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  1. #1
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    Mod Solarstorm/Fandyfire X2?

    Hi. I wonder if someone has made some modifications to the X2 light and what did you do.

    Im thinking if you can change the driver and get more light of the xm-l u2 led.

    I have a custom battery pack of 2s2p Panasonic 3400mah and my target runtime on max could be approximately 1.5 hours.

    Br Tom Swede

  2. #2
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    The only mod I've done is replace the stock emitters with neutral white XM-L2 (T6 4C tint). I love the warmer tints so this is a big improvement for me, but otherwise I don't think there is a whole lot that needs be done with this light. My modded X2 is currently drawing 15 watts of power on high, so it is a little under driven. You could probably bump up the drive current but this light has so little mass to dissipate heat that I suspect the over temperature protection would just start kicking in during rides.

  3. #3
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    There doesn't appear to be a lot of surface area to dissipate heat in spite of the claimed 93 gram weight. If you can calculate the surface area you'll be able to decide if you want to try to bump the output.

    For reference, my dual XML helmet light is 65 grams and has ~14 sq. inches of surface. On high it is running ~23W through the LEDs plus a bit for the driver. I only use that level on pretty fast sections. If there is not a substantial airflow or very cool temps it will trip the 60C overtemp protection.

  4. #4
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    Sv: Mod Solarstorm/Fandyfire X2?

    Now I have opened my light. I read that you can change the resistor to get it deliver more current.

    I found a small resistor named r010 is that the one to change? And the led pills are they press fitted or with threads?

    I have bought cooling fins that I'm going to put on the light if it gets to hot.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Mod Solarstorm/Fandyfire X2?-uploadfromtaptalk1379342114873.jpg  

    Mod Solarstorm/Fandyfire X2?-uploadfromtaptalk1379342131024.jpg  

    Mod Solarstorm/Fandyfire X2?-uploadfromtaptalk1379342147375.jpg  

    Mod Solarstorm/Fandyfire X2?-uploadfromtaptalk1379342169238.jpg  


  5. #5
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    Yes you can do that, search the thread over here and ask Kir, where is the current sense resistor - he may know it I think I'll do the same to mine - replace the pills for XML2 with U bins and drive it a little bit harder.

  6. #6
    Kir
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    http://fcdn.mtbr.com/attachments/lig...9342147375.jpg - R010 on the right is the current sense resistor. To increase the current to leds you have to lower its resistance. To do that you solder another low-ohm resistor IN PARALLEL to it.
    $1.79 0805 0.1R SMD Precision Resistors (100-Piece) 100-pack at FastTech - Worldwide Free Shipping - you can buy such resistors here.
    While doing that you have to measure current on leds as its easy to increase it beyond the safe limit (~3A). Unsolder one of the led's wires and use multimeter to measure current there.

  7. #7
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    I have one of these on the way. Did the mod work out ok for you? What battery pack are you running and how is runtime and heat?

  8. #8
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    Yes had a brief fling with an X2 and popped an Lflex in one so as to run at 3 amps
    gets hot faaaaast
    account of it here
    Solarstorm Beamshots Singletrack Forum

  9. #9
    OPC
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    Quick question for you... The stock emitters have a plastic shield around the LED that fits onto the reflector... Did the aftermarket emitters you purchase have this or not? Also how thick are your new emitters? I measured mine and they are around 2mm with the shield...

    Thanks

    Mod Solarstorm/Fandyfire X2?-20131127_095619.jpg

  10. #10
    OPC
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    Forgot to reference... Please see post #9

    Quote Originally Posted by kwarwick View Post
    The only mod I've done is replace the stock emitters with neutral white XM-L2 (T6 4C tint). I love the warmer tints so this is a big improvement for me, but otherwise I don't think there is a whole lot that needs be done with this light. My modded X2 is currently drawing 15 watts of power on high, so it is a little under driven. You could probably bump up the drive current but this light has so little mass to dissipate heat that I suspect the over temperature protection would just start kicking in during rides.

