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Thread: Petzl NAO - high-tech headlamp review.

  1. #91
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    Default Re: Petzl NAO - high-tech headlamp review.

    so you don't need to put the extra PCB on the cell
    Makes sense. As well, single cell use seems to be considered fairly safe compared to series, and there'd be more room available to work with seating a single unprotected cell.

  2. #92
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    Default Re: Petzl NAO - high-tech headlamp review.

    Yeah, that is great news! Thanks Szemhazai.
    I will definitely use an unprotected cell to save some space.
    The only thing I am having trouble with now is finding some store that will ship that quality 18650 holder from Keystone you used to Brazil for a fair price. Digikey will charge 40 USD
    Do you have any suggestion? Do you know of any other good quality one that will fit?

    Thanks a lot!
    Gg

  3. #93

    Default Re: Petzl NAO - high-tech headlamp review.

    This headlamp looks amazing. I am wanting something for hunting and blood tracking, and it would be an understatement to say it'd be useful to have the light vary brightnesses and focus levels depending upon where it's pointed. This is a CONSTANT issue during our outings. Guess I'll start a new piggy bank called NAO.

  4. #94
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    Default Re: Petzl NAO - high-tech headlamp review.

    @GulfCoastToad: I couldn't help but notice you mentioned 'blood tracking'. For that you'd best consider adding another light to the piggy bank fund, a UV light in the range of 360nm to 380nm. I've found a few of the inexpensive ones that only cost about $12.00 in the higher UV range of 395-405nm, but apparently they are not as suitable for curing resin (my need), or tracking blood (your need). If you manage to find anything that is available from offshore sellers pls update.

  5. #95

    Default Re: Petzl NAO - high-tech headlamp review.

    Quote Originally Posted by HistoryChannel View Post
    I think we are all over complicating this. The bottom line is if they wanted to, Petzl could have put the circuit board in the battery case and have the battery pop in and out like with their Tikka series.

    They have just the 18650 Petzl battery with circuit board listed as an accessory, but when I contacted Perzl they told me via email they currently do no and have no plans in the near future to sell just that part. Why not sell just the battery? It's frustrating as an owner of this thing, I probably wouldn't care if I didn't own it, but I thought I would be able to buy spare batteries separately due to it being listed as an accessory with a part number. Now they tell me it's not available.

    So I ended up cutting and hacking it up anyway so I can use my own battery adding another $17 to the Nao price just to make it better. (3400 mAh vs 2300 mAh is better).

    Don't get me wrong. I love the Nao in its functionality. I just have a complaint with how they designed their proprietary battery pack for no other obvious reason other than profit.

    As it stands now if I want to carry 2 spare batteries (without modifying) I would have to spend $100 and carry 2 whole packs instead of just 2 18650s. It's really my only gripe. Other than that the Nao is great.
    Would you be so kind to share your expertise in a how-to perhaps? I would love to be able to swap in 18650's, even if I have to modify them myself. 3400 mah vs 2300 mah is very attractive. I'd rather not have to buy 2 x $50 battery pods for that...

  6. #96
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    Default Re: Petzl NAO - high-tech headlamp review.

    Go to the post #1 and to the review on my website - there is everything you need.
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  7. #97

    Default Re: Petzl NAO - high-tech headlamp review.

    Quote Originally Posted by Szemhazai View Post
    Go to the post #1 and to the review on my website - there is everything you need.
    Thank you.

    I think I would need more of a step by step as I can solder, but only very basic circuits...

  8. #98
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    Default Re: Petzl NAO - high-tech headlamp review.

    Some people have some hard time finding the Molex plug so here are links to the digikey:
    Molex plug : http://www.digikey.com/product-detai...8874-ND/280419
    Molex pins : http://www.digikey.com/product-detai...1CT-ND/3904983
    Thermistor : http://www.digikey.com/product-searc...A01&vendor=480

    Good luck with your nao hacks - but for the beginners I strongly suggest to make a spare cell instead of making the battery pack 18650 compatibile.
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  9. #99
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    Default Re: Petzl NAO - high-tech headlamp review.

