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Thread: KL3 Mod

  1. #1
    Flashaholic* larryk's Avatar
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    Default KL3 Mod

    Hi, is there any inexpensive mod that can be done to the Surefire KL3 head ? I bought one used a while back, and it has the worst beam color of any of my LEDs. Very blue, almost purple tint. Larry.

  2. #2
    Flashaholic* Icarus's Avatar
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    Default Re: KL3 Mod

    Chop is modding them! [img]/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/smile.gif[/img]

  3. #3
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    Default Re: KL3 Mod

    Have Chop change the Luxeon and use a reflector instead of the optic. If you want the same runtime, that's all you need. If you want it brighter, Chop can do that too.

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    Flashaholic* Icarus's Avatar
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    Default Re: KL3 Mod

    ...and I can assure you he's doing a great job! [img]/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/smile.gif[/img]

  5. #5
    Flashaholic* larryk's Avatar
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    Default Re: KL3 Mod

    I understand that Chop does excellent work, but I can't justify spending another $ 81.00 plus shipping to get it to perform correctly. I was also thinking of buying one of BugOutGear_USA's 3W Drop-In modules, and use the stock M2 head. It's just that I really like the looks of the KL3. Larry.

  6. #6

    Default Re: KL3 Mod

    i did a while back, 210 if u include the price of a C2, but the hotspot is as bright as my U2, plus it runs for 2 hours
    with no heat.
    Paul
    pm if u want beamshots against the U2, L4

  7. #7
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    Default Re: KL3 Mod

    I can understand that spending over $80 to mod a head that only cost around $60 in the first place doesn't seem to make much sense, but what you get is a true eye opener.

    I really love the Aleph lights. Among those are the ones equipped with the 27mm reflectors. Although these are REAL performers, I wouldn't go beating around in the bush with one. If you need a really tough goto light with lots of heft, the KL3 is tough to beat. It has lots of mass for handling the heat and it's buck converter allows it to run on two or three cells.

    I recently had a customer email me about one of the KL3s that I did for him. It was modified with a TWOK luxeon and the converter was ramped up to about 1.3A. Of the five that I did for him, ALL of them hit at least 12,000 lux at 50cm.

    My favorite KL3 mod is to add the nice T bin luxeon and reflector, but leave the bias at the stock level. This results in a very bright light that will run for a LONG time. Heat is a non issue and the light is tough.

    You could, of course, opt for the drop in unit, but the ability to get the heat out concerns me. I don't know how well the drop in would fare over time in long term use. On the other hand, at $30, it's a pretty compelling alternative.

    I suppose this is as good a place as any to address the price of the mod, since it's been brought up. I charge $81 to do the mod. $5 of that is for shipping. What the other $76 gets you is a premium binned T flux luxeon and a McR27 reflector that is modified to fit into the KL3.

    The KL3 is a bear to get apart and even worse to put back together again. After all is apart and modifications are done, I still need to modify the reflector on a lathe. Although that sounds like a simple process, it is tedious. I've had to rig a vacuum system to keep the chips away from the surface of the reflector, as it is very delicate. Of every 5 reflectors that I modify, 1 or 2 are rendered unsellable due to a rogue bit of aluminum. I also have to fabricate a spacer to position the reflector within the KL3.

    The point is that the KL3 mod is about the most difficult mod that I do regularly. It's expensive, but you get what you pay for. You just have to keep in mind that the Luxeons run about $16 each and the reflector is about $14 (not to mention the ones that get screwed up), with another few bucks in the spacer, o-ring, epoxy, resistors, etc.

    Geez, I need to stop thinking about this. I'm starting to want to raise my prices.

    Well, here's a couple of pics...




    The beam shot was taken about 20' from a white wall. The Luxeon was a T bin Lux III running at just over 800mA.

  8. #8
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    Default Re: KL3 Mod

    Can a 5w be added to the KL3?

