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Thread: mod --> UltraFire Cree C3 5-Mode Flashlight with 2xAA

  1. #1

    Default mod --> UltraFire Cree C3 5-Mode Flashlight with 2xAA

    Hi all,

    Does somebody know if the replacement of the P4 Led by a CREE Q5 one is possible on this flashlight : UltraFire Cree C3 5-Mode Flashlight with 2xAA



    I already know that the P4 led is accessible simply and could be replaced by this one : Cree Q5-WC LED Emitter with 14mm Base

    So my question is rather on the driver side... which I don't know too much. It seems to be a boost driver providing about 800 mA current.
    What will be its behaviour with the Q5 led ?

    Any idea please ?
    Thanks
    JP

  2. #2

    Default Re: mod --> UltraFire Cree C3 5-Mode Flashlight with 2xAA

    I finally succeeded in disassembling the head...
    Here are the parts :


    I have mounted the P4 Cree led on a copper (flattened) pipe for current measurements :


    and driven the led with the original driver which seems to be a kind of boost driver with rather poor quality assembling...



    All this has been tested with 1, 2 and 3 AA NiMH batteries. I have measured the battery and led currents in all (low, med and Hi) modes of the driver.



    and here are the results :

    1 AA
    Battery current
    low : 70 mA
    med : 180 mA
    hi : 510 mA

    Led current
    low : 10 mA
    med : 30 mA
    hi : 120 mA
    2 AA
    Battery current
    low : 110 mA
    med : 300 mA
    hi : 840 mA

    Led current
    low : 30 mA
    med : 110 mA
    hi : 320 mA
    3 AA
    Battery current
    low : 130 mA
    med : 340 mA
    hi : 980 mA

    Led current
    low : 70 mA
    med : 210 mA
    hi : 640 mA
    In conclusion, the driver has a rather poor efficiency with 1 or 2 AA cells (dispite the fact that the led is quite bright)
    When driven in full mode with 3 AA we can achieve 640 mA current into the led (with a total current of 980 mA out of the cells)

    So possibly a 3rd extension tube for this ultrafire C3 would be a good idea http://www.dealextreme.com/details.dx/sku.4438

    JP
    Last edited by freedom2000; 03-24-2008 at 09:52 AM.

  3. #3

    Default Re: mod --> UltraFire Cree C3 5-Mode Flashlight with 2xAA

    Great info and fantastic pics!!! I have the extension and this light is certainly MUCH BRIGHTER with 3xAA but I really don't like the form factor at that length. It's so long that it sticks out of my pocket and is just clumsy to use IMHO .

    Have you just decided to go with the 3xAA option or were you able to find a driver that's able to properly driver the Q5?

    Thanks again for the great pics/info.

  4. #4

    Default Re: mod --> UltraFire Cree C3 5-Mode Flashlight with 2xAA

    I will go for this one
    It has rather good critics, and I like the possibility to tune the voltage.

    I was very tempted to buy the third extension... but didn't do it as I was afraid to get a very weird flashlight...

    Thanks for having confirmed my first impression (too long)

    JP

  5. #5

    Default Re: mod --> UltraFire Cree C3 5-Mode Flashlight with 2xAA

    Looks like a great driver...would love to see the results once your done modding your C3. We would really appreciate a follow-up post once your done with some pics/measurements.

  6. #6

    Default Re: mod --> UltraFire Cree C3 5-Mode Flashlight with 2xAA

    Quote Originally Posted by phreeflow View Post
    Looks like a great driver...would love to see the results once your done modding your C3. We would really appreciate a follow-up post once your done with some pics/measurements.
    for sure I will do it

    JP

  7. #7

    Default Re: mod --> UltraFire Cree C3 5-Mode Flashlight with 2xAA

    I have just received my Q5.
    Here are a few pix of the Q5 and the P4 leds. Both are driven by a constant current of 1050 mA.

    On the left is the Q5 and on the right the P4
    The pix have been taken with real underexposure.
    The Q5 is brighter but not too much...
    the purple fringing is due to my camera (not to the leds )









    I am now waiting for the new driver

    JP
    Last edited by freedom2000; 04-06-2008 at 03:40 AM.

  8. #8

    Default Re: mod --> UltraFire Cree C3 5-Mode Flashlight with 2xAA

    Let me know how you get on with that driver. So far I've had 5 of them and not had one work reliably with modes yet.

