HDS Systems EDC # 15

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nbp

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As per Henry's usual opening post, let's keep the discussion clean and friendly.


All,

This thread is to discuss the technical aspects of the HDS Systems EDC flashlights. That includes such topics as the user interface, beam pattern, differences between models, runtime, features, survivability and such. Please stay on topic.

There are many historic threads with a lot of detailed information - use the search function.


GO! :twothumbs :twothumbs
 

balloonshark

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How many of your Rotaries have an LED that is not perfectly centered? Mine wasn't and it caused a partial outer ring. After much debate I returned the light for an exchange. I talked to the vendor and they said all the rotaries they had in stock had LEDs that weren't centered however they had the normal outer ring like in everyone's pictures. I was a bit shocked to hear this as I figured I got a lemon. I thought about it for a while and called them back and told them to send me another light as long as the beam looked "normal".

Please don't think I'm bashing. I'm trying to gather objective information. I really love the rotary and the HDS UI. It's just hard to believe that I'm paying $200 for a light with a less than perfect beam. I can only hope the ring will be fixed in the future as it would be the perfect light.

Here is a pic of the LED. Notice it's off center in 2 corners.


This is a horrible beam shot because of my cheap camera but you can see the dark ring only on the right side and not the left.
 

al93535

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I have always enjoyed a low low on a flashlight. Not until last night did I fully realize the true utility of a very dim light. I decided to reprogram my HDS for the absolute lowest setting on preset D. Folks, now that is complete versatility, being able to reprogram your light to suit your needs as they arise. I love my clicky. It's the best investment I made in flashlights.
 

nbp

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Please don't think I'm bashing. I'm trying to gather objective information. I really love the rotary and the HDS UI. It's just hard to believe that I'm paying $200 for a light with a less than perfect beam. I can only hope the ring will be fixed in the future as it would be the perfect light.


It's a good time for you to see that nothing is perfect. I provide as evidence my Haiku XP-G: a light that cost over twice as much as your Rotary. I could argue when looking into the front end that the emitter is *slightly* off center. And when I look at a beamshot from 12 inches like yours, LOOK! Similar ring in my light! :rant: But if I move slightly farther from a wall, or better yet, shine it anything other than a wall, the beam is just fine, and I go back to being enamored with the light. It's fabulous. :kiss: Could I argue that for $450 I should have an absolutely ring-free beam and a dead on emitter? Sure. But I'm not going to, because it does the things I bought it for - coming with me everywhere, working all the time, and lighting stuff up - really well. I have/had a few lights with perfect beams, but not many. I love them too, but I realized that in real life, a little ring almost never passes through my consciousness, I almost never notice it, other than wall hunting. Getting hung up on these sorts of little things can really take the fun out of the hobby.

beam2e.jpg


(Note, the wall is not exactly white, and this is an iPhone pic, so the color is more greeny than in real life.)
 

bansuri

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I'm surprised at the off-center emitters. I've taken apart a couple of the new models for modding and there's very little wiggle room in the board to body connection. Haven't gotten into the driver as it's potted, but there are 3 pins that protrude into the emitter area from the driver that the board attaches to. The holes that the pins go through for soldering are just a few thousanths larger than the pins so I don't believe it's a case of the board being soldered on askew. Perhaps there are variations in the mounting of the driver that introduce the offset. Another possibility could be an error in the printing of the PC board the emitter is attached to.
On paper this manufacturing method should produce nearly perfectly centered emitters consistently, IRL you have to deal with parts supplied by sub-contractors that may have slipped out of tolerance. Very time consuming to inspect 100% of sub-contracted parts.
Enough of my speculation. No matter what the cause, I'm glad you got a light with a normal beam.
 

Chris201W

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Yup, that emitter is definitely off-center. The dark area in the beamshot is very subtle. At first I didn't see it, but I sort of can now. Artifacts like that tend to much more obvious in person. My emitter is centered to my eyes, and I'm definitely not going to be getting out my calipers to check it ;). I have no idea what kind of manufacturing specifications HDS has for these lights, but I sort of wonder if Henry has a true-position type tolerance for the emitter in the reflector. I doubt it, as that's not easy to inspect, but lights like the one pictured above would definitely fall outside a reasonable tolerance zone.

It seems like the combination of emitter and reflector used in the Rotaries just produces ringy beams, even with centered emitters. I suppose Henry was unable to or simply didn't arrive at a reflector design that gave a perfectly smooth beam. I posted a beamshot of mine in the previous thread, showing the quite noticeable rings at the edge of the spillbeam. My beam has a bluish/purplish tinted hotspot, yellowish tinted corona (which I think I can see in the above beamshot, too), and a bluish/purplish ring at the edge of the spillbeam. Really, it's quite unattractive against a white wall or anywhere in my apartment, which happens to have lots of white and light colored walls and surfaces. When I take the light outside, the ugliness of the beam goes practically unnoticed and the light is very useful.

