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Thread: What happened??

  1. #1
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    Default What happened??

    I remember when the Arc forum was the most posted in place on CPF. Now, I hardly see any new posts. As of right now, 2 new posts today, 3 yesterday, come on!!!!! Peter, you gotta leak some news so we can get to typin over here Do it purposely but claim it was an inside informant and you had nothing to do with it, kinda like politicians do. This place needs some ACTION!! PM me with the info and I'll do it for you, and, I'll take the CPF oath and never say from whom I got the info Doug
    Grateful friend of Bill W.

  2. #2

    Default Re: What happened??

    Good things come to those who wait. With all the new lights on the market I'm sure Peter wants something special and that to me looks like a mind boggling undertaking. I think in the end it will be a extremely durable and versatile product that true users and abusers will be happy with.

  3. #3
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    Default Re: What happened??

    still have yet to hear about a aa lux
    All started with a streamlight keymate...CPF, NOW LOOK WHAT YOU HAVE DONE!...embarking on the journey for a real light...better than surefire ...making pathetic attempt searching for the ultimate aa cough-cree cough cough ion cough

  4. #4
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    Default Re: What happened??

    Quote Originally Posted by TIP AND RING
    Good things come to those who wait. .
    Very well said

  5. #5
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    Default Re: What happened??

    Hey, for me it has been exciting.. Summer is a good time for R&D.

    Peter

  6. #6
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    Default Re: What happened??

    So... did you happen to test out any of your prototypes when you were doing the recent lumen testing ??

    Anything you'd care to mention ???

  7. #7

    Default Re: What happened??

    Quote Originally Posted by Gransee
    Hey, for me it has been exciting.. Summer is a good time for R&D.

    Peter
    Hehe...what about the winter power-outs?

    Quote Originally Posted by D@rk Messenger
    still have yet to hear about a aa lux
    Hehe......uh, Fenix?

    How much will the next Arc Ęo$t? What features? Something to rival the HDS60GXTR?

    Gopherithinkistilllikethepeakglacierbaythatnobodyh asGopher
    -Arc AAA-P r.4,r.5, Peak LED Sol. Caribbean 3W Lux (retired), Foursevens QTLC Gen 2

  8. #8
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    Default Re: What happened??

    Quote Originally Posted by icecube
    Hehe...what about the winter power-outs?



    Hehe......uh, Fenix?

    How much will the next Arc Ęo$t? What features? Something to rival the HDS60GXTR?

    Gopherithinkistilllikethepeakglacierbaythatnobodyh asGopher
    no offense to fenix, but the finish really sucks (HA nat all the way!!), besides, it's not bright enough for my liking, and i wanted something smaller for my edc, arc also probably comes with a clip
    All started with a streamlight keymate...CPF, NOW LOOK WHAT YOU HAVE DONE!...embarking on the journey for a real light...better than surefire ...making pathetic attempt searching for the ultimate aa cough-cree cough cough ion cough

  9. #9
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    Default Re: What happened??

    Fenix finish really does suck. I've heard other say otherwise but mine just rubs off like its a spray paint coating. So some parts are still like it was new but others are rubbing off.

  10. #10
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    Default Re: What happened??

    Cmon Peter, how hard can something like this be??



  11. #11
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    Default Re: What happened??

    what he said
    All started with a streamlight keymate...CPF, NOW LOOK WHAT YOU HAVE DONE!...embarking on the journey for a real light...better than surefire ...making pathetic attempt searching for the ultimate aa cough-cree cough cough ion cough

  12. #12
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    Sigh Re: What happened??

    I remember those days, too. My very first LED flashlight was an Arc AAA in September 2001. Back then, the best EDC was the Arc AAA and Surefire E2 combo. I used to enjoy reading everbody's posts on how they liked and disliked features of the Arc AAA and the Arc LS. I think Gransee was the only flashlight manufacturer who interacted regularly with CPF members to improve his products. I bet his pioneering efforts with the Luxeon Star helped pave the way for many of the flashlights on the market today.
    In America, first you get the sugar, then you get the power, then you get the women. - Homer Simpson

  13. #13
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    Default Re: What happened??

