Hey all, some site comments

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Forsythe P. Jones
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Hey all, some site comments

from long time CPF’er, new to BLF. Atmosphere is different here, and interestingly, lots of modder activity has moved from CPF to here (that’s why I came). Some suggestions:

  • Sticky the ask-any-question thread https://budgetlightforum.com/node/58876
  • There is another thread for photos of lights, that should also be stickied
  • I’m sorry to say this but I find the elaborate flashlight reviews here almost worthless, since the follow the manufacturer’s marketing material closely, and as soon as a review says “the manufacturer supplied this light”, you know it’s not going to veer too far from the path. What I especially want to see is teardowns, and there are far too few of those.
  • What I’d like to see instead is a community funded subforum for teardown reviews, where the reviewers are modders elected by the members. Members would donate money to buy lights for the reviewers with no expectation that the reviews are favorable (think of BOLTR videos). Reviewer could get 2 of each light, one to keep / user report, and one for teardown. A teardown review should completely dismantle the light, photograph all internals, note interesting construction issues or identifiable components, etc. Being able to put the dismantled light back together is not expected: that’s what the 2nd one is for.
  • I mentioned the above to another member, who also liked the idea, so I’m posting it here.
Edited by: Forsythe P. Jones on 09/04/2021 - 21:16
Lightbringer
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I think children are sticky.

 

I want to be able to still use any light I buy or am given, so unless something unscrews readily, no teardowns for me.

09 F9 11 02 9D 74 E3 5B D8 41 56 C5 63 56 88 C0

Camaro
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I like the reviews, but understand the inherint bias that is possible.

When I decide if it is a light that I want I base a lot of it on beamshots and comparisons, the numbers and graphs are useful but the beams are where the rubber hits the road.

Modders ripping apart lights for review might be useful to some, but I’m not at the level where nuances in construction of drivers and mcpb’s are going to influence my decision.

Using a subforum for that could enhance the site for some users but then would the reviews be restricted to the viewing of donors? As interesting as the idea is I would be pleasantly surprised if it got traction. Adding a pay portion to a free site usually hurts a site from what I have seen in the past.

Forsythe P. Jones
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I’m not suggesting making the teardown reviews pay to view. They would be like BOLTR or similar youtube stuff. You’d donate if you felt like it, and the reviews would be viewable by everybody. Lightbringer, you’d get two lights, one to use and one to take apart.

I’m also not saying to get rid of the regular reviews if people like them, though I personally wouldn’t miss them for the most part.

I have to admit I’m not a completely representative member of this place, since I came specifically for modder stuff and that’s my interest focus. But, there is quite a bit of it here, I think enough to support some reviews of this sort. I’d personally be happy to donate some small $$ now, and more if my finances improve. Basically some of the money that I would otherwise be spending on lights, since I already have more lights than I can really use and am better off not buying more.

I also have some lights that I’d be willing to donate for teardowns, though most are old, and rarely do I have two of the same light.

Added: one more issue, I notice that if you post a url in a comment, the url often gets “helpfully” rewritten so it doesn’t work. For example, if the url has a digit followed by the letter x, the x gets replaced with a unicode multiplication symbol so it doesn’t work any more. The workaround is to post the link “properly” using the UI button that generates some special markup, but it would be good if plain links worked too.

pennzy
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Tom E does a fair amount of teardowns mostly on lights he buys. He would be a prime candidate for the job.

chops728
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Forsyth P. Jones

Sounds like you need to get busy Reviewing and Tearing Down some lights so we can see how it’s done

Sounds just like my little town of Mandeville, La —People move there from NO and right away want to start changing it to what they think it should be

Forsythe P. Jones
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There are some very nice teardown reviews already, I just wish there were more. Yes I will post some teardowns of lights that I bought myself. But it’s a lot easier if someone else pays for the light. The idea of donating lights or money for reviewers to do that was something I discussed with a few others before posting it here, and they liked the idea. They have been here longer than me.

Unheard
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I’m intrested e.g. in runtime diagrams, how a light is regulated, i.e., things manufacturers wouldn’t tell us. If this is given, I don’t mind if the reviewed light was free.

Of course, if the light is crap, and you’re honest about it, it usually is the end of free lights from that manufacturer. I personally don’t care much, but most of my reviews appear in the german TLF due to the language barrier. Wish there were more reviewers touching weak spots.

Smile, you cannot kill them all.

Bort
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Up to SB but i don’t see why not

  • There is another thread for photos of lights, that should also be stickied

Same, up to SB but i don’t see why not

  • I’m sorry to say this but I find the elaborate flashlight reviews here almost worthless, since the follow the manufacturer’s marketing material closely, and as soon as a review says “the manufacturer supplied this light”, you know it’s not going to veer too far from the path. What I especially want to see is teardowns, and there are far too few of those.

