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Thread: HDS Systems - Golden Dragon LED emitter....

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    RCS1300's Avatar
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    Default HDS Systems - Golden Dragon LED emitter....

    The name "Golden Dragon" sounds interesting. Today, I purchased a Titanium RaClicky and plan to have HDS upgrade it. Want to tap the experts here on the Golden Dragon LED emitter which is currently in the light calibrated at 170 Lumens.

    In my thread searches the best information I could find on this emitter is that it really "punches" out of the light. Is there anything else remarkable about this LED emitter that I should know about. Certainly do not want to mess with it if the emitter is spectacular relative to what is available today -- ten years later.

    Thoughts/experiences?

    Add picture:

    Last edited by RCS1300; 03-14-2019 at 02:00 PM. Reason: add picture

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    Flashaholic* thermal guy's Avatar
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    Default Re: HDS Systems - Golden Dragon LED emitter....

    They do have a ton of throw. 170 was super rare. Nice catch.
    If i had one day left to live i would want to be at my workplace.Because every day is like a frickin eternity.

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    Flashaholic* Slumber Pass's Avatar
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    Default Re: HDS Systems - Golden Dragon LED emitter....

    The Golden Dragon does have decent throw. I'm not sure if it will out throw the current XP-G2 or XP-G3, but at the time it was used, it was best you could get in an HDS Light. The 170's were more common, but there were a few 200's that I believe were sold through a lottery drawing of some sort.
    It wouldn't be a bad idea to pick up some spare Legacy parts (reflector, Ti bezel) from Unique Titanium while they're still available. It might be worth asking Henry how well the emitter you want to upgrade too will project using the older style reflector. I know the first crop of XP-G's had a slight dark ring in the spill and later the first Nichia's also had a similar artifact before the reflectors were tweaked. Good catch either way! Congrats!

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    Default Re: HDS Systems - Golden Dragon LED emitter....

    Quote Originally Posted by Slumber Pass View Post
    The Golden Dragon does have decent throw. I'm not sure if it will out throw the current XP-G2 or XP-G3, but at the time it was used, it was best you could get in an HDS Light. The 170's were more common, but there were a few 200's that I believe were sold through a lottery drawing of some sort.
    It wouldn't be a bad idea to pick up some spare Legacy parts (reflector, Ti bezel) from Unique Titanium while they're still available. It might be worth asking Henry how well the emitter you want to upgrade too will project using the older style reflector. I know the first crop of XP-G's had a slight dark ring in the spill and later the first Nichia's also had a similar artifact before the reflectors were tweaked. Good catch either way! Congrats!
    Thanks for the insights. Been in touch with Henry several times during the purchase of the Titanium RaClicky - mostly due to the large expense of the purchase and the upgrade. Three Titanium RaClickys were calibrated to 200 lumens and the rest were calibrated to 170.

    Good thought on the reflector. I did purchase two spares today from UniqueTitanium. Did not ask Henry about the new LED emitters and the Legacy reflector. In reading through the Legacy information a couple of changes came to mind - the new LED and the old reflector AND the new power supply and the old reflector. Henry is a thoughtful person and I am sure he has thought about these differences when making the Upgrade Option available.

    I did not purchase an extra Legacy Titanium Bezel mostly because the original number has meaning. Apparently, the higher the number the more the team learned about assembling them. I purchased #10088.
    Last edited by RCS1300; 03-14-2019 at 02:01 PM.

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    Default Re: HDS Systems - Golden Dragon LED emitter....

    My bad ya it was the 200 that were rare.
    If i had one day left to live i would want to be at my workplace.Because every day is like a frickin eternity.

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    Default Re: HDS Systems - Golden Dragon LED emitter....

    Quote Originally Posted by RCS1300 View Post
    In my thread searches the best information I could find on this emitter is that it really "punches" out of the light. Is there anything else remarkable about this LED emitter that I should know about. Certainly do not want to mess with it if the emitter is spectacular relative to what is available today -- ten years later.
    I traded for a clicky with a 140 (blue sticker) GD. This emitter throws better than any of the other HDS lights I ever owned. Because of this, I would be hard pressed to upgrade to any of the now available emitters. The ďemission areaĒ of the GD is much smaller than any of the now available emitters as well.

