[BLF special edition light] new Sofirn AAA twisty with two tints of high CRI Yuji leds for 6 dollar

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Phlogiston
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I’m interested in two 3200K and two 5600K Smile

Thanks to all involved, this seems much more likely to happen now Thumbs Up

I was on the list for two of the mooted Fenix version, but with Sofirn aiming for $6, I can put the same money in for twice as many lights!

I strongly recommend that the LEDs only be driven at 20mA.

We’re trying to build a bulletproof light here, and that’s the recommended spec from Yuji. One of the best ways to make electronics ultra-reliable is to run the parts well below their maximum rating.

If I had this project on my lab bench, I’d even be experimenting with 15mA, on the off-chance that the light output might still be acceptable.

Regarding the three colour choices, I’d suggest: hard-anodised black; hard-anodised grey; and red.

Black because many prefer an unobtrusive option; grey as an option that’s easier to find in the dark, but can still be hard-anodised; and red where high visibility is the priority, despite the slightly less robust anodising.

Parametrek
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djozz wrote:
Being of a skeptical nature, in the meantime I did some searching for the need of potting drivers and what came up is that it is about heavy components that come loose on impact, such as thoroids with ferrite rings. …. So I’m in doubt if the potted driver of the E01 is overkill or not.

Yes it does matter. Impacts cause extremely high G loads. Solder is not a particularly strong material at 1000 G. The robustness of the E01 is legendary and there have been many tests of it against other unpotted 1xAAA lights. It always comes out on top.

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Phlogiston
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I agree with Parametrek about potting the light.

It’s very important for impact resistance, and it can also help with water resistance in the event that an o-ring fails.

I’d also like to see a spring on the driver board to cushion impacts bouncing the cell around, even at the price of an extra couple of millimetres in overall light length.

borealis
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Interested in one of each tint.

djozz
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Parametrek wrote:
djozz wrote:
Being of a skeptical nature, in the meantime I did some searching for the need of potting drivers and what came up is that it is about heavy components that come loose on impact, such as thoroids with ferrite rings. …. So I’m in doubt if the potted driver of the E01 is overkill or not.

Yes it does matter. Impacts cause extremely high G loads. Solder is not a particularly strong material at 1000 G. The robustness of the E01 is legendary and there have been many tests of it against other unpotted 1xAAA lights. It always comes out on top.

As I said, I’m skeptical and like testing. There clearly is a correlation, the E01 is robust and the E01 has a potted driver, but that does not neccessarily have to be a causality. Solder is not strong but perhaps way strong enough for this, 1000G sounds an impressive number but a soldered tiny coil may survive 10,000G, who knows without testing.

So the “yes it does matter” still needs backup for me to accept it, either by experiences from small flashlight users, or actual impact tests of electronics showing mechanically failing components.

link to djozz tests 

“I used to think that top environmental problems were biodiversity loss, ecosystem collapse and climate change. I thought that thirty years of good science could address these problems. I was wrong. The top environmental problems are selfishness, greed and apathy, and to deal with these we need a cultural and spiritual transformation. And we scientists don’t know how to do that.”   (Gus Speth)

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Size is not the most important feature of this light. It should be bombproof. So nice thick walls and a few mm for a spring is not a problem.

borealis
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djozz wrote:
Parametrek wrote:
djozz wrote:
Being of a skeptical nature, in the meantime I did some searching for the need of potting drivers and what came up is that it is about heavy components that come loose on impact, such as thoroids with ferrite rings. …. So I’m in doubt if the potted driver of the E01 is overkill or not.

Yes it does matter. Impacts cause extremely high G loads. Solder is not a particularly strong material at 1000 G. The robustness of the E01 is legendary and there have been many tests of it against other unpotted 1xAAA lights. It always comes out on top.

As I said, I’m skeptical and like testing. There clearly is a correlation, the E01 is robust and the E01 has a potted driver, but that does not neccessarily have to be a causality. Solder is not strong but perhaps way strong enough for this, 1000G sounds an impressive number but a soldered tiny coil may survive 10,000G, who knows without testing.

So the “yes it does matter” still needs backup for me to accept it, either by experiences from small flashlight users, or actual impact tests of electronics showing mechanically failing components.

I wish one could upvote posts. I’m saving this as an example of rational thinking to show to so many people I encounter in real life.

djozz
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It is likely a good idea to pot the driver, and a short stiff driver spring may be a good idea as well.
But I hope for actual data to back ideas up.

