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Thread: Raw AL keychain question

  1. #1
    Flashaholic
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    Default Raw AL keychain question

    I've had my raw on my keychain for about a month now, and got a couple of questions.

    the supplied wire loom broke last week, but not before eating through about half of the bottom connector on the flashlight. has anyone got this light on thier keychain and found a better way to attach?

    one of the trits is already out- is this normal, and should I buy spares if the rest will break or go out if on a keychain?

    also, after a few weeks on my keys the finish is really starting to tarnish to a steel grey color and gets black on my hands now. I had a fenix p1d on my ring for a few months before this, and the black paint came off, but then it was just a silver aluminum color. no black on hands. is the raw AL made with a different type of Aluminum that wears differently?

    I love the light as a light, but I really did not plan on the loom breaking, the trits going out( I cant find a break in the glass) or the finish wearing off on my hands a month after buying. any advice that does not include the sentence "don't use on keychain" ?

  2. #2
    Flashaholic* MikeSalt's Avatar
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    Default Re: Raw AL keychain question

    Quote Originally Posted by David Gretzmier View Post
    any advice that does not include the sentence "don't use on keychain" ?
    Actually, I was going to offer advice that is probably just as useless. For keychain duties, an NS is a better choice than titanium or aluminium. It resists scratches better.

    Ok, so there is my useless advice out of the way. Here is some that may be useful. Weight-for-weight, kevlar fibres are stronger than steel wire. If you can get your hands on lanyards of this material, you're onto a winner. Being stronger and more flexible, it should last longer. Also, being softer, it should not wear out the attachment point on your Raw Al so quickly.

    As for the tritium locators, they are not well suited to keychain duties. Rob cannot cut the slots any deeper otherwise they would intrude into the battery compartment, comprimising the waterproof nature of the light. The solutions to the tritium dilemma have involved using a clear-setting adhesive/filler to surround and coat the trit to prevent damage.

    Good luck,

    Mike

  3. #3
    Flashaholic* Steve L's Avatar
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    Default Re: Raw AL keychain question

    Hi David,

    I think your best bet for key chain carry is something like this. It's a small leather key chain sheath from AW that the Raw Al will fit in.
    Last edited by Steve L; 09-22-2008 at 02:43 PM.

  4. #4
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    Default Re: Raw AL keychain question

    Ok, tried the kevlar thing. got some off ebay, I used a double loop of stuff that kinda looks like thick yellow string. This stuff is so strong you cannot break it by pulling it apart. it will cut your hands before the string breaks.

  5. #5

    Default Re: Raw AL keychain question

    Hey! About the Kevlar statement - you can get a spool worth for $3.50 @ http://www.countycomm.com/KEVLAR.htm. This stuff is good, not too stiff, and is black in color.

    Hope this helps!
    Mike

  6. #6
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    Default Re: Raw AL keychain question

    kevlar not working out so well, starting to fray. 2nd tritrium out. one left. I really can't reccomend this flashlight for keychain use if the lanyard supplied eats through the flashlight retaining ring and then breaks. I think 1/8" thick braided kevlar might work, the 1/16" thick is holding, but could break at any time. The trits stick out enough that just normal keychain use breaks them. without trits this would be an awesome light for keychain use. perhaps the wee NS R2 is a better keychain chioce, it will be my next light with no trits.

  7. #7
    Flashaholic* Cuso's Avatar
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    Default Re: Raw AL keychain question

    Dude, what are you doing with your keys?? Jogging?? Horseback?? You ate through the Kevlar???

  8. #8

    Default Re: Raw AL keychain question

    kevlar has a very high tensile strength so you cant break it and when woven it absorbs impact like the multi layer vest applications. it can still be abraded or cut with scissors or an ordinary knife.

  9. #9
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    Default Re: Raw AL keychain question

    the Kevlar comes as yellow thread with very tiny fibers. It gets kinda poofy as it is not braided, so, I took 3 strands of it and braided it last night very tightly. knotted the ends and created a loop with an additional knot to secure it to keychain. this will work or nothing will. The last trit went out today. It now sits dark beside my bed at 2 am in the morning on my keys. I don't jog or do anything with my keys, I just unlock my gate at the shop and drive my truck.

    The flashlight is still awesome but I am done with trits. That was a waste of money for keychain use.