    Yes,Yes, the Arc LS. I've had quite a few of those and loved em. Unfortunately, most lights and I part ways rather quickly. I am a buy and sell type guy It's fun though!!!! I hope a newly designed LS is on the way from Peter, although it would be tough to beat the old design IMO. I'd also like to see a AA. Half the fun of these lights is the speculation from you guys!!! I love reading the threads when a new light is due out shortly!! Just plain interesting!!! Doug ps, Randyo that AA is sueeet!!
    Last edited by dtsoll; 06-01-2006 at 03:36 PM.
    Grateful friend of Bill W.

  14. #14
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    Default Re: What happened??

    I'm just the guy with the willing wallet. MillerMods is the Jedi Master.

  15. #15
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    Default Re: What happened??

    Some of you already know some of this:

    I am developing a new Arc-LS. This will be the 5th major production revision since Arc first introduced the market to Luxeon LED flashlights back in 2002. It will cost more, utilize a high power led, single 123 type cell (rechargeable or non-rechargeable), compact form factor, multiple brightness levels, temperature protected, simpler interface, more durable construction, a little easier to mod, etc.

    The most popular questions I receive are then how much and when. Of course I have a rough idea of what it will cost and when it will be ready. However, I don't think now is the time for me to share those projections. Even when I say, "projection" some people hear "promise". So, my mind is my own. Anyways, my real focus is on meeting the goals for output, features, durability, etc. As a result, it will cost whatever it ends up costing and it will take whatever amount of time it takes.

    Another factor in my being more tight lipped on this project compared to the original LS is that back when I released the original LS, it had no competitors. There were no other production LED flashlights with a Luxeon or even driving a single LED over 100mA. Most were using the 5mm LED varieties. Now, there are over 50 companies (many of them Chinese) making a wide variety of high power LED products. Some using luxeon, others using osrams, crees, jupiters, etc.

    Back then I could come on the CPF and say, "I am going to build a high power flashlight and it is going to do x and y". And so what if other companies read my posts, they were still shipping variations on the 5mm LED at the time. The cool thing about that period was everyone could participate in the development.

    But that was then. Of course, the market eventually fills new territory. There are now many high power LED products available and some are pretty decent. The customer now has all sorts of options of price, output, size, battery types, user interface, optics, etc. My recent market study catalogues some of the progress the market has made since 2002.

    There is still progress to be made of course. As usual, I am focusing on the overall utility of a design. I now have access to materials I didnít have access to in 2002, which will make this LS the best LS to date.

    Peter

  16. #16
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    Default Re: What happened??

    Wahooooooooo! I love the LS, always have!! Doug
    Grateful friend of Bill W.

  17. #17

    Default Re: What happened??

    Peter,

    I'm sure you are alot more in tune with the market than am I , however, while the cr123 market does have a very substantial niche carved out for it , it sure seems that alot of folks are slipping back over to the AA side of things. Leds are somewhat responsible for this as well.

    Depending on when the next Arc is available , I'd imagine that there will be very sophisticated , multilevel, high output AA lights that will directly compete with it. If I'm not mistaken surefire practically created the cr123 market and did so to feed voltage/current hungry incandescent bulbs. Leds are increasing in output and dropping in VF so the requirements of power are dropping to the point that lights that can only use 123's are going to begin to look like remnants of the incandescent market.

    Surefire has already teased with the pocket rocket and vows to release a AA light in 2006. I'm sure many others are aiming at huge sales by mainstreaming a AA led light, some will certainly be high end and microprocessor controlled with multiple power options.

    I'd really like to see arc around for a long time to come so maybe consider having a AA option available .
    Titanium flashlights are like solid gold radial tires

  18. #18
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    Default Re: What happened??

    xochi,

    You make some good points. The whole AA/123 issue was discussed awhile back. I argued for the lithium if you recall. Like I said at the time, I am not ruling out future Arc 1xAA designs but I do favor the 123 form factor and to a lesser extent the CR2 form factor. The CR2 is to the 123 as the AAA is to the AA.

