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Thread: My pimped-out Nuwai Quantum-III

  1. #1
    Flashaholic* milkyspit's Avatar
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    Default My pimped-out Nuwai Quantum-III

    Hey everybody! [img]/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/grin.gif[/img] Like so many fellow CPFers, I bought a Nuwai Quantum-III 1x123 light a while back, and while I thought it was a neat little light, I also found some things not to my liking... so naturally I began modding, heh heh... [img]/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/wink.gif[/img]

    Introducing... my pimped-out Nuwai Quantum-III! [img]/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/grinser2.gif[/img]



    Okay, well it looks pretty much the same as the UNMODDED Q-III. [img]/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/frown.gif[/img]

    In the interest of offering one example of what can be done with these things, here's a quick rundown of what I did, and why...

    1. Replaced the stock LuxIII star with an SY0J binned star, which runs at lower voltage than stock and comes closer to a pure white color. (The original star had a distinctly blue tint.)

    2. Replaced the stock boost circuit with a modified board pulled from a Dorcy 1AAA LED light, available for $5.94 at any WalMart. I've been using these boards quite a bit lately, both because of the low price and the easy availability. It does entail a little more labor to prep the board for use, though. Anyway, the board performs more-or-less like a MadMax, or perhaps MMLite and greatly increases the runtime of my Q-III over the stock board, plus fails MUCH more gracefully than the stock board did, with hours upon hours of lingering light that's bright enough to navigate around my house and find stuff in drawers. That's after 120 minutes of basically flat output, followed by 30 minutes of gradual dimming to the low output mode. Here's a runtime chart I did for my MilkMite mod, which uses the same circuit...



    3. Removed the switch from inside the tailcap, and inserted an O-ring to recess the rubber boot just enough for the light to stand upright.

    4. While the tailswitch was opened, I replaced the switch board itself with a dual brightness one from another Nuwai light, and replaced the resistance for the low beam with a 10 ohm resistor.

    5. Added a stainless steel split ring from Berkeley Point, to facilitate easy lanyard carry. If you look closely at the photo, you'll notice something unusual about the split ring: one of the turns is missing around roughly half the circumference of the split ring. I snipped it off! This was because the stock split ring was a little too thick for the attachment point on the clip. After snipping some of the split ring off, it now moves more-or-less freely up and down at the attachment point, and doesn't seem to lose all that much strength... certainly not enough to cause it to fail under the small amount of weight of this particular flashlight!

    The upshot of all this is a nice little light that can stand upright, attach to a lanyard, run for 2 hours at high brightness and STILL provide many hours of emergency light, and provide two levels of output: I measured the low output at 83 lux at one meter, and the high level output at 593 lux at one meter. That works well for me! [img]/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/smile.gif[/img]

    The point is, many mods are possible with this light. IMHO it's a great platform for modders! Yippee!
    [img]/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/party.gif[/img]

  2. #2
    Flashaholic* Mark2's Avatar
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    Default Re: My pimped-out Nuwai Quantum-III

    Very nice! [img]/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/smirk.gif[/img] Didn't know the Dorcy boards were that useful...

  3. #3
    Flashaholic* CroMAGnet's Avatar
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    Default Re: My pimped-out Nuwai Quantum-III

    Very nice!! Can we get?? (fully completed?)

  4. #4
    Flashaholic* milkyspit's Avatar
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    Default Re: My pimped-out Nuwai Quantum-III

    Cromag, sure you can get one fully modded! The price will depend on whether you're supplying the stock light, or I'm buying one on your behalf, then modding it. I generally charge $20-30 for the labor, plus parts cost and other expenses. PM me if interested! [img]/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/grin.gif[/img]

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    Flashaholic* hotbeam's Avatar
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    Default Re: My pimped-out Nuwai Quantum-III

    Nice mod Milky!

  6. #6
    Flashaholic* milkyspit's Avatar
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    Default Re: My pimped-out Nuwai Quantum-III

    Why thank you, Mr. Hotster! [img]/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/grin.gif[/img] Your blessing pretty much officially endorses my mod. Now all I need is certification from the great MR Bulk to seal the deal! [img]/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/wink.gif[/img]

  7. #7
    Flashaholic* Neg2LED's Avatar
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    Default Re: My pimped-out Nuwai Quantum-III

    Milky:

    PM Sent

    neg

  8. #8
    Flashaholic* PEU's Avatar
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    Default Re: My pimped-out Nuwai Quantum-III

    how do you open the q3 ? I received mine last week, and cannot figure it out!


    Pablo

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    Flashaholic* Haesslich's Avatar
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    Default Re: My pimped-out Nuwai Quantum-III

    Sweet. How much does the tint change, with the Y0? I'm thiking about a PM...

