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Thread: Mini-Review of the River Rock Half Watt 2 AAA Flashlight

  1. #1
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    Arrow Mini-Review of the River Rock Half Watt 2 AAA Flashlight

    I had seen these flashlights at Target about two weeks ago and finally bought one today. Paid $10.69 after tax.

    Build Quality - good with a fine textured lines that make the flashlight seem really slippery. My flashlight seemed to have some type of wax or grease, as my hand was "slippery" after touching the flashlight for the first time. I wiped it with rubbing alcohol and that went away. The only thing grippable on the flashlight is the pocket clip. I'd probably put a small 1 cm wide friction tape on the body in two spots to help with this.

    Ergonomics - the flashlight fits well in the hand and is easily operable with one hand in the momentary flash mode. It is quite small, maybe 4.5 inches in length and light. You can carry this in your front pocket and it would be like carrying a heavy pen. A little long for a pocket light, but I'd carry this in my pocket with no problems.

    Output - This is what surprised me. The beam is pretty good, considering that it is a half watt light. I'd say in comparison to some standards it is as follows, using my eyes as a reference at one meter on a white wall:

    1. 40% the brightness of a stock Nuwai Q3
    2. 33% the brightness of a RYOJ MMLite sandwich in a 2AA mini-mag
    3. 25% the brightness of a Streamlight PP 4AA Luxeon
    4. 2 X the brightness of a MJLED in a 2AA mini-mag
    5. 5 X the brightness of a Gerber Infinity Ultra

    The beam is smooth with a smallish sized spot with a nice spill beam. The tint is on the blueish side, but it is not distracting. Some artifacts from smooth reflector, but once I figure out how to open it up, I'll run some steel wool on the reflector (if it's metal) and rough it up a bit to smoothen out the beam. The beam is tighter than a RYOJ with a 17mm reflector or a Nuwai Q3 with stock reflector, but definitely larger than a SL PP 4AA. This flashlight would be great for medium range work within 15 feet. It does not throw well, so not good for spotting work.

    The light is definitely brighter than other 2AA standards such as a stock mini-mag and I believe it does better than most 3-5 LED lights in output and beam quality.

    The reflector and setup of the front of the flashlight remind me of a MJLED or sandwich mod with a cut down LED and reflector and an O-ring to hold it in place.

    This light is well suited where you don't need or want a super bright light, but you do need and want a light that is capable of serious work in near distances. Would make for a great EDC or car light.

    I'll probably buy a few to give away to friends and family. It offers the benefits of all the little mods we do here, in a clean retail package available at Target. This light seriously gives Maglite a run for their money, and if it is regulated as it claims, this light could turn out to be a real winner for the $10 price you pay.

    Update 9/14/2005:

    I purchased another sample of this flashlight after I ruined my first one and I found out that this one is not as bright. It has the same blueish cast light, but with fresh batteries, it is about 20-30% dimmer than the first sample I reviewed. I also noticed that the switch on this one is not as good, as there is intermittent flickering in usage. Also the front of the reflector assembly is not as neatly cut and the reflector is not symmetrical, in that you can see a "blind spot" in the reflector...although in usage this does not make that much of a difference, but asthetically not good. But this variability in the quality of assembly and components is a bit disconcerting.

    The rating has been downgraded to 3.5 stars, which is still good, but not as good as I expected. There seems to be somewhat of an LED lottery even with this emitter much like with the Luxeons (although the tint is more consistent across samples). Also I have heard that waterproofing is not good and some have found problems in the Nuwai version.

    Update 9/18/2005:

    I purchased one more to play my lottery and found that this one was just as nice as the original. I think the sample I got in the middle was a dud, so I would recommend that you be aware of that when you go shopping for these. Fortunately, Target has a good return policy if you need to exchange your dud RR2AAA for a nice one. Changed my rating back to 4/5 stars because it seems there are more goods ones than duds.