  9. #9
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    Default Re: KL3 Mod

    One question, and one answer (sort of)

    Chop,

    What lens do you use with the reflector? I find that the stock KL3 lens is a little thick to re-use with the reflector. As far as your costs to mod, since I did mine myself, I have to add that for $81, its's a good deal. It's a lot of work to go and open the unit up, modify the electronics (which includes removing a conformal coating), install and position an emitter, re-work a reflector, etc.

    sithjedi333,

    I have a 5w in my KL3 now, but am going back to a 3w emitter. It doesn't seem to mind the heat generated by the 5w, but I liked the beam of the 3w better. The reason is that it is much harder to focus properly, even with a reflector. It seems as though the 5w emitter has a different focus point which pushes the reflector further out of the body. Almost to a point where there is no room for a lens. the body is such that it cannot be re-worked to move the LED further into the body. I realize the 5w's typically come in brighter bins, but mine will be going into a M@g C mod where I think I can take better advantage of the output.

    --
    Jeff

  10. #10
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    Default Re: KL3 Mod

    Thanks Jeff. With the awesome heatsinking ability of the KL3, I thought the 5w would be a good match, but I see your point about the focus. Hmmm...

    For the 5w mod, what did you do with the electronics? Did you have to swap them out, or simply add a resistor, or leave it stock?

    I was thinking of using an optic because I don't know how to alter reflectors.

  11. #11
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    Default Re: KL3 Mod

    sithjedi333,

    For the electronics, I just paralleled identical resistors on top of the ones labeld R10( .1 ohm ) and R47( .47 Ohm). See this thread for ideas. KL3 Mods

    Lots of pictures in that thread .

    As far as an optic, I suppose you could try to re-use the surefire optic. Or try a fraen LP like in this thread:
    KL3 Info

    --
    Jeff

  12. #12
    Flashaholic* Cornkid's Avatar
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    Default Re: KL3 Mod

    I found a kl3 in my local Cabelas store for $50. If I were to buy it.... what could I do with it?

    -tom

  13. #13
    Flashaholic* larryk's Avatar
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    Default Re: KL3 Mod

    [ QUOTE ]
    Chop said:
    I can understand that spending over $80 to mod a head that only cost around $60 in the first place doesn't seem to make much sense, but what you get is a true eye opener.

    I really love the Aleph lights. Among those are the ones equipped with the 27mm reflectors. Although these are REAL performers, I wouldn't go beating around in the bush with one. If you need a really tough goto light with lots of heft, the KL3 is tough to beat. It has lots of mass for handling the heat and it's buck converter allows it to run on two or three cells.

    I recently had a customer email me about one of the KL3s that I did for him. It was modified with a TWOK luxeon and the converter was ramped up to about 1.3A. Of the five that I did for him, ALL of them hit at least 12,000 lux at 50cm.

    My favorite KL3 mod is to add the nice T bin luxeon and reflector, but leave the bias at the stock level. This results in a very bright light that will run for a LONG time. Heat is a non issue and the light is tough.

    You could, of course, opt for the drop in unit, but the ability to get the heat out concerns me. I don't know how well the drop in would fare over time in long term use. On the other hand, at $30, it's a pretty compelling alternative.

    I suppose this is as good a place as any to address the price of the mod, since it's been brought up. I charge $81 to do the mod. $5 of that is for shipping. What the other $76 gets you is a premium binned T flux luxeon and a McR27 reflector that is modified to fit into the KL3.

    The KL3 is a bear to get apart and even worse to put back together again. After all is apart and modifications are done, I still need to modify the reflector on a lathe. Although that sounds like a simple process, it is tedious. I've had to rig a vacuum system to keep the chips away from the surface of the reflector, as it is very delicate. Of every 5 reflectors that I modify, 1 or 2 are rendered unsellable due to a rogue bit of aluminum. I also have to fabricate a spacer to position the reflector within the KL3.

