Maxpedition - Active Shooter Bag 3
Page 1 of 12 1234567811 ... LastLast
Results 1 to 30 of 345

Thread: The Mako Discussion Thread - A Titanium AAA Light

  1. #1
    Flashaholic*
    Join Date
    Mar 2004
    Location
    Texas, USA
    Posts
    1,518

    Default The Mako Discussion Thread - A Titanium AAA Light

    Update: November 27, 2008
    Hello Everyone,

    It’s about time to make a general update to this thread and centralize all the relevant information here in the initial portions of the discussion. I’ve left the older information in tact and below this edit for posterity.

    The Mako is a small AAA based flashlight, 13mm in diameter and 68mm long. It will be made entirely of 6AL4V Titanium, has the ability to tailstand, and will have a Duracell alkaline battery and a stainless steel split ring pre-installed. Features to the light will also include a pre-milled tritium slot, for installing your own vials or glow powder, as well as a choice between a white LED or a red LED.

    A couple of photos:







    Photos alone do not really tell the whole story, though. This project has been in the works for the past 3.5 months publicly, but the premise of the project has been under consideration for some time before that. What I’ve been working on doing with the Mako, and what I think has been achieved, is to create a light that is very small, yet capable, with some compelling features that haven’t before been seen in a light of this class and battery type (5mm LED and AAA), and to have it all fit in a nice, rugged casing that would stand the test of time, and for the project to ultimately be reasonably affordable.

    The circuit I designed for the driver in this light was markedly difficult to make fit in the 8mm diameter working space available inside the head, and also markedly difficult to solder the parts on by hand – some of the parts are no greater in size than large grains of salt (and many of said tiny components have become lost and found themselves a home in my carpet!). More importantly, however, is the functionality the driver provides – with it you get two fully regulated brightness stages, with high mode set at 20mA and low mode set at 5mA. I believe this is a first in a flashlight of this class, and it provides a higher degree of versatility that I think will be appreciated by most of you.

    I do want to be clear about what to expect with regards to the output of the Mako, though, and explain how it works a bit better. The Mako is not a bright light. It’s not a pocket rocket, and it’s not going to blow your socks off from that point of view. It was never designed as such, and there are other much more viable platforms to do that on (IE: my previous Aeon, among others). This is my take on the backup light; What it was designed to do was to provide light output for a very long time such that you would still have light coming out long after all other sources have since been depleted, and to create a beam that was nicely shaped and white, something which all other 5mm LED based lights I’ve come across have consistently failed at doing.

    The runtimes for the Mako come in at 21 Hours on High Mode, and 60 Hours on Low Mode. These tests were done using brand new, store-bought Duracell alkalines, which is the cell that will be included with the light and what I suspect many of you will be using to run the light in general. This light would do well with a low self discharge cell like the Sanyo Eneloops, and will work fine with any properly manufactured rechargeable cell (That is to say, any rechargeable with a 1.5V nominal voltage intended to be used as a AAA replacement. Most cells in this size I’ve ever seen are made this way. DO NOT use a higher voltage cell in this light as you will destroy the driver and have the light turned into a paper weight).

    Now, with regards to the brightness levels themselves. The Mako can be viewed as having two distinct levels, but you should think of them more as full power, and power save mode. High mode is providing a fair amount of light more than low mode, but it’s not as dramatic a difference as what some of you may be used to in my previous lights like the Aeon and Nautilus. Both of those lights have a 10:1 power ratio, whereas the Mako is roughly 4:1, and it’s simply not possible to have that high of a ratio on a light with a maximum current of 20mA. I would imagine the low mode will see the lion’s share of use from most of you, and high mode will be used in bursts where you need to illuminate something a bit further away.

    The LED in this light is different from what most other folks use in their flashlights. Continuing in what seems to be a tradition for my lights, this one also uses a Cree LED, in the 5mm variety this time. I tested a large swath of LEDs from Nichia and didn’t like a single one of them, and was actually on the verge of dropping the project altogether (before this thread was posted in August) because I was very disappointed in the performance of the parts – all of them had distinct blue hotspots with yellowish coronas and none of them could be considered white in my book, and I am not a voracious white wall hunter like many here. Looking for a new LED, I spoke with some folks at Cree and some of my suppliers, and got a few samples of their parts – I was pleasantly surprised at the performance of these compared to the Nichias, but these were still rather cool in tint, so I received a new batch of parts in another bin, and that’s what was settled on for the Mako. The tint on the parts is a fairly neutral white with nice beam coloration, the blue-yellow amalgamated beams that are hallmarks of most 5mm LED based lights are not present here. The light output on these parts is rated at 24,000 Millicandella (I do not have lumens numbers or otherwise). I am very pleased with what has been achieved with regards to the beam quality on this light compared to the alternatives.

