Cree mod for Streamlight Enduro/River Rock

rheslip

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Feb 17, 2006
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I bought a Streamlight Enduro (RiverRock headlamp) after reading all the positive comments on it here. Its a great little headlamp - lightweight, good battery life, decent light output and inexpensive. My main issue with it is the very blue tint, plus it can ALWAYs be brighter so I set about upgrading it with a Cree emitter.

enduro1.jpg



enduro2.jpg

This is a medium difficulty mod. Not that that hard but fiddly and requires good soldering skills.



1. Unscrew the reflector. There is a plastic cover inside with two screws holding the electronics module. Remove the screws and cover.



2. Extract the electronics module. This is a bit tricky. Push the switch down while gently pulling and rocking the switch which is soldered to the circuit board. The switch button has to be pushed in so it can slide out of the little black wedge piece that holds it in place. Remove the plastic wedge and the rubber switch cover.



3. Now that the electronics module is out you can unsolder the 5mm .5w led. Clean off any extra solder on the top side of the PCB since the Cree emitter has to fit where the 5mm led was and it's a tight fit. I removed the inductor and remounted it more to the left and removed/resoldered the Zetex chip down to get more room for the Cree. This may not have been necessary.



4. The emitter has to be mounted higher so it fits into the reflector so you have to make a little spacer board. I used a small piece of single sided PCB material .062" thick. You want this to be about 7mm by 10mm - same height as the emitter but a little longer so you can solder it. Make two cuts in the PCB copper roughly 1mm wide - you are making solder pads to mount the Cree so use the bottom of the led as a guide.



5. Tin the pads on the spacer board with a thin coat of solder and apply a little flux to the emitter pads. Align the emitter on the spacer board and reflow the solder to the emitter by heating the spacer board pads. This is why the board is a tad wider - so you can heat the pads. Make sure the emitter is solidly soldered to the spacer board.



6. Enlarge the reflector hole to fit the Cree – about 17/64"



7. Test fit the spacer board assy to the electronics module. You will probably need to do a little trimming to make it fit and to ensure that it won't short to anything. It has to be centered exactly where the 5mm led was. You could test fit the whole assembly into the case at this point and screw in the reflector to make sure everything lines up.



8. Solder the spacer board pads to the electronics module observing the LED polarity. + pad soldered near the collector of the driver transistor, - pad with a short piece of 30ga wire to the driver chip pin 4. The thin wires will allow the spacer board/emitter assy to move around a bit so you can align it with the reflector.



9. Test it by putting 3v (two batteries) on the two contact springs that stick out the back side of the electronics module. Observe polarity: its marked on the board. Best to verify that it works BEFORE you reassemble the unit.



10. Reassemble the module into the case - this is a bit tricky too. First put the rubber switch cover into its hole in the case – it fits correctly only one way so check it carefully. Then slide the plastic wedge into the case – it fits under two little tabs and holds the rubber switch cover in place. Align the switch with the slot in the plastic wedge. Now you have to press the switch button in while sliding the electronics module into position. With a little wiggling the module should slide into place and the switch button will pop up into its rubber cover. There is an alignment pin on the case which will poke thru a hole in the electronics PCB and the screw holes will line up when everything is correct.



11. Yet another tricky bit – the two little springs on the back side of the electronics module must be in contact with the battery case. If you look into the battery compartment you should be able to see them contacting the metal battery contacts. Unfortunately this is kind of a hit or miss thing and you might have to disassemble and reassemble the unit a time or two to get them to contact correctly. If they don't contact the light won't work – which is why you checked it first in step 9.



12. Now that it's reassembled you can put the screws back in. The plastic cover that was in there won't go over the Cree, so you either have to cut a chunk out of it or make some little spacers to go under the screws so they hold the module down. I used two pieces of nylon tubing about 1/16" long.



13. Screw the reflector back in, making sure the emitter comes thru it correctly. I sanded the bottom a bit to try to get a better focus but I don't think it helped much. You could put a dab of glue on the emitter board to secure it but once the reflector is tightened down its not going anywhere anyway.



