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Thread: Niteye EYE10 TiC w/ Noctigon XM-L2 U2 1A + Ice Blue Tritium Mod

  1. #1
    Enlightened oRAirwolf's Avatar
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    Default Niteye EYE10 TiC w/ Noctigon XM-L2 U2 1A + Ice Blue Tritium Mod

    So I spent all day on this mod and it was a b**** of a mod which ended in utter failure due to my stupidity, but I figured I would post it anyways.

    I have a Niteye EYE10 TiC, which is a 500 lumen single CR123/16340/18350 size light with infinitely variable brightness. It is made of titanium with a carbon fiber body. It is one of my favorite flashlights and I wanted to make it better by upgrading it to XM-L2 on Noctigon direct thermal copper and installing tritium gas lights, like I had seen in some other forum posts. There are pre-drilled holes in the cooling fins which people have inserted tritium gas lights into. I have a couple watches and a keychain with tritium gas lights in them, so I thought this would be a super trick mod.

    The light in it’s original form on the left (not my picture):


    I saw this picture of the light, which inspired me to mod it:


    There are no good guides on how to mod this light, so I was mostly running blind. I got some information from Firelight2 on modding the Jetbeam RRT-01, which is essentially the same light, but the information was sparse at best. This is my first foray into flashlight modding and I am an idiot for starting out on a light I paid $128 for, but I say go big or go home.
    I ordered a Noctigon 16mm direct thermal copper MCPCB with a Cree XM-L2 U2 1A LED flowed onto it from www.intl-outdoor.com. I also ordered 6 2×8mm ice-blue tritium gas lights from B@rt in CPFMP.
    First things first, I needed to remove the bezel of the light. This light uses threadlock everywhere, so it was not easy to take apart. I didn’t take any pictures of this process, but I put the light in a ziplock bag and submerged it in boiling water for about 30 seconds. I used 2 silicone jar openers to twist apart the bezel from the head.

    This is was the head of the light looks like with the bezel, aluminum OP reflector, and centering ring removed. I used a wire brush to clean all of the thread locker off the threads:


    Next I removed the two screws holding the driver plate and driver in place:


    Then I removed the aluminum MCPCB from the light by desoldering the connections from the driver. The MCPCB was held in place with the centering ring and some silicone thermal paste:


    I pulled out the driver:



    This is the front of the body where the MCPCB rests. This is post cleaning up with alcohol pads:


    This is the back of the body where the driver goes:


    Here is the body without the head and the battery tube:


    Here is a picture of the pre-drilled holes for what I can only imagine is intended to have gas lights installed:


    At this point, I was a little confused as to how to continue, I knew there had to be a way to remove the magnetic ring, but I wasn’t sure how it was all held together. I tried boiling the body again, but I could not twist it apart. Eventually, I wrapped a bunch of electrical tape around the cooling fins and body, and used 2 vice grips to twist them apart. Niteye used a lot of thread locker here, but they came apart pretty easily with the vice grips:


    Here is the top and bottom. You can see there is a lot of thread locker, which again, I used a wire brush to get rid of. I also cleaned out the area with alcohol wipes after taking these pictures. You can see the pre-drilled holes in the cooling fins:


    Top:


    Bottom


    Here is the bottom part with the magnetic ring removed, along with all of it’s parts. There is a ball inside the magnetic ring on top of a small spring:






    I cleaned up all of the magnetic ring parts and then re-lubed them with Nyogel.

    I found that the 2×8mm gas lights would not fit, but they should, so I began to try and ream out the holes. I ended up buying some 2mm titanium coated drill bits from Walmart that I was able to use to bore out the holes and slide in the lights with no problems. You can see the lights in the respective holes in this picture:


    Here is a lot of the metal filings left over from reaming out the holes with the drill bit stuck to the tape:
    [/IMG]

    I then put some (a lot) blue/medium thread lock on the threads that hold the two parts of the body together and screwed them back together. This was the root cause of my eventual failure.

