Can anyone step up for an AA/2AA only BLF budget flashlight?

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Ronin42
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hum I like AA and 14500 but I am a bit confused.

  1. Manker T01
  2. BLF X5
  3. Spark SX5
  4. any S7

Off the bat these are all great AA/14500 lights that are availible now. What is it “we” are looking for? and (heresy) why?

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These are not all AA lights and some of the models are costly and not gifters/loaners etc….

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I'd be interested in some AA happiness.      I was just looking for some potential AA lights to lay claim to this evening.

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I think what we want here is our own custom user interface, an existing light can not give that. Further, 14500 only will not do it for me, what makes an AA light strand out is the use of alkalines and safe NiMh batteries, it makes this light suitable for gifting and lending out. The main problem is the boost driver, it must be efficient, programmable (Attiny based?) and probably 15mm diameter. There have been some attempts, one still in progress, once that has been sorted out this project can take off.

My first thought would be a chinese manufacturer to make it cheap and in BLF spirit, but if Texas Lumens is able to make it stand out in design and quality, I'm very tempted too Love

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Instead of 14500 only, I would go the other direction. I would like to see a budget light that has all the good features of the Zebralight SC5Fd.

  • 1xAA: NiMH, lithium primary, or alkaline; no 14500
  • Reasonably high output, but not necessarily 500 lumens
  • Efficient, constant-current, boost driver; no PWM
  • Perfectly flat output, with forced step-downs as voltage wanes
  • At least 5 constant modes, 6 might be better, e.g., 0.5, 3, 30, 90, 220, 450 lumens
  • Quality UI (perhaps ToyKeeper's!)
  • Medium- or high-CRI (at least 85, if not 90+)
  • Choice of emitters: NW plus anything else (all I want is NW)
  • Floody, perhaps even using a frosted lens.

I like the unfocused beam of most zoomies. Although I might prefer a reflector and frosted lens more, I have wondered whether a fixed optic of some sort might not give the beam of a zoomie set to flood.

This would make a great indoor flashlight (and a whole lot more).

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I'm surprised no-one has mentioned the Dereelight Javelin in this thread.  Not exactly budget and now a bit long in the tooth but this was/is a nice 2AA light.  The "lego" nature of their products was a big selling point a few years ago. Same head but with 2AA, 3(or more)AA via extension tube(s), CR123 or single AA bodies. P60 head.

Perhaps something similar in concept would suit the needs of many.  A single AA host with extension tubes for 2 or 3 AA if required.  Swap pills according to your preference.  That should satisfy both the Eneloop and 14500 camps.

The P60 format is surely still viable for the currents drawn by most AA/14500 options.  This could be a modder's dream.  

Still have the main issue of good boost driver availability to contend with though.

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KeepingItLight wrote:

Instead of 14500 only, I would go the other direction. I would like to see a budget light that has all the good features of the Zebralight SC5Fd.

  • Reasonably high output, but not necessarily 500 lumens
  • Efficient, constant-current, boost driver; no PWM
  • Perfectly flat output, with forced step-downs as voltage wanes
  • At least 5 constant modes, 6 might be better, e.g., 0.5, 3, 30, 90, 220, 450 lumens
  • Quality UI (perhaps ToyKeeper’s!)
  • Medium- or high-CRI (at least 85, if not 90+)
  • Choice of emitters: NW plus anything else (all I want is NW)
  • Floody, perhaps even using a frosted lens.

I like the unfocused beam of most zoomies. Although I might prefer a reflector and frosted lens more, I have wondered whether a fixed optic of some sort might not give the beam of a zoomie set to flood.

I like all of what you listed, bar the frosted lens.. Modes you listed are good.. As long we have the ability to enable or disable the “moonlight” 0.5 lumen mode (soldering a star or via clicky UI, I am not bothered which).

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phsinvent wrote:
http://www.ebay.com/itm/271826474761?_trksid=p2060353.m1438.l2649&ssPage...

I don’t see why the Hugsby XP-12 2xAA doesn’t get much love. Tomtop has had all genuine so far. I’ve seen a few fakes from other sellers. But coated glass lense, good machining and near type 3 anodizing for $6. These are my new favorite gift lights next to the old sk68.


I’d be up for one of those, but with an upgraded emitter and driver, to push more lumens. Nice looking light, though.

