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Modifications => LED Flashlight Modifications => Topic started by: jbisinger on February 10, 2016, 04:26:05 AM

Title: Beginner Needs Help
Post by: jbisinger on February 10, 2016, 04:26:05 AM
 I'm new here and could use some help.  Initially I planned on using some old 2-cell Maglites as bases for some upgrading.  Then I stumbled upon some "kits" on E-Bay.  For anywhere from $30-$75 are offered a kit consisting of "100 watt Cree XP-G2 on a board, a 12-24V driver, a heat sink (92mm x 30mm) lens and lens holder".  The seller seems to offer many d-i-y parts (host pcs., led's, lanyards, extensions,etc.)  Being a newbee, I don't know what head(?) would be needed to accept the led's.  They look to be arranged in 4 rows of 5 each row.  Do I make a custom head from alum stock on a lathe.  Re=arrange (re-flow in your lingo?) the onto a sinkpad in a circular fashion?  With the driver rated at 12v to 24v, what batteries would be in order? Reflector?  So, it seems obvious, I suppose, that I'm in over my head.  Lucky I'm just planning right now.  Any thoughts or assistance would be appreciated.  Thanks for any suggestions,
                    Jack
Title: Re: Beginner Needs Help
Post by: DavidEF on February 10, 2016, 11:51:26 AM
Well, first of all, if you want to see what's possible with a Mag-lite Mod, you can head on over to https://www.youtube.com/ and watch some videos from user Old Lumens. He does some over-the-top work with just basic hand tools. No need for you to try to copy his work. There are simple mods you can do that will still bring a huge smile to your face. I can't recommend that kit you found. It may work, but it doesn't sound like it's designed for a 2D Mag-lite. 12-24 volts would require more work than you need to do. And 100W of XP-G2's (They are ~3W each) probably wouldn't be practical at all.

If you check out http://asflashlights.com/ you'll see some Mag-lite Mod stuff there, too. In addition to ready-to-purchase Modded lights, he sells drop-ins for the Mag-lite and also individual modding components. For around ~$35, you can get a heat-sink, driver, and XM-L2 emitter that you can put together in a Mag-lite yourself. If you have a lathe, you can cut down the battery tube of the 2D Mag-lite and put a single lithium-ion cell in it to power your upgrade. You can use a 32650, if you have access to one, or use a spacer (tube) to be able to use a 26650 or the more common 18650. The reason you need to use a single Li-ion cell, is because two Li-ions will be too much voltage for the driver/LED and two alkaline or NiMH cells will not give you enough voltage for the driver he has on his site. If you can't cut down the body, you can make a spacer to take the place of the other cell.

Another place you could go for a greater selection of drivers and LED's is http://www.mtnelectronics.com/ There, you can get a boost driver that will let you use two alkaline or NiMH cells, as the Mag-lite was designed for. Or, you could get a buck driver, that will let you use two Li-ion cells without destroying your LED. You still need that heatsink from the asflashlights site.

As for how to actually do the mod, I'm sorry I can't help you with that. But, I hope I've given you some direction that will help you get to where you're trying to go. Have fun modding!
Title: Re: Beginner Needs Help
Post by: JohnnyMac on February 11, 2016, 01:59:08 AM
Welcome to the TFF family, Jack!  There are so many ways to mod a Maglite and a good google search will reveal instructions from many sources.  I'd be leary of anyone selling you a 100W XP-G2 and avoid them like herpes.  They are clearly are full of crap.  Buying a premade aluminum heatsink is a great idea though unless you do own a lathe.  If you do own a lathe then the world is your Maglite oyster!

David's suggestions on parts is a great place to start.  MtnElectronics is the best place to buy your emitters and drivers.  If you decide what direction to go I'd love to see what you have planned.  ;)

I mod Mini Maglites and make them single cell "Micro" Maglite with over 1000 lumens.  I've been sitting on a custom 2-D Maglite host a good friend machined for me into a single cell length and finned head.  One of these days I'm going to finish building it.
Title: Re: Beginner Needs Help
Post by: teacher on March 19, 2016, 03:40:59 PM
Welcome to the TFF family, Jack!  ...... I'd be leary of anyone selling you a 100W XP-G2 and avoid them like herpes.  They are clearly are full of crap.
...............
I mod Mini Maglites and make them single cell "Micro" Maglite with over 1000 lumens. 
I'm not new to 'lights' though I am new to this Forum, just found it this morning in fact. But when I read straight forward excellent advice like that above.... I think I'll fit right in. That advice is "Priceless"!!!!!   ;)

Those "Micro" Maglite's sound pretty interesting also... I'll be wanting some info on them. :)
Best regards..........