    Next, I had to get the driver back in the body and the wires threaded through the tiny holes. I did this by soldering some of my solder wire to the leads to lengthen them and pull them through the holes. This part was quite tricky and required quite a bit of finesse because the solder wires would break off easily:


    Finally…


    I then had to fit the 16mm Noctigon MCPCB into the body. This required quite a bit of grinding and re-sizing. I used a rotary tool with a grinding wheel to remove material from the MCPCB until it would fit inside. I thought I had everything in at first and ended up soldering the leads back on to theMCPCB. I then tried to put the reflector in and it wouldn’t go all the way in. I realized after putting back in the original MCPCB that I wasn’t getting past the last tier of the body. There is a ring that you have to get the MCPCB past, which can be seen in the last picture. After finally removing enough material from the MCPCB, I was able to fit it in all the way. I put Arctic Silver 5 on the back of the MCPCB, set it in place, and soldered on the leads:


    I screwed back on the driver plate and tested the light. It worked (keyword: “worked,” not “works”):


    At this point I was pretty proud of myself, as this was my first mod and everything was working. I found the control ring very difficult to turn and figured some of the blue thread lock I had used had gotten on it. I couldn’t get it to move smoothly, so I very stupidly twisted the body of the light a little bit to see if it just needed to be loosened a little. Big mistake. I’m not sure what happened, but when I tried the light again, it wouldn’t turn on. The body was very hot, so I quickly removed the battery, which was slightly warm, and began oh f**k mode. I completely disassembled the light again…Desoldered the MCPCB and removed the driver. The driver smelled burned, so I was pretty sure what had happened at that point. I managed to fry the driver somehow by turning the body of the light. After taking apart the light completely, I found that the thread locker had gotten on the control ring and is what was causing all the problems. I removed all of the thread locker, put on a small amount this time, and completely re-assembled the light. Still won’t turn on. I have to contact Niteye about getting a new driver. I really hope they are cool about it, because it was not a cheap light and I can’t harvest a driver from an RRT-01 or EYE10, because they are both constructed differently (I have both). I was not able to use the stock centering ring anymore. I think my crappy soldering job is to blame, so I need to figure out what to do there as well. I am probably just going to cut a piece of silicone electrical tape to size, but any suggestions would be appreciated.

    In the meantime, here is a picture of the light with the gas lights installed:


    So not a total failure, but I have to wait and see if Niteye will be cool and let me buy a new driver. Otherwise, I just burned a crapload of money and time. I will update this post if/when I hear back from Niteye and when I get the light working again.
    Total cost:
    Niteye EYE10 TiC from Doing Outdoor via eBay: $127.50
    Noctigon 16mm direct thermal copper MCPCB w/ Cree XM-L2 U2 1A: $8.45 shipped w/ tracking
    6 × 2×8mm ice-blue tritium gas lights from B@rt: $69 shipped with no tracking
    ————————————————
    Total: $204.95 before incidentals (drill bits, rotary tool, thread lock, nyogel, hemostats, solder, solder vaccum, tears of sadness, etc)
    Last edited by oRAirwolf; 10-22-2013 at 04:48 AM.

  2. #2
    Flashaholic Jakeyb's Avatar
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    Default Re: Niteye EYE10 TiC w/ Noctigon XM-L2 U2 1A + Ice Blue Tritium Mod

    That's ashame! I really hope you can get another driver. Those lights are awesome I have the rrt01 and the same night eye that your working on. It took me a while to figure out that thread locker can hurt more than it helps...only a little dab will do to keep parts from moving freely. Sometimes I just opt to not use any at all. The parts won't unscrew unless I unscrew them anyway.
    The power used to go out a lot more before I got these expensive lights...

  3. #3
    *Flashaholic* gunga's Avatar
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    Default Niteye EYE10 TiC w/ Noctigon XM-L2 U2 1A + Ice Blue Tritium Mod

    You shorted the LED leads somehow. Ask me how I know...



    You sure you can't harvest a circuit from an rrt01? It really should be compatible.
    Last edited by gunga; 10-22-2013 at 06:45 AM.

  4. #4
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    Default Re: Niteye EYE10 TiC w/ Noctigon XM-L2 U2 1A + Ice Blue Tritium Mod

    Looking for positives is what I do.
    No damage cosmetically and the trits are in.

    See that tiny blob of solder next to the LED?
    Very common with those Noctigon mounted LEDs from Intl Outdoor.
    I have found they can foul reflectors / optics. I either use exacto blade or tip of iron to remove.

    A bit of patience and you should either find a driver that fits or find a modder who can fit a driver.
    Maybe not with the mag control ring.

    Maybe you've heard back from Niteye by now?

  5. #5
    Enlightened oRAirwolf's Avatar
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    Default Re: Niteye EYE10 TiC w/ Noctigon XM-L2 U2 1A + Ice Blue Tritium Mod

    Quote Originally Posted by Chodes View Post
    Looking for positives is what I do.
    No damage cosmetically and the trits are in.

    See that tiny blob of solder next to the LED?
    Very common with those Noctigon mounted LEDs from Intl Outdoor.
    I have found they can foul reflectors / optics. I either use exacto blade or tip of iron to remove.