    You guys should know that we are now planning for the military market more than before. Each design is now evaluated with the criteria, "is this a good design for the military as well as for the civilian market?" The military needs more power than a single AA can provide, even with the type of LED we should have available in 2 years. Although probably the most readily available cell in their procurement system is the AA cell, the 123 cell is fairly common as well. A 123 cell can provide more power and do so with less weight and bulk than a AA cell. That translates into some real numbers for a modern soldier who has increasing demands placed on them.

    btw, the cost of a 123 cell is similiar to or superior to an AA cell when you factor in light output watts delivered per dollar, transportation costs, cell leakage, etc. Operational costs are definately a factor in equipment procurement.

    The modern warfighter now carries over 100 lbs of gear for some missions and the average walking speed and range has been reduced as a result. Combine this with the propensity for conflicts to be in hot climates which tax both man and equipment. Asymetric warfare tends to be located in urban areas. These areas put increasing demands on reducing the size of gear while increasing its capabilities.

    Although the first market will be civilian, the new Arc-LS is designed for various military applications. In some cases, the design will be customized for a particular set of tasks.

    As a result of this new focus, the 123 cell is going to continue to be preferred by us.

    Peter
    Last edited by Gransee; 06-03-2006 at 05:01 PM.

  19. #19
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    Default Re: What happened??

    One thing I should tell you guys fairly soon is the new LS is designed to be simpler to operate than the Arc4 but not dumber. The switch is a 2-stage push button/twisty (like the McLux PD) with a little bit of software sprinkled in. As a result, you can access 2 levels with one press from off. No double clicking required, no jumping up and down on one foot while holding your breath and thumbing through a manual, etc.

    A multi-stage switch is essential for a making a simple multi-level light. Without a multi-stage, the multi-levels require a nested menu system. "Click to turn on, double click to change", etc. Since I wanted it to be simpler (still paying my penance for unleasing the complex Arc4 on the public), the user interface needed more channels. Not only is this simpler, but it is faster as well. A good 2-stage can provide fast, single handed operation. Faster than a single stage and only one hand is required. Not everyone will find it as useful as I do of course.

    Now, that being said, you should also know the new LS has a microprocessor. Almost a bad word in some camps I know. I love 'em however. The big thing a microprocessor buys is less electronic components required to provide such useful features as temp protect, R123 protect, fall back, etc. Tempurature protection should be standard on a light in this class. Without it, you are either damaging the LED or not getting all you can from it. Scary, but there are high power single 123 lights on the market that either have no temperature protection or they rely on the internal breakers of the switching chips. By the time those trip, the LED is already damaged.

    Ok, a lot of stuff in that paragraph. Why can't we just all get along and go back to using a battery, resistor and an LED? The answer: durable high power. And how complicated is this: push a little for low power, push harder for high power. Or twist to latch in either. If you want a software assist, you can make it latch when the button is pressed. Single handed, latching, fast response. Ok, not everyone is going to love this but I think it is an improvement over anything else I have seen.

    btw, last year we developed a pc interface for configuring the LS. It was developed for our own use only. The plan was for it to be used on the assembly line and for our contractors. It is a good thing for each contractor to have a comprehensive internal QC loop. The software is written in C and runs on windows XP. It uses the usb interface and can set levels, read tempurature, battery voltage, configure various modes, etc.

    Now the quandry, I am tempted to add the necessary finishing touches to make it a retail product. However, I doubt there is much demand for something like this and I don't want to become a computer tech support company. The flashlight is what it is all about. I am also worried that some people might think the light is some complicated thing that has a 30 page manual. It is designed to be simpler than the Arc4. It just happens to have this pc inteface but I have been afraid to mention it. Still worried that some people are already forming misconceptions about the LS right now.