    Quote Originally Posted by Szemhazai View Post
    Good luck with your nao hacks - but for the beginners I strongly suggest to make a spare cell instead of making the battery pack 18650 compatibile.
    You said it, Szemhazai! That is a great advice. I am having so much trouble trying to fit that 18650 holder inside the pack, I'm going crazy.
    I've reviwed your pictures a hundred times and I still can't believe you were able to fit the holder and the PCB in there just like that. Maybe the holder from keystone you are using is a lot thinner / shorter than the one I'm using, I don't know. From what I can see, once you put the holder in there, there is no space left whatsoever. And that is WITHOUT the PCB! The lid simply won't close.

    I am having such a hard time, that I pretty much gave up. I will simply put some tabs on the new 3400mAH battery using contact weld, solder wires to it and let it RIP.
    As I said earlier, I couldn't find a single store that will ship the 18650 holder form keystone to Brazil for a sane price...

    Good luck guys, I'm sure this mod is worth it. I just love the NAO so much!

    The next mod I'm am going to try is replacing the original cool XP-Gs for neutral XP-G2s. But I am still perfecting my reflow skills and I still don't feel safe doing it...

  10. #100

    Default Petzl NAO - high-tech headlamp review.

    I just got mine today and the first thing that I noticed was that there's no carrying pouch to put this thing in. I only paid $123.00 for mine but as expensive as it is, it should come with a pouch.

  11. #101
    *Flashaholic* carrot's Avatar
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    Default Re: Petzl NAO - high-tech headlamp review.

    Quote Originally Posted by Low_Speed View Post
    I just got mine today and the first thing that I noticed was that there's no carrying pouch to put this thing in. I only paid $123.00 for mine but as expensive as it is, it should come with a pouch.
    What headlamp comes with a pouch? I just dump mine into a zippered pocket on my pack with everything else.
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  12. #102

    Default Petzl NAO - high-tech headlamp review.

    Quote Originally Posted by carrot View Post
    What headlamp comes with a pouch? I just dump mine into a zippered pocket on my pack with everything else.
    My LED Lenser did.

    Last edited by Low_Speed; 09-17-2013 at 08:11 PM.

  13. #103

    Default Petzl NAO - high-tech headlamp review.

    I have to say that I try to take good care of all of my stuff. It would be nice for the manufacturers to help you take as much care of you equipment as possible. I have been reading about people who have had problems with their LED Lenser headlamps failing on them and I bet that they take as much care of their lights as you do.

  14. #104

    Default Petzl NAO - high-tech headlamp review.

    Tonight was the first time that I was able to really use my Nao and I must agree with everyone that has complained about the battery situation. I guess I have to play with the settings a little but going on a 5 mile walk with the Hiking profile in 1 1/2 hours my battery was at 50%. This light would be way better if it didn't use a proprietary battery system but I do like it enough to keep it as an EDC light.

    Does anyone know how long the battery last on standby?

  15. #105
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    Default Re: Petzl NAO - high-tech headlamp review.

    Quote Originally Posted by Low_Speed View Post
    I have to say that I try to take good care of all of my stuff. It would be nice for the manufacturers to help you take as much care of you equipment as possible. I have been reading about people who have had problems with their LED Lenser headlamps failing on them and I bet that they take as much care of their lights as you do.
    I think that we probably have different needs and expectations of our things.

    Honestly, keeping my lights and other things clean and scratch-free is the last thing on my mind...



    Had I known the NAO was fine for caving prior to that trip I would have taken it instead.

    As for the battery drain on standby, it seems to be low enough that I've never noticed. I took my NAO backpacking for 8 days and used it a bunch, but it still had two bars of juice at the end of the trip. I carried a USB Solar/Li-Poly charger with me in case I needed it but I never did.

    I think if you tweak the output settings to your taste you will have better battery life.
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  16. #106

    Default Petzl NAO - high-tech headlamp review.

    Quote Originally Posted by carrot View Post
    I think that we probably have different needs and expectations of our things.

    Honestly, keeping my lights and other things clean and scratch-free is the last thing on my mind...



    Had I known the NAO was fine for caving prior to that trip I would have taken it instead.

    As for the battery drain on standby, it seems to be low enough that I've never noticed. I took my NAO backpacking for 8 days and used it a bunch, but it still had two bars of juice at the end of the trip. I carried a USB Solar/Li-Poly charger with me in case I needed it but I never did.

