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Thread: A new spin on the custom light..... Tek Lights

  1. #1

    Default A new spin on the custom light..... Tek Lights

    Hi all!
    I find it hard to believe how long I have been a member here! In this time I have mostly been a lurker, soaking up all the amazing information, reviews, custom builds and just general content. I would get in and out of the hobby as life permitted. Recently, I purchased my first house with a nice outbuilding that I am slowly turning into a functioning machine shop. I have been in the automotive field for over 10 years and find myself wanting to pursue something more satisfying. I have also been through my fair share of flashlights and have never been really satisfied with the current offering of lights geared towards techicians.

    With that in mind I set out to design, what I thought of, as the ultimate light for technicians. A light meant to be dropped, kicked, thrown into a bucket of oil, cleaned off with brake clean and beg for more. I then thought of some design criteria.

    -Must use 18650 cells
    -Must be electrically non-conductive
    -A pocket clip that can be easily replaced when it inevitably breaks
    -A high grip surface that is chemical resistant and serviceable(think user replaceable)
    -Waterproof
    -A glass lens, trading some shock resistance to eliminate hazing after exposure to brake clean and the like
    -Utilize the h17f driver
    -Mcclicky switch
    -Compatible with 1" mounting systems


    Enter the Tek Light.

    \



    The head and tail are made out of blue Acetal(similar to Delrin). Here are freshly bored and threaded parts awaiting finishing.




    The tubes are made from 304 stainless steel for strength and corrosion resistance. The tube is covered by common 019 90 durometer O-rings that can be easily replaced if damaged.







    The tail cap uses a solid nitrile rubber switch boot for durability and chemical resistance. The pocket clip is 3d printed out of glass reinforced nylon and threads onto the tail cap for easy replacement.(wish I could make this on a 5 axis) You can see the stainless steel one inch long screw that gives the pocket clip and incredible amount of strength and stiffness for a plastic clip(remember non conductive was a design criteria). The shape of the pocket clip is meant to resemble a camshaft and provides a stable platform for tail standing as well as anti-roll.







    I am looking forward to feedback on my design! Let me know if you would like to see details of the inner workings of the light. I have tried to make this light as robust as possible inside and out.

    Thanks for watching!

    Vincent


  2. #2
    Flashaholic
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    Default Re: A new spin on the custom light..... Tek Lights

    Looks great, I reckon! I’m interested, if you wish to share more information. The world needs more tough lights!

  3. #3
    Flashaholic* Keitho's Avatar
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    Default Re: A new spin on the custom light..... Tek Lights

    Great driver, cool design. Looks like a lot of options to.customize. I'd be interested in runtime tests to see how it handles heat.

  4. #4

    Default Re: A new spin on the custom light..... Tek Lights

    Thanks for the kind words. I will take some pictures of the internals tonight. As far as runtime, this design is of course thermally limited. I have been sending lights out with a hi mode of around 800ma tailcap draw. It seems to be able to sustain this, though I do need to do some testing. I do enable a double tap burst of 1500ma at the tail cap and do not recommend sustained use at this level.

    Thankfully the h17f is thermally regulated, however I do not wish to rest on this feature. As you will see I was able to thermally bridge the reflector to the pill. Combined with being fully potted with a thermal epoxy, and there is decent thermal mass for a composite light.

    Thanks,
    Vincent

  5. #5

    Default Re: A new spin on the custom light..... Tek Lights

    I started out with a seperate pill and retaining ring, but have since combined the two. The pill retains itself, the reflector and lens in the head with an also common 017 oring. Assembly is done by seating the pill into the oring and then 3/8 of a turn. This produces about 20% o-ring squish IIRC. The driver is grounded to the pill with a stainless steel 4-40 button head bolt and a dedicated ground wire. Sorry I don't have any pictures of that at the moment.




    This shows how the modified S2+ reflector seats into the pill. The reflector OD is turned down to match the ID of the pill and naturally centers itself.




    Here is the delrin spacer that is an interference fit onto a mcclicky. It also pushes the nitrile switch boot into the end of the tailcap for a waterproof seal.




