work.
    Last edited by fyrstormer; 05-15-2012 at 09:44 AM.

  22. #22

    Default Re: Arc6 Upgrades/Mods Thread! Post your thoughts and mods here!

    Thanks! And NoFair, post up some pics when you are done! If you have the means to measure/compare lumens with a IMR, be sure to post up those results as well!

    It'll also be interesting to see if your current draws are similar to mine as well (I'm assuming you also got a XM-L).

  23. #23
    Flashaholic* NoFair's Avatar
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    Default Re: Arc6 Upgrades/Mods Thread! Post your thoughts and mods here!

    Mine still has the XP-G in it. Waiting for decent output and higher CRI from the XM-L. No chance to measure lumens, sorry about that

  24. #24

    Default Re: Arc6 Upgrades/Mods Thread! Post your thoughts and mods here!

    Maybe consider a Nichia 219 4500K HCRI? Only heard good things about that emitter. I didn't go that route just because I couldn't procure them mounted on 16mm stars. Cree's producing HCRI XM-Ls right now I believe, although they are in the traditional warm tint (3000K) and not commonly available.

    Also, anyone have any ideas on who has modded a piston like this AND wanted to sell them?

    Last edited by Torchaddict; 05-16-2012 at 01:18 PM.
    My Lights: Arc Flashlight Arc6 http://www.candlepowerforums.com/vb/showthread.php?336795-Arc6-Upgrades-Mods-Thread!-Post-your-thoughts-and-mods-here!]You do it like this[/url], Ultrafire C3, Nextorch K1

  25. #25
    Flashaholic* tx101's Avatar
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    Default Re: Arc6 Upgrades/Mods Thread! Post your thoughts and mods here!

    Member Datiled did a run of 8mm XML boards which are available from Illuminationsupply.com

    These boards are fairly thin and a copper slug is required to achieve the correct focus.


    BTW I have an Arc 6 as well but my one has a neutral XPG. I used the 8mm XPE boards from the Sandwich Shoppe

    which are compatible with the XPG. A copper slug is also used to raise the LED to the correct focus.

  26. #26

    Default Re: Arc6 Upgrades/Mods Thread! Post your thoughts and mods here!

    Great call on Datiled's 8mm boards. I saw them, but didn't want to reflux at the time...

    I think I got bitten by the modding bug hard though. I just bought a Nichia 219 HiCRI LED and a 20mm Carclo TIR optic to maybe go with it. Better color and more throw at the expense of lumens compared to my current XM-L T6 setup. It'll be interesting to see what the semi-unregulated L1 mode settles at with the Nichia (I actually really, really, really love that my Arc6 only takes 18mA of battery current to produce 8-10 lumens with the XM-L!) Peter Gransee designed L1 so it would be looong lasting and it shows here.

    I'm going to use a 16mm sized board again. It puts the +/- contacts further from the LED and allows me to sneak in a soldering iron tip to desolder/solder the wires without taking anything out of the head for much easier emitter swaps IMHO. Updates won't happen for awhile though since the parts will take 2 weeks to arrive.

    I'm probably going to sell off the XM-L LED and modded board for cheap as well if I like the results of the Nichia. Cutting the board was tough for me, so if anyone would like to follow in my footsteps and upgrade their Arc6 to a XM-L, then hopefully this will ease the pain. IMO, the XM-L is almost perfect for the Arc6. Large, efficient, and bright. Beam is perfect with the stock reflector. The brighter L1 mode is astonishingly useful and I never had any gripes with the tint (I actually thought it displayed colors very well!).

    The main reason that compelled me to swap emitters is largely due to the use of a TIR optic. Cree XM-L + 20mm TIR = Round spot, with a squared-shaped spill. I don't know if I could live with that. I know that XP-G's produce a round spill and Nichia 219 = XP-G, so the Nichia mod came into fruition... And the main reason for using a TIR? Well, just for kicks! Actually, I heard that TIRs may be a little more efficient than reflectors and may provide slightly more throw (not that I care about throw in a EDC that much).