    What would interest me much more would be whether Henry could up the lumen output of that GD. Since itís known that there were 140, 170, and 200 lumen versions of this light, is it possible to re-calibrate the existing GD to the higher output?

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    Default Re: HDS Systems - Golden Dragon LED emitter....

    Quote Originally Posted by wacbzz View Post

    What would interest me much more would be whether Henry could up the lumen output of that GD. Since itís known that there were 140, 170, and 200 lumen versions of this light, is it possible to re-calibrate the existing GD to the higher output?
    I believe that the power supply changed in the year 2010 which may have changed the calibration game. Not sure but excellent question. Given this input I should probably use the light for a night or two before sending it in for the upgrading process. Want to remove all doubt and make sure I made a good decision.

    At the same time, the HDS FAQ's suggest that the lumen level has to increase 50% to be noticeable by the human eye. So...a distinction (200 vs 170 lumens) without a meaningful difference.
    Last edited by RCS1300; 03-14-2019 at 02:24 PM.

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    Default Re: HDS Systems - Golden Dragon LED emitter....

    Quote Originally Posted by RCS1300 View Post
    At the same time, the HDS FAQ's suggest that the lumen level has to increase 50% to be noticeable by the human eye. So...a distinction (200 vs 170 lumens) without a meaningful difference.
    For sure. I was just thinking that maybe with the electronics upgraded, perhaps the output level on the GD could be made higher than the known 200. That​ would be awesome!

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    Default Re: HDS Systems - Golden Dragon LED emitter....

    I used to have one when they were available. The Osram GD stands out in my memory as being one of the few power LEDs that was white without any noticeable or unpleasing tint. One of the others at the time being the SSC P4 available in the Novatacs.

    I remember comparing it at the time to my 80/110lm SF e1b with TIR optic and it having comparable throw, although I did not take any measurements.

    The emitter also has a unique looking package (https://imgur.com/Zclzt3G) that you don't see often. If I found one today I would add it to my collection.

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    Default Re: HDS Systems - Golden Dragon LED emitter....

    Quote Originally Posted by wacbzz View Post
    For sure. I was just thinking that maybe with the electronics upgraded, perhaps the output level on the GD could be made higher than the known 200. That​ would be awesome!
    Wow! I did not think about this. Do not know much about the light build and whether everything but the LED emitter can be changed. Great question to investigate with Henry. Thank you!

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    Default Re: HDS Systems - Golden Dragon LED emitter....

    Yes, the Golden Dragon is a neat emitter.

    I have a couple, and wouldn't change mine, even if someone offered at no cost to me

    The calibration of each light was based on the flux binning characteristic of the individual emitter, in conjunction with HDS max drive current policy.

    As I understand it, if the particular emitter barely made the output cutoff at peak drive current ... it gets that higher output. If it just missed the mark ... it gets the next lower output, but extended (unadvertised) runtime (since it is being underdriven)

    I doubt that HDS would "overdrive" an original stock emitter so, if you want more lumens, you would need to replace with a more efficient newer LED.
    Last edited by archimedes; 03-14-2019 at 03:56 PM.
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    Default Re: HDS Systems - Golden Dragon LED emitter....

    Quote Originally Posted by archimedes View Post
    I doubt that HDS would "overdrive" an original stock emitter so, if you want more lumens, you would need to replace with a more efficient newer LED.
    Agreed on the LED driving.

    Nice endorsement on the Golden Dragon. Cannot wait to give the Golden Dragon a try. Will definitely try the Golden Dragon out for at least one night before I consider replacing it.

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    Default Re: HDS Systems - Golden Dragon LED emitter....

