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Thread: Dummy Reference Guide to Minimag Modding(many pix)

  1. #1
    Flashaholic* AuroraLite's Avatar
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    Default Dummy Reference Guide to Minimag Modding(many pix)

    Dummy reference guide to modding Minimag
    (Reader beware...200+ pix, 11000+ words)



    Last Update: (26 Apr 06)



    Updates(from latest):

    Major Update 26 Apr 06:
    Added Section 3:
    o) New Terralux TLE5 (after market product, easiest) (Apr 06)
    p) NiteIze Led Upgrade Combo (after market product, easiest) (Apr 06)
    Added Section 5:
    -Terralux TCS-1 clickie tailcap (after market products)
    -NiteIze clickie (see p) in Section 3)



    Major Update 22 Mar 06:
    Added to Section 3:
    l) DownBoy 500 Lux V VX0S Sammie (Mar 06)
    m) SMJ 5mm led directly driven mod (Mar 06)
    n) DJ/Cgpeanut's POP sammie (Mar 06)
    Added to Section 4:
    McR18





    Hi, all.

    This is the third in the dummy reference guide series (since the Mag 2c Nflex Lux III mod and PM6 Lux III mod), and like those mods, I had truly enjoyed the process of making them and contributing my humble experiences in making various kind of minimag mods. This will be an on-going effort...and I shall hope you guys would enjoy it as much as I do!

    Group00e


    A brief Thank You note(in no particular order) to many modders who had contributed many ideas about minimag modding, Wayne and Cindy from Sandwich Shoppe (who had made modding minimag such an easy job even for layman like myself), Lambda(the maker of the great MiniPro), Kiu, Ken, Aw (the HK flashaholics who had provided me ideas and parts, and make my flashaholism feel normal), and all after-market drop-in makers (who had made my first ‘wow’ when I stare into the reflector when the show is on).


    Contents:

    Section 1 Before everything

    Section 2 About Minimag modding and my mumble jumble

    Section 3 Minimag Modding Galore (‘Action’ section)


    a) NewBeam, Terralux TLE5 (May 05)
    After market Drop-ins, easiest to do

    b) Terralux TLE5 modded with TV1J (May 05)

    c) Cut MJled(directly driven) (May 05)

    d) $5 5 Led Minimag Mod (May 05)

    e) 26k mcd 5 Led Minimag Mod (May 05)

    f) All about Sandwich Shoppe Sandwich
    --Installing and Removing ‘sandwich’
    --Lux I RY0J MadMax Lite (May 05)

    g) Lambda MiniPro Lux III DIY kit building notes (May 05)

    h) $6 8 Led Minimag Mod(8 UV led mod) (May 05)

    i) Streamlight TT 1x123 Xenon bulb in Minimag mod (Jun 05)

    j) DownBoy 750 Lux V VXOS Sammie (Nov 05)

    k) Minimag Hotwire Incan TL3(120+ lumens)/Strion Mod (Nov 05)

    l) DownBoy 500 Lux V VX0S Sammie (Mar 06)

    m) Cut SMJ 5mm led (directly driven) (Mar 06)

    n) DJ/Cgpeanut's POP sammie (Mar 06)

    o) New Terralux TLE5 (after market product, easiest to do) (Apr 06)

    p) NiteIze Led Upgrade Combo (after market product, easiest to do) (Apr 06)

    (This list might keep expanding)

    Note : d, e, f, g, h and K are MiniMiniMag(cutdown Minimag 1AA) compatible!

    Section 4 Various optics for Minimag Mod, runtime shots and Beam shots

    Various Optics for Minimag:

    Featured:
    17 IMS reflector (SO17XA)
    20 IMS reflector (SO20XA)
    Modded Minimag stock reflectors
    -Self modded
    -DarkZero Smooth
    -DarkZero Splutter
    Etendue metal reflectors
    -original
    -self-polished original
    -upgraded (30 Apr 05)
    McR18
    Mcflood
    NX05
    Fraen LP
    3/4” Acrylic ball
    Carclo 6 degree Optic
    Carclo 15 degree Optic
    Carclo 25 degree Optic
    Carclo Fiber Coupling Optic


    Optics Modding:

    Modding Minimag Stock Reflector for Luxeon (High Dome)
    Modding 20 IMS reflector
    Modding the McR20


    Section 5 Tailcap and other mod ideas
    -Kroll, Kroll improvement and Kroll 2 stages
    -Minimag stock 2-stage tailcap mod
    -Terralux TCS-1 clickie tailcap (after market products)
    -NiteIze clickie (see p) in Section 3)

    Section 6 Suggestions (tools)/Related links/Resources













    Section 1 Before everything


    This is a dummy reference guide for making various kind of Minimag mod, by no mean it is supposed to be any kind of official ‘guide’ for making particular kind of minimag mod.

    These mods varies in time and skill required, it ranges from the easiest of simply dropping something into the Minimag host to hand-shaking SMD parts (<1mm) soldering job. If you are interested in particular kind of mod listed here and/or new to modding, I would like to humbly suggest you to walk thru the whole subsection/post before beginning. I am a novice in modding; and given enough time and focus, if I can do it, so can you.

    To use this reference post effectively, you will notice there are tons of smiley faces ( ) all around this post. If you see a massive display of the , it usually means it is the end of a section. And there are usually a few smiley/faces surrounding a sub-section title to make them stands out.

    Also, I have posted a date on each subsection head, so if you are interested in making the latest Minimag mod, you could always check on the post/mod entry date.

    For new comers and/or new modders, I had written my modest opinion of modding/minimag modding (especially in the next section). If you are veteran modders and just want the ‘action’, skip forward to the action section 3.

    Some of the process involved here might be irreversible for utilizing/modding some parts of the flashlight, so there is no turning back once you entered into the process.

    I would try to be as detail as possible and post up as many pictures necessary to make the process look easy, but YMMV in the end. If you have any feedback/suggestion/comment regarding this thread, please feel free to post, I would love to hear them.


    (WARNING: Do NOT attempt to read thru the whole thing in one sitting, people, it might get so dry and long that your bottom might stick to the chair...and that was what happened to me... )


    Last edited by AuroraLite; 04-25-2006 at 01:30 PM.

  2. #2
    Flashaholic* AuroraLite's Avatar
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    Default Re: Dummy Reference Guide to Minimag Modding(many pix)

    Section 2 About Minimag modding and my Mumble Jumble


    This section is my humble mumble-jumble for various aspect concerning leds and Minimag modding, mostly to new comers and starter like my dummy self…


    Group03e



    Errr…which mod?

    Personally, for practical use, I think it is always wise to understand your personal choice/taste before inputting time, money and energy into a mod. In this section, I would layout some humble opinions and experiences of mine on various issues for Minimag mod. Hopefully, that would shed some light into answering this question.



    Why Minimag Mod?

    I guess I have a Minimag ‘complex’ since it was my first ‘quality’ flashlight since young (not counting the Ever-ready 1$ flashlights). IMHO, it is one flashlight that has a perfect platform for modding since it is of good quality built (hardly seen much failure considering how many were made), choices of color are brilliant/bundle and at a decent price (low cost for replacement). Also, with a reflector, it could be focused and de-focused for throw and flood lights; while user could choose the ‘candle mode’ should you need to have the flashlight sitting on a flat surface…in short, it great to start with this ‘platform’ since one could always upgrade it part by part-lens, reflectors/optics, drop-in modules, tailcap switch, almost everything could be modded/changed except the body.



    Luxeon and Bin code

    Luxeon (lux) is one kind of leds that are popularly used by CPF modders and manufacturer, much higher output when compared to normal 3/5mms. ‘Bin code’ for a Lux will determines the brightness of led, the ‘tint’ and the Vf (voltage forward, voltage going into the lux). For myself, I like the W0, X0, and Y0 tint. For W0, it is a warmer tint, and when there is less current going into it, it tends to very slightly shift it’s tint to warmer color (yellow). Y0 has a very slight hint of blue in it, I observe less ‘shift’ in this tint when the current is low(with naked eyes), it just gets dimmer.



    How bright? How much current to the Lux/Led(s)? What about runtime?

    These three questions always go hand in hand--more current to the led, more brightness it would be; but increasing current/brightness also means reducing runtime. Two major reliability issues are overdriving a led could cause heat issue (sometimes it could heat up the flashlight too much to even handle it, if the hot-sinking is not good enough ) and significantly lessen the lifespan of the led (or even burn it outright). It is always important to understand the spec of the lux/led before use, so you know what you are getting into.

    For my own use, considering the output of one single Luxeon and size of Minimag compatible optics, an efficient regulated/semi-regulated 500mA (forward current) with 2AAs seems to be a good balance between runtime and brightness for EDC purposes. My reasoning is because

    1) My Minimag mod is usually one of my EDC choices and for day-to-day close up usage, I wouldn’t need or expect it to throw like a Mag D lux III mod with 3” head. Too bright or intense the light source in close range is actually uncomfortable to work with, and it might cause heat issue and shorten runtime;

    2) Lux III has a diminishing return for current vs brightness;

    3) Considering the size of the Minimag head assembly and the optics that could be fitted in, higher current might not be translated directly (and proportionately) to higher light output for human eyes. For ex, the current increase from Badboy NexGen 500 to Badboy NexGen 750(Sandwich Shoppe sandwich) will only be barely noticeable in practical use (you wouldn’t feel the 25% increase of output), but the trade-off could be very noticeable shorten runtime(around 33% shorten).

    For 3mm/5mm led(s), I would not expect the same light output from them like luxeons (at least not for now); therefore I mostly see/use them as flood lighting purposes. But one good thing about them is long, long runtime and usually there is no heat issue-and that is usually what I would be looking for when buying/doing 3mm/5mm led mods. Multiple leds lights make great reading light and are great to use in really close-up working environment.



    Regulation, semi-regulation and directly driven?

    I am no EE person, and I could only contribute what I know of them. Full regulation (regulation) usually means the output of the light will remain constant (constant current/voltage boosted/bucked to the led) until the power of the battery could no longer support the regulation; and depending on the design of the board, it usually would have a sharp drop into a low output mode(star or moon mode).

    Semi regulation means the output of the light will gradually dim, and it will not be as consistent as the full regulation. And the transition from ‘sun’ mode to moon/star mode will be more gradual as well. I would consider a ‘resistor-ed solution’ as passive regulation, and it would fall under this same category.

    As the name had suggested, directly driven means no regulation of any kind and the batteries are directly hooked up with the led. The output of the light over time will largely depend on the setup of the batteries and the led/bulb. Often time, if a led yields great brightness at the beginning, the output might drop exponentially later on. The main advantage of directly driven solution is its inexpensiveness and simplicity.

    For a Minimag, a directly driven luxeon is usually done with Li-ion batteries. It is kind of tricky since over voltage/current will most likely damage the lux/led. On the other hand, the user might risk overdischanging a rechargeable Un-protected Li-ion batteries used in the light if lux/led drain them too low (which could be become dangerous if an overdischagred Li-ion is being recharged with a ‘dumb’ charger again).

    Alternative to the luxeon solution is the directly driven bulb(or super bulb), bulb solution has always been one of the simplest solution there is for any flashlight. And by using protected li-ion batteries, it is now possible to run higher powered bulb to create high output minimag 'hotwire' mods. However, it is a modder resposibility to carefully mod and use such creation, for the heat/light management is a serious matter for this mod.


    To choose between the three categories will depend on how you use the light, if your application requires constant ‘full’ brightness all the time-then I would suggest full regulation. For myself, I prefer full regulation if the runtime for full regulation is acceptable; that is especially true in my Minimag EDC. Though I had said that I don’t expect it to be a throw monster, I do hope that it will be of good use when needed to be--and maintaining a regulation will give fairly constant output/throw through out its useful time.



    Optics, the other half of the story!

    For a flashlight, the bulb/led, electronics and batteries might determine the brightness and runtime, but the beam characteristics (beam shot) will be determined by the optics used. Whether a light can ‘throw’ will not only depending on how bright is the light source, but also the shape/depth of an optic. Same goes to flood lights. In section 4, we will take a look at various kind of optics available for Minimag mods, their beam shots and how to mod some of these optics to fit into Minimag.



    After market drop-ins vs. modding

    Depending on time and budget constrain, nowadays flashaholics and non-flashaholics do have the choices to choose between purchasing ready-to-run after market products (that might include module made by modders) or making the mod themselves. The advantage of making your own mod, besides it is so much fun and satisfying, is that modder could choose more specifically what components(especially bin/tint of lux) to go into the module. Sometimes, modders would just mod for fun, and need no further reasoning…



    What about bulbs? Is there a superbulb solution for Minimags?

    One of the issues about a (super/high power)bulb in Minimag is the runtime/power and heat management. Unlike it's Mag D or Mag C relatives, the Minimag is born with a smaller body(2AA) and the power source is thus restricted to some degree. Although it is possible to stack some Li-ion cells(1/2 or 1/3 Li-ion rechargable AA cells) to achieve a higher voltage, but I would strongly recommend NOT to do so unless the cells combination is provenly protected and one know how to safely handle those Li-ion rechargable cells. As one would have guess too, the smaller cells are bound to have smaller capacity, so runtime might be shorten depending on the current draw.

    High power bulb will generate lots of heat in a body size like Minimag. And like any superbulb mod for Mag D or C, minimag will have a more urgent need for the metal reflector and glass lens replacement. If you are interested, do check out in section 3 about the Minimag Hotwire kit(which has metal reflector, ceremic socket and uses a high powered bulb to achieve a higher output)

    As for some slightly better performing bulb improvement, one could always find any 1 lithium cell or 2AA small bi-pin bulbs to test fit it in Minimag for an instant improvement. If interested, please read mod section for details.


    What? You managed to live thru my mumble jumble?! No kidding!
    Let’s mod!



    Last edited by AuroraLite; 11-28-2005 at 05:50 AM.

  3. #3
    Flashaholic* AuroraLite's Avatar
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    Default Re: Dummy Reference Guide to Minimag Modding(many pix)

    Section 3 Minimag Modding Galore (‘Action’ section)

    To check out the dozen kinds of Minimag mods being featured in this section, please go to the very top of this thread.


    This section details all kind of mods and drop-ins for Minimag. Most of the instruction/guide is either self-contained or as a complimentary building notes to already existing written instruction. If it is a complimentary building notes, I strongly advice you to follow the ‘official’ instruction. And I would rate the difficulty level as following:

    1/4 Super duper easy to do, absolutely no skill required
    2/4 Modders might need to do simple soldering/assembling + purchase their own parts
    3/4 Need more time, skill and parts than 2/4, also might need to improvise on parts
    4/4 Need originality and modder might even have to design and make up his/her own parts


    If you are new to modding and has decided to do one of these mods, I do humbly suggest to also check out the later sections which would detail some of the resources, links and tools that might proof valuable later on.

    Most important of all, have fun and enjoy!!




    a) After market Drop-ins, easiest to do



    Newbeam Opalec

    (posted May 2005)
    Difficulty: 1/4



    Opalec01

    This is a great after market mod, it is one of the easiest to do and it gives a very constant output for a long time (9 hours+) and the best part is it will warn you of the low voltage when it is time to change the battery.(the small red led will light up)

    Though it’s output might not be comparable to luxeon based mod, it remains to be a very useful light for extreme low light situation (camping). As it does not have a reflector/optics, it main purpose is for flood lighting closed up area.


