Sailing – Miami, 1979 (Nikon F2, Nikkor 24mm f/2.8, Kodachrome 64)
Malkoff Devices designs and manufactures high powered LED flashlight modifications for Maglites and Surefire flashlights and their own Malkoff LED flashlights. Their products are so well designed and constructed that they are coveted by professionals that depend on their flashlights and enthusiasts that appreciate their quality.
I bought my first Malkoff Devices M60 drop-in five years ago. The M60 drop-in had a Cree X-RE LED (Q5 bin) and Khatod 6 degree optic. This drop-in output 180 lumens driven at 1000 mA with a 2-3 hour runtime with two CR123 batteries. I wanted to update my M60 with a more powerful driver/LED combination.
In 2008, Cree XR-E LEDs were delivering 220 lumens at 1000 mA. In December of 2012, Cree introduced the XM-L2. Driving the XM-L2 U2 bin at 1000 mA will produce about 412 lumens. At 3000 mA, the XM-L2 will produce over 1000 lumens.
Multi-mode flashlights are more useful for me so I decided to use an 8xAMC7135 (2.8A) multi-mode driver and a Cree XM-L2 (U2 bin). The multi-mode driver has four configuration options, selectable during the build by grounding one of the four “stars” on the rear of the circuit board:
Because of the robust nature of the Malkoff drop-in, disassembly is basically destructive. The stock circuit board is potted and the LED MCPCB is securely glued.
To get the 8xAMC7135 driver board to fit in the Malkoff brass heatsink, I had to slightly reduce the 17mm diameter of the circuit board.
To solder the LED to the MCPCB, I used a lead solder paste with a SMD hot air rework solder station at 220 degrees C for 40 seconds. After applying some Artic Silver 5 CPU Thermal Compound to the bottom of MCPCB, I glued it to the heatsink with JB Weld.
After some research on reflectors, I chose the McGizmo McR20J (Joker). A glow-in-the-dark o-ring holds the reflector very securely in the heatsink.
I compared this mod to the EDCPlus/IS X60L3 Triple XP-G2 LED P60 Dropin. The Malkoff mod has a very nice hotspot while the EDCPlus Triple has a broad floody beam. I like the nice hotspot the Cree XM-L2 produces with the McGizmo McR20 Joker reflector. It also has a decent amount of spill.
For this beam shot, I converted the original color image to black and white. The drop-in was about four feet (1.21 m) from the wall. On this off-white wall, there is a slight, but noticeable green tint from the beam.
I put the drop-in in my Surefire C2. Instead of wrapping the drop-in with copper tape, I used some thin aluminum stock as a shim. I haven’t done any runtime tests but after 10 minutes on 100% power, the C2 bezel gets warm but not hot.
I found this Regina Extra Record Ti Freewheel in my bicycle parts box. My friend Kenny bought it in the early 80’s and I used it for a few miles and then put it in the parts box.
It is a six speed freewheel with 13-14-15-17-18-19 tooth cogs and Italian threading – 1.378″ x 24 TPI. When I recently removed the cogs to clean them, part of the freewheel body looked like it was made out of aluminum. All the cogs are threaded and made of titanium but I was unable to separate the last two cogs (18-19) from the freewheel body.
When I looked at the freewheel listings on VeloBase.com, I saw a Regina Extra Record freewheel that has aluminum cogs but I didn’t see an Extra Record freewheel with titanium cogs.
I checked eBay listings for titanium freewheels and there were several that sold in the $250-$500 range. That reminded me of the Steven Spielberg authored episode of Amazing Stories: Gather Ye Acorns.
I’m a big fan of Cree LEDs. I use them in almost all my flashlights. Last month, a Cree LED light bulb was introduced that replaces a 60 watt incandescent bulb. (Cree Press Release) The bulb retails for $12.97.
