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Thread: Celebrating the ROP - more than 5 years and still going.

  1. #1
    *Flashaholic* KevinL's Avatar
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    Default Celebrating the ROP - more than 5 years and still going.

    I am amazed. Five years have passed in a flash - where did all that time go? On second thoughts, how could so much have happened in only a mere five years? Once upon a time our brightest LEDs were Lux3s at 80 lumens and our incan flamethrowers were built upon WA superbulbs.

    For those of you unfamiliar with the story, there are many names and many people involved. I decided to track down the archived threads and post the back story behind what has grown beyond anything I could ever have imagined.

    But more than this, it is a tribute to the CPF community who has embraced it and made it their own and taken it to a whole new level while I was gone (last couple of years haven't been posting much). IMR cells have given rise to a new generation of 'safe' ROPs that I no longer have to worry about blowing their current limits on 18650s which were pushing the envelope as hard as possible without going into kaboom territory. I just got my own IMRs this evening and I am most impressed - the ROP burns hotter and whiter on them.

    Current build instructions have been published by Conte:
    http://www.candlepowerforums.com/vb/...d.php?t=259443


    Archived threads - for reference ONLY - many of the build instructions are now out of date.

    The story begins... 18 February 2005
    Roar of the Pelican: 24W and SubCs!

    The original cast & crew:
    Special thanks to:
    litho123, Phaserburn, Hooked_On_Photons, Fivemega, Silverfox

    And so many of the original incandescent gods who may not frequent CPF as often these days.


    The original documentation thread for 4D on six Sub-C NiMH and 2D Lithium Edition. I recommend using AW's IMR cells instead of regular lithium ion for the lithium edition. They tolerate the discharge rate better.


    Above all, huge thanks to all of you who have adopted this light.
    Last edited by KevinL; 10-07-2010 at 08:05 AM.

  2. #2
    Flashaholic* Mjolnir's Avatar
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    Default Re: Celebrating the ROP - more than 5 years and still going.

    I have found that the best combination for a lithium ion ROP (and maybe the best combination overall for an ROP) is 2 of the 4 AH IMR 26650s from batteryspace in a 2D maglite, with either the 3854H or 3853H bulb (depending on how risky you want to be with your bulb). I have been running the 3854H bulb for quite some time now with 2 of those cells; I can get around 40 minutes of battery life if I run down the cells, and there is not any noticeable dimming for quite a while due to how our eyes perceive brightness.
    With my maglite host I can fully charge the cells without blowing the 3854H bulb, but I have stocked up on those bulbs just in case!
    I also have used the 3853H bulb, which has a slightly longer filament and therefore a larger hotspot and has less output overall, but will run for longer and have a longer lifespan. I use my light primarily as a "wow" light, so this isn't really necessary for me.

    The fun about the ROP is the fact that is keeps the same external appearance of a maglite, unlike some of the higher output bipin conversions with much larger bulbs.
    Eagletac T10L, 3D maglite with Malkoff 3-6D XP-G Dropin, Stanley 35 watt HID, Gerber LX 3.0, L-mini II Q3-5C, 2D ROP w/ LiMnNi 26650, Eagletac P100A2, Quark Mini AA XP-G S2

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    Flashaholic* mvyrmnd's Avatar
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    Default Re: Celebrating the ROP - more than 5 years and still going.

    I think it's a requirement of a true flashaholic to have owned a ROP, isn't it?

    Much like you're not a real car person until you've owned an Alfa?

    I sold My ROP/LE nearly a year ago, but luckily I get to say hello when it comes to get-togethers with its new owner

  4. #4

    Default Re: Celebrating the ROP - more than 5 years and still going.

    I skipped the ROP and went right to a M*g11...does this disqualify me from the Flashaholics League?

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    Flashaholic* swampgator's Avatar
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    Default Re: Celebrating the ROP - more than 5 years and still going.

    Due to the simplicity in its construction, the ROP-LE in 2C running 18650s with the 3854-L is my daily go-to light. Small enough to fit in a back pocket but bright enough to handle almost everything.

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    Flashaholic outersquare's Avatar
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    Default Re: Celebrating the ROP - more than 5 years and still going.

    i built one 2 or 3 years ago, using the 6AA configuration and was unimpressed but that is compared to near modern LED technology.

    it's just not anything special now, from any perspective, be it output, runtime, cost or size.

  7. #7
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    Default Re: Celebrating the ROP - more than 5 years and still going.

    I love the ROP. It was my first hotwire mod. You never forget your first.
    Mine was based on a 2*18650 FiveMega body to which I added a MOSFET switch. Fantastic mod. It is super usable light. I may just resurect it as a 2-3C bored for 26500s. Of course with a bit of electronics this time around.

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    Flashaholic* Chrontius's Avatar
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    Default Re: Celebrating the ROP - more than 5 years and still going.

