The Haiku: why I personally feel the 3S lights have surpassed the PD lights

js

Flashlight Enthusiast
Joined
Aug 2, 2003
Messages
5,793
Location
Upstate New York
So I've been EDC'ing my High CRI Haiku for over two years now. Two years and three months or so, in fact. And I still dearly love it. I would be lying if I said I never missed my LS20, which I sold, because the light was an absolute marvel of design and I loved it dearly also. However, it is SO much easier to hold the Haiku in momentary mode, and so incredibly easy to switch through the modes, and the quality of the beam and light from the High CRI emitter and Haiku head is SO much better than the LS20, that I don't regret the change of EDC lights for a moment. I'm still just as impressed as ever with the 3S converter and the switching scheme that is used. In fact, I'm MORE impressed. I don't even have to think about it. It is transparent. Whatever level I want, I get to in short order, without much conscious thought. And that is the mark of an excellent UI. And I really appreciate not having to clean and lube the o-rings all the time. Since the head doesn't need to turn except for a battery change, and since there's no moving piston, I find I can go a long time before I need to clean and lube the threads and o-ring and o-ring channel. I also really appreciate the ease with which I can put in a new switch, and switch boot.

Yes, the LS20 and Ti-PD-S are beautiful and wonderful lights, but to me the Haiku is every bit as beautiful. In fact, for me the heat fins machined into the head of the light are really, really special, and just the whole thing--the proportions of the light, the feel in the hand--really special. There are obviously a lot of Haiku's out there, and they are still being sold (or some versions of them), while the Ti-PD and other PD lights are not being made anymore and have become even harder and more expensive to find and purchase (last I checked, anyway), and I think that maybe this can make some of us under-rate the Haiku, but I've owned a Ti-PD-S and an LS20 both, and I've settled on the Haiku, and I'm still very happy about that decision.

Thanks for all the amazing lights, Don!
 

run4jc

Flashlight Enthusiast
CPF Supporter
Joined
Apr 27, 2009
Messages
3,788
Location
Sweet Home Alabama
Totally supporting js' position here I am offering a slightly 'different' point of view. An old question - asked many times - but if you could choose only ONE light, what would it be? For me it would be so simple - my 119V Haiku.

I made a choice about a year ago to leave the corporate world and 'semi retire' to teach college business classes at the University of Alabama (my alma mater and my home town.) With that change came a rather drastic reduction in income - again, by choice. While my family and I are blessed and have what we need or want, the steady high income stream is gone, hence I am no longer of a mind to collect high-end, custom lights.

At one point in time (although still a lightweight compared to many of you) my stable of lights was impressive, and I enjoyed and appreciated them all. Ah, the LS20 I once owned - clicky and PD packs, modded by DaFab with more modern emitters - modded by fyrstormer with his cool centauri mod (HERE), it was truly impressive. IIRC, I've owned 4 LS20s in all, an XR, PD, PDS (in ti and aluminum), LS27, Mules,Sundrops, Makais, on and on. Great lights all. But most all of them were rarely, if ever used, and that's a lot of cash to have tied up in shelf queens! Lord only knows how many Haikus I've owned - including a beautiful version of the 119V, a 6V driven at ~1.2. Had a gorgeous AquaRam, too....

Would I change anything about the Haiku? Maybe just one thing - a 'lower low', but that's not really a big deal. I have the 007 set to an uber low low and can use it when moving around in the dark to avoid disturbing my wife.

So now I've settled down into what I can justify and what really satisfies me, and it's the 119V Haiku. Yes, the little bit of added output from the 6V was nice, but it really was not enough (for me) to offset the increase in size. I'd love to own an LS20 for the sheer beauty and collectibility of it, but it wouldn't be used. My preference leans towards the 3S/clicky over the PD - and I am not a fan of twisty interfaces. There's really only one twisty that I love, and that's twisty knob of my Spy 007.

So I have 2 custom lights - my Haiku and my XPG2 007. The rest have been released into the hands of others who are surely appreciating them. Oh, I have lots of lights - I serve as a writer for The Firearm Blog and hence receive many a light to test.

