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Thread: SPY005 - the license to style

  1. #1
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    Default SPY005 - the license to style

    SPY005 - the license to style

    The SPY005 is data's incredible light that just hit CPF. It is this light:





    Construction

    The SPY is made of hard anodized aluminium in either NAT or black with chromed bezel and switch knob. It is a 2xCR123 light that runs a T-binned LuxIII via a new custom DB converter by dat2zip that offers 6 regulated levels of light. Secret agent stuff in and out.
    And it is small ... really small:



    The machining is incredibly perfect with unsurpassed attention to detail and an extraordinary new body shape. Some shots about the perfection in detail:



    The lanyard attachment, tailcap release button and the serial number ... which is surpassed in finesse and detail only by ...



    ... the (machined!) logo on the tailcap. Mine is logo choice #1 of three possibilities.

    The two batteries have their own recesses each and are secured with springs in the tailcap. They will not rattle in normal use at all.
    The tailcap can be released by pressing the above-shown button with a sharp object ... and the release mechanism itself is a work of art that is unrivaled at the moment.

    The light uses a McR-18 reflector by McGizmo and a domed window and is comletely o-ring sealed and should withstand harsh weather and the occasional dunking without any problems.

    Did I say the light is small?
    As a consequence ... it isn't as tough and thick-walled as for example the latest McGizmo lights, and might suffer more from falls and rough circumstances. It isn't fragile or flimsy at all ... it just is not built for battle. Double zero agents always kill well-dressed in perfectly civilized environments like 5-star hotels and the like ...


    Ergonomics

    Turn the knob from the off-position and rotate it with 6 clicks from lowest to highest brightness setting. It is a KISS (keep it super simple) light. No fuzz and wizardry in the interface ... it just works like any dimmer knob. And you get tactile and audible feedback upon level change.
    The knob offers very good grip in all positions without being abrasive ... just like the rest of the light. No knurling to hurt your fine garments that you will wear with this light.
    One thing bothers me though ... the knob turns in the "wrong" direction ... meaning ... I always end up dimming it when I want it brighter and vice versa ...
    Must be because Mr. Bond is British ... they also drive on the left side ...

    Battery change is no problem, provided you have something to push the small and recessed release pin for the tailcap mechanism. Polarity is indicated on the driver board, and the manual sais the light is polarity protected. When empty ... turning the knob might result in the switch disengaging and could require re-aligning the knob, which can be done relatively easily by the user (according to the manual; I did not attempt this ...). This point is the only real drawback of the design IMHO.

    Due to the small size and forward-facing switch the light will fit almost anywhere without a problem and can be used one-handed with different grip-techniques ... and it won't require you to change grip to change brightness and / or to turn it on and off. Wonderful and innovative. It does not offer a momentary mode and access to full blast though, although turning the knob to maximum setting is pretty fast ... but a tactical whip-it-out-and-blast-in-the-face-light it is not.


    Performance

    The beam is a very good compromise between throw and spill ... it offers reasonable coverage for medium distances on high level and great area illumination in the near field ... and the lowest setting is really good when it is totally dark indoors.
    Mine is the girlie-version with a max. current of 600mA to the LED ... the real men took 1000mA highest setting which is for intermittent operation only though.
    IMHO the 600mA setting is plenty enough for anything you might encounter with this light. And the runtime will be impressive on 2xCR123 for this light ... I can't do runtimes unfortunately, but a guesstimate by experience indicates more than 2 hours on highest setting !

    Heat isn't an issue for the girlie-version ... but as explained above, the 1000mA guys should be careful on highest setting.

    Knowing the DB driver of other iterations I expect pretty flat regulation with this light. Current regulated.


    In the end ...

    ... the SPY005 is a perfefctly stylish and very well-made custom light with unlimited attention to detail ... with some unique traits and concepts unseen before. It is a light that is well suited for any task one might encounter under normal circumstances; it is a versatile light.
    It is also quite appealing visually and can be your companion in any situation without looking "toolish" or tactical at all. I can imagine that light on my person during my wedding or in the hands of Mr. Bond himself without looking out of place. The only attention this light will draw is looks of awe and acknowledgement of quality and style.
    It is not built like a super tough tank or warship and should not be taken out into battle, but should be placed in the suitcase of a secret service agent or any other flashaholic.

    The only negative point is that the switch mechanism can disengage when used without batteries. And that the 1000mA setting might damage the light when used continiously, making it less KISS. But after all ... that shall be the problem of those pocket-rocket guys ...

    The SPY005 ... a light Mr. Bond would be proud to own, but unfortunately he can't since they're all sold. Should you as a lesser agent have a chance to own one ... don't hesitate ...





    To all those involved ...

