Aleph light engine acting weird

Scottiver

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Hi guys, I recently purchased an Aleph 1 flashlight and as I was using it last night it went dead. Thinking it was just a dead battery, I put in a new 17650 and instead of it's usual bright beam, it was only putting out like five lumens. I tried putting primary 123's in there and it was the same.
Next I put in a different LE and that worked fine.
The LE in question is a DB1000 with a UWOK Lux III and the tailcap is a single stage clicky.
Any thoughts on why the LE won't light up to full brightness?
Thanks
 

Kiessling

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Make sure the LE makes contakt to the lip of the battery tube. If the LE is scrfewed in too far it looses contact or has a very bad contact.
bernie
 

Scottiver

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I tried unscrewing it a bit and it didn't help. That was the problem with an Aleph 2 that I have so I know that little trick.
I just tried hooking it up straight to a battery and it's still dim. I tried hooking my other LE straight to a battery and it lit up just fine.
Could the LE just be "fried"?

Here's a picture of my direct to battery test.
img0659ki9.jpg
 
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Kiessling

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Well ... I can't really help here, dumb user I am :D

Of course there is always the possibility of a malfunction (=fried) ... but why?
If the converter (DB) was fried, then the LED should be bright on Li-Ion and burning out on 2x123, which it didn't.

Can you measure current draw?

bernie
 

Scottiver

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I'm stumped too. Although I don't really know much about electronics in the first place. And no, I have no way to measure current draw. It seems to work the same whether it's one 17650, one rcr123 or two cr123's.
Thanks for trying.
 

Darell

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In a situation like that, the first thing I try is applying 350mA to the emitter. See if it lights up as it should. If it does, then it has to be something amiss with the circuit. And assuming the circuit has been potted like we were doing them.... well, it is time for a new LE. The slight silver lining is that you may well be able to re-use the emitter if it is still good. I've taken many of them off the top of LE's with good success.

If the emitter will NOT light up all the way, then a new emitter may be all you need - though why was the emitter fried? Too much heat at 1000 ma? Don't know. But at least it is an easy/cheap fix, relatively speaking.

Been a while since I've built one of those!
 

Darell

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If the converter (DB) was fried, then the LED should be bright on Li-Ion and burning out on 2x123, which it didn't.

I've seen the DB's do some interesting things before. If the emitter is verified to be OK, it really has to be something on the driver board gone wonky.

If the LE parts can still be found (no clue!) I could probably help get you going again.
 

Scottiver

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Hey there darrell, interesting that you're chiming in here. The Aleph 1 that I bought came with two LE's and the guy that I bought it from said that YOU made the other one (the one that's still working) small world eh?

Anyway, I just tried another low tech experiment. I ran a wire from one side of the LED to negative side of an RCR123 and another wire from the other side of the LED to the positive side of the battery and the LED lit up like a Christmas tree (so to speak) i.e full brightness, so i guess there's nothing wrong with the LED itself.

I also have no way of running it at 350ma. (don't know how)
Thanks anyway for your help.
 

IsaacHayes

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Verify that the ground is good. Maybe the ground wire in the e-can was a cold solder job and has come loose some?
 

Darell

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Hey there darrell, interesting that you're chiming in here. The Aleph 1 that I bought came with two LE's and the guy that I bought it from said that YOU made the other one (the one that's still working) small world eh?
Ah... good to hear that the one I built is still working. :green: :D Those of us who've built more than a few of these all have some stories to tell though!

From all your tests, it really does point to the DB being toast in one way or another. So you CAN scrape that emitter off if it is worth the trouble to you. But sounds like you'll need a new driver (and LE). Sometimes you can save the black emitter sink (with the threads that screw up into the head). If you are going to try saving the sink, give that a shot before taking the emitter off, of course. Might be your lucky day and you get to save both. I've been lucky to pop those of sometimes. But there's really no hope of recovering the can and driver.

Good luck!
 

Darell

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Verify that the ground is good. Maybe the ground wire in the e-can was a cold solder job and has come loose some?

Oooh. That's certainly worth looking at. If you can find the ground wire exposed (we all built these differently) there just might be a cold joint to the can (easy to have happen since the can is such a huge heat sink!). Toward the end, I started doing the wire exposed because I found it easier once I got the hang of it. In the beginning I put the ground wire inside the can, and you'd never see it.
 

Scottiver

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Verify that the ground is good. Maybe the ground wire in the e-can was a cold solder job and has come loose some?

I don't know too much about these things but I did recently peruse Don's treatise on building a light engine and I believe the ground is internal and I can see the tip of it on the lip of the e-can and everything looks solid.
Looks to me as if the LE is toast. I was thinking of getting something with a Seoul or Cree in it for a new LE any way but it is still a waste.
Thanks for the help.
 

Darell

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Agggh. Frustrating, indeed. Sounds like you've done about all you can. I agree that it is time to cut your losses and look into something else.

Good luck!
 
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