Sofirn SD01 + Orcatorch WS02 DIY primary light...

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boriss

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Inspired by "DoktorBEN" on YouTube, who's a GUE diver and was going over ideas for those on a budget. Since I already had the Sofirn SD01 (), I decided to get the Orcatorch soft goodman handle:
I think I paid around $80 for the light, it's on sale every once in a while or they sell direct and the Wrist strap was $15 shipped. So all-in-all about $100. The light originally had a depth rating of 100m/328ft, not sure how it'll hold up with my changes (or without them). Deepest I've had it so far is just over 50m/165ft.

Anyway, let's get to the gettin'.... here's the wrist strap with the hardware:

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Light with the handle detatched (I've never used that handle anyway)

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So high level, the bolt hole for the light handle is 1/4-20. The small screws provided with the Orcatorch handle are M4x0.70

First thing I did was take a 1/4-20 SS screw and drill/tap it for M4x.7, to reuse the existing hole:
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Ended up scraping this piece, as I had to put it in the vice to tap and that ruined the thread. Next one I tapped prior to cutting off the piece (ruining the base of the screw).
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Now, cut it off and screw into the flashlight.

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I didn't document this part, but I drilled/tapped another M4x0.7 hole to ensure the flashlight can't pivot. Here's what that looked like:

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Put everything together with blue Loctite... here's the end result

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The light is attached extremely well, it's not going anywhere. I'm going to change out the bolt snap to a smaller one and dive it when I come back home. There are a few things I'd do a little differently if I had time/machine shop/etc... but for what it is, I hope it'll do the trick.

Maybe this will help others with ideas.... of what not to do :eyebrow:
 

Thrutch

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Fun timing. My new Sofirn and goodman handle come in the mail tomorrow and later today, respectively. I am trying the universal carbon fiber goodman handle from Nanight for my setup. It uses a hose clamp to attach the light, which I'm hoping will improve the balance issues mentioned by Doktor Ben. It's also $70, so basically the same price as the light itself, which I got for $80 shipped from the Sofirn site. $150 is still a great deal for a complete setup like this. I'll post here when I've got it all together.
 

Thrutch

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Here's the result
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The handle wouldn't be great for bare hands due to somewhat rough edges, but it works really well with dry gloves. Got it out for two dives this weekend, and I like it. I ended up adding a loop of paracord for another clip point because the handle doesn't have any such points built in.
 
OP
boriss

boriss

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First of all @Thrutch thanks for your pics and info... please update us as you gain more experience with that setup.

A quick update after using the light for a bunch of technical dives so far, followed by a few pictures.

In general I'm happy with the setup, but it's not perfect. The light is relatively heavy, which I don't notice most of the time, but the Orcatorch handle is a bit too soft for a light of this size/heft. The Dive Rite soft handle made of Kevlar would work much better, IMO. Alternatively, a hard goodman handle would be ideal.

So far the light has been down to 165ft/50m and has accompanied me into the Spiegel Grove wreck for 62-minutes (in Turbo mode) and still had plenty of juice by the time we exited the wreck and made our way back to the line for deco. After reviewing my footage, it's wayyy too bright in turbo mode inside a wreck with no other light. Even on medium/high it'll run for ~5-hours (according to specs). More than I'll ever need.

I took a pic of the beam pattern, it looks relatively tight in the picture, but in person it's not as good as my buddies Bigblue light.

Not really sure what else to write... hope this helps someone in the future :)


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Thrutch

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Quick update: I don't recommend the Nanight handle. It would probably be great with a near neutrally buoyant corded light, but with the Sofirn brick, it doesn't really feel secure unless I'm actively gripping the handle. With my Light Monkey , I can just sort of shove my hand in and it wedges enough that I don't need to keep my hand tensed.

I'm trying another handle option and will report back.
 
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boriss

boriss

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Quick update.... the OrcaTorch WS02 wrist strap is a POS. Should have expected as much for the price. It started rusting pretty quickly and then slowly falling apart. I didn't think much of it last month, but it's exponentially worse now. Insane! Here's what it looks like after only ~2 months. I sent an email to support with the attached pics, let's see what they say.


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Thrutch

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Just put together a new setup using a Nitescuba M40-H Adjustable Goodman Handle (really nice) and a CAMVATE Mini Mounting Plate (I found it for $13 shipped on ebay). I had to drill the threading out of one hole in the mounting plate, but that's the only modification. I like the large flat mounting area on the handle. It feels much more secure and balanced than the Nanight handle I tried previously. Haven't had it in the water yet. Will report back.
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ACHiPo

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I’d never heard of this brand before. That Sofirn seems to offer a LOT of lumens for not much money. I understand the light pattern may not be ideal, but it seems like lower power might address some of that? (Not the pattern per se, but the usability?). Does it use AAs? Could rechargeable be used?
 
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boriss

boriss

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I’d never heard of this brand before. That Sofirn seems to offer a LOT of lumens for not much money. I understand the light pattern may not be ideal, but it seems like lower power might address some of that? (Not the pattern per se, but the usability?). Does it use AAs? Could rechargeable be used?

It uses 4x 18650 rechargeable batteries that come with it. You can run it with fewer batteries as well, it just won't run as long. The light is pretty heavy compared to something like a Dive Rite LX20+ for example. Very bright and beefy.

I have a Sofirn SD05 as one of my backups. Can be had for <$40... can't beat it. I prefer it over the DGX lights for example. It uses a single rechargeable 21700.

I'm not sure if I'd recommend the SD01, to be honest, unless you use it with the handle as it comes. It's kind of a large/bulky light and the design could be improved... a lot. The SD05 on the other hand I'd recommend as a 2nd or 3rd backup.
 
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