I don’t agree, we have many members with great reputations and i have not been steered wrong by lights i have bought based on reviews. There have been times where an opinion has not been the same as mine but thats the nature of opinions, and differing use cases which will not be solved by getting rid of opinions.

Is it an ideal situation you want completely free of possible bias, if this were mission critical or life or death i would not be going by reviews provided on a website, i would have to buy and teardown myself or buy something certified by government regulations.
Also if reviews are poor they would get called out by other members. Which is rare becasue its not a prevalent problem.
So i don’t want to see what BLF does end because without it we would not get many great reviews.

  • What I’d like to see instead is a community funded subforum for teardown reviews, where the reviewers are modders elected by the members. Members would donate money to buy lights for the reviewers with no expectation that the reviews are favorable (think of BOLTR videos). Reviewer could get 2 of each light, one to keep / user report, and one for teardown. A teardown review should completely dismantle the light, photograph all internals, note interesting construction issues or identifiable components, etc. Being able to put the dismantled light back together is not expected: that’s what the 2nd one is for. I mentioned the above to another member, who also liked the idea, so I’m posting it here.

If people want to do this in addition to the reviews we already get thats great. I see no problem with reviews of products that are paid for by members. But not to replace what we already have.
Formal can be nice but it also stifles innovation which is a BLF forte. But both is fine as well as both have their advantages so if members want to fund reviews done by someone with a great reputation i say go for it. But don’t attack the informal, spontaneous and well working system that has spontaneously developed and is working well.

The Journal of Alternative Facts TM

"It is critical that there is a credible academic source for the growing and important discipline of alternative facts. This field of study will just keep winning, and we knew that all the best people would want to be on board. There is a real risk in the world today that people might be getting their information about science from actual scientists"

 

 

 

Forsythe P. Jones
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Yes you’re right I shouldn’t have made it sound like I wanted to eliminate the existing reviews. I just find I usually don’t get much out of them. It’s not that they steer me wrong per se, but that they don’t say much that the manufacturer pages don’t already say (except for the runtime graphs: I do like those). When the manufacturer supplies a light, I know I’m going to see some excellent photography that took a lot of effort, that often displaces stuff that I would find more informative. But I think manufacturers like nice photography so they incentivize it in whatever way.

Example of where I felt let down by the reviews: I spent a while over the past few days researching ultralight headlamps. The Nitecore NU05 is a tiny (10.4g) marker light with strap lugs on the back, so if you clip the lugs to an optional headband, you have a tiny headlamp. There are several BLF reviews of this setup, all with great photography, and all quoting the 10.4g weight of the marker light. But the headband also weighs something, the Nitecore documentation doesn’t seem to specify that weight anywhere, and none of the reviewers seem to have put the light with the headband on a scale to weigh the combo. That’s one of the first things I do with any light that I get (https://budgetlightforum.com/node/78763) and one of the first things I look for in a review. So I wish the reviews would focus more on details like this.

pennzy
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You can tell the difference between a real review and a review written to keep the manufacturer happy. Most reviewers say it up front but even when not you can tell. I think both types are good for the forum members to have. Not everyone wants all the technical stuff and some do.

Bort
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Forsyth P. Jones wrote:
Yes you’re right I shouldn’t have made it sound like I wanted to eliminate the existing reviews. I just find I usually don’t get much out of them. It’s not that they steer me wrong per se, but that they don’t say much that the manufacturer pages don’t already say (except for the runtime graphs: I do like those). When the manufacturer supplies a light, I know I’m going to see some excellent photography that took a lot of effort, that often displaces stuff that I would find more informative. But I think manufacturers like nice photography so they incentivize it in whatever way.

Example of where I felt let down by the reviews: I spent a while over the past few days researching ultralight headlamps. The Nitecore NU05 is a tiny (10.4g) marker light with strap lugs on the back, so if you clip the lugs to an optional headband, you have a tiny headlamp. There are several BLF reviews of this setup, all with great photography, and all quoting the 10.4g weight of the marker light. But the headband also weighs something, the Nitecore documentation doesn’t seem to specify that weight anywhere, and none of the reviewers seem to have put the light with the headband on a scale to weigh the combo. That’s one of the first things I do with any light that I get (https://budgetlightforum.com/node/78763) and one of the first things I look for in a review.


So becasue reviewers missed one detail a formal system will ensure no detail can ever be missed?
It doesn’t quite work that way.

Also you could post in one of those threads asking if someone can weigh it or start a thread asking the same.

Frankly reviews for a free light are not worth the time, you spend more hours then the lights costs even if paid at minimum wage. Those that do reviews are doing it for enjoyment.

