500 Lumen - AAA Flashlight (photos) - Work In Progress

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the_guy_with_no_name

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tgwnn,

I am a design engineer in another field. I found this thread when it was about half as long as it is now and read the first 25 pages almost like a mystery novel.

I really loved your handling of all input as an opportunity to brainstorm a better solution. I may print out part of this to share with my design team. We work in an area
where customer satisfaction can be somewhat predicted by objective measures but where there is a lot of work to transfer subjective attributes into actionable engineering
targets. I think that the attitude and careful communication that you practiced could be used to illustrate a "best practice".

Also, I love the user interface concept with the twist ring. I have an ICON 2 level clicky and a Fenix LD25. I really don't like the "twisty" interface very much. The idea of continually
sliding the threads on a light that should last 10's of thousands of hours strikes me as a bit worrisome from a durability point of view. Thus I really like your non-contact twist ring
and I like the idea of more light = more twist.

I generally use 2AA size lights which I find very comfortable for my nightly dog walks. I have followed this effort with such enjoyment that I may by a torpedo just to have one, but what
I would really like would be a 2AA size light with your twist ring user interface. I haven't gone beyond NiMH batteries yet. But with your driver and a 2AA, it should be possible to hit the 300 lumens
or so and still have a couple of good run time options that would be easily available.

Whether I buy a torpedo or not, I have really appreciated the chance to learn from your consistently positive interaction with your customers and I look forward to seeing your future designs.

Brad

Hi Brad,


Thanks for the very flattering and thoughtful post.
Im very glad you enjoyed reading through the first 25 pages.
Humbly, I think it might be an interesting read if you have ever had the urge to venture into creating some kind of product.


Not sure if my approach is anywhere near a best practice from an engineering perspective (as some of the very early posters had questioned/pointed out) , but I discovered a long time ago a few concepts that I found to have importance when it comes to product development:
No one has a monopoly on good ideas, its far better to have customers/users involved as early as possible and to understand not just what they want (in terms of form or function), but the reason behind why they want it.
Creating one successful product, is no guarantee of creating a second; Especially if the entire development concept happens in your head. Its far too easy to be overconfident with even a modest success under your belt so starting with a clean slate and mindset each time, helps keep reality in check (at least for me).


Perhaps to complete the picture a little more regarding the last few months…
there is still a large vacuum or void between everything we discuss here in terms of development and being able to turn that into reality which requires constant and careful communication with partners, and as its my first adventure into flashlight creation of any scale and so sourcing, assessment and calibration with the various suppliers and partners involved is a neccessity every step along the way.


Over the last few months, I have found some good and capable partners, and also honed my method of assessment to find quality partners, faster.
Slowly but surely I've also become quite adept with 3D imaging/design which will certainly speed things up in the future and combined with 3D printing, at least the external designs can be implemented and confirmed at a much faster pace, and at some point in the future, I do hope to have a fully equipped development facility to be able to produce just about everything from start to finish.


I won't rant on too much beyond this, or purport to know much more than a few core, guiding philosophies but I do believe the best work/creation is one that arrises from passion and when it comes to flashlights, afaik, there is no greater collective of passion than here on cpf.


Thanks again to everyone for the ongoing support and feedback and I'm still working hard on all aspects of both the Torpedo, Core and a few other things and hope to be able to finally deliver these in the near future.


tgwnn


p.s. I do have plans for a AA version in the future and so a 2AA would likely be done at the same time with a choice of standard 2AA body &/or extendable single AA body.
 

calipsoii

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tgwnn, please make this light available in an unfinished metal version. I don't know if that was what kaichu was asking for, but something like stainless steel would be perfect.

I'm not a huge unfinished alu fan since it has a weird feel in the hands (feels almost slippery?) and tends to leave black marks on whatever you rub it against. Stainless steel or brass or bronze or something else that is not anodized would be amazing though.
 

coyote

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tgwnn, please make this light available in an unfinished metal version. I don't know if that was what kaichu was asking for, but something like stainless steel would be perfect.

I'm not a huge unfinished alu fan since it has a weird feel in the hands (feels almost slippery?) and tends to leave black marks on whatever you rub it against. Stainless steel or brass or bronze or something else that is not anodized would be amazing though.

once its been on some CPF hands for testing, all the bugs worked out and everything finalized, i sure hope for a "unfinished" titanium version.
 

Got Lumens?

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GL, as always, thank you for the continued feedback and ideas.
The thermal sensor is definitely working.
On the 5000K model, I think it must be positioned too close to the emitter as it kicks in after just a couple of seconds (and steps down from mode 4 to 3, then mode 3 to 2, where as on the 6500K model, its usually about 20 seconds before thermal stepdown kicks in.

Still have not had time to open and unravel the driver, but will be doing so (very carefully) in the coming days.

tgwnn
Hi Guy,
Thank You.
It will be interesting to read your findings on unraveling the drivers and the thermal sensor placement :thumbsup:
Do you have plans for a titanium model Torpedo? Stone washed finish Torpedo would be awsome, even with an increased price of the standard Torpedo version 1. How about calling it Tipedo :ohgeez:
GL
 

Iamnuts

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tgwnn


p.s. I do have plans for a AA version in the future and so a 2AA would likely be done at the same time with a choice of standard 2AA body &/or extendable single AA body.


Hmmm if the AAA is a good as it promises to be I think Ill be in the market for a 2AA and spare AA body when the are made, and im sure I wont be the only one :)
 

the_guy_with_no_name

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tgwnn, please make this light available in an unfinished metal version. I don't know if that was what kaichu was asking for, but something like stainless steel would be perfect.

