I’m not very creative. The first headlight we sold got the name V1 as in Version-One. As it developed I gave them new names like the V1.2, V1.3, then we jumped to V1.5 andV1.6 but I don’t think anyone ever really cared. They just ran into the bush and started playing with the things.
The V1 family are all sold out now. You can’t buy one so don’t try. I don’t even have one for myself which is a pity. At some point I may try to trade one back from an early customer.
This article is just for historical purposes. There’s a lot of things that I wasn’t happy about with the V1, but that’s how you learn and move on.
Here are the original specs from 2009. Looking back I’ve added my commentary in italics.
- 275g (including battery).
- Body – CNC Machined, Sandblasted and Anodised Aluminium.
- Spot Lens – BK7 Crown Glass
- Flood lenses – Polycarbonate
- Protective Window – Polycarbonate
- Switch Cover – Silicon
- Water and Dust resistant Seals – Silicon
- Cree XR-E R2 (Spot)
- 2 x Cree XP-G R5 (Flood)
Absolute top-shelf LEDs. I always hoped that people would be impressed when I said ‘XP-G R5′ but nobody ever knew what it meant. This was back long before the XM-L ever appeared.
- 18 Wh
- Rechargeable Lithium-ion (charger included)
- Flood Low
- Flood High
The basic idea, was that you’d use the low flood to walk around, read the map, do the dishes etc, and then turn the spot on only when you want to see something far away. The spot doesn’t stay on for very long, so it can afford to consume more power, while the low flood needs to be economical. Using these two modes I could last a whole 24hr race on a single battery charge. The high flood was good for cycling or running fast in very rough terrain. When jumping over creeks I would often turn the power up just to see everything better.
- 200m range
- 250 lumens
- 4 hours runtime
- 10m range
- 40 lumens
- >100 hours runtime
- 50m range
- 300 lumens
- 4 hours runtime
Price: AUD$250 including a battery and charger. Extra batteries sold for AUD$50 each.
A few flaws and what I did about them:
Initially I’d set it up for full regulation which means that as the battery went flat the light level would stay perfectly constant until the battery was totally dead. Then when it died, it went out completely. I thought this would be good because I hate lights that go dim as the battery wears out. As it turned out, most people didn’t like the way my regulated circuit died suddenly. So I took them back and made them partially regulated. Now you get a fairly constant level for 90% of the battery life and then it starts to dim down. This gives you some warning and also makes the last 10% of energy last for about as long as the first 90% did.
The battery was connected to the lighthead by a big, sturdy connector. It had an o-ring within the connector and the two parts screwed together so they couldn’t come apart. Then it turned out that people didn’t like having to screw it in and out every time. The extra security was a burden. The cable was also a bit too stiff. At first I liked the big 6mm cable for its strength, but eventually I acknowledged that it wasn’t really necessary. So I swapped the connectors and cable over for a smaller 4mm cable with snap-together connectors. This was a lot more flexible and comfortable on the head. At the same time, I installed a brass cable gland in the lighthead to secure the new cable.
When the circuit changed we went from 2S1P LiIon to 1S2P LiIon so I had to make up a whole new set of battery packs. The connector got upgraded too.
All in all the upgraded V1s were much better than the originals. The upgrades were all done free of charge so long as the customer got the light to me and collected it afterwards (usually at a rogaine event). If you’ve still got a V1 that I never upgraded, then let me know and I’ll see what I can do for you. I like to look after my customers, especially those who bought these very first versions.