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#279351 - 02/04/16 11:03 AM Re: I need tour ideas of the perfect flashlight! [Re: sybert777]
sybert777 Offline
Enthusiast

Registered: 10/15/09
Posts: 299
Loc: 62040
Well, as you all should no, there is absolutely nothing I can build that would satisfy everyone. However, Alex and I have the same idea regarding programmable buttons and externally controllable buttons. I would like to make a manual option for if TSHTF and your flashlight is set to max. output at 50L. Smartphones break, especially when thrown around in cars that wreck or roll over. So, here is my idea so far, and please, anyone correct me in my thinking because I assure you most of you have more knowledge regarding this stuff than I.

It would begin with 3 or 4 "Base" models. Surefire refers to them as "Tactical", but flashlights that have a single, high output.

The "Keychain" Light should have a body that can take a single AAA battery, yet have a minimum output of 100L. It is a keychain light, if you need any higher output for a light that is less than 3" long, you need to sacrifice runtime.

On the topic of runtime, a Max. output would run until batteries were 75% depleted. Afterwards, it would default to either the next lowest setting (50L) or off.

The EDC Light, which I now know shall be smaller than I originally thought, shall be no longer than 5", with a body no bigger than .75" in diameter or cross-section. A flashlight of this size will easily accommodate 123A as well as AA size batteries. 200L seems like a reasonable output for a light of this size.

This takes me to the next point about throw. Surely, no throw is going to satisfy everyone. I used to be a bigger fan of almost laser-beam, until I had to try to find a lost Surefire Fury (Ironic, Right?). That's when I discovered that a wider throw has its major benefits, although distance is sacrificed. Sure, Mag-Lite has its adjustable beam, but let's be honest, it's terrible. I haven't played with newer LED Mags, but IIRC, at short distances with a flood beam, it creates a nice black-hole.

Well, my earlier point about "base" models brings me here. Each model would have different heads that you can utilize. Some people prefer crenellated heads, I only see them useful on 1" bodied flashlights, as that is the most comfortable for me to grip combatively. I can't say anything regarding color, as I was thinking Titanium would be the material they are made of. I'm unsure if Titanium can be anodized like Aluminum or a different coloring process.

A glowing ring seems to be a popular "Must-have" so I will find a way to incorporate that. I was thinking Tritium, but that would significantly raise the price of the flashlight.

Sorry I'm all over the board here, but one point brings me to another. Price; I'm sure not all of us can afford to purchase Ti flashlights. I can't even afford to replace the Surefire I lost. frown EDC Base models would cost around $25 for an Aluminum light, Aluminum head, and Aluminum Tail Cap, $45 for Ti. Keychain models, I would hope to place somewhere in the $15 range, $25 for Ti if possible.

Tailcaps.. Where the magic happens. Let's start with the plain-jane! You press it, the light comes on. base models would have 2 options, tail-clicky, and tactical (twist to constant on). both have momentary on, both have constant on, both have one output. A programmable tail cap is well beyond my capabilities as an engineer and machinist, so I'm sorry, but that just is not a possibility at this moment, unless some electrical engineer reads these forums and takes it as a challenge. However, each model (except for Vehicle, a tail-cap switch on a large light is impractical) will have a variety of available upgrades. Hi-Low, Low-Hi, Hi-Med-Low, Low-Med-Hi, Hi-Strobe-Low, Tactical Single-Output with Pressure Switch; You get the idea.

So far, I've briefly covered Keychain and EDC types, and most of the EDC upgrades would follow along the same path as Gen. Use. The vehicle light would most likely utilize an internal, removable, rechargeable battery. A secure charging mount, easily mounted on your car. I say secure, because the last place you want your vehicle's flashlight in a roll-over is at the top of the ravine you're sitting in. I may try to include a way that it activates on a lower mode (25L) when it detects a sudden change in motion, so if it does happen to break loose, it isn't impossible to find amongst 8 years worth of dropped cheeto's and McDonalds wrappers under your 3rd row seating. (nice visual, huh?)

I have a habit of over-engineering things, so it'll be weighty, but not over-encumbering. My largest issue is the lack of machinery, materials, and time. So far, what do you all like, what aspects do you hate, which ones won't work? Give me anything you can think of that will help or hurt. I greatly appreciate criticism, no matter how "harsh" you think it is.
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#279356 - 02/04/16 08:42 PM Re: I need tour ideas of the perfect flashlight! [Re: sybert777]
TeacherRO Offline
Pooh-Bah

Registered: 03/11/05
Posts: 2107
I need a light that won't go on in my pack - some sort of safety switch.

