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Thread: Got Lucky - Right Place at the Right Time

  1. #1
    BVH's Avatar
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    Default Got Lucky - Right Place at the Right Time

    Ive had a 60 Carbon Arc, a few VSS-1 and VSS-3 tank lights, have some helicopter targeting lights, a couple Maxabeams and more HID and Short Arc lights but here's a light I never thought Id have. Not because I wouldnt want one, but because they are so expensive for what they are as compared to other HIDs. Ive been watching these on Ebay for a long, long time during which, there have been very few for sale and at very high prices. A few months ago, I saw one that I think was between $3,500 and $4,500 that looked pretty good in the pics but came with batteries that were completely dead/expired. I saw it listed a few more times for a little less each time. Then a couple weeks ago, I saw it listed for less again. A day later, it was a little less again. I emailed the seller saying that if he didnt have any luck selling it, I would buy it for a$1,800 plus shipping. What the heck a new 80 Watt Maxabeam is $2,300 and I can run this light on my 28 Volt portable power supply so a working light would cost me about $1,850 with shipping. He emailed back saying that he would keep my email but that he wanted to continue on Ebay for a month or two. A couple hours later, he emailed again saying that he was working with others on this and that he had argued with them to keep the price low while the others wanted to raise it back up. At the end of the email, he said they actually had 3 of them and that I could probably get them all for $5,500 shipped and with rugged Hartigg Storm Cases of course all 3 with the dead batteries. I kicked it around for a day, emailed a fellow CPF member asking him if he wanted to go in for 33%. He answered in the affirmative. He can ID himself if he wants. So a deal was struck and now I have a couple of them sitting in the garage. I bought two with the intent of keeping one and selling the second one to help pay for the one Im keeping. But Im also toying with the idea of attempting to mod the 2nd light to 300 Watts.

    This is what arrived a few days ago: (Im a little disappointed that there was no Red Beret and military fatigues in the cases)

    Cases are well traveled and the wheel bearings were near frozen. Soaked them in solvent and then in some oil and theyre almost as good as new. One case is cleaned and polished. I have new OEM foam sets coming for one.



    The contents of the purchase



    A little closer



    The lights close up



    The battery packs in the vest. These were very nice Safion packs but every cell has vented and many have corroded through their cases. The cells are worthless. It was mfgd as a 6S/4P LiFePO4, 3.3V x 6 = 19.8 V Nominal xs 5.3 Amps = 104.94 Watt Hours each xs 3 = 314.82 Watt Hours. The boxes and the PCB are salvagable. The 3-box pack weighs 8 lbs, 6 Oz. By comparison, Im using 4 ea., 6S/3 Amp Lipo packs that weigh 4lbs total. 3.7V xs 6 = 22.2V Nominal xs 3 Amps = 66.6 Watt Hours each xs 4 = 266.4 Watt Hours. So my substitute pack is 85% of the capacity of the OEM pack. OEM pack run time on high is stated as 100 minutes so I might get 80 minutes from my pack.




    The charger




    Some beam shots on a windy, dirty atmosphere night. I'm disappointed in my beam shot results. In-person and in Photoshop at full resolution, the view looks a full 25 - 30% brighter. Something is lost in reducing them. I need to somehow compensate for this in the future. The same thing happened in my beamshots post in the Abyss Group Buy thread. To my eyes, the MR puts a bigger spot downfield and that entire spot is at least 2.5, maybe 3 times brighter than the Gen3 Maxabeam. I had my Maxabeam along but the battery ran out. I'll add the MB shots in the next few days. When they're up, you can probably appreciate the 175 Watt MRs' performance more.

    Update: I reshot everything tonight with both lights using 8 second exposures instead of 6 seconds. It's better but still not what I see. But at least is a relative comparison of the two lights.


    Maxabeam 350 Yards




    Megaray 350 Yards




    Maxabeam 900 Yards




    Megaray 900 Yards




    Maxabeam 1355 Yards




    Megaray 1355 Yards




    Megaray Left, Maxabeam, Right




    Megaray Left, Maxabeam, Right

    Last edited by BVH; 03-20-2012 at 11:18 PM.
    WWII 60" Carbon Arc (Sold), 1.6KW NightSun, 1KW VSS-3A, .8KW TrakkaBeam, 600W M-134 Light, 500W X-500-14s, 500W Starburst, 500W A120b, 450 Watt AEG German Leopard 1 Tank Light, 300W Locators, Megaray, 150W Communicator, Maxabeam Gen3, Syniosbeam by Enderman

  2. #2
    *Flashaholic* LuxLuthor's Avatar
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    Default Re: Got Lucky - Right Place at the Right Time

    Good for you! Are they still making these, or are they an abandoned product now? You should put on that battery vest and bring the case and walk to the TSA Airport guy and make his day! It's hard to get these in a proper perspective with other megalights.

