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

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hank
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I’d forgotten about the SAIK SA-305
http://budgetlightforum.com/node/5551
(it’s a 3xAA ‘beer can format’ light, maybe no longer available)
Old Lumens’ mod of that is worthy of consideration as a first draft toward what could be a BLF design.
A bit off topic, I’m more interested in 1xAA for my own use — but the 3xAA could be really nice as a gift for non-lithium-ion family and friends.
(being as I live in earthquake country, I try to keep handy a stockpile of lights and AA lithium primaries …)

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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!

+1 Smile

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Fritz t. Cat wrote:
Beautiful shapes have compound curves, so they are almost impossible to prototype on a manual lathe. The best way would be to make a prototype in clay and then have it produced on a numerical control lathe. There was someone on here who had worked with NC. There was a thread of beautiful 3D printed lights, but none of them could be mass produced.

I love clay... but to do this in clay would be a total waste of time...other than the enjoyment. When folks decide what they want, we can do the light in CAD and render it out. That way, when the design is complete, we can CNC the prototype and go from there. If a clay model were produced, it would need to be reverse engineered or laser scanned to get that shape into a digital format so we can work with it in the shop.  You are exactly correct about the manual lathe being a limitation. That is why we currently run CNC machines and are upgrading the entire shop to even higher production volumes & capabilities.  

The design possibilities are endless. The capability / ability to produce those designs is almost as endless.   I think each of us has "Something" we like in the design of each light we own. That curve, this offset, those fins...etc. .  

We can't put everything everyone wants into one light. It takes multiple lights.  That is what we have based the shop upgrades on. We needed the capability to be faster and more agile in the design & production of lights.  

I think watching what folks like, want, don't want, and crave is highly interesting.  TL


 


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hank
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Quote:
I know people who would love to have a bright light, and I wouldn’t trust them with lithium cells!

+1 = people with children, and/or people who I can’t trust will, in an emergency, remember “if it vents DO NOT INHALE

Something like this, now: http://budgetlightforum.com/node/18692#node-18692
That’s by Dbsar, who wrote there:

Quote:
… I cut the barrel off the body of the Sipik , then machined threads in the head of the SK to match that of a 2-AA body from a Ebay “Pailide, GL-037-77B “ 3-dollar torch with a side switch. The result is a longer, slightly brighter, 2-AA powered SK68 with over a 3 hour run time

Just a little re-threading involved. Again just suggesting maybe as a rough draft that could be worth improving.
As usual with these, the driver is probably the big question — live with it or improve it, it’s hard to find 2xAA drivers.

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When youre done making awesome driver, I would also like to see it released with 123-18350 tube, 2xAA extension tube as well as 18650 tube, just like that :D!

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Wow, I didn't know there was still interest on this.

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SURPRISE!!

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bikenber73 wrote:

SURPRISE!!

Yeah I've been dead on this forum. 

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Zombie! just in time!!  

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We're actually in the early design/spec stages for a light though it may have deviated a bit from the poll.

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TexasLumens wrote:
I think watching what folks like, want, don't want, and crave is highly interesting.TL

And amusing?

 

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My idea of budget is probably different to others but it seems like the cost of this light is going to not be so budget.

Would it be possible to make/find a driver that works for 1×14500 and 2xAA/nimh? If it is the light could be sold as a single cell light with extension tube.

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agreed that:

1xAA are super light, effective and generic/popular
2XAA adds options in the power department
a high performance boost driver would be cool (rhetorical question) I wonder why they are not more popular (in existance)?
in the power deparment the 2xAA need is also addressed by the CR123 and 16340 cells
the high current AA application are addressed by the 14500 cell
drivers can take both an AA or 14500 would also be cool (rhetorical question) I wonder why they are not more popular (in existance)?
as far as energy density the 18650 is hard if not impossible to beat.
there are limits to what a single AA can do. Is it possibe that it is the single AA cell power that is limiting factor in design?
dont forget the 2×14250 and 2×16340 configurations
lets not forget that 3xAA give useful power options

and my personal favoite converting 3XAA lights into 3×14500, 6V emitter light options (just because Wink

yes the SAIK SA-305 and SH-3AA still exist and are availible (best to be used as hosts in my opnion)

If folks are still reading any thoughts on the TrustFire TR-A9-2 ?

