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Thread: Zebra headlamp H600F weird issue

  1. #1

    Default Zebra headlamp H600F weird issue

    Weird issue for my knowledge level letís just say. I own 3 of these and though Iím a Fenix man, I fooled around and had an adulterous affair with the headlamps! To me they are the best headlamp ever, except for the utterly absurd crazy ass system of adjusting the different modes and sub levels which is ridiculous if you ask me! I also only use Fenix 18650 2600, some 3400. No particular reason I just like consistency in my products. I always use highest setting, I like it bright, unless Iím working for an hour or so and then I use medium so the batteries last.

    This happens with all of the headlamps and any one of my 30+ batteries. The problem started a couple weeks ago when it got cold. Not cold cold but like 30 to 45 area. But it will only go on the highest setting for a few seconds and then automatically step down to medium. Thatís normally what happens after about 15 minutes or so maybe longer I donít really calculate the time to be honest.

    Iíll take a freshly charged battery and stick it in and it stays in high for only few seconds or so and then goes to medium as if Iíve been burning it for 15 minutes like I normally do. Because itís happening with any and all of the batteries and all three lamps my only conclusion was itís the cold weather but I thought these performed excellent in cold and Iíve had them for a couple years and never recall this happening before except the only differences I have been keeping the batteries in the truck outside and not room temperature.

    Is this normal?
    Last edited by cheaperrooter; 05-12-2019 at 05:59 PM.

  2. #2

    Default Re: Zebra headlamp H600F weird issue

    Charger issue would be my guess. Check operation of charger, and check voltage of freshly charged cells. Cold has no effect on my three ZL headlamps with any combo of batteries.

  3. #3

    Default Re: Zebra headlamp H600F weird issue

    Quote Originally Posted by JimIslander View Post
    Charger issue would be my guess. Check operation of charger, and check voltage of freshly charged cells. Cold has no effect on my three ZL headlamps with any combo of batteries.
    I use the Fenix AREC2 and it shows perfect 4.2 across the board I donít think itís a charger issue because the batteries work fine in other lights. As I said itís got me stumped and itís very bizarre! Also if I charge the batteries at room temperature and put it in the flashlight at room temperature they work normal the only thing that makes this happen is cold weather but yet cold weather shouldnít affect it!!!! Itís driving me batty it is
    Last edited by cheaperrooter; 01-31-2019 at 08:10 PM.

  4. #4

    Default Re: Zebra headlamp H600F weird issue

    1. Measure voltage with a multimeter
    2. Try another charger
    3. Try a different battery brand

    That's where I would start. If it happens on three different Zebralights all of the sudden, ONE thing is common here. The charger. Cold doesn't do this to Zebralights, especially when "the cold" is 30-45 degrees. What happens when you run these in your house?

  5. #5
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    Default Re: Zebra headlamp H600F weird issue

    Moved to "headlamps".
    The TK20. Yes it still rocks.

  6. #6

    Default Re: Zebra headlamp H600F weird issue

    No issues in home but now, please take that with a grain of salt because I havenít exactly done a study or anything like that I just remember thinking the first couple times it happened that I could have swore I charged those batteries but I guess they were dead dummy.

    And then started going out of my way to make SURE they were charged and fresh and it still did it tonight. So Iím at the stage of making the connection of realization that fully charged batteries will still make it step down and the connection that they were charged for sure and doing the same thing so thought I would post here first in case that was normal before I took it to the next step. Now that Iíve been reassured that itís absolutely not normal I will spend the next couple days doing some test so I know for sure but I can promise you itís not the charger because I use those batteries for many other things and they charge fine.

    But I cannot say with 100% certainty that it was all different headlamps at all different times blah blah but tonight I will fully charge all the batteries and put them in before I go outside and see what happens.

