A place for questions

A place to talk about your torches
PainKillaX
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A place for questions

Post by PainKillaX » 18 Sep 2012, 20:01

I figured since this is a new sub-forum I might as well make a thread for questions that don't warrant a full thread of their own. The way I see it, throw a question out and if someone has an answer they can leave a response, or discussion, or whatever.

As for my question, has anyone heard of the manufacturer Novatac?

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Re: A place for questions

Post by f3rr37 » 18 Sep 2012, 20:29

Nope. </end thread>

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Re: A place for questions

Post by MikeSantor » 20 Sep 2012, 13:16

Novatac make good stuff. The owners broke off and one of them started a company called HDS. HDS took the design and built on it with a better UI, better quality, etc, etc. HDS is now know for making one of thee most bomb proof lights in the world. You can't go wrong with either novatac or HDS. Although, if I was buying one and had nothing to sway me one way or the other (I.E. a price break on either) I would go HDS. They are tanks.

My only problem with them is the fact that the brightest one you can get is like 170 lumens. I have seen lightning bugs that were brighter than 170 lumens...

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Re: A place for questions

Post by SoCal Gunner » 20 Sep 2012, 14:23

I'll play!

What are some recommendations for flashlights to put in the FS2000 handguard? Ideally a flashlight that you can replace the batteries via removing the head/lens.

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Re: A place for questions

Post by PainKillaX » 20 Sep 2012, 21:00

Thanks Mike. With that endorsement I picked up a NovaTac Storm with weapon mount and remote switch. I like that it has three brightness settings, strobe, weapon mount, a pocket clip for EDC, and can use rechargeable 123s. Picked up the whole thing for $110 so hopefully I'm happy with it :)

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Re: A place for questions

Post by fzr confused » 21 Sep 2012, 07:42

That light looks pretty nice. Might need to pick one up for myself :)

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Re: A place for questions

Post by Mister Freeze » 21 Sep 2012, 10:19

What's a good drop-in reference guide? Looking for a 500+lm hi-lo-strobe drop-in for a future build. Current flashlight is 600lm with h-l-strobe, but not customizable. Thanks.

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Re: A place for questions

Post by PainKillaX » 24 Sep 2012, 16:12

PainKillaX wrote:Thanks Mike. With that endorsement I picked up a NovaTac Storm with weapon mount and remote switch. I like that it has three brightness settings, strobe, weapon mount, a pocket clip for EDC, and can use rechargeable 123s. Picked up the whole thing for $110 so hopefully I'm happy with it :)
Got my NovaTac in today. Both the light and mount feel low weight but sturdy. Gotta wait for it to get dark out to try em out. If I hadn't seen that M2S Mike posted I would have been even happier but as it is, I'm glad with the deal I got. Pics to come tonight. :)

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Re: A place for questions

Post by MikeSantor » 24 Sep 2012, 16:32

Freeze, what do you mean by drop in reference guide? Only thing I can think of is an amperage chart that shows lumen output? I have one on my computer I can post later. I don't know of any other kind of guides.

Pain, can't wait for beam shots!

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Re: A place for questions

Post by PainKillaX » 25 Sep 2012, 00:55

Couldn't get a beam shot, my phone didn't want to take a picture in the dark. It does however light up well into the trees. Doesn't throw it super far, I won't be lighting up target way down range, but I think it'll be great for indoors/short distance/"urban" situations. Also the strobe is blinding and the 0.3 lumen is awesome for lighting up a path without lighting up yourself. :) All in all, could have done worse.

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Re: A place for questions

Post by Mister Freeze » 25 Sep 2012, 06:15

MikeSantor wrote:Freeze, what do you mean by drop in reference guide? Only thing I can think of is an amperage chart that shows lumen output? I have one on my computer I can post later. I don't know of any other kind of guides.

Pain, can't wait for beam shots!

Something that shows what modules have what features for comparison & shopping.
I'm looking for one that has low, hi, strobe modes (25%, 100%, strobe), in that order, and memory. 500+ lumens on hi.

I'm new to building, but don't want to get in too deep. I plan to use a 1x18650 host. There are so many options that finding exactly what I need is hard.

Also, terms like potting and pill have me lost.

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Re: A place for questions

Post by MikeSantor » 25 Sep 2012, 12:14

Mister Freeze wrote:
MikeSantor wrote:Freeze, what do you mean by drop in reference guide? Only thing I can think of is an amperage chart that shows lumen output? I have one on my computer I can post later. I don't know of any other kind of guides.