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MRsDNF wrote:

TexasLumens wrote:
I think watching what folks like, want, don't want, and crave is highly interesting.TL

And amusing?

Wink  TL

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DavidEF wrote:

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!

you’re implying a 300 lumen AA light isn’t bright enough for them ?? or just not bright enough for you to impress them with ? non flashaholics are only impressed by output .i’m very impressed by some 80 lumen lights with nice lows like the thrunite ti ‘s. but nonaholics never are impressed with a moon mode or a good low …so who cares what they want .

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I like AA lights, but they have to have ability to run AA Alcs & NiMH, or a 14500 cell.
Also they need to have a good balance of run time vs. output, have moon-mode, hidden strobe, a hat clip for use as a headlight, good quality build, lock out, all the popular stuff.
two of my favorites are my S15 and S15R with a TIR and 4C emitter mod.

That Canadian flashlight guy & Lantern Guru -Den / DBSARlight

marcl
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DBSAR wrote:
I like AA lights, but they have to have ability to run AA Alcs & NiMH, or a 14500 cell. Also they need to have a good balance of run time vs. output, have moon-mode, hidden strobe, a hat clip for use as a headlight, good quality build, lock out, all the popular stuff. two of my favorites are my S15 and S15R with a TIR and 4C emitter mod.

And so we are back at the S15r. It would be hard to design a better light. Yes there is always someone that wants something extra, tint, or even a silly amount of lumens. But the fact remains that the s15 emits the perfect amount of lumens for a light of its size. It can run on 1,2 or 3 AA cells or lithium and the modes are well spaced. Its also the perfect light for a non flashohlic as it charges easier than a mobile phone.

The fact that people are wanting to use old technology (nimh) to power modern LEDs seems and produce massive lumens makes no sense to me. AA lights are good in my opinion but more than 250/300 and you really need lithium.

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marcl wrote:
DBSAR wrote:
I like AA lights, but they have to have ability to run AA Alcs & NiMH, or a 14500 cell. Also they need to have a good balance of run time vs. output, have moon-mode, hidden strobe, a hat clip for use as a headlight, good quality build, lock out, all the popular stuff. two of my favorites are my S15 and S15R with a TIR and 4C emitter mod.

And so we are back at the S15r. It would be hard to design a better light. Yes there is always someone that wants something extra, tint, or even a silly amount of lumens. But the fact remains that the s15 emits the perfect amount of lumens for a light of its size. It can run on 1,2 or 3 AA cells or lithium and the modes are well spaced. Its also the perfect light for a non flashohlic as it charges easier than a mobile phone.

The fact that people are wanting to use old technology (nimh) to power modern LEDs seems and produce massive lumens makes no sense to me. AA lights are good in my opinion but more than 250/300 and you really need lithium.


Tell me again why you’re in this thread? You don’t want what we’re talking about, so what do you want that this thread can offer you?

I like Olight. I’ve got an Olight Baton S20-L2 that is in need of repair right now, but used to be my favorite light for just about everything I’d use a flashlight for. Olight has a great design. But, the S15 is about a $40 light (doing a quick search) and that is way out of budget for an AA/2xAA light for me. Especially since I do use lithiums and can get great lights like the BLF A6-SE for $25.

You still seem to be missing the point. Maybe it’s because you already have access to AA lights that work the way you like. That can be a great blinder. We want something that hasn’t been done. We don’t care if nobody else has a need/desire for it. We want it, therefore we think it would be great if someone made it. We’re not trying to push our views onto others. We just want what we want, and we’re not afraid to ask for it.

