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FINAL Update 8-26-04:

Okay, everything has tested out satisfactorily and a few pictures and comments follow. Also at the end of this update I will announce commencement of preorders as well as tell ya what the "Bonus Feature/s" are (yes, there are More than one).

First off I found the perfect companion against which to compare the LionHeart:

Couple of explanations here - there were many other lights against which I could have compared the LionHeart, but I chose not to for various reasons, some of them obvious and some not. The main reasons were that it seems most modders don't appreciate head to head shootouts, especially if their lights are outperformed (hey I would be too!), and I admit I have been guilty of doing that once or twice in the past and won't do it here (we be all one big happy family, right?). Second reason is that the VIP has already been shown to outperform most all other lights in its size class and is a known value, so it should give everyone a clear idea of what the LionHeart is about if it simply keeps up with the VIP - and this is the VIP with the BulkHead.

From a couple feet away against my baseboard (both on High):

Because of my non-adjustable digital camera they do appear to be about the same brightness, although if you concentrate real hard and wish over and over under your breath (as I did) it begins to appear the LH's beam on the right is a little brighter.

Now here they are 20 feet up on my living room ceiling:

The difference is beginning to show - not only is the LH a little brighter, but the hotspot is larger, with a slightly smaller yet brighter and more tightly controlled corona (not visible in this picture as I had no more room to back up).

Outside tests at greater distances showed the LH to be clearly brighter and further throwing, although regrettably without a better camera (night shot adjustable) the pics didn't come out.

But not to worry - the light meter doesn't lie:

This 1,810 lux reading from one meter away belongs to the VIP w/BH. The LionHeart's reading was:

LionHeart run times on High were exactly what was expected, a little over an hour (with the same Pila 150A used after the beamshots were taken) before dimming down gradually, so I didn't even bother getting into measuring run times of the other 63 levels. Hey, you want your LionHeart delivered this year, right?

And now (drum roll, please) onto the BONUS FEATURES:

1) Instant access to two brightness levels from off (press for lowest, and then click for any other level that you have previously chosen).

2) When on (at any level), the brightest level can be momentarily activated by pressing the button.

3) Five distinct levels of brightness to chose from. Low, Med-Low, Med, Med-High, and full-on High. Each is a logarithmically calibrated step to appear evenly spaced to the human eye.

3a) Brightness can be easily varied (press and hold button from off).

4) A forced brightness level can be set so the light comes on at the same brightness every time and this feature can also be turned off so light comes on at the last-used level every time, your choice.

5) Electronic lock-out of power button for those who carry rocks and things in ther pockets. Although given the very solid yet easily actuated tactile feel, this feature might never be used.

6) Auto-Doze (yes, it Can be disabled!). And when manually set to the lowest brightness, the Auto-Doze is disabled regardless of the menu setting for this feature. This way, the light can be instantly used for a nightlight, or be in "always-on find-me" mode.

No feature (except electronic unlock - this is on purpose!) requires more than TWO BUTTON PRESSES.

And how can we do all this from a single button? You'll have to buy one to find out!

Seriously, we set it up with two MODES of operation, and you simply press and hold the button while screwing on the battery tube (which applies power to the circuitry), and this enables you to choose which Mode you want to be in for the two different features sets. One will be the original setup described throughout this thread (smoothly scrolling through all 64 brightness levels), and the other will offer all the fancy stuff above. So the LionHeart now becomes a light for everyone - the KISS (Keep-It-Super-Simple) users, as well as those who want every bell and whistle, by selecting one of two modes.

But the BIGGEST Bonus Feature of all:

7) CUSTOM PROGRAMMING (at extra cost) will be available post-sale. But please do not request anything yet, buy the light as it is and see if you will even need anything else.

Besides, offering more than one version (anodized vs. plain aluminum) is already going to slow down build/distribution timelines, plus the infrastructure to accept individual reprogramming requests is not yet ready at this time, and costs have not yet been determined (although if a dozen LH owners get together and ask for the same custom feature set then setup costs can be amortized over ten or twelve lights and make things a lot cheaper).

A lot of time, thought and effort went into setting up the features the way they are now, and we think you will like them just fine the way they are.

Preordering for the first 200 people will open today, please visit the LionHeart Sign-Up List thread at "CPF's Custom & Mod B/S/T" a little later for details. Gotta run for now. do some errands and stuff..

Thank You for your support!

UPDATE 8-29-04:

Here is a picture of some of the "Hearts" that will go into our Lions...

UPDATE 8-31-04:

I just found out that during the anodizing process, the LionHeart's battery tube - plus certain other areas like the ground wire hole and of course the threads - can be plated internally with the vaunted "Allodyne" finish for corrosion protection & excellent grounding. It was suggested by the CNC shop as an alternate way (instead of the traditional masking process) to ensure non-anodizing of certain areas where conductivity is critical to electronical operation.

Although this will not affect the LionHeart's functionality either way, I think I will go ahead with it on the units that are to be HA3'd. For peace of mind, for the beauty of the golden Allodyne tint - it matches nicely with the muted gold color of the anode contact rivet on the LH board, rather than a plain solder blob like on the VIP (see below) - and just for the heck of it. The best part? NO extra cost!

UPDATE 9-7-04:

The machine shop doing our LionHearts has been having problems with the anodizers (same shop doing the VIP accessories like the 2AA tubes, twisties and BBH, which are all STILL at that anodizing place!) so they have wisely sourced another outfit which they have used in the past and are a little more speedy. Still it is going to be four to six weeks out from TODAY due to the switch. Once all 1,500 separate parts are made (each LionHeart is comprised of three major body components - did I say this somewhere below already? - times five hundred total units) they get sent to the New anodizers, then they are sent to another place to get the laser etching of the LionHeart logo, then they get sent to me. But not to worry, once they are sent to me they will be thrown together (oops, bad choice of words), er, carefully assembled right quick and the first units should still be shipping in the two month time frame I have been estimating. I know I've enjoyed a reputation for "on-time or earlier" delivery in the past, but y'all may have to bear with me this time around as this is my most ambitious project to date, both volume- and feature-wise, not to mention a specialized logo (finally!) and it looks like deliveries will only be "on-time" this time around...(*sob*).

Thank You for your kind continued patience and understanding. I promise that once you get your LionHeart in your hands, it will all indeed be worth it (I have really GOT to think about setting up a part-time factory pretty soon. Of course the original HAT members will all be promoted to front line supervisors...).

UPDATE 9-11-04:


UPDATE 9-21:

Not much to update, still waiting on the Fast Track bodies from the CNC shop. But just to keep you entertained here is another picture of size reference for the size reference-challenged:


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