[Discussion] Improving Wurkkos WK30

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Lux-Perpetua
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[Discussion] Improving Wurkkos WK30

Hi there,

I was recently talking to Mark about the idea of improving Wurkkos's popular WK30 model. It seems that many members here (and on TLF) are rather satisfied with it, especially as there are few or even no competitors with something similar on sale. However, I spotted some things about this light that could be improved in a possible, new "WK30S" model. So far, nothing is for certain about a successor of WK30 but I would like to share my ideas with you and try to find out what else could be made better or different.

 

Here's a short summary of what's on my mind and what's been discussed so far. Please excuse my miserable drawing skills...

 

 

“Everyone, deep in their hearts, is waiting for the end of the world to come.” (Haruki Murakami, 1Q84)

Edited by: Lux-Perpetua on 07/04/2020 - 13:36
nobody
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I had the original but returned it. I liked the concept but didn’t feel it was quite ready for prime time. I like the possible changes above except but i’m not sure about the white led. Is this suggesting a change?  Was the original 5k?  It was great. 

Will be following with interest. 

Lightbringer
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For the love of B’harni (pbuh!), NOT an ‘S’ suffix.

No one’s precise enough to distinguish between improved model and plural form.

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Lux-Perpetua
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nobody wrote:
[...] i’m not sure about the white led. Is this suggesting a change?  Was the original 5k?  It was great.

Yes, WK30 comes with a 5.000K CCT but maybe 4.000K would be a bit more appealing? Just thinkin‘...

I could also imagine something more powerful (in 70CRI), using direct drive but then it might become difficult to separate the FET from driving the sensitive red and ultraviolet emitters.

Lightbringer wrote:
For the love of B'harni (pbuh!), *NOT* an 'S' suffix. No one's precise enough to distinguish between improved model and plural form.

Hi Judd, I see the risk of confusion in this naming convention. However, the new model could also be named WK30A or WK30 Pro or...

“Everyone, deep in their hearts, is waiting for the end of the world to come.” (Haruki Murakami, 1Q84)

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nobody wrote:

i’m not sure about the white led. Is this suggesting a change?  Was the original 5k?  It was great. 


No fancy meters here, but just eyeballing it on a white wall… my first light has a smaller hot spot and is obviously cooler than the recently received light. I like the last one best.
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The spec of the new WK30S is ideal to me. I would be one of the first to buy it for sure. I found that some 5K LH351Ds lean towards green, so I’m looking forward to the 4K. Just hope it won’t take too long to produce.

nobody
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Blggg wrote:
The spec of the new WK30S is ideal to me. I would be one of the first to buy it for sure. I found that some 5K LH351Ds lean towards green, so I'm looking forward to the 4K. Just hope it won't take too long to produce.
At least the 5k one I had, was beautiful -- no green.  As long as no green, that's my only concern, whether 4k or 5k.
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I think 5000K is the option that appeals to the most consumers.

There aren’t enough lights out there with amber emitters though, just a thought. Smile

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Wellp, just my 2¢…

 

I like the UI as-is. Simple and predictable for each channel. Other than the few odd bugs that were reported, I wouldn’t change the UI at all.

 

I’d more or less keep the reflectors. Deep reflector holes where each one cuts into the other two might be tolerable (and symmetric) if all the emitters are the same and all lit at the same time. Else each emitter (eg, red) will have a big “lobe” hanging off the side where the cutout is. Less hotspot, more spill. Yecch.

And the ’30 is a close-range flooder, frankly. The big-die ’351 pretty much assures this. And it’s perfect for what it does. Eg, low level UV to light up what’s right in front of you (eg, stamps, currency) and higher brightness for a hotel-room.

 

Me, I like the shape and grip of the light with the 26. Narrowing it to use a 21 does… what? Less capacity, less runtime… better grip? Anyone who likes, say, the SP33 as well as the WK30 knows how nicely a 26650 light fits the hand, despite being slightly bigger and heavier. I wouldn’t pocket a ’30 even with a 21, as the head would necessarily be wider. At least with the 26, it’s just a wider tubelight, and less of a plunger.

 

Photo-red? Meh. Okay, if someone needs deep red, but given the same output power (mW), Portland orange (“traffic red”) will appear brightest to the eye, then conventional red, then finally deep-red or photo-red the dimmest. I’ve got an old laser in deep red before more orangey “red” came into vogue (for precisely that reason: brightness), and while it’s a beautiful red red, it’s also pretty dim, relatively speaking.

So you know people will grex about the red emitter being dim, or demanding to run it harder, etc.