There's a part of me that says I shouldn't care about the aesthetics of the beam, as the light is a tool and the beam profile, not to mention the light as a whole, is quite functional for a wide variety of tasks. There's another part of me, though, that views the light as a toy in addition to a tool. This part of me likes to admire a nice beam for a split second when a light is in use. It's the part of me that gets a childlike excitement about a new gadget. This part of me is disappointed with the Rotary beam, and thus, the two sides of my excessively neurotic personality are at odds with one another over this light.

Finding and dwelling on flaws in things that I buy is a part of who I am. I stare at a dead pixel in my monitor every day. The shoes I wear to work rub my left ankle bone in an annoying way with a certain type of socks. Sometimes I think that my (very expensive) headphones are ever so slightly louder in the right ear. When I discovered that the floors in my apartment are slightly unlevel, I spent hours walking around with a level and a stack of cardboard shims. The list goes on.

When I find a flaw in a new toy, like the beam on my HDS, it tends to kill the novelty factor for me. Once that "thrill of a new toy" phase passes, though, I care less and less about whatever flaw exists and start to appreciate the item simply for its utility. There are some exceptions, though, such as my Surefire L4, which is flawless in every conceivable way, and still evokes a little excitement whenever I use it. Unfortunately, my Rotary's beam will prevent it from achieving this status. As I explained, though, I will use it and appreciate it for its great utility once the "new toy" phase passes.

Hopefully at least someone can identify with this mentality. As cathartic as it was to write this, it's making me think I need professional help.
 
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Lighteous

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Yup, that emitter is definitely off-center. The dark area in the beamshot is very subtle. At first I didn't see it, but I sort of can now. Artifacts like that tend to much more obvious in person. My emitter is centered to my eyes, and I'm definitely not going to be getting out my calipers to check it ;). I have no idea what kind of manufacturing specifications HDS has for these lights, but I sort of wonder if Henry has a true-position type tolerance for the emitter in the reflector. I doubt it, as that's not easy to inspect, but lights like the one pictured above would definitely fall outside a reasonable tolerance zone.

It seems like the combination of emitter and reflector used in the Rotaries just produces ringy beams, even with centered emitters. I suppose Henry was unable to or simply didn't arrive at a reflector design that gave a perfectly smooth beam. I posted a beamshot of mine in the previous thread, showing the quite noticeable rings at the edge of the spillbeam. My beam has a bluish/purplish tinted hotspot, yellowish tinted corona (which I think I can see in the above beamshot, too), and a bluish/purplish ring at the edge of the spillbeam. Really, it's quite unattractive against a white wall or anywhere in my apartment, which happens to have lots of white and light colored walls and surfaces. When I take the light outside, the ugliness of the beam goes practically unnoticed and the light is very useful.

There's a part of me that says I shouldn't care about the aesthetics of the beam, as the light is a tool and the beam profile, not to mention the light as a whole, is quite functional for a wide variety of tasks. There's another part of me, though, that views the light as a toy in addition to a tool. This part of me likes to admire a nice beam for a split second when a light is in use. It's the part of me that gets a childlike excitement about a new gadget. This part of me is disappointed with the Rotary beam, and thus, the two sides of my excessively neurotic personality are at odds with one another over this light.

Finding and dwelling on flaws in things that I buy is a part of who I am. I stare at a dead pixel in my monitor every day. The shoes I wear to work rub my left ankle bone in an annoying way with a certain type of socks. Sometimes I think that my (very expensive) headphones are ever so slightly louder in the right ear. When I discovered that the floors in my apartment are slightly unlevel, I spent hours walking around with a level and a stack of cardboard shims. The list goes on.

When I find a flaw in a new toy, like the beam on my HDS, it tends to kill the novelty factor for me. Once that "thrill of a new toy" phase passes, though, I care less and less about whatever flaw exists and start to appreciate the item simply for its utility. There are some exceptions, though, such as my Surefire L4, which is flawless in every conceivable way, and still evokes a little excitement whenever I use it. Unfortunately, my Rotary's beam will prevent it from achieving this status. As I explained, though, I will use it and appreciate it for its great utility once the "new toy" phase passes.

Hopefully at least someone can identify with this mentality. As cathartic as it was to write this, it's making me think I need professional help.

Although I am not quite at your level of perfectionism, I almost am and I can relate to much of what you wrote, which, by the way, was quite entertaining. The emitter in my Rotary appears centered. Then I had to look at every other XP-G R5 light that I own to compare. I've determined that my Rotary isn't dead on center, like my V10R Ti and my IFE1 appear to be. However, my Rotary is centered within a tolerance that is all but imperceptible unless scrutinized using a pair of +2 power reading glasses and a magnifying glass juxtaposed against other high quality lights. For $200 you would think that the centering of the emitter on the Rotary would be the reference standard. It's not. But I cannot honestly say that it has detracted from the toy quality of the light.
 

the.Mtn.Man

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It's a good time for you to see that nothing is perfect. I provide as evidence my Haiku XP-G: a light that cost over twice as much as your Rotary. I could argue when looking into the front end that the emitter is *slightly* off center. And when I look at a beamshot from 12 inches like yours, LOOK! Similar ring in my light! :rant: But if I move slightly farther from a wall, or better yet, shine it anything other than a wall, the beam is just fine, and I go back to being enamored with the light. It's fabulous. :kiss: Could I argue that for $450 I should have an absolutely ring-free beam and a dead on emitter? Sure. But I'm not going to, because it does the things I bought it for - coming with me everywhere, working all the time, and lighting stuff up - really well. I have/had a few lights with perfect beams, but not many. I love them too, but I realized that in real life, a little ring almost never passes through my consciousness, I almost never notice it, other than wall hunting. Getting hung up on these sorts of little things can really take the fun out of the hobby.

beam2e.jpg


(Note, the wall is not exactly white, and this is an iPhone pic, so the color is more greeny than in real life.)

