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Thread: Zebralight quality has been a big disappointment

  1. #31

    Default Re: Zebralight quality has been a big disappointment

    we are steering away from the topic, why did every single cell in every ZL light OP has leaked, and why has no cells leaked in other lights. yes alks do leak, but in this case it looks like something else going on, not so much cells related

  2. #32

    Default Re: Zebralight quality has been a big disappointment

    I was not really speaking to your post specifically which is why I did not quote it but was just responding in more general ways to the replies I get every single time I profess my unwavering use of Alkaline Batteries.

    I obviously also use and recharge batteries of all kinds but there are times that this is just not practical for me and my work.

    I think telling new people to not use Alkalines as the new light will be killed by them is too simplistic for me to get behind especially since I have learned a way to use them without the White Death that works well for me.

    Knowledge about the possibilities of this can only be a good thing too.

    Anyway I agree that it does not sound normal to me that the O.P. should have this bad experience with Duracell Batteries only in every ZL that he owns and it seems like there is another reason somewhere to look for?

    I think that trying the Lithium Primaries for a little while to see if they have any issues at all seems like a reasonable first step as well and this is probably what I would try first.

    Quote Originally Posted by Lynx_Arc View Post
    I don't say never use them, I just strongly warn people of the hazards of using alkaleaks
    When I can't afford or can't use lithium primaries as backup to rechargeables I have a limited supply of alkalines also.
    I just don't recommend them at "first choice" to use in anything now.
    I've upgraded/replaced most of my lights/devices with ones that I can use rechargeables in to avoid the damage
    alkalines can do to them. I've never "green shamed" anyone about battery use, I'd rather appeal to your pocketbook and try to convince you that when a device supports recharging you may find yourself using it more often and find yourself going years without buying batteries once you have enough chargers and rechargeables. A light that takes 2 batteries you end up bying 8 to 10 of them or more to use it on alkalines while 4 nimh will suffice if you don't drain the batteries constantly and the advantage of rechargeables is that you can top them off anytime and be assured of 100% runtime while alkalines you have to either use one with unknown runtime or put a new battery in it.

    I never mastered it myself.... best I could do is a Mutley imitation of swearing. I think the most frustrating about alkaline leaks is when you have brand new batteries still in the package found spewing their guts when you do need them that are still within expiration range.

  3. #33

    Default Re: Zebralight quality has been a big disappointment

    Quote Originally Posted by archimedes View Post
    I am glad your system works well for you, but I have had a lot of battery leaks, and it is inconvenient and expensive for me to have to clean / repair / replace items I've had damaged by leaking alkalines
    If I were to pay myself minimum wage for the time spent cleaming up after alkaleaks and got back all the capacity of the batteries that leaks ruined and the money needed to replace devices destroyed by leaks I could probably buy ALL my rechargeables, my lithium primaries, and chargers and even a light or two with that money. I've had dozens of leaks and spent a total of days cleaning up after them all plus losing dozens of batteries that are either barely used or never used at all.
    Alkalines only save me money when I cannot afford better, in the long run they end up too expensive to use.
    Last edited by Lynx_Arc; 09-11-2019 at 03:59 PM.
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  4. #34

    Default Re: Zebralight quality has been a big disappointment

    would be a start if OP or anyone who owns aa ZL, measured cell current on high.

    an xml2 takes about 700ma to make 300lm, that is what ZL claims for max output for AA headlamp, so the driver needs to put out 2,9-3v at 700ma, that would be about 2+ amps from AA cell, that is quite a lot for a AA cell.

  5. #35
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    Default Re: Zebralight quality has been a big disappointment

    Quote Originally Posted by AVService View Post
    .... I have learned a way to use them without the White Death that works well for me ....
    You have already mentioned that you don't let alkaline cells "sit" in a flashlight ( batteries removed after use? )

    Do your lights tend to be run on lower outputs mostly, or on high / max frequently, or a mix of low and high ?
    ... is the archimedes peak

  6. #36

    Default Re: Zebralight quality has been a big disappointment

    Quote Originally Posted by archimedes View Post
    You have already mentioned that you don't let alkaline cells "sit" in a flashlight ( batteries removed after use? )

    Do your lights tend to be run on lower outputs mostly, or on high / max frequently, or a mix of low and high ?
    When working usually on high for the duration of the work.

    And yes I am vigilant about not letting leakers stay inside a light when not in use.

    On the other hand I also know that if relying on my having charged up batteries ready to work it would be pretty dark too often!