    Mine is still my bump-in-the-night light, my hurricane light, and any time I need to see what's going on right stonking now light.

  9. #9
    *Flashaholic* KevinL's Avatar
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    Default Re: Celebrating the ROP - more than 5 years and still going.



    Thanks guys

    And no, not owning a ROP doesn't make you any less of a flashaholic. I can't afford to own every configuration and every light made, much as I sometimes want to

    To friends experiencing the ROP for the first time, let me reiterate exactly what I said five years ago:

    USE QUALITY TOP NOTCH BATTERIES. THE ROP IS UNFORGIVING WHEN IT COMES TO FEEDING TIME.


    Trust me it will punish you in the form of low output, failure to light, and other maladies. At the top end of the ROP food chain lie AW's awesome cells. No AW is not paying me to say this, I get charged exactly the same amount of money as any other CPF'er when I buy, but that's what I choose to feed my ROP with.

    For safety's sake, use IMR cells if you can. They are built on a newer, safer lithium chemistry and are designed to withstand high current draw.

    If you read the history of the ROP, or allow me to summarize, the light was designed to operate on the absolute safe limit of conventional LiCo 18650's. I originally had some concerns about whether I should even publish the lithium ion design because of how demanding it was. We are fortunate that the batteries have held up and that newer safer chemistry cells are making a good light even better.

    Safety first; use the good stuff. Buy the IMR's and never look back. I am not kidding here. I care about your safety too.

    Other incandescent handling precautions: NEVER activate the light without a housing in place. That means fully sealed up in its bezel with lens. Incandescents have been known to.. 'explosively decompress'. There is a VERY high pressure atmosphere inside those bulbs and should an envelope fail for whatever reason (fingerprints, overheating, defects - yes a fingerprint CAN cause an envelope failure) and the bulb 'decompresses', you do not want flying glass in your face.

    Incandescent failures are, fortunately few and far between, just like car accidents. You don't stop driving because things go wrong. However you drive safely to reduce the risk. I thought I would reiterate these warnings for new owners.


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


    OK, slightly lighter reading material here. ROP trivia.

    The ROP was initially designed to solve a problem, that of an easy-to-build conversion kit for that very popular aluminium flashlight. Potted bulbs were extremely hard to come by and pretty much seasonal: whenever the manufacturer finished potting them in a custom order, probably about once a year.

    Bipin conversion kits (still available today for the hardcore: yes I have 2 complete kits for my own use too) solved this problem but involved extensive modifications to the switch. Chop the bulb tower and solder the lines straight into the switch. Same as the LED mods, but not everybody possessed the tools or inclination to do this.

    The other problem it was designed to solve was lack of light. In 2005 when it was born, state of the art meant Luxeon 3 and Luxeon V. 80-100 and 180 lumens at the emitter, max. That was when you drove it foot-to-the-floor at maximum throttle. Contrast this with a #3854-HIGH generating 1K lumens at the emitter - it managed to blow away every single LED light available in terms of output. Multi-emitter setups didn't even come close: I had my 'Triple TWAK' with 3 x Lux3s, and it wasn't even a fair fight (300 emitter lumens absolute max).

    Of course technology doesn't stand still. Today we have super multi-core LEDs, and even the SST-50 foot-to-the-floor will go toe to toe with the 3854-high with ease. So if you're new to the ROP and you're wondering 'why bother?' - I would have assured you there was a reason to bother in 2005, but it is true that today's LEDs offer similar output. In fact I often remark (in 2010) that I'm surprised it hasn't been put out of business yet, but it hasn't.

    Of course, diehard incandescent fans will put forth their argument about light quality - I will leave you to chat with them about that.
    Celebrating the ROP.. 5 years of history

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    Flashaholic* Mjolnir's Avatar
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    Default Re: Celebrating the ROP - more than 5 years and still going.

    It also has the advantage of being relatively cheap and incredibly simple. A fancy SST50, SST90, or multi LED light might have more output, but it will likely cost more for a decent quality unit, and if it doesn't light up it can be hard to determine what the problem is. With the ROP, failure to light means you either have a bad bulb, bad batteries, or a switch,contact problem. Maglite switches are easily replaceable, as are the bulbs, and you can always buy new batteries.
    Try swapping out a broken LED in under a minute!

    Of course, LEDs have much longer lifespans, so you are not anywhere near as likely to have a failure as you are with an incan.

    Also, an ROP will work after an EMP attack, while a fancy regulated LED probably won't (completely unecessary for the most part).
    Eagletac T10L, 3D maglite with Malkoff 3-6D XP-G Dropin, Stanley 35 watt HID, Gerber LX 3.0, L-mini II Q3-5C, 2D ROP w/ LiMnNi 26650, Eagletac P100A2, Quark Mini AA XP-G S2

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    *Flashaholic* KevinL's Avatar
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    Default Re: Celebrating the ROP - more than 5 years and still going.