    The pictures shown above are of the prototype Makos, which were machined from aluminum and then stonewashed. As the title of this thread suggests, the lights will, of course, be made from Titanium. The will not be stonewashed like the prototypes, and will likely be either bead blasted, or left bare from machining – I have not yet decided.

    I’ve been keeping a list of people who want to order this flashlight in those who have e-mailed me at mako@muyshondt.net. Accordingly, those who have e-mailed me and expressed their interest will be contacted first to allow them to purchase a light when they’re made available for ordering. A thread will be posted subsequently on the Custom BST forum here on the CPF regarding these lights as well, and orders will be filled on a first-come, first-served basis. If you send me an e-mail you do not need to tell me what you want right now – I will be putting up a page on my website for easy ordering where you will be able to choose all options you want.

    Pricing on the light will be $115 plus shipping.

    It is looking like the run of Makos will be completed before year's end, barring any unforeseen circumstances or delays, and you can keep apprised of the progress in the project by checking in every now and again in this thread.

    It has been fun designing this project and getting it to its current status, and I’m looking forward to the completion of these last few steps and delivery to you guys to see how you like them.

    This has been a rather long-winded explanation and description of the Mako, and it comes “straight from the horse’s mouth”. Horses mouths are ugly, though, so here’s someone else’s opinion :
    http://www.candlepowerforums.com/vb/...d.php?t=214187 (A Review by CPF Member Goatee)

    Wishing you all Happy Holidays,

    Enrique


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

    Hello Everyone,

    I'm working on a new project and thought I'd fill you in on what it is and explain the premise behind the design.

    The new light is called the Mako (pronounced Mey-Co), and is unlike any of my prior designs, but still is made with the same sort of quality and ruggedness, but which runs off a more commonly available battery type, and has a very, very long regulated runtime. In essence, this is my take on the backup light - a lightweight, durable item that you can rely on to be putting out light still after all other sources have long since expired.





    This is a small, AAA based flashlight 13mm in diameter and 68mm long. The light sports a milled slot for a standard sized Tritium vial in the back (which will be optional for those who do not like Tritium), and will come equipped with a two-stage driver, providing fully regulated current to the LED in both stages. Attachment to a keychain, backpack, or otherwise can be accomplished by fastening a lanyard to the attachment point at the rear of the light.

    Continuing in the tradition of my previous designs, my CR2 Ion design from many years ago being the first light to ever use the Cree XLamp in a flashlight, and the Nautilus and Aeon using the highest available bins of Cree XR-Es as their light source, this light will also come equipped with a type of Cree LED. Many, if not most others use parts from Nichia as their light source, and I’m sure the question will come up sooner or later as to what drives my decision making in using the LEDs I’ve chosen. Simply put: color.

    Most 5mm LEDs have very poor beams, the Nichias I’ve tested have a rather blue “hotspot” with a corona that’s very yellow. These 5mm Cree diodes, while not as good as power LEDs in producing a true neutral white, produce a very clean and uniform beam color that is far nicer than any other LEDs I’ve seen in this size and output class. This, and they have a significantly lower forward voltage compared to the alternatives, which translates to higher efficiency and longer runtimes.

    There are some folks out there who design their products as a one-time use sort of device, putting a 6V potential across a 3.6V LED and effectively burning it out through severe overdriving of the diode. Others use current regulators, and rather than follow manufacturer’s specified guidelines choose also to overdrive their parts by design and force 60mA through the diode, three times the recommended drive current and two times the rated absolute maximum. This, of course, causes problems - namely, phosphor degradation, which results in significantly diminished light output very shortly into the LED’s life. I’ve tested brand new LEDs against flashights which are overdriven and have been run for just a few minutes, and a new LED of the exact same type being driven at 20mA produces significantly more output, and much cleaner color, than the one being driven at 60mA. One of the greatest features of the LED is its long operating life, and the Mako is designed to make sure that that is maintained.

    The Mako will be making an appearance in 6AL4V Titanium in the not-so-distant future, and a list will be kept to keep track of those interested and a pre-pay will be done at the start of production to secure your spot in the queue. I expect the price of the light to be somewhere in the general area of $100, but it's too early to give an exact number until after all prototyping and testing is completed.

    I expect to have some prototypes to show everyone here soon, and more details around that time. It is unusual for me to talk about my projects prior to their being ready to release, but I do hope you all like what you see and look forward to your feedback.