    Opalec02

    Newbeam Opalec comes in a package including a new lens (plastic), the ‘light engine’ and a black plastic piece (for turning off the light)


    Opalec03

    Opalec04

    This is how it looks onced installed to Minimag, the built is very rugged since it has two plastic legs (besides the electrical leads) to insert into the original Minimag bulb holder/retainer. The upgrading is simply swapping parts around, take only 1-2 minutes.


    StockvsOpalec

    Stock Minimag vs. Newbeam Opalec


    TLE5vsOpalec

    Terralux TLE5 vs. Newbeam Opalec





    Terralux TLE5

    (posted May 2005)
    Difficulty: 1/4



    TLE5Terra00

    Terralux TLE5 has a 1w side emitter luxeon at its heart. As compared to the stock Minimag, it has a decent improvement for output and the output is longer as well. (where the output towards the end is way more useful than Minimag stock bulb). And as advertised, it is semi-regulated.

    IMHO, it is one of the best, after market, luxeon based upgrade for a Minimag. For that reason, I had chosen this light to be one of the benchmark to other mods.


    TLE5Terra01

    Terralux TLE5 comes in a package like this…


    TLE5Terra02

    Top row shown the parts that will go into the Minimag, bottom the replaced parts. The easy swapping/upgrade will only take 1-2 minutes, but the output and runtime is way better…


    TLE5Terra03

    Terralux TLE3 installed; since it is a side emitter, it is great for ‘candle mode’.


    stockvsTLE5

    Minimag stock vs. Terralux TLE5


    TLEvsOpalec1

    Terralux TLE5 vs. Newbeam Opalec








    b) Modding After Market drop-ins


    Depending on the nature of the after market drop-ins, this subsection is for modding those products for fun and attempting to improve upon its performance.





    Terralux TLE 5 modded with TV1J

    (posted May 2005)
    Difficulty: 2/4



    TLEmod001


    For myself, I am a fan of Y0, X0 and W0 tinted Luxeon. And I had in possession a TV1J that I hardly will use for any of my mods…then I came across my TLE5 and was thinking to myself, ‘what if I have a better perform luxeon instead of the side emitter…?’

    That was the short story how I came about modding the TLE5, merely a coincidence, but a very happy result. Modded with a TV1J, though it is not my favorite tint, the performance had a decent and noticeable improvement.


    TLE5mod002

    The top row shows the original parts for Terralux TLE5 and its reflector. The bottom row shows the TLE modded with TV1J and the modded reflector. For getting a luxeon emitter from a luxeon star, please refer to Section 5. Please make sure you checked the POLARITY of the luxeons before de-soldering the original side emitter (by DMM) and soldering the new emitter (by apply 3V 2AA) onto the TLE5 board.


    TLE5mod003

    It shows how the board and the modded luxeon sitting on top of the body tube.


    TLE5mod004

    The original reflector with the modded TV1J. I do suggest to sand down the original TLE5 reflector for better focusing; but like modding the stock reflector, please sand it down with sand paper (NOT a dremel) and do it patiently. Oversanding will cause the luxeon to fall thru the reflectors opening and the TLE5 mod will NOT be able to shut off. [img]/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/icon15.gif[/img] For more, please read ‘modding stock reflector’ in the optics section.


    TLE5mod005

    Modded TLE5 reflector with the TV1J, now it looks more or less in focus…


    stockvsTLE5mod

    Left is the stock Minimag vs. modded TLE 5


    OpalecvsTLE5mod

    Newbeam Opalec vs. Terralux TLE5 mod


    TLE5vsTLE5mod

    Original Terralux TLE 5 vs. Modded Terralux TLE 5 with TV1J. Notice there is more light intensity at the hotspot.








    c) Resistor-ed and directly driven led mod

    As the name has suggested, this subsection is for making directly driven or ‘resistor-ed solution’ (passive regulation) led modded Minimag.




    Cut MJ led

    (posted May 2005)
    Difficulty: 1/4



    Mjled001


    Cut MJ led made by ArcMania is a white 5 mm led that has a Vin spec close to 3V. One could obtain the cut version (optimized for use with a reflector) from Lambda or the uncut version from Sandwich Shoppe.

    Do not be fooled by the appearance of this 5mm mod, it actually does give satisfying output considering its simplicity. [img]/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/clap.gif[/img] With the proper optics, it actually throws quite well when comparing to a 1w side emitter luxeon! The very best part about this led is its low forward voltage requirement which we could simply use normal 1.5 Alkaline and it probably will last for a long, long time (dozen hours+, if not more). [img]/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/eek.gif[/img] [img]/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/faint.gif[/img] IIRC, it is almost like a flat sloping line, output decreasing almost constantly from start to end.


    Mjled002

    I got my a cut MJ led kit from Lambda a while ago, as shown on the left, it also came with a drilled reflector and a lens. On the right is the uncut MJ led.


    Mjled003

    Mjled004

    There are really not that much to tell as how to install this MJled, simply trim the leads short (around 1cm) and slowly/firmly insert the led leads into the bulb holder/retainer of the Minimag. The base of the led should be almost flush with the top of the bulb retainer.

    Caution: Do NOT force it in or you might twist/bend the legs. Go slow.

    For the reflector, simply drill out a hole that will fit the MJ led base diameter. But do NOT sand the ‘fins’ on the back of the reflector since they are there to turn the light on/off. See Mjled002.


    Beamshots below are for the cut Mjled:

    TLE5vsMjled

    Terralux TLE5 vs. Cut MJ led mod with Lambda modded reflector


    stockvsMjled

    Stock Minimag vs. Cut MJ led mod with Lambda modded reflector


    Mjledstockreflector

    Cut MJ led with Lambda modded reflector

    MjledNX05

    Cut MJ led used with a NX05; notice I haven’t modify the NX05 to a better fit or adjust it to best centering.


    Mjledacrylicball

    MJ led used with 3/4”Acrylic ball, wow! Look at the intense hotspot and no side spill!


    MjledacrylicbvsTLE5

    With the help of an acrylic ball, it does not do too bad when compared to a 1w side emitter…


    uncutMjled

    This is a picture showing an uncut Mjled used with Lambda modded reflector








    d) $5 5 Led Minimag Mod

    5 Leds Minimag Mod

    (posted May 2005)
    Difficulty: 2/4-3/4




    MiniM5led000


    In this mod, we will transplant a ‘light engine’ from a small 1AAA Chinese made flashlight into the Minimag. Basically, we will be overdriving it with 2AAs, but no worries--the 5 leds do have resistor for limiting the power that goes into the circuit and the leds.

    This mod is not very difficult to make, it might take 40 minutes to make and the result is quite satisfying. The budget for making this mod is rather low as well, and here is the shopping list:


    MiniM5led001

    -1 Minimag
    -1 Chinese made 1AAA 5 leds aluminum light as shown in picture; usually one could be picked up for $3-$5. The widest part of the bezel in front should be ~20.20mm
    -Small piece of one sided copper-plated board, 1 inch x 1 inch
    -2 short pieces of lead, same diameter/girth to any 3/5mm leds; 1.5-2cm long.

    Tools:
    Dremel
    Dremel sanding bit
    Soldering iron
    0.8mm/1mm drill bits(or bits with small diameter &lt;2mm)
    1 Ziplock bag
    Pilers


    Ready? Here we go!


    MiniM5led002

    While having batteries inside, take apart the Minimag as shown. Take out the reflector, front lens, bulb and the little lid/bulb holder; and store them in safe places. You will no longer need them in this mod.


    MiniM5led003

    Put the Chinese 1AAA 5 leds light into a ziplock bag, make sure the bag is closed properly(water tight). Now get a large pot and fill it with water, put a (paper) towel at the bottom of the pot (to prevent ziplock bag melting at bottom). Bring it to boil and submerge the bag (flashlight head) once the water boils for a 1-2 minutes. Make sure you do take out the battery before boiling...

    [img]/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/caution.gif[/img] Warning if you want to preserve the look of the light, please carefully wrap a lot of towel around the body of the light before taking the body apart. It is very easy to damage the body, and modder should accept the potential irreversible risk/harm that might be done to this original Chinese 1AAA light.


    MiniM5led004

    After a few minutes of boiling, quickly remove the whole thing out of water. Use two pilers to grip onto the head of the light (blue part) and the 5 leds holder part (the silver part at the very front) and pull/wriggle them apart. Give the parts a few minutes to cool down. (Caution: do NOT touch them with bare hands…ouch!)


    MiniM5led005

    MiniM5led006

    MiniM5led007

    Now here comes the coolest part of the mod--you will notice the silver 5 leds holder could be place backward onto the leds…and this whole thing will fit perfectly into the Minimag head!

    From this point on, we will be making a connecting board for this ‘light engine’. Basically, it is board with two pins at the bottom which will lead to the positive and negative pin slot on the original switch assembly. The positive pin will lead to a small contacting circle on the face of board, and negative pin will lead to the wider hollow circle on the board. See picture MiniM5led019 for the finished product.


    MiniM5led008

    Retrieve the switch assembly from the Minimag (the black plastic part which sits on top 2 AAs; be careful not to lose the small metal piece for the negative contact) Place the black switch assembly on top of the small piece of copper plated board, and draw a circle on board.


    MiniM5led009

    Dremel/Cut/Sand out the circle as drawn, and the board should be able to sit on top of the Minimag as shown. It should be big enough to rest on the tube while small enough to not get caught with threads when entering into the Minimag head assembly.


    MiniM5led010

    Draw a line on the diameter of this circle board, and mark two small cross as the width of the Minimag bulb wires in the middle as shown.


    MiniM5led011

    Now use the 0.8mm(or the super small drill bit) to drill a hole on one of the cross mentioned above. Then at the back of the board, draw red line starting from where the other cross should be(at the front) to the edge of the board. This red line should be mirroring/in line with the diameter line at front.


    MiniM5led012

    Use the 0.8mm bit to make a trench on the red line at the back of board, and also take out some material at the side of the board where the bottom and front red line should meet. This ‘trench’ is to allow the wire to be embedded into the board, be sure it is deep enough to allow the lead flush with the board once embedded; as shown in MiniM5led017 later.


    MiniM5led013

    Flipping the board face up again, draw (red) circles to indicate the copper material we will be taking out. Try to mirror the bottom of the light engine as much as possible, and do make sure the negative/positive area on your board will come in contact with the correct, corresponding area.


    MiniM5led014

    Use the dremel to sand out the unwanted area of copper. And using the small bit, trench out a line where the negative lead will lay later.


    MiniM5led015

    You are almost done! Let’s start bending the negative lead first. Place one end of the lead flush with the little trench we had just made on the face of board, while gripping it with a piler, bend the lead 90 degree up flush into the little groove at the side of the board. Then continue on bending the lead all the way around to the back of the board, flush into the back trench.


    MiniM5led016

    The bend negative lead should look like this. Crimp on the little hook a little to make sure it ‘grip’ onto the board tightly.


    MiniM5led017

    At the back of the board, while the lead is flush with the face and side groove, bend the lead straight up where the back trench ends in the middle. Try to be as precise as possible. At this point the negative lead should be ‘gripping’ onto the board by itself, flush with the bottom and side of the board.


    MiniM5led018

    Pick up the other lead, use the piler to bend it into a L-shape as shown. The shorter part of the L should be within the diameter of the middle copper circle as shown.


    MiniM5led019

    Soldering the leads onto the board. Do try to keep the two leads as parallel as possible and closely resembling the width between the 2 original bulb legs. You could place some solder adjacent to the negative lead for better contact to the light engine.


    MiniM5led020

    Side view of the finished board. See how the soldering is somewhat even in height.


    MiniM5led021

    Checking the leads width at the back of board, resembling the width of original bulb.


    MiniM5led022

    Place the contact board at the side of the switch assembly. Board on top, and check/trim the length of the leads to the height of the switch assembly.


    Optional: Check the two pins and two copper area with DMM, to make sure the positive is no where connected to negative. If you don’t use the DMM, shine a very bright light under the board, and see whether there is any hint of connection between two copper areas on top…


    MiniM5led023

    With the switch assembly above 2AAs, insert the contact board’s pin into the switch. Please make absolutely sure the negative pin is in the negative pin hole. As shown in picture.


    MiniM5led024

    Push the board flush on top of the tube and you are ready to rummmmble!


    MiniM5led025

    Viola! The light from the business end. Great job, go play!


    MiniM5led027

    MiniM5led028

    I don’t have a formal runtime test for this light, yet it does last forever and ever. But here is the comparison-when the battery is dying on Opalec, it still give useable light on the 5 led Minimag mod!


    Stockvs5ledMod

    Minimag stock vs. 5 leds mod


    TLEvs5ledMod

    Terralux TLE5 vs. 5 leds mod


    Opalecvs5ledmod

    Newbeam Opalec vs. 5 leds mod








    e) 26k mcd 5 Led Minimag Mod

    (posted May 05)
    Difficulty: 2/4-3/4



    MiniM5led26k000


    This is an improvement mod on the basis of the $5 5 led Minimag mod. All it involved is to remove the original 5 leds in the ‘light engine’ and replace it with 5 26k mcd leds. For the 'contacting board', please refer to the second half of the '$5 5 led Minimag mod'


    MiniM5led26k001

    First use an X-acto/sharp knife to pry out the top and bottom board from the middle black plastic cylinder of the ‘light engine’. Some ‘light engine’ will have the led’s lead connected between top and bottom board-cut. If wires, just leave it as is. And mark down where is the positive and negative connection from the led board to the converter board.


    MiniM5led26k002

    Remember/observe how the leds are positioned, most of the time they would be all lined up the same way. Take a note of it.
    Gripping the Led board with a vise, de-soldering one led from the board with soldering wick(to absolute the solder and allow the Led to drop) and solder iron.


    MiniM5led26k003

    MiniM5led26k004

    Using the retrieved led from board as a gauge, trim the legs of your 26k led accordingly (MiniM5led26k004); and if you do want to salvage the led legs, hold the led and the leads as shown in MiniM5led26k003. Those led legs would be perfect for making the 'contact board'.


    MiniM5led26k005

    MiniM5led26k006

    MiniM5led26k007

    Line up the 26k led like the previously de-soldered led, put the led ‘holder’ over the leds and reverse the whole thing upside down-this is to keep the 26k line up straight while soldering. Mark down which one of the leds you had just modded.


    MiniM5led26k008

    Test it with a 3V 2AA power supply to see whether it works, if it does; continue to de-solder the other Leds. And don’t forget to mark down which ones you had modded.


    MiniM5led26k009

    MiniM5led26k010

    Here is a trick to quickly removing the leds, first use the wick to pick up as much solder before attempt to move the leds. Then wiggle the led out until it is almost out while with the help with a hot iron. Finally, put the wick on top to absorb the last bit of solder and push the led legs thru with the iron on top of the solder wick.


    MiniM5led26k011

    Cut the last 26k Led replacement leg a little longer, exactly like the original led. This will be connected to a wire later.


    MiniM5led26k012

    Solder the correct connection between the top and bottom board with wires.


    MiniM5led26k013

    Superglue the whole thing back together, and let it sit for few minutes. And you are DONE!!


    Stockvs26k5ledmod

    Stock Minimag vs. 26k 5 leds mod


    TLE5vs26k5ledmod

    Terralux TLE5 vs. 26k 5 leds mod


    Opalecvs5ledmod

    Newbeam Opalec vs. 26k 5 leds mod


    5ledmodvs26k5ledmod

    Minimag 5 led mod vs. Minimag 26k 5 led mod, 2ft from wall
    The 26k 5 led mod is a little whiter, gives more light output, and slightly 'brighter'.

