[BLF Joint-Development] WildTrail BLF Tactical Flashlight

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tatasal
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Lux-Perpetua wrote:

djozz wrote:
I think you confuse a few things here.

…or I was just using the wrong words to express what I really meant to say. Facepalm I’m afraid I need to take some more English lessons. Party Instead of “reliability” I meant “sustainability” or “permanence” of the flashlight’s output. I agree that FET driven lights are very reliable with regard to possible failure.


djozz wrote:
[…] The output is not instable, it is a very predictable slow decline in output warning you in advance of battery depletion. […]

This is exactly the situation I don’t want to face when being lost in a cave. I want to have a steady output as long as possible. Silly

You mean it’s ok if your light to suddenly just trigger its LVP, in a cave? Haha..

lumenzilla
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Lux-Perpetua wrote:

Okay, I will try to draw a concept with rubber cigar ring and full circle ring clip mount like FW3A uses. Is bidirectional really important? Maybe it’s useful to have another groove close to the head section to use the unidirectional clip in the reverse direction?


 


My point was about the clip is being secured by the tail cap, not detachable like pictured on first post. I should have wrote more detail.

extremesquared
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I’d be interested in Model C.

A 21700 tactical light would be interesting, and has not been done.

Dual springs + foam/rubber washers to protect cell from impacts/recoil in line with the tube.

Momentary switch, 500-800 lumens (whatever will run for at least an hour without thermal problems or dimming)

Preferred UI would have no mode memory, and a hard-to-access very low mode as well. A generic streamlight momentary switch UI that goes H-H-H-L with no memory would work and be difficult to accidentally activate low mode.

djozz
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I think the idea of not wanting a FET-driver is that you rather have a lower output but constant and longer. The longer runtime and lower output can be had with a FET driver also, by adding resistance in the circuit (not often done but is a solution for those modern low voltage leds). This is just to point out that long runtimes and FET-driver can go together, but I do agree that current regulation is nice (which in a lineair driver is also done by adding resistance but it varies depending on battery voltage, to keep the current constant).
A boost driver is a different beast, I have not much experience with those, but I had one fail (a KD boost driver wrecked a XHP50.2 in one of my builds)

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tatasal wrote:
You mean it's ok if your light to suddenly just trigger its LVP, in a cave? Haha..

I have faith in the driver developer's or firmware programmer's creativity to indicate a depleted cell, e.g. by a blinking LED, followed by a hard stepdown to a low mode.

Meanwhile, I tried to reflect the desire for a more compact design with a closed ring clip mount and a rubber cigar ring (see revision 2), still not yet fully downgraded to 18650 size. Maybe 21700 is not so bad either. Wink Using a TIR optic should hopefully save some space in total length. Provided that we go down to 18650 size, I wonder if a Carclo 10507 with 3x SST-20 or 3x XP-L HI would be as interesting as a single SST-40 with regard to throw numbers, power consumption and runtimes.

kanton
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Model B.

Notes: around FW1A size or would be nice (though probably not doable with a tail click. But at least as small as possible without further bulking it up with USB charging.

@Dual switch: If you have don’t have an e-switch on the back you need a clicky there. To my understanding: If you want this to have an always high or turbo momentary, it’s key that there is no mode memory or mode memory being able to get disabled/set to a user-configurable value.

That would be a solution I can live with though in my eyes not ideal (I still prefer rear e-switch) but I would definitely buy it if it’s a lot shorter than e.g. an Olight M2R.

Lux-Perpetua
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@kanton: If we use an e-switch in the tail we probably need to go for a double-tube design. This would come with a big trade off in terms of higher impact / wear sensitivity and more complexity at higher costs. Regarding your prerequisites about the UI, I think the draft UI I posted in the OP should take mode memory on/off into consideration. Of course, any suggestions how to improve it are deeply appreciated.

Lightbringer
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You can have an eswitch in the tail with a driver-in-tail design. That necessarily means PWM, though, and something like 98% maximum on-time (thus ~2% off-time to supply power to the driver), and a small resistor across the LED to complete the circuit when the LED’s off.

 

Main concern, though, should be how to differentiate this light from all others already out there, so it’s not just another “me too!” light.

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BurningPlayd0h
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My $0.02… Nobody is going to be considering between this or a Malkoff/HDS/etc. Very different niches (pricing and country of origin mostly), so don’t go chasing the “simplicity” of those lights hoping to capture the same magic.

