mobile1, tritium is a gas & comes in tiny glass vials. I believe it is mildly radioactive.
mobile1, tritium is a gas & comes in tiny glass vials. I believe it is mildly radioactive.
Normally, TIR type optics work because of the difference in refractive index between the plastic and air. (nominally 1.4 / 1). Water has approximately the same RI as the clear polymers, so it might not be a viable situation.
Good point Andrew, I hadn't thought of that. How about the option in the future to exchange one or more rods with a hollow acrylic or lexan "rod" filled with two or three of the longer tritium vials.Originally Posted by andrewwynn
I don't think the optic will work under water. The simplest solution is to add a plastic tube to seal off the optic. It should be sealed anyway, to keep off lint and junk. The tube could be painted with glow paint.
Thanks for all the great suggestions.
Exposed optics vs. Throw under water: I think seeing the optics work looks very neat, and I would prefer this to having the light focus well under water.
However I'd do for future enhancements whatever the majority prefers. Lets wait until the first run gets delivered and see what people prefer. Having the exposed optics or more throw under water. The inside of the optics is completely sealed. If the outside gets dirty just remove the screws in the front, take out the optics, clean it and put it back together.
Tritium vials: I love the tritium vial idea and talked about it with my partner. So we would defenitely like to see what we can do in this regard. I'd see two options. As suggested one option would be to replace bars with these vials (if they are plastic, glas would be prone to break).
Or another probably even better option would be this. Right now we have a couple of mm space between the battery and the rods. Another option would be to have a cylinder where the walls contain this tritium. However this would depend on how thin this tritium layer can be.
Does anybody have a link where I can get some sample tritium vials, or maybe a manufacturer to check the cylinder idea... any help here would be greatly appreciated.
All I can find on the web is links to watches.
I just hope that carrying this tritium charged radioactivity emitting light in your pocket doesnt negatively impact future family luck
mobile1, you could try checking with Merkava here for tritium vials.
You wouldn't be able to "replace" a rod with a tritium vial because they are way too small, but you could replace one or more rods with lexan or acrylic hollow tubes with multiple tritium vials in them (you could even combine colors within one "rod" !). The vials themselves are glass, and as such will need some protection. Check with "Orb" I know he had a rather abundant supply in multiple colors (red, green, blue, white) and might be willing to send you a few for experimenting. I'd love to see some tritium on the GatLight ! If ever there was a light born for tritium, this is it !!
Thanks for the links, pm, suggestions and help regarding these tritium vials... I spent 2 hours yesterday tracking down the source for these tritium vials to ask about a custom sleeve - I finally found it. It's even a company in Switzerland :-D
So first I'll see what their opinion is what can be done regarding a larger cylinder around the battery (between rods and battery). If this is too large or doenst work for some reason we'll look into other options. Adding a groove to the rods in order to slide in a vial would be an option. However any other light could add such a feature to the outside. If possible I would like to find a solution that illuminates the inside of the light - sort of like a self glowing battery - or a similar sleeve around the optics. So far glow paint is the closest. If a tritium cylinder around the battery could be done that would be pretty mindblowing, especially in RED or BLUE.
I also like the idea of lexan or acrylic rods containing htese vials... First I'll check on the cylinder idea. I'll keep you updated on what the company had to say regarding a tritium cylinder....
I must say im pretty excited anticipating what the finished product will look like...what size are the rods again? i have a source for lexan/ translucent rods...figured i could go pick up a few and send em your way for experimentation.
oh is that an interesting idea.. lexan rods .. you just gave me an idea... if you use solid lexan for the rods they could be illuminated by some tiny smt leds at the top and the whole rod would glow... it would take mere microamps to make them output the light of a tritium vial... keep up THAT kind of thinking!
There are mega big tritium vials.. they use them for permanent map lights for the military.. 50-60 yr lifespan because of how big the tritium tube is.. however it actually is enough you could harm yourself if it broke .. so they will only sell to the military and maybe law enforcement.
You gotta love the power of CPF for brainstorming !Originally Posted by andrewwynn
Stillphoto - thanks for this offer, that would be perfect... so we could play around a bit and see whats possible.
The rods have a diameter of 0.125 inch. However the holes in the center section are 0.125 as well (which is why we use the heat assembly/arbor press). So I dont know whether the rods would have to be slightly smaller since heating up the part will probably melt the lexan or break it when the center cools down again - if heating up the center, putting the rods through would work that would be perfect.
