FINALLY getting back onto CPF!
The last few months have been extremely hectic as I’ve been moving and many other things have kept me busy and away from CPF. The fact that the internet is S--L--O--W where I live has also made it hard to even want to get online. Hopefully I’ll get the internet thing straightened out. Until then, I’ll be on/off again. I have a bunch of PM’s that need to be responded to and will do my best to get caught up in the coming week/s.
I went from living on the inner-outskirts of a small/medium city to living in the middle of nowhere surrounded by farmland. I have been riding or walking for the last 9 years as my only form of transporation (other than the occasional ride from family/friend) and now I need to think about getting my drivers license back. Luckily a post office is a few miles up the road, so I'll still be able to do CPF stuff. Lots of changes going on...
I’ve missed this place and all the great people that make it feel like a family. Nice to see all the great things people have been doing and more creative lights made.
During my move, I spent some time thinking about flashlights and actually used a lot of them during the process. It gave me a nice chance to really run them through their paces. Headlamps are covered by the selection of zebra lights I’ve accumulated. Handhelds were usually a Spy of some sort (005/007/Tri-V) as well as a selection of Aleph/Surefire lights that have been heavily modified. Having multiple levels is a must for any flashlight I carry unless mounted on a weapon. Having different beam-patterns in one light with the addition of different levels is even better! The Tri-V does just that and so much more.
Flashlights that combine different beams and outputs are where it’s at in my book! Which got me thinking about my next flashlight purchase. I’ve picked up a few production lights after purchasing the Tri-V, but nothing that really stood out or that I was willing to drop a substantial amount of money on.
After being able to log back onto CPF, a Lunasol 20 was just put up for sale in the CPF Custom-B/S/T.
It was hard to resist and was a user which is what I was looking for. I replied using my slow-ass internet and hoped nobody jumped on it before my reply went through. At last, the McGizmo light that I always admired was on it’s way to me. Another light with more than one beam pattern and output!
Well, today my first McGizmo showed up in the mail. The LS20. (Thanks dadof6)
The only other Titanium McGizmo I’ve ever seen/used/touched was the LS27 when the pass-around was happening and I was fortunate enough to get in on. Mind you this was not too long after I joined CPF and (at the time) could not imagine spending so much on a light, but given the opportunity to check one out personally for a few days was awesome! That was my first experience with titanium and it helped me understand why they are so darn cool! I loved the light, but felt that it would be too heavy and bulky to carry as an EDC. The LS20 really caught my attention due to it’s smaller size and the “Dual Beam” ability.
Flood can be a very useful feature and is with regards to the LS20.
Now before I get ahead of myself, I’d like to comment on the beautifully machined parts. The fluting in the head makes for a nice grip when twisting it. Speaking of twisting, the threads on this light are so smooooth!! The window is ultra clear and very thick with o-ring seals on both sides! The body fits in the hand perfectly and the Ti clip grabs tight on my pocket. The green trit in the piston is always a welcome addition and will allow me to find it easy in the dark. The PD action is also very smooth and easy to “Feel” the transition between the levels. Twisting the head one-handed is also very easy to do.
The flood from the 3 X 3mm LED’s is great and has a very useful beam pattern as general purpose illumination. When more throw and output are needed , either mashing the piston all the way down or twisting the head further is at that is needed. Very nice!
The golden dragon emitters never really appealed to me, and this was backed up today when using high on this amazing light. The high beam is sufficient for most I’m sure, but being that I own a Tri-V, its doesn’t stand a chance. Please don’t take this as a direct comparison as these 2 lights are in a category of their own. Just that they both use the McR12 reflector. The GD has a very tight hot-spot with ok spill. The output on high was about what I expected, seeing that the GD is running at only 400mA. The tint was on the cool side with a slight purple/blue tint but nothing bad. When using it, I was left wanting more “Punch” to the high beam.
That being said, I couldn’t even wait till it got completely dark out before deciding it needed an emitter upgrade. The LS20 is not the easiest light to work on and much care needs to be taken when working within the limited space.
From what I’ve gathered, the reflector in the LS20 is an McR12 for the GD emitter. The Tri-V uses an McR12 coupled with the XP-G emitter for a very nice beam. Other mods I’ve done using the GD reflectors with the XP-G’s have produced great results. After disassembly of the LS20, the GD emitter was removed from the board and an R5 XP-G was put in it’s place and was used for this particular mod.
I made an entirely new heatsink for a neutral XP-G that will replace this one in the near future. After everything was soldered and put back together, I was extremely happy to see an identical beam as my Tri-V on “reflector mode” Much larger hot-spot, as well as a brighter and more useful beam pattern, giving me the added "Punch" I was after.
The improvement made by just an emitter swap is all it has taken to really draw me into the usefulness of this light.
Add some levels (via driver upgrade) to allow the XP-G to run harder than 400mA...Maybe 750+ to this beauty and I see a welcome addition to my EDC rotation. That’s not to say the light is not very nice the way it is, I just have a hard time leaving well enough alone…
Next up is to swap the emitter/heatsink again, possibly add a resistor to the 3 X 3mm LED’s for a “Lower Low” and to do a driver swap for more levels/ & higher drive levels.
One of my favorite things about flashlights is that with the proper host, new technology can be added to improve on already amazing light/designs and bring them up to date!
I feel very fortunate to have been able to score one of Don’s amazing creations and fully understand why so many people love them.
I have already been trying to decide which one I’d like to add next. The LS20 was THE McGizmo I have been wanting and I’m glad I held out till I found one!
Unfortunately, I didn't get before beamshot pictures, but anyone with an LS20 will be able to tell this is not your typical LS20 GD beam!