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Thread: The SF M6-R - summary thread

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    *Flashaholic* js's Avatar
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    Default The SF M6-R - summary thread

    The M6-R is a drop-in, regulated, rechargeable NiMH battery pack specifically designed to work with the SureFire M6 running the MN21 and MN16 HOLA's. The battery pack fits in exactly the same space that the MB20 battery holder occupies, and does not require the springs to take up any extra length, nor does it require any modifications or additions to the M6 body, head, or switch.

    The regulation voltage of the M6-R pack is set at precisely the right voltage to drive both the MN21 and MN16 at their brightest and whitest and most efficient, without pushing them too near to their melting points. The pack stays in regulation over the entire 19 minute (MN21) or 40 minute (MN16) run, which means that there is absolutely no dimming over the runtime; the light output stays at peak whiteness and brightness the entire time. When the pack is within about 20 to 30 seconds of the end of cycle, the regulator gives warning flashes by causing the light output to dim momentarily about once every second.

    In addition, the regulator has a soft-start feature which limits the start-up current and prolongs the life of the filament. The soft-start feature is only in effect for the first 50 mili-seconds, and thereafter the light is at full brightness.

    A complete M6-R system requires a SureFire M6 (not provided), an M6-R rechargeable pack, a charging cable, and some kind of stand alone charging system. Originally, I was going to be offering dedicated custom built chargers with the rechargeable packs, but I ran into difficulties along the way, and discovered that I could offer the Hitec CG-340 with a 12V 5A universal switching power supply for the same price as my custom charger. This is obviously the better choice: the Hitec CG-340 can charge any 4-16 cell NiCd or NiMH pack at up to 1.5 amps (NiMH) or even higher for NiCd, and is a proven and recommended entry level charger.

    However, there are many stand alone chargers which will work nicely to charge the M6-R pack. As long as it is a smart charger (aka "peak" charger) and can charge 9 series NiMH cells, it should work fine. Please note that a charger meant only for NiCd's is not acceptable. Nor is a consumer AA, AAA, C or D type charger. Feel free to PM or email me with questions. The point is that no one should feel that he or she must buy the charging setup which I am offering. I am only offering it to simplify things for those who want a TK package.

    Also, specifically, either of the charging setups offered with bwaites's USL will work perfectly to charge the M6-R. Even the charging cable is the same, so if you are getting a USL and charger, all you need from me is an M6-R pack, and possibly an auto adaptor cable if you wish to charge your M6-R in your automobile via the cigarette lighter socket.

    Below is a picture of a complete M6-R setup:



    So, bottom right is the M6-R rechargeable pack. Notice the hole in the shrink wrap and the black Molex micro-fit connector protruding from it. Attached to the pack and charger is the charging cable. It has a mating Molex micro-fit connector at the pack end, and banana plugs at the charger end. I will also offer this with bare wires at the charger end for those whose chargers use a different, non-banana plug connection scheme.

    Out of the charger (lower left) comes the chargers power cord, which ends in the white Molex connector. This in turn mates with the molex connector from either the power supply output cord (shown attached in the picture) or the auto adaptor cable which is just to the right of the power supply at the upper left (its bent in a "U" shape, partly on top of the lamp base). That is to say that one could unplug the charger from the power supply, go to an automobile, plug the auto adaptor cable into a cigarette lighter socket, then plug the charger into the other end of the auto adaptor cable, and be ready to charge the M6-R pack in an automobile. Also shown is the power cord of the power supply which runs off the table towards the top of the photo and which plugs into a wall outlet.

    The power supply which I am offering is a Twinfly 12VDC 5A universal switching power supply, which will function on any of the AC mains voltages found around the world, including Japan! I am offering this powersupply with or without a power cord attached. For those of you who are not in the USA or Canada, and who feel comfortable and able to attach your own power cord to the screw lugs, the power supply without the power cord attached is $3 less. For those that do not feel comfortable doing this, you can buy the power supply with attached power cord, and then simply buy your own adaptor plug. Be sure to get the "WA-" series of grounded adaptor plugs. (There are also other places to buy these adaptor plugs, BTW). If enough people are interested, I could buy these for people and pack them with their M6-R orders.

