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Thread: Gatlight Issue - Low Output

  1. #1
    Flashaholic* WadeF's Avatar
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    Default Gatlight Issue - Low Output

    Today I went to play with the Gatlight I was fortunate enough to win in the Photoshop contest and noticed the output was low. At first I thought it could be the battery, but it tested full and I tried other new batteries, not the problem. Then I noticed the threads on the tail cap were pretty dirty. So I cleaned the threads on the tailcap and the inner threads on the rear of the Gatlight body. Still low output. I tested the resistance between the - contact on the tail switch, and the threads (gold plated copper?) and it was fine, 0.000, no resistance.

    So I'm thinking the problem lies in the circuit, or the + terminal that moves in and out as you adjust the rear knob. I cleaned the + contact as well. Any ideas?

    Do I have a warranty on a free light I won as a prize? :P

    UPDATE: When I turn the knob to increase output I hear a little "pop" sound inside the light when it reaches it's max output, which is far less than it should be.
    Last edited by WadeF; 10-18-2009 at 11:43 AM.
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    Flashaholic* Henk_Lu's Avatar
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    Default Re: Gatlight Issue - Low Output

    Hm, you make me a little bit nervous here... It's a coincidence, but 3 days ago I also played with my Gatlight and noticed the same, low output. If I turn the knob to have it brighter, it goes up to a certain level and then immediately falls down at about the half to remain there.

    I got the light about 6 months ago, put the original battery in and played with it probably a quarter of an hour. As the battery is responsible for some 99% of errors like this one, I blamed it of course, but didn't want to change it, as the light isn't used. I'm not at home by now to try another cell, it's the first thing I'll do this evening!
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    Default Re: Gatlight Issue - Low Output

    Guys, the early Gatlights (V1 and V2) are renowned for having low output. That is partly why Walter, at one time, offered to provide their owners with the more efficient V3 drivers. However, that never seemed to come to fruition. Regardless, most V1 and V2 owners have sacrificed performance in order to simply own one of the most unusual and beautiful shelf lights ever made.

  4. #4
    Flashaholic* WadeF's Avatar
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    Default Re: Gatlight Issue - Low Output

    I think I have a V3. Also it used to be very bright, probably around 200 lumens out the front. Now it's maybe 40-60 lumens at best.

    From what I saw it looked like the rear threads almost had a corrosion on them. Some kind of dark film had developed there that I don't remember being there when I got it new. I don't know if some kind of gas from the battery cause that, or the combination of metals used, etc.

    I believe the issue lays somewhere in the head with the circuit or the mechanical piece that varies the output. It's almost like something isn't letting enough current through.
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    Flashaholic* Henk_Lu's Avatar
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    Default Re: Gatlight Issue - Low Output

    I just tested my Gat Ti...

    I fear that dad is right in my case! I should have played with it in the dark. Today I poped in a new cell, but the brightness was still the same. Although I had in mind the know had to be turned over half a turn to full brightness, it seems that I didn' remember correctly or I remembered from tightened to full brightness. That's a difference to from where it begins to ramp to max.

    It also seems to me, I must use it for a few moments, turn the knob several times to bring it to full output.

    Well, it's a collection object and for that purpose it is bright enough!
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  6. #6
    Flashaholic* WadeF's Avatar
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    Default Re: Gatlight Issue - Low Output

    I can completely dim it, but when I loosen the knob to go brighter it will max out at less than full output and if I keep turning the knob it eventually shuts off from loss of contact.

    Every now and then it was flash brighter when I turn it to full brightness, but it's only a flash and then it's at the lower output.
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    Default Re: Gatlight Issue - Low Output

    Quote Originally Posted by WadeF View Post
    I can completely dim it, but when I loosen the knob to go brighter it will max out at less than full output and if I keep turning the knob it eventually shuts off from loss of contact.

    Every now and then it was flash brighter when I turn it to full brightness, but it's only a flash and then it's at the lower output.
    Hmmm. You might need a contact cleaning. Did you try any Krytox or any of those thread cleaners? Sometimes that's all you need. Barring that, contact Gatlight I guess.

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    Default Re: Gatlight Issue - Low Output

    I had the latest V3 Titanium Gatlight and I noticed that the switch when turned to a light level position would not stay at that level, and this would occur within seconds. The level would in fact drop more than 50%. I am not talking about the highest level, where heat might be a factor. I checked this using bounce with a light meter. It would not stay at the level that I moved the switch to. I also think that the mechanical devise used by turning the switch is the problem. It sort of springs back.