 

Texturing the grip I could do without. I like the stepped-hourglass profile for grip.

 

A lit switch could come in handy, but definitely not any “breathing” function. Used for battery-status, great! Dim dim dim dim dim red locator beacon, awesome! Maybe even a Nitecore style dim blink every coupla seconds. But now we’re either setting it in stone, or way overcomplicating the UI which is already semi-complicated for running 3 separate channels.

 

USB-C, mmmkay, but I could do without using a light as a charger. I want to be sure if plugged into anything, that it’d be charged, and not have charge siphoned off.

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Lux-Perpetua wrote:
... I would like to share my ideas with you and try to find out what else could be made better or different...

 

Thanks for all you do to improve these lights and user manuals, below are some comments but please make your own decisions.

 

The WK30 is one of my all time favorite lights because of it's unique multi-type LED capability and impresses everyone I show it to.

 

Battery:

Lights which accept a variety of battery types are rare.  I kind of like that a 26650, 18650, 21700 or two CR123A work in the WK30 and have even run my WK30 on three AAA batteries (both NiMH and Alkaline) using the battery cage that came with my $5 Vokka SO-NOSOS ( http://budgetlightforum.com/comment/1667913#comment-1667913 ).  The WK30 works very well with three AAA batteries and maybe the three AAA battery cage would also fit into a 21700 light, I just do not have access to a 21700 light to try that.  For lights I do not EDC, my old arthritic hands prefer the feel of the larger diameter 26650 tube.

 

White LED Color Temperature:

I have lights with the 4000K Luminus SST20 and the 4000K Nichia 219C but personally prefer the 5000K Samsung LH351D but I do not know how the 4000K Samsung LH351D compares to the 4000K Luminus or Nichia.  I live in the woods and take walks at night where the 4000K just makes the fir trees look too brown like they are dying.  I use the WK30 red led near the wetlands and notice more wildlife, maybe because it does not scare them away.  But a 4000K white LED would make the light more unique and Color Temperature would be another characteristic I could explain to people when I show them the light.

 

Illuminated Switch:

Very helpful for finding the light (and the light's switch) in the dark when the light is off.  But please provide an option to turn the feature on and off and do not make it too bright or breathing.

 

Knurling:

I have enough lights with knurling, the WK30 without knurling scores extra points for being different.

 

Magnet:

No one has mentioned a magnet, but please do not include a tail cap magnet unless it is easily removable.  I personally avoid lights with magnets even though I have a few.

 

Including Holster and Diffuser:

It can be difficult finding a holster or diffuser that fits a light so well that it seems like it was made specifically for that light.  The WK30 is not an EDC light for me and I only occasionally carry it in my jacket pocket or in a holster.  Including a holster and diffuser would be a nice bonus and the holster would help protect the light during storage or when it is in your travel or bug-out bag. 

How many flashlights does a "real man" need?

None, real men are not afraid of the dark.

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Add magnet, Constant Current driver and a crenellated bezel (Just enough to break a glass) and Wurkkos will have one of the most complete flashlights.

freeme
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 Overlapping reflector design is most likely only good for emitters of same model and tint.

Lux-Perpetua
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Thank you guys for your honest und unbiased feedback.   Thumbs Up

  • CCT: It seems most people feel happy with the LH351D 5.000K 90CRI. A CCT of 5.000K is widely accepted as neutral white whereas 4.000K can be considered as too warm. So, let's keep the original LED.
  • Host: My initial idea was that 21700 cells have already achieved a capacity comparable to 26650 cells. Okay, there are some 5.500mAh cells (e.g. Keeppower) but these seem more and more difficult to get. OTOH, good 21700 cells have a better voltage curve when being discharged. I also like the idea to keep a buckdriver that supports both 2x CR123A (2x 3V) and 1x 18650/21700.
  • Illuminated switch: Sofirn usually illuminates the rubber boot that is placed above the switch. So, maybe this is something we can work with.
  • UI: Well, I was thinking about a second mode group using ramping instead of stepped modes - at least for white and red light. Direct access to turbo would also be interesting for me.
  • Reflector: Lightbringer and freeme are right about the downsides of using a triple reflector like C8F's for single LED operation. As a compromise, Wurkkos could max out the reflector diameters or - maybe worthwhile - increase the diameter for LH351D and keep/decrease the diameter for red and UV.

 

“Everyone, deep in their hearts, is waiting for the end of the world to come.” (Haruki Murakami, 1Q84)

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Change name to WK20 instead if its gonna use 21700 battery maybe?

...where Frugal meets with Flashlight!

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mortuus wrote:
Change name to WK20 instead if its gonna use 21700 battery maybe?

