Let's try to strart a new BLF project light in AA format

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derfyled
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Let's try to strart a new BLF project light in AA format

I’ve been looking for a long time for some emergency AA lights. These lights used to be easily available but not anymore. Everything is li-ion rechargeable, has 789073 modes, blast 10 millions lumens for 18 seconds. We all have this light and that’s not what I’m looking for. There is also many AA lights with a tail switch, again not what I’m looking for…

What I’m on the hunt for is a small AA twisty that would easily fit in a car glove box, my wife’s hand bag, my daughters backpack, my mother’s purse, to give as gift, etc… Not as an EDC, really a small emergency light. Bright enough to find your way but not to melt steel. Install an Energizer L91 and forget about it for years. However the day you will need it, it will turn on.

Here are the features I’m looking for:

-twisty switch (easiest and most reliable way to turn off/on, no electronic or mechanical button)
-cheap
-1 AA (no need for 14500 support)
-good balance of flood and throw
-2 simple levels, something like 10/100 lumens (always starts on low)
-high CRI
-solid and waterproof
-excellent runtime (cockroach type of light)
-pocket clip
-bonus point for a tritium vial slot

Inspired by this MascaratumB thread (https://budgetlightforum.com/node/68034), my ideal light would be a sort of C01S, but in AA. The C01S has absolutely everything I want except the runtime, that’s why I want an AA edition.

Let’s make it happen ! I would immediately buy 4 or 5.

Looking at you Sofirn…

I’m I the only one that would like this type of light ?

Quadrupel
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Whats wrong with Sofirn SP10 Pro?

Auxilshunter
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This is a great AA twisty, simple UI, although copper and USA made = more dollars than you are talking about. An aluminum model like this and made by Sofirn/Wurkkos would certainly be much cheaper…or even Convoy.

https://countycomm.com/collections/aa-flashlights/products/copy-of-aa-fl...

derfyled
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Thanks for the suggestion. Yep, the Maratac is indeed quite similar to what I’m looking for. However, different reviews mentioned so-so runtime.

But as you said, out of my price range (for an emergency light).

derfyled
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Quadrupel wrote:
BTW whats wrong with Sofirn SP10 Pro?

-Not as cheap as I would like
-too complicated UI for most users
-not a ‘‘vampire’‘ circuit
-electronic switch

The SP10 is almost exactly what I describe as ‘‘not what I’m looking for’‘, It’s definitely a great light but not for my intended usage.

Quadrupel
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OK. Convoy T2/T3 , Skilhunt E2A ?

derfyled
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Quadrupel wrote:
OK. Convoy T2 ?

Not far but: too many modes, mechanical switch, bad PWM, more expensive than what I have in mind.

Same goes for T3 and T4 (except for the PWM)

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You probably aren’t going to get much interest in a twisty AA light. Your best bet would be to make an adapter sleeve for the C01S. Imagine a tube with threaded caps on both ends. The tail cap is a normal battery cap. The front cap has a threaded hole designed to fit the C01S head.

That said…. mechanical switches are now more reliable than the majority of twist switches. Twist switches have gotten much worse in the past 10 years. They now typically use PCB traces for 1 of the contacts instead of metal-on-metal. The PCB trace can wear down or tear out. (The C01S is like this.)

There are some good simple sturdy lights out there for reasonable prices. Looking over the inexpensive AA lights on the market finds a few promising options:

They aren’t exactly what you want but they are close enough for most people to satisfy the space you’d like to enter.

Try the largest, fastest, most flexible flashlight search engine: parametrek.com

63 brands, 3100 models and still growing!

Also: USA li-ion database

Quadrupel
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You can unscrew tail cap every time if you dont like buttons Big Smile

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Or any mechanical tail switch could be replaced with a twist switch tail cap. If the threads are loose enough it can even still be used as a momentary pushbutton like the Gerber Infinity Ultra did.

A tail cap like that for the E2A would give you exactly what you are asking for.

Try the largest, fastest, most flexible flashlight search engine: parametrek.com

63 brands, 3100 models and still growing!

Also: USA li-ion database

derfyled
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I thought about the adapter. This idea is not new, old-timers like me might remember that this was a project for the ARC aaa flashlight 20 years ago (don’t remember if it has ever seen the day).

You are right Parametrek about the wear on the PCB but as mentioned, this is an emergency light. That switch should not be often used. The twisty switch is still in my humble opinion the most reliable circuit breaker. No parts, no spring, no plastic, no board, no rubber, no moving parts, less opening for water.