    Bill

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    Flashaholic* karlthev's Avatar
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    Default Re: Gatlight Issue - Low Output

    I have the same situation. I don't see it as being a "problem" per se--it is the manner in which the light functions due to the design of the brightness control mechanism. It's OK by me just the way it works. It is not my EDC rather a collector light.


    Karl

  10. #10
    Flashaholic* WadeF's Avatar
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    Default Re: Gatlight Issue - Low Output

    I did clean the contacts with DeOxit. When the light was new it would always adjust it's output a little after I turned the knob. I was never sure if it was the change in pressure when I let go of the knob, or the circuit adjusting the output based on the the amount of juice left in the battery. Even when it would have a little adjustment in the output it would still turn up to full power which it no longer does.
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  11. #11
    Flashaholic* WadeF's Avatar
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    Default Re: Gatlight Issue - Low Output

    Update, now it will output full power, but now it won't fully dim! :P It goes from full output down to maybe half.
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    Default Re: Gatlight Issue - Low Output

    Quote Originally Posted by WadeF View Post
    Update, now it will output full power, but now it won't fully dim! :P It goes from full output down to maybe half.
    Remove the light engine from the body. Use a dental pick to release it from the body. Contact Lumencraft for instruction if you feel you are not able to release it, or just tell them your problem and they will fix it.

    Bill

  13. #13
    Flashaholic* WadeF's Avatar
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    Default Re: Gatlight Issue - Low Output

    I'll take a look inside and see if I can figure that out.

    Update: I was able to remove the light engine. Fairly easy, didn't realize that could be done. Thanks for the tip. I will give the adjustable switch thing a cleaning. I have emailed Lumencraft to see if I can purchase a new light engine, maybe with a better bin emitter.
    Last edited by WadeF; 10-24-2009 at 04:46 PM.
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  14. #14
    Flashaholic* WadeF's Avatar
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    Default Re: Gatlight Issue - Low Output

    Fairly good news. At this point it works fairly well, but it won't hit the lowest setting unless I add a little magnet to the battery to give it a bit more length. Then I can adjust it from what appears to be the lowest low and the highest high. I'm no longer going to leave a battery in the Gatlight when I'm not using it (bad idea for me to have kept a battery in a light like that in the first place) as I'm wondering if the battery leaked some gas resulting in contacts being corroded.

    I'm going to let the light sit for a bit, empty, and try again with just the battery, no magnet, to see if things sort themselves out. It almost seems like the pressure switch thing is out of alignment.
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    Flashaholic* Henk_Lu's Avatar
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    Default Re: Gatlight Issue - Low Output

    My Gat lies there with the knob turned fully in. That may not be a good idea...

    I'll keep the battery in, there's a battery in nearly each light I have, but loosen the knob. I already wondered how the system works, if it is pressure, it could indeed not like being fully pressed the whole time!
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    Default Re: Gatlight Issue - Low Output

    Where's Walter?

    Doesn't he ever check his own forum? Haven't seen him around here in months. It would sure be great if he would check in once in a blue moon and offer some guidance.

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    Flashaholic LumensMaximus's Avatar
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    Default Re: Gatlight Issue - Low Output

    I had a similar problem, emailed the website and never had a response,
    collector lamp or not, it should continue to work properly, JMO.
    McGizmo's and a whole bunch more

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    Default Re: Gatlight Issue - Low Output

    Try PM'ing him. PM may go direct to his personal email, if he has it set up that way.

    Bill

  19. #19
    Flashaholic* WadeF's Avatar
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    Default Re: Gatlight Issue - Low Output

    I heard back from Walter via email. He said leaving the battery in with the knob screwed down (for dim) could result in the spring or whatever could compress. He recommends unscrewing the knob and let it sit for 24 hours to decompress.
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  20. #20
    Flashaholic* csshih's Avatar
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    Default Re: Gatlight Issue - Low Output

    interesting.. I'm curious as to what the mech looks like. anyone got pics?