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    Default Re: Got Lucky - Right Place at the Right Time

    WTG Bob! Great Score!!!!! wish i coulda gotten in on the deal, alas, they are byond my reach at this time. Enjoy your new toys! we all look forward to your fututre projects with these!
    I Got tired of looking for the light at the end of the tunnel so i lit that bitch up myself! Convoy s2 365nm, Maxa-Beam Gen II, 55w hid/100w incan Vector Twin, Amondotech n30, vss-3A, Reylight Ti Lan v3, Helius Sigma 9, astrolux s41 219, Shadow JM35, BLF GT,

  4. #4

    Default Re: Got Lucky - Right Place at the Right Time

    Congrats Bob,
    I saw that one on Ebay also but being unfamiliar with them I just watched it. He definitely lowered the price significantly from when he first listed it. Having seen your beamshots now I kind of wish I would've attempted buying it. I have never seen any other beamshots from it so I was hesitant.
    Enjoy!!
    Bob
    Polarion PH50 & Night Reaper, AE Xenide 20w, POB 35W, SL Scorpion, SL-35X, POB 55W, Jet Beam Jet-1, DEFT HO, "X", & EDC LR, REV Victor Enthusiast, MULE 35/80W HID, Maxa Beam MBS-410.

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    *Flashaholic* Patriot's Avatar
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    Default Re: Got Lucky - Right Place at the Right Time

    Outstanding Bob! Of all the people who could appreciate and talk about the differences between the MR and other high performance spots, I'm glad it was you. The beam shots look really good regardless of the loss of light in reduction. Ultimately it's the comparison that we're after and you made a great showing. I sure love that beam shot place that you have. One of the very vest on CPF!

  6. #6
    Flashaholic N10's Avatar
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    Default Re: Got Lucky - Right Place at the Right Time

    wow! i remember reading about these in a thread and on the super lights shootout made by KENSHIRO and Mr Ted Bear back in 2006 or 2007...if i'm not wrong the price on one of these was in the $8k range...haven't been to the blog site in a while. If anyone wants a review of these or just want a comparison with other short arcs and HIDs..just head to kenshiro's website..it's still there,just checked

  7. #7
    BVH's Avatar
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    Default Re: Got Lucky - Right Place at the Right Time

    Every year I hunt down Kenshiro's review. I think it was closer to 04 or 05 wasn't it? His review planted the seed. I'm hoping I have my test range for at least another couple of years. City Council is close to approving a 400 home and country club development. It should take some time to build out hopefully. I find it interesting that the battery pack boxes have the label of the manufacturer on them and it turns out to be only about 6 miles from where I used to live in Burbank. If I'm not mistaken, the lights come from South Africa so why the U.S. battery? Unless these are replacements, but I don't think so.
    WWII 60" Carbon Arc (Sold), 1.6KW NightSun, 1KW VSS-3A, .8KW TrakkaBeam, 600W M-134 Light, 500W X-500-14s, 500W Starburst, 500W A120b, 450 Watt AEG German Leopard 1 Tank Light, 300W Locators, Megaray, 150W Communicator, Maxabeam Gen3, Syniosbeam by Enderman

  8. #8
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    Default Re: Got Lucky - Right Place at the Right Time

    Better update your sig line.


    Phil Ament

    P.S. I am quite sure that you'll be able to get some new batteries for it as you really now have a vested interest!

    P.P.S. Have you thought of mounting one on a helmet for when you go for a ride on your bike!
    Last edited by Phil Ament; 03-20-2012 at 06:59 PM.

  9. #9
    BVH's Avatar
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    Default Re: Got Lucky - Right Place at the Right Time

    Quote Originally Posted by Phil Ament View Post
    Better update your sig line.


