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  1. #1
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    Good job! CatEye HL-EL700RC Triple Shot - review & mod.

    [SIZE="3"]CatEye HL-EL700RC Triple Shot[/SIZE]


    Well known shape, well known logo... 3 year ago the brightest bike led lamp on the market - three 3W Luxeon III leds inside. Advertised as the first led lamp comparable with 20 halogen lamp.


    Some marketing sweater...
    At last, some time ago CatEye show us how they are measuring their candle’s .

    But I still don’t know what the hell means total candle power 20 000. As you can see on the above picture the light intensity measure is mead in central spot. There is no way to convert this data to any other unit as lumen or lux.

    The only hope is in the technical specification and datasheet - Luxeon III @ 700mA should give 60 to 80 lumens of light - average 70 – so total from 3 leds gives 210 lumens. Now who tells me where are are 300 or even 400 lumens that you can get from high quality 20W halogen lamp ?? As usual they are selling us promises and numbers...

    The review

    I must to admit that CatEye lamp looks solid – head only weight 186 grams. I think that they overdesign the hestsink size - it can be shaved down 86g without any problems.


    After unscrewing 4 hex bolts – you can get to the lamp guts .


    A seal, plastic diffuser, 3 collimator lens and 3 Luxeon III emitters.


    There are a lot of screws there - after unscrewing them and pushing the power cable, you can push out the whole module from the case.


    Emitters are glued to the metal plate that transfers the heat from the central emitter that is over the hole in the body. After removing emitters from the metal plate, the lamp content looks as follow :



    Power supply

    Hidden into neoprene cover, tided with two electrical straps and 2 layers of heatshrinking foil, there are 10 14500 NiMH cells (so called AA) battery pack - with nominal capacity 2700mAh. It is a bit heavy – real weight is even a few grams lower than claimed by the manufacturer “only” 473g.


    Tied to the battery pack there is small plastic case :


    Judging from the markings it looks like a driver


    After unsrewing there is nothing special inside - PCB bard, 4 wires and seal, everything is hidden on the second side:

    Under a white silicone there is an adjustable resistor - so nothing was hidden from a user or from competition. Based on the markings they use Supertex HV9910 chip or it’s equivalent from other manufacturer. It is simply buck driver that will lower voltage and set up current for the led’s.

    Measurement’s for 3 Luxeon leds :
    Code:
    V-in    I-In    P-In    V-led  I-led  P-led   Eff.
    13,11   578mA   7,57W   10,61V 661mA  7,01    92,55%
    I must admit that I’m impressed. It is rare to find in the stock lamp such hi efficient driver. After replacing the leds to SSC. driver lower the voltage output to set up the current and keeps all work parameters unchanged.
    Code:
    V-in    I-In    P-In    V-led  I-led  P-led   Eff.
    13,13   545mA   7,15W   9,73V  672mA  6,53    91,37%
    In case o flower Vf of the SSC leds there is 1/2 W drop in the energy usage.

    How it lights?

    When you know the current and the led type, you can approximate light output for the lamp. The light output for the Triple Shot will be less than 200 lumens - it is not much these days, only a slightly more than one Cree XR-E Q4 led powered @700mA that will give about 170 lumens. You can see that on the photo below Triple Shot vs. Q4@700mA with CRS-D optics:

    After replacing emitters to U-bin SSC P4 there is a considerable improvement .

    Modded lamp should give about 450 lumens of light, that after considering light looses on the optics gives about 400 lumens of usable light - the same mount as top notch 20W halogen lamp but taking only 7W of power. :twothumbs

    Runtime on battery pack is consistent with specification - about 3,5 hours. In case of using NiMH cells you can expect that in winter condition it may be much shorter - about 2hours.


    Summary

    When you can buy it for 140-160$ and replace emitters for another 30$ there is no comparable lamp on the market for these price. Of course you can build some DIY light for the same price and You may get even more light from it, but still the Triple Shot will looks much better .

  2. #2
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    Dom,
    So if I read this right all you did was change the emitters, no mods to the driver?
    Can you provide a link for the emitters?

  3. #3
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    Nice writeup Domenik. Great pics! I've been nothing but impressed since I modded my Tripleshot with P4 XR-E's. It's as bright as any of my buddies lights and I have $250 total in it! Not to mention that, IMHO, short of the Hope it's better looking than anything else out there.

  4. #4
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    Hi, Great job, why don't change the constant current circuit to 1a too?

    Greetings - Saludos

    msxtr
    Warning!!! my english is very very bad, sorry.

    Easy DIY led light1
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  5. #5
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    @ 672mA -> about 155 lumens each -> 465 lumen total from 7,15W = 65 lum/w
    @1000mA -> about 210 lumens each -> 630 lumen total from 11,16W = 56 lum/w

    So 160 more lumens cost you 4W of power and almost 1/3 of the runtime... Where is the deal here ??