I was thinking of something similar Andrew suggested, painting the outside of a lexan or acrylic rod with glow paint, while having a tiny UV led illuminate the rods from the inside...
For example the UV LED could be on the driver inside of the center section. Then have a light channel (drilled hole) from the center section through to where the rods go through the center section rings.
Or maybe there is a way to get a light channel from the optics that can feed into the rods... or have the uv led there. However the cleanest solution would probably be having an UV led inside of the center section....
The challenge here is to keep it all waterproof.
This here is the smallest UV led I found http://www.ledsupply.com/l3-0-u5th15-1.html
I wonder whether there are smaller ones out there?
Or here is another really cool option - almost my favorite one. How about taking out 4 rods, then string fiber optics from the front ring all the way to the back (instead of a rod). In the front there would be a light channel or drilled hole (going through the front ring to where the optics ends to feed the fiber optics). This should theoretically illuminate the fiber optics strings whenever the light is turned on...
However that would be a pretty sharp bend for these fiber optics don't know whether they would break.... Anybody know anything about fiber optics...to provide an evaluation of that way.
We'll find a way to illuminate those rods....hehe
Those sound like really cool & interesting ideas although tritium still glows without any power source & serves as a locator in the dark.
tritium does have the feature of being self-powered.. my contention is that especially with the concept of a UV led... you could probably get as much light out of microamps and have a renewable light that is FAR brighter and much cheaper! Imagine two or four of the rods completely glowing... just bright enough to be really useful.
I would check for LEDs in smt variations at digikey.
Oh.. do you have any unnacounted for .. and did you say they are aluminum or all stainless steel (other than the Ti model)... stainless sucks as a heat conductor, but with this light that's a pretty moot point has about as much surface area as a mag 2D.
Andrew yeah unfortunately all first runs are assigned. However I can put you on the notification list as soon as I open sign up for round 2 - quite a lot of people are on it already.
yep... so far I think that from a design perspective, that tritium strips along each rod (inserted in a groove) would probably be the neatest thing. I havent heard back from the company yet - also regarding the cylinder idea, I wonder what these strips cost.
If we go with tritium that would increase the price a lot... each strip is probably $3-4. (since people sell them for $5 here) And for 12 rods it would take at least 24 so Tritium would probably be at least $100 more. Fiber optic would be cheaper. So would anyone pay $100 more for tritium stripes along the bars compared to lets say illuminated fiber optic or glow painted grooves.
I think we'll try to create a tritium prototype and see what peoples reaction is.
I think we don't need tritium rods all round, maybe just every alternate 2nd, 3rd or 4th one?
Went by the plastics shop today and confirmed the research I had done last night online...Most all of the translucent rods are acrylic. At that thin of rod, combined with the length, we'd have an issue with rods bending. Come to thing of it especially if they are taking in any of the heat from the light. So i think over time they would warp. So booo!
It's too bad there isn't some tiny surface mount uv led that we could somehow make a waterproof port for just inside the rods...Had this idea of using not a glow paint, but just a florescent paint. Then as you turn off the light, the uv would go from max brightness down to nothing, in a slow programmed maner. So in effect, the power source (batt) would go from glowing down to nothing...which would make for a pretty cool effect. Not to mention adding considerable space for the programmed board that would hold the led...just thought I'd throw that out there, figured maybe it would spark an idea in someone else's mind.
Some very cool ideas Walter. I think the tritium might still be the best though. "Orb" cuts grooves for them in the Raw Cr2 light, as many as you want for $6 apiece, and McGizmo (Don) adds one to the piston of his "PD" as an option as well, so maybe it could be an after assembly option on the Gatlight too. That way everybody can decide how many, where, and thus how much to spend for the option.
hi there - things are moving along...this week all the boards are being produced... I should have the first 123 version in 2 weeks. For the Tahoe get together I will bring the prototypes...
Yep I think the simplest solution would defenitely be to cut a groove. A bar is 1/8th of an inch thick thats about 3mm. The tritium inserts come in rectangular 1.1mm wide and deep and between 4 and 15mm long strips (the smallest ones) - taking 1.1 square mm out of a 3mm rod doesnt leave a lot of material. Now with Titanium I am pretty sure the remaining material would be enough. I'll see whether I can have one of my titanium versions come with a groove... The challenge for production will be the bars. The bars currently have 2 tabed holes on each side. The machine shop quoted us $2 for each stainless steal bar, but told us it cost them like $4-$6 to make them. So adding a groove don't know how it will complicate things.... only one way to find out...
