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Thread: To the Pila fans...

  1. #1
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    Default To the Pila fans...

    Hi guys,

    I noticed there were a lot of Pila fans in the thread started by AardvarkSagus; so I decided to make a new one dedicated to the Pila flashlight owner. Ever since I switched from a SF A2 to a Pila GL3 as my EDC, I have been a Pila maniac and never looked back.

    So please, my fellow Pila fans, post away your musings on this wonderous light!

  2. #2
    *Flashaholic* greenLED's Avatar
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    Default Re: To the Pila fans...

    You called?

    Pilaholics, unite!!!!!

    (Pila GL3 in my nightstand.)

  3. #3
    Flashaholic* AardvarkSagus's Avatar
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    Default Re: To the Pila fans...

    Currently carrying my GL2 with Cree drop-in. Absolutely a fantastic light and very VERY solid.

    I've really got to start looking into buying some decent rechargeable batteries for it. I just wish the Pila branded ones weren't so expensive. I hear that you get what you pay for though.

    I'm hopeful that they will enter the single cell EDC market soon. That's an arena that they haven't attempted yet.

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    Flashaholic* monkeyboy's Avatar
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    Default Re: To the Pila fans...

    Cool, a new Pila thread! Here's some stuff I know that took me a while to find out.

    Most people would be interested in the latest Cree LED dropin (Q5 available now) but it's a shame that they are so hard to get hold of. I find the runtimes are a little confusing on the website.

    Pila GL2
    2 x cr123a - runtime: > 8hours
    1 x Pila 600P (18650) - runtime: > 7hours

    Pila GL3
    3 x cr123a - runtime: > 7hours
    2 x Pila 300P (18500) - runtime: = 2hours

    You're probably thinking Q: why do the runtimes get less when we add more battery energy?

    A: the GL3 maintains better regulation. The GL2 runtimes include the several hours of moon mode at the end of the run. The GL3 stays bright for longer and the li-ion option gives 2 (+) hours of constant regulation throughout until the protection circuit cutout.

    Dropin compatibility

    GL2 and GL3 should be compatible with P60 (D26) style dropins with an outer spring. Without this spring, probably not. Unfortunately P60 style dropins don't make very good thermal contact with the flashlight body so for LED, it's probably best to stick to low powered dropins e.g. the Surefire P60L. For high powered LED dropins, get the genuine Pila version.

    Please correct me if I'm wrong about anything here.

    I'd like to know more about the GL4. Are there any dropin upgrades available (incan or LED)? I'd be interested in an incan dropin that would run brighter on 2 x 600P (18650). AW's latest protected 18650's can handle some very high powered incans with single click e.g. WA1111. I'd also be interested in an SSC P7 dropin but I can't imagine the heatsinking would be very good.

  5. #5
    *Flashaholic* greenLED's Avatar
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    Default Re: To the Pila fans...

    I've owned a GL4, 3 or so GL3's, but never a GL2. With the new LED version, it sounds like that's a killer all-around utility light.

  6. #6
    Flashaholic* AardvarkSagus's Avatar
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    Default Re: To the Pila fans...

    I really wish I had a chance to add the Q5 drop-in to my list of reviews but I don't see that happening any time soon.

    I too would love to see a P7 drop in for the GL4 but I think the P7 is still too recent to market for that to come. I see Pila as taking their time with new developments to make sure that they have sustainability before taking the plunge and unfortunately I imagine that means the MC-E has to come out and get tested first before they decide on the new direction.

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  7. #7
    Flashaholic* monkeyboy's Avatar
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    Default Re: To the Pila fans...

    I was lucky enough to get hold of a cree Q5 dropin that came with a GL3 from bugoutgearusa. It's not listed on the BOG website so maybe you have to email them. The other way is to contact Pila directly. A few people on CPF have got hold of them that way.

    For the GL4, I think an SSC P7 or MC-E option would be better as a complete head (like the Surefire KL9) rather than a dropin (like the Wolfeyes M90 P7) for improved cooling. Maybe they could call it the GL5

    In the meantime, I'm just wondering if it's possible to cannibalise a P7 dropin from one of those cheap KD or DX lights to fit into the GL4?

