Selfbuilt's Flashlight Reviews: the new and improved flashlightreviews.ca

Swede74

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Sep 30, 2011
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In the Zebralight SC62 review you asked for your viewers' thoughts on the new YouTube features you have added to your videos.

I think maybe the intro could be a little longer. Not much, just a second or so to give viewers a chance to read and hopefully remember the name and address of your website.

As for the "subscribe" feature, it took me a while to figure out that I had to place the mouse pointer over, then click on the "i" icon in the top right corner (I'm using Firefox / Windows 7).
 

selfbuilt

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Thanks Swede74.

To fill everyone else in, I've been playing around with some of the in video YouTube features - specifically, I've just added an opening intro animation, and a watermark (with a link to my channel, and a "subscribe" feature right on mouse-over menu). The point to adding these is that it's a simple way to update in YouTube, without having to go and edit every video as I do them. I've applied the watermark to all videos, but have left the intro just for this one video for the time being, from the SC62 review:


I think maybe the intro could be a little longer. Not much, just a second or so to give viewers a chance to read and hopefully remember the name and address of your website.
Yes, I would like to have this 4-5 secs as well ... except YouTube mandates that it can only be 3 secs max. :shrug: I could see about tightening the appearance timings a bit, so the writing comes up faster - but I found in experimenting that that tended to make it look rushed in. I figure people can always scroll back if they missed the weblink.

As for the "subscribe" feature, it took me a while to figure out that I had to place the mouse pointer over, then click on the "i" icon in the top right corner (I'm using Firefox / Windows 7).
Yes, it depends on the way you are accessing the site (and it is not always intuitive). I was planning to add a comment in the opening of my future videos to mouse over the area, or tap if you are on a tablet.
 
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KITROBASKIN

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Intro looks good except maybe you could let the sound and image 'decay' and fade. It looks and sounds like it is cut abruptly. Not much you can do with 3 seconds...

For those users going through the iOS candlepowerforums app, one needs to click on the YouTube icon in the upper right and enter YouTube in order to see the subscribe icon. No Big Deal.


CandlePowerForums App
 

selfbuilt

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Intro looks good except maybe you could let the sound and image 'decay' and fade. It looks and sounds like it is cut abruptly. Not much you can do with 3 seconds...
Thanks, and I agree with yours and Swede74's comments.

Playing a bit with it today, I was able to squeeze an extra third of a second in at the end of the intor. I've also adjusted it so the writing fades in immediately at the start (along with the logo). That should give people more time to read the web address. And I've also adjusted the audio track so it no longer sounds as abrupt at the end.

I'm also updating the style sheet and design of my flashlightreviews.ca home page, so that the current video plays right in the main box. This makes better use of the width, and allows direct access to the video. :wave:
 

selfbuilt

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At a user request, I've just added a series of playlists to my YouTube channel. You can see them all here: https://www.youtube.com/user/cpfselfbuilt/playlists

Rather than separate by battery type, I've grouped these more functionally.

Selfbuilt EDC (AA/CR123A)
Selfbuilt EDC (18650)
Selfbuilt Household (4AA)
Selfbuilt Headlamp
Selfbuilt Keychain
Selfbuilt High Output
Selfbuilt Throwers
Selfbuilt Flooders
Selfbuilt Custom/Mod

Note that the goal here isn't to add in every video I've ever done, but select some of the key examples of lights of good quality, with good user interfaces, etc. While the specific selections don't exactly match the "Recommendations" section of my website, the spirit is similar.

They play in order of the review (with the most recent playing first). I plan to continuously update these as new reviews come out (but keep them all within a max ~10-15 range, by dropping out old ones).

Hopefully people will find these useful. :wave:
 
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scs

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Feb 9, 2015
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Selfbuilt,

You're providing valuable QA services to manufacturers and end users. If I were a manufacturer, before a full production run, I'd get samples to you right away and ask for feedback. At the same time, I'd distribute maybe 10-20 samples to users who can provide detailed feedback regarding the lights' field performance. I'd encourage the users to really use the lights, short of abusing them, and to dissect them in order to uncover any defects in design and manufacturing. With regard to compensation for time and effort, perhaps a free final version of the light reviewed for each tester will do? Sounds like a good way to do QA.
 

selfbuilt

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You're providing valuable QA services to manufacturers and end users. If I were a manufacturer, before a full production run, I'd get samples to you right away and ask for feedback. At the same time, I'd distribute maybe 10-20 samples to users who can provide detailed feedback regarding the lights' field performance.
Yes, it is surprising to me that more makers don't go that route. Instead, what I usually receive is an early shipping sample (at which point, it's often too late). More than once I have received a light and been left scratching my head at what thought process went into the design. :shrug:
 

selfbuilt

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Another new "feature" that I plan to offer through my website soon: I will finally start offering some of my review lights for sale. :wave:

Before you get too excited, the plan is to sell off some lights that I no longer need for ongoing comparison purposes. These will typically be older lights (with older emitters), or more recent ones that have been replaced by even newer editions. In some rare cases, this will include recent lights where I have duplicates. As always, I will NOT be selling engineering samples, customs, mods, or lights received as personal gifts from any source.

