USL Production Updates...Part 2

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mst3k

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EVERY dime I collected has gone into the build and purchase of the parts necessary. This isn't a business.

Bill





Not to be wacky here, but. When you take money and promise to provide a service or a product, then I think it IS business.

No??

:poke::D


Note tongues firmly in cheek here.
 

Bright Scouter

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But a business exists to make money. What Bill offered to do was build people a light similar to one he built for himself, and a few others as a hobby. The fact that he took money to buy the parts does not necessarily make it a business. But we are getting into semantics here.

We also are somewhat losing sight of the fact that he is waiting for good parts to replace defective parts (batteries). He could have, and some probably would have just gone ahead with mailing out what may have been defective lights.

This light will still be very much a state of the art light.

And yes, you probably can go ahead and try to build one yourself. Others have done it. The build method has been published and is available in the USL threads. It's not a secret.

The thing that frustrates ME most is that this build has soured Bill to the point that any of the other creations he had thoughts of long ago will never be offered out here for sale.
 

nitnapz

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The USL is a 2D 100W maglite with a 12+ minute runtime, and it pretty much looks stock.

I won't doubt the quality of bills work. i will doubt any warranty that i could dream of, i would simply .. build my own
----------------------------------------
* stock 2d mag - ebay $25
* tri bore - $30?jesus
* battery pack - uncle LUX

Elite 1500mAh 2/3A cells
For 2D host (tribore configuration)
  • 14.4V (12 cells) $62
  • 15.6V (13 cells) $68
* reflector from uncle FM - $25
* OS bulb - $6
* UCL lense - $6
* KIU socket - $15
-----------------------------------------
i think that this would value me better, compromising a the USL switch, bumper stickers, and annual delay
-----------------------------------------
I'm at approximately $175USD. there has got to be a margin in there somewhere.. after all i did pay about 325 for mine. gotta be a gold nugget hidden in the tailcap.

I just feel bad for sign-up users, when i have a used one already and feel jacked for the price, when knowing what it really entails.
 

KevinL

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I just wanted to put in my encouragement for the USL team. It is still a fantastic light even though it did blow six bulbs within a matter of weeks on my watch :) (well tough luck, comes with the territory of working right at the envelope of the bulbs! And I forgot to let it rest a few times)

I'm not on the waitlist as my USL has come and gone, but am just curious: how many more lights remain till the finish line?

Also, as has been said, those who wish to build their own lights are welcome to build their own lights.. :) (I know I've built a few! :D)
 

paulr

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Those of us expecting or desiring a guaranteed and on-time result should have gone to a hardware store and bought a magcharger ready-made. Those expecting a team of engineers to drop everything else they're doing and work around the clock to solve all problems once the schedule slips should consider how much money is spent on military and NASA projects to make that happen (and those projects slip anyway, often by years). Yes, if NASA wanted a light like this, United Technologies would have been happy to bid on the job, and you can imagine what the price tag would have been. The USL project was what in industry is called a "moon shot" from the very beginning. That means it pushed the technical envelope hard enough, and in enough ways, that it had a high probability of total failure (defined as never delivering any working lights), so it's already done far better than what might have been, and we should all feel some relief that it's gotten to where it is.

We all had a choice between making an exciting but risky investment or buying a Magcharger, and those of us who opted for risk and excitement should certainly have understood that we were not guaranteed a Magcharger outcome. And as for markup: I used to work at a place that did this type of stuff (custom hardware development), with much more conservative technology choices than the USL's, and we marked up every project by 800% (eight hundred percent) in order to be reasonably sure of not getting clobbered by the uncertainty in any advanced development effort, and even still we sometimes took a bath. Applying that standard to Nitnapz's $175 cost figure, the USL would cost about $1400 per light if done as a real business deal. As it is, we're participants in a recreational project, and seeing all this stuff happen and experiencing the ups and downs and taking them as they come is part of what we signed up for. (Also, IIRC the USL price was $265, so the $325 that Nitnapz paid must include a charger, spare bulbs, or whatever. And I think the $265 was intended among other things to cover a fair number of spare battery packs at Bill's end to replace failed ones of which there have been quite a few).