  10. #10
    Flashaholic* milkyspit's Avatar
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    Default Re: My pimped-out Nuwai Quantum-III

    Neg, PM replied. [img]/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/grin.gif[/img]

    Pablo, the head unscrews at the point where the knurling stops, on the side closest to the clip... look closely and you'll see a seam there. It's Loktited shut, but you can break the seal with a couple pairs or pliers. However, make sure you protect the light itself with some rubber hose or something similar, so you don't end up with plier marks on the housing! [img]/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/icon15.gif[/img]

    Haesslich, the stock Q3 circuit and also the Dorcy circuit will both tend to shift the tint in the "warmer" direction, away from blue and toward green. Maybe the Dorcy circuit does so just a bit more, but it happens with both. Since Y0 is slightly on the blue side of white, this downshift moves the tint CLOSER to pure white. Hope that helps.

  11. #11
    *Flashaholic* flashlight's Avatar
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    Default Re: My pimped-out Nuwai Quantum-III

    With the 2-stage switch is it still a clicky? Guessing that it's a click on High (or low) & click again for Low (or high). Pls. PM me a break down cost for a complete modded light. Thanks. [img]/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/smile.gif[/img]

  12. #12
    Flashaholic* milkyspit's Avatar
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    Default Re: My pimped-out Nuwai Quantum-III

    Flashlight, the replacement clicky has three states: off, low, high. Put another way, when the light is off, click for low, click again for high, and click a third time to turn off.

    Sending PM in a moment... [img]/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/grin.gif[/img]

  13. #13
    *Flashaholic* flashlight's Avatar
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    Default Re: My pimped-out Nuwai Quantum-III

    [ QUOTE ]
    milkyspit said:
    Flashlight, the replacement clicky has three states: off, low, high. Put another way, when the light is off, click for low, click again for high, and click a third time to turn off.

    Sending PM in a moment... [img]/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/grin.gif[/img]

    [/ QUOTE ]

    Got it, thanks Scott. OK now don't forget to spend some time with the baby though. [img]/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/wink.gif[/img] Up for a great mod. [img]/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/thumbsup.gif[/img]

  14. #14

    Default Re: My pimped-out Nuwai Quantum-III

    Hi Scott

    I decided to take the plunge. My FIRST post!

    Do you think a 5Watt Luxeon would go in without it burning up? Perhaps not sufficient room for dissipating the heat properly?

    Also, can you describe any of the identifying numbers on the little driver chip inside the Nuwai 3Watt?

    The one I have has a circuit board with a part number of C300-AL5W, is that the same number you have?

    Thanks for your input.

    Ed

  15. #15
    Flashaholic* milkyspit's Avatar
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    Default Re: My pimped-out Nuwai Quantum-III

    Hey! Welcome, LED_experimenter! [img]/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/grin.gif[/img]

    I'm not sure a 5W Luxeon could be driven by the stock circuit. It might work underdriven, meaning it would be nowhere near the proper brightness, but probably that's about it. For the same reason, I don't think heat will be an issue.

    I believe the primary chip on the board is a Zetex ZXSC300. It's a regulator, sort of, but in the configuration used runs more like it's in partial regulation, meaning it won't maintain constant brightness but will keep the light fairly bright for a while, before output drops dramatically when the battery is nearly depleted.

    Yes, that's the same code as I've got on the stock circuit board. I think the C300 part refers to the ZXSC300 regulator, and suspect that the AL5W part means this board was originally designed to drive a 5W emitter off TWO 123 cells. That said, it's just a theory, as I haven't tried it yet. But if you're prone to experimenting, try it! [img]/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/naughty.gif[/img] Put a replacement circuit in the QIII, such as the Dorcy circuit I used, and perhaps try running the C300-AL5W board to drive a 5W emitter (properly heatsinked of course) with 2x123 cells.

    Good luck with your pimpin'! [img]/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/wink.gif[/img]

  16. #16
    Flashaholic* CroMAGnet's Avatar
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    Default Re: My pimped-out Nuwai Quantum-III

    Hi Milky. PM sent last week. Awaiting deatils [img]/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/smile.gif[/img]

  17. #17
    Flashaholic* milkyspit's Avatar
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    Default Re: My pimped-out Nuwai Quantum-III

    Cromag, I replied to your PM last week as well. Not sure why you didn't notice it... or maybe for some reason you didn't receive it at all?
    [img]/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/thinking.gif[/img]

    I'll cut-n-paste that reply plus add a bit of new info, and send you another PM in the next 10 minutes. Watch for it! [img]/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/smile.gif[/img]

  18. #18

    Default Re: My pimped-out Nuwai Quantum-III

    Hi Scott (or, is it Milkyspit?)

