EA4 didn't survive labor day weekend!

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mhanlen
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EA4 didn't survive labor day weekend!

So we’d been camping Friday and Saturday night. Both nights saw a rain of about 45 minutes. Since I had bought Fasttechs diffuser, it was our camp lantern. I hung it in a tree on Friday night, and while we we’re out it rained. We came back and had to dry out our bags and tent. EA4 fine. Brought it into the tent, went to sleep and everything was great. Almost the same deal Saturday night… except that it was in the tent most night and a little rain got in because it was a heavy downpour. But this was rather indirect. Dried up the wet parts, got ready for bed- turned out the light.

Woke up Sunday and decided to check out the light. It wouldn’t turn on and I noticed some moisture behind the lens. The weird thing was, the diffuser was on during both times it rained, effectively giving the head of the light an extra seal. I took out the batteries and put them back in. Immediately I got strobe and couldn’t turn it off. Then basically I spent the next five minutes taking out the batteries, and having it do different weird mode switching when putting them back in. Sometimes the light would turn on as soon as I tightened the tailcap, and wouldn’t turn off. If I do this enough- remove batteries it will eventually have its regular five modes, but they’re all very close together now.

By the way, I’ve tested the light with full submersion several times, but for not more than a minute or two. It’s always been fine. But I guess it can’t survive a full weekend of being sorta outside in the elements.

Maybe it was the switch cover? Maybe it was the lens. The battery compartment was always dry though.

Abridged version.

This light is not fully waterproof/resistant. It can’t withstand a few rainshowers, or being outside in the humidity. Be careful.

Edited by: sb56637 on 09/02/2013 - 23:55
sorotantaz
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sounds just like my kung recently..

ezarc
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I’m not surprised, I pulled the EA4 clones apart and the rubber boot only sits over a piece of locating plastic with no force against the housing at all. I wouldnt dare to put it under the water and wouldn’t even try to test if it was splash proof.

Gj
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That's surprising for an IPX-8 brand name light. 

mhanlen
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I guess I’ll contact the place where I purchased? So now goes the month long process of doing the RMA thing with Fasttech. Oh boy. To be honest I’d rather have something else though. I like the light, but since I tend to use it in the elements, I’d rather not have to deal with the same thing again in a few months when it gets wet again.

mhanlen
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Gj wrote:

That’s surprising for an IPX-8 brand name light. 

Actually, it’s not surprising to me anymore. This is the second time this month a major light brand failed to live up to a manufacturer claim- in my possession.

mhanlen
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kreisler wrote:

the physical explanation of this phenomenon is the difference in physical properties between liquid H²o (water) and gaseous H²o (vapor). your light may be resilient to the condensed matter of (cold) liquid water but not to gas leakage (humid air, humidity, vapor, moist). was it cold outside?

what happens is: when you leave the light on and it goes warm-hot, the (dry) air inside gets pressurized and tries to expand. at some point it must leak through some points at the sealing (otherwise the overpressure could lead to ). at this point (local and in time), hot air exits the system but no gas nor liquid re-enters the system; it’s a classic one-way out. the more often this local point is reused by the system as vent point the more vulnerable it will become for moist to enter.

when does moist enter?

i would say, especially during the cooling phase when the light is turned off. the system cools off, the contracting system air creates underpressure and in course sucks in the cold humid air from the environment. Liquid water would not enter through the tiny point at the sealing but gas yes. by the early morning (mountain dew), the pressure inside the system will be in physical equilibrium with the environment pressure (tent air mixed with fa*t*).

also read my treatise on < water resistance > in the TX25C2 review stub.

 

this is the kreisl theory and certainly applies to the TX25C2, maybe another phenomenon was at work with your Nitcore. maybe the same. the conclusion is .. humid environments and hot running sealed metallic devices tend to mess up the water-proofness.

same phenomenon with swimming glasses (goggles). dry skin, dry googles, you enter the cold water swimming pool and swim a few rounds. minimal humidity stemming from your eyes gets vaporized through the heat of your body and condense at the cold glasses inside. liquid water never entered the system. but the humidity of our eyes suffice to mess up the otherwise sealed system. poof. haha.