    --------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Pros: Small, good output, uses cheap batteries, regulated (advertised 7 hour regulated runtime), momentary switch with twist for constant-on, made by Nuwai, blows away 2AA mini-mag, MJLED mod, and Gerber Infinity Ultra type EDC lights.

    Cons: Surface is slippery, back O-ring can be torn as it is thin, batteries rattle since contact spring is not very tight, cannot stand on end, variability in emitter output and construction quality.

    Rating: 4/5 stars

    Final Thoughts: An effective replacement for the 2 AA mini-mag as an all purpose EDC
    --------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Last edited by pradeep1; 09-18-2005 at 09:47 PM.

  2. #2

    Default Re: Mini-Review of the River Rock Half Watt 2 AAA Flashlight

    Nice report!

    I agree...great little EDC light. Clip is reversable but danged tight! How are you guys getting it off without busting it anyway?

  3. #3

    Default Re: Mini-Review of the River Rock Half Watt 2 AAA Flashlight

    Quote Originally Posted by Nasty
    Nice report!

    I agree...great little EDC light. Clip is reversable but danged tight! How are you guys getting it off without busting it anyway?
    I grabbed my clips with needle nose pliers right where the long part and the round part meet and carefully pulled it off. I hope this helps.

  4. #4
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    Default Re: Mini-Review of the River Rock Half Watt 2 AAA Flashlight

    The easiest way to remove the clip is to take a flat-head screwdriver and put it horizontally underneath the fattest front part and pull up. The clips snaps off in a "snap" and avoids marring the surface, since you are using the clip's breadth to exert force to release it instead of pulling with a clamped unit, like pliers.

  5. #5
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    Default Re: Mini-Review of the River Rock Half Watt 2 AAA Flashlight

    Man, the more I play with it (that didn't sound right ), the more I realize how well made this little light is. I have the silver one and when I replaced the clip, I thought I would scratch or mar the surface somewhere on the light and it didn't.

    All this and regulation for $9.99?

  6. #6
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    Default Re: Mini-Review of the River Rock Half Watt 2 AAA Flashlight

    I agree that this light is well designed and of great quality for the price, I just wish the the beam wasn't so freakin blue. I'd say my Fenix spoiled me, but the RR 2AAA is bluer than my old 5mm lights.

  7. #7
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    Default Re: Mini-Review of the River Rock Half Watt 2 AAA Flashlight

    Quote Originally Posted by Solstice
    I agree that this light is well designed and of great quality for the price, I just wish the the beam wasn't so freakin blue. I'd say my Fenix spoiled me, but the RR 2AAA is bluer than my old 5mm lights.
    Solstice, mine is not *that* blue fortunately. It is definitely less blue than a Gerber Infinity Ultra, which I thought was on the bearable side of blue. Do we have a lottery system with this light as well? Maybe I'll need to buy some more and test them out.

  8. #8
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    Default Re: Mini-Review of the River Rock Half Watt 2 AAA Flashlight

    I wonder if this flashlight would be a good modders light? I wonder how it would take to having a RYOJ or BB400 sandwich dropped in? Now to get that darned head opened.

  9. #9

    Thumbs up Re: Mini-Review of the River Rock Half Watt 2 AAA Flashlight

    Thanks...I'll get 'er done.

    Mine is not as blue as my Photon Freedom 2x, Dorcy 1xAAA or any of my Attitudes. It is more blue than either my Metal Gear 3AAA 1 Luxeon or my Nuwai Q3 (both of which are very white). It is totally different from the 1.5 Jupiter Aurora/River Rock, which seems in a cass by itself.
    Last edited by Nasty; 09-13-2005 at 09:46 PM. Reason: Umm...Got 'er done!

  10. #10
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    Default Re: Mini-Review of the River Rock Half Watt 2 AAA Flashlight

    I just learned a lesson the hard way. I double baggied my RR2AAA and boiled it for like 4 minutes. When I took it out of the baggie, nothing had leaked in, but the heat shriveled the reflector and it is ruined.



    Looks like an MJLED overdriven.

    Last edited by pradeep1; 09-13-2005 at 10:28 PM.