    The Arc4 also had a PC interface for internal use, but it was not as powerful as this current build. I added more features because, well, it was easy and fun and something I have wanted for awhile. And I have found that the window into the device is actually quite handy. More than I expected. I find I use it all the time now for testing, setting the light up for a particular mode, etc. It is so second nature in my testing to use the PC interface to quickly configure the various systems. Not using it makes as much sense as not using a DMM or lab supply. if you can't tell, I am actually quite fond of the PC interface. Ok, it is not pretty in its current iteration; a board with some cables hanging off of it. And don't expect me to make it much prettier. You should know by now I don't do pretty.

    Any rate, the interface is not what I would classify as ready for the public. It wasn't designed primarily for that mission anyways. It would need to be ported to other systems, more verbose error messages, easier dialogues, some stuff to help reduce our tech support, etc. Not worth it for just 10 guys in my opinion. But maybe those 10 guys would like the current version without any tech support? Here it is, figure it out. Oh, btw be carefull of this setting combination, you break it you pay for it.

    Peter
    Last edited by Gransee; 06-03-2006 at 06:27 PM.

  20. #20
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    Default Re: What happened??

    I am probably going to regret that post. The LS is designed to be a tool, not a hobby toy. The user interface is really simpler than the Arc4 to use. And the PC interface.. that is something I did for our own use. And it is very usefull to us. I wish I had an interface this useful when we were making the Arc4.

    But that is for me to use, the problem is when I share it with others.

    I am asking for your opinion about the pc interface. Does the fact you now know it exists make the light seem more complicated to use or less than a tool? Will you be afraid to get the light dirty and bang it around and use it like a solid tool?

    Compared to the Arc4, the new LS is more water proof, more drop resistant and more durable under different operating conditions.

    I know the tool is tough, but sometimes good products fail simply because of perception. Frankly, sharing a fun feature with you is not worth biting the hand that pays for my R&D. If it looks like this PC interface is scaring people off, I am going to move it off to the side.

    Peter

  21. #21
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    Default Re: What happened??

    PC interface not scaring me ! I STILL EDC an Arc4. It's not my hobby toy, but my hobby tool ! I like your way of thinking and have love all your concepts so far...

    I have nothing more to say.
    Keep up the good work...

    Cheers !

  22. #22
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    Default Re: What happened??

    Hey PG ... I like the sound of your new switching philosophy!
    Sounds like an interesting marriage between a KISS switch and sophisticated wizardry in the background that goes unnoticed by the user and does not use up brainpower ...

    Seems you'll have me back as a customer after the Arc4 made me stop ...

    bernhard
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  23. #23
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    Default Re: What happened??

    Thanks bombelman. Although judging from your sig, I think you are biased. I am also biasedÖ

    The PC interface is pretty useful for me but I use it differently than I think the average customer would. The few people who did buy it I suspect they would either use it to experiment with different settings or to quickly setup their levels, menus (if they want menus), etc. You could change your levels just fine without it by using the 10-click menu. You don't need the PC interface. Or just use the factory default. Millions of flashlights have been sold all over the world with factory default brightness and no one thought to change it.

    Now, I find the PC interface useful because I need to dial in specific duty cycles, etc. This level of detail is not visible to the human eye at the LED output. So it is not really needed for average use. If you want a level visibly brighter, you go to the next factory set level in the settings menu. Being able to set 100s of levels between two visible settings is overkill. And it is dangerous too. There are many combinations that will either melt the LED or melt the converter subsystem. Some settings use more power and don't provide any extra light output. The PC interface does not filter all bad user inputs. And you don't get much warning. I have twitched the mouse accidentally and fried a board before.

    Besides, the techies would probably complain I didn't add some feature or make the firmware completely open for hacking (it uses algorithms that took a long time to develop and I would rather keep them to myself). I know this because I am the same way. Some manufacturer gives me a setup menu better than anything else out there and I am unhappy they didn't provide more. I hacked my tivo for example. Out of the box the thing already provided much more flexibility than a vcr but I wanted more!

    I think I might be persuaded to open up the code for the pc software however. I think the current build is kind of bland. Someone may be able to spruce it up and add graphs, excel plugins, skins, ringtones, etc. And if competitors get it, they still don't know how the flashlight firmware works.