    Does anyone know if Lumens Factory D36 incan dropins will work? I know they fit the old style GL4. I guess the EO-9L would work on 2 x 18650 if it fits but I'd like something even brighter.
    Last edited by monkeyboy; 08-10-2008 at 07:25 PM.

  8. #8
    Flashaholic* AardvarkSagus's Avatar
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    Default Re: To the Pila fans...

    Quote Originally Posted by monkeyboy View Post
    I was lucky enough to get hold of a cree Q5 dropin that came with a GL3 from bugoutgearusa. It's not listed on the BOG website so maybe you have to email them. The other way is to contact Pila directly. A few people on CPF have got hold of them that way.

    For the GL4, I think an SSC P7 or MC-E option would be better as a complete head (like the Surefire KL9) rather than a dropin (like the Wolfeyes M90 P7) for improved cooling. Maybe they could call it the GL5
    Unfortunately I was speaking less of the availability of the drop-in and more of the condition of my pocketbook. Doctors are telling me it may not pull through...

    I've written to Pila before and suggested a screw on upgrade replacement to the GL4. At the time it was before the release of the P7 or MC-E so I instead recommended to them a tri-cree version I dubbed the "Triumverate". It would definitely be interesting to instead see a quad die LED used to allow for better overall focusing, but I would recommend heavy finning of the head behind the reflector to allow for superior heatsinking. This way they could drive the LED quite hard and have it hold up well. Maybe I'll find that sketch and show it here...

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    Default Re: To the Pila fans...

    I'm glad to see so many Pilaholics here!

    Quote Originally Posted by AardvarkSagus View Post
    Maybe I'll find that sketch and show it here...
    Please do! That would be awesome to see.

    I have a few fun mod ideas. Me and Luigi discovered the limitations of the Codex module, so I'm wondering if it's possible to re-program or expand its capabilities. I'm sure this isn't too hard for a select few CPF members (a certain Chicken Aviatrix comes to mind), I sure wish more people were open to the idea. JSBurly was making his Indium Smart, perhaps he can contribute some of his ideas to a mod such as this?

    Another idea is converting a GL4 into an HID! If there isn't enough room for a ballast, gutting a Codex 4 and using the extra room may solve the problem. It'll be on the big side for an HID of its size, but a fun idea nonetheless.

  10. #10
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    Default Re: To the Pila fans...

    Quote Originally Posted by monkeyboy View Post
    Cool, a new Pila thread! Here's some stuff I know that took me a while to find out.

    Most people would be interested in the latest Cree LED dropin (Q5 available now) but it's a shame that they are so hard to get hold of. I find the runtimes are a little confusing on the website.

    Pila GL2
    2 x cr123a - runtime: > 8hours
    1 x Pila 600P (18650) - runtime: > 7hours

    Pila GL3
    3 x cr123a - runtime: > 7hours
    2 x Pila 300P (18500) - runtime: = 2hours

    You're probably thinking Q: why do the runtimes get less when we add more battery energy?

    A: the GL3 maintains better regulation. The GL2 runtimes include the several hours of moon mode at the end of the run. The GL3 stays bright for longer and the li-ion option gives 2 (+) hours of constant regulation throughout until the protection circuit cutout.

    Dropin compatibility

    GL2 and GL3 should be compatible with P60 (D26) style dropins with an outer spring. Without this spring, probably not. Unfortunately P60 style dropins don't make very good thermal contact with the flashlight body so for LED, it's probably best to stick to low powered dropins e.g. the Surefire P60L. For high powered LED dropins, get the genuine Pila version.

    Please correct me if I'm wrong about anything here.

    I'd like to know more about the GL4. Are there any dropin upgrades available (incan or LED)? I'd be interested in an incan dropin that would run brighter on 2 x 600P (18650). AW's latest protected 18650's can handle some very high powered incans with single click e.g. WA1111. I'd also be interested in an SSC P7 dropin but I can't imagine the heatsinking would be very good.
    You're right on the money with the LED specs. I looked up the Lumens Factory options for the GL4, unfortunately the ratings are based on CR123 (non-rechargeable). I too was looking forward to a brighter rechargeable option by LF, but no go. If you're interested, the models they offer are the HO-12 and the SR-12.