The Tool AA comes with both switches (clicky and twisty). However, a bit pricey and too many modes. I am dreaming of a refreshed version of the EZ AA from Nitecore,

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No interest in twisties for me but you could put the magnetic tail cap on the Tool AA and it becomes a twisty light that way. Simon does have that little stainless steel AAA twisty model…could stand to upgrade the emitter in that one…has large grooves along the tube, not sure if those would match any trit or plastic glow tubes well.

derfyled
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Greg_M wrote:
Jetbeam Jet-1 MK

https://budgetlightforum.com/node/47669

Cool white but I’ve considered it. It’s very, very close to what I have in mind.

Another one very close is the El Capitan from Peak but it uses QTC and I don’t like it.

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Nextorch has something interesting but I doubt it has the quality you need:
https://www.nextorch.com/products/k21-k21r-rotary-magnetic-edc-flashligh...

- the LED is not High CRI
- it has 3 modes instead of 2 (not sure if it has memory or if it starts on low or High)
- runtimes are not specified
- it is pricey

I will check if the C01S driver would fit the Tool AA V2.0 pill. If so, transplanting one from a light to the other would match your request.
I am not sure if the runtime on the C01S is similar to a “cockroach” light, though.

Another warning concerning the twisty lights: if a cell leaks on the bottom, it is a PITA to take it out (ask me how I know it Facepalm )

derfyled
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MascaratumB wrote:

Another warning concerning the twisty lights: if a cell leaks on the bottom, it is a PITA to take it out (ask me how I know it Facepalm )

Yeah, the Nextorch is too $$$ for the intended purpose. It’s however quite nice.

I know about cell leaks ! I’ve killed an excellent DQG AA like that. That’s why I mention L91.

Oli
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All of those people that you mentioned in your family need a small EDC light ,with a lithium ion battery, a lot more than they need a so-called emergency light. Put a S2+ in your glove box for 5 or 10 years and it’ll still give you more light for longer than what your envisioning. If you want it smaller than that put the short tube on it.

You can't compare the big flashlight in the sky to the little flashlight in your hand.

derfyled
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Oli wrote:
All of those people that you mentioned in your family need a small EDC light ,with a lithium ion battery, a lot more than they need a so-called emergency light. Put a S2+ in your glove box for 5 or 10 years and it’ll still give you more light for longer than what your envisioning. If you want it smaller than that put the short tube on it.

I hear you. They all (except my mother) have an A6 as their main light when we go trekking or camping. However, the grail light I’m talking about is small, cheap and ultra-reliable. A kind of light you toss in your bag and forget it until you need it, not an EDC.

A sort of CMG Infinity with a 219 and 2 levels…

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derfyled wrote:
I thought about the adapter. This idea is not new, old-timers like me might remember that this was a project for the ARC aaa flashlight 20 years ago (don’t remember if it has ever seen the day).

You are right Parametrek about the wear on the PCB but as mentioned, this is an emergency light. That switch should not be often used. The twisty switch is still in my humble opinion the most reliable circuit breaker. No parts, no spring, no plastic, no board, no rubber, no moving parts, less opening for water.

The Tool AA comes with both switches (clicky and twisty). However, a bit pricey and too many modes. I am dreaming of a refreshed version of the EZ AA from Nitecore,


My (basic) understanding of a twisty switch tells me it necessitates either a spring or a rubber/ foam piece to push the cell back to reliably break contact without flickering. Ive only had a few twisty switches though so maybe some are different?

I’ve had a few unreliable twisties as well.

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I’d be into a few of these.

derfyled
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Gunga wrote:
I’d be into a few of these.

You are always there for all project Gunga Thumbs Up ! Just like in the old CPF days.

derfyled
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mr_magoo wrote:
derfyled wrote:
I thought about the adapter. This idea is not new, old-timers like me might remember that this was a project for the ARC aaa flashlight 20 years ago (don’t remember if it has ever seen the day).

You are right Parametrek about the wear on the PCB but as mentioned, this is an emergency light. That switch should not be often used. The twisty switch is still in my humble opinion the most reliable circuit breaker. No parts, no spring, no plastic, no board, no rubber, no moving parts, less opening for water.

The Tool AA comes with both switches (clicky and twisty). However, a bit pricey and too many modes. I am dreaming of a refreshed version of the EZ AA from Nitecore,


My (basic) understanding of a twisty switch tells me it necessitates either a spring or a rubber/ foam piece to push the cell back to reliably break contact without flickering. Ive only had a few twisty switches though so maybe some are different?

I’ve had a few unreliable twisties as well.

Some have a spring in the tail (like the C01S), some don’t.