Of course I'd like to have gotten my light (#43) sooner but I continue to be satisfied with Bill's persistence and determination. I see he's still working at it, progress is happening, I even feel pretty confident of eventually getting a light, and seeing the story unfold through its twists and turns has itself been worth most of the admission price, so I'm not stressing out about it.

The thing that frustrates ME most is that this build has soured Bill to the point that any of the other creations he had thoughts of long ago will never be offered out here for sale.
I agree with everything in Bright Scouter's post and this last point is an especially perceptive one.
 
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Carpe Diem

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Hi Bill...

I fully understand some of the frustration being voiced recently in this thread by both you and some of the other persons still on the wait list.

From my vantage point, though, I want to thank you again for your quality control efforts. I`ve never lost faith in you or your project, and I`ll gladly continue to patiently wait for my two USL`s.

Keep up the good work, kind sir!

:thumbsup:
 

mst3k

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PaulR............. I'm guessing you work under a government contract or something?? NASA?? $1400 per light? Excuse me? This isn't the space shuttle, it is a flashlight! :crackup:

I will give you this. You have more patience than I have ever encountered.

Funny I just read one of your posts, posted on 10-31-2005.


Here it is:

I think Bill is doing fine. We all knew when we got into this that the USL is not an off-the-shelf product and that it was going to take a while to complete the project. I avoided setting any expectations in my mind about delivery dates and am satisfied as long as steady progress is being made. Things are ramping up now and finishing the run is probably no more than a few months away, but even if it takes longer than that, I'm fine. I don't have any applications critically depending on the USL.



A few months away......................:naughty:

Ok, I'm done, I will now try to adopt some of your patience and just wait until my number comes up! I'm actually still pretty excited about someday getting one!

Cheers.
 
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brightnorm

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Please allow me to put this in perspective:...I'm sorry. That post that stated: My USL has been working perfectly for the last 1 1/2 years just stuck in my craw....

I'm sorry that my post made you feel bad. I didn't post to boast, but to point out that with reliable batteries the USL works brilliantly, and is still a cutting edge light by anyone's definition.

I have experienced similar problems with certain custom builds and I know how incredibly frustrating this must be for you.

Having followed this project from the beginning I've gotten to know that Bill is a very honest and reliable man who, while attempting to buy the very best batteries, had the misfortune to receive below-par stock that is no match for the extraordinary demands made by this uber-light. Unfortunately, his misfortune became your misfortune, understandably creating terrible delays and frustration all around.

JS encountered similar problems with his M6-R packs which led him to generously pass the baton to you-know-who, who subsequently stuck that baton you-know-where to many trusting buyers.

Bill is absolutely legitimate, and so are your concerns and your frustration. I hate it when things like this happen to really great projects created by brilliant innovators for eager buyers!

All this is a real shame, but I'm confident that all commitments will eventually be honored.

Brightnorm
 

mst3k

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Bright.............man, please don't feel bad. I know you weren't boasting or anything like that, and I really appreciate everything you had to say here. You are a good guy. It was just the whole "time frame" thing that made me just kind of think, dammit!

Don't worry about nuttin'. It's all good.
 

KevinL

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And Bill's house burned down.. well, part of it at least. Not something you want to happen to you.

Yes, my ArcAAA got burned in that incident, no, it did not start the fire. "We didn't start the fiiiiiiiiiirrrrreeee" ;)

He did say he'd send me the Arc (remains) and after a couple of months I basically forgot all about it. Nearly a year went by..! but I received a PM a while ago asking for an address.. he doesn't forget - he will get around to it!
 
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tanasit

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I am one of those who are waiting for my USL. I checked back every now and then with mixed feelings, however at this point as long as Bill keeps me posted I am okay with it.

