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Thread: Just got my arcs

  1. #1
    Flashaholic* Spork's Avatar
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    Default Just got my arcs

    I just got the 2 arcs I ordered today from brightguy.com. They came in a little ziplock bag and no real packaging. Is that how they come from the factory? One of the arc's had the foam piece stuffed down inside. I assume that was from the heat during shipping and it fell off. I figured no big deal. I put in a battery and it doesn't work... after looking down inside the flashlight there is some sort of white material caked around the bottom. After scraping some of it off the flashlight seems to work fine. I was wondering if this is something from the factory or if i got something that was sent back since the other one wasn't like that. One more thing about this light. It doesn't seem to screw down very far, just a few turns of unscrewing and the head will fall off and it turns very easy. Is this normal? I would think if you weren't paying attention you could easily separate the pieces. Maybe the batteries I have are larger than most aaa's.

  2. #2
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    Default Re: Just got my arcs

    thats how mine came directly from arc.hey its ok bec it costs less for no packaging. [img]images/icons/tongue.gif[/img] [img]images/icons/tongue.gif[/img] [img]images/icons/tongue.gif[/img]

  3. #3
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    Default Re: Just got my arcs

    ok itr really not funny.the foam piece is supposed to be glued to the head.thats what applys pressure to the batts to turn the light on and off.send it back or glue the foam piece back. [img]images/icons/tongue.gif[/img]

  4. #4
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    Default Re: Just got my arcs

    we will probly just glue it back. thank you for the reply. how far does the head on your light screw down? even when mine is on the o-ring isn't completely inside the body but its close.

  5. #5

    Default Re: Just got my arcs

    I got my Arc directly from Peter. Here are my experiences (some are similar to mrchri5):
    1) Packaging is minimal, although acceptable. The peice of paper with instructions written on it is done (very) poorly.
    2) There is a big gap (~1mm) after I screw in the head. The gap is where the head meets the body. I thought my Duracell AAA is too long, but apparently this is not the case as I noticed similar gap with Rayovac. So Peter (if you are listening), make the body (where the battery sits), about .75mm longer.
    3) The foam ring attached to the bottom of the head is glued in place. I am not sure if this will fall off after a while.
    4) The O-ring seems to be the main source of friction, that is preventing the head from screwing itself in, when it is in your pocket. Notice that this mechanism is slightly different from Mag Solitaire. In a solitaire (even though there is a O-ring), you tighten the head to switch off the light, and it is the end of the threads that secure the head. I prefer this method since there is no chance for head to turn in your pocket and accidentally switch on the LED.
    I am afraid the O-ring will loosen itself over time (in Arc), and it may lead to head twisting in your pocket. I am thinking I can correct this problem by inserting a split ring washer that will apply spring pressure on the last few threads. This will prevent the head from freely rotating once the O-ring is worn out. But I prefer Peter device a foolproof solution, like Mag.
    5) The paint/anodising job does not seem upto the quality of Mag. Although I like the knurling. The laser inscription that says 'Arc LLC blah blah' is poorly done.
    6) The metal walls are quite thick (compared to Solitaire). Although aluminum is light, I am wondering if this is really needed. If Arc is made of aircraft Aluminum, I suspect it is fairly strong. As long as the body does not deform or bucle under moderate load it should be OK. Arc is built like a vault. I suspect that walls can be made thinner.

    Overall I like this light, since the output is impressive. The idea of regulated supply is something other LED flashlights should adopt. But Arc needs refinement. I hope Peter refines this product in the next iteration.

    (This is my first post on this forum. I bought the Arc after reading this forum, and now I want a Arc-LS!)

  6. #6

    Default Re: Just got my arcs

    Another point I forgot to mention:

    The LED is sticking out of the head at a slightly crooked angle. So if you place the Arc on its side and rotate it, the beam makes circles. The gap where the LED is sticking out of the head assembly seems to be a tad bigger.

  7. #7
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    Default Re: Just got my arcs

    i got about a 1/16 inch gap fully screwed down.
    peter if your listening a refinement on the off and on mechanism is in order.something similar to the mag would be great.

    in time the on and off mech will degrade and cause problems.thanks in advance [img]images/icons/tongue.gif[/img]

  8. #8
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    Default Re: Just got my arcs

    <BLOCKQUOTE><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by flashndash:
    Another point I forgot to mention:

    The LED is sticking out of the head at a slightly crooked angle. So if you place the Arc on its side and rotate it, the beam makes circles. The gap where the LED is sticking out of the head assembly seems to be a tad bigger.
    <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

    Sounds like 'ya might have to exchange that unit. [img]images/icons/frown.gif[/img]
    Fyi-My replacement one has almost a full turn towards the LED -past it's FLUSH point with the O-ring...
    i.e.-the o-ring is well covered when light is off. [img]images/icons/smile.gif[/img]

  9. #9
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    Default Re: Just got my arcs

    Sorry to hear about the problems people! Let me see if I can respond to each:

    1. Packaging. Yes, the packaging is simple. We would like to provide fancy retail-ready blister packs in a month or two. Cost and time is the determining factor. The LS birth is taking a lot of our resources. For now, we shoot for packing that protects the light during shipment. We haven't heard of any being damaged by shipping yet- and would be surprised in that event. Frilly packing is very important for retail impulse sales, and it is coming (our resellers have been asking for it for some time).