How is NiMH old technology? Yes, it’s been around a little longer than lithium. Maybe there’s a good reason it’s still here! Did you know that, in general, NiMH cells have about twice the mAH capacity of the same size lithium rechargeable cell? Since lithiums have 3x the voltage, then the total energy of NiMH is generally 2/3 that of a similarly sized lithium cell. By that measure, 2xAA NiMH would have 1/3 more energy than a single 14500. With that in mind, and the fact that lithiums are FAR more dangerous if not treated correctly, why shouldn’t we want a 2xAA light with max power? Do ‘normal people’ deserve to stay in the dark just because they aren’t familiar with the proper handling of ‘modern’ lithium cell technology? Even a single AA NiMH has 2/3 the energy of 14500. What’s wrong with saying that’s good enough, and designing a light that can use it to its max potential?

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marcl
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DavidEF wrote:
marcl wrote:
DBSAR wrote:
I like AA lights, but they have to have ability to run AA Alcs & NiMH, or a 14500 cell. Also they need to have a good balance of run time vs. output, have moon-mode, hidden strobe, a hat clip for use as a headlight, good quality build, lock out, all the popular stuff. two of my favorites are my S15 and S15R with a TIR and 4C emitter mod.

And so we are back at the S15r. It would be hard to design a better light. Yes there is always someone that wants something extra, tint, or even a silly amount of lumens. But the fact remains that the s15 emits the perfect amount of lumens for a light of its size. It can run on 1,2 or 3 AA cells or lithium and the modes are well spaced. Its also the perfect light for a non flashohlic as it charges easier than a mobile phone.

The fact that people are wanting to use old technology (nimh) to power modern LEDs seems and produce massive lumens makes no sense to me. AA lights are good in my opinion but more than 250/300 and you really need lithium.


Tell me again why you’re in this thread? You don’t want what we’re talking about, so what do you want that this thread can offer you?

I like Olight. I’ve got an Olight Baton S20-L2 that is in need of repair right now, but used to be my favorite light for just about everything I’d use a flashlight for. Olight has a great design. But, the S15 is about a $40 light (doing a quick search) and that is way out of budget for an AA/2xAA light for me. Especially since I do use lithiums and can get great lights like the BLF A6-SE for $25.

You still seem to be missing the point. Maybe it’s because you already have access to AA lights that work the way you like. That can be a great blinder. We want something that hasn’t been done. We don’t care if nobody else has a need/desire for it. We want it, therefore we think it would be great if someone made it. We’re not trying to push our views onto others. We just want what we want, and we’re not afraid to ask for it.

How is NiMH old technology? Yes, it’s been around a little longer than lithium. Maybe there’s a good reason it’s still here! Did you know that, in general, NiMH cells have about twice the mAH capacity of the same size lithium rechargeable cell? Since lithiums have 3x the voltage, then the total energy of NiMH is generally 2/3 that of a similarly sized lithium cell. By that measure, 2xAA NiMH would have 1/3 more energy than a single 14500. With that in mind, and the fact that lithiums are FAR more dangerous if not treated correctly, why shouldn’t we want a 2xAA light with max power? Do ‘normal people’ deserve to stay in the dark just because they aren’t familiar with the proper handling of ‘modern’ lithium cell technology? Even a single AA NiMH has 2/3 the energy of 14500. What’s wrong with saying that’s good enough, and designing a light that can use it to its max potential?

I think you are taking this a little personally. First of all this thread is asking about AA lights, someone mentions that there was a design put forward that went nowhere. I simply gave my reasons why I think its hard to design and build, we all want different things. It sounds like you would be better with a driver than a light, then you could custom build your own light. You then gave reasons for non flashoholics wanting mega lumens and no lithium, most normal people wouldn’t know what 1000 lumens is or even care. Further more if you gave them 1000lm on an AA the runtime would be so bad that they would think the torch was useless.

As for NiMH vs lithium I don’t want to state the obvious here but lithium has way more power to weight, higher discharge etc etc. That is why to my knowledge you can no longer buy a cordless drill with NiMH.

One last thing, you should try searching harder. The reason I and many other have mentioned the S15r is that it is $22 not 40.

