New: Fenix HL05, headlamp feeded by 2 CR2032 batteries

Mr Floppy

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So how low can you drain a cr2032? In a couple of similar lights that uses 2xcr2032 I only get a day. Of course that could be the quality of the cells I get
 

Lynx_Arc

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So how low can you drain a cr2032? In a couple of similar lights that uses 2xcr2032 I only get a day. Of course that could be the quality of the cells I get

I've drained them pretty low. I think the bigger question is how low can they be drained and still give out useful light and part of that answer is related to how efficient an LED is in its ability to output light at very low power levels and for the most part most of the 2032 based lights I've seen use 5mm LEDs in them which aren't at the top in efficiency. I'm really not sure which LED gives you the most output at very low power levels perhaps something like a Cree XP-E2.
 

more_vampires

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So how low can you drain a cr2032? In a couple of similar lights that uses 2xcr2032 I only get a day. Of course that could be the quality of the cells I get
Something to consider it that most cr2032 and cr2016 lights are limit resistor (optional) direct drive. The old LRI Photon 2 was cr2016x2 with no resistor at all. The legs of the 5mm were pinched by squeezing the housing, super simple.

The significance of the direct drive is that it gives a diminishing output over the discharge curve, stretching things out. Not necessarily how LOW you draw the cells, but HOW the cells are drawn. Also, as we interfere during the process, we can change how things are working. Once the light is "broken out" with an external pack, we gain significantly more control of how low we can go and what we can do. In a dd/lim resistor setup, we can even add an aux resistor inside the external pack and vampire say 4 cells instead of 2. As the pack depletes below the nominal voltage of 2 cells, we can pull the temporary resistor. This would permit vamping the cells "twice as hard."

Another thing to consider that br and cr 2032 and 2016 aren't capable of pushing much current. As such, the voltage will sag and we can be much sloppier with the value of the limit resistor and still have it work. A concern is when we move to an external breakout pack we no longer have this inherent cr20XX limitation and we might cook something without an aux resistor in the circuit to drop some voltage and limit current.

I love this stuff.
 
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rookiedaddy

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sharing a couple of HL05 pics:

HL05_01.jpg


Neutral/Warm white LED
HL05_02.jpg


HL05_03.jpg


Pretty sturdy clip
HL05_04.jpg


HL05_05.jpg


HL05_06.jpg


Part of the head-band clip is used as battery compartment opener, turn it counter clockwise to unlock, you may need to turn/twist past the marked "unlock" symbol to pop the cover as the oring underneath the cover may prevent the cover from "popping up".
HL05_07.jpg


2 x CR2032 as the power source
HL05_08.jpg



HL05_09.jpg


still testing the runtime, but suffice to say it not "regulated". This have diminishing output. after 24 hours, <50% of its full brightness (if you trust my "eyeball sphere", that is) :nana:
 

Kestrel

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I like this product, looks to be a good minimalist design.
Might be perfect to stash in a car as suggested or a BOB.
Thanks for the info,

Edit: My Petzl Zipka did this sort of duty years ago (before it died); does anybody recall what the output of that headlamp was? (I think I had the first-gen version, w/ 3x 5mm LED's.)
This does look to be a good update of that concept.

Edit#2: $15 w/ free shipping from fleabay, good stocking stuffers for friends perhaps.
 
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Labrador72

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Hi Kestrel, I just got the HL05 two days ago. I haven't used it much but I can say it looks and feels like a solid backup headlamp so far.
 

lampeDépêche

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Hi Kestrel, I just got the HL05 two days ago. I haven't used it much but I can say it looks and feels like a solid backup headlamp so far.

Dear Labrador72,

Can you tell me about the beam profile on the red LED? I would like it to be a narrow thrower instead of a wide flooder.

This light shows many many signs of having been "inspired" by the Petzl e+LITE. That's a very good little unit, also powered by 2 2032s, also with white and red LED. (And a plastic piece on the head-strap that lets you open the battery-case, and a wire clip on the back that lets you put it on a hat-bill or pocket, and many, many other features that they ripped off from Petzl).

Petzl made a bad choice when they updated the e+LITE: they switched from a throwy clear red LED that was usable for reading at night, to a floody red LED (they made the lens milky white) which means that it is useless for reading even with dark-adapted eyes. I suppose it gives rough orientation inside a dark tent, but nothing more.

If Fenix followed Petzl in using a floody or diffuse red LED, then they copied one too many features. Hope they did not.
 

Labrador72

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Hi lampeDepeche, I'm afrad the red - and white - lights on the HL05 are rather on the floody end of the spectrum. That is due to the the font plastic cover which basically diffuses the light. I can compare it with my 2010 Petzl e+Lite, it's the older version with the headband rather than the elastic - I just need to find where I placed it. I'll try reading with the red light tonight and let you know how it works.
 

