I need a new Flashlight....

Discussion in 'Shiny Things' started by A-Bone, Dec 21, 2009.

  1. A-Bone

    A-Bone Indubitably

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    Well, the upside is that it means you can start looking for a nice replacement... :evil
  2. Fire Escape

    Fire Escape Long timer

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    [​IMG]


    My most recent two happened to both be Streamlights.
    I have had the ProTac HL for a few months now. Aluminum, uses 2 123 batteries, has high, strobe and low modes, high is 600 Lumens. I didn't think that the extra Lumens would be a dramatic change over my other 100 +/- Lumen lights but ..... the brightness is amazing (at least to me), when there is no visability nothing helps but this cut a swath across a smoky basement that was impressive. Battery life has to suffer to get that power but the originals are still going strong after a couple of months of what is for me 'normal use'. The strobe doesn't have much use for me (except to play), but I think that it would induce vomitting!
    The PolyTac 90 is new this week, also uses a pair of 123s and has the same 'modes' but only a 'normal' 100 lumen output (I think) on high. It came packaged with the retractor on a BoTach 'special' for $49. My plan for it is to be clipped to my turnout coat, the pocket clip should keep it pointed more or less in front of me and when I unclip that for special use, I should still be able to keep it because of the retractor. Time will tell how that all works out.

    I don't get it, the picture was wider that I wanted so I went back and cropped it, copied the code but I keep getting the original when I paste it here. I will try and get it right first time, next time because 'fixing' it sure isn't working for me.



    Bruce
  3. tony the tiger

    tony the tiger Long timer

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    Nice lights.
    Try clearing your browser cache then checking the pic - probably not updated... :*sip*
  4. Fire Escape

    Fire Escape Long timer

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    Thanks, I am pretty much computer illiterate. I ended up re-cropping the original and saving it which gave me a new code. All because I lack the knowledge to clear my cache! Oh well. Thanks again for getting me on the right track.
    :clap


    Bruce
  5. tony the tiger

    tony the tiger Long timer

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    :webers :smooch :1drink
  6. welder

    welder Long timer

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  7. Fire Escape

    Fire Escape Long timer

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    I don't recall seeing much mention of what to put in all these hi-tech flashlights.

    In years past, I did pretty much what the commercials said, unless unavailable all my lights got Duracells (like most every other first responder did).
    My childhood memories said that Eveready was OK and every leaky battery I destroyed a flashlight or toy with was a Ray-o-vac but we're talking 4 to 5 decades ago there.
    I saw some of the Eveready AA Lithiums a while back, tried them in the GPS and have been using them since for all things AA battery. My newer lights take CR 123s. I honestly haven't used up many 123s to even have a good guess as to what is good/better/best. I bought a package (6, 10, 12??) of Surefires a few years ago at Cabela's (after paying $8 each for whatever brand I could find at a hardware store in the keys, didn't want to get 'caught short' again) and just put the last two of them into a light this week. I haven't used any yet but grabbed a 20 pack of Rayovacs (despite those long ago memories) from BoTac because they were cheap ($22) and what showed up were Streamlights.
    My use of lights is so sporadic and spread between several different ones that I can't make a reasonable evaluation as to what is 'good'.

    Who knows (or has an opinion) what works?


    Bruce
  8. snofrog

    snofrog Been here awhile

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    I made a deal with an ebay vendor for 20 Saik sa-7`s . I sold half of them to get my money back :D . with rayovac lithium 123a batteries they are bright
  9. sailah

    sailah Lampin' it

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    Regarding batteries, have you considered getting rechargeable batteries?

    Fir about the same money you could have bought a charger and a couple batteries from battery junction. I have the ultrafire series and really like them for the price
  10. Fire Escape

    Fire Escape Long timer

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    I did give it a little thought.
    Back when I was able to dive (pre sinus block) rechargeable batteries/lights were the 'new thing' and everyone had to have one, being contrary, I used an old school 'Bug Diver 400' that took 10 'D' alkaline cells (as I recall), heavy, cumbersome and expensive to 'refill'.But as a night dive went on the rechargeables would suddenly 'die' as the voltage dropped and I'd find myself in the center of a really tight crowd. The all until nothing nature of rechargeables didn't suit 'serious' use in my mind. While I am not going to find myself 40' underwater with a rapidly dimming light very often anymore, I spend much of my winter 'off the grid' where recharging isn't convenient. At present I'd need 11 of those 123 rechargeables for my lights plus 2 for the Eotech and that doesn't account for spares to be in the charger and ready. I have watched plenty of rechargeable lights, tools and defibrilators pass through service as a first responder, great when new out of the box, pia after a couple of years and gone after a few more because battery replacements cost more that a new device (not so much the defibs, we'd throw hundreds, probably thousands at more spare batteries and better conditioners because the unit was so $$$, while waiting for the next big improvement to justify replacement).
    If time spent swapping and inconvenience (or worse) of having one 'quit' at the wrong time don't figure highly in the equation they are probably money well spent. For my wifes CD player (yes, we are old) they work fine but they aren't what I want in my light as I crawl down into a smoky basement.


    Bruce
  11. sailah

    sailah Lampin' it

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    Bruce,

    I guess if you don't have the means to recharge sure, but I routinely charge them using a 12V plug for the charger in my car. I have never had a single issue with one of my batteries. I think making the comparison between NiCad and Li Ion is not accurate. I agree Ni Cad are not the best. Li Ion batteries are much stronger, more powerful and they last right up until the end, at which point the voltage cutoff will drop out and the light turns off.

    With the run times of these lights, even on high, you's have to be in that smoky basement a helluva lot longer than your oxygen tank to outrun a battery. That's one of the things I like about rechargeable, I always have the ability to have a full battery.

