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Thread: The Haiku: why I personally feel the 3S lights have surpassed the PD lights

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    Moderator js's Avatar
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    Default The Haiku: why I personally feel the 3S lights have surpassed the PD lights

    THE AMAZING HAIKU

    So . . . fate, it seems, is not without a certain sense of irony. And this is not the first time that I’ve noticed this. Back around the time when I wrote my SF A2 thread, I was asked a number of times what it would take to swap out the A2 high beam incandescent LA for an LED, and I was like (in so many words) “don’t know, don’t care; one of the things I love about the A2 is the incan high beam: two different beams, two different levels, and two different types of light--plus, I want the high to be incan for the superior color rendering.” Yup. And yet three years later, what did I end up with? A LunaSol 20! Which, functionally, is very much like an A2, only the high beam is LED! I was wondering if anyone would find some of my previous remarks and point out this irony to me, but no one ever did (so of course, I’m doing it now, myself).

    And here’s yet another one! My LunaSol 20 has been knocked off it’s place as my benchmark for EDC lights and has been replaced by . . . a smart UI, micro-chip controlled, 3 level, CLICKIE! And all this after I went on at length in my LunaSol 20 thread about how much I was annoyed by those smart UI lights and having to cycle through the levels, and how pleased I was at not having a rubber tail cap activation! But, well, here I am. And, I have to tell you, I’m really glad to be here. It’s only because of a series of accidents and a gracious offer by Don.

    WHY I DISLIKED CLICKIES AND HATED SMART uC LIGHTS - A NOT-SHORT-ENOUGH-HISTORY

    As many people might know, I was an enthusiastic and outspoken proponent of the Piston Drive (PD) lights. I felt, that as far as flashlight User Interfaces went, that this was IT! That so many issues had been so elegantly solved. That here was the perfect UI for a flashlight: a KISS UI. And, well, that is exactly how I felt! Let me give just a bit of my history with clickies and uC lights. So, early on, when I first jointed CPF, it was because of Arc Flashlight. It’s fair to say that I started out as an Arc fan boy, for better or worse. And I came on the scene just as Gransee was discontinuing the “twisty” pack for the Arc LS and replacing it with the freaking Kroll switch pack. He went from this wonderful light:



    To this:



    OMG! What a fall! The first is a picture of compact perfection. It’s still the most compact 1x123 light I know of. And once I put the right foam washer (of my own making) in the back of the twisty (not at the head) and wrapped a bit of tape around the CR123A battery, it was a dead simple, completely reliable, and very pleasing UI. I still have this light, and in fact it’s my wife’s favorite (although I think the SunDrop will probably take it’s place soon).

    So to go from that to the second picture . . . what a disaster. Look at that stupid butt-ugly hat-like boot! And the Kroll switch/boot combo to me personally has a poor feeling activation. Not only is it easy to accidentally activate (I nearly burned the Arc Logo into my leg one day when the kroll switch activated inadvertently) but it is stiff and cumbersome at the same time--or such is my personal opinion of the Kroll. YMMV.

    Then there were SureFire’s early, less-than-100-percent-successful attempts to market a clickie. I had a very similar reaction to the first SF clickie that I got as I did to the Kroll. Less than great! Why go from the KISS LOTC, with it’s utter reliability and lack of tiny inner moving parts to break, to an oversized and unpleasant clickie? I even posted a thread asking this question (and Don replied there! LOL!)

    And that’s just about clickies, right? Then there’s the whole “smart” light, the whole uC thing. As an Arc fan boy I was super excited about the Arc 4 and I took part in the long development thread, where Peter and Henry and the Arc forum members were working out how such a UI would work--and it WAS exciting. I mean, in theory, it was a super cool idea. There was even talk of making it so that you could update the firmware with your computer and some kind of connection to the light--or reprogram it via computer. But of course, that would have been prohibitively expensive and hard to physically fit into the light package (something like a micro USB port, that is). The point is that we were all drunk with the possibilities of such a light, and the Arc 4 prototypes were much the worse for it! I mean, according to reports from early field testers, getting the thing into “programming mode” was SO difficult and annoying that one tester was about to smash his Arc 4 with a sledge hammer, take a picture of it, and post it to the boards, saying “I’ve figured out how to get my Arc 4 into programming mode!” Fortunately for that Arc 4 someone walked in at just that moment and convinced him not to destroy it. Too funny!

    So when I finally had the chance to buy an Arc 4 for myself, even I, an Arc fan boy, said, “you know, I’m not so sure about this . . . I think I’ll wait for more user reports.” Then, as we all know, Arc when Tango Uniform.

    Over the following years, uC lights became more common, and among the ones I got to play with was a LionHeart. Once again, I was definitely not impressed. First, there was no way to flash the light, and, OK, I’m sorry, but I think a FLASHLIGHT should be able to be FLASHED. Next, as I recall there were a stupid number of brightness levels and options, and it was anything but KISS. It was better than an Arc 4, I’m sure, but it was definitely not for me. And there were others, the last one I can remember being Atomic Chicken’s smart ring for the A2. I got one of those for free from him as a thank you for my SF A2 thread. And, it was kind of “neat”, but what I was excited about from him were the “dumb” rings. And I got a red LED ring for my SF A2 for use in star gazing. (I always wished that SF would offer extra rings for the A2, but they never did and I can understand why--it’s not the most trivial thing to remove and install.) But, the smart ring that Bawko came up with wasn’t for me either, in terms of a smart UI scheme. Like so many lights, a level change was accomplished by a very quick on duration. But, again, this meant that it couldn’t be flashed without changing levels or modes, and it also meant that it was far too easy to accidentally change levels without meaning to. To me, this is HIGHLY freaking annoying and buggy, and, well, I just have no tolerance for that!

    This is why I disliked clickies and hated smart uC lights. But that was before I encountered the McClickie and the “3S” three speed McGizmo converter board.