    Phil Ament

    P.S. I am quite sure that you'll be able to get some new batteries for it as you really now have a vested interest!
    Updated Sig a few days ago wondering if anyone would be curious about what "MR's" is. Nobody took the bait.
    WWII 60" Carbon Arc (Sold), 1.6KW NightSun, 1KW VSS-3A, .8KW TrakkaBeam, 600W M-134 Light, 500W X-500-14s, 500W Starburst, 500W A120b, 450 Watt AEG German Leopard 1 Tank Light, 300W Locators, Megaray, 150W Communicator, Maxabeam Gen3, Syniosbeam by Enderman

  10. #10
    Flashaholic N10's Avatar
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    Default Re: Got Lucky - Right Place at the Right Time

    Quote Originally Posted by BVH View Post
    Every year I hunt down Kenshiro's review. I think it was closer to 04 or 05 wasn't it? His review planted the seed. I'm hoping I have my test range for at least another couple of years. City Council is close to approving a 400 home and country club development. It should take some time to build out hopefully. I find it interesting that the battery pack boxes have the label of the manufacturer on them and it turns out to be only about 6 miles from where I used to live in Burbank. If I'm not mistaken, the lights come from South Africa so why the U.S. battery? Unless these are replacements, but I don't think so.
    You might be right...2004 or 2005,the website says last updated in 2006. Yeah, the lights are made in South Africa but i can't really give you much info on the batteries,depending on how old the lights you bought are and how much use they've been through,the original batteries might have had to be replaced at some point..Do you plan on trying to build a lighter battery pack for the light? And how do you plan on modding those to 300W?wouldn't that be hard on the bulbs?

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    Default Re: Got Lucky - Right Place at the Right Time

    Wow, now I feel like a real idiot coz I totally missed it. Bit too subtle maybe or is it just that I may need some newer glasses.


    Phil

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    Flashaholic* Lips's Avatar
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    Default Re: Got Lucky - Right Place at the Right Time

    .
    .
    .
    Here's the other Megaray representing Louisiana!
    Thanks Bob for letting me in on the deal! These lights and optics are in great shape!





    Very "Heavy" Duty Military Case with pressure relief valve. Wheels on one long end and handle on other:







    Coffee cup by light for size comparison. Light is smaller than you would think or pics show...

    Motorized Fan in back of Tube for cooling





    Heat-Sink on Bottom:






    Cermax Lamp module down in there with built in ellipsoidal reflector.






    On-off trigger switch and High-Low-Strobe toggle
    Head of light extends by pulling at fatest end for narrow to tight focus.






    24 Lithium Phosphate 18650 in each pack(x3):







    Easy open with 4 screws:







    Batteries are shot!
















    PCB for Battery Packs:





    Head fully extended by hand:


  13. #13
    BVH's Avatar
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    Default Re: Got Lucky - Right Place at the Right Time

    Quote Originally Posted by N10 View Post
    You might be right...2004 or 2005,the website says last updated in 2006. Yeah, the lights are made in South Africa but i can't really give you much info on the batteries,depending on how old the lights you bought are and how much use they've been through,the original batteries might have had to be replaced at some point..Do you plan on trying to build a lighter battery pack for the light? And how do you plan on modding those to 300W?wouldn't that be hard on the bulbs?
    The 4 Blue Lipo packs in my pic are what I've settled on. The 4 represent 85% of the capacity of the OEM packs and I can buy the four for $80.00 TOTAL! No way could I rebuild the LiFePO4 packs for less than probably $800 to $1,000. So less than 1/2 the weight and about 1/3 the physical size. I could fill the other two pockets with 8 more packs and get 4 hrs run time.

    For the upgrade, I need to buy the 300 Watt version of the same Cermax bulb. It has identical specs - arc gap, focal point, physical size ect. as the 175 Watt bulb except for more Amperage - 22 Amps versus 14 Amps. I bought an OEM Cermax outboard power supply for powering both 175 and 300 Watt bulbs. To retrofit, I'd end up with an outboard PS and running just the high voltage cable directly into the light. I'd give up some portability but it would be only a demonstration light. I'd upgrade the standard configuration fan for more CFM.
    Last edited by BVH; 03-20-2012 at 07:39 PM.
    WWII 60" Carbon Arc (Sold), 1.6KW NightSun, 1KW VSS-3A, .8KW TrakkaBeam, 600W M-134 Light, 500W X-500-14s, 500W Starburst, 500W A120b, 450 Watt AEG German Leopard 1 Tank Light, 300W Locators, Megaray, 150W Communicator, Maxabeam Gen3, Syniosbeam by Enderman

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    Default Re: Got Lucky - Right Place at the Right Time

    Lips

    What a coincidence. I notice that in the 6th photo down that the battery already has your name on it. Now you won't have to get your mum to label it!


    Phil Ament
    Last edited by Phil Ament; 03-20-2012 at 09:52 PM.

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    Default Re: Got Lucky - Right Place at the Right Time

    Quote Originally Posted by Phil Ament View Post
    Lips

    What a coincidence. I notice that in the 6th photo down that the battery already has your name on it. Now you won't have to get your mum to label it!