    [QUOTE=RCS1300;5292636]The name "Golden Dragon" sounds interesting. Today, I purchased a Titanium RaClicky and plan to have HDS upgrade it. Want to tap the experts here on the Golden Dragon LED emitter which is currently in the light calibrated at 170 Lumens.

    In my thread searches the best information I could find on this emitter is that it really "punches" out of the light. Is there anything else remarkable about this LED emitter that I should know about. Certainly do not want to mess with it if the emitter is spectacular relative to what is available today -- ten years later.

    Thoughts/experiences?

    I had one and did a little review which is still on YouTube. Only reason I sold it is I donít like clickies. Plus I needed the money at the time. Had it been a rotary I d have kept it. I will say the golden dragon has a beautiful tint but it doesnít match the 250 for throw. I d say itís very similar to the 200 but 250 beats it. Not to the WOW factor but you CAN tell a difference between the 2.
    Donít Tread On Me

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    Default Re: HDS Systems - Golden Dragon LED emitter....

    Quote Originally Posted by RCS1300 View Post
    The name "Golden Dragon" sounds interesting. Today, I purchased a Titanium RaClicky and plan to have HDS upgrade it. Want to tap the experts here on the Golden Dragon LED emitter which is currently in the light calibrated at 170 Lumens.
    At first a very nice catch! congrats!

    I also have such a Ti Clicky. If I were you I would stay with the GD Emitter. My Ti Clicky has a very nice tint (at least I like this tint), and also decent throw for a 170 lumens light. I would definately not do any changes on this light. The Ti Clicky with the GD emitter is kind of history. If you let do the electronics & LED upgrade @HDS, it will never be the same Ti Clicky again, and never be this cool piece of history. I still use my Ti Clicky and the 170 Lumens are perfect for an EDC.

    But this is only my 0.02Ä.
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    Default Re: HDS Systems - Golden Dragon LED emitter....

    Quote Originally Posted by usdiver View Post

    I had one and did a little review which is still on YouTube.
    That review was the one with the green table mat, right? I must have watched that review 3 or 4 times. Thank you.

    I prefer the Executive interface.
    Last edited by RCS1300; 03-15-2019 at 06:23 AM.

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    Default Re: HDS Systems - Golden Dragon LED emitter....

    I haven't done much research on these. Is there much difference between the UI on the RA Clicky and an HDS Executive?
    Thanks,
    P
    I'm looking for an MD4 tube. Please PM if you have a spare. http://www.candlepowerforums.com/vb/...ithout-Tailcap

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    Default Re: HDS Systems - Golden Dragon LED emitter....

    Quote Originally Posted by WarriorOfLight View Post
    At first a very nice catch! congrats!

    If you let do the electronics & LED upgrade @HDS, it will never be the same Ti Clicky again, and never be this cool piece of history.

    I am thinking about this and Henry kind of mentioned it too. The question becomes..."at this point in time, is the Titanium RaClicky a collectible or a user". Will it lose value if I update it to be a High CRI daily user? I do not know.

    After much research and experience in flashlights over the last six years I have found Henry's lights to be the best of the best in terms of thoughtful design. In my mind, for an EDC light no other light even comes close.

    Simply put, I want to own one of Henry's top tier lights and I prefer the Executive user interface. Based on what I learned about the demand for the Titanium Rotary run and the user preference for the Rotary over the Executive interface it is my opinion that an Executive Titanium model will not be offered in the near future due to low demand and high cost of a small quantity production run. So, to realize my goal I had to go back ten years in time to the Titanium RaClicky. Part one is done.

    I want to use this titanium light every day and I prefer High CRI. Do not know what "Golden Dragon" means. Does it mean the light beam is Golden or it was state of the art ten years ago or it was just a cool name someone gave to the emitter. Based on all this great feedback, I guess I should experience it for myself before I pull the trigger to upgrade the light to High CRI.

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    Default Re: HDS Systems - Golden Dragon LED emitter....

