The There Are No Stupid Questions Thread

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Forsythe P. Jones
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I have some cheap 3aaa lights that are probably unregulated except for a ballast resistor. Is it likely to be safe to run them on L92 AAA lithium cells, which have slightly higher voltage than alkaleaks? Or could the higher resulting current fry the leds? Thanks.

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If you buy older lights say 5-10 year old but they are new stock unused, would degradation of any parts be concern apart from batteries ?

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the4ds9 wrote:
This is more a comment than a question. We have affordable flashlight technology that can now vaguely illuminate 1 mile (1620 meters away). Yes it’s 3M cd for 2.5km+ but the adequate luminescence distance of that is approximately 1/3 of that which is a mile. A mile is 5,280 feet. In many areas of the United States and around the world, the thick cloud cover at night decreases to well below 5000 feet. This is why Michael from The Proper People was able to massively illuminate the clouds above the abandoned radar base in Vermont with the stock Thrunite TN40S with 345K cd.

Here in the San Fernando and San Gabriel Valleys of Southern California, the cloud cover at night, when there is any cloud cover at all, starts at 10,000 to 15,000 feet. I’ve tried the Thrunite TN42VN Oslon Black, the stock BLF GT70 in both NW and CW and both together, the Acebeam X65VN, the stock Acebeam K75, the modded Mateminco MT90+VN Spec 3, and now finally a stock Mateminco FW1 LEP. Not a single one of these aforementioned throwers can touch the bottom of any cloud where I reside.

Maybe by the time I am an old man, the affordable flashlight technology can adequately illuminate 10,000 to 15,000 feet away? Bounce some clouds with an affordable flashlight here in the San Fernando and San Gabriel Valleys of Southern California?

Move to the San Francisco Bay Area… and yeah, you’ll have lots of low flying clouds that could be illuminated by a powerful thrower like a TN40S, if not a massive wall of white due to fog. Wink
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lightwonