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Thread: Cavers - The StenLight, Ultimate 2x3W LED Headlamp

  1. #91

    Default Re: StenLight Failure!

    Quote Originally Posted by Ocelot
    Did it have a LOT of mud on it? Could it have been somehow internally thermally limiting the brightness level, and because it sensed it was too hot, wouldn't go above low?

    Scott
    Thermal limiting isn't likely to ever take the brightness much below the High setting. The circuit is all analog, no CPU that needs resetting. The fact that it could go to Off implies that the magnet was OK; they are epoxied into the switch disc. Mud could only enhance thermal transfer; it can only interfere mechanically.

    Some theories:

    1) The battery was kind of low, but when it got a rest by being on Low or Off for a while it recovered.

    2) The battery connection was loose, and couldn't handle the usual amount of current required for High/Turbo.

    3) The magnet broke loose (possibly accounting for the "grinding" feeling), and could get moved over to the Off setting but wouldn't go over to the higher ones until your washing pushed it back into its normal hole.

    If your lamp continues to misbehave please email us at the support email address and we'll get it taken care of. Theories 2) and 3) would both involve some simple repairs. Or it could be something we've never seen before.

  2. #92

    Default Re: Cavers - The StenLight, Ultimate 2x3W LED Headlamp

    Quote Originally Posted by The1930sRust
    [...]
    The only thing I did not like at first was a strange dark shadow or "donut" that seemed to come from the wide angle (or left) collimator. It was very annoying, and reminded me of a shadow that may have been caused by the brim of my helmet (but it wasn't). Covering the left LED made it go away. That leads me to my next question.

    If I wanted to change out the collimators (which it sounds like is easy to do) what is a good online supplier?

    Are the two as supplied 5/15? I was thinking of going 5/5. In all reality I'll probably just leave it alone, as I soon got used to the artifact and learned to stop worrying and absolutely LOVE my StenLight! In fact, I'm sorry I even quibbled over such a small issue.

    Now, about the power settings. I was of the mistaken opinion it had five distinct power modes, the last two being Turbo thermal limited and just plain balls to the wall Turbo. Now I see that is not the case. I think I have it figured out now. In Turbo, in an environment where thermal buildup would not be an issue (say outside in winter or maybe in a wet cave) do you get the full 140 lumens until such time as the limiting kicks in? Then I assume it drops back to 4-5 watt consumption or so? Further, if it were kept cool (below the thermal threashold) it would run at around 140 lumens for 2 hours? In a cave I just wondered what I was running at...
    The recommended optics are L2Optics (similar to LumiLEDS that preceded them), and the factory optics are indeed 15/5. A good supplier for them is www.ledsupply.com. You'll need a 1/16" hex key to open the front, and it is at your own risk; in particular, we can't guarantee a water seal that we didn't assemble ourselves. Observe which way the window, gasket, and metal parts were inserted, it makes a difference; and of course make sure you do this in a clean, dry, cool environment.

    We are all puzzled by the "dark donut" comment -- could you please explain what you're seeing in more detail?

    There are indeed 4 brightness SETTINGS, but the Turbo setting can vary considerably in brightness depending on ambient temperature and the amount of cooling. "Full Turbo" is a full 7 watts, but as you use it for more than a few minutes in Turbo the lamp heats up and starts to do thermal limiting. Typically that would be in the 3-4 watt range, or about twice as much power as High. Thermal limiting is analog, not digital, so anything that cools the lamp will let it run with more power (it isn't a separate "mode"). In theory, thermal limiting could affect all brightness settings, but in normal temperatures High is only slightly affected and lower settings are not affected at all as they consume so little power.

  3. #93
    *Flashaholic* jtice's Avatar
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    Default Re: Cavers - The StenLight, Ultimate 2x3W LED Headlamp

    niemidc,

    The "hole" we, well, at least, that I am referring to is sligt dark patches in the flood beam.
    You can see it somewhat in my photo above in the 25 +15 optics pic (upper right)
    Notice the blobby part in the upperleft of the beam?

    I noticed this the most when I was testing the optics one by one.
    I used a test led so that I could use each one seperately, to get a better idea of it pattern.