Thanks for putting things in perspective. I've been debating getting the Rotary (when the high CRI version is released, of course) but had some misgivings based on complaints about off-center emitters and uneven beams. But seeing that even a top dollar custom made premium light doesn't have a perfect beam helps put my mind at ease. I think sometimes we get stuck in our little flashaholic bubbles and lose a sense of perspective.
 

kadinh

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Easy question:

The rotary doesnt have any problems using RCR123s correct? It been too long since I researched lights.
 

Hogokansatsukan

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I totally understand all the non perfectly centered LEDs and the "perfect beam" so many talk about here. I was like that with everything. OMG! There's bluing wear on my duty pistol! Some Adam Henry dinged my car! etc. etc.
I finally got to the point in my life where I just don't care anymore. It's a tool to me. If I want to compare beams, then I do it in a real world environment now, not on a white wall. I don't expect perfection from anything, I just expect it to work when I need it.
Yes, I used to be all disapointed when I droped my new flashlight and OMG!!! There's some ano missing!
I don't let it bother me anymore, as I have come to the realization that I am happier owning things, than having things own me.
 

JWRitchie76

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Anyone heard anything new about when we'll be seeing the High CRI's? I know there's speculation the LED may be XP-G, can anyone confirm this? I sold all my HDS lights for McGizmo's but if the LED is updated in the High CRI and offer a little bump in output and efficiency I'll probably buy.
 

nbp

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kadinh said:
Easy question:

The rotary doesnt have any problems using RCR123s correct? It been too long since I researched lights.

HDS lights love rechargeables. :thumbsup:
 

pjandyho

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Easy question:

The rotary doesnt have any problems using RCR123s correct? It been too long since I researched lights.

Of course not. HDS lights are specifically made to understand the batteries used, especially RCR.
 

pjandyho

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I totally understand all the non perfectly centered LEDs and the "perfect beam" so many talk about here. I was like that with everything. OMG! There's bluing wear on my duty pistol! Some Adam Henry dinged my car! etc. etc.
I finally got to the point in my life where I just don't care anymore. It's a tool to me. If I want to compare beams, then I do it in a real world environment now, not on a white wall. I don't expect perfection from anything, I just expect it to work when I need it.
Yes, I used to be all disapointed when I droped my new flashlight and OMG!!! There's some ano missing!
I don't let it bother me anymore, as I have come to the realization that I am happier owning things, than having things own me.

And yet you expect to provide perfection for the holsters that you made? Kudos!!!
 

TyJo

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Hopefully at least someone can identify with this mentality.
I don't think I could stand a monitor with a stuck pixel, but I am less picky then some about the lights I own. I modded my TK30 and ended up getting the lens and reflector slightly grimy. This bothered me. Eventually I realized the light all ready had cosmetic blemishes and this small amount of crap on the reflector did not affect the light, and it wasn't a looker anyhow.

This talk about the beam makes me feel better about sending my rotary back months ago to get the factory reset fixed, especially since at the time I was one of the lucky few that owned one. I have never used the factory reset (except to make sure it was fixed), but I like the idea that it is there if I need it. The funny thing is I found the beam of the rotary to be flawless, and I only noticed the rings after it was pointed out in this thread. The rings still don't bother me since they are very minor (IMO) and perfectly concentric. My emitter also seems to be perfectly centered. I think flaws can be found in any light (or life for that matter), it just depends on your desire to find those flaws and how important they are to you. Fortunately these "beam flaws" do not bother me at all, but I understand they may be important to others.
 

Shooter21

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i was shocked when i received my rotary as well because of the off center led. The irony is that all of my Chinese lights have pretty much perfectly centered emitters.
 

Hogokansatsukan

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And yet you expect to provide perfection for the holsters that you made? Kudos!!!

This is true, but it's a bit different as I'm in total control of what I make. When I'm making something, I always strive to make it perfect and better than the last one.
 

the.Mtn.Man

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i was shocked when i received my rotary as well because of the off center led. The irony is that all of my Chinese lights have pretty much perfectly centered emitters.

But at the end of the day, I'd rather have a "flawed" HDS in my pocket than a "perfect" Chinese light. I think Chinese manufacturers put a lot of extra care into the cosmetics, because that's what sells, and save money on the internals. Henry does it the other way around, and that's why we love his lights.
 
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