    Phil Ament
    Ah, yes and he must be in the third quarter "C" of his "65"th year.
    WWII 60" Carbon Arc (Sold), 1.6KW NightSun, 1KW VSS-3A, .8KW TrakkaBeam, 600W M-134 Light, 500W X-500-14s, 500W Starburst, 500W A120b, 450 Watt AEG German Leopard 1 Tank Light, 300W Locators, Megaray, 150W Communicator, Maxabeam Gen3, Syniosbeam by Enderman

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    Flashaholic* Lips's Avatar
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    Default Re: Got Lucky - Right Place at the Right Time

    Quote Originally Posted by Phil Ament View Post
    Lips

    What a coincidence. I notice that in the 6th photo down that the battery already has your name on it. Now you won't have to get your mum to label it!


    Phil Ament

    When BVH told me how much those batteries would cost to rebuild like they are stock my LIPS pocked out like MUM had given me a spanken!

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    Flashaholic* ma_sha1's Avatar
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    Default Re: Got Lucky - Right Place at the Right Time

    MegaRay, wow!

    Congratulations!
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    BVH's Avatar
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    Default Re: Got Lucky - Right Place at the Right Time

    All new comparison beam shots. Old ones removed.
    WWII 60" Carbon Arc (Sold), 1.6KW NightSun, 1KW VSS-3A, .8KW TrakkaBeam, 600W M-134 Light, 500W X-500-14s, 500W Starburst, 500W A120b, 450 Watt AEG German Leopard 1 Tank Light, 300W Locators, Megaray, 150W Communicator, Maxabeam Gen3, Syniosbeam by Enderman

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    *Flashaholic* Patriot's Avatar
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    Default Re: Got Lucky - Right Place at the Right Time

    Those are really clear and bright Bob! Great comparisons. It's so neat to think that you actually own one of these after all this time. What an impressive light too. Great performance from a sort of odd ball, off the wall, semi-rare, super light. We've never seen shots this good before.

  20. #20
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    Default Re: Got Lucky - Right Place at the Right Time

    Bob

    Really great comparison photos but in the second one from the bottom, it appears as though the beams are actually crossed, and I thought that you weren't meant to do that, or has someone been lying to me. Maybe you had better find out for sure but I don't know "who you're gonna call".



    Phil Ament

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    Flashaholic* ma_sha1's Avatar
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    Default Re: Got Lucky - Right Place at the Right Time

    Looks like Mega Ray is positioned on the left & higher of Maxa Beam from the last photo, its not crossed.

    The MagaRay 150W in Ken's beam shots had much less throw than Gen II Maxa Beam, zoomed-in photos clearly showing them hitting the same objects were critical in his long distance beam comparo.

    In theses shots here, on the 1300yards, it is not clear if the MagaRay 175 & Maxa Beam are hitting the same tree? Zoomed in images would be very helpful.

    Would like to see Lux at over 100 meters measured between the two.

    I am also surprised to see that there apears to be some spill or corona that light up some path around the Maxa beam hot spot? When it's perfectly focused, I would not expect that.

    In my experience, I see corona when I focus maxa beam pass its highest cp position while the cp start to reduce. At the highest cp position, it's a pure spot with no visible corona to light up the surrounding of the spot.
    Last edited by ma_sha1; 03-21-2012 at 03:01 AM.
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    Default Re: Got Lucky - Right Place at the Right Time

    Great stuff! Well done for acquiring these!
    Resistance is futile...

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  24. #24
    *Flashaholic* LuxLuthor's Avatar
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    Default Re: Got Lucky - Right Place at the Right Time

    Be interesting to find out where those 3 have been, and how used.

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    Default Re: Got Lucky - Right Place at the Right Time

    For the photo people....I sometimes notice that beamshot photo posters talk about "cropping" their photos before posting. Would this allow the important center portion of the photo to retain its' original resolution and look when posted on CPF within the limit of 800 x 600? And if so, how do I know how much to crop off to end up with a final center image that is not zoomed or reduced when uploaded to Photobucket then CPF?

    When I looked at these images again this morning, I again, am very disappointed. They are really poor representations of what I see.

    Lux, I was told they saw service in Afghanistan.
    WWII 60" Carbon Arc (Sold), 1.6KW NightSun, 1KW VSS-3A, .8KW TrakkaBeam, 600W M-134 Light, 500W X-500-14s, 500W Starburst, 500W A120b, 450 Watt AEG German Leopard 1 Tank Light, 300W Locators, Megaray, 150W Communicator, Maxabeam Gen3, Syniosbeam by Enderman

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    Default Re: Got Lucky - Right Place at the Right Time

    Quote Originally Posted by ma_sha1 View Post
    Looks like Mega Ray is positioned on the left & higher of Maxa Beam from the last photo, its not crossed.

