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Thread: Surefire KL1-R owners check in here...

  1. #1
    Flashaholic* grnamin's Avatar
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    Default Surefire KL1-R owners check in here...

    If you own (future owners welcome ) a Surefire KL1-R(eflectorized), please check in here. Share your experiences, thoughts, mod techniques, etc., if you please.

    Here's what I have... I've modded 2 so far. The one thing I had difficulty with, besides opening up the bezel , was ensuring that the new assembly with reflector and UCL lens was relatively waterproof (using the blow test). I've found that the following configuration works best for me (parts arranged starting from bezel tip):
    1) original plastic(?) washer/gasket
    2) original domed lens (I don't mind there being a small gap between bezel sections so long as the unit is waterproof)
    3) McR20 reflector
    4) LED on top of holder/heatsink.

    The LED pushes on the reflector. The latter pushes on the domed lens which pushes on the washer/gasket to seal the assembly.

    I compared the beams of one KL1 equipped with reflector and domed lens and another that had the UCL lens. I didn't perceive any difference between them.

    When you try this mod, be careful not to snap off the driver board wiring. A couple of us have done that already.

    Save the visegrips or other pliers as a last resort, not the first choice. I've used 4mm thick cowhide leather to protect the finish and the visegrips still bit through. Ugh!

    Heat the bezel using boiling water, a micro torch, or a heat gun and then use strap wrenches or rubber inner tubing strips to grip and twist the bezel sections loose. Some members used collets and a lathe with excellent results.

    Modding is fun! It can also be frustrating. If at first you don't succeed, get another KL1.
    -Greg

  2. #2
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    Default Re: Surefire KL1-R owners check in here...

    I really like this idea. I like a beam with a nice hotspot for throw while still providing spill light for close to medium range navigation so I can see what's around me. I always felt SF was missing that since LuxVs just don't have that beam unless you use a monster reflector and their LuxIII lights were always optics. Because of this, I decided to make my own setup using a SL Scorpion LED head and a VG FB1 body (haven't received the body yet). SF-like, has great throw (very tight spot), and great spillbeam.

    I've seen this mod done on both the E1e and E1L heads. Is it better to use one vs. the other as a base?
    Please post some pics!

    I'd love to see Doug at FLR test a KL1-R or E1e-LED to check what the total output is. I think the TIR optics creates more lost light than a reflector and good lens.
    Streamlight: TL-3 Xenon, Vital Stream Scorpion-FB1, Scorpion LED SSC P4, KeyMate Silver (Nichia CS)
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  3. #3
    Flashaholic* grnamin's Avatar
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    Default Re: Surefire KL1-R owners check in here...

    Here are some beamshot videos:
    http://candlepowerforums.com/vb/showthread.php?t=120984

    I flip-flop between an Aleph 2x123 with primary cells or a Vital Gear FB1 with 1xR123 (see pic in sig).

    I'll post more beamshot videos tonight.
    -Greg

  4. #4

    Default Re: Surefire KL1-R owners check in here...

    I love mine. I traded my L2 for one then remoded it. Mine has the stock gasket form an EXe Head, UCL Lens, McR20, then (and I feel this it the trick) 2 o-rings, 3/4idx1/16w right on the reflector, 15/16odx1/8w (I think) between the inside of body and the other o-ring. This way the middle body holds the o-ring, the o-ring holds the reflector against the lens when you put the head together. Nothing sitting on the Luxeon that way! Just right above it!

    Here's some good pics and info: http://flashlight-forums.com/index.php?topic=1791.0
    Last edited by SRacer2000; 06-16-2006 at 12:47 PM.
    Gage a.k.a SRacer2000: SF E2e, SF L4, KX2 (Gen1) w/ McR-19 XR and UCL Lens, KL1 (Gen1), KL1 (Gen4) w/ McR-20 and Flat Lens, McE2S (22 Ohms) in Z52

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    Flashaholic* KDOG3's Avatar
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    Default Re: Surefire KL1-R owners check in here...

