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Thread: For Iraq Use: Thor, Smaller Spotlight Q's

  1. #1
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    Default For Iraq Use: Thor, Smaller Spotlight Q\'s

    Hi Guys - As I've posted elsewhere, I've got a nephew serving in Iraq, and have been trying to keep his light needs taken care of. He's done some night convoy work, and had been relying on a Pelican M6 to warn off Iraqi traffic. Well, obviously, that's not the best light for the job (I had no idea he'd be doing convoy work or I'd have sent him off with something more than that to begin with).

    I got a lot of suggestions in another thread about what to send him. He's working on his end to get dedicated weaponlights available - thanks to CPFer Weaponlight for pointing me to the chain-of-command ways to get these very expensive lights into his unit's hands.

    So, on to my questions. I'd run by my nephew several suggestions for possible lights, among them the Thor or similar cigarette lighter-rechargeable spots. He's interested -- his vehicle has a 12-volt charger, so that's not a problem.

    I'll fess up right off the bat to say that I know next to nothing about spotlights...just hasn't been my "thing" in the CPF world. I started trying to search for the answers to my questions below, but the Thor threads are so huge I've been wallowing in it, and for the smaller spotlights, I keep seeing "Is this a good one" or "Interesting light" threads, but no clear leader.

    So, my questions are: Can anyone suggest some "top value" picks for the smaller spotlights - I'm thinking one-hand use, pistol grip format, in the 1 million candlepower (or higher) range? Pluses are:
    1 - easily acquired. Wal-Mart, KMart, Target, Pep Boys, etc.
    2 - Not terribly expensive (isn't that always a plus? [img]/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/grin.gif[/img])
    3 - Would love to be able to send along a spare bulb or two, so easily acquired spares is a big plus

    Now, on to my Thor questions. For those who've bought them and shipped them USPS, how did you do it? Can they ship in their original box, or do they need to be repackaged/reboxed? About (ballpark) how much did shipping it cost? Especially helpful would be any special instructions or insights on shipping a Thor to an APO.

    And finally on the Thor, back to the spare bulb issue. Where can they be had?

    I have a Costco nearby and can snag a Thor any day of the week, so that's the easy part.

    Ideally, I'd love to send him a spotlight small enough to fit in one of those Priority Mail Flat Rate boxes...but if that won't work, then a Thor it shall be.

    Thanks for all your insights, spotlight gurus.

    Dave

  2. #2
    Flashaholic* powernoodle's Avatar
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    Default Re: For Iraq Use: Thor, Smaller Spotlight Q\'s

    You get get Vector brand and other similar handheld, rechargeable 1M or greater spotlights for $10 - $20 in my part of the world. Look at Wal-mart or similar places. Make sure you get one with a cig adapter. I have about 5 of them in various places around the house and in the car. They put out a ton of light and would blow away the Pelican. I'm not sure about replacement bulbs as I've never needed one, but they shouldn't be very costy. They may use automotive bulbs. I think that my Thor does.

    My Thor is gigantic in comparison and would be a pain to ship and a pain for your nephew to handle, IMO.

    Here is exactly what I'm talking about, though I wouldn't go with this color combo. [img]/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/smile.gif[/img] All of mine are either solid black, or yellow with a black bezel.

    best regards

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    Flashaholic* MaxaBaker's Avatar
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    Default Re: For Iraq Use: Thor, Smaller Spotlight Q\'s

    For $25 you can get a 2.25 MCP Husky spotlight from Home Depot. It's very similar to the Vector Spot (it's actually made by the same company) except that it is quite a bit more rugged (but that also means it's a little more bulky and heavy).

  4. #4
    Flashaholic* 3rd_shift's Avatar
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    Default Re: For Iraq Use: Thor, Smaller Spotlight Q\'s

    That Husky will run with, or without the 12 volt outlet.
    I used one quite a bit and let the other guard at one of my old security sites use it when it was his turn to do a foot patrol.
    When it's own battery craters and needs a recharge, just plug it in and keep right on using it while it charges. [img]/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/wink.gif[/img]
    When the green light comes on and starts flashing, the light is charged. [img]/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/smile.gif[/img]
    It also has a built in map light in the handle. [img]/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/wink.gif[/img]
    Best incan spotlight I ever used before I sold it to the other guard.

