The next ZEROHOUR flashlight - Would love to hear your ideas, but...

63 posts / 0 new
Last post

Pages

ZeroHour
Offline
Last seen: 7 years 10 months ago
Joined: 09/21/2014 - 04:01
Posts: 23
Location: Long Beach, CA
The next ZEROHOUR flashlight - Would love to hear your ideas, but...

Hey, BLF!

So my team and I have already started working on our next flashlight project. We wanted to come on here and get some ideas from everyone as well. BUT, there is a catch to this thread… due to the fact that there will be competitors of ours watching, learning, and taking notes (e.g. our ex-contractors, ex-manufacturers, etc.) Please understand that we may not make it so obvious or public that we love/hate your idea on this thread; but just know that if you make a suggestion that we did use in our final production flashlight, credit will be given when credit is due Smile

I hope you guys understand why we have to do it this way and still wish to participate… You can all also PM me your ideas if you also don’t want your ideas posted publicly. Actually, you can post a ridiculous/impossible/bullsh*t idea for fun and PM me a real idea… LOL. We can’t promise that we are going to put everyone’s ideas into this flashlight (due to our budget limitations and the current level of alien technology our engineers are capable of at the moment) but we promise to read each and every suggestion and discuss them in-house.

*Note: We are also taking in suggestions from our Kickstarter backers and same rules apply.

Here are the basics…

- Smaller flashlight, single cell 1 × 18650 / 2 x CR123
- Micro-USB rechargeable

OK, let it pour in! We are a sponge…

Formerly known as “RacingHart”.

AlexGT
AlexGT's picture
Offline
Last seen: 1 day 4 hours ago
Joined: 06/07/2012 - 17:39
Posts: 4653
Location: Texas

I would love to see a light that is about the same size as the TX25C2 with Xp-L V6 led waterproof 3m, throwy smooth reflector with a infinetly variable control ring to select output, 3.5a turbo mode, hidden strobe SOS and beacon and a 2A charger port, use tougher aluminum 7075 in HAIII with coated glass and SS crown bezel, and powered with a single 18650 or 26650 protected or unprotected battery, and don’t forget a lanyard hole and glass breaker and be able to tailstand…

202bigmike
Offline
Last seen: 1 day 12 hours ago
Joined: 07/23/2014 - 12:09
Posts: 907
Location: USA

ZeroHour wrote:
Hey, BLF!

So my team and I have already started working on our next flashlight project. We wanted to come on here and get some ideas from everyone as well. BUT, there is a catch to this thread… due to the fact that there will be competitors of ours watching, learning, and taking notes (e.g. our ex-contractors, ex-manufacturers, etc.) Please understand that we may not make it so obvious or public that we love/hate your idea on this thread; but just know that if you make a suggestion that we did use in our final production flashlight, credit will be given when credit is due Smile

I hope you guys understand why we have to do it this way and still wish to participate… You can all also PM me your ideas if you also don’t want your ideas posted publicly. Actually, you can post a ridiculous/impossible/bullsh*t idea for fun and PM me a real idea… LOL. We can’t promise that we are going to put everyone’s ideas into this flashlight (due to our budget limitations and the current level of alien technology our engineers are capable of at the moment) but we promise to read each and every suggestion and discuss them in-house.

*Note: We are also taking in suggestions from our Kickstarter backers and same rules apply.

Here are the basics…

- Smaller flashlight, single cell 1 × 18650 / 2 x CR123
- Micro-USB rechargeable

OK, let it pour in! We are a sponge…

You want a little Research & Development (RD) ideas
and suggestions from flashaholics ? The suggestions
and ideas will come. Just give it time.

musicmagic
Offline
Last seen: 7 years 9 months ago
Joined: 10/28/2013 - 09:53
Posts: 984
Location: CT

how sbout a secret mode that goes past the emitter specs, IE from a max of 3a to a new max of 4a? (don’t be afraid to go over the current rating, xm-l2 have safely gone to 7+amps and survive, while XP-G2’s can make it past 4 amps.)