    5ledmodvs26k5ledmod2

    Minimag 5 led mod vs. Minimag 26k 5 led mod, 1ft from wall








    f) All about Sandwich Shoppe Sandwich


    Sandwich(Sammie, Sammich, Sandwiche) is a general term used to describe a Luxeon modded drop-in module for Minimag or similar form of flashlight, usually it is referring to the module made by Wayne from Sandwich Shoppe.

    Modders nowadays could easily pick up all the parts necessary for making from the Sandwich Shoppe, or for less work, one could simply pick up a ‘Sandwich Assembly’ (ready-to-run out of box) from the Shoppe. Here we will discuss the basic maintenance and making of a ‘sandwich’




    Installing Sandwich Assembly

    This is a simple dummy description for installing a Sandwich Shoppe Sandwich with a 17 IMS reflector (SO17XA).

    You could either order an assembled ready-to-run ‘sandwich assembly’ or build one yourself. For more details, please read sandwich building section of this thread or visit Wayne’s Sandwich Shoppe board here on CPF.

    NOTE: My method for installing the 17 IMS is a little different from the orthodox method as described in Wayne’s site. Please read the original Wayne’s method here to determine which one suits you better.


    InSA001

    Here is a snapshot for some of the parts that could go into the MiniMag head for a Sandwich. Depending what kind of package you have ordered with the sandwich assembly, different O-rings might be included (usually 2-3 O-rings, 1 opticalware is included in an ready made assembly). For more about optics, please read section 4...

    First Row: 17 IMS reflector(SO17XA), sandwich retaining O-ring, 16mm O-ring, Sandwich(this is a self made TY0H BBNG500)

    Second Row: 20 IMS reflector(SO20XA), Fraen Optic, 18mm O-ring, UCL 22.6mm lens



    InSA002

    InSA003

    InSA004

    First, remove the lid (Buld holder) by pulling, and slide the switch assembly back from the bottom of the body. Put the assembly back together(bulb, bulb holder and switch assembly) and safely store it away.


    InSA005

    Optional: Whenever I buy/make a new sandwich, I have the habit to write down the Luxeon bin code and the board used for the sandwich with a permanent maker on the contact plate/back of the sandwich. So I won’t get confused or forgotten what was installed.


    InSA006

    InSA007

    InSA008

    InSA009

    Slide the Sandwich slowly down the tube, and insert the sandwich retaining O-ring pass the threads. Then I slide two AAs down the tube backward to push the oring into the body(right behind the sandwich).


    InSA010

    After this, the sandwich should stay in the tube even without the tail cap or the batteries.


    InSA011

    Trimmed the three legs of 17 IMS reflector as shown in picture.


    InSA012

    Open the head assembly, remove the original reflector. Then place the 18mm O-ring on the lens, and the 17 IMS reflector in the middle.


    InSA013

    This is where I differ from the orthodox method: instead of placing another 16mm O-ring inside the 18mm O-ring and in front of the reflector, I place it on the ledge on the head assembly behind the reflector.

    I found that should I place the 16mm in front, then either I don’t screw the two parts of the head assembly tightly together(since it will smash the 16mm O-ring against the glass) or screw it tight like it supposed to be but got an ugly looking O-ring at front...and without the 16mm, it doesn’t affect the beam quality at all, thus I place it behind to hold the reflector up in the head assembly.

    InSA014

    (InSA014 is optional, I usually do it without)
    InSA015

    InSA016

    Screw the two parts of head assembly together until a few threads left. Put a small piece of paper behind the two batteries(or usually, I simply put in the battery without the paper), and screw the tail cap on tight.


    InSA017

    1) Slowly screw the head assembly down onto the body tube, allow the lux to push the reflector up almost touching the lens.
    2) Next, tighten the head assembly 1/4 turn. This should firmly push the lux up against the reflector upon the lens (if you look straight into the reflector, you should see a yellow reflection evenly spread across the reflector). Or if you do not have the paper bewteen the batteries and tailcap, this move will just turn off the light.
    3) Then we loosen the lux from the reflector by turning the body tube 1/4-1/2 turn, and allowing the lux and reflector to ‘lower’ a bit. Without the paper, your light will just got turned on again...
    4) Repeat step 2) and 3) until the two parts of head assembly is snuggly tighten. And at this point, the reflector should be fixed in position and the lux will be in good focus when the light is on(see step 2)

    For myself, a good test for checking proper installation is to tighten the head and the body all the way, while the light is on. If the light gets switched-on again after its initial switch off, then you might have to start over and repeat all the steps again. This is to prevent the light accidentally turned on even when it is already off.

    For daily usage, do NOT overtighten the head assembly and the body tube to switch off the light. For switching off, turn an additional 1/4 turn when the light goes off.





    Removing the sandwich from the minimag


    When I first started using the sandwich assembly, removing the sandwich has always given me a headache. And here is my dummy solution to my dummy problem...

    This process is for sandwich using the rubber retaining ring, YMMV on metal retaining ring!

    OutSA01

    Remove the head assembly, batteries and tail cap

    OutSA02

    OutSA03

    Use a round-ended tweezers to push on the contact board of the sandwich (NOT on the luxeon led or the black casing around it, but on the contact board itself), push it in for about 1-2 inches

    OutSA04

    The sandwich rubber retaining ring will be pushed into the tube; reverse the tube and allow the sandwich to slowly slide back down to front. Then use the tweezers to pick out the rubber retaining ring.

    OutSA05

    Cupping a hand as cushion, slide the sandwich slowly down the tube...and you have set the sandwich free!





    TO BE CON'T
    Last edited by AuroraLite; 11-19-2005 at 02:53 PM.

  4. #4
    Flashaholic* AuroraLite's Avatar
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    Default Re: Dummy Reference Guide to Minimag Modding(many pix)

    (con't from last post)


    Making a Sandwich Shoppe Sandwich


    Making Lux I RY0J MadMax Lite

    (posted May 2005)
    Difficulty: 2/4-3/4


    MakeSSS000


    The sandwich described in this section is a Madmax Lite RY0J sandwich. Regardless of what mod/light I do/buy, I always believe in a good balance between performance and runtime. Meaning if I were to go bright, I expect shorten runtime but not disproportionately shorten and vice versa. MM lite RY0J is a fine example for this good balance, it stay regulated for 3+ hours but the regulated output remains fairly 'bright' and useful throughout. And the fact that it could be used for either 2AA and 1AA makes it more versatile and fun to have...

    This subsection is my (self-contained) building notes for this sandwich, but before venturing into it, I’d strongly suggest to visit some really fine written building notes here:

    Kj's site 'Mini Maglite Mod w/Sandwich Module'
    Beautifully written and pictures taken
    KevinL's light refineries - BB500 + TV1K Sandwich
    Innovative use of 'blue tack', very informative and well written


    Ready? Here we go!


    MakeSSS001

    Here is a shot showing what are needed for making a Lux I RY0J MadMax Lite sandwich:

    Right Column (all necessary):

    -Thermal Conductive Adhesive (Arctic Alumina Adhesive Part A and Part B)
    Used for fixing the Luxeon led on top of the emitter board and between emitter board and convertor board. You could create your own ‘thermal conductive’ adhesive, please refer Section 5 for more details

    -1 Luxeon Led (Lux I RY0J)
    For Madmax Lite which drives 350mA, the current provided is right on the spec of Lux I. Personally, I think a RxxJ should give an extra bit of brightness vs TxxJ.
    Purely by mathematics, here is my calculation:

    RY0J, R bin has 45.75 lumen, 350ma x 3.39v = 1.1865W
    45.75/1.1865= 38.56 lumens/watt
    RY0J at .350 w 3v = .350*3*38.56 = 40.4867 lumens

    TY0J, T bin has 77.3 lumen, 750ma x 3.39v = 2.5425W
    77.3/2.5425 = 30.40 lumens/watt
    TY0J at .350ma w 3v = .350*3*30.40 = 31.92 lumens

    Though the spec for each RY0J and TY0J might varies and the actual output (after lens, temperature changes and reflector deduction) would be different from the figures,
    I do love the idea of this efficient setup which will give good brightness and decent runtime.

    -Emitter Board and Connectors

    -Converter Board (MadMax Lite)
    The Soul of a Sandwich. For now, besides BBNG, this is ought to be one of my favorite boards from Shoppe. IIRC, it drains the battery to as low as 0.8v (which might not be good for Nimh batteries, but great for Alkaline).
    Also, if you take a look at Wayne’s ‘AA Sandwich Comparison Chart’, MM lite 1w P-bin gives around 25 lumens (using a RxxJ bin here should be brighter) whereas BB400 gives around 30 lumens (around 20% increment), but then the runtime is 100% longer (I test run it with 2AAs and it will stay regulated for 3 hours or more)… not to mention it works really well with 1AA Miniminimag as well, making it one of the most versatile board on site.

    -Choice of optical ware (NOT shown)
    You could purchase various kind of optical ware or even mod the stock reflector yourself (see later section); but for an easy way out, simply purchase a 17 IMS reflector or Fraen LP (which takes minute or two to install).


    Left Column (extras or simple assisting tools):

    -A self made fixture for keeping the emitter board and converter board separated by a correct height

    -Extra 2 sets of Emitter board and Connectors, in case of messing up and they are great tools to help the soldering of connectors onto the board.



    MakeSSS002

    Emitter board face up.
    A closer look to the Emitter board, notice on the left side there were 3 holes in a row, and the last one has bridge-like connection to the board surface-that is the negative(Cathode) side which will lead to –ve of the Lux. The other 3 holes in a row, on the right, does not have any connection to the board surface (looks like an 'island'); that’s the positive (Anode) side. Do NOT get confused which side is which.


    MakeSSS003

    Put the Emitter face down...
    Insert the SHORTER end of the two connectors’ leads into the same sized holes on each side (observe MakeSSS006 for which holes). Then stack on another two emitter boards, via the same holes, onto the connectors’ black joints. Reverse the whole thing upside down, and now you should have a pseudo sandwich, with the shinny board surface facing up, and two SHORTER ends of the connectors protruding from two same sized holes on each side (as shown above)

    Use a vise to grip onto the very bottom spare emitter board. Make sure it is as level as it can be, and the boards are as straight in stack as possible…and then proceed to soldering the two connectors’ leads onto the board surface on top.

    Trick: to get only a small amount on the tip of the soldering iron, you could cut out just a tiny bit of solder and ‘pick’ it up by the tip of the iron.

    Caution: Be absolutely Careful when soldering the positive side of the leads onto the hollow metal rings of the holes. See MakeSSS002 again, the positive side of the holes are in an ‘island’ of itself. Do NOT let any soldering flow from this ‘island’ to the board(also see MakeSSS015, the left side is the positive side of the leads). As for the negative side, it is meant to be connected, so don’t worry too much about it if the solder does get onto the board a bit.


    MakeSSS004

    After the soldering, check with a DMM to see whether positive leads are isolated from the board/negative leads. Turn the DMM to connectivity mode (like shown in picture), and if it beeps, then it is likely you have a breach somewhere.


    MakeSSS005

    Reverse the Emitter board upside down, put on a tiny bit of solder on ALL the openings you see on the board. This is to prevent the epoxy/adhesive flowing out from the small holes later on. Two of the openings are sealed as shown in picture above.


    MakeSSS006

    Now go onto Wayne’s site here to check out the wiring diagram for Madmax Lite, find out which two holes are positive and negative. Corresponding to the correct charge, stack the two boards together via the connectors; the flat side of the converter board should be facing ‘out’. Mark the positive sides of the Emitter board and converter board with colored marker for identification. (So you won’t soldering the wrong side together later)



    In the following, I would write out two different methods of mine soldering the two boards together at the right height. The total height from the top surface of the emitter board to the bottom side of the converter board, as recommended from Wayne, should be 7.6mm (0.3 inches) (see MakeSSS012). The tolerance for error is about + or – 0.1mm(or more forgiving, + or – 0.01 inches). Personally, I think anywhere between 7.5-7.6 is actually ok; since the original switch assembly is 7.6mm in total height and you will need to account for the thickness of the solder blob on Vin.

    Caution : If you must err, then go shorter rather than going taller-the reason is because you could always solder a larger blob on the Vin of the Converter board (where it contacts the battery) to make up the short comings…but when the sandwich is too tall, then it might never be able to switch off (!)


    Method 1: Using a fixture

    MakeSSS007

    Take some measures on the thickness of top and bottom board, and get subtract that from 7.6mm...which gives about 4+ mm for the thickness of the fixture. Find/make a piece of Balsa wood that has the same height described, drill a 10+ mm hole in the middle for the guts of the sandwich to fit in. And cut that wood in half right thru the middle of the hole. Now you could enclose the guts in that hole while the edges of the two boards resting on each side of the board to the correct height...


    MakeSSS008

    This picture shown the thickness of the future sandwich clamping onto the wood fixture. Please make sure when you soldering the leads to the backside of the convertor board, the boards were snuggly clamp against the fixture. And do NOT mix up the positives and negatives (double check the mark you made at the side).



    Method 2: small ‘pillars’

    MakeSSS009

    With this method, you won’t need to go thru the trouble creating a fixture, all you need are some short lead/toothpick. Measure the thickness of top and bottom board, subtract that from 7.6mm...whatever left is the correct distance between two boards. Cut 2-4 sticks of lead/toothpick according to this distance.


    MakeSSS010

    You’d probably guessed it , when you are holding onto the two boards for soldering; insert the short sticks (pillars) between the two boards as perpendicular as possible. Pinch the boards together with the flesh of your fingers while trying to keep all the sticks clamped between the boards. Should any of the pillar fall out, then you know the height of the sandwich had been compromised. Picture here shown one of the pillars between the two boards.


    MakeSSS011

    MakeSSS012

    Finished soldering and measure the distance between the two boards. Remember, the correct height from top of top to bottom of bottom board is 7.6mm (0.3inches); any significant error (&gt;0.01 inches) will be problematic…especially when it is way too tall, it might never be able to switch off. [img]/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/crazy.gif[/img]


    Continue on...(how many times I have mentioned 7.6mm? Haha...)or get take a coffee break.


    MakeSSS013

    Filled the tiny openings at the bottom with solder. Same as MakeSSS005.


    MakeSSS014

    Now is a chance to check whether everything is in order; connect the luxeon led to the +ve and -ve leads on top of the board, then supply 3V 2AA voltage to the sandwich by apply the -ve to the top board, and +ve to Vin at bottom. Ouch...my eyes!



    For retrieving the Luxeon led from the ‘star’, please refer to section 6. Once retrieved, place the lux in the very center of the emitter board, and you could trim the two longer leads at the sides, until it touches the connecters’ leads at both sides (see next picture).


    MakeSSS015

    Mix a very tiny amount the Artic Alumina Adhesive part A to B(1:1), apply as thin a layer as possible to the bottom of the metal slug of the lux. Double check the POLARITY of the lux, and stick the lux to the very middle of the board. Get a drink and allow it to rest for at least 15-20 minutes.

    Note: Double check the trimmed led leads at both sides whether they are touching and in between the connecter’s leads. And make sure it is the correct polarity.