    THE EXCELLENT McCLICKIE and McCLICKIE PACK

    So, what’s different about the McClickie switch? Well, for starters, it’s a proven and reliable switch. That much is true, and it’s important, but mainly--at least for me--the McClickie is so excellent because it is inside the McClickie pack! And this means that you have this wonderful, user-replaceable silicon rubber boot, and o-ring set-up. You can very easily pry out the o-ring,



    pinch out the boot,





    and replace the boot if it gets worn, and also, of course, replace the switch if needed or wanted:



    Just as important, however, is the feel of the McClickie pack activation. That boot, o-ring and switch combination, snugged and turned down inside the McClickie pack have BY FAR the best feel of any clickie action I have ever experienced. It’s crisp without being “tight”. It is easy to activate without being sloppy. Like many McGizmo products, it is a near-perfect balance of factors. I love it. I really do. And I didn’t think that I would. Although I didn’t think that I’d dislike it or anything, I just felt that I was spoiled by the PD UI and wouldn’t love the McClickie.

    THE OUTSTANDING 3S UI AND CONVERTER

    However, what I was pretty sure I would hate was a smart uC controlled “three speed” converter. It’s why I didn’t buy a SunDrop before now: because Don moved to the SunDrop 3S, and I was like “Hell no! I hate those so-called smart lights!” I was so sure that I wouldn’t like a smart light that I had Don make up my SunDrop special as a single level light. It was a close thing, though. Don pointed me to the video of how the 3S switches levels, and I was impressed right away. I was thinking “Wow! Now there’s a smart idea! Switch levels with a short OFF duration!” But, since the light wasn’t going to be my EDC and would be used by my wife a lot in the end I went with a single speed.

    Still, I got curious about Don’s scheme for switching a smart light, and I got interested in the Nichia 119, and then Don offered to send me a Haiku High CRI head to check out and buy if I so desired. I was thrilled with this gracious offer and said “Hell yes! Please send me a 119 Haiku head!” And he did, and a day later I bought it from him, and well, the rest, as they say, is history!

    WHY THE 3 SPEED McCLICKIE LIGHTS HAVE SURPASSED THE PISTON-DRIVE UI

    After only 5 minutes of playing with the Haiku, I had the level-switching thing down. Much more importantly, though, I found that there were zero inadvertent level-switches with Don’s scheme! This is amazing to me. I mean, really. Seriously. I don’t know if anyone else out there is using this scheme--and I’m kind of out of the flashlight scene so I’m not going to find out--but this is far and away the best scheme for switching levels I have ever experienced. More than that, though, it is my considered opinion that the 3S McClickie lights have surpassed the PD lights. It’s just simply a better UI, all things considered. Don’t get me wrong. I still love the PD and the engineer in me is still enamored of the elegance and simplicity and reliability of the piston-drive, but in terms of actual use, for me personally the 3S just wins out, overall.

    Why? Well, let me go through the Pro’s and Con’s as I see them:

    PD Pro’s:



    Beautiful rear end! Yes, she’s got a really beautiful backside, she does. It’s like porn for flashaholics. OK. It’s not like porn for flashaholics, it is porn for flashaholics. What a thing of beauty! How incredibly cool is that Tritium vial and the Titanium metal activation nub, surrounded by that perfect tail flare. God, what a tail! She’s a thing of beauty in both looks and feel. Since I started EDC'ing the Haiku, I seriously miss this aspect of the PD. *sigh*

    Activation from either end of the light: yes, overhand or underhand, back or front, you can get light right from that grip. However, this isn’t really the whole story. The fact is that constant on and momentary have been sent to the front and rear of the light respectively. So if you want momentary from an underhand grip, no dice, and similarly for constant on from an overhand grip. So this plus isn’t as a big of a plus as it might at first appear.

    Instant access to both levels: this is very nice, to be sure. Want low, press or turn part way. Want high, press or turn all the way. Even so, getting to constant on high is far from fast (see below).

    Dead simple, super reliable: yes, as I said above, the engineer in me will always love the PD best. How can it fail? What is there to fail? It’s still a brilliant piece of design, in my opinion. No question.

    PD Con’s:

    Difficult to hold momentary for any length of time: I’ve been using my LunaSol 20 for three years now, almost every single day, and I’ve had plenty of time to develop my thumb muscles, but even I can’t hold a PD on momentary for more than 30 seconds or so without it starting to get difficult. Putting in the less stiff “Lee spring” helps matters, but at the expense of crispness and action feel, in my personal opinion, which is why I have the original spring still in my LunaSol. Don't get me wrong, though! It’s a wonderful feeling momentary action! I love it! But, even so, if you decide you need to continue having light after 10 seconds or so, you always feel the need to twist the head. You just do.

    Slow to turn to constant on modes: twisting the head is relatively slow, isn’t it? We’re talking two or three seconds in an underhand grip, which is about 5 thumb and first finger turn actions. If you use two hands, then fine, it’s down to a second, but you have to use two hands. I’ve never really minded this, over the years, but now that I’ve gotten some EDC time with the Haiku, it seems clunky and slow.

    3S Pro’s:

    Very easy to HOLD momentary: you can hold momentary on a McClickie light just as long as you like. It’s easy. But there’s no slop or accidental turn-ons to deal with either.

    Very fast to click to constant on: want constant on? No problem, push all the way and release. Fast, easy, and one-handed.

    Fast to change levels, momentary or constant: Don’s 3S UI scheme is a thing of elegance and excellence. After only a short time, changing levels is fast and easy and accidental level changes are rare or non-existent. This is quite an accomplishment! One that has not been achieved with any other smart UI light that I am aware of (although I haven’t done much searching, so it’s certainly possible that there are other good smart UI schemes out there--but either way, this one is pretty much perfect!) In fact, you can simply use this as a single level light if you so desire! Further, after a week or so of using this light, I find that switching levels is almost second-nature, intuitive, and that it feels to me as fast as thought (it's not, of course, but I'm just trying to convey how fast and easy and fun it is to switch levels.)

    Three levels instead of just two: after some thought I have to agree that with the very high output LED’s now available, you really need three levels instead of just two. You obviously want a very low level for night-adapted eyes, and you obviously want a high level that gets near to the max output of the LED, and if you’re LED is only putting out 100 torch lumens or so, then two is enough. But 200+? Well, then, clearly you want a medium level of about 100 or so lumens. The 3S converter provides this, but a PD light doesn’t, and really can’t be modified to do so without losing its elegance and simplicity, or turning into, well, something very much like the 3S McClickie UI.

