On Quality

Posted by Enrique Muyshondt on

I’d like to take a moment to talk about quality.

My company makes Electric Torches. I chose to do this, because I wanted to make something better. I started off making torches out of yogurt tubes when I was five years old; Now I’ve chosen to take torch design to something rather more advanced – something higher performing and special; something of superior quality than what you can find anywhere else.

Quality is Paramount. It doesn’t matter if you’re making an Electric Torch, or if you’re making any other item – the time and effort to get things done right is of vital importance. This means having an acute awareness of every design decision that goes into making a product; to use superior raw materials; to achieve higher grades of finishing, and to make sure that what you ultimately deliver is the best you were capable of making.

It means not being satisfied even when you’ve delivered the best you were capable of – to continually refine what was made in the past and apply its lessons to the present. It means pushing harder on the next product, and the next, and the one after that, such that there’s always a forward movement. It means to always elevate your prior work to an even higher level, so that each iteration of products is better than the last.

Quality is not an amorphous concept. It is a habit. It’s an attention to every detail, both large and small – for when the little details are ignored, the product is merely ordinary or worse, instead of extraordinary. It’s knowing that “good enough” is not “excellence” and that anything except excellence is not worth doing.

Time and costs are malleable. Quality isn’t. It’s rigid and brittle – by its nature requiring care, time, and being difficult to master.

Again: Quality is Paramount. There is no substitute. The price of a Muyshondt product (or any other superior quality instrument) is not determined by market gamesmanship. It is set by what’s necessary in order to achieve the design features required to be worthy of being made in the first place.

Muyshondt products are unabashedly premium. They are the best in their class, and no apologies are made, nor do they need to be made for this. They would not be worth making otherwise.

To that end, I invite you to try out any of our products for yourself, and see the difference that quality manufacturing makes. If you have any questions at all, please feel free to contact us – we look forward to working with you, and seeing what adventures you take with a Muyshondt Electric Torch at your side.

Best wishes,

Enrique Muyshondt

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Aeon Mk. III Genesis

Posted by Enrique Muyshondt on

I am enormously grateful to all of you for having been patient as the Aeon Mk. III went from concept-to-reality, and expect you’ll find the wait to have been worth it once you’ve had a chance to put the light through its paces in the coming days and weeks.

There are few things more gratifying than bringing a product of some kind to fruition. It is, in its base form, taking thoughts, and condensing them into some kind of real, physical form. It’s a process unique unto itself, and being able to have the opportunity to create something, and share it with all of you, is something I am very lucky to be able to do.

What’s more – while creating a product in its own right is a major satisfaction, seeing people using them is an even larger one. To be able to affect someone’s experiences positively, in however small a way with these products, makes the creation of something new doubly worth it.

To that end – I’m very much looking forward to seeing how each of you use your lights, and am excited to see what adventures you take them on. Nothing was spared in creating what I feel to be some of my best work in the Aeon Mk. III – the features and design parameters are second to none, and I hope you will use them, and use them hard, as they were built to serve in whatever situation you can throw at them 

As of now, any new orders are available for shipment within 1-2 business days, and the only remaining production items are the Opus edition lights which will be here in April.

Thank you very much for joining in on the creation of the Aeon Mk. III, and I look forward to having the opportunity to create more new things for you again soon!

All the very best,

Enrique

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What is Muyshondt?

Posted by Enrique Muyshondt on

I started Muyshondt Enterprises back in 2006 to bring to market the CR2 Ion – my first flashlight, and at the time, the first light to ever use a Cree XLamp (and later XR-E) in an LED torch.

Several years and several models later, the Aeon Mk. III is moving towards production, building on the successes and lessons learned from each previous model.

My company has been in business for nearly 10 years now, which is a decently long time. I have been making LED torches in some form or another now for about 12 years. My objectives remain unchanged over this time – to create truly unique and very high quality products, that are a pleasure to use, that provide a set of high performance features, and can be counted on again and again with each passing year to provide continued, reliable service.

To this end, Muyshondt Enterprises has been my creative outlet. My flashlight batches have typically been relatively small, and everything has been designed, sourced, and assembled with my direct personal involvement.

This model has had its benefits, but it’s essentially micromanaging, and it has become increasingly difficult to have sufficient time to design, source, manufacture, assemble, ship, handle customer service, and generally run a business, all as one person.

These are growing pains, and are good problems to have, but they are problems that require solutions.

I created this website last year to make for a better customer experience – with a true shopping cart and order processing backend, as opposed to just a PayPal cart, so that you would be able to keep track of your orders better and know what stage things were in, get tracking numbers when orders shipped, and generally have a better browsing and purchasing experience.

In February I brought in Nathalie to help handle customer service and e-mails, and many of you reading this have likely interacted with her at some point already.

In April I started completely restructuring the way my lights are produced, which is intended to allow for superior quality, faster production, and a more stable inventory. The Aeon Mk. III is the first product going through the new process, and so far it has been a very successful experience in prototyping and setup, and I am eagerly looking forward to starting production in the weeks ahead. (This is ongoing and you can watch what’s happening with regular updates on Instagram)

What do these changes mean for you? They mean a superior product, faster, and with better service. They mean more time available for me to create new products and innovations, and expand into new areas, both in LED torches, and other fields of interest. They are, in general, strides towards making sure that quality is something that is ensured through every part of the process, from when ideas go into prototyping, to your order and inquiries here, all the way to the arrival of the product to you and through its lifespan.