    Quote Originally Posted by Mjolnir View Post
    It also has the advantage of being relatively cheap and incredibly simple.
    Well said! This was actually one of my original design goals. When the SHTF, simplicity is king.
    Celebrating the ROP.. 5 years of history

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    Flashaholic Kindle's Avatar
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    Default Re: Celebrating the ROP - more than 5 years and still going.

    Quote Originally Posted by Mjolnir View Post
    Also, an ROP will work after an EMP attack, while a fancy regulated LED probably won't (completely unecessary for the most part).
    Unless your LED flashlight is plugged into the power lines or hooked up to a really long antenna I wouldn't worry too much about damage from a EMP event.

  13. #13
    *Flashaholic* KevinL's Avatar
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    Default Re: Celebrating the ROP - more than 5 years and still going.

    No worries about the theoretical EMP scenario guys. We'll have bigger problems if that ever happens.
    Celebrating the ROP.. 5 years of history

  14. #14

    Default Re: Celebrating the ROP - more than 5 years and still going.

    I'm running the ROP 2c with AW's 2600mah 18650's one of my favorite lights. Thanks KevinL.

  15. #15
    *Flashaholic* KevinL's Avatar
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    Default Re: Celebrating the ROP - more than 5 years and still going.

    Quote Originally Posted by bouncer View Post
    I'm running the ROP 2c with AW's 2600mah 18650's one of my favorite lights. Thanks KevinL.
    Celebrating the ROP.. 5 years of history

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    Default Re: Celebrating the ROP - more than 5 years and still going.

    I really like my ROP builds - I have brighter hotwires & I have LEDs that are smaller & lighter and run longer, but my ROPs are still great. I won't EDC them because of the size & weight, but I do like using them around the house and I usually take at least one camping.

    My 3854-L ROP is in a Mag 2D with a fivemega 2" deep reflector and powered by 2 x 32650 protected LiCo cells. With 4.5-5.0Ah I can run that light for ~2 hours - that is pretty good and for my uses it is more than enough. I have enough 32650 cells to be able to take 3 sets (at least) of spare batteries if I want - enough for plenty of camp use.

    My 2D 3854-H is pretty much the same setup except that I currently run it from unprotected 32600 cells because the protected ones wont start it no matter how many clicks I try. I have some ncp thermistors on the way to fix that though.

    My 2D 3853-H is similar but uses the fivemega bi-focal reflector instead and that one does work fine with my protected 32650 cells.

    My 6D runs a 3854-H bulb from 6 NiCd or NiMH D cells - I figure a light that big SHOULD output a decent amount of light or it just looks silly.

    I understand those that look to smaller & lighter flashlights with similar output and I have plenty of LED lights, but when I grab a light at home it is always a nice solid Maglite with plenty of beautiful incan light output. The price & ease of building makes the ROP a great light even 5+ years later! Yay for the ROP!
    So many lights, so little money (cause I spent it on lights). I'm not afraid of the dark, the dark is afraid of ME!

  17. #17
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    Default Re: Celebrating the ROP - more than 5 years and still going.

    I just threw together an ROP-Lo (only bulb I had on hand) out of a 2D copper color body and 2x Li-Ion D cells. Forgot how handy it is.

  18. #18

    Default Re: Celebrating the ROP - more than 5 years and still going.

    I have one of FM beautiful deep reflectors (2CMag11 2x18650)...but where are the cheap aluminum replaces available now?

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    Flashaholic* Mjolnir's Avatar
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    Default Re: Celebrating the ROP - more than 5 years and still going.

    Kiwimark, which protected 32650 cells do you use? I have a lot of 3854L bulbs as well as a spare reflector lying around that I need to do something with.
    Do the cells drop right into a 2D maglite without any width/length issues?
    Eagletac T10L, 3D maglite with Malkoff 3-6D XP-G Dropin, Stanley 35 watt HID, Gerber LX 3.0, L-mini II Q3-5C, 2D ROP w/ LiMnNi 26650, Eagletac P100A2, Quark Mini AA XP-G S2

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    Default Re: Celebrating the ROP - more than 5 years and still going.

    Quote Originally Posted by Mjolnir View Post
    Kiwimark, which protected 32650 cells do you use? I have a lot of 3854L bulbs as well as a spare reflector lying around that I need to do something with.
    Do the cells drop right into a 2D maglite without any width/length issues?
    I got mine from Kaidomain, I'm not sure if they are still available though.

    They are slightly longer than standard D cells, I use a golden shorty spring and that is enough to allow them to fit.
    So many lights, so little money (cause I spent it on lights). I'm not afraid of the dark, the dark is afraid of ME!

  21. #21
    *Flashaholic* KevinL's Avatar
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    Default Re: Celebrating the ROP - more than 5 years and still going.