    In theses shots here, on the 1300yards, it is not clear if the MagaRay 175 & Maxa Beam are hitting the same tree? Zoomed in images would be very helpful.

    Would like to see Lux at over 100 meters measured between the two.

    I am also surprised to see that there apears to be some spill or corona that light up some path around the Maxa beam hot spot? When it's perfectly focused, I would not expect that.

    I think that would still mean that they're crossed albeit vertically instead of horizontally. Phil Ament was making a reference to the first Ghost Busters movie where the character Egon Spengler says with regards to the "unlicensed nuclear accelerators" on their backs, "Don't cross the streams" because "it would be bad" Character Ray Stantz acknowledges this truth by saying, "Total protonic reversal!" Peter, played by Bill Murray says, "Right, that's bad. Okay. All right, important safety tip. Thanks, Egon.


    I'd like to see lux numbers as well but I'm guessing that the MB is still substantially higher even though the MR is producing far more light.

    I was wondering if the corona that you're seeing might just be scattered or reflected light at the target area due to the intensity of the hot spot from the MB. Not sure though, just guessing.

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    Default Re: Got Lucky - Right Place at the Right Time

    Quote Originally Posted by BVH View Post
    For the photo people....I sometimes notice that beamshot photo posters talk about "cropping" their photos before posting. Would this allow the important center portion of the photo to retain its' original resolution and look when posted on CPF within the limit of 800 x 600? And if so, how do I know how much to crop off to end up with a final center image that is not zoomed or reduced when uploaded to Photobucket then CPF?.
    Yes, this would retain its original resolution. Since I don't know what software you're using and since everyone has is MS Paint, open the selected photo in Paint, choose the rectangle shape cutter. Pull / Stretch the rectangle to 800 x 600 and save the crop. It will remain at its original pixel size. Whether or not you'll be able to crop the desired image to only 800 x 600 will depend on how large/small your target is. In the case of those little trees at hundreds of yards you should be fine. In the case of a large tree at short distance, where the tree fills a significant percentage of the frame, you probably won't be able to crop the whole tree and fit it into an 800 x 600 frame. You'd have to resize in this case.
    Last edited by Patriot; 03-21-2012 at 01:18 PM. Reason: spelling

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    Default Re: Got Lucky - Right Place at the Right Time

    I used to do allot of beam shots and have forgotten must of the tricks.

    Tons of little programs out there that allow you to right click on a photo and re-size it very quickly. All the old ones I used in the past would degrade the photo's substantially. I'm sure something better has come along. I use firefox browser now and I bet there are some good add-ons for this available. For me the full blown version of Photo Shop would allow you to re-size and keep the quality of the image. It's a pain and takes way more time to do... It's sooo much nicer just to right click on the photo and re-size. Photo Shop allows you to do the rotating images fairly easy but it can be a pain too. I'm going to try some firefox add-ons and see what I can find...

    Alternatively LuxLuthor and others used the small image up front and the full size image behind. It's a little code trick (have to look at one of his photos to see the simple code in image posting to do it). Click on image posted and it goes to the full size megapixel image hosted somewhere. Quote the post to see the code...




    Example from LuxLuthor post. CLICK PIC for full size


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  29. #29
    Flashaholic* ma_sha1's Avatar
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    Default Re: Got Lucky - Right Place at the Right Time

    You can also use MS Power Point, paste a picture into ppt, click on the picture, one of the icon says crop when you mouse over it,
    older PPT version, the icon might be in the Format tab. After cropping, right click the image will allow you to save picture as jpeg.

    Doesn't matter what size/shape, uploading to image shack will allow you to re-size the image during uploading to comply with various forum policies.
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  30. #30
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    Default Re: Got Lucky - Right Place at the Right Time

    Quote Originally Posted by Patriot View Post
    I think that would still mean that they're crossed albeit vertically instead of horizontally. Phil Ament was making a reference to the first Ghost Busters movie where the character Egon Spengler says with regards to the "unlicensed nuclear accelerators" on their backs, "Don't cross the streams" because "it would be bad" Character Ray Stantz acknowledges this truth by saying, "Total protonic reversal!" Peter, played by Bill Murray says, "Right, that's bad. Okay. All right, important safety tip. Thanks, Egon..

    Patriot, thank you very much for explaining this in a much more comprehensive manner, and for also including all of the very important operational safety details. It's just that I would of hated to think that either BVH or Lips would experience a "Total protonic reversal" situation as I believe that the results would be extremely catastrophic and I wouldn't wish that on anybody, especially BVH and Lips.



    Phil

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