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grayski74 wrote:
I like all of what you listed, bar the frosted lens.. Modes you listed are good.. As long we have the ability to enable or disable the "moonlight" 0.5 lumen mode (soldering a star or via clicky UI, I am not bothered which).

Nichia 219C might be a good emitter for this flashlight.

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gadabout wrote:
I’m surprised no-one has mentioned the Dereelight Javelin in this thread. Not exactly budget and now a bit long in the tooth but…

Seems to me, you know exactly why it hadn’t been mentioned in this thread. Wink

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KeepingItLight wrote:

grayski74 wrote:
I like all of what you listed, bar the frosted lens.. Modes you listed are good.. As long we have the ability to enable or disable the “moonlight” 0.5 lumen mode (soldering a star or via clicky UI, I am not bothered which).

Nichia 219C might be a good emitter for this flashlight.

Yupz.

Its nice and efficient with a low VF, and a good tint.

Or maybe an XP-L HI – I like the XP-L HI V3 2B I have stuck in my Convoy S6..

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I have a Hugsby XP-12 and its a decent light, dated but decent. Heck, if Hugsby would update it then my problem would be solved.  

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sb56637 wrote:
I very much like the 1xAA format, in fact it’s what got me hooked on flashlights.

I would be the first to buy a custom BLF 1xAA light if it happened.

+1 to both statements for me.
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What the whole world truly needs is a programmable AA driver built by one of the resident smarty pants people.   Then every AA light could be a super light.

I would not be at all interested in  a 14500 only light.   We can already do that with any light.  A 15mm FET driver, done deal.


I think it would be worth while if we all chipped in to pay some BLF member with the ability to make a good single or 2 AA driver.     That way they could be getting something for the time and we could all reap the benefit.

I would personally donate $20 toward development of said driver.Money Mouth

I realize that is not much toward such a massive undertaking, but if we all chip in a little the person spending all the time doing it will not have to carry such a load.

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There are a lot of good AA lights about. The first one that comes to mind is the olight s15r, AA, 2XAA or 14500 from moonlight all the way to 350/400 lumens. All you really need. Then there’s the Hugsby lights xp11 springs to mind for $5/6. So would I want a potentially expensive custom AA? not really. I’m not sure it would give me want isn’t already available.

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S15R is definitely my top light at the moment, however, its medium mode is slightly too birght, would love to see it more dimmer.

So, yeah, theres something to improve in AA powered space and Im all in ;)!

In fact, if we can keep it at 20$ shipped, would love to see USA made light with original design and good driver!

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marcl wrote:
There are a lot of good AA lights about. The first one that comes to mind is the olight s15r, AA, 2XAA or 14500 from moonlight all the way to 350/400 lumens. All you really need. Then there’s the Hugsby lights xp11 springs to mind for $5/6. So would I want a potentially expensive custom AA? not really. I’m not sure it would give me want isn’t already available.

Apparently, you are not in the target audience. I would love to see someone develop an awesome programmable boost driver for AA and/or 2xAA, with a UI like TK’s BLF-A6 FW. And, I’d like to see it capable of taking high current input, like parallel AA or 18650 – sized NiMH cell, and give good output to a XP-L HI or XM-L2. If you know where we can get one of those drivers, please enlighten us, as there are obviously several of us that would love to have one.

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This CAVE MAN is as close as I have found to the perfect 2 X AA light IMHO. I have one and gave one to my Dad. My only gripe is that it is a little expensive. 

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sb56637 wrote:
I very much like the 1xAA format, in fact it’s what got me hooked on flashlights.

I would be the first to buy a custom BLF 1xAA light if it happened.

+1

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bikenber73 wrote:

This CAVE MAN is as close as I have found to the perfect 2 X AA light IMHO. I have one and gave one to my Dad. My only gripe is that it is a little expensive. 


Wow, that is nice! It looks a little like a EE X6 style pulled out to a 2xAA size.

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Bryan at Shiningbeam made some great lights in the past. Apparently he is coming back with a new online store.  

marcl
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DavidEF wrote:
marcl wrote:
There are a lot of good AA lights about. The first one that comes to mind is the olight s15r, AA, 2XAA or 14500 from moonlight all the way to 350/400 lumens. All you really need. Then there’s the Hugsby lights xp11 springs to mind for $5/6. So would I want a potentially expensive custom AA? not really. I’m not sure it would give me want isn’t already available.
Apparently, you are not in the target audience. I would love to see someone develop an awesome programmable boost driver for AA and/or 2xAA, with a UI like TK’s BLF-A6 FW. And, I’d like to see it capable of taking high current input, like parallel AA or 18650 – sized NiMH cell, and give good output to a XP-L HI or XM-L2. If you know where we can get one of those drivers, please enlighten us, as there are obviously several of us that would love to have one.