But on my nightstand is the 007. And when dress for work or play - every day- my High CRI Haiku 119V takes its place in my pocket - my true EDC.
 

js

Flashlight Enthusiast
Joined
Aug 2, 2003
Messages
5,793
Location
Upstate New York
So . . .

Mere days after I posted on the 3rd of July above that I didn't regret my change of EDC lights for a moment, the new guy at work and I were on shift together for a string of evenings in a row, and he is a flashaholic also, and we were showing each other some of the lights from our collection. And, well, he EDC's a Nitecore EX11 Smart PD light. And when I played around with the NiteCore Piston Drive, it was like something clicked, and not long after that I started having serious regrets that I sold my LunaSol 20! In an effort to work through these feelings, I thought back carefully to when I owned both the Haiku and the LS20 and to why I switched and to what each was like and so on. This, however, just made me remember all the awesome things about the LunaSol. I remembered that the high beam was clearly better on the Haiku, in every way, of course. But I also remembered the low-flood beam of the LunaSol.

On top of that, experience has recently been forcefully reminding me that I still really do find the low-flood / high-throw combo to be fantastically useful. It's a very big "plus" for the LunaSol over the Haiku! I tried adding an Arc AAA, and then a Sapphire GS, into the mix with my Haiku, but from my memory, I preferred the LunaSol 20 low-flood / high-throw combo in a single light.

And, well, I just couldn't shake off missing the LunaSol and regretting selling it! So, I emailed and PM'd the person who bought my original LunaSol asking him if he would consider selling it back to me. Sadly, he said he used the light frequently and loved it and didn't want to sell it. Which I, of course, totally understood! LOL! So, then I posted a WTB thread basically begging for someone with a spare LunaSol 20 they could sell to send me a PM! And, well, I am so grateful that coloradogps had one he was willing to sell me! Thank you, coloradogps! I really appreciate it!

Now, the point of all this isn't for me to back away from my stance that the 3S lights have justly superseded the PD lights! I still hold to that position, by and large.

But I would like to back away a little bit on these two counts:

1. In the OP of this thread I listed "better grip" as one of the 3S pros. I now believe that this was really all due to the fact that at the time, my Haiku was brand new, with freshly minted titanium parts, as it were, while my LunaSol 20 was well worn, well loved, having been EDC'd for over three years. Now that the positions are reversed, with my LS20 being fairly new condition, and my Haiku having been EDC'd for over two years, I find the LS20 to have the slightly better grip, overall. I no longer find that the larger diameter PD pack causes a slightly less secure grip. It's definitely true that the McClickie pack has deeper rings, and that these are, by definition, more "grippy". And it's definitely true that the Haiku head is both incredibly beautiful and very grippy due to those cooling fins. The Haiku is the light that's less likely to be accidentally dropped, I think. But, in terms of grips in use and hand-feel, I think both of these lights are freaking just amazing. Don designs incredibly ergonomic lights (and, clips!). Period. The Ti-PD-S, the LunaSol 20, the Haiku--whatever--they are all amazing lights to handle and use.

2. And, as I said above, I still, after all, feel that a low-flood / high-throw combo has great merit and usefulness. So, I am backing away from my statement in the OP that I no longer find this combo to be as fantastically useful as I once did. I still do. I just found--and STILL FIND--that the High CRI Haiku with the Nichia 119 that I own has simply one of the best beams I have ever experienced. It's really great! But, it's not a flood beam on any setting.

So, at this point, I am embracing the concept of an EDC rotation! Or I have both the Haiku and the LunaSol with me, one in my pocket, one in a bag. The Haiku is an amazing light and a benchmark EDC and I love it. But until there is a 3S light with a flood and throw combo, my LunaSol 20 will stay in the EDC rotation and will not be knocked off its place in my estimation as one of the best EDC lights ever made. It will just share that honor with the Haiku. :)

This is a first for me, and I think it speaks to how great Don's lights are! Just my $0.02. YMMV.
 

calflash

Enlightened
Joined
Jun 13, 2010
Messages
418
It may say "moderator" under you name but you are still a flashaholic, huh?:laughing: Makes me feel better about myself. I've developed the habit of double fisting my lights because as much as I like my haiku, sometimes two lights are just better than one.:naughty:

More seriously though, I agree with your conclusion about the beams. I do find the low flood/ high throw combo to be one of the most useful ideas in flashlights. Enjoy both your lights.
 

js

Flashlight Enthusiast
Joined
Aug 2, 2003
Messages
5,793
Location
Upstate New York
calflash,

Yep, I'm a flashaholic through and through. Always have been, always will be. I was pretty sparse on the boards for the last two years and did very little in the way of being a moderator, but at this point I've decided that I miss CPF and our community here and want to do my part to help out, and so I'm once again an active moderator.