If there could be an Anduril or Bistro offshoot that allows for a quick and easy switch to a “tactical” mode (always 100% at turn-on, limited # of modes, etc.) you could still go crazy and have a full “enthusiast” UI.

Since I still don’t know myself, does anybody here know how Klarus and Acebeam implement their tail e-switches? Many lights from both companies have that feature and are marketed and used as weapon lights so I’d think the design is pretty dependable.

kanton
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Lux-Perpetua wrote:

@kanton: If we use an e-switch in the tail we probably need to go for a double-tube design. This would come with a big trade off in terms of higher impact / wear sensitivity and more complexity at higher costs. Regarding your prerequisites about the UI, I think the draft UI I posted in the OP should take mode memory on/off into consideration. Of course, any suggestions how to improve it are deeply appreciated.

If you really don’t want to go down the back e-switch route, I think the UI you posted is quite good (I completely overlooked it, my bad!). There are some caveats though, as I understand:

  • You can’t switch the light on in moon or low mode via the side switch from complete OFF. You would have to carry the light in Standby. But then the rear switch does not act as a momentary anymore (you have to click it once).
  • You don’t have momentary high from rear switch when you are using the light in a lower mode, instead it cuts off power completely.

Those are some griefs I have with it.
I admit these are probably very me-problems and don’t concern anyone else. To me though it’s kinda ugly that the rear switch does something different depending on what mode the light is in right now (from OFF it is momentary then ON, from ON or Standby it does nothing then it cut’s off power) – that’s why I dig the dual e-switch designs I mentioned. No matter if the light is on or off, rear switch is always Turbo.

BurningPlayd0h
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kanton wrote:
Lux-Perpetua wrote:

@kanton: If we use an e-switch in the tail we probably need to go for a double-tube design. This would come with a big trade off in terms of higher impact / wear sensitivity and more complexity at higher costs. Regarding your prerequisites about the UI, I think the draft UI I posted in the OP should take mode memory on/off into consideration. Of course, any suggestions how to improve it are deeply appreciated.

If you really don’t want to go down the back e-switch route, I think the UI you posted is quite good (I completely overlooked it, my bad!). There are some caveats though, as I understand:

  • You can’t switch the light on in moon or low mode via the side switch from complete OFF. You would have to carry the light in Standby. But then the rear switch does not act as a momentary anymore (you have to click it once).
  • You don’t have momentary high from rear switch when you are using the light in a lower mode, instead it cuts off power completely.

Those are some griefs I have with it.
I admit these are probably very me-problems and don’t concern anyone else. To me though it’s kinda ugly that the rear switch does something different depending on what mode the light is in right now (from OFF it is momentary then ON, from ON or Standby it does nothing then it cut’s off power) – that’s why I dig the dual e-switch designs I mentioned. No matter if the light is on or off, rear switch is always Turbo.

Completely agree, with a “tactical” style light you absolutely need the same function from OFF every time (preferably to 100%). That comes from either a tail+side e-switches or a tail-switch only design.

kanton
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BurningPlayd0h wrote:
Since I still don’t know myself, does anybody here know how Klarus and Acebeam implement their tail e-switches? Many lights from both companies have that feature and are marketed and used as weapon lights so I’d think the design is pretty dependable.

Klarus and Acebeam both use tube-in-tube. I can confirm this for the Klarus XT2CR and the Acebeam T36. Olight does so on the M2R but opted for proprietary batteries with an aditional pole in most of their other models.

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Can’t we have a dual switch 21700 with usb-c recharge and power bank. The highly praised Wuben TO50R would have been a perfect light if it had the power switch at the tail instead of to the side. The switch is so freaking difficult to find it the dark that I don’t use it often. It is pretty much perfect in every other way.

atobe
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My vote for model B.

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BurningPlayd0h
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kanton wrote:
BurningPlayd0h wrote:
Since I still don’t know myself, does anybody here know how Klarus and Acebeam implement their tail e-switches? Many lights from both companies have that feature and are marketed and used as weapon lights so I’d think the design is pretty dependable.

Klarus and Acebeam both use tube-in-tube. I can confirm this for the Klarus XT2CR and the Acebeam T36. Olight does so on the M2R but opted for proprietary batteries with an aditional pole in most of their other models.

