D10 Emitter Swap

Tekno_Cowboy

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I wasn't quite satisfied with the tint of my Nitecore D10, so I decided to swap the emitter to a Cree Q3-5A. Here's how I did it.

Click to view larger images.

I removed the ring with a 90 degree pick:


Then I removed the pill by lifting the driver with a pick, and then using a needlenose pliers to turn the pill out. I had previously broken the pill loose; it had been glued in.



I removed the LED it came with with my Hakko 936. I've pulled apart several LED pills/drop-ins lately, and excessive thermal grease seems to be a common occurrence.


I cleaned off the old thermal grease and applied a thin coat of Arctic Silver 5 to the back of the LED's PCB.


I soldered the negative lead to the negative terminal, and took some measurements:
Off: about 100mV
Min: 4.12V at .3mA
Max: 3.89V, 500-625mA
I got an unusual reading when measuring the current at max. From cold, I got about a 500mA reading, which very quickly rose to 575mA, then slowing down over the course of 10 seconds as it rose to 625mA before I removed the test leads. If anyone has any idea what might cause this, please let me know.

After I was done with my measurements, I finished soldering the led:


I added a small amount of Arctic Silver to the threads to improve heat transfer, and reassembled the light. I made sure to clean up the excess and relube the light before using it.

The light seems to work fine, and the tint is just right: Smack dab in between my Surefire 9P(with P90 bulb) and my Wolf-Eyes Raider(with a R2-WC LED). :D

If I can get a hold of some Teflon insulated wire, I might swap the wires as well. You can see how the insulation is starting to melt away from the conductor.

Since I already removed the led, I plan to toss the LED the D10 came with into a pill, and use that for side by side comparative beamshots. Beamshots to come :D
 
Last edited:

copperfox

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Re: D10 Emiiter Swap

Cool! What size (mm) is the white PCB you put in?

Is the reflector removable?
 

Tekno_Cowboy

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Re: D10 Emiiter Swap

The reflector screwed out easily once I removed the plastic insulating disk.

According to Alan, the PCB is 14mm, I didn't measure it, but that sounds about right.
 

EngrPaul

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Re: D10 Emiiter Swap

Thanks for showing your steps. I'll be upgrading a number of my lights to neutral XR-E's, and I suppose I should do the same thing.
 

4sevens

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Nice! The D10's are trickier than the EX10's because the LE is screwed in.
Congrats on a successful mod! Keep in mind doing this is at your own risk
and voids all warranty :D

It's nice to see the other spectrum of tint preferences. We get so many comments wanting cooler tinted lights - often the lights that come back are
actually quite cool already. (of course tell everyone, the variations are
our of our control - even same binned parts have a wide variation - though the variation has narrowed significantly since cree stepped in. If you saw the variations in luxeons you wouldnt' complain about the crees at all! :sick2:)

ok that was a long parenthesis :p
 

Tekno_Cowboy

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I have no problems voiding my warranty :D
I don't tend to make use of a warranty as long as I get a fair amount of use out of what I buy :D

As far as more people wanting cooler tinted lights, I find that hard to believe. Most of what I hear is that people want a neutral to warm tint. (other than the people looking for the very brightest they can possibly find.)
 

4sevens

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I have no problems voiding my warranty :D
I don't tend to make use of a warranty as long as I get a fair amount of use out of what I buy :D

As far as more people wanting cooler tinted lights, I find that hard to believe. Most of what I hear is that people want a neutral to warm tint. (other than the people looking for the very brightest they can possibly find.)

Believe it or not, from out large volume of lights that we move, of all tint complaints or feedback 2 out of 3 complain of them being warm or a in nastier words "puke green"

The funny thing is, most of the stuff that comes back are actually OPPOSITE of what people claim them to be. The puke green turns out to be very cool and blue and the "blue" lights turn out to be very warm.

The human eye is not a relative tool, it's must more accurate as a defferential detector. It all depends on what light you're comparing them to and also how "white" your white wall is.

Me personally I prefer warmer tints because it renders more color information to the eye. the bluer tint may make it look brighter but the net
result is less.