    For those of you who are interested I'll be setting up a list and sending occasional news & updates via e-mail - if you'd like to get put on this please feel free to e-mail mako@muyshondt.net and I'll get you squared away.

    Take care folks.

    -Enrique

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

    Update 8/20/2008
    Just wanted to give everyone an update on the project. The design changes have been finalized, and here's what I'll be going with:





    The light will now come equipped with a keyring, and still be able to tailstand, and the physical design of the exterior of the light has been changed to allow for a more secure hold all around while still keeping as clean of a design as possible. I don't carry a AAA light on my keys (the Aeon is shorter and better suited for my pockets), but I know many of you do, and a keyring attachment point is useful to anchor to light to many other objects. Since it could be done without any major sacrifices in functionality (tailstanding in particular), I went ahead and added in the keyring cutout to increase the overall utility of the Mako.

    I'd mentioned earlier that the head was easy to turn when wet or dry, and it is, but when greasy it becomes much more difficult, and I want the light to be able to function properly in every condition that it could conceivably used in, and an oily environment is certainly easy to come by. Form follows function, and I think in this case the two have coincided fairly well.
    Last edited by Endeavour; 11-27-2008 at 04:59 PM.

  2. #2
    Flashaholic* 04orgZx6r's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    Location
    North of Indy, Indiana
    Posts
    523

    Default Re: The Mako Discussion Thread

    NICE!!

  3. #3
    Flashaholic* HoopleHead's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    Location
    West Coast, USA
    Posts
    1,312

    Default Re: The Mako Discussion Thread

    an Arc-AAA/E01 by Enrique. right on! a big gap IMHO - something high quality and durable and reliable with long runtimes. hopefully has some knurling?

    mark me down as very interested with pre-pay standing by!

  4. #4

    Default Re: The Mako Discussion Thread

    very nice! put me on the list! any more info on which cree led this is? thanks!

  5. #5
    Flashaholic*
    Join Date
    Mar 2004
    Location
    Texas, USA
    Posts
    1,518

    Default Re: The Mako Discussion Thread

    HoopleHead: The Mako really isn't much like either of those lights, neither have a two stage mechanism, and design-wise neither hold the standards of quality that I try to keep with my lights. But yes, something durable and reliable with long runtimes.

    I do not plan on knurling it at this point, I like the clean look of the current design and unless it proves too difficult to turn the head when wet during prototype testing, that is how it will remain.

    ambientmind: There's not a whole lot that I can say about the LED I'm using that I didn't already in the first post. It's a good, solid LED and has the best overall performance I've seen from all the 5mm I've tested over the years, and recently. White LEDs in this class often have poor color uniformity, but these do not, which is why I like them, and why I chose them.

    -Enrique

  6. #6
    Flashaholic* jeffb's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2004
    Location
    Indiana
    Posts
    1,216

    Default Re: The Mako Discussion Thread

    Enrique....PM sent, put me on the list. I have had the good fortune of handling and owning many of your lights and this one sound veeery interesting









    jeffb
    Last edited by DM51; 08-13-2008 at 08:16 AM. Reason: Stack photos vertically

  7. #7
    Flashaholic*
    Join Date
    Mar 2004
    Location
    Texas, USA
    Posts
    1,518

    Default Re: The Mako Discussion Thread

    Hey Jeff, good to hear from you again. I'm glad to see those lights are still getting some use on your end.

    A general question to everyone: How many of you actually make use of the tritium slots in your lights? I've had some people request a clean back because they do not like tritium vials, but I think they're in the minority?

    -Enrique

  8. #8

    Default Re: The Mako Discussion Thread

    Hey what program is that that you are using to draw all those pics up?

  9. #9
    Flashaholic* HoopleHead's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    Location
    West Coast, USA
    Posts
    1,312

    Default Re: The Mako Discussion Thread

    on anything "tacticool" i dont like or use trits, or anything glowing for that matter.

    on anything else, i like trits/glow as long as they come with the light, and i dont have to buy them separately and install them myself

  10. #10
    Flashaholic*
    Join Date
    Mar 2004
    Location
    Texas, USA
    Posts
    1,518

    Default Re: The Mako Discussion Thread

    HoopleHead: I would not be providing the Tritium pre-installed in this light; B@rt will be doing another one of his group buys in September. It is illegal for a product to be made with tritium installed in it without special government permits, and I don't really want the US Nuclear Regulatory Commission to ever come knocking on my door.

    I'll be receiving the first set of metal prototypes of the light here later this week, they've been completed and are now in the mail, and I'm still working on the electronics but they should be completed soon. The obligatory photos will be posted once I've taken them.

