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Thread: PT Apex, still the "best"?

  1. #31
    *Flashaholic* greenLED's Avatar
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    Default Re: PT Apex, still the "best"?

    Quote Originally Posted by yellow View Post
    PS, as I have never heared of this: how is the light from the 5mms in the Apex?
    Plenty bright and floody, even at low level. They're Nichias, AFAIK, so you get the typical "blue halos" (which can be fixed by sanding the dome). It's been a while since I've worried about tints, so it doesn't bug me at all.

  2. #32
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    Default Re: PT Apex, still the "best"?

    Quote Originally Posted by greenLED View Post
    Plenty bright and floody, even at low level. They're Nichias, AFAIK, so you get the typical "blue halos" (which can be fixed by sanding the dome). It's been a while since I've worried about tints, so it doesn't bug me at all.
    I got my Apex in the mail today. Considering I just ordered it on Thursday afternoon, that's pretty impressive.

    Anyways I played with it for a few minutes using the included Energizer alkaline batteries in a darkened but not totally dark room. My first thoughts were that it was not as bright as I had expected, but the brightness level in the room was similar to that twilight time when it's really hard to see. It's too bright for your dark vision to really kick in, but too dark for good daylight vision. You know what I'm talking about. I'm also sick at the moment with strep and I've been taking hydrocodone for my sore throat and that also seems to make things look somewhat odd. I expect I will play with it a bit more tonight too. Another thing that caught my by surprise was the difference in color rendering between the 5mm and the Luxeon LEDs. Our room is a moderately dark purple color. With the 5mm LEDs shining on the wall it definitely looked more blue compared to the Luxeon which seemed to give a more accurate color, at least in the hot spot. On the other hand, when I aimed the light elsewhere the floodier part of the 5mm LEDs seemed to be a fairly nice, white tint, though the center was more blue colored. The Luxeon seemed to be slightly more blue than the flood part of the Nichias but less so than the center.

    Anyways, those are just first impressions from a few minutes with it. One question though. Should I expect lower light output levels from rechargeable batteries? I thought the Apex used a constant current source while in regulation, but I also seem to remember someone saying something to the effect that you sacrifice some light output with rechargeables but gain battery life because alkalines get beat up by the current draw.

  3. #33
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    Default Re: PT Apex, still the "best"?

    Avatar28,
    Crap! Now you tell me. I already bought and paid for mine yesterday.

    I was just at Princeton Tec yesterday and was talking with a few people. One of the people who I talked with was a guy who actually assembles the Headlamps and makes repairs to them as well. One of the things we talked about was the problems with the orange Apex Headlamps. They did indeed have a problem with a few cracking. However, this was not because of bad materials, the orange Apex Headlamps are made from the very same materials as the other colors. The problem was with some runs that were assembled with a torque setting that was too high on the machine that drives the screws during assembly. The very same problem showed up in some Black and Olive Drab Apex Lamps as well. I had one of them and two researchers that work with me had Apex Headlamps with cracks where the screws are driven to hold the headlamp together. And one (Olive Drab) had the crack around the lens just like the orange Apex Headlamps that had the same problem.

    The problem with the cracking Apex Headlamps has been remedied by Princeton Tech and your should not have a problem. However, if you still feel uncomfortable about the orange Apex, just keep it in the box and send it back for an exchange for a different color. I just don't believe it will be necessary, if you like the orange Apex then I would stick with it. However, if you do ever have a problem with you headlamp, Princeton Tech will stand by their product, and they will replace you headlamp without hassle. They are wonderful people to deal with when needed. I have three Apex Headlamp (Black, Orange and Olive Drab) and my wife has an orange Apex. I also have 3 EOS Headlamps (Black, Orange and Olive Drab) and my three kids all have EOS Headlamps. I have 12 researcher that work for me and all have at least one Apex and one EOS (Most have two of each), and we all use our headlamps extensively. I also have 7 friends who I do lots of camping, hiking and fishing with who have Apex and EOS headlamps as well as a few other Princeton Tech Headlamps. And the three headlamps with the cracks where the only problems that any of us ever had.