  11. #11
    Flashaholic* AardvarkSagus's Avatar
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    Default Re: To the Pila fans...

    Quote Originally Posted by dudemar View Post
    Please do! That would be awesome to see.



    How's this look? I tried to keep true to the standard Pila aesthetics but still show a new direction with the tri-cree head. I sent them a few other ideas as well but I'd be surprised to see any in production since I'm just an average Joe and not terribly influential.

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    Default Re: To the Pila fans...

    Awesome! Thanks for sharing, I know one of the WE models has a similar setup, so I know it's definitely possible. If they don't make it we can always mod a GL4 to our taste, right? We can always dream.

    I am also keen to the idea of a 1 cell Pila, I think this can be pulled off by milling a GL2 and putting a 3V lamp up there. I wouldn't mind trying... I just don't have the tools or know-how.

  13. #13

    Default Re: To the Pila fans...

    I have a Pila G2R that came with the Q5, and I love it. I have some R2 drop ins that I bought on CPF that work great in it, also. I don't think it could be beat for the price. All I really wanted was the Pila charger from flashlightz.com, but I figured if I just spent the extra money, I would get the light, charger, battery and case then get free shipping. My favorite thing about this light is it does not get hot at all. I haven't done a run time test, but I know I've used it for at least several hours and haven't charged the battery since its initial charge when I received it 2 weeks ago. It's a little heavy, but its built extremely solid.

  14. #14
    *Flashaholic* greenLED's Avatar
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    Default Re: To the Pila fans...

    Aardvark - that's one good looking light there! Keep pestering Mr. & Mrs. Pila!

  15. #15

    Default Re: To the Pila fans...

    If Pila made a light like Aardvark's drawing, I'd buy it as soon as it was available.

  16. #16
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    Default Re: To the Pila fans...

    Quote Originally Posted by fishmanstan View Post
    If Pila made a light like Aardvark's drawing, I'd buy it as soon as it was available.
    I agree. I thought the GL4 looked mean, but after seeing Aardvark's drawing, it looks like something the "Predator" would carry! (I know I keep saying that for every cool light I see!)

  17. #17
    Flashaholic* AardvarkSagus's Avatar
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    Default Re: To the Pila fans...

    Quote Originally Posted by greenLED View Post
    Aardvark - that's one good looking light there! Keep pestering Mr. & Mrs. Pila!
    I will keep that in mind and likely send him a link to this thread as I have done occasionally with other threads of interest. They are good people and have always taken the care to answer the questions I have posed to them.

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  18. #18
    Flashaholic* monkeyboy's Avatar
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    Default Re: To the Pila fans...

    Quote Originally Posted by AardvarkSagus View Post
    I've written to Pila before and suggested a screw on upgrade replacement to the GL4.
    That's a good idea. A screw in upgrade would make good thermal contact with the head. Am I right in thinking that the threads go all the way to the top in the GL4? This would allow a large area of thermal contact and the GL4 head is quite big so should be a be to dissipate the heat well. A screw-in drop-in would be an advantage over the Wolfeyes P7 M90 for heatsinking.

    The SSC P7 or MC-E would be good as a dropin. Multi-Cree would work better as a complete head.

  19. #19
    Flashaholic* AardvarkSagus's Avatar
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    Default Re: To the Pila fans...

    Quote Originally Posted by dudemar View Post
    I am also keen to the idea of a 1 cell Pila, I think this can be pulled off by milling a GL2 and putting a 3V lamp up there. I wouldn't mind trying... I just don't have the tools or know-how.
    Like this?



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    Default Re: To the Pila fans...

    Nice. Again Pila should at least manufacture this light, it would be cheaper, easier and faster to produce as well. I WANT IT!!!

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    Default Re: To the Pila fans...