    And a special thanx to data ... who not only made this happen, but who also made it a fun and interesting project ... giving us updates, pictures and even videos ... videos well worth watching. This was a fun ride, and it was perfectly executed untill the end. Thank you !!!


    bernie
    There is a type of perfection that transcends the quest for lumens. Buying a $250 1-cell light for "lum factor" is like buying a $250 single malt Scotch for the alcohol content.
    - paulr


    It's always darkest just before it goes pitch black.
    My shoes are too tight. But it doesn't matter, because I have forgotten how to dance.

  2. #2
    *Flashaholic* greenLED's Avatar
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    Default Re: SPY005 - the license to style

    Nice review, Bernie! The Spy is a beautiful and elegant light indeed. I loved the little gem.
    Quote Originally Posted by Kiessling
    It does not offer a momentary mode and access to full blast though, although turning the knob to maximum setting is pretty fast ... but a tactical whip-it-out-and-blast-in-the-face-light it is not.
    Data showed us his "flick-on" technique at Shot Show. It's hard to explain by writing, but you put your thumb on the dial and flick it, just like you would if lighting a butane lighter. Voilà! Instant light (on high!).

  3. #3
    Flashaholic* jeffb's Avatar
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    Default Re: SPY005 - the license to style

    Good Review!

    When I got on the list for this light, was not particularly enamored of looks, but "Data"'s design seemed interesting.

    After receiving, am extremely enamored..........this "little" light is a real gem.

    Bernie's review, well stated the lights strengths and capabilities. Pratically, SPY005 is just really "neat", extremely well made, very practical and fun to use, It is easily the most unique light that I have ever used.

    This may well be, the "perfect" EDC "Data"

    jeffb

  4. #4
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    Default Re: SPY005 - the license to style

    Nice review, Bernie - and superb photos. You've captured the essence of the light as well as words and images can.



    It's one of those objects, though, that has to be held and used in order to truly understand, like a Walker Colt or a Mont Blanc pen.
    "If you want peace, work for justice" - H.L. Mencken, Pope Paul VI
    "The past is never dead. It's not even past." - William Faulkner

  5. #5
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    Default Re: SPY005 - the license to style

    Yepp, a truly exceptional custom creation, completely different than what we know.

    And the tooling marks are different, too, they give the light an almost "computer rendered" look

    I guess those will fetch some nice $$ on B/S/T should one show up ...

    bernie
    There is a type of perfection that transcends the quest for lumens. Buying a $250 1-cell light for "lum factor" is like buying a $250 single malt Scotch for the alcohol content.
    - paulr


    It's always darkest just before it goes pitch black.
    My shoes are too tight. But it doesn't matter, because I have forgotten how to dance.

  6. #6
    Flashaholic* Frenchyled's Avatar
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    Default Re: SPY005 - the license to style

    Bernie for your review !!! If I spoke English better , I would have written the same things

    Nice macro shot too !!

    And, cheers again to DATA... a wonderful flashlight, I am sure it'll be the one of the year !!!

    And ooOps.. only SPy007 have the license to kill But this Spy005 is a killer
    Last edited by Frenchyled; 06-15-2006 at 09:18 AM.

  7. #7
    Flashaholic* jar3ds's Avatar
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    Default Re: SPY005 - the license to style

    cool light...

    i think if it was a CR2/rcr2 based light i'd be really interested... too bad it can't be ran @ 1000ma...

    but cool light none-the-less
    Last edited by jar3ds; 06-15-2006 at 12:42 PM.

  8. #8
    Flashaholic* WAVE_PARTICLE's Avatar
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    Default Re: SPY005 - the license to style

    As always, Bernie, an excellent, informative and entertaining review. I can't wait to get mine.

    EDIT: awesome pics, by the way!

    WP
    Last edited by WAVE_PARTICLE; 06-15-2006 at 12:09 PM.

  9. #9
    *Flashaholic* McGizmo's Avatar
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    Default Re: SPY005 - the license to style

    Bernie,
    What they all said!

    In Data's thread, I commented on the SPY005 setting a bench mark. That is probably not a good or realistic comment to make. A bench mark implies that others would follow. I don't really see this happening. The SPY005 is more like one of the concept cars or another example of what can be done but not likely to be done. The SPY005 is an exhibition of current technologies. They are merged and implimented in a device that is equal parts; functional art, tool and statement of the art itself. I call it a tool because it serves a purpose and provides a function with no hesitation or shortcomings. However, looking at the SPY005, I can't help but think of it more as an instrument than a mere tool. This light is a precision instrument, IMHO. If I didn't know better and the Spy logo were replaced with Leica for example, I would consider it legitimate and would not be surprised or in disagreement with a price tag on the light well in excess of what Data has sold these to us for!!