But still definitely a flashaholic! LOL!

Thanks for your post. :)
 

nbp

Moderator
Staff member
Joined
Dec 16, 2007
Messages
10,732
Location
Wisconsin
Good to have you back around more permanently js. I always enjoy your style of writing and your thoughtful perspectives. :)

I had a McLux III PD for awhile and test drove an LS20 for a bit and they were never quite for me, but you know I love Don's 3S lights. I have a Haiku, Mule and SunDrop and they are nearly perfect to me.
 

js

Flashlight Enthusiast
Joined
Aug 2, 2003
Messages
5,793
Location
Upstate New York
Yeah, aren't they great? I just love the SunDrop! (And, of course, the Haiku!) I had a mule head that Don made for the SF L1, and that was also really great, but I gave that light and the mule head to a friend so I no longer have it. I may borrow it back for a bit for a review of the SunDrop that I have planned. We'll see.
 

arewethereyetdad

Moderator,
Joined
Nov 28, 2003
Messages
8,370
Location
Kansas City, MO
I remain completely and unequivocably in favor of all PD-based lights, especially the PD-S and Lunasol models, over the 3S lights, and hereby remain defiantly opposed to the theme of this thread. ;)
 

js

Flashlight Enthusiast
Joined
Aug 2, 2003
Messages
5,793
Location
Upstate New York
arewethereyetdad,

You know by now, I am sure, how much I love the Piston-Drive concept, and moreover how much I love the LunaSol 20. And you know from recent events that I agree that there is no better EDC than the LunaSol 20.

So, please understand that it is not just "pro forma" when I say that I totally and completely respect and honor your opinion and your right to have it. It's why I modified the language in the first post and even in the thread title back when easilyled and I went back and forth. (You may recall your bit about how he and I were "giving each other foot massages"? LOL!)

But, even having said all that, I think the fact remains that a 3+ level PD-based light is problematic. I get it. I really do. Having forgotten what Don had said quite clearly and eloquently in this thread two years ago now, I recently sent him an email floating the idea of a 3S Piston-Drive light. He responded very civilly and kindly explained that he had already played with a 3S driver powering the Golden Dragon in a LunaSol and wasn't happy with the results.

I just went back and re-read all of Don's posts in this thread (as well as all of your previous posts--see below-- :devil: ) and I think it's worth anyone's time in doing so, even if they already read them back when this thread was first posted. Don has tried everything; thought of everything; built many prototypes; and obviously has the very highest standards and the very best judgment of lights and ergonomics (mechanical and electrical). This is, after all, pretty much his full time job. Or at least a seriously important part time job. So, whatever we've thought of, he's probably already actually proto-typed and tried (or something like it). After I sent Don my 3S PD email I felt pretty stupid, and I felt bad for adding to the billions of such communiques Don has already had to deal with in his career. In my defense, I was kind of excited about it at the time, and I also really didn't assume that it would be a new idea to him--just really wanted to hear his thoughts.

Anyway . . .

Point is that whatever our personal preferences are, Don had very good reasons for moving forward as he did with the 3S lights, and his reasons are pretty well documented here in this thread, as well as the personal experiences and reasonings of those people who have moved on as well.

For the record, while I was an idiot for selling my LunaSol 20, and while I am SUPER happy to have it back and will never sell it (really and truly this time), it is also my considered opinion that the High CRI Haiku is quite simply one of the best EDC lights ever made, right alongside the LunaSol, and I love that I own both lights.

You are, of course, free to state for the record--as you have--your own differing opinion on these issues! LOL!

I decided to go back and re-read and collect all your previous posts in this thread. Here they are: and it looks like you maybe tried a Haiku again and revisited your opinion of it, only to have experience confirm you as a PD enthusiast? Let us know!