    I lucky enough to live just a few minute away from the Princeton Tech Factory. So, when I call about the crack problems, they told me to stop in and they would take care of the problems for me. I got there a few minutes later, the guy came out to the lobby and I showed him the three cracked headlamps, and he replaced them with three new headlamps right of the assemble line. Then we talked awhile, he took the time to show me around and told me how things were done. Then he gave me his card and told me if I ever had any problems or had any questions to feel free to call him anytime. I just can't say enough about how good Princeton Tech was to deal with. I did ask about the new High Power LED such as Cree and Seoul LEDs, and this is something we will talk about next week. With luck, perhaps I can talk Princeton Tech into put these new LEDs into their Headlamps. Then everyone won't have to mod their lamps. To be honest, the Apex is fine just the way it is it more then bright enough for just about anything, if fact it's too bright for much and you have to go with the low 3 watt setting or the 5 mm LEDs for close or medium range work. Even with out the upgrade or Mod with a Cree or Seoul LED, it's one heck of a headlamp. I'm very confidant that your going to love you Apex Headlamp. But if you can get even more light with no lose in runtime, then why not I say.
    Best regards,
    GCB Stokes
    Avian Wildlife & Nesting Box Research And Studies
    And Avid Outdoorsman

  4. #34
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    Default Re: PT Apex, still the "best"?

    The Apex is supposedly waterproof down to one meter, but of the three I have tried everyone will leak water into the head if placed in a sink. They are fine in the rain though. I have been debating on returning the one non-modded one I have for this reason.

    As far as the cracks, I suspect they all could have that problem, you just couldn't see the cracks in the other colors.
    Light is the activity of what is transparent - Aristotle

  5. #35
    Flashaholic* TorchBoy's Avatar
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    Default Re: PT Apex, still the "best"?

    Quote Originally Posted by cave dave View Post
    ... everyone will leak water into the head if placed in a sink.


    I think you mean "every one" with a space.

    Made my evening, that did.
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  6. #36
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    Default Re: PT Apex, still the "best"?

    Maybe I shouldn't have tested the waterproofness with the light still on my head? Both were leaky
    Light is the activity of what is transparent - Aristotle

  7. #37
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    Default Re: PT Apex, still the "best"?

    Well I definitely see a mod for this thing in my future. I like the light but it is definitely not as bright as I sort of expected. For instance, I've got one of these lights as well. I had somehow rather expected the Apex to be at least somewhat close to it, but apparently not. I can step outside my house at night and shine both lights on a wall maybe 50 yards away. The Apex I can't really see but the other light still shows up decently. So, yeah, mod time.
    Last edited by Avatar28; 06-17-2007 at 11:34 AM.

  8. #38

    Default Re: PT Apex, still the "best"?

    Quote Originally Posted by GCBStokes View Post
    With luck, perhaps I can talk Princeton Tech into put these new LEDs into their Headlamps. Then everyone won't have to mod their lamps. To be honest, the Apex is fine just the way it is it more then bright enough for just about anything, if fact it's too bright for much and you have to go with the low 3 watt setting or the 5 mm LEDs for close or medium range work.
    It's more the increased efficiency I'm interested in with Cree (etc) LEDs. I use the 3W only a small amount of the time, but having a 50% increased runtime at the same output would be a HUGE win for cavers...

  9. #39
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    Default Re: PT Apex, still the "best"?

    Beaker,
    It's more the increased efficiency I'm interested in with Cree (etc) LEDs. I use the 3W only a small amount of the time, but having a 50% increased runtime at the same output would be a HUGE win for cavers...
    I feel the same and I'm really happy with my Apex Headlamps as is. My Apex Headlamps are more then bright enough, in most cases too bright on the high 3 watt setting. When hiking and working in the forests at night, I use my Apex Headlamp in the low 3 watt setting. When working in our vehicles and recording data we use our Apex Headlamps on the Low 5mm LED setting.