    2. Gap between head and body, length of threads. This is something we have been tweaking since day one. We have changed those dimensions 4 times. The goals are:

    <UL TYPE=SQUARE><LI>Cover the O-ring in the off position
    <LI>Limit accidental head separation
    <LI>Support wide variety of battery brands
    <LI>Keep the light working as the battery compresses over it's lifetime
    <LI>Keep the switch and interface reliable, compact and cost effective[/list]

    The latest version should meet all those goals quite well. We reached the gap distance by taking the shortest AAA brand we could find and just barely having it make contact. That said, you still might find a battery that is too short to reach. It's a trade-off. Otherwise, the gap would be huge.

    We have had a problem with some of the battery compartments being shorter than specified from the machine shop. This affects about 2 in 100 units. We spot most of them before they get out the door. The machine shop is correcting the defect (they say it is caused by out of spec bar stock). If your o-ring is not completely covered when you twist the light off 1/4 turn, send the unit back for replacement please.

    As far as changing the switch design to work in reverse, that would require an additional switch assembly. Would be very nice to have.

    Very important note: There is a reason this is the shortest AAA light in the world. We had to make some compromises to get that point. Even so, we have lengthened the light slightly with each revision (for a total of about a tenth of an inch) to make room for certain improvements. Adding a switch or reverse-on mechanism will add to the length. Then we would be back to the length of the Mag Solitaire...

    I designed this light for my uses. My goals where to make it small and bright while using the smallest *cost effective* battery available. I have been repeatadly called obessive about not wanting to make any changes that would increase the size and length of the light.

    Even so, I have agreed to some minor size increases to make room for some other improvements.

    If enough people ask, we could release a longer, "bells and whistles" version. I however, will continue to use the robust and compact version.

    3. Strange corrosion in battery compartment. Unless your unit is an older one, this shouldn't happen, these leave here shiny clean. Now, we did have a bad batch a couple of weeks ago (some of the 2.0's) that required us to sand out the compartments to clean them up. Even so, there may have been residual white/green gunk. Send for replacement please.

    This happened because the gasket failed during anodizing. That was the nail in the coffin so we nixed the gasket and switched to the o-ring (good riddance).

    Other than that, the only other explanation is a bad battery. Judging on replacements, this seems to be pretty rare though.

    4. MIA battery retainer ("foam thingy"). Yes, these will come off. That is why we offer lifetime free replacements of o-rings and battery retainers. Before we switched from light oil to silicon grease, we did have a higher number of these falling off. We switched to the grease right after we switched from gaskets to o-rings (v2.1).

    What about making them stick better or using another solution? Sure. We are always improving the product. We are seeing an improvement now that we have switched to silicon grease. We are also looking at changing the adhesive to something a little more tenacious.

    If we had a reverse-on/etc switch mechanism, the battery would be spring loaded and therefore less likely to rattle anyways. But that would have to fit in the longer, "bells and whistles" version.

    Of course, we could pull a [competitor's single cell LED flashlight] and nix the battery retainer all together. But we are perpetual perfectionists.

    5. O-ring getting loose over time. Yes this happens with all o-rings. We haven't heard of it happening yet with the Arc-AAA, but we expect it. Ditto on the lifetime free o-ring replacements.

    6. Anodize/lettering quality. We use industry standard black anodizing with laser inscription. To make the lettering sharper and the finish shinier, "bright dipping" or "electro-polishing" might help.

    7. Beefy wall thickness. So, is this a bad thing? We made these tough for a reason. We have rolled over one of these with the front tire of a 18-wheeler tractor. Haven't heard of one yet that got crushed, mutilated, etc. Goodie.

    8. Crooked LED. Yes, they are all slightly off center. All mounted LEDs are off center slightly. The question is, how much? The way we have improved trueness is to close up the gap around the LED so it is held more snuggly. We did this starting with verion1.0 and are still making tweaks. There is some deviation among the LEDs (not all 5mm LEDs are actually 5mm, even among the same type, etc).
    We do hand test each light. We spotted one today in fact that was off center too much. Please ask for a replacement if you get a bad one.

    Keep the input coming! Thanks!

    Peter Gransee

  10. #10
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    Default Re: Just got my arcs

    hello Gransee,

    should i just send these units back to the address on your webpage? I purchased these from brightguy. The light I have even when on doesn't totally cover the o-ring but its close. I believe my dads is the same, its the one with the white material in the bottom. so I'm guessing I have the 2.0 version and not 2.1?

    thanks

  11. #11
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    Default Re: Just got my arcs

    your lite is still the best!
    let us know when u come out with a bells and whistles version.i will definatly buy it.the switch is the only thing i see that i think would benifit re-engineering.

    thanks again gransee for a great lite.


    [img]images/icons/grin.gif[/img]

  12. #12
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    Default Re: Just got my arcs

    mrchri5, don't feel like the lone ranger - I bought from bright guy too - had the same residue/foam symptoms plus two of them needed the threads aligned and greased before they would turn good but all are working ok now.

  13. #13
    Flashaholic* DavidW's Avatar
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    Default Re: Just got my arcs

    Flasholics and Gransee, this thread may spark a new forum.

    Is it time to open up a manufacterers area on CPF?

  14. #14

    Default Re: Just got my arcs

    Peter, thanks for the reply. I will not be sending my Arc back for replacement, since I can easily live with its minor quirks. It is by far the best light in its class.

    After I wrote the comments, I went back and disassembled the Solitaire to check out its switching mechanism. The mechanism occupies some space (Solitaire is about 1/2" longer than Arc), and it has a few plastic/metal parts that add up to the cost and complication. But it does solve several problems. I would imagine one can design other mechanisms to acheive the same goals. I would be interested in any other switching mechanism you may come up with.

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