I'm not a huge unfinished alu fan since it has a weird feel in the hands (feels almost slippery?) and tends to leave black marks on whatever you rub it against. Stainless steel or brass or bronze or something else that is not anodized would be amazing though.
Thanks calipsoii,
I know SS should be doable at the current facility. After the first production run, I can definitely take a count on additional materials and aim to do a version in another finish.

once its been on some CPF hands for testing, all the bugs worked out and everything finalized, i sure hope for a "unfinished" titanium version.

Hi Guy,
Thank You.
It will be interesting to read your findings on unraveling the drivers and the thermal sensor placement :thumbsup:
Do you have plans for a titanium model Torpedo? Stone washed finish Torpedo would be awsome, even with an increased price of the standard Torpedo version 1. How about calling it Tipedo :ohgeez:
GL

:twothumbs:
Thanks,
Ti should be possible too, though it may be 3rd run (with 1st and 2nd run being within just a couple of weeks of eachother)


Hmmm if the AAA is a good as it promises to be I think Ill be in the market for a 2AA and spare AA body when the are made, and im sure I wont be the only one :)
Thanks, a few people had mentioned wanting a AA.
With a little more size, there is one more feature I want to add but will tackle that as we get closer.
Certainly seems like the next obvious path once the AAA is complete.

tgwnn
 

the_guy_with_no_name

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+1 on the SW Tipedo for me... I will take one in whatever you produce !

Make mine a neutral Tipedo... In fact ill take 2... :)

Thanks very much guys.

The Tipedo will be slight while away still, but sure looks like its popular enough to produce.

The lab is going to be on slo~~~w mode over the next month but the clip production is underway,
I will be doing battery tests and preying they can get the driver working as per spec, within the size constraint.

The body for the most part looks to be perfect as does the beam pattern.

I will definitely send out the next subscriber update with all the glorious details before the year is out!

tgwnn

p.s. still need to do the glove test, but the selector ring is proving to be nice enhancement to the standard twisty.
 

the_guy_with_no_name

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Quick update...

I could not wait any longer to pull apart the Torpedo to take a closer look at the pcb/driver and see what I could see....

(I was hoping to check the thermal & magnetic sensors to see if they could be adjusted).

It took a bit of effort to detach the head and as I pulled it apart, the negative lead that goes from the XML to the pcb became/got/ripped off the board (a tad too much power).... feint.....fall over.....:faint:

I soldered it back but the board is made of a somewhat special, thin and flexible substrate and part of the board came off with the lead.
So, no light after soldering it back.... :sick2:

I'll take another look tomorrow and see if I can repair it (its the 6500K).

The good news is, there is still another working Torpedo (the 5000K) and I took the opportunity to take some close ups of the inner parts so I will post those too.
In the production version, the circuit and head will be potted but we purposely left it as is to (supposedly) make it easier to open. In the worst case, I can still get some beam shots of the 6500K, direct driving power to the head (with a few resistors to moderate power) but with a bit of luck, it might come alive again.

The circuit is a real piece of art and very creative approach to fitting so much on board,
but it may need some tweaking though as the hall sensors (magnetic sensors) are a little too far below the selector ring in my opinion.

Was feeling somewhat shocked for the first 5 minutes, but its a good thing Im sure (just not sure why its a good thing yet) and I'm over the shock now too :D

tgwnn

p.s. If I can fix the circuit, I may just pull it out completely, detach the XML, and hook it up to some measuring equipment to measure everything possible (current output, and draw, etc)
 

rlcrisp

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Are you using a Flex PCB? Fancy! Never heard of anybody doing that for a flashlight driver.

Hopefully there is a component that the cathode trace led to and you can just solder your wire directly onto that :whistle:

I'd be curious to see pictures of the driver. I can very much appreciate the art that goes into cramming lots of stuff onto a PCB.
 

Got Lumens?

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Hi Guy,
All is sounding good. Just think many decades ago all that stuff would have been hard wired and about 20X bigger. Is the PCB multi layered? If so you may need to check the schematic to get the proper reconnects that broke off with the wire. A stare and compare to the working one should give you the paths that need to reconnected. You always could just have the factory send you the unassembled proto parts for testing and evaluation, that would allow you to do what you need to do without any future 'shocks'(pun). I too am also looking forward to your updates and pictures as well.
GL
 

the_guy_with_no_name

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Are you using a Flex PCB? Fancy! Never heard of anybody doing that for a flashlight driver.

Hopefully there is a component that the cathode trace led to and you can just solder your wire directly onto that :whistle:

I'd be curious to see pictures of the driver. I can very much appreciate the art that goes into cramming lots of stuff onto a PCB.

Thanks rlcrisp,
yes, not sure if its a flex but its a flexi :)
I did solder onto a component but didnt seem to work, will check again more carefully this evening.
Will post some pics in the next day

Hi Guy,
All is sounding good. Just think many decades ago all that stuff would have been hard wired and about 20X bigger. Is the PCB multi layered? If so you may need to check the schematic to get the proper reconnects that broke off with the wire. A stare and compare to the working one should give you the paths that need to reconnected. You always could just have the factory send you the unassembled proto parts for testing and evaluation, that would allow you to do what you need to do without any future 'shocks'(pun). I too am also looking forward to your updates and pictures as well.
GL

Thanks GL,

Its a flexible pcb, double sided and kind of rolled into a tube fit into the cavity under the selector ring.
They'll be sending another early in the new year with the 4500K so its ok.
I did very very carefully open the 5000K model to compare exactly, which was a help of course,
and thankfully nothing came apart on the 5000K.

tgwnn
 

Craig K

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Wow I have not been around for a while but things seem to be looking pretty good with the Torpedo, good luck with the final product tgwnn.
 
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