What's wrong with P60 hosts?

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Windsurf
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What's wrong with P60 hosts?

I’m new here and just diving into the wide variety of lights and modifications available. And I have to say there are many more options available than I ever expected. I came into this forum because I bought my first P60 because I thought it was the perfect size, balance and function and although I want to push it for more bright (a non-scientific term) I don’t see why people think the P60 is obsolete? Certainly there are other flashlights that have more bright, made of more modern materials, and yes, the head limits the bright options. But overall the P60 particularly the SolarForce L2 series are classics. They never go out of style. So if I don’t want a supersized flashlight but something I can make my EDC. What is better than a Solarforce L2 series?

unknown00101
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I like their versatility. I have 2 L2, an L2M, and an L2i. They all work fine.

The main disadvantage of a P60 is the thermal management. The dropin pales in comparison to a flashlight with a threaded pill, or better yet an integrated led shelf.

A great tube light… Take your pick of the Convoy S series (love my Convoy S2+).

A great pocket thrower… Eagle Eye X6. I believe Dale filled you in on this little beast of a light and the group buy.

dave_
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L2m is still my favorite edc. Overall size, pocket clip and performance are just perfect for my needs. I’m not so crazy to try to get rid of more than 10W of heat in that thing, though. Wink

Rufusbduck
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The Convoy M1 is very similar in size but has a screw in pill for better thermal transfer and a deeper reflector for better throw. There’s nothing really wrong with p60 hosts unless you want to ramp up the power and that’s when the floating pill design shows it’s weakness. It can be remedied somewhat with a foil wrap but not to the extent of a better designed light. I like my own L2 and just converted it to an 18350 stubby but it’s not a light well suited for a high current mod.

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Agreed on the Convoy M1, just built one for a mate with a dedomed XM-L2 U2 1A and Qlite driver at about 3.8A and it’s a fantastic little performer.

I’m not saying P60s are no good, in fact I have 3 Solarforce P60 hosts, but if you want to push the light harder, there are better options than P60 hosts.

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Yes, nothing seriously wrong with them. They are good for starters and also understanding how LED works. They could prove to be really useful “throw around” lights.

As I thought, Nothing wrong with them, Just that there are always something Better out there to Explore.

Happy searching.

How bright is bright enough...

Runtime VS Lumens...

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I guess it all depends on what you get into first. I got into the Convoy, having never owned a Solarforce light, and it was my EDC for a while. They are small and bright, and you can easily add a Qlite driver to give the light more versatility. People also seem to like Solarforce as much too, but I’m not sure if they offer anything that I already don’t have out of a Convoy light or the Sunwayman V11r.

old4570
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For its size , there is not much better : 

But remember , some people are not happy unless they can squeeze every last AMP out of the battery ( Discharge ) .

And for a super high current hotrod , the L2 is not the best choice ( nor any P60 ) ..

But if your happy with sane levels of current , get a P60 pill , a nice 2A driver and the latest XM-L emitter in a tint you like , and build a drop in that works well and does the job .

I was out the other night with my L2 ( I have a few ) , and it pumps an insane amount of light ( not sure what drop in it has - but its XM-L - Just not sure of the current it draws )  , yeah I dont remember what drop in is in what L2 ..  ( Might have a Ultrafire (Manafont) drop in - one of the hot ones ) ..

If I sound confused , your right , I am .. + I own a few L2's , maybe more than anyone else ... 

Thing is , superbly made , reliable , and with a decent drop in , almost bullet proof .. 

 Always remember , the easiest thing in the world to do , is to expel hot air from your lungs and through some vocal chords ..
The resulting sound may , or may not be worth listening too ….

 

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You can “lego” most P60 hosts. That is; the bezel, head, tailcap can interchange so you can update or change the light to suit your needs. While the P60 weakness is heat from high-power drop-ins that is also it greatest strength, you can make or buy a new drop-in w/ the LED of your choice rather than buy a whole new light. And in the case of SolarForce you can add a tubohead for throw or output.

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I see the two primary advantages of P60s as:

Versatility:
If you want a lot of flood grab an XM-L with an OP reflector, a bit more throw an XP-G or XR-E with a smooth reflector, high CRI, Nichia, UV, driver options, lens options, etc. One host with multiple drop-ins can cover a lot of uses.

Modability:
It’s a great platform for starting down the road of modding lights. Drop-ins can be built easily for short money providing the opportunity to try different drivers, emitters and reflectors.

I have 7-8 SolarForce L series lights up to 4.5 amps with no problems. Of course that’s with well wrapped drop-ins and not left tail standing on high for 20 minutes.