    MakeSSS016

    After the short break and the adhesive settled, solder the lux to the two leads protruding from the emitter board. Then again, use a DMM to check the connectivity between the positive solder joint vs negative solder joint of the lux (they should NOT be connected). If somehow the DMM beeps and it shown connectivity, check to see where is the breach at the positive connectors/’island’ (See ‘Caution’ at MakeSSS003)


    MakeSSS017

    Using the 3V 2AA power supply, check to see whether everything is working. See MakeSSS014 for more details. This is last chance to fix anything; once you put in the thermal epoxy between the two boards, it will be ultimately difficult to fix anything/take them apart again. Great job, you are almost done!


    MakeSSS018

    For extra pre-caution, I have used play dough/blue tack(?) to mount around the emitter to prevent the epoxy leaking to the emitter board later on when filling.
    You could use electrical tape or any non-permanent easy-to-cleanup tape/tack as you see fit. You could also tape small strip of paper over the lux, just in case you somehow got epoxy smeared on the lux surface.(Doh!) ullhair:


    MakeSSS019

    Gauge how much you will be needed to between the two boards, mix up the thermal epoxy for half of that quantity needed and start filling up the void in between with a toothpick (only half of the sandwich hollow). I do suggest using epoxy that has a settlement time of 5-10 minutes. Arctic Alumina Adhesive has the usual settling time of 5 minutes. When mixing, do NOT stir too quickly which will create tiny bubbles in the epoxy. Picture shown the sandwich being filled half way.(for more about AAA or thermal epoxy in general, please read section 6)

    Allow the epoxy to somewhat settle at surface (for AAA, 5-10 minutes), then mix and fill the other half of the sandwich. Afterwards, do let it sit for a few hours to completely settle (or sleep on it, the middle part is dense and will take longer). Be patient, and do NOT touch it with your fingers-or else you might leave your biometric identification on your sandwich.

    MakeSSS020


    MakeSSS022

    After the long wait, place the Sammie into the tube with batteries to see whether it works. If it works fine already, then you could consider apply only a very, very thin layer of solder at Vin or just do without it.

    If the sandwich did not get turn on, then you will need the solder blob to make up the height difference. Melt small amount of solder bolb at the Vin and refit it in to see whether it will lit up...keep soldering bit by bit and re-fitting. Always remember to keep your solder tip clean, do NOT over heat (Use a 3-4 count rules) and use flux.


    MakeSSS023

    Lastly, apply a thin layer of nail polish to any exposing solder points EXCEPT Vin. This is to prevent accidental shorting.


    MakeSSS024

    Yea!! Now go play!! The final product is a cool mod that would stay regulated for about 3 hours, and give out a fairly bright light output!


    StockvsMMliteRY0J

    Stock Minimag vs. MadMax lite RY0J


    TLE5vsMMliteRY0J

    Terralux TLE5 vs. MadMax lite RY0J









    g) Lambda MiniPro Lux III DIY kit building notes

    (posted May 2005)
    Difficulty: 3/4


    LambdaMP3kit000

    MiniPro III is one of the latest Lambda creation for Minimag drop-in. Many CPFers would have known the really, really long waiting list for buying this module(dozens of pages of posts). This DIY kit is the MiniPro III is for modders who are capable of putting this together to have the benefit of owning one without getting into the long wait list line.

    Personally, it truly is a great mod (at a very good price) and fun/challenging to put it together, the result is very satisfying too. The most challenging part is the small part soldering (SMD, &lt;1mm?), and there is almost no room for error. And if you are experienced in soldering or want to challenge yourself, this is a great kit to try.

    From the naked eyes and the light beam shot compared to other sandwiches, my educated guess is it should put more or less 500mA to the Luxeon. Continuously, it would regulate about 90+ mins, and for intermitted use, it will be more.


    Lambda had already did an excellent job for writing a really comprehensive guide for making this kit and the following is my COMPLEMENTARY building notes basing on his great write up:


    Let’s get it on!

    LambdaMP3kit001

    LambdaMP3kit002

    My package came with three bags, containing the reflector/lens, a TW0J(you could order without one, I use a TY0H of mine instead of this ordered one), and the electronics/boards.


    LambdaMP3kit003

    As Lambda suggested, use a DMM to check the connectivity between all the regions(for ex, 1+2, 1+3, 1+4, 2+1, 2+3...). Make sure they are all separated.
    Picture shown DMM turn to connectivity mode.


    LambdaMP3kit004

    The SMD parts are so small that it is necessary to use flux to allow the solder to flow better. Solder the legs at region 3 (ground) first, and make sure the other 4 legs at the opposite side ALIGN with the four little copper pads perfectly when you do so.


    LambdaMP3kit005

    As you see, I use a magnifying glass to look at the parts, and the clamps on the magnifying glass stand to hold it flat. Shining light under the board will tell you whether your soldered legs are well separated.


    LambdaMP3kit006

    I use a ‘reverse’ tweezers (when you let go, it clamp on) to hold the small parts in position. It also helps to cool down the parts in case of overheating.


    LambdaMP3kit007

    For the Input capacitor and the Coil(the black part), try dry fitting them around on board before soldering since you will also need to fit a wire between them later on.(See LambdaMP3kit014)


    LambdaMP3kit008

    Check again over a bright light, no misconnection.


    LambdaMP3kit009

    The three wires soldered on…


    LambdaMP3kit010

    Fun time-let’s test out whether pill works…and it does!!


    LambdaMP3kit011

    Remember the insulation we stripped from the wires? Now we are going to reuse one of them, and trim it to the exact height of the metal heatsink. This is to prevent the wire from shorting to the heatsink.


    LambdaMP3kit012

    Apply a very thin layer of your thermal epoxy on the heatsink, then stick the two boards together. Remember Lambda’s caution about not to let any epoxy flow into the holes of wires and ground screw hole.

    NOTE: You see, I had cut the positive wire insulation a little long, it works ok for me since I am extra caution about the shorting. But suggested length should just be the same height as the heatsink.


    LambdaMP3kit013

    LambdaMP3kit014

    Tighten the gound screw, and rout the input wire around the inductor. But do NOT let it touch the board or other parts as it might short.


    LambdaMP3kit015

    With the bottom board together, I measure the top of heatsink (which will touch the negative contact of the tube) to the bottom of the bottom board to be 6.54mm. If you had previous sandwich building experience, you might know that the optimal height for sandwich is 7.6mm (resembling the same height as the original Minimag switch)
    We are actually at a pretty perfect height at 6.51mm, since applying solder blob to the positive battery contact could make up for the height difference.


    LambdaMP3kit016

    Test the whole setup to make sure it still works…this is the last chance before you start potting the pill. It will be almost impossible to fix anything once potted.
    (Make absolutely sure you had already TIGHTEN the ground screw, and apply a solder blob on the Vin at the bottom of the board)


    LambdaMP3kit017

    First mix and apply(with a toothpick) only a very small portion of the thermal epoxy (such as Arctic Alumina Adhesive) to the routed wire around the inductor. Let it sit for a 5-10 minutes (or how ever long it takes) to fix its position.


    LambdaMP3kit018

    Now mix and apply the thermal epoxy to the rest of the hollow area. Allow it to settle for at least 15 minutes (if you have time, longer the better, I’d say a few hours). Do NOT use finger to touch/test the epoxy, or else you might leave finger prints on…


    As for now, you could retrieve the Luxeon from the star. Please refer to the Section 5 for detailed step to step guide for Luxeon removing.


    LambdaMP3kit019

    Use a clamping tool to flatten the leads at both sides of the led

    Double check the POLARITY of the Luxeon and the wires...

    Now you are ready to glue the Luxeon onto the heatsink, apply a very, very thin layer at the slug and stick it to the very middle of the sink. Check polarity again.
    Rotate the lux such that the wires are touch the led leads. Allow plenty of time for the thermal epoxy to settle.


    LambdaMP3kit020

    Once lux is fixed, we carefully bend the wires on top of the Lux leads at both sides and as close to the black casing as possible. Then we solder them together.


    LambdaMP3kit021

    Trim the excess of the Lux lead and wire…and you are DONE!!
    Now that’s one mod that you could be proud of!!


    LambdaMP3kit022

    Install it into the Mag body, for more details about installing sandwich/pill; please read the ‘All about Sandwich Shoppe Sandwich’ section. If you have a hard time to turn off the light, then it is either your solder blob is too large at the Vin or the reflector is not pushing the pill down the tube properly...switch to 17 IMS and it should solve that problem.

    GO play!!!


    stockvsLambdaMPIIITY0H

    Stock Minimag vs. Lambda MPIII TY0H


    TLE5vsLambdaMPIIITY0H

    Terralux TLE5 vs. Lambda MPIII TY0H








    $6 8 Leds Minimag Mod

    8 Leds Minimag Mod

    (posted May 2005)
    Difficulty: 2/4-3/4




    MiniM8led00


    Very much like it’s 5 led predecessor, the 8 led ‘light engine’ is retrieved from a Chinese made 8 leds 1 AA (or 2AA) light. I won’t bore you with the details of making how to retrieve the ‘light engine’ and making the ‘contact board’, since the process is exactly the same as detailed in 5 led mod. Please refer to the $5 5 leds mod for the detail step-by-step for the work.

    For this writeup, I would simply show some pictures of how the parts fit together and additional work required for making this 8 led mod.

    Personally, I prefer the look of the 5 led mod since the original Chinese light bezel will miraculously fit into the head like it were meant for it. But 8 led does give a marginally brighter output than the 5 led light. So check them all out, and see/choose what you like better for yourself


    MiniM8led01

    The light engine retrieved from the Chinese made 1AA 8 leds flashlight. When taking apart the front led holder/bezel, do take extra care of not leaving too much indentation on the metal since we might savage that part for use later.


    MiniM8led02

    Use a sharp knife to open the ‘light engine’ up, and you could de-solder the top led board and bottom converter board apart. Notice how the 8 leds from the top board will fit thru the Minimag bezel.


    MiniM8led03

    After some dry fitting, you might notice the 8 led version is on a larger size for the converter board to fit into the Minimag head assembly. So we will need some trimming done on the bottom converter board and switch the black plastic casing with a smaller plastic casing. On the converter board, trim it to a circle of size which does not cut into the actual circuit but small enough to fit thru the head.

    (Note : I use the new black plastic ‘casing’ to help draw that circle which will fit. See MiniM8led05


    MiniM8led04

    With the right diameter, the board will securely rest on a latch inside the Minimag head assembly.


    MiniM8led05

    This is an interesting fact-if you have also modded a Mag D flashlight, you might have cut off/safe a the black pedestal. That black pedestal will actually fit into a Minimag head and a perfect replacement for the original blacking plastic casing of the light engine.


    MiniM8led06

    What a coincidence!


    MiniM8led07

    In terms of the new casing height, I simply cut it so that the new black casing will be flush with the top of the bottom half Minimag head assembly. If you are uncertain, just trim/cut and fit until it works for you.


    MiniM8led08

    MiniM8led09

    Solder everything back together. MiniM8led09 shown how the new modded light engine compared to the original light engine. Notice both the converter board is smaller in diameter, and the new black casing is taller while slimmer in diameter.


    MiniM8led10

    Now is the time to put everything into the head


    MiniM8led11

    Since the leds are exposed out of the bezel, one could reverse the original Chinese light bezel and place it in front for protection and cool factor.



    MiniM8led12

    Viola! A underexposed shot from the business end...

    Stockvs8led

    Stock Minimag vs. 8 led Minimag mod, 2 ft from the wall


    TLE5vs8led

    Terralux TLE5 vs. 8 led Minimag mod, 3 ft from ceiling


    5ledvs8led

    5 led Minimag mod vs. 8 led Minimag mod, 2 ft from the wall
    Notice: the 8 led mod is marginally brighter than the 5 led version, and has a little more intensity of light at the middle.


    5ledvs8led1ft

    5 led Minimag mod vs. 8 led Minimag mod, 1 ft from the wall


    5led26kvs8led

    26k 5 led Minimag mod vs. 8 led Minimag mod, 2 ft from the wall
    The amazing power of the 26k led...the 26k 5 led does outshine the 8 led mod by a bit.


    5led26kvs8led1ft

    26k 5 led Minimag mod vs. 8 led Minimag mod, 1 ft from the wall
    I make a poo-poo :P when I was taking the picture, anyway, you could see the 26k led is whiter in color and has a larger hotspot.



    8 UV led Minimag mod

    Never shine the UV directly into eyes, or use it too upclosed or for any long duration!! And do NOT leave this light in the hands of kids!!!


    8UVledMMmod1

    Basically, the very same idea of making the 8 led mod, but the UV leds are swapped in.


    8UVledMMmod2

    Shinning the UV light on a E2D lux modded head...


    8UVledMMmod3

    The UV will make any translucent material glow in the dark...absolutely fun to play with.






    i) Streamlight TT 1x123 Xenon bulb in Minimag mod (Jun 05)

    Inspired by AW, a fellow HK flashaholic, I got this idea one day to replace the stock Minimag bulb with the Streamlight Twintask 1 Lithium Cell Xenon bulb. The mod process is very straight forward and the result is quite satisfying.

    SLTT1Cmod01

    This is how the replacement package of the Streamlight TwinTask 1 Lithium Cell Xenon bulb will look like.


    SLTT1Cmod02

    Left is the SLTT Xenon bulb (4mm width), Right is the original stock Minimag bulb (3.11mm)


    SLTT1Cmod03

    This is the only part that you will need to mod in order for this SLTT bulb to work in Minimag-drilling a bigger hole (~4.5mm) to let the new bulb fit thru. Left is back of the enlarged-hole reflector for the new Xenon bulb, right is the original stock.


    SLTT1Cmod04

    Left the SLTT 1 cell Xenon bulb in enlarged reflector, Right the original stock bulb in stock reflector


    StockvsSLTTmod

    Stock Minimag vs. Streamlight TwinTask 1 cell bulb mod, 2 ft from wall; 1/125, F2.8


    TLE5vsSLTTmod

    Terralux TLE5 vs. Streamlight TwinTask 1 cell bulb mod, 3ft to ceiling; 1/160, F2.8








    J) DownBoy 750 Lux V VXOS Sammie
    (posted Nov, 05)
    Difficulty: 2/4-3/4





    MMDB750LuxV00

    For the longest time, I wanted a 5W Minimag which will yield a wall of light when lit. And thank you to the resourcefulness of fellow CPFers, this mod is no longer a 'want' but actually a fun modding (and playing) experience.

    In this mod, we will be using 2 protected Li-ion AAs to power a Downboy 750 sammie with a VX0S lux V on top. The process is very similar to ‘Making Sandwich Shoppe Sandwich’ but I have added in an extra ‘tab’ of copper and a metal reflector to manage the heat better. The result is a satisfying ‘wall of light’ effect, and the heat is somewhat marginally manageable. However, there will be a little donut hole in the middle of the beam, but it is not too noticeable if you use it in real life.

    If you are shooting for an all-out Lux V Minimag mod, then this mod could be quite suitable for that cause. And if you are looking for a more ‘solid’ tool to use, then I would suggest to use a DB500 board since 500ma will probably yield much less heat and the output will still be very useful nonetheless(see later in the section). The mod had been built for a few months(back in Aug 05), and while I had been using it from time to time, everything seems to be quite ok so far.

    Ok, without further ado, here we go:



    MMDB750LuxV01

    MMDB750LuxV02
    This is the copper ‘tab’ heatsink I put on top of the DB Sammie. The reason is to give extra material to rid the heat of the Sammie. Together with the metal reflector(McR20), they will be pivotal to the heat management.

