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Thread: AquaMule and AquaRam 18650 lights ** Terra versions added**

  1. #301

    Default Re: AquaMule and AquaRam 18650 lights

    AquaMule made it to Humboldt State, waiting for the 18650 to top off. Thanks again for a sweet torch McGizmo!

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  2. #302

    Default Re: AquaMule and AquaRam 18650 lights

    Well, I couldn't resist - mini review with beam shots posted HERE

    ...and added a nice Chris Reeves lanyard/ti bead....


    I think it looks really nice - how about you?
    Last edited by run4jc; 11-19-2013 at 07:43 AM.

  3. #303
    *Flashaholic* easilyled's Avatar
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    Default Re: AquaMule and AquaRam 18650 lights

    I'm happy to report that mattp's "halving" technique worked for me and that the correct sized o-rings are now installed in my AquaRam. Now I have to learn how to dive to 200m in order to justify possessing it.
    We are all flotsam and jetsam being carried by a relentless tide towards our ultimate fate!

  4. #304
    *Flashaholic* McGizmo's Avatar
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    Default Re: AquaMule and AquaRam 18650 lights

    Hi guys,
    I got the pressure chamber the other day and have now tested these lights to excess of 300' depth. No problems with any flooding or indication of being compromised. I also threw in a Sapphire which I have always expected could handle the pressure but never tested. It survived with no problem at all. A tiny amount of water will get behind the retaining O-ring though and for any of you who do take these lights down in a dive, I suggest you do pop out a section of the retaining o-ring after the dive and let the void in there dry out. For the heck of it I put one lighting the tank with about 1/4" section missing from the Retaining O-ring and it worked perfectly with the advantage that it could dry out afterward with no problem. However this solution does leave that gap exposed to collecting dust and other stuff. A purist might want to use a full retaining O-ring in general use and then switch to a partial retaining O-ring for dives.

    At any rate, these lights can handle the pressure with no problem.



    In this test, I was able to get 135 PSI from the first stage regulator. I tweaked the regulator a bit after this test and can now get the pressure up to 145 PSI. The gage can read up to 160 PSI (370') but I would need to get a different regulator for the tank. You can see one of the AquaRam's and the Sapphire are on in this test. I left the lights at pressure for a half hour.

    ANother datapoint, on of the AquaRam's had #017 O-rings for the head to pak seal instead of the larger #018 which I am using. The smaller O-rings worked fine with no water getting past them. I plan to stick to the larger #018 but anyone wanting to use the #017 for an easier twist action should feel comfortable in doing so.
    Build Prices .... some mods and builds (not 4 sale) "Nature can be cruel- but we don't have to be."~ Temple Grandin

  5. #305
    Flashaholic* London Lad's Avatar
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    Default Re: AquaMule and AquaRam 18650 lights

    Are they in water or air in the chamber Don?


  6. #306
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    Default

    Great info, thanks Don. I changed to 017 silicon o-rings for the head to pak seal yesterday, and it is a bit easier to twist, especially one-handed.
    Cheers,
    Matt

    Sent from my SM-N9005 using Tapatalk

  7. #307
    *Flashaholic* PoliceScannerMan's Avatar
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    Default AquaMule and AquaRam 18650 lights

    Thanks Don!!
    In no order: HDS/Malkoff/OVEREADY/McGizmo/Sky Lumen -PSM

  8. #308
    *Flashaholic* easilyled's Avatar
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    Default Re: AquaMule and AquaRam 18650 lights

    So if the window-retaining o-ring was perforated with a few tiny holes but still left intact in one piece, then any water droplets accumulating behind it after a dive should dry out?
    We are all flotsam and jetsam being carried by a relentless tide towards our ultimate fate!

  9. #309
    Flashaholic* London Lad's Avatar
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    Default Re: AquaMule and AquaRam 18650 lights

    I was thinking of a 'foam' retaining ring or even a stainless / Ti 'wiggle washer' :-)


  10. #310
    *Flashaholic* easilyled's Avatar
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    Default Re: AquaMule and AquaRam 18650 lights

    Quote Originally Posted by London Lad View Post
    I was thinking of a 'foam' retaining ring or even a stainless / Ti 'wiggle washer' :-)
    If you come up with something good, I might buy one from you.
    We are all flotsam and jetsam being carried by a relentless tide towards our ultimate fate!