    I think if you tweak the output settings to your taste you will have better battery life.
    You may be right about needs and expectations. I haven't gotten into caving but I'd like to.

    Thanks for advice and your pictures look cool.

  17. #107
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    Default Re: Petzl NAO - high-tech headlamp review.

    Though I rarely use 'mainstream' headlamps underground (apart from the occasional Duo, which I guess was probably designed at least in part with underground use in mind), I still expect my surface headlamps to take a fair amount of abuse and don't give them any special thought as far as gentle treatment is concerned.

  18. #108
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    Default Re: Petzl NAO - high-tech headlamp review.

    Quote Originally Posted by Low_Speed View Post
    Tonight was the first time that I was able to really use my Nao and I must agree with everyone that has complained about the battery situation. I guess I have to play with the settings a little but going on a 5 mile walk with the Hiking profile in 1 1/2 hours my battery was at 50%. This light would be way better if it didn't use a proprietary battery system but I do like it enough to keep it as an EDC light.

    Does anyone know how long the battery last on standby?
    There is one factor that affects the battery life a LOT and that is the angle you select, because of the reactive lighting.
    Try to set an angle that is just high enough for the light to illuminate the area in front of you. If you set a too high angle, the light will run much brighter than you really need it to.
    I think this is even written on the manual if I remember correctly.

    Also, the battery pack mod suggested by Szemhazai is the way to go. you get 800mAH more if you go with the 3400mAH cell.

    Gg

  19. #109
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    Default Re: Petzl NAO - high-tech headlamp review.

    I have one of these lamps and have been using it for maybe a year now. My application is climbing, for which I have found no better substitute. Quality aside, nothing beats the reactive lighting on this thing for looking between close and distant objects seamlessly and hands-free. More light or more run time would of course be useful, but practically speaking that feature is what sells this lamp for me.

    As for the negatives, the obvious one is price and cost vs quality. The case is cheap plastic and the light feels a bit flimsy. When I left mine with a friend and needed him to mail it to me, it broke in shipping (part of the bezel on the lamp cracked and came off). I was able to return it to REI and pick up a new one, so clearly I still like it enough to own one. I agree that it's "priced like a lexus" without the quality, but what are the other options out there for its features? Does Petzl have a patent on the reactive lighting thing? I don't see anyone else doing this and it looks like they will be offering it in their smaller headlamps soon:

    http://www.earnyourturns.com/18423/s...dlamp-roundup/

    I'm also curious about battery replacement options. I bought a spare pack for this thing (yeah, it's pricey) but always love to tinker and would have fun building a bigger pack. Too bad the 4-pin round connector that goes to the front of the lamp is probably hard to find. For "only" $30 I would probably want to get the belt kit and attach that to a custom battery box.

    Unrelated: if anyone can help me make a regulated 3v-3.3v Li-Ion high-capacity power source for a different project, that would be awesome. I have a 5v to 3.3v circuit that I was going to use for powering a camera from a USB port, but think doing it with batteries would be more useful and folks on this forum seem to have that particular expertise.

  20. #110
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    Default Re: Petzl NAO - high-tech headlamp review.

    Quote Originally Posted by cwclimbs View Post

    Unrelated: if anyone can help me make a regulated 3v-3.3v Li-Ion high-capacity power source for a different project, that would be awesome. I have a 5v to 3.3v circuit that I was going to use for powering a camera from a USB port, but think doing it with batteries would be more useful and folks on this forum seem to have that particular expertise.
    Please start your own thread re this question. Thanks,

    Bill

  21. #111

    Post Re: Petzl NAO - high-tech headlamp review.

    I have not been too much interested in Nao due to various reasons (most importantly the proprietary battery issue). However, I just got a second-hand Nao with the extension cable for Ä30, so, it looks like I'll soon be joining the Nao group, too.

    The light has not arrived yet but I am sure that there will be some kind of battery hacks ahead. I have some questions.

