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Thread: A New Acquisition, and Rather Unique: milkyspit X-800

  1. #1
    Flashaholic* Chronos's Avatar
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    Thumbs up A New Acquisition, and Rather Unique: milkyspit X-800

    I purchased this light about a week ago from milkyspit. It was a light that he built with goals that are common to mine: a very useful, bright spill beam for use outdoors.

    There are quite a few ingenious ideas in this light. It started off as a standard C-series maglite. The body was reduced in size to around 1.5C. To put it in perspective, it is nearly the same size as a Surefire M3T. The head was tapered. Then the body was coated in black HA. It looks and feels great and should be pretty hardy for outdoor work. He also used a novel (to flashlights) power source- more on that in a moment.

    I do a bit of night time hiking and geocaching. My buddies and I often trek off the beaten track, looking for opportunities to get away from the daily stresses of city and suburban life. I wanted a light that was rugged, one that my life could depend upon... just in case.

    The light sports 4xSSCP4 USW0H emitters mounted to an aluminum heatsink. Each emitter is wired to a separate circuit board- this provides four-way redundancy. Should one board go bad while in the bush, the other three will continue to work! The light is setup to push out around 800 lumens in full regulation, as well. There are 4xIMS 20mm reflectors (smooth) so it puts out a great combination of throw and spill.

    Another interesting twist- the power supply. A couple of years ago I approached milkyspit to replace a customized KL3 head that was damaged during a lithium ion primary cell venting incident. With that lesson in mind I was very intrigued when he started discussing a relatively new type of cell. They are typically used in RC devices and new tool kits- A123 nanophosphate cells. They can support a draw of up to 30C (!) and are safe... no venting. They also take around 20 minutes to fully charge. milkyspit included a prototype battery charger, able to charge two cells simultaneously. One cell provides around 35 minutes of 800 lumens in full regulation. They can be recharged ad nauseum, shot, cut in half, etc. without fear of venting. After experiencing the venting, I keep my 123 primary cells stored in an ammo can. It was frightening.

    The output is simply stunning. When I get a chance I'll post some outdoor pics. Trust me- this has a great balance of throw and spill. It seems to outthrow my old Surefire 10x Dominator. I hope to take a hike this weekend, and if I do I'll give a report on how it did. I am VERY impressed so far.

    I've had a few friends ask about this one- I hope this helps!










    A few favorite lights from: McGizmo, Data, milkyspit, HDS, and Surefire

  2. #2
    Flashaholic* :)>'s Avatar
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    Default Re: A New Acquisition, and Rather Unique: milkyspit X-800

    That looks fantastic and I'll bet that it does more than just flood w/4 x 20 mm reflectors! Did Milky do the black HA for you too? Is there anything that the wizard can't do?

    So if I understand correctly, it runs off of 1 cell at a time right? What is the voltage of each of the cells?

    I have been liking Maglites as hosts more and more lately
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    Flashaholic* depusm12's Avatar
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    Default Re: A New Acquisition, and Rather Unique: milkyspit X-800

    Nice milkymod.
    James
    TigerLight Vers II, ASP Triad, SF Z2, M3, L6, A2, Inova T2,**9-11-01 "Let's Roll"**

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    Flashaholic* Chronos's Avatar
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    Buttrock Re: A New Acquisition, and Rather Unique: milkyspit X-800

    James, goatster,

    Thanks for the kind words!

    I'll have to see if milkyspit can chime in. I believe the body (sterile- no maglite markings) was done by Leef. The finish is superb. I like the way the C-size body fits in my XXL hands. It is much smaller than it would seem.

    It is a great combination of throw and spill. The output simply destroys that of any other single or multi-LED light I've owned.

    It runs on one cell. Again, I apologize, I'll have to see if milkyspit can chime in on voltage.

    It really is a hilariously silly light. It almost looks like a small, stock maglite until it lights up. Then BAM! I think the LEDs are now starting to move into the big incan regions of output and throw. Don't take me wrong- I love both- but this light is further proof. My 10x Dominator had similar output with the 110 and 500 lumen bulbs, but it would run for up to 10 minutes, constantly dimming. This thing pushes out similar output for 35 or more minutes, in regulation. Hmm.
    A few favorite lights from: McGizmo, Data, milkyspit, HDS, and Surefire

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    Flashaholic* depusm12's Avatar
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    Default Re: A New Acquisition, and Rather Unique: milkyspit X-800

