[BLF Joint-Development] WildTrail BLF Tactical Flashlight

176 posts / 0 new
Last post
texas shooter
Offline
Last seen: 1 hour 18 min ago
Joined: 08/26/2012 - 02:14
Posts: 1464
Location: Texas

I started building flashlights about 10 years ago. We had a shooting the night before Christmas, three Fort Worth officers showed up and only one had a working flashlight. Streamlight owns the First responder light market. Their Nickel-Cadmium batteries self discharge. We also hard use and sometimes abuse our equipment. Solarforce made 18650 host that worked well and every one was building dropin’s. Batteries were 2200 mah with almost no self discharge compared to the Nickel ones. These and the real Surefires started small duty belt lights that we could rely on. Officers, Deputies, Firefighters and EMS all have equipment junkies in their rank. These days real tactical lights have only one or two modes with one switch only lights. Two switches and we have a few more options if the modes are locked. Moving the e-switch into the tailcap would probably mean some parasitic drain and dead lights when needed.

Are you wanting to build tactical or tacticool flashlights? Between you and me there are no tactical lights. Only lights used in a fashion that enhance the users efficiency. Ask the First responders here what they desire in a light. Military hates flashlights/bullet attracters. They went night vision years ago.

Myself. In my area we have some rural, bodies of water and lots of built up cities. I carry two flashlights; Astrolux FT01 and a two mode Pflexpro with a Cree XP-L V6 HD at 3.8 amps. The second Astrolux has been completely potted with the charging port sealed. The first had its port tab break and it got water in it. It does rain in Texas. I carry spare batteries in Soda Bottle Preforms.

I don’t need long range throw. When I light someone up in a building, parking lot or alley I need that spill to see if he has friends with him. I’ve got a fully potted 4.56 amp 3 volt Cree XHP-50.2 5400K dropin in a Solarforce. It’s almost perfect for most of my uses. It gives plenty of light but a slightly bigger reflector would improve throw. Only slight Yellow ring, not an issue for how it’s used. I use strobe rarely, mostly to signal where I’m at. In a busy parking lot strobe will still signal that ambulance 100 yards away in the daytime where to go. I do need a light that gets dropped often and still works. I need a light that has enough mass to shed lots of heat from long use. Heavy enough to hit a window. Slight tail flaring to keep it in a leather belt loop holster when running.

All lights that I use at work go into the deep end of my pool for two days. They must be absolutely dry on the inside for me to even consider using.

Not trying to be too preachy but if you want a real tactical use flashlight these are points to look at.

djozz
djozz's picture
Offline
Last seen: 9 hours 54 min ago
Joined: 09/07/2012 - 17:04
Posts: 17320
Location: Amsterdam

It may prove that a real “tactical” flashlight is so basic and bare that it becomes unattractive for flashoholics Sad

kanton
Offline
Last seen: 3 weeks 4 days ago
Joined: 08/22/2018 - 23:39
Posts: 167

texas shooter wrote:
Moving the e-switch into the tailcap would probably mean some parasitic drain and dead lights when needed.

The FW3A is a light with e-switch in the tailcap. It’s parasitic drain according to maukka is 28μA (see: http://budgetlightforum.com/node/65619). Given a 4000mAh battery capacity this means that the parasitic drain will suck the light dry in around 5952 days (roughly 16 years). If you don’t charge your light within 16 years you might run into problems. Otherwise not.
kanton
Offline
Last seen: 3 weeks 4 days ago
Joined: 08/22/2018 - 23:39
Posts: 167

Lux-Perpetua wrote:
As mentioned on TLF already, WildTrail is probably interested in ..

Could you add a link to the corresponding thread in TLF? ^^
texas shooter
Offline
Last seen: 1 hour 18 min ago
Joined: 08/26/2012 - 02:14
Posts: 1464
Location: Texas
kanton wrote:
texas shooter wrote:
Moving the e-switch into the tailcap would probably mean some parasitic drain and dead lights when needed.
The FW3A is a light with e-switch in the tailcap. It’s parasitic drain according to maukka is 28μA (see: http://budgetlightforum.com/node/65619). Given a 4000mAh battery capacity this means that the parasitic drain will suck the light dry in around 5952 days (roughly 16 years). If you don’t charge your light within 16 years you might run into problems. Otherwise not.

Can you guarantee that in this light?

Wieselflinkpro
Wieselflinkpro's picture
Offline
Last seen: 15 hours 34 min ago
Joined: 05/21/2015 - 04:34
Posts: 975
Location: Germany - TLF

Lux-Perpetua wrote:

I’m not sure about alternatives like XM-L3 (available as of 12/2019) or XP-L HI (more intensity but less lumens). A 3V XHP50.2 is not something I would like to see in that light for it is known to have an ugly tintshift and being available in coldwhite tints, only.