    Beamshots of the Carclo 20mm TIR can be seen here:
    http://www.carclo-optics.com/opticse...p?id_optics=79
    Last edited by Torchaddict; 05-22-2012 at 06:52 PM.
    My Lights: Arc Flashlight Arc6 http://www.candlepowerforums.com/vb/showthread.php?336795-Arc6-Upgrades-Mods-Thread!-Post-your-thoughts-and-mods-here!]You do it like this[/url], Ultrafire C3, Nextorch K1

  27. #27
    *Flashaholic* fyrstormer's Avatar
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    Default Re: Arc6 Upgrades/Mods Thread! Post your thoughts and mods here!

    You're going to take apart the light you just modded and mod it again?

  28. #28

    Default Re: Arc6 Upgrades/Mods Thread! Post your thoughts and mods here!

    Yep! It'll be interesting to see how both emitters compare (beams, runtimes, tint, etc). I think it'll be a lot easier since both will be on 16mm boards. Just carefully move the soldering iron inside the head to desolder then swap out the boards (i just used thermal paste, so should be easy) and resolder. No need to remove the driver this time (hopefully). Maybe I should sell the modded XM-L Arc6 so it wouldn't be "wasted."

    Kinda like #0019 though but on the other hand, I wouldn't mind selling/swapping it with another Arc6 lover to show off what the XM-L could do in this 3" pocket rocket! And then I can mod one that's still original to be fitted with a Nichia. If anyone's interested PM me, otherwise I think I'll go right ahead and mod when the parts arrive.
    Last edited by Torchaddict; 05-22-2012 at 08:43 PM.
    My Lights: Arc Flashlight Arc6 http://www.candlepowerforums.com/vb/showthread.php?336795-Arc6-Upgrades-Mods-Thread!-Post-your-thoughts-and-mods-here!]You do it like this[/url], Ultrafire C3, Nextorch K1

  29. #29

    Default Re: Arc6 Upgrades/Mods Thread! Post your thoughts and mods here!

    Tried installing a TIR optic onto the XM-L a couple of days ago. As Fyrstormer pointed out to me, the 20mm Carclo optic needed to be shaved down to 19mm in order for it to fit inside the Arc6. Unfortunately, I slipped while filling it down and ended up scratching the lens, so another optic is on its way to me! The acrylic glass is very soft.

    Anyways, pics of the mod. Still waiting on the 16mm XP-G/219 board to get to me.




    Impressions are somewhat good. As expected, the beam is has a circular hotspot, but has a square-shaped spill. It throws further than with the stock reflector and a great side-effect of the tightened beam is the fact that you can tailstand the light and approach it without being blinded at all since the TIR collimates the beam forward very effectively. A very good upgrade, but I can't live with the square spill. If it wasn't for that I'd definitely prefer a TIR instead of the stock Arc6 reflector. More efficient (~90% vs 70%), allows for some throw in a pocket light, puts a unique, sophisticated/modern look on it and there's no chance to shorting out the LED!
    Last edited by Torchaddict; 05-29-2012 at 10:15 PM.
    My Lights: Arc Flashlight Arc6 http://www.candlepowerforums.com/vb/showthread.php?336795-Arc6-Upgrades-Mods-Thread!-Post-your-thoughts-and-mods-here!]You do it like this[/url], Ultrafire C3, Nextorch K1

  30. #30
    *Flashaholic* fyrstormer's Avatar
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    Default Re: Arc6 Upgrades/Mods Thread! Post your thoughts and mods here!

    You might be able to get the spill to be more roundish if you insert a small bit of flash-diffuser film into the center of the TIR optic. If I understand TIR refraction at all, the hotspot is actually created by light refracting off the curved rear surface of the optic, whereas the spill is created by light projected straight out through the mostly-hollow area in the center of the optic. So inserting a bit of flash-diffuser film into the center might give you the beam you want.

    Cigar punches are very handy for cutting small circular bits of stuff.

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