The driver circuit is a Zetex 310. It's the "max battery life" circuit in the datasheet slightly modded for hi/low current operation. R1 (.1 ohm) sets the high current level and R2 (3.6 ohm) sets the low current level. I put two 1 ohm across R1 to boost the high current level a bit. Mine measures about 180ma on two fresh alkalines and 40ma on low. This translates to approximately 125ma thru the LED. Since the Cree is way underdriven heat is not a problem – it barely warms up. At this drive level the Cree produces about 25-30 lumens.



I'm really happy with this mod. The beam is MUCH whiter now and the reflector gives a bright center hotspot and lots of spill. There is a donut hole in the hotspot at very short range but its not noticeable at working distances. It's about twice as bright as stock. I compared it to my 2AA MiniMagled and they are about the same light output and throw but the Cree Enduro has a lot more spill. On low it has about the same output as my Nichia modded Dorcy AAA. Battery life should be about the same as stock: 5 hrs high, 20 hrs low.



$14.97 for the Enduro + $8 Cree emitter = 2.75oz kick butt headlamp !
 
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LightBen

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Mar 23, 2005
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New Jersey
Very nice work, rheslip! I just purchased the SL Enduro myself, and I was wondering about the difficulty of performing this very modification. You have provided an excellent tutorial!

One thing I noticed, when I unscrewed the head of the light from the body to have a look inside and try to center the 0.5w LED, was that the O-ring was shredded. Did you run into this problem? I just replaced it with a generic Nitrile O-ring from an assortment I have--I don't know if it's the original size or not, but it seems to seal well enough.

Even unmodified, the Enduro is an excellent value (I paid about $11 before shipping). I don't really notice the blue hue of the beam at all.

-Ben
 

rheslip

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Feb 17, 2006
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The O ring on mine was well lubed with silicone grease or something and its held up well to a lot of removal/replacement. I should probably re-lube it to keep the thing waterproof.

The Enduro is a great little headlamp. I almost bought a PT EOS but the Enduro is smaller, lighter, cheaper and now its brighter !

Rich
 

srvctec

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I wonder if the SSC P4 would be a little easier to squeeze in place instead of the Cree. If so, I may just have to order another and mod mine as well.

Great mod BTW!!
 

RdlyLite

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In its stock form, what kind output would you guys say it has. Floody, spot, or even better, a little of both?
 

rheslip

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RdlyLite said:
In its stock form, what kind output would you guys say it has. Floody, spot, or even better, a little of both?

The stock Enduro/River Rock has a fairly tight spot that throws pretty well. Not a huge amount of spill but lots to see where you are walking. Its a terrific little headlamp for the money even without the mod. The beam on the modded light is similar but much brighter and whiter. My stock light had a very blue tint.

Thanks for all the kind words on my mod guys !

Rich
 

jar3ds

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Sep 12, 2005
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srvctec said:
I wonder if the SSC P4 would be a little easier to squeeze in place instead of the Cree. If so, I may just have to order another and mod mine as well.

Great mod BTW!!
i'm wondering the same thing... has anyone else done this mod w/ a SSC?
 

rheslip

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Feb 17, 2006
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eebowler said:
Is this an estimate or measurement? Really, if the LED doesn't get too hot, I'd love to do this mod. :eek:oo:

Its a guesstimate. Input I measured at 180ma, 2 cells is 2.8v or so under load, so output of the regulator at 85 % efficiency is something like 120ma at 3.6v. No problem with heat since the Cree is way under its power limit. It barely warms up.

Rich
 

emitter

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May 7, 2003
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Thanks for the great instrucitons and photos. After realizing both the rr & sl are the same from the FR reviews, I tried in vain to get one from Target. They have all the other RR lights, is this one discontinued? there's always mail order...
edit- found them at foxt-intl, 2 for about $30 w shipping.
/\/
 
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laszlomdq

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Apr 20, 2007
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So what is the Cree Led part number I should buy for this mod? Is it worth doing it? I already have the headlamps. Where can I buy those Leds?

thanks
 

laszlomdq

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Apr 20, 2007
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Bump, Bump anybody out there can tell me the part number for the Cree LED and where to buy it?

Thanks
 
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