    Better grip (for Haiku, anyway): yes, it was a surprise to me given how much I love the grip of the PD lights, but there it is: the McClickie pack with Haiku head is better. Here’s a large part of the reason why:



    The PD pack has to start with a piston around the CR123A battery, and then around THAT it has to have the PD body itself, the sleeve. So you can’t make the outer diameter of the main body section as small as it needs to be for best grip. The McClickie pack, on the other hand, is the perfect diameter, and there’s still enough metal there to allow for deeper grip ridges (rings). After getting used to the McClickie pack, when I switch back to the PD, it at first feels like it’s in danger of popping away from my hand when I push for momentary. Add to this the much lower activation force of the McClickie, and that lovely groove for the ring finger in the Haiku head, and my hands state a clear preference, a clear winner:



    And, I mean, LOOK at that head! Look at those cooling fins! The PD may have a better rear end, but the Haiku has a head and shoulders that are to die for! And those fins aren’t just for looks, they do a good job of dissipating heat and keeping the Haiku head just a bit cooler than the PD heads. Plus, believe it or not, they feel really good and are very grippy.

    Better, more reliable converter: no offense to the previous boards Don was using (which were very good), but this new 3S converter is a thing of quality, sophistication, and reliability. According to Don, he has had fewer failures of the 3S converters than the previous ones he was using in the PD lights. And, I can tell you as someone who has an EE minor and a bit of circuit experience that this converter has to be quite the piece of circuitry! I’m sure it must cost Don quite a bit of money all by itself. A lot of the lights on CPF are all using the same circuitry and boards, designed by the same few people, but Don has gone completely outside this well-trod circle to have the 3S converter designed and built to his specifications. And no detail was spared either, no corner cut: we’re talking gold traces and everything. The Haiku has a heart of gold! It’s easy to overlook the converter when thinking about lights, but a light is only as good as the board it is using, and this one is fan-freaking-tastic! This is no small thing in a smart uC light, either. Bawko did revision after revision to his smart ring for the A2 and even so, it was still too buggy and glitchy for my taste--as good as any I had yet seen at that point, but still not for me. Same goes for all the other smart converters I have experienced. This is the only one I have experienced that makes the grade. Of course, needless to say, my experience is far from all encompassing, and there may well be other very good or even better converters out there, but however that may be, I can tell you that this one is really great.

    No constantly moving parts to lubricate: if you own and EDC a PD light, you know that you definitely feel the need to take it apart from time to time and clean and re-lube everything. You don’t absolutely need to do so. I went over a year of use on my LunaSol 20 without doing so, in fact, but after that I also felt the need not only to clean and re-lube, but also to change the o-rings. With the McClickie pack, on the other hand, the switch is sealed and needs no maintenance, and the head doesn’t turn, so you only twist it for a battery change, which is far less frequent than a twist-to-get-constant-on light. Personally, this is a small, but definite plus for the McClickie lights.

    3S Con’s:

    Rubber again: yeah, I’m not a fan of rubber booties. It’s a strike against the McClickie pack vs. the PD. Still, this is a really nice boot! Silicon rubber, with the best action (inside the McClickie pack) of any I have tried. And it’s just very easy to change. And inexpensive. In fact, you can buy an extra boot or two when you buy a McClickie pack. I used to change out my SF A2 LOTC every year, to the tune of about $30. With the Haiku (and SunDrop) I’m already set for three years, and I can buy a new boot, switch, and o-ring for only $10 when and if I do need another boot. So this is only a minor strike against the McClickie based lights.

    Tail-side activation only: if you’re holding the light in an underhand grip, you’re stuck with whatever state it’s in. However, again, it is so fast to switch levels or turn on or off that you can flip the light around to an overhand grip, adjust things, and flip back all in about the same amount of time (or less) that it would have taken you to twist to change levels or turn off or on with a PD light. So, again, this is a pretty minor issue.

    Arguably less reliable switch: well, yes, how could you beat the piston-drive? But even so, at this point the McClickie is a proven, time-tested switch with few failures. And if it does fail? Just swap it out for a new one! This is very cool, and one can start to think of the switch as a consumable item, like an o-ring, but with a similarly long service life.

    So, when I look at this list of pros and cons I personally can’t help but conclude that the 3S McClickie lights have surpassed the PD lights. THIS is why Don isn’t making them any more. Because he doesn’t believe in them any more. And, well, neither do I. I personally feel that the 3S is just better in most situations. I will miss some things about the PD, but overall, I’m very happy to be switching to the Haiku for my EDC.

    I am not trying to coerce or steam-roller anyone into sharing my opinion on this matter, however! To those who perfer the PD lights, I say this: I totally understand. They are amazing lights with an amazing UI. However, to those who haven't tried the 3S lights, I would definitely encourage you to do so, just on the off chance you might be surprised. I was! Enough said, I hope.

    Finally, I should mention that I will miss having a low-flood, high-throw combination in one light, but the High CRI Haiku makes up for that failing (for me) by having light quality that rivals (or really, exceeds) an incan, and a beam with a good amount of nice even spill. Or if you chose some other flavor of Haiku, you get the lovely punchy flood (is that the term?) of the XP-G, or the serious horsepower of the XM-L, either of which is a lot like having flood and throw in one light. Plus, you don’t need to compromise the high beam by having the smaller reflector like the LunaSol 20 has. And, as time has passed, for various reasons, I find having a low flood isn’t as fantastically useful for me as it used to be and a normal beam low-level works almost as well for my current uses. Partly this is because I’ve gone from being a country-mouse to a city-mouse, but in any case, everyone will decide what trade-offs and compromises are acceptable, and what features are a must-have, and what is a deal-breaker, and so on. For me, overall, the High CRI Haiku beats the LunaSol 20, which is seriously impressive given how much I love the LS20. And I'm not alone in my appreciation of the Haiku! Below is a partial list of excellent threads on the Haiku. Check them out! Also, at the end of the list, is a thread about the Classic Ti-PD with an important reply from Don (#17)

    A PARTIAL LIST OF IMPORTANT HAIKU THREADS

    The Titanium "Haiku"

    High CRI Nichia 119 Haiku is ASTONISHINGLY GOOD!!

