17mm 12x7135 drivers with custom firmware (Group Buy Interest thread)

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FlashPilot
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the wrote:

@FP: I hear you. But just to make facts straight:

1. Rest assured that TheStar firmware is not based on my personal presumptions. It was designed to support as many needs (in a GB light) as possible, and has been “beta tested” by many people.

2. We are not adding 0.5A, but raising the current 50%: 2.8A -> 4.2A.

 

If most of the people here happen to hate TheStar, we have still couple of options:

1. Select another FW and get permission to use it in mass production

2. Further develop TheStar to suit your needs

3. Mark this thread as SPAM (and forget it)

Point taken and thank you for your thoughts and corrections. Ive probably sold around 500 C8 lights. Ever since offering them with Moonlight – 2% – 50% – 100%, I havent sold a single C8 with blinkys of any sort… none, even when dropping the floor on the price. People are put off by them from the get-go and any further explanation only annoys them. Why? Because blinky modes annoy most people. Thats also what you, I and everyone else has read for years.

Im sure you’ve put a lot of effort into making the ultimate blinky/do-all FW. Im glad there are those that will appreciate the added modes and the gadgetry that comes with it. But the masses have long ago already decided what they like and dont like, and that still hasnt changed.

So why not offer it in 2 versions? For my initial order, Im in for 1 x with you blinkys to check out your gadgetry and mess with people during Halloween and 20 of the std star UI. Can this be provided?

FlashPilot
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18sixfifty wrote:
Actually after THE mentioned his firmware I PM’d him and we discussed this. I asked him if I could use his firmware. I really can’t see any problem with having hidden blinkies (some people do like them, I get asked to keep blinkies in a few of my builds). I have a feeling this isn’t going anywhere anyway. Like usual there are simply too many people wanting different things. Also there just are not that many people interested. Lot’s of people viewing but not that many people showing interest.

I’ll keep it open for a while longer but I’m pretty sure they won’t go for less than 500 drivers and it doesn’t look like we will hit that. Too bad because I thought it was a pretty good idea.

Its a great idea with a great price! Can you ask them if they could flash 2 different FW versions to please a larger group of people? I think just 2 FW versions would allow more people to chose what they want and can use (stimulate sales). Once sales begin and people begin to post their mod results, Id think sales would really pick-up. It really is an incredible price that deserves more attention.

Thoughts?

wight
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I think TheStars is pretty weird. I think I get some of the logic behind it, but it’s still pretty weird. Besides the weirdness, there seems to be one obvious oversight. I’m pretty confident that those who want moonlight don’t want to do two full cycles to get there. Instead of the gap-filler tacticool mode (few people desire a strobe-only flashlight, but this is the only firmware which directly serves that desire) , it seems that having star2 control whether moonlight/LL is included in the normal mode group would make a larger group of people happy. I understand the logic between having 6 blinky modes I think: If you hide one, why not hide 6?

I’m still only so sure the supplier can actually do what they claim. Stacking isn’t normally done on any manufacturing lines. (thus why both Mattaus and I both assumed that you meant a PCB which could fit 12.) I think it’s fair to say that stacking is hard (difficult). It would definitely be interesting to get them to do samples for you.

Maybe RMM would be interested in taking over the GB. I suppose he’d need to make a profit, but at the same time it could end up being of nearly as much benefit to everyone as 18sixfifty’s original proposition. I’m not sure how many +4’s RMM builds, but if it’s a lot and you can still fit the SOIC clip onto the ATtiny after the stacking that supplier does then it seems like something he’d be interested in.

Still fine, still on a break. One day I’ll catch up with you folks! previous wight catchup Wink
list of my drivers & variants (A17DD, FET+1 stuff, WIP stuff, etc)

18sixfifty
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I’ll have some answers Monday night/ Tuesday morning.

I’ll also ask them if we can pick more than one mode selection. I kind of doubt it because we are not even close to having the people to pull of the 1,000 they asked for. I think if we could hit 500 of one driver they would probably go for it.

Well we will see.

I’m a junky, I mod lights so I can sell lights so I can buy more light to mod so I can sell lights to buy more lights to mod.