Thanks for NOTHIN', JS. Now, because of you, I have to fork another $450 over to Don for another Haiku, a gem sorely missing from my collection. You have made me fall back in love with the Haiku, even though I swore from Day 1 that all I ever really needed were PD-based titanium McGizmos. Geez.......

(note to self: do not read js posts - they'll cost ya)

I would echo every point made in this post, Daniel. I, too, prefer the PD series, if asked to choose. That's why my McGizmos are mostly PD variety. But you're absolutely right: Don has never made a bad light and he remains, to this day, the King of EDC.

While you two are gleefully giving each other foot massages, I would like to categorically state that I prefer the PD series, FWIW. But it IS an enjoyable read!

To each his own. Sorry to be a dissenting vote, but there is no better light, overall, than the LS20. And if Don would do another run, perhaps with updated LEDs, it would sell out in minutes. I'll take the PD concept over the 3S concept every time. But, of course, they're all McGizmos. How can you go wrong? It's like choosing one day to drive the Ferrari and the next day to drive the Lamborghini.

I remain completely and unequivocably in favor of all PD-based lights, especially the PD-S and Lunasol models, over the 3S lights, and hereby remain defiantly opposed to the theme of this thread.
 

nbp

Moderator
Staff member
Joined
Dec 16, 2007
Messages
10,732
Location
Wisconsin
Man, there are so many great posts in this thread. It's a gem to go back and read through.

Jim, have you had a chance to try a Malkoff MDC? It's got some of Don's parts in it, as many Malkoffs do, and I have taken to calling it "The Poor Man's Haiku" as it is similar in so many ways but considerably cheaper. I hope I offend neither Don nor Gene with that comment, as I have utmost respect for both and I mean it as a high compliment to Gene, and I like to think Don already knows I love his lights, haha. I am working on a review by the above name in an effort to spread the word about the MDC as a fantastic light in it's own right, as well as a gateway light to the Haiku, hehehe. :devil:

Anyway, that's way off topic here. :ohgeez:
 

js

Flashlight Enthusiast
Joined
Aug 2, 2003
Messages
5,793
Location
Upstate New York
nbp,

No. But the name "Malkoff" is on my "to investigate" list, you can be sure. I'm working my way through a huge backlog, trying to catch up and get an idea of what's out there. It's all Don's fault. Got my LunaSol and I was suddenly a whole lot less interested in keeping up on all the other options out there. LOL! Then, added a SunDrop and High CRI Haiku to my McGizmo line-up, and all the Cree LED fancy SOS-mode, strobe mode, Zombie Mode, infinitely variable this and that lights just so didn't interest me!

But then I missed the hobby, and CPF, and the thrill of keeping up on all this stuff and taking part in the discussion, real-time. So I'm back.

So, really, what I'm saying is that people who like to horse-trade lights and who have a "stable" of them and who are always seeking for the next big thing and who like that whole vibe--all those people should definitely not get a McGizmo. It could very well make them so satisfied and happy that they lose interest in that whole frenetic scene and just linger around the McGizmo forum every so often to see if there's a new McGizmo light, and haunt Custom B/S/T like lost spectres, hoping for a reasonably priced Ti-PD-S or LunaSol 27. It's a terrible fate. Avoid it if you can! There should be a support group.
 

nbp

Moderator
Staff member
Joined
Dec 16, 2007
Messages
10,732
Location
Wisconsin
nbp,

No. But the name "Malkoff" is on my "to investigate" list, you can be sure.

This line, coming from a long time member, is one of the funniest things I have seen in a while. ;)

I hope you don't take offense at that! You have been gone awhile! LOL. Gene Malkoff (member Gene43) has been here a long time and has been producing bulletproof dropins and now full lights for years. You'll enjoy his stuff.

Sorry, back to McGizmo mania! :)
 

js

Flashlight Enthusiast
Joined
Aug 2, 2003
Messages
5,793
Location
Upstate New York
Oh, I've heard the name for years and years! I just never seriously looked into him until now. I was an incan guy, remember? FiveMega was more in my neighborhood.

Anyway, just checking out the MDC right now, actually. :) Although, honestly, I don't know if I'll ever buy a non-titanium light again. At least not a small sized non-ti light.
 