    All seemed smooth and uniform, except the 15 degree one,
    it just looked like a dirty lens or something, blobby.

    Again, this is not a HUGE amount of artifacts we are talking about here,
    but it is slightly noticable. and besides this is comming from the CPF flashaholics
    We are always after the perfect beam :grin:

    I havnt used the the 25 + 5 degree combo in a cave yet,
    but I think I like it the best. You get a nice wide flood, which lights your feet alittle better, but you also get some throw from it.
    I generally dont like headlamps to have a spot, I find it anouying when moving me head.
    But, I found that I was having to flip the Stenlight to high and turbo more than I wanted when in big rooms/hallways, with the 25 + 25 degree combo.
    So I think the 25 + 5 will make up for that, and make better use of the photons.

    Davids switch problem is very odd.
    I dont know what to think of it, even when mine was jammed with mud, it worked fine,
    it just felt like chewing sand.
    Good thing is, niemidc and the rest of the crew seem to be great guys, and will get things straightened out if it does it again.

    ~John

  4. #94
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    Default Re: Cavers - The StenLight, Ultimate 2x3W LED Headlamp

    Thanks John and Curtis.

    I've spent a good deal of time today tinkering (read: disassembling) my Sten S7. Wonderful workmanship. I'll post pictures later. I also plan on doing my own beam test later, after sundown.

    Managed to dig up my old collimator I bought last year for a project. I think it is a 10 degree model. Seems to drop right in. Preliminarily, it appears to eliminate the dark halo I saw while caving.

    http://www.luxeonstar.com/item.php?i...rtno=LXHL-NX05

    I also see the Fraen Medium Beam Lens, such as at

    http://www.luxeonstar.com/item.php?i...LP-HMB3-LL01-0

    Not sure whether they'd work or not, or if they are the same as installed.

    More to follow...

    CG

  5. #95
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    Default Re: Cavers - The StenLight, Ultimate 2x3W LED Headlamp

    Looking forward to more pics and beamshots.
    -- CUE

  6. #96

    Default Re: Cavers - The StenLight, Ultimate 2x3W LED Headlamp

    Quote Originally Posted by The1930sRust
    Thanks John and Curtis.

    I've spent a good deal of time today tinkering (read: disassembling) my Sten S7. Wonderful workmanship. I'll post pictures later. I also plan on doing my own beam test later, after sundown.

    Managed to dig up my old collimator I bought last year for a project. I think it is a 10 degree model. Seems to drop right in. Preliminarily, it appears to eliminate the dark halo I saw while caving.

    http://www.luxeonstar.com/item.php?i...rtno=LXHL-NX05

    I also see the Fraen Medium Beam Lens, such as at

    http://www.luxeonstar.com/item.php?i...LP-HMB3-LL01-0

    Not sure whether they'd work or not, or if they are the same as installed.

    More to follow...

    CG
    Thanks for the compliment, we put a lot of work into it.

    The Lumileds collimators stick up too much in front, and the result is that you might crack the window and/or you might not be able to get a good water seal. The 10 degrees quoted on them is plus or minus 5 degrees, about the same as the stock "narrow" 5 degree L2Optics lens.

    The small Fraen lenses are in the opposite direction -- they are loose. You could shim them to make them fit better. One of their models has a rather nice beam pattern.

  7. #97
    *Flashaholic* jtice's Avatar
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    Default Re: Cavers - The StenLight, Ultimate 2x3W LED Headlamp

    Added a couple more pics to the Stenlight gallery,
    might take some more tonight, any requests?
    http://www.jtice.com/gallery/view_al...Name=StenLight

    Not ready to post the headstrap ideas yet.

  8. #98
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    Default Re: Cavers - The StenLight, Ultimate 2x3W LED Headlamp

    Just uploaded a few more pics. Probably voided my warranty (!) in doing so, but was able to appreciate the beauty of this device more.

    http://www.pbase.com/darklightimagery/stenlight

    I tried my other collimator, but it was about 1 mm to thick to fit. Guess I'll accept the unit as is and just learn to live with the donut artifact, which I forgot about after about ten minutes anyway.