  11. #311
    *Flashaholic* PoliceScannerMan's Avatar
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    Default AquaMule and AquaRam 18650 lights

    Quote Originally Posted by easilyled View Post
    So if the window-retaining o-ring was perforated with a few tiny holes but still left intact in one piece, then any water droplets accumulating behind it after a dive should dry out?
    I picture some sort of "vertically grooved" o-ring that holds pressure against the inner seal, yet let's moisture out.
    In no order: HDS/Malkoff/OVEREADY/McGizmo/Sky Lumen -PSM

  12. #312
    Flashaholic* London Lad's Avatar
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    Default Re: AquaMule and AquaRam 18650 lights

    Quote Originally Posted by easilyled View Post
    If you come up with something good, I might buy one from you.
    If I ever thought of something better than Don's solutions I'd probably die of shock :-)


  13. #313
    *Flashaholic* McGizmo's Avatar
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    Default Re: AquaMule and AquaRam 18650 lights

    Quote Originally Posted by London Lad View Post
    Are they in water or air in the chamber Don?
    There is a plastic bucket that comes with the chamber and you can put water in it and your test items in the water. The lights are in water.

    The good news/bad news with the retaining O-ring is that it also acts as a seal when there is no external pressure or in the case of internal pressure of the light. This is good news because it protects the real window seal in the advent of submersing the light. There is no concern of any dust or grit getting in to compromise the window seal. But after submersion the retaining O-ring seal needs to be broken to allow any moisture that has gotten past it to evaporate.

    Conscientious divers will put their dive gear in a fresh water dunk bucket after a dive to allow the fresh water to dilute any saltwater that is remaining in nooks and crannies so that upon evaporation you are not left with salt crystals that can be corrosive as well as abrasive. I think the best approach with these lights is to pull out a small section of the retaining O-ring and put the light in a fresh water soak or at least allow it to dry out or use an incomplete retaining O-ring during the dive. I do think a complete retaining O-ring is the best way to go when using the light above the surface and when it's exposed to dust and sand.

    I did take one light that was just the titanium shell (no battery or components in the head beside the window, after the pressure test and put in an electric furnace and heated it up to 140 F. There was no visible indication of the trapped moisture on the window. I then elevated it to 185 F and moisture did appear on the window with further condensation as the light dropped back down to ambient temperature. This convinced me that there still remains the potential for water trapped between the seal and retaining O-ring to ultimately make its way into the interior of the light given sufficient internal pressure. I don't know if that internal pressure could come about in normal use. For some anecdotal feel for this. I have submersed the empty test light again and will just leave it in my car for a week or two and see if anything shows up inside. For this test, I only took the light down to 200' because in the same test I put a depth gage in the chamber with the light and wanted to see how its depth compared with the gage on the chamber itself. The depth gage was held in a rubber wrist mount boot and when I popped it out of the boot, some water came out as well which just highlights the point that under pressure, water will go where it can and it can stay there until released!

    Any method of retention of the window that does not also provide a seal has the good/bad news that it doesn't seal in water trapped from a dive but it does allow dust and grit to accumulate. Although I hadn't anticipated this issue, now that I have come to understand it I haven't come up with an alternative that I prefer to what is already in place. I just think it's an issue that the user needs to be aware of and the user has options as to how they choose to deal with it. Of primary importance to me with a dive light is that it not fail during a dive and the current assembly method with the full retaining O-ring adds another level of protection to the window seal that is tasked with keeping the integrity of the light in place during a dive. It is somewhat akin to the second, outboard O-ring on the head that seals the head to the battery tube in that its primary function is to protect the interior O-ring from external elements.
    Build Prices .... some mods and builds (not 4 sale) "Nature can be cruel- but we don't have to be."~ Temple Grandin

  14. #314
    Flashaholic* tino_ale's Avatar
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    Default Re: AquaMule and AquaRam 18650 lights

    Interesting tests indeed.

    300' is a depth to which very few diver will ever dive. Does moisture get past the first (outer) o-ring in the case of a 130' dive or lower ? That is a much more realistic figure and there might not be any issue whatsoever at those depth.
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  15. #315
    *Flashaholic* PoliceScannerMan's Avatar
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    Default Re: AquaMule and AquaRam 18650 lights

    Quote Originally Posted by tino_ale View Post
    Interesting tests indeed.

    300' is a depth to which very few diver will ever dive. Does moisture get past the first (outer) o-ring in the case of a 130' dive or lower ? That is a much more realistic figure and there might not be any issue whatsoever at those depth.
    Or in the really ordinary snorkeling user, 15ft....
    In no order: HDS/Malkoff/OVEREADY/McGizmo/Sky Lumen -PSM

  16. #316
    *Flashaholic* McGizmo's Avatar
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    Default Re: AquaMule and AquaRam 18650 lights

    Quote Originally Posted by tino_ale View Post
    Interesting tests indeed.

