A small victory.... just a simple Quad Cree

KevinL

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Some years ago I built a 3 x Lux3 light based on the TWAK bin. :twak:

Direct drive, no resistors apart from the Mag3C's own resistance. I dunno whether I would be allowed to claim credit for it, but this light was unique in the aspect that people hadn't yet come up with disk heatsinks for Maglites. We had the single-emitter heatsinks that fit into the the 'throat' of the Mag, but we had nothing to mount three stars in a triangle configuration. I know, because I wanted exactly such a product and despite repeated requests I was not able to find one. If I could it would be a simple matter of Paypal sent and problem solved :)

I eventually ran into a gentleman by the handle of b2eze who agreed to custom machine me a round disk of aluminium to fit into the Mag head, with a hole drilled in the center. He actually drilled me a few extra mounting holes as an extra and ultimately turned it into a kit. :thumbsup: If you search long enough you will probably be able to corroborate my story, I think the year was 2005.

I like to think that this product ultimately inspired the creations of the CPF master modders who came up with triple, quad and more sinks. We all inspire each other. :)


Now it's 2010 and the triple TWAK has been badly beaten. A single Cree XR-E gives it a serious, serious run for its money, sometimes beating it. It looks like a candle that's not having a good day. And call me cheap, but I recall I was spending in the region of $20 per star for the TWAKs back then, plus another ton of money for reflectors. I figured I'd reuse this groundbreaking heatsink - and slap four cheap Cree XR-E's on it. XR-Es, not XPGs, because I could then use cheap $3 quad optics from DealExtreme. How things have changed: I spent $25 on this upgrade, no kidding. My time....well, it's a hobby. Time is 'free' in the sense it is also freely contributed.

And here we are today, 5 years later, four Crees. It's the simplest of circuits, but after slaving away for 2.5 hours in front of the soldering iron I think I would like to celebrate a small victory :D I haven't soldered in years too... it's tiring re-learning, burned fingers and all!

As a nice plus, it's visibly brighter than my TK40 MC-E when driven on 3 high-rate NiMH :)
 

KevinL

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I nearly lost one of the Crees when putting it all together. A ground wire broke in the most inconvenient of places to repair - so I just bridged a wire from one negative terminal of the affected star to another. They are all common-ground anyway, and the wiring is still within spec fortunately.

Hmm even the simplest of mods never seems so simple eh? Hats off to the much more talented folk who attempt much more complex projects. :bow: I am a mere hack who occasionally fumbles with a soldering iron (fumbles being the keyword).
 

tx101

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Cool ..... :twothumbs


I would suggest the next upgrade for your quad XRE, is to read this thread

and buy one of these ;)

You will also need 2 x 18650 li-ion cells plus a spacer so that they will fit in

your Mag 3C.

:devil: :devil: :devil:
 

KevinL

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Nice :) Any beamshots ?

Soon soon :) will organize a shootout with my MC-E and P7 lights. In the meantime, the beam is a very smooth even flood with a very tight center hotspot. You wouldn't even imagine it is being made by 4 emitters. The donut hole only shows up at 1ft or less, and using such a powerful light at that range is nearly guaranteeing self-blindness ;)

Cool ..... :twothumbs


I would suggest the next upgrade for your quad XRE, is to read this thread

and buy one of these ;)

You will also need 2 x 18650 li-ion cells plus a spacer so that they will fit in

your Mag 3C.

:devil: :devil: :devil:

Actually, I am keeping it stock on NiMH and alkalines (knowing alks won't deliver full power) since this may wind up being one of my loaner lights for family. I don't want them blowing themselves up with lithium....

For my NEXT project :devil: once I have recovered from all the freaking solder fumes and lead poisoning...... that's gonna be a 4K :eek: lumen build around 3S3P strings of XP-Gs on 20mm boards with 20mm optics powered by 4 x LiFePO4 in a 4D mag :D

1.5A hot out of the gate should give me that, when the cells settle down to 1A I should be around 3K.. still enough to blind any 'bumps in the night' :p
 
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KevinL

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Relative exposure beamshots (f/5.6, ISO 200, aperture priority semi-auto)

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These shots don't really do justice to the spillbeam of the light. In some cases it looks similar but one glance at the spill and you know what's going on. For example the SRTH and Mag2HID have virtually no spill compared to the fantastic output of the Quad Cree.