    Quote Originally Posted by fishmanstan View Post
    If Pila made a light like Aardvark's drawing, I'd buy it as soon as it was available.
    Me two! Not to much spot and LOTS of flood, and make it waterproof to say, 10 Meters...I`d be up for two of them in an instant!

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    Default Re: To the Pila fans...

    Seeing how LED's tend to be floody and the GL4 is waterproof to 20m, I think this is doable. The GL4 needs a good alternative lamp assembly, and I think this one is right on the money.

    Good luck AardvarkSagus!

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    Flashaholic* AardvarkSagus's Avatar
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    Default Re: To the Pila fans...

    It's weird, I want to send this to Mr and Mrs Pila as a "Thread of interest" but at the same time I want to balance that with being too pushy so they start to ignore me completely.

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    Flashaholic* xevious's Avatar
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    Question Re: To the Pila fans...

    Yeah, I don't quite get it -- Pila has the 180 and 250 lumens LED drop-ins stated as new products on the home page, but the accessories page still shows only the 120 lumens LED.

    Has anyone found the through other sources? How's the pricing compared to the competition, like Wolfeyes?
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  25. #25
    Flashaholic* monkeyboy's Avatar
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    Default Re: To the Pila fans...

    Quote Originally Posted by xevious View Post
    Yeah, I don't quite get it -- Pila has the 180 and 250 lumens LED drop-ins stated as new products on the home page, but the accessories page still shows only the 120 lumens LED.
    The new Cree Q5 dropin is rated at 250 lumens it's just that Pila are slow at updating their web page.

  26. #26
    Flashaholic* Glen C's Avatar
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    Default Re: To the Pila fans...

    Aardvark sagus, that is one good looking light you have drawn! It would be interesting to see if it made it to production. Dudemar, the WE Thunder and Rattlesnake are actually different lights, they look as if they are the same but the body end is different to suit each application. I thought the same as you till I held them side by side.

    I admire the Pila range and have a GL2, but think the durable construction of the Pila range would make a GL1 feel like a cube of metal.

    Will be interesting to see if something like the triple cree makes it to production, would expand their range nicely at the top end.

  27. #27
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    Default Re: To the Pila fans...

    Quote Originally Posted by xevious View Post
    Yeah, I don't quite get it -- Pila has the 180 and 250 lumens LED drop-ins stated as new products on the home page, but the accessories page still shows only the 120 lumens LED.

    Has anyone found the through other sources? How's the pricing compared to the competition, like Wolfeyes?
    Sent you a PM, but I'll post it anyways:

    The Cree Q5 250 lumen LED is $47 ($38.95 + $7.95 shipping) at flashlightz.com:

    http://www.flashlightz.com/product.p...product=172585

    It can be had at Pila-USA for $53, Ken and Mary are awesome dealers. I guess you'll save a few bucks at flashlightz, and I think that's as cheap as it gets.

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    Default Re: To the Pila fans...

    Quote Originally Posted by Glen C View Post
    Dudemar, the WE Thunder and Rattlesnake are actually different lights, they look as if they are the same but the body end is different to suit each application. I thought the same as you till I held them side by side.
    Very interesting point, Thanks! My idea behind it was the Thunder runs on 4 CR123. I'm still confident Pila can pull it off!

    Going to go a bit OT, but how is the new Storm CREE R2 (840 lumen)? Looks KILLER!
    Last edited by dudemar; 08-15-2008 at 03:33 AM.

  29. #29
    Flashaholic* AardvarkSagus's Avatar
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    Default Re: To the Pila fans...

    I just forwarded this thread to Pila as a "Thread of interest" I think it is good for a manufacturer to hear people lauding their product.

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  30. #30
    Flashaholic* Glen C's Avatar
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    Default Re: To the Pila fans...

    Hi Dudemar, I have the Q5 Storms in stock and using one at night is great, as much light as you need for most occasions [ but then whenever is enough, enough? ]. The Storm is almost the same size as the top 6 inches of a Mag, so compact for thr amount of light.

    Aardvaark, be good to see what comes of this thread

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