I remember a time, when I searched for lights to fit my needs. Now I search for needs to fit my lights.

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I have the L2, L2M, L2N, L2P and L2T, a couple of each. The very well thought out LT-1 lantern, various extension tubes and a lot of tail-switches, bezels, an L2-CL1 Convex lens titanium lanyard rings, Xeno lanyard rings and a box full of various P60 drop-ins. Plenty of protected good quality 18650’s and a stock of CR123’s. I’m perfectly content with what I have, at the moment they serve all my needs.

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Rufusbduck wrote:
The Convoy M1 is very similar in size but has a screw in pill for better thermal transfer and a deeper reflector for better throw. There’s nothing really wrong with p60 hosts unless you want to ramp up the power and that’s when the floating pill design shows it’s weakness. It can be remedied somewhat with a foil wrap but not to the extent of a better designed light. I like my own L2 and just converted it to an 18350 stubby but it’s not a light well suited for a high current mod.

I’m going to try making a L2M into a mini using either a 18350 or a 16340. What drop in are you using? I have a Solarforce XM-L U2 and will be curious if I can get enough light out of it.

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I think they are going out of style because we like to push the limits on output, and the cost savings of getting a new drop-in instead of a whole new host is getting less and less.  Quality hosts such as the ones from Convoy are cheap enough where we can just build another light.  I still love Solarforce hosts though.

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To me, the P60 format is timeless and can’t really ever go out of style. Versatile, flexible and interchangeable… To me it doesn’t get any better. Besides, if most people here are flashaholics, why would this even come into debate? Can’t you own a boatload of P60 format flashlights and also own a boatload of other flashlights?? In my mind if you’re a flashaholic, you’ve got room for more than one EDC in your rotation and the rest can simply sit in your collection waiting it’s turn to be used.

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I like the P60 format in the Solarforce line. They seem to me to have the right feel and balance, small enough to have on my person and available when needed yet they produce plenty of light. My problem however is I want one very versitile light that is flexible, and maybe a second as a back up but I don’t want a house full of flashlights. I guess I am not a true flashaholic because too many lights would bother me. Give me my tool that will work when and how I need it to work, but I don’t want a house full of them.

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 photo 6936DF8D-05DD-4049-9FDF-915F4F7FC5CD_zpsmm94zt5n.jpg

2 × 18350 or 2 × 18650..your choice

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Windsurf wrote:
I guess I am not a true flashaholic because too many lights would bother me. Give me my tool that will work when and how I need it to work, but I don't want a house full of them.

Oh, that problem will solve itself, it's just a matter of time, hang around for a couple of months longer and your bothering about too many lights is over, and you will love each and every one of them :bigsmile:

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Windsurf wrote:
I’m new here and just diving into the wide variety of lights and modifications available. And I have to say there are many more options available than I ever expected. I came into this forum because I bought my first P60 because I thought it was the perfect size, balance and function and although I want to push it for more bright (a non-scientific term) I don’t see why people think the P60 is obsolete? Certainly there are other flashlights that have more bright, made of more modern materials, and yes, the head limits the bright options. But overall the P60 particularly the SolarForce L2 series are classics. They never go out of style. So if I don’t want a supersized flashlight but something I can make my EDC. What is better than a Solarforce L2 series?

I love p60’s too. But they do have limitations with thermal management. Although I do think this is sometimes over played.

If you use a flashlight for fun, as in you don’t depend on it and only tend to use it for short periods of time. Then it’s pretty much a non issue IMO.

But for prolonged on time at high outputs it simply isn’t as good.

Also I find it more fun to have multiple different torches for different uses, rather than one torch with lots of different drop in’s.

I quite like the size of the L2’s. They are about as big a torch as I like to carry in my jeans pocket. The larger reflector offers more throw than tube style lights. But for some they maybe are still a little chunky.

As an alternative, have a look at the Convoy M1:

It’s pretty much the exact same size as a Solarforce L2. But obviously doesn’t use a p60 drop in. It has far superior thermal properties, so if you want high output, or sustained use, then the M1 is a more robust torch that will manage the heat much better.

One very neat thing p60’s have though, is modding them to fit old incan Mini Maglites.

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P60 are some of my favorite, lots of light in a small size. It the heat management bothers you, wrap the pill in aluminum cut from a soda can.

Chicken Drumstick
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Windsurf wrote:
Rufusbduck wrote:
The Convoy M1 is very similar in size but has a screw in pill for better thermal transfer and a deeper reflector for better throw. There’s nothing really wrong with p60 hosts unless you want to ramp up the power and that’s when the floating pill design shows it’s weakness. It can be remedied somewhat with a foil wrap but not to the extent of a better designed light. I like my own L2 and just converted it to an 18350 stubby but it’s not a light well suited for a high current mod.