  9. #9

    Default Re: mod --> UltraFire Cree C3 5-Mode Flashlight with 2xAA

    I will let you know as sson as I will receive my driver

    For the moment I am testing my leds with a LM317 chip using this circuit (with a 1.2 Ohm 2W resistor to get the 1A current) :


    JP

  10. #10

    Default Re: mod --> UltraFire Cree C3 5-Mode Flashlight with 2xAA

    Thanks for keeping us updated Freedom2000. I'm a bit surprised that your Q5 isn't much brighter than the P4 and a little bummed to hear Bigsy mention that the driver hasn't worked out well for him. I have both on order..we'll see. .

    I can't wait for them to arrive

  11. #11

    Default Re: mod --> UltraFire Cree C3 5-Mode Flashlight with 2xAA

    Great pics by the way!

  12. #12

    Default Re: mod --> UltraFire Cree C3 5-Mode Flashlight with 2xAA

    Quote Originally Posted by phreeflow View Post
    I'm a bit surprised that your Q5 isn't much brighter than the P4 .
    BTW, I think that a direct pix of the led doesn't reflect the exact brightness . Both P4 and Q5 are sooo bright that they over expose a lot the picture. The use of a lux meter would be much more accurate, but I don't have one

    JP

  13. #13

    Default Re: mod --> UltraFire Cree C3 5-Mode Flashlight with 2xAA

    Hi again --> some news pix

    I have done the following :
    - put the P4 (respectively the Q5) into the head of the ultrafire C3
    - driven the led with the LM317 at 1A current
    - directed the beam on a white door
    - shooted a picture of each at the same distance, in the dark, with manual identical exposure, defocussed to avoid noise

    Here are the results --> the Q5 is brighter (see histogram and pix) and a little warmer than the P4.

    thumbnails of the two shots :


    P4 only :


    Q5 only :


    Look at carefully the histograms, the Q5 one is shifted to the right --> Q5 is definitively brighter (but not too much)

    JP
    Last edited by freedom2000; 04-06-2008 at 11:12 AM.

  14. #14

    Default Re: mod --> UltraFire Cree C3 5-Mode Flashlight with 2xAA

    Bad news today...

    I have received my new "universal driver" from DX... soldered the wires; tested it with 1*AA and then with 2*AA NiMh.

    But it doesn't work at all --> no light into my Cree Q5

    I am afraid that this driver is a kind of "random process"

    I have requested support from DX

    JP


  15. #15

    Default Re: mod --> UltraFire Cree C3 5-Mode Flashlight with 2xAA

    freedom I have some bad news buddy: http://candlepowerforums.com/vb/showthread.php?t=195356

    5 boards from KD, 5 boards from DX, 0 working boards.

    Looks like one massive faulty batch of boards to me!!

  16. #16

    Default Re: mod --> UltraFire Cree C3 5-Mode Flashlight with 2xAA

    Right !!!

    I just came to the same conclusion in your thread

    Do have asked for replacement to DX... Do you think it will work ?

    JP

  17. #17

    Default Re: mod --> UltraFire Cree C3 5-Mode Flashlight with 2xAA

    I had a batch of 5 from DX, I soldered 3 and they didn't work. I tested the other without soldering and they didn't work.

    Soon as I 'could' of burned the first 3 I asked DX for an extra 2 as replacement which they sent me. They didn't work either.

    When I asked for the 2 replacements I ordered 5 from KD, none of them work either.

    So thinking about it that's 12 boards :/

  18. #18

    Default Re: mod --> UltraFire Cree C3 5-Mode Flashlight with 2xAA

    you can now ask for 12 replacement units !!!

    If one is working please send it to me

    I have only one which is not working... and soon (4 weeks) get a new (non working ??) replacement one

    JP

  19. #19

    Default Re: mod --> UltraFire Cree C3 5-Mode Flashlight with 2xAA

    I have informed Jerry at KD to check his batch, and to get 5 replacements, KD are rubbish though and will probably ask me to ship them back before sending anymore. I can;t be bothered with that, I'd just order more...If I thought they would actually work.

    As with the 2 replacements from DX, I'm not going to bother, I know my replacements for the replacements won't work.

    Basically I'd given up on this driver, I decided to to order a couple of the DX DI dropins and take them apart to use the bits. $16 for a Q5 I can use on something else and a high power driver isn;t bad. Least I know they will bloody work!

