Sunday Confessional...

19 posts / 0 new
Last post
Match
Match's picture
Offline
Last seen: 5 years 7 months ago
Joined: 11/14/2010 - 11:57
Posts: 1488
Location: South Carolina, USA
Sunday Confessional...

A thread on what not-so-smart things you've done (flashlight related).

 

I'll start:  Many of you know I've been using my zebralight SC60 as an EDC.  Lots of plusses to this torch...18650 but small, bright, best UI ever, pleasant tint, good pocket-clip, etc...  But all is not perfect in zebraworld.  Last week I had it in my pocket and sometime during the day while wrestling around with my young kids it fell off in my bed. I didn't realize it untill about 3 in the morning when I smelled something funny and felt something hot.  Sure enough, either the wife or I must have hit it and accidently turned it on. D'oh!  Nothing cuts through the sleep haze like finding a burning hunk of aluminum in bed. So, I'm fully awake now and trying my darndest to get get the battery out of it, but it was too hot to hold, so I had to use the pillowcase like an oven mitt.  All the while the missus is still blissfully asleep...  I set the cell and torch on the bedstand and tried to salvage the remainder of what sleep I could.

  The next morning I did an initial damage assessment.  Other than much deserved spousal mockery, the only casualty was the cell.  The torch was fine, with no ill effects from the nights festivities, but the "Protected" Trustfire 18650 was completely pooched!  Voltage was @ 0.3v and no chance of revival.  So much for the protection...  Also, thinking that the protection circuit may just have not reset I removed it and read the cell itself....no dice, still dead.  

  So I learned a few things:

- Never trust protected cells. ( the circuit I removed was the exact same type used on AW's cells, so I don't want to hear about that...)

- The SC60 only has low voltage warning (i.e. blinks) when voltage gets too low, but doesn't cut off.  Only a bad thing if you're asleep...

- The best thermal design in a torch is completely negated by a down comforter.

- The accidental activation flaw of zebralights has completely pissed me off.

- My wifes laughter is still ringing in my ears...

  With that in mind, I still like zebralights overall, but for an edc it's a no-go for me.  Yes, I know about the tailcap lockout, but then that makes operation a two handed proposition.  A simple addition to the UI of a lockout via 3 quick clicks would negate this problem.

 

So, what not so smart moments have you had lately?  

Don
Don's picture
Offline
Last seen: 1 year 1 month ago
Joined: 01/12/2010 - 16:32
Posts: 6617
Location: Scotland

Testing LEDs with a 7.2V battery pack capable of producing 80A. They never work after that...

 

The numbers from my light tests are always to be found here.

https://spreadsheets.google.com/ccc?key=0ApkFM37n_QnRdDU5MDNzOURjYllmZHI...

okwchin
okwchin's picture
Offline
Last seen: 7 months 4 hours ago
Joined: 01/07/2011 - 04:41
Posts: 1164
Location: Australia

I bought an expensive shiny torch. that was my recent not so smart moment...

Now I have 3 shiny torches...

 

A while ago, I powered my nitecore D10 via my power supply with alligator clips, but I must have slipped and connected some other components on the circuit, and killed something on it... An expensive slip, and with the torch out of production for over a year, its even more annoying... Sad

 

 

BTW.. i have this thing under my name saying "SPAM level  -1"   what does that mean, and why is it there? and how do i check what post was spammed?

"like everyone else - I’m looking for my next “last” flashlight" -  ohnonothimagain

ezeqdb
Offline
Last seen: 7 years 6 months ago
Joined: 10/28/2010 - 23:33
Posts: 273
Location: Rosario, Argentina

I tried to measure the max amperage of a flame Trustfire 18650. Shortcircuiting it with a tester. I burned the protection, so I tried to dismantle it. Never do that at home.

 

I made a shortcircuit between the cable of the protection and the body of the battery, and it started to burn. It wasn't red, but white, so I threw it away to protect my face from the explosion. Fortunatly nothing happened. I took the battery with some tweezers and threw it into a bucket full of water, so it could autodescharge and contain the possible explosion. 

"no le temo a la oscuridad, la oscuridad me teme a mí"

Don
Don's picture
Offline
Last seen: 1 year 1 month ago
Joined: 01/12/2010 - 16:32
Posts: 6617
Location: Scotland

okwchin wrote:

BTW.. i have this thing under my name saying "SPAM level  -1"   what does that mean, and why is it there? and how do i check what post was spammed?

 

Someone made a mistake most likely...

Mr. Admin will be along to fix it in due course. Send him a PM.