    The MN20 M6 LOLA which comes standard with the SureFire M6 will also serve as an M6-R LOLA, but the MN16, which is designed to be the HOLA for the M3T, is a better choice for an M6-R LOLA. Again, if enough people are interested I can buy MN16's and pack them with the orders.

    For those who wish to follow the developement of the M6-R from start to finish (well, at least as much as is documented on CPF), please see The SF M6-R: a regulated rechargeable SF M6 (HOLA) thread. There are links within it to part 2 and to the field testing thread and to brightnorm's review, and so on.
    Last edited by js; 07-29-2014 at 01:41 AM. Reason: fix image links

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    Default Re: The SF M6-R - summary thread

    barely can wait to get mine.


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    Flashaholic tkgear's Avatar
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    Default Re: The SF M6-R - summary thread

    Jolly good work

    Can't wait till I get mine either!

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    Flashaholic* naromtap's Avatar
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    Default Re: The SF M6-R - summary thread

    yeah nicely presented!

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    *Flashaholic* js's Avatar
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    Default Re: The SF M6-R - summary thread

    I was asked this, so I figure I should also post the answer in case anyone else was wondering the same thing:

    Yes, I will be providing detailed instructions with the M6-R, including instructions specific to charging with the Hitec CG-340 and the Triton chargers, as well as general charging instructions, and all sorts of other instructions. Have no worries! They will be clear and easy to understand as well as detailed and comprehensive. Prolepsis is even helping me with the technical writing side of things.

    Also, just in case anyone missed it in the signup thread, the non-CC (no fee) PayPal account option fell through. Sorry. If you want to pay via PP, you must add the fee.

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    *Flashaholic* js's Avatar
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    Default Re: The SF M6-R - summary thread

    For those who were interested, I just wanted to post the news here as well:

    The auto adaptor cables which I am offering will work with the Hitec's and Triton's which bwaites is selling with the USL's. We will be using the same connection scheme. This does not apply to the units which the field testers currently have, as they have banana plugs on the end of the charger power cord.

    Also, I have it on good authority that the universal switching supplies which spec at 110-240 VAC 50-60 Hz will definitely work in Japan. I have edited the first post to reflect this.

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    Flashaholic* Frenchyled's Avatar
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    Default Re: The SF M6-R - summary thread

    JS, thank you for these informations [img]/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/smile.gif[/img]
    Could you post later the optimised parameters for M6-R pack for the Triton charger ?
    And another question, is this power supply sufficient for Triton charger and for the USL battery pack ?

  8. #8

    Default Re: The SF M6-R - summary thread

    JS, here's another charger that might be of interest. I think they are also doing one that goes up to 24 volts, which would be able to charge the USL.

    http://batteryspace.com/index.asp?Pa...mp;ProdID=1215

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    *Flashaholic* js's Avatar
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    Default Re: The SF M6-R - summary thread

    Frenchyled,

    No. The Twinfly 12V 5 amp is not a great idea for use with the Triton. BUT, Bill or I could get a 12V 13 amp Twinfly universal switcher in its' place. I've got to confer with bwaites and figure the whos and whats and how manys, but I'll send you a PM.

    paulr,

    Thanks for the link.

  10. #10
    *Flashaholic* js's Avatar
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    Default Re: The SF M6-R - summary thread

    Well, I have a dang fine auto adaptor cable on my desk even as I type this. The saga of the auto adaptor cable is nearing its end. And yes, it was a sort of mini-ordeal.

    The auto adaptor cable pictured in the first post (on top of the power supply) is actually a TigerLight auto adaptor/power cable, which, FYI, will actually physically work. I am using the same connector scheme--in fact, that's where I got it in the first place--so if you have a TL, the auto adaptor cable will plug into the cigarette lighter socket, and the other end will plug into the power cord of the Hitecs or Tritons that bwaites and I are selling. BUT the conductors in that cable are 22 gauge and will NOT support much of a current draw and the cord is quite long, so there would be a non-insignificant voltage drop over their length. SO I would say that it's a bad idea to use it to power a Hitec CG-340 or a Triton. Please don't do it.

