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Thread: Class1: 3x5W Army Light

  1. #1
    Flashaholic* mobile1's Avatar
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    Default Class1: 3x5W Army Light

    Here is my first mod, let's call it the Army light.

    -Extremely Bright (3x5w w-bin)
    -smaller than a coke
    -runtime of 45min
    -powered by 8xAA 2300mAh RECHARGEABLE batteries
    -fully regulated (3xDownboys700 & 1 StepDown converter for a cooling fan to enable continuous operation)

    on the left - original flashlight, on the right 3x5W with fan and 8AA regulated





    It all started that I saw an old vintage hot rod car. I though that it would be fun to do something like this for a flashlight. So I got me a really old Swiss Army Flashlight (Center Pic on the left) with the goal to convert it to the brightest regulated light possible with rechargeable batteries(center pic on the right).

    After removing everything I took 3x5 Watt (w bin) Luxeons mounted them on a heatsink with a built in 5V fan. Each of the LED is regulated with a separate Downboy, mounted on top of the heatsink between heatsink and the optics, this provides also cooling for the downboys. The fan got it's own step down converter. For the optics I used a TriFraen Lens. Behind the openings in the front (originally from 3 sliders to turn on a red, green and blue filter - had to take this out to make room for the batteries) I soldered a black mesh which provides a fairly aggressive look.

    Because of the step down regulators the light can be driven with anything between 9 and 16V. For batteries I used 8 rechargeable 2300 mAh AA batteries which should provide a runtime (so far just a calculated guess) of about 45 min.

    The light itself is about as high as a Coke and it is incredibly bright!!! Despite the fan the light still gets fairly warm - but stays stable. The air the fan is pumping out though is hot. On the back of the light I drilled some holes through which the fan takes in the air, then the air goes through the heatsink and exits through the vents in front and on top of the light. I am thinking about replacing the fan step down converter to a higher voltage one to increase fan speed.

    The light has a beautiful chrome switch on top. after a third turn of the nob, a push on the button provides a momentary on, a half turn switches the light to continues on.

    It took me quite a while to do this light, to find a heatsink that can fit into the case with the lens, to find the best battery setup and specially to make the switch work which is just a few milimeters of space on top. The assembly heatsink-fan, stepdown regulators and optics would probably go well into a variety of other settings.

    The light is NOT water proof (unlike an M6) but hey I'd rather have 3 times the runtime and virtually no operating costs with the rechargeable batteries.

    The beamshots show from right to left, the original army light, than an Arc LS than the 3x5W light.

    This light is so bright that if you shine the light on some plants for just a couple of minutes, they think it's high noon and start opening their leaves... really cooool!!!

  2. #2
    Flashaholic*
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    Default Re: 3x5W M6-Buster

    Impressive! [img]/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/thumbsup.gif[/img]

  3. #3
    Flashaholic* hotbeam's Avatar
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    Default Re: 3x5W M6-Buster

    That is SOME mod! Excellent! Is the Downboy running at 700mA?

  4. #4
    Flashaholic* mobile1's Avatar
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    Default Re: 3x5W

    Thanks - Yes 3 x DB700

  5. #5
    *Flashaholic* jtice's Avatar
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    Default Re: 3x5W M6-Buster

    WOW, thats a really powerful kick but mod !!!
    Cooling fan, lol, thats cool, even looks neat sitton on the back of the fraen.

    I like that tri-fraen, been meaning to pickup one to try.
    But I think EL is out of them, is there anywhere else to get one?

  6. #6

    Default Re: 3x5W M6-Buster

    Ooh, nice. Very nice indeed.

  7. #7
    *Retired* NewBie's Avatar
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    Default Re: 3x5W M6-Buster

    Sweet, I like that beamshot!

    Whats the distance?

  8. #8

    Default Re: 3x5W M6-Buster

    Yaaaaaaah!!! [img]/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/thumbsup.gif[/img]

  9. #9

    Default Re: 3x5W M6-Buster

    Really cool! [img]/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/thumbsup.gif[/img] Is the case louvered for the fan? Can you feel warm air after it's been on? [img]/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/grin.gif[/img] [img]/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/thumbsup.gif[/img]

  10. #10
    Flashaholic*
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    Default Re: 3x5W M6-Buster

    Bad Ass !

  11. #11

    Default Re: 3x5W M6-Buster

    Just one word....

    AWESOME!!!!

  12. #12
    *Moderator* K-T's Avatar
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    Default Re: 3x5W M6-Buster

    That is a cool light - sort of like these hotrod cars: old chassis with new engine! [img]/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/buttrock.gif[/img]

  13. #13
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    Default Re: 3x5W M6-Buster

    3 pieces of X BIN!!!! That's a hopeful 600-750 lumens before losses.... [img]/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/bowdown.gif[/img] [img]/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/cool.gif[/img] [img]/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/clap.gif[/img]

  14. #14

    Default Re: 3x5W M6-Buster

    gee thats fantastic - i just have reservations about the heat it must put out... even with the fan. just lux V's arent rated for a long life in the first place, and if yours are a good bin it would be a shame to see them cook...
    still sweet light [img]/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/smile.gif[/img]

  15. #15
    Flashaholic* LEDmodMan's Avatar
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    Default Re: 3x5W M6-Buster

    Nice mod! [img]/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/cool.gif[/img] I was wondering when someone would put a CPU fan to work in a mod here. [img]/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/yellowlaugh.gif[/img] The one you used seems to fit very nicely with the Fraen Tri-Lens. [img]/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/clap.gif[/img] Could you post a larger pic of the fan/heatsink combination (like the two in your collage)?