  11. #11

    Default Re: Mini-Review of the River Rock Half Watt 2 AAA Flashlight

    Quote Originally Posted by pradeep1
    I just learned a lesson the hard way. I double baggied my RR2AAA and boiled it for like 4 minutes. When I took it out of the baggie, nothing had leaked in, but the heat shriveled the reflector and it is ruined.

    Looks like an MJLED overdriven.
    You should have consulted my older posts. The same thing happened to me!

  12. #12
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    Default Re: Mini-Review of the River Rock Half Watt 2 AAA Flashlight

    Quote Originally Posted by Former_Mag_User
    You should have consulted my older posts. The same thing happened to me!

    Hence the lessons learnt the hard way.

  13. #13
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    Default Re: Mini-Review of the River Rock Half Watt 2 AAA Flashlight

    No Heat required. place business end in vise with soft towel as a wrap, grab main body with pliers and turn.



    Drilled out using 7/32 bit.
    .

  14. #14
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    Default Re: Mini-Review of the River Rock Half Watt 2 AAA Flashlight

    attowatt, why did you drill out to 7/32?

  15. #15
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    Default Re: Mini-Review of the River Rock Half Watt 2 AAA Flashlight

    It's a pretty tight fit for the default led that it comes with.

    I"m going to TRY stuffing a lux 1 watt in there Hence the larger hole.


    I already modded the switch, and want to try stuffing lux inside. http://candlepowerforums.com/vb/show...24&postcount=9

    I know...I know... some will say" what about heatsinking, too small surface area". I dont plan on leaving on for more than 10 seconds, for the application.

    I have 3 of these already 2 black, 1 silver. thats how much I like them.

    Jim
    .

  16. #16
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    Default Re: Mini-Review of the River Rock Half Watt 2 AAA Flashlight

    One of my complaints was the tail cap button (which is not really a button in the clicky sense) protrudes and prevents the light from standing on end. I was wondering if you could take out that black button and put a flat piece of plastic or some epoxy to make it flat and stand on end? Any thoughts.

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    Default Re: Mini-Review of the River Rock Half Watt 2 AAA Flashlight

    .

  18. #18
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    Default Re: Mini-Review of the River Rock Half Watt 2 AAA Flashlight

    pradeep1: AT NO COST to you...pm me your address, and I will send you some tailcaps if you like.

    or any one else for that matter.

    Jim
    .

  19. #19
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    Default Re: Mini-Review of the River Rock Half Watt 2 AAA Flashlight

    Quote Originally Posted by attowatt
    pradeep1: AT NO COST to you...pm me your address, and I will send you some tailcaps if you like.

    or any one else for that matter.

    Jim

    Jim, you are a nut. PM Sent for wacky tailcaps.

  20. #20
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    Default Re: Mini-Review of the River Rock Half Watt 2 AAA Flashlight

    well i have the nuwai version and i absolutely love the thing i carry it everywhere its basically the only light i use anymore unless i need so more power and then i got my e2e in my messenger bag but yeah like the first thing i did was change where the clip was i have mine on the tailcap that way it rides really low in my pocket and hasnt fallen out ever to get the clip off i used a paper clip inder the clip and just pulled out it works every time
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  21. #21
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    Default Re: Mini-Review of the River Rock Half Watt 2 AAA Flashlight

    After melting my first RR2AAA reflector, I went back to Target and got another one. It seems that this one still has the blueish tint, but is not quite as bright as my first one. Hmmmm....is there a LED lottery with these as well? I wonder. I'll post more thoughts after it gets really dark and I can test out the light in absolute pitch black darkness.

  22. #22
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    Default Re: Mini-Review of the River Rock Half Watt 2 AAA Flashlight

    I have the nuwai version also.

    My problem is with the apparent LACK of waterproofing on the tail.

    I held the light in my mouth a few times and started having problems with the light not coming on.