    Quote Originally Posted by peter yetman View Post
    I haven't done much research on these. Is there much difference between the UI on the RA Clicky and an HDS Executive?
    Thanks,
    P
    No, not at all. The Titanium RaClicky has V2 software and in the FAQ's the instructions actually call it a EDC Clicky Flashlight. The HDS Executive has a different power supply and a few more features like True Momentary, which makes it a Tactical light on demand. If you have a portable hole puncher, that is a good feature.
    Last edited by RCS1300; 03-15-2019 at 06:45 AM.

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    Flashaholic* Lithium466's Avatar
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    Default Re: HDS Systems - Golden Dragon LED emitter....

    Quote Originally Posted by RCS1300 View Post
    I want to use this titanium light every day and I prefer High CRI. Do not know what "Golden Dragon" means. Does it mean the light beam is Golden or it was state of the art ten years ago or it was just a cool name someone gave to the emitter. Based on all this great feedback, I guess I should experience it for myself before I pull the trigger to upgrade the light to High CRI.
    The GD/GD+ were nice emitters, back in the day. Decent tint, "punchy" beam thanks to the tiny die.

    Today with the many high CRI offerings, there are probably some nicer tinted emitters, also more powerful.



    I believe the 250 / XP-G2 is still the HDS throw king, don't know about the new XP-G3, but the GD+ weren't far behind. The Luminous SST-20 are also nice throwy emitters, available in high CRI too.

    Now what would a driver update on a legacy light would bring ? Some minor programming/options improvement, like the momentary mode, also the 40s burst instead of 10.

    And an efficiency loss at low level, for a slight efficiency gain at higher levels (to be measured and proven). Since the Titanium legacy will never get the rotary knob, not sure the circuit upgrade would be worth it, of course considering the other programming differences.
    Now I don't have any legacy lights anymore, they all (had only 2) died of parasitic drain and were replaced by current lights (losing their beautiful Seoul high CRI emitter in the process)

    YMMV. Personally I'd just go for an emitter upgrade...but maybe that can't go without a (pricy) circuit upgrade at HDS, don't know. Unless the original legacy driver exhibits some parasitic drain. Sometimes it's very minor and can go for a long time unsuspected.

    Edit : oh, and Golden Dragon is just a name for the emitter family, nothing to do with the tint. I'll try to post a white wall beamshot
    Last edited by Lithium466; 03-15-2019 at 12:10 PM.
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    RCS1300's Avatar
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    Default Re: HDS Systems - Golden Dragon LED emitter....

    Quote Originally Posted by Lithium466 View Post

    Now what would a driver update on a legacy light would bring ? Some minor programming/options improvement, like the momentary mode, also the 40s burst instead of 10.

    Now I don't have any legacy lights anymore, they all (had only 2) died of parasitic drain and were replaced by current lights (losing their beautiful Seoul high CRI emitter in the process)

    Unless the original legacy driver exhibits some parasitic drain. Sometimes it's very minor and can go for a long time unsuspected.
    Thank you for the tremendous amount of great information. I have only been in the HDS game since 2014. Based on my research, Henry upgraded the Power Supply in March 2010, less than one year after the Titanium RaClicky was sold. Do not know how important that component is in the upgrade. There had to be a reason he changed Power Supplies.

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    Flashaholic* Lithium466's Avatar
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    Default Re: HDS Systems - Golden Dragon LED emitter....

    The rotary interface
    Also better efficiency (not on the low side, lost probably because of the rotary "communication system" with the tail), which allows a 40s burst (that you can disable, contrary to the legacy) but consumes some power.

    Honestly between legacy and current gen, I don't notice any runtime difference in use (should talk in the past, don't have a legacy since like November), except the legacy are able to go longer on a depleted CR123A. I didn't go check runtime difference in the reviews...don't forget newer emitters are more efficient.

    Also the legacy doesn't feel like a dinosaur compared to the current gen, switching between the two is almost transparent. Switched to an Ultimate 60 from 2004-2005, and that one feels like a dinosaur in comparison (compared to the current HDS only, the old Ultimate 42/60/85 are still very modern by today's standards, just less "polished") !

