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Thread: Random flashaholic musings....

  1. #1
    Flashaholic*
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    Default Random flashaholic musings....

    Why is it that even though i have more powerful flashlights (Mag 6D, Inova X0, a couple 1 million candlepower SLA spots), and cooler lights (UV Minimag, and a green laser pointer), and some good basic "toss around" lights (a couple Nite Ize upgraded minimags), why is it that i use my "Spotlight White" Inova X5 more than any of them?, it's not as cool as the UVMag, or the greenie laser, it's not as powerful as the 6D Mag or X0, but it's the first one i reach for, i guess i like the simple indestructability of it....

    the 6D Mag is too big and unweildly for EDU, and it's not often i need it's throw, i don't want the X0 to burn thru the (relatively) expensive 123's, and it's too bright for close up work (checking circuit boards for burned components and such), the X5 just seems to be, well, perfect, a nice usable flood, long battery life, and built like a tank....

    ....i took apart my first Minimag today (specifically, i removed the "do not remove" bulb housing so i could "convince" one of the Mac clock batteries (1/2AA 3.6V lithiums) to come out of the case, the build tolerance of these batteries is relatively poor, some slip into the minimag with no resistance, others tend to bind when they slide into place, so i had to pop off the bulb socket to jam a pen down the barrel to convince the battery to come out....

    can't believe how cheesy and primitive the bulb socket is, 2 pieces of plastic with 2 metal tabs, one on the bottom as a battery contact, one at the top that contacts the metal barrel of the light, completing the circuit and lighting the bulb, i never realized that the tailspring in the endcap actually provides the pressure to operate the switch, i just thought it was there to hold the batteries in place tightly, never thought it was the *batteries* that were actually an integral part of the switch....

    judging by the amount of plastic in the MM, there must be about $2 of actual raw material in the light (both aluminum and plastic), sadly, this makes the minimag look even cheesier in my mind

    i've realized that i'm a lightsnob, and i don't like that feeling, simply put, i hate plastic body lights, if i'm going to pick up a light that's going to be more than a novelty light (like the cranklights or squeezylights), it *has* to be a light constructed of *metal*, aluminum, stainless steel, whatever, it's gotta be metal, no rubber or plastic lights for me, thanks, to me, plastic lights = cheap, crappy lights (i know this generally isn't the case, but i can't shake that feeling)

  2. #2
    Flashaholic*
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    Default Re: Random flashaholic musings....

    One thing that most folks loose track of in any hobby is the simplicty of what works. I am just as suceptible to this as anybody else.

    The X5 is a perfect example of a light that just works. It is elegantly simple, built well, looks good, well finished and puts adequate light out in an adequate flood for a long time. It is priced nicely to boot. It really is an ideal house or GP light. I have three.

    Chris
    A Government is most likely to be made up of a group of individuals who are likely not governed themselves.

  3. #3
    Flashaholic* parnass's Avatar
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    Default Re: Random flashaholic musings....

    Don't lump all plastics into the same category. Some plastics feel and look chintzy while others are pretty robust and forgiving.

    I like the feel of the metal flashlights, but am reluctant to buy any more large, heavy metal lights. Whenever one of my metal lights (e.g., a D cell Maglite) hits or brushes up against something by accident, it usually leaves a scar on the object. The 3D and 4D Maglites were always knocking against things when I carried them on duty.

    That's one of the reasons I like the Streamlight Propolymer 4AA Luxeon. It is built in a rugged plastic housing and I'm not as concerned about marring the side of my truck, a table, counter top, or kitchen cabinet if they come into contact.

  4. #4
    Flashaholic*
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    Default Re: Random flashaholic musings....

    I own a lot of fancy wancy lights.

    When I have a task, I reach for an old Streamlight 3AA Luxeon Task light. It's big enough to hold on to, long enough to stick through my belt, and as a small plus, long enough to be a weapon if the occasion arises. Run time is about forever, can't remember when I changed the batteries.

    It just works.

  5. #5
    Flashaholic* zespectre's Avatar
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    Default Re: Random flashaholic musings....

    I have a lot of lights as well but for the longest time the Gerber Infinity Ultra was my most used simply because it was always with me. Just recently I picked up Dorcy's new 1xCR123A light at Sears. Looks like it will be my new EDC for now. Simple on/off and bright.