XM-l2 U3 bins?

some of the more preferred tints around here are t6-3c, t6-4c, U2-1A

Direct thermal path (DTP) copper board

IF YOU HAVE TO INCLUDE BLINKING MODES MAKE THEM HIDDEN!!

A low low mode (.1 to .7 lumens)

high PWM (true constant current would be better)

I prefer a good deep carry pocket clip, (head down) But that’s my preference.

If 18650, 2×16340 (8.4v) support would be nice

a red mode would be cool too, but I can only imagine it to be feasible if you were using a TIR

try to keep everything simple. If I bought it, I expect to be able to hand it to anyone and have them figure out how everything works relatively easily. If I want fancy, I can just ask ttrev3 to build me a light.

tailstanding, and para-cord lanyard holes would be nice

I like my smaller lights to be suited for more close up to midrange distances than being throwers.

if you are going to implement charging, make sure it charges with correct CC/CV. A li-ion packs a lot of power, and putting that in a sealed metal tube, then incorrectly charging it is playing with fire.

If you need any advance product testers, I know some who might be interested Wink

If you can’t blind them with your brilliance, baffle them with your bullcrap.

The real currency in the world is not money, it’s trust.

ZeroHour
Offline
Last seen: 7 years 10 months ago
Joined: 09/21/2014 - 04:01
Posts: 23
Location: Long Beach, CA

Great! Thanks, I am excited to see what you guys come up with!

Formerly known as “RacingHart”.

Legolas Jr.
Legolas Jr.'s picture
Offline
Last seen: 3 weeks 5 days ago
Joined: 09/17/2013 - 21:55
Posts: 884
Location: Springport, IN

Neutral white XP-L or XM-L2, dual switches, tailcap switch for on/off and side switch to change modes, moonlight mode, 18650, and 3.5 amps on high/turbo, AR coated lens, and HAIII anodizing like AlexGT said. What price range will this light have?

Edit: and like musicmagic said, a direct thermal path mcpcb is a must with current greater than 3A.

“Strive to be a warrior and a scholar. Be forged in fire and tempered by knowledge. If not, you will either lack the courage to fight for your ideals or lack ideals worth fighting for.”

AlexGT
AlexGT's picture
Offline
Last seen: 1 day 4 hours ago
Joined: 06/07/2012 - 17:39
Posts: 4653
Location: Texas

And if you use some of BLF member ideas, please consider a super awesome amazing budget minded generous group buy price for a very limited time to BLF members that contributed… :bigsmile:

AlexGT
AlexGT's picture
Offline
Last seen: 1 day 4 hours ago
Joined: 06/07/2012 - 17:39
Posts: 4653
Location: Texas

I would also like to see you use copper mpcb with direct thermal path and screwed down to the heatsink for best heat transfer, make lots of fins on the light for heat dissipation, can you make a special run with no glue to easily upgrade emitters? also consider potting the driver…

ZeroHour
Offline
Last seen: 7 years 10 months ago
Joined: 09/21/2014 - 04:01
Posts: 23
Location: Long Beach, CA

Depending on the features that we go with the flashlight may range from $75 to $150 also depending if it comes with or without batteries. We will offer two or three packages similar to our ZeroHour X, XS, and XD sets.

We are shooting for a $99.99 MSRP for this particular piece but can’t really say this early into design.

Oh! One more thing, if we can’t hit our target price in this particular project, your ideas are still going to be considered for our 3rd and 4th projects. =) Our long term goal is to offer a wide range of flashlights to fit all budget ranges and scenarios. This is only the beginning, bros!

Formerly known as “RacingHart”.

leaftye
Offline
Last seen: 47 min 2 sec ago
Joined: 07/25/2012 - 17:43
Posts: 4293
Location: San Diego, CA

Side clickie

Mcpcb with direct thermal path, for example, Sinkpad or Noctigon mcpcb's

XM-L2 U2 NW

Anti reflective lens

Lanyard holes that allow perfect tail standing

Much better mode spacing.  Developing your own driver from scratch is probably more than your small business can handle, so take a look at what the driver designers on this site are doing.  There are commercial designs from people on this board too, such as the Qlite from Intl outdoor, DrJones, Cereal_killer, texaspyro, Mtn Electronics (RMM) and several more.  The ability to get an American designed and manufactured driver could be good for marketing. 