Pain, can't wait for beam shots!

Something that shows what modules have what features for comparison & shopping.
I'm looking for one that has low, hi, strobe modes (25%, 100%, strobe), in that order, and memory. 500+ lumens on hi.

I'm new to building, but don't want to get in too deep. I plan to use a 1x18650 host. There are so many options that finding exactly what I need is hard.

Also, terms like potting and pill have me lost.
This kind of comparison dosnt exist because of the nature of drop ins. You have to realize that most drop ins are made to order from a few different people. Drop ins were never really mass produced. So people just went to the people making them and said I want XXX and that is what they got. If you go to Nailbender, AKA Dave and tell him what you want, he makes it.

What happened is Lego'd SFs got to popular that flashlight E stores started having these builders build them X amount of drop ins in X amount of configurations. That is where you get nailbender drop ins from places like lighthound.com.

The Pill is what the LED and driver go into. Its usually made of brass. It is also what the reflector screws into.

Reflectors on left, pills with LEDs installed on upper right.
Image

Here is another one, from L to R, Spring, Spring, Pill, reflector, drop in all put together.
Image


Potting explained below.

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

This is the link to nailbenders drop in page. Im going to break everything down for you guys by taking one of the many LEDs that he offers and showing you how you would order. We are going to use the XML since it is THEE hot LED to have right now. Heres the thread : http://www.candlepowerforums.com/vb/sho ... I-(part-10" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;)

Here is a cut and past of the order section for the XML. All of my stuff is in RED for explanation.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

CREE LEDS http://www.cree.com/products/xlamp.asp" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false; binning and tint informaiton (GREAT RESOURCE)

Cree XM-L $40

This section below is for the color tint of the LED. the flux bin and number (I.E. 5400K) refers the how warm, neutral or cool the LED is. Here is a great picture to better explain color temps.

Image

The cooler the LED is, the brighter it gets in lumens. The problem is, the cooler it gets, the more blue everything gets. Nuetral LEDs are best when color rendition is top priority. Then the warmer you get the more yellow the beam gets. This all comes down to personal preference. I love 5400K tinted LEDs.

U2 flux bin 1A 6500k+ Cool White

T60 flux bin 3C 5000k daylight white

T50 flux Bin 4C 4300K neutral white

T40 flux bin 5B3 4000k neutral white

T40 flux bin 6A3 3500k Warm white

T30 flux bin E7 3000K Warm White



This section has to do with power. The first option is direct drive. These have no regulators and it is a direct connection to the battery. This is really only good for enthusiasts that know what they are doing because you can really burn skin and blow up batteries if you dont know what you are doing.


Direct drive
1 Level only (potting and tape included this model only) works well in the 26650 Cooly's by Five Mega.

Here is where it gets most confusing for folks that dont have a background in electronics. Levels are self explanatory, Amps are going to effect the brightness and how hot the LED gets, volts is going to determine what kind of battery configuration can be ran.

****This guy did a great job taking some of the most popular LEDs out right now and recording the lumen out put ad different amps. This is a great guide if you just know how many lumens you want but dont know how many amps to get you there. Just look up the the output you want and see the corresponding amperage at which it was achieved:
http://budgetlightforum.com/node/2603" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;


3 level / 2.8 amp /3.4 - 9 volts (high / med / low with memory ) NEW!!! $45 Best used with 2X Li ion or 2X primaries

Available levels with memory (2.8-6 volts only)
1 level Regulated
2 level HI / Low Regulated
3 level Low / Med / High Regulated
3 level Hi / Low / Strobe Regulated (rotation of levels may change between driver batches)
5 level Low / Med / High / SOS / Strobe Regulated


6 volt Drivers can be pushed at 3.1 amps and 3.5 amps or even 4.2 amps but high should be used for shorter periods these do work well in the 26650 Cooly's by Five Mega.
and in 2P 18650 P60 M*g 1D by Fivemega There is no extra charge for these.

If you want to use continuously on high in most hosts please use 2.8 amps for better heat control and you will also get much better runtime.

Here is the option for reflectors. Smooth reflectors give you more throw but sometimes have some artifacts in the beam. This is my reflector of choice. OP or orange peel reflectors give more spill and usually have a perfectly round, nice looking beam. Most off the shelf configurations come with an OP reflector.

Either Smooth OR Op reflectors available (extra reflectors not available at this time.)