    Being off the grid doesn't mean you cant recharge batteries, unless you are literally off the grid for months and not driving anywhere, I'd just use the drive to town as a chance to charge all the batteries.

    BTW where are you in NH? I grew up in Maine and love going over to the Conn lakes fishing
  12. Fire Escape

    Fire Escape Long timer

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    I do have a solar panel and the ability to recharge from 12v, try as much as possible to not use an inverter for 110v chargers but still find myself having to for the computer so much as I try to avoid it even AC charging is possible.
    I had neglected the change from the old NiCads to Li Ion, it certainly has made cordless tools more reliable. Guess that I should get with the times and look into what is out there for Li Ion batteries. How do actual run times compare with 'disposable' 123s? Do they 'store' well without losing strength?
    It isn't that they need to outlast a cylinder of AIR (if we used Oxy, our exhalations would be feeding the fire - not good), It is that changing to fresh batteries isn't always an option 'on the way in', we don't get lots of warning that we will be headed into an emergency. The relatively low cost and high shelf life of disposables does make it easier to have a 'spare set' stored in several places but for more 'every day' use, where that voltage cutoff (and sudden darkness) isn't critical the rechargeables might fit my needs better than I thought.


    Bruce

    I am down in the 'lower tier' of the state, just east of Concord. I get up to the north country (usually) twice a year to fish with friends on the Connecticut Lakes, beautiful country and quite a contrast to spending winter in the Keys.
  13. sailah

    sailah Lampin' it

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    The batteries store incredibly well. I buy the protected versions of the ultra fire series from battery junction. Very pleased so far. The run times are so long that I simply recharge every couple months even if they don't need it. I have many lights so some may go that long.

    It's not a bad idea to obviously keep some regulars around but I think if you get a couple of the rechargeable batteries since they are cheap you'll be a believer. Battery junction is in ct too and really nice folks, plus they have great deals on regular batteries if you want to stock up.
  14. Fire Escape

    Fire Escape Long timer

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    Thank you, I will check them out. Are they the place to look for 12v charging options as well?


    Bruce
  15. Snapper

    Snapper Long timer

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    Li-ion (RCR123/16340s) have ~50-60% the energy of lithium primaries (CR123) or 3.7V x 650 mah = 2.4 watt hrs vs 3.0 x 1500 mah = 4.5 watt hrs. While it is true that Li-ions don't self discharge like other Ni-based rechargeables, Li-ions do not like to be stored at full capacity - they'll permenantly lose about 20% of their capacity per year stored at 100% at room temp. Not all lights can handle the additional voltage (up to 4.2V fully charged) of Li-ions, make sure your light is rated for them.

    Best to use Li-ions and store Lithium primaries.
  16. sailah

    sailah Lampin' it

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    Bruce, most of the nicer chargers you can buy the 12V cord for. I have the WF 139 charger and it's been fine. I have an inverter built into the back of my Toyota FJ so I just use that. I also have another charger that has a 12V plug.

    The new smart charger that does Ni cad, NiMH, and Li ion batteries is the one I would get now. Then you can pick up some cheapo NiMH for around the house that use regular AA and still charge your nice Li Ion all with one charger. It's new, wasn't around when I got mine. Sysmax i4 linked below

    http://www.batteryjunction.com/lithiumionchargers.html

    As Snapper noted, make sure your light is compatible with the 3.7v batteries, most are but double check.

    If thats the case get some 3.7V RCR123A

    http://www.batteryjunction.com/uf16340.html

    If you're restricted to 3.0V batteries

    http://www.batteryjunction.com/rc375reliba.html

    I have not heeded the warning to not store the cells at top charge. They are $4. I charge them up, put them in a light and go. I also bought one of those little plastic cases for storing batteries and I keep one in my car filled with (2) AA NiMH for regular AA usage like my GPS. I also have (2) 14500 Li Ion batteries which are simply AA sized Li Ion for my flashlights.

    http://www.batteryjunction.com/bacaforaaba.html

    14500 or AA sized are my favorite lights for the following reasons

    They are very compact, though slightly longer than your 123 size
    They use regular AA batteries and in a pinch you can obviously find those anywhere

    For big power and longer run times I have a number of 18650 powered lights which are simply larger, but they put out an incredible amount of light and last forever.
  17. Fire Escape

    Fire Escape Long timer

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    I looked up Battery Junction, Google lists it in conjunction with Batteries Plus which we have here. Guess I will be doing some more shopping before winter. I was concerned that all the rechargeables listed specificly said not to use in Surefire lights, then proceeded to mention the various incandescents. I will have to check the other lights for cautions. Even if I just go Li Ion in place of my AAs, it will probably be worthwhile. The Eotech... I won't be 'chancing' that with rechargeables but being in this half of the world I probably only need a couple batteries a year (if that). Thanks (to all) for all the advice.

    Back to "Anyone get a new Light?"


    Bruce
  18. Andrew

    Andrew Optimus Primer Super Moderator

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  19. Zundfolge

    Zundfolge Been here awhile

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    I bought one for my 4D Maglight and I am pleased with the results. You either need to purchase a trimmed reflector from them or trim your existing one. It is not difficult to trim, but I imagine they are easy enough to break. You will also still get some patterned light (versus a consistent circle of light) since that seems to be due to the reflector.



  20. rbrsddn

    rbrsddn 3banger

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    I've had the Malkoff drop-in for my Mag lite 3D for a couple of years now. It takes an anemic light and makes it a useful tool. Trimming the reflector is easy. I also purchased a Hound Dog XML last spring, that is an awesome light. Runs on 2 18550 batteries, or 3 CR123's. Malkoff's products are first rate.