    Peter
    Last edited by Gransee; 06-03-2006 at 07:25 PM.

  24. #24
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    Default Re: What happened??

    Peter

    First thing, you must be really dedicated to be posting during the Phoenix Suns game LOL. I thought you would be watching.

    Quote Originally Posted by Gransee
    Tempurature protection should be standard on a light in this class. Without it, you are either damaging the LED or not getting all you can from it. Scary,
    I agree because I have lights that are not intelligently managed and there is no way of know what the limits are. Iím probably as guilty as most in that even if I donít need the full brightness of my multi level lights I still run them wide open when I donít need to. I have no idea how much or how fast damage is being done but itís always something that I keep in the back of my mind when using these lights.


    Quote Originally Posted by Gransee
    It uses the usb interface and can set levels, read tempurature, battery voltage, configure various modes, etc.
    Quote Originally Posted by Gransee
    Still worried that some people are already forming misconceptions about the LS right now.
    Quote Originally Posted by Gransee
    I am asking for your opinion about the pc interface. Does the fact you now know it exists make the light seem more complicated to use or less than a tool? Will you be afraid to get the light dirty and bang it around and use it like a solid tool?
    This sounds awesome and makes the light more appealing to me anyway. I would love to have the software when I get the light but given what you said Peter about possible damage to the light you might want to build in certain safeguards in the software to keep people from accidentally damaging the light. Of course there is a question of warranty if someone reprograms the light and damages it. This could get a little messy.

  25. #25
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    Default Re: What happened??

    as long as the arc won't show a Blue Screen Of Doom(BSOD), we will buy it
    if killing was legal, i would have killed countless number of people...

  26. #26
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    Default Re: What happened??

    Peter, the new LS sounds great so far.

    While the mass market may not appreciate the PC config, there are a bunch of flashaholics here that love that kind of stuff. I don't think it detracts from the "tool" aspect at all. I look forward to seeing more on this.

    Paul

  27. #27
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    Default Re: New LS

    I have an LSH-P, and a new AAA-P, waiting for the new AA.
    Probably wouldn't be interested in the new LS, sorry.
    Not interested in light with that many features, to be honest.
    A two stage light would probably be the sweet spot for me, guess I am not as "geeky" as I thought. (looking at 9 flashlights on my desk, 5 Luxeons included)

  28. #28
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    Default Re: What happened??

    One question for you Peter, are you considering an internal or external connection. If your answer is external then I would say I am against it very much. If you have to take it apart to get to it then I think it would be a great idea.

    I can follow up with more specifics if you like.

    Bob.
    USN - Submarines

  29. #29

    Default Re: What happened??

    What's missing in AA is something similar to the Arc AAA, with a Lux. Compact for the battery type, good output and runtime, enough knurling for a real grip...and lots of good spill. I'll probably get the L1P as things are, but would easily pay $80 for a similar light with the overall quality of my AAA-P. The high quality and set of good compromises just makes it great to have around. Seriously, I didn't think I would like a torch this much.

    While boutique-style buyers and some geeks may use PC programming, it's a Pandora's box that many just won't care about. Make the light easy to use, with a well-tested set of features, and high build quality, and it aught to do well (where's the $20 Chinese AAA light to defeat the Arc?). All the fancy things that might be possible likely won't survive the initial awe, like louder speakers or added sugar. Good for an initial wow, but not so good for regular use.

    On batteries, CR123 is really getting around, and is now highly available, and only getting moreso. Availability has increased, and cost decreased, dramatically in just the past few years (in '01, AA would easily be a make or break feature). AA is still going to have a demand, but if someone is attracted to the torch, they can find primary CR123 batteries cheaply and easily, and with just a bit of hunting, chargers and rechargables*.

    * that's assuming B&M retail, where Duracell and Energizer both seem dead set on you getting disposables only--online, rechargables require not real work to find.

  30. #30
    Flashaholic* Christoph's Avatar
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    Default Re: What happened??

    Peter bring on the microprocessors

    set it up to work at least as easy as my 4+ and that will be good for me .
    C
    Chris

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