Old LED Lensers for Flashlight History

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Fritz t. Cat
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Old LED Lensers for Flashlight History

The last two nights, in an Inn in Pescadero, I had this in the bed side table, though I didn’t notice it until the second day. There was also an Opinel carbon steel knife in the drawer, somewhat rusted of course.

Screw zoom, one mode, looks like typical Lenser optics. Forward clicky.

Flashlight designers should look at lighthouses and pottery.
这些谁设计的手电筒应该看灯塔,以及在陶器。

Edited by: Fritz t. Cat on 06/27/2016 - 16:19
breinrules
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Oh, led lenser lightweight series

Fritz t. Cat
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I see now that an L7 made of polycarbonate is listed on the LEDLenserusa Web site. The round LED is the only thing that marks the example I saw as old. It may have been dim mainly because of the battery.

Here is probably an older Lenser/Coast bought with a leaking battery on Ebay:

The flashlight says only LED Lenser on it, but the blister package said both Coast and LED Lenser. The listing calls it “Coast 7438”.
Taking apart and re-assembling the complicated battery holder got it working.

There is no driver or current control of any sort, other than the choice of the wire gauge.

Apparently this LED’s forward voltage made current limiting unnecessary.

An aspheric projects an image of this LED with four bands. They may be visible here. The two side bands are wider than the center ones.

As in the somewhat newer XR-E models, the LED sits on the pill with no star. Here it is surrounded by a ridge of the pill.

The wires are soldered directly to the LED’s package.

I plan to keep it as is. Its twisting zoom has very limited travel, so it is worth more to collect than to modify.

Flashlight designers should look at lighthouses and pottery.
这些谁设计的手电筒应该看灯塔,以及在陶器。

snakebite
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i would stuff a china cheapie 3w in there to gain efficiency.more light less heat for the same power.btw thats an old luxeon III

Fritz t. Cat
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With the limited zoom, I plan to keep it in my collection rather than trying to improve it.
Nice to know what the emitter is.

Flashlight designers should look at lighthouses and pottery.
这些谁设计的手电筒应该看灯塔,以及在陶器。

Fritz t. Cat
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Coast / LED Lenser LL7549 V2 Moon Lenser

2016.4.22

I received this old light yesterday from Amazon. It seems to have been the only one they had, but it is also available here:


It says “136 available / 68 sold “.

It has the same shape as the beautiful but expensive and rare stainless steel POP lite P73 and similar models such as P75 and P673. It must have been a very nice light when new, but it is now quite obsolete. It has only a single 5 mm. LED, on a fiber glass circuit board in the narrow neck by the switch.

The switch and boost driver are on the same bIoard.

The LED has its own lens and throws a fairly small spot without the head on. The head contains a fixed symmetrically double convex lens that forms a small spot about 3 cm. in front of the light and a uniform “moon” spot with a blue edge at distance.

Strangely, there is a ring of holes around the head. These are between two o-rings and don’t appear to spoil the water resistance. The clear o-ring seals (or is supposed to seal) between the lens, the head and the plastic dummy reflector spacer. The pink one seals between the dummy and the head. A black o-ring seals between the head and center section, and there is an o-ring in the tail cap.
A faint sparkle escapes from the holes. It is white, rather than red, so it must come back from the lens rather than forward around the dummy reflector spacer. Since the spacer has no main optical function, one could remove some or all of it coating to let more light out the holes. This would also change the rings in some way.
The switch is the intermittent type, not in the main current path. There is only one mode, which makes good sense since even lower modes would be of little use. I measure 0.2 A at the tail which must give around 10 hours run time, depending on how the current varies with battery voltage. Brightness is like low modes on other small lights.

A light that puts less then a tenth of an amp. through the LED is not useful unless I can get it apart. Penetrating oil, acetone and strips of rubber wound around and even moderate heating didn’t do it. Two pairs of pliers did it, but with scratches, and the rubber switch boot was destroyed. (There was a spare switch boot under the gold plated tail spring.) I should have worked the boot out its hole before taking the waist off the tube. I don’t think the driver can come in or out with the boot on it. There was a locking compound in the threads, harder than that I have found in POP lite threads. Maybe more heat might have saved the scratches.

There is a groove for a thick o-ring but no o-ring. Maybe the thread locking compound sealed it.