 

Stretch goal: Wireless charging.  

 

This is basically what I was going to tell you if we got a chance to meet as you wanted, but unfortunately my schedule hasn't allowed that.

The low mode should be lower.

DBSAR
DBSAR's picture
Offline
Last seen: 2 days 10 hours ago
Joined: 02/11/2013 - 23:28
Posts: 6472
Location: Newfoundland, Canada

I like the idea of lights with many capabilities in various situations from camping, search & rescue, emergencies, survival, SHTF, and so on.
- A light in the form-factor size of the D40A/F40A/EA41, etc.) that can use various different power-sources & cells, such as come with adapters or configurations to be able to use a single 18650 with sleeve, a 26650 and possibly even a 32650, a carrier for three or four AA Alcaline NiMh cells & one to three 14500 cells, and In emergencies be able to use a single D-Alcaline, single C-Alcalines with adapter sleeves.
- Also it should have the usable modes, particularly a Moonlight mode, a Low mode, medium mode, and a high mode, with a Turbo mode for momentary only. Also it should have several hidden modes, including a 2 second Beacon, the SOS, and an alternating Strobe.
- the light should have two other colored smaller Emitters along with the main Neutral White emitter. A Red and a U/V. The U/V only needs one mode, but the red mode should have a high and a Low.
The light should have two side electronic buttons, one for the modes, and the other for on and off, with a long press from off to select between the white, red and U/V. Also the light should have a tail switch for locking it out.
It needs to be at least IPX7 waterproof, have HAIII Anodizing in satin/matte black, come with a belt holster, a lantern diffuser, and a rimmed tail cap with holes big enough for para-cord lanyard connection and still able to tailstand.

- If this light could be built for $150 or under, i would definitely buy one.

That Canadian flashlight guy & Lantern Guru -Den / DBSARlight

Buwuve
Buwuve's picture
Offline
Last seen: 5 years 6 months ago
Joined: 02/11/2011 - 14:49
Posts: 1975
Location: Germany

Some important points are named before - neutral white is a big plus for many of us, lanyard hole (550 paracord should fit), coated lens and different battery types (for me 18650/26650 is enough).

Please think about the max. battery size. 70mm protected 18650 should fit, maybe 70,5mm (maybe the batteries become a bit longer in a year).
Maybe it would be possible, to get a other color as black. Great would be blue or white. Awesomr would be a glow in the dark color,  but I think this is much more expensive as a usually HA III coating.

Light up the darkness.

Keron
Keron's picture
Offline
Last seen: 4 months 3 weeks ago
Joined: 06/14/2014 - 16:54
Posts: 280
Location: H4

and everyone is submitting their idea for nothing

why not get yourself a designer

You’re not wining, you’re surviving.

ZeroHour
Offline
Last seen: 7 years 10 months ago
Joined: 09/21/2014 - 04:01
Posts: 23
Location: Long Beach, CA

Keron,

You’re missing the point here. We do have designers and engineers on our team. But there has been a change in the way we are going to do things on this particular project. We want to learn and hear it from true Flashlight enthusiasts so that we can grow the company in the right direction.

Formerly known as “RacingHart”.

jacktheclipper
jacktheclipper's picture
Offline
Last seen: 21 hours 4 min ago
Joined: 10/31/2010 - 21:18
Posts: 4924
Location: Florida , U.S.A.

high PWM

neutral tint

smooth beam profile

clip

tailstanding

unglued ( easy to upgrade )

What I do

 

lionheart_2281
lionheart_2281's picture
Offline
Last seen: 2 hours 50 min ago
Joined: 10/25/2012 - 18:32
Posts: 3178
Location: Brisbane, Australia

Multi led multi 18650 dive light with deep-ish reflectors. Basically a TK75 or X40 dive light.

downlinx
downlinx's picture
Offline
Last seen: 1 year 9 months ago
Joined: 04/09/2014 - 09:38
Posts: 1292
Location: Indiana, USA

Direct thermal path
Copper
Decent pill
Secret modes
3-3 5A
Xp-l or xml2-u3

BLF Community Battery Pull Thread http://budgetlightforum.com/node/32720

NightSpy
NightSpy's picture
Offline
Last seen: 5 years 8 months ago
Joined: 08/30/2011 - 18:24
Posts: 794

I am less inclined to worry about the flashlight proper and want to see some serious “universal driver” development.