    A McGizmo Haiku XP-G review...is this the new standard for EDC Lights? You decide!

    Haiku Batteries. Which Do You Use? Primaries or Rechargables?

    Haiku/Makai Animated Beam Comparisons

    Trial by fire: Haiku from the ashes

    McGizmo Haiku - An Ideal EDC- An Essay

    5 McGizmo Beamshot Review

    Haiku XP-G Runtimes?

    McGizmo Haiku XP-G Finishes Comparison

    I love my Haiku more and more!!

    Your Thoughts on Ti Haiku

    Will The Classic Ti-PD Ever Be Produced Again?

    THANK YOU, DON!

    Once again, Don, I have to say a hearty THANK YOU to you for all your good work! The Flashlight community is lucky indeed to have you around! Your lights are a bargain to those of us who have had the pleasure and joy of using them for any length of time. Once you go to a Titanium McGizmo you don’t go back. Not really. You’ve spoiled us all! Ruined us, really! (And we thank you for it! )

    *EDIT* Please see post #183 for some minor changes to my opinions on a couple things! Thanks!
    Last edited by js; 07-31-2014 at 11:44 PM. Reason: Add edit about post #183 info
    -Jim Sexton, creator of the M6-R, the TigerLight Upgrades, Fixture-ring lamp potting, the SL60, co-designer of the B90 Upgrade, and proponent of the SF A2, the SF M6 X-LOLA, Titanium, the Haiku, and the LunaSol 20

  2. #2
    Flashaholic* FrogmanM's Avatar
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    Default Re: The Haiku: why the 3S McClickie lights have surpassed the PD lights!

    Thanks for taking the time JS to write up an analysis of the transition from PD to 3S by Don. I enjoyed the insight on the Haiku, Cheers!

    -Mayo

    I would also like to add my mini journey alternating from McClickie to PD over the years. My first McGizmo was a LunaSol 27, using the PD system. Between obtaining another PD torch (in the form of a LS20, only to trade the head with a fellow CPFer for a PD-S head) I put together a Ti Aleph torch http://www.candlepowerforums.com/vb/...-Aleph-19-SOLD

    I enjoyed using the UI, and really became suited to the deep reflector/cree combo. Alas the reason I sold it was due to the unbalanced weight (due to a heaver head) I would imagine the Haiku head balances out the thinner McClickie pak(?)

    As you have stated, the excellent tint from the 119 emitter and the updated 3S could persuade me to save up for a Haiku (or even a 6V Makai)

    For now, I do lean towards the PD system due to it's uniqueness (and unfortunate rarity) and currently EDC a PD Mule while in college (normally sporting the PD-S in OC). Although I have parted with my Franken light and a Sundrop 3S, I do have a McLuxIII-S27-Cx2 solely for vacation use at my Parent's house on Kauai and adore it's McClickie (Although I believe it is due to the ergonomics and mechanical two speed combined with a thicker action).

    In conclusion, I am attached to the PD by it's unique UI but I feel your thread does a good job at showing Don's switch to the 3S system. Indeed we are spoiled by Don's brilliance, thank you Mr. McGizmo!
    Last edited by FrogmanM; 03-24-2012 at 08:05 PM. Reason: my mini story

  3. #3
    Flashaholic* scout24's Avatar
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    Default Re: The Haiku: why the 3S McClickie lights have surpassed the PD lights!

    You're very eloquently singing my song, js. I've owned my share of PD's, and keep a McLuxIII w/ XM-L for those days where I desire something different, but my Haiku rules the roost. As an all-in-one edc, I don't think it gets any better. That, and my Sundrop... I find also, that I can hand anyone my Haiku, and they can use it as a single-level light with no learning curve, click for light, click again for no light. My PD's always required a block of instruction that was understood by some more than others. Over two years edc for my Haiku XP-G, couldn't be happier.

  4. #4

    Default Re: The Haiku: why the 3S McClickie lights have surpassed the PD lights!

    Very nice write-up.

    I'd like to add another con to the 3S UI lights (please don't hate me for mentioning it) - the PWM on the Low and Medium modes it truly unbearable. When I move a 3S Haiku around in a dark room I can visually see the pwm without trying. If I move the light back in forth in front of my eyes I can see that the PWM frequency i sway to low.

    Any Haiku I have owned and kept I had to replace the 3S driver with a Shoppe GDUP driver for:
    1) To get rid of the PWM.
    2) To modify the levels slightly. The Medium is fine but the low is a bit bright for me (10ma is much more usable low) and the high can be easily bumped up to a nice 700-750mA with no adverse heat effects.

    Other than that complaint I think the Haiku is a great light.

  5. #5
    Moderator js's Avatar
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    Default Re: The Haiku: why the 3S McClickie lights have surpassed the PD lights!

    Quote Originally Posted by ShineOnYouCrazyDiamond View Post
    Very nice write-up.

    I'd like to add another con to the 3S UI lights (please don't hate me for mentioning it) - the PWM on the Low and Medium modes it truly unbearable. When I move a 3S Haiku around in a dark room I can visually see the pwm without trying. If I move the light back in forth in front of my eyes I can see that the PWM frequency i sway to low.

    Any Haiku I have owned and kept I had to replace the 3S driver with a Shoppe GDUP driver for:
    1) To get rid of the PWM.
    2) To modify the levels slightly. The Medium is fine but the low is a bit bright for me (10ma is much more usable low) and the high can be easily bumped up to a nice 700-750mA with no adverse heat effects.

