Cool new 2009 Energizer 1AA Trailfinder Micro

RonM

RonM

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I'm happy with Energizer's offering. Zebra's are great lights, but just too floody for my tastes. When used around camp in a group environment people didn't appreciate it.

The Energizer isn't the ideal HL, but it sure is a nice one for the money. Packaged with the handheld I think it's a winning combination.

My only real complaint is the glare i get off the bottom of the lens. Fixed that by applying black electrical tape and then trimming with an x-acto knife.

I think this HL will be a success with the general public and is a pretty good choice even for a flashaholic.
 
Turbo DV8

Turbo DV8

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This is a follow-up to my mini-review on post #114.

After using the headlamp and flashlight all weekend on a trip, I have decided to return them for refund. Keep in mind that I already have, among other's, a PT EOS Rebel and a ROV 1AA Sportsman. I was hoping the Energizer would combine the best of both worlds, but it just misses for me on too many points.

First thing to come to my mind (no pun intended) is the pain it causes on my forehead. I don't know if it's the shape/size of my head, but my initial observations about the "winglettes" digging into my forehead were correct. Even with the strap at it's loosest, after a half hour I could feel the pain caused by the winglettes digging into my head like two little can openers. Both my PT and ROV are very comfortable.

Second, the PWM on low, which is where it would be set for reading, is just too annoying for comfortable reading. If you move the page just a tad while reading, the text smears. The PT on low is a joy to read by, and the ROV is perfect with the diffuser fliped down.

Third, the PT has a three level clickie switch. Although I would prefer it start on low and go up to high, it takes only a fraction of a second to click down to low. Both the Energizer headlamp and flashlight not only start on high, but if you want lower (as I do most of the time) you have to wait for the ramping to begin, then wait for it to ramp down to the desired brightness. This get pretty tedious if you are turning the light on and off regularly. And even if you're not, but you normally like to start a light at lower levels so your vision isn't ruined, that high-to-low ramping gets in the way every time. The flashlight works the same way. My Fenix L2D gives me the choice of starting on low or high.

Putting this all together, I am left with a flashlight and headlamp that don't fill a need, and miss on a lot of critical points. So it almost doesn't really matter that I also find the normally-welcomed clip on the flashlight to be so vise-like tight as to likely cause clothing damage in short order if used. If one does not plan to use the headlamp for reading, (or if one seems to be immune to PWM, no matter how low a frequency) and you also prefer your lights to turn on high every time, and you have a forehead made of steel, then these lights may still be just the ticket for you. Otherwise, keep looking. It was fun playing with them, though!:grin2:
 
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J

jayflash

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They appeared at Target in Green Bay, home of the Packers! Just couldn't pull the trigger for $30 (head light only). $20 and I might bite.

I'm probably spoiled with the Zebra H30 & PT Apex.
 
P

p1fiend

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I picked up one these lights because the of the size and 1AA factor.

After using it for a bit at my work one night, it's going back to Target.

For me, the biggest downside is that it just doesn't stay put on my head. The battery compartment, as small and light as it is with only one battery, slips down to almost the top of my neck area. This is all due to the small and cheap 2 (!!!!) pieces of velcro used on either side. They really cheaped out by not using one piece of velcro - I simply can't get the light tight enough or the velcro just won't hold. :(

Futhermore, the light doesn't stay at the most upward position, it falls one click down to the perfect useable spot, but if I did want to move it up, it simply won't stay.

The interface just bites. A med-low-high would have been 10000000X better than the high----->low ramping. And no memory stinks too..

Finally, I thought the light would have more throw :oops:

So back to Target it goes.....has anyone tried to get the thing back in the packaging? :duh2: Wanna post instructions, it's near impossible:confused:
 
Turbo DV8

Turbo DV8

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So back to Target it goes.....has anyone tried to get the thing back in the packaging?

Yeah, just stuff it in as best you can and wrap it all up with clear packing tape. That's what they'll do at the store anyway before they RTV it.

Yes, they should have used a long strip of velcro instead of two pimple-sized squares. I mean, how cheaped-down did they really need to go on this thing? Did the fraction of a penny they saved using tiny squares contribute significantly to some other area of the light? :ironic: I assume you are aware that there is a third square further along the strap for people with smaller heads.
 
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P

p1fiend

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Yeah, just stuff it in as best you can and wrap it all up with clear packing tape. That's what they'll do at the store anyway before they RTV it.

Yes, they should have used a long strip of velcro instead of two pimple-sized squares. I mean, how cheaped-down did they really need to go on this thing? Did the fraction of a penny they saved using tiny squares contribute significantly to some other area of the light? :ironic: I assume you are aware that there is a third square further along the strap for people with smaller heads.

I take pride in getting things back into a package and making it look like it was never opened. I did a great tape job on the curved part of the package, cutting slits in the tape so it was nice and flat....:duh2:....maybe I have a problem of some sort.

I blame it on the fact that I've kept my PT job at a home improvement store, and the stuff that comes back, in plastic bags too!, just amazes me.

Yes, I did have the velcro on the third square. Once I started moving, it would slide down and the straps would rest on my ears....bah....cost-savings....they just saved me $30.
 
D

DuckhunterInTN

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I cannot get any alkalines or eneloops to work in this headlamp. It appears that the tip of the positive end of the battery on the alkalines and eneloops is too fat and cannot fit to make contact. Has anyone else noticed this? The energizer lithiums have a smaller tip and will fit. It almost appears that they intentionally designed it this way so that you have to buy lithiums.
 
Beamhead

Beamhead

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gone "Squatchin" :p
I cannot get any alkalines or eneloops to work in this headlamp. It appears that the tip of the positive end of the battery on the alkalines and eneloops is too fat and cannot fit to make contact. Has anyone else noticed this? The energizer lithiums have a smaller tip and will fit. It almost appears that they intentionally designed it this way so that you have to buy lithiums.


All types work in mine.
 
PhantomPhoton

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The energizer lithiums have a smaller tip and will fit. It almost appears that they intentionally designed it this way so that you have to buy lithiums.

The one sold at Target appears to come with an alkaline cell, not a lithium cell, so I'd say that this is likely not the case.
 
tnuckels

tnuckels

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Finally, my local Target got some of these for sale. Unfortunately, it seems that the nay sayers were mostly right, and for $30 + tax this headlamp does not appear not worth the compromises.

Output: maybe mine was defective or something, but though the box says 60lm I’m only seeing 20-30lm, and that’s being generous.

Beam: what an ugly, jumbly mess they’ve managed to make of it. I’ve a fair number of lights with optics and diffusers which have their artifacts, but this was to the point of distraction. PWM is very slow and seems worse as you lower the output. This, in and of itself, is reason enough to reject this offering.

UI: I don’t mind the ramping, though memory would have made it much better.

Headband: it’s been said before, but more hooks at the ends and loops sewn the length of rest of the strap would have made a much more secure and adjustable arrangement. The rubberized front “wings” fall just on the bony corners above my eyes, just forward of my temples. After a few minutes of use I can tell this is, for me, a recipe for a tension headache.

Wires: these things are all over the place, too long, and the coiled portions are very sloppy.

Battery compartment: I liked the double O ring compartment, once I realized you had to push it in and then turn to open. It may not be any better than the ROV compartment, bur it has a more thoughtful and tidy feel to it.

It’s a nice try at a small headlamp, with a cute, stylish design. I look forward to the Micro-2.
 
regulator

regulator

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Wow, there are very different thoughts on this light. I actually like mine and think it is a decent general purpose headlamp. I know it is not perfect but it does very well for the price IMO. My beam is a nice wide circle without artifacts. A piece of Scotch tape floods out the beam if needed. Maybe there is poor QC? I really like that it runs on a single AA cell and use an Eneloop in mine. Lights with 3 AAA's are a bit of a pain.

I don't know how it would stand up to constant use but if I used a headlamp more often, I would invest in a higher quality light. But this is nothing against the Trailfinder.

I think a memory mode would have helped a lot with this light.
 
B

bstrickler

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I know this is an old thread, but I personally think this is a great headlamp that would be fairly simple to put newer emitters (XP-E/XP-G) in, if they provide enough extra lumens, and if you make a spacer for it (I'm currently working on machining one out of aluminum, so I can keep good heatsinking).

I personally bought this lamp to use up all my "dead" AA's, because I didn't have anything that took 1 AA.

The drive currents at high/low for current models are:

High: 2.95v @ 110 ma (1/3 watt) (from old energizer listed below. Didn't think to check with a fresh cell before I put it back together. Might check with fresh cell, if people want)
Low: 2.55v @ 15 ma (1/25th watt) (also from old energizer)

Current draw is:
1a from 1.77v Lithium
400ma from 1.25v old energizer battery (expiration date 2013)


Great way to use up your old cells!

Output is dimmer on the older cell, so the light isn't regulated for brightness.

Mine also came with a WG Q4, so it is nice and white (actually a little on the warmer side, which isn't bad). Color rendering isn't great, but you get what you pay for ($12 each for a headlamp and flashlight isn't bad! Especially when your family can't figure out how to work your Surefires!).

The LED's would actually survive without that "heatsink" on the bottom, because they barely get warm to the touch when on for a few minutes. It's good to know that they're actually somewhat concerned about the LED's lifespan.