_the_
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FlashPilot wrote:
blinky modes annoy most people. Thats also what you, I and everyone else has read for years.

Right. That's what I have been writing in my reviews. I used to hate blinky modes - but learned that I hate them only when they are in normal mode cycle. They are fun or useful in some cases, but the fact that I need to step through them every time I want to go from High to Low is so annoying that the negative things easily outweighs the positives => getting rid of the blinky modes was the answer. Qlite in 4-mode config was "near perfect" for me.

The whole point of TheStar is that it feels like a standard 3-mode UI. How many users will loop through all the modes twice without having even one one second break? The limit could be three rounds, but based on the feedback from testers, two rounds was chosen to be good compromise between good usability in normal cases and the accessibility of the hidden modes when needed.

 

FlashPilot wrote:
Im in for 1 x with you blinkys to check out your gadgetry and mess with people during Halloween

Can you flash your own FW? I can send it to you by email to be tested. Or maybe some member near you could flash you one?

=the=

 

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FlashPilot wrote:
Can you ask them if they could flash 2 different FW versions to please a larger group of people? I think just 2 FW versions would allow more people to chose what they want and can use (stimulate sales).

I guess that flashing the FW is way easier than stacking the 7135s => Maybe they can agree to 2x500pc batches.

=the=

 

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Anyone consider a daughter card solution for maximizing 7135’s on one side of the driver?
I suspect this would make it much easier to manufacture.

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wight wrote:
I think TheStars is pretty weird. I think I get some of the logic behind it, but it's still pretty weird.

Maybe it sounds more complicated than it really is. Or maybe there's just a language barrier and I can't explain it well..

 

wight wrote:
there seems to be one obvious oversight. I'm pretty confident that those who _want_ moonlight don't want to do two full cycles to get there.

I fully understand your concern. I used to think it's better to have the LowLow in the main mode cycle. But after using both 3- and 4-mode variants of TheStar for couple of weeks, I like the 3-mode (with hidden LowLow) much more - to my great surprise I like it more also in my in-house EDC-type lights like S2+.

 

wight wrote:
I understand the logic between having 6 blinky modes I think: If you hide one, why not hide 6?

Exactly. My original idea was to add only a strobe, but why not add more as they won't affect the usage at all (but still are there if you need them).

=the=

 

wight
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the wrote:

wight wrote:
I think TheStars is pretty weird. I think I get some of the logic behind it, but it’s still pretty weird.

Maybe it sounds more complicated than it really is. Or maybe there’s just a language barrier and I can’t explain it well..

 

wight wrote:
there seems to be one obvious oversight. I’m pretty confident that those who want moonlight don’t want to do two full cycles to get there.

I fully understand your concern. I used to think it’s better to have the LowLow in the main mode cycle. But after using both 3- and 4-mode variants of TheStar for couple of weeks, I like the 3-mode (with hidden LowLow) much more – to my great surprise I like it more also in my in-house EDC-type lights like S2+.

 

wight wrote:
I understand the logic between having 6 blinky modes I think: If you hide one, why not hide 6?

Exactly. My original idea was to add only a strobe, but why not add more as they won’t affect the usage at all (but still are there if you need them).

I don’t think it’s a language barrier issue. You’ve explained everything pretty well I think. I mean weird as in strange. EDIT: and I am not saying “bad”.

I don’t really use LL, so it’s hard for me to say. I thought we had a fair number of users who use LL as the primary mode on some lights.

Since this is an ontime firmware right now it’s not even on my radar ;-).

Still fine, still on a break. One day I’ll catch up with you folks! previous wight catchup Wink
list of my drivers & variants (A17DD, FET+1 stuff, WIP stuff, etc)

FlashPilot
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@The – I dont have a clip but thanks for you generous offer. Your test group and GB light participants are advanced enthusiasts so I dont think they accurately reflect the bulk of the potential buying market needed to make the sales numbers needed for this GB. While I can appreciate your UI and explanations, it will confuse the first or second time buyer/modder or casual buyer. I would have no problem buying a clip and following one of the many great “how to” posts on this forum and flashing my own. But that isnt going to help us gather the numbers we need to make this sale come to fruition. Thats why I strongly think we would have a far better chance offering two UI’s. The goal should be how to configure the driver to appeal to the largest group possible while maintaining the target price. Wouldnt you agree? If not, the GB will die.