  21. #21
    Flashaholic* Henk_Lu's Avatar
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    Default Re: Gatlight Issue - Low Output

    Quote Originally Posted by WadeF View Post
    I heard back from Walter via email. He said leaving the battery in with the knob screwed down (for dim) could result in the spring or whatever could compress. He recommends unscrewing the knob and let it sit for 24 hours to decompress.
    Mine has been lying unscrewed for 48 hours now. I checked the system with my finger, it should work normally now.

    If I had known how the system worked before, I would never have let it for months with the know turned in. Compressed springs always ge tired and this one needs to push the piston completely back for maximum output. In fact, it is like the opposite of a piston drive, where the springs needs to retain the piston back to not make a contact. What's more, this is not simply on/off, this controls brightness from min to max. I also understand now why the brightness goes back a bit, once you leave the know, it's thread play. Same thing for pushing the knob to make the light temprary dimmer.
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  22. #22
    Flashaholic verbie's Avatar
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    Default Re: Gatlight Issue - Low Output

    Quote Originally Posted by Henk_Lu View Post
    Mine has been lying unscrewed for 48 hours now. I checked the system with my finger, it should work normally now.
    It should work, so IS IT WORKING? I just want to verify because I have the same problem. Left the knob unscrewed for a while, but I still have the same problem. If your problem is resolved, then I did something wrong. Please let me know!

  23. #23
    Flashaholic* Henk_Lu's Avatar
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    Default Re: Gatlight Issue - Low Output

    Quote Originally Posted by verbie View Post
    It should work, so IS IT WORKING? I just want to verify because I have the same problem. Left the knob unscrewed for a while, but I still have the same problem. If your problem is resolved, then I did something wrong. Please let me know!
    I just checked the light and while I can't be sure if it is really full power, I would say it is, it seems quite bright.

    The best test would be to check with your finger, you should feel if the little piston comes out completely or not. You also can let it work this way, perhaps something is dirty and a little bit stuck?
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  24. #24
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    Default Re: Gatlight Issue - Low Output

    I'm about to order one of the gatlight from walter but this thread has got me wondering if I should rethink?????

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    Default Re: Gatlight Issue - Low Output

    Quote Originally Posted by daz4311 View Post
    I'm about to order one of the gatlight from walter but this thread has got me wondering if I should rethink?????
    Will, this thread is good learning experience for you so you can keep it up if you do get one. They are a beautiful piece of artwork.

    Bill

  26. #26
    Flashaholic verbie's Avatar
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    Default Re: Gatlight Issue - Low Output

    Okay, I tried it again. It seems bright again. I will wait awhile and try it again, just to make sure I won't have anymore problems.

    Daz: The Gatlight is really beautiful. As Bullzey say, use this thread as a learning experience. No one is really having irreversible problems.

  27. #27
    *Flashaholic* LuxLuthor's Avatar
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    Default Re: Gatlight Issue - Low Output

    I'm counting my blessings that the Ver3 I just bought from Zoran seems to be working perfectly. I always thought these were one of the most uniquely made/looking small LED lights, and having it in person--far surpassed my expectations.

    How exactly do you guys remove the "light engine"? Are you grabbing the center piston that appears to have a retaining clip, and just pulling it out the bottom? Nothing needs to be unscrewed? Does that plastic lens/cone ever deteriorate where you might want a spare replacement?

    I also wonder why Gatlight/Lumencraft members aren't here anymore?

  28. #28
    *Flashaholic* LuxLuthor's Avatar
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    Default Re: Gatlight Issue - Low Output

    Anybody? Bueller? ... Bueller? .... Bueller?

  29. #29
    Flashaholic* GLOCK18's Avatar
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    Default Re: Gatlight Issue - Low Output

    The LE is held in place by a black rubber gasket, if you remove the gasket the LE will come right out. To install the LE, drop it in the tube them you will need a small plastic tube to seat the gasket back in place.

    Last edited by GLOCK18; 12-13-2009 at 05:51 PM.

  30. #30
    *Flashaholic* LuxLuthor's Avatar
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    Default Re: Gatlight Issue - Low Output

    Glock18, thanks! Just so I don't break anything, I can see the rubber outer "washer" like you show surrounding the lighting element...but do you just simply grab the center piston rod and pull it back, or do you remove the rubber washer, and then the center LE assembly unscrews?

    Also, with such a great product, do you know why the Lumencraft member(s) don't visit CPF? I think it would reassure people who are considering purchasing the new model they list on their website.

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