    Turned out that moisture (drool) from my mouth got inside the light and made a mess. This is when I learned to take the head apart to dry it out.

    wwglen

  23. #23
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    Default Re: Mini-Review of the River Rock Half Watt 2 AAA Flashlight

    I have updated the ratings with my findings with a second sample. I think I am going to return this light to Target and see if I can get a better sample or just give it up and not worry about it. Very disappointed.

  24. #24

    Default Re: Mini-Review of the River Rock Half Watt 2 AAA Flashlight

    Quote Originally Posted by pradeep1
    After melting my first RR2AAA reflector, I went back to Target and got another one. It seems that this one still has the blueish tint, but is not quite as bright as my first one. Hmmmm....is there a LED lottery with these as well? I wonder. I'll post more thoughts after it gets really dark and I can test out the light in absolute pitch black darkness.
    Yes, there is an lottery for both tint and brightness with these .5w LEDs. I bought four of the Nuwai version in January and two were nearly identical to each other in tint and brightness, but were slightly bluer than the other two, which were also nearly identical.

    The two River Rock 2AAA lights that I bought last Saturday were nearly identical to each other, but both a little bluer than all four of my Nuwai 2AAA.

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    Default Re: Mini-Review of the River Rock Half Watt 2 AAA Flashlight

    Quote Originally Posted by LightObsession
    Yes, there is an lottery for both tint and brightness with these .5w LEDs. I bought four of the Nuwai version in January and two were nearly identical to each other in tint and brightness, but were slightly bluer than the other two, which were also nearly identical.

    The two River Rock 2AAA lights that I bought last Saturday were nearly identical to each other, but both a little bluer than all four of my Nuwai 2AAA.
    That sucks.

  26. #26
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    Default Re: Mini-Review of the River Rock Half Watt 2 AAA Flashlight

    I bought the 2 C version and hated it. Not very bright and it went back.

    WHen I saw it in the store I immediately wanted it. A massive disappointment.
    All work and no play is good for you. Helps build character.

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    Default Re: Mini-Review of the River Rock Half Watt 2 AAA Flashlight

    Quote Originally Posted by wwglen
    I have the nuwai version also.

    My problem is with the apparent LACK of waterproofing on the tail.

    I held the light in my mouth a few times and started having problems with the light not coming on.

    Turned out that moisture (drool) from my mouth got inside the light and made a mess. This is when I learned to take the head apart to dry it out.

    wwglen
    You might try wrapping a few layers of Teflon plumber's tape around the the threads. This should provide additional water resistance and possibly even smoother tailcap operation. Don't cover the O-ring or the end of the tube with the tape - only cover the threads. You might have to experiment with the number of layers to get the best performance.

    Hope this helps - John

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    Default Re: Mini-Review of the River Rock Half Watt 2 AAA Flashlight

    As of today I have a second Target example (this one Silver).

    It is both brighter and more blueish tinted. The spot is a slight bit less messy too.

    That said I'm keeping the dimmer whiter Black one and giving my co-worker the Silver one.

    My RR 2AA Headlamp is a KEEPER!!!
    http://img32.imageshack.us/img32/2640/usflaghalfmastmdwht.gif

    PBJS



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    Default Re: Mini-Review of the River Rock Half Watt 2 AAA Flashlight

    I bought another 2AAA RR flashlight from Target yesterday. I made sure the LED was centered, and this time, I lucked out and got a very good copy. This will make a great flashlight. I've brought back my rating of the flashlight to 4 stars.

  30. #30
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    Default Re: Mini-Review of the River Rock Half Watt 2 AAA Flashlight

    Great little light for the $$$.

    I removed the head from mine using several tightly wrapped layers of a road bike inner tube around the body (for grip & leverage) and a small rubber strap wrench on the head. Left no marks whatsoever.

    BB/DB boards are the same diameter as the original circuit board, FWIW...

    I replaced the bluish LED in mine with a cut-down MJLED. Don't know if it's any brighter - but now the color and beam pattern is very, very nice!!

    Current draw from batts measured roughly 10% more than stock, so run time shouldn't suffer much.

    Thanks to all for sharing comments on these lights -

    John

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