Fivemega's Strion conversion kit for Surefire A2

Patriot

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I ordered mine on Sunday and received it today. As DM51 already mentioned, the FM holder is of very high quality and the machining looks superb.

I ran into a bit of a problem installing the Strion bulb into the FM holder. It was so tight that I was unable to push the bi-wires into the FM socket assembly. No amount of wriggling or pressure could force the legs in. After about 10 minutes of fussing and man-handling the bulb, the legs went in but only about 1- 1.5mm. I decided to install the lamp holder and kit into the A2 to see what the results were. I fired it up and the beam was terrible with a huge donut and rings all over the place. I went to reference DM's pictures because I couldn't remember how far the bulb should push in. When I saw the pics I knew that I was a long way off. I tried desperately to push the bulb in with a plastic push punch with the base of the lamp assembly on a mouse pad so that it didn't shoot off to one side or the other. I managed to get it in another .5mm or so but that's about all.

I decided to remove the partially installed bulb and open the holes with a thin needle. I tapped the narrow needle into each hole and wriggled it a bit in hopes of increasing the diameter some. I tried again to push the bulb bi-wires in and they went a little bit farther. I tested the light again, but it still had terrible rings and the beam was just awful. I must have exerted 15-20 lbs of pressure in an attempt to seat that bulb to depth but it still wouldn't seat to the depth in DM's picture.

I removed the bulb once again and tapped the needle down in there again with a very small jeweler's hammer. I removed the needle and then repeated the process one more time in each hole. I tried again to push the bulb legs into the hole and this time it was working. With each progressive, finger shaking, grunt while pushing with a plastic gunsmithing punch, the bulb went in a few thousandths more until stopping.

I was fairly skeptical of what the results would be after all of the aggravation. I cleaned the bulb with alcohol and screwed the head to the body. I fired the light and.............WOW!! I had an ultra-white, perfectly centered, intense hot spot of pure incan beauty! I could hardly believe the difference between the MA02 LA and the Strion because it was so great. The difference that I'm seeing seems to be much more that what I'm seeing in DM's beamshots. I can not tell the difference between the Strion equipped A2 and my M2 with P61 lamp assembly....oh, wait I can tell a difference, the Strion A2's beam is more white than the P61. I just shake my head every time I turn it on because this is the boost that I've always desired from my A2s. Although it was a son-of-a-gun to install, it was well worth my time and well worth the purchase.
 

DM51

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That one sounded a pain. If the bulb is ultra-bright, I wonder if you may have tweaked it somehow with all that pushing and forcing, and maybe it is now super-bright in the same way a bulb sometimes flares up just before it dies. I hope not, but let us know.

I can confirm from the ones I have done (3 so far) that for the best beam, the bulb needs to be seated into the socket as far as it will go.

It may be an idea to put a very tiny dab of Nanolube (or some similar thin machine-oil) on to the pins, to help ease them into the socket. You would have to be sure to wipe off any trace of excess oil after doing it, especially from the glass envelope.

I haven't had to do this myself - it's just an idea. If someone thinks it is a very BAD idea for some reason, please say so - I am just throwing it out for discussion as a possible solution.
 

Patriot

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I was wondering if I had done something to make it brighter also, but the needle tapping was actually very light and careful. The only forceful part was pushing the bulb in. I actually did swab the legs with some Progold, wondering if that would help at all. It's didn't seem to but then again it's not a very good lube...more like a protectant.

I'm not sure why it's so bright....maybe because I'm comparing it to a red A2...not sure. It does have a brighter whiter hot spot than the P61 though.

I'll plan on taking it for a walk tonight so I should be able to burn through a set of batteries soon. I'll post again either way.
 
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this_is_nascar

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My Strions bulbs arrived today. As other have mentioned, the bulbs would not seat all the way to the base on either of my (3) units. I took the path of clipping the bulb leads just enough to allow it to seat all the way. I did this, because I didn't want to risk losing the tightness of the bulb holder by inserting something in there to stretch it. I can tell you right now, if you don't have your Strion bulb seated all the way to the base of the MOD adapter, it's not going to focus properly. You may think it looks good, but it's not working as well as it could be.