    Oh BTW ZERO boards work, that's right not 1.

  20. #20

    Default Re: mod --> UltraFire Cree C3 5-Mode Flashlight with 2xAA

    Quote Originally Posted by Bigsy View Post

    Oh BTW ZERO boards work, that's right not 1.
    Yes it's right --> 0 boards work among a total of 12 + 1 = 13 boards
    JP

  21. #21
    Unenlightened
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    Default Re: mod --> UltraFire Cree C3 5-Mode Flashlight with 2xAA

    What about sku 7880? I heard that is efficient. I wonder if u can use that with 2 AA on the lower modes, because on high it draws like 5A.
    Last edited by bisar_x; 04-17-2008 at 12:52 AM.

  22. #22

    Default Re: mod --> UltraFire Cree C3 5-Mode Flashlight with 2xAA

    Well, I'm still waiting on my order from DX and it's taking FOREVER. Anyways, I'm not even that excited about it anymore seeing your experiences. I ordered the same friggin driver so I won't be holding my breath. What a waste of time....hope mine is a newer batch but I doubt it.

  23. #23

    Default Re: mod --> UltraFire Cree C3 5-Mode Flashlight with 2xAA

    I have done the modding successfully
    http://daoriginal.da.funpic.de/?item...e-c3-power-mod

    you can use google translate to translate from german to english.

    The problem with this driver is, that the soldering ist very bad. So components were not correctly soldered. After soldering these again the driver worked.

  24. #24

    Default Re: mod --> UltraFire Cree C3 5-Mode Flashlight with 2xAA

    Der Wichtel that is the old white pcb version of this board which I myself have used in the past, without issue I will add.

    I don't believe they could of cocked up the soldering on 13 boards, plus these are the only 13 boards we know are from the latest batch so far. I strongly believe there is a batch of faulty components on these drivers.

    I will have a bash at desoldering and soldering on the off chance (nothing left to loose here) but most seem fine visually so I won't hold my breath on that one.

    Either way where is the damn quality control on these things?!?
    Last edited by Bigsy; 04-17-2008 at 02:57 AM.

  25. #25

    Default Re: mod --> UltraFire Cree C3 5-Mode Flashlight with 2xAA

    I have checked again and evrything seems pretty much well soldered...

    For me it's a bad batch (prossibly the µcontroler which his out of order)

    JP

  26. #26

    Default Re: mod --> UltraFire Cree C3 5-Mode Flashlight with 2xAA

    Quote Originally Posted by Der Wichtel View Post
    I have done the modding successfully
    http://daoriginal.da.funpic.de/?item...e-c3-power-mod

    you can use google translate to translate from german to english.

    The problem with this driver is, that the soldering ist very bad. So components were not correctly soldered. After soldering these again the driver worked.
    You are lucky
    Your mod is exactly what I planned to do ...
    I was however afraid to sand the driver board to enter the copper piece. But it seems now that it is achievable.

    At least if I had a working driver

    JP

  27. #27

    Default Re: mod --> UltraFire Cree C3 5-Mode Flashlight with 2xAA

    Jerry at KD told me he was going to test some of their batch and get back to me....so we'll see soon enough.

  28. #28

    Default Re: mod --> UltraFire Cree C3 5-Mode Flashlight with 2xAA

    And I have got a "ticket" with Nicole from DX. She proposes a replacement or a refund (nice contact I must say).
    I have asked if she could test the board to guaranty that it works

    JP

  29. #29

    Default Re: mod --> UltraFire Cree C3 5-Mode Flashlight with 2xAA

    A replacement driver is finally being sent to me

    I hope it will work ...

    At least DX support is very kind and efficient

    JP

  30. #30

    Default Re: mod --> UltraFire Cree C3 5-Mode Flashlight with 2xAA

    Quote Originally Posted by freedom2000 View Post
    You are lucky
    Your mod is exactly what I planned to do ...
    I was however afraid to sand the driver board to enter the copper piece. But it seems now that it is achievable.

    At least if I had a working driver

    JP
    well, after all I would recommend to sand the aluminium host down. Because sanding only the pcb is not enough and you have to be careful not to cut the outer contact ring. Besides you have to sand the inner of the aluminium host as well and you have to somehow connect the aluminium with the board which is not easy.

    If you just sand the aluminium housing down then you won't have these problems and it is much easier.

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