The L4's beamshot is the most telling. The poor L4 basically completely gets lost in the massive spill from the Quad Cree. Wall of light? yes, this is it, plus a very nice tight hotspot that's a pleasant surprise. Four separate emitters mounted on stars, focused with a cheap plastic optic deliver a tighter spot than a single quad-die LED.
 

AvroArrow

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Some years ago I built a 3 x Lux3 light based on the TWAK bin. :twak:

<snip>

I eventually ran into a gentleman by the handle of b2eze who agreed to custom machine me a round disk of aluminium to fit into the Mag head, with a hole drilled in the center. He actually drilled me a few extra mounting holes as an extra and ultimately turned it into a kit. :thumbsup: If you search long enough you will probably be able to corroborate my story, I think the year was 2005.

I like to think that this product ultimately inspired the creations of the CPF master modders who came up with triple, quad and more sinks. We all inspire each other. :)

Wow... This brings back memories. I remember copying your old build except my host was a Mag 3D which made things more interesting because during the build I learned that the D head is more shallow than the C head. So I had to use (TV1K) emitters instead of stars and IMS17s instead of IMS20s. Oh, and I got the copper version of the heatsink made by b2eze (yes, it was 2005 since I did my build in March 2005). It was my first ever completed build. Did your heatsink have the pedestal that fits into the bulb holder? Or was that a later innovation he did? It still runs fine on 3x D Duracells sitting on my nightstand.

But you are right, it gets blown away by the current lights, probably something with an XPG and powered by 1xAA. Maybe it's time for me to upgrade that old friend with some neutral Crees or something. I'd still like power it with 3x D alkalines like the current one. Time to do some research.

Illum,
If it's still direct drive like his old build, then the crees are being driven in parallel since there's no circuit to boost the voltage if they were soldered in series. My old copy of his build is also direct driven in parallel with 3 alkalines. It was the only way to do it cheap and maintain alkaline compatibility.
 
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KevinL

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Nice build :twothumbs

Thanks! :)

that's alot of wires for a quad cree:thinking:
I'm counting 8 wires, you used one wire or each connection?

Yup. 4 pairs in a Cat5, 4 crees. In hindsight though, I wish the wire was shorter, it would make it easier to cram everything in when I close up the light. I made it too long.

Wow... This brings back memories. I remember copying your old build except my host was a Mag 3D which made things more interesting because during the build I learned that the D head is more shallow than the C head. So I had to use (TV1K) emitters instead of stars and IMS17s instead of IMS20s. Oh, and I got the copper version of the heatsink made by b2eze (yes, it was 2005 since I did my build in March 2005). It was my first ever completed build. Did your heatsink have the pedestal that fits into the bulb holder? Or was that a later innovation he did? It still runs fine on 3x D Duracells sitting on my nightstand.

But you are right, it gets blown away by the current lights, probably something with an XPG and powered by 1xAA. Maybe it's time for me to upgrade that old friend with some neutral Crees or something. I'd still like power it with 3x D alkalines like the current one. Time to do some research.

Illum,
If it's still direct drive like his old build, then the crees are being driven in parallel since there's no circuit to boost the voltage if they were soldered in series. My old copy of his build is also direct driven in parallel with 3 alkalines. It was the only way to do it cheap and maintain alkaline compatibility.

:D :thumbsup:

Yes, I had the bulb pedestal and that made things so much easier for that bulb especially since I was tired of soldering to switches. However, I eliminated the pedestal for this build since I wanted minimum resistance.

I think there will be enough space in the D mag for this optic, it is very shallow compared to my SO20XAs.

The requirements of the Crees remain largely unchanged from the TWAKs except I added one more star. They are (very roughly) 3.5V devices, driven at 1 amp, which is the same target drive current for the Lux3's. It should be a straightforward one-to-one swap and your 3D will still work as designed. You may not achieve full output from all LEDs on alkalines, but that in a way is also a good thing - more efficiency, better runtime, less heat - and you will still get a lot more light!