I want mode… programmable by the user! Something with a real PC “emulator for dummies” and a USB “send to driver” connection. I need runtime and awareness blink modes. Pulsing and strobing and randomness. Power consumption calculators and runtime estimators. Add a PWM limit to provide max output and not just 100% to the blink modes. What I am asking for is a reverse engineered programming UI for the user with massive flexibility and feedback!

The light isn’t as important. I prefer aspheric lenses with wide dispersion (90 degree cone angle minimum) and with the continued improvements in the larger cells, the “host” should be more Lego style design. Even “remote” cells.

Obviously I am not talking about conventional use cases. However, with this perspective, you could easily fit custom high performance builds into the same lineup. I need be-seen light for cyclists. Headlights and tail lights. Don’t forget the remote switch.

Anyway, that is what I need, not just want.

breinrules
breinrules's picture
Offline
Last seen: 4 years 5 months ago
Joined: 10/04/2014 - 02:25
Posts: 581
Location: Cebu, Philippines

this may sound funny, but i prefer it to look
like a single 18650 cylindrical power bank
with interchangeable heads for flashlight,
electric screw driver/drill, e cigar, electric fan.

or make the flashlight tube adjustible in length
and thickness to accomodate all battery sizes

Bort
Bort's picture
Online
Last seen: 32 sec ago
Joined: 06/01/2012 - 17:15
Posts: 9020
Location: Holding the proverbial flashlight

linear/boost driver and no pwm

The Journal of Alternative Facts

"It is critical that there is a credible academic source for the growing and important discipline of Alternative Facts. This field of study will just keep winning, and we knew that all the best people would want to be on board. There is a real risk in the world today that people might be getting their information about science from actual scientists."

 

scottyhazzard
scottyhazzard's picture
Offline
Last seen: 3 years 5 months ago
Joined: 08/09/2011 - 19:02
Posts: 1127
Location: Northern California

My dream light…
1. IPX7
2. Wireless programming
3. 2s2p MTG2
4. Nice thick HAIII coating
5. Copper DTP MCPCB on a slug of copper threaded into the host.
6. Linear driver, no PWM
7. Single side button

"Those who hammer their guns into plows will plow for those who do not."

Old-Lumens
Old-Lumens's picture
Offline
Last seen: 5 years 11 months ago
Joined: 11/04/2011 - 11:39
Posts: 7478
Location: Tyler, TX, USA

Hey ZeroHour,

From my standpoint, your lights are expensive, so I know you only reach a very limited market. Maybe you should try to expand into a lower priced market, which would have more prospective customers. Of course that means more competition, but life is what it it. As far as suggestions, other than the several hundred flashlight enthusiasts in forums, the rest of the buying public would probably prefer a light that ran on NiMH or Alkaline batteries, due to their ease of availability over Li-ion, which, from the way it's going, may not be a good choice of battery any more. 

My PayPal address: oldlumens (insert the @ sign here) gmail.com

My YouTube Flashlight Video Channel

The BLF Modding Links Thread 

http://imageshack.com/a/img922/1374/jQ2wdL.jpg

 

musicmagic
Offline
Last seen: 7 years 9 months ago
Joined: 10/28/2013 - 09:53
Posts: 984
Location: CT
Old-Lumens wrote:
As far as suggestions, other than the several hundred flashlight enthusiasts in forums, the rest of the buying public would probably prefer a light that ran on NiMH or Alkaline batteries, due to their ease of availability over Li-ion, which, from the way it’s going, may not be a good choice of battery any more

Did I miss something? whats going on with Li-ion?

If you can’t blind them with your brilliance, baffle them with your bullcrap.

The real currency in the world is not money, it’s trust.