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  7. #37
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    Default Re: Zebralight quality has been a big disappointment

    Quote Originally Posted by alpg88 View Post
    we are steering away from the topic, why did every single cell in every ZL light OP has leaked, and why has no cells leaked in other lights. yes alks do leak, but in this case it looks like something else going on, not so much cells related
    There are too many possible variables to accurately give an answer to this over the internet. Could be the brand of cell, the individual batch, maybe they were out of date or subjected to extreme heat without OP's knowledge...... Perhaps the parasitic drain of the e-switch encouraged the leaking, but in general, it's just safest to assume it's because Alkalines leak in *everything* indiscriminately, there's not much to be gained by speculation.

    I've had D-cells from the same actual box, loaded in two Defiant-brand "maglites"- one of the lights had the cells leak everywhere, the other still worked a good 7 years after I put the cells. It's more or less just rolling dice.

  8. #38
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    Default Re: Zebralight quality has been a big disappointment

    Quote Originally Posted by dotCPF View Post
    There are too many possible variables to accurately give an answer to this over the internet. Could be the brand of cell, the individual batch, maybe they were out of date or subjected to extreme heat without OP's knowledge...... Perhaps the parasitic drain of the e-switch encouraged the leaking, but in general, it's just safest to assume it's because Alkalines leak in *everything* indiscriminately, there's not much to be gained by speculation.

    I've had D-cells from the same actual box, loaded in two Defiant-brand "maglites"- one of the lights had the cells leak everywhere, the other still worked a good 7 years after I put the cells. It's more or less just rolling dice.
    We can conclude following: alkalines are not reliable in this respect. Some will leak before expiry date, and even when still in the package(I have personal experience of that). Other will not leak even after use and beyond expiry date.
    The only sure thing is: they will leak sooner or later. When, or if, you use alkalines check the cells regularly.

  9. #39

    Default Re: Zebralight quality has been a big disappointment

    yes we know they leak, in my experience about 1-2%, but it still is not an explanation why every cell, in every AA ZL op has had cells leaks, and none other AA lights that used same cells had them leak. since he has several lights, and seems like this phenomenon happened over period of time it is pretty safe to assume OP did not use same batch cells for all his ZL lights. it is also interesting that no other AA ZL owners reported same experience. it seems to be unique to the op. i wonder what temp he stores them at, and what elevation he lives at.

  10. #40
    Flashaholic* Dan FO's Avatar
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    Default Re: Zebralight quality has been a big disappointment

    Alkaline batteries should only be used in cheap kids toys that you don't want to last.

  11. #41

    Default Re: Zebralight quality has been a big disappointment

    Quote Originally Posted by alpg88 View Post
    yes we know they leak, in my experience about 1-2%, but it still is not an explanation why every cell, in every AA ZL op has had cells leaks, and none other AA lights that used same cells had them leak. since he has several lights, and seems like this phenomenon happened over period of time it is pretty safe to assume OP did not use same batch cells for all his ZL lights. it is also interesting that no other AA ZL owners reported same experience. it seems to be unique to the op. i wonder what temp he stores them at, and what elevation he lives at.
    Your odds are a lot lower than what I've experienced. I've has probably 15-30% leak on me typically I rarely am able to use up a cell without it leaking before it is depleted. I'm not totally surprised he has had cells leak on the light as I've heard that the ZL AA lights push AA batteries to the limit with the most output there is which means it has the highest current draw imaginable which would heat up and stress an alkaline battery big time. It may be his light has exceptionally high output above the norm and pulls even more current than normal for these lights.
    Last edited by Lynx_Arc; 09-12-2019 at 05:05 PM.
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  12. #42

    Default Re: Zebralight quality has been a big disappointment

    Quote Originally Posted by Lynx_Arc View Post
    Your odds are a lot lower than what I've experienced. I've has probably 15-30% leak on me typically I rarely am able to use up a cell without it leaking before it is depleted. I'm not totally surprised he has had cells leak on the light as I've heard that the ZL AA lights push AA batteries to the limit with the most output there is which means it has the highest current draw imaginable which would heat up and stress an alkaline battery big time. It may be his light has exceptionally high output above the norm and pulls even more current than normal for these lights.
    Maybe but I usually run mine down pretty well on High all the time and so far as long as I remove them at that point I am OK.

    I sure used mine down in OKC 2 Mondays ago when you sent that storm down there to terrorize me in the dark!
    It was good for 2 trips down 6 flights of Hotel Stairs and back for a few hours waiting for the end to come.
    I thought I had been in some bad blows before but holy cow the OK. weather is just CRAZY!

    I of course had more lights than I needed for the storm but is was sure not as much fun as I thought it might be either? Who builds a brand new Hotel down there with no Basement?!

  13. #43

    Default Re: Zebralight quality has been a big disappointment

    Quote Originally Posted by AVService View Post
    Maybe but I usually run mine down pretty well on High all the time and so far as long as I remove them at that point I am OK.

    I sure used mine down in OKC 2 Mondays ago when you sent that storm down there to terrorize me in the dark!
    It was good for 2 trips down 6 flights of Hotel Stairs and back for a few hours waiting for the end to come.
    I thought I had been in some bad blows before but holy cow the OK. weather is just CRAZY!