    Other than that complaint I think the Haiku is a great light.
    I have the latest version of the McGizmo 3S driver and there is absolutely no PWM to be seen on low or medium. None. And I have whipped the light around in front of my eyes, in a dark room. Nada. I've never experienced the previous version, but I doubt it would have bothered me. Another thing that's been addressed is switching out of high level with a low battery. With the latest converter, you can always switch out of high, no matter how depleted the battery. In fact, when the battery gets low enough, it automatically switches out of high. But--and this is a very nice touch--you can switch back in to high for about 15-30 seconds again before it will switch to low. And you can do this repeatedly! I did a run time test of my High CRI Haiku on a fresh SF 123 battery and got 2 hours, 4 minutes before the auto switch to low. Curious, I then put this in my LunaSol 20 and turned to high. It came on, but at a lower brightness than on a full battery, and not nearly as bright as the high on my Haiku. More like the medium level, actually. And, over the 8 minutes it drove high, the brightness continually fell until high and low were equal. I took this battery at this point and put it back in the Haiku. It would not even come on in high, but it still had medium! This was damned impressive! I don't know how this converter can squeeze blood from a stone like this, but it can. And I would guess that it's even more efficient than the previous version, as I read that runtime on high was 1 hour 38 minutes. Although, room temperature (i.e. battery temperature) and whether or not the light is being held or not, and what brand it is, and many other factors come into play, so it's impossible to say how much of this has to do with the improved converter.

    But, in any case, PWM flicker is gone. Completely gone.
    -Jim Sexton, creator of the M6-R, the TigerLight Upgrades, Fixture-ring lamp potting, the SL60, co-designer of the B90 Upgrade, and proponent of the SF A2, the SF M6 X-LOLA, Titanium, the Haiku, and the LunaSol 20

  6. #6
    *Flashaholic* fyrstormer's Avatar
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    Default Re: The Haiku: why the 3S McClickie lights have surpassed the PD lights!

    Motion to sticky this thread for future reference by people who will inevitably ask if the PD will ever be made again. The PDs are great novelty lights nowadays, but from a purely functional standpoint, the Clicky lights are better.

  7. #7
    Flashaholic* kaichu dento's Avatar
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    Default Re: The Haiku: why the 3S McClickie lights have surpassed the PD lights!

    Quote Originally Posted by js View Post
    I have the latest version of the McGizmo 3S driver and there is absolutely no PWM to be seen on low or medium. None. And I have whipped the light around in front of my eyes, in a dark room. Nada. I've never experienced the previous version, but I doubt it would have bothered me. Another thing that's been addressed is switching out of high level with a low battery. With the latest converter, you can always switch out of high, no matter how depleted the battery. In fact, when the battery gets low enough, it automatically switches out of high. But--and this is a very nice touch--you can switch back in to high for about 15-30 seconds again before it will switch to low. And you can do this repeatedly! I did a run time test of my High CRI Haiku on a fresh SF 123 battery and got 2 hours, 4 minutes before the auto switch to low. Curious, I then put this in my LunaSol 20 and turned to high. It came on, but at a lower brightness than on a full battery, and not nearly as bright as the high on my Haiku. More like the medium level, actually. And, over the 8 minutes it drove high, the brightness continually fell until high and low were equal. I took this battery at this point and put it back in the Haiku. It would not even come on in high, but it still had medium! This was damned impressive! I don't know how this converter can squeeze blood from a stone like this, but it can. And I would guess that it's even more efficient than the previous version, as I read that runtime on high was 1 hour 38 minutes. Although, room temperature (i.e. battery temperature) and whether or not the light is being held or not, and what brand it is, and many other factors come into play, so it's impossible to say how much of this has to do with the improved converter.

    But, in any case, PWM flicker is gone. Completely gone.
    I have an older Haiku engine and although it has problems switching down to low when the battery is weak, there is absolutely no detectable PWM whatsoever.

    Reading this addendum to your excellent posting has me really wanting to get the newer version for my Haiku soon!
    Marduke - Solitaire...I've seen matches which are brighter AND have a longer runtime. 光陰矢の如し

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    Default Re: The Haiku: why the 3S McClickie lights have surpassed the PD lights!

    Quote Originally Posted by scout24 View Post
    . . . I find also, that I can hand anyone my Haiku, and they can use it as a single-level light with no learning curve, click for light, click again for no light. My PD's always required a block of instruction that was understood by some more than others. Over two years edc for my Haiku XP-G, couldn't be happier.
    Yes, exactly! People always get screwed up with the PD. I blame MagLite, really, as the mini mags have a reverse activation direction, so people are confused on how to turn on or off the PD. The Haiku, on the other hand, is completely simple with no learning curve--a clickie. And they won't accidentally switch levels. A nice plus.
    -Jim Sexton, creator of the M6-R, the TigerLight Upgrades, Fixture-ring lamp potting, the SL60, co-designer of the B90 Upgrade, and proponent of the SF A2, the SF M6 X-LOLA, Titanium, the Haiku, and the LunaSol 20

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    Well, I guess this thread answers my question from the above thread.

    As usual, phenomenal thread js! Many excellent points noted, a lot of which delineate reasons I too love the Haiku. And hopefully some food for thought for people who wonder what makes this light so good. Great read, thank you.

    At this point I think we almost need to start a Haiku compendium thread like some other lights have and sticky it. There are quite a number of good reviews and discussions on this light now that could be linked in it.

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    Default Re: The Haiku: why the 3S McClickie lights have surpassed the PD lights!

    That was a nice well written article.

    I have carried my XPG Haiku since I took it from the box, and even bought a second Haiku with a Red LED as my backstage/event-work light.

    I have had many, lighting directors, sound mixers and stage managers want to keep that Red Haiku after I let them see it.

    It is also nice to be able to keep them looking brand new with a white Scotch Bite Pad in just a few minutes.

    They are a working tool and at the same time a real luxury item.
    Check my Web Site: www.Redwayphoto.com

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    Default Re: The Haiku: why the 3S McClickie lights have surpassed the PD lights!

    Thanks for taking the time... Again JS!

    Your articles are always a point of reference to anyone who's into bright things.
    Newbie OR experienced.
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    Default Re: The Haiku: why the 3S McClickie lights have surpassed the PD lights!

    Quote Originally Posted by RedLed View Post
    It is also nice to be able to keep them looking brand new with a white Scotch Bite Pad in just a few minutes.
    Not strictly relevant, but I prefer to use 800-grit emory paper for automotive paint, followed by some Dremel red polishing rouge rubbed onto a paper towel. Each one is twisted around the circumference of the light, to maintain circumferential striations like the original machining marks. This produces a much smoother and shinier finish than a Scotch Brite pad produces. Notably, my approach causes water to drip off the titanium instead of adhering to it, which means that skin oil and skin cells will also be less likely to adhere.
    Last edited by fyrstormer; 03-26-2012 at 10:54 AM.