    -Enrique

  11. #11
    Flashaholic
    Join Date
    May 2006
    Location
    Nashua, NH, USA
    Posts
    315

    Default Re: The Mako Discussion Thread

    Sounds extremely promising!

    No trit's for me, thanks. Rather, I want a "hole" (a la the ARC AAA, that's perfect, very strong) for a split-ring
    to attach to my keyring (or chain, or whatever). No lanyards, nothing that forces a right-angle offset/attachment.

    I like non-knurled (this is in my pocket!), but hope the surface at least some "texture" for gripping. Again, the
    ARC sets a pretty good standard here, with knurling that is so slight that it's more "texture" than aggressive,
    cloth-ripping surface, yet allows a very secure grip on the light.

    An ARC with a decent LED, I luv it! Count me in for one (umm, and one for mom, and, umm, one for...)

    Looking forward!

    -RDH
    There is no sensation keener or more active than that of pain.
    It is merely a matter of jangling all of our nerves with the most violent possible sensation.
    -Count Donatien Alphonse Francois DeSade

    Ah. I think I'm starting to understand how Unix works now.
    -Me

  12. #12
    Flashaholic* HoopleHead's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    Location
    West Coast, USA
    Posts
    1,312

    Default Re: The Mako Discussion Thread

    tailstanding is a must!

  13. #13
    Flashaholic*
    Join Date
    Mar 2004
    Location
    Texas, USA
    Posts
    1,518

    Default Re: The Mako Discussion Thread

    rdh226: Thanks for the input.

    The final choice on the surface finishing of the light will be decided after evaluation of the prototypes. Insofar as knurling goes, IF (and that's a big "if") it were done it would be like my previous lights, the Aeon, Nautilus, etc.

    I really do not like tail lugs at all, and much prefer to have a light that is capable of tailstanding, which is part of the reason for having designed the light with a lanyard groove. My preferred method of split ring attachment is what exists in the Aeon and Nautilus where the split ring can be folded in and stowed away when not in use, but the machining for that is non-trivial and expensive, and one of the objectives with the Mako was to create an affordable titanium flashlight.

    I did not set out to make an "Arc with a decent LED." As noted before this is a rather different light with markedly different features and design parameters, and I'm not really inclined to make a copy of Peter Gransee's previous work.

    customlight: I use Autodesk Inventor for my CAD work.

    -Enrique

  14. #14
    Flashaholic* HoopleHead's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    Location
    West Coast, USA
    Posts
    1,312

    Default Re: The Mako Discussion Thread

    so lanyard groove only, no hole(s) for a split ring? doesnt really seem secure enough...

  15. #15
    Flashaholic* FrogmanM's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    Location
    Kauai
    Posts
    1,269

    Default Re: The Mako Discussion Thread - A Titanium AAA Light

    Affordable, Ti, common Cell, long runtimes... Hope you plan on creating a bucketload of these!

    Mayo
    Last edited by FrogmanM; 08-18-2008 at 11:11 PM.

  16. #16

    Default Re: The Mako Discussion Thread - A Titanium AAA Light

    I'll definitly purchase one.

    The clean finish is refreshing.

  17. #17
    Flashaholic* Stillphoto's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    Orange County
    Posts
    1,213

    Default Re: The Mako Discussion Thread - A Titanium AAA Light

    Awesome, email sent.

    I love the design and would most likely buy it as rendered above, but I'm curious - With a slight (very slight) increase in length, wouldn't it be possible to drill a hole through the lanyard area...still allowing one to tie on a lanyard, or to use it tail standing if they so desire? Would be a choose your own tail, all in one. Wouldn't be as complicated machine wise as the previous tails were. But that's getting ahead of your forthcoming testing, if the attachment point works in testing, then great!
    Time flies like an arrow, fruit flies like a banana.

  18. #18
    Flashaholic* olrac's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    Location
    Lake Zurich, Illinois, USA
    Posts
    2,024

    Default Re: The Mako Discussion Thread - A Titanium AAA Light

    I'm in as well

  19. #19
    Flashaholic*
    Join Date
    Mar 2004
    Location
    Texas, USA
    Posts
    1,518

    Default Re: The Mako Discussion Thread - A Titanium AAA Light

    Hey Folks,

    The metal prototypes arrived today and I'm very pleased with how they have turned out. An LED was installed along with all the seals and the light performs flawlessly when submerged. The electronics are still in the works but I expect to have those ready in the coming weeks. Quality-wise you're looking at the same level seen in my previous offerings, of course, nice, smooth machining.