    I bet a 2 cell version would have a longer runtime and still look awesome. With 3 Seoul P4's it would still have excellent output and even better runtime for a killer LEO duty light.
    James
    TigerLight Vers II, ASP Triad, SF Z2, M3, L6, A2, Inova T2,**9-11-01 "Let's Roll"**

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    Flashaholic* Chronos's Avatar
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    Thumbs up Re: A New Acquisition, and Rather Unique: milkyspit X-800

    Here are some specs on the cells from A123 (http://www.a123systems.com/#/products/p1):
    • Nominal capacity: 2.3Ah
    • Nominal voltage 3.3v
    • Charge voltage 3.6v
    • Core cell weight: 70 grams
    • Internal impedance: (1kHz AC) 8 mΩ typical
    • Typical fast charge current: 10A to 3.6V CCCV
    • 70A continuous discharge
    • 120A, 10 sec pulse discharge
    • Cycle life at 10C discharge, 100% DOD: over 1,000 cycles
    • Power: Over 3000 W/kg and 5800 W/L
    • Safety: Inherently safer and environmentally friendly
    • Life: Superior calendar life, 10X cycle life vs. conventional Lithium ion
    26mm x 66.5mm in size (26650), 8mm wider than an 18650, much more stable, and far more drawing capacity too.

    milkyspit included a "JoeCharge" charger with a customer charging program. The unit is so cool: drop a cell into it, and then four red LEDs light, and as the cell charges the red LEDs progressively turn off, and a green LED lights when complete. The entire charge cycle, from a dead cell to fully charged, is less than 30 minutes! I've read about uses in high-draw "hotwire" incan setups, as well.

    I expect to see more and more applications of these cells. I understand they are now being used in hybrid car applications too.

    A few favorite lights from: McGizmo, Data, milkyspit, HDS, and Surefire

  7. #7

    Default Re: A New Acquisition, and Rather Unique: milkyspit X-800

    How much does a cell cost?
    Special Circumstances Inc

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    Flashaholic* Chronos's Avatar
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    Naughty Re: A New Acquisition, and Rather Unique: milkyspit X-800

    Here's a B/S/T thread- $13 each. Hope that helps!
    A few favorite lights from: McGizmo, Data, milkyspit, HDS, and Surefire

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    Default Re: A New Acquisition, and Rather Unique: milkyspit X-800

    That light is freaking sweet, dang it Milky....i'm gonna have to find more money.
    List of flashlights that used to be here has been removed (by me) to save our search function. NOW USE IT.

  10. #10
    Flashaholic* NA8's Avatar
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    Default Re: A New Acquisition, and Rather Unique: milkyspit X-800

    Quote Originally Posted by depusm12 View Post
    I bet a 2 cell version would have a longer runtime and still look awesome. With 3 Seoul P4's it would still have excellent output and even better runtime for a killer LEO duty light.
    Yeah, but that would be 7.2 volts off the charger and then you probably need different driver boards. If these batteries fit in a C sized Maglite though you could use them with a 4,5,6 C Malkoff drop in which has a 9 volt high end.

    http://www.malkoffdevices.com/shop/i...products_id=23

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    Flashaholic* xevious's Avatar
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    Default Re: A New Acquisition, and Rather Unique: milkyspit X-800

    Very nice--I really like the idea of 4 circuit boards, for triple redundancy. I have to suspect the boards are of very good quality, but you never know when a cosmic particle might pass through a chip.

    Hey, is that a Gerber Hinderer in a couple of your shots?
    Lights in my rotation: Nitecore EA4 | Surefire U2 | Novatac EDC-120P | Olight M20 R5 | Fenix P3D-Q5, PD30. L0D-Q4 | Regal WT1 | Pila GL3/D26

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    Flashaholic* Chronos's Avatar
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    Default Re: A New Acquisition, and Rather Unique: milkyspit X-800

    Quote Originally Posted by xevious View Post
    Very nice--I really like the idea of 4 circuit boards, for triple redundancy. I have to suspect the boards are of very good quality, but you never know when a cosmic particle might pass through a chip.

    Hey, is that a Gerber Hinderer in a couple of your shots?
    Thanks! It is nice to know that if I'm way out in the deep woods, if something would happen, I've still got a few emitters working. I always bring a backup light anyway.

    It is a Hinderer XM-18 with a cranberry scale.
    A few favorite lights from: McGizmo, Data, milkyspit, HDS, and Surefire

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    Flashaholic* skalomax's Avatar
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    Default Re: A New Acquisition, and Rather Unique: milkyspit X-800

    Whoa, how did I miss this.
    Looks killer.
    If It had a tailswitch, I'll be all over this!

    ps: Verizon all the way.
    Last edited by skalomax; 01-15-2008 at 08:02 PM.
    I miss my Milkmods.