WK20 is already reserved...

“Everyone, deep in their hearts, is waiting for the end of the world to come.” (Haruki Murakami, 1Q84)

Lightbringer
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mortuus wrote:
Change name to WK20 instead if its gonna use 21700 battery maybe?

Mmmmnope.

http://budgetlightforum.com/node/67145

LOL

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Lightbringer
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Lux-Perpetua wrote:
  • Host: My initial idea was that 21700 cells have already achieved a capacity comparable to 26650 cells. Okay, there are some 5.500mAh cells (e.g. Keeppower) but these seem more and more difficult to get. OTOH, good 21700 cells have a better voltage curve when being discharged. I also like the idea to keep a buckdriver that supports both 2x CR123A (2× 3V) and 1× 18650/21700.
  • Illuminated switch: Sofirn usually illuminates the rubber boot that is placed above the switch. So, maybe this is something we can work with.

At least with the wider tube, you can still be “backwards compatible” to use 21s and even 18s with sleeves (or even without, in a pinch), keeping the grip but losing the excess weight.

Lit switch might be nice, but in a limited sense, and turning beacons on/off again would complicate the UI, or you’d be forced to live with the out-of-the-box decision that’s hard-coded into it.

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Some thoughts about hardware changes...

  • The (21700) tube design is disputable, agreed. However, I'd like to hear some more opinions. I still vote for 21700 as it may reduce weight, improve handling and the overall look of this "bumblebee" without sacrificing performance. IMHO, 26650 is about to vanish anyway.
  • I received some feedback from TLF members and many would like WK30 to be a bit more grippy. So, some knurling on the tailcap might be a good trade off between having "something different" and ensuring an easy way to turn the tailcap (even with wet hands).
  • Wurkkos seems to be implementing USB-C in all of their (upcoming) lights anyway. So, why not having the much more user-friendly plug-type here? Reverse charging could be a nice add-on for those who want to recharge their cellphone in an emergency situation.
  • A (removable) magnet in the tailcap has its pros and cons. Maybe selling a magnetic tailcap as an accessory (that fits more lights) could be a viable option?
  • Pushing the LH351D 5.000K 90CRI to its limits would also be in line with a better thermal design and a wider, deeper reflector.
  • The reflector geometry for red and UV light could remain untouched or even reduced to keep a wide angle beam profile. I agree that both red light and UV light may not make much sense to focus into a hotspot.
  • The lack of illumination underneath the switch button could be resolved by a dim red indicator light. There are plenty of ideas what can be done such as a locator beacon, blinking out voltage and many more. When using a multicolor LED, even more options will come true.

 

Concerning software changes I probably need another night to think about reasonable changes. So far, I rather favor single clicks to turn on/off the light and keep holding to ramp/step up and down.

“Everyone, deep in their hearts, is waiting for the end of the world to come.” (Haruki Murakami, 1Q84)

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Very very nice design and spec. Really appreciate it. Seeing from the last photo, is the deep red Led still used in this light?

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Still liking your thinking on the changes. Single click on/off has to be in it. 

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Love the light, but I vote for 18650/21700 and a lit switch….

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I like the 21700 tube. Single cell 26650 lights just seem out of proportion to me.
I think 4000K might be nice.
All the Best,
Jeff

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Thank you guys! The concept in post #18 is being discussed between Sofirn and Wurkkos. Let’s see what they think about it.

Any changes that you wish for regarding the UI? Some people on TLF told me they want the doubleclick and tripleclick to work more slowly. 

 

“Everyone, deep in their hearts, is waiting for the end of the world to come.” (Haruki Murakami, 1Q84)

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Lux, is it going to feature a deep red led? From the draft in post #18, looks like it’s going to use a normal red?

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Nice, my vote goes to 21700 battery.

About USB port, for me outside port with rubber cover is a show stopper. If it is inside accessible after unscrewing head than good.

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Blggg wrote:
Lux, is it going to feature a deep red led? From the draft in post #18, looks like it's going to use a normal red?

Nothing is for sure yet. However, I could ask them to try testing Luminus‘ SST20-DR (660nm). This LED is can be driven up to 3A but I need to find out its Vf to see if it’s more sensitive than XP-E2 red.

Most people some to be happy with XP-E2 red, tough.

 

arek98 wrote:
Nice, my vote goes to 21700 battery. About USB port, for me outside port with rubber cover is a show stopper. If it is inside accessible after unscrewing head than good.

I fully agree that a USB-C port in the threads would be nice. But my fear is that the efforts for development and design change will outweigh the benefits of better longterm waterproofing.