ONE XR-E makes up for 3 TWAKs.. :eek:
 

Hack On Wheels

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Awesome! I'm trying to get one last stubborn emitter off one of download's Mag-sinks and then I'll be running a quad XR-E light as well. I'm going for three neutral emitters and one "cold" white. That is a pretty good optic too! I tried it using 3 cold white and one red emitter before, but the colour mixing wasn't great.

Your post has given me the kick I needed to get back to pulling that star off my heatsink. :thumbsup:
 

KevinL

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Awesome! I'm trying to get one last stubborn emitter off one of download's Mag-sinks and then I'll be running a quad XR-E light as well. I'm going for three neutral emitters and one "cold" white. That is a pretty good optic too! I tried it using 3 cold white and one red emitter before, but the colour mixing wasn't great.

Your post has given me the kick I needed to get back to pulling that star off my heatsink. :thumbsup:

It's a very rewarding build.. tons of light..

Get a chisel and go for it!! :D
 

AvroArrow

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Awesome! I'm trying to get one last stubborn emitter off one of download's Mag-sinks and then I'll be running a quad XR-E light as well. I'm going for three neutral emitters and one "cold" white. That is a pretty good optic too! I tried it using 3 cold white and one red emitter before, but the colour mixing wasn't great.

Your post has given me the kick I needed to get back to pulling that star off my heatsink. :thumbsup:

Interesting, I was gonna go for 4 neutrals, but 3 neutrals + 1 cool may be interesting. BTW, quick tip for removing Arctic Alumina epoxied emitter. Either leave heatsink in the freezer for a couple hours or if you are impatient and have a can of compressed air (for blowing out computers & stuff), flip it upside down and blast the heatsink near the emitter. Keep the straw on the can so you can direct the blast. You should see a white cloud (kinda like a fire extinguisher) blast out of the can. It's quite cold so be careful where your fingers are or wear gloves. The epoxied emitter should pop off quite easily after a couple quick blasts.
 

Hack On Wheels

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Interesting, I was gonna go for 4 neutrals, but 3 neutrals + 1 cool may be interesting. BTW, quick tip for removing Arctic Alumina epoxied emitter. Either leave heatsink in the freezer for a couple hours or if you are impatient and have a can of compressed air (for blowing out computers & stuff), flip it upside down and blast the heatsink near the emitter. Keep the straw on the can so you can direct the blast. You should see a white cloud (kinda like a fire extinguisher) blast out of the can. It's quite cold so be careful where your fingers are or wear gloves. The epoxied emitter should pop off quite easily after a couple quick blasts.

I've been interested in the idea of colour mixing, but the red emitter with 3 cool whites was a bit jarring. I'm a fan of the neutral emitters too, but they aren't perfect... so I figured trying a couple neutral emitters and a couple of cool emitters might be good; however, I have three neutrals and one cool... close enough? :hitit:

With any luck they will mix well (though it might look a bit odd when used at short range) and give something a bit closer to daylight and with higher CRI than just neutral emitters.

Thanks for the tips. It's actually stuck on there with some of the "Fujik" thermal glue; it isn't remotely like an epoxy so I actually expected the emitter to come off easily. The other 3 came off with a bit of prying (I used heat on 2 of them). The last one has been through both heating and freezing and still no luck. The anodization on the heatsink isn't looking so good anymore either... I could try the CO2 trick, would that be better than throwing it in my freezer? I'm tempted to try some kind of solvent, but not sure what would be appropriate. Thanks for the help, and sorry to the OP for going off topic!
 

KevinL

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No worries, I too am interested in seeing how the emitter comes off. I plead guilty to the lack of finesse, chisels, Leatherman pliers and the like are employed during my mods ;)

I actually used a flatblade screwdriver to pry the TWAKs off. The glue gave easily...
 

HarryN

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Nice project KevinL. Thanks for pointing out how much spill this thing has, along with that hot spot. I figured it was all throw, until the shot of the quad vs the L4. That would be fun to see in person.
 
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