  14. #14

    Default Re: A New Acquisition, and Rather Unique: milkyspit X-800

    Nice body. Love the tapered head. Did the body need to be bored for A123 cells or did they fit as-is?

    How hard are the emitters driven?

    And what's that orange stuff on the heatsink? It looks suspiciously like Kapton tape...
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    Default Re: A New Acquisition, and Rather Unique: milkyspit X-800

    Wow, this is an amazing Milky creation! With the look and the redundancy, it's like something astronauts would be proud to take into space!

  16. #16

    Default Re: A New Acquisition, and Rather Unique: milkyspit X-800

    Very very cool Chronos.

    btw - what is in the orange kydex next to the Hinderer in the first pic?
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    Flashaholic* Chronos's Avatar
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    Thumbs up Re: A New Acquisition, and Rather Unique: milkyspit X-800

    Quote Originally Posted by Hodsta View Post
    Very very cool Chronos.

    btw - what is in the orange kydex next to the Hinderer in the first pic?
    Thanks! It is an Anso necker.

    I believe the boards are running at ~1A each.
    A few favorite lights from: McGizmo, Data, milkyspit, HDS, and Surefire

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    Default Re: A New Acquisition, and Rather Unique: milkyspit X-800

    Dang ~ Thats a lot of EDC gear (O_O')
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    Flashaholic* Chronos's Avatar
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    Thumbs up Re: A New Acquisition, and Rather Unique: milkyspit X-800

    Quote Originally Posted by iSleep View Post
    Dang ~ Thats a lot of EDC gear (O_O')
    Not EDC gear. I was pulling stuff out of my closets to pack for a night hike, and also pulled some stuff out of a couple of my backpacks. I EDC both phones though!
    A few favorite lights from: McGizmo, Data, milkyspit, HDS, and Surefire

  20. #20
    Flashaholic* milkyspit's Avatar
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    Default Re: A New Acquisition, and Rather Unique: milkyspit X-800

    Chronos and others, thanks for all the kind words. It's really much appreciated. These were special lights... I built a 1xA123Sys and 2xA123Sys, with the latter very similar to Chronos' light except that it has 2-way redundancy built-in rather than the 4-way of this one, and it runs for 1 hour continuous in full regulation rather than the 35 minutes or so of this one. I've been working with A123Systems cells for the better part of the past year and have become quite fond of them as really high performance, robust workhorse cells. The hosts were customized and plated by Leef to my specifications, and I've built a handful of lights for him, me, Chronos, and MSaxatilus with them. Most recently, I sold my 2xA123Sys X800 build to Donn_ as I figure I can always build myself another.

    These lights cater to the cells' strengths. For instance, in the case of this (Chronos') X800, the current draw would go beyond the safe capabilities of any common lithium-ion... and even if a Li-ion were able to sustain the current demands, the punishment would reduce the cells' service life to pretty much nothing. A123Sys cells can handle the demands without even breaking a sweat.

    The X800 builds also seek to balance high output with better throw than has been typical in the past of multi-emitter LED flashlights... one example: the X800 can slightly outthrow a 7-emitter X1400 light even though the X1400 generates nearly double the number of lumens.

    There are some minor touches, too, to make things as robust as possible... the lens is mineral glass for structural rigidity and excellent scratch resistance... the reflectors are plastic-backed (the reflective surface is a clearcoated aluminum layer) and each have three legs so any shock of a frontal impact will be dampened by flexure of the plastic, then directed through the legs and away from the emitters themselves... the wiring is teflon-jacketed and multi-stranded silverplated copper throughout... kapton insulative tape with silicone adhesive is used at various contact points for extra protection against shorts, even in a high-temperature situation (which should never happen anyway in the light, but just in case)... the tailspring in the battery compartment is designed to afford reverse polarity protection as a failsafe in the event the A123Sys cell is installed backwards. None of these things makes the X800 invulnerable, but hopefully they do afford it that extra measure of protection from the bumps and drops it's likely to see in real-world use.

    Anyway, that's the story and I'm sticking with it! These are fun to design and build... next up, exploring some options with Mirage_Man with respect to him delivering purpose-built hosts for more of these sorts of lights. Heck, it might be neat to do a small run of them if there's general interest!