Over the 6 years I have been on BLF (and CPF), I have encountered many many flashlight myths, a lot were tested and dismissed very easily, a few were actually true, and some were too difficult to test. I dislike developing flashlights with unneccessary build-in BLF-myths.

link to djozz tests 

“I used to think that top environmental problems were biodiversity loss, ecosystem collapse and climate change. I thought that thirty years of good science could address these problems. I was wrong. The top environmental problems are selfishness, greed and apathy, and to deal with these we need a cultural and spiritual transformation. And we scientists don’t know how to do that.”   (Gus Speth)

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Wow Sofirn is really doing us a huge service here. Even if they sell, 100 of them, that’s only $600, which is much less than the tooling and setup required to make a new batch of a new flashlight. I bought my E01vn Yuji for $48 from Skylumen.

My Yuji 3200k tint is better than typical Cree 3000k, which are more yellow/green. However, my 219B 9050 3000k has better tint than the Yuji even if the Yuji has higher CRI because 219b is closer or even below the BBL whereas Yuji tint is above the BBL.

I do wish Sofirn can make flashlights using the Optisolis or E21A emitters. Optisolis is very cheap if they buy in bulk and suppose to be as close to simulating daylight as LED tech allows.

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Some considerations:

The Optisolis is very difficult to make into a decent beam, just very diffused it looks ok.

The E21A is difficult to center, you can not have a centering piece in contact with the led or it will be damaged.

The Yuji 5mm leds on the other hand produce a very nice symmetrical beam, without optic or centering issues. In use it is a very easy led

link to djozz tests 

“I used to think that top environmental problems were biodiversity loss, ecosystem collapse and climate change. I thought that thirty years of good science could address these problems. I was wrong. The top environmental problems are selfishness, greed and apathy, and to deal with these we need a cultural and spiritual transformation. And we scientists don’t know how to do that.”   (Gus Speth)

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djozz wrote:
It is likely a good idea to pot the driver, and a short stiff driver spring may be a good idea as well.
But I hope for actual data to back ideas up.

Over the 6 years I have been on BLF (and CPF), I have encountered many many flashlight myths, a lot were tested and dismissed very easily, a few were actually true, and some were too difficult to test. I dislike developing flashlights with unneccessary build-in BLF-myths.

Potting helps with robustness, but not just in the way mentioned here. Small components will probably never break off. If mixed with suitable materials it can help keep the driver components cool. This is not important at these low power levels though.

The most important thing to fixate would be the wires going to the LED. They are usually the first thing that rips off on impact.I would also contact the battery with springs on both sides. That increases robustness and the light doesn’t turn off momentarily when it falls down. The design of the Thrunite Ti (I own the v2) is very bad in this regard. The didn’t use a real spring in the head, the contact piece they use can break after little useage.

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Three warm ones for me, please! Thumbs Up

I hope it can tailstand with a keyring or lanyard attached.

I’m looking forward to watching the development of this new high-CRI cockroach. Party

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Geuzzz wrote:
Size is not the most important feature of this light. It should be bombproof. So nice thick walls and a few mm for a spring is not a problem.

I disagree, I think size is very important, it is one of the key features of the E01 that it is that small. And apparantly a light this small can be very robust without having those thick walls.

That said, I fear that I sound very dismissive in my recent posts and I may have too strong ideas about how this light should be.

link to djozz tests 

“I used to think that top environmental problems were biodiversity loss, ecosystem collapse and climate change. I thought that thirty years of good science could address these problems. I was wrong. The top environmental problems are selfishness, greed and apathy, and to deal with these we need a cultural and spiritual transformation. And we scientists don’t know how to do that.”   (Gus Speth)

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The discussion has turned to if potting is helpful in small lights. ReManG did a drop test in his review of the Manker Boney, after some 20 drops from 5 feet to a concrete floor, the light failed. http://budgetlightforum.com/comment/779290#comment-779290

That failure was the perfect chance for him to open the pill to investigate the problem. In this thread, in the 5th picture down he found a wire had broken from the board. http://budgetlightforum.com/node/41624 His thought was the wire was the heaviest driver componenent on the board causing it to break off.

On these small lights with no lens the LED is exposed to the elements, my fenix EO1 worst torture test for it is, the potting may help with waterpoofing becausr it has suvived 3 trips through our clothes washer.

Also I want to say thanks djozz for your effort in making this closer to being a finished product.