    The assembled tail cap, with the aluminum retaining ring. I've been hand drilling these for installation holes, they should get much prettier with the new cnc machine...Again the ring is seated and then turned to achieve ideal squish on the nitrile boot. Also note the tapered seat leading up to the threads. The head and tail both use this sealing system. Therefore the spacing from the retaining ring to the tapered seat face is a critical dimension to achieve correct o-ring contact. The results are promising and I will conduct some pressure testing in the near future. I have been using my light for over 6 months as my primary work light with no ingress of any foreign material or degradation of the sealing o-ring.





    This last picture shows the threads on the tail cap to affix the clip. I have realized these threads should be left handed to avoid the clip possibly unthreading during battery changes



    All lights up till now have been made on a manual lathe. I am excited to start making some on my new tormach 440 to achieve even higher levels of precision and finish quality.


    Thanks,
    Vincent


  6. #6
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    Default Re: A new spin on the custom light..... Tek Lights

    Maybe I missed it, ubt how will the derlin type head handle the heat?

    Bill

  7. #7

    Default Re: A new spin on the custom light..... Tek Lights

    Quote Originally Posted by Bullzeyebill View Post
    Maybe I missed it, ubt how will the derlin type head handle the heat?

    Bill
    Bill,

    Are you referring to the material failing in use or the thermal limits of the design? It certainly is not meant to be a power house. I have seen no issues with extending use on hi up this point, having used it daily for 6 months or so. As I stated I would like to conduct some proper run time testing to see just how much the driver may be throttling back. I appreciate the feedback.

    Thanks,
    Vincent

  8. #8
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    Default Re: A new spin on the custom light..... Tek Lights

    I love this place. That is neat! I’m not a mechanic but I wouldn’t mind something like that for work myself. I would love to see a torture test to see how the delrin/acetal holds up to drops and bangs and how likely the clip is to snap if snagged.

  9. #9

    Default Re: A new spin on the custom light..... Tek Lights

    Thanks nbp. Torture testing will definitely be coming. For now I will post a pic of my personal light that has been dropped countless times onto concrete and still looks quite sharp with it's original clip(has had many snags). The durability of the clip, I feel, needs to be seen to be believed. It really has surprised me! The key to its strength is the stainless screw that keeps the plastic in compression. I think I will set up a weighted string to load the clip into failure.

    Thanks,
    Vincent

  10. #10
    Flashaholic* RedLED's Avatar
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    Default Re: A new spin on the custom light..... Tek Lights

    Is the clip milled or 3D printed.

    Your design is nice, clean and simple.
    Check my Web Site: www.Redwayphoto.com

  11. #11

    Default Re: A new spin on the custom light..... Tek Lights

    Thank you. The clip is 3d printed from glass reinforced nylon. One day I hope to have the equipment to machine such a part. TBH, it would be a tremendous waste of material and lends itself better to injection molding.


    Mods, is it possible to move this to the custom builders section?


    Thanks,
    Vincent
    Last edited by vinsanity286; 01-16-2020 at 06:04 PM.

  12. #12
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    Default Re: A new spin on the custom light..... Tek Lights

    Yes I can move it to the general custom builders if you prefer it there vs. here.

  13. #13

    Default Re: A new spin on the custom light..... Tek Lights

    Thanks

  14. #14

    Default Re: A new spin on the custom light..... Tek Lights

    I was trying to think of how to test my pocket clip. I figured the best way to demonstrate is to compare it to a well know pocket clip. I think we may have a new flashlight sport!
    https://drive.google.com/file/d/17gd...ew?usp=sharing

    Here is my personal light after over 6 months in the field. This shows the most damage sustained to the bezel. Don't mind the different optic and o-ring, it's a prototype designed as a test bed for multiple optics.



  15. #15
    Flashaholic* Keitho's Avatar
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    Default Re: A new spin on the custom light..... Tek Lights

    There's a lot going on in that clip design--its almost like it has rebar reinforcing it with that screw running through it. The only other two things that pop up on other high end lights that you might want to try to jam into that clip or somewhere else on the light--a place for a magnet, and some slots for trits. The magnet to make it a little more handy sometimes, the trits to help find it in the bottom of a bag or toolbox (but mostly for bling). But, looking at the light, I'd hate for extras like that to hurt the design aesthetic or make it over-priced or over-sized, so it might be perfect as is.