The Journal of Alternative Facts TM

"It is critical that there is a credible academic source for the growing and important discipline of alternative facts. This field of study will just keep winning, and we knew that all the best people would want to be on board. There is a real risk in the world today that people might be getting their information about science from actual scientists"

 

 

 

Forsythe P. Jones
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I would only review a light if it interested me. But the NU05 interests me, not enough to buy one myself just to review it, but I’d review it (and tear it down) if someone wanted to send me one (a broken one is fine for this purpose). Alternatively I’ll happily send $5 to the first person to post internal photos of an NU05. It’s a $15 light and I won’t offer the whole amount, since I could just buy the light myself for that, and it lets others offer to donate. Be aware that the light is glued together, so opening it risks not being able to put it back together properly.

I did post in one of the NU05 threads asking for the total weight, so maybe someone will respond at some point.

No I’m not saying one missing detail ruins all the reviews. It’s just example of the reviews not telling me much that isn’t already on the manufacturer’s website. When I get interested in a light I usually read all the reviews of it I can find, and this is a recurring pattern.

Another thing I’d really like to see (but we tried this on CPF years ago and it didn’t get any traction, so I didn’t suggest it here) is a wiki with pages about different lights, where all forum members could post info and opinions, and that would allow collecting the info about a given light in one place. I’m imagining something more like the old c2.com wiki than wikipedia. I.e. wikipedia tries to be formal and neutral about everything, while c2 allowed wiki pages to contain discussion and opinion.

Pip
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As for the teardown reviews, it would be pretty simple for someone to start a thread and start collecting donations, and if people want to do the teardown they can volunteer. Lights could be shipped directly to them. All we lack is a coordinator which doesn’t sound like that hard of a job.

Forsythe P. Jones
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You are right, maybe I made it too complicated. I was trying to address some points that came up in an earlier discussion.

Bort
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Forsyth P. Jones wrote:
I would only review a light if it interested me. But the NU05 interests me, not enough to buy one myself just to review it, but I’d review it (and tear it down) if someone wanted to send me one (a broken one is fine for this purpose). Alternatively I’ll happily send $5 to the first person to post internal photos of an NU05. It’s a $15 light and I won’t offer the whole amount, since I could just buy the light myself for that, and it lets others offer to donate.

I did post in one of the NU05 threads asking for the total weight, so maybe someone will respond at some point.

No I’m not saying one missing detail ruins all the reviews. It’s just example of the reviews not telling me much that isn’t already on the manufacturer’s website. When I get interested in a light I usually read all the reviews of it I can find, and this is a recurring pattern.

Another thing I’d really like to see (but we tried this on CPF years ago and it didn’t get any traction, so I didn’t suggest it here) is a wiki with pages about different lights, where all forum members could post info and opinions, and that would allow collecting the info about a given light in one place. I’m imagining something more like the old c2.com wiki than wikipedia. I.e. wikipedia tries to be formal and neutral about everything, while c2 allowed wiki pages to contain discussion and opinion.


If an engineer worked for BLF full time tearing down all budget lights, running tests on them and reverse engineering them, dissecting the components and posting all the data that would frankly be really awesome!

Who is going to pay for it?

That said informally if people want to come up with something and front the donations thats a good idea.

The Journal of Alternative Facts TM

"It is critical that there is a credible academic source for the growing and important discipline of alternative facts. This field of study will just keep winning, and we knew that all the best people would want to be on board. There is a real risk in the world today that people might be getting their information about science from actual scientists"

 

 

 

Forsythe P. Jones
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Who pays to get Wikipedia written?

No, tearing down a light wouldn’t be a full time job and it wouldn’t take an engineer. It would be something people do recreationally once in a while, and it requires being able to use a screwdriver to disassemble a light, make some measurements, and take some pictures with a phone camera. Anything the person can add to that from an engineering perspective is great but not required. I’m not an engineer, or at least certainly not a flashlight engineer, but I’d be up for doing some reviews. We all do what we can.

Bort
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Forsyth P. Jones wrote:
Who pays to get Wikipedia written?

No, tearing down a light wouldn’t be a full time job and it wouldn’t take an engineer. It would be something people do recreationally once in a while, and it requires being able to use a screwdriver to disassemble a light, make some measurements, and take some pictures with a phone camera. Anything the person can add to that from an engineering perspective is great but not required. I’m not an engineer, or at least certainly not a flashlight engineer, but I’d be up for doing some reviews. We all do what we can.


I used to do light reviews, wasn’t worth the time anymore.
Now i just do impressions since i “test” a light for my personal uses.

The Journal of Alternative Facts TM

"It is critical that there is a credible academic source for the growing and important discipline of alternative facts. This field of study will just keep winning, and we knew that all the best people would want to be on board. There is a real risk in the world today that people might be getting their information about science from actual scientists"

 

 

 

Unheard
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Forsyth P. Jones wrote:
No, tearing down a light wouldn’t be a full time job and it wouldn’t take an engineer. It would be something people do recreationally once in a while, and it requires being able to use a screwdriver to disassemble a light, make some measurements, and take some pictures with a phone camera.