They will also not be sold at massive discounts, but rather at the high-end of what the current primary/secondary market supports for each light. I expect there is a certain market for lights used in the actual reviews here. :whistle: This is just an experiment at present - I have never sold review samples before (except for a few lights that I personally purchased), so I don't know what to expect exactly. And keep in mind that I don't have every light I ever reviewed - I've given away a lot over the years as gifts to family and friends, donations to give-aways, local charity auctions, etc. At this point, I am just looking to "thin the herd" to raise some additional funds to support for my ongoing reviews, not launch a fire sale. ;)

As a nod to readers of my reviews here, I'm happy to provide a "pre-sale" option to CPF members. :) It might take me a bit of time to get the flashlightreviews.ca sale page set up, so if there is any older light that you are interested in, drop me a line by PM or at [email protected] and I will let you know if I still have it, and would consider selling it (and at what price). Again, I want to manage expectations that this will be a limited sale of lights that I feel that I can part with, without affecting the quality of my ongoing comparisons. But it will also be first-come, first-served - I don't plan to get into auction situations (at least not at present).

As I said, we'll see how this goes - I reserve the right to change my mind if things don't seem to be working out. :wave:
 
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selfbuilt

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As an update to my last post, I will also be trying out the new CPF Mall feature soon, to see how well that works. But that will likely be limited to relatively new lights (that are linked to recent reviews).

Again, in the meantime, feel free to contact me directly if there is anything you are are looking for. :wave:
 

desmobob

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Sep 9, 2013
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Upstate NY - Lake George region
I can't believe how many times I end up on one of selfbuilt's review threads. I just sent a very small donation to his battery fund... if everyone who enjoys his reviews (and who doesn't?) sent a buck or two, it would be a nice gesture of appreciation that would help keep his battery supply well-stocked. It's so easy, using Paypal.

Thanks again for the great reviews,
Bob
 

selfbuilt

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I can't believe how many times I end up on one of selfbuilt's review threads. I just sent a very small donation to his battery fund... if everyone who enjoys his reviews (and who doesn't?) sent a buck or two, it would be a nice gesture of appreciation that would help keep his battery supply well-stocked. It's so easy, using Paypal.
Thanks, I appreciate any amount - even a buck or two. Quality batteries are not cheap (and I do go through a lot of rechargeables, to ensure consistency and reliability).
 

FlashlightR

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Feb 18, 2015
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Hi Selfbuilt,

I am a new forum member but I have read many of your great flashlight reviews over the last couple of years. Before I am planning to buy a new flashlight I will check your review website first. :)
At the moment, I am planning to buy a new V2 armytek wizard (pro) but haven't seen a review of the light on your site. Are you planning to review this light? Armytek told me that they will sent you a Wizard V2 for review. I am very interested in the thermal management behaviour of the light and how it works in real life compared to the PID controller that Zebralight uses in their lights.

Thanks for all your review effort and hope to hear from you soon !
 
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selfbuilt

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At the moment, I am planning to buy a new V2 armytek wizard (pro) but haven't seen a review of the light on your site. Are you planning to review this light? Armytek told me that they will sent you a Wizard V2 for review.
Armytek had previously mentioned that they would like to send me a Wizard V2 to review, and I agreed. But I don't have any further info, or an ETA.

I am a little slammed with reviews in the works right now, so it would likely take me some time to get to this, if and when I do receive it.
 

selfbuilt

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Since it looks like the Panjo-enabled CPF Mall is going to stay with us, I've decided to use that means to start selling off my surplus lights. I have created a new "For Sale" tab on my flashlightreviews.ca website, with a direct link to what I have on offer here the CPF Mall. Check it out:

http://www.flashlightreviews.ca/sale.htm

Right now I've only been listing a light or two at a time, but I plan to to start expanding that in May, once I have more time on my hands to devote to this.

As also pointed out on that page, I'm going to try out a new feature on my personal website of adding discount codes for selected lights (available online). In the process of reviewing, dealers sometimes offer me discount codes to pass along to my readers. Since everyone likes a deal, I figured the best place to do that will be next to the individual review listings on my site - to keep it completely separate from my actual reviews and discussion posted here. We'll see how it goes. :wave:
 
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quickster47

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Jan 17, 2015
Messages
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I'm a new member here, and know you have heard all this before, but I wanted to let you know how much I greatly appreciate your reviews and all the time you devote to doing them. I know it takes a lot of time and effort and what you have done and continue to do is one of thee best things about this forum.

Thanks so much! :twothumbs

Carl
 

markr6

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Jul 16, 2012
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I've been meaning to do this for some time and keep forgetting. So, a little cash coming your way via paypal :)

Thanks!
 
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