This thread is a spin off from LuxLuthor's thread in the Homemade and Modified Lights forum about the possibilities of producing a 3 wide 18650 tube.
The application for such a tube would be for high current hotwires and multi-LED mods which are currently limited by tube and cell solutions.
A123s and Emoli cells can deliver high current, but not all of us have A123 compatible chargers, or want to tear apart tool packs. Most of us do however have some or many 18650s which in a 3p configuration would easily deliver the current and capacity I need for my multi-LED mods.
Eric has mentioned tentative plans for producing a triangularish modular tube system a la C-Flex line, that would fit either 3 wide 18650, or standard D cells. The tube would have a closed-tail, with cells loaded from the front. The tail would have a high-current clickie, or a plug that replaces the tail switch for use with a Mag-style side switch. There would be extenders available that can be used for any number of series additions.
Adapters would be made on the head side for a variety of applicable heads including SF M-series and Mag. I believe the Mag adapter would also incorporate the ability to use the stock Mag switch, a configuration I would be very interested in since I need to fit converters and often a pot in front of the switch.
Other than the cosmetic tube treatment, which I am looking forward to knowing what Chris can do with metal, there are some design decisions that need to be addressed like methods for cell contacts.
The method of connecting the cells could be dedicated fused packs, but then packs like these would need to be fabricated or sourced.
Cell holders could be made, but I imagine there would be a myriad of desired configurations of series/parallel combinations, so if those were also modular that would be a bonus. If cell holders are offered I hope there would be a charging jack so unloading is not necessary for charging.
Another option is to have the cells simply drop into the bore, but there would be the issuse of connecting the cell ends to the light contacts with some type of wired end plates. This might actually work well considering the tri configuration would distribute contact spring pressure evenly. The problem I see here is the misloading of cells, especially by ones not familiar with the light. Also the orientation of both plates would need to be correct. This would not be so bad if there was a charging port on the light, and the cells rarely needed removal. But if not, I imagine Murphy's law will prevail and most of us will at some time or another have an accident.
This thread will hopefully allow Eric and Chris to gauge demand for the D-Flex line, and gather opinions on what accessories to produce. Everything from cosmetic design to available space for converter boards needs to be determined for them to be able to produce what we want and need.
Personally, being a multi-LED guy, I would like to see Mag D head compatibility with stock (or offerred) side switch, and room in front of the switch similar to a stock Mag. That would allow me to fit the several boards and pot I often need, and use the parts and heatsinks I have designed for the Mag tubes.
I'd like to see it tailstand and have an attachment point for a lanyard, which could possibly be the plug for the tailswitch for my application.
And HA natural or black would be nice choices, but the problem with natural is finding matching heads. Chrome would be a nice option to match up to FM3 heads.
I'm interested to see the solution for alignment of the various sections and extensions, and how they will interconnect. Simple threads would need fixed stops for proper alignment, or perhaps a more exotic solution is in the works such as bolt-together gasketed sections. The bolts could occupy the space between the cells, and connect a flange or bosses that could be blended in to the tube for cosmetics. I'd prefer the bolts as it would be a stronger unit and wouldn't spin inadvertently.
The D-Flex line is going to apply to more and more of us as we move up the food chain of modding. And it promises to be long-lived since the 18650 cells are available in almost any flavor from anyone, unlike the C cells. I think it's going to look killer, and be surprisingly comfortable to hold.
This is exactly what I need and have needed; I'm excited that it may happen soon and with TnC quality.