This section is the section Freeze asked about. Potting is when you fill the pill with a thermal conductor. This just pulls heat away from the LED. Here is a picture of the bottom of a direct drive pill/drop in that is getting thermal potting:

Image

Image

Image

Image

The copper tape is so that you can wrap the pill and relfector so it has a tight fit with the drop in. This again all has to do with getting the heat as far away from the LED as possible. Here is a video from Wayne showing how to wrap a drop in only he uses aluminum foil. Foil can be used if need by. I prefer 99.9% pure copper tape. This way you get the best heat transfer available.



Potting with copper tape is now included
-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

So that is the basic break down of the sales thread for the XML portion. So lets apply it. Lets say I want around 700 lumens on high and I want to run it on 2 primaries. We can look at our chart from the link above and see that 700 lumens comes in at around 2.2a based off the chart. So you want a 2.2amp driver. Next is voltage range. You want to get as close to the voltage you will be using in your drop in. Too low of voltage and the drop in wont work. Too high and it will burn up the LED. So in this case if we are planning on using 2 cr123 primaries we need something rated at 6V. As you can see, Dave offers up to 9 volt drivers. But you my ask, why dont I just get 9 volt drivers and that way im covered with all batteries? Good question grasshoppper. The closer you are to the voltage with your batteries as you are to your driver the more efficient the driver will be. So it is really worth it to get the right driver for your batteries instead of just getting a board that has a HUGE voltage range.




I Ripped a lot of pictures off for this post. Considering I am giving shout outs to all these builders and not getting a dime, I hope they are cool with me using some of there pics. Again, shout outs for the pics and awesome builders, Dave, Wayne, etc.




Feel free to ask more questions. there comes a point where I have to stop or else I can keep going....

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Re: A place for questions

Post by Mister Freeze » 25 Sep 2012, 19:18

Wow. Thanks. I've heard much about Nailbender/Dave. In addition to the parameters I've already stated, I'd like 6500-7000k in color.

Are there different reflector choices other than just texture? Because focus isn't much of an option on most hosts (LOVE that feature on my Sparker F1665!), I'm looking for a pretty tight beam.

I thought I had chosen a host, but the more I learn, the less sure I am. I thought the Solarforce stainless L2T was the way to go, then the stainless Ultrafire WF-503B, both for the corrosion resistance of SS. I don't think my needs necessarily need much in the way of cooling, but maybe an aluminum host is the way to go.

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Re: A place for questions

Post by PainKillaX » 25 Sep 2012, 19:20

I seriously had NO clue how technical flashlights were. Loving the learning.

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Re: A place for questions

Post by blueorison » 25 Sep 2012, 20:37

5|-|1+, this thread is win. I don't have to go read a bunch of comments from the flashlight forums, I can just read yours and use it as a launching pad.

Thanks, Mike!

Ok, my question is, I won this Surefire G2X Tactical light;

I want your opinions on it. Is it any good? Pros/cons, does it drain battery, or does it have reports of crappy QC, etc.?

I don't know whether to use it (I need a good light, I only use china lights, mostly for caving... which work and I love them because I don't have to worry about breaking them. I have only broken 1 of them) or sell/give it away.

It would be my first brandname light.
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Re: A place for questions

Post by MikeSantor » 26 Sep 2012, 06:03

Mister Freeze wrote: Are there different reflector choices other than just texture? Because focus isn't much of an option on most hosts (LOVE that feature on my Sparker F1665!), I'm looking for a pretty tight beam.
You have 3 choices for reflectors. Orange Peel which gives you more flood (side spill), Smooth which gives you less flood and more throw (distance/tighter beam) and then there is aspheric. I'm a HUGE fan of aspherics and I'm actually building one right now. An aspheric lens has one flat side and one domed side. It gathers all the light in the lens and shoots it out in a VERY tight beam. You get almost no side spill. This is good for lighting up stuff at large distances. There is currently one person making and selling asperic kits for the P60 lights we are talking about. He is from the land down under though so slow shipping times but he is really cool. His names Ash and his thread can be found here (scroll down a little because he has a few things for sale in this thread):
http://www.candlepowerforums.com/vb/sho ... headlamps-" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;)


Here is a quick video from Ash:





Long story short, It sounds like you either need a smooth reflector or an aspheric setup.