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    Default Re: The Haiku: why the 3S McClickie lights have surpassed the PD lights!

    Quote Originally Posted by nbp View Post
    Well, I guess this thread answers my question from the above thread.

    As usual, phenomenal thread js! Many excellent points noted, a lot of which delineate reasons I too love the Haiku. And hopefully some food for thought for people who wonder what makes this light so good. Great read, thank you.

    At this point I think we almost need to start a Haiku compendium thread like some other lights have and sticky it. There are quite a number of good reviews and discussions on this light now that could be linked in it.
    Thanks nbp! And, yes, absolutely, it would be great to have links to all the excellent threads on the Haiku, all in one place. When I imagined this thread, I imagined doing a lot of research and posting those links right in the first post, and I imagined beam shots and better pictures, and a lot of stuff on CRI, and so on. But, well, I looked ahead at my schedule and I realized that I could either post this quick and dirty review, with pics taken in just an hour or so with my iPhone, with little to no post-processing, or I would likely never end up posting anything. So, this is what I posted--more a focus on why I've switched to the 3S McClickie Haiku; a 3S vs. PD thinking-out-loud comparison, which I felt was kind of necessary.

    And I'm glad others find it interesting and helpful. Thank you to all of you!
    -Jim Sexton, creator of the M6-R, the TigerLight Upgrades, Fixture-ring lamp potting, the SL60, co-designer of the B90 Upgrade, and proponent of the SF A2, the SF M6 X-LOLA, Titanium, the Haiku, and the LunaSol 20

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    *Flashaholic* nbp's Avatar
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    Perhaps this is a thread topic of its own, but as the current discussion lends itself to the idea, I'll post it here.

    Don,

    As it is that I cannot begin to design or create or build the things you have over the course of your lifetime, I find it immensely interesting to read your thought processes, design philosophies, struggles and victories in your ventures. I am fascinated by your ideas and innovative spirit, and of course the pure functionality of your inventions as well.

    Ideally, I'd love to know the history and evolution behind all your creations, from the brilliant PD system, to those little gate clips we all use. Also, the source of your inspiration and your technical skills - Where are you from? What did you/do you do besides build flashlights to support yourself? How did you get into designing reflectors, switches, clips and other stuff? Just the other day I was wondering as I was looking for Ti hardware about you designing stuff for Berkeley Point-how's that work? How did your name end up on so many interesting things all over the place? So many questions. I wish I hadn't been so late to the CPF party as I feel I missed a lot of great history in the first few years.

    Probably most of this can be discovered on the forums here, but in hundreds of threads over the course of a dozen years...it gets tedious. Have you ever considered writing a book, like a biography? Personally I think you have done as much to advance the industry as most anyone else. The plethora of designs of yours that have been copied (to my disgust I might add) are surely evidence of this. I would be fascinated to read such a work. That may sound silly to you but it's true. I believe you have a unique method of blending incredible aesthetic qualities and ergonomics with eviable functionality and durability. In a world full of crappy products rushed to market, your take on design and manufacturing is refreshing, and would be of benefit to innovators young and old.

    I'd be interested in a written work of some sort by the hand of McGizmo if ever it were a possibility. I don't know if I am alone in that, though I doubt it highly. If that is somewhat far off in the future, perhaps a few links to threads explaining critical McGizmo history/timelines would tide me over. Again, I regret not having found this place earlier, though I suspect that as I am a young man even now, I would likely not have had the same appreciation for this place had I discovered it significantly earlier anyways. Such is life.

    Thanks for reading my rambling as well. I certainly enjoyed reading yours, as I always do.

    Regards,

    Nick

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    *Flashaholic* nbp's Avatar
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    js- I will attempt to collect some links to important Haiku threads if you are interested in putting them in your OP. Others are welcome to assist. This is as good a thread as is likely to be written to compile documentation on the merits of this most capable light.

    Between you and McGizmo, this is indeed as excellent a thread as I have read in a long time, with a great deal of insight and thought put into the ideas presented. Well done brothers.

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    Default Re: The Haiku: why the 3S McClickie lights have surpassed the PD lights!

    nbp,
    Thanks and I am flattered at your interest but I think you are asking me to blow my own horn and I reckon it would be difficult for me to come up with a tune representative of my atypical history and the notes that would come forth would likely have everyone headed for the door, post haste!

    I will say though that when you don't know better and haven't been schooled on a matter you might well succeed with an idea that those who know better would advise against. I have always like to tinker and modify and create but no one ever recognized this or channeled my energies when I was a real student. Nor was I self aware of my aptitudes back then to the extent that I questioned what it was that I studied or what I was planning to be when I grew up. I haven't been forced to grow up and I haven't, but the years have passed none the less. I have been fortunate in knowing and knowing of some guys who were high school and college dropouts who found their own paths in discovery and brought new and cool stuff to the rest of us. I know I have said it before here in the forum but I am a believer in Yankee Ingenuity. At an impressionable age I was exposed to the story of the engine that thought it could and I bought into it. I am basically self taught in areas of interest to me and have been willing and fortunate enough to explore these areas. A good friend and co-worker in a boat yard once described me as a gizmologist and I think he hit the nail on the head. Unfortunately to this day I have not seen any courses offered, at any level, in gizmology. You pretty much have to sort it out on your own and there is probably no better or more satisfying way. We have all heard that if the shoe fits.... Well I say if the shoe doesn't fit, don't wear it. You can travel a path bare footed and really learn a lot more with feet on it. There is nothing like hands on experience but we also have feet and can walk a path of our chosing or make our own path for that matter.

    I saw a quote the other day that went something like "You can't stop the waves but you can learn to surf". Some how I think that applies to my life experience and more important, worth trying to share with you guys. What I do and have done is only important to me. What you do is what matters to you. I think I am an example of reasonable success and certainly satisfaction gained from selecting my own waves and developing my own style in riding them.
    Build Prices .... some mods and builds (not 4 sale) "Nature can be cruel- but we don't have to be."~ Temple Grandin

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    Moderator js's Avatar
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    Default Re: The Haiku: why the 3S McClickie lights have surpassed the PD lights!