Yep, it could have very well been this. It was about 95 F in the day and about 73f at night. Not a big change, but the light was in 90 degree shaded areas- but I believe the dewpoint was reached.

So how does one avoid this? Never use a flashlight when the light might be exposed to elements?

vēer
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mhanlen wrote:
Gj wrote:

That’s surprising for an IPX-8 brand name light. 

Actually, it’s not surprising to me anymore. This is the second time this month a major light brand failed to live up to a manufacturer claim- in my possession.


Sorry to see this happening to you EA4, which one is the second light?
sorotantaz
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kreisler wrote:

mhanlen wrote:
So how does one avoid this?

let’s say this way: if humidity is high and temperatures low (mountain dew morning) and you let a hot running sealed flashlight cool down under these conditions, chances are high that their IPX-8 rating will fail on them.

how to avoid? maybe not let the light run much hotter than the environment. and avoid humid environments. or, after using the hot light, bag it in a de-aerated zipper bag.

best tip of the day, kreisl wins

who called me a troll? you, rojos?? Silly


your theory is very logical explanation.
well certainly you can troll and having good knowledge at the same time Big Smile
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Perhaps it would help to seal the light in a zip-lock bag while it’s cooling down? Then no or at least minimal humid air would be present to do it’s dastardly deed.

A plastic bottle with o-ring seal that is large enough to hold the light will make a good travel canister, a silipak for absorbing moisture would also be a good idea, placed inside the bag or canister to aid in pulling ambient moisture from the sealed container. Simple enough to do under extreme conditions to help guarantee the light.

vēer
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Hmm, would like to read some research done on this, never tried to use light for that much time outdoors in bad weather, so Im curious whether it matters or not what kind of light you bring outdoors!

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Would drying it first, then opening it to release hot gas and allow cool gas to equalise pressure for a few minutes possibly diffuse this issue ?

Sounds like something a bridge dwelling troll could test Wink

DB Custom
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It’s how you keep condensation out of a multi-thousand dollar camera lens in a temperature transitional situation. How is it any different? Believe me, a $2,000 12” long 3” diameter lens that’s been in the direct sunlight for hours can seriously pull some humidity out of an air conditioned room! Exactly what sports shooters do with $12,000 lenses. Just wondering why you think a $30 flashlight is so special?

Hot aluminum and hot glass in a damp cool environment, with sophisticated electronics (my Image Stabilization system is more than $500 by itself), looks like a very similar situation to me!

Yeah, think so. Drop the light in a zip-lock bag, squeeze out excess air, leave it to cool. I’m betting you’ll see problem solved.

sorotantaz
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this phenomena can be observed with half empty mineral water bottle (or just any other plastic water bottle).
when the half empty bottle is stored in room temperature (25 celcius or higher), it can creates fog by itself inside the bottle on the dry surface part eventhough the bottle cap is tightened. be sure it is water tight because otherwise there will be leakage everywhere when carrying.

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im not surprised… nitecore makes crap.

Would you mind keeping the wrong flashlight?
Best wish, May
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DB Custom
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Smile need some coffee now, but the laughter is a good way to wake up!

Sorry, I did read all of it but must not be awake enough to interpret what I’m reading. Have no recollection of your post, but remember the ones before and after. Sucks getting old! Silly

sesgum
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Kreisler is probably right. Even my watch (movado automatic) did not survive steam when I have to wear suit in hot weather.

vēer
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My G-Shock has never had issues with going into sauna and into either not-so-warm shower or outdoors afterwards.

I will test it the same way this winter, Im sure it will survive without any ill effects!