    I tried that quick change, but it didn't put out much more light or current. I believe I need to change the smd resistor value. The resistor number is R050. I am not sure if that is 0.50 ohms or .050 ohms? I never worked with such small values before. As near as I can figure, I should reduce that resistor to 1/2 the present value. On the boards you are removing, is there a different number on the smd resistor?

    Does any of that make sense to you? Do you have a recommendation for the smd resistor? I know you prefer the board from the Dorcy 1AAA, but I have a frugal streak in me (I hate to waste things), so I am trying to make the original circuit board work.

    Do you think I am trying too hard to preform a miracle, by saving that board?

    I know, I ask a lot of questions! (HEY, where is the spell checker [img]/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/ooo.gif[/img])

    OK, that's it for now. I don't want to over extend my welcome, since I am only a 'newbie' here!

    Thanks
    Ed

  19. #19
    Flashaholic* milkyspit's Avatar
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    Default Re: My pimped-out Nuwai Quantum-III

    LED_experimenter, you can call me Milkyspit, Milky, or Scott... they're all fine by me! [img]/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/smile.gif[/img]

    If memory serves, my resistor was either R050 or R020. I don't think changing the value will help you much, because on this board the resistor doesn't set the output current by itself, it only sets the PEAK output current. In other words, if everything went perfectly and your battery were able to deliver all the power in the world, your emitter would run at 950mA using that stock resistor. (I had calculated the value based on the Zetex datasheet for their chip.) However, in any less than ideal situation, which is definitely the case with a single 123 cell being asked to deliver massive amounts of juice on a continuous basis, the chip will begin sending PULSES to the emitter. Each pulse may well be 950mA, but because it's not continuous output, it has the effect of making the LED look dimmer to the eye. For my Q3, the output was comparable to other lights I've got running in the 350mA-500mA range. It seems that the battery itself is the limiting factor in this light, so reducing the resistor probably won't do a whole lot for you. [img]/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/frown.gif[/img]

    Regarding the Dorcy 1AAA, it's $5.94 at WalMart, man! Think of the amount of time you'll spend tinkering with the stock circuit, probably fruitlessly, when for less than $6 you could just pop in a different circuit that you know is going to work. [img]/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/wink.gif[/img]

    BTW, I didn't waste those Q3 boards, just haven't told you what I did with them yet, heh heh. [img]/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/naughty.gif[/img]

  20. #20

    Default Re: My pimped-out Nuwai Quantum-III

    Scott,

    very interesting light you did [img]/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/happy14.gif[/img]

    I have some questions about it:

    Does it have more throw than the original QIII, or does it have more sidespill, or perhaps both ? [img]/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/grin.gif[/img]
    Would the 2-stage switch also be possible with an original QIII, and if yes, would you sell one and for what price ?

  21. #21
    Flashaholic* milkyspit's Avatar
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    Default Re: My pimped-out Nuwai Quantum-III

    Absolite, thanks for the compliment on my pimpin'. [img]/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/wink.gif[/img]

    Okay, let's see... it's the same reflector in both cases, so sidespill is identical in diameter, but throw with the Dorcy circuit is maybe 20% less than with stock. (That still leaves plenty of throw, though!) The main reason for the Dorcy circuit was twofold: it runs for at least TWICE as long as the stock circuit; and it fails far more gracefully. On the latter point, I did a runtime test on my MilkMite mod, which also uses the Dorcy circuit, and even after 8 HOURS of continuous runtime on a single 123 cell, there was enough light to navigate the rooms of my house and find things in drawers. Simply put, I just trust the Dorcy circuit far more than I do the stock circuit not to let me down when I need it. [img]/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/grin.gif[/img]

    Yes, the dual brightness switch could be installed in the stock OR pimped Q3, but you'll need to be comfortable soldering and unsoldering things on circuit boards. If not, you could always send it to me for modding... I'd probably only need the tailcap, not the entire light. The stock switch sits on a little circuit board in the tailcap, and basically you'd need to desolder and remove that one, then solder down the new one, and finally run a resistor from one of the outputs of the new switch to the output pad on the little circuit board.

