Cree MC-E LED P60 Drop-in

Cree MC-E LED Drop-inThe current high lumen output LEDs use multiple chips on a single die. The Seoul Semiconductor Z-Power LED P7 and the Cree XLamp® MC-E LED are two examples that are in popular use by flashlight modders.

I recently bought a DealExtreme Cree MC-E LED 3-Mode Drop-in Module ($18.30 USD) for my Surefire 6P flashlight (the 6P body is bored to work with a single 18650 battery).

The DealExtreme P60 size drop-in works with 2.7V~4.2V – a single Li-Ion 18650 battery, single RCR123A battery or CR123A battery. There is also a not too low level mode and annoying strobe mode. In the Surefire 6P host (about 5.2″ long – 13.2 cm), the DealExtreme Cree MC-E drop-in is an extremely bright flashlight in a small package. There is an extensive list of similar sized flashlights that use P60 size drop-ins in this Candlepowerforums.com thread.

DealExtreme seems optimistic in their description of the MC-E drop-in brightness as 410 lumens. It has more flood and less of a hot spot than the Malkoff M30. For comparison, my Malkoff Devices M30 output is rated at a realistic 235 lumens. My SSC P7 mod, inspired by jirik_cz, gives me the feeling that I am seeing everything. If not for the $125 USD cost, I would be all over the Malkoff M60 MC-E (NLA).

In my flickr set below, there are beamshots comparing the Cree MC-E, Cree XR-E and SSC P7. I centered the beam of each light on the scrawny tree against the fence.

Solarforce L2m

Solarforce L2mI recently bought a Solarforce L2m flashlight host (head assembly, battery tube and tail switch assembly). The L2m is only 4.5″ long (~115 mm).

The head assembly is designed for a Surefire P60-sized drop-in. Fizz753 over at Candlepowerforums.com has compiled a very complete and up-to-date list of LED drop-ins.

I used one of my modded Cree XR-E (Q5 bin) LED drop-ins with a DealExtreme 16-Mode 3W 3.7V 7135 Circuit Board (SKU 7612) stuck in it.

Power is provided by a single protected Li-Ion RCR123A 3.7V battery. This 16340 size battery gives about 30 minutes on full with the 7612 board. I haven’t measured the current out of the board, but the specs say 1000 ma, so the output, according to Cree (Cree® XLamp® XR-E LED Data Sheet – PDF), is probably about 180-200 lm.

The next mod I made was replacing the reverse clicky switch with a McClicky switch. The last thing I’ll probably do is replace the crenelated ring on the head with a plain one.

SSC P7 in an Ultrafire C2

Ultrafire C2 Flashlight and Seoul Semiconductors Z-Power LED P7Over at the CandlePower Forums mod discussions, the Seoul Semiconductors Z-Power LED P7 has been one of the most popular LEDs. The reason is simple: it puts out 700-900 lumens at 2800 ma. That’s very bright.

In the Home Made and Modified Lights section, jirik_cz modded his Ultrafire C2 flashlight with a SSC P7. For power, he used a Li-Ion 18650 3.7V battery directly driving the LED. It is a simple and elegant mod.

I happened to have a spare Ultrafire C2 flashlight waiting for a great idea like jirik_cz’s mod. I already had the P7 emitter (C bin) mounted on a heat sink base. An advantage of having the P7 emitter on a heat sink base is that the positive base of the bare emitter is isolated from ground.

Seoul Semiconductors Z-Power LED P7

I used a Dremel to enlarge the Ultrafire pill so the P7, on some heat sink compound, fit perfectly.

For the positive battery contact side of the pill, I stripped a 17mm diameter circuit board and soldered the LED leads to it. To accommodate the larger diameter LED, (the Ultrafire C2 uses a Cree XLamp® XR-E LED), I enlarged the hole in the reflector with a reamer.

Thanks to jirik_cz, now I have a 5″ (130mm) long flashlight that is a bright as my Roar of the Penguin.

Roar of the Penguin

Roar of the Pelican partsThe Roar of the Pelican is a Maglite flashlight mod that derives it’s name from the use of Pelican flashlight’s replacement bulb #3854 and a combination of non-stock battery holders (or batteries) to get a higher voltage and therefore much brighter (roar) flashlight than a stock Maglite.It’s supposed to be an inexpensive mod. I keep calling it the Roar of the Penguin, because of the recent spate of penguin movies.

For my ROP project, I started out with a 2D Maglite and bought most of the required parts from a Hong Kong electronics reseller, Kaidomain.com.

The stock Maglite reflector is made out of plastic, as is the lens. Because of the greater heat produced by this bulb/battery mod, you need a metal reflector and glass lens.

Modified Maglite Switch

Aftermarket reflectors are available with a cam or camless. The Kaidomain reflector and bulb combination wouldn’t adjust to the best beam using the included cam, so I made a modification to the Mag switch recommended by modamag in this post at Candlepowerforums.com. It puts the bulb in a position allowing for beam adjustments by using the threads on the flashlight body. Shims between the reflector and the bulb holder can also be used to adjust the beam quality when using a cammed reflector.

Bulb and Socket

Candlepowerforum members have discussed the higher light transmissive properties of anti-reflective coated lenses – some to the point of using mineral glass watch crystals for flashlight lenses. I’m not that critical a worker.

For power, I used two 3AA to 1D battery adapters, which gives 7.2 volts using NiMH AA batteries. I bought 8 Sanyo Eneloop batteries. Eneloops and other similar batteries use a relatively new NiMH Low Self Discharge (LSD) technology.

I wasn’t sure if these plastic battery adapters would have a problem with the heat produced with the higher current draw of the bulb, so I bought one of these beautiful adapters, made by fivemega over at the candlepowerforums. It’s definitely a safer choice. The Kaidomain socket allows the use of these bi-pin incandescent bulbs, though fivemega also makes a much nicer socket (USD $16-$19).

Beam shot

Costs (USD):

Mag Instrument 2D Flashlight
$18.99
Aluminum reflector
$14.99
Glass lens
$0.61
G4 Bi-pin socket
$9.99
G4 Bi-pin bulb
$6.03
fivemega 6AA to 2D adapter
$37.00
6 AA NiMH batteries
$11.22
$98.83

I haven’t done any run time tests, but my Roar of the Penguin is very bright.

November 15, 2008, I updated some links and prices for components.

Cree XLamp XR-E LED

I just received a bunch of flashlight parts I ordered from Kaidomain.com. Among them, four Cree XLamp XR-E LEDs, Q2 and Q5 bins. I thought I’d mod my Ultrafire C2 flashlight that has a P4 bin Cree with the Q5. I can’t tell the difference between the Q5 and Q2 by looking at the two. I guess I have to do some kind of measurement of current and light output. The Cree XLamp LED Q5 will put out 107 Flux (lumens) when driven at 4 amps – that’s very bright.

Cree XLamp XR-E LED

One of the four LED’s seems to have a manufacturing defect – see the material in the upper left corner of the chip in the photo?

Two people who offered me help on the Candlepowerforums.com came up with different answers. jtr1962 says it’s the result the dome is starting to detach – he called it internal separation of the silicon filler. WeLight theorized that it was a manufacturing defect and I should return it. I don’t know much about these high power LED’s but I’m learning.