 

The numbers from my light tests are always to be found here.

https://spreadsheets.google.com/ccc?key=0ApkFM37n_QnRdDU5MDNzOURjYllmZHI...

Budgeteer
Budgeteer's picture
Offline
Last seen: 8 years 2 months ago
Joined: 08/24/2010 - 02:19
Posts: 3087
Location: Slovenia (EU)

When i was doing the Smiling shark 004 review i needed a short 16340 so i decided to to strip one trustfire of it's pcb. Managed to short it not once but three times figuring out what else needed to be stripped off from. Even burned my thumb when i shorted it the second time and the side connection from postitive terminal to bottom pcb was glowing red by a ton of current through it. Silly

At least now i know how to do it properly if i ever need that again, probably not gonna bother again. CR123A and 16340 is a cell size i do not like at all.

Pretty happy it did not vent in my face.

kragmutt wrote:

They're gonna send you a green redcat with a black LED.

Budgeteer
Budgeteer's picture
Offline
Last seen: 8 years 2 months ago
Joined: 08/24/2010 - 02:19
Posts: 3087
Location: Slovenia (EU)

Don wrote:

Testing LEDs with a 7.2V battery pack capable of producing 80A. They never work after that...

How does it look like? Like a gunpowder flash?

kragmutt wrote:

They're gonna send you a green redcat with a black LED.

Don
Don's picture
Offline
Last seen: 1 year 1 month ago
Joined: 01/12/2010 - 16:32
Posts: 6617
Location: Scotland

Budgeteer wrote:

Don wrote:

Testing LEDs with a 7.2V battery pack capable of producing 80A. They never work after that...

How does it look like? Like a gunpowder flash?

 

Not really, the current melts the bond wires, you just get a brief and dim flash followed by a bad smell.

 

The numbers from my light tests are always to be found here.

https://spreadsheets.google.com/ccc?key=0ApkFM37n_QnRdDU5MDNzOURjYllmZHI...

arenat
Offline
Last seen: 2 years 5 months ago
Joined: 11/22/2010 - 01:00
Posts: 367
Location: Argentina

This morning I hadn't something to share (recent one) now killed one XM-L in an intent to mod the UF G10.

This torch have an XP-G severely overdrived at 2A therefore give only 470L the same output which has an XP-G R4 at 1.75A.

Because I was in a hurry first only swap the emitter which with stock driver at 2.4 A gave 1180 L, not near just for comparison , then I realize that forgot to put the lens , long story short , when reassembled it all the beam was strangely colorful with half the die  dark.

Probably the tight isolator dedomed it...

fishinfool
fishinfool's picture
Offline
Last seen: 2 years 4 months ago
Joined: 03/09/2010 - 00:30
Posts: 4342
Location: Hilo, Hawaii

Don wrote:

okwchin wrote:

BTW.. i have this thing under my name saying "SPAM level  -1"   what does that mean, and why is it there? and how do i check what post was spammed?

Someone made a mistake most likely...

Mr. Admin will be along to fix it in due course. Send him a PM.

A couple other members like FlashPilot and others have the same thing.  I think it's someone who gets his panties in a bunch and starts clicking on 'Mark as spam'. 

 

Don wrote:

"But as I said long ago, you are more likely to be killed by a dead fish dropped by a seagull in the Sahara Desert than by a lithium ion

brjones
Offline
Last seen: 3 years 2 months ago
Joined: 02/03/2011 - 01:58
Posts: 322
Location: USA

So, wait--you can short a battery by removing the protection circuit? I thought the protection only connects to the + side of the battery, so how would wedging a knife in-between the PCB and battery body (which is how I assume you'd do it) cause a short? Maybe there needs to be some kind of safety post on 'how to remove a protection circuit'! For instance, the newer Ultrafire 22600 size batteries--they're longer than a typical 3xAAA adapter, but finding a side-by-side photo of that battery next to an adapter, it occurred to me that they may have made the orignal cell the 'right' size, and the extra could be the protection circuit. For those who buy a 22600 specifically to use in 3 x AAA batteries (what other purpose is there), and they don't fit, anyone would be tempted to remove it, to make it functional. However that's a pretty big battery--I wouldn't want anything to go wrong. Should one attempt to use a plastic 'knife' or something?

