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Thread: Surefire Blast from the Past - 10X Dominator

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    Default Surefire Blast from the Past - 10X Dominator

    Gotta love the “Go from operational to blinding light instantly“, I guess 500 lm is somewhat blinding in the grand scheme of things.

    Technology certainly has come along way, but I do love some of these old dinosaurs.

    Last edited by F250XLT; 04-06-2020 at 05:09 PM.
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    Default Re: Surefire Blast from the Past

    Is this one in your current collection? What kind of tasks would you use it for? Seeing this makes it feel like yesterday I was 15 years old flipping through the early 2000 surefire catalogs drooling at all the awesome lights i could use to defend my parents farm animals from predators. Any idea on the retail price of that one? I remember the devastator was like $400..way out of my price range but i did end up with a used M3T that made easy spotting of critters around the barnyard. Surefire had the best branding and marketing. So awesome.

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    Default Surefire Blast from the Past

    Quote Originally Posted by BigBaller View Post
    Is this one in your current collection? What kind of tasks would you use it for? Seeing this makes it feel like yesterday I was 15 years old flipping through the early 2000 surefire catalogs drooling at all the awesome lights i could use to defend my parents farm animals from predators. Any idea on the retail price of that one? I remember the devastator was like $400..way out of my price range but i did end up with a used M3T that made easy spotting of critters around the barnyard. Surefire had the best branding and marketing. So awesome.
    Yes, this is one in my collection, I received if from a friend here some time ago.

    Can't say that I'd ever see a use for it these days, but it's still got plenty of cool factor.

    I don't remember the price point on these, but they were not "inexpensive" lights for sure.

    Last edited by F250XLT; 04-06-2020 at 04:58 PM.
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    Default Re: Surefire Blast from the Past - 10X Dominator

    I've owned two of these, the first I picked up in 2009. The original MSRP was $500, and they were released somewhere around 2001.

    Other than the A2, I've put more hours on these lights than any other in my collection of Surefires.

    There are two lamp assembly's to choose from for the low beam, the MN30 (60 lumens) or the MN32 (110 lumens).
    Fresh hot off the charger, with the MN32 LA installed, the light was putting out something on the order of 700 torch lumens plus IIRC due to various comparisons I did with other lights. It's brighter than an M6 with MN21, and the beam is more impressive due to the massive spill, along with slightly better throw.

    At the same time, it's the most flaky, unreliable Surefire I've owned. And sadly, my second one broke last year in the same exact fashion as the previous one many years ago. The weak point in these lights is the small metal tab inside the bezel that makes contact with the battery pack. After years of use, it eventually breaks off from all the repeated flexing/contact. I suppose someone with the skills could solder it back on, I didn't posses the skills to fix mine. A small little oversight from PK possibly.

    The chargers and batteries can be problematic as well. I had several issues with the chargers, and a few battery packs had cells that were out of balance.

    However, all those issues aside, the versatility of the dual beams, and the sheer output, it's an impressive light, especially for the day. And a very underrated one as well. With the inability to fix mine, sadly it went back to Surefire for credit towards a new light.
    Last edited by DayofReckoning; 04-07-2020 at 07:12 AM.

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    Default Re: Surefire Blast from the Past - 10X Dominator

    Quote Originally Posted by DayofReckoning View Post
    I've owned two of these, the first I picked up in 2009. The original MSRP was $500, and they were released somewhere around 2001.

    Other than the A2, I've put more hours on these lights than any other in my collection of Surefires.

    There are two lamp assembly's to choose from for the low beam, the MN30 (60 lumens) or the MN32 (110 lumens).
    Fresh hot off the charger, with the MN32 LA installed, the light was putting out something on the order of 700 torch lumens plus IIRC due to various comparisons I did with other lights. It's brighter than an M6, and the beam is more impressive due to the massive spill, along with slightly better throw.

    At the same time, it's the most flaky, unreliable Surefire I've owned. And sadly, my second one broke last year in the same exact fashion as the previous one many years ago. The weak point in these lights is the small metal tab inside the bezel that makes contact with the battery pack. After years of use, it eventually breaks off from all the repeated flexing/contact. I suppose someone with the skills could solder it back on, I didn't posses the skills to fix mine. A small little oversight from PK possibly.