    With readily available CAD software, many of us could design something similar on the surface to the SPY005. However, this light is not a 3D rendering of concept but working example of concept where the precision and mating of components has been accomplished. Only a master of the art could pull this off and such masters are far and few between!!! Data is one of those rare breed and it was a real boon for him to share his skills with us as he has done so with the SPY005!!! Thanks bud!!
    Build Prices .... some mods and builds (not 4 sale) "Nature can be cruel- but we don't have to be."~ Temple Grandin

  10. #10
    karlthev's Avatar
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    Default Re: SPY005 - the license to style

    "according to the manual..." What manual...on line...where?


    Karl

  11. #11
    *Flashaholic* B@rt's Avatar
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    Buttrock Re: SPY005 - the license to style

    I fully concur with my more eloquent collegues.

    Awsome job Data!
    BART

  12. #12

    Default Re: SPY005 - the license to style

    http://www.candlepowerforums.com/vb/...33&postcount=2
    Quote Originally Posted by karlthev
    "according to the manual..." What manual...on line...where?
    The shadows are darkest during the day.

  13. #13
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    Default Re: SPY005 - the license to style

    Many thanks! Couldn't seem to find it. Please don't get the wrong idea I didn't know how to use it.....DUH!!!!!



    Karl

  14. #14
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    Default Re: SPY005 - the license to style

    Just watched the assembly...unbelievable! What a light! Once again Dave, amazing!


    Karl

  15. #15

    Default Re: SPY005 - the license to style

    Bernie, Nice review!
    Don, elegant summation.

    Brightnorm
    Last edited by brightnorm; 06-15-2006 at 02:33 PM.

  16. #16
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    Default Re: SPY005 - the license to style

    Thanx guys !

    Don ... should I ever have to write a love-letter in English ... I'd want you to write it for me. You are more than an artist with words and thoughts.

    bernie


    P.S.: another very nice aspect of this light is that it is also a cooperation of several CPF modders and creators ... and represents CPF in a fashion I really like!
    There is a type of perfection that transcends the quest for lumens. Buying a $250 1-cell light for "lum factor" is like buying a $250 single malt Scotch for the alcohol content.
    - paulr


    It's always darkest just before it goes pitch black.
    My shoes are too tight. But it doesn't matter, because I have forgotten how to dance.

  17. #17

    Default Re: SPY005 - the license to style

    Have a little piece to add... I did a quick measure of the six levels of my 1000mA version and did the ol' "lowest common denominator" thing to get a feel for how they compare: 1 > 5 > 12 > 26 > 43 > ~70. The numbers pretty much follow what my eyes tell me in that level 1 is basically a nightlight in strange places and can be used for nighttime excursions, 2-5 are pretty much visually even and 6 is that extra oopmh you get when you press the pedal down harder.
    The shadows are darkest during the day.

  18. #18
    Flashaholic* Penguin's Avatar
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    Default Re: SPY005 - the license to style

    I... want.... one...
    Fiat Lux

  19. #19
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    Default Re: SPY005 - the license to style

    Quote Originally Posted by Penguin
    I... want.... one...
    Hurry, there are one or two left on the "Spy Signup List" right now. Go backwards on the posts and you will see Data's post of 5 lights newly released tonight.

    Steve

  20. #20
    Flashaholic* LowWorm's Avatar
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    Default Re: SPY005 - the license to style

    Nope...all gone. Though I think right now there's one available on B/S/T.

    I won't bother duplicating Bernie's or Don's specificity on the SPY005, but in my eyes there are five features of this light that put it on a higher plane.

    1) The side-by-side 2x123 configuration. By placing two short, yet powerful batteries in this way, Dave's created a pocketable, powerful, and long-running light that's extremely comfortable to hold, too. I don't know of any other light with this specific build quality to it.

    2) The precision of the machining. The aerodynamic lines and tight construction give the light a solidity that belies its small size.

    3) The PERFECTLY balanced light levels and practical beam profile. I'm speaking for my 600mA unit here. The low is ideal for pitch dark stealth-lighting situations, and the high is extremely bright, even in ambient light situations outdoors. Every other level in between these is perfectly stepped. The beam profile is hands down gorgeous - white, with a generous and focused hotspot and adequate spill. The SPY won't disappoint if you are a white wall hunter, but where it really shines is outdoors.

    4) The modability! I don't think I'll ever take advantage of this feature fully, but Dave's design allows for tinkerers to go at it, and that means that this light may gain new unforseen potential down the road.

    5) The simplicity! Once you know the trick of the battery compartment, the SPY005 is all KISS.

    On the not so rah-rah side, I agree with Bernie that the switch feels "backward" as far as turn direction goes.

    I hope Dave's got lots of spare parts on hand, because the second I drop this thing and ding the bezel I'm going to cry buckets and pray for a fix.