Do they use a more “proud” connection for the secondary tube like HDS does or just a flat ring like the FW-series?

kanton
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I tossed together some quick renderings of Model B (dunno if that’s what Lux-Perpetua had in mind but I was kinda bored today :X)







(Album link: https://imgur.com/a/eeqgmnb)

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I like the light design in post #1. However, being a tactical light, ditch the on-board usb-c charging port and put a ~6k emitter in it. I’m not looking to make sure the leaves on my boxwoods are color correct at night with this light…

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kanton wrote:
I tossed together some quick renderings of Model B (dunno if that’s what Lux-Perpetua had in mind but I was kinda bored today :X)

I love the way the bezel is so slightly and smoothly crenelated. Highly impressive work!

lumenzilla
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kanton wrote:

Klarus and Acebeam both use tube-in-tube. I can confirm this for the Klarus XT2CR and the Acebeam T36.

The same for Klarus XT1C, using tube-in-tube.

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kanton wrote:
I tossed together some quick renderings of Model B (dunno if that's what Lux-Perpetua had in mind but I was kinda bored today :X)

That looks really amazing! Thank you!

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The render actually looks pretty cool.
Looking forward to final design

Light Own: Convoy S2+ 4C FET, BLF X6v2, BLF Q8, BLF LT1, WildTrail D80v2, Convoy L6 TA Narsil, BLF GT, BLF-348, Convoy S2+ 18350 Nichia 219BT, Astrolux A01, Olight I3E tan
Gifted Away: Convoy C8+ Sand 4C FET, Pelican 2350, BLF D80 (due to flicker), BLF A6 (due to green tint), BLF X5
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Potentially interested in a dual switch 18650 (currently only have AA for dual switch), especially if:

  1. Focus on efficiency over max output (I don’t want 10 seconds of burning my hand, I want 10 minutes of efficient bright output)
  2. TIR rather than reflector (lets save size where we can, and I usually prefer the beam pattern with TIRs over reflectors anyway)
  3. High CRI (my low CRI lights are almost never used at this point)
  4. The logo or design aren’t too gaudy
  5. Option to default to or start in low output (starting in high is a pain if you’re trying to use it around the house)
  6. Sublumen moonlight mode
  7. Emisar style flashing pins (realize this is a reach, but I would love to see them become an industry standard)

My personal preference for UI is a bit different than what is proposed in the OP at the moment, but that’s because part of my focus is on keeping it simple if I want to hand it to someone for use. I would almost separate it into “rear switch is on/off/momentary, front switch is cycle up/cycle down”.

I’d start with something like (assuming lockout is not needed):

Rear switch:

  • Tap: Momentary On (brightness i.a.w. mode memory settings)
  • Press: On / Off (forward clicky)
  • Default: Low (Mode Memory = Off)
  • Alternative: Last used mode (Mode Memory = On)

Side switch:

  • Hold = Cycle up
  • Click + Hold = Cycle down
  • Double Click = High mode
  • Triple Click = Change between stepped modes and ramping mode
  • Quad Click = Blink out voltage

Mode memory On/Off

  • Hold side switch + tail switch for 5s

This would also keep it similar to Anduril (but a bit simplified), for if someone wants to switch back and forth (assuming we don’t want to go full-blown modified Anduril).

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Thanks blf members,  have a nice day.

And more suggestions are welcome.

 

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texas shooter wrote:
I prefer a physical forward clicky switch in the tail. Very easy to find when you’re looking else where.

I bought a Sofirn SC31B a couple weeks ago. It’s my first single-cell 18650 flashlight. I like it a lot, but the other night I took it outside before turning it on, and when I eventually needed some light I started feeling the tail end for a switch — but this flashlight does not have a tail switch!

Some flashlights with side switches MIGHT be shaped in such a way that it is easy to find the side switch by feel, but not my Sofirn SC31B. More than once I have found myself rotating this light in my hand more than one revolution, trying to feel that side switch, and eventually giving up. Then I hmust take my eyes off what I was looking at so I can locate the switch visually.

To be fair, the Sofirn SC31B is not (and was never advertised) as a “tactical” flashlight. But now that I have had these experiences it is clear to me that a truly tactical flashlight must have a foolproof tail switch — so the user can easily find it and turn the light on without wasting any time feeling for a side switch.

Bottom line:

Any “tactical” flashlight should (in my opinion) have a simple and reliable clicky tail switch that (hopefully) turns the flashlight on at full power from off. As long as this switch works 100% of the time, having an additional side switch to control modes, etc. would probably be a desirable extra.