    300' is a depth to which very few diver will ever dive. Does moisture get past the first (outer) o-ring in the case of a 130' dive or lower ? That is a much more realistic figure and there might not be any issue whatsoever at those depth.
    I was confident that water would pass beyond the retaining ring an much shallower depths based on my experience in a dive to 30-40' that ended up with water in the window chamber between the O-rings. But I realized that with this pressure chamber I could actually get a much better idea of at what depth the water starts to get past the retaining O-ring. What I did was compromise the window O-ring seal by removing about 1/4" out of its circumference so that there was an obvious gap. I then put in the retaining O-ring and put the empty light in the chamber and started a "dive". Just before getting to 20' of depth I saw a water drop enter in the gap. I would guess it was at around 18-19' based on the needle on the gage. To play it safe let's call it 15' of depth. So in other words if you take one of these lights below 15 feet there will most likely be water drops under the retaining O-ring and around the window edge. I want to stress that this water will not get past the window seal unless you induce significant internal pressure, above ambient pressure, while also having the retaining O-ring in place, now acting as a seal and keeping this internal pressure from escaping.

    I think it safe to suggest that if you take the light deeper than 15 feet you will have water get trapped if you are using a full retaining O-ring and you will need to drain this water after the dive by partially removing a small portion of the retaining O-ring. That is to say pull out a small section of the O-ring resulting in a loop sticking out and away from its groove. The alternative is to use an incomplete retaining O-ring when you dive so there is no seal provided and only retention of the window against its real seal.

    In the test I just did, I realized that once I returned the test light to ambient pressure I actually had internal pressure in the light equivalent to the pressure 20' of depth. Around 8 PSI I think. I figured the easiest way to relieve this pressure was to pierce the retaining O-ring with a needle and pull a small part of it out of the groove. When I did, I got a quick squirt of water in my face.

    I hope this makes sense and if anyone has any questions, please ask!
    Build Prices .... some mods and builds (not 4 sale) "Nature can be cruel- but we don't have to be."~ Temple Grandin

  17. #317
    Flashaholic* London Lad's Avatar
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    Default Re: AquaMule and AquaRam 18650 lights

    Has your tank any facility to move the items under test while they are under pressure, like a watch tester?


  18. #318
    *Flashaholic* McGizmo's Avatar
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    Default Re: AquaMule and AquaRam 18650 lights

    Quote Originally Posted by London Lad View Post
    Has your tank any facility to move the items under test while they are under pressure, like a watch tester?
    Unfortunately, no. Yeah, I have thought of a few things I would like to do with the light while in the tank. I thought about a magnetic elevator but no magnet is going to work through the thick steel wall.

    The more I think about it, for a dedicated dive light or when taking a light on a dive, an incomplete retaining O-ring that provides no seal itself is the simplest way to go. If a full retaining O-ring is used then it should be compromised with a loop out after the dive and the light should be set in a rinse bucket and then allowed to dry out.

    If one is willing to keep an eye on dust and dirt contaminations then an incomplete retaining O-ring could be considered as a safer assembly anyway as it allows for any excessive internal pressure to be released. The window becomes a purge valve in this set up. I have another test I plan to do and will share the results.
    Build Prices .... some mods and builds (not 4 sale) "Nature can be cruel- but we don't have to be."~ Temple Grandin

  19. #319
    Flashaholic* tino_ale's Avatar
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    Default Re: AquaMule and AquaRam 18650 lights

    Thanks Don for the feedback.

    I also think removing a tiny section (1mm or so) of the retaining o-ring is not only a straightforward solution, the dust/debris protection is also almost fully maintained. Way to go IMO.

    I believe pulling a small section of a complete o-ring after each dive to purge the pressure introduce a chance to push a grain of sand or some other foreign matter into the groove... that would probably happen one day or another.
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  20. #320
    *Flashaholic* McGizmo's Avatar
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    Default Re: AquaMule and AquaRam 18650 lights

    Quote Originally Posted by tino_ale View Post
    Thanks Don for the feedback.

    I also think removing a tiny section (1mm or so) of the retaining o-ring is not only a straightforward solution, the dust/debris protection is also almost fully maintained. Way to go IMO.

    I believe pulling a small section of a complete o-ring after each dive to purge the pressure introduce a chance to push a grain of sand or some other foreign matter into the groove... that would probably happen one day or another.
    I have done a number of further experiments using various size O-rings and incomplete O-rings in both the seal and retaining position to get a better idea of what is happening.

    Basically a complete and sound O-ring in the seal position has kept the light from flooding in all experiments when it has been put under pressure. But I did find that going deeper that 120' with three small sections of retaining O-ring in place failed upon assent because the pressure below 120' compressed the window seal to the point that these sections were no longer captive in the retaining O-ring groove. They came loose and once there was no longer external pressure on the window it no longer had any force holding against the seal.