    The point is that the KL3 mod is about the most difficult mod that I do regularly. It's expensive, but you get what you pay for. You just have to keep in mind that the Luxeons run about $16 each and the reflector is about $14 (not to mention the ones that get screwed up), with another few bucks in the spacer, o-ring, epoxy, resistors, etc.

    Geez, I need to stop thinking about this. I'm starting to want to raise my prices.

    Chop, your starting to peak my interest in your Mod. How does it compare to known lights like the stock P60 AND P61. Also other led lights. I have the new KL1, an Inova T1 and T3 and a Q III. I would be looking for max output as opposed to max runtime. I only use my lights for short times, under 2 min. Larry.

  14. #14
    *Flashaholic* PlayboyJoeShmoe's Avatar
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    Default Re: KL3 Mod

    [img]/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/bowdown.gif[/img] Chop!

    I was finally able to pony up the bucks and WOW!

    I CARRY a Lambda Minipro in a Minim*g with a Kroll. It is easy to carry and use, looks like any old beater minim*g and has a FANTASTIC beam.

    The KL3 on a G2 body only lacks the easy carrying. It KILLS in beam and output!

    It sounds like a lot, but you'll be glad if you do it!

  15. #15
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    Default Re: KL3 Mod

    The 5W will run in the KL3, except that you MUST run it on a 3 cell body to get regulation. The KL3 has a buck converter, so for a Lux III you can run it on 2 or 3 cells. For a 5W, you have to run it on 3 cells.

    mvnsnd,

    I use the stock lens, only because I like the thick Surefire lens and I don't want to add anymore cost to the mod. I typicall turn about 60/1000ths off of the face of the reflector and this allows the bezel ring to just about screw in flush with the face of the KL3.

    The performance of the KL3 with the turned down McR27 reflector is similar to that of an Aleph I or McLux PR. The beam just isn't quite as tight. At about 1.3A, it's a beast.

  16. #16
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    Default Re: KL3 Mod

    I am very pleased with the KL3 Modded by CHOP I still have a standard KL3 and there is A world of difference in the two.Sorry I do not have the other LED drop in mentioned to compare. I went with the "Chopped" mod cuz I wanted something "modded" something special not something everybody else has. To remain fair the Standard KL3 has its use there just is no real WOW factor involved.
    Corn Kid, you could put it on a G2 6P C3 D3 body or with a E2C it will fit the E2E/L4 body if you want the WOW factor then send it to Chop. He did me right.
    Topper [img]/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/smile.gif[/img]

  17. #17
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    Default Re: KL3 Mod

    If you need an E2C, I think John (jcciv) has them. The beauty of the model that John sells is that they have a hex ring on them. I don't know about you, but my other style E2C used to get stuck in the head all of the time. It has all kinds of gouges in it from having to use pliers to get it out.

  18. #18

    Default Re: KL3 Mod

    [ QUOTE ]
    Chop said:
    The performance of the KL3 with the turned down McR27 reflector is similar to that of an Aleph I or McLux PR. The beam just isn't quite as tight. At about 1.3A, it's a beast.

    [/ QUOTE ]

    Interesting thread, very informative. I've been thinking about having the KL3 mod done, but I have a few questions.

    How does a McModule fitted with a similarly driven/binned Lux III perform compared to a modded KL3/Aleph 1/McLux PR? Does a chopped KL3 sink better than a McModule?

    I don't care for the size of the KL3, especially when compared to the McModule option; but if the KL3 can be driven over 1A and still maintain reasonable emitter life then it may justify the extra bulk. I'm looking for a Lux III thrower. Thoughts?

  19. #19
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    Default Re: KL3 Mod

    Was the McModule the adapter to convert the Pelican PM6 to LED? If it is, that's another alternative.