A good review takes one or more full working days, even without screwdriver. Just saying.

I’m curious: What do you expect from a documentation about a teardown? While it’s interesting on its own, and may give insights about how the light could work, it tells you nothing about how the light is doing in reality.

Smile, you cannot kill them all.

Unheard
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Bort wrote:
Now i just do impressions since i “test” a light for my personal uses.

That’s what counts Thumbs Up .

Smile, you cannot kill them all.

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Hello Forsyth P. Jones and Welcome to BLF Big Smile
I missed your intro. Good to see some CPF members here contributing ideas. Thumbs Up
You guys are welcome here and I hope you enjoy the free atmosphere.
.
BLF is like a big long river thru many countries with many types of fish all swimming around in different directions, some in schools, most individually. So many different interests in the wide variety of lights available. Somewhat organized and disorganized simultaneously enjoying their freedom to move freely and drawn to this river in the Love of lights.
.
You might be able to gather enough interest by posting a thread asking for those interested to commit to a “ community funded subforum for tear-down reviews “ and see if enough fish will be attracted. Run the post for a few weeks because members are not always here and will miss seeing it. Good Luck and best wishes for success. Smile
.

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Teardown, YES! 

Good suggestions, DIY is the sole purpose i`m here. Graphs, runtimes like Unheard said also.

I like your Idea.

WTB Titanium 4sevens 2xAA tube

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When you're up to your ass in alligators; it's hard to remember your original intention was to drain the swamp.

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CNCman wrote:

BLF is like a big long river thru many countries with many types of fish all swimming around in different directions, some in schools, most individually. So many different interests in the wide variety of lights available. Somewhat organized and disorganized simultaneously enjoying their freedom to move freely and drawn to this river in the Love of lights.
.

This is a very nice analogy. I like it!
wle
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i would not do that, destroy a review light.

my review will be about what i can tell without doing that, which i think is enough.

most people cannot tell what is good or bad inside a light anyway.

even if you showed them and explained.

"You never have the wind with you - it's either against you, or you're having a good day."
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It never gets easy, you just go faster.   
-Greg Lemond.
       ,ø¤º°`°º¤ø¸,ø¤º°`°º¤ø¸,ø¤º°`°º¤ø¸

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Ledhead wrote:
CNCman wrote:

BLF is like a big long river thru many countries with many types of fish all swimming around in different directions, some in schools, most individually. So many different interests in the wide variety of lights available. Somewhat organized and disorganized simultaneously enjoying their freedom to move freely and drawn to this river in the Love of lights.
.

This is a very nice analogy. I like it!

That’s what i was thinking too, very poetic of CNCman, didn’t know he was so talented…And good to hear from ya CNC, hope you didn’t have bad damage from the storm.

Now i used to think that i was cool,
drivin' around on fossil fuel,
until i saw what i was doin',
was drivin' down the road to ruin. --JT

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Unheard wrote:
Bort wrote:
Now i just do impressions since i “test” a light for my personal uses.

That’s what counts Thumbs Up .

I find the system we have is great, i am impressed so many people are willing to put their time and energy into testing and measuring budget lights.

If someone wants to put together and find funding for a parallel review system than thats great too. But i find what we already have more than adequate, though i would love to see reviews from engineers who can tear lights down to the components on the PCB and can analyze drivers and run tests to see if they would pass CE, UL and other certifications.

But this would be major bucks.

BTW automakers and their suppliers do such things, i once worked for one for a short time.

The Journal of Alternative Facts TM

"It is critical that there is a credible academic source for the growing and important discipline of alternative facts. This field of study will just keep winning, and we knew that all the best people would want to be on board. There is a real risk in the world today that people might be getting their information about science from actual scientists"

 

 

 

pennzy
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wle wrote:
i would not do that, destroy a review light.

my review will be about what i can tell without doing that, which i think is enough.

most people cannot tell what is good or bad inside a light anyway.

even if you showed them and explained.


Some of TomE’s teardowns found some interesting things. Lack of thermal grease or poor quality grease. Shelfs that were not thick or flat. These can give us an idea of the QC or lack there of. Also can help the non modder get started showing how to get into their lights. He also searched for the sources of parasitic drain, things like that. Fluff reviews can be nice also just for UI descriptions and stepdown reports. Things of that nature.
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long time lurker, IMO a “dark mode” would be a great addition to the website.

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RWL34 wrote:
long time lurker, IMO a “dark mode” would be a great addition to the website.

This should be first priority imo.

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Geuzzz wrote:
RWL34 wrote:
long time lurker, IMO a “dark mode” would be a great addition to the website.

This should be first priority imo.


https://budgetlightforum.com/node/44835

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