VME Malkoff Valiant Concepts Head

Flashlight with VME Malkoff Valiant Concepts Head, Malkoff M30 drop-in and Vital Gear FB1 BK body

I’ve been using a Surefire E series bezel and a Veleno Designs E-Series tower module with a Vital Gear FB-1. I wanted a brighter light, so I bought a Vital Gear E to C adapter that enables the use of a P60 style dropin. When I screwed on a Surefire Z44 bezel, it made the front end of the light a little larger than I wanted.

Valiant Concepts makes the VME Malkoff Valiant Concepts Head that fits on an E series body and enables the use of a Malkoff Devices M series dropin lamp assembly. The VME head includes a lens for dropins that don’t have one but I use it with a Malkoff M60, which has a protective lens as part of the optic. I modded my M60 with a driver that enables three modes. The diameter of the VME head is slightly smaller than a Z44 bezel – 1 1/8″ vs 1 1/4″ (28.5 mm vs 31.6 mm) – which doesn’t sound like much but it makes a difference. With the modded M60, the flashlight is a lot brighter and also throws further than the Veleno Designs module.

Vital Gear FB1 Flashlight

Modified Surefire E Series Defender head, Veleno Designs E-Series Tower Module, Vital Gear FB1 BK body

I bought a used Surefire KX2 head for my Surefire E2D, so I had a spare Veleno Designs E-Series tower module in search of a flashlight. I found a Vital Gear FB1, which is a single cell, Surefire E-Series compatible body with a forward clicky switch.

I’ve been carrying this flashlight built with the Veleno Designs E-Series 3 mode, neutral white, tower module; a slightly de-pronged Surefire E-Series Defender head and the Vital Gear FB1 body. The Veleno Designs module is about 140 lumens on the brightest mode and it has a good low mode. The flashlight is very light, compact and is only about 3″ long (77mm). It’s a lot brighter than a Surefire E1L Outdoorsman and about 1″ (25.4mm) shorter.

Surefire E2D Mods

Surefire E2D flashlightWhen I read that Surefire was discontinuing the incandescent lamp Surefire E2D flashlight, I found a good deal on a new one. I liked the ability of the E2D to tailstand, that is, on a flat surface, the flashlight will stand vertically on the tailcap.

I decided to make a couple of mods to the flashlight too – modifying the strike bezel so it wasn’t so sharp; changing the switch in the tailcap and replacing the incandescent lamp with an LED.

I wasn’t really in need of the defensive capability of the crenelated Strike Bezel®, so I used my Dremel’s cut-off wheel to grind down the bezel so it wouldn’t be so aggressive toward the inside of my pocket. I used a Birchwood Casey Super Black™ Touch-Up Pen on the bare aluminum.

Modded Surefire E2D switch

I also wanted to install a McClicky switch because I like the lower pressure it requires to switch on. I’ve used the McClicky switch in a lot of my flashlights.

I read that the McClicky switch is a direct screw-in replacement in the discontinued Surefire Z52 twisty switch but using it in Surefire Z57/Z61 tailcaps requires some modification. I assumed the inner construction of the E2D tailcap was similar to the Surefire Z57/Z61 and the Z68 tailcaps.

Most of the E-series/McClicky modifications I found required a 11/16 x 20 tap to cut more threads in the tailcap to correctly position the McClicky switch. In trying to find a way of avoiding buying a tap, I realized if I removed some of the threads on the McClicky switch to reduce the diameter of the front end, I could insert it from the rear of the tailcap housing. The modded switch stops in the correct position against a rim that was already machined in the tailcap and is held by the stock retaining ring.

Veleno Designs E-Series Tower Module

The last mod was to replace the 25 lumen MN02 incandescent lamp assembly with an LED. The simplest and most expensive way to do this is to buy a Surefire KX2C (200 lumen single mode) head or a KX2 LED Conversion Head (3 lumen/60 lumen dual mode). Surefire sells these two heads for $150 (USD) each. That’s what I did with my Surefire E2E (KX2) but I managed to buy it on eBay for considerably less. Before arriving at this point, it may have been better to consider the (now discontinued) $189 (USD) E2D LED Defender® Dual-Output LED flashlight.

With the E2D, I thought I’d try the Veleno Designs Surefire E series incandescent to LED conversion three mode module. It’s essentially a brass heatsink with a neutral/warm Cree XP-G. The module fits inside the E2D bezel and the input voltage range is 1.8V to 5.5V (1 x CR123 or 1 Li-Ion rechargeable). I sanded the inner body of the flashlight with emery cloth so it accommodates a protected 17670 Li-Ion battery. The E2D flashlight is about .5 inches (12.7 mm) shorter than the E2DL.

The Veleno Designs module is “tested to provide 200 lumens of actual output.” Mine doesn’t seem as bright as my KX2 and I since I’m used to cool white LEDs, the neutral/warm color of this module seems green to me sometimes. I may get over it.

Surefire E2E Flashlight Mods

I bought a Surefire E2E because it was a good deal. I didn’t realize until I received it how much smaller it is in comparison to the Surefire 6P flashlights that I have. It’s about the same size as my JETBeam Jet-I Pro.

The E2E uses an incandescent lamp, the Surefire MN03 lamp assembly, with an output is 60 lumens. The output seemed a little low so I started looking for ways to make it brighter.

Fivemega, over at candlepowerforums.com makes two nice incandescent options for the E2E, a bi-pin socket and a Mini Turbo Head.

I’d rather use LEDs and I found that Veleno Designs makes a good option fits in the E2E head. The Veleno Designs E Series LED drop-in is machined from brass, has great heat sinking and uses a Cree XP-G LED. I ordered a 3 mode cool white model and while the output was great, the tint was a little green. The manufacturer said that most people order a neutral tint so they don’t have that problem.

I decided to order some neutral tint Cree XP-G LEDs from DigiKey to replace the LED. After I soldered the LED to the board, I trimmed the board with a Dremel so it was a little larger than 3.5mm x 3.5mm, so it would fit on the Veleno pedestal. It still had a green tint.

In a few discussions on cpfmarketplace.com, it was theorized that the E2E reflector was causing the green tint and it was a lottery whether the factory reflector had the green tint. Instead of buying a new bezel/reflector, I tried re-silvering the reflector. The tint was still green.

Because of the work involved in putting another LED on the Veleno drop-in, I decided to try to find a deal on a Surefire KX2 LED Conversion Head. When I received it after a week, the tint on my new KX2 was also green. I had also taken a very long way to get to a E2L Outdoorsman.

Determined to get the light I wanted, I disassembled the KX2 using a heat gun to release the ample amount of glue that Surefire used on the threads to hold the head together. I unsoldered the leads from the LED board, removed the two hex screws holding the LED board to the drop-in and pushed the LED board out.

I then unsoldered the old Cree XR-E and reflowed soldered in a new Cree XR-E (R2 bin). I reassembled the KX2 using Arctic Silver 5 Thermal Compound underneath the LED board and when I first tried the light the hot spot was off center. I centered the LED and because the threads on the bezel that holds the Surefire Total Internal Reflection (TIR) lens were no longer glued, I was able to focus the beam to a perfect hot spot. And finally I have a neutral tint.

Now that the KX2 is open, I could use another driver, maybe try a McR-19XR reflector or an XP-G LED; but it’s been a long road to get here, so maybe I’ll wait a while.