What do you guys think, the strips come in green, orange, blue, red, yellow or white - what stripes shall I put into a Titanium version - for the prototype. I think white or orange would be cool....
Last edited by mobile1; 09-17-2005 at 12:57 AM. Reason: typos
in my opinion the idea with the grooves for the tritium vials would be the best way.
I also think that it would be enough to cut this groove in every 3rd rod and put a vial in, so you can see the light in every position.
If the material of the ss version doesn`t complain with that, how about taking just four titanium rods for the vials.
If the price doesn`t rice too much i would be in for that version, for example:
4x Tritium Vials: 16 $
4x Ti rods with grooves (instead of SS): 40 $ (for Pila Version)
Reagrding the color of the vials, i would prefer blue. But white or red would be ok as well.
If that will fit your needs, i`ll take it.
Last edited by Panzergrennie; 09-18-2005 at 05:45 AM.
Gäb es nur eine Krone, wohlan ich schenkte sie, der Tapferkeit zum Lohne, der deutschen Infantrie!
Great design and idea! Well done!
I love the blue ones and the red ones personally, but none of them comes close to the output of the green ones. I have a Raw with blue and another with green, and there's no comparison.
I was just reviewing the photos again and had another thought that might simplify the addition of tritium.
There appears to be a "sleeve" which houses the electronics between the optic and the battery. If this sleeve were thick enough to mill grooves into, it might make a good place to house the tritium. If you mill 6 (or 12 !) grooves in every "sleeve", you then have the option to add tritium or not, any number from 0-6(or 12!) the milling should be easier on the larger diameter piece (as compared to the rods), and can be done pre-assembly (providing the tritium vials will withstand the heat !). The grooves will probably have a certain aesthetic appeal even without the tritium vials.
Last edited by Dr_Joe; 09-18-2005 at 09:14 PM.
So here is the update. All parts except the rods and the center housing have been produced. Center and rods should be done in a couple of days. Here are 2 renderings of what the 123 (&PILA) version will look like - with the larger knob and the knurling (the Pila will actually look the same except longer).
Here a rendering of the front
In this light there are countless things from the lock-spray on each screw (so they don't come loose) to the vacuum created custom silicon molds (to eliminate air bubbles in the seal), to the upgradeable design of the driver and coutless other things we could think off to make this the highest quality light we can think off.
Each light has a total of over 60 parts!!! If you leave out the driver you still have 47 parts. That's pretty insane for a flashlight of this size (the 123 is less than 3 inches long)- I don't think there was ever a light of this size that can top this. You can imagine how long it takes to assemble one... Also this light should be really easy to mod since it is so simpel to take apart (except for the rods which will be solidly held in place by the center section).
Then here 2 photos of the parts we got so far
Then one thing we noticed regarding the Titanium Units. The rods have a nice satin finish, while the other parts are polished. Originally we wanted everything to be polished - but polishing the rods would make them too thin to be solidly held in place by the center section. So the Titanium units will have a duo tone look -satin rods- while the other parts are polished. This is something that wasnt expected, however according to my partner looks freakingamazing. I'll post some pictures once the first one is assembled.
Regarding deadline, we should have the first units in about 2 weeks (ready to be shown at the Tahoe get together). Then we still expect to start shipping in November....2005.
Again thank you to everyone who got in on this first run of 40 units. I don't think we will be able to do the 2nd run at that price of this first run (which is simply the costs of the metal parts + driver) - when you get the light you'll see how much more there is. However I didnt want to change the price since you all pretty much signed up based on a couple of renderings. It wasn't until later when we had all the money when we showed the first prototype.
So again thank you to everyone of you for signing up before any prototypes were here. This gave us the opportunity to make this light a possibility - in return we do everything that you will get one of the nicest and most unique lights you will have ever had.
Everyone have a great weekend.
PS: Dr Joe - You suggestion is a great idea. Let me check the CAD model to evaluate whether that would be possible. ---------- Unfortunately its not possible. The wall behind the rods is only 1.2mm thick. The sticks need a depth of about one mm. But maybe something can be done by adding more materials in between the rods - I would have to check how that would look. Thanks for the hint that green is the strongest (same as with the glow paint). However for the moment I kind of put improvements on hold... so we can focus more on getting these 40 units out.