    The chargers are batteries can be problematic as well. I had several issues with the chargers, and a few battery packs had cells that were out of balance.

    However, all those issues aside, the versatility of the dual beams, and the sheer output, it's an impressive light, especially for the day. And a very underrated one as well. With the inability to fix mine, sadly it went back to Surefire for credit towards a new light.
    Great bunch of info, thank you for that.

    Can the battery packs be replaced in these? If seems when fresh off the charger, the MN30 will dim quite a bit when the MN32 kicks on as well. To be honest, it dies not appear to get much brighter with both bulbs on. Getting dark now, I'm going to test it outside.
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    Default Re: Surefire Blast from the Past - 10X Dominator

    Quote Originally Posted by F250XLT View Post
    Great bunch of info, thank you for that.

    Can the battery packs be replaced in these? If seems when fresh off the charger, the MN30 will dim quite a bit when the MN32 kicks on as well. To be honest, it dies not appear to get much brighter with both bulbs on. Getting dark now, I'm going to test it outside.
    Your battery pack is most certainly shot, no doubt. I do recall a post about someone replacing the cells with Eneloops AA's, but it was a pretty one off thing, and they had to tape the pack back together. The post is somewhere around here I'm sure. I don't really remember anyone else rebuilding these battery packs. But I'm certain it could be done.

    The only question is, how would one charge? Modify the factory battery charger?

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    Default Re: Surefire Blast from the Past - 10X Dominator

    Quote Originally Posted by DayofReckoning View Post
    Your battery pack is most certainly shot, no doubt. I do recall a post about someone replacing the cells with Eneloops AA's, but it was a pretty one off thing, and they had to tape the pack back together. The post is somewhere around here I'm sure. I don't really remember anyone else rebuilding these battery packs. But I'm certain it could be done.

    The only question is, how would one charge? Modify the factory battery charger?
    I wish there was a way to refurbish the battery pack, it really is a cool light. Just tested it outside, both modes are about the same output, might actually be a bit brighter with only the MN30 lit.
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    Default Re: Surefire Blast from the Past - 10X Dominator

    Quote Originally Posted by F250XLT View Post
    I wish there was a way to refurbish the battery pack, it really is a cool light. Just tested it outside, both modes are about the same output, might actually be a bit brighter with only the MN30 lit.
    Yup, through the years of using mine, that proprietary battery pack always haunted me in the back of my mind, knowing someday once the battery is exhausted, without the ability to rebuild it, the light would essentially become an extremely expensive paperweight.

    Which is a shame. It really is a cool light. I'm sure there are people around here on CPF that have the know how to rebuild it.

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    Default Re: Surefire Blast from the Past - 10X Dominator

    I guess it came out early on, but it makes zero sense to create a light with a sealed battery.

    Perhaps I'll post an inquiry on one of the other boards, testing the waters to get rebuild options.
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    Default Re: Surefire Blast from the Past - 10X Dominator

    Quote Originally Posted by F250XLT View Post
    I guess it came out early on, but it makes zero sense to create a light with a sealed battery.

    Perhaps I'll post an inquiry on one of the other boards, testing the waters to get rebuild options.
    It's nothing new. Olight's lineup is littered with lights with propertiary battery's. Many of the big, super expensive lights from Acebeam and Fenix are as well.

    Best of luck to you in getting that pack rebuilt. With fresh cells, the hight beam on that light will be sure to put a smile on your face.

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    Default Re: Surefire Blast from the Past - 10X Dominator

    Quote Originally Posted by DayofReckoning View Post
    It's nothing new. Olight's lineup is littered with lights with propertiary battery's. Many of the big, super expensive lights from Acebeam and Fenix are as well.

    Best of luck to you in getting that pack rebuilt. With fresh cells, the hight beam on that light will be sure to put a smile on your face.
    The difference between the two would pretty much be that with Olight, Fenix etc. you can often use a regular battery of the same form factor but you lose the recharging feature and so on. With this it's a complete battery pack you'd have to fiddle around with and while it isn't impossible it's still a pain in the rear to do.