Please tell me what this ‘custom’ light would give me that my current lights dont .

The way I see it we are all looking for something different in a light. It sounds like it would be very hard to please everyone. The S15r gives me more than I need, and is an extremely well designed light. What you are asking for sounds almost impossible. AA, parallel AA, 2XAA, NIMH, 18650 size NIMH. Sounds like it could be fun to see that made.

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marcl wrote:
DavidEF wrote:
marcl wrote:
There are a lot of good AA lights about. The first one that comes to mind is the olight s15r, AA, 2XAA or 14500 from moonlight all the way to 350/400 lumens. All you really need. Then there’s the Hugsby lights xp11 springs to mind for $5/6. So would I want a potentially expensive custom AA? not really. I’m not sure it would give me want isn’t already available.
Apparently, you are not in the target audience. I would love to see someone develop an awesome programmable boost driver for AA and/or 2xAA, with a UI like TK’s BLF-A6 FW. And, I’d like to see it capable of taking high current input, like parallel AA or 18650 – sized NiMH cell, and give good output to a XP-L HI or XM-L2. If you know where we can get one of those drivers, please enlighten us, as there are obviously several of us that would love to have one.

Please tell me what this ‘custom’ light would give me that my current lights dont .

The way I see it we are all looking for something different in a light. It sounds like it would be very hard to please everyone. The S15r gives me more than I need, and is an extremely well designed light. What you are asking for sounds almost impossible. AA, parallel AA, 2XAA, NIMH, 18650 size NIMH. Sounds like it could be fun to see that made.


Let me tell you what it will give me that I’ve not seen in any lights so far. I don’t know what it would give you, since you believe you have already found it. Silly

I’m looking for an awesome driver. The host could be negotiated later. If you know where I can get a high current, programmable boost driver that takes input voltage from (at least) 0.8v to 3.0v so that it is a suitable driver for use with any combination of cells, small or large that fits within that voltage range, let me know where it is so that I can get it.

As I see it, we have lots of high current programmable linear driver options. We even have a couple of great buck options. But, if there’s a great boost driver out there, I don’t know it. Sure, there are decent ones, but not great ones. I know it’s possible, because there are lights that are 2xAA that are capable of high output. But, they are expensive lights, and the driver isn’t programmable that I know of. I want something that we can put TK’s BLF-A6 firmware on it, or guppydrv or some other firmware. And, I want it to push the limits until the cell is the limiting factor, not the driver.

I as yet have never seen a driver that supports high current boost from 1.2 – 1.5 volts input. Most 1.5v drivers are made with either AAA or AA in mind, but there are larger, more powerful cells available than AAA and AA. Even so, most single AA lights don’t even take full advantage of that cell they were made for. They’re too conservative. To get one that isn’t, you’re into premium pricing.

In the past couple years, we at BLF have seen some wonderful developments with DD and FET drivers. The DD/FET driver doesn’t limit the cell from delivering the most possible current to the emitter. Those drivers can be used even with multi-cell and/or multi-emitter configurations and still not get in the way. In other words, the driver is not the bottle neck. Boost drivers are obviously made differently, and will never be as efficient as linear, because they have to convert amps into volts somehow. But, I’d like to see the boost driver be less of a bottle-neck than it is today. There is a lot of room for improvement as it currently stands.

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DavidEF wrote:
marcl wrote:
DavidEF wrote:
marcl wrote:
There are a lot of good AA lights about. The first one that comes to mind is the olight s15r, AA, 2XAA or 14500 from moonlight all the way to 350/400 lumens. All you really need. Then there’s the Hugsby lights xp11 springs to mind for $5/6. So would I want a potentially expensive custom AA? not really. I’m not sure it would give me want isn’t already available.
Apparently, you are not in the target audience. I would love to see someone develop an awesome programmable boost driver for AA and/or 2xAA, with a UI like TK’s BLF-A6 FW. And, I’d like to see it capable of taking high current input, like parallel AA or 18650 – sized NiMH cell, and give good output to a XP-L HI or XM-L2. If you know where we can get one of those drivers, please enlighten us, as there are obviously several of us that would love to have one.