    Still love my Gladius for camping though!
    "Notorious collector of things that glow, shine, or blink"
    CPF # 9435

  6. #6
    Flashaholic*
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    Default Re: Random flashaholic musings....

    Y'know, i think that's just the reason i love the X5, simplicity, it's ironic, i'm an Apple authorized Macintosh repair tech, i spend all day working with high-tech devices, fixing them, yet i have a love for simple, reliable, *mechanical* devices....

    my car is a bare bones '02 Dodge Neon with 5 speed manual transmission and manual crank windows
    my film cameras (still don't completely trust digital photography) are a Nikon F4s (shooting in Aperture-Priority or Manual, Program mode is for the lazy), and a Mamiya RB-67 medium format camera (completely mechanical, no electronics at all, just gears and springs...)
    the most "advanced" flashlights i own are dynamo cranklights

    yet i'm drawn back to the simple, pure design of the X5, a simple, basic flashlight, no fancy regulator electronics, just bulbs and batteries in an industrial strength housing....

    it's funny, generally as products get more sophisticated, they get less reliable, more parts to break, yet LED's are one of those strange cases where the more sophisticated design is actually *more* reliable, i.e. no filament to burn out or break, no vaccum filled (can a vaccum "fill" anything, really? ) brittle glass bulbs to shatter...

    i'd daresay the LED based flashlight is almost the perfect light, from a simplicity and durability standpoint, that is, no fragile bulbs, incredible battery life, the only drawback is the lack of throw (for the basic, simple designs, mind you), nothing outthrows a simple, basic incan, but there's always the possibility of an incan bulb burning out at the least opportune moment......

    if the X5 wasn't so expensive (it's not, really, but for the purposes of *this* musing, it is...), i'd like to perform a real-world "durability test" to see if it's as tough as they say it is, for example;

    run over it with my car
    toss it in the air as high as i can and let it land on the pavement
    put it in my fist, and pound the front bezel on the counter as hard as i can
    throw it against a brick wall
    hit it with a sledgehammer
    submerge it in water while it's lit
    leave it outside in subzero temperatures (20-30F below zero)
    see if it can withstand varying levels of weapons fire (.22LR, .38 Special, .357 Magnum, 12-gauge #8-#000 shotgun shells....)

    i'm pretty sure that given enough effort on my part, i *could* destroy it, after all, *nothing* is truly indestructible, i'd just like to see how it withstands the rigors of "hard use"....

    ....isn't the X5 used by the millitary overseas in Iraq and Afghanistan?, any CPF'ers over in the "Sandbox", how does the X5 hold up to really hard use?

  7. #7
    Flashaholic* cratz2's Avatar
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    Default Re: Random flashaholic musings....

    I have no doubt that the X5 could stand up to most of your would-be torture test but I would have to suggest strongly against shooting it with any firearms... The potential of ricochet, esp with non-exposed lead bullets is just far too high to risk anything like that.

    Also not to sure about how it would hold up against sledgehammer abuse. But it will definately take a fall against concrete and you should be able to run over it with your car with only cosmetic damage.
    "That's what makes SF so badass... we've got the best flashlights."

  8. #8
    Flashaholic*
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    Default Re: Random flashaholic musings....

    Cratz, don't worry, i wasn't serious about *any* of my torture tests, these lights are too nice to abuse...

    i discovered something interesting about the minimags though...

    my original minimags (the beat up black one, and my mother's gold one that became temporary home to my UVMag mod) have a smaller diameter barrel than the new Minimags, the Mac clock batteries i use to power the UVMag just *barely* fit inside the barrel, and needed to be...."coaxed" a little to get them in (hence my dissasembling the head of the Minimag to push them out again)

    the gold Minimag also didn't like my Energizer NIMH rechargables, they did not fit at all, strangely, they *just* fit inside the old black one

    so i returned the gold mini to it's original condition, popped on Mom's Nite Ize kit, and moved the UV LED to my dark blue new Minimag, which swallowed the clock batteries without a complaint, as did the light blue and new black minimags, it's only the original gold and original black minis that didn't like the "unusual" batteries

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