The Last Katun
The Last Katun's picture
Offline
Last seen: 20 hours 20 min ago
Joined: 04/29/2011 - 04:34
Posts: 360
Location: Rome, Italy.
ZeroHour wrote:
Great! Thanks, I am excited to see what you guys come up with!

I can give you ideas in general.
Your idea might be: “we carry a flashlight, the user can modify it according to his needs.”
So: standard sizes and interchangeable (Lego).
Many accessories available: different clips; different crowns; different tailcap; etc..
Accessories: To make the underwater flashlight; to merge multiple flashlights; rubber coatings for hard use, etc..
In short: if you do only a flashlight you will have a lot of competition; but if you take a flashlight + imagination, creativity, invention, inspiration, you do something that does not exist yet; or is very rare.
Do not forget that for us, the flashlight; not only serves to illuminate; need to have fun, to spend time. Make sure that your flashlights you can modify according to our personality.

Others: for flashlight powerful: use the cooling Pipeline

It’s just a personal opinion, however.

hank
hank's picture
Offline
Last seen: 3 weeks 4 days ago
Joined: 09/04/2011 - 21:52
Posts: 9638
Location: Berkeley, California

> i prefer it to look like a single 18650 cylindrical power bank
> with interchangeable heads for flashlight,
> … flashlight tube adjustible … to accomodate all battery sizes

What he said.

Build the important core — a ‘pill with radiator fins’ — as a carrier into which we can put any LED on one side, and a driver on the other.

Why? Because LEDs are changing very, very fast, so are drivers.
Heat radiators, not so fast. Put the money into thermal mass/fins.

Something like this: http://img.hisupplier.com/var/userImages/2014-07/17/125840565227.jpg

Modify that with the LED cutout on one side, the driver cutout on the other, and ways to attach a head and battery tube, maybe a module that’s got one or two or three switch buttons or rotary selection click rings on it.

Have a good copper/brass contact ring solidly press fit into the aluminum to make connection reliable, none of this stupid solder-to-aluminum.

Put a universal thread or a camera-type bayonet mount on each side of that core — that will accept adapters that fit various reflectors/optics/heads. Put a similar but simpler adapter on the driver side that will accept a range of battery holders.

Camera makers figured this stuff out in the 1950s — the late lamented Miranda SLR was just a fraction of a millimeter thinner than any other, and their adapters filled that space, so you could then attach many other companies’ lenses and have them at exactly the right distance from the focal plane.

Do an image search with this: https://www.google.com/search?q=camera+bayonet+lens+adapter

Same issue with LEDs, they have to be at exactly the right distance in the head of the flashlight. So make an adapter that will latch firmly around (not inside) the pill on the LED end and have a simple chunk of metal facing out that can be cut with whatever threads fit the desired head.

Battery side is simpler. Just do what Arc did with their flashlight — battery tubes for 1xAA, 2xAA, RCR123. And a third party even did a lovely little CR2 battery tube that fits the Arc lights.

—————
Sure, I’m dreaming.

To improve on what Ray Bradbury said about writing science fiction:

“I write not to predict the future, but to prevent it [to make public and so prevent ideas from being patented and locked away]”

eebowler
eebowler's picture
Offline
Last seen: 3 weeks 18 hours ago
Joined: 08/13/2012 - 11:34
Posts: 1832
Location: Trinidad and Tobago GMT -4

Basic stuff like an efficient, current controlled driver, good heatsinking and milspec type III anodizing.

My gratitude to those who are willing and able to help others (in whatever way you can)! Being human is more than just existing for yourself. Smile

travis
Offline
Last seen: 3 months 1 week ago
Joined: 03/19/2012 - 23:54
Posts: 1014
Location: SoCal

Please—no crenelated bezels!

Bore the battery tube for 18mm wide cells, so that
16340 AND 18350 cells fit.
An extension tube would allow L2M type legoing ability—so it could use
16340&18350 cells in shorty mode, or 18650/2 × 16340 with extension.

