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Thread: Anyone willing to mod an SO17XA for me?

  1. #1
    Enlightened
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    Default Anyone willing to mod an SO17XA for me?

    I have been reading about the dramatic improvement this mod makes for the FF II but I have neither the reflector nor the (rudimentary though it may be) skill to do this myself(OK, I probably could do it myself if I took the time). If anyone has gotten good at this and has a spare they would mod for me I would be willing to pay a reasonable fee in addition to the cost of the reflector!I was going to do this myself but by the time I order the reflector, borrow someone's Dremel,ruin a few practicing......

  2. #2
    Flashaholic*
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    Default Re: Anyone willing to mod an SO17XA for me?

    me too

  3. #3
    Flashaholic* milkyspit's Avatar
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    Default Re: Anyone willing to mod an SO17XA for me?

    Guys, I might be able to do this for you. I'm going to be modding an SO17XA for another CPFer in a few days, and if it goes well, I'd be willing to do the work for others as well. But before I line up orders, let's see how I do on the first one! [img]/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/grin.gif[/img]

  4. #4
    Flashaholic*
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    Default Re: Anyone willing to mod an SO17XA for me?

    Hope it works well because I would love one also!

    Marc

  5. #5

    Default Re: Anyone willing to mod an SO17XA for me?

    Hope this works out, I think quite a few FF II owners will be ready to place orders. Ready to order if/when they are available.

  6. #6
    Flashaholic*

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    Default Re: Anyone willing to mod an SO17XA for me?

    Yeah, I've been thinking about it, too...

    OK, I get like five reflectors, then I get a dremel, then I figure out what to do and destroy at least three of the reflectors, and a whole buncha hours and lots a bucks later it works.

    Hmm, or Scott makes them...

    Which one is easier?

    daloosh

  7. #7
    Flashaholic*
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    Default Re: Anyone willing to mod an SO17XA for me?

    I like to have one, too. [img]/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/smile.gif[/img]

  8. #8
    Flashaholic* Stingray's Avatar
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    Default Re: Anyone willing to mod an SO17XA for me?

    It's not that hard guys, I got it right on the first time and I'm not a modder or anything. In fact this was my first mod ever. I just held the reflector in one hand and the dremel in the other, and sanded it down a little at a time.

    You have the cut down optic to hold next to it and compare to determine the size you need to sand it too, approximately. Just go slow so the heat doesn't melt the inside of the reflector. I have some spots where it started to affect the inside coating but they don't show up in the beam. Use the little sanding drum for the sides and a cutting wheel for the lip. Use a little square file to fine tune the lip in the end.

    I have 3 more reflectors, I'll make 3 more.

  9. #9
    Enlightened
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    Default Re: Anyone willing to mod an SO17XA for me?

    Thanks Milky it would be great if you could do this.It looks like there are a few people interested.
    Stingray-I suspect I could do it myself but by the time I order 5 reflectors and borrow a Dremel I might as well pay some one to do one right the first time.(And if by some miracle I did one right the first time then I'm stuck with 4 reflectors I'll never use!)

  10. #10
    Flashaholic* coyote's Avatar
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    Default Re: Anyone willing to mod an SO17XA for me?

    i've done a few of them and they take a hour each, even with the experience one gains.

    it's not just grinding off the excess material and then dropping a lip-less reflector between the sammich and lens. to do it right, the reflector should have a lip re-built on it to hold it in exact position.

    and it takes careful work to get the reflector to exactly the correct overall length. the problem is that every heatsink/sammich combo is slightly different by a couple thousands of an inch.

    if the finished reflector ends up too long:
    the reflector will be pressing on the emitter so much that when you tighten the body to turn the unit on, it has to force the sammich forward in order to make the necessary electronic contact and thereby crushing the reflector slightly and at the same time, weakening it. also note that the act of forcing the parts together makes it harder to twist the power on.

    if the finished reflector is too short:
    then the reflector sits too far forward of the emitter and you end up with dark spots in the center of the beam. this beam ends up looking like a beam made by Fraen if it sits a bit too far forward (having tried four different Freans in 5 different Fireflys, mix and match, i can say that there are enough small differences in the tolerances that most of the time each Fraen/heatsink/sammich combo has sad looking dark areas within the center beam. but with luck, sometimes the combo works and it's very nice indeed)....

    and on top of that is the concern of centering the reflector over the LED...

    my point:
    it will probably be tough to produce modded reflectors that fit every heatsink (FF Version 1, FF2 copper and FF2 alloy).
    worse yet, in order to produce a perfect beam, they'd also have to be the correct overall length. but sadly, i suspect there is no exact length that would fit all units.

    i think it's great that someone might be willing to do this work for other CPF'er but i'm concerned that if the reflector isn't made to your exact parts combo, then you might not be happy with the results and then put the blame for a so-so beam on the work of the modder.

