Black Diamond Soliras Mod

S

Shsesc

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Dec 13, 2008
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I have an old Soliras that I got back when I was installing for Dish Network and had to work past dark. It's served me well and I like that it's always charged, but compared to my LED lights its dim. I'd like to replace the bulb with some kind of LED or brighter bulb. I'd like to retain my modes if I can, at least for the two LEDs already in there.

I don't know how this would even be possible, I'm just trying to breathe new life into my old headlamp.

What about replacing the 5mm LEDs that came in the Soliras? Is that as easy as it sounds?

Thanks

Joe
 
tnuckels

tnuckels

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Depending on the size and mount (pr-flange, screw-in, bayonet, bi-pin) of your existing bulb it may be as simple as swapping to a new LED “bulb”.

Here are a couple of sites to try:

EverLED – side emitter (hour glass shaped dome) LEDs usually work better when replacing a bulbs in a light whose reflector was built for a bulb. If your old bulb is a pr-flange then these are great as they will run off 1.5-9 volts (no need to match LED to power source).

LED Replacement – has a wider variety to choose from including some screw-in and bi-pin LEDs. Careful to match voltage of your light to the replacement LED.

The Sandwich Shoppe also has some bi-pin LEDs, but they are sized for mini-mag replacement, so careful on the fit, as well as some MJ cut down 5mm LEDs (I forget why they are sized like this).

I’ve yet to find a high powered bayonet replacement LED, but continue to look every now and again, hoping to swap out the BULB in my rechargeable WAHL soldering iron. If you stumble across one, please post back here.

Assuming you can easily open the light, have a soldering iron, and either a solder sucker or de-soldering wick, then it is usually easy to replace the 5mm LEDs in most lights. You can try The Sandwich Shoppe, or AmiLite (careful of shipping costs from Korea), or poke around over in the CPF Marketplace for some. Remove the old LEDs, size, shape, and cut the leads on the new LEDs to match the old ones, solder in the new LEDs, done.

Good Luck with your mod, and post some pictures if you can!
 
greenLED

greenLED

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The BD headlamps use a (IIRC) proprietary bi-pin lamp; unfortunately none of those would work.

Joe, I'm afraid you'll need a full re-build of the internals to get a bright LED in there in place of the lamp. One of our experienced resident modders would probably be able to whip something up for you.

As far as the LED's, those are probably are BS rank (or something similar, judging by how old the Soliras model is) - 5mm LED replacements are fairly straight forward: desolder & remove stock LED's, solder new ones in place. You can put some of the newest Nichia ranks in there.
 
PhantomPhoton

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I've contemplated modding my Solaris as well but I haven't yet come up with any great ideas. The big problem is the darned flimsy (and leaky) plastic housing which gives very little heatsinking. I don't blame them for no heatsinking as the light was never designed for hgh powered LEDs, but it is the major obstacle nonetheless in my mind. The 5mm LEDs are Nichia BS afaik.
 
S

Shsesc

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Thanks for all the replies. I'm definitely going to look for some of the 5mm LEDs in a higher ranking because I find myself using the Soliras less now that I have a $10 Garrity 1W LED headlamp that is brighter and a Remington 3W LED headlamp that's way brighter.

I'll also test the voltage at the bulb socket to see what I could put in there that would work voltage wise.
 
electrothump

electrothump

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I'm watching this thread with great expectations. I too have a Soliras, and I've not been overly impressed with the output since the day I got it. It does have an excellent run time though.

DN
 
PhantomPhoton

PhantomPhoton

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... and I've not been overly impressed with the output since the day I got it....

DN

+1 I wasn't impressed by it ether. At least I received mine for free. I'll bring mine out to the get together we're doing in Seattle and see if anyone there has ideas or suggestions.
 
traplight

traplight

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Had 2 BD geminis that i modded for LED... back in the old luxeon days.. The problem you are going to have with the solaris is that the battery pack is 2p2s for 6-8vF (I think). you'll have to dissasemble the batt pack and wire everything for 3.7 for direct drive...
...or
yank out all the guts and drop in a small multimode driver/regulator for widerange voltage.
As for heatsinking...

hmmm here's what i did for the luxs (and they actually burn hotter than the xr-e/p4.

- coat all o fyour electrical internals with a thin layer of silicone (clear kind that smells like vinegar... don't use anything which has latex or rubber. pure silicone caulking only)
- don't coat the inside of the plastic casing. believe it or not, the plastic these are made of actually conducts a fair amount of heat.
- get some arctic alumina (or make your own with aluminum filing/sandpaper and epoxy), wad up enough aluminum foil from your kitchen supply, fit it in the casing (check for clearance etc. etc. etc. nake sure it has plenty of contact with plastic casing ) and bond yur star to the aluminum foil wad. make sure that foil is as dense as you can get it tho ;)

sorry about the directions. i'm typing on one of them thar new fangled mini notebooks designed by people with hands the size of a 6 yearr old.

... as for those little 5mm leds (i yanked the single one out of the gemini head and filled the hole with epoxy), they are really not worth it if you drop in a multimode.

just a few suggestions hope it helps

good luck and lets see what you end up with.
 
tnuckels

tnuckels

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Well, it’s not multi-mode but it might handle the default battery configuration without having to re-wire it. The venerable old MicroPuck can handle a fairly wide range of configurations and might be small enough to be tucked into the head of the light. Old solutions for old problems maybe?

I’d never heard of this headlamp till now, but everyone familiar with it seems to be under-impressed. Overhyped? Overpriced? Under-powered? What up?
 

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