    The width I use for the tab is 9.40mm(in diameter), and it is 2.70mm thick. And before making one, I would strong recommend you to check out the width tolerance on the Sammie contact board, between the positive and negative holes. Your tab should not completely cover those two holes, orelse it will not be possible to connect the lux +/- to the board Led+ or Led- later on. And as for the height, if the tab is too long, then the bezel head assembly of the Minimag might not have many threads left to allow it to screw all the way down onto the body.



    MMDB750LuxV03
    The modded emitter contact board on the right
    Since we will not be using the contact board in a traditional way, you could actually drill a hole via the original holes to enlarge it for the wires going thru. But be careful it is not too wide apart(just drill over the original holes will be a good distance apart) or else the wire will run into the lip of the body tube of Minimag.

    Another suggestion for the more skilled modder(or modder with the resources) is to use a copper contact plate instead of this emitter contact board to improve the heatsinking.



    MMDB750LuxV04

    MMDB750LuxV05
    This is how the copper tab looks on top of the Sammie emitter board. Notice I have made trenches at where the wires holes will go thru, to facilitate the wires to go to the lux later on.



    MMDB750LuxV06
    Soldering the Led+ and Led- wires onto the back of the board.



    MMDB750LuxV07

    MMDB750LuxV08
    After soldering the Led+, Led- and Ground wires, bent them such way that it will go thru to the emitter board with ease. Note the Led- and Ground wires are close to each other at the same side. Afterwards, test the whole setup with the 2 protected Li-ion AAs and it works!



    MMDB750LuxV11
    Keep the Led + and Led – wires straight, but do strip the Ground wire bare as it ‘exit’ the board. We will solder this bare wire later onto the top of the emitter board.



    MMDB750LuxV12
    The positive and negative wires go thru the emitter board enlarged holes. And the Ground wire is soldered onto the board surface as flat as possible. So it will not affect the turn on-off or operation of the light.



    MMDB750LuxV13
    We then epoxied the emitter board onto the DB Sammie. The beauty of this mod is that we don't have to keep a certain height between the two boards using a jig or anything. Just place a little bit of epoxy(Arctic Alumina Adhesive) over the conductor and press the emitter board onto the top of the conductor, and do make sure they are in a straight line so it will slide into the body tube of Minimag alright. At the end, fill the void between the top and bottom board with epoxy to allow better heat conductivity.



    MMDB750LuxV14
    After epoxying the copper tab onto the emitter board, soldering the Led+ and Led- wires to the lux on top of the copper tab. It is quite important that one measured carefully as where the center of the tab is and try to epoxy the lux as middle as possible. Featured in the picture is the sandwich jig made by PhotonFanatic.



    MMDB750LuxV15
    This is how it looks from the negative Led wire at the side. Notice I had filed one side of the copper tab at the edge to accommodate the Ground line solder blob on the emitter board.



    MMDB750LuxV16
    Put some solder at the positive battery contact. I found my protected Li-ion AAs are little longer than normal AAs, so I didn’t put in too much solder blob at the contact plate to make the whole Sammie thicker than necessary.



    MMDB750LuxV18
    The finished product! Hope you could follow the guide alright, and you have fun modding too!



    MMDB750LuxV19
    With the modded McR20, it looks to utilize the whole reflector quite well!



    stockvsDB750LuxV2ft.JPG
    Stock Minimag vs LuxV DB750 VX0S, 2ft from the wall



    TLE5vsDB750LuxV3ft.JPG
    TLE5 vs LuxV DB750 VX0S, 3ft from ceiling



    BBNG500TY0H12ft


    DB750LuxV12ft

    DB750 LuxV VX0S, 12 ft away. Though BBNG500 Lux III is one of my favorite sammies, the LuxV Sammie does give out a tremendous amount of light at the same distance. Notice how the side of the corridor is lit up.

    As many of you have already know, due to their construction, Lux III will give a more intense output at the spot(a little more throw than lux V given the same level of current and optics used) but Lux V will give more output of light. In short, they are different animals, so choose your's accordingly.







    K) Minimag Hotwire Incan TL3/Strion Mod
    (posted Nov, 05)
    Difficulty: 2/4-3/4



    The Story

    Basically, it was a mod first developed by our fellow CPF member Aw. And eventually, it turned into a GB that was hosted by me. In short summary, this mod turns an ordinary Minimag(peak lumens of 15 lumens) to a 120+ lumens light 'Hotwired' Minimag, utilizing a handmade(or now mass produced) ceremic based Minimag socket, higher powered bulb(such as TL3 or Strion bulb) and custom made metal reflector.

    Without sounding more and more like a self-ad, I will simply copy and paste some excript from what I have written for this Minimag Hotwire Kit.





    Original homemade ceremic based socket was a decent mod(though it is rather primitive and hardly as durable and eye pleasing as the mass produced one). (1st two pictures courtesy of Aw)


    The following is the finished mass produced version of the mod(as of Nov 05, currently on GB, getting ready for 2nd run):


    Minimag Hotwire Incan Ceremic socket, top side. This ceremic socket is made such way that it will slide into the body tube with decent clearance of the threads.

    This particular socket has survived dozens of drop test from above 6 feet directly onto marble floor, throwing as hard as I could upon a marble floor couple of times, at least 5 runtime tests from a full set of batteries until it could no longer lit and numerous twist on-off to see how well it fair. The set of picture depicts how it looks afterwards (I cleaned up the socket a little bit since there are some 'grease' from the lip of the Minimag).



    The backside of the socket
    After evaluating different alternative of bulb holder, I have decided it is probably in our best interest to adopt the original Minimag bulb holders. The two pieces are epoxied onto the socket from the top and bottom side seperately. And after multiple runtime tests, they seemed to be able to hold their places quite well.



    The socket in a Minimag body tube without the bulb.



    The bulb in the holder with the TL3 Minimag Hotwire reflector on top. All the reflectors made in this run will retain its turn on-off function, and incan reflectors should be able to withstand the heat of the bulb.



    Another picture, this time the metal reflector inside the Minimag head bezel.



    Videos

    The first three video show how the beamshot of SF P61, SF P60 and Minimag Hotwire Incan TL3 mod will look like in motion and real life. The P61 and P60 uses the same set of battery, and they measured ~2.95v each when finished shooting. The Minimag Hotwire Incan uses ~4.2v li-ion protected AAs.

    One thing I like to point out is my interpretations of these three videos--The first P61 video shown what a 120(+) lumens light will look like, and as you compared it side by side to the Hotwire TL3, you might noticed the beamshot is a little yellow on the TL3 mod. Personally, I think it might have to do with my digital camera setting and it had excessively colored the latter yellow while bring out too much white for the P61, the contrast is less in real life.

    When comparing the MMHI to the P61, the hotspot seems to be less intensed since it is using a smaller and shallower reflector afterall, but the total output is definitely comparable. And when comparing the MMHI to P60, you will see the MMHI does yield a much higher level of light, especially in the sidespill.

    Note: Highspeed connection recommended, some files are large in size (~1mb)


    SF G2Z with P61 2x123 3V panasonic pictures



    SF G2 with P60



    Minimag Hotwire Incan TL3 mod with 2 x Li-ion protected AAs



    MMHI TL3 in candlemode. This is one of the best part about Minimag, is that it could allow defocusing and candlemode. The light does flood up the whole are quite decently as you can see.



    MMHI TL3 building throw test.
    To test how far it will lit up, I stand on a 18th floor balcany of a building at night, and try to 'throw' the beam down the side of the buidling as far as I can. I think the bottom of the 'building' is actually a rooftop of another building, so technically, it is probably a 14 storey building test.







    Downboy 500 Lux V VXOS Sammie
    (posted Mar, 06)
    Difficulty: 2/4-3/4


    DB500VX0S03

    Comparison: DB500 luxV sammie on the left, RY0J MM lite sammie on the right

    If you had been following this DRG, then you will know that this is a remake of the same Lux V Sammie as mentioned earlier. Except, this time I make it with a DB500 which emits less heat and has a longer runtime(of course, the output diminish as well).

    After using/playing it with a while, I do think this is a more appropriate level of light for urban EDC purposes, especially if you do not need a lot of throw but good all around illumination.

    As compared to the Lux V DB750, you will notice the Lux V DB500 has an obvious drop of light level, though the level of light is still way plenty for day to day EDC close/mid range purpose. Now, the DB750 and DB500 are the two sammies that I have made with almost identical settings, lux, board(except current forward) and batteries—and there is the possibility that a luxeon lottery is at play here. But one thing for sure, when compared to its analogy of difference in light output of my lux III BBNG 750 vs lux III BBNG 500 mods, the difference of light output level is more pronounced in the lux V case, quite possibly just about 30-40%(as compared a 10% visual drop for the BBNG750 vs BBNG500).

    To conserve internet space (in another words, being lazy…), I will show you only the more critical pictures of this mod, and for the details of the mod, please kindly refer back to the DB 750 article.


    DB500VX0S02

    Here, we can see that for this mod, I had omitted the copper tab-sink on purpose. Turns out the heat is not as much as an issue, and without the tab, we could be using the grinded McR20 with ease and without worrying there are not enough threads left to secure the head bezel(due to the tallness of McR20 and the added height of copper tab-sink). Basically, everything else is exactly the same.


    DB500VX0S01

    Now, if we take a closer look at the two contacts of the lux. Unlike how we will do it with other board, you will notice we will use the wires to connect between the board and the lux, since the ground(-ve) contact to the board is not the same as the lux –ve contact, it is connected to another wire directly to the board.

    BeamshotDB750vsDB500

    This shown the two lux V VX0S DB750 and DB500 mods side by side, notice the DB500 is dimmer than the DB750.

    BeamshotLuxVVX0SDB500vsLuxIIITY0HBBNG500

    When compared to a lux III light, obviously the lux V does not have an intense spot as the lux III, because it has a larger pad than lux III. However, if you look at the overall output level of light, Lux V does do better than the Lux III.

    BeamshotLuxVVX0SDB500vsNewbeam

    The camera must have done some tricks to this picture, but the DB500 lux V sammie definitely blows the TLE5 out of the water...

    BeamshotLuxVVX0SDB500vsStock








    SMJ 5mm led mod
    (posted Mar 06)
    Difficulty ¼-2/4 (for the drop-in)



    SMJcloseupConfig4McR20

    What? What? What? As the led tech advance faster than I can say 'dope!', output of many newly marketed 5mm leds has constantly put me in awe...

    The Super MJ 5mm led were introduced by Lambda/MJ early in 2006. Basically this mod is about using a higher powered 5mm led in place of a stock Minimag bulb along with a modded reflector(or any drop-in luxeon reflector that for Minimag).

    If you have experienced the MJ leds in the past, and were impressed by what a single 5mm led can do, then you are definitely onto a real treat with the new SMJ.

    Personally, the new SMJ seems to have increased in brightness almost 50% to my naked eyes, and the tint color is much cooler than it used to be(which the original MJ could be bright, but might be just a slightly bit too warm/yellow if you have 'cooler/blue-ish' taste). Definitely a hands-down winner on runtime (which according to Lambda, it takes 35 hours until it reaches 50% with 2 L91 li-ion 1.5v batteries. ) while giving decently bright output(for a single 5mm).

    The installation of this little wonder could be found on our fellow CPF member Lambda’s homepage, and in short, one will need to trimmed down 5mm legs to just about the same as the stock bulb, then slowly insert those legs into the lamp socket assembly.

    NOTE: if you were planning to use this SMJ with any McR series or luxeon based reflector, I do suggest to keep the legs a bit shorter than the suggested length on Lambda’s page(since the focal point of those reflectors are usually at the very bottom of the reflector and having long legs might mean you will have to unscrew the bezel much further to get the 5mm in focus) See the picture at the very top of this essay, and that is how short I cut the legs of my SMJ used with a McR20.

    Be extra careful not to bend those legs, or else it will be really hard to get it focused well again.

    As for the reflector, the ‘kit’ will probably come with a modded parabolic reflector which serves it’s purpose well. But one could use any other modded reflector for luxeon or luxeon-based drop-in reflector to achieve a better performance(such as McR18, MDR, etc)

    The following pictures will probably tell the story better than my words:

    StockvsSMJmcr20


    TLE5vsSMJmcr20

    The true value of the SMJ led really shows here--a single 5mm led which has a really, really long runtime might not be a direct comparison to the side-emitter of TLE5, but sure as hell it did an excellent job...

    MJvsSMJ

    The old MJ led on the left, and SMJ on the right. The new SMJ is giving more output while whiter in tint.







    DJPark’s POP Sammie
    (posted Mar 06)
    Difficulty 1/4 (for the drop-in)


    DJsammie02


    This is one Sammie that I have long wanted to write about, and this review is truly long overdued. IIRC, this whole new generation of Sammie of Djpark/Cgpeanuts’ all started as a CPF contest entry for an AAA light, and eventually develop into a whole new generation of multi-function small sized flashlight.

    This particular board in the Sammie is similar to‘buck’ circuit, and so as long the Vin is larger than Vf, the Sammie will work. And mostly it is catered to use with a single li-ion rechargeable cell as the power source, but user could try running it with the a single 123 or 2AA batteries, given the user adopt the use of a low Vf lux III(though the output will be dramatically lower than those used with li-ion rechargables)

    The drop in process of this Sammie is no different from the previous article ‘installing sandwich shoppe sammie' and like another Sammie, it could be used along with all various kind of opticalwares or installed in other light(such as Jil, Groovy) with a single rechargeable R`123.

    The true beauty of the DJpark's Sammie is how it is being operated—namely by number of consecutive times a user powering on-and-off (either by how many times a user twisting the bezel to power on or partially depressing a clickie), user can signal the electronics onboard to access another level of light output or function of the light(such as giving SOS or flashing).


    Without babbling on and on, I will let the video do the justice:

    DjSammie.mpg


    Here is a short menu of how the light/board function:

    1st ON = default level (last used, low or high)
    2nd ON = alternate level
    3rd ON = low level brightness selection
    4th ON = strobe mode
    5th ON = sos mode

    The following are the beamshots of the DJ/cgpeanut’s Sammie:

    StockvsDJpophightest


    StockvsDJpoplowest

    In this beamshot, the output of the DJ’s Sammie is adjusted to the lowest level which is barely noticeable if user's eyes are not dark adjusted. Though I never had done any runtime test on this, I am sure the runtime could last for dozens of hours at this really low setting.

    TLE5vsDJpopHighest


    TLE5vsDJpoplowest

    Yes, it could drop really low and almost invisible in this picture...

    McluxIIIPDlowvsDJpoplowest








    o) New Terralux TLE5
    (after market product, easiest to do)
    (posted April 06)
    Difficulty 1/4 (for the drop-in)


    TLE5new01

    If you have read this Dummy Reference sometime last year, then you would probably have remembered I have modded my old/original Terralux TLE5 from a side emitter to a high dome Lux III.

    TLE5new02

    Coincidentally, Terralux finally put out a newer upgraded model of their original TLE5 which will feature a high dome Lux. As seen in the picture above.

    TLE5new03

    Original TLE5(left) vs New TLE5(right)
    I have read somewhere that Terralux might have improved and released the new TLE5 with new reflector. And if you look at the next set of pictures, one could tell there is some difference between the old and new reflectors.

    TLE5new04

    (from the left): self-modded original TLE5 vs Original TLE5 vs New TLE5
    Since there are instructions on how to install this mod, and it is virtually the same as last TLE5, I will skip the writing and do more comparison--the left most reflector is what I have modded for the original TLE5 reflector(with larger opening) and I have found that with this larger opening(which let the lux rise up higher in the reflector), it does give a more intense hotspot when compared with the original middle reflector.