    There were some concerns voiced about being able to grip the light with the smooth surface, and I would like to lay those to rest now and say that the light works very well as designed, the head is not at all difficult to grip and turn in my hands. The twisting action is smooth and secure.

    Now the waiting begins again for the last of the missing pieces. Everything is looking good so far and I look forward to getting some prototypes out into the wild soon. More to come, including pictures, tomorrow morning.

    -Enrique

  20. #20
    Flashaholic* Stillphoto's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    Orange County
    Posts
    1,213

    Default Re: The Mako Discussion Thread - A Titanium AAA Light

    Sweet! Thanks for the update Enrique.
    Time flies like an arrow, fruit flies like a banana.

  21. #21
    Flashaholic*
    Join Date
    Nov 2003
    Location
    sfv, california
    Posts
    1,724

    Default Re: The Mako Discussion Thread - A Titanium AAA Light

    What will be the ideal battery for this light, energizer lithium AAA?

    What will be the estimated lumens or runtime for the two levels?

    $100 for a titanium AAA light sounds very affordable compared to what's out there.

    Count me as very interested!

  22. #22

    Default Re: The Mako Discussion Thread - A Titanium AAA Light

    Looking forward to this as well...

  23. #23
    *Flashaholic*
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
    Location
    Great South Bay, LINY
    Posts
    8,052

    Default Re: The Mako Discussion Thread - A Titanium AAA Light

    I'm in, and trusting we won't have to engage in those annoying discussions about rechargeable batteries for this one. I'll just assume NiMH technology has progressed far enough to be able to be used in this light. It sounds like a perfect application for a low self-discharge cell like an Eneloop.

  24. #24
    Flashaholic* Christoph's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Hagerstown,Md
    Posts
    1,488

    Default Re: The Mako Discussion Thread - A Titanium AAA Light

    Email sent I'm in for this one.
    Chris
    Chris

  25. #25
    Flashaholic*
    Join Date
    Mar 2004
    Location
    Texas, USA
    Posts
    1,518

    Default Re: The Mako Discussion Thread - A Titanium AAA Light

    Hello Everyone,

    Here are a few pictures of the prototypes:









    Based on the input so far there will likely be some changes made from the prototypes and some new renderings will be posted when those are finalized.

    TheDay: Any AAA cell should run OK in the light, but, of course, different cells will run better than others. As a general rule of thumb Duracells are one of the best overall brands out there.

    -Enrique

  26. #26
    *Flashaholic* greenLED's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2004
    Location
    La Tiquicia
    Posts
    13,244

    Default Re: The Mako Discussion Thread

    Very cool light, Enrique. How exactly is that lanyard attachment system going to work?

    Quote Originally Posted by Endeavour View Post
    A general question to everyone: How many of you actually make use of the tritium slots in your lights? I've had some people request a clean back because they do not like tritium vials, but I think they're in the minority?
    I've taken advantage of trit as locator in my lights. I'd say leave the groove as an option.

  27. #27
    *Flashaholic* precisionworks's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    Location
    Benton Illinois
    Posts
    6,198

    Default Re: The Mako Discussion Thread - A Titanium AAA Light

    Geez, just when I thought my collection was good ... Nautilus, Ion, Aeon ... something is missing... sounds incomplete without Mako. Yes on the trit slot.

    I'm in. PayPal is ready
    Surefire® boring including E-Series & Weapon Lights, gun repairs, blueing & custom work * PM's disabled * Please Email & PayPal through www:Precision.Works

  28. #28
    Moderator
    Join Date
    Feb 2003
    Location
    Woodland, CA
    Posts
    9,949

    Default Re: The Mako Discussion Thread - A Titanium AAA Light

    This sounds great. As asked before, what would approximate lumens be for this setup?

    Bill

  29. #29
    Flashaholic* Oddjob's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2006
    Location
    London, Ontario, Canada
    Posts
    2,175

    Default Re: The Mako Discussion Thread - A Titanium AAA Light

    Very interested in this one. Two stage, good colour, Ti, small, the pros go on and on. Looking forward to some more pics and info!
    I'd rather have it and not need it than need it and not have it.

  30. #30
    Flashaholic* :)>'s Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Location
    Tampa, Florida
    Posts
    2,602

    Default Re: The Mako Discussion Thread - A Titanium AAA Light

    Fantastic counter-top!!!



    Goatee checking in from the Smokies. Nice looking prototype! I like it better w/out the knurling.
    -Goatee

Page 1 of 12 1234567811 ... LastLast

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •