Barbolight MkII Review - Dry pics included!

ACMarina

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Sep 10, 2004
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Brookston, IN
I just got my Barbolight MkII this week, and while I haven't had enough time to test it out completely I've done enough to get my basic ideas out there.

For those who don't know, the Barbolight MkII is what one might call a "Tactical Dive Light". It's HAIII coated for durability, with the tailcap button for signaling other divers.

I don't do technical terms, so forgive me if some of these explanations seem simple.

It's made of some sort of metal. Aluminium, maybe, I dunno. The HAIII is supposed to be close to 40 micra, whatever that means. What I do know is that it's very solid and sturdy, and I can't scratch it. There's no scratch marks from the lanyard attachment, either.

Starting with the light apart, you've got 3 main parts - the body and head of the light, the tailcap, and the battery pack. I'll start with the battery pack.

As a rechargable light, it comes with what looks like a cell phone charger wired to a holder that's the size of the battery pack. The plug has an output of 4.5v, 1A. The battery pack says "Barbolight" on it, and says "4500mAh NIMH battery pack" under that. It's roughly the size of 3 C cell batteries, which would make sense as the light can run from alkaline C's in a pinch. It makes more sense to use the rechargable, though, so that's the better option. I don't know about runtime yet, I haven't had it long enough to play with it to that extent. I'll update as I find things out. .

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The tailcap is dark HAIII, with knurling around the center. There is a lanyard attachment point held on with what appears to be a star bit screw of some sort. It comes with a lanyard attached, although you may want to retie the knot in the lanyard to something a little more secure than a overhand knot. The end of the tailcap has a black center, which is the button to use for momentary on. Inside the tailcap is a spring, with the threads at the very base of the tailcap to allow the O-Rings on the body of the light to form a watertight seal.

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The body of the light is threaded at the base to allow the tailcap to screw on. Above that, there are two O-Rings, which allows the water resistance to be maintained. Doubles never hurt, right??

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The main body of the light is a matching dark HAIII, with "Barbolight" etched into the knurling. The knurling is tough on your hands, but it's very easy to hold onto when the light is completely submerged, which makes it okay in my book.

The head is a lighter HAIII, with ridges machined out towards the body of the light. Cooling, I guess. Inside the head are three Luxeon III emitters, with reflectors on top of them. Between the emitters there are dots of strontium aluminate, which glows after being exposed to light. The whole thing is encased by a lens, it feels like glass but I don't know.

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These are the only beamshots that I have right now. I took it to work and fiddled with it in the hot tub and pool last night, but my camera guy is out of town so I don't have any shots of that. As you can tell, I'm no photographer myself, but at least you can get an idea.

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Anyway, the button is sorta hard to push depending on how far the tailcap is turned on, but it gets a lot easier the further underwater you go. If you're not planning on diving, you can leave the tailcap out a little, which makes it easier to push the button. I turned off the lights on the deck and plopped it into the water and could easily see the spot across 5 standard lap lanes in the pool. I'd have to have someone spot any distance further than that, as I was too low to the water to get a real good idea of what it looked like. It does maintain a rather true color rendition, though, which is nice. Underwater, you can see three seperate beams from the emitters out to about 4'', and then they blend together to make a nice hotspot with a gentle flood around it. Beautiful beam, I think.

Thanks for checking this out - I'll be adding pics in the water as soon as I can get in there /ubbthreads/images/graemlins/wink.gif
 

IsaacHayes

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Jan 30, 2003
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Missouri
Nice review. I can see by your pic the body knurling is more aggresive than the tail cap. It looks like a saw toothed blade from the top and bottom!! I liked seeing the new method of glow powder. I didn't know he changed it. I like the 3 dots. Do they charge pretty bright on their own with the light on?
 

ACMarina

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Sep 10, 2004
Messages
3,119
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Brookston, IN
Yeah, the knurling on the body is pretty tough. Whoever said you can saw through the body of this light with that one or something, that's the feeling you get holding onto this light. It's rough, but that helps greatly with the grip when wet. I held this light underwater in water temperatures of 50, 84 and 105 with no problems as far as grip. If I were diving I'd at least be wearing some sort of glove, so it's not a big concern of mine.

The glow dots do glow pretty brightly. If you're just using the light out in the yard where most of the light is going out and away, they take longer to get bright. Using the light in water where the beam diffuses and reflects back somewhat seems to make the dots brighter. For the picture, I used a 5mm UV LED to charge them and let them glow away. You'd see something very similar from the underwater shots, though. .
 

cy

Flashaholic
Joined
Dec 20, 2003
Messages
8,186
Location
USA
good to see feedback on Barbolight. it's got to be one of tuffest LED lights produced by anyone.

Lens is impact resistant plastic. A whopping 5mm thick X 48mm wide. Lens seals from top and side.

glass lens is subject to cracking, possible leaks VS a scratched lens that can be replaced later.

built like a tank!

I've got the MkI version. the new battery pack/charger looks pretty slick. Three 5,000 mah C nmh works Great too.
 

ACMarina

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Sep 10, 2004
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Brookston, IN
Update!

Saturday night, after the building was closed, my boss asked me to check the chemical levels in the other pools that I wasn't working on. I could hear a hissing noise from the room with the therapy pool, so I grabbed the Barbolight to investigate (it takes way too long to fire up the big lights). It turns out that there is some sort of leak, and the water level is so low that the skimmers are sucking air. Bad situation. I used the Barbolight to find my way into the pump room, locate the water valve, turn it on, then I checked in the pool for the leak. Couldn't find anything, though.

So today, I get to work and find a note and flooded office, asking me to squeegie it. It turns out that the leak was actually in the pump room, which flooded into the office. The lights were on, until somebody hit a pole someplace or something and decided to take out the power for 45 minutes or so. I used my Splashlight to find my way to the office, then got out the Barbolight again. I had to navigate 3 dark pump rooms to shut down the pumps, so when the power came back on it wouldn't mess anything up. I tossed it into the pool to make sure I'd be able to see, and it flooded enough to safely allow the 3 guys in the pool to keep swimming. I probably could have had 5 swimmers. All in all, I'm a happy clam with this light.

Oooh, 1000th post! Woot!!!
 

3rd_shift

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Mar 9, 2004
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DFW. TX. U.S.A. Earth
Early 21st century led light being put to good use! /ubbthreads/images/graemlins/buttrock.gif
Not many Barbolight MK2's made it stateside.
I'll try to get some poolshots of mine as soon as the weather warms up a little more.
BTW;
All the Barbolights I got from Spain had TYAK 3 watt Luxeon3's in them with no green at all. /ubbthreads/images/graemlins/smile.gif
I had a 4 cell magmod with a SYAJ that looked to be the same tint as these.
The Barbolights clobbered it in output. /ubbthreads/images/graemlins/yellowlaugh.gif
 

ACMarina

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Sep 10, 2004
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Brookston, IN
I could do pool shots, but I'd need someone to take the pictures themselves. They'll come, though, followed by quarry shots, then ocean shots /ubbthreads/images/graemlins/wink.gif
 
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