    I understand now that handmade expensive flashlights are like handmade expensive knives: nice to look at, but treat them nicely. I probably would not open boxes dailywith a 140 dollar knife, and I probably should not of expected this light to work for daily use unprotected.

    My next project will be drilling out the old trits with my dremel, and inserting the brightest glow paint I can fill in there. I'm sure it won't be as bright as the trits, but at least I'll have something to help me find this at night on the bedstand. Anybody ever done this ?

  10. #10

    Default Re: Raw AL keychain question

    140 dollars is not an expensive knife, and for a custom/handmade knife it is just a base price from a competent maker. Basically ideally suited for box opening, hard use, etc.

    I'm suprised that anyone is suprised that aluminum wears easily, and will blacken your hands. I can't stand that metal, personally. Machining it is a real ugly PITA. It melts, gums up tools, floats into the air in clouds, blackens everything. Smells bad. I wouldn't buy an un-anodized aluminum light.

    The tritium thing is different. I guess thats a live and learn thing. They sound like a great idea. Oh well. I just ordered a Raw (no trits) and a Wee (with trits). Now I'm worried. Where are the trits located on the Wee, and have people had the same problems?
    Remember the Alamo.

    Andy

  11. #11
    Enlightened
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    Default Re: Raw AL keychain question

    I'm currently EDC'ing my Wee NS 25 lumens with no trits on my keys carabiner. It still looks fine after 3 weeks. I also got a RAW Al with 3 trits and only use it when I need a little light that puts out 200 lumens.

    Here's the location of the trits on the Wee


    (pic taken from Rob's site)

    I curretly use the trit hole to tie the lanyard on it so that it doesn't get so tight through that little lanyard hole.

    I would strongly suggest not having trits on keychain lights, unless they're protected by some thick epoxy or something else.

  12. #12

    Default Re: Raw AL keychain question

    The trits on the wee seem recessed enough to survive, depending of course how you treat your keychain.
    I've had a wee for about a year now, and although it's only attached to my keychain part of the time (swapped every now and then with another small light I have) I haven't had any issues with the trits on it. If it makes any difference, I used the supplied lanyard for attachment for the first couple of months, but then switched to a small split ring through the lanyard hole and a McGizmo clip (15mm "pico" size).
    I love the trits on the raw, but I can see why they would be problematic for keychain use.
    The LED ... making up for the fact that titanium doesn't glow inherently

  13. #13

    Default Re: Raw AL keychain question

    I would suggest a solvent for removing whatever is left in the trit slots rather than drilling much cleaner, you just need the right solvent. bix airplane paine stripper will take out just about any adhesive just use a little and be careful. let me know (PM) when you are going to fill them I'll send you a little glow powder that lasts about 14 hours. just mix it with clear 2 ton epoxy and add it to the slots slowly with a toothpick. just do one at a time and leave it level so it doesnt all run out (duh)

  14. #14
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    Default Re: Raw AL keychain question

    I've already ordered the solvent based glow paint from glowbright, supposedly it is the brightest (33000 initial nanocandelabras for the green paint verses 6000 constant nanocandelabras for tritriums) longest lasting ( 24 hours? ) and the best for aluminum. if it does not work out, I'll try the epoxy and glow powder thing. I also may put some around the bezel where the light exits the flashlight, turn on flashlight for a minute and it glows for many hours.

    as far as the aluminum/black thing, I've had a half dozen aluminum keychains on my ring the past 3 years, and none of them put black on my hands til the raw. they were all painted black originally, and the paint mostly came off, but the aluminum exposed was just worn shiny, not hand blackening. from fenix p1,P1d, P1d q5 , Kaidomain q5 v4 buckle light, and a couple of deal extreme keychains.

    I will go NS for my next lummi light, probably still a raw but without trits. if I like the glow effect, I may do that one up before I put it on the ring. the new one has the r2 cree, 200 lumens to my 140 or 160 or so, so maybe that will be my christmas present.

  15. #15

    Default Re: Raw AL keychain question

    same powder base, I just prefer an epoxy base to the premix types. by 22 hours they are pretty dim, but unless you're somewhere without windows for that long most places south of alaska don't have nights that long any way

  16. #16
    Flashaholic* Cuso's Avatar
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    Default Re: Raw AL keychain question

    If you ever decide to retry the trits take a look in this thread:

    http://www.candlepowerforums.com/vb/...d.php?t=203375

    I modified the slot a bit with a diamond dremel attachment and the trit doesn't stick out the surface anymore. I encased the whole thing in epoxy and the result is more than satisfactory. Its very protected by the epoxy.Ive been using it around my neck all the time ( not on keys though) and its still glowing.