  11. #11
    Drinkin' the 29er KoolAid
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    Quote Originally Posted by OPC View Post
    Forgot to reference... Please see post #9
    The plastic shields don't come with aftermarket LEDs, but you can easily transfer them over from the old LEDs as they are just loosely press-fit. The new emitters I got from Fasttech were on the same thickness and diameter MCPCB as the originals, so a direct swap with no need to adjust anything. I can't measure them at the moment, but I don't believe they were 2mm thick... probably 1.5mm or so.

  12. #12
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    16mm should be 1.6mm and 20mm should be 2mm thick, I recently picked up some leds XM-L2 T6 on sinkpad copper MCPCB from leddna - 16mm and 1.6mm thick.

  13. #13
    OPC
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    Thanks, did you add the plastic shields back on or left them off? it seems they are there to center the LED when the reflector is on. is Leddna a website?

    thanks


    Quote Originally Posted by MK96 View Post
    16mm should be 1.6mm and 20mm should be 2mm thick, I recently picked up some leds XM-L2 T6 on sinkpad copper MCPCB from leddna - 16mm and 1.6mm thick.

  14. #14
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    Yes, you can put them back on. LEDDNA is a website: http://www.leddna.com

  15. #15
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    The plastic "shield" is an insulator and spacer. It is used to make sure that the soldered wires do not touch the reflector and create a short circuit and set the position of the LED correctly in the focal point of the reflector. That position is pretty critical for a good beam. In some of my experimenting with swapping LEDs, I found that as little as .2mm difference in LED position in the reflector made big improvements in beam quality

  16. #16
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    I received two SS X2 this week, and I plan to touch up soldering, swap emitters to a neutral white, and apply thermal grease as needed, and tack the emitter bases to the light houseing for better thermal efficiency. After pulling one of them apart, I see the 16mm emitter is on a pill/base (shown nicely in the above pics) which I am guessing is right about 20mm; will either 16mm (with pill) or an emiiter on a 20mm base alone work in these lights? It seems the inner dimension is just about right for slipping in the 20mm base. I placed some 16mm and 20mm on order through FastTech, but I like what I read about the Sinkpad bases (MK96), and I plan to order a couple of either the 16mm or 20mm. If they both work, I wonder which would give better efficiency in removing heat from the light. Any experience on this front would be appreciated.

  17. #17
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    If the "pill" is thicker and has a 16mm MCPCB LED I would stick with this design even if it would be more difficult to replace. Recent SS X2 brought us a "solarstormification" term what basically means saving money on the thermal/electric/... design of all these cheapo lights. Sinkapads are good option if you like to drive leds harder but mine from leddna never arrived - bad luck maybe, honestly I don't know There is a Noctigon option from intl-outdoor (which I bought, so there is a mistake in my previous post) if you really need copper MCPCB. But if you don't touch circuit inside the lights I would stick with fasttech's XM-L2 U2 with 4C/4D tints on alloy MCPCB. Ordered recently some 4C and they are just fine. OTOH the difference in lumens is barely noticeable. IMHO you can leave the circuit as is and tune the beam pattern using various TIR optics like these: $0.84 20mm 30-Degree Optical Lens for Cree XML T5 / T6 / U2 LED Emitters - 20*12.8mm at FastTech - Worldwide Free Shipping - cheap to play with and fine results

  18. #18
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    MK96 - thanks for the info. I placed an order for two of the 16mm XM-L T6-3B (5000-5200k emitters) sinkpads from LEDDNA.com. The order is currently marked "Awaiting Shipping", so I'll let you know how that plays out. I don't plan to drive them any harder, but I would imagine removing the heat more effectively can only be of benefit to the electronics. I have a few pairs of emitters from from FastTech.com on order; T6-3B, U2-3C, and T6-4C. I haven't seen mention of it, but I wonder if anyone has mixed two different color emitters to get a little brighter output with more color definition. I would imagine from the selection I have ordered, the color differences are fairly subtle. I also ordered a couple of the optics and plan to toy with that a bit. After I am through the period of waiting for the "speedy" shipping and have a chance to swap some of the components out, I'll post anything worthwhile. Thanks again for the info.

  19. #19
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    Cat-man-do has suggested to mix a 4200K and a 5200K emitters as it may reduce the glare in the thread about Skyray S6.

