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Thread: The vintage California cop light company thread

  1. #241

    Default Re: The vintage California cop light company thread

    Good question double X.

    I'll look it up. I do know early uses for it were things like SLR cameras, flashes for them and burglar alarms.

    Brb...
    I'm back.
    Nothing definitive found yet... just that the lithium idea was first tried in 1922 with CR123's becoming publicly available "in the 1970's" according to Battery University.
    Last edited by bykfixer; 11-12-2017 at 05:19 PM.
    John 3:16
    "I'm still a Toys R Us kid" -PK

  2. #242
    Flashaholic LiftdT4R's Avatar
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    Default Re: The vintage California cop light company thread

    This is the earliest patent I could find for John Matthews, it dates to 1992. There aren't any earlier ones cited which is a good indication it was his first for a flash light. I know not everyone always gets their patent in right away though so 1988 would sound about right for the first light from Laser Products. I don't think they would have gone any more than 4 or 5 years before patenting their design.
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  3. #243
    Flashaholic LiftdT4R's Avatar
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    Default Re: The vintage California cop light company thread

    Quote Originally Posted by bykfixer View Post
    Good question double X.

    I'll look it up. I do know early uses for it were things like SLR cameras, flashes for them and burglar alarms.

    Brb...
    I'm back.
    Nothing definitive found yet... just that the lithium idea was first tried in 1922 with CR123's becoming publicly available "in the 1970's" according to Battery University.
    I was gonna say about early 80s is likely when they became commercially available. IIRC lithium ion batteries were still being developed in the late 70s. I think Exxon and Bell Labs were involved in their development.

    CR123s have always been lithium ion, right?

    EDIT: Wikipedia says they were first available commercially in 1991 from Sony.

    EDIT 2: The Sure Fire trademark page says it's first use anywhere was 1989. These are usually within a year or so. https://trademarks.justia.com/761/87/sure-76187621.html
    Last edited by LiftdT4R; 11-12-2017 at 07:24 PM.
    ~~~~~~~~
    Always looking to buy Vari-Beams and Vintage/Rare Mags. Please let me know if you have any, top dollar paid.

  4. #244

    Default Re: The vintage California cop light company thread

    I remember having to buy CR123's in camera shops in the very late 80's or early 90's......they were the only ones that had them and they weren't cheap (cells were marked PHOTO or some such). Eventually surefire offered them in 12 packs for at much better prices and by the late 90's places like walmart were selling them as well. The military was also using CR123's at around this time (late 1980's and maybe earlier?) for night vision gear.


    BTW, come to think of it SF might not have been the first to offer a CR123 powered light, I kind of remember someone (maybe Tekna?? or explorer??) who was selling a survival kit light that ran on a CR123 around the mid to late 80's.


    CR123's are lithium primaries not to be confused with rechargeable lithium Ion.


    EDIT -Apparently the CR123A was an improved version of the earlier CR2/3A with a modified electrolyte and a added PTC for safety, all according to this:

    https://books.google.com/books?id=pr...attery&f=false

    the CR123A is said to have been "commercialized successfully" after 1987. Doesn't say when the CR2/3A came out.
    Last edited by xxo; 11-13-2017 at 11:33 AM.

  5. #245

    Default Re: The vintage California cop light company thread

    Lithium primaries are shown as LiMn02 (lithium magnesium). The lithium ion are the rechargeable sold by Sony at first.
    I'm still trying to find info on the first CR123's and figure the info will likely be found at camera sites from those SLR days. My first SLR, a Canon AE-1 from the 80's was the first time I saw a CR123 (I dated it as a 1981 model)... and they were like $14 ea back then. It used 2 of them and iirc you could only find them at a camera store. The first AE-1 in 1977 had a microprocessor for its built in light meter. Probably a power hungry little sucker at the time so I suspect that's how come CR123's were first used in cameras. The earlier AE-1's used a stack of button cells.

    SureFire and Streamlight both put a lot of R&D into their batteries for 6 series and Scorpions.