    BTW the solvent based glowpaint is not the best choice. The particle is big and its messy on the application, an epoxy mix is the best way to go..
    Last edited by Cuso; 10-13-2008 at 09:41 AM.

  17. #17
    Flashaholic* Nyctophiliac's Avatar
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    Default Re: Raw AL keychain question

    Have you tried glow o-rings?

    The design of the raw Al seems to lend itself to the use of about three o rings where the body rings are milled. That might protect the Raw when keychain carrying alittle bit as well.

    I have a Raw Al on order, also a Raw NS. I think I'll try the glow ring options myself!!

    Post pics if I can.

    I love these little torches!!




    Be lucky....

  18. #18
    Flashaholic* MikeSalt's Avatar
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    Default Re: Raw AL keychain question

    Just had my first trit failure. Not sure exactly what broke it, but today I noticed that it was not glowing at all. A few weeks ago I noticed that it was considerably less bright than the Wee trits. I assume that there must have been a tiny fracture and the tritium gas leaked slowly from it. I think next time I shall install a trit and encase it in 2 part epoxy. It was my fault really, I used too much glue and left it proud at one end.

  19. #19
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    Default Re: Raw AL keychain question

    Seems as though the trit failure is more than rare, but not necessarily common? I'll let you know how it goes with the glow paint. The braided kevlar seems to be a permanant fix. that stuff is cool.

    went ahead and got a tritrium key fob from over on the other side of candlepowerforums. It has a 23mm x 3 mm vial, so I should have no problem finding my keys. at 20 bucks it's a pretty neat toy, and can find my keys even if the glow paint fails me. How bright is glow paint after 6-7 hours? I lay my keys beside my bed with a lamp above, and at lights out at 11pm, I often wake for a pee at 5 am. glow will still be bright, dim, or in the middle?

  20. #20
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    Default Re: Raw AL keychain question

    The braided kevlar slowly frayed over a period of 4 weeks, at which point I was afraid of losing the light. I replaced it with new kevlar, and apparently the knot undid itself, and I lost the flashlight the first day. after much searching, I luckily found the light in my work vehicle.

    I have reached the point of frustration with this light and my keys. If the supplied lanyard eats through the ring on the light, and the strongest fiber in the world cannot safely or strengthwise, act as an attatchment for this light on a keyring, then this light is just simply not up to the task. It really saddens me that a 17 buck aaa china buckle light can hold up to keychain use better.

    To be fair to Rob, I had this same problem with the fenix p1d, it's ring too ate through the hole until it broke. The p1d q5, same story.

    I'm thinking of finding a master tig welder and have him weld a 1/4 thick chunk of aluminum on the end of the Raw AL light with a hole drilled through for a key ring. The light is awesome, just not made for keys.

    The wee i have ordered may be the next keychain test.

  21. #21
    Flashaholic* seery's Avatar
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    Default Re: Raw AL keychain question

    Quote Originally Posted by David Gretzmier View Post
    ...
    Any pics showing the problem area?

  22. #22
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    Default Re: Raw AL keychain question

    I've never posted pics here and would not know where to start, so I'll have to expalin what I see. Take a raw AL, and whatever size steel cable is on the lanyard Rob Supplies. essentailly remove half the aluminum thickness on the backside of the flashlight, the built inset retainer ring on the tailcap.

    When on keychain, the lanyard acts as a saw/sandpaper to grind away at the aluminum till it gets thin enough to break or be foolish to leave on the lanyard and break and lose the flashlight. I have tried to EDC the raw in my pocket, and I end up using it and tranferring the light to another pocket or jacket pocket, and I end up searching for it. I have went back to the V5 buckle light for keys for now, as searching for the raw has drivin me crazy.

  23. #23
    Flashaholic* seery's Avatar
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    Default Re: Raw AL keychain question

    Thanks for the description.

    Have a Raw NS and Wee NS in transit and will be looking for a way to neck lanyard carry both.

    I've never carried a light on my key ring. About a year ago I went from pocket clip carry to neck
    lanyard carry exclusively. Ever since going to neck carry, the mere thought of a light clipped to
    my pocket sounds like a PITA and annoying!