Last edited:

nbp

Moderator
Staff member
Joined
Dec 16, 2007
Messages
10,732
Location
Wisconsin
Oh good, I thought you didn't know who he was! hahaha

Well, the MDC is a pretty nice little light, and a lot like a budget Haiku, IMO. It won't take the place of my Haiku, but it is nice! A few features I almost wish I could incorporate into my Haiku actually, like the potted electronics for maximum durability (I know why Don doesn't do this and I am cool with it) and the reset to low mode after the light has been on for two seconds and turned off. I kinda would like it if my Haiku could do that. The best I can do is a sweet little lego, making a McMalkoff - I really like this lego of the Ti McClicky Pak with the MDC head.

Malkoff MDC - The “Poor Man's Haiku” - Another Ideal EDC

2014-08-04200632_zpsd650f39a.jpg
 

carrot

Flashaholic
Joined
Dec 6, 2005
Messages
9,230
Location
New York City
I remain completely and unequivocably in favor of all PD-based lights, especially the PD-S and Lunasol models, over the 3S lights, and hereby remain defiantly opposed to the theme of this thread. ;)

I agree wholeheartedly with AWTYD. The 3S lights are great, but the PD lights are still the superior ones.
 

js

Flashlight Enthusiast
Joined
Aug 2, 2003
Messages
5,793
Location
Upstate New York
. . .

A few features I almost wish I could incorporate into my Haiku actually, like the potted electronics for maximum durability (I know why Don doesn't do this and I am cool with it) and the reset to low mode after the light has been on for two seconds and turned off. I kinda would like it if my Haiku could do that.

. . .

Potting electronics is a potentially problematic approach to making the electronics more durable. The problem is that the potting compound has a single coefficient of expansion and mates with the electronics which have varied coefficients and which also may have a significantly different rate of expansion than the potting compound. So, you pot your board at room temp, but then your light is used in Northern Canada or Alaska, and sits in a car at some incredibly low temperature, like, say, -40 C or even colder. This can and will break solder joints. Potting is useful to reduce and mitigate the effects of vibration, like in electronics in vehicles, or factories and etc. It is also used by the military for Gun Launched electronics and Smart Munitions, which experience extreme mechanical stresses and high g-forces. However, they seem to have concluded that it's a mixed blessing, for the precise reason that the munitions need to work over a very large temperature range, and the potting materials thermal expansion match to the electronics wasn't good enough. Here are some excerpts from two studies by the military on the issue:

The operating and storage range for munitions is −42°C to 63°C and −51°C to 71°C, respectively. It is important to note that while the potted electronics assembly may protect the electronic components from large vibratory and shock loads; the material chosen must retain stable mechanical properties through the operating and storage temperature regimes. Material testing reveals that the mechanical properties of the potting material employed for this analysis change significantly with temperature. Because of this and as supported by [3, 6, 7, 16–18] the potting material potentially imposes additional risks to the mechanical stability of the electronics assembly. The material evaluated in this study is not an ideal potting solution because of its thermomechanical issues.

and

Due to the highly dynamic nature of gun launch, many electronic systems resort to potted designs in order to achieve a higher degree of reliability (Ref. 1 through 3). It has been observed previously (Ref. 3) that potting is problematic in the development of reliable munitions. The problems are manifold but the dominant issues revolve around the temperature dependency of the electronic components and also the potting material itself. Variations in temperature greatly affect structural properties, induce thermal expansion mismatch stresses, and also influence the dynamic behavior of the design. As finite element analysis capabilities advance more insight is being gained as to dynamic behavior and, as will be discussed and illuminated in this work, a particularly troublesome aspect of a potted design transient thermal-stress response.

And since your flashlight is unlikely to need to withstand being launched out of a gun, but is likely to see a wide range of temperatures, I don't feel it's a net benefit. Board designers didn't use to be able to effectively model the dynamic loading and stresses on their electronics because it was so processor intensive (like super-computer intensive--Cray territory). But now, the average desktop or laptop is more than capable of doing this analysis, and modern electronics are designed to address the issues and are thus pretty damn durable. A conformal coating is a much better idea than potting if extra durability and strength are desired from what I understand.

HOWEVER . . .