Specifications from Cree:
*Cree’s calculation of $1.14 yearly operating cost is based on 3 hours/day and $0.11 per kWh. Cree’s lifetime savings calculation is based on $0.11 per kWh when compared to 60W incandescent and 25,000 hour lifetime.
It seems that the Cree LED Light Bulb is only available so far from Home Depot. I bought my bulb online from Home Depot and with $1.17 sales tax and $5.99 shipping, the total was $20.13. When I first removed the bulb from the packaging, I was surprised that the light bulb’s envelope felt like it had a rubber coating. It has a standard North American Edison screw E26 socket. I replaced a 15W warm compact fluorescent bulb (CFL) that was in a table lamp with the Cree LED Light Bulb. The LED seems brighter.
When I removed the lamp shade to photograph the bulb, I noticed that the bulb was hot enough so that I couldn’t hold it – so despite consuming only 9.5 watts, it still gets very hot. There is a heat sink around the base of the envelope.
When I photographed the illuminated bulb, I set the camera’s color balance for daylight, so the yellow color of the light reflecting off the wall in the background is a good representation of what it looks like to the human eye.
For the chart below I used the following cost assumptions:
Incandescent bulbs: GE 60-Watt Reveal A19 General Purpose Incandescent Light Bulb (6-Pack) $8.77 ($1.46/bulb, 1000 hour life)
CFL bulbs: Feit Electric 15 Watt ( Mini Twist Dimmable Light Bulb (12-Pack) $104 ($8.67/bulb, 8,000 hour life)
LED bulb: Cree 9.5-Watt A19 Warm White (2700K) LED Light Bulb (1-Pack) ($12.97 25,000 hour life)
Cost of electricity from PG&E, about $0.13/kWh.
To get 25,000 hours with a 60 watt incandescent bulb, you would need 25 of them, at a cost of $36.50. The cost of 4 CFL bulbs for 25,000 is $34.68. The cost of the Cree LED bulb for 25,000 hours is $12.97.
There’s no question about the cost savings of the LED bulb versus incandescent. Total cost for 60 watt incandescent bulbs for 25,000 hours is $231.50. Total cost for 15 watt CFL bulbs for 25,000 hours is $83.43. Total cost for a 9.5 watt LED bulb for 25,000 hours is $43.85.
People who want to keep using incandescent bulbs may not be able to do the math or maybe they’re using them to keep their popcorn warm.
After the failure of an old computer running Windows Server 2003, I setup Windows Server 2012 on a Macbook.
Years ago, I set up a Sony Vaio PCG-Z505HS running Windows Server 2003 at home so I could keep up with Macs and Active Directory. When I recently experienced problems with DHCP and DNS, I discovered that the Vaio had died. There was no LED power indication. My troubleshooting consisted of jiggling the power connector and checking the power supply voltage. When I measured voltage from the AC adaptor, I gave up, using the rationale that it had lived its useful life. The Vaio, with a Pentium 3, 500 MHz CPU, was introduced in January 2000.
The Windows Server 2012 installation was simple using the Server with a GUI mode installation. The Server Manager and configuration tools greatly simplify the setup. With Windows Server 2012 on a Macbook running silicon introduced in 2006 – an Intel® Core™2 Duo Processor T7200 that has Intel® Virtualization Technology (VT-x), the next step is to try virtualization. As a Macbook running OS X, I successfully ran VMware Fusion VMs running Ubuntu and Windows 2000, though I forsee the 3 GB of RAM in the current system will be a limiting factor.
The best part about running an Active Directory domain at home is joining computeres to the domain. The welcome message says, “Welcome to the lower_slobbovia domain.
I like Alfa Romeos, art, barbecue, baseball, bicycling, cars, cigars, computers, cooking, eating, electronics, fly fishing, football, Formula 1, friends, golf, horology, jazz, movies, museums, photography, r/c cars, r/c helicopters, reading, restaurants, Scotch whiskey, softball, slot car racing, tennis, the internets and travel