:popcorn::popcorn::popcorn:

PS. For those who paid via PayPal using your credit cards and want your money back, try to contact your CC company like I did in the case of Mag C aspherical and get your credit back. They told me that there is NO time limit to claim because this is the non received product case. Note that I had to do this because the builder never replied my countless PM.
 

js

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Bill,

I've kept certain opinions of mine to myself because I respect you greatly and because I know that your intentions are 100 percent good. And also, because I am part of this project.

However, I feel the time has come for me to speak out somewhat.

I feel that we should set a deadline before which time all USL orders will be filled, or failing that, REFUNDED.

I know this whole project has been a loss. I know that refunding 10 or 20 USL orders calls for no small amount of money.

But it's time. It's past time. I feel that we can not in good conscience do any less. We can always sell the USL's that get completed after the deadline on B/S/T to recoup the money spent on refunds. And I'm sure there will be plenty of people who refuse the refunds (should it come to that) and say "no problem, Bill, I can wait." But this way, at least the people waiting have a certain, solid, final deadline by which they either get their USL or they get their money back.

It needs to be done. And I am willing to take some of the moral and financial responsibilty for this proposed course of action--the "we" above wasn't merely rhetorical.
 

karlthev

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Maybe none of my business other than the fact that I waited, and waited (!) for my USL and FINALLY got it! My impression? It was well worth the wait although, while I was waiting, I may not have said the same thing. These will come but, those of you waiting may not have the patience for the duration. I will say that this is the "hottest" (brightest would be a better description!) of all my "hotwires" and I don't regret having paid for it in advance and waited for it to come. I did receive mine however and, I certainly do respect others' opinions.

Karl
 

bwaites

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I respect everyone's opinion re: the delays.

I am doing my best to get to a point where I can deliver all the lights in a timely manner. My goal is by Christmas, so I guess you can use that as the deadline date. There are some complicating issues which I am not at liberty to discuss in an open forum, however.

I certainly understand the frustration of those of you who have not received your lights. I have waited prolonged periods for things for which I have paid, and I understand the angst that goes with it.

I WILL get all the lights completed as soon as possible.

Bill
 

nitnapz

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My goal is by Christmas, so I guess you can use that as the deadline date.

I WILL get all the lights completed as soon as possible.

Bill

DEC25:thumbsup:

-----------
hope most of yaul are going to have a christmas tree set ablazeee! yeehaw.:D
 

mst3k

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I respect everyone's opinion re: the delays.

I am doing my best to get to a point where I can deliver all the lights in a timely manner. My goal is by Christmas, so I guess you can use that as the deadline date. There are some complicating issues which I am not at liberty to discuss in an open forum, however.

I certainly understand the frustration of those of you who have not received your lights. I have waited prolonged periods for things for which I have paid, and I understand the angst that goes with it.

I WILL get all the lights completed as soon as possible.

Bill

So I guess your earlier, "By the end of October" deadline is right out.
:shrug:

Bill, I know you have life issues. We all do, but it is time to make a final commitment to this project and finish this thing. I, for one, do not want a refund. I want my light. Christmas is fine, I guess, but please please please make that deadline a reality!

Please????
 

bwaites

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Which is exactly why I don't like deadlines, because there are too many out of my control issues.

Bill


So I guess your earlier, "By the end of October" deadline is right out.
:shrug:

Bill, I know you have life issues. We all do, but it is time to make a final commitment to this project and finish this thing. I, for one, do not want a refund. I want my light. Christmas is fine, I guess, but please please please make that deadline a reality!

Please????
 

js

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Dec 25th is too soon. We don't know when we're going to be getting the battery packs back from House of Batteries, and then there is the Christmas/Holiday madness. At this point, speaking for myself, Dec 25th is too soon.

Until we hear from HoB, I think Feb 1 2008 is what I could commit to. However, Bill and I are working this sort of thing out. One of us will post back here regarding the deadline sometime next week.
 
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