    Sigh. Yes, I'm the one who pulled the wire off the driver board. I am so bummed. I'll see if I can re-solder it but I'm thinking I should just get a new head and chalk this one up as a learned experience.

    I noticed that aluminum sleeve that goes in there keeps things nice and tight as well....

  6. #6
    Flashaholic* KDOG3's Avatar
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    Default Re: Surefire KL1-R owners check in here...

    As I posted in the other thread, I was messing with it and the positive wire broke off the board too.

    BUT. Since I decided I was going to experiment with it so I hooked it up direct drive - just the positive to the batttery tip and the negative to the body of the light. IT WORKS!!! I tried it with one cell and two cells. Can it be run this way?

  7. #7
    Flashaholic* KDOG3's Avatar
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    Default Re: Surefire KL1-R owners check in here...

    Dang. Wont work off 2 cells. Its' very bright, but gets really hot, really quick, and its too dim off 1 cell. Dangit. Back to square one.

  8. #8
    Flashaholic* mccavazos's Avatar
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    Default Re: Surefire KL1-R owners check in here...

    Quote Originally Posted by KDOG3
    Dang. Wont work off 2 cells. Its' very bright, but gets really hot, really quick, and its too dim off 1 cell. Dangit. Back to square one.
    Maybe try one R123? People have been doing DD Q-III's like this for some time. Anyway, good luck!

    Chris
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  9. #9
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    Default Re: Surefire KL1-R owners check in here...

    I have been looking for a KL1 for some time. I cant wate to do this mod after I finley get one... By the way I have a post going it WTT section looking for a KL1 hed.
    "When the world is at peace, a gentleman keeps his sword by his side" -ancient Chinese proverb

  10. #10
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    Default Re: Surefire KL1-R owners check in here...

    I always liked my KL1 with TIR and thought it would be even better if the current was upped. I sent it off to CM and he brought the bias up, and now I even like it better. I have thought about experimenting with a McR20, though I do like all of the lumens in that nice square.

    Bill

  11. #11

    Default Re: Surefire KL1-R owners check in here...

    That's funny because I traded a 4th gen for a 1st gen cuz I hated that dang square! To each there own!
    Gage a.k.a SRacer2000: SF E2e, SF L4, KX2 (Gen1) w/ McR-19 XR and UCL Lens, KL1 (Gen1), KL1 (Gen4) w/ McR-20 and Flat Lens, McE2S (22 Ohms) in Z52

  12. #12
    Flashaholic* Longbow's Avatar
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    Default Re: Surefire KL1-R owners check in here...

    I too like the square, and I like the throw and brightness the optic provides while using little power (long battery life).
    LUMAPOWER #1} LM303, #2} D-mini

  13. #13
    Flashaholic* KDOG3's Avatar
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    Default Re: Surefire KL1-R owners check in here...

    grnamin: Where do you put the o-ring that comes with the UCL? I can't remember how this thing goes back together?


    Also there is a "flat" o-ring that was in there that I don't know where it came from...
    Last edited by KDOG3; 06-17-2006 at 10:05 AM.

  14. #14
    Flashaholic* asdalton's Avatar
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    Default Re: Surefire KL1-R owners check in here...

    I just did this mod a couple of days ago using a 20 mm IMS reflector. The throw is as good as the original, but with a much more useful beam. I now have a McR-20 reflector on the way.

    I got the bezel open using 2 Channellock pliers, with the rubber straps from a strap wrench protecting the finish.
    Andrew

  15. #15
    Flashaholic* nakahoshi's Avatar
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    Default Re: Surefire KL1-R owners check in here...

    I love mine! I also keep a spare un-modded KL1 for other tasks. I used my KL1-R yesterday changing out an electrical panel during a service change, and it gave nice light, decent flood and the run time is what makes this thing so great. The KL4 heads are nice but they get SOO hot, so you get about 70% of the output of the KL4 and the runtime of the KL1. Its a fantastic mod, and i almost sold mine, untill i relized how fantastic it is. I wont ever try to do that again because its fantastic. Anyway, i really suggest this mod, dont get rid of the KL1 because you dont like the beam (which has its own uses), MOD IT! Beam shots for those who dont want to see the video:


    SUREFIRE: MAKE THIS !!
    MLR<3

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    Default Re: Surefire KL1-R owners check in here...

