Dawson / Lum Collab - PreAlpha
Here is a sneak peek at our light - Josh has been working really hard on programming and prototyping the body and head. It’s coming along pretty well and we wanted to share some images for feedback.
No, we are not actually going to be selling these lights for $10k. We're targeting more like $550 for Copper or Brass once we have them available for sale, but if someone were rich and either irresponsible or generous, I'd sell them one of the Pre-alpha protos for $10k :)
On all the lights, the tail end will have flutes cut to serve as an anti-roll feature - the look is supposed to be evocative of a straight fluted rifle barrel (those typically have 6 or 8 flutes). The bezel will have a bevel cut with 6 notches to let light out if you happened to leave it on, faced down.
Initial materials will be copper, brass and aluminum.
The current design of the machined cuts continues the straight fluting from the tail, the length of the body. With our convex shape that straight flute results in a teardrop effect. On the head we’re utilizing the dimple pattern that I have used on the stem/grips of all my tops - the Rob Simonich style GunnerGrip that I got permission from Christine (his widow) to use by name.
We are going to roll the light out in phases to ensure we go through the proper learning curve. In January we will send a few lights out to trusted advisors for a “closed Alpha” period - where our friends who have been doing this a lot longer than us can give us feedback on any design, construction and features so that we can ensure to address before moving forward. After that, we’ll move into an “Open Beta” where we’ll make a small batch of lights available for purchase where we can get broader feedback and seed some lights out into the world. After those lights have been in owners hands for about a month and we can make sure to address any issues that come up in the Beta, we’ll move to small production runs.
Current Status: Feb 2, 2018
Closed Alpha Test lights have shipped out and we're getting feedback from the testers. Overall impressions are positive but there are a few things to address going into Beta.
Q: How do I get on the list for the Closed Alpha?
A: In short, you don’t. The Closed Alpha are the first few lights we’re making beyond our “pre-Alpha” prototypes Josh and I are using for R&D. These lights are going to friends who we’ve identified as flashlight makers who understand the ins and outs of building a custom light. These friends have been giving input throughout our ideation phase and we really to make sure they have lights in their hands first, so they can pore over it to give detailed feedback so we can tweak the design and implementation before we move into Open Beta.
Q: How do I get on the list for the Open Beta?
A: Once we incorporate any critical feedback, our first lights generally for sale will be the small batch of Open Beta lights. The purpose of this phase will be to get more lights out into the world and in the hands of more people. Our hope is that the Beta testers will give us feedback and share reviews / thoughts about our light publicly In order to express interest in a light, please complete the survey form here:
Josh and I have not fully locked in how these will be made for sale, but the interest list will be a start place.
Q: When will you have a First Production Run?
A: After the Open Beta lights have been in people’s hands for at least a few weeks to a month, we’ll exit Beta once any issues that need to be addressed. Nothing worse than building out a big batch of something that needs rework. Once we’re comfortable with everything on the light any issues are root caused and addressed, we’ll put together a first production run. It will likely be a month or two beyond the Beta.
Q: How do I get in on the First Production Run?
A: We will likely sell these via random drawing / sign up sale. There may be some made “first come, first served” through my store. I don’t want us to get too ahead of ourselves at this point. Many hours go into each light, and Josh and I both have full time jobs and families. We really appreciate all the enthusiasm around our light, but we don’t want to get overcommitted especially before we’ve sold a single light.
Q: What are the specs on your light?
A: Our light runs off a single 18350 battery. The driver is a Dr. Jones H17F w/ Lucid Drv2 (http://drjones.nerdcamp.net/h17f.html). We’ll source a variety of emitters, but starting out we’re going with triple Nichia 219C. Optic is Carclo 10507 3-Up Narrow Spot Clear. Glass window is sapphire. Switch is McClicky directly from Don himself. Switch boots are silicon boots from Prometheus in a few different colors.
Q: How bright is your light?
1300 lumens on turbo with a triple 219C configuration. This was measured in January 2018 by Charles Wiggins using a fully charged Aspire 1100mah battery on his integrating sphere.
Q: Who is making what on the light?
A: Mitch and Josh codesigned the light. Mitch started off with the initial drawings and dimensions which we jointly refined through research and prototyping. The body, head and pill are all machined and finished by Josh, in his shop. Mitch is building the light engines, final assembly, test, and shipping.
Q: What is your warranty?
A: We stand behind our lights, 100%. If something goes wrong with your light, please contact us, we’ll ask a few troubleshooting questions, but ultimately it’ll be sent in to Mitch for inspection and repair. If your light malfunctions we ask that you please not attempt to disassemble it or fix it yourself.
Q: What liability do you assume with the use of this product?
A: None! WARNING - This custom light is a totally hotrodded, high output flashlight. If you make yourself or someone else blind from it, that’s on you. Do not leave it turned on and unattended, especially on Turbo or Hi - there is serious potential for fire. Do not use crappy batteries - with the high currents this light is capable of pulling there’s serious risk if you’re using unknown or off brand batteries (see Q around what batteries we recommend). Basically, don’t be an idiot. This is a high performance tool made for responsible adults.
Q: What batteries do you recommend?
A: We recommend getting high quality batteries from reputable sellers to ensure they are not fakes or clones. I’ve had good experience buying KeepPower cells from Illumn.com
Q: Do the 1200mah KeepPower cells fit the Malihini?
A: Craig at Illumn.com was gracious enough to send me 5 of the “oversized” cells. 4 fit with close tolerance, one was snug. The one that is was snug requires the slightest push to get in and a shake to get out. In general if it does not slip all the way in on it own, it’s too large. There’s some variability on these cells, so if you do encounter a KeepPower 1200mah (or other 18350 battery) that feels like there is resistance going in, please don’t force it - run a slightly smaller cell instead.