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My 12xT6, Xiaozhi, 3T6 and Warrior recently spent a few days in the exact same conditions (moisture/wet tent, night rain, condensation inside the tent, and all were heated up a lot before bed) and all survived with flying colors! Now dont ask me why I needed so many high powered bright lights when there were only two of us most of the time! I withstood lots of similar questions/female complaints on my lights and extra batteries and “reasoned” in my “defense” it was because my dogs also each needed a light. Big Smile

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I wonder if the damp iPhone trick would be a cheap easy way to avoid this problem. Stash it overnight in a zip lock bag with rice. Cheap and easily acquired desiccant with the added bonus of being an extra food source.

“ It was the Law of the Sea, they said. Civilization ends at the waterline. Beyond that, we all enter the food chain, and not always right at the top.” 
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I wear g-shock because I don’t take off my watch, ever, except to clean it with a toothbrush, or to do some settings or something before putting it back on, that means all bathing and showering, swimming, desert, mountain conditions, weather, everything, and I have never had a problem with g-shocks.

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Several weeks ago we were in the Peruvian Amazon and ran 3 cheap Costco headlights, a Convoy S2, and a Zebralight sc52 for about an hour continuously in the evenings. We didn’t have condensation problems with any of them. It’s fairly humid and the temperatures were in the low to high 60s (just guessing, we had to put on jackets at night). Does there have to be a bigger difference in temperature to get condensation?

I didn’t check for condensation so it’s possible there was some and I just didn’t notice.

T.H.Cone
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B42 wrote:
Now dont ask me why I needed so many high powered bright lights

Don’t be ashamed B42, you are among friends… we are all scared of the dark too. Silly

fidem, prae caeteris omnibus praeter honestatem

 

 

Don't be confused, my Username has been changed from "Cone" to "T.H.Cone".  I'm still the same clown.

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cone wrote:
B42 wrote:
Now dont ask me why I needed so many high powered bright lights

Don’t be ashamed B42, you are among friends… we are all trying to convert our friends too. Silly

ftfy Wink

Racer
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I took my EA4 tent camping last weekend. We got some rain but the light didn’t get wet. I was more worried the switch would balloon. It did fine, but I worried about it, so I bought a D40A when I came back, just for good measures Wink

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A G-Shock isn't using enough power to heat itself more than a fraction of a degree above ambient temperature.

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I was thinking of a hot bath in a cool room.

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kreisler wrote:

vēer wrote:
My G-Shock has never had issues with going into sauna and into either not-so-warm shower or outdoors afterwards. I will test it the same way this winter, Im sure it will survive without any ill effects!

How hot does your G-Shock get internally? Wink

if da swatch is as hot as the environment, then no big deal. equal temperature, equal pressure. same same, on both sides.

and btw, i doht doubt that a G-Shock is fully sealed, 99.9%. It’s built for such purposes, isn’t it? our China-made flashlights have simple sealings: 1 big o-ring (tm15, ea4, ..) or whateva. ipx-8 only.

G-Shock is ipx-13 afaik.


Fair enough, its definitely sealed better than flashlights, good point.

I have had water condensation on the outer part of its mineral glass, but never inside.

brad
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I prefer Fenix lights, are they less susceptible to this kind of thing?

B42
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cone wrote:
B42 wrote:
Now dont ask me why I needed so many high powered bright lights

Don’t be ashamed B42, you are among friends… we are all scared of the dark too. Silly

I’m not afraid of the dark, the dark is afraid of me Silly

B42
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borked wrote:
cone wrote:
B42 wrote:
Now dont ask me why I needed so many high powered bright lights

Don’t be ashamed B42, you are among friends… we are all trying to convert our friends too. Silly

ftfy Wink

More realistic reason there. But even if you are alone, what self respecting flashoholic would bring only one light to an oceanside camp to play with, when you are not far from the car? Smile

They were rather impressed with my lights, and I gave some lights as xmas presents and a small one with NiMH away to my niece…maybe they’ll get the flashoholic bug now too Wink

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