Emillion's stainless steel light - now in 26K! :)

KevinL

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Emillion\'s stainless steel light - now in 26K! :)

I bought one of these little gems from him, he has better pics of it and the 'stock' beamshots so I'll just point you to his thread. His method of getting more light out of it is to drive it at 3.7V using a lithium-ion AAA cell, now that is brave /ubbthreads/images/graemlins/huh.gif /ubbthreads/images/graemlins/smile.gif

My style is slightly different.. I take the light apart and think whether I can mod it. Unscrewing the front end of the light reveals a little plastic cylinder holding a focusing lens at exactly the right distance so you get a perfect round circle of light, and inside is a 5mm LED. With the secondary optics removed, I compared the 5mm LED to my ever-present keychain lights and discovered that the stock LED is dimmer than the 26K mcd LEDs I field upgrade the keychain lights with.

The light has an electronic, not mechanical switch (surprising), and draws a current from a fresh AAA alkaline of 50mA. Probably feeds 20mA to the LED and thus is not as bright as some lights which severely overdrive the LED at up to 50mA, but it useably bright. The upshot is that the thing will run forever at a 50mA drain. We're talking Infinity Ultra runtimes here - 20 hours of good light would not be unreasonable. All from an AAA!

Further investigation showed that the LED and its board are easy to remove - remove the AAA cell on the other end of the light, push a pen into it, press gently and the guts pop out.

steel3.jpg


steel1.jpg


steel2.jpg


Looks like a simple little circuit - but not one that I can identify. I've gotten a couple of close ups so that hopefully someone who knows more than me can make something of it. The thing I find unusual is the little component in the third photo, between Q1 and IC2. It looks like a tiny little LED die or chip, in a clear dome of what resembles plastic or epoxy. I have no idea what this is. It does not emit light whether on or off - if it did I would know its nature immediately.

More importantly it is well laid out and VERY accessible to a klutz like me. You'll note that the LED is very easy to reach, just desolder it, pop in a new one - 5 minute job even with two left hands (and one bandaged thanks to an accident with some computers the other day) - check that your polarity is correct, shove everything back in the light the way it came out and you are back in business!

The numbers: A $1 mod done in 5 minutes for a $5 light (shipped, too) that gives you 2X the brightness. /ubbthreads/images/graemlins/grin.gif it is a really nifty penlight and the price is unbeatable. Now that it's nice and bright, I think I'm going to have a hard time putting it down.
 

KevinL

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Re: Emillion\'s stainless steel light - now in 26K!

The light remains focused at all ranges, throws a nice circle out to about 20ft, where I run out of range.. still very bright at 20ft, I estimate that 30 should not be a problem, possibly even 40. This is after the 26K upgrade.
 

Lynx_Arc

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Re: Emillion\'s stainless steel light - now in 26K!

That would be a 50 ua or microamp current on standby wouldn't it? I have a headlamp that has a push button switch similarly that has a tiny standby current in the similar range.
 

Solstice

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Re: Emillion\'s stainless steel light - now in 26K!

KevinL, any chance you want to buy more from Emillion and sell these mods? I'm not the modding type- I'm just not set up for it even if it's as easy as you make it out to be. I'd pay $10 shipped- a 66 % profit for you. As an aside, how large a diameter is the spot at say, 1 foot? I ask because I have an X1 but I really feel that its just too focused and the spot diameter should be about twice as wide. Thanks in advance.
 

KevinL

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Re: Emillion\'s stainless steel light - now in 26K!

Lynx, I tried getting a measurement on the ua scale of my Meterman 34XR, but didn't manage to get a reading. Doesn't seem like it draws anything, I wonder, maybe my equipment is not sophisticated enough to capture it or my technique is wrong. I am measuring by using the DMM to 'bridge' the negative contact of the battery to the body in place of the tailcap, that's how I get my battery current readings.

Solstice, PM sent.
 

nerdgineer

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Re: Emillion\'s stainless steel light - now in 26K!

What keeps the board aligned in the barrel, i.e. keeps the pcb switch in position under the external button rather than rotating out of alignment? Is the barrel slotted or something (like the Dorcy 1AAA) ir is it just kept in place by friction?

Thanks.
 

Lynx_Arc

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Re: Emillion\'s stainless steel light - now in 26K!

