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Thread: Updated! A Different Kind of Maglite Mod (Pics + Vid)

  1. #1
    Flashaholic* Mattaus's Avatar
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    Evilgrin07 Updated! A Different Kind of Maglite Mod (Pics + Vid)

    Hey ho all,

    Given the long weekend here in Australia and CPF being down I used the time I had spare to complete a mod I started planning over 6 months ago. It was always ambitious for me as my only modding experience prior to this was the usual XM-L + 2.8A Driver + H22A Heat Sink mod. A very basic but great mod to start out with. On a camping trip in the middle of last year I was proudly showing off my Maglite only for a mate to whip out his HID mag which promptly made mine look....horrible. It kick started a planning process and what I've arrived at is this:









    I'm pretty happy with how it's turned out. It looks nice and as close to stock as I could get it, but at the same time is seriously bright.

    It's a 3D mag running a pcb-components.de 'Senser Extreme' Boost Driver modified to provide 3.05A to 7 series connected XM-L-U2 emitters. This setup is controlled by the stock switch and 'Nano Dim V2' dimmer module (another pcb-component.de product) connected to a 10Kohm pot. The whole rig is powered by a custom built battery pack that utilizes parts taken from a Mdocod battery adapter, some PVC tubing and a 2000mAh LiPo 3S battery pack capable of up to 25C discharge. Given this puppy steps 11.1V up to nearly 25V it pulls over 8A from the pack...yet to do any measurements though. The lens is borofloat because of the heat which you can clearly feel holding the front 15cm from your hand. The optics are a Cree 7 point 12 degree optic.

    Lastly the pot cover was custom machined for me by BVH for free as part of his offer a while back. I fits beautifully and I couldn't be happier. I wanted minimalist and that's what I got. I installed the blue trit vial myself.

    The most important part however is the 100% pure copper heat-sink custom machined by Norcimbus. Norcimbus did an absolutely fantastic job and when I opened up the package at work the shine dragged everyone from their desks just to see what I had! I designed the heat-sink to fill the entire head of the stock maglite and it fit like a glove. The 4 screw points help with keeping pressure in the head, though given the tight fit they were maybe not necessary (but don't tell Norcimbus because I think they were a pain to drill!!!!).

    Everything is connected with high temp silicone wire. There's barely any room to move inside the body and head the tolerances are that tight. Anyway....more pics. Sorry if they are a bit small. I had so much I wanted to show but needed to keep the pic sizes and number down:

    I had to modify the driver to output 3A....I was pretty nervous doing this as it's a $50+ driver. I had to mount that 0.1ohm resistor on top of one that was already under the inductor (which had to be removed to get to it). The only issue with this driver is that no matter what brightness I have set before switching it on, it flashes at full power very quickly (not even half a second) before settling to the pre-set level. It's not too bad, but I have hurt my eyes more than once now...and scared the poo out of a few people I forgot to tell:



    Modifying the mag tube, making a collar for the pot (hand filed) and installing BVH's cover:




    Modifying the stock switch, installing and wiring the PWM board and installing the whole lot into the mag tube (No idea why but I put grip tape below the PWM board for some reason):



    The Norcimbus heat sink, drilling and taping the mag head for the screws, and test fitting:




    Wiring and installing it all up (thermal paste is holding the driver in place), the LiPo pack:




    Beam shots:

    XM-L @ 2.8A left, my mag on the right.




    Same as above:




    The video below was shot on an iPhone 4S, and the patio light was on. Stock LED MagLite first, then a modified 2.8A single XM-L on low before turning that up high. You can tell when mine turns on It throws damn far as well but only because of pure grunt, so in the yard shot it looks almost like 100% flood. It's not. The iPhone auto balances it's metering as soon as mine turns on, so it tones down the difference considerably.




    I'm so happy it's finished, my colleagues at work were impressed. I sunk a lot of time and money into this project so for it to turn out better than I hope is very rewarding.

    Special thanks to Norcimbus and BVH for their work, I could never have machined that stuff on my own.