    Enjoy your X800, Chronos! And thanks for your usual great writeup.
    --Scott

  21. #21

    Default Re: A New Acquisition, and Rather Unique: milkyspit X-800

    Was Kapton used to isolate negative slugs of SSC emitters from the heatsink? If so, did you find its thermal conductivity sufficient for the application?
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    Flashaholic* milkyspit's Avatar
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    Default Re: A New Acquisition, and Rather Unique: milkyspit X-800

    Quote Originally Posted by c0t0d0s0 View Post
    Was Kapton used to isolate negative slugs of SSC emitters from the heatsink? If so, did you find its thermal conductivity sufficient for the application?

    No, kapton tape insulates the legs electrically to protect against shorts, and is not in the thermal path at all. I know there exist kapton thermal pads of some sort but as I have no experience with them, afraid I can't comment on their effectiveness.

    Incidentally, the slugs are positive, not negative.
    --Scott

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    Flashaholic* Chronos's Avatar
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    Buttrock Re: A New Acquisition, and Rather Unique: milkyspit X-800

    Thanks for the details milkyspit!!! I took the family for a walk around the neighborhood this evening (brrrrr... must have been 15 degrees with a strong wind blowing) and we took the "Chrononster II" along. It lit up the sidewalk 100' in front of us- before sunset! Wow.
    A few favorite lights from: McGizmo, Data, milkyspit, HDS, and Surefire

  24. #24
    Flashaholic* KeyGrip's Avatar
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    Default Re: A New Acquisition, and Rather Unique: milkyspit X-800

    [QUOTE=Chronos;2315439It is a Hinderer XM-18 with a cranberry scale.[/QUOTE]

    It sure is. I saw the knife before the light! Do you have any other multi emitter lights for comparison?
    "Et lux in tenebris lucet"

  25. #25
    Flashaholic* cat's Avatar
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    Thumbs up Re: A New Acquisition, and Rather Unique: milkyspit X-800

    Chronos, thanks for a good thread. Very nice photos.

    Quote Originally Posted by KeyGrip View Post
    It sure is. I saw the knife before the light!
    That knife got my attention too. Cranberry.
    It's re-awakened my knife obsession. Just as well I can't just buy one.
    But if you ever want to sell it, please send me a PM. ...
    ....I've got this urge to google Hinderer XM-18 now and see what comes up. Just maybe someone is selling a cranberry one. ...Unlikely.

  26. #26
    Flashaholic* Chronos's Avatar
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    Thumbs up Re: A New Acquisition, and Rather Unique: milkyspit X-800

    LOL The thread is about the cool light guys! But since it is my thread...

    The XM-18 is an AMAZING knife. The attention to detail, the fit, are exceptional. If you can find one, buy it. You won't be disappointed.

    Here's a couple more pics (teasers? ) One shows it next to an SnG, sort of variations on a theme (both have ~3.5" blades, tanto vs. spanto, similar construction, and of course the Hinderer bar). All measurements are so close to one-another.



    A few favorite lights from: McGizmo, Data, milkyspit, HDS, and Surefire

  27. #27
    Flashaholic* cat's Avatar
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    Default Re: A New Acquisition, and Rather Unique: milkyspit X-800

    aahh!

    I've already checked steeladdiction and edcknives and some others listed on Rick Hinderer's website. I logged in to bladeforums for the first time in about 8 months, then I had to do some work.
    I saw a nice pale green one. If yours had been the usual black, I'd have just carried on looking at the light - it was the cranberry red that got me.
    There are only a few knives I really like enough to buy now. One is an Anso Bastid.

  28. #28
    Flashaholic* Chronos's Avatar
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    Default Re: A New Acquisition, and Rather Unique: milkyspit X-800

    You probably know this, but you can buy replacement G10 from Rick for $65. I'm probably going to pick up a high-vis orange scale.

    Check out the Anso Outbreaks... wow! His forum on USN is killah.
    A few favorite lights from: McGizmo, Data, milkyspit, HDS, and Surefire

  29. #29
    Flashaholic* cat's Avatar
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    Default Re: A New Acquisition, and Rather Unique: milkyspit X-800

    Yes, I saw the scales somewhere.
    This is the one I want:
    http://www.bladeforums.com/forums/sh...d.php?t=488801

  30. #30
    Flashaholic* Chronos's Avatar
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    Default Re: A New Acquisition, and Rather Unique: milkyspit X-800

    WOW!!!
    This 67 really caught my eye too:




    His folders are on my list to acquire.
    A few favorite lights from: McGizmo, Data, milkyspit, HDS, and Surefire

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