    With the new Sanyo 2700 mAh NiMH AA's, I get well over four hours (Most of the time just about 4 Hours 20 Minutes) of regulated runtime on the High 3 watt setting. And though I've never done a runtime test on the Low 3 watt setting, I find it's over 14 hours of regulated runtime. This is great runtime, but if that can be improved on with a Cree or Seoul LED, then that would be truly wonderful. And to get more light at the same time, that would be fabulous!
    Last edited by GCBStokes; 06-30-2007 at 10:05 PM. Reason: Correction
    Best regards,
    GCB Stokes
    Avian Wildlife & Nesting Box Research And Studies
    And Avid Outdoorsman

  10. #40
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    Default Re: PT Apex, still the "best"?

    Cave Dave,
    The Apex is supposedly waterproof down to one meter, but of the three I have tried everyone will leak water into the head if placed in a sink. They are fine in the rain though. I have been debating on returning the one non-modded one I have for this reason.
    I've have heard of some people having this problem, so I thought it would be wise to test our headlamps. We never had any problems with out headlamps, and we've been using ours in all weather extremes including heavy rain, sleet, snow and freezing rain. So, while wearing the headlamps we had no problems, meaning they are indeed weather proof, I wanted to test our headlamps just to be safe and to know they are water proof as well. To test our headlamps, I first submersed them in 3 feet of water for 10 minutes using a rubber band to hold the headlamps to the bottom of my parents pool ladder where one would enter the deep end of the swimming pool. And afterwards I used the garden hose to spay them for 5 minute to remove any residue of chlorine, then I used a towel to dry the headlamps and to wipe clean. And I'm pleased to report that all was fine and we had no water entry in any of our headlamps (I was able to test a total of 11 of our headlamps). Two headlamp did have very slight water entry in the battery pack so I cleaned and applied silicon grease to the o-ring.

    Was the water entry problem you had with modded Apex Headlamps? I'm not very knowledgeable and I must rely on the people here on the candlepowerforum and other sources to learn about headlamps, batteries and chargers and I'm still learning. However, talking with Princeton Tech, they say once the headlamp is opened it may not properly seal when reassembled. A friend says it should not be a problem when reassembled properly and that the 0-rings should be cleaned and one should apply silicon grease to the o-ring when the reassembling is done.

    We have been thinking about having our work headlamps modded, but we have decided not to do to the fact that it would void our warranty. I'm talking about the headlamp bought with funding for our research. However, I do have two Apex Headlamps that are my personal headlamps that I bought with my own money. Some of my friends and people I work with also have their own personal Apex Headlamps as well. I'm thinking about modding at least one of my Apex Headlamps as well as one of my EOS Headlamps. However, I am concerned about then having a water entry problem if modded.

    We are very happy with our Apex Headlamps as is, and we feel that modding the headlamps may not be worth it if it leads to problems afterwards and voids our warranty as well. We have seen two modded headlamps, and though they are brighter and have a nicer beam, the advantage is not earth shaking. The strange thing is, some of our headlamps seem brighter then others and have better color. What we have found is that the orange Apex Lamp have a warmer light and have a amber tint, the Olive Drab headlamps have a whiter light, and seem brighter and the black had lamps seem brighter as well, but with a very slight blue or purple tint. This tint is very slight with the black Apex Headlamps and if favored by most that I work with and people I camp and hike with. It's also my favorite. So, if I modded one of my lights, I would mod my orange Apex. I also think it would be better to mod my EOS Headlamp first do to the fact that the Apex Headlamps though would be better modded, are still great headlamps as is. The EOS being not as bright, I feel would benefit more from being modded.

    Thanks for your time Cave Dave, and I'd be interested in hearing the thoughts of others regarding this matter as well.
    Best regards,
    GCB Stokes
    Avian Wildlife & Nesting Box Research And Studies
    And Avid Outdoorsman

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