  5. #5
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    Default Re: For Iraq Use: Thor, Smaller Spotlight Q\'s

    Hi guys - the Husky is looking like it will fit the bill quite nicely...plus its specs on the Home Depot site say it uses a 55Watt Halogen bulb - I'm guessing that's a common automotive bulb? I'll try to pick one of these up this week, and a couple spare bulbs from an automotive store (if that's the right source) and get this thing headed his way next week.
    Again, thanks CPFers for the really good, really fast advice!

    Dave

  6. #6
    Flashaholic* MaxaBaker's Avatar
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    Default Re: For Iraq Use: Thor, Smaller Spotlight Q\'s

    My Husky uses a 100 watt bulb......but you'll get longer runtime with the 55 watt obviously.

  7. #7
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    Default Re: For Iraq Use: Thor, Smaller Spotlight Q\'s

    DaveT,
    Very admirable you taking an active role in your nephews tour of duty in Iraq, and very cool thinking fellow cpf'rs can help make a difference in one soldiers efforts. Praise and Prayers for your nephew....

  8. #8
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    Default Re: For Iraq Use: Thor, Smaller Spotlight Q\'s

    Hi Maxa - did it come with a 100-watter? I was just reading the spec sheet off Home Depot and it said 55-watt.
    Also, have you bought a spare? Is it just a regular automotive headlight to be used as a spare?
    Thanks
    Dave

  9. #9
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    Default Re: For Iraq Use: Thor, Smaller Spotlight Q\'s

    3 Suggestions 1-A user modified light, 2 a Streamlight ReChargable or 3, a SureFire Rechargable.

    I really think a spotlight, while very valuable, is not an "all night carry" light. What do they weight, 3 to 6 lbs?

    OK, I have mixed feelings about recommending a user modified light.

    I am about to recommend a very well made "user modified" light. It is very well made, and uses a maglight body, and if you get the potted bulbs, you take advantage of maglights shock resistant, fall out resistant bulb collar.

    I do not normally like to recommend lights that have been modified, because, even though they are sometimes fantastic lights, and might be made to very exacting standards, they have not gone through the QA that a Streamlight or a Surefire has.

    That said, this is one fantastic light:
    700 LUMENS 1166 1D M*G powered by 3x168S PILA
    2nd Run 700L 1166 1D M*g Powered By 3x168S Pila

    While expensive, this has to be the brightest (or among the brightest) handheld FLASHLIGHTS around (not spotlights)

    This is SMALLER than a 2D mag light, and you will have to get an aluminum reflector and a ULC or Borafloat lens to really realise all the potential of this light, and I would also get the 1318 bulb for an even brighter burn (read the threads for all the details). I would also see if you could get multiple battery packs, and charge them up and "pack" them during the day for easy re-loading).

    This could get expensive very quickly (3 pila batterys at about 25 bucks each, and I would want at least 4 sets for a night on duty. But the light is incredible, for such a small light.

    That said, here are some other options:

    Streamlight and SureFire are the the two major "high end" flashlights for police, fire, emergency and military.

    SureFire stopped selling to the public after 9/11 for several months, to supply the military with lights.

    I would call both Streamlight and SureFire and speak to a professional. I do not know how easy it is to talk to a "high level" SureFire person (I know PK, a user here, is one of the main designers of SureFire), but several people have called Streamlight, and they often get a sr engineer to help them. Describe your situation, and I am sure that BOTH companies will connect you to someone knowledgable.

    SureFire
    SureFire 10X Dominator

    SureFire has 5 rechargable lights

    Streamlight

    Streamlight has a lot of options, the UltraStinger has been a mainstay for untold numbers of Law Enforcemnt in North America.

    They have all kinds of rechargable lights too.

    If he is working nights, he should have multiple lights on him, for various needs. One of my FAVORITE lights, at ANY PRICE is the Streamlight 4AA ProPolymer Luxeon Star LED:

    They have a 4AA and a 3C version 3C has 5.5 hours at full intensity, and the 4aa has 4 hours at full intensity (they are both regulated).

    Also, call Greg at Brightguy.com. He can steer you in the right direction as to recommendations.

    Now, I would have SEVERAL flashlights on me, if I were in Iraq.

    A single AAA around my neck, from PEAK or ARC. I would not go for BRIGHTNESS, but rather RUNTIME for this light around my neck. Heck they are light enought, I would wear two, one that is bright, but short running, and one that is long.

    I would send a supply of AAA lithium batteries to go with it. Lithiums are lighter, and are a little better than an alkiline. Both Peak and ARC are regulated, so you will not get more light, rather longer runtime and lighter weight.