So, now that I have it setup properly, I can say that it's definitely whiter and brighter with a larger hotspot. I'd call it "noticeably brighter" even more so than the pictures up top depict. My only concern now is bulb life. As most bought this MOD for the ability to use a less-expensive bulb, I bought it for the increased brightness with similar runtime. I don't want to find that I'm replacing Strion bulbs every time I turn around. Time will tell I guess, but for now, I can say I'm happy with the results.
 

Icebreak

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After Patriot36's report I just couldn't take it anymore and had to purchase one. Thanks again for the excellent review, DM51.

TIN -

I'm hoping the Strion lamp proves to be as robust as it looks.
 

Patriot

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I just got back from a nice walk were I depleted a set of batteries in the FM Strion A2. I took the white A2 Strion, a red A2 with MA02, a M2 with P61, and a M6-CB (just for fun).

I began my walk just comparing the two different A2s while intermittently turning one on and then the other. The red A2 definitely had that nice beam but was tinted, probably because of the red LEDs. The Strion A2 completely dominated it by casting a similar amount of light about 20 yards further. Once the difference was so apparent I put the red A2 away and spend the rest of my time comparing the M2 w/P61 to the Strion A2.

The two main differences between the P61 and Strion A2 were the tightness and whiteness of the A2. At times I couldn't really tell which one was brighter but I could always see that the P61 was more floody and a tiny bit more orange. After a few comparisons I put the P61 away an just decided to walk with the A2 until it fell out of regulation which was just short of 40 minutes. Those batteries did have a couple of minutes of intermittent use to start with though so it's not a scientific result but does give some idea.

As I walked I installed a new set of Sanyo batteries and was nearing some of the powerline towers on my way back home. I was sureprised to see how well on tower was illuminated from about 75-80 yards away, (I'll measure it with the laser range finder tomorrow night but I think I'm pretty close). I remained stationary for a few minutes while I compared the beams of the P61 and Strion lamps agaist the powerline tower. If I aimed the light through the big hole formed by the partially closed "Y" shape near the top I was able to study the light color and intensity falling upon the rest of the surrounding metal structure. Although the M2/P61 lamp was a bit more floody at closer range, (under 50 yards) on the tower the A2 Strion actually illuminated more of the surrounding area because of it's tighter beam. It's still hard to say which lamp was producing more actual lumens but possibly a slight edge going to the A2, while also being noticeably more white. I remember either Lux Luthor or mdocod saying that you have to roughly double the lumens in order to see any appreciable difference in output and I believe that I've witnessed that, considering how closely it resembles the P61 in output.

I couldn't be happier with this mod. Imo the A2 Strion is the neatest thing to come along for the A2 ever. The Aviatrix (no longer realistically available) was different, interesting and techy but this mod is the extra punch that I've always wanted to have in an A2. It takes the perfect light and makes it more perfect. All I know is that I'm going to order a handful of Strion bulbs now.

I am curious to hear any thoughts or ideas about why the Strion bulb and A2 reflector could have a tighter beam than a P61. I'm actually pretty baffled by that.
 

Patriot

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I just saw this post from yaesumofo in the sales thread:
It looks like the Strion on the A2 really is "all that."

yaesumofo
I must be wrong then. It just goes to show you that you can't trust the eye.
I turned to electronic measurement in the form of the meterman 631.
I got 3500 lux at a meter with the strion and 1890 lux at a meter with the stock A2 globe.
WOW talk about beoing blown away!!
Yaesumofo
 

Icebreak

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Re: Fivemega's St rion conversion kit for Surefire A2

A Fivemega $urefire A2 Strion socket kit showed up this afternoon. The lamp was already in the socket.

I swapped out the OEM lamp for the FM Strion socket. I went ahead and aligned the filament so that if a line were extended from it length wise it would miss two of the LEDs in a parallel fashion. If a line were to intersect the filament perpendicularly it would also intersect the third LED. That's just my preference. This lamp seems to do well no matter how it's aligned.

