Superior survival light

brightnorm

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I recently stopped a Reactor/Inretech run test (fresh lithiums) after about 33 hours. They were both fairly dim but the Reactor was distinctly brighter. Of course the notorious Luxeon inconsistancy kept this from being a definitive test.

NTL, I've come to respect the clunky little Reactor and unregulated Luxeons in general. I'll definitely take it with me on any future hikes or treks, of course along with other lights, but first I wanted to test its toughness.

I have an exposed radiator in one of my rooms. This is a big, old fashioned cast iron job about 30" high with prominant relatively sharp edged "fins". While my usually tolerant girlfriend watched in dismay I turned the Reactor on and started wacking it against one of those solid edges, gradually increasing the force while keeping an image of Craig in mind for inspiration.

I gave it 22 or 23 hits, the last eight or so being pretty hard, but the Reactor simply rebounded from each one and ran on, seemingly unaffected. Whatever that plastic is, it's tough and very resilient, in effect a very large and effective shock absorber. I didn't give the Reactor any longitudinal blows. OK, I'll do that now------------------------------------------------------OK,I just went into the athroom (solid tile floor) and dropped the Reactor while ON face-down from chest height. It stayed on after the first and second drop, but went out after the third on fourth. In both cases, a slight rotation of the head restored the light. On the fifth drop the light went out and could not be made to work. The switch (gen. 1) became totally smooth and would not operate. I fussed with it for several minutes without success and finally rapped it, face up, against the tile floor. It flashed on each rap; I was surprised that the Luxeon was still alive, but I couldn't figure a way to get inside the switch mechanism without destroying the light so I put it back on my desk where it now sits as I type this report.

Conclusions: The CMG Reactor is an inexpensive, very long burning, reasonably bright unregulated Luxeon flashlight housed in a virtually unbreakable "potato masher grenade"-shaped housing made of aluminum and a very strong and resilient plastic of unknown composition.
If it is water proof (anyone know?) then, with lithium batteries it would make a superb survival light. My only question concerns its resistance to longitudinal shock.

I just ordered two more (with the improved switch), but this time I won't be testing them.

Brightnorm
 

Nerd

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That's sure one hell of a beating you gave it.... what are you trying to do? Break it into half?
 

V8TOYTRUCK

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Thanks for sacraficing your Reactor for the good of CPF members. Now did you have a Maxabeam you wanted to test for durability?
smile.gif
 

shipinretech

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Anything can be broken. Dip in liquid nitrogen and drop on a hard surface. Once you overcome the belief in industructability, toughness becomes a matter of degree. The InReTech adapter is pretty tough, but if you drop it a lot of times on concrete from five feet, the lens starts to chip around the edge. Replacing lenses doesn't cost much, so I am less concerned about this. If you treat the InReTech adapter badly enough to break it, the flashlight you put it in will be in very bad shape.

Securing the flashlight in a blacksmith's vice and throwing it down a cliff will probably break the adapter. Using the flashlight to stop a wood chipper may break the adapter and will break your arm. Putting it in the hands of a cranky two year old will probably break the adapter. We consider these to be acceptable "by design" limitations.
 

Charles Bradshaw

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Well, we now know its most vulnerable point. Still, if a person buys what is for all intents and purposes, an expensive flashlight, you can expect that person take good care of it. "Expensive" is based on what the majority of ordinary consumers are likely to classify it as (non CPFers).

In a caving environment, I wouldn't want to helmet mount it except in a very easy cave (wide passages and large caves).

At least it is likely to survive most accidents in backpacking, expeditions, etc.

BTW, the Reactor is rated 100 percent water resistant, not water proof. It would likely survive a quick dunking, but not extended immersion.

Patrick, I love the 'Dalmation Moment'.
smile.gif
 

franken2

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thanks for the honest reply patrick, the lens on mine cracked after one 2ft fall onto linoleum. i ordered spares, but did a quick fix by re-installing the original mag lens in front of the chipped one and it works, despite a bit of play in the head when the light is on. maybe the lens on mine was a bit too thin?
 

RossB

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Define "survival light."

When I think "survival", I think lithium batteries. The light must be able to use lithiums, so it will be ready whenever that need for light occurs, even if its been sitting unattended on the night table, or in the kitchen drawer or car glove box, for years and years.

Or a Photon or AAA on your key ring, because you will have it with you when the Bad Thing happens.

RossB
 

INRETECH

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I am not sure if they still have it, but HP used to have a lot of "horror stories" about people dropping their calculators in the most incredible conditions and still surviving

ENTER > =

Mike
www.inretech.com
 

Saaby

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shocked.gif
I don't plan to be dropping my calculator any time soon (An HP) but if I do and it does (Survive) I'll let you know.

Oh...this isn't a calculator thread...
rolleyes.gif
 

brightnorm

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I'm not normally a torturer, in fact the Reactor was my first torturee. I have a large light collection and usually treat them with care and consideration, but I have been looking for a really tough, inexpensive, reasonably bright long burning unregulated Luxeon flashlight and the Reactor seemed like a good candidate.

A word about the Inretech drop-in: I consider it a first rate, cleverly designed, highly functional and reasonably priced retrofit for the MAGAA. The primary reason why I selected the Reactor was for its unusual body design. The fact that this particular Reactor was brighter than that particular Inretech is of little consequence and well within the variability range of Luxeon LEDs.

I don't expect to do another torture test, however I am going bungee jumping tomorrow, and.................anyone have an M6 they'd like me to test?

Brightnorm
 

Nerd

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The ultimate drop test.... will be surprised if it doesn't shatter into pieces.
 

brightnorm

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Originally posted by Nerd:
That's sure one hell of a beating you gave it.... what are you trying to do? Break it into half?
<font size="2" face="Verdana, Arial">The darn thing is so tough you'd probably need a hammer,a heavy hammer.

BN
 

brightnorm

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Originally posted by Nerd:
The ultimate drop test.... will be surprised if it doesn't shatter into pieces.
<font size="2" face="Verdana, Arial">I was joking about the bungee jumping. Those days are long past.

BN
 

MikeF

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For HP Calculator durability stories, here is what happened to me in 1973, just after HP released the HP-35. I had the calculator in my back pocket as I was walking across campus, and I slipped on some ice on the sidewalk and landed on the calculator. The only damage to the HP-35 was to a small sliding latch on the battery cover. I was not so lucky. I had a major bruise to my posterior and a new respect for the engineering dept at HP.
 

shipinretech

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Oooh! New InReTech product, we could build an LED adapter for the HP41CV! That could be our first tactical/engineering product! Perfect for SWAT/EE teams! Hmmm... Maybe this idea needs more pizza...
 

EMPOWERTORCH

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I suppose the "torchure" tests we're subjecting these torches to is way beyond what the average torch will encounter in its lifetime!
I suppose we will see torches being dropped out of aeroplanes (now that would be an interesting sight from the ground...provding that you're not struck on the head with a terminal velocity torch!)
 
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