    CG
    Last edited by The1930sRust; 09-19-2005 at 06:40 PM. Reason: spelling error

  9. #99
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    Default Re: Cavers - The StenLight, Ultimate 2x3W LED Headlamp

    Quote Originally Posted by jtice
    Added a couple more pics to the Stenlight gallery,
    might take some more tonight, any requests?
    http://www.jtice.com/gallery/view_al...Name=StenLight

    Not ready to post the headstrap ideas yet.
    You know I am waiting on the headstrap ideas. You might want to make 2....1 for you and 1 for me. Just be sure to include a place to mount the battery.

    Going to go check out your pics.

    Most of my pic requests will come when you have the headstrap complete.

    For now, maybe some outdoor shots compared to some known lights. Something at distance and something flood type.

    Thanks.

    Curtis
    -- CUE

  10. #100
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    Default Re: Cavers - The StenLight, Ultimate 2x3W LED Headlamp

    Niemidc,

    Could you tell us the place you get the size collimators that fit perfectly? Maybe even provide a 5/15 default combo and then additional ones for sale 5,10,15,20,25 for example.

    I am sure there will be many who buy the light that will be interested in different collimators sizes... myself included.

    The 25/5 on Jtice's website looks to be very promising.

    Curtis
    Last edited by cue003; 09-19-2005 at 10:23 PM.
    -- CUE

  11. #101
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    Default Re: Cavers - The StenLight, Ultimate 2x3W LED Headlamp

    CG, thanks for the pics.

    I wasnt brave enough to take the switch apart. lol
    But I see its not all that bad now, I wont be afraid to take it apart later if ai need to clean it now.

    How does the power cable enter the light?
    Whats the other side of the switch plate look like?

    OR, does the cable have contact pads to the back of the light, so the cord doesnt penitrate either?

    Curtis,
    Yea yea, Ill get the headstrap done soon enough
    I have some parts on the way for it.

    oh, BTW, added some MORE photos.

    ~John

  12. #102
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    Default Re: Cavers - The StenLight, Ultimate 2x3W LED Headlamp

    Jtice,

    I was on the Inner Mountain website (http://www.caves.org/imo/frames1.htm) and saw/read what looks to be a solution for our headband....

    "17-2402 ProLite Headband $8.00
    Adjustable elastic headband has blade bracket in front, elastic loop at rear for NiMH battery."

    Not sure what that means but it has the blade bracket etc and the elastic loop in the back .... all for 8 bucks. According to the picture on the site there is no top strap.

    Just a FYI.

    Also, from your pics etc where did you find that little tripod and the thing you mounted your light to in order to screw it on to the tripod?

    Curtis
    Last edited by cue003; 09-19-2005 at 08:39 PM.
    -- CUE

  13. #103
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    Default Re: Cavers - The StenLight, Ultimate 2x3W LED Head

    I have totally forgot to ask a question to those that own this light. When it is mounted on the blade on the helmet, can you still reach up and tilt the lamp up and down or is it in a stationary position until you loosen the bolts etc?
    -- CUE

  14. #104
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    Default Re: Cavers - The StenLight, Ultimate 2x3W LED Head

    Nice find Curtis !!!!!

    Heres the strap on Prolites site,
    http://www.proliteii.com/Products/mounts.htm
    Seems to have the center strap, and that is a blade attachment.

    Wish I would have seen that when I ordered from IMO
    eh, just gonna have to order again.

    YES, you can tilt the Stenlight.
    The blade is attached with a bolted together hinge.


    There are some type of "plastic" washer bushings in the hinge, so you can keep it tight, yet still move it.
    And the nut is some sortof lock nut, it stays where you tighten it to.
    Its VERY nice, and feels perfect.

    ~John

    The white threaded tripod part I used is 16-9801 L-1 Bracket $5.00 on IMO's site.
    I just flipped it upside down, and tapped a 1/4" - 20 tripod hole in it.

  15. #105
    *Flashaholic* jtice's Avatar
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    Default Re: Cavers - The StenLight, Ultimate 2x3W LED Head

    eh, I misread your tripod question...