Please tell me what this ‘custom’ light would give me that my current lights dont .

The way I see it we are all looking for something different in a light. It sounds like it would be very hard to please everyone. The S15r gives me more than I need, and is an extremely well designed light. What you are asking for sounds almost impossible. AA, parallel AA, 2XAA, NIMH, 18650 size NIMH. Sounds like it could be fun to see that made.


Let me tell you what it will give me that I’ve not seen in any lights so far. I don’t know what it would give you, since you believe you have already found it. Silly

I’m looking for an awesome driver. The host could be negotiated later. If you know where I can get a high current, programmable boost driver that takes input voltage from (at least) 0.8v to 3.0v so that it is a suitable driver for use with any combination of cells, small or large that fits within that voltage range, let me know where it is so that I can get it.

As I see it, we have lots of high current programmable linear driver options. We even have a couple of great buck options. But, if there’s a great boost driver out there, I don’t know it. Sure, there are decent ones, but not great ones. I know it’s possible, because there are lights that are 2xAA that are capable of high output. But, they are expensive lights, and the driver isn’t programmable that I know of. I want something that we can put TK’s BLF-A6 firmware on it, or guppydrv or some other firmware. And, I want it to push the limits until the cell is the limiting factor, not the driver.

I as yet have never seen a driver that supports high current boost from 1.2 – 1.5 volts input. Most 1.5v drivers are made with either AAA or AA in mind, but there are larger, more powerful cells available than AAA and AA. Even so, most single AA lights don’t even take full advantage of that cell they were made for. They’re too conservative. To get one that isn’t, you’re into premium pricing.

In the past couple years, we at BLF have seen some wonderful developments with DD and FET drivers. The DD/FET driver doesn’t limit the cell from delivering the most possible current to the emitter. Those drivers can be used even with multi-cell and/or multi-emitter configurations and still not get in the way. In other words, the driver is not the bottle neck. Boost drivers are obviously made differently, and will never be as efficient as linear, because they have to convert amps into volts somehow. But, I’d like to see the boost driver be less of a bottle-neck than it is today. There is a lot of room for improvement as it currently stands.

Star Star Star Star Star

Thats what I am after too – start with the driver.. Once we have a great programmable boost driver 15mm/17mm, then we can use lots of hosts for great flash-lights – flooders or throwers as needed etc.

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DavidEF wrote:
marcl wrote:
DavidEF wrote:
marcl wrote:
There are a lot of good AA lights about. The first one that comes to mind is the olight s15r, AA, 2XAA or 14500 from moonlight all the way to 350/400 lumens. All you really need. Then there’s the Hugsby lights xp11 springs to mind for $5/6. So would I want a potentially expensive custom AA? not really. I’m not sure it would give me want isn’t already available.
Apparently, you are not in the target audience. I would love to see someone develop an awesome programmable boost driver for AA and/or 2xAA, with a UI like TK’s BLF-A6 FW. And, I’d like to see it capable of taking high current input, like parallel AA or 18650 – sized NiMH cell, and give good output to a XP-L HI or XM-L2. If you know where we can get one of those drivers, please enlighten us, as there are obviously several of us that would love to have one.

Please tell me what this ‘custom’ light would give me that my current lights dont .

The way I see it we are all looking for something different in a light. It sounds like it would be very hard to please everyone. The S15r gives me more than I need, and is an extremely well designed light. What you are asking for sounds almost impossible. AA, parallel AA, 2XAA, NIMH, 18650 size NIMH. Sounds like it could be fun to see that made.


Let me tell you what it will give me that I’ve not seen in any lights so far. I don’t know what it would give you, since you believe you have already found it. Silly

I’m looking for an awesome driver. The host could be negotiated later. If you know where I can get a high current, programmable boost driver that takes input voltage from (at least) 0.8v to 3.0v so that it is a suitable driver for use with any combination of cells, small or large that fits within that voltage range, let me know where it is so that I can get it.

As I see it, we have lots of high current programmable linear driver options. We even have a couple of great buck options. But, if there’s a great boost driver out there, I don’t know it. Sure, there are decent ones, but not great ones. I know it’s possible, because there are lights that are 2xAA that are capable of high output. But, they are expensive lights, and the driver isn’t programmable that I know of. I want something that we can put TK’s BLF-A6 firmware on it, or guppydrv or some other firmware. And, I want it to push the limits until the cell is the limiting factor, not the driver.