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    Default Re: Surefire Blast from the Past - 10X Dominator

    Quote Originally Posted by LRJ88 View Post
    The difference between the two would pretty much be that with Olight, Fenix etc. you can often use a regular battery of the same form factor but you lose the recharging feature and so on. With this it's a complete battery pack you'd have to fiddle around with and while it isn't impossible it's still a pain in the rear to do.
    You must also consider the charger for the Surefire 10X Dominator is proprietary as well, and designed to charge the sub c NiCad cells in the pack. I don't know how this charging algorithm would work when paired with some other type of cell. Worse yet is the charger relies on a metal contact ring where the whole battery must be locked into place. Hardly the same as Li-ion where you can charge them on pretty much any charger.

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    Default Re: Surefire Blast from the Past - 10X Dominator

    It's been awhile since I used a Dominator 10X. Great lights, I wish I had picked up a few back when they were going for cheap. Has anyone tried one of the B90/B92 to 18650 adapters? They seem to work well in the other B90/B92 lights. There is one made for the 8X/8AX and the 9N/9AN light series. I can't remember which might fit the 10X, but I'm thinking the 9N/9AN adapter would. As I mentioned, haven't used a 10X in a really long time, but I have fond memories of it for certain. Especially the HOLA, but the LOLA was pretty useful and basically the output of a P60 lamp assembly in a 6P-BK. The LOLA on the 10X is definitely way more useful than the LOLA on the 9N/9AN.
    ampdude

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    Default Re: Surefire Blast from the Past - 10X Dominator

    Quote Originally Posted by ampdude View Post
    It's been awhile since I used a Dominator 10X. Great lights, I wish I had picked up a few back when they were going for cheap. Has anyone tried one of the B90/B92 to 18650 adapters? They seem to work well in the other B90/B92 lights. There is one made for the 8X/8AX and the 9N/9AN light series. I can't remember which might fit the 10X, but I'm thinking the 9N/9AN adapter would. As I mentioned, haven't used a 10X in a really long time, but I have fond memories of it for certain. Especially the HOLA, but the LOLA was pretty useful and basically the output of a P60 lamp assembly in a 6P-BK. The LOLA on the 10X is definitely way more useful than the LOLA on the 9N/9AN.
    The Dominator's pack is composed of several small cells, I believe sub C cells. The 10X battery reads 7.2-7.4V nominal IIRC, so those adapters wouldn't work. Plus the cells must be wired together. It's really just a case of tearing the pack apart and replacing the cells with new one's identical in size, NiCad or NImh . Talk of this is reviving the headaches I had worrying about when my own packs were going to crap out

    Those NiCad cells in the pack were the Dominator's real weakness. As bright as the 10X is, I always found the beam was of a lower CCT than I like, and that's with a good, fresh battery. Once I started using Li-ion cells, then it really looked yellow. But the output was always impressive nonetheless, basically being Surefire's brightest light in their lineup for a very long time.

    I never ran the 18650 adapters in my B90 lights though. Long before they were available, I found that the 3000mah Streamlight Stinger Nimh batteries worked perfect in the 8X/8AX/8NX. The performance is leaps and bounds about the old crappy B90. The B90 was a horrible, horrible battery in all respects. A stain/tarnish on Surefire IMO.
    Last edited by DayofReckoning; 04-08-2020 at 05:34 PM.

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    Default Re: Surefire Blast from the Past - 10X Dominator

    Oh yea, I remember now it was the B20 battery it took. I wonder if there isn't an aftermarket replacement out there that would fit. Maybe Streamlight still makes a similar battery pack? Otherwise might have to put one together yourself or find a custom battery maker. There are a few out there. Interstate will even make battery packs.
    ampdude

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    Default Re: Surefire Blast from the Past - 10X Dominator

    Great info guys, thank you.

    I've posted an inquiry over on the Battery board, but nothing viable yet.
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    Default Re: Surefire Blast from the Past - 10X Dominator

    Quote Originally Posted by ampdude View Post
    Has anyone tried one of the B90/B92 to 18650 adapters?
    Quote Originally Posted by DayofReckoning
    The Dominator's pack is composed of several small cells, I believe sub C cells.
    $urefire 10X battery pack is made of six "A" size (high current) NiCad cells with diameter of 17mm and length of 50mm (each cell) and Sub "C" with 23mm diameter won't fit.
    Eneloop AAs will fit but total discharge on high output bulb is over 4 Amp and not suitable for poor Eneloops.
    Last edited by fivemega; 04-09-2020 at 01:32 AM.