    Anyway, to continue: I was planning on using 18 gauge paired two conductor lamp cord (same type of cord as is often used as speaker wire), and I figured that this would mate well with the 5 amp maximum draw of the Hitec. But then a few people wanted to be able to use the cord with their Tritons, so I had to jump up to 16 gauge.

    <digression>the USL field tester Tritons have banana plugs which mate with the banana output jacks on the pyramid power supply. Radio Shack sells a cigarette lighter plug to dual banana jacks adaptor for $8, p/n 270-1521, so the field testers can use this. All the other Tritons and Hitecs will have the Molex power connector on the end and will work with one of my auto adaptor cables.<end digression>

    So I bought 100 feet of nice UV resistant in-wall approved cable. I also bought just about every type of 12VDC auto plug I could find. Unbelievable how hard it is to find a decent plug, but I did find one, and I'm happy with it and have tested it in the car sockets and it plugs in and STAYS in, unlike some I tested which just slowly pushed back out, no matter how I rotated, aligned, or cajoled them. Also, the connections are direct solder connections so I know it will handle the current.

    However, the way it is set up, the 16 ga. cord I bought is too stiff to allow the center contact to spring in and out. Oh well. 100 feet of cord on standby. So I switched to single conductor, silicone jacketed fine strand count 16 gauge wire. It is nice and flexible and is rated to much higher currents than we will be drawing.

    So there it is. I am happy with this adaptor, even if people try to charge high cell count packs at high rates with the Triton. I will be updating the first post with a new picture, and it will include a picture of the auto adaptor cable. The cord is short on it, BTW, because I figured that the cords on the Hitecs and Tritons are quite long already, so all you really need on the auto adaptor cable is 8 inches or so from the end of the plug. It is about 12 inches long overall. Feel free to comment or make suggestions.

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    Default Re: The SF M6-R - summary thread

    Jim,
    If I understand this correctly, the 12v plug goes into the Triton. If the cord is 8", then the Triton is left hanging in the air with the lighter plug supporting it's weight. (Think about where the cigarette lighter socket is in most cars.)

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    *Flashaholic* js's Avatar
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    Default Re: The SF M6-R - summary thread

    Starlight,

    No. The 12V plug goes into the cigarette lighter socket in the car, then the end of the power cord of the Triton or Hitec CG-340 goes into the other end of the auto adaptor cable. The power cords of both units are quite long--on the order of 3 or 4 feet, IIRC, so there is plenty of cord to put the charger whever you want, within reason.

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    Default Re: The SF M6-R - summary thread

    Jim,
    I saw what you mean from the picture in your first post. Yes, that will allow the Triton to be supported somewhere. A short cord for the auto adapter makes good sense.

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    *Flashaholic* KevinL's Avatar
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    Default Re: The SF M6-R - summary thread

    Jim, I take it that the Hitec CG340 does not come with the required 12V auto cable and we will need to bring our own? I'm receiving one of the Hitecs as part of my USL package, and if it doesn't come with the cabling I might be very interested in your 12V cable.

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    *Flashaholic* js's Avatar
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    Default Re: The SF M6-R - summary thread

    Kevin,

    That's correct, but the reason is that as supplied from the factory, the Hitec (and the Triton) have massive alligator clips on the end of the power cord. These are meant to clip directly onto a 12V lead-acid battery, either via opening the hood and using the battery in the car, or one separate from it in a field box. However, this makes attaching the charger to a benchtop power supply a little difficult, if not impossible. Most people simply cut off the clips and crimp on spade or ring lugs or some such thing.