    The right most reflector is what I believe the new reflector come with the new TLE5. As one could tell, there are higher fins at the bottom of the reflector(which might help to turn off the light) and the opening is a bit larger than the old...however, the end result is still little short of optimal when compared to self-modded version.

    TLE5new05

    This picture shown the new TLE5 installed in a minimag. The installation was really easy, however, I was not happy with how the luxeon is sitting in the very middle of the reflector, regardless how I try my best effort to try to center it. The end result was a hotspot that is tilted to the side...a little bit disheartening to a perfectionist flashaholic, but hopefully it was just my bad luck.

    NewTLE5vsOldTLE5

    As said above, the new TLE5 gives a little brighter hotspot but due to its reflector mis-alignment, the output is marginally better than the old TLE5.

    NewTLE5vsOldTLE5modded

    The self-modded TLE5 on the right has a more centered hotspot, thus giving an impression that it is brighter. My guess is if the NewTLE5 is centered correctly, their output might be around the same. But what I what I used was a TV1J(really yellowish color that I don't like), and I am really glad that the tint that new TLE5 has is rather white in comparison.

    TLE5newVsStock

    Anyhow, the new TLE5 is still a good improvement over the stock.







    o) NiteIze Led Upgrade Combo
    (after market product, easiest to do)
    (posted April 06)
    Difficulty 1/4 (for the drop-in)


    NiteIzeLedUpgrade

    This led upgrade combo consists of a clickie switch and a 3 5mm leds drop-in replacement for a minimag. Like other aftermarket products, the installation is rather simple and the process is reversible.


    NiteIzeLedUpgrade1

    NiteIzeClickieVsStock

    The NiteIze led replacement installed in a minimag, and the lower picture shown the black clickie that comes with the combo. Athough the workmanship for both the drop-in and the clickie might not be top-notched(some mis-alignmend for leds and really soft clickie which might lead to accidental turn-ons), this combo is actually quite good for its value.

    The clickie is very soft to switch it on/off and does not offer a very solid 'clicking' feel to it and it is hard to tell by the click that whether the light is on or not. Certainly it is a very silent clickie, but the drawback is easy accidental switching-on in pocket or shealth. From the pictures shown by other memebers, I think it is essentially the same as the RAM clickie switch that was offered a long while ago.


    NiteIzeLedVsNewbeam

    One the left column are the parts for the NiteIze led upgrade combo and the right column are the parts for NewBeam Opalec. Personally, I still like the Opalec better(though it is indeed much more expensive), since it has a low battery indicator, great perfect regulation and the construction is more rugged.

    The NiteIze combo does offer an extra clickie switch with a lower price tag. And I do like the sliver-colored spacer which potentially might improve the input slightly bit.


    NiteIzevsNewbeam

    Compared to the Newbeam Opalec on the right, the NiteIze on the left offers a whiter output which I do like a lot, yet the opalec gives a rounder symmetric hotspot(better leds alignment)


    NiteIzevsTLE5

    NiteIze led upgrade vs original TLE5


    NiteIzevsStock

    NiteIze led upgrade vs stock







    Last edited by AuroraLite; 05-09-2006 at 03:55 AM.

  5. #5
    Flashaholic* AuroraLite's Avatar
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    Default Re: Dummy Reference Guide to Minimag Modding(many pix)

    Section 4 Various optics for Minimag Mod, runtime shots and Optics modding


    In ‘Various optics for Minimag Mod’, we will talk about some of the useable optics that could go in a (modded) Minimag. As mentioned earlier, batteries and electronics are only half of the story...different kind of optics will give different kind of beam characteristics, and deciding the right kind of optics will give you the light that you want.

    'Optics beamshots' will feature the same/very similar light with identical output performance to demostrate how the optics do in comparison.

    'Optics modding' will talk about...well...err...optics modding.

    'Runtime beam shots' is a dummy way to look at different lights outputs over time. Basically, instead of just looking at a runtime chart, beamshots of various lights with different ‘light engines’ were taken periodically and being observed. And by looking at those ‘output’ snap shots, one could see how well is the light regulated, its regulation time if any and its actual output in real life.



    Various Optics of Minimag

    Featured:
    17 IMS reflector (SO17XA)
    20 IMS reflector (SO20XA)
    Modded Minimag stock reflectors
    -Self modded
    -DarkZero Smooth
    -DarkZero Splutter
    Etendue metal reflectors
    -original
    -self-polished original
    -upgraded (30 Apr 05)
    McR 18
    Mcflood
    NX05
    Fraen LP
    3/4” Acrylic ball
    Carclo 6 degree Optic
    Carclo 15 degree Optic
    Carclo 25 degree Optic
    Carclo Fiber Coupling Optic



    IMS 17

    17IMS01

    17IMS02

    This reflector had been popularly used by modders for making Minimag mods with Luxeon leds. It is easy to mod (takes only seconds to do) and the result is quite satisfying. For how to install this reflector, please read the sandwich installing section.


    IMS 20 reflector (SO20XA)

    IMS20modvsIMS20

    Left: Modded IMS 20 reflector
    Right: original IMS 20 reflector

    The original IMS 20 (SO20XA) is a bit large to fit in the head assembly of Minimag mod, but with some work, it is possible to fit it into the Minimag head assembly. For more, please read the reflector modding subsection below.


    Modded Minimag Stock Reflector

    Modstockref01

    From upper left, clockwise: self-modded stock reflector, Darkzero modded stock reflector smooth, Darkzero modded stock reflector splutter, original stock reflector


    Modstockref02

    Modstockref03

    Probably giving one of the brightest, if not the brightest, hot spot, the Minimag stock reflector has a great balance of having one of the brightest hotspot while having a very useful spill. Here are some pictures of my self-modded stock reflector comparing to Darkzero’s. Darkzero did a marvelous job on making the lux opening smooth and even, and as he suggested on his post, his reflectors might need a kroll switch for on/off function.(notice it has a larger lux opening than mine). I have decided to keep the twist on/off function, that’s why my own humble stock reflector mod has a smaller lux opening. For more details about making the Minimag stock reflector mod, please read on…


    Modstockref04

    Modstockref05

    Top: My self modded stock reflector sitting on the lux black casing.
    Bottom: Darkzero’s lux opening is much larger, and the black casing of the lux will go thru the hole. But notice how even and smooth is the yellow reflection from the lux center. And it will be in perfect focus once the reflector is retracted up above the lux.


    Etendue Metal reflector(pre-Apr,05 and upgraded)

    EtendueMetalRef01

    From Upper left, clockwise: original metal reflector, self-polished original metal reflector, upgraded metal reflector (after 30 Apr 05), and the 17 IMS.
    From the reflection of the ceiling lights, you could tell how well each reflector is ‘reflecting’

    EtendueMetalRef02

    From left to right: self-polished, original, upgraded (after 30 Apr 05)

    EtendueMetalRef03

    Side view of original (left) vs. upgraded (right)

    Etendue had been selling a great keychain light called Jil 1.3w. And it happens that the metal reflector is quite similar to the 17 IMS. And I went ahead and put them in my minimag mods. The original stock reflector does give somewhat a softer hotspot and more ‘floody’ light than a 17 IMS. After polishing one of the originals, the result yields a brighter hotspot and is a little less ‘floody’. As a comparison, the upgraded has the smoothest finish of those three featured and has the tightest hotspot of those three.


    McR18


    From left to right,
    IMS 17 with trimmed legs, McR18, modded McR20

    McGizmo did it again! This time, the McR18 is a direct drop-in metal reflector for the Minimag AA light.


    Personally, I still like the modded McR20 reflector the best, since it is probably the largest metal McR reflector that could fit into the Minimag head.
    But for a direct drop-in reflector, it is indeed a much better choice than the old IMS17. In fact, with posterized pictures, I think it is actucally somewhat comparable to the IMS20!


    Mcflood

    Metalref01

    Clockwise, from upper left: Etendue polished, Etendue Smooth, Mcflood, IMS 17

    IIRC, it was an invention of McGizmo for one of his lights. Mcflood is a great metal flood reflector of great quality. How I wish he would make some McSmooth and that will make my day!


    NX05

    NX05

    A popularly used optics for giving a tight hotspot with minimum spill, NX05 works great with Lux III HD. The only issue about using it is sometimes it might be difficult to get the lux to be centered in the optic. It has a flat surface at the top.


    Fraen LP

    Fraen LP

    As compared to NX05 and 3/4” acrylic ball, Fraen LP gives a much larger hotspot, and hardly much spill. The larger hotspot is uniformly bright across, and the beam will become more ‘floody’ as it is projected in a much longer distance (15ft+). If you need a bright ‘floodish’ beam in close-mid range, this is the optic for you. Fraen LP has a concave surface at top.


    3/4” Acrylic Ball

    Acrulicball3quarter01

    Believe it or not, this acrylic ball does give the tightest spot light with virtually no spill whatsoever. It is so tight in close distance; that it might even hurt to look straight at the spot.

    Acrulicball3quarter02


    Installed onto the Minimag, the only disadvantages of this odd ball are that it might be easily scratched since it is exposed and it will pressure directly onto the lux if you continue to use the twist on/off function.

    Carclo 6, 15 and 25 degrees Optics

    Carclo6

    Carclo 6 degrees Optics
    Carclo 6 degrees is a very nice optic to work with. The beamshot has a nice hotspot and a smooth transition from the hotspot to the corona, at the same time it is very easy to center the optics over the high domed Lux III(unlike NX05). It too has a flat surface at the top.

    Carclo15n25

    Left: Carclo 15 degrees optics Right: Carclo 25 degrees optics
    Carclo 15 and 25, as the name have suggested, do give wider beam than it's 6 degrees relative. Different from the flood reflectors, the flood light these two optics give are evenly spread out(reflector flood light sometimes still have a spot in the middle, depending on how smooth of the finish). Both optics have grooves/rings at the top, and almost identical in looking.


    Carclo Fiber Coupling Optics


    This ought to be one of the strangest optics I have ever seen. If one check out the beamshot, it gave a very squarish intense spot in the middle, then a dark donut between the spot and the corona. The surface of the optics is convexed, so no lens can be fitted over this optic. And the normal twist on-off function might not work properly with this optic since it does not sit deep enough in the head assembly.



    Optics beam shots

    This subsection will show groups of beam shots, using a specified Minimag mod with the same/almost the same settings. The purpose is to see/compare various optics under the same/similar settings.


    For the following set:

    BBNG 500 Lux III TY0H, using 2 x Alkaline ~1.4-1.5v
    UCL lens
    Camera: Optio 550 1/20 F2.8 ISO 400
    Distance: ~6ft
    Aiming at Santa Claus


    Roomlighting

    How the setting will look under the normal room lighted condition

    Backlighting

    The same setting with very, very minor ambient light; before any beamshots.


    BBNG500IMS17focused

    IMS 17 reflector - focused

    BBNG500IMS17defocused

    IMS 17 reflector de-focused

    BBNG500IMS20focus

    IMS 20 reflector - focused

    BBNG500IMS20defocus

    IMS 20 reflectorde-focused


    BBNG500ModstockRefFocus

    Self modded Minimag stock reflector - focused

    BBNG500ModstockRefdefocus

    Self modded Minimag stock reflector de-focused


    BBNG500DarkzeroSmooth

    DarkZero modded stock reflector 'smooth' focused

    BBNG500Darkzerosplutter

    DarkZero modded Minimag stock reflector 'Splutter'


    BBNG500EtendueRefOrg

    Etendue original metal reflector (before Apr 30, 2005)

    BBNG500EtendueRefOrgPol

    Etendue Metal reflector original self-polished

    BBNG500EtendueRefUp

    Etendue Metal reflector upgraded

    Metal reflectors offered by Etendue, the original polished reflector has a slightly more intense hotspot than the original metal reflector(ordered before April 30, 2005). The upgraded reflector has the tightest spot of these three featured.

    BBNG500Mcflood

    Mcflood

    BBNG500NX05

    NX05

    BBNG500FraenLP

    Fraen LP

    BBNG500Acrylicball

    3/4" Arcrylic Ball
    In this group, the 3/4” arcrylic ball does give the tightest spot light with virtually no spill.

    NG500TY0HCarclo6

    BBNG500 TY0H with Carclo 6 degree optics
    It seems to me that the Carclo 6 degree, unlike previous optics, has a 'gradual' transition from hotspot to corona.

    NG500TY0HCarclo15

    BBNG500 TY0H with Carclo 15 degree optics

    NG500TY0HCarclo25

    BBNG500 TY0H with Carclo 25 degree optics
    Optics wise, Carclo 25 degree seems to give the one of the most even flooded beam I have seen so far.

    NG500TY0HCarcloFiberCouplingOptic

    BBNG500 TY0H with Carclo Fiber Coupling Optic
    Very interesting optic, as one can see in the picture, this Fiber Coupling optic gives a 'dark donut' between the hotspot and the corona. In close distance, the hotspot appears to be squarish.


    Unrelated, but other lights in the same camera setting and distance:

    Opalec


    TerraluxTLE5TV1Jmod

    Terralux TLE5

    5ledmod

    5 led Minimag mod

    26k5ledmod

    5 26k led Minimag mod



    Optics Modding

    Modding Minimag Stock Reflector for Luxeon (High Dome)

    In terms of Optical wares for the Minimag mod, the modded stock Minimag reflector does give one of the best focused and most useful beams.

    This subsection will detail how to mod a Minimag stock reflector to work with a drop in module (or Sandwich Shoppe Sandwiches) with a high domed lux III.


    Modstockref001

    Modstockref002


    First we measure the width of the dome (not the black plastic casing, but the transparent part); and as a comparison, the width of 17 IMS reflector opening. That shall give you some idea how big a reflector opening for our modded reflector.


    Using various size of the drill bits, slowly increasing the bit size and drill a wider opening on the reflector. Put the drilling direction on REVERSE, so the reflector will not go up the drill bits. And turn the direction of drilling back to normal when you are very close to drilling thru the hole. Keep the drill as perpendicular as possible. And stop at drill bit size of 5.3 or similar (Do NOT get too close to the actual size of the lux, you shall see why later).


    Modstockref003

    Now we will start sanding down the reflector to a larger openings (6.95mm) while maintaining a proper height (9.50mm). Use mildly coarse sandpaper and progress to use very fine sanding paper. Patient is definitely a virtue here. Constantly measure and check it with the luxeon. NEVER let the opening becomes too large to and allow the black casing of the Lux falls thru or the height of the reflector becomes too short.

    Caution: Besides maintaining the height and opening width, NEVER use a dremel to sand down the reflector (especially at the last stage) simply because the high heat generated will melt the opening of the reflector.


    Modstockref004

    Modstockref005

    Modstockref006

    After a while, you might see some debris forming around the opening of the reflector. Do NOT attempt to remove it too soon, as long as the opening and height of the reflector are within range.


    Modstockref007

    Modstockref008

    Modstockref009

    Modstockref010

    The debris will later form a ‘ring’ around the opening, now you could use a tweezers to carefully pick out the ‘ring’ of debris from the back of the reflector. Check to see whether the lux is in focus in the reflector…one major issue about modding the stock reflector is to maintain the proper height of the reflector, if the opening is too large which the lux with the black casing fall thru; then you might never be able to turn off the light without a kroll switch. Modstockref010 shown where I stop sanding, there is still approximately 1mm or less all around the opening to ‘sit’ on the black casing at this point.