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    Default Re: Surefire Blast from the Past - 10X Dominator

    Quote Originally Posted by fivemega View Post
    $urefire 10X battery pack is made of six "A" size (high current) NiCad cells with diameter of 17mm and length of 50mm (each cell) and Sub "C" with 23mm diameter won't fit.
    Eneloop AAs will fit but total discharge on high output bulb is over 4 Amp and not suitable for poor Eneloops.

    Very nice of you to chime in, thanks for the info.

    So I have no options?
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    Default Re: Surefire Blast from the Past - 10X Dominator

    Quote Originally Posted by F250XLT View Post
    Very nice of you to chime in, thanks for the info.

    So I have no options?
    I found these, but no idea if their capable enough to handle the 10X current draw.

    https://www.batterystore.com/a-size/

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    Default Re: Surefire Blast from the Past - 10X Dominator

    Quote Originally Posted by F250XLT View Post
    So I have no options?
    You do have several options:
    1- Find high current / fast charge NiCad cells (or pack).
    2- Accept short battery life if using high output bulb.
    3- If low output bulb is OK for you, Eneloops or other options such as DoR suggested will work.
    4- Possible to use 4P/2S IMR 16340
    5- Possible to use 3P/2S IMR 16500 (17500)
    6- Possible to use 2P/2S 16670 (16650)
    7- Possible to use 2P/2S 18650 (if physically enlarged battery case)
    8- (My wish is) to use 2P/2S 21700 in redesigned larger battery case. (Two hours HO run time, no memory effect, no self discharge)
    When you go option #4, #5, #6, #7 and #8, you should change battery charging system and individually recharge each group of parallel cells. In this case, you should have two female ports on battery case for proper and evenly charging all cells.
    If you decided to go #6 or #7, make sure you pick batteries which possible to solder on each terminal. Protected KeepPower cells not possible to solder.
    We would like to see which way you prefer or go and how the result is.

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    Default Re: Surefire Blast from the Past - 10X Dominator

    Quote Originally Posted by fivemega View Post
    You do have several options:
    1- Find high current / fast charge NiCad cells (or pack).
    2- Accept short battery life if using high output bulb.
    3- If low output bulb is OK for you, Eneloops or other options such as DoR suggested will work.
    4- Possible to use 4P/2S IMR 16340
    5- Possible to use 3P/2S IMR 16500 (17500)
    6- Possible to use 2P/2S 16670 (16650)
    7- Possible to use 2P/2S 18650 (if physically enlarged battery case)
    8- (My wish is) to use 2P/2S 21700 in redesigned larger battery case. (Two hours HO run time, no memory effect, no self discharge)
    When you go option #4, #5, #6, #7 and #8, you should change battery charging system and individually recharge each group of parallel cells. In this case, you should have two female ports on battery case for proper and evenly charging all cells.
    If you decided to go #6 or #7, make sure you pick batteries which possible to solder on each terminal. Protected KeepPower cells not possible to solder.
    We would like to see which way you prefer or go and how the result is.
    If I sent you the light, is this something you could do for me? I have no problem keeping it simple and cost effective, I'd just like to have a usable light.

    If so, what's the investment for favored options.
    "I am not a Collector" - Tim

  22. #22

    Default Re: Surefire Blast from the Past - 10X Dominator

    I put Eneloops in my 10X years ago and they work just fine on HO for short periods. Just for a few minutes of fun memories every once in awhile...

    I never need to use my 10X any more seriously than that anymore. Sadly.

    Dennis.


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    Default Re: Surefire Blast from the Past - 10X Dominator

    How did you secure the eneloops? Did you solder them all in?

    I love old SF lights and always wanted one of these but must admit I have never read to much good about them. I would have no problem getting the eneloop mod done to keep it up and going but if it’s not going to perform well with them I’m thinking it’s not worth it.

    And if the only way to get it running right is to use a different handle/charging holder I might as well get something else as I would like to keep it original looking
    Last edited by thermal guy; 04-19-2020 at 08:48 AM.
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    Default Re: Surefire Blast from the Past - 10X Dominator

    Quote Originally Posted by thermal guy View Post
    How did you secure the eneloops? Did you solder them all in?