It appears to me to be much like the beam shots except for possibly a little brighter. Saying that its twice as bright might not be too far off, considering the inverse square law. As has been reported the beam shape is much improved with a more apparent hotspot in the spot. The spill is also noticeably brighter. There is no more corona around the circumference of the spill. The spill area is even.

Used outside in known territory my memory tells me this light is returning much more image information and is throwing further.

I believe this Fivemega creation is a huge improvement in performance and build quality over the OEM MA02.

Thanks for the review and all the comments. I'm really pleased with this upgrade.
 

Valolammas

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Mine arrived yesterday, and I'm also quite impressed with it!

I also had some trouble getting the bulb sit deep enough in the holder. I did all I could and there was still a gap between the socket and the bulb. But I decided to try it out anyway, and I like it that way! It has a much larger hotspot than the MA02 and way more spill. I'm not so much a throw guy, I like the "wall of light" concept, so the big hotspot and huge spill are right up my alley. I'm very happy with it.

I remember an old thread, where some of you guys were badgering FM into making another run of these and he said "only a few?", and look how fast the first 70 of them went. :laughing:

Ok, now we'll just sit and wait to see how that Lumens Factory replacement bulb turns out. Oh no! With so many bulb options, I'm starting to think I may need a second A2. Aaargh, when will it ever end!
 

batman

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since neither the fivemega socket or lumens factory lamp assemblies are stock equipment, do you think they would still mechanically work together in an A2 with the aviatrix mod?
Anyone know how fast do the lamps blacken on this fivemega kit?
 

DM51

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since neither the fivemega socket or lumens factory lamp assemblies are stock equipment, do you think they would still mechanically work together in an A2 with the aviatrix mod?
Neither the FM mod nor the LF bulb will affect the LEDs, nor will they be affected by them. The incan and LED circuits are independent of each other, and the Aviatrix circuit only affects the LEDs.


Anyone know how fast do the lamps blacken on this fivemega kit?
AFAIK no-one has yet reported on the life of the Strion bulb used like this in an A2. No bulb failures have yet been reported. Fivemega's first run of these was ~1 year ago IIRC, so the mod is well established.
 

DM51

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Unfortunately, Fivemega’s sales thread is now sold out. I do not know when (or if) he will do another run of these.

You may be able to find one on B/S/T, but I think people will be hanging on to them, rather than selling them.
 

this_is_nascar

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I can tell you these Strion bulbs seem to be well built. I can't answer how long the filament will continue burning, but I can tell you these bulbs can handle some abuse. Doing some of my playing with these bulbs and adapters, I've dropped a couple of these bulbs onto the kitchen floor several times and they continue to work fine.
 

Patriot

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A few reference pics to go along with the ones that DM51 as already posted. The last pic is a gif animation. Enjoy..

A2 MA02 @ 40 feet
A2StrionvsA2MN01002.jpg


A2 Strion @ 40 feet
A2StrionvsA2MN01001.jpg


A2 MA02 @ 15 feet
A2StrionvsA2MN01004.jpg


A2 Strion @ 15 feet
A2StrionvsA2MN01003.jpg


Rotating animation of the pics @ 40 feet
A2MA02vsA2Strion.gif
 
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alantch

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Sorry for going off topic here, but I have a Strion kit incoming and would like to get some spare bulbs. Can anyone tell me where's the best place (online) to get these bi-pin bulbs? I checked litho's sales thread and looks like he doesn't carry these? TIA.
 

skcheng

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I bought a couple of the Strion bulbs off the big auction site.

Is it just me or does the Strion have a bunch of artifacts in the beam?? I know I'm white wall hunting, but it almost looks like a bunch of bugs?? Maybe it's just my bulb??

Otherwise, I'm very happy with the beam.
 

DM51

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Is it just me or does the Strion have a bunch of artifacts in the beam?? I know I'm white wall hunting, but it almost looks like a bunch of bugs?? Maybe it's just my bulb??
The MA02 bulb has a frosted tip, which eliminates a lot of the artifacts. The Strion bulb has a clear tip, so you may see some difference on a white wall.

Most Incan bulbs have some artifacts, but the A2 is principally used outside where they are not noticeable.
 
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