    Don,

    I think there are plenty of things more that we all are very interested in that you could talk about that do not, in any way, involve you "tooting your own horn". For example, how about Titanium?

    You said that in the beginning of LED lights it was kind of a given that Titanium was unsuitable as a flashlight material, right? And yet now, you offer nothing but Ti lights, and many of us will only EDC Ti lights now. What changed? Is it because LED's got more efficient? Or more heat tolerant? That doesn't feel right to me, though . . . Or is it that the conventional wisdom at the beginning was simply wrong. In any case, what happened between then and when you offered your first production Ti lights? And tell us about your thoughts on Ti! I tried, in my LS20 thread, to convey that Titanium was perfectly suitable as a flashlight body material, and more, that it had definite advantages. But I didn't go into why Ti is a "high end" material--and ends up making the final light a lot more expensive. Part of it is obviously just material cost: Ti is at least 10 times more expensive than the highest grade aluminum from what I can tell (is this right?). But more than that, there is the machining, right? It's slow to make Ti parts vs. aluminum. A machine shop can't just crank out 1,000 Ti light bodies in a day, can they? TELL US about it! I mean, is this why there are almost no other manufacturers offering Ti lights? SureFire had the Titan CR2 light for a while and it was considered insanely expensive, as I recall. What would a SureFire version of the Haiku cost, do you think?

    It seems to me that we all are VERY lucky to be able to get our hands on ANY Titanium lights at all, and that on top of that, we are also getting them from you at, frankly, bargain prices. I know some might consider this statement to be NUTS, given that your lights all cost north of $400, but I'm pretty sure I'm right about this.

    Do you think you could comment about all this? I don't want you to toot your own horn, but, by the same token I like to see credit given where credit is due!

    (Oh, and on that score, I should mention that Don is the one who gave me the idea to use Jewelers round nose pliers as the best tool to install and remove the McClickie switches.)
    -Jim Sexton, creator of the M6-R, the TigerLight Upgrades, Fixture-ring lamp potting, the SL60, co-designer of the B90 Upgrade, and proponent of the SF A2, the SF M6 X-LOLA, Titanium, the Haiku, and the LunaSol 20

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    *Flashaholic* fyrstormer's Avatar
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    Default Re: The Haiku: why the 3S McClickie lights have surpassed the PD lights!

    Quote Originally Posted by McGizmo View Post
    I will say though that when you don't know better and haven't been schooled on a matter you might well succeed with an idea that those who know better would advise against.
    Ain't that the truth. Though there is definitely something to be said for going back later on and trying to figure out why an unconventional solution worked so well. (not suggesting you don't do that, just adding my two cents.)

    Quote Originally Posted by McGizmo View Post
    I have always liked to tinker and modify and create but no one ever recognized this or channeled my energies when I was a real student. Nor was I self aware of my aptitudes back then to the extent that I questioned what it was that I studied or what I was planning to be when I grew up. I haven't been forced to grow up and I haven't, but the years have passed none the less. I have been fortunate in knowing and knowing of some guys who were high school and college dropouts who found their own paths in discovery and brought new and cool stuff to the rest of us.
    See, this is what makes your personal history interesting to me. I was forced to mature at an accelerated pace in certain aspects of my personality, one of which was figuring out what I was going to use my 99th Percentile brain for when I grew up, and from the moment I first laid hands on a copy of QuickBASIC I knew I was going to be a computer programmer. Circumstance may have caused me to stumble into a software engineering program that contained far more planning and design than I'd expected, and serendipity may have resulted in me enjoying the planning and design more than the programming itself, but it's still software development at its core, which is right where I expected to be. I even work in the same city I expected to end up in. I have no idea what it's like to wander around the sum of human experience and say "hmm, that looks interesting, I think I'll make a career out of that for a few years." In a way it seems like living multiple lifetimes in quick succession. A detailed description of what that experience is like would be fascinating to someone like me who pretty much knew from the outset what they were going to do with their life.

    Quote Originally Posted by McGizmo View Post
    A good friend and co-worker in a boat yard once described me as a gizmologist and I think he hit the nail on the head. Unfortunately to this day I have not seen any courses offered, at any level, in gizmology. You pretty much have to sort it out on your own and there is probably no better or more satisfying way.
    "Gizmologist" -- I like it. I modify almost everything I own; can I have a degree in gizmology?
    Last edited by fyrstormer; 03-26-2012 at 11:03 AM.

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    *Flashaholic* nbp's Avatar
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    Default



    I guess I missed that one in the list of links. Oops.

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    Default Re: The Haiku: why the 3S McClickie lights have surpassed the PD lights!

    Thanks for NOTHIN', JS. Now, because of you, I have to fork another $450 over to Don for another Haiku, a gem sorely missing from my collection. You have made me fall back in love with the Haiku, even though I swore from Day 1 that all I ever really needed were PD-based titanium McGizmos. Geez.......

    (note to self: do not read js posts - they'll cost ya)

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    Default Re: The Haiku: why the 3S McClickie lights have surpassed the PD lights!

    Quote Originally Posted by arewethereyetdad View Post
    (note to self: do not read js posts - they'll cost ya)
    I hear you loud and clear. I have a McGizmo PD mule head with a clicky tailcap using a hi-CRI LED, a Saphire, two mechanical keyboards, etc.. - a lot of it due to "advice" and reviews from js
    Please no PM/Visitor Msg's. Email for questions/Paypal: wquiles [at] gmail {dot} com. Please visit my new website.

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    Moderator js's Avatar
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    Default Re: The Haiku: why the 3S McClickie lights have surpassed the PD lights!

    Oops! Ah . . . sorry guys!?!

    But honestly, the Haiku is a freaking GEM of a light! I just LOVE LOVE LOVE this thing! I especially love the High CRI Nichia 119 flavor that I have. It's so nice to have such incredibly high quality light from my EDC again. So nice to come back to this kind of light. Of course, it was so nice to switch from the A2 to the LS20, i.e. to a Titanium PD light. The very cool light and lower CRI from the LS20 was a fairly small price to pay for all the benefits. But now? Now, well, I have a Titanium flashlight AND super high quality light all in one! Plus, the Haiku is just a work of perfection. It feels so great in the hand; it's so well made. I just can't say enough good things about this light.