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marcl wrote:
DavidEF wrote:
marcl wrote:
DBSAR wrote:
I like AA lights, but they have to have ability to run AA Alcs & NiMH, or a 14500 cell. Also they need to have a good balance of run time vs. output, have moon-mode, hidden strobe, a hat clip for use as a headlight, good quality build, lock out, all the popular stuff. two of my favorites are my S15 and S15R with a TIR and 4C emitter mod.

And so we are back at the S15r. It would be hard to design a better light. Yes there is always someone that wants something extra, tint, or even a silly amount of lumens. But the fact remains that the s15 emits the perfect amount of lumens for a light of its size. It can run on 1,2 or 3 AA cells or lithium and the modes are well spaced. Its also the perfect light for a non flashohlic as it charges easier than a mobile phone.

The fact that people are wanting to use old technology (nimh) to power modern LEDs seems and produce massive lumens makes no sense to me. AA lights are good in my opinion but more than 250/300 and you really need lithium.


Tell me again why you’re in this thread? You don’t want what we’re talking about, so what do you want that this thread can offer you?

I like Olight. I’ve got an Olight Baton S20-L2 that is in need of repair right now, but used to be my favorite light for just about everything I’d use a flashlight for. Olight has a great design. But, the S15 is about a $40 light (doing a quick search) and that is way out of budget for an AA/2xAA light for me. Especially since I do use lithiums and can get great lights like the BLF A6-SE for $25.

You still seem to be missing the point. Maybe it’s because you already have access to AA lights that work the way you like. That can be a great blinder. We want something that hasn’t been done. We don’t care if nobody else has a need/desire for it. We want it, therefore we think it would be great if someone made it. We’re not trying to push our views onto others. We just want what we want, and we’re not afraid to ask for it.

How is NiMH old technology? Yes, it’s been around a little longer than lithium. Maybe there’s a good reason it’s still here! Did you know that, in general, NiMH cells have about twice the mAH capacity of the same size lithium rechargeable cell? Since lithiums have 3x the voltage, then the total energy of NiMH is generally 2/3 that of a similarly sized lithium cell. By that measure, 2xAA NiMH would have 1/3 more energy than a single 14500. With that in mind, and the fact that lithiums are FAR more dangerous if not treated correctly, why shouldn’t we want a 2xAA light with max power? Do ‘normal people’ deserve to stay in the dark just because they aren’t familiar with the proper handling of ‘modern’ lithium cell technology? Even a single AA NiMH has 2/3 the energy of 14500. What’s wrong with saying that’s good enough, and designing a light that can use it to its max potential?

I think you are taking this a little personally. First of all this thread is asking about AA lights, someone mentions that there was a design put forward that went nowhere. I simply gave my reasons why I think its hard to design and build, we all want different things. It sounds like you would be better with a driver than a light, then you could custom build your own light. You then gave reasons for non flashoholics wanting mega lumens and no lithium, most normal people wouldn’t know what 1000 lumens is or even care. Further more if you gave them 1000lm on an AA the runtime would be so bad that they would think the torch was useless.

As for NiMH vs lithium I don’t want to state the obvious here but lithium has way more power to weight, higher discharge etc etc. That is why to my knowledge you can no longer buy a cordless drill with NiMH.

One last thing, you should try searching harder. The reason I and many other have mentioned the S15r is that it is $22 not 40.


Taking it personally? I thought we all take our own flashlights personally! That’s why we’re on BLF! Silly If you think I’m the only one that wants to push the limits of what our flashlights can do, you haven’t been reading any of the latest BLF SE threads! What they’re doing for 18650 is exactly what I and many others would like to see done for non-lithium cells. If we all just wanted to buy stock lights, why would we even be in this thread? By the way, I still don’t get why you’re in this thread. If you already know what you like in AA/2xAA format, then what do you want here?

1000 lumens on single AA? Not gonna happen. Nothing to talk about there. 1000 lumens on 2xAA Eneloop Pros or larger (more powerful) cells? Run-time is plenty long enough and for better run-time there can be lower modes. I never said it needed to be 1000 lumens forever!