Quality is paramount.

We stand still at the beginning of much to come – there are still more changes ahead, and more areas of improvement and innovation. So, with great anticipation for what the future holds, and a mindful eye for how we arrived to today, I want to thank all of you who have been loyal customers, who have enjoyed my products, shown patience in their production, and given me your thoughts over the years. Also, to all of you who are just now getting acquainted with Muyshondt products: I look forward to the day when a torch of mine is in your service, helping to turn night into day.

All the very best,

Enrique
vcc@muyshondt.net

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Who is Enrique Muyshondt

Posted by Enrique Muyshondt on

Who are you?

My name is Íñigo Montoya. You killed my father. Prepare to die.

Who am I?

For some 10 years now I’ve been making LED torches in some capacity or another. I built my first light when I was five years old, out of a yogurt tube, a light bulb, and a battery – the switch was made out of two paper fasteners and a paper clip, the light bulb from Radio Shack, the reflector from construction paper with aluminum foil glued to it, and the lens cut from a plastic package. The inside of the light was stuffed with cotton swabs after wiring to keep everything from bouncing around.

It worked. It was dim, and perhaps a bit crude, but I was five years old and it worked.

Fast forward many years, and I was looking to build a lightsaber from Star Wars. I started researching “super bright” LEDs, and bought the top of the line from the now-defunct lsdiodes.com.

They weren’t very bright.

I kept on working at it, though, and soon found the Luxeon series of LEDs – which were the first true “power” LEDs, producing a staggering (at the time) 20+ lumens light output, which actually illuminated a tube quite nicely, and did a much better job than the standard back then of using electroluminescent wire.

I was the first to ever do this back in 2003. The “standard” for lightsaber blades is now similar what I had created then (developed independently by many others afterwards). Also, Lightsabers From the Big Yellow Box was an awesome website. (Warning: The archive host for that site has a ridiculous amount of ads – make sure your ad blocker is on.)

While I was working on my lightsaber, I came across companies and hobbyists building LED torches using Luxeon LEDs. I was bitten by this bug and started modifying flashlights, and things kind of went from there. What started out as a project and like of lights when I was a kid was re-awakened as a nice hobby.

In 2006, this company was created, and the CR2 Ion – the predecessor to the Aeon and Nautilus series – was made. It was similar in styling to the Aeon Mk. I and II, produced a retina-searing 30 lumens or so on high mode, in a flood beam pattern, and had long runtimes. It was the first torch to ever use a Cree LED in the world, and the CR2 Ion XT was the first to ever use the Cree XR-E. Since then, Cree has become the de facto market leader for brightness gains in LED lighting.

The CR2 Ion gave way to the Nautilus – a CR123 light that had a Cree XR-E, parabolic reflector, and a redesigned driver, providing long runtimes in a decently small package.

From the Nautilus, the Aeon was created a few years later, optimizing again for size and runtime, and moving to a sapphire crystal lens. Several iterations of the Aeon have been made, the Mk. I with the XR-E, the Mk. II with a Nichia 219 or Cree XP-G2 (same for the Nautilus Mk. II).

Along the way the Mako and Mako Mk. II made their debuts – the original lights starting off with two modes: low, and lower, intended to function as extremely long runtime backup lights with nice beam colors, instead of the blue-yellow amalgamations prevalent to 5mm LEDs. As technology improved, so did the capabilities of the Mako, and with the Mk. II model a true high and low mode was implemented, using LEDs capable of withstanding higher current to produce higher light output, while still maintaining nice beam color and quality.

The Spinner was born from the Mako Mk. II, and has achieved the title as the ultimate backup light for runtime – with slightly higher output than the Mako Mk. II and a AA power plant.

 

That’s the primary story of how Muyshondt came to be. But who am I?

I am an electrical engineer by trade. I have a BS in Electrical Engineering with specialization in microdevice fabrication. I have actually gone through the process of creating functional circuits in silicon. I am familiar with electrical hardware design, with particular experience and interest in efficient and tiny DC/DC power supplies.

In addition to torches, I have spent many years working on 3D printing technology, and have designed and built an entire 3D printer from scratch, designing all of the electrical and mechanical hardware, as well as architecting the software and firmware features needed for its operation. There are many unique challenges in 3D printing, both in the methodology itself, in how you print a model proper, how you slice a 3D model and generate printer instructions, as well as the electronics themselves, in how you manage large amounts of power for all the motors, heaters, and other systems, while keeping electrical noise to a minimum to maintain control and communication signal integrity. This is nothing to say about actually creating the physical model of the machine, to create an accurate acceleration profile, deal with extrusion temperatures, rates, thicknesses, etc. etc.

In short: Lots, and lots of math. Lots of banging your head against a wall. Lots of testing. Lots of frustration. And ultimately – lots of satisfaction from having been able to create a machine that in turn creates new things.

These are my areas of expertise.

Outside of that, there’s little to know. I like technology. I like quality. I like well-made products.

With these torches, I strive to create a tool that has a high degree of technology in it, but where that technology is transparent, and entirely secondary to the actual use of the torch; where performance and quality meet in such a way that it ensures longevity and reliability, while being pleasing and simple to use. To that end, I hope that a Muyshondt torch has the honor of earning a place in your line up of tools, and that it’s there to illuminate the path in front of you.

Thanks for reading,

Enrique

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