  20. #20
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    SSX2 LED swap

    Alright, so after receiving 2 lights from ebay seller phcmall, #181201202951, who has sold over 1100 of the SSX2. They each arrived in a box like this:
    Attachment 882525

    After ordering the lights, I proceeded to order warmer LEDs and some tools to do some work on them. I have read through the massive thread on SSX2/Fandyfire that is now approaching 900 posts, and I saw a few how-to questions. I am putting my LED swap/upgrade below along with pictures and comments to hopefully build a bit more detailed knowledge base about the how-to upgrades/swaps on these lights. I am by far no expert, so any feedback/suggestions based on experience are only of help to myself and others. I will say that I have used a torch and worked with copper pipe before, but this was my first take on soldering electronics.

    I ordered from several vendors, among them dx.com, FastTech.com, IlluminationSupply.com, and LEDdna.com to name a few. I also picked up a little set of helping hands (magnifying glass, alligator clips, iron holder, etc) from the local ACE Hardware. I will say that I have been most pleased with IlluminationSupply.com. I had the LED emitters on copper bases from them in 2 days which were very well packaged - even put the LED's inside of a plastic battery holder in addition to the small baggy they were in. This was very refreshing after the typical shipping times from China.

    The lights I received have green driver boards, which I believe is indicative of a clone. They do not appear to be like some of the worst I have seen in other pictures, but don't agree with the pictures of the original SSX2.

    I will proceed with some pictures and comments. I can't say the order I reassembled and soldered was necessarily the best, and I will do things a bit differently with the second light, but it worked out fairly well.

    The project:

    XM-L2 T6 5000-5200K on copper plates from Illumination Supply
    Attachment 882524

    Helpful tools for the project; from the local ACE, "soldering tools" and mail ordered the thermal past/adhesive -
    Attachment 882527

    Helping Hands from the Local ACE: the alligator clips were key in getting the wires to hold in the required place and free up my hands for the soldering - the magnifying glass was used minimally in cleaning up a solering joint on the driver that likely would have shorted. Also note the fine tip on the soldering iron that is required for this job. I ordered a Wells 40W basic soldering iron which came with 3 tips and some solder which I did not use because the solder seemed less predicatable and possibly a little higher temp than the other I ordered. From another MTBR thread on soldering, it sounds like stay away from acid, but flux is fine. Anyone else with helpful suggestions can pipe in here...says my complete lack of experience.
    This was my order on Amazon (which I was pretty happy with):
    Alpha Fry AT-31604 60-40 Rosin Core Solder (4 Ounces)
    Weller SP40NKUS Medium Duty LED Soldering Iron Kit, Red/Black
    Attachment 882533

    I began by removing the front and back of the light, four small phillips head screws in my case. The back pulls right out after removing the screws, and the front has to be lifted off a piece at a time: front retaining double ring, each glass lens, a small diameter o-ring on each side and the reflectors.
    Mod Solarstorm/Fandyfire X2?-photo-4-flip.jpg

    Mod Solarstorm/Fandyfire X2?-photo-3-flip.jpg

    It was between L1+ and L1- that the solder was touching as far as I could tell. The little tools I bought at ACE were effective with this.
    Mod Solarstorm/Fandyfire X2?-photo-5-flip.jpg

    At this point the LED emitters and pills were attached to one another with some thermal past or something simlar but free to move as a unit once the light was disassembled, so I pried each led board around the edge to separate it from the pill. It didn't require much force and a small flathead screwdriver did the job nicely. I then applied a quick bit of heat from the fine tip of the soldering iron to release the soldering joints on each contact point of the emitters. You can see the amount of paste/glue used in the pictures below. I used a flat screwdriver to scrape/remove all the glue to get the best thermal transfer for the new emitters.
    Attachment 882522

    Attachment 882536

    As far as the re-assembly, I used 2-part thermal adhesive between the emitter and the pill as well as along the seat area of the pill and outer housing.

    I suppose the only downside here is that will make it harder to accomplish future mods/repairs if needed. I applied a thin layer across the font side of each pill and pressed the new emitters into place. With the emitters from Illumination Supply, the downside was that they were not perfectly round. They were initially connected when they arrived. A few bends back and forth long the axis of the connection freed them from one another, but I used some sidecutters to gingerly trim back these edges and ensure they sat down completely in the pill. Prior to trimming, they did not fit, but very little material was removed from each emitter. I had a small pair of vice grips I used to carefully press and release the emitter plate to the pill around the edges, avoiding any contact or damage to the done in the center. Also be sure to align holes for wires from the emitter and pill - yes very basic...but be aware of it.