    First of all, I would like to add the ability to use generic 18650 batteries but I would also like to keep the board untouched. And I like the battery indicator. The battery connector has three wires. Did I understand it right (looking at the pictures and texts in Szemhazai's page, link in first post) that the thermistor can be connected between two of these wires and after that, there is no need for anything else than just to connect the battery and everything works? Ie. one could attach the thermistor to the connector thus eliminating the third wire? I am thinking that after that, the two other leads could be attached to small magnets (wires attached in a way that the magnets cant touch each other) and the light should work fine. Good idea? Or not? The 2*AAA contacts should probably be covered, too.

    Another question. It looks like the connector that connects the battery pack to the light has 4 pins. Is there really 4 different wires connected? Or just 2 with double connections? I'd also like to know if the battery pack electronics are essential when using the light? I doubt that I have any need for a bigger diy battery pack for this light but since I'll have the extension cable, some day I might be interested in that possibility, too.
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  22. #112
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    Default Re: Petzl NAO - high-tech headlamp review.

    Hello Esko,
    IMO, after using the NAO in a real world scenario, you will not regret it.
    As for your questions, Szemhazai is THE guy to get your answers from, but I fell that I can answer some of them correctly:

    - In order to use a generic 18650 you will need to fit a 18650 holder inside the pack's case (you cold try the magnet solution, which would save space, but I just don't trust it) but there is very little space for that. Szemhazai used one form Keystone... Oh, and you will have to get rid of the AAA holder. That's for sure (at least if you go with the holder idea). IMO this is the most difficult part of the mod. I just couldn't do it with the holder I was able to aquire. So I am going with the tabs soldered to battery solutuion.

    - Yes, in order to get the battery level indicator to work, all you gave to do is add the thermistor between the black and the middle wires and you are good to go. You can then eliminate the third wire

    - Yes, I think the light needs the battery pack's electronics to function correctly, as the software is able to read and write information to the battery pack.

    The next thing I am going to do is reflowing 2 219s to replace the stock cool XP-Gs. I am just waitting for the emmiters to arrive

    Good luck!
    Gg

  23. #113

    Default Petzl NAO - high-tech headlamp review.

    I dont understand why they went cool ehite instead of neutral?

    Actually i dont understand why any lights are cool white, color rendition is important in a headlamp?

  24. #114

    Post Re: Petzl NAO - high-tech headlamp review.

    Quote Originally Posted by chanrobi View Post
    I dont understand why they went cool ehite instead of neutral?

    Actually i dont understand why any lights are cool white, color rendition is important in a headlamp?
    Color temperature and color rendition are different subjects... You could check the led section for more information. There are plenty of reasons why most manufacturers use cool white (lumen race, availability, history, some consumer opinions etc.). Of course many educated users like us prefer neutral white and then it can be debated whether NW is enough or it should be high cri, too...

    Thanks Ggmesquita. Once I get the light, I need to check the 18650 holder possibilities. The space is really an issue, but if Shemhazai managed to do it, others should, too. I have never used magnets with batteries but I can't see any reason why it shouldn't work well. Unless they have some negative effects on said batteries/protection circuits (I recall seeing some discussion about it). The magnets could also be secured with a thin&wide rubber band. Battery changes would be rather rare, too. Most of the time one fully charged battery would provide plenty enough of power.

    I am mainly going to use it in all running related activities. I have some Zebras and Sparks; they are nice but the headbands are not steady enough for me.

    One other thing. The seller said that in freezing conditions, the light turned off after just 15 minutes of use. Was there ever a battery change program as he remembers, or were these issues fixed with a software update? I didn't find any news about battery recalls.

    Nichia 219 sounds really tempting... And I have a few of them already, just waiting for use. Too bad that they would have to be soldered to the driver board. I think I miss some skills and also the will to take the risk of trying. Myo XP was a lot easier to mod... Btw, that Myo XP was the original reason to register to CPF back in 2008. The headlamps wire had a shortcut in my bike bag back in 2007 (I think), causing a fire hazard. Later I found out (in this board), that Petzl put out an warning saying that the light shouldn't be used with Ni-MH any more.
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  25. #115
    Flashaholic* Szemhazai's Avatar
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    Default Re: Petzl NAO - high-tech headlamp review.

    As for the temperatures...
    6 hours in -8*C
    14 hours in -2*C (cell change after 11 hours).
    Works fine for me, never heard about any battery issue for this headlamp.