If a Twisty light is unreliable, then it has been poorly machined or it’s a driver problem. Beside a bad thread, there is virtually no way a twisty switch can fail.

Oli
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derfyled wrote:

I hear you. They all (except my mother) have an A6 as their main light when we go trekking or camping. However, the grail light I’m talking about is small, cheap …

It sounds like the A6 is a special events lights not an EDC. Is this your Grail light your or theirs? You have to work with them to find something that they are willing to carry with them everyday and potentially use rather than their phone light.

You can't compare the big flashlight in the sky to the little flashlight in your hand.

derfyled
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Oli wrote:
derfyled wrote:

I hear you. They all (except my mother) have an A6 as their main light when we go trekking or camping. However, the grail light I’m talking about is small, cheap …

It sounds like the A6 is a special events lights not an EDC. Is this your Grail light your or theirs? You have to work with them to find something that they are willing to carry with them everyday and potentially use rather than their phone light.

You nailed it, using their phone light is exactly what I wan’t them too avoid. Too unreliable. Have you ever seen a teenager that has more than 15 % of battery on their phone ?

I’m not looking for an EDC light. My wife and daughters never carry an EDC light, I’ve tried to convinced them but you know, I’m a weirdo for always carrying a light ( Facepalm ). That’s why I would like them to have at least an emergency light in their bag/purse that can give them many hours of light.

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Why not just go with a Convoy T3? A mechanical switch is perfectly fine overall if configured with simple modes.

Efficient driver, relatively inexpensive, etc.

Also, please let’s stop asking for new light designs. Let’s just try and reuse current designs because Sofirn’s 2 engineers are already overworked as is lmao.

So yeah, let’s change try and get Sofirn to reuse a current light design to make this project a thing.

My very own high current Beryllium Copper springs Gen 3:
http://budgetlightforum.com/node/67401
Liitokala Aliexpress Stores Battery Fraud: http://budgetlightforum.com/node/60547

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derfyled wrote:
The Tool AA comes with both switches (clicky and twisty). However, a bit pricey and too many modes.

The Tool AA is 12USD on AliExpress. Seems reasonable to me.

I prefer the Skilhunt E2A with an Energizer L91 as my emergency backup light in my car. Simple 3-mode with memory. Set it to the middle mode, throw in the glovebox and forget about it for years.

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(weight) One issue with AA lights is their weight. AA lights are usually more than twice as heavy than AAA lights. For your purpose, I think AAA lights would be much better choice despite shorter run times.

(cheap prices) I think cheap price is possible only if mass produced. But the features you want do not seem to attract the masses, therefore I think it is hard to achieve.

How about Nitecore MT06MD? It is pen shaped thus easy to carry along with other pens. High CRI Nichia 219B 5000K. Longer run time than single AAA lights. One bonus. Its head is compatible with Tool AAA, so if you want smaller light you can use Tool AAA’s tube since it can run with a single AAA.

derfyled
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quahog wrote:
derfyled wrote:
The Tool AA comes with both switches (clicky and twisty). However, a bit pricey and too many modes.

The Tool AA is 12USD on AliExpress. Seems reasonable to me.

I prefer the Skilhunt E2A with an Energizer L91 as my emergency backup light in my car. Simple 3-mode with memory. Set it to the middle mode, throw in the glovebox and forget about it for years.

We have the same mind set. I thought the Tool was more expensive, thanks for pointing this out, I guess I will go this way. If only the E2A had a Twisty tailcap, it would be very close to what I’m looking for…

raccoon city
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I don't do twisties.

I might be interested in a tail switch AA flashlight if it's extremely inexpensive.  :THUMBS-UP:

derfyled
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Limsup wrote:
(weight)

How about Nitecore MT06MD? It is pen shaped thus easy to carry along with other pens. High CRI Nichia 219B 5000K. Longer run time than single AAA lights. One bonus. Its head is compatible with Tool AAA, so if you want smaller light you can use Tool AAA’s tube since it can run with a single AAA.

I’ll have a look, thanks Thumbs Up

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the Jet Mk-1 is an AA Twisty with 3 modes including a 1.5 lumen low, and last mode memory, it has an O ring, so its waterproof, and it has a pocket clip,

it meets all your requirements except:
> cheap
> high CRI
> 2 modes
> 10 lumens
> starts on low
> tritium slot

Sofirn C01S is on flash sale
https://www.sofirnlight.com/products/sofirn-c01s-aaa-flashlight-sst20-40... and has all these features you asked for:
> twisty
> cheap
> high CRI
> 2 modes
> starts on low
> tritium slot

some of my impressions of the C01S:
https://budgetlightforum.com/node/74136

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