I think the average person will view the benefits and impetus for this GB as:
1) price, price and price
2) 4.2A for a nice bump in lumens

3) simplicity (with the option for complexity if it can be offered in 2 UI versions) This might increase sales because people would think about buying one of each to compare. Even I will buy one with the blinkies! Big Smile :bigsmile:

4) ease of installation if they can solder or give it a try
5) 17mm
6) many custom UI choices with a clip

In the end, whatever it takes to meet the sales goal is the best decision and I’ll support whatever it takes to help push this through.

wight
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As _the_ has explained, the TheStar should be simple to operate.  Based on my understanding of the operation, if you don't mention the hidden modes to your users they likely will not find them.  You could print out a little card to go with the light if you felt compelled - put the technical specs and the advanced driver operation instructions on it.

_the_ can correct me if I'm wrong, but there is no "flashy mode group" to get stuck in.  Turning the light off and back on from any flashy mode should put them back into the regular modes.  The worst thing that could happen to an end user is that they might one day play with the light until they see a flashy mode - and not be sure how to get back to that mode in the future.

I'm warming up to the concept at least a little.

I don't think two firmwares is a good idea.  As you and I have both stated, anyone who's purchasing drivers by the tens or twenties is obviously purchasing them to build and distribute lights with (resale, gifting, whatever).  Whatever we decide is "simple" enough for that should be on all the drivers from this GB whether it's TheStar or something else.  We've got a lot going on here (stacking, replacing some default Nanjg-clone firmware), no need to add more avenues for error to that.  Anyone who wants a different firmware has plenty of options to get it done!

Still fine, still on a break. One day I’ll catch up with you folks! previous wight catchup Wink
list of my drivers & variants (A17DD, FET+1 stuff, WIP stuff, etc)

_the_
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wight wrote:

_the_ can correct me if I'm wrong, but there is no "flashy mode group" to get stuck in.  Turning the light off and back on from any flashy mode should put them back into the regular modes.

Well.. Yes, and no. Smile

There is no "flashy mode group", but the current flashy mode is remembered like any other mode => From strobe, turning the light off and on again will turn it on on the strobe mode. First mode change (= two clicks) will return to first standard mode.

=the=

 

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K.I.S.S. for “stock”

3-4 modes w/ hidden blinky

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wight wrote:
Since this is an ontime firmware right now it's not even on my radar ;-).

That quote made me to quickly write an off-time version of TheStar.. Wink

Unfortunately I don't have any caps, so I can't test it right now. Sad Anyone willing to be a lab rat?

=the=

 

B42
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Is there a way to just have L->M->H

Hidden fast access LL
Hidden fast access Turbo
Hidden fast access strobe (maybe with tab through SOS and alpine beacon for strobe modes)

I think this would be most simple, most useful and cover all bases in some way.

All simple users want L/M/H, all advanced users want Turbo and LL AND want to get there instantly, but may not want to go through/confuse simple users. Fast access strobe with strobe selections is a bonus but…not necessary?

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B42 wrote:
Is there a way to just have L->M->H
Hidden fast access LL 
Hidden fast access Turbo 
Hidden fast access strobe (maybe with tab through SOS and alpine beacon for strobe modes)

With electronic switch there is. Without.. Well.. At least I can't instantly figure out how that could work. Maybe with some kind of timed double/triple click logic?

=the=

 

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OK wait, maybe I read wrong. So what you are saying below is Turbo WILL be accessible in all configs as a hidden mode?!?

Thats awesome if so, my pet peeves are PWM speed, no turbo, blinkies/LL you have to go through in mode changes, this would solve ALL of them! Smile My only addition in this case would be a FAST access hidden turbo: LL, then turbo then disorienting strobe? I’m quite certain LL and turbo would be the most used and desired hidden options.

the wrote:

That’s the default config.