    Thanks for looking!

    - Matt
    Last edited by Mattaus; 05-12-2012 at 07:25 AM.

  2. #2
    Flashaholic Hill's Avatar
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    Default Re: A Different Kind of Maglite Mod (Pic Heavy)

    Matt,

    Outstanding workmanship! She is a beauty (and a BEAST!). I really like your idea of having a variable control rather than preset levels. I had a build like that but stupidly fried the driver :-(.

    The heatsink looks first class. I spend 90% of my mod time making custom sinks by hand which is really a pain and they never come out perfect.

    Enjoy your light. Beamshots please!!!

  3. #3
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    Default Re: A Different Kind of Maglite Mod (Pic Heavy)

    Nice one, cant wait for the beamshots.

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    Flashaholic* Mattaus's Avatar
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    Default Re: A Different Kind of Maglite Mod (Pic Heavy)

    Thanks guys. I'll get beam shots up once I get my borrowed dSLR back. This is the first light I've built with a custom heat sink and now everything I look at can't be planned without one - it's just awesome having something created for a specific purpose instead of re-purposing old stuff. Expensive though. Good thing I've learnt how to use a lathe since I ordered this one :-)

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    Flashaholic* mvyrmnd's Avatar
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    Default

    So that's a quick and dirty 7000 lumens then

    Nice work!

  6. #6
    Flashaholic* Mattaus's Avatar
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    Default Re: A Different Kind of Maglite Mod (Pic Heavy)

    Quote Originally Posted by mvyrmnd View Post
    So that's a quick and dirty 7000 lumens then

    Nice work!
    You bet ;-) Get ready to check your PMs BTW

  7. #7
    Flashaholic* mvyrmnd's Avatar
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Mattaus View Post
    You bet ;-) Get ready to check your PMs BTW
    Yeah, the Biggest loser is over now, so you can get back to work!


  8. #8
    Flashaholic* Mattaus's Avatar
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    Default Re: A Different Kind of Maglite Mod (Pic Heavy)

    Quote Originally Posted by mvyrmnd View Post
    Yeah, the Biggest loser is over now, so you can get back to work!

    Ha! The girlfriend is watching it so I can hear it. Doesn't interest me at all lol.

  9. #9
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    Default Re: A Different Kind of Maglite Mod (Pic Heavy)

    Wow, that is magic.

    I was expecting to see your triple mini-mag but this is a whole different beastie.

    BTW, what long weekend did you guys get? Was an ordinary 2 day one here.

    Cheers,
    Nova

  10. #10
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    Default Re: A Different Kind of Maglite Mod (Pic Heavy)

    How nice to have the little part I made on such a fantastic light! Great job!
    WWII 60" Anti Aircraft Carbon Arc (Sold), Short Arcs: 1.6KW NightSun, 1KW VSS-3A, .8KW TrakkaBeam, 600 Watt M-134 Gun Light, 500 Watt X-500-14s, 500 Watt Starburst, 300 Watt Locators, Megaray, 150 Watt Set Beam & Communicator, Maxabeam Gen3, LarryK14@52V

  11. #11
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    Default Re: A Different Kind of Maglite Mod (Pic Heavy)

    Wow looks great! How long can it run before it overheats?

  12. #12
    Flashaholic* Mattaus's Avatar
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    Default Re: A Different Kind of Maglite Mod (Pic Heavy)

    Quote Originally Posted by ^^Nova^^ View Post
    Wow, that is magic. I was expecting to see your triple mini-mag but this is a whole different beastie. BTW, what long weekend did you guys get? Was an ordinary 2 day one here.
    Thanks...it feels magic pointing it at stuff haha. The triple mini-mag is on hold and may only be a single LED job now as the guy I'm modding it for had a change of heart. Queensland Labour Day was our day off...I forgot it's not an Australia wide thing (or is rather on different days of the year).