Yes, I want to see better drivers developed for AA/2xAA lights. However, I don’t have much skill to build custom lights, so I want someone else to do it so that I can buy it. :bigsmile:

Probably you’re right that most people won’t know what 1000 lumens is and won’t care. But, you see, I don’t know most people. I know the people that I know. And, since I have bright flashlights that I’m a little bit excited about, they see that and hear about it and know a little bit about what it is. So those people want bright flashlights too. And they may not understand lumens, but they know that a 1000 lumen light is significantly brighter than a 300 lumen light just by looking at it. They don’t even have to read the labels! Shocked

There is a flashlight enthusiast ‘suburb’ of people that are not as far into it as we are. They aren’t familiar with lithium cells. But, because of knowing us, they are very familiar with bright lights, and they like it. And, they may want a bright light of their own. Or at the least, they may occasionally want to borrow one of ours.

Actually, there are lots of good reasons to want a bright light. But, we shouldn’t need to justify ourselves. It’s a hobby. We are always pushing the limits around here at BLF. Why shouldn’t we? And if we want to push the limits of AA/2xAA, why shouldn’t we do that as well?

Cordless tools have moved on to lithium, yes. So have cell phones, laptops, and lots of other things that run off of portable power. But you’re missing an important point about those. They all have proprietary designs that don’t allow a clueless person to hook up the battery the wrong way, charge it the wrong way, over-charge it, or over-discharge it, and most of them also have built-in thermal protection. But look at digital cameras, cordless home phones, flashlights that can be bought at most stores, and a lot of other items. Digital cameras are on the border. Some have proprietary lithium cells. Others use non-lithium cells. But none of these items use standard cylindrical lithium cells. Why? Because the public can’t handle them properly. There are actually 1000 lumen flashlights for sale at places like Lowe’s and Wal-Mart that use alkaline cells, like 6 or 9 of them. Yet, they won’t sell a 1000 lumen 18650 light, because it can be dangerous.

Search harder for an S15? Why should I? If I ever do decide I want one, I’ll just ask you where to get it! Silly

Bottom line is that I want a powerful boost driver with a programmable MCU, in AA/2xAA format host for a low price and I don’t see that it exists, so I’m asking for it. I’m trying to not escalate this conversation to an argument, because there’s no need for us to argue. It’s ok for us to disagree here. I’m just trying to understand what your motivation is, and at the same time help you to understand mine. I am a bit frustrated that it doesn’t seem to be happening. Maybe we should just stop talking about it and let these nice people have their thread back. Wink

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marcl
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@davidef. The reason I am here is because its a forum, I have my opinions on what makes a good AA light and you have yours, niether of us is right or wrong, and you are right it should not escalate into an argument.

You also misunderstand me, I love powerful lights I have lights at 3000lm and most of my single cell lights push 1000lm just not on NiMH. I do love my eneloops and the technology but I also understand their limits.

So I do understand your point, but I just think the kind of light you propose may not be too viable as it is a little too ‘specialist’ shall we say.

I will end this by saying good luck and I hope you get your light.

Marc.

Eagles may soar, but weasels don't get sucked into jet engines!

hank
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Quote:
We’re actually in the early design/spec stages for a light though it may have deviated a bit from the poll.

Yay! please sign me up …

LowLumen
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Some back of envelop calculations:

1000 lumens from XML2 U3 takes 8.36 watts.
8.36W / 2.5 Volts (2AA nimh at best) = 3.34 Amps.
A ‘dream’ boost driver may be 85% efficient at best with this current….
3.34 × 1.15 = 3.84 Amps draw from batteries.

Not including losses from springs, switches, contacts, etc, 2400mAh battery will get you 37 minutes runtime at 1000 emitter lumens. ….at best

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LowLumen wrote:
Some back of envelop calculations:

1000 lumens from XML2 U3 takes 8.36 watts.
8.36W / 2.5 Volts (2AA nimh at best) = 3.34 Amps.
A ‘dream’ boost driver may be 85% efficient at best with this current….
3.34 × 1.15 = 3.84 Amps draw from batteries.