    I just took it to the next level and went to a connector system that would allow quick change of setups from benchtop in-home use to in-car use (nothing new there--many have done it). The power supply will have a connector cable on it, with ring-lugs on one end, and the molex connector on the other. People could always convert that into a alligator clips to molex connector cable, if they wanted to use a field battery, but that is more for the RC community. CPFers are very unlikely to have a separate 12V lead acid field battery.

    In any case, I'd be happy to sell you an auto adaptor cable. And in fact, I could have Bill ship it with your USL order to save you the shipping cost. Let me know.

    Starlight,

    Yeah, except that the Molex connectors in the picture aren't really attached. They are simply there for show! [img]/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/crackup.gif[/img] which means that all of the cord you see belongs to the Triton.

    When Bill and I really do attach them to the Hitecs and Tritons, we will make it so that the connector is at the end of the cord, and we will use separate cabling for the power supply.

    I wish I had gone out of my way to get a 340 and a Twinfly powersupply ahead of time so that I could have pictured the ACTUAL setup. I was worried that this might cause some confusion. Oh well. We all make mistakes. I've been so focused on making sure that the M6-R pack design itself was free of bugs and problems, that I have left some of these details until the last minute, such as the auto adaptor cable. And the M6-R to USL cross-over also causes some minor issues.

    No big deal, though. It will all get worked out.

  16. #16

    Default Re: The SF M6-R - summary thread

    Rather than a Molex I wonder if you've given any thought to using a Tamiya connector as commonly found on RC packs. I'm planning to use battery packs for various purposes (flashlight and non-flashlight) and want to standardize on one type of connector and am leaning towards the Tamiya and wonder what your thoughts are.

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    *Flashaholic* js's Avatar
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    Default Re: The SF M6-R - summary thread

    [ QUOTE ]
    paulr said:
    Rather than a Molex I wonder if you've given any thought to using a Tamiya connector as commonly found on RC packs. I'm planning to use battery packs for various purposes (flashlight and non-flashlight) and want to standardize on one type of connector and am leaning towards the Tamiya and wonder what your thoughts are.

    [/ QUOTE ]

    Tamiya are simply more expensive RC knock-offs of the Molex type connectors. If you compare pictures, you will even wonder if they aren't identicle, but they are slightly different. They are not superior in any way, and they are far more likely to become unavailable in the future. GC/Waldcom is unlikely to go out of business.

    I really sould stop using the term "Molex" connector so liberally. Because at the moment, it can refer to three different ones:

    1. the Tamiya large style.
    2. the micro-fit small style
    3. the all metal socket style which grab onto the pins of the WA lamps (and others).

    I hope this doesn't cause confusion. I will come up with a better naming scheme.

  18. #18
    *Flashaholic* js's Avatar
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    Default Re: The SF M6-R - summary thread

    paulr,

    A few more thoughts: the connector that I really gave a lot of thought to switching to is the Dean's Ultra connector. It has superior current handling capability, and it is a high quality connector--and these are good things. But, the problem is that the male Deans has exposed contacts, whereas the Molex/Tamiya does not, on either male or female. Plus, the Deans is attached soley via a solder joint; there is no mechanical connection. You must tin the wires, and then tin the wire-side contact spades, then solder the two together and shrink wrap the joints. There is no strain relief either. Whereas the large Molex connector system uses contacts with a wire crimp and an insulation crimp for strain relief. And I always solder the wire/crimp joint, so I have both a mechanical and a solder connection. One other thing, too, the Deans connectors do not lock together; they are only held together via friction, which is considerable, but still, it is something to consider.

    Something also which I don't care about, but which others may want to know, the Dean's Ultra connectors are more expensive. That doesn't influence me, however. If I thought that the Dean's were the best for this application, I would use them.

    If I were making a connection set up for a Schulze charger, on the other hand, I would go with the Deans' because it is good to 30 amps, or maybe the anderson power poles or maybe something I dug out of the Newark catalog. Who knows. Not something I need to worry about here.

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    *Flashaholic* KevinL's Avatar
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    Default Re: The SF M6-R - summary thread

    Jim, glad I found your thread.... [img]/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/smile.gif[/img]

    Shall I send the funds to the same address that you helped take my USL payment on? Let me know how much for one connector and it can be shipped with my USL.