The driver board has 15 components on it plus the switch, spring and LED. One who knew how it worked might be able to re-tune it for a power LED. It is 13 × 32 mm. and sits in slots (as the P5.2 driver does) in the 12.4 mm. I.D. waist or isthmus.
The battery tube is reversible, as though it was actually designed by an engineer, rather than just giving verbal instructions to a machinist. Where it is scratched or not anodized, it looks like brass! No wonder it is so heavy. Machining marks do not show, so I don’t know how it was fabricated. (A bad thing according to modern art principles.) It probably was NC machined, as machining ease is brass’s best property.

The build is very good, except that there are steps in diameter at the joints. Its great advantage is the subtly curved center section by the switch. This is what makes it easy to hold and to switch and makes it beautiful to see and to feel.

More old Lensers are available in Germany, but the shipping from there to here is expensive.
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Modification Potential

Like the Smiling Shark SS-5039, it needs radical modification to realize the benefits of its excellent shape. Obstacles include the narrow neck and limited length of the head, unusual diameters and electronic intermittent switching.
One 5 mm. LED limits it to low mode only. With a newer 5 mm., it might have a good run time / brightness combination but still would lack a high mode. A power LED would require metal cooling, which could be accomplished by placing a thick copper 20 mm. star against the front of the center section.
This would put the LED in about the same place it is now, which would give some sort of useful focus with the original lens. For good focus, it would need new optics also, which could be anything not zooming that fits in the space, which is about 20 × 20 mm. More precisely, it is 19 mm. diameter at the rear for a bit less than 10 mm. and 23 mm. diameter in the front part. Perhaps the lens could be replaced with a 23 mm. flat window and a reflector of about the right size fit in with spacers. Big lens SK-68 clones have lenses of about 22 mm. that fit fairly well.
This leaves the question of where to put a more powerful driver. For AA, this might fit in the neck along with the switch: , or one might fit both a driver and a star behind the optics, as in a normal light. If the star were filed for a good fit, it wouldn’t need a pill. For 14500, a 20 mm. driver could be filed down to 19 mm., or a one sided 17 mm. driver could be in thermal contact with the center section. This would leave more space for the optics and for the switch. To work properly, it needs an intermittent electronic driver. These are available in kit and assembled form from Mountain Electronics.
It looks as though a one sided driver and a star will fit behind a TIR optic. If it is too short for that, a triple will fit if there is one the right diameter.
After getting it apart: The driver could be cut down to hold only the switch and leave room for a BLF Tiny 12 or the boost driver shown above.

Flashlight designers should look at lighthouses and pottery.
这些谁设计的手电筒应该看灯塔,以及在陶器。

Firelight2
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Ah … LED Lensers! … the lights that got me into LED flashlights Crown

I remember when I got my first good LED Lenser. It was powered by 3xAAA and had a TIR reflector. Impressively bright compared to the incan maglights I’d had before.

I replaced that with a 1xAA Lenser, and then with a rechargeable zoomable Lenser.

Fritz t. Cat
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The main reason that I think that LED Lenser, POP lite, Fitech and Coast, which appear to be different brand names for the same product line, are important to flashlight history is that I agree with their main technical and artistic ideas. Many of their lights have optics like Fresnel lighthouse lenses, and many including the one above have smooth curves. I am not alone in this, as Fry’s Electronics features them.
They have not generally had the best reliability or the lowest prices, but those things can be fixed by well known methods, while optics types and artistic concepts require creativity to initiate. Neither 19th Century lighthouse optics nor smooth curves is patentable, so their influence may spread rapidly, when it is more generally appreciated.

Flashlight designers should look at lighthouses and pottery.
这些谁设计的手电筒应该看灯塔,以及在陶器。

Fritz t. Cat
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Coast / LED Lenser 7547 V2 Triplex, Silver, (factory) refurbished, 3xN, 3×5mm.

It says Coast on the bezel and LED Lenser on each cell.

It is probably plated brass like the Moon one. Some of the inner surfaces look yellow. The plating looks like cadmium to me, but maybe that had already dropped out of use by that time.

The battery tube is slightly longer and has a plastic adapter to fit the narrower cells. The driver, which may be only a switch but probably also has a resistor, is shorter and has no spring, so that the front N cell extends into the head. The bezel is slightly shorter. The outside diameters and the smooth transition head seem to be the same. The tail cap has a shorter spring and a deeper cutout for it. There is a spare switch boot behind the spring. The bezel and the battery tube unscrew easily from the head. The battery tube fits either way ended.