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#279358 - 02/04/16 10:02 PM Re: I need tour ideas of the perfect flashlight! [Re: TeacherRO]
hikermor Offline
Geezer in Chief
Geezer

Registered: 08/26/06
Posts: 5728
Loc: southern Cal
My ideal flashlight would be a headlamp. It is easier to hold a headlamp in your hand than to tie a flashlight to your noggin. It would use li-ion chemistry, probably 18650 size or possibly the AA equivalent.

A beam adjustable from wide to narrow (flood to throw) makes sense. It doesn't need a lot of lumens for most applications, although variable output is a useful feature. Using titanium for the body is a silly bling factor that only increases the cost IMHO. Aluminum is perfectly satisfactory.

The most important feature of any light is that it functions reliably, every time. Punch the button and it is on. Punch it again, and it is off.
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Geezer in Chief

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#279361 - 02/05/16 12:20 AM Re: I need tour ideas of the perfect flashlight! [Re: sybert777]
boatman Offline
Addict

Registered: 03/10/03
Posts: 424
Loc: Michigan
I don't like buttons of any kind on flashlights. Every one breaks eventually. I like direct contact like ARC AAA's, CMG Infinity and Fenix EO1. Gerber Infinity and Fenix EO1 uses a spring to stop rattles but it can break also. The ARC AAA uses a foam washer to stop rattles and it can't break. When I want light I want all I can get NOW. Our Grandfathers were pretty happy with a two D cell incandescent bulb light. My small ARC AAA light is brighter than those old clunkers. The more bells and whistles the more can go wrong. To me a perfect light has already been made. It was made obsolete by being " improved ".....

BOATMAN
John

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#279375 - 02/05/16 03:49 PM Re: I need tour ideas of the perfect flashlight! [Re: boatman]
wileycoyote Offline
Enthusiast

Registered: 03/01/11
Posts: 261
Loc: eastern oregon
boatman john nailed it: the old ArcAAA was and still is the benchmark of flashlights - simple, reliable, solid, small

one you have with you beats something fancier & more powerful that's out-of-reach.

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#279376 - 02/05/16 04:03 PM Re: I need tour ideas of the perfect flashlight! [Re: wileycoyote]
Russ Offline
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 06/02/06
Posts: 4436
Loc: SOCAL
The problem with the Arc AAA was availability -- same with the CMG Infinity; they were good lights if you could get one. I have a few lights of similar design: a Peak AAA, Gerber Infinity (4) and a couple Fenix E01. All are good and have never failed. I keep the Peak AAA in my Mission Wallet. The only failure I've had in any of these lights was due to an alkaline battery that failed before its shelf date -- scratch one Fenix E01, bring in the back-up.

BTW, titanium is beneficial in that if a battery dies, aluminum is toast, Ti handles corrosion much much better.

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#279379 - 02/05/16 04:45 PM Re: I need tour ideas of the perfect flashlight! [Re: Russ]
hikermor Offline
Geezer in Chief
Geezer

Registered: 08/26/06
Posts: 5728
Loc: southern Cal
I am also a fan of smaller lights in general, especially the Infinity and Peak. Currently, a Fenix LD 02 graces my key ring, replacing an LD 01, also a very fine light.

Certainly one of the attributes of a "perfect" flashlight is availability - right at hand when you need a light and dependability - you will have light when you need it, right away. Carry a headband and you have a serviceable headlamp...(Don't carry it in your mouth - that is a very bad idea!) You can also easily pack replacement batteries if using the small AA, AAA, or 123 sizes.


Good point about corrosion resistant titanium. My solution is to use essentially non-leaking rechargeable NiMH batteries. No equipment that I respect will ever have alkaline batts.
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Geezer in Chief

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#279381 - 02/05/16 05:05 PM Re: I need tour ideas of the perfect flashlight! [Re: hikermor]
Russ Offline
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 06/02/06
Posts: 4436
Loc: SOCAL
Hikermor -- consider the 4Sevens Mini ML-X. You can get a headlamp kit that accommodates.

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#279383 - 02/05/16 05:37 PM Re: I need tour ideas of the perfect flashlight! [Re: Russ]
hikermor Offline
Geezer in Chief
Geezer

Registered: 08/26/06
Posts: 5728
Loc: southern Cal
Thanks for the tip! That is an intriguing light, but it apparently doesn't use recargeables (??) I do already possess a Zebralight that will use all AA chemistries. It works quite well in hand, as well.

Why do they keep coming up with this neat stuff? We are a long way from the 2 D, dim bulb, ever flicker junk....
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Geezer in Chief

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#279384 - 02/05/16 06:07 PM Re: I need tour ideas of the perfect flashlight! [Re: hikermor]
Russ Offline
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 06/02/06
Posts: 4436
Loc: SOCAL
Yeah, every flashlight that needs inventing has already been invented. wink

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