I’m going to try making a L2M into a mini using either a 18350 or a 16340. What drop in are you using? I have a Solarforce XM-L U2 and will be curious if I can get enough light out of it.


I have the 3 mode Solarforce XM-L U2 drop in, I bought it when it first came out. Thus far I think it’s a brilliant drop in. But it has a wide voltage range that is meant to allow it to run on 1xCR123a up to 2xLi-ion. I think SF rate it at 2.7 – 9.0v

And true enough I’ve even had the drop in working on 2xAA. So it does have a wide voltage range. But the problem is output and more importantly regulation.

I used to run it on 1×18650 but now run it on 2xLi-ion, it now is noticeably brighter (pulls more amps) but importantly gives good regulation and maintains it’s output well. On 1×18650 it would dim fairly quickly. I don’t have the means to test it, but I suspect it simply isn’t regulated on a single Li-ion (I have a Crelant that is exactly the same).

To sum up, while this drop in will work on 1×16340 or 1×18350. I think it’s output is disappointing but especially it’s regulation. This drop in certainly works far better with a higher input voltage.

For a L2M stumpy I’d recommend getting a drop in with a driver designed for a single Li-ion battery, I think you’ll get better performance from it.

On that note, remember a 16340 or 18350 only have 500-700mAh vs 3100-3400mAh for an 18650. So runtime will be significantly reduced.

I sometimes run my L2M as a stumpy (I have another p60 torch this size too). They are kind of cool. Quite chunky in your pocket though. The biggest advantage they have over compact tube lights is reflector size and thus more throw.

Chicken Drumstick
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Windsurf wrote:
I like the P60 format in the Solarforce line. They seem to me to have the right feel and balance, small enough to have on my person and available when needed yet they produce plenty of light. My problem however is I want one very versitile light that is flexible, and maybe a second as a back up but I don’t want a house full of flashlights. I guess I am not a true flashaholic because too many lights would bother me. Give me my tool that will work when and how I need it to work, but I don’t want a house full of them.

When you say versatile, versatile for what exactly? As a general rule, something can either be very good at some things, or very average at a lot of things.
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I'm not sure it is mentioned anywhere: if you have your leds on copper boards, thermal management has become effectively a non-issue, everything can become much hotter with the led still running fine. This is especially beneficial for p60 lights: the drop-in gets very hot but that does not matter much, and the temperature difference with the shell becomes very large enabling the heat to escape fast enough, even via the tiny edges of thermal contact that the p60 host has.

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P60’s are perfect for weapon mounting, I have one on my AR and love it. It’s a great option for a compact light that doesn’t cost an arm and a leg. A Solarforce host, Malkoff m61, and McClicky switch makes for a rock solid and reliable weapon light that costs a fraction of something like a Scout light.

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^ This is why I have 3 of them. Smile

Well I have stock tail cap.. but yeah, great platform and lego possibilities are endless… Almost..

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Windsurf wrote:
Rufusbduck wrote:
The Convoy M1 is very similar in size but has a screw in pill for better thermal transfer and a deeper reflector for better throw. There’s nothing really wrong with p60 hosts unless you want to ramp up the power and that’s when the floating pill design shows it’s weakness. It can be remedied somewhat with a foil wrap but not to the extent of a better designed light. I like my own L2 and just converted it to an 18350 stubby but it’s not a light well suited for a high current mod.

I’m going to try making a L2M into a mini using either a 18350 or a 16340. What drop in are you using? I have a Solarforce XM-L U2 and will be curious if I can get enough light out of it.


I make my own and in this case it’s just a qlite driver from MtnE and a high cri warm xml2 (7D3). Contrast isn’t as sharp as with a cooler tint but I find it very easy on the eyes.

Three Tanna leaves to give him life, nine to give him movement. But what if he eats the whole bag?

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Chicken Drumstick wrote:
Windsurf wrote:
I’m new here and just diving into the wide variety of lights and modifications available. And I have to say there are many more options available than I ever expected. I came into this forum because I bought my first P60 because I thought it was the perfect size, balance and function and although I want to push it for more bright (a non-scientific term) I don’t see why people think the P60 is obsolete? Certainly there are other flashlights that have more bright, made of more modern materials, and yes, the head limits the bright options. But overall the P60 particularly the SolarForce L2 series are classics. They never go out of style. So if I don’t want a supersized flashlight but something I can make my EDC. What is better than a Solarforce L2 series?