  6. #6
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    I bought them from our local distributor in Poland. For US customers the best way to obtain the high quality emitters will be PhotonFanatic at CPF.
    http://www.cpfmarketplace.com/mp/showthread.php?t=85330

  7. #7
    Spanish biker
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dominik.M
    @ 672mA -> about 155 lumens each -> 465 lumen total from 7,15W = 65 lum/w
    @1000mA -> about 210 lumens each -> 630 lumen total from 11,16W = 56 lum/w

    So 160 more lumens cost you 4W of power and almost 1/3 of the runtime... Where is the deal here ??
    Hi, well, depend of how much time ride you by the night and how are the terrain...

    Greetings - Saludos

    msxtr
    Warning!!! my english is very very bad, sorry.

    Easy DIY led light1
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    The Beast!!!

  8. #8
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    tripleshot mods

    dominik am i right in assuming that all you did was swap the leds, no mods to driver at all, will this work using cree xr-e 's ?

  9. #9
    Spanish biker
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    Quote Originally Posted by scuba
    dominik am i right in assuming that all you did was swap the leds, no mods to driver at all, will this work using cree xr-e 's ?
    Yes, would work with cree xr-e's, but the optics of the cateye light don't are compatibles with this leds, too would have that change the optics for cree leds.

    Greetings - Saludos

    msxtr
    Warning!!! my english is very very bad, sorry.

    Easy DIY led light1
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  10. #10
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    Not really... the optics will work fine as long as the cree's maintain the proper depth in the housing. I accomplished this by mounting the stars on a copper base plate that was ~3mm thick. They remain ringed as before the mod, but don't seem to suffer any loss. You must make sure the hole in the optic fits over the dome of the cree when assembled.

    I found the best option was to discard the black plastic and aluminum base plate to accomplish this. The optics are 20mm and other options do remain. It just depends on the effort you're willing to expend. Excuse the crap picture but here's an internal shot.


  11. #11
    Spanish biker
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    Quote Originally Posted by nynx
    Not really... the optics will work fine as long as the cree's maintain the proper depth in the housing. I accomplished this by mounting the stars on a copper base plate that was ~3mm thick. They remain ringed as before the mod, but don't seem to suffer any loss. You must make sure the hole in the optic fits over the dome of the cree when assembled.

    I found the best option was to discard the black plastic and aluminum base plate to accomplish this. The optics are 20mm and other options do remain. It just depends on the effort you're willing to expend. Excuse the crap picture but here's an internal shot.
    Hi, could you put any beamshot of this configuration, please?

    Greetings - Saludos

    msxtr
    Warning!!! my english is very very bad, sorry.

    Easy DIY led light1
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  12. #12
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    Confused a bit.......

    I plan to do this upgrade to a triple and double shot. Will Cree XR-E emitters on stars fit inside the housing? I have never had a star in hand or the triple shot opened up. When using the Cree XR-E there is a issue with fitting it all in and from one of the above posts a copper slug is used. Are the emitters secured to the slug with thermal paste? Thanks, GD

  13. #13
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    I just re-read this one- the output is ~700ma, so theoretically the Cree MCE emitters would be a direct-swap for this one? If so, that opens sooooooo many possibilities..... Think 800+ lumens from a package this size! Sure the battery would need to be upgraded, but considering the $500+ cost of lights with that output on the market and you could foreseeably have a comparable light for half the total cost?

  14. #14
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    Seoul, not Cree

    Quote Originally Posted by dankilling
    I just re-read this one- the output is ~700ma, so theoretically the Cree MCE emitters would be a direct-swap for this one? If so, that opens sooooooo many possibilities..... Think 800+ lumens from a package this size! Sure the battery would need to be upgraded, but considering the $500+ cost of lights with that output on the market and you could foreseeably have a comparable light for half the total cost?
    This was answered by msxtr. Cree LEDs would need different optics.
    See the trails, be one with FOO-MTB.
    Slow-core. -.. .-. .. -. -.- .... --- -- . -... .-. . .--

  15. #15
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    You can't change them easily for MCE's and drive the MCE's to their max. The forward voltage of an MCE wired in series is 4 times as high as a lux 3 led. You could wire the 4 dies in parallel, the efficiency will be

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by notaknob
    This was answered by msxtr. Cree LEDs would need different optics.
    Optics are a given, the question was more about the driver and super-fast hit on that one. I wasnt sure about the forward voltage. With that much draw, the battery life of the stock battery would likely be poo, so a bigger battery would be required I guess....hrm....