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djozz wrote:
I will be around until August 11th, and can maintain the list. …. -about the driver: yes, it can be made to fully drain an alkaline, in fact they claim they can make the same driver as the E01 -I asked if the current could be 30mA, Barry said it was possible but was concerned if that would reduce the lifetime of the led and so make the light less durable. I estimate that 30mA will be alright but is there someone with more experience with these leds who has knowledgable input?

I can help with the list, as well. Maybe there should be a team account so a single list can be maintained?

I’m very happy to hear they’re confident they can achieve similar performance to the E01 driver.

I mentioned the possibility of a 30 mA drive current as a suggestion to discuss, but I’m reluctant to push Sofirn to make design decisions they’re not confident in, especially since we’re only talking about going from ~8 lumens to ~11 lumens. Others also had a good point that the goal here is a bulletproof light, so we want to be certain over-driving does not compromise that.

To clarify something, Yuji specifies the output of the 5600K version as 6.6 to 8 lumens, and the 3200K version as 6.1 to 7.5 lumens at 20 mA. The output curve in their datasheet indicates 30mA should produce just over 1.4 times the standard rated output.

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djozz wrote:
Geuzzz wrote:
Size is not the most important feature of this light. It should be bombproof. So nice thick walls and a few mm for a spring is not a problem.

I disagree, I think size is very important, it is one of the key features of the E01 that it is that small. And apparantly a light this small can be very robust without having those thick walls.

That said, I fear that I sound very dismissive in my recent posts and I may have too strong ideas about how this light should be.

Just my opinion Wink . Maybe I should put it differently. It will not be a dealbreaker for me if it’s a bit bigger than the E01. But I for instance still like the old kd buckle v6, so maybe I am not the best reference.

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in for 1 of each please

AEDe
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I’m in for 2*3200K and 1*5600K

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In for one of each please

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slowtechstef wrote:
perhaps another good candidate manufacturer for high CRI 5mm Yuji twisty AAA could perhaps be Reylight?

ReyLights are custom orders from Lumintop, I think they use a 500 minimum order quantity.
Massdrop also does custom orders from Lumintop, and I also contacted them to ask about doing a Fenix E01 w Yuji. I have had no reply from Massdrop.

The Massdrop formula is like Kickstarter, first they get a bunch of people to pledge, then they get the money, then they pay the manufacturer, so no risk for Massdrop. If not enough people sign up, no money changes hands.

Good job @djozz for finding Sofirn is willing to do the Yuji cockroach idea. There should be no worry about PWM, as it is not used in single mode lights. How much money does Sofirn want to start production, what is their minimum order quantity, and who is going to pay for that?

as far as momentary on, all twisty lights have that feature/bug, due to slop in the threads, so if you only barely twist off, the light will turn on in pocket from side pressure.. I do not care for the “feature”, so I turn off half a turn.

djozz
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jon_slider wrote:

Good job on finding Sofirn is willing to do your Yuji idea. There should be no worry about PWM, as it is not used in single mode lights. How much money does Sofirn want to start production, what is their minimum order quantity, and who is going to pay for that?


Sofirn already was wanting to make an AAA twisty, though perhaps not one with a 5mm straw led, so our request was welcomed and they ask no money for development. In fact they are happy with our input.

link to djozz tests 

“I used to think that top environmental problems were biodiversity loss, ecosystem collapse and climate change. I thought that thirty years of good science could address these problems. I was wrong. The top environmental problems are selfishness, greed and apathy, and to deal with these we need a cultural and spiritual transformation. And we scientists don’t know how to do that.”   (Gus Speth)

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djozz wrote:
Sofirn already was wanting to make an AAA twisty, though perhaps not one with a 5mm straw led, so our request was welcomed and they ask no money for development. In fact they are happy with our input.

fantastic!
as far as potting, though I agree it may not be necessary, it is important to be able to say Yes, this light is fully potted, just like an HDS (or a Fenix)..!

I look forward to your success.

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I’m interested in two 3200K.

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djozz wrote:
So before I bug Barry about this: is there any experience at all among BLFers of small lights failing from broken-off components upon impact?

I don’t know how useful this information will be, but yes I have some experience.

A Sunwayman R01A I had swapped a Yuji into died after a couple ~5 foot drops.

I opened it up again to troubleshoot. Everything is so small it was hard to tell for certain what went wrong, but I spotted a diode that appeared not to have been soldered well, and lifted slightly off its solder pad. I presume it was due to the circuit board flexing when the battery hammered against it. Aside from inertial protection, good potting could potentially also help minimize this flexing, but I believe even more important is a good assembly technique to ensure the solder joints are good to begin with.