It focuses an XP-E fairly well when you hold the emitter right against the optic, so you would need a fairly thick heatsink (one about as thick as the XR-E emitter, plus its star)


I'm just curious why its PWM is horrid at the lower levels on the headlamp, while on the flashlight, it's perfectly fine. Maybe a complaint to Energizer will help.

~Brian
 
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Beacon of Light

Beacon of Light

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So are these only available at Target and Costco? I typed in the 414797sku at Costco's website and nothing showed up. Is this discontinued already?

No one in this thread mentioned it so far in this year long thread and all I wanted to know is run-time on low. Reading the specs from someone's picture of the packaging posted earlier in this thread, it shows 16 hours on low. Pretty pitiful compared to the 3.5 days (84 hours) of the Zebralight H50 on low (which also only uses a single AA battery). Also I am wondering if Energizer used their run-time figures with the Lithium batteries or regular alkalines? So possibly the run-time on NIMH or alkalines might even be worse than the posted 16 hours if they used the E2 Lithiums to arrive at that number.

As you can see the Zebralight trumps the Energizer and as a proud owner of a Zebralight H50 already I see no purpose of buying this hard/impossible to find light especially when it starts on high to boot, when I'd prefer it to start low like the Zebralight already does.
 
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B

bstrickler

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So are these only available at Target and Costco? I typed in the 414797sku at Costco's website and nothing showed up. Is this discontinued already?

No one in this thread mentioned it so far in this year long thread and all I wanted to know is run-time on low. Reading the specs from someone's picture of the packaging posted earlier in this thread, it shows 16 hours on low. Pretty pitiful compared to the 3.5 days (84 hours) of the Zebralight H50 on low (which also only uses a single AA battery). Also I am wondering if Energizer used their run-time figures with the Lithium batteries or regular alkalines? So possibly the run-time on NIMH or alkalines might even be worse than the posted 16 hours if they used the E2 Lithiums to arrive at that number.

As you can see the Zebralight trumps the Energizer and as a proud owner of a Zebralight H50 already I see no purpose of buying this hard/impossible to find light especially when it starts on high to boot, when I'd prefer it to start low like the Zebralight already does.


It seems like it's being discontinued from Costco. I had to buy mine from another CPF member, because I was in need/desire of a budget headlamp.

I'll try to do a runtime test on low on Friday or Saturday (that's the first free day I have this week), with Alkalines, then Nimh's (energizer 2450) the next day. Most likely, the runtime test was done with Lithiums, since the headlamp and flashlight come with lithiums.

What emitter is the Zebralight using, and what is it pulling from the cell, and putting to the emitter? That may be part of the reason it has more battery life. If it's pulling less than the Energizer headlamp on low (which I'll check today), that would be a fair explanation as to why the Zebralight is giving a longer battery life.

You also have to look at the fact that the Energizer headlamp is much cheaper than the Zebralight one ($25 for headlamp and flashlight, versus $50 for the Zebralight), so you're going to have a lower quality driver.


One thing I don't understand, is why the Energizer flashlight doesn't have noticeable PWM, while the headlamp does.

~Brian
 
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Beacon of Light

Beacon of Light

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Brian cool thanks for the test. I'm sure it will be much lower than 16 hours which would keep me from buying it as I have other headlamps that pull off double that. As to checking the current, give me a step by step in how to do that as I have a DMM I use for guitar work but never measured for flashlight current.

Also from reading this thread in it's entirety, the Costco combo was $35 not $25, unless it was on clearance. The headlamp itself at Target was $29.99.
 
B

bstrickler

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Brian cool thanks for the test. I'm sure it will be much lower than 16 hours which would keep me from buying it as I have other headlamps that pull off double that. As to checking the current, give me a step by step in how to do that as I have a DMM I use for guitar work but never measured for flashlight current.

Also from reading this thread in it's entirety, the Costco combo was $35 not $25, unless it was on clearance. The headlamp itself at Target was $29.99.

No problem :)

It was $26 shipped for me, so it must have been on clearance, then. If it was $35, I probably wouldn't have bought it.

Any chance you'd be able to take a pic of your DMM, or get the model name? With mine, I just move the positive lead over to where it says "A", and rotate the switch until it gets to the 20 amp (or 2 amp, if I want more precise measurements), and hook one lead to the end of the cell, and touch the other to the body tube, or wherever the negative end completes the circuit (in the Energizer, its the spring in the tailcap).

When measuring current AT the LED, DO NOT TRY TO BYPASS THE LED! You will destroy the driver. You will have to unsolder one lead from the LED, and then connect 1 end of the DMM to that lead, and then touch the other end to the lead of the LED that you just unsoldered the wire from. I will be able to take pics to show you, tonight, if you want better clarification.

~Brian
 
LitFuse

LitFuse

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If anyone is looking for one of these, I have some extras available for $18 shipped (includes L91 Lithium cell) in the USA. Send a PM if interested.

Peter
 

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