    A bit of patience and you should either find a driver that fits or find a modder who can fit a driver.
    Maybe not with the mag control ring.

    Maybe you've heard back from Niteye by now?
    Bill from Doing-Outdoor.com was really cool and was able to source a new driver for the light. I ordered 2 from him just to be on the safe side haha. I will see if I can remove those solder blobs next to the emitter.

  6. #6
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    Default Re: Niteye EYE10 TiC w/ Noctigon XM-L2 U2 1A + Ice Blue Tritium Mod

    Quote Originally Posted by oRAirwolf View Post
    Bill from Doing-Outdoor.com was really cool and was able to source a new driver for the light. I ordered 2 from him just to be on the safe side haha. I will see if I can remove those solder blobs next to the emitter.
    Excellent! Good to see you getting support. There should be no penalty for modders, we know warranty will be void, help us out and we'll stay in the hobby and buy more lights to mod

    Vinh posted a vid of dedoming and LED reflowing. You can see him both create the solder blob when "punching" the LED onto star and removing the blob with iron after. Blink and you'll miss it!

  7. #7
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    Default Re: Niteye EYE10 TiC w/ Noctigon XM-L2 U2 1A + Ice Blue Tritium Mod

    I did not make these blobs....

    Trying dedome after watching Vinh's vid. I failed.


    Just a good example of blobbiness

  8. #8
    *Flashaholic* gunga's Avatar
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    Default Niteye EYE10 TiC w/ Noctigon XM-L2 U2 1A + Ice Blue Tritium Mod

    Great stuff! Outstanding that you could get a replacement driver!!

  9. #9
    Flashaholic* DellSuperman's Avatar
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    Default Re: Niteye EYE10 TiC w/ Noctigon XM-L2 U2 1A + Ice Blue Tritium Mod

    I learnt the hard way that these small solder blops can cause more damage than I thought.
    I thought the short was at my driver side but it was at the emitter & MCPCB side, wasted alot of precious time!
    I had 1 small blop shorting the positive side of the emitter to the center strip on my MCPCB.
    It resulted in my positive point shorting to the whole flashlight when I assembled it.
    Luckily for me, i did not power the thing up but i wasted alot of time putting thing together & removing them all to find the source of the short.

    - JonK

  10. #10

    Default Re: Niteye EYE10 TiC w/ Noctigon XM-L2 U2 1A + Ice Blue Tritium Mod

    Quote Originally Posted by DellSuperman View Post
    I learnt the hard way that these small solder blops can cause more damage than I thought.
    I thought the short was at my driver side but it was at the emitter & MCPCB side, wasted alot of precious time!
    I had 1 small blop shorting the positive side of the emitter to the center strip on my MCPCB.
    It resulted in my positive point shorting to the whole flashlight when I assembled it.
    Luckily for me, i did not power the thing up but i wasted alot of time putting thing together & removing them all to find the source of the short.

    - JonK


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    Enlightened oRAirwolf's Avatar
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    Default Re: Niteye EYE10 TiC w/ Noctigon XM-L2 U2 1A + Ice Blue Tritium Mod

    So I was never able to get my light working again. I sent it off to my friend Jason of EDC+ and he put in one of the new drivers for me. When he put in the new driver, the light worked, but the AW IMR 18350 battery I was using would drain down below 2 volts in under a day. I sent the light to Jason to see if he could try putting in the 2nd driver I ordered. He hooked up all 3 of the drivers I had (the burned out one, as well as the 2 that Bill of Doing Outdoor sourced for me) to a bench power supply and an LED and found that they all had an extremely high parasitic drain when they were turned off. The worst one had a parasitic drain of 50mA @ 3.6v and 70mA at 4v. The best one was 10-15mA. He told me that any driver that has a parasitic drain of over 1mA is considered "unacceptable." He believes that all 3 drivers are faulty and the source of my issues. I contacted Bill to see if he could get more drivers and Niteye/Jetbeam (he said he had to contact Olight) wouldn't sell him any more drivers. I contacted Niteye directly and they told me the only thing they would do is to have me send it back to Bill and then Bill would have to send it to Niteye. It really sucks that this has turned into such a mess. I have a lot of money into this light and it sucks that I can't use it. Oh well :\