    I then proceeded with a couple of things that should probably be done differently, and again I welcome experience of others here. I glued then attached each pill back in it's proper place with a small even amount of thermal adhesive. I thought having the pills fixed in the lights would help ease the soldering part of the process...I think this was actually a bit that complicated it because each opening is fairly small and somewhat recessed, i.e. difficult to access and solder on. I used a small screwdriver to press the pill down into the thermal adhesive to make sure it got fully seated and centered on the lip in the housing. Be sure to insert the pills/emitters from the front side of the housing; the side that each opening is isolated from each other unlike the back where the two sides are open between to allow room for the wires and driver board.
    Mod Solarstorm/Fandyfire X2?-photo-3-3-flip.jpg

    So, although this isn't proably the absolute best, it may be the only option to secure the emitter for soldering if the wires don't allow the pills to reach beyond the front edge of the lights...possibly the case for some. In my case on this light, I looked back through the pictures and see the wires were long enough I could have soldered before reassembly. Here is a picture of the original emitter up close prior to removing it (not the nicest looking soldering job).
    Attachment 882529

    If they are long enough though, I would use the helping hands and alligator clips to hold the emitter flat and secure the wire as desired. The second major oops was to solder without the refelctor centering piece in place. These were hard plastic in my case, and the soldering joints were a bit too close to allow them to seat flush against the front of the board. Again, I employed the sidecutters to remove enough material to fit them properly. Also, I think the soldering heat may have slightly affected the domes. They got the tiniest bit of a fog on them - hardly visible. It didn't look like this impacted the output, but I am guessing it would not have happened if I had properly placed the led/reflector centering piece prior to soldering. Of note, it was also very tight, and I had to be very careful to avoid making a path for current between the contact points and pill holding the emitter plate. I managed to avoid it, but the tolerances are fairly tight.
    Attachment 882534

    Mod Solarstorm/Fandyfire X2?-photo-5-3-flip.jpg

    The remaining bit was then fairly quick: rest each reflector on the centering plastic around each LED, set the orings on the top edge of each reflector, place the glass carefully, replace the double ring bracket, very lightly screw in small screws on the front until they seat, insert the back assembly minding the wire placement, and lightly screw in the small rear screws until they seat.

    I did very carefully plug in a battery and test the operation of the light after I completed the soldered connections. I was particularly mindful of the rear board not touching anything, including the light housing, to avoid unwanted shorts.

    I was pleased that it worked and has a significantly warmer appearance than the original, although still far from yellow. This also led me to want to use one warmer and one cooler led on the other light to see if I can get a maximum color and brightness impact on the trail. The picture below was just a quick shot for comparison on low between the modified and unmodified lights (taken on low with the camera - not calibrated or standardized for color/brightness, but it serves the purpose).
    Mod Solarstorm/Fandyfire X2?-photo-3-4-flip.jpg

    On a final note, with the soldering, I read some reviews of people who had seemingly burned either LEDs or their driver board, so I paid careful attention to not overhead the leads and actually did a little bit of what you are told not to do...that is touch the solder to the edge of the iron to cut down on the time I heated the leads. If it were like copper pipe, this would simply not work, but in my case, it seemed to work well producing what seemed to be good solid connections at the leads, and the light worked afterward. Again, comments on experience would be helpful. I did not want to damage the other hardware - I am expecting to get some stong opinions against this from people who are experienced in this field, but please inform because I still have at least one more light to modify.

    I have some optics on order that I plan to try out and wonder if there is some benefit to be had from the basic anti-reflective (AR) glass that can be had for a couple $$.

    Hopefully this provides some helpful info, and it wasn't a repeat of info that is burried somewhere in another thread. Thanks for tolerating my laziness in not re-uploading a few of the pictures rotated properly.

    Thanks for reading and comments.
    Last edited by CO_rider; 04-07-2014 at 09:43 AM.