3B Tint is aviable too. But this is the warmest.
https://www.mouser.de/ProductDetail/Cree-Inc/XHP50B-00-0000-0D0BJ450E?qs...
texas shooter
Offline
Last seen: 1 hour 18 min ago
Joined: 08/26/2012 - 02:14
Posts: 1464
Location: Texas
djozz wrote:
It may prove that a real “tactical” flashlight is so basic and bare that it becomes unattractive for flashoholics Sad

That kind of equipment is very basic. My pistol has only one trigger and one magazine release. Handcuffs all use the same key unless your agency bought Chubbs. My knife has only one blade and its lock is rated at 425 pounds. My baton has no buttons or control settings. Air tanks have only one valve, one hose and one mask. Fire hoses have only two holes. Even the AED’s have pictures and talk you through their use. K.I.S.S. is the rule that we live by. Key rule is very simple very durable. However our Motorola radio has an 120 page instruction manual and needs a teen to reprogram.

If you take it to the extreme with an active shooter, down power lines, multi car crash or a large fire with injuries. Complicated and/or delicate equipment gets lost, broken or left in the fire. We use tools, not really tactical or tacticool. Our equipment is more functional and durable than cool but that makes them cool too me. Don’t get me wrong we cherish good gear beyond rational control.

Being practical not rude, is this flashlight really a tactical flashlight to be used by first responders? Or tacticool to sell to the masses. Please remember good quality functionally simple gear can do both. Think of gear that has withstood the test of time. Screwdriver, Colt 45, rope, blanket, matches, corkscrew, sword, spear, bow, axe, etc. they all do one thing well.

withoutink
Offline
Last seen: 5 months 3 weeks ago
Joined: 10/05/2019 - 19:27
Posts: 105
Location: Georgia

Interested

Cheers-

Withoutink

My Flashlights

Instagram | YouTube

jonxxn
jonxxn's picture
Offline
Last seen: 6 hours 34 min ago
Joined: 11/18/2015 - 06:34
Posts: 63
Location: +0800

Interested

Mike C
Mike C's picture
Offline
Last seen: 1 month 4 weeks ago
Joined: 01/22/2014 - 08:03
Posts: 2486
Location: Sweden

The USB port in the threads is nice. With a “normal” design the driver, E-switch and USB port are in the same part of the light, commonly the head, and with some rubber cover for the USB port. With the USB port in the threads of the tube, there has to be a contact plate of some sort in order to avoid needing cables between the tube and head?

I’m curios as I’ve done a bit of dual switch driver development with USB ports myself, but I’ve always used hosts with the “normal” design that have the USB port in the head.

ChibiM
ChibiM's picture
Offline
Last seen: 16 hours 13 min ago
Joined: 05/09/2011 - 10:25
Posts: 6454
Location: Holland

Count me in. 

 

I have started liking the 'Tactical flashlights" idea not so long ago. It was only after I got my hands on some 'real' tactical lights, not the ones eBay listings call 'tactical'.

When I'm out in the field doing beamshots I like having a flashlight that will produce X with 1 click on a button. A Anduril UI or anything similar doesn't belong in a tactical flashlight. 

For me, a tactical flashlight has a UI you don't need to remember! The UI should be self explanatory without hidden modes, multiple clicks. 

1 click for ON (high/turbo)

if possible 1 click to Strobe.

UI should go from High mode to low mode, not vise versa, unlike and EDC light. 

Chinaheart
Chinaheart's picture
Offline
Last seen: 1 day 5 hours ago
Joined: 07/19/2019 - 22:56
Posts: 239
Location: Philippines

Another BLF light in the making.

Should offer two options

1.low cost model at affordable price

2.optimum design/specs = high cost but on limited offer 

owkaye
Offline
Last seen: 9 months 4 weeks ago
Joined: 09/25/2019 - 12:08
Posts: 43

Hello texas shooter,

You mentioned a bunch of desirable features on a true tactical flashlight. How about switch position? Is a side switch or a tail switch better?

Owkaye

Lightbringer
Lightbringer's picture
Online
Last seen: 11 min 23 sec ago
Joined: 08/30/2016 - 14:12
Posts: 12819
Location: nyc
djozz wrote:
It may prove that a real “tactical” flashlight is so basic and bare that it becomes unattractive for flashoholics Sad

That’s why a “tactical knife” like a Ka-Bar doesn’t have a bottle-opener or other nonsense attached to it. It does one thing but it does it flawlessly.