    I haven't received the switches yet, so it's a little premature to put a price on them... but I'm sure it'll be under $10 shipped! [img]/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/grinser2.gif[/img] Okay, maybe that doesn't say much, but the point is it won't be a backbreaker for anyone. [img]/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/smile.gif[/img]

  22. #22

    Default Re: My pimped-out Nuwai Quantum-III

    Thanks alot for your answers, and I would like to take such a switch when it's available.
    Soldering should be no problem for me (at least I'll try) [img]/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/smile.gif[/img]

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    Flashaholic* Anglepoise's Avatar
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    Default Re: My pimped-out Nuwai Quantum-III

    Milky.
    When you had your Q-III apart, did you by any chance happen to measure the diameter of the lens??

  24. #24
    Flashaholic* milkyspit's Avatar
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    Default Re: My pimped-out Nuwai Quantum-III

    Nope, sorry about that, Anglepoise. [img]/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/jpshakehead.gif[/img] I didn't remove the reflector and didn't even think about swapping out the lens, so I never bothered to measure it, either. But roughly speaking, I'd guess the reflector itself is 20mm in diameter, so the lens must be something slightly larger, like maybe 22mm, or just a fraction larger than that? Just a guess!
    [img]/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/thinking.gif[/img]

  25. #25
    Enlightened
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    Default Re: My pimped-out Nuwai Quantum-III

    I would like to have the new switch when you have it. Probably, I would like the output to be half of the high. Also, my QIII is running much brigher on R123 than CR123, would it damage the LS because I believe the regulation circuit is not very efficient with the QIII.

  26. #26
    Flashaholic* red_robby's Avatar
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    Default Re: My pimped-out Nuwai Quantum-III

    i changed my lens with a mineral lens from the sandwich shop
    the 22.5mm fit...

  27. #27
    Flashaholic* milkyspit's Avatar
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    Default Re: My pimped-out Nuwai Quantum-III

    [ QUOTE ]
    AW said:
    I would like to have the new switch when you have it. Probably, I would like the output to be half of the high. Also, my QIII is running much brigher on R123 than CR123, would it damage the LS because I believe the regulation circuit is not very efficient with the QIII.

    [/ QUOTE ]

    AW, I don't own any R123 cells myself, but it sounds like you're bypassing the circuit completely on those and driving the LS as if it's a direct drive light... in other words, as if you had wired the battery directly to the LS with no circuitry in between. The reason it looks much brighter on those cells is that MUCH more current is flowing through the LS! If memory serves, an R123 will put out something like 4.2V when it's fresh.

    Direct drive lights aren't necessarily bad. 4sevens has designed several nice ones, so has roguesoul, so have I and many others... then there's the godfather of all direct drivers, the great MR Bulk himself, who built a number of CPF classics (like the Space Needle II) on the principle of direct drive! [img]/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/naughty.gif[/img]

    There are two possible problems, though. First problem would be that you fry your LS. If your light is generating lots of heat, or you can measure more than 1 amp of current coming from the battery (you can test this with a DMM, or digital multimeter, by removing the tailcap, touching one lead to the battery, and the other to some exposed aluminum on the barrel of the light), you might have a potential problem.

    I'd bet, though, that the LS won't be your main concern. The second problem is that you may end up frying one or more components in the QIII's boost circuit, which would mean your light either would no longer work properly with regular 123 cells, or in the worst case, wouldn't work at all! [img]/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/mad.gif[/img]

    Well, I'm already on record here on CPF as pretty much hating that circuit, so to me that would be no great loss. [img]/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/yellowlaugh.gif[/img] And rechargeables are of course a great idea. Just be careful, dude! [img]/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/grin.gif[/img]

    If you end up toasting your light, send it over and we'll pimp 'er up! [img]/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/naughty.gif[/img]

  28. #28
    Enlightened
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    Default Re: My pimped-out Nuwai Quantum-III

    It says here Q-III are passed for those R123s:
    http://www.justbright.com/cells.htm
    [img]/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/thinking.gif[/img]

  29. #29
    Flashaholic* Haesslich's Avatar
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    Default Re: My pimped-out Nuwai Quantum-III

    [ QUOTE ]
    AW said:
    It says here Q-III are passed for those R123s:
    http://www.justbright.com/cells.htm
    [img]/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/thinking.gif[/img]

    [/ QUOTE ]

    Eh, it's cheap enough that toasting the circuit board won't matter much, especially since a cheap $5 Dorcy has a good replacement board in it. [img]/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/grin.gif[/img] And you could get Scott there to pimp up the switch and the LED for you, so you would a) know the LED was rated for the 4.2-3.7V of the rechargables, and b) not have to worry about overdischarging cells.

    Still, it's not a bad light for $40, is it?

  30. #30
    Enlightened
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    Default Re: My pimped-out Nuwai Quantum-III

    I would say $48 is a good deal considering my Q-III is brighter than my ARC4+ (rev2) [img]/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/grinser2.gif[/img]

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