(I'm typing this as I'm moving at 70mph across texas! dont' worry i'm not driving :) )
 

Tekno_Cowboy

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That's kinda surprising, but good to know. Thanks!
I (obviously) prefer the warmer tints. So far the best I've come across in an LED is the one I used for this D10. Colors look much better with a warmer tint, especially outside. The cooler tints make it hard to see anything clearly when walking through a patch of brush. With the warm tints, it's much easier to differentiate.

(I'm typing this as I'm moving at 70mph across texas! dont' worry i'm not driving :) )

Lol! I wish I was in Texas right about now. I've got 15 below windchills, and it's just getting colder. :(
 

4sevens

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That's kinda surprising, but good to know. Thanks!
I (obviously) prefer the warmer tints. So far the best I've come across in an LED is the one I used for this D10. Colors look much better with a warmer tint, especially outside. The cooler tints make it hard to see anything clearly when walking through a patch of brush. With the warm tints, it's much easier to differentiate.



Lol! I wish I was in Texas right about now. I've got 15 below windchills, and it's just getting colder. :(
thats a good practical example of how warm tints are better - I'll have to remember that one :) The colder tints will actually make your eyes see "black and white" - everything will look washed out.

texas is chilly too about 50 deg F. I'll be in texas for another 4 hours :)
 

Tekno_Cowboy

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"black and white" - that says it exactly. It's like you're looking at a photo that's been sitting in the sun for way too long.

If it were 50 deg F here, I'd be walking around in a T-shirt :D
Kinda cool how you adapt to sub-zero temps :D
 

EngrPaul

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Have you tried to mod a NiteCore Extreme yet?

I see Prolight japan sells them with a neutral emitter. I might sell my cold cree and buy a neutral, if it's too difficult to mod.

It's a shame Fenix Store only sells blue and green cold versions... :whistle: :devil:
 

jag-engr

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Very impressive. One of the reasons that I kept my EX10 as opposed to the D10 is that I hoped to eventually swap out for a warmer emitter. In all honesty, I think I might prefer a D10 now that the emitter swap is an option...
 

lyyyghtmaster

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I like both colors. Normally I prefer a medium (not greenish or purplish) WC indoors because I find 6500K or so bluish white to be a beautiful color to work under (and even just to stare at during extended periods of white wall hunting! :shrug:) However I agree that they make outdoor scenery lifeless. The neutral CREEs put out more green and red compared to blue than the cold ones. Explains why they 'flesh out' the colors of an outdoor scene. Even if there's not a lot of greenery around, soil, wood, and rocks still have quite a bit of red in them waiting to be rendered. But a related reason is that outdoors the throw is further, light dimmer, and scotopic vision dominates. An already red-deprived light source is made to look almost red-less by the greatly diminishing visual availability of red as light levels drop. Additional red / reduced blue in the source will help to counteract this. Of course that takes more power, but the improved color rendering helps to make up for this.

So to sum up, I think I need one of each!!! :naughty: :sigh:
 

Tekno_Cowboy

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Nice! The D10's are trickier than the EX10's because the LE is screwed in.
Congrats on a successful mod! Keep in mind doing this is at your own risk
and voids all warranty :D

Just to clarify, if the LED is swapped, would that also eliminate any warranty covering mechanical defects like the end of the piston falling off, or the body splitting at the threads, just to name a couple of things I've heard about, or would it just void the warranty on the LE?

I only ask because I can't think of any way the body of the light would be affected by changing the LED.
 

kaichu dento

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"black and white" - that says it exactly. It's like you're looking at a photo that's been sitting in the sun for way too long.

If it were 50 deg F here, I'd be walking around in a T-shirt :D
Kinda cool how you adapt to sub-zero temps :D
Thanks for posting this! I'm going to try take mine apart when I get my D10 back. (Loaned it to a friend here at work so I can enlist him as a new flashaholic!:grin2:)

It's been 0 to 5 above the last couple days and I've been walking around here at work in a t-shirt! ;)
 

Tekno_Cowboy

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4 C and rain here in Minnesota. I had to take off my coat today :D

By the way, where is Alyeska near? I checked google maps, and got a resort in Alaska. :D
 

kaichu dento

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Alyeska is the name of a ski resort near Anchorage, but they got it from the native name for Alaska, which is my usage. Both the names of Alaska and Japan in my location are old and not in general usage now!
 
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