Anyone who wants a SAK can certainly get one, and they’re quite handy (just ask MacGyver), but it won’t be “tactical”.

09 F9 11 02 9D 74 E3 5B D8 41 56 C5 63 56 88 C0

texas shooter
Offline
Last seen: 1 hour 18 min ago
Joined: 08/26/2012 - 02:14
Posts: 1464
Location: Texas

owkaye wrote:
Hello texas shooter,

You mentioned a bunch of desirable features on a true tactical flashlight. How about switch position? Is a side switch or a tail switch better?

I prefer a physical forward clicky switch in the tail. Very easy to find when you’re looking else where.

extremesquared
Offline
Last seen: 2 months 3 weeks ago
Joined: 10/28/2019 - 12:14
Posts: 67
Location: US

I’m not convinced a dual sleeve design is a good idea for a light designed to handle constant repeated impacts / recoil. Also onboard charging will be a real pain to get potted properly to stand up to the same abuse.

techguyone
techguyone's picture
Offline
Last seen: 2 weeks 6 days ago
Joined: 11/14/2019 - 13:17
Posts: 15

I’m with Texas Shooter, but I think we’ll both be disappointed.

Deputy Dog
Deputy Dog's picture
Offline
Last seen: 1 week 4 days ago
Joined: 09/15/2017 - 07:53
Posts: 429
Location: behind you

Random Dan

Quote:
My idea is allow the user to customize the functionality of each switch. So for example I could have the side switch activate Anduril while the tail switch has a simple l-m-h suitable for handing to non enthusiasts. Or you could market it to the tactical crowd with a ramping UI on the side switch and high-only or strobe-only on the tail switch. I realize writing such a UI would require a lot of work and it would be complicated to implement the configuration options, but I think it could really put this light above the competition.

I’d be interested in that!

owkaye
Offline
Last seen: 9 months 4 weeks ago
Joined: 09/25/2019 - 12:08
Posts: 43
Quote:
texas shooter, you mentioned a bunch of desirable features on a true tactical flashlight. How about switch position? Is a side switch or a tail switch better?
Quote:
I prefer a physical forward clicky switch in the tail. Very easy to find when you’re looking else where.

Thank you for your insights!


Owkaye

JermsMalibu
Offline
Last seen: 1 day 20 hours ago
Joined: 01/22/2019 - 01:17
Posts: 38
Location: Salem Oregon

Deputy Dog wrote:
Random Dan
Quote:
My idea is allow the user to customize the functionality of each switch. So for example I could have the side switch activate Anduril while the tail switch has a simple l-m-h suitable for handing to non enthusiasts. Or you could market it to the tactical crowd with a ramping UI on the side switch and high-only or strobe-only on the tail switch. I realize writing such a UI would require a lot of work and it would be complicated to implement the configuration options, but I think it could really put this light above the competition.

I’d be interested in that!

That’s how I have my Quark Smart QSL set up too and I like it a lot (side switch turns on, off, and changes brightness…with blinky modes disabled; and the rear switch is full power momentary only).

Lux-Perpetua
Lux-Perpetua's picture
Offline
Last seen: 1 day 3 hours ago
Joined: 03/01/2018 - 04:39
Posts: 2542
Location: Germany, 德国, ドイツ, Германия, जर्मनी

Thank you all for your valuable feedback so far. I have designed a new draft design that hopefully reflect most of your input. I also drafted a basic dual switch UI for this flashlight, see OP on this thread. Please feel free to comment on this new design. Thank you!

djozz
djozz's picture
Offline
Last seen: 9 hours 54 min ago
Joined: 09/07/2012 - 17:04
Posts: 17320
Location: Amsterdam

The spot you found for the USB port is challenging. The socket is where the battery tube threads into the head. Unless the head and battery tube is one piece but that requires an unconventional method to assemble the driver.

Lux-Perpetua
Lux-Perpetua's picture
Offline
Last seen: 1 day 3 hours ago
Joined: 03/01/2018 - 04:39
Posts: 2542
Location: Germany, 德国, ドイツ, Германия, जर्मनी

djozz wrote:
The spot you found for the USB port is challenging. The socket is where the battery tube threads into the head. Unless the head and battery tube is one piece but that requires an unconventional method to assemble the driver.

I tried to adopt Zanflare's design of their F1 for orientation. What spot would you suggest to use best?