    Heres here I got the tripods,
    http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll...e=STRK:MEWN:IT

    They are really nice, the top tilt part will lock real tight.

    ~John

  16. #106
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    Default Re: Cavers - The StenLight, Ultimate 2x3W LED Head

    John, thanks for the tripod info and also for the link. I did notice one thing between the two website that you may want to clarify before ordering. on IMO website it says the headstrap is for a ProLite.... on the ProLite website it says it is for ProLite II. The pictures of the straps are different on the 2 sites.

    IMO says elastic loop for batteries and the other site you listed specifically states 1.5 and 3.7 Ah flat pack batteries....whatever that means.

    Resolution is upon us for the headstrap option.

    Next up will be finding optics that don't require shimming. Hopefully Niemidc will shed light on that.
    -- CUE

  17. #107
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    Default Re: Cavers - The StenLight, Ultimate 2x3W LED Head

    ah good point there Curtis,
    Ill have to clearify that.

    Oh BTW CG, nevermind my question about how the cord goes in,
    I took a second look at your photo and understand now.

    I think I shall goto sleep now, and dream of wearing my Stenlight 24/7

  18. #108
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    Default Re: Cavers - The StenLight, Ultimate 2x3W LED Headlamp

    Quote Originally Posted by niemidc
    We are all puzzled by the "dark donut" comment -- could you please explain what you're seeing in more detail?
    Yes. I first noted it when standing in a very wide 50 foot trunk, but with water wall to wall and a flat ceiling 6 feet high. The lamp had a great spot beam, but the wide angle "fill" light was edged by a ring of shadow. You can see it clearly in the image below:



    Covering the 5 degree collimator made it go away (NOT the 15 degree as I had previously reported), so I am sure it comes from that side.

    This screen shot was taken only two feet from the source. It was really magnified in the cave! It just surprised me, that's all. I suppose I was hoping for a smoother transition between spot and incidental lighting. Like jtice says, it is just a flashaholic thing! I'd bet some tinkering with other collimators would solve it. Again, I got used to it pretty quickly; it is a very vey minor bitch...
    Last edited by The1930sRust; 09-20-2005 at 07:06 AM. Reason: An error in my testing!!!

  19. #109
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    Default Re: Cavers - The StenLight, Ultimate 2x3W LED Headlamp

    After physically inspecting the two collimators in the StenLight, and reconducting my beam pattern test, I conclude the donut I am seeing is being caused not by the 15 degree lens, but the spot 5 degree lens. It is an artifact of the spot. I was under the mistaken impression it was caused by the 15 degree collimator. I think I may try a second 15, or even a 25 and see what happens.

  20. #110
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    Default Re: Cavers - The StenLight, Ultimate 2x3W LED Headlamp

    hmmm odd,
    I though the 15 degree one was the bad one.
    That halo might be from the 5 one, but my 15 seems blobby for some reason.
    The 5 looks nice with the 25 though. Evens it all out.

  21. #111
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    Default Re: Cavers - The StenLight, Ultimate 2x3W LED Headlamp

    That's what I thought, that the 25 might even it out. I ordered a 15 and 25. I wonder if the oval 5x20 could be modified to fit?

    CG

  22. #112

    Default Re: Cavers - The StenLight, Ultimate 2x3W LED Head

    Quote Originally Posted by cue003
    John, thanks for the tripod info and also for the link. I did notice one thing between the two website that you may want to clarify before ordering. on IMO website it says the headstrap is for a ProLite.... on the ProLite website it says it is for ProLite II. The pictures of the straps are different on the 2 sites.

    IMO says elastic loop for batteries and the other site you listed specifically states 1.5 and 3.7 Ah flat pack batteries....whatever that means.

    Resolution is upon us for the headstrap option.

    Next up will be finding optics that don't require shimming. Hopefully Niemidc will shed light on that.
    According to Alex at IMO, the ProLite II headstrap fits the StenLight lamp and battery quite nicely. We are also working on doing one of our own, though we don't yet have a schedule for that.

