Surefire XM-L Tower Module DD

DaFABRICATA

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After hearing others discuss how well the XM-L throws in other lights and seeing how well the XM-L can throw in the Aleph III with the McR38, I decided a tower module for the surefire turboheads was in order.:)

It ended up taking me a LOT longer than I expected, but wanted to take my time and be sure everything went as planned.

Filing down the 14mm board was the most time comsuming part of it, followed by trying to get the wires just right when soldering.

As with the Aleph XM-L light engine build, I used a dead driver as the positive contact and since I don't have the proper fitting ground spring, I had to borrow the spring from my Fivemega Bi-Pin socket.

The tower module heatsink was drilled and tapped for a ground set screw.

It is running direct drive from an AW 18650.

I thought this would be a somewhat quick mod and ended up side-stepping my priorities in the garage today...:ohgeez::whistle: I'll have to bundle up and make up for it tonight..

On the bright side, at least it is done and I only need to wait for dark.



The beam is VERY concentrated with a pretty tight hot-spot and Huge spill beam! The XM-L was from a group-buy and is a 2T tint...looks warm yellowish to my eyes.

I'll try to get pics of the tower module and beamshots tonight if possible. :thumbsup:



The XM-L does very well with the SF turbohead reflector!:eek:oo:



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tx101

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I just build myself a XML Tower as well :D
Shame Netkidz no longer visits the forum :(


P1000849.jpg



I reflowed a XML emitter onto a DatiLED 8mm board and used a 0.03" copper
shim to try and get the correct focus, from about 1ft there is a dark patch in the middle
of the hotspot but I can live with that.
Instead of going direct drive I chose to use a 8 x AMC7135 multi mode board so that I
get high and low outputs. The problem with using the 8 x AMC7135 board is that
it comes with a short positive contact spring, there is no room on the board to replace
the spring with a bigger one so I placed a PVC sleeved magnet onto the positive battery
contact.
 

tx101

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The Tower I build produced disappointing results. It is barely brighter than my XPG
Towers. I think it may be the fault of the board, only getting 1.8A at the tailcap.
I am now waiting for some new boards to arrive.

I used a 0.03" shim for my Tower and just by eye looks nearly the same as my XPG Towers
which look to me, more or less the right focus.

How much would 2 layers of AA ( 1 for the shim and 1 for the emitter) add to the height ?
 

ARA

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Wow that looks great DaFABRICATA :thumbsup: (i'm surprised this thread did'nt get many responses), Would this work in a standard CR123 battery configured Surefire M6 ?

Waiting for the beamshots :D
 

Mettee

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To anyone that knows, where can I get a tower like one of these shown. I like that black one, I suppose if I have to turn one I can. I want to add one of these in some new testing I am doing on a reflector.
 

tx101

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The black one is from Netkidz and he has not been active on the forum for quite sometime
I believe Nailbender had most of the batch from Netkidz but he has sold out
Last I heard NB was looking into having some made.

Your only other option would be to get the ones sold by AW and those ones use the Sandwich Shoppe 14mm boards

BTW there is an Arcmania Tower on sale over at the Marketplace. You could easily swap the emitter for something more
up-to-date.
 

Justin Case

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How much would 2 layers of AA ( 1 for the shim and 1 for the emitter) add to the height ?

I am in the process of re-working an old Seoul P4 AW tower and I managed to pop off the P4 undamaged. I peeled off some of the AA under the slug and mic'ed it. Came out to 0.0027" thick.

The plan is to use a neutral tint XM-L T5 and a mod'ed SOB1000. Going to change out one of the 0603 sense resistors for an 0.05 ohm value. I used two soldering irons to remove one of the existing 0.10 ohm resistors, effectively turning the driver into an SOB500 temporarily.
 

zelda

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some time ago, I also built a tower with Lux 5 X-bin and a sob1000 converter. The Lux 5 have a 150° angle of radiation, thats quite a lot,
compared to leds from today. I put that in a KT2 with a 2 x 18650 Host and sayed wow not bad. Lather I bought a surefire LX2 and made a comparsion:

The 20mm optic TIR throw more than a 2.5" incan-recflector!

I'm wondering what for results you get compared to incan in throw?
 

tx101

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Thanks for the technical advice JC :thumbsup:

I was very disappointed with my results with the XML and 2.8A 7135 board
so I salvaged an old Arcmania Lux Tower I had for a direct drive build.
The focus is not perfect, I only had a .030 copper shim available but the
resulting output is more in line with my expectations.

I recently brought a cheapo DX luxmeter and if I am using the meter correctly,
the direct drive Tower gives me nearly double the number of lux when compared
to the Tower driven by the 2.8A AMC7135 board.
 

Justin Case

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Always happy to try to help.

Digikey delivered the 0603 sense resistors I ordered. I soldered an 0.05 ohm resistor to the SOB board and measured 1416mA drive, slightly lower than what I had hoped to get (around 1425mA-1460mA). But I doubt I'll notice any difference in terms of light output. The driver looks to be about 84% efficient. I tested the SOB1500 outside of the AW tower for function. So now I just have to install the driver in the tower.
 

maxspeeds

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How is the size of the hotspot with these XML towers? My biggest complaint with the led towers I currently have (1 seoul P4 and 1 K2 TFFC) is that the hotspot is so dang small compared to it's Incan brothers. If the XML hotspot is larger, this maybe be something fun to try in the near future :D
 

maxspeeds

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Tx101, thank you so much! That's exactly what I was looking for. I am now going to build an XML tower :D
 
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