Ok, it has been a few weeks since I made the measurement.. struggling with the crummy battery 3AAA battery holder I managed to use a cheap harbor freight DMM on the 200uamp scale and the result was 0.6 microamps. For some reason I remembered 50 when most likely it was .5 instead... my bad.

at less than 1 microamp it will take around a million hours to drain a 750ma AAA down.
 

b2eze

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Re: Emillion\'s stainless steel light - now in 26K!

Kevin, just ordered some 26k Leds from you and 4 more of those niffty lights.... think there'll be some moddin' going on!
 

KevinL

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Re: Emillion\'s stainless steel light - now in 26K!

nerdgineer: slotted, and once you push it down into its slot hard, the friction holds it in place (against the battery pushing it out of the front). The slots prevent it from rotating.

Lynx: I thought I saw something like that on my Meterman but assumed it was too low and I was getting wrong readings. Thanks for the info, agreed that a million hours.. well.. it'll take a while /ubbthreads/images/graemlins/wink.gif

b2eze: cool, will get these packed up and ready to ship. The 26Ks are really fun, I've been trying to put them in everything that'll take 'em - hopefully one day, there will be 60lm/W Luxeons and we can do this kind of emitter swap with all our existing lights /ubbthreads/images/graemlins/grin.gif
 

Moat

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Re: Emillion\'s stainless steel light - now in 26K!

[ QUOTE ]
KevinL said:
The thing I find unusual is the little component in the third photo, between Q1 and IC2. It looks like a tiny little LED die or chip, in a clear dome of what resembles plastic or epoxy.

[/ QUOTE ]

I wonder if that mystery component is involved in the "latching" function of the momentary pushbutton switch? I've got a few of those type switches, swiped from old VCR's - always wanted try one on a light, but as an on-off "latch" control - not a momentary. But in looking into doing that, it appeared a bit involved adding "latch" circuitry.

Maybe this mystery dome is the answer... /ubbthreads/images/graemlins/icon3.gif It looks like the only additional component to the circuit, over and above what I recognize as a typical LED driver circuit.

Maybe one of the forum experts here will be able to tell what the heck that thing is... /ubbthreads/images/graemlins/help.gif
 

Lynx_Arc

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Re: Emillion\'s stainless steel light - now in 26K!

I know two things I have that use digital push buttons have a blob of something like epoxy over a small circuit that does the latching/switching.
 

JanCPF

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Re: Emillion\'s stainless steel light - now in 26K!

It's not uncommon to use a red LED as a voltage reference (1.2 volt zener diode), so that mystery component could perhaps be an LED with very low current flowing through it.

Jan
 

Vikas Sontakke

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Re: Emillion\'s stainless steel light - now in 26K!

Is there any tunable component on that circuit? Wouldn't it be nice to push more current through the LED e.g. by replacing a resistor etc?

- Vikas
 

bwaites

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Re: Emillion\'s stainless steel light - now in 26K!

How do the 26000 LED's compare with the uncut MJLED'd?

Could an MJLED be put in this light?

Bill
 

nerdgineer

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Re: Emillion\'s stainless steel light - now in 26K!

How do you keep the LED aligned when you're soldering it? Eyeball? a jig of some sort? The LED doesn't seem to like to bend much once it's soldered in place.
 

KevinL

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Re: Emillion\'s stainless steel light - now in 26K!

I bend the leads inwards slightly, so that they 'grip' the PCB. The PCB itself is clamped in a little tabletop vise.

Since the LED still wobbles even after the leads are bent, I use the Mk 1 Human Finger to hold it in place while soldering. It does take some deep breaths to allow my fingers to get that close to the soldering iron, so breaaaaaaaaaathe.. /ubbthreads/images/graemlins/wink.gif

But the LED turned out very nicely since I managed to hold it steady. The vise is a big help, too.
 

Codeman

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Re: Emillion\'s stainless steel light - now in 26K!

I plan on using one of those weighted-base, two-alligator-clips-on-articulated-arms gadgets, similar this one at Radio Shack. I've coated the alligator clips on mine with some rubber tool dip to provide some protection against scratches.
 

Lynx_Arc

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Re: Emillion\'s stainless steel light - now in 26K!

one thing that can be useful is some poster putty or clay to hold the LED in. I used a blob of it to position 4 LEDs together when soldering to make a 4LED pr bulb once. The poster putty I have is sticky enough to hold in place yet doesn't scratch the LEDS.
 
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