    Don't get me wrong, though, I still love my LunaSol 20. I was actually thinking of selling it for a while, thinking that if it wasn't my EDC that I should sell it and put the money towards more stuff for my house, etc. But then when it came to it, I was like, ah, no, sorry. I've carried this light almost every day for almost four years. There's no way I'm parting with it. I figure I'll carry it from time to time, just because I still love it so much.

    I was reading in the Classic PD thread (link that Don posted, and which I added to list in OP) where someone was saying "Never sell a McGizmo." I think that's pretty damn good advice--I mean, obviously if you buy one and just decide it isn't for you, then that's one thing. But if you have it for a while and like it (or, more probably, if you love it) then DON'T sell it! You'll probably regret it. I sold my Ti-PD-S from the last wave of Ti-PD-S's. Yes, I had one of those for a couple months. When I bought it I planned from the beginning on selling it because I bought it for my LS20 review thread. I really liked it, though. What an awesome light! But I liked the LS20 more, and I felt I couldn't "justify" keeping both of them. So I sold it.

    But now I wish I hadn't! It IS a classic!

    However, all of that said, if I had to pick only one light to keep, it'd be my Haiku. Such a nice light!

    So, for all of you people out there wishing for a Ti PD light of some sort or another, consider giving the Haiku a try. It's an amazing light, and just like one of those threads said in the title, I love it more and more. And so, probably, will you!
    -Jim Sexton, creator of the M6-R, the TigerLight Upgrades, Fixture-ring lamp potting, the SL60, co-designer of the B90 Upgrade, and proponent of the SF A2, the SF M6 X-LOLA, Titanium, the Haiku, and the LunaSol 20

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    Default Re: The Haiku: why the 3S McClickie lights have surpassed the PD lights!

    You are absolutely right js. No way would I ever sell my McGizmo. The Haiku and Mule are such nice lights I have been EDCing them everyday since I got them. Not a single day passed by without at least a Haiku in my pocket.
    The love of light is the reason why I don't walk in darkness. But darkness has it's beauty...Sadly, my lights are much more beautiful!!
    Beam shots Night Trekking with HDS high CRI and McGizmo Haiku & Mule high CRI

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    Right on Andy! I have been EDCing a Haiku and a Mule together since early last summer and I honestly think it's the finest combo out there. I do at times have to carry other smallish lights due to reduced pocket space, but for work, play, and general bombing around the Haiku and Mule pair always seem to end up clipped to my jeans together.

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    Default Re: The Haiku: why the 3S McClickie lights have surpassed the PD lights!

    Quote Originally Posted by nbp View Post
    Right on Andy! I have been EDCing a Haiku and a Mule together since early last summer and I honestly think it's the finest combo out there. I do at times have to carry other smallish lights due to reduced pocket space, but for work, play, and general bombing around the Haiku and Mule pair always seem to end up clipped to my jeans together.
    It's such a wonderful addiction eh? No regrets at all for making that move to splurge on McGizmo. My only regret is not making that plunge long ago when I should have.
    The love of light is the reason why I don't walk in darkness. But darkness has it's beauty...Sadly, my lights are much more beautiful!!
    Beam shots Night Trekking with HDS high CRI and McGizmo Haiku & Mule high CRI

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    Default Re: The Haiku: why the 3S McClickie lights have surpassed the PD lights!

    Quote Originally Posted by nbp View Post
    ...the Haiku and Mule pair always seem to end up clipped to my jeans together.
    Got a picture of that?
    Marduke - Solitaire...I've seen matches which are brighter AND have a longer runtime. 光陰矢の如し

  27. #27

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    JS, I couldn't agree more. The 3S mclicky on the haiku is just amazing. IMO it makes all of these control ring set ups unnecessary. Three well spaced outputs with a great clicky, is pretty hard to beat. Thanks for putting into words what I have believed for so long.

  28. #28
    Flashaholic* jumpstat's Avatar
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    Default Re: The Haiku: why the 3S McClickie lights have surpassed the PD lights!

    The main difference between the Haiku and PD light ( I have both the PDs and Mule PD) is the amount of time I save on maintenance. With the PD lights, there is always some sort of maintenance works that needs to be done such as relubing threads, cleaning the contacts, relubing the piston etc.. For the haiku, none. I cant really remember when was the last lube I put on the threads. In the Haiku the lube stays put. On the PDs, the lube gets everywhere. Alot of time saved. As for the 3 stage output, I now am loving it but not at first. The low on the PDs is the best IMHO, but the 3 levels on the haiku is very very useful indeed. Having seen that the McClicky is readily available and that the work involve in replacing a defect switch looks resonably easy, making the the haiku more and more desireable in my opinion. No flickering to report though.....
    SF M6-R85 M3 G2D FYL G2ZL E1L McGizmo HA PD-S Ti Mule-PD BB Haiku-XP-G Inova X1
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    Moderator js's Avatar
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    Default Re: The Haiku: why the 3S McClickie lights have surpassed the PD lights!

    Mule and Haiku EDC'd together! WOW! I find I really only have room for one light. Ah well. But if I could EDC two comfortably, I'd go with SunDrop and Haiku! God, wouldn't it be awesome if you could have both those beams, at all three levels, in ONE light, with an easy to use UI? LOL! Sorry. Just dreaming!
    -Jim Sexton, creator of the M6-R, the TigerLight Upgrades, Fixture-ring lamp potting, the SL60, co-designer of the B90 Upgrade, and proponent of the SF A2, the SF M6 X-LOLA, Titanium, the Haiku, and the LunaSol 20

  30. #30
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    Default Re: The Haiku: why the 3S McClickie lights have surpassed the PD lights!

    Quote Originally Posted by kaichu dento View Post
    Got a picture of that?
    Quote Originally Posted by js View Post
    Mule and Haiku EDC'd together! WOW! I find I really only have room for one light. Ah well. But if I could EDC two comfortably, I'd go with SunDrop and Haiku! God, wouldn't it be awesome if you could have both those beams, at all three levels, in ONE light, with an easy to use UI? LOL! Sorry. Just dreaming!
    You just stick 'em both on your pocket, it's easy!


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