The Triplex has a mechanical forward clicky switch, while the Moon has an electronic switch.
The LEDs are set in a metal reflector, which appears to be silver plated and does not come out of the transition section or head easily, with no front window. The bezel unscrews easily and has two o-rings.

Triplex left, Moon right.

Tail current is 0.25 A vs. 0.15 for the Moon version, so the LEDs are driven a bit harder but may be a bit less efficient, as well as bluer. Perhaps it is older. The cells are all at 1.5 V., after some use on the Moon and none on the Triplex.
I am not used to having to turn off the lights to take beam shots.

These don’t look or feel like POP lites and more recent Lensers. In addition to the plated brass, the sections have steps between them. My guess is that they were made before POP lite started producing for Lenser, maybe in Germany.

Flashlight designers should look at lighthouses and pottery.
这些谁设计的手电筒应该看灯塔,以及在陶器。

lampyris
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Hi Fritz, good to see these older lights still getting some use!

Just for info, in the pictures of the driver in post 6 there is a chip marked “c310” I am sure this is a Zetex zxsc310 as I have an old supermarket light that has the same Zetex chip in it, and the circuit and component values are exactly the same as the datasheet.

Fritz t. Cat
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I found a statement about LED Lensers being made by POP lite Bo Lai / Fitech, on a Taobao site that sells POP lites. Here is the Google translation of it:

https://world.taobao.com/item/16157733421.htm?spm=a312a.7700714.0.0.bJlkbc

Bo Lai company specializes in producing LED, LED flashlight, LED light, diving flashlight, headlamp, with German design quality, long-term for a well-known German brand OEM, the German brand flashlight same production platform, the international market is the production of high-quality diving one of the few manufacturers flashlight, with various models of stainless steel flashlight, flashlight manufacturers are afraid to get involved in other areas, lifetime warranty service, rest assured that the best protection. Flashlight 10 years production experience. Annual production of some international famous brand OEM orders, OEM OEM rich experience, have their own brand POP LITE (Bo Lai), our innovative products and continuously improve product quality, adhering to the breakthrough technology, change the price, the LED flashlight civilian corporate vision, determined to create high-quality, high-power, low price of the LED flashlight.
Companies strong, comprehensive, innovative product design, superior quality and reasonable price, timely delivery, currently with headquarters in Germany (POP Lite Unternehmergesellsschaft) of the United States as well as innovative product design mature sales network, coupled with advanced management concepts, scientific management and a variety of professional and technical personnel, products have been exported to Southeast Asia, Europe and other countries and regions.
September 9, 2009 incorporated Yang Dong POP Lite Gift Industrial Co., Ltd.(registration number: 441723000012208) focus on the LED flashlight, aluminum flashlight, stainless steel flashlight, flashlight, 1W, 3W, 5W high-power high-end series flashlight, police flashlight, a variety of energy-saving LED mini flashlight, gift flashlight design, development, manufacturing and sales.
Domestic sales of many so-called international big, fakes flooded, even if the real thing is not necessarily better than the professional contract international brands Bo Lai. In the export market sluggish background, Bo Lai will be the main push their own brand, the quality will be better, but will not reduce the quality of sulfur own brand! Bo Lai has German quality design concept for a long-term well-known German brand OEM, the German brand flashlight same production platform, is one of the international market to produce high quality diving torch one of the few manufacturers, with various types of stainless steel flashlight, is other flashlight manufacturers dare not involved in the field, lifetime warranty service, rest assured that the best protection.

Product is that true? Why is the price so low?
We are Bo Lai distributor in Shandong Province, one of millions of getting goods, the main wholesale, channel promotion. All products wholesale price available, website sales earn credit, only to increase the visibility of the shop. While providing consignment shop, wholesale, 10 from the set. I purchased the product, such as leave or return, we bear the return shipping, while fake a compensable 10, you can report to Bo Lai manufacturers! Please reassure parents buy!
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Together with the statement I read that POP lite’s main customer is Coast and the that most of the lights discussed above had both Lenser and Coast brand names on them, this helps to clear up why the three brands are so similar. Perhaps this was written before so much production went to Coast. Another link is the similarity between the Coast Cutlery A25 and the POP P31.

Flashlight designers should look at lighthouses and pottery.
这些谁设计的手电筒应该看灯塔,以及在陶器。