I added a little more solder, and it worked again after re-assembling, although it still has occasional issues.

Here’s a macro photo I took of it. That’s a 0.7mm pencil lead in the upper corner for scale.

The inductor is still intact, although I don’t think this was a particularly hard hit. I’m not free of concern that in a harder hit, it might experience high enough G’s to pull loose.

I am in favor of recommending a potted driver based on the known ruggedness of the E01, but the way it see, if Sofirn is producing this light at their own risk instead of collaborating with BLF on a known quantity, it’s ultimately their call. I’ll buy several either way.

By the way, the Sunwayman drove the Yuji at 23mA, and the output was very appropriate to this size light.

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borealis wrote:
I wish one could upvote posts. I’m saving this as an example of rational thinking to show to so many people I encounter in real life.

No, it really is not. He says he wants “experiences from small flashlight users” and is completely ignoring all of that experience. There have been lots of destruction tests of inexpensive 1xAAA keychain lights. Skepticism in the face of evidence is not rational.

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I agree the issue is the battery hammering against the board, causing broken solder joints

another light that is notorious for failing when dropped is the AA Illumination Supply L11c, and its twisty sibling L10. There is also an AAA version, the L08, though I could not find any reports of people dropping it, I suspect it has similar vulnerability

another possible advantage of potting, is it stops water from coming into the E01 around the 5mm LED, since there is no lens

other AAA lights known for durability, and they are potted, is the Arc AAA and the Peak Eiger

imo, when cloning an E01, it is very important to also clone the potting

note the lack of potting is one of the frequent objections to the Vinh E01, it may be just psychological, but it matters to buyers

btw, I think it is essential for the tail to have a keyring attachment point, I like it on the side of the tail, so the light can still tailstand.

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It really can’t cost that much to stuff some glue in the head, and it certainly won’t do any harm (as long as the correct compound is used). Since the goal of this project is to make the most bomb proof light possible, there’s no real argument to not pot the light.

If Sofirn is unwilling or unable to pot the light and still wants to product it that’s their call, but I don’t see the point of arguing over whether or not added reinforcement is a good thing, regardless of whether you think it necessary. I know, for myself, if Sofirn is making the light and not potting it, I will probably opt to hold off on any orders until I can see some abuse testing.

If Sofirn can make a sampe, potted or unpotted, it would be great to see it run through a stress test side by side with the E01 this project was originally looking for – if the Sofirn light lasts longer or as long, case closed.

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Parametrek wrote:
djozz wrote:
Being of a skeptical nature, in the meantime I did some searching for the need of potting drivers and what came up is that it is about heavy components that come loose on impact, such as thoroids with ferrite rings. …. So I’m in doubt if the potted driver of the E01 is overkill or not.

Yes it does matter. Impacts cause extremely high G loads. Solder is not a particularly strong material at 1000 G. The robustness of the E01 is legendary and there have been many tests of it against other unpotted 1xAAA lights. It always comes out on top.

Normally ceramic capacitors are prone to break. Thats the reason their are ones for the automotive industry.

I googled for
g impact electronic components

and found sth. from the US Army 2006
http://www.arl.army.mil/arlreports/2006/ARL-TR-3705.pdf

There are g profils
4000g for a normal drop
(also 30 000g for a shot with a canon Smile )

At this high g loads things can simply sheare off.

Video on cracked ceramic caps
https://www.eevblog.com/forum/blog/eevblog-1037-solving-ceramic-capacito...

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Parametrek wrote:
borealis wrote:
I wish one could upvote posts. I’m saving this as an example of rational thinking to show to so many people I encounter in real life.

No, it really is not. He says he wants “experiences from small flashlight users” and is completely ignoring all of that experience. There have been lots of destruction tests of inexpensive 1xAAA keychain lights. Skepticism in the face of evidence is not rational.

I was just ignoring strong language without reference, like “solder is weak” and “1000G is rather a lot” , “legendary” and “many tests” Wink . And since I did not know examples myself I asked BLF for actual events happening, and now all sorts of detailed stories are seeping in and now my skepticism is being replaced by evidence in my face Smile . Sounds rational to me.

link to djozz tests 

“I used to think that top environmental problems were biodiversity loss, ecosystem collapse and climate change. I thought that thirty years of good science could address these problems. I was wrong. The top environmental problems are selfishness, greed and apathy, and to deal with these we need a cultural and spiritual transformation. And we scientists don’t know how to do that.”   (Gus Speth)

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Im in for 3 times 3200K.

Thanks

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