    Quote Originally Posted by BVH View Post
    How nice to have the little part I made on such a fantastic light! Great job!
    Thank you. Your efforts were much appreciated in this

    Quote Originally Posted by The_bad_Frag View Post
    Wow looks great! How long can it run before it overheats?
    Not sure yet...I'm not game to leave it running. The head gets warm pretty fast which is a good sign of thermal transfer, but it is yet to get hotter than 'noticeably warm' even after being turned on and off continuously over a 10 minute period. Honestly on high I think it will go flat before it burns out. The fun part is holding your hand in front of the beam at about 10cm. That is definitely warm! I'm actually worried about the optics a little...the lens being borofloat should be right.

    Touch wood!

    - Matt

  13. #13
    Flashaholic* ma_sha1's Avatar
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    Default Re: A Different Kind of Maglite Mod (Pic Heavy)

    Awesome mag mod!
    My Mods.. http://www.candlepowerforums.com/vb/...5&postcount=78
    Hobby only, I don't do custom mods as a service, thanks for understanding.

  14. #14
    Flashaholic* Mattaus's Avatar
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    Default Re: A Different Kind of Maglite Mod (Pic Heavy)

    Quote Originally Posted by ma_sha1 View Post
    Awesome mag mod!
    Thanks ma_sha1! Coming from such an excellent modder such as yourself that makes me smile

    EDIT: I should point out that the inspiration for this was actually some of over_dog's ridiculous SST-90 mods (9000 and 18000 Lumen if I recall correctly). They were fantastic but I wanted to see how far you could push a mag in the original body, and keeping the whole thing stock looking the entire time. Sure I could have got by on single mode and no dimmer knob, but that's a bit limiting in something so bright. Also looking in the front might give it away...and it weighs a bit...OK so maybe I didn't really hit all my goals, but I think it looks sweet. I get a grin every time I look at it.

    My girlfriend hates it
    Last edited by Mattaus; 05-09-2012 at 05:52 AM.

  15. #15
    Flashaholic* Mattaus's Avatar
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    Default Re: A Different Kind of Maglite Mod (Pic Heavy)

    A video has been added to the first post showing the light in operation.

  16. #16
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    Default Re: A Different Kind of Maglite Mod (Pic Heavy)

    Well that sure lit up the back yard!!!

  17. #17

    Default Re: A Different Kind of Maglite Mod (Pic Heavy)

    Awesome mod! So that driver with 7.4v input can output 3 amps at around 24v?

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  18. #18
    Flashaholic* Mattaus's Avatar
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    Default Re: A Different Kind of Maglite Mod (Pic Heavy)

    Quote Originally Posted by cmacclel View Post
    Awesome mod! So that driver with 7.4v input can output 3 amps at around 24v?

    Mac
    Thanks! Took a lot of planing to get right.

    In regards to the voltages not quite - the LiPo pack is providing 11.1V (It should be 3.6vx3 but the pack says 11.v1 for 3S which is what the pack is. I might need to increase my understanding of LiPo technology) but it boosts that up to approx. 24v at 3.05A. The driver is a very capable one and very well made. There are a series large tables at the back of it's data sheet that detail Vin for a desired Vout. I can't get the sheet to load for me at the moment and my paper copy is at home, but it's pretty easy to read. It's possible that it could boost 7.6v to 24v...

    I also forgot to mention that the driver is directly mounted to the heat sink (obviously) and that it has built in thermal protection so once a temperature threshold is reached is backs off the output to keep the temperature lower. It must work because I'm yet to have this thing shutdown on me.

  19. #19
    Enlightened
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    Default Re: A Different Kind of Maglite Mod (Pic Heavy)

    Very nice build, and powerfull too.....it should make a day in the middle of the night....
    ..beam shots pleaseee....

  20. #20
    Flashaholic* Mattaus's Avatar
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    Default Re: A Different Kind of Maglite Mod (Pic Heavy)

    First post updated with MUCH better beauty shots and comparative beam shots. No photos seem to do it justice....it lights up everything in your field of view.

    Thanks!

    - Matt
    Last edited by Mattaus; 05-12-2012 at 07:27 AM.

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