All of the configurations listed:

- No stars connected (default) => L->H, with memory

- Connect Star #4 (Disable mode memory) => L->H, no memory

- Connect Star #3 (Revert mode order) => H->L, with memory

- Connect Stars #3 & #4 => H->L, no memory

- Connect Star #2 (Tacticool mode) => Strobe > Turbo -> Low, no memory (0.5s on to forget current mode – mode change requires quick half clicks)

Connect Stars #2 & #4 (Single mode) => Turbo

 

..and then there are some hidden (mostly blinky) modes, which work in all above configurations. Currently they are (subject to change):
1. LowLow
2. Disorienting strobe (randomly alternating 13-19.5Hz 60-40% duty cycle)
3. Motion stopping strobe (10Hz, 2% duty cycle)
4. Beacon with background (1Hz – 50ms Turbo / 950ms Med mode)
5. Slower beacon with background (0.4Hz – 50ms Turbo / 2450ms Low mode)
6. Beacon (1Hz – 50ms Turbo / 950ms Off)
7. Alpine distress beacon (50ms Turbo / 9950ms Off, repeat 6 times, 60s Off, repeat 6 times, 60s Off, …)
8. SOS
9. Turbo that stays on (no timer)


Current mode spacing is:

0.1% (0.003A) -> 2% (0.1A) -> 25% (1A) -> 100% (4.2A), with ramp down to 50% (2.1A)


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B42, it sounds like you may still have one misunderstanding.  Turbo is in the normal 3 mode group that _the_ described.

The "normal modes" are:
L - M - T

where:
L = 2% mode
M = 25% mode
T = 100% mode w/ stepdown

What's hidden is LL, all the blinkies, and a Turbo that never steps down.  There is an additional pseudo-level which _the_ refers to as "high" but you can't select it - it's just what Turbo steps down to.


I think I've got that stuff right.  

Still fine, still on a break. One day I’ll catch up with you folks! previous wight catchup Wink
list of my drivers & variants (A17DD, FET+1 stuff, WIP stuff, etc)

B42
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wight wrote:

B42, it sounds like you may still have one misunderstanding.  Turbo is in the normal 3 mode group that the described.

The “normal modes” are:
L – M – T

where:
L = 2% mode
M = 25% mode
T = 100% mode w/ stepdown

What’s hidden is LL, all the blinkies, and a Turbo that never steps down.  There is an additional pseudo-level which the refers to as “high” but you can’t select it – it’s just what Turbo steps down to.


I think I’ve got that stuff right.  

Yeah I realized I may have misunderstood in the first post. Based on your reply, I may be misunderstanding something different: are “hidden” modes enterable from “off”? If this is true, a Turbo (never stepping down) would be a useful hidden mode just like the disorienting strobe, and used more than at least 7 of that list of 9 modes and should be easier access than #9 priority. Thats what I was getting at. If not…I’m confused…

wight
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B42 wrote:
wight wrote:

B42, it sounds like you may still have one misunderstanding.  Turbo is in the normal 3 mode group that the described.

The “normal modes” are:
L – M – T

where:
L = 2% mode
M = 25% mode
T = 100% mode w/ stepdown

What’s hidden is LL, all the blinkies, and a Turbo that never steps down.  There is an additional pseudo-level which the refers to as “high” but you can’t select it – it’s just what Turbo steps down to.


I think I’ve got that stuff right.  

Yeah I realized I may have misunderstood in the first post. Based on your reply, I may be misunderstanding something different: are “hidden” modes enterable from “off”? If this is true, a Turbo (never stepping down) would be a useful hidden mode just like the disorienting strobe, and used more than at least 7 of that list of 9 modes and should be easier access than #9 priority. Thats what I was getting at. If not…I’m confused…

I see what you are getting at now. Based on my current understanding, here’s the situation:
  • to initially get to never-step-down-turbo rather than regular turbo you need to click through the standard 3 modes twice, then click through LL and the blinky modes. So approximately 14 fast taps after the initial turn on in order to get to never-step-down-turbo.
  • I assume that never-step-down-turbo will be memorized just like the blinky modes are (see post #72). So as long as you don’t change modes it will stay in that mode the next time you turn it on.