Last edited by mobile1; 10-26-2005 at 01:33 PM. Reason: changed "...the wall inside the rods..." to "the wall behind the rods" in the comment ot Dr. Joe
If I want to hear the pitter-patter of little feet, I'll put shoes on my dog!
HAVE YOU HUGGED YOUR DOG TODAY?
I can truly say that this one flashlight I really can't wait to get! An excellent example of design & technology at work.
Very nice! Can't wait.
WOW ! Everything looks great Walter, BRAVO !!!!
Maybe the tritium will have to wait for the second run (when the K2's are out )
I can't wait to see it, well done
PS: Have you finalized screw color and screw head (slotted, phillips, allen, torx, etc.....) designs yet ?
Last edited by Dr_Joe; 09-25-2005 at 01:45 AM.
I will take the "1 Stainless R123 unit ($150)" if it is still available.
Unfortunately all first runs are sold out. Just send me an email to mobile1 aat gmx.ch if you want me to notify you when I open sign up for a second run. So far there is interest for about 25 more lights.
Then the Weekly Progress Report:
We got the circuit boards - here is a photo - we got a good deal where 500 cost almost as much as 50, so we ordered 500
Then this week we mostly tested the board in a fully assembled unit. The circuit board is working fine - however at Full POWER the light gets hot if you leave it on continuesly. So we most likely turn down the brightness to a reasonable level when we send out the lights.
If you want FULL POWER, less runtime, and a light that gets hot you can turn it up with a simple screwdriver.
Something that puzzled me is that I have another light here from someone else, that claims the same specs LuxIII @ 1000mA. The light is quite a bit larger, but has the same heatsink area - but doesnt get as warm (however it doesnt look as bright neither). The GatLight actually has 1000mA at the LED, it almost looks like this other light doesnt really deliver what it claims...
Anyway back to the GatLight At the moment we are still tweaking and testing the board - for example we try to make a unique feature work that should increase runtime by 15% (once we can make it work and once we get a patent pending on it I can tell you more about that one - if we can make it work)
Then the other big thing this week was the optics. Remember we wanted to use the NX05 which Lumileds on its specsheet claims works for all Luxeon products. While trying to get some ray data (for another flashlight) I was able to talk to an optical engineer, who told me that the NX05 is not ideal with a LuxIII Lamberitan Dome, since the NX05 is optimized for the Batwing!!!!
I wonder how many know about that since no specsheet tells you that. At that point in time we already bought the 40 NX05. So we sent those back and checked every optic that is out there, we have had optics from Finnland, UK and the US. We finally found one, specifically optimized for the Lambertian LuxIII. This new optic produces a much prettier beam pattern then the NX05 and the front water seal is now even tighter. We expect the 40 new optics to be here this coming Tuesday.
Tuesday we should also expect the rods and center housing (with engraved serial numbers). The Titanium rods took a bit longer. The machine shop had to redo the titanium rods at their costs (they are really hard to do). But we should get them on Tuesday as well.
Then my partner professionally designs space flight applications - which resulted that a lot of his knowledge went straight into how this light is designed and manufactured. For example this week he ordered space-flight-application grade thermal epoxy (costs a fortune). But the goal was to have the best heat transfer to the rods and exterior (I almost wrote case). The heat tests we did previously were done without that epoxy - so the heat parameters should improve with that.
Then I got all the batteries. Today I put the first coat of glow paint on them (after carefully wrapping the poles of each one). That glow paint is pretty cool stuff. I was tempted to paint all kinds of things with it... Finally I painted the outside grill of a lamp in the garage that contains a fluerescent bulp - prettty cool how it glows now...... then next were the light switches in the garage... and I would paint countless other things if my wife would let me .
Ok that much for what happened this week. Have a great week end everyone.
Sorry for not answering that one earlier. Well that one is pretty simple. Whenever I show this blown up renderings and photos one thinks this light is fairly large (as well as the screws). In reality the screws are TINY.Originally Posted by Dr_Joe
We checked what options we have for the screws. Unfortunately we couldnt find anything, the screws we use are the only option (Allen would have been nice, and maybe also a gold color - specially for the Titanium). However as I said. In this size, impossible. WE couldnt find anything.
I hope that after we have sent out those 40 units - that people start modding their light, or find nicer screws - maybe abroad.
The other option would be to have them custom made - which could be an option in the future.