    Tekna had a 6 volt light called the MicroLith with a 123 breifly, but what year? I'll email Scott at Tektite and see if he knows.
    Last edited by bykfixer; 11-13-2017 at 08:38 PM.
    John 3:16
    "I'm still a Toys R Us kid" -PK

  6. #246

    Default Re: The vintage California cop light company thread

    Ya know? I really don't want to turn this one into a SureFire thread, yet they contributed so much to the California Cop Light genre in the late 80's forward that it would not be a complete historical reference if they were left out.

    I'm still searching for CR123 history (along with the history of the triple A for some reason), because they have made such an impact on the flashlight world.

    But for now here's one that changed the game...

    The fabled E series.
    Like the C and D Maglites, these are still relevant and still evolving in late 2017 and seemingly in 2018 new E's and new Magchargers are slated...maybe late 017.
    John 3:16
    "I'm still a Toys R Us kid" -PK

  7. #247
    Flashaholic LiftdT4R's Avatar
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    Default Re: The vintage California cop light company thread

    Very nice E series collection!!!! I'm very new to Surefires but I have feeling I'll be picking up a couple. Is the main difference with the E series the reduced head size?

    Have ya seen Flashlight Guide for Surefire info? They are at: http://flashlightguide.com/2013/06/s...le-flashlight/

    They seem to have some really good info including the reasoning behind certain design features of the light as well as production years on light. For instance they say the 6R you sent me is from 1997 to 2001.

    Also, does anyone know the best place to get a replacement lens for the older style lights? This would be the plastic lens that looks like it's pressed in on the round bezel lights.
    ~~~~~~~~
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  8. #248

    Default Re: The vintage California cop light company thread

    Flashlight Lens dot com has P60 size lenses in stock. Glass or ultraclear plastics. He may still have some borofloat lenses in stock as well.

    Great source for all kinds of replacement lenses for California Cop Lights including Kel-Lite sizes now.

    I also tossed a few ultraclear lenses in the cart at the SolarForce site when placing an order there. Ended up using those in some Malkoff'd Rayovac 2aa indestructables and such. The glass is not the quality of those from FLL, but they're cheap and fit well.
    Last edited by bykfixer; 11-17-2017 at 05:16 PM.
    John 3:16
    "I'm still a Toys R Us kid" -PK

  9. #249
    Flashaholic LiftdT4R's Avatar
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    Default Re: The vintage California cop light company thread

    Awesome! I think on the round bezel lights you can't use any kind of glass because the lens is pressed in rather than having the bezel ring unscrewed. Do you know if the UCL ones are the same size for the new and old lights? When I get my new old light I'll pull it out and check the diameter.
    ~~~~~~~~
    Always looking to buy Vari-Beams and Vintage/Rare Mags. Please let me know if you have any, top dollar paid.

  10. #250

    Default Re: The vintage California cop light company thread

    Apparently folks used to pop out the old one with a nail then slide in the new "replacement part that came with instructions" lol. Sounds like glass isn't an option in the Laser Products lights.


    Here's 2 E's vs a 6P


    Comparision beam shots.
    The E is more of a thrower with a huge spill. It's more of an officers light with rigorous use in mind.
    The 6 is a general purpose lighter with a good throw while providing a better overall light to a given area and was built for heavy duty applications with better shock isolation.
    John 3:16
    "I'm still a Toys R Us kid" -PK

  11. #251
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    Default Re: The vintage California cop light company thread

    Damn blast damn and blast, off to go get my 6p and chuck the bulb in again! All it takes is a pic to show what i am missing

    Loving the "E"'s mr fixer

  12. #252
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    Default Re: The vintage California cop light company thread

    Quote Originally Posted by ven View Post
    Damn blast damn and blast, off to go get my 6p and chuck the bulb in again! All it takes is a pic to show what i am missing

    Loving the "E"'s mr fixer
    Lol, gotta keep the incan love alive!!

    I was sooo tempted to Malkoff that 6R Mr. Fixer sent me and throw in a 16650 but I tell ya what, it sure does look purty with the P60 lamp and a couple CR123s.
    ~~~~~~~~
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  13. #253
    ven's Avatar
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    Default Re: The vintage California cop light company thread

    Quote Originally Posted by LiftdT4R View Post
    Lol, gotta keep the incan love alive!!