I as yet have never seen a driver that supports high current boost from 1.2 – 1.5 volts input. Most 1.5v drivers are made with either AAA or AA in mind, but there are larger, more powerful cells available than AAA and AA. Even so, most single AA lights don’t even take full advantage of that cell they were made for. They’re too conservative. To get one that isn’t, you’re into premium pricing.

In the past couple years, we at BLF have seen some wonderful developments with DD and FET drivers. The DD/FET driver doesn’t limit the cell from delivering the most possible current to the emitter. Those drivers can be used even with multi-cell and/or multi-emitter configurations and still not get in the way. In other words, the driver is not the bottle neck. Boost drivers are obviously made differently, and will never be as efficient as linear, because they have to convert amps into volts somehow. But, I’d like to see the boost driver be less of a bottle-neck than it is today. There is a lot of room for improvement as it currently stands.

+1000

Which is the reason I was suggesting a 14500 only light for a possibility. I think the current boost (pun not intended, happy accident) drivers are not worth it for a custom light right now. My Thorfire TG06 with a FET driver from RMM pulls over 5A on a windyfire 14500. Too hot to hold in less than a minute, but rides like a chapstick in the pocket….

On lower modes it is still a useful light with decent runtime, and guppydrv is a welcome UI for the different levels available.

No AA use, but I have chargers at work, home and in the car. Spares are small to carry…

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@ Davidef.

I understand what you seem to be asking for, 1000lm from a AA I guess. But my point is we all want something different and that does not appeal to me at all. What I don’t understand is you also seem to be suggesting larger NiMH cells, maybe C or D cells, or 2AA but why? If you are afraid of lithium then I understand. If not then 18650 would seem the most compact design.

To me a 2x AA or single AA light is about decent lumens and decent run time. Correct me if I am wrong but you seem to be trying to win a drag race without nitrous oxoide.

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MountainKing wrote:
I recall once Illumination Supply wanted information on the AA format. I made a doc for it and posted it "here.":https://docs.google.com/forms/d/1hIJ858gydWw4IpzQwT1cvOA7UuMozTQQUBhBwkh... Unfortunately, the project never came through... Here are the results of it. Is there anyone who can make a BLF AA custom driver budget flashlight? At over 190 responses, it should prove a good starting point! https://docs.google.com/forms/d/1hIJ858gydWw4IpzQwT1cvOA7UuMozTQQUBhBwkh...

Back on topic.

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Looking at Eneloop Pro AA cells. I have some of these, so I’d be interested in a light that can use them to the max. The Manker Quinlan T01 claims 500 lumens from a single AA, so even 1000lm from 2xAA should be reasonable. According to HKJ’s tests, it wouldn’t keep it there very long, but it could do it. Then, add a MCU that we can program to get whatever firmware we like. And put it into a nice looking host. Love

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marcl wrote:
@ Davidef.

I understand what you seem to be asking for, 1000lm from a AA I guess. But my point is we all want something different and that does not appeal to me at all. What I don’t understand is you also seem to be suggesting larger NiMH cells, maybe C or D cells, or 2AA but why? If you are afraid of lithium then I understand. If not then 18650 would seem the most compact design.

To me a 2x AA or single AA light is about decent lumens and decent run time. Correct me if I am wrong but you seem to be trying to win a drag race without nitrous oxoide.


I’m not afraid of lithiums for myself. But, I know people who would love to have a bright light, and I wouldn’t trust them with lithium cells!

The Cycle of Goodness: “No one prospers without rendering benefit to others”
- The YKK Philosophy

Wrathbringer27
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Location: Singapore GMT +8

DavidEF wrote:
marcl wrote:
@ Davidef.

I understand what you seem to be asking for, 1000lm from a AA I guess. But my point is we all want something different and that does not appeal to me at all. What I don’t understand is you also seem to be suggesting larger NiMH cells, maybe C or D cells, or 2AA but why? If you are afraid of lithium then I understand. If not then 18650 would seem the most compact design.

To me a 2x AA or single AA light is about decent lumens and decent run time. Correct me if I am wrong but you seem to be trying to win a drag race without nitrous oxoide.


I’m not afraid of lithiums for myself. But, I know people who would love to have a bright light, and I wouldn’t trust them with lithium cells!

+1000

Words can be broken,
so can bones.

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