  16. #16

    Default Re: A new spin on the custom light..... Tek Lights

    Keitho now that is some constructive feedback!

    -No doubt the screw is the backbone of strength. Without it, I would not even consider selling these. As it stands I feel confident in offering a lifetime warranty on clips.

    -I would love to add a magnet but not sure where it would fit in at the moment.

    -I could add a trit ring between the clip and the tailcap with slight adjustments to dimensions.

    -Part of the reason for the threaded tailcap design was for the attachment of future accessories, such as a magnetic base or spring clamp.

    Thanks,
    Vincent

  17. #17

    Default Re: A new spin on the custom light..... Tek Lights

    This is exactly the light i was planning on building...not! I wish i had the insight and motivation you and others like you, frelux, vinh, data...a mist passes thru your brain and materializes from your hands. It’s sensational how the process culminates in such a simple thing. Something we use everyday. Dozens of manufacturers making dozens of models. But you make something unique. We’re here to help with good and bad criticism alike, so don’t be afraid to ask and don’t let any failures step in your way. Anger and frustration is normal and it just means you need a break. Get this one off the ground and let many more designs follow.

    And if I hit the lottery I’ll buy you a shop
    a single sunbeam is enough to drive away many shadows- St. Francis of Assissi

  18. #18

    Default Re: A new spin on the custom light..... Tek Lights

    aginthelaw,

    Higher praise I have not had, and I feel guilty even being grouped with such high end makers. I appreciate the encouragement. It's funny how a product can be viewed so differently than I see it in my head. I have been focused on producing a light since March of last year and it has been a slow proggression of design. If any one is interested I will post some pictures of the prototypes that have lead to the current model. No doubt, I have other lights in the works that I hope to prototype soon.

    Thanks,
    Vincent

  19. #19
    Flashaholic* wacbzz's Avatar
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    Default Re: A new spin on the custom light..... Tek Lights

    This looks like a very worthwhile project, especially for those guys that now use lights like the SL Stinger for work in...”sludge!”

    What is the output on the light?

  20. #20

    Default Re: A new spin on the custom light..... Tek Lights

    Quote Originally Posted by wacbzz View Post
    This looks like a very worthwhile project, especially for those guys that now use lights like the SL Stinger for work in...”sludge!”

    What is the output on the light?
    Unfortunately I don't have a way to measure output at this time. Of course, output is completely customizable with the h17f driver. I've primarily been using nichia 319a 80cri 5000k.

  21. #21
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    Default Re: A new spin on the custom light..... Tek Lights

    If you have a light meter you could use bounce in a dark small inclosed room. Compare it to other lights you may have, and you can get some estimates of output lumens.

    Bill

  22. #22
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    Default Re: A new spin on the custom light..... Tek Lights

    Quote Originally Posted by vinsanity286 View Post
    Unfortunately I don't have a way to measure output at this time. Of course, output is completely customizable with the h17f driver. I've primarily been using nichia 319a 80cri 5000k.
    If I am reading the spec sheet properly, at 1500mA, emitter lumens (but less OTF) would be ~ 625 lm for the top binned emitters.
    ... is the archimedes peak

  23. #23

    Default Re: A new spin on the custom light..... Tek Lights

    Very cool!

    Sent from my Pixel 2 XL using Candlepowerforums mobile app

  24. #24

    Default Re: A new spin on the custom light..... Tek Lights

    Quote Originally Posted by archimedes View Post
    If I am reading the spec sheet properly, at 1500mA, emitter lumens (but less OTF) would be ~ 625 lm for the top binned emitters.
    Thank you archimedes, I had been meaning to post those numbers but did not get the chance to look them up. I am using d400 bin emitters from mtn. For this light, I am more concerned with run time of modes as opposed to output. It is my opinion that we have reached a point where we no longer have to focus on light output(If that is your thing this is not the light for you). I love to wow my friends with max output just as much as the next guy, but what I need out of a light is to know it will last most of a days work.

    I could have easily changed this design to an aluminum head and bumped up the output on standard high mode. To me it was not worth the reduced run time and more importantly the loss of electrical insulation. That being said, I could add an all metal version in the future if it is well received.

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