  7. #7
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    Default Re: Zebra headlamp H600F weird issue

    "I also only use Fenix 18650 2600" I wonder if the draw in the colder temp isn't too much for the 2600 mAh protected battery. One down side to consistency is you might get the same problem consistently with all the same batteries. Maybe try a keeppower 3500 high drain. Or if Fenix has a version wrapped for them.

    https://www.illumn.com/batteries-cha...utton-top.html
    The TK20. Yes it still rocks.

  8. #8
    Flashaholic* Slumber Pass's Avatar
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    Default Re: Zebra headlamp H600F weird issue

    How old are the batteries? Try using the newest ones you have.

  9. #9

    Default Re: Zebra headlamp H600F weird issue

    Donít really keep track of those kind of things but theyíre all at least a couple years old and I just bought 12 new ones that arenít even a week old and I have not tried those yet. And yes I have a tendency to believe itís the batteries being cold but why speculate Iíll find out for sure by tomorrow night! Thanks everybody for your help

  10. #10
    ven's Avatar
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    Default Re: Zebra headlamp H600F weird issue

    I would say its the older 2600mah batteries, on H1 its asking too much and the cold is the icing on the cake. As mentioned, try GA cells or sony vtc6/samsung 30Q. These will hold the higher levels much better anyway, certainly as the voltage drops. Much less V sag under load.

    If memory serves me right(probably not!) the 2600mah are sanyo, must be getting on now(old). Higher IR will not be helping these aged cells as well.

  11. #11

    Default Re: Zebra headlamp H600F weird issue

    Geez, Iím sick of holding everyoneís hands (pulls up britches and spits on ground) at some point you all are going to have to learn this stuff on your own, I canít carry you forever...

    Actually I have learned quite a bit being a member of this forum and 10 years ago I would have never dreamed of joining such a site and would have considered everybody here nerds, dorks and 4 eyes that have no life and worries way too much about flashlight batteries.

    And yet here I am many years later slumming with everyone having the time of my life and being educated along the way! My point is I would have assumed and always thought that more MAH was a good thing, was impossible for a more powerful battery to be a worse choice. But alas, it was here and you guys told me that for people like me that like to use high and turbo all the time that the higher MAH batteries can actually not last as long and the 2600 will out perform.

    It was based on that new learned knowledge that I have stuck with 2600. Now please donít ever ask me to explain why that is and donít EVER try to explain to me why as well because thatís my cut off point of learning. I am very happy and satisfied simply having that knowledge, itís not necessary for me to know why something does what it does, only that it just does what it does.

    Please let me remain the big shot who pulls up his britches and scarfs at others who think more MAH means more run time! I swear, the nerve of some people...

  12. #12
    ven's Avatar
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    Default Re: Zebra headlamp H600F weird issue

    Thankfully 18650ís have moved on a good bit. Yes back then 2600mah might not sag as much as a 3400mah cell, but the higher the mah, the more energy of course(like for like amp rating).

    Today we can get the Sanyo 10a 3500mah cell, kind of a best of both worlds. The Sony vtc6 are 3000mah, but will not sag as much as the GA under higher loads.

    I would grab a couple of GA cells or vtc6 cells(heck one of each and maybe even compare with your use). But both cells should (will) give you a noticeable performance difference . Not knowing where you are, if sourcing is an issue, Vape shops is an option to buy high drain 18650ís over the counter. Just a thought.

    If you use you ZL lamp a lot and had the cells for years, they will be tired now and nowhere near their best. Time for new!

  13. #13

    Default Re: Zebra headlamp H600F weird issue

    Quote Originally Posted by ven View Post
    Thankfully 18650ís have moved on a good bit. Yes back then 2600mah might not sag as much as a 3400mah cell, but the higher the mah, the more energy of course(like for like amp rating).

    Today we can get the Sanyo 10a 3500mah cell, kind of a best of both worlds. The Sony vtc6 are 3000mah, but will not sag as much as the GA under higher loads.

    I would grab a couple of GA cells or vtc6 cells(heck one of each and maybe even compare with your use). But both cells should (will) give you a noticeable performance difference . Not knowing where you are, if sourcing is an issue, Vape shops is an option to buy high drain 18650ís over the counter. Just a thought.