    I of course had more lights than I needed for the storm but is was sure not as much fun as I thought it might be either? Who builds a brand new Hotel down there with no Basement?!
    I didn't send any storms down the turnpike to OKC from here This is Oklahoma and we get a wide variety of weather everything except hurricanes and we have them in Tulsa too (T.U.).
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  14. #44
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    Default Re: Zebralight quality has been a big disappointment

    I too have had major brand alkalines leak before use, and they were not old at all.
    No one in this thread is discussing carbon-zinc batteries?

  15. #45

    Default Re: Zebralight quality has been a big disappointment

    do not think anyone here uses those, when i buy something and it comes with carbon zink cells , first thing i do is throw them away.

  16. #46

    Default Re: Zebralight quality has been a big disappointment

    heavy duty batteries are really only useful for throwaway and low drain devices as they can't hold up under load as good as alkalines and have about 1/2 the capacity under light loads and 1/4 to 1/3 under heavier loads. In other words for regular use heavy duty isn't going to save you money and also if they leak it is WORSE than alkaline leaks.
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  17. #47
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    Default Re: Zebralight quality has been a big disappointment

    ...
    Quote Originally Posted by alpg88 View Post
    do not think anyone here uses those, when i buy something and it comes with carbon zink cells , first thing i do is throw them away.

    HaHaH, now that's funny... (smart)
    op, are you still here?
    Quote Originally Posted by bkpdle View Post
    so for long-term use, only use Lithium? Am I understanding the situation correctly?
    ... my 2 'cent says op used that l-ion cell incorrectly too

  18. #48

    Default Re: Zebralight quality has been a big disappointment

    I use carbon zinc in vintage lights. I mean pre-alkaline vintage, not 2003 vintage. And low drain lights such as the store bought 25 lumen numbers designed to run 25 hours on a double a. No problem. Store them battery still inside in my car? Nada.

    Would I use one in a ZL? No way. That's asking for trouble like driving over broken bottles and wondering why the tire went flat.
    John 3:16

  19. #49
    Flashaholic* Lou Minescence's Avatar
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    Default Re: Zebralight quality has been a big disappointment

    So in the original post bkpdle states that only his Zebralight lights experience leaking AA Duracell batteries and his Malkoff lights do not with the same batteries presumably from the same bundle. What type of on off switch does the Malkoff have ? Is a mechanical disconnect from the batteries or is it an electronic disconnect with a parasitic drain like the Zebralight would have ?

    Even though the Zebralight has a small parasitic drain it might make a difference
    Either way alkaline batteries are a gamble to use and not a preferred choice.
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  20. #50
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    Default Re: Zebralight quality has been a big disappointment

    Most (modern) Malkoff use McClicky (mech) switches
    ... is the archimedes peak

  21. #51

    Default Re: Zebralight quality has been a big disappointment

    Quote Originally Posted by AVService View Post
    Pretty much exactly what I am saying except that I consider the use of Alkalines a feature and not something to fear. I am aware of the way they work and they work better for me than most others and I get tired of most here suggesting otherwise. I do not let them sit in a light unused either. As with most things tech. YMMV And the O. P. told us that he uses Duracell. Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
    Alkaleaks can leak at any time regardless of how careful you may be. After all, you have no idea how long it was stored in a warehouse with no climate control before it reached the store then your light.

  22. #52
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    Default Re: Zebralight quality has been a big disappointment

    For the past many years there have been complains on this forum about ZL. I had almost ten of their lights never had any issues. They are top notch.
    I do not believe at all what is being typed. Not only that but the stories and twist and turns. The most fantasy broken flashlight and most bizarre happening. No way is true.

  23. #53
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    Default Re: Zebralight quality has been a big disappointment

    Quote Originally Posted by marinemaster View Post
    For the past many years there have been complains on this forum about ZL. I had almost ten of their lights never had any issues. They are top notch.
    I do not believe at all what is being typed. Not only that but the stories and twist and turns. The most fantasy broken flashlight and most bizarre happening. No way is true.
    The same here. I have totally 11 Zebralights: 6 flashlights and 5 headlamps. No issue with any of them so far.

  24. #54
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    Default Re: Zebralight quality has been a big disappointment

    All three of my ZL's going back to the first gen SC600 have been performing perfectly, including the AA SC52cw. In the latter, I run 14500's and Eneloops and keep the Duracells to be used on the road if necessary. The SC52 is a great light as is also the SC62 where I run unprotected 18650's. I rotate between the 52 and 62 for EDC. The 600 is reserved for the house where I run protected 18650's. Though I have other lights, the ZL's are by a very wide margin, my favorites based on their reliability and performance.

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