Not including losses from springs, switches, contacts, etc, 2400mAh battery will get you 37 minutes runtime at 1000 emitter lumens. ….at best

Or a FET driven 1×14500 light for 1000+ lumen. 11 minute run time, if you can hold it… Plenty of other more useable modes though…

I am on board for developing a great boost circuit driver.

I am also on board with hosting a group buy for a 1×14500 only pocket rocket in the mean time to tide us over…

Also remember that the X5 is coming out in Kronologicals group buy for the X6/X5… That one will be a 14500 only light as well…

ALL of my links are non-affiliated for your pleasure...

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Lithium Ion Battery Safety 101

 

Fritz t. Cat
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djozz wrote:

…. 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.


Ni MH have about the same energy storage as 14500s, so with a good boost driver there is really no advantage to taking Li ion cells. It needs room for a large induction coil, and it should shut off at more than 2 V. But see below.

KeepingItLight wrote:
  • Efficient, constant-current, boost driver; no PWM

  • A boost driver has intermittent output current. Unless the frequency is so high that that can be smoothed out with a capacitor, one can’t ask for truly constant current. Modes should work by increasing the fraction of the time it outputs, to reduce the average current.

    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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    TexasLumens wrote:

    Fritz t. Cat wrote:
    Beautiful shapes have compound curves, so they are almost impossible to prototype on a manual lathe. The best way would be to make a prototype in clay and then have it produced on a numerical control lathe. There was someone on here who had worked with NC. There was a thread of beautiful 3D printed lights, but none of them could be mass produced.

    I love clay… but to do this in clay would be a total waste of time…other than the enjoyment. When folks decide what they want, we can do the light in CAD and render it out. That way, when the design is complete, we can CNC the prototype and go from there. If a clay model were produced, it would need to be reverse engineered or laser scanned to get that shape into a digital format so we can work with it in the shop.  You are exactly correct about the manual lathe being a limitation. That is why we currently run CNC machines and are upgrading the entire shop to even higher production volumes & capabilities.  

    The design possibilities are endless. The capability / ability to produce those designs is almost as endless.   I think each of us has “Something” we like in the design of each light we own. That curve, this offset, those fins…etc. .  

    We can’t put everything everyone wants into one light. It takes multiple lights.  That is what we have based the shop upgrades on. We needed the capability to be faster and more agile in the design & production of lights.  

    I think watching what folks like, want, don’t want, and crave is highly interesting.  TL


     



    I still think that ideally, one would use clay, but I agree that would be too ambition for this discussion. I think clay is better than CAD because one has more direct control and can feel what one is doing. It matters as much how the finished light feels as how it looks. Maybe more important, the designer should look at, and preferably feel, pottery. When designing for an NC lathe, one should not ignore the thousands of years that people have been searching for more pleasing bodies of revolution with pottery wheels.

    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。

    LowLumen
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    I’ll be watching with interest but I think you will need to find an off the shelf step up converter chip with higher current handling than PAM2803.

    Here is some work with that chip:

    http://budgetlightforum.com/node/36867

    With a larger coil & cap it can get to 1Amp out from 2AA. (input current must stay below 2 Amps)

    I use the DX SKU 25505 single mode with modest output for 1 & 2AA. Within spec it will do 80-90% efficiency. (for my use here, run time is more important; top bin Cree LED’s will now get to 500 lumens at 1 Amp.)

    For sure there are better higher current 2AA drivers out there from Fenix, Olight, Eagletac, etc.

    As stated earlier, the key is to get the driver.
    Happy Hunting.

    hank
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    Quote:
    laser scanned to get that shape into a digital format so we can work with it in the shop.

    Hmmm, give every person a lump of clay to put over a dummy battery tube, and hold in a comfortable grip — then laser scan that and use it to make a perfect hand-fit flashlight?
    Nah, that’d be over budget …

    bikenber73
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    Who builds County Comms lights?

    This one seems nice but too expensive for me to give away. 

    djozz
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    For me, the challenge would be a 1xAA light, not 2xAA. So, to get 1A out of 1 AA cell with Attiny control would be my holy grail!

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