“Everyone, deep in their hearts, is waiting for the end of the world to come.” (Haruki Murakami, 1Q84)

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Unno. If it absolutely has to have charging, I think I’d prefer the rubber flap over a weatherised connector. Why? Because port-in-threads means you’re still unscrewing the cap, and wearing down the O-rings. Might as well just pop out the cell and charge it externally, then.

Best would be a ring like on the Zanflare F1. Exposes the port, doesn’t wear down the main waterproofing O-rings.

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Ok, so is USB waterproof itself and rubber cover just keeps dirt out?
Anyway I prefer no USB at all rather than rubber covered one.

O-ring is easy to replace, it is not used more than taking battery out and charging externally.
Rubber cover is usually almost impossible to replace.

For me light must be waterproof.

Lux-Perpetua wrote:

I fully agree that a USB-C port in the threads would be nice. But my fear is that the efforts for development and design change will outweigh the benefits of better longterm waterproofing.

Is it really that hard to design? I see it is probably more expensive to manufacture.
Can it be done by plugging the end of the tube from head side and moving driver with charger there?
Tube would be longer but head would be shorter.

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Post #18 looks good... really liking the reflector suggestion.

  • Just don't make it longer. 
  • I still like to have the 26650 option.
  • USB-C with PD would be nice but I have reservation about this being a charger for other devices.
  • I really like how Zanflare covered the charging port but at the least, make the port waterproof, even without the flap.
  • double and triple click to be a bit slower.

EDC

FW3A, SST20 4000K || S21A, Crescendo MTNdd 20mm, LH351D 4000K || SP32A, SST40 5000K

Recent/ongoing Mods:

S2+, TexAven 17mm, LH351D | S21A, Crescendo 20mm, LH351D 4000K | L2 w/6A 20mm SST40 driver, XP-L HI | C8+ OP, DD XHP-50

SP32A w/SST40 5000K | SK Zoomie Nichia 5000k, C2 driver | EagleTac clip | Ultrafire C2 w/5A 17mm & XM-L2 | Nichia 219C 2700K with gray S6 |

Reviews:

Sofirn SP31 v2.0 Tactical Flashlight (Cree XPL HI) || Sofirn SD05 Scuba Diving Flashlight || Sofirn SC31 USB Rechargeable (XP-G3)

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AFAIK, Sofirn is always very open to new, innovative ideas. However, until now they have been reluctant to implement some kind of an "embedded" USB-C port into any of their (third party) products. I have Zanflare's F1, too. I gave it to my parents for it can be driven with 2x CR123A, i.e. they can leave it somewhere lost for years in case a flashlight is ever needed but if they need it it will still work reliably. I do not know how good Zanflare's protection ring is regarding 'wear'n tear' if being moved back and forth many times but with two o-rings in place it should be fine.

So far, Sofirn and Wurkkos have been very successful selling their rechargeable lights with the classic charging design on the outside and I have never heard of defects that result from water ingress underneath the rubber boot. Don't get me wrong - I also favor the integrated design. The most important question they will certainly ask is: What is the benefit of an embedded USB port and will those extra costs for development, material and assembly time ever pay off?

Anyway, I will ask Mark to discuss the two options shown below with the manufacturer.

Edit: OP is updated with the latest design changes.

“Everyone, deep in their hearts, is waiting for the end of the world to come.” (Haruki Murakami, 1Q84)

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This is the UI of WK30 - not the new UI I want to draft for "WK30S":

 

Thoughts:

  • WK30S deserves a second mode group for infinte ramping of WHITE and RED light. UV modes should be kept as is for the sake of radiation safety (365nm is invisible to the human eye).
  • I wonder if anyone really needs / uses the RED strobe modes (see yellow highlighted line items). Personally, I would rather have a red-white "police strobe" (yes, blue would be missing for that) mode for the fun of it but would a series of red strobe modes make much sense?
  • As many of us prefer "click = on/off" and "hold = cycle modes" in the UI, will everyone agree that WK30S would adopt this kind of operation, too?
  • Eco WHITE mode should be turned into a real moonlight/firefly mode (0.5lm).
  • In order to not overcomplicate the UI I think it's best to keep "High" or "Turbo" mode in the regular mode order as is.
  • Direct access to High/Turbo WHITE mode from OFF should be part of the new UI.
  • Battery status should be blinked out or made visible by the switch indicator light.
  • The switch indicator light should also be configurable (on/off) to use as a locator light if desired.

“Everyone, deep in their hearts, is waiting for the end of the world to come.” (Haruki Murakami, 1Q84)

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