- Circumcision, regardless gender, by definition causes sensation loss, and thereby usually causes difficulty later in life. Oppose amputation of children's genitals. ALL children. http://tinyurl.com/haszs6o

brjones
Offline
Last seen: 3 years 2 months ago
Joined: 02/03/2011 - 01:58
Posts: 322
Location: USA

Match, not owning a ZL but having gotten very close, I remember reading posts on CPF that the switch could be overly-easy to accidentally activate. I brought up this very fact like 3 days ago here, in my rant about ZL tints and other stuff. That comment received no feedback, and all my other points were generally rebuffed, logically or not. I still insist that if a manufacturer labels something 'neutral', they should endeavour to get as close to 5200K as possible (which I read is considered 'the' color temp of sunlight, I assume at noon b/c it changes morn to eve), and that neutral is not a moving target... whereas, I think 'warm' has a lot more room to play around with and remain honest. But I digress, as normal. I had never heard an account of any actual accident wit (h the soft-press switch until now, so that also reinforces in a synchronistic manner what I was asserting (perhaps clumsily) in my other post. That makes 2 examples in like 3 days of people posting outside of my thread validating on a personal level the concerns I attempted to detail (their 'neutral' is really more of a warm; using mutually-exclusive monickers to describe the same item creates confusion and negatively impacts satisfaction; and the switch could be accidentally activated in a pocket, or elsewhere). I guess I reluctantly kicked one of the sacred cows... even of BLF, apparently. I guess old habits die hard.

 

Dang; if one believes they're not safe for EDC, there's not much purpose for them--that's where they really, uh shine.

 

Edit--I never did buy a ZL (yet, anyway) but I did get a Trustfire Z1, which I used to think was 'inspired' by the H30, but now I think is more 'inspired' by Fenix's right-angle flashlight (which... I think is inspired by Zebralight!). (The feature which is most-unique to Fenix and the Z1 is the conical screw-in reflector.) So, I always had my concerns about the protruding reverse clicky, for EDC. Sure enough, one day I went to turn on my Z1, and it was completely dead. Apparently it had turned on in my pocket and completely drained, totally unbeknownst to me. The thing is, when I carry it, I always pre-set it to LOW position (it has memory). So, if it were to turn on, you're ripping the band-aid off slowly, instead of fast/at once. I think that notion at least saved me from a credibility-reducing workplace cubicle drama (I'm positive the mishap happened in my pants). I wonder if it's possible to set the ZL's to only first come on at low. My current keychain/EDC light is a 4sevens CR2 (twisty), and that comes on at low, and while that is annoying (I always have to twist it 2 or 3 times to get it up to brightness), I suppose it's a safety feature--even though twisties are much harder to accidentally activate (however, it can be activated just by pushing back on the head). maybe zL should take a memo.

- Circumcision, regardless gender, by definition causes sensation loss, and thereby usually causes difficulty later in life. Oppose amputation of children's genitals. ALL children. http://tinyurl.com/haszs6o

brjones
Offline
Last seen: 3 years 2 months ago
Joined: 02/03/2011 - 01:58
Posts: 322
Location: USA

It really is Sunday Big Smile

Okay, for me:

 

reverse polarity in a P60 host. Read about people doing that, and thought it'd never happen to me. Caught it almost immediately (when I went 'click' and it didn't go 'shine'), was afraid I'd busted the drop-in, but somehow everything was fine. Not sure if it was reverse polarity protection in the drop-in driver, or the 18650 protection circuit.

 

I think I also short-circuited something attempting to kluge 2 NiZn AA batteries in series to a drop-in, essentially by hand (contact but no light--quickly disconnected). Everything ok there too.

 

Bought a 4 x AA battery holder from eBay with a USB connector output, for powering GPS devices, charging music players, etc.. from the first time putting my Eneloops in there, I noticed no power to my device. Then I felt the batteries were getting REALLY hot. I immediately pulled one out before I knew they might become untouchable. Inspected the wires, put batteries back in, same thing. Later saw online feedback of same thing happening to others. The whole run was probably defective, and the sellers knew it. Just glad I didn't put batts in with the intention of coming back later. Was (and apparently am) too lazy to go to Radio Shack and get a 4 x AA battery holder and kluge a USB cable to it.

 

Noticed my Coleman Cree XR-E headlamp (my first decent single-LED flashlight and/or headlamp, actually) was getting dimmer over time (I did get a lot of use out of it). In an experiment to see how much light I could get out of it, I put two 10440's (in series) into the 3 x AAA holder, and used a long stack of DX rare earth magnets to fill in the 3rd battery position. Yeah, well, it was bright. But the batteries (and magnets) got alarmingly hot too, even in low mode (I didn't run it more than a minute). And... after that, the lamp was even less-bright. I later figured out that the permanent dimming was caused by ZERO heat-sinking in the design. So much for the 'tens of thousands of hours of lifetime'. I later learned LED's essentially have a half-life, which has a direct relationship to heat. The Cree star is mounted directly to the PCB. Heat has nowhere to go, so if you use it long enough on 'high' you'd cook it, even though underdriven. Not worth trying to upgrade. It's officially retired.