  12. #12

    Default Re: Niteye EYE10 TiC w/ Noctigon XM-L2 U2 1A + Ice Blue Tritium Mod

    Quote Originally Posted by oRAirwolf View Post
    So I was never able to get my light working again. I sent it off to my friend Jason of EDC+ and he put in one of the new drivers for me. When he put in the new driver, the light worked, but the AW IMR 18350 battery I was using would drain down below 2 volts in under a day. I sent the light to Jason to see if he could try putting in the 2nd driver I ordered. He hooked up all 3 of the drivers I had (the burned out one, as well as the 2 that Bill of Doing Outdoor sourced for me) to a bench power supply and an LED and found that they all had an extremely high parasitic drain when they were turned off. The worst one had a parasitic drain of 50mA @ 3.6v and 70mA at 4v. The best one was 10-15mA. He told me that any driver that has a parasitic drain of over 1mA is considered "unacceptable." He believes that all 3 drivers are faulty and the source of my issues. I contacted Bill to see if he could get more drivers and Niteye/Jetbeam (he said he had to contact Olight) wouldn't sell him any more drivers. I contacted Niteye directly and they told me the only thing they would do is to have me send it back to Bill and then Bill would have to send it to Niteye. It really sucks that this has turned into such a mess. I have a lot of money into this light and it sucks that I can't use it. Oh well :\
    Awe. That's terrible man. I'm sorry to hear this. I just got a eye15 and plan on finding someone to drill trit slots for me and Polish the body and tail cap. I will order and install the trits. So is it a loss cause ?
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  13. #13
    Enlightened oRAirwolf's Avatar
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    Default Re: Niteye EYE10 TiC w/ Noctigon XM-L2 U2 1A + Ice Blue Tritium Mod

    Quote Originally Posted by Mr. Nobody View Post
    Awe. That's terrible man. I'm sorry to hear this. I just got a eye15 and plan on finding someone to drill trit slots for me and Polish the body and tail cap. I will order and install the trits. So is it a loss cause ?
    I'd say go for it, just don't mess with the MCPCB or driver and you will be golden

  14. #14

    Default Re: Niteye EYE10 TiC w/ Noctigon XM-L2 U2 1A + Ice Blue Tritium Mod

    Quote Originally Posted by oRAirwolf View Post
    I'd say go for it, just don't mess with the MCPCB or driver and you will be golden
    How do I remove the ring ? I want to get rid of the clicky on the ring.
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  15. #15
    Enlightened oRAirwolf's Avatar
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    Default Re: Niteye EYE10 TiC w/ Noctigon XM-L2 U2 1A + Ice Blue Tritium Mod

    I haven't taken apart an EYE15. The regular EYE10 I had and my EYE15 both have clicks, but the EYE10 TiC is infinitely adjustable. I am pretty sure the clicks are detents for the ball/spring. I genuinely doubt you can get rid of them.

  16. #16

    Default Re: Niteye EYE10 TiC w/ Noctigon XM-L2 U2 1A + Ice Blue Tritium Mod

    Quote Originally Posted by oRAirwolf View Post
    I haven't taken apart an EYE15. The regular EYE10 I had and my EYE15 both have clicks, but the EYE10 TiC is infinitely adjustable. I am pretty sure the clicks are detents for the ball/spring. I genuinely doubt you can get rid of them.
    You are correct, the clicks are caused by detentes for the little ball and spring on the side of the magnetic ring.

    I haven't tried it myself, but I see no reason why one or more of the clicks couldn't be removed as desired. Try the following:

    1. Pull out the control ring and body and remove the ball and spring so you have just the ring by itself.
    2. I forget whether the detentes are on the ring or the head next to the ring. Regardless, you'll need to give whichever part has the detentes in it a THOROUGH wash. You'll need to make sure ALL grease is removed from inside the detentes.
    3. Now simply fill in the detentes you want to remove with some kind of glue or resin. Arctic Alumina thermal epoxy should work, though you may need to leave the epoxy a few days to cure as hard as possible. The best option is probably to add a little too much resin, then file it down flush after it cures.
    4. If extra hardness is desired maybe brush on a thin layer of super-glue gel with cue-tips on top of the epoxy.
    5. After it cures, apply fresh lubricant and reassemble. If done right, the ball should skip over the filled in detentes as if they weren't there.

  17. #17
    Enlightened oRAirwolf's Avatar
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    Default Re: Niteye EYE10 TiC w/ Noctigon XM-L2 U2 1A + Ice Blue Tritium Mod

    For the record, I mailed off the light to Bill from Doingoutdoor. He is sending it back to Niteye to have it repaired.

  18. #18

    Default Re: Niteye EYE10 TiC w/ Noctigon XM-L2 U2 1A + Ice Blue Tritium Mod

    NW XM-L:



    219b 4500k 9080 sw45k mod:
    Last edited by jon_slider; 07-09-2020 at 03:29 PM.

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