    -coyote

  11. #11
    Flashaholic* milkyspit's Avatar
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    Default Re: Anyone willing to mod an SO17XA for me?

    Coyote, I'll withhold all judgment on the process until I work on this first reflector. Thanks for the info, though! It's always good to be armed with the experiences of others who've gone down the same road previously, so to speak. [img]/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/smile.gif[/img]

    For now, I'll just say that I've whittled away at something like 7 of those little SO17XA's to make 'em fit into a variety of lights around here (but no FF's), and I've learned ways to make 'em work, heh heh... [img]/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/naughty.gif[/img]

  12. #12
    Flashaholic* coyote's Avatar
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    Default Re: Anyone willing to mod an SO17XA for me?

    go milky go!!!!

  13. #13
    Flashaholic*
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    Default Re: Anyone willing to mod an SO17XA for me?

    I've done one and came up with a better way (I think) of doing the mod without ruining a reflector but only after cutting through about three of them [img]/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/frown.gif[/img] . It does involve taking a few mm off the copper which precludes using the optic in the future. To me this is not an issue since I consider the optic inferior to the reflector. Most mods focus on the reflector, I focus on the holder itself. If milkyspit has too many takers and want to send me some jobs, I'd be willing to do this as well

    CM

  14. #14
    Flashaholic* milkyspit's Avatar
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    Default Re: Anyone willing to mod an SO17XA for me?

    Well, CM, the macho modder side of me is threatened by your remarks! [img]/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/ooo.gif[/img] [img]/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/yellowlaugh.gif[/img]

    Actually, I almost expect you to come up with elegant solutions to stuff like this. I don't even have the equipment to remove copper from the head in anything remotely resmbling a professional manner. Great job on your research! And sorry you had a few casualties in the process. [img]/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/wink.gif[/img]

    As for me, I can report that I've successfully modded my first FF II head, but did it in a completely different manner. At first I tried to make the reflector look like the optic, complete with the flange along the top. It worked but had some bubbling that wasn't aesthetically pleasing, and my CPF "client" suggested that given the premium nature of his FF II, he'd prefer a more sexy look to the reflector. So attempt #1 went into the scrap bin. [img]/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/icon15.gif[/img]

    Reflector #2 was a long, slow, deliberate process. One secret, folks: a Dremel bit that CUTS won't heat up the plastic even remotely as much as a grinding or sanding bit will! In fact, one of my favorite misuses of a bit is to use a burring bit intended for cutting ceramic tile, and using it to chip the reflector down to size, chip by chip. Works great, and if you're careful it doesn't heat the plastic to any significant degree. [img]/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/thumbsup.gif[/img]

    Unfortunately, the bubbled reflective surface isn't just a product of heat, but also of grinding so deeply into the reflector that there simply isn't enough plastic backing to support the reflective surface. So after all my patience, the top end of the reflector still started to buckle. [img]/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/frown.gif[/img]

    Finally I chopped the top off the reflector completely, as suggested by someone above, and made a friction fit of the reflector into the head. Then I fitted an O-ring into the open copper gap above the reflector, and another, larger O-ring where the flange would have been to support the lens. The result was a kinda cool looking head, with two overlapped O-rings (looks a little exotic somehow) and a nice, clean reflector below. The beam projects a beautiful round hotspot surrounded by bright sidespill.

    Success! [img]/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/party.gif[/img]

    Now as far as taking on this work for others, let me say that this mod was a royal pain. [img]/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/mad.gif[/img] I'm willing to do the work, I guess, but any potential customers should be aware of my three ground rules on this...

    1. I'm gonna charge $30. Seems a little high, but it takes a lot of time to get the thing right, and I just can't afford to spend that kind of time on a bazillion reflector mods.

    2. You'll need to send me your entire light so I can make sure the fit is correct.

    3. There's no guarantee that the reflector will end up perfect, although I will of course do my best.

    Sorry if that discourages folks, but I really felt burnt out after doing this first reflector. Happy to help, though, for those who need it.

  15. #15
    Flashaholic*
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    Default Re: Anyone willing to mod an SO17XA for me?

    Scott,

    Didn't mean to threaten in any way my friend [img]/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/smile.gif[/img] I had the same exact problem with bubbled and cut reflectors and figured there had to be a better way. After examining the situation, I came up with a different method, tried it out and viola! Perfect fit. Anyway, if you are overwhelmed with requests, shoot some my way. I can confidently assure you your reflector will be immaculate.

    CM

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