    Quote Originally Posted by KiwiMark View Post
    I really like my ROP builds - I have brighter hotwires & I have LEDs that are smaller & lighter and run longer, but my ROPs are still great. I won't EDC them because of the size & weight, but I do like using them around the house and I usually take at least one camping.

    My 3854-L ROP is in a Mag 2D with a fivemega 2" deep reflector and powered by 2 x 32650 protected LiCo cells. With 4.5-5.0Ah I can run that light for ~2 hours - that is pretty good and for my uses it is more than enough. I have enough 32650 cells to be able to take 3 sets (at least) of spare batteries if I want - enough for plenty of camp use.

    My 2D 3854-H is pretty much the same setup except that I currently run it from unprotected 32600 cells because the protected ones wont start it no matter how many clicks I try. I have some ncp thermistors on the way to fix that though.

    My 2D 3853-H is similar but uses the fivemega bi-focal reflector instead and that one does work fine with my protected 32650 cells.

    My 6D runs a 3854-H bulb from 6 NiCd or NiMH D cells - I figure a light that big SHOULD output a decent amount of light or it just looks silly.

    I understand those that look to smaller & lighter flashlights with similar output and I have plenty of LED lights, but when I grab a light at home it is always a nice solid Maglite with plenty of beautiful incan light output. The price & ease of building makes the ROP a great light even 5+ years later! Yay for the ROP!
    From your sig: "I'm not afraid of the dark, the dark is afraid of ME!"

    Now I can see why

    Nobody EDC's one of these but they make great car lights and bump in the night lights

    Let me know if you find a good NTC. Curious in case I ever find myself needing one. Again this is one of the wonderful achievements of the community: bringing affordable, low-cost soft start to the ROP without defeating the purpose of its original design.
    Celebrating the ROP.. 5 years of history

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    Default Re: Celebrating the ROP - more than 5 years and still going.

    Quote Originally Posted by KevinL View Post
    From your sig: "I'm not afraid of the dark, the dark is afraid of ME!"

    Now I can see why
    Nah, that's more a reference to my ~7000 Lumen hot-wire.
    Elephant II body & 3" throwmaster head with 8 x IMR 18650 cells running an Osram 64458 90W 12V bulb at a regulated 20.2V for 212W of power. It's an excellent light for showing off or setting newspaper on fire, but when I go camping I find my ROP lights are more useful - 1 hour from a 3854-H or 2 hours from a 3854-L is a much more practical run time than ~10 minutes of crazy bright light. Also a 2 x D light is smaller & lighter than an 8 x 18650 light.
    So many lights, so little money (cause I spent it on lights). I'm not afraid of the dark, the dark is afraid of ME!

  23. #23
    *Flashaholic* KevinL's Avatar
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    Default Re: Celebrating the ROP - more than 5 years and still going.

    Quote Originally Posted by KiwiMark View Post
    Nah, that's more a reference to my ~7000 Lumen hot-wire.
    Elephant II body & 3" throwmaster head with 8 x IMR 18650 cells running an Osram 64458 90W 12V bulb at a regulated 20.2V for 212W of power. It's an excellent light for showing off or setting newspaper on fire, but when I go camping I find my ROP lights are more useful - 1 hour from a 3854-H or 2 hours from a 3854-L is a much more practical run time than ~10 minutes of crazy bright light. Also a 2 x D light is smaller & lighter than an 8 x 18650 light.
    daaaaaaaaaaang...... that's pretty freaking awesome. Yeah, that'd definitely be burst-fire only, I love my crazy bright lights but they're mostly 'show' lights just like yours. I think the ROP's popularity has also been because of its practicality and 2 bulb options in one package.

    L tends to burn hotter and whiter in my experience too.
    Celebrating the ROP.. 5 years of history

  24. #24
    *Flashaholic* KevinL's Avatar
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    Default Re: Celebrating the ROP - more than 5 years and still going.



    Right at the back: the Original ROP - the same one featured in the 18th Feb 2005 story where it all began. Battered, dinged, dented, has paint streaks on the side, it's all good.

    Third from back: Original ROP LE 2C with FiveMega "longtail" mod to accomodate 18650 without sanding tailcap. I will note however, I still have the original sanded tailcap from the day the ROP/LE was created. Now running on IMR cells: we recommend IMR for all lithium 2C builds.



    Full breakdown in sequence from back for those who may be curious...
    Original ROP (4D)
    Quad Cree (certainly not a ROP, though rivals it in output)
    2D ROP LE
    Mag2HID, 10W WA Solarc HID capsule and ballast
    15 year old Maglite 2AA, stock
    Solitaire, stock
    Celebrating the ROP.. 5 years of history

  25. #25
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    Default Re: Celebrating the ROP - more than 5 years and still going.

    The ROPs, the WA1185s and the 5761s will go down as CPF classics

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