Friday, September 23, 2011

Custom Keychain Lights to Look Out For

At the moment there are a couple of custom or semi-custom keyring lights that are in the process of being designed and made.  If you are interested, I'd suggest you subscribe to the forum threads and follow the progress of these lights.  They can often sell out quickly, so keep and eye out on them.

First one is the new variant of the 38DD from Steve Ku at cpfmarketplace.  The previous runs of the 38DD were in titanium, but the new run of this light is going to be in stainless steel.  As a result of this, the cost is significantly less, estimated to be $60-85.  The design has changed a little, have a  look at Steve's facebook page for some CAD renderings of the new 38DD.

Here are a few preliminary specifications from the cpfmarketplace thread:
Stainless steel shell
Sapphire lens.
Smooth and spot TIR.
XP-G 1c cool, 5b neutral, 7b high CRI.
2 trit slots, just about every color trit you've ever seen is available.
3.2mm hole

Having one of the 38DD from the second titanium run, there were a few potential issues that I feel I need to point out before  recommending this light.
-Even if you choose the spot TIR option, the light is pretty floody, with a large hotspot.  This makes the flashlight seem less bright than what it is (often people perceive a light with less lumens, but tighter hotspot to be 'more' bright).  Given a choice, I would prefer the light to be slightly less floody.  YMMV, you may prefer a floody light for keychain purposes.
-I'm not 100% convinced of  the benefits of QTC.  In my sample of the 38DD, I find it takes a lot of force to fully compress the QTC for max brightness.  If you compress the light too much, you can dent the 10180 battery.  Hopefully this issue can be addressed in the new run.

Veleno Designs Facebook Page
38DD thread on cpfmarketplace
Photos of titanium 38DD from the second run

38DD from second titanium run, custom annodisation


The next light is a from a new maker who has popped up on candlepowerforums.  He certainly has grand goals which push the boundaries.  The flashlight is still being designed but the maker has taken in a lot of input from CPF.  I've found it enjoyable following the thread, seeing the interaction between the maker and CPF.

This light is called the MBI torpedo and it has the goal of providing 500 lumens from a AAA sized light.  There's a lot of doubts on whether this is possible and whether it is practical.  Have a look at the thread for more discussion on this.

Here are some preliminary specifications which are subject to change:

AAA Body length: 82mm
10280 Body length: 64mm
Diameter: 14mm

tighten = off has been verified
loosen = change mode has been verified

For now, it takes a half rotation to switch to the next mode.

MODES:  (n.b. hotly debated and subject to change)
Mode 1:       2mA (approx. 1 lumen)
Mode 2:     25mA (approx. 10 lumen)
Mode 3:   250mA (approx. 100 lumen)
Mode 4:   750mA (approx. 300 lumen)
Mode 5: 1400mA (approx. 500 lumen)

Parasitic Drain = Zero.
Thermal step down
Overdischarge protection
Estimated cost ~$65

MBI torpedo thread on candlepowerforums
Email subscription page for updates on the MBI torpedo

Some initial CAD drawings of the MBI torpedo.  Note this light is still under development with specifications subject to change

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