    I love old SF lights and always wanted one of these but must admit I have never read to much good about them.
    Just from my own experience, with a fresh battery, the 10X is actually slightly brighter than an M6 with the HOLA. It's crazytown. Too bad there isn't much of a current battery solution.

    It's a nice light and I wish I had bought a few when they were cheap while everyone was wanking themselves over LED lights.
    Last edited by ampdude; 04-19-2020 at 08:19 PM.
    ampdude

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    Default Re: Surefire Blast from the Past - 10X Dominator

    Quote Originally Posted by thermal guy View Post
    How did you secure the eneloops? Did you solder them all in?
    I soldered them together and to the OEM head as well as shrink wrapped them. I didn't secure the head in the handle so it can drop out for charging via leads I included during soldering.

    I don't use it for anything other than a minute or two of non serious light at a time just for fun and memories. The Eneloop pack has lasted for years without charging in this role

    Given the ongoing need for replacement bulbs I'm not sure I would want to use it in any daily role. I would be happy to have it around in working condition for another decade or two!

    Dennis.

    Sent from my SM-N975U using Tapatalk

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    Default Re: Surefire Blast from the Past - 10X Dominator

    Quote Originally Posted by Dennis View Post
    I soldered them together and to the OEM head as well as shrink wrapped them. I didn't secure the head in the handle so it can drop out for charging via leads I included during soldering.

    I don't use it for anything other than a minute or two of non serious light at a time just for fun and memories. The Eneloop pack has lasted for years without charging in this role

    Given the ongoing need for replacement bulbs I'm not sure I would want to use it in any daily role. I would be happy to have it around in working condition for another decade or two!

    Dennis.

    Sent from my SM-N975U using Tapatalk
    Any chance you'd be willing to make another modified pack?
    "I am not a Collector" - Tim

  27. #27

    Default Re: Surefire Blast from the Past - 10X Dominator

    Quote Originally Posted by F250XLT View Post
    Any chance you'd be willing to make another modified pack?
    Sadly my skill level is "Did a drunk monkey solder that?" and not something I could guarantee to hold up to actual use. Also you need the original battery handle to take apart and solder the new pack to the contacts.

    Luckily, if you have any soldering experience, it's not that hard to take apart a battery handle and do a drunk monkey quality switch to Eneloops

    Speaking of, does anyone know if there are upgraded NiMh versions of the original "A" size cells available?

    Dennis.
    Last edited by Dennis; 04-20-2020 at 05:15 PM.

  28. #28

    Default Re: Surefire Blast from the Past - 10X Dominator

    Ok so you guys got me to check out my 10X and charge the Eneloop pack for the first time in years. I made the pack in 2011 and it just discharged and charged up to 2130mAh.

    I took some pics of the pack showing my charging leads. I also took a couple comparison beam shots: 10X HO + higher LO bulbs vs an X300U 600 lumen light. I didn't standardize the shots but they accurately reflect what I saw. I tried the 10X on full for 30 seconds and saw minimal fall off, but it did get hot!

    Question for those who know better than me, will these work better than the Eneloops?

    https://www.batteryspace.com/nimhrec...700mah1pc.aspx

    Enjoy and Thanks!

    Dennis.




    X300U 600 lumen. Yes it's warmer than the 10X!


    10X with HO and higher LO bulbs.
    Last edited by Dennis; 04-20-2020 at 05:40 PM.

  29. #29
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    Default Re: Surefire Blast from the Past - 10X Dominator

    I love how that 10X picture shows the huge light quality difference of a well driven incan vs. even a decent quality warmer tinted LED light source.
    ampdude

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    Default Re: Surefire Blast from the Past - 10X Dominator

    Quote Originally Posted by Dennis View Post
    Sadly my skill level is "Did a drunk monkey solder that?" and not something I could guarantee to hold up to actual use. Also you need the original battery handle to take apart and solder the new pack to the contacts.

    Luckily, if you have any soldering experience, it's not that hard to take apart a battery handle and do a drunk monkey quality switch to Eneloops

    Speaking of, does anyone know if there are upgraded NiMh versions of the original "A" size cells available?

    Dennis.



    Okay, understood...LOL

    How does the battery carrier come out of the handle?
    "I am not a Collector" - Tim

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