    Failrefmod

    I believe this is my very first stock reflector mod attempt, as you can tell, both openings of the reflector had melted miserably. That is the reason why we should use the sandpaper towards the second half of our process. And there is NO need to sand/dremel the big opening end of the reflector. The perfect original diameter of the big opening will keep the modded stock reflector centered in the middle.


    Modstockref011

    Comparison between modded stock reflector to 17 IMS

    Modstockref012

    Another comparison shot, notice the modded stock reflector has a tighter and brighter hotspot



    Modding 20 IMS reflector


    The original 20 IMS is a little large to fit into the Minimag head, but with a little work, it is do-able. First, cut off all the ‘fins’ around the reflector. Then dremel/sand around the outside of the upper half of the reflector (the half close to the larger opening). The process might take awhile (30min-1 hour) and it is simply repeated fit-and-sand action. Keep the sanding even around the reflector and do NOT over sanding. You could shorten the reflector just for a little bit (maybe 1mm or so), but do NOT shorten it too much which will make the mod losing its charm. The result is a tighter beam than 17 IMS in a Minimag, similar to modded stock reflector.



    Modding the McR20


    McR20mod
    I always under the impression that if it is an orange peel reflector, then the hotspot is blurred to the side spill and it might not be able to throw as much as the normal SMO(smooth mirror) reflector. The McR20 is the exception to this belief.

    It is truly one well designed reflector that gives one of the most intense hotspot as compared to other reflector, at the same time, offering one of the brightest and useful side spill of all Minimag reflectors I have seen so far. One might not be used to the smooth transition from hotspot to side spill, and it might take sometime to get used to. But for sure it is a job well done by McGizmo and it really deserves a round of applause.


    The process, errrr, is rather easy. All one has to do is to dremel/file away all the ‘steps’ of extra material from the side of the reflector (as shown on the left of the picture). The Al material is surprisingly soft and the whole job will only take about 15-20 minutes, and unlike modding an IMS20 reflector, you don't need to worry about melting the reflector as much. At the end, the modded reflector will fit into the Minimag rather well like it is meant for it.

    Note: The end product might leave a very tiny gap between the bezel ring and the bezel (since it is too top to fit into the head, but it is <1mm and it is hardly noticeable). But you could also file the large opening of the reflector to make it shorter for a perfect fit(Personally, I won't recommended it since it will affect the performance of the reflector and wasting its awesome focusing power)





    Runtime Beamshots

    Each/each group of runtime beamshots will has same/very similar optics used in the light. I am a lousy photographer and the color of the tint might be a little off due to the camera. But the light output should be somewhat accurate. Sometimes a light will flicker to try to maintain in regulation (on its way falling out of regulation), and that is the reason why you might see a light dimmed in one shot, and brighter in the next.


    Minimag Mod Runtime beamshots01


    Camera: Optio 550, 1/100 F2.8 ISO400
    8 ft from ceiling to the lights,
    10-11 minutes between each shot
    All used Energizer 2300mah batteries, ~1.28 each

    Pattern:

    O O O
    O O

    MM Lite RY0J Lambda MPIII TY0H MM+ TX0J
    BBNG700 TW0J BBNG500 TY0H













    Section 5 Tailcap and other mod ideas


    Kroll switch, Kroll improvement and Kroll 2 staged mod

    [img]/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/grin.gif[/img] Kroll swtich, the good, the bad and the ugly [img]/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/grin.gif[/img]

    Kroll01

    It is a 'clickie' switch that one could be used for Minimag or Miniminimag body. The light will be momentarily turned on when the rubber button depressed, and it will be turned on when the button depressed fully and latched on (when you hear a 'click'). The light will be turned off when you depress the button fully again.

    Personally, I have a love-hate relationship with the current kroll switch design. And here are the reasons why:

    Advantage:
    -User can turn the light on and off without turn the bezel
    -Momentary turned on the light. User simply depress the kroll half way for a momentarily use.
    -It still allow candle mode when needed
    -Extra safety to prevent accidental turned on. If user turn off the light by the bezel and 'clicked' the kroll into 'off' position, then the user will need to click the kroll into 'on' position and turn the bezel to 'on' position to get the light turned back on. It is great if you need extra precaution for accidental turned on in holster or pocket.

    Disadvantage:
    -Really high resistance. It is so awful that I could tell the difference of output level when compared to a normal stock tailcap. Visually, I would experience a 20-40% drop of output depending on my luck. Once in a while, I could experience very different levels of output when I press the button all the way down before it is latched 'on' vs. the button is latched/clicked on.

    -Rubber boot on the kroll is not the best thing on earth. After usage, this rubber boot might be stretched out of shape and user will have a hard time to fit the rubber into the body. Also, appearance of the rubber might not look its best when you have used it for a while.
    -The Minimag might loss its water resistance/waterproofness. Simple because the rubber boot might not fit into the body tube perfectly.

    I guess, in the end, it is up to each individual user to decide what's best. For now, it is one of the only viable options for 'clickie' and the drawbacks might just be ‘necessary evils' if you must have that 'clickie' function.


    Kroll Improvement mod

    stockspringinkroll

    This is one very, very simple mod to make the kroll just a tiny bit better in terms of less resistance. What one will need to do is to replace the Kroll battery spring with a normal stock tailcap spring. Believe it or not, I can 'see' a very minor difference in terms of light output improvement after this. And the kroll is easier to be screwed onto the body, since the spring is now shorter and softer.

    Also, another good way to improve the kroll switch consistency(meaning less flickering or even uneven output after each click) is to pull out the springs and strenched them out a little bit. Turns out the switch become a heck lot more consistant afterwards.


    Kroll 2 stages switch

    This is a kroll switch mod for users who would like to have a 2 stage kroll switch. Inspired by our fellow CPF member, Gadget_lover, who had mentioned in one of the posts that a 2 stage switch was possible for kroll--and this is my dummy solution to his inspiration [img]/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/smile.gif[/img] This switch will lose it's function to switch off the light, but will work as a 'click-high, click-low' switch.


    Kroll2stage01

    There are basically 3 main springs and 1 smaller spring in a kroll switch. For the ease of description, I will call those 3 main springs as the battery contact spring, the side spring(the spring that will be touching the flashlight body tube), and the connection spring(a spring that will conduct electricity between the battery and body spring, it is embedded in the kroll switch)

    Pull the rubber boot off the Kroll. Then insert a flathead screw driver into the side spring cavity, and wedge open the kroll switch CAREFULLY and SLOWLY. Be sure you doing this in an area that is well lit and have a surface to 'catch' all the parts if they spring out.

    The picture depicts all the parts in a kroll. The battery spring at the far right, connection and side spring at the middle and the small spring at the far left.


    Kroll2stage02

    Solder two pieces of wires, both no less than 1 inches long, onto the both end of a SMD resistor. Put on a heat shrink wrap over the resistor and wire to prevent shorting. Then I have used a 2.7ohm resistor for a BBNG 500 sammie and have found that the reduced light output remain fair bright (but a lot more comfortable to work with close range) at pitch dark and acceptable when there is ambient light around.


    Kroll2stage03

    Solder one end of a short wire (1 cm or 0.3 inches) onto the battery spring of Kroll switch. The resistor and the short wire will be nested under the battery spring, and insert the other end of the wire via the opening of the 'connection spring' and let it go thru the spring via the middle of the spring.

    Note: it is quite important that the wire is going thru the middle, because any other wise might affect the connection spring working properly.


    Kroll2stage04

    Next we will solder the other end of the wire onto the side spring. Now you'd probably have some idea how this switch will work. Even though the kroll is in normal 'off' position, since now you have a resistor-ed wire connected between the side spring and battery spring, the light will give a 'low' output; and when the kroll goes into normal 'on' position, the electricity will go via a path that has least resistance and the light will give the high output at this point.


    Kroll2stage05

    Put the two halves of the kroll switch back together, and rubber boot back on top-now you have a high-low Kroll switch!


    TLE5vsBBNG500Kroll2pt7Low

    Terralux TLE5 vs. BBNG500 and Kroll with 2.7 ohm on 'Low'


    TLE5vsBBNG500Kroll2pt7High

    Terralux TLE5 vs. BBNG500 Kroll with 2.7 ohm on 'High'


    BBNG500Kroll2pt7SoloLow

    BBNG500 and Kroll with 2.7 ohm on 'Low'


    BBNG500Kroll2pt7SoloHigh

    BBNG500 and Kroll with 2.7 ohm on 'High'


    BBNG500stockTailcap

    BBNG500 with normal tailcap




    Minimag 2 stages stock tailcap and Prototypes

    After experimenting with two different prototypes, I have finally come up with this silly design of mine. It is by no mean anything fancy or great, but a very solid, KISS solution to achieve the goal of having 2 stages option with a stock Minimag tailcap.

    MM2stageProto1


    MM2stageProto2

    Originally, I tried to come up with a design where a user could choose the high/low option simply by unscrewing/screwing the tailcap tight. The pressure switch at the bottom of the tailcap hollow will be activated/deactivated when the tailcap was being tighten/loosen. But after much test and trial, I realized that were many issues that were in play here: each sammie might come with different heights(due to the solder bulb/original sammie height) and different lengths of batteries, not to mention, the retaining rubber o-ring might interfere with the proper functioning of the intended application. After using/testing those prototypes for a while, I have decided to go for a more KISS solution.

    And that’s how I arrived with my 'slide switch' in a Minimag stock tailcap design. A user can now access the tailcap to change the normal (high)/low setting when needed, and when fully tightened, the tailcap will retain its original outlook and water resistance. It might not be as convenient as those prototypes design, but after few weeks of trail, it has proven to be a robust solution and has now become a permanent part of my EDC Minimag.

    With this mod, the process is completely reversible and one could simply replace the modded 'guts' with the original tailcap spring and everything will be back to normal.


    MM2stageTailA01


    Here are the components for making a simple Minimag stock tailcap mod with 2 stage switching:

    1 switch that could fit in the tailcap hollow
    1 SMD resistor at low value
    1 AA battery holder spring
    1 soft rubber spacer that could fit into the tailcap hollow
    1 firm rubber spacer that has the diameter with the stock spring
    Some copper sheet that is thinner than 1mm (I use 0.3mm)
    Some electrical tape


    MM2stageTailA02

    The switch that I have used for this mod has the dimension of 8.44mm (length) x 3.68mm (height)(height from bottom to top of slide switch; 5.49mm) x 3.42mm (width), and the whole switch will fit into the Minimag stock tailcap with much room to move around vertically and horizontally.


    MM2stageTailA03

    Bend two of the legs to the back of the switch, and solder the SMD resistor onto the bend legs. (Depending how low you would like the output to be, I personally think the 2.7 ohm still gives very useful light in pitch dark and ok output under ambient light, the output will be a little less than my Lux I RYOJ MM lite's output) Once this is done, you could clip away all the remaining legs of the switch.


    MM2stageTailA04

    Solder the wires onto the switch or SMD resistor. One of the wires will be connected to the tailcap, and the other wire to the spring. Do allow a much longer length for the tailcap wire (2 inches or more), and use really thin insulated wires for the best result.


    MM2stageTailA07

    Afterwards, mask electrical tape around the switch except the side for sliding switch. This is to prevent accidental shorting.


    MM2stageTailA08

    Wiggle the spring from the battery holder into the plastic elastic spacer. It is ok to use non-elastic spacer, or just any kind of plastic small pieces that will fit-but for long term use, the plastic elastic spacer will last longer. The spring should very securely hold by the spacer, and shall not move up and down when the spring is compressed.


    MM2stageTailA09

    Then solder one of the wires to the top of the battery spring.


    MM2stageTailA10

    For the contact to the tailcap, we will use some really thin copper sheet and wrap it around an elastic small rubber spacer. This whole thing will sit securely at the very bottom of the hollow inside the tailcap, and shall be able to be compressed a little when there is enough pressure.


    MM2stageTailA11

    Solder the other, longer wire onto the contact metal. Then insert this whole into the tailcap.


    MM2stageTailA12

    The 2 stage Minimag stock tailcap.


    MM2stageTailA13

    MM2StageTailA14



    TLEvsBBNG5001pt8ohmlow



    TLEvsBBNG5002pt7ohmlow



    TLEvsBBNG5002pt7ohmhigh



    BBNG5001pt8ohmSoloLow



    BBNG5002pt7ohmSoloLow



    BBNG5002pt7ohmSoloHigh



    BBNG500stockTailcap





    Terralux Tailcap Switch TCS-1

    TerraluxTCS1

    For the longest time, I had been wishing for a 'perfect' clickie. And this call has finally been partially asked by Terralux with their TCS-1.

    In the following, I will talk about what I like or room to improve for this particular clickie:


    TCS1vsStock

    What I like about the TCS-1:
    1) Decent clickie feel, easy to operate
    2) Like any clickie, offers extra safety to the light in case of accidental switch-on
    3) metal threaded
    4) Decent rubber cap that will not scratched out of shape(as compared to Kroll)
    5) lanyard hole
    6) Still allow the light to go into candle mode if you use a really thin lanyard/small lanyard ring


    What I dislike/room for improvement for TCS-1:
    1) Reverse clickie, no momentary function of the light
    2) Like any clickie, the rubber cap inhabits the light to stand on its tail.
    3) lanyard hole is too small
    4) Spring does not seem to be very durable/robust
    5) The red tailcap rubber might not stand up for very long term wear-n-torn


    TCS1VSstock

    ClickesStock

    But all in all, still a great tailcap as an alternative to those perfer clickie over the stock tailcap. I love clickie especially it offers the extra safety to prevent accidental power-on for the light--

    A user simply can switch the light off by twisting the bezel first, then click-off again at the tail. Now the use has to click the light back on while twisting the bezel to get the light back on.

    The package comes with a replacement lens and the TCS-1.










    Section 6 Suggestions (tools)/Related links/Resources


    Tips n Tricks for Minimag (mod)

    -If the Minimag mod has a high current drive level provided to the led, Lithium battery will provide best performance for high current drain, next is Nimh battery, and Alkaline will not do so well in terms of holding the voltage under high current drain.

    -If you are not planning to use the Minimag mod for a long, long time (only monthly or less), it might be a good idea to leave the batteries out of the body (except Lithium batteries). Nimh will lose its capacity fastest, Alkaline is better and Lithium batteries will hold its charge for the longest time.

    -Keep the threads and o-ring of the switch clean and well lubed, with conductive gel for threads, it might even further improve the output performance.

    -If the collection of your Sammie is growing, it is probably a good practice to write down the Sammie’s particulars somewhere on the Sammie itself and attach a small tag with each Minimag to remind yourself which is installed in which color body.

    -The plastic black bezel in accessory pack will help prevent the light being turned on when in a case or preventing the light rolling off the table.

    -For an impromptu flood light, take out the head assembly and simply use the lux for flood light (candle mode). If you need a more concentrated flood, take out the front lens and reflector/optics-the reflection from the bezel will give a more concentrated flood light.

    -For more longer term flood solution, an easy method is to apply scotch tape over the lens to diffuse the beam.

    -Bring the original plastic lens/extra batteries/additional optical wares with you if you are going on a long trip.

    -If you are using Kroll switch on your Minimag (mod), you could simply replace the original Kroll battery spring with the Minimag stock tailcap spring for a possible slight improvement for output.

    -Original Minimag finishing is a Type II anodizing, which does not have a very high scratch/abrasive resistance. If your intended use for your Minimag (mod) is in a harsh environment (such as caving), I would humbly suggest to use Sliver colored minimag since lightly scratched marks will not be very visible.