I love p60’s too. But they do have limitations with thermal management. Although I do think this is sometimes over played.

If you use a flashlight for fun, as in you don’t depend on it and only tend to use it for short periods of time. Then it’s pretty much a non issue IMO.

But for prolonged on time at high outputs it simply isn’t as good.

Also I find it more fun to have multiple different torches for different uses, rather than one torch with lots of different drop in’s.

I quite like the size of the L2’s. They are about as big a torch as I like to carry in my jeans pocket. The larger reflector offers more throw than tube style lights. But for some they maybe are still a little chunky.

As an alternative, have a look at the Convoy M1:

It’s pretty much the exact same size as a Solarforce L2. But obviously doesn’t use a p60 drop in. It has far superior thermal properties, so if you want high output, or sustained use, then the M1 is a more robust torch that will manage the heat much better.

One very neat thing p60’s have though, is modding them to fit old incan Mini Maglites.

I’ve heard a lot about heat problems, but I haven’t experienced it yet. If I could program the modes it would be High, Medium and strobe. I wouldn’t run it on high all the time mostly medium and back to high for short bursts when I need it.

Windsurf
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Chicken Drumstick wrote:
Windsurf wrote:
Rufusbduck wrote:
The Convoy M1 is very similar in size but has a screw in pill for better thermal transfer and a deeper reflector for better throw. There’s nothing really wrong with p60 hosts unless you want to ramp up the power and that’s when the floating pill design shows it’s weakness. It can be remedied somewhat with a foil wrap but not to the extent of a better designed light. I like my own L2 and just converted it to an 18350 stubby but it’s not a light well suited for a high current mod.

I’m going to try making a L2M into a mini using either a 18350 or a 16340. What drop in are you using? I have a Solarforce XM-L U2 and will be curious if I can get enough light out of it.


I have the 3 mode Solarforce XM-L U2 drop in, I bought it when it first came out. Thus far I think it’s a brilliant drop in. But it has a wide voltage range that is meant to allow it to run on 1xCR123a up to 2xLi-ion. I think SF rate it at 2.7 – 9.0v

And true enough I’ve even had the drop in working on 2xAA. So it does have a wide voltage range. But the problem is output and more importantly regulation.

I used to run it on 1×18650 but now run it on 2xLi-ion, it now is noticeably brighter (pulls more amps) but importantly gives good regulation and maintains it’s output well. On 1×18650 it would dim fairly quickly. I don’t have the means to test it, but I suspect it simply isn’t regulated on a single Li-ion (I have a Crelant that is exactly the same).

To sum up, while this drop in will work on 1×16340 or 1×18350. I think it’s output is disappointing but especially it’s regulation. This drop in certainly works far better with a higher input voltage.

For a L2M stumpy I’d recommend getting a drop in with a driver designed for a single Li-ion battery, I think you’ll get better performance from it.

On that note, remember a 16340 or 18350 only have 500-700mAh vs 3100-3400mAh for an 18650. So runtime will be significantly reduced.

I sometimes run my L2M as a stumpy (I have another p60 torch this size too). They are kind of cool. Quite chunky in your pocket though. The biggest advantage they have over compact tube lights is reflector size and thus more throw.

I have the XM-L2 in 5 mode with the same voltage range. I like the versatility of being able to use different battery sizes or flashlight configurations. Make it a regular size and put it in my backpack or make it a mini and put it in my jacket pocket. I’m going to run the same experiment with rechargeable 16340’s vs the 18650. I like the idea of more volts in the tube even if it means shorter run times. (I still don’t understand why more volts make it run brighter when the amount of input amps should be the same no matter which battery type is used.)

AS for heat. I don’t know why someone doesn’t make an adapter that sits around the reflector with fins that will move the heat from the reflector to the outer shell

Windsurf
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Chicken Drumstick wrote:
Windsurf wrote:
I like the P60 format in the Solarforce line. They seem to me to have the right feel and balance, small enough to have on my person and available when needed yet they produce plenty of light. My problem however is I want one very versitile light that is flexible, and maybe a second as a back up but I don’t want a house full of flashlights. I guess I am not a true flashaholic because too many lights would bother me. Give me my tool that will work when and how I need it to work, but I don’t want a house full of them.
When you say versatile, versatile for what exactly? As a general rule, something can either be very good at some things, or very average at a lot of things.

It’s a tool that exceeds my needs. It may not be perfect or the best at any one catagory but it works for me and when I need light that is what counts.