- Circumcision, regardless gender, by definition causes sensation loss, and thereby usually causes difficulty later in life. Oppose amputation of children's genitals. ALL children. http://tinyurl.com/haszs6o

mitro
Offline
Last seen: 2 years 2 months ago
Joined: 01/25/2011 - 11:58
Posts: 707
Location: Montgomery, IL USA

Match, my SC60w turns itself off when the battery hits the low voltage cutoff, I'm not sure why the two light behave differently. I resigned myself to the fact that I have to lock this light out after I use it. Since I've accepted that, I realized its really not a big deal. I even tighen or loosen it with one hand.

Its definitely a shortcoming of the light, but its the only one I can find.

Regarding stupid moves, I just had one the other day. I recommend that if anyone haz a Yezl Z1X  that they load the battery from the tailcap. I rushed putting it in the head end and had the spring bent sideways creating a short and with an IMR no less. It deformed the spring  and smoked a little, but the light works fine.

Match
Match's picture
Offline
Last seen: 5 years 7 months ago
Joined: 11/14/2010 - 11:57
Posts: 1488
Location: South Carolina, USA

mitro wrote:

Match, my SC60w turns itself off when the battery hits the low voltage cutoff, I'm not sure why the two light behave differently. I resigned myself to the fact that I have to lock this light out after I use it. Since I've accepted that, I realized its really not a big deal. I even tighen or loosen it with one hand.

Its definitely a shortcoming of the light, but its the only one I can find.

Ya, I'm not sure why mine didn't cut out after 3volts... actually it could have bumped down to low mode and I wouldn't have noticed it, being asleep and all...  I was in the habit of doing the tailcap lockout, but I've gotten to the point where it's no longer an acceptable solution for me.  Still a great torch, just not for my edc...

 

All, 

  Good stories, thanks for sharing them!  

 

Brjones,

There are no "sacred cows" here...none that I know of at least, and especially not concerning zebralights.  Sure they're decent, but they still have problems of their own.  For me personally, I could care less if zebra calls their 4200k tint neutral, warm, or grape...  Maybe I've become numb to piss poor details from shopping at DX and KD, but I'm just happy that the numerical specs they do provide are accurate.

dorpmuller
dorpmuller's picture
Offline
Last seen: 4 months 2 weeks ago
Joined: 10/20/2010 - 18:29
Posts: 1054
Location: Central Pa., U.S.A.

When building one of my XPG triples, how about slipping with the damned file when working on the star and taking off all 3 domes? Obscenity is now an official art form...

Rich

"I am the flashlight king! I can light anything!"

Match
Match's picture
Offline
Last seen: 5 years 7 months ago
Joined: 11/14/2010 - 11:57
Posts: 1488
Location: South Carolina, USA

dorpmuller wrote:

When building one of my XPG triples, how about slipping with the damned file when working on the star and taking off all 3 domes? Obscenity is now an official art form...

Rich

Don
Don's picture
Offline
Last seen: 1 year 1 month ago
Joined: 01/12/2010 - 16:32
Posts: 6617
Location: Scotland

Trashed a Sony Reader with my own blood. All it needed was a new battery - which it got, but the $Q£%%$&^ thing cut my thumb rather deeply as I slid its innards out.

Turns out the electronics didn't like my blood much. None of the buttons want to work now.

Pity it belongs to a friend and its only problem used to be the lack of charge retention. Sad

 

The numbers from my light tests are always to be found here.

https://spreadsheets.google.com/ccc?key=0ApkFM37n_QnRdDU5MDNzOURjYllmZHI...

Mr Frugal
Offline
Last seen: 9 months 1 week ago
Joined: 03/05/2011 - 17:54
Posts: 138
Location: NE AL

This ones not about flashlights but there was thankfully, only a small flash.  I was working on a friends boat and somehow got one end of a wrench between the positive battery cable on the trim pump, and the other end to the metal fuel filter, a very nice ground!  It made a fizzying sound as it burned through the fuel filter and a small flash as it ignited the gasoline inside. I ripped the wrench away and thats all that happened except there was a little hole in the filter draining gas out now.  My friend was right there watching everything over my shoulder and said, "What just happened isnt what I think just happened, is it!"  I said yep, I just about killed both of us!  God was truly protecting us from my stupidity that day!  Now I dont work on nothing without the power killed first instead of me or worse, someone else!