    I have to say that modding the KL3 with the McR27 reflector does require taking material off of either the KL3, or the reflector. I've been taking material off of the reflector, simply because it's cheaper to screw up a reflector; however, taking material off of the reflector does diminish the throwing ability of the reflector, however slight. All other things being equal, I'd say the the PM6 with the McModule will outperform the KL3 mod, simply because the KL3s reflector does have some material removed from it. Whether this makes a difference in practical terms, I don't know. I have well over 100 KL3 mods in the hands of very happy customers.

    The one advantage of the KL3 mod is that you can run them at over an amp, and the KL3 just shruggs the heat off. The KL3 is massive. It's ugly, but it's a tool that does its job very well.

    If you are really concerned about harnessing every little bit of performance, I could do the mod by turning out the KL3, rather than removing material from the reflector, but I would have to charge more for using that method.

    If you want a Lux III thrower, then what you NEED is an Aleph III. If you wanted to run this on a natural HA Surefire body, I might be able to get you an Aleph III head in natural HA.

    If you were to put an Aleph III, with a light engine running at about 1A on a 2X123 body, I dont' think that there is another light of that size that could equal the throwing power.

  20. #20
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    Default Re: KL3 Mod

    Thanks for the info guys!

  21. #21
    Flashaholic Ralf's Avatar
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    Default Re: KL3 Mod

    Will the SO27XA Reflector fit in, maybe it
    is easier to file down etc. because its "plastic"?

    Cheers
    Ralf

  22. #22
    Flashaholic* Ctechlite's Avatar
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    Default Re: KL3 Mod

    Hello, I've been reading up on the various KL3 topics and had one question...for now anyway.

    Will the KL3 fit on a pelican m6 body, aleph bodies or the Dspeck UBH?

    Thanks folks

  23. #23
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    Default Re: KL3 Mod

    Is there anyone currently upgrading a KL3 to something with current performance?

    Since I purchased the P60L I have no real used for the KL3 on my C3, but would love to have some work done.

    Any ideas?

  24. #24
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    Default Re: KL3 Mod

    Wow, old thread with Chop postings. Sure miss that guy.

    Bill

  25. #25
    Flashaholic* schiesz's Avatar
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    Default Re: KL3 Mod

    I've done a bunch of the old style, but the new style, I just have one, and i've never been able to get it open. Is yours the old style with all the fins?

    schiesz
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  26. #26
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    Default Re: KL3 Mod

    Sorry for the delay, final exams.

    I'm not familiar enough with the various KL3 styles, but here's mine:



    I'd be interested in what could be done to it.

    Thanks,
    M

  27. #27
    Flashaholic ROK's Avatar
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    Default Re: KL3 Mod

    The easist mod is just swap the stock LED with SSC P4.
    Unscrew the bezel ring and remove the optic. Then you can access to the LED.

    If you want more powerful light you have to mod the circuit.

  28. #28
    Flashaholic* MarNav1's Avatar
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    Default Re: KL3 Mod

    Milkyspit may do it for you, although he says they are difficult to open as well. The emitter swap is easiest. I don't know what he charges to do it though.
    Reality is usually scoffed at and illusion is usually king. But in the battle for survival of western civilization it will be reality and not illusion or delusion that determines what the future will bring.

  29. #29
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    Default Re: KL3 Mod

    Yep, thats the kind i've done a bunch of. Best/easiest, just soak the very end of the bezel in nail polish remover (it eats the old thread sealer they used) and unscrew the bezel ring. Swap the old batwing Luxeon to a SSC P4, and put it back together.
    schiesz
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  30. #30
    *Flashaholic* PlayboyJoeShmoe's Avatar
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    Default Re: KL3 Mod

    Old thread!!!

    I have my at the time "cutting edge" LUX III modded by Chop Kl3 here on my desk at the moment.

    I was thinking about asking to get it brought up to 2009 specs.

    But it still holds it's own pretty good! It's not nearly so much light as say a Q5. But it has a pretty good spot with wide spill and GREAT tint.

    So I think I'll leave it old school 2005 spec.
    http://img32.imageshack.us/img32/2640/usflaghalfmastmdwht.gif

    PBJS



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