    I would say, definitely try with legacy driver. The GD+ led...is still nice, I think. No high CRI, probably not the nicest tint there is (compared to modern standard). Feels like a nice vintage luxurious Mercedes, that could still kick you in the butt when you floor it! All things considered, of course, we're talking 170/200lm.

    As for the adaptation of the newer led boards and emitter to the legacy reflector, well...

    The legacy reflector isn't anodized, which isn't a problem...except if the new led boards used are thicker than the original. Are they? I think they are. Or is it just the new machined heads that are less "deep"? I can't be sure
    You wouldn't have a modified light with a reflector you can't screw in completely, right? Surely it's been considered, but perhaps worth asking.


    (Bottom, regular HDS, top, factory High Noon with old orange peel reflector, doesn't screw in completely. Both current gen so perhaps apple to orange withthe legacy lights)
    Last edited by Lithium466; 03-16-2019 at 05:18 AM.
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    Flashaholic* Lithium466's Avatar
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    Default Re: HDS Systems - Golden Dragon LED emitter....

    A very bad attempt at white wall beamshot.

    GD+ on the right, with a hotspot so bright it steals the show. The beam is very focused. Tint is pretty good on this one!
    High Noon on the left.

    [OT]Osram is doing some modern throwy emitters, not sure they have the 3535 form factor though.[/OT]

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    Default Re: HDS Systems - Golden Dragon LED emitter....

    Thanks for the photo. I have the high noon and the titanium will be here tomorrow. So I will have the weekend nights to evaluate.

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    Default Re: HDS Systems - Golden Dragon LED emitter....

    Quote Originally Posted by RCS1300 View Post
    That review was the one with the green table mat, right? I must have watched that review 3 or 4 times. Thank you.

    I prefer the Executive interface.
    Yes it was actually a beach towel from Tenerife but apologies the quality wasnít better. My technology has been lacking ... was my pleasure to do though
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    Default Re: HDS Systems - Golden Dragon LED emitter....

    Quote Originally Posted by RCS1300 View Post
    Thanks for the photo. I have the high noon and the titanium will be here tomorrow. So I will have the weekend nights to evaluate.
    If my calculations are correct the high noon will out throw the gd but keep the dragon itís a rare one and very pleasing to the eyes!
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    Default Re: HDS Systems - Golden Dragon LED emitter....

    The legacy lights an Iím talking 2005 or so can keep up runtime wise with the modern day crop. As long as you stay away from the higher settings.and to be honest the lower levels are where Iím at most of the time. Runtimes on the lowest levels are way better the the new batch. It will squeeze every drop out of the battery more so then the new lineup. As you say they are still pretty much cutting edge. Comparing say aU60 to hds lights of today is not really night and day. They have improved yes but if you are using and old school hds one should not feel under Gunned at all. I know I donít.
    If i had one day left to live i would want to be at my workplace.Because every day is like a frickin eternity.

  27. #27
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    Default Re: HDS Systems - Golden Dragon LED emitter....

    Were there any 18650 battery extension tubes 24 TPI (Threads/inch) made for the Titanium RaClicky or for the aluminum RaClicky?

  28. #28
    Flashaholic* Lithium466's Avatar
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    Default Re: HDS Systems - Golden Dragon LED emitter....

    For the aluminium, yes. Maybe not 18650, but at least 17670, and several "prototypes". Titanium I don't think so, except maybe prototyping? But really I don't think it ever existed.
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    Default Re: HDS Systems - Golden Dragon LED emitter....

    Quote Originally Posted by RCS1300 View Post
    Nice catch, RCS. It looks fantastic!
    ďMay it be a light to you in dark places, when all other lights go out.Ē
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    Default Re: HDS Systems - Golden Dragon LED emitter....

    Quote Originally Posted by Modernflame View Post
    Nice catch, RCS. It looks fantastic!
    Thank you! I think Henry's lights are best in class and I wanted to own his top of the line light in the Executive model. Once upgraded by Henry, this will be it.

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