AguassissiM
AguassissiM's picture
Offline
Last seen: 5 hours 20 min ago
Joined: 12/04/2018 - 19:20
Posts: 213
Location: Canada

I have the BLF D80v2 and like it a lot. Thumbs Up I wish you all the best to Jackie and the team, my very small contribution will have to be the purchase of the final product since I`m a newbie on the subject. Facepalm
Thank you all in advance for your hard work. Beer

***Rofis MR70*TurnRaise*Catapult V6*BLF Q8*BLF Mini*BLF Micro*Haikelite MT09R* Convoy C8*BLF D80v2 SST40*MatemincoX6S*AstroluxFT03-xhp50.2*AstroluxFT03-sst40*BLF-LT1*AstroluxFT03S-SBT90.2***

djozz
djozz's picture
Offline
Last seen: 9 hours 54 min ago
Joined: 09/07/2012 - 17:04
Posts: 17320
Location: Amsterdam

Lux-Perpetua wrote:

djozz wrote:
The spot you found for the USB port is challenging. The socket is where the battery tube threads into the head. Unless the head and battery tube is one piece but that requires an unconventional method to assemble the driver.

I tried to adopt Zanflare’s design of their F1 for orientation. What spot would you suggest to use best?



I recognised where it came from Smile , and I really like the F1 USB solution, and now I started wondering how it was done. It took a blowtorch and some force to find where the head/battery tube joint was:

So they extended the head part a bit compared to other tube flashlights, and the driver sits lower,to make room for the USB socket. Which adds 8mm length to the F1 exclusively for the USB port which is not really needed. The cavity from driver to ledshelf is a whopping 22mm, they really made no effort to make the F1 compact.
texas shooter
Offline
Last seen: 1 hour 18 min ago
Joined: 08/26/2012 - 02:14
Posts: 1464
Location: Texas

Some ideas. Don’t worry about that magic 25.4mm/1” body tube, add some more metal and bring it up. Very rarely are flashlights mounted anymore, 1” rings shouldn’t be a limiting factor. Head shouldn’t be too much bigger than the body. My large belt light has a 30mm body, 37mm head, 143mm length. Bigger heads on belt holsters can chew up shirts and car seats. I still use tail standing for buildings without power. Recessed tail switch help stop accidentally turning on the light. Steel bezel with minor ridges.

beggindog
beggindog's picture
Offline
Last seen: 7 months 3 weeks ago
Joined: 10/22/2019 - 12:11
Posts: 183
Location: Maine

The side switch should be raised enough to find easily by touch, lit or not. And no blinkies needed

t ouellette

Mr.Poppy
Offline
Last seen: 2 weeks 1 hour ago
Joined: 03/07/2016 - 19:04
Posts: 90
Location: Kalifornia

Interested in 1

…but side e-switch for tactical?… just doesn’t makes sense

Light Own: Convoy S2+ 4C FET, BLF X6v2, BLF Q8, BLF LT1, WildTrail D80v2, Convoy L6 TA Narsil, BLF GT, BLF-348, Convoy S2+ 18350 Nichia 219BT, Astrolux A01, Olight I3E tan
Gifted Away: Convoy C8+ Sand 4C FET, Pelican 2350, BLF D80 (due to flicker), BLF A6 (due to green tint), BLF X5
Built/Modded: EE X6 FET SST-40 N4 6500K dedomed, Two EE X6 FET XP-L HI V2 3A, Two Convoy C8+ Sand 4C + FET

Lux-Perpetua
Lux-Perpetua's picture
Offline
Last seen: 1 day 3 hours ago
Joined: 03/01/2018 - 04:39
Posts: 2542
Location: Germany, 德国, ドイツ, Германия, जर्मनी

djozz wrote:
[...] and now I started wondering how it was done. It took a blowtorch and some force to find where the head/battery tube joint was: So they extended the head part a bit compared to other tube flashlights, and the driver sits lower,to make room for the USB socket. Which adds 8mm length to the F1 exclusively for the USB port which is not really needed. The cavity from driver to ledshelf is a whopping 22mm, they really made no effort to make the F1 compact.

Thanks a lot for investigating how the F1 is constructed, Djozz!

I extended the head part a bit to reflect the additional space for the cavity the battery tube's thread section needs to fill before its front face touches the driver's rim, see brown highlighted part below.

pipa
Offline
Last seen: 2 months 2 weeks ago
Joined: 09/02/2017 - 17:28
Posts: 7

I am very interested.
Don’t need the charging port.

I assume it adds costs and complexity to the design

I assume no one is completely happy at the end

Micro USB or USB C
1,2,3,.. Ampere
USB, USB QC, USB PD,..
Really fully sealed,…

Maybe it’s easier to point (alongside the battery recommendations) to some cost effective decent single battery charger for people without charger.
I assume that people having chargers, but none that supports 21700, will sooner or later end up buying one anyway. And then with all the nice choices on the market.

Pages