Mister Freeze wrote: I thought I had chosen a host, but the more I learn, the less sure I am. I thought the Solarforce stainless L2T was the way to go, then the stainless Ultrafire WF-503B, both for the corrosion resistance of SS. I don't think my needs necessarily need much in the way of cooling, but maybe an aluminum host is the way to go.
Im not a huge metal buff but how much more corrosion resistant is SS over AL? Unless you are diving with it in the ocean than I really dont know if you would really get much more out of the SS. Plus, AL conducts heat better (BIG plus) and as you know is like friggin 1/3rd the weight....
PainKillaX wrote:I seriously had NO clue how technical flashlights were. Loving the learning.
Glad you guys are learning something and glad I can give back seeing as I came here just over a year ago now with my first gun not knowing anything...

blueorison wrote:Ok, my question is, I won this Surefire G2X Tactical light;

I want your opinions on it. Is it any good? Pros/cons, does it drain battery, or does it have reports of crappy QC, etc.?

I don't know whether to use it (I need a good light, I only use china lights, mostly for caving... which work and I love them because I don't have to worry about breaking them. I have only broken 1 of them) or sell/give it away.
The G2X was one of the first SF to come out that was completely sealed up. SF did not like people lego'ing their lights so I believe it was in 2011 that they started sealing all of their lights. There has never been a QC issue with any SF product, In large quantities, that I am aware of. What I mean by this is there has never been a few thousand lights ran with a faulty XXX, or XXX. I know people like Jay are not big fans of SF and I totally understand why. They are expensive and they *SEEM* to always be behind on the technology. So you feel like you are paying top dollar for old tech. Here is my take.

First of all, Yea, they are more expensive then all the China companies. Guess what? Labor here in America is 5X more than in China. So there is no getting around this. a $100 China light will be $500 if made in America.

My second reason goes back to surefires QC. SF NEVER uses the latest and greatest because the latest and greatest does not have a track record yet. If you are a soldier and you are using a light in war do you want something that is the brightest out right now but has no track record of how it works yet (or dosnt work) and you are just going to hope it is as rugged as you need or are you going to use last years tech that is a little less bright but has had millions of people using, testing and reporting on it so you KNOW its going to work when you need it?

Im going to go with the latter and so does SF. They will not sacrifice there reputation just to have the latest and greatest lights. Only tech that has stood the test of at least a little bit of time.

That is apparent with the XML LED. This LED is one of the best LEDs ever to come out. Its been out for a few years now and in SFs eyes, has finally proved itself. They are just now putting them in their lights.

Here are your pros and cons

Pros

-It is a SF, so you get the reputation.
-If something does break, you literally call SF and they send you another piece in the mail. Its that easy.
-this model has the nitrolon body and tailcap so it light and extremely corrosion resistant.
-Has pretty decent lumens output at 200L max on H.

Cons

-Sealed design like mentioned. No upgrading this bad boy.
-Have to run this on primaries which are expensive.


I say keep it...
blueorison wrote:It would be my first brandname light.
What happen to the jetbeam?? Tell me you broke it already?

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Re: A place for questions

Post by Mister Freeze » 26 Sep 2012, 08:01

blueorison wrote:5|-|1+, this thread is win. I don't have to go read a bunch of comments from the flashlight forums, I can just read yours and use it as a launching pad.

Thanks, Mike!

Ok, my question is, I won this Surefire G2X Tactical light;

I want your opinions on it. Is it any good? Pros/cons, does it drain battery, or does it have reports of crappy QC, etc.?

I don't know whether to use it (I need a good light, I only use china lights, mostly for caving... which work and I love them because I don't have to worry about breaking them. I have only broken 1 of them) or sell/give it away.

It would be my first brandname light.

Put a rail on your spelunking helmet & use your weaponlight!

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Re: A place for questions

Post by Mister Freeze » 26 Sep 2012, 08:10

Mr. Santor, thank you. Yes, I do need an aspheric lens. My Sparker has one, plus a focus function. I don't think the likes of Nailbender offer one with a module, though.

Dave does have a 700 lumen 6500k+ cool white regulated 3 mode (5%, 100%, strobe) with memory drop-in that I am interested in. I would prefer lo to be 25% and the color to be closer to 7000, but it's not a perfect world.

I've had bad luck with batteries ruining flashlights on the inside by leaking or swelling. That's my interest in SS. The Ultrafire is supposed to be compatible with Solarforce parts, but cheaper. So...

Nailbender's module + Ultrafire SS + aspheric lens = WIN!