    The above mentioned Streamlight.

    A bright, tactticle (I cannot spell it is late) 2 or 3 123 light, say a SureFire.

    A low level covert Red or Blue (I am unsure what is prefered) light with no sidespill.

    I am not the formost expert in this field, so please ask for other opinions, and SEARCH this forum. There have been many other IRAQ military light threads here, including people that have served in Iraq, and their personal recommendations.

    Sorry I did not recommend a cheap light, but, these lights could be life and death for a soldier.

    If cost is an issue, research your options, then see if family, extended family, and friends and co-workers etc can donate. Get twenty people to donate 20 bucks, now you have 400 bucks to spend.

    My Prayers go out to your nephew in Iraq.

    Again, please do searches about previous threads about lights in Iraq on CandlePowerForums.

  10. #10
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    Default Re: For Iraq Use: Thor, Smaller Spotlight Q\'s

    Hi Budd - thanks for the suggestions. However, the spotlight wouldn't be for general carry use - specifically, to be used while riding in a medium-sized truck, either from the gunner's spot or the cab.

    Also, he's working on getting his chain of command to acquire dedicated weaponlights (thanks to CPFer Weaponlight for explaining how that kind of request could be put into motion). This is meant to be a stopgap to fill the hole between what he was issued (nothing) and the Pelican M6 he's been using to signal/warn off Iraqi vehicles during night convoy duty - which he told me will not be a regular gig, but an occasional duty for him.

    I'm definitely of your way of thinking on a variety of lights. Before my nephew deployed I sent him a full box of lights, from keychain size to Arc AAA, Infinity red, UltraG, Arc LSH, Pelican M6 incandescent with 7 extra bulbs, 2 Pelican cases with CR123s, Elektrolumens XM3, Energizer folding 2-LED lanterns, Inova 24/7, X5 UV, a modded headlamp with white, red and 3-watt LEDs...so he does have a variety to choose from for personal carry use.

    I'll also be sending him a second Pelican M6 (I'd already sent him a tape switch, so he can mount one of these if he wants, or just have a spare always around), and a couple MJLEDs very generously donated by This_Is_Nascar (Thanks Ray - an example of CPF's best spirit in action).

    So, this is mainly to give him a bit more punch to be able to see at more of a standoff distance or dissuade vehicles from approaching - not something I'd envisioned him having to do before he left (he's a tank mechanic - I thought a headlamp was the most specialized light I'd have to get him).

    Thanks again
    Dave

  11. #11
    Flashaholic* MaxaBaker's Avatar
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    Default Re: For Iraq Use: Thor, Smaller Spotlight Q\'s

    Hi Dave, mine came with a 100 watter in the light already. The spec sheet also says it's 100 watts. Probably just 2 different versions, but I didn't see a 55 watt version at my Home Depot. If your son needs it for a long run, the 55 watter you bought is probably much better anyway. The 100 watter only gives 10 minutes of really bright light with 5-8 minutes of quickly dimming light after the initial 10.

    I haven't bought a spare (besides the fact that my Husky broke....I'll explain later) but I think mine used an H3 type bulb (not automotive). It may be to your son's advantage having a 55 watter though (since the runtime would be practically doubled). Do you think a car's headlight focused into a tight beam would be bright enough to do what your son needs? If so I think you'd be fine with the 55 watter.

    My Husky broke because my friends were messing around with it and desided the best way to fix it...even though it wasn't actually broken (I had the trigger lock on and they didn't feel like figuring out how to turn it off)....was to throw it of my porch numerous times onto the cement driveway [img]/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/ohgeez.gif[/img]

    I'll be buying another one very soon though!


    Good luck to you and especially to your son! [img]/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/bowdown.gif[/img] [img]/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/bowdown.gif[/img] [img]/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/bowdown.gif[/img]

  12. #12
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    Default Re: For Iraq Use: Thor, Smaller Spotlight Q\'s

    Hi all - just wanted to say thanks for all the help on this. I ended up getting the Husky 2.25 mcp spotlight, and my nephew just sent me an e-mail to say he'd received it and already used it on a long convoy drive, warning away cars with it and checking out suspicious stuff with it.
    Also, in the same package, he got a pair of MJLEDs very generously donated by T_I_N to mod a couple Minimags he had. He's been happy with both items, an dI just wanted to say thanks to all who helped me navigate these unfamiliar waters and get him the stuff he needed.
    Dave

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