    If you are not going to change cells often, then I suggest to make yourself a spare cell - it's much easier.
    Last edited by Szemhazai; 10-07-2013 at 07:16 AM.
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  26. #116

    Default Re: Petzl NAO - high-tech headlamp review.

    Quote Originally Posted by Szemhazai View Post
    As for the temperatures...
    6 hours in -8*C
    14 hours in -2*C (cell change after 11 hours).
    Works fine for me, newer heard about any battery issue for this headlamp.

    If you are not going to change cells often, then I suggest to make yourself a spare cell - it's much easier.
    Looks like I didn't remember it correctly and needed to check some older (local) discussions... Another person had bought 2 Petzl Naos and in -14*C, both of them lost their reactive lighting in 5 minutes, followed by a the loss of all light a few minutes later. The seller himself mentioned that during a 30 min run, it already started to give the low battery warning and the battery indicator had only one bar left. There were also mentions about battery changes. Perhaps it is just that they had one bad batch of batteries locally, so, I'll contact the local importer. Those discusions happened almost a year ago.

    I prefer the the ability to use generic cells. The possible battery changes will probably happen in situations where I would also have a backup light and it would be good if all batteries are interchangeable. For example, some 2 years ago I took part in one rogaining event. I used my ST6 and had a spare cell for it - the cell was inside my lightest 18650 flashlight which acted as a backup. My partners headlamp broke and I gave him the flashlight. It wouldn't have been possible if I had Nao and a proprietary spare cell for it.
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  27. #117

    Default Re: Petzl NAO - high-tech headlamp review.

    You must use the battery case to interface with any battery pack you build. You cannot just interface directly with the 4 wire plug that detaches from the battery case. The original poster made this clear and I have verified it to be true. Your custom battery pack can plug into the 3 wire battery plug or into the AAA contacts, no difference. The NTC thermistor is needed only to allow the usb case to charge your battery. Petzl uses it as a heat sensor. It will not make the battery indicator work properly.

    Here is an excerpt of another persons review from Amazon:

    I liked the fact that you can easily remove the lithium cell from the battery case to cut down on weight when carrying spares. The battery level metering does not appear to be based on the battery output, but duration of use between charges, as recorded by electronics within the casing. This means that when you swap a discharged lithium cell out of the plastic battery case, and replace it with a fully charged cell, the battery case will tell you that the fresh battery is low in charge and will even give the flashing warning (emitters pulse 3 times when battery gets low). The light will continue to perform for the expected duration, but you cannot get any indication of the true state of charge. The converse happens when you return an empty cell to the original plastic casing it was charged in. That empty cell will be read as full by the battery meter even though it is not. This is not so smart, but fortunately the meter resets when you next recharge the battery.

  28. #118
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    Default Re: Petzl NAO - high-tech headlamp review.

    I wonder how it would affect the reactive lighting if you were able to swap a T3 warm white emitter into it? As the lower wavelengths reflect back less, presumably it would dim less perhaps?

  29. #119

    Default Re: Petzl NAO - high-tech headlamp review.

    I have a NAO and I'm thinking of making an external battery pack for CR123 or maybe AA cells for 'off grid' use. Anyone know the max voltage that can safely be fed to the terminals in the battery holder? On ebay there are 3.7V output DC-DC converters which accept 8V-20V in. I was thinking of using one of these with a string of 4 CR123 cells. Is this a reasonable approach? Or would it be safe to use, say 2 parallel strings of 2 CR123 with no voltage regulator? I tried powering the lamp at a bit below 3V and the reactive lighting feature tends to cut out, so a number of parallel CR123s would not work well specially in cold temperatures.

  30. #120

    Default Re: Petzl NAO - high-tech headlamp review.

    You cannot use voltage higher than 4.2 volts. The light boost the 3 volts from 2 AAA batteries but it does not buck regulate. You will burn it out if you exceed 4.2 volts. You can make your external pack from 18650 batteries in parallel. You might even get away with 3 AA batteries in series if they are ni-mh. This would be somewhat dicey since the full charge voltage would be 4.5 volts. Using cr123 batteries in series would require voltage regulation.

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