    -From our fellow member Kilted(thanks for the info ), if you have purchased your Minimag with the black presentation box and have no further use for it, remove the liner and it will hold 20 CR123 batteries(with additional foam to prevent rattling)


    Some humble Suggestions:

    -Do a search on CPF about Minimag mod, and read up as much as you can before deciding what mod, drop-in and/or parts you want/need.

    -Make a list of all the necessary parts before ordering them, and double check that list, missing parts in middle of a mod is like going to toilet and discover you have no toilet paper! [img]/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/smoker5.gif[/img] [img]/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/icon15.gif[/img]

    -Find time. Mistakes are often time made when you are in a rush, think it thru and work it out mentally before executing each step will certainly save you from regret.

    -Share your story! What makes CPF so great is the sharing and learning experience.

    - [img]/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/caution.gif[/img] Never leave your tools unattended!! [img]/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/caution.gif[/img] Especially when you have kids/animals at home!


    Tools suggestion

    Toolsuggest

    Here are some tools suggestions, it is not ‘required’ but having them will make the job much easier…
    Iron, solder (I recommend those with small silver content, easier to handle), solder wick, solder flux, magnifying glass, ziplock bag (for mixing adhesive or boiling method), toothpicks (applying/mixing thermal adhesive), wire stripper, (mini) vise, pilers/wrench, nail polish, tweezers (for removing sandwich or simply solder work), reverse action tweezers (for pinching small SMD parts to board), DMM, 3V2AA battery supply



    [img]/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/smile.gif[/img] Removing Luxeon led from a Luxeon star [img]/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/smile.gif[/img]
    Borrowed from my PM6 Dummy reference guide:



    Next, de-soldiering the Lux III emitter out of its original 'star--I clamp the Lux III star by using a 'mini vise'and use a tooth pick to move the Led lead contact once the soldier is melted. Next picture shown how the LED lead contacts are cleared off the soldier and the star.




    Use two large pliers to clamp onto the star, as close to the emitter as possible (not over the LED emitter lead contact), and start bending the 'star' backward. Eventually, the emitter will just fall/pop from its star. Make sure you have tissue paper or an area to 'catch' it when it does pop.


    Depending how smooth is the back of your emitter(I think it was originally glued to the star), you could file it with some really really fine sand paper or I use a dremel here to help clean out the back of the emitter. So as long it is not really uneven, don't worry too much about it.


    [img]/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/smile.gif[/img] For bin codes info about Lux III or Lux V emitter [img]/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/smile.gif[/img]
    Bin Codes Explained from Wayne's site
    Idleprocess' Bin code chart


    [img]/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/smile.gif[/img] Thermal conductive epoxy related post [img]/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/smile.gif[/img]
    Which epoxy for potting the converter board
    Artic alumina as potting compound?
    AA + epoxy recipe help
    Making a Sandwich


    [img]/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/smile.gif[/img] About Minimag mod Optical wares modding [img]/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/smile.gif[/img]
    Can I modify a stock minimag reflector to fit a MM
    Mini-Mag reflector... with Luxeon! (pics)
    New reflector for MM?


    After market ready-to-run drop ins(in no particular order)

    Sandwich Shoppe
    Lambda Lights
    Terralux Luxeon drop-ins
    Newbeam Opalec
    NiteIze - 3 leds / switch upgrade


    Other CPF modders’ exciting ideas about Minimag mods
    (So many thoughts and talents for making the Minimag, I can never enlist them all!! )

    DJpark's POP2 circuit/sammie
    The new POP2 circuit that he is making is so amazing that it always give me goosebump!

    Viren - Minimag 6 led mod
    Similar to my 5 leds mod, I had no idea until today!

    Gadget lover - Minimag Turbo Head
    Also the maker of Kroll 2 stage switch, this 'turbo head' is awesome!

    McGizmo - 9 led mod
    Maker of Aleph system, always put me in awe to see his mods!

    McGizmo - Aleph/SF E-series head on Minimag AA body
    What did I tell you? :P Ain't that cool?

    Battery Charger - Extremely simple red LED mini mag mod?
    Simplicity at its best, this is one mod I would love to try sometime as well...

    Reefphilic - Modded MMM with 5 stages switch
    Very nice, *cough* when are we going to *cough* get it made for minimag? *cough* :P

    [img]/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/popcorn.gif[/img] Other Dummy Reference Guide [img]/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/popcorn.gif[/img]
    Dummy reference guide for making Mag 2c nflex mod
    A Dummy Reference for making PM6 LuxIII BB NG 1000




    Thousands words and hundreds pix later

    My friends, I hope you had enjoyed reading/doing these mods...please do feel free to comment and make any suggestion!

    Last and by no mean least, my sincerest Thank you to you all for your kind support and ideas!

    See you in the next 'dummy reference guide', and until then, take care!!



    The End



    (Disclaimer: This section/thread, process or mod is NOT endorsed by another maker of or claim to have affiliation to any feature flashlight/components/tools maker. All reader, user and modders do understand by modding the parts/flashlights, their had voluntarily void their warranty on the products and do assume all risk involved.)
    Last edited by AuroraLite; 04-25-2006 at 01:25 PM.

  6. #6

    Default Re: Dummy Reference Guide to Minimag Modding(many pix)

    well done....very clever even reserve the spce, WoW...

  7. #7
    Flashaholic* AuroraLite's Avatar
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    Default Re: Dummy Reference Guide to Minimag Modding(many pix)

    Haha...thanks!

    There is a lot more to come...that's why the 'reserved space'. [img]/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/blush.gif[/img] And later on, we would actually talk about the reflectors that you had brought onto the CPF commnunity for Jil 1.3 (will fit Minimag quite perfectly as well).

    Great job! I love those metal reflectors! [img]/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/smile.gif[/img]

  8. #8
    Flashaholic*
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    Default Re: Dummy Reference Guide to Minimag Modding(many pix)

    [img]/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/clap.gif[/img] Great job. And very clever to reserve the space.
    Great pictures and well explained.
    Thank you

  9. #9

    Default Re: Dummy Reference Guide to Minimag Modding(many pix)

    Nice!

  10. #10
    Flashaholic* greenlight's Avatar
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    Default Re: Dummy Reference Guide to Minimag Modding(many pix)

    well written guide AL, clear and informative. Cheers! When do the test units go on sale?

  11. #11
    *Flashaholic* greenLED's Avatar
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    Default Re: Dummy Reference Guide to Minimag Modding(many

    [img]/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/bowdown.gif[/img] Dooood!! Your "dummy" guides are suberb!! I have 3 of them in my favorites now. Am I missing any others. Excellent! [img]/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/bowdown.gif[/img]

  12. #12
    *Flashaholic* jtice's Avatar
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    Default Re: Dummy Reference Guide to Minimag Modding(many

    [img]/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/buttrock.gif[/img] Damn good work !!!!

    Thanks for all that time you put in to that, thats gonna help alot of ppl out !!!!!!!!

  13. #13
    Flashaholic* AuroraLite's Avatar
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    Default Re: Dummy Reference Guide to Minimag Modding(many

    Ledean: Thanks for your kind word, I like your bored out Minimag head idea, cool! [img]/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/thumbsup.gif[/img]

    Stormtrooper: Thanks for reading!

    Greenlight: Haha...the 'test units'! Err...I am simply enjoying their companies, and you probably can tell how serious a 'Minimag' complex I have, right?! [img]/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/wink.gif[/img]

    GreenLed: I still remembered you showing the pix about a very cool 'fixture' for making the sammie...that was awesome work! And someday, I will put up a post to consolidate all my 'dummy reference guide series' posts, and no, you haven't missed one and been very supportive, thank you! [img]/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/blush.gif[/img]

    Jtice: Thanks! Just one dummy contributing what he can... [img]/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/wink.gif[/img] [img]/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/smile.gif[/img]

  14. #14
    Flashaholic reefphilic's Avatar
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    Default Re: Dummy Reference Guide to Minimag Modding(many

    Nice guide! You're now officially conferred the title of Magmodaholic! [img]/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/grin.gif[/img]

  15. #15
    *Flashaholic* IsaacHayes's Avatar
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    Default Re: Dummy Reference Guide to Minimag Modding(many

    I took apart an Xnova 5led 1AA and replaced the LEDs with UV like you described. I forgot to leave one LED lead longer to make the negative to the boad so I soldered a wire like you did. Only I noticed on the LED board that there was a spare hole for negative connections not being used so I soldered the wire to it.

    I look forward to section 4!

  16. #16
    Flashaholic
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    Default Re: Dummy Reference Guide to Minimag Modding(many

    great job! [img]/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/thumbsup.gif[/img]
    gotta try the china light 5led mod.
    *click* favourite thread [img]/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/grin.gif[/img]

  17. #17
    Enlightened taylor's Avatar
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    Default Re: Dummy Reference Guide to Minimag Modding(many

    Wow! [img]/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/happy14.gif[/img]Minimag is one of my favour. Your dummy reference guide is very useful for me. [img]/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/bowdown.gif[/img]Thanks.

  18. #18
    Flashaholic* KDOG3's Avatar
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    Default Re: Dummy Reference Guide to Minimag Modding(many

    This thread isn't a sticky? Your kidding me!

  19. #19
    Flashaholic* AuroraLite's Avatar
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    Default Re: Dummy Reference Guide to Minimag Modding(many

    Reefphilic: Haha, not sure I could qualify to be the 'Magmodaholic'(so many here could bare that name)...but 'MiniMag-modaholic', maybe. [img]/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/wink.gif[/img] Btw, I am still waiting for your 5 stage Minimag switch!? Paypal ready! [img]/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/grin.gif[/img]

    IsaacHayes So cool that it also works for you, and hoped you like your modded Xnova/Minimag mod and the contents of section 4. [img]/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/blush.gif[/img] Truly, not until I did the comparison between those optical wares that I have re-leart the value/importance of optics in a flashlight. Optical wares, indeed, is the other half of the story.

    Vinn Glad you like the thread, how was those krolls doing? Btw, I am planning to put together a section about Minimag 'tailcap' someday, and now in process of furnishing the details/mod/material...

    Taylor: No, thank you! Without you guys, my flashaholism will feel so out of place in this big city. [img]/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/wink.gif[/img]

    KDOG3: Thanks again for your kind support! That's so kind a complement. [img]/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/blush.gif[/img]

  20. #20
    *Flashaholic* greenLED's Avatar
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    Default Re: Dummy Reference Guide to Minimag Modding(many

    I'm gone for 3 days and you manage to improve your first post with references to optics, drop-ins, mods, etc. [img]/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/thumbsup.gif[/img]

  21. #21
    *Flashaholic* wquiles's Avatar
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    Default Re: Dummy Reference Guide to Minimag Modding(many pix)

    Outstanding - awesome job [img]/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/bowdown.gif[/img]

    [img]/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/happy14.gif[/img]

    Will

  22. #22
    Flashaholic*
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    Default Re: Dummy Reference Guide to Minimag Modding(many pix)

    Wow!! Just wanted to say that is a great guide! There are some nice tips in there, and lots of pictures too. I can appreciate the time it must have taken to produce a guide like this. [img]/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/bowdown.gif[/img]


    Hmmmm... I guess I'll have to order more stuff so that I can umm, practice what I've just learned [img]/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/smile.gif[/img]

  23. #23

    Default Re: Dummy Reference Guide to Minimag Modding(many

    Awesome guide!

    I'm pretty newbie, but is it possible to do the chinese 5 LED mod with one of the 8 LED 1AA flashlights I'm seeing on ebay? Would that fit in a minimag? And would that be any brighter and still be able to run on two AA's?

  24. #24
    Flashaholic* AuroraLite's Avatar
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    Default Re: Dummy Reference Guide to Minimag Modding(many

    Greenled: Yes, and there will be more to come... [img]/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/wink.gif[/img]

    wquiles: Thank you! [img]/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/blush.gif[/img]

    PhotonAddict: Good luck! And let us know how it turns out! [img]/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/grin.gif[/img]

    Deadshot11: I did purchase some 8 leds 2 AA Chinese flashlights as I was doing the 5 leds mod, but after some initial dry fitting, it was hardly as eye-pleasing as the 5 leds one, so I went ahead with the 5 leds mod. But it is definitely do-able.

    And some work will need to be done on the 'light engine' in order for it to fit into the Minimag head assembly. I will post some update/my result in the next few days about the 8 leds mod, essentially it is almost the same process but with 8 leds. [img]/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/smile.gif[/img]

  25. #25

    Default Re: Dummy Reference Guide to Minimag Modding(many

    I saw both 2AA and 1AA versions of the 8led's. Wouldn't there be no point mod the 2AA version into the minimag, since it's already driven by 2AA's and there'd be no overdrive? I thought the whole point of the 5 led mod was to overdrive them.

    How does the stock 8 led compare to your modded 5 led minimag?

  26. #26
    Flashaholic* AuroraLite's Avatar
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    Default Re: Dummy Reference Guide to Minimag Modding(many

    You are correct that the 'overdriven' 5 leds mod does seem to surpass its original AA/AAA original light.

    But on the day of purchasing those 5 leds lights, the only one I saw on the street was 8 leds 2 AA and I turn it into a Minimag mod anyway, just to see how it looks. It does give very tiny bit more light(if not just about the same) light as a 5 leds mod, but the color was kinda 'angry blue'. I guess it wasn't entirely a fair comparison since the makers might have made them with different leds, and the 8 leds mod, for some reason, has a tighter flood than the 5 leds mod.

    I will try to look for a 8 led 1 AA version and see how it turns out...

    And here is just a snap shot of what a 8 leds in Minimag mod will look like:



    And all reader please take note: I went back to check out the 'destroyed' 5 led light body, and it turns out that it is actually a AAA instead of AA. So when you shop for that 'light' please take metal note it is a AAA, but AA in similar size should work too. The widest part of the flashlight(the led holder at front) should be ~20.20mm, so the holder could fit the Minimag perfect in 'reverse'.

  27. #27
    Flashaholic* rscanady's Avatar
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    Default Re: Dummy Reference Guide to Minimag Modding(many

    Awesome job! This was exactly what i was looking for a friend.

    Thanks again!

    Ryan

  28. #28

    Default Re: Dummy Reference Guide to Minimag Modding(many

    WOW - I know where to come when I have the time! [img]/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/buttrock.gif[/img]

  29. #29
    Flashaholic* AuroraLite's Avatar
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    Default Re: Dummy Reference Guide to Minimag Modding(many

    Rscanady: Thank you! Hope this works for you/your friend [img]/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/smile.gif[/img]
    Codeman: Haha, the question is will you have the time until USL is finished? [img]/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/evilgrin07.gif[/img] [img]/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/nana.gif[/img] My hats off to the hard working 'Team USL', and what a fine accomplishment that will be! Truly looking forward to that! [img]/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/buttrock.gif[/img]


    <font color="red">Update</font>

    A new entry of $6 8 led Minimag mod had entered the arena! I doubt we could pack even more led than that into a Minimag head, but who knows?

    Very soon, we will see the 8 UV led mod coming out soon, just for fun sake! [img]/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/grin.gif[/img]

    And I am currently working up a Minimag 2 stage solution using the original tailcap, keeping my finger crossed... [img]/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/blush.gif[/img]

  30. #30
    Flashaholic*
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    Default Re: Dummy Reference Guide to Minimag Modding(many



    love the way you keep updating and improving.
    Waiting for more .
    Great job again

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