Machined slots for 1.5mm tritium vials would be cool…if not a bit much Smile

“"A free people ought not only be armed and disciplined, but they should have sufficient arms and ammunition to maintain a status of independence from any who might attempt to abuse them, which would include their own government.””
-George Washington

leaftye
Offline
Last seen: 47 min 2 sec ago
Joined: 07/25/2012 - 17:43
Posts: 4293
Location: San Diego, CA

travis wrote:
Please--no crenelated bezels!

That's not a big deal if they offer optional bezels like they do with their current flashlight.  I wish that was possible with many more flashlights.

The low mode should be lower.

ToyKeeper
ToyKeeper's picture
Offline
Last seen: 2 weeks 1 day ago
Joined: 01/12/2013 - 14:40
Posts: 10895
Location: (469219) 2016 HO3 // I get way more privmsgs than I can respond to, so please ask in a public thread if possible, for a faster answer.

The original ZeroHour was kind of huge, bigger than a Skyray King. A 1×18650 light sounds much easier to carry, and the built-in charging function should make it appeal more to muggles.

The competition is pretty steep at that price range and battery type though… For example the Zebralight SC62 / SC600, which are both very nice. It would take something pretty amazing to beat those.

Alternately, the Convoy S-series of lights are pretty nice, only a fraction of the price, and are nicely moddable so they can be converted from “nice” to “awesome”. Great stock selection, and easy to mod in a wide variety of ways. Standard easily-flashable driver hardware too.

I suppose it depends on what type of uses you’re aiming for though… The above are all EDC-style, fairly easy to carry and useful for general purposes. But throwers can be nice too.

Two throwy budget lights which are particularly good for their class are the XinTD C8 and the Jacob A60. But up in the ZeroHour’s price range you’ve got items like the Nitecore CU6, featuring nice white and UV outputs plus basic r/g/b emitters, or the SRT7 which trades the UV for better white output and a smoothly-variable control ring.

I guess my questions are… What kind of market are you aiming for? And what will distinguish the ZeroHour 1×18650 light from established premium lights like the ZL SC62w or the NiteCore SRT7?

Charging from USB is an interesting feature, but isn’t particularly special. For some (like me), it’s actually a downside since I’d rather have a smaller light instead of carrying charging hardware with me. A decent charger is only about $5, and it’s hard to go through an entire 18650 cell in a day.

Things which would make it interesting to me are: Small body, made from bare titanium or copper or brass or maybe steel, high-CRI daylight tint emitter (for example, the Nichia 219B 92CRI 4500-5000K, or the awesome Cree MT-G2 5000K), very high and very low modes with a good selection between (like, 0.2 to 2000 lumens), either fast PWM (10+kHz) or constant-current output, nice interface (probably an e-switch with a relatively deep set of functions), a battery check mode, flashy bike headlight modes, high efficiency, smooth floody beam for up-close use (perhaps a frosted lens available as a choice), moddable, … I could go on for quite a while (I think I already have).

For some really interesting ideas, talk to tterev3.

Bort
Bort's picture
Online
Last seen: 32 sec ago
Joined: 06/01/2012 - 17:15
Posts: 9020
Location: Holding the proverbial flashlight

ToyKeeper wrote:
A decent charger is only about $5, and it’s hard to go through an entire 18650 cell in a day.

Speak for yourself, i can go through 2-3 a day, but your point still stands, having the charging hardware built into the light will not help that problem and just adds weight

The Journal of Alternative Facts

"It is critical that there is a credible academic source for the growing and important discipline of Alternative Facts. This field of study will just keep winning, and we knew that all the best people would want to be on board. There is a real risk in the world today that people might be getting their information about science from actual scientists."

 

ToyKeeper
ToyKeeper's picture
Offline
Last seen: 2 weeks 1 day ago
Joined: 01/12/2013 - 14:40
Posts: 10895
Location: (469219) 2016 HO3 // I get way more privmsgs than I can respond to, so please ask in a public thread if possible, for a faster answer.

A charging port makes waterproofing harder too.

I’d rather just carry extra batteries with me if I might need them.

But… yeah, even using a light a dozen times per day it usually takes me a month to drain an Eneloop. So, an 18650 cell lasts practically forever. Benefits of being photosensitive.

Pages