Kestrel

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Well, just ordered a pair of these, will report back.
For $15 each (shipped), I don't think I can go wrong for backup/emergency headlamps in our two daypacks - shouldn't take up much room.
 

herman30

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Me, personally, see this one as a very good flashlight to attach to my backpck (to the PALS grid) to act as a rearlight when bicycling in the dark.
 

Tac Gunner

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Me, personally, see this one as a very good flashlight to attach to my backpck (to the PALS grid) to act as a rearlight when bicycling in the dark.

That's similar to what I want to use it for but I am going to mount it to the back of my HL35 headband. Waiting to see if it turns up as a Christmas gift before I order one lol.
 

hazza

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Me, personally, see this one as a very good flashlight to attach to my backpck (to the PALS grid) to act as a rearlight when bicycling in the dark.

That was my intention too, just to use it to be seen. Mine arrived today and I was immediately impressed. I have another similar little market light, but that's quite chunky, this one is nice and thin. I may well get a second one to keep as a backup light!
 

Kestrel

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Mini review:

2 units rec'd, one evaluated so far. Will probably check out the second one this weekend.

  • Output looks to be quite usable, 'High' is very good for general reading use (i.e. without night-adapted vision), 'low' seems to be OK for this as well.
  • 'Low' would certainly be appropriate for reading with night-adapted vision, and red might be usable for this as well. More on this in a later update.
  • PWM on 'low' and 'red'; however it is a rather fast cycle and cannot be ascertained during normal use - this includes fast reading.
  • PWM is also utilized during 'red flashing'. This is slightly disappointing IMO - for this sort of feature I would prefer as bright of a red as possible. I think that maximum visibility is needed for this particular usage more than longer runtimes would be.
  • Tint is perfect at ~4500K with this unit I'm guessing; warmer than a (rare) 5000K Malkoff but ever so slightly cooler than my ~4000K Surefire Minimus Vision.
  • Beam quality is outstanding, a smooth wide flood with no artifacts at all, even at the edges. The flood is so wide that I wouldn't hold out much hope for general campsite usage though, even with night-adapted vision.
  • The degree of flood on 'red' is identical to the "normal" flood - there are two emitters for each feature, all of which are mounted with radial symmetry in the single optic.
  • The tactile feel of rotating the indexed 'angle' mechanism is wonderful; IMO this is a difficult thing to get right but they did it. :)
  • It ships with a battery isolation insert / nonconductive layer which of course needs to be removed prior to the first use. I'm wondering if there is a parasitic drain from an electronic switch or if the switch is just a basic clicky - I confess to not being very knowledgeable on such matters.
My only major issue: the housing doesn't seem to provide quite enough pressure on the cells & electrical contacts and every once in a while the unit exhibits minor flickering output related to having only a marginal electrical connection (although this isn't noticeable if I'm not looking for it). I find that to get maximum output I sometimes have to apply finger pressure on the housing to improve the connectivity. I am hoping the other unit will not be like this, but am thinking of inserting a very thin piece of metal into the battery compartment to put pressure on the cell stack & improve the circuit.

Conclusions:

  • An excellent reading headlamp for the price. ($15 shipped)
  • I am very partial to neutral-tinted, wide floody beams and it certainly hits that mark. :)
  • If the occasional connection issue gets worse with age and can't be corrected, it could be a deal-breaker. However, perhaps all of the headlamps in this price point may have this sort of issue? :thinking:
  • Most certainly will not replace my SF Minimus Vision for general camp duties (nor would it be expected to, at ~1/8 of the cost), but would be perfect for usage in a tent or keeping in a daypack / survival kit.
 
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Kestrel

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Update:

It is an electronic switch.
I really must pre-load the cell stack to minimize the contact resistance, I'm often not getting maximum output for each mode.
While 'low' is sufficient for dark-adapted reading, 'red' is just too dim unless I hold the book unusually close. It is a shame that the red mode exhibits PWM, it would be nicer if 'red' had higher output.
The unit detaches from the headband and can clip to a front pocket, rather handy and a nice feature.
There are some modest beam artifacts from the red LEDs only.

Not a bad little unit, really. It would have been nice if 'red' was implemented a little better tho.
 

Kestrel

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Update #2:

Retaining the black plastic film / insert that isolates the two cells from each other for shipping ...

_and_ placing it on the very end of the cell stack (i.e. right under the battery cover before reassembly ...

Makes an _ocean_ of difference for the connectivity issue that I reported earlier. I did A-B comparisons with both of my HL05's and it completely solved the issue. _Highly_ recommended. :party:
 

Burgess

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Excellent !
:thumbsup:



Tell us, please . . . .

How difficult would it be to change the Batteries ?


( 2 x CR2032 )
 
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