    So, where did you get three X bins? [img]/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/ooo.gif[/img] [img]/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/poke2.gif[/img] [img]/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/rant.gif[/img]

  16. #16
    *Flashaholic* jtice's Avatar
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    Default Re: 3x5W M6-Buster

    Whoa Whoa Whoa,,, those are X Bins ??!!?? [img]/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/faint.gif[/img] [img]/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/drool.gif[/img]

  17. #17
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    Default Re: 3x5W M6-Buster

    [img]/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/drool.gif[/img]

    Wow. What kind of a heatsink did you use?

    And three X bins...

    [img]/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/faint.gif[/img]

  18. #18
    Flashaholic* mobile1's Avatar
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    Default Re: 3x5W M6-Buster

    JTice: I got my TriFraen from EL

    NewBie: Distance for the beamshot was about 5 ft (guess)

    McGizmo: I drilled a bunch of holes into the back. On the inside there is sort of an o ring between the case and the fan (so the case doesn't get too hot, and no short cirquiting, less vibration). When turned on you can feel the hotair coming out besides a very litle bit of noise from the fan together with a tiny bit of vibration makes this light (altough its small) feel like one mean beast in your hands.

    Lucien, jtice, LEDmodMan:
    regarding x-bins... almost a year ago EL had a post up that he has several high binned 5W for sale. When looking up the original post I realized that they are W-Bins. I glued the LED's onto the heatsink a long long time ago so I forgot... At that time (April 2003) they were the highest ones available... Sorry about that.

    MegaMe: The heatsink gets pretty hot but the fan can do more voltage which in return doubles(my guess) fan speed. So that's my next project replace the fan step down converter with a higher voltage one to further improve heatsinking.

    LEDModMan: The heatsink was orinally square which would have fitted perfectly well into this case - but I wanted a module I can use in different lights and in different set ups so that's why I made the heatsink round.

    Here some close ups of the module...etc..



    Lucien: The heatsink I bought somewhere on the internet... I tried to find the site again but it seems that the site doesn't exits anymore. The label on the fan is H-617 5V 5 3 Diamond. My guess is that its from an old Diamond 3d graphic card.

  19. #19

    Default Re: 3x5W M6-Buster

    excellent mod! [img]/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/thumbsup.gif[/img]

  20. #20
    Flashaholic* LEDmodMan's Avatar
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    Default Re: 3x5W M6-Buster

    Sweet! Thanks for the clarification on the 5w bins. [img]/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/thumbsup.gif[/img] Three W bins is still nothing to sneeze at. Nice work on the heatsink, and thanks for the larger pics. [img]/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/smile.gif[/img]

  21. #21
    Moderator
    Kiessling's Avatar
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    Default Re: 3x5W M6-Buster

    [img]/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/cool.gif[/img]
    would be a nice candidate for this contest going on .. [img]/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/grin.gif[/img]
    bernhard

    P.S.: a light like the original you gutted for this mod started my flashaholism when I was a child ... red and green sliders ... strange battery ... ah, nostalgy! [img]/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/smile.gif[/img]

  22. #22
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    Default Re: 3x5W M6-Buster

    Niiice!
    [img]/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/thumbsup.gif[/img]
    The fan thing reminds me of my days tweaking computers frequency clocks [img]/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/grin.gif[/img]
    I still have dozens of used cpu fans under my bed...

  23. #23
    Flashaholic* mobile1's Avatar
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    Default Re: 3x5W M6-Buster

    yes I have an other one of those light and I am thinking about doing a mod while leaving the red, green, blue sliders. Problem then is to make the TriFraen fit...

    kongfuchicken, well maybe one of those fans would look cool in a flashlight... In my next mod (keychain) I am looking into using a small RAM-Heatsink...

  24. #24
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    Default Re: 3x5W M6-Buster

    A very similar torch/flashlight was one of my first mods back in the 60ies or 70ies .-)

  25. #25
    Flashaholic* mobile1's Avatar
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    Default Re: 3x5W (w-bin)

    I changed the setup so that the fan is now running on 10V which takes the temperature down to a still pretty warm but reasonable level - of course this will reduce runtime.

    The Problem I have now is that after having seen the light which this 450+ lumens beast puts on the wall, there is somehow no temptation anymore to do a mod (of this size or larger) that cranks out less light.

  26. #26
    Flashaholic* Neg2LED's Avatar
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    Default Re: 3x5W M6-Buster

    AHHH!!! RUNAWAY!!!!

    neg

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