    So my conclusion at this point is that due to the geometry of the head and the durometer of the O-rings presently in use, water can make it past the retaining O-ring at some depth. The retaining O-ring if it is complete or just missing a small section will do the job of keeping the window pressed against the seal but you will have water enter behind it. I believe the prudent thing to do if you take the light below 15' in depth is to let it dry out after a dive and if using a complete retaining O-ring, pull out a loop section to aid in the drying process. And after it appears to be dry, I think it would be a good idea to take your thumb or other finger and push down on the window a bit to keep it sealed while you investigate further under the retaining o-ring (remove it) to insure no other water drops remain.

    Moving forward, I have ordered a custom run on some higher durometer silicone O-rings to test as a seal O-ring (6 weeks away). These will not compress as much under pressure so the pressure of the retaining O-ring will remain higher on the window even at depths. My suspicion is that I will be able to increase the depth at which no water enters behind the retaining O-ring. I am not confident that I can get that depth to the 350' that I can test the light to. But if I can get it beyond normal dive depths then it will reduce the after dive attention required of the light which is currently a consideration and issue.

    I will continue to share anything I can observe or determine on this aspect of the light and I have no intention of anything but full disclosure and transparency.
    Build Prices .... some mods and builds (not 4 sale) "Nature can be cruel- but we don't have to be."~ Temple Grandin

  21. #321
    Flashaholic* London Lad's Avatar
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    Default Re: AquaMule and AquaRam 18650 lights

    In my experience I find I have to dismantle and inspect half of the kit I dive with every dive anyway so this is really no big problem :-)

    Just a pity it sneaked up on you but no one could of foreseen it. thanks for your continued work and support.


  22. #322

    Default Re: AquaMule and AquaRam 18650 lights

    hi guys,

    i would be really interested in getting some comparing beamshots from the mule and the aqua. so far i could find anything significant.
    anyone?

    cheers,

    F!

  23. #323
    *Flashaholic* PoliceScannerMan's Avatar
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    Default Re: AquaMule and AquaRam 18650 lights

    One is total flood, the other is more of a traditional beam. A beam shot with them side by side would be tough because the intensity of the AquaRam's beam would wash out the AquaMule's pure flood beam. Hope that makes sense.
    In no order: HDS/Malkoff/OVEREADY/McGizmo/Sky Lumen -PSM

  24. #324

    Default Re: AquaMule and AquaRam 18650 lights

    Another shot from the previous but showing it from the tail.




    Feels great in hand !


  25. #325
    Flashaholic* London Lad's Avatar
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    Default Re: AquaMule and AquaRam 18650 lights

    Quality photos!


  26. #326

    Default Re: AquaMule and AquaRam 18650 lights

    @PoliceScannerMan

    thanx!
    absolutely makes sense, would be nice anyway :-)

  27. #327
    *Flashaholic* carrot's Avatar
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    Default Re: AquaMule and AquaRam 18650 lights

    This might be crazy, but what if a small hole (or holes) is drilled through the bezel near the point where the retaining ring touches the window? This shouldn't compromise the water resistance but it would allow water, etc, to pass through. Only downside is you could get dust/debris ingress...
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  28. #328
    *Flashaholic* McGizmo's Avatar
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    Default Re: AquaMule and AquaRam 18650 lights

    Quote Originally Posted by carrot View Post
    This might be crazy, but what if a small hole (or holes) is drilled through the bezel near the point where the retaining ring touches the window? This shouldn't compromise the water resistance but it would allow water, etc, to pass through. Only downside is you could get dust/debris ingress...
    I have the same perception. I have thought about putting holes through the side of the head to drain the chamber between seal and retaining O-ring but as you suggest, these could also serve as dust bunny habitats. I am hoping that some different O-rings can take care of the issue without loosing the protection of the retaining O-ring also serving as a dust and debris seal.
    Build Prices .... some mods and builds (not 4 sale) "Nature can be cruel- but we don't have to be."~ Temple Grandin

  29. #329
    *Flashaholic* easilyled's Avatar
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    Default Re: AquaMule and AquaRam 18650 lights

    Quote Originally Posted by McGizmo View Post
    ..........I am hoping that some different O-rings can take care of the issue without loosing the protection of the retaining O-ring also serving as a dust and debris seal.
    Would it be both o-rings that would need to be swapped out for the higher durometer o-rings or only the retaining o-ring?
    We are all flotsam and jetsam being carried by a relentless tide towards our ultimate fate!

  30. #330
    *Flashaholic* McGizmo's Avatar
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    Default Re: AquaMule and AquaRam 18650 lights

    Quote Originally Posted by easilyled View Post
    Would it be both o-rings that would need to be swapped out for the higher durometer o-rings or only the retaining o-ring?
    I don't know yet. My plan is to first try the higher durometer O-ring for the window seal because it receives the pressure of the window pushing down on it and compresses accordingly. As it compresses and the window seats down further into the head this relieves the pressure between the retaining O-ring and window.
    Build Prices .... some mods and builds (not 4 sale) "Nature can be cruel- but we don't have to be."~ Temple Grandin

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