    As for optics that really fit -- look at L2optics (available from www.ledsupply.com). The 5 degree, 15 degree, and 25 degree variants all fit fine, as do all of the older LumiDrives lenses. However, the L2Optics 5x25 lenses (which are a really strange beam pattern) do NOT fit because they have a large protrusion in front.

    And Carclo and the small Fraen lenses evidently fit but require shimming.

  23. #113
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    Default Re: Cavers - The StenLight, Ultimate 2x3W LED Head

    Niemidc

    Thanks for the info. I have everything I need now to put together my headlamp... well almost everything... just missing some funds. That will come shortly and away to the IMO website to place my order for the Stenlight package, extra battery and also the Prolite II headstrap as you specified. From there, bounce over to the ledsupply website and order up another 5, 15 and 25 degree optics. Lastly order up a tripod so you can mount your light when not on our head or if you want to leave it on and stationary. After that we wait.... It all shows up and its party time.

    Couple more weeks and I will have what is shaping up to be the best led headlight available.

    Is there an auto charger available for this light? That will be the only missing piece.


    Curtis
    Last edited by cue003; 09-20-2005 at 12:29 PM.
    -- CUE

  24. #114
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    Default Re: Cavers - The StenLight, Ultimate 2x3W LED Head

    ah great news niemidc !
    Thanks for the info.

    I'll have to order one then. Seems that its practically made for it :P
    I dont even think it says Prolite on it, so thats cool.

  25. #115
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    Default Re: Cavers - The StenLight, Ultimate 2x3W LED Head


  26. #116
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    Default Re: Cavers - The StenLight, Ultimate 2x3W LED Headlamp

    Excellent review, John. May I linky?

    Also, I got my www.ledsupply.com collimators in today. I ordered another 15, and a 25. My screen beam shots can be seen at

    http://www.pbase.com/darklightimager...light&page=all

    Be advised these screen shots were made by a rear projection technique. The lamp was approximately 1 foot behind the screen and the camera about three feet in front. They are only meant to show beam pattern and artifacts.

    I just came in from outside (dark backyard), trying out the 15/15 and 15/25. Again, trade offs! I think I like the overall output of the 15/15. Great for big caves. However, for general caving, the 15/25 with its softer spread and wider periphery might be better...got rid of that 5 degree collimator halo I hated nonetheless!

    CG

  27. #117
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    Default Re: Cavers - The StenLight, Ultimate 2x3W LED Headlamp

    CG,

    glad you liked the review,
    sure you can link to it

    Finding the beampattern per your taste was half the fun huh?

  28. #118

    Default Re: Cavers - The StenLight, Ultimate 2x3W LED Headlamp

    A note to CG Anderson and JTice about beam patterns: we originally used a dual 15 degree pattern for caving because it is fairly nice and smooth and has a limited hot spot, good indoors and in small cave passages. But field testers concluded it didn't have enough "throw" for large passages, and they have been much happier with 15+5. Meanwhile bicycle testers had been given 5+5 and decided they needed more spread, and also ended up being happier with 15+5. So that's how we got where we are now.

  29. #119
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    Default Re: Cavers - The StenLight, Ultimate 2x3W LED Headlamp

    The 15+5 beam isnt bad really, and I am sure it was a nice all around beam to use.

    I just like headlamps to have a very wide flood, so that you can see your suroundings, and feet, etc.
    But the 25+25 didnt have any throw, so I went with the 25+5, its pretty nice now

  30. #120
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    Default Re: Cavers - The StenLight, Ultimate 2x3W LED Headlamp

    There is no doubt in my mind whatsoever that the StenLight has undergone perhaps the best field testing of any cave light ever created. And, to boot, you even gave end users the ability to customize the output by changing out collimators. I am sure Sten went with the best generalized beam patters: 5/15. I may end up changing back to this for reach in my big cave. I don't like the artifact induced by the 5 degree however, but this is obviously no fault of Sten. There needs to be a better choice in 5~10 degree collimators at your disposal.

    To concur with John, the 5/15 isn't really bad, and only a discerning (read: picky) eye such as mine likely picked up on it. Maybe it was just my cave that brought it out.

    I like my 15/15 too!

    CG

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