  21. #21

    Default Re: SPY005 - the license to style

    Quote Originally Posted by LowWorm
    ...On the not so rah-rah side, I agree with Bernie that the switch feels "backward" as far as turn direction goes...
    That was my initial reaction too because I'm right-handed; lefties will probably think it's just right. After hundreds of clickings it now feels natural and intuitive and I suspect you'll feel the same way once you get used to it.

    Brightnorm

  22. #22
    Flashaholic treasurydept's Avatar
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    Default Re: SPY005 - the license to style

    Would anybody care to take a 'stab in the dark' and guesstimate the lumen output of the SPY005? How many lumens on HIGH for the 600ma and the 1000ma?

    It seems that every day I look at it, it looks more beautiful than the day before.

  23. #23
    Flashaholic* Frenchyled's Avatar
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    Default Re: SPY005 - the license to style

    I can't tell in lumens...but in Lux at one meter with the 1000ma SPY005 I obtained these measurements :

    Level 6 (max) : 1550 Lux
    Level 5 : 920 Lux
    Level 4 : 530 Lux
    Level 3 : 220 Lux
    Level 2 : 125 Lux
    LEvel 1 (Min) : 30 Lux

    Enjoy

  24. #24
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    Default Re: SPY005 - the license to style

    Quote Originally Posted by brightnorm
    That was my initial reaction too because I'm right-handed; lefties will probably think it's just right. After hundreds of clickings it now feels natural and intuitive and I suspect you'll feel the same way once you get used to it.

    Brightnorm

    Sure ... and then my U2 will feel backwards ...

    bernie

    P.S.: Pascal showing his 1000mA-muscles ...
    There is a type of perfection that transcends the quest for lumens. Buying a $250 1-cell light for "lum factor" is like buying a $250 single malt Scotch for the alcohol content.
    - paulr


    It's always darkest just before it goes pitch black.
    My shoes are too tight. But it doesn't matter, because I have forgotten how to dance.

  25. #25

    Default Re: SPY005 - the license to style

    "Sure ... and then my U2 will feel backwards ... "




    BN
    Last edited by brightnorm; 06-20-2006 at 02:41 PM.

  26. #26

    Default Re: SPY005 - the license to style

    Quote Originally Posted by treasurydept
    Would anybody care to take a 'stab in the dark' and guesstimate the lumen output of the SPY005? How many lumens on HIGH for the 600ma and the 1000ma?...
    A ceiling bounce comparison of both my 1000ma SPYs with an HDS Ultimate 60XR (integrating sphere-rated at almost exactly 60 lumens) showed that all three lights were about equal.

    Based on that I'd say the SPY 1000 on level six is approximately 60 lumens. I don't know about the 600ma version.

    Brightnorm
    Last edited by brightnorm; 06-20-2006 at 02:40 PM.

  27. #27
    Flashaholic* Bob_G's Avatar
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    Default Re: SPY005 - the license to style

    After using it daily since I got it, I have to say something that someone may take the wrong way I don't know what factors drove Dave's decision on reflectors, but I'm really glad he chose the McR-18 and not the 20. I'm really liking this reflector (first I've seen of it.) My kind of EDC beam.

    A lot of interesting comments here, but I think Don said it all with a few words - it's not a tool, it's an instrument. Nice observation.

    And the switch is backward
    There is but one life.
    God breathes through the scuttling cockroach
    and the soaring hawk.
    And yet, I am not a cat person.

  28. #28
    Flashaholic* LowWorm's Avatar
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    Default Re: SPY005 - the license to style

    Forgot to say - beatiful pics, Bernie! Almost make the spy look gunmetal gray.

    I'll try to gauge out rough lumens on my 600mA SPY against my HDS U60. Wish I had one of Don's "instruments" to compare against too, but that would be like comparing a Picasso to a Monet....






  29. #29

    Default Re: SPY005 - the license to style

    EDIT
    Last edited by russtang; 06-23-2006 at 09:24 PM. Reason: stupidity

  30. #30

    Default Re: SPY005 - the license to style

    Quote Originally Posted by Kiessling
    ...Performance

    The beam is a very good compromise between throw and spill ... it offers reasonable coverage for medium distances on high level and great area illumination in the near field ...
    Bernie,

    This is my only disagreement with your first-rate review. I find that the relatively narrow spot and fairly weak surround cause some discomfort when walking/hiking in rough or unfamiliar terrain. Although the beam is excellent for medium distance spotlighting, I find that the wider beams of lights like the HDS 60xr and Amilite Neo T3 permit quicker ID of surroundings and also preserve night vision, while still providing a bright spot. In fact, the HDS lights project a very superior spot that is the equal of any light.

    Brightnorm
    Last edited by brightnorm; 06-24-2006 at 02:28 AM.

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