  21. #21
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    Great job and how-to for someone who likes to swap leds. Keep going and testing optics I ordered a range of 10,15,25,30,45, and 60 degree TIR lenses to play with in free time.

  22. #22
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    I'm thinking that it would be great if Easy2LED could offer a 2-LED housing.
    I have a feeling that many of us would take one of these lights, change the LED, change the driver to an l-flex, change the switch to a momentary pushbutton, customize the optics, build a better battery pack.... Which leaves the light as just a housing.

  23. #23
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    MK96 - Let us know what you find out on the optics. I have a few on order. I will need to go through and find out the best fit for the optics because it seems the depth of each lens is going to vary, i.e. 45 deg is deeper than a 15 deg. This will have to be accounted for - it seems the best way would be to use a spacer of some kind behind the LED pill...then again, this may be over-complicating the swap. It sounds like in the cases of some different optics being put in the lights to start, they arrive with 2 o-rings per side to take up the slop on the front side of the reflector.

    Quote Originally Posted by Ofroad'bent View Post
    I'm thinking that it would be great if Easy2LED could offer a 2-LED housing.
    I have a feeling that many of us would take one of these lights, change the LED, change the driver to an l-flex, change the switch to a momentary pushbutton, customize the optics, build a better battery pack.... Which leaves the light as just a housing.
    I would consider something like that. I haven't tried his single-LED housings, but they look solid. After toying with the soldering iron a bit, I would put one together if I was confident I had a good driver/switch setup that was compatible with the housing. It seems the DIY battery is a place where significant cost savings occurs, but for the quality you could potentially put into a light head, there is probably even more savings on that end. With the battery and some soldering basics under my belt, I would be willing to tackle a light head with better water resistance and known switch/driver than the SSX2...I will certainly have a selection of 20mm and 16mm LED's I could drop into one. I placed my first order for replacement LED's based on the dimensions of the housing, not reading through the monster thread fully, and did not account for the pill. The 16mm LED's I ordered from Fast Tech should arrive today, another 3 sets to play with, one as warm as 4C bin w/4,300-4,500K output.
    Last edited by CO_rider; 04-07-2014 at 08:54 AM.

  24. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by MK96 View Post
    ... Sinkapads are good option if you like to drive leds harder but mine from leddna never arrived - bad luck maybe, honestly I don't know There is a Noctigon option from intl-outdoor (which I bought, so there is a mistake in my previous post) if you really need copper MCPCB. ...
    The LED pair that I ordered from LEDDNA.com arrived yesterday, so it may have been a one off that yours didn't make it through either their shipping procedures or through the post itself. They appear similar to what I ordered from Illumination Supply, and for the quickness of shipping, I would go with Illumination Supply.

  25. #25
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    Just got mine from Black Color SolarStorm X2 2*Cree XM-L2 2200-Lumen Led Bike Light Without Battery Pack - Bicycle Lights Lamp Cap - Bike Lights & Headlamps Worldwide Free Shipping!!!, so I'm both sharing my experience with this purchase with you all and asking newbie questions.
    13$ light head only...could not pass the chance as I had spare batteries and I don't do night riding that much now. Cheap lights are ok for now...

    First impression: Yinding, or Yinding-clone rules. This SolarStorm has blueish LED tint which I totally dislike. Don't know if it is because of optics vs reflectors, or LED tint, but my friend's Yinding looks way brighter.

    I did opened it up, just out of curiosity... You can take a look at the pictures bellow (I am really sorry for the crappy shots, but I had no time, so I had to do it really quick). I've noticed the heat dissipation is practical equal to zero. I am by no means an expert, but I did had some thermal paste I've used a couple years ago on my laptop, so I've decided to add some. Unfortunately, I have no photos. I've just placed a few around the borders of the metal plate holding the LEDs as this is the only metal thing touching the little ring inside the housing (I guess one picture is worth 1000 words...)

    No my questions: what is the approximate degree produced by this reflector? I think I need a tighter spot... I'm guessing the 15 one is enough ($0.86 20mm 15-Degree Optical Lens/Optic for Cree XM-L LED Emitters - 20*12.8mm at FastTech - Worldwide Free Shipping) - am I right?
    Second question: why is it that everyone has two separate leds and mine are all in one single "board"?! Am I not powering them enough?




    Cheers!

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