    I was sooo tempted to Malkoff that 6R Mr. Fixer sent me and throw in a 16650 but I tell ya what, it sure does look purty with the P60 lamp and a couple CR123s.
    Its very easy for me to get caught up in the million lumens, sometimes its nice to get back to basics. Lumens are often taken for granted, click a switch and light up everything as day. As a fan of variety, breaking out a p61(ran on 2x cr123 at 1st, then swapped to a 16650 4.35v), the tight focused beam............all that CRI.................love it!

    It nearly went in a 6p, but decided on the m2 for a change(there must have been a cop in cali who used an m2)




    Cheers

  14. #254
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    Default Re: The vintage California cop light company thread

    For me 150 to 500 lumens with a good tint is the sweet spot! My 2 go to lights always wind up being a Malkoff 3D Mag and a bored Surefire 6P with an M61W. I really like the Mag because of the long long run time and the easy availability of D batteries when I'm at work. I love the tint on the M61W in my 6p though and the size is great. I wish Malkoff would do a warm tint drop in for the Mags.
    ~~~~~~~~
    Always looking to buy Vari-Beams and Vintage/Rare Mags. Please let me know if you have any, top dollar paid.

  15. #255

    Default Re: The vintage California cop light company thread

    Oh, there were probably plenty of police opting for the Centurion model. True warrior, former military folks who are in special ops divisions. Trouble is Ven is most of their work is done in secret so we'll never really know.

    Lift'd I emailed Gene to see if there is enough demand to go the route of neutral or warm Mag drop ins. I'd buy at least a couple. I have a 3D Snap On red Brinkmann Legend just itching to be Malkoff'd, and I'd definitely put one in my 2D beater Mag.

    Soon my E2D will have a 120 lumen Tana module to keep it looking stock without the potential "poof" that may occur at the worst possible moment. Right now it has an over driven Lumens Factory bulb. But being a module, placing a spare in the tailcap (like my 2D beater Mag has) is not an option. Otherwise I'd keep it incan.

    Now, a pair of 3 volt cells in a 2C Kel-Lite with a PR Mag xenon is like an E2 on steroids, yet not as pocket friendly. When I pull it out at work then tell my coworkers it's from the early 1970's they are always amazed.
    Last edited by bykfixer; 11-19-2017 at 10:23 AM.
    John 3:16
    "I'm still a Toys R Us kid" -PK

  16. #256
    Flashaholic LiftdT4R's Avatar
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    Default Re: The vintage California cop light company thread

    Lol, I could just see their faces when they see a 1970 light that's brighter than their brand new one!

    From what I've heard the p60 lamps last almost forever as long as you don't go beyond 2 CR123s. I'm about to put that to the test though. I'll be using your 6R at work for a while.

    I did e-mail Gene and unfortunately he's too busy to do any custom orders. I read that he hasn't done a custom order in a few years now. I even offerred to buy 6 of them with a warm tint but no luck. :-(
    ~~~~~~~~
    Always looking to buy Vari-Beams and Vintage/Rare Mags. Please let me know if you have any, top dollar paid.

  17. #257

    Default Re: The vintage California cop light company thread

    I was asking Gene if there was enough demand for them to become part of his lineup.

    In the old days folks said P60's didn't last much longer than the 123's of the day. Yet there are still a ton of well used 6P's being sold with the Laser Products and SureFire module still working.
    The one in the light I sent was accidently blown when I accidently sent electricity to it while see-ing if 4 batteries would fit in the body plus extension. It really bummed me out that I killed it in 0.05 seconds. But then I found a seller listing on eBay with 10 for $25 shipped from California.
    The working one I included was from Scout24.

    Not hard to impress a bunch of construction workers who use those $4- 3x AAA multi-LED numbers or celphones for a flashlight. When I tell them Maglite has some really bright lights for about $25 they say "yeah those $25 Maglites have always been expensive"
    Last edited by bykfixer; 11-19-2017 at 12:14 PM.
    John 3:16
    "I'm still a Toys R Us kid" -PK

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