    I'll also keep the Hitec's original croc clip connectors - I think I have some ideas as to what I want to do to them.


    Just to add a little more fun to the "Molex" thing, computer folks use that word to designate the larger four-wire (12V, GND, GND, 5V) connector that plugs into hard disks and optical (CD/DVD) drives as opposed to the smaller 4-wire connector for floppy disk drives [img]/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/grin.gif[/img] I too should take care when using it too, I didn't realize it meant so many other things.

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    *Flashaholic* js's Avatar
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    Default Re: The SF M6-R - summary thread

    Kevin, as stated in the signup thread, $12. PP address is jws44@cornell.edu. Add 3 percent and $0.30 to cover the fee. I will send it to Bill and he will include it with your order. I would like it if you could post to the B/S/T signup thread that you want an auto adaptor cable and that you will use it with your USL setup (i.e. no shipping charges).

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    *Flashaholic* KevinL's Avatar
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    Default Re: The SF M6-R - summary thread

    Thanks Jim, just wanted to confirm whether you needed any extra $, because if I paid twice you'd get hit by fees twice. Will follow up in the relevant thread.

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    *Flashaholic* js's Avatar
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    Default Re: The SF M6-R - summary thread

    Kevin,

    I'm unclear on your question. If you pay via PP, then everytime you pay add 3 percent and $0.30. Does that answer your question?

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    Default Re: The SF M6-R - summary thread

    Js, auto cable sounds good, but I'm not part of bwaits project.

    just have a stock triton and will need one extra complete male/female molex conector with my auto adapter.

    will note in purchase thread

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    *Flashaholic* KevinL's Avatar
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    Default Re: The SF M6-R - summary thread

    Sorry for the confusion.. I'd try to come up with a way to explain what I was thinking, but it would only make it worse.

    Anyway, no issues, [img]/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/paypal.gif[/img] with the correct amount. Thanks [img]/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/smile.gif[/img]

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    *Flashaholic* js's Avatar
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    Default Re: The SF M6-R - summary thread

    cy,

    Not a problem. I will include Molex M & F shells plus contacts, at no charge. But if you wanted to go with a different connector system, I could sell you the auto adaptor cable with one bare end, or with another connector attached, such as the Deans connector, Are you using a connector between the power supply and your Triton, or just good ole spade lugs on the ends of the wires, attached to the power supply screw terminals? Whatever is fine with me; I just thought I'd offer, in case it would be more convenient. One exception, though: if you're using banana plugs for you power connection, then I will decline to go this route because Radio Shack already has a fine cigarette ligher socket to dual banana plugs adaptor.

    Let me know what you want to do.

  26. #26
    *Flashaholic* js's Avatar
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    Default Re: The SF M6-R - summary thread

    OK. Finally, as promised, I have updated the initial post with a picture of a complete M6-R setup with the actual components offered for sale. i.e. it now shows a Hitec CG-340 charger and a Twinfly 12VDC 5A power supply and the actual auto adaptor cable which I am making. Before, as I did not have the Twinflys or Hitecs nor a finished auto-adaptor cable, I simply took a picture with a Triton, a Cosel 12VDC 12.5A power supply, and a TigerLight auto adaptor cable.

    So now you can see the actual components. I really like the power supply. It is small, light, and doesn't produce much heat. Plus it looks pretty well made. As far as my own work goes, all lugs and conductors on the various cables are both crimped and soldered, even the power cord lugs.

    So there it is: the actual goods. I'm slow, but I usually do get around to doing the things I say I will.

  27. #27
    Flashaholic* PaulW's Avatar
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    Default Re: The SF M6-R - summary thread

    Starting to plan for a case to carry my M6 and upcoming M6-R kit, I'm wondering what the dimensions of the Hitec-340 charger are. There's no information I can find on CPF or elsewhere on the web, including Hitec's site.

    Paul

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