    I have to admit I'm torn between the reflector and TIR. I've gone back and forth so many times now I think I can do this in the dark. The TIR doesn't seem as "bright" (it puts almost all the photons in a narrow beam) but I can pick stuff out with it farther than using smooth reflector. It's almost like getting the throw of a 2D MAG LED light in an E2e package. However, there are times when I need sidespill. Sigh.... Well I've been on the TIR optic the last week and I think I'll leave it there. I have other reflectorized (is that a word ) lights and I'll use those for sidespill. No need to duplicate *yet* another light that I have.

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    Default Re: Surefire KL1-R owners check in here...

    Quote Originally Posted by nakahoshi
    I love mine! I also keep a spare un-modded KL1 for other tasks. I used my KL1-R yesterday changing out an electrical panel during a service change, and it gave nice light, decent flood and the run time is what makes this thing so great. The KL4 heads are nice but they get SOO hot, so you get about 70% of the output of the KL4 and the runtime of the KL1. Its a fantastic mod, and i almost sold mine, untill i relized how fantastic it is. I wont ever try to do that again because its fantastic. Anyway, i really suggest this mod, dont get rid of the KL1 because you dont like the beam (which has its own uses), MOD IT! Beam shots for those who dont want to see the video:


    SUREFIRE: MAKE THIS !!
    bobby, glad you decided to keep it

  18. #18

    Default Re: Surefire KL1-R owners check in here...

    SureFire should really come out with one, even if just for looks!

    Gage a.k.a SRacer2000: SF E2e, SF L4, KX2 (Gen1) w/ McR-19 XR and UCL Lens, KL1 (Gen1), KL1 (Gen4) w/ McR-20 and Flat Lens, McE2S (22 Ohms) in Z52

  19. #19
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    Default Re: Surefire KL1-R owners check in here...

    Whoa, wait, I thought you couldn't do this with the new KL1..
    Is chop doing this?

  20. #20

    Default Re: Surefire KL1-R owners check in here...

    I think I've seen Chop do one before.
    Gage a.k.a SRacer2000: SF E2e, SF L4, KX2 (Gen1) w/ McR-19 XR and UCL Lens, KL1 (Gen1), KL1 (Gen4) w/ McR-20 and Flat Lens, McE2S (22 Ohms) in Z52

  21. #21
    Flashaholic* grnamin's Avatar
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    Default Re: Surefire KL1-R owners check in here...

    Quote Originally Posted by KDOG3
    grnamin: Where do you put the o-ring that comes with the UCL? I can't remember how this thing goes back together?


    Also there is a "flat" o-ring that was in there that I don't know where it came from...
    KDOG3, I've since then foregone using the UCL lens. Here's my current setup sequence starting from the tip of the bezel:
    1 - stiff plastic(?) washer
    2 - domed lens
    3 - reflector
    4 - LED
    The LED pushes the reflector and that in turn pushes on the washer to seal the unit. I tried using the round Longbow O-ring by positioning it at position #1, but it would roll off easily. The flat rubber O-ring that comes with the KL1 catches easily on the reflector's rim and it bunches up. I tested the above setup using the blow test in water and it's watertight. I compared the domed lens setup with the UCL one and I didn't notice any beam spread difference.

    Very nice pictures there!
    Last edited by grnamin; 06-17-2006 at 09:23 PM.
    -Greg

  22. #22
    Flashaholic* grnamin's Avatar
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    Default Re: Surefire KL1-R owners check in here...

    KDOG3, here's a picture of the original parts sequence:


    I forgot to include the optic. It would have been 3rd from left between the plastic spacer and the flat O-ring.
    Last edited by grnamin; 06-20-2006 at 11:23 AM.
    -Greg

  23. #23
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    Default Re: Surefire KL1-R owners check in here...