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Re: A place for questions

Post by blueorison » 26 Sep 2012, 10:43

I gave the Jetbeam a trial run; the functions were much better than my china lights, with SOS, etc. The issue was with the tail cap; it was faulty and the light would not come on at times. I called the company up and he told me to sent it back. I sent it back to the company and ended up just using my China lights. I was a little disappointed, since we had worked to find a light and I thought that was the one. My main focus was ALWAYS to find a light that threw a tight, long distance beam. I haven't shot at night in a while, so it isn't a priority (no $$). However, I did just buy a $20 light that throws a tight beam. I took a picture, below.

After banging my camera on my chair for 20 mins, I was able to get the lens to work for one picture. Still need to save up for a Hero2.

Image

The one below is one of 4 that I got for 5 bucks each, 2 years ago. They have not broken, except for one with a faulty tailcap. I use them for caving and at night, for regular use.

The one above is the one I just got. It was $20, IIRC. It throws a tight beam. Would an asph. lense be possible in it, for a tighter beam with no spill?

Also, I bought Ultrafire rechargeable CR123A's, but they turned out to be slightly too long (wtf?) than the normal non-rechargeable CR123A's and wouldn't fit into my Streamlight. Can you recommend a rechargeable CR123A that would work in my Streamlight and the two flashlights above that also take CR123A's? Am I mistaking something?

Thanks, Mike.
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Re: A place for questions

Post by MikeSantor » 26 Sep 2012, 12:36

Mister Freeze wrote:Mr. Santor, thank you. Yes, I do need an aspheric lens. My Sparker has one, plus a focus function. I don't think the likes of Nailbender offer one with a module, though.
No, Dave does not sell one with an aspheric. Ash is the only one that sells the kit for SF cloned P60 lights.
Mister Freeze wrote: I would prefer lo to be 25% and the color to be closer to 7000, but it's not a perfect world.
Give me a few hours to make some calls. Im sure I can get this for you.
Mister Freeze wrote: I've had bad luck with batteries ruining flashlights on the inside by leaking or swelling. That's my interest in SS. The Ultrafire is supposed to be compatible with Solarforce parts, but cheaper. So...

Nailbender's module + Ultrafire SS + aspheric lens = WIN!
That is because you are using primaries. Rechargables wont leak. So if leaking is the only reason you want SS and you will be using rechargeables for this build then your safe. That is one of the biggest selling points for RCs. No leaky.
blueorison wrote:I gave the Jetbeam a trial run; the functions were much better than my china lights, with SOS, etc. The issue was with the tail cap; it was faulty and the light would not come on at times. I called the company up and he told me to sent it back. I sent it back to the company and ended up just using my China lights. I was a little disappointed, since we had worked to find a light and I thought that was the one. My main focus was ALWAYS to find a light that threw a tight, long distance beam. I haven't shot at night in a while, so it isn't a priority (no $$). However, I did just buy a $20 light that throws a tight beam. I took a picture, below.


The one above is the one I just got. It was $20, IIRC. It throws a tight beam. Would an asph. lense be possible in it, for a tighter beam with no spill?

Also, I bought Ultrafire rechargeable CR123A's, but they turned out to be slightly too long (wtf?) than the normal non-rechargeable CR123A's and wouldn't fit into my Streamlight. Can you recommend a rechargeable CR123A that would work in my Streamlight and the two flashlights above that also take CR123A's? Am I mistaking something?

Thanks, Mike.
Damn, that sucks the JB didnt work out for you.

Do you happen to have a set of calipers? If so, measure the ultrafires for me. Also, can you link me to where you bought them?

rechargeables are all made with other cells. Repackaged if you will so all of them are always a little different in size.


The first question I thought of when I read this is, are those lights rated for 2 rechargable cells?!!?

***REMEMBER EVERYONE, PRIMARIES ARE 3 VOLTS, RECHARGABLES ARE 3.7V. THEY ARE ACTUALLY 4.2 WHEN FRESH OFF THE CHARGER BUT QUICKLEY DROP TO 3.7***


If your light is made for 2 primaries it most likley has a max voltage of 6v. so if you put 2 rechargeables in it you are over volting it by 1.4 volts. that will fry the LED 99% of the time. especially since like I said above, fresh off the charger RCs are 4.2 volts. So you are giving the LED 8.4v off the gate.

*zap*
*Poof*

No more LED.

Maybe you got lucky by them not fitting?

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