Chicken Drumstick
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Windsurf wrote:

I have the XM-L2 in 5 mode with the same voltage range. I like the versatility of being able to use different battery sizes or flashlight configurations. Make it a regular size and put it in my backpack or make it a mini and put it in my jacket pocket. I’m going to run the same experiment with rechargeable 16340’s vs the 18650. I like the idea of more volts in the tube even if it means shorter run times. (I still don’t understand why more volts make it run brighter when the amount of input amps should be the same no matter which battery type is used.)


I’m no electronics expert, but I think there are two main angles on this.

For a given amp draw at the LED, the battery needs to supply a higher current due to loses from the driver/wiring. Good li-ion can supply high current, but when batteries supply high current their voltage drops. So while they may have a resting voltage of ‘x’, when under load their voltage becomes ‘x – y’.

For example, most protected li-ion cells will trip the protection circuit at 2.75v. But I’ve had batteries that have a resting voltage of 3.5v trip this circuit, what happens is, when under load it dips below 2.75v so trips the protection.

To maintain output from the LED, you need voltage as well as current. An example here would be, an MT-G2 will supply lots of lumens at 3amps. A good single 18650 can easily supply 3amps. But the vf of the MT-G2 is a higher voltage than that of a single li-ion. So despite being able to supply the amps, there is insufficient voltage to power the LED.

Using multiple Li-ion in series means you have a higher input voltage than just using one battery. So for LED’s like XP-G and XM-L’s, your input voltage is always sufficient (ie higher) than needed. This means under load, even when the batteries voltage sag, you’ll still be ok on the volts front. Multiple cells is also kinder in terms of amp draw. If your driver is pulling 3amps, then with two batteries it only needs to pull 1.5amp from each.

Overall this may not affect total PEAK output of a torch, but it can affect regulation, depending on the driver type and circuit used.

And driver type is the other key point here. There are different types of driver, I’m not clever enough to explain them properly. But as I understand it, in simply terms. A driver can use more mAh to boost the voltage it provides to the LED. e.g. many AA lights. If you simply connected the LED directly to a 1.2v NiMH eneloop, it wouldn’t be all that bright. But a boost driver can sacrifice some mAh/capacity too boost the voltage it supplies to the LED. Thus more lumens.

However this can be taxing on a battery and will lower overall run time.

Then you have buck drivers where you have more voltage than you need, here the driver must reduce the voltage supplied to the LED. Sometimes less efficient, but offers greater stable output and is kinder to batteries. Excessively high voltage can mean large efficiency loses and heat.

Most drivers can do one or the other of these, hence why most are voltage limited. But some can do both, which are the ones with the widest voltage ranges. The trouble is, to make them do both, they often end up being less efficient at both ends of the scale.

A nice example of this is too take a look at the MagLed D cell lights (the 2nd gen ones). The 2D and 3D both produce almost identical lumen output.

2D = 134 lumens
3D = 131 lumens.

People often wonder why the 3D has a lower output. And this is down to the driver and I suspect how they are configured. Mag tried to get them similar, but it’s probably difficult to get them performing the same.

The 2D uses 2×1.5v, so 3 volt battery power. This is lower than the LED vf, so this is a boost driver. It uses mAh to raise the voltage supplied to the LED.

The 3D is 3×1.5v, so 4.5 volt battery power. This is higher than the LED vf, although not by much. This is probably a buck or maybe linear type of driver.

Why does this matter?

Well, considering they have similar output and the 3D only uses one more battery. You’d think they would have similar runtimes too. Maybe the 3D should last half as long again than what the 2D does.

But nope.

2D = 8 hour
3D = 79 hour!!!

That’s a huge difference. And what it shows is, the 2D actually has to work the cells fairly hard compared to the 3D, just to match the output.

How does this relate to your question?

Well in Mag’s case they chose to make the 3D offer the same amount of light as the 2D. But higher input voltage could have meant they could have driven the 3D batteries as hard as the 2D ones. If they’d done this the batteries would be no worse off, but you’d have got more lumen output from them and still matched the 8 hour runtime.

Windsurf wrote:

AS for heat. I don’t know why someone doesn’t make an adapter that sits around the reflector with fins that will move the heat from the reflector to the outer shell

There are many options here. Tine foil packed around them. Copper tape. Cut up Coke can’s or remove the large spring and use a bit of copper pipe cut to the right length.
Chicken Drumstick
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Windsurf wrote:

It’s a tool that exceeds my needs. It may not be perfect or the best at any one catagory but it works for me and when I need light that is what counts.


I was more meaning, what versatility are you after specifically, what do you want it to do. If we new, we might be able to suggest something that would fulfil them.

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