I am FAR from being an expert on these things! And even though I've talked with experts about these issues and done some reading, I could well be presenting things askew or even misrepresenting them. There are plenty of potting compounds out there with a glass transition temperature higher than the electronics operating range and which would not have any thermal mismatch downsides. I just don't know. I'm in the "a little knowledge is dangerous" territory here, and I'm fully admitting it.

What I can safely say, however, is that I am quite sure that both Don and Gene are putting out very high quality, durable stuff. It's just that potting electronics makes repair impossible, and it's an open question as to whether or not it really does improve durability. I'd go for a conformal coating over potting, personally. Or neither. YMMV.

As for a light always turning on in low mode after a certain amount of time being off, it seems that a lot of people like that idea. Personally, I would definitely not like it. If I'm in a situation where I need High intermittently (and it happens often enough) then I absolutely do NOT want to have to cycle up through to get to it again. Just my preference.
 

KDM

Flashlight Enthusiast
Joined
May 31, 2012
Messages
2,010
Location
Tennessee
JS,
I'm definitely with you about mode memory and one of my favorite features about Don's lights. The latch time is perfect IMO, you have the ability to use momentarily without changing modes. Of course changing modes is easy enough as well. If I'm worried about blinding myself with high mode I simply cover the end of the light then cycle it.
 

calflash

Enlightened
Joined
Jun 13, 2010
Messages
418
...potting electronics makes repair impossible, and it's an open question as to whether or not it really does improve durability. I'd go for a conformal coating over potting, personally. Or neither. YMMV.
Thanks for the info on potting and thermal concerns - very interesting!

I too know little about this subject outside of my own mileage but I can say this: I have lost components off circuit boards due to shock but I've never experienced a problem caused by potting. I'm definitely one of those that would benefit from potting or conformal coating... Or maybe a good solid whipping for being so rough with my lights:sssh:
 

js

Flashlight Enthusiast
Joined
Aug 2, 2003
Messages
5,793
Location
Upstate New York
Thanks everyone for your posts!

So, I just talked with one of the electrical engineers here at work--very very smart guy. He's been in industry and been a consultant. He worked for Raytheon before he worked here. He designs boards, power supplies, high voltage pulse forming networks--you name it. He's the senior research associate in charge of our whole Linear accelerator injector.

Anyway, so I asked him about potting electronics, and he takes a VERY dim view of it. He basically said "avoid it at all costs"! LOL! At Raytheon they had a high voltage power supply that they needed to pot due to reaching the voltage breakdown limit of air, and they had a lot of problems with it. There are thermal issues--the potting is a relative insulator, unlike some of the oils used in these situations--our LINAC has modulator sections that have big tanks of high voltage breakdown resistant oil, for example, and the oil is excellent at carrying away heat, as you might expect. But potting is another story.

Then there are issues of temperature variations, just like I mentioned above, and the possibility of breaking solder joints and components, etc.

And, you make your electronics a throw-away when you pot it, so it's no longer repairable--and you can't even diagnose what went wrong to figure out he to improve the durability of your design.

He did, however, like conformal coatings, and suggested using those if extra durability or water resistance or etc is desired.

As for the issue of how and when a smart clickie light switches modes, I really really love that Don's 3S lights are essentially single-mode lights in use that CAN be switched easily to a different mode. For me, I do not want to have to work around inadvertent level switching! I've been reading a lot about all the different lights out there now and it's shocking to me that no one else is using a scheme like Don's. It seems so obviously superior. I guess it may just be me. But for example, the P2X Fury will always start in low but will switch to high if you turn it off and back on again within 2 seconds. I thought about that and I was like WHAT A PAIN! If you were intermittently using low you'd have to always wait longer than 2 seconds between on-times! Then if you were using high, you'd have to always wait LESS than 2 seconds? I don't know about that. But, for crying out loud, it's the very opposite of a KISS UI. Even the Nitecore SRT7 with the selector ring on it--where I was initially like, OK, a SF U2 kind of approach--even that they had to over complicate and make stupidly "smart"! And it has a freaking selector ring on it for crying out loud! The entire flashlight industry has gone insane for complicated multi-mode multi-level lights it seems!

Thank goodness for McGizmo lights!

OK . . . just a quick update re: potting. Back to work!
 

Latest posts

Top