  17. #17
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    Any Help is Good Help

    Hi all, brand new virgin modder here, just back on the saddle after about 20 years and the dark evenings are beginning to give me a bit of grief. After reading this great post I decided to buy the Cateye 700RC. My thinking was I’d give it a go and if worst came to worst I’d give the mod a go if it wasn’t bright enough. I ride a lot of country roads and while the unmodded cateye would suffice, I think I’d like to try my hand at this mod. Sorry for the complete ignorance but could someone direct me where I could pick up these emitters, I know you’ve provided a link for US, but I live in Ireland. I could try and get them from the states I suppose but should I be looking at 3 of the SSC P4 Emitters U2SW0H, OR the U2SV0H? Also is there anything else I’d need? Final question: on another site Szemhazai (Suspect Dominik.M) as listed on same day says that “There is one main problem in modding this lamp - the driver is always on - so you must remember that some drivers cant be connected to the power source without load.” Welight seems to rule this out though. Any thoughts or advice would be greatly appreciated. Cheers…….Hears to Tarmac until my swelling goes down……
    The link is to the same mode on another site
    http://www.candlepowerforums.com/vb/...d.php?t=196672

  18. #18
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    The emitters from Deal Extreme are shipping from Korea IIRC. It took a while to get them regardless. It's still one of the cheapest soures for XRE lamps.

    I didn't test the circuit but there is no need to put any load in series with the lamps. I've used my rig all summer with no issues. I get 3.6 hours out of a charge and it's one of the brightest in my riding group. It also runs cool in the 100+ evenings here in the desert.

  19. #19
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    Cheers nynx: I am totally novice at this so is this what I need: i.e. 3 of these:
    http://www.dealextreme.com/details.dx/sku.3417

    or my other option would be 3 of these:
    http://www.dealextreme.com/details.dx/sku.2026

    or should I be looking at star things. Ahhhhhhh, could you provide me with a link that says buy 3 of these: **********

    Your help is much appreciated.

    Thanks again.

  20. #20
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    Definitely go with the first ones with the 16mm bases. Easier to mount and install! They're what I used. Also any of the stars can be cut down if needed to fit in small places. I snipped one edge off two of them to make the lamps center under the lenses.

  21. #21
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    What size allen bolt....

    I snapped a head off one of the bolts while trying to do this mod. I believe it is a M2x0.4 but just want to see if anyone has done the same. If so where did you fine replacement bolts? I picked up a couple of pan head screws from Ace hardware until I can find an a correct allen bolt. GD

    **x-posted to the thread on candlepower also**

    edited to add: the bolt is not M2x0.4 but m2.5
    Last edited by gonediesel; 11-02-2008 at 01:16 PM.

  22. #22
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    The black phillips head screws are garbage. I replaced with stainless allens from the local Ace Hardware in the Stainless metric bins. Sorry I don;t remember the correct sizing.

  23. #23
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    Finished The Upgrade

    I finally finished upgrading both of my Cateye lights. I don't have any beam shots but this a major improvement. It is amazing the extra light output with no change in the driver or battery. I upgraded the LEDs with Cree Q5 XR-E 14mm base from DX. The tripleshot is awesome. There is some significant ringing going on with the singleshot but I am willing to put up with that. I bought 7 and ended up with one that had a crack in the emitter dome. This is a pretty easy upgrade if you have the tools and don't run into any trouble like I did. I had quite a bit of trouble with the double shot. First I snapped the head off the metric socket head bolt that secures the face of the light. After drilling out the bolt I snapped a tap off trying to clean up the threads. I couldn't get the tap drilled out so I gave up and left it in. Since i have only one bolt holding the face on, I applied some electrical rubber paste on the inner housing basically gluing the face on. ACE is undependable with getting the smaller screws and bolts restocked so I found an online source with reasonable shipping and prices for the bolts. I bought the copper heat sink bar from ACE and cut it down with a hand grinder. I used the original aluminum heat sinks as a template. The 2.5mm tap can be found at machine shops or hobby shops. I bought one on flea-bay and the other at a local machine shop. I used Artic Alumina to secure the LEDs down. Enjoy, GD

    Here are some links to parts:

    LED: http://www.dealextreme.com/details.dx/sku.11023
    Bolts: http://www.fastener-express.com/inde...ROD&ProdID=825
    Tap: http://www3.towerhobbies.com/cgi-bin...&I=LXE219&P=FR
    Artic Alumina: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produc...82E16835100013

    Here are some pics:





    Here you can see the difference in the heatsinks. Since the XR-E are less in height a larger heatsink or different optics are needed.



    Here is the thickness of the new heatsink:



    XR-E on new copper heatsink



    Luxeon III on OEM heatsink




  24. #24
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    Nice writeup and pics. That is what was missing from this thread. Thanks! Ive recieved quite a few PMs on this topic and inevitably try to explain this process... usually poorly!

  25. #25
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    NYNX Thanks for your info...

    I was one of those who PM'd you. Thanks for the info. Also should have mentioned when you open up the Cateyes the first time turn the outer socket head bolts slow until it loosens up a bit. So you don't snap the head off. there were some really old Cateye upgrade threads mentioning this. As far as the black screws on the inside, the heads are very soft. I stripped one of those also. On the tripleshot, I put the screw driver on the screw and hit it a few times with a hammer. This drives the screwdriver tip into the soft head on the screw so that it won't be so easy to strip it. GD

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