Just thought I’ll share one of my latest mods.. recently I’ve been into tiny titanium lights, the kind where you can slip in your pocket and basically forget it is there, as a companion light to my larger more brighter ones
So ive been looking for a neat candle light, and the DQG tiny AA caught my eye.. a titanium twisty with TIR optics running an XPG2 that can run both primary and li-ions.. I believe its one of the smallest AA lights out there, the whole light without the clip nearly the same size as a 18650 cell (wtf?)
So, ordered one from cnqualitygoods and packaged arrived via DHL.. after alwhile of tinkering with the light, I realised there were a few quirks
1) The battery rattles in the tube when not fully tightened
2) Not so nice neutral tint
3) Finishing is a bit rough (especially at the tail, the corners are sharp!)
The first problem is easy to solve, I put a piece of solder ball on the driver positive contacts and cut out a thin piece of thermal cube and cut a hole in the middle, so it acts as an elastic sponge, when not tightened, it separates the battery from the light, when tightened, the the solder and battery make contact, and the light switches on
The thermal cube also allows a bit of heat to be transferred from the driver to the battery for slightly better heat transfer
It also has the (unexpected) benefit of becoming momentary, if you screwed it just before the light comes on and leave it, any small presses against the head will switch the light on.. so if you “grip” the head as the body, you can think of the body being a 5cm “switch” :bigsmile:
After practicing for awhile, I can toggle the light on one handed, after picking the mode I want, I simply screw the light in a little tighter to “lock” the mode, when in pocket mode, I simply unscrew the light to prevent unwanted activation
So the first step is to open up the head.. its tightly screwed (with some kind of threadlock that has no color).. took out my trusty torch (those windproof type lighters) and after a few short swipes around (didn’t want to melt the plastic TIR inside), I managed to open it using a piler and a master wrench, surprisingly no scratches (but it wouldn’t really matter as the light will be polished later on)
The light opened up, here we can see the TIR lens, bezel and XPG2 led mounted on the driver board itself
I have recently adopted the 2015 Osram Oslon square as my “to-go” LED for all my lights, its 92cri, 4000k and very efficient, my favourite tint (I personally prefer this to the cooler tint Nichia 219B)
So next step is to replace the LED.. but..
There seems to be an aluminium “insert” that acts as the bridge for the bezel and the head, however it seems to be stuck in tight and I there’s no way to remove it without damaging the threads so I left it there.. after studying the situation, I decided the reflow the LED with the driver in that position
The trick was to apply heat to the bottom of the the driver (the contact point of the battery) such that the heat will cause the LED on top to reflow off, I have done this to many single board LED lights (like CGQ bullet, mec-army ti)
However, the bottom of the driver has several chips that might be destroyed if the soldering iron were to burn them, and I needed to see where I was soldering and pick up the LED from the top once the solder was loose? The solution?
My “impromptu” setup as follows.. Samsung S6 edge flip cover as mirror to see the bottom of the head, Mec-army ti osram stuck on blue tack as bottom light to illuminate the bottom, and wire strippers taped to Xiaomi 5200mah portable charger on top of metal tin can as helping hands :bigsmile: :bigsmile: :bigsmile:
“setup” in operation.. here we can see the copper contact point where solder heat must be applied, while avoiding the sensitive electronics around it, important is to make sure your tip has a blob of solder, simply touching the metal tip against the copper will not work, you will need to increase the surface area so that more heat is transfered to the copper and ultimately the LED itself
Reflow of osram oslon square complete!! As what we programmers like to say, its crude, but it works.. why it doesn’t work? we don’t know, why does it work? we also don’t know..
I had some spare trits lying around, and since this is going to my EDC “candle”, I decided to stick some tritium into it.. but.. I don’t have norland optical adhesive or special UV glue..
The solution? $1.99 UHU glue!!
Again, crude, but works 😀
And finally.. to start polishing the light, I start off with 800 grit sandpaper and progressively moved up 1,000, 1,500 and finally autosol metal polishing compound..
The light is no longer rough (except for the knurling of course), and the tail is no longer sharp, it now has that nice shiny glow to it
I put in a xtar 800mah li-lion 14500 and the light works, as expected by the osram, the tint is just beautiful golden, and the spot is perfect,
Remember what 92 cri can do for your light
Here is the rest of the “tiny” gang, brass 18650 (smallest 18650 light), led lenser 18650 cell, DGQ Ti Tiny AA (smallest AA light), CQG bullet (smallest 16340 light), GP 1800mah NiMh AA, Mecarmy illumineX-1 ti (10180 light), 14250 battery and 10180 battery