    Next I'll have to do a search and see how folks neck lanyard carry their Wee and Raw lights.

    Again, thanks for the explanation.

  24. #24
    Flashaholic* Steve L's Avatar
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    Default Re: Raw AL keychain question

    Hi Guys,

    For keychain carry of your Raws I highly suggest something like this.

    Happy Holidays!!!

    Best Wishes,
    Steve

  25. #25

    Default Re: Raw AL keychain question

    Quote Originally Posted by David Gretzmier View Post
    I've never posted pics here and would not know where to start, so I'll have to expalin what I see. Take a raw AL, and whatever size steel cable is on the lanyard Rob Supplies. essentailly remove half the aluminum thickness on the backside of the flashlight, the built inset retainer ring on the tailcap.

    When on keychain, the lanyard acts as a saw/sandpaper to grind away at the aluminum till it gets thin enough to break or be foolish to leave on the lanyard and break and lose the flashlight.
    <snip>

    Far be it from me to try to sell you a more expensive light that I don't have personal experience of ... but ...

    Titanium is a much harder metal and my guess would be that it'd be much less susceptible to wearing away like this. I'd guess it'd also be less likely to wear off on your hands and a bit more scratch resistant although I find it hard to imagine any metal not scratching up a bit if you keep it with your keys. I've not been lucky enough to use a Raw Ti, but the material does sound a better fit to me!

    As various people have said, wearing a light around your neck is also a very convenient way to carry, although it wouldn't solve your problem of locating your keys. I wear my raw using a strap from a photography shop, intended for carrying cameras. The neat thing about this is that you can easily clip the torch off the strap. A Raw is possibly a bit big for carrying around your neck on an EDC basis, I just put it on when I'm going on an expedition in the dark. Various people (e.g. Rob@lummi) carry Wees on chains though, I think - it looks cool.

  26. #26
    Enlightened
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    Default Re: Raw AL keychain question

    I don't yet own any Lummis, and have not held one in hand, but my first thought was to put a hollow rivet into the lanyard hole. I don't know for sure if this actually exists in the proper size, but I'm guessing there is probably a SS hollow rivet available to place within the hole. Again, I am unfamiliar with these lights, but when dealing with softer metals, a sleeve made of a harder metal would normally do the trick. I may talking out of my A$$ here, but that's what I'd start looking for.

  27. #27

    Default Re: Raw AL keychain question

    Kevlar fibers abrade each other over time, there are alot of better fibers. I wonder how good spectra cord would work that stuff is lighter and really really slippery.

  28. #28
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    Default Re: Raw AL keychain question

    Quote Originally Posted by andygold View Post
    my first thought was to put a hollow rivet into the lanyard hole.
    Lummi lights, at least the RAWs, don't have a lanyard 'hole'. More of a slot milled into the tail of the light- and a thin one at that.

  29. #29
    Enlightened
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    Default Re: Raw AL keychain question

    Quote Originally Posted by andygold View Post
    I don't yet own any Lummis, and have not held one in hand, but my first thought was to put a hollow rivet into the lanyard hole. I don't know for sure if this actually exists in the proper size, but I'm guessing there is probably a SS hollow rivet available to place within the hole. Again, I am unfamiliar with these lights, but when dealing with softer metals, a sleeve made of a harder metal would normally do the trick. I may talking out of my A$$ here, but that's what I'd start looking for.
    Well, I have to correct the above....I am now the owner of a RAW NS 20/200 5-trit green, and a WEE NS 100 2-trit blue. Great lights. From emailing Rob, I'm told that the slots for the trits are a little deeper than they used to be. As to when the change took place, I don't know.

    My Lummis came with ball bearing style fishing swivels...the type that you would attach to a fishing lure. Don't yet know if it will wear out the NS casings. Only time will tell....

  30. #30
    Enlightened
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    Default Re: Raw AL keychain question

    I also have both an NS and an aluminum RAW (an NS WEE, too) I've found that removing the core threads from a length of plain ol' 440 paracord works admirably. The weave of the cord jacket resists friction wear, not even a hint of wear visible after maybe 6 months in. I also use a 'zipperpull' type closure, no knots to slip.

    I used a loop of dental floss to pull the paracord thru the RAW's skinny slots.

    I haven't experienced the black residue effect, mine seems to just develop the usual thin white layer of oxide.

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