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(using some old AA batteries). While waiting for all the parts to get here and start on the Space Needle build, I threw one of these new 5W SE U3U's into a Mag 2D using that 6AA holder I posted about -
Well, it took a little longer than 10 or 15 minutes to actually do it,
but here is the battery pack all done and ready to drop in:
Note the curled up corner of one of the aluminum plates to form the anode contact. And the edge of the other plate was bent down tightly onto the stripped wire end to make contact on the negative end since you cannot solder to aluminum (note faint ring mark where Maglite's endcap spring made contact during testing). The only solder joint was the opposite end of the wire onto the negative output lead of the pack.
- with some half-dead Maxell alkalines and light metered it: 5,760 lux with super white color. It dwarfed the SGK and even my own Mag 2C keeper, both using U2U's.
Hmmm, this latest Space Needle run may be the best and brightest series yet May need to offer welding masks as optional equipment...
And tonight with six fresh AA batteries this particular puppy just now blasted clean through the 6,000 lux barrier...
Actually the story behind the super-bright 5W in this particular light goes like this:
1) I tested each emitter in this reel 5W U3U Luxeons
2) I am only using the brightest ones for this run
3) except for one -- the one in this here 2D light
The reason? There was one Luxeon in the reel that tested more than twice as bright as the rest. More than TWICE as bright.
Other modders I consulted with (such as Lambda) seemed to feel that sometimes despite the Bin Coding, there will be the occasional oddball, sometimes dimmer, yet sometimes brighter due to varying Vf or other factors.
So the feeling was that this Luxeon probably has a much lower (better) binned forward voltage threshold, which also means running it in the same overdrive mode as the others would likely destroy it relatively quickly.
So I decided to save it and run it in an application where the voltage fed to it could be regulated, but without the need, cost, nor complexity of an actual regulating converter. With the 6AA battery pack used in this light, one can vary the power by substituting live AAs with dummy AAs (no more than two, the 5W will not even light at 4.5V).
So even running this with five AA's (7.5V) makes it still as bright as the other "regular" 5W's on three CR123 lithiums. And running it at 6V, although a little dimmer, it will probably last forever. And it still focuses (albeit with a somewhat improved Maglite "black hole" at wide focus) to suit most any handheld lighting purpose.
A light for all reasons.
©Mr. Bulk 2004
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