Owkaye

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texas shooter wrote:
djozz wrote:
It may prove that a real “tactical” flashlight is so basic and bare that it becomes unattractive for flashoholics Sad

That kind of equipment is very basic. My pistol has only one trigger and one magazine release. Handcuffs all use the same key unless your agency bought Chubbs. My knife has only one blade and its lock is rated at 425 pounds. My baton has no buttons or control settings. Air tanks have only one valve, one hose and one mask. Fire hoses have only two holes. Even the AED’s have pictures and talk you through their use. K.I.S.S. is the rule that we live by. Key rule is very simple very durable. However our Motorola radio has an 120 page instruction manual and needs a teen to reprogram.

If you take it to the extreme with an active shooter, down power lines, multi car crash or a large fire with injuries. Complicated and/or delicate equipment gets lost, broken or left in the fire. We use tools, not really tactical or tacticool. Our equipment is more functional and durable than cool but that makes them cool too me. Don’t get me wrong we cherish good gear beyond rational control.

Being practical not rude, is this flashlight really a tactical flashlight to be used by first responders? Or tacticool to sell to the masses. Please remember good quality functionally simple gear can do both. Think of gear that has withstood the test of time. Screwdriver, Colt 45, rope, blanket, matches, corkscrew, sword, spear, bow, axe, etc. they all do one thing well.

That’s why Surefire has lot of loyal supporters. They just kept it simply.

I only had one of their light back in the days and it was the E1L (2 mode). Rock solid and simple to use.

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Is there any reason the light couldn’t have two very different UI modes? One more enthusiast and one more “emergency” oriented? I know what can be stored on the controllers is a limitation for some lights ( that’s the reason Biscotti exists IIRC).

Mech tail switch and side e-switch is definitely a no-go for me no matter what. Having to change the position of the light in your hand for powering it on/off and changing modes is awful compared to just a single tail mech, or even better the Acebeam/Olight-style dual e-switch.

Lightbringer
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BurningPlayd0h wrote:
Is there any reason the light couldn’t have two very different UI modes? One more enthusiast and one more “emergency” oriented?

Nitefox UT20. “EDC” mode and “tactical” mode…

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BurningPlayd0h
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Lightbringer wrote:
BurningPlayd0h wrote:
Is there any reason the light couldn’t have two very different UI modes? One more enthusiast and one more “emergency” oriented?

Nitefox UT20. “EDC” mode and “tactical” mode…

Their two mode groups aren’t always that different but several recent Klarus, Olight, and Acebeam have something like this too. Skilhunt has two completely different UIs in their newest 14500 and 18650 lights.

Seems like it depends on what kind of driver and controller are used though, I know some of the Attiny chips have limited… memory, I guess? Or some other limitation on how many operations a UI can have.

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BurningPlayd0h wrote:
Is there any reason the light couldn’t have two very different UI modes? One more enthusiast and one more “emergency” oriented? I know what can be stored on the controllers is a limitation for some lights ( that’s the reason Biscotti exists IIRC).

Mech tail switch and side e-switch is definitely a no-go for me no matter what. Having to change the position of the light in your hand for powering it on/off and changing modes is awful compared to just a single tail mech, or even better the Acebeam/Olight-style dual e-switch.

Two very different UI’s should have two different lights. I carry one tactical light and one duty light. My tactical light has high/low only with a tail switch only. It should really be on/off only. Small 18650 format. I’ve used it with quick tail tapping for all sorts of stuff. Like signalling “I’m over here” to building searches. The “duty light” is really in the tacticool category. Having a tail on/off only switch. I set its mode with the side switch and then on/off as needed. It’s more of a work light in 21700 format for lots of long use. This one does traffic control, searches, reading in the car, etc. For the O @#$% moments it’s an attached weapon light.

Don’t over think it. Robust, simple, always works.

BurningPlayd0h
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texas shooter wrote:
Two very different UI’s should have two different lights.

I would say that mode memory on or off, H>L vs L>H mode order, and multiple modes vs 100% only is at least 3 (more like 5) “very different UIs” and yet UIs for respected SHTF lights like PFlexPro’s offer those options. HDS is touted as the ultimate bombproof light and has a great deal of customization on the UI of many of their models.

Overall, I just can’t agree with your stance. There is no con to including more options in a light that can be set to 100% only, and only moved out of that setting when you actually want to.

This light will never compete with Surefire, Malkoff, etc. There is no sense trying to put it into the same market niche, it will be a total failure. A cheaper and/or better Klarus or Acebeam competitor I can see being a reality.

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