    SF's domed window appears to me to have optical properties- ie diverge/converge affect on the beam. I've done a couple KL1 McR 20 conversions with flat windows from the E1/2e heads and personally prefer the resultant beam over SF's optic. Having a lathe with a 5C collet closer and a couple collet blocks takes a bunch of the sport out of disassembly. (Not to mention the propane torch! )

    Larry
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  24. #24
    Flashaholic* Beamhead's Avatar
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    Default Re: Surefire KL1-R owners check in here...

    Reporting in ,

    After reading this thread and studying the pics and links I mustered up the cahones to give it a shot.

    After the 5 minute boil, the base spun right off, but the heat-sink was another story.

    But after repeated cooking with a mini torch and a twist of snap ring pliers in the inlets for the PCB posts bingo.

    Now I have the KL1-R and love it!
    Quando Omni Flunkis Moritati

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    *Flashaholic* IsaacHayes's Avatar
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    Default Re: Surefire KL1-R owners check in here...

    I would suggest not using the luxeon to push on the reflector and hold the glass in. The LED does not like this, and if something were to hit the lens then the led might crush or get a bubble under the dome.

    With the flat UCL lens how are you guys water proofing it/assembling them?

  26. #26
    Flashaholic* Beamhead's Avatar
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    Default Re: Surefire KL1-R owners check in here...

    In mine I used everything stock except the thin rubber washer that goes between the thick plastic spacer and the domed lens/window. I used the o-ring for the lens/window of an Aleph A2 head.

    I may be wrong but on mine the thick plastic spacer pushes the lens/window in place from contacting the edge of the heat sink. There is obvious pressure on the reflector/led interface also but how much I don't know.
    Quando Omni Flunkis Moritati

  27. #27

    Default Re: Surefire KL1-R owners check in here...

    I've put mine under water for about 10 minutes, no leaks. Useing what I stated before.
    Gage a.k.a SRacer2000: SF E2e, SF L4, KX2 (Gen1) w/ McR-19 XR and UCL Lens, KL1 (Gen1), KL1 (Gen4) w/ McR-20 and Flat Lens, McE2S (22 Ohms) in Z52

  28. #28
    Flashaholic* grnamin's Avatar
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    Default Re: Surefire KL1-R owners check in here...

    Quote Originally Posted by IsaacHayes
    I would suggest not using the luxeon to push on the reflector and hold the glass in. The LED does not like this, and if something were to hit the lens then the led might crush or get a bubble under the dome.

    With the flat UCL lens how are you guys water proofing it/assembling them?
    It's not actually the LED home itself that pushes on the reflector, but the base of the LED. I don't know what the nomeclature for that part is.

    Quote Originally Posted by Beamhead
    Reporting in ,

    After reading this thread and studying the pics and links I mustered up the cahones to give it a shot.

    After the 5 minute boil, the base spun right off, but the heat-sink was another story.

    But after repeated cooking with a mini torch and a twist of snap ring pliers in the inlets for the PCB posts bingo.

    Now I have the KL1-R and love it!
    Awesome!
    Last edited by grnamin; 06-19-2006 at 06:15 PM.
    -Greg

  29. #29
    *Flashaholic* IsaacHayes's Avatar
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    Default Re: Surefire KL1-R owners check in here...

    It's the case/body. Pressure there will result in bubbles forming under the dome. It can be pushed down over the slug, and thus ripping the bond wires and also seperating from the dome, which will introduce air gaps. Luxeons are fragile little buggers.

  30. #30
    Flashaholic* roguesw's Avatar
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    Default Re: Surefire KL1-R owners check in here...

    grnamin,
    do you mean the black plastic housing of the LED, if you are using this to push against the window, i suggest caution
    as this black plastic part cannot handle any load, its actually not bonded to the LED, but clipped in place
    when i remove LEDs for replacement, small pressure from tweezers can dislodge the plastic part
    I wonder if its possible to fit a plastic washer to support the reflector, that way
    any load is transfered to the washer rather than the LED itself
    and on a side note, thats a sexy mod!!!


    edit:isaac beat me to it, and i also forgot about the wires
    KL-4+Vital Gear FB02
    Pr-t (TWOK) + DB700 + E2E
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    Will build for free!!

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