    If you use you ZL lamp a lot and had the cells for years, they will be tired now and nowhere near their best. Time for new!
    Well a secondary problem I found out after purchasing a couple of them was fitment. Again I would have assumed silly me that a 1865O is a 18650 and the world has advanced to be standardized. Hell, what good is a more powerful battery if itís simply bigger? Iím aware I can tote a 12 V car battery around if I want to. The beauty of it is its the exact same size.

    Not so mr. smarty-pants and I had several issues and certain flashlights the batteries would not fit in fact I think this zebra is one of many examples that I would rip the outer wrapping up and as it is now I have a half dozen missing labels that I donít even know if they are a 3400 or 2600!

    Stuff like TK75 of course is a piece a cake. But it these tight tolerances like zebra that donít allow you much free play and I donít like to gamble when it comes to spending $25 for a battery. Just like a AA I need to know ahead of time that it will fit and I think in my own opinion that is a major flaw to make them a little bigger leaving uncertainty in the buyers mind as to whether or not he wants to gamble. Kind of defeats the entire purpose I think

  14. #14
    ven's Avatar
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    Default Re: Zebra headlamp H600F weird issue

    Yes there are quite a variable when it comes to these 18650 cells, protected and button tops can add 5mm in length. Some of the newer zebra's will only take flat top cells, ideally 8a minimum. So flat top higher drain cells, GA is one of them, along with vtc6. Both those do fit the zebras , which have been designed to be as compact as possible. Some are not happy, as it does take away flexibility. But with their clever drivers, low voltage protection, there is no real need for protected cells(can be an issue , shorts if have strip down side can be shorted if damaged).

    IMR batteries, ilumn(have samsung 30Q for less than $5) are places to shop if USA side.

  15. #15

    Default Re: Zebra headlamp H600F weird issue

    Unfortunately the temperatures started to rise and itís not cold enough to cause any issues. Think I could put everything in the refrigerator and duplicate the conditions? Very anxious to be able to figure out the issue as being a prepper I donít want to get caught with my pants down in cold weather!!!

  16. #16
    ven's Avatar
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    Default Re: Zebra headlamp H600F weird issue

    You could try out in a freezer, you wonít be the first to do that. Donít know which cells would cope better in freezing temps. Not sure what your freezer will be, but they can be -15 to -20oC ish.

  17. #17

    Default Re: Zebra headlamp H600F weird issue

    Update to this: Cuz I have so many 18650ís, over 40, and 3 of the identical zebraís I donít pay attention to what combination iím using, itís mix and match and starting to figure out the problem has nothing to do with cold.

    Keep in mind the theme here is sometimes, not always. But for some reason certain batteries (30-2200 / 12-3400) all Fenix, with possibly a certain Zebra, or all, even after being freshly charged will make the zebra do one of two things.

    Either it will not last long in turbo mode, jumping down after a minute or so and running in medium for a normal amount of time OR it will come on for a quick flash and go completely dead. When goes dead, if I remove and re-insert battery it either repeats, quick flash and goes dead like itís shorting out OR it will be normal and run fine as if that never happened.

    During the times that it goes to turbo and only stays for a short time before shifting down removing and reinstalling the battery can also sometimes correct that issue and sometimes not! Sometimes clicking it back to turbo will keep it there and work fine. Sometimes it will not!!! Whatever the combination it just dries me insane when Iím out there working and I have a pocket full of fresh batteries and I pop in a couple of fresh ones and it does it.

    The thing is whenever it does do it, Iíll pull the batteries out and put them in my other Fenix lights and they work perfectly so itís only an issue with the batteries combined with the zebra.

    I want to say but Iím not sure that itís happening with the 3400s and not the 2600. Any ideas??

  18. #18

    Default Re: Zebra headlamp H600F weird issue

    Have you guys tried to thoroughly clean the contacts? Worked for me on one zebra ...

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