My assumption is that this firmware is geared towards having the ability to set a small-bodied light down and then pick it back up without getting scalded.

Still fine, still on a break. One day I’ll catch up with you folks! previous wight catchup Wink
list of my drivers & variants (A17DD, FET+1 stuff, WIP stuff, etc)

grantman321
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I’d holler at 15-20 at the right price. Already having the 7135’s added would save a ton of time. As far as modes, simpler would be more preferable. 4 modes (moonlight->low->med->turbo), turbo ramps down to med after 90 or 120 sec. Blinky modes are utterly pointless. Especially a hidden strobe. For a strobe to actually be useful it needs to come on first always, or at a minimum come on easily by holding down (or somehow otherwise preselecting it). An assailant/intruder/giant murderous bad guy isn’t going to wait for you to cycle through to access your strobe mode. Are there any other uses for strobe (I can’t think of any)?

Anyway. That’s all to say that at the right price with simple UI, I’ll take 15-20 pretty please.

“We are all worms, but I believe that I am a glow-worm.” – Winston Churchill

bibihang
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How about starting a poll on what kind of mode group would everyone prefer?

wight
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grantman321 wrote:
I’d holler at 15-20 at the right price. Already having the 7135’s added would save a ton of time. As far as modes, simpler would be more preferable. 4 modes (moonlight->low->med->turbo), turbo ramps down to med after 90 or 120 sec. Blinky modes are utterly pointless. Especially a hidden strobe. For a strobe to actually be useful it needs to come on first always, or at a minimum come on easily by holding down (or somehow otherwise preselecting it). An assailant/intruder/giant murderous bad guy isn’t going to wait for you to cycle through to access your strobe mode. Are there any other uses for strobe (I can’t think of any)?

Anyway. That’s all to say that at the right price with simple UI, I’ll take 15-20 pretty please.

The hidden blinky modes are potentially useful as beacons. For that purpose it generally would be OK even if it took you a few minutes to get it into the mode you wanted… (Several of the ones in TheStar are even called beacon. :-p)

Still fine, still on a break. One day I’ll catch up with you folks! previous wight catchup Wink
list of my drivers & variants (A17DD, FET+1 stuff, WIP stuff, etc)

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grantman321 wrote:
I’d holler at 15-20 at the right price. Already having the 7135’s added would save a ton of time. As far as modes, simpler would be more preferable. 4 modes (moonlight->low->med->turbo), turbo ramps down to med after 90 or 120 sec. Blinky modes are utterly pointless. Especially a hidden strobe. For a strobe to actually be useful it needs to come on first always, or at a minimum come on easily by holding down (or somehow otherwise preselecting it). An assailant/intruder/giant murderous bad guy isn’t going to wait for you to cycle through to access your strobe mode. Are there any other uses for strobe (I can’t think of any)?

Anyway. That’s all to say that at the right price with simple UI, I’ll take 15-20 pretty please.


My dad said he saw a wrecker guy using his to get peoples attention at night…but I guess the HUGE truck with yellow flashy lights did a better deal than his blinky light

Truthfully if you could build a two group Nanjg style setup, one group L>M>H, 2nd group L>M>H>Blinkies but fix the daggum PWM on it…if people want other than “custom” let them flash them themselves

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WarHawk-AVG wrote:
grantman321 wrote:
I’d holler at 15-20 at the right price. Already having the 7135’s added would save a ton of time. As far as modes, simpler would be more preferable. 4 modes (moonlight->low->med->turbo), turbo ramps down to med after 90 or 120 sec. Blinky modes are utterly pointless. Especially a hidden strobe. For a strobe to actually be useful it needs to come on first always, or at a minimum come on easily by holding down (or somehow otherwise preselecting it). An assailant/intruder/giant murderous bad guy isn’t going to wait for you to cycle through to access your strobe mode. Are there any other uses for strobe (I can’t think of any)?

Anyway. That’s all to say that at the right price with simple UI, I’ll take 15-20 pretty please.


My dad said he saw a wrecker guy using his to get peoples attention at night…but I guess the HUGE truck with yellow flashy lights did a better deal than his blinky light

Truthfully if you could build a two group Nanjg style setup, one group L>M>H, 2nd group L>M>H>Blinkies but fix the daggum PWM on it…if people want other than “custom” let them flash them themselves

You mean like the ones from FT? I really dislike that group-change-blink that happens in Low mode on those 2-group drivers they sell.

Still fine, still on a break. One day I’ll catch up with you folks! previous wight catchup Wink
list of my drivers & variants (A17DD, FET+1 stuff, WIP stuff, etc)

WarHawk-AVG
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wight wrote:
WarHawk-AVG wrote:
grantman321 wrote:
I’d holler at 15-20 at the right price. Already having the 7135’s added would save a ton of time. As far as modes, simpler would be more preferable. 4 modes (moonlight->low->med->turbo), turbo ramps down to med after 90 or 120 sec. Blinky modes are utterly pointless. Especially a hidden strobe. For a strobe to actually be useful it needs to come on first always, or at a minimum come on easily by holding down (or somehow otherwise preselecting it). An assailant/intruder/giant murderous bad guy isn’t going to wait for you to cycle through to access your strobe mode. Are there any other uses for strobe (I can’t think of any)?

Anyway. That’s all to say that at the right price with simple UI, I’ll take 15-20 pretty please.


My dad said he saw a wrecker guy using his to get peoples attention at night…but I guess the HUGE truck with yellow flashy lights did a better deal than his blinky light

Truthfully if you could build a two group Nanjg style setup, one group L>M>H, 2nd group L>M>H>Blinkies but fix the daggum PWM on it…if people want other than “custom” let them flash them themselves

You mean like the ones from FT? I really dislike that group-change-blink that happens in Low mode on those 2-group drivers they sell.

Maybe a “faster” blink can be programmed instead of the long wink, if someone can program it, or instead of a light interrupt, maybe a slight throttling from low to a moonlight blip so the light doesn’t drop out but for a split second dims (I guess flicker would be a better word)

I hate the long group-change-blink too but like the ability to have flashies if needed…but for “stock” drivers should be simple

I like the 2 group option, would like better PWM and a really fast mode switch blip…

Either or…I will probably just flash em out anyway

18sixfifty
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OK I ended up getting an early response from them tonight.

It’s yes on the firmware and they will be sending a sample so we can check them out. They are not Nanjg105C they are made in Taiwan but supposedly the same.

I’m a junky, I mod lights so I can sell lights so I can buy more light to mod so I can sell lights to buy more lights to mod.

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Most importantly 18sixfifty, have you anticipated the potential workload involved? 1000 drivers shipped out under the most ideal scenario of 20-25 per order is still a lot of trips to the post office, packaging, printing labels, organising. It’s a big workload and you’re not going to make any money from it. We would all appreciate it immensely because it would be a good deal but I don’t want to tire you out either.

A more realistic scenario would be that your average orders would be 10 or so. That’s a lot of work!

18sixfifty
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aoeu wrote:
Most importantly 18sixfifty, have you anticipated the potential workload involved? 1000 drivers shipped out under the most ideal scenario of 20-25 per order is still a lot of trips to the post office, packaging, printing labels, organising. It’s a big workload and you’re not going to make any money from it. We would all appreciate it immensely because it would be a good deal but I don’t want to tire you out either.

A more realistic scenario would be that your average orders would be 10 or so. That’s a lot of work!

Thanks.

I actually ship from home now so it won’t be too big of a deal. I retired and this is my hobby so it keeps me busy and out of my wife’s hair. :bigsmile:

I’m more worried about actually getting enough people interested so that it’s a go. Well that and making sure that they get it right on their end.

I’m a junky, I mod lights so I can sell lights so I can buy more light to mod so I can sell lights to buy more lights to mod.

FlashPilot
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18sixfifty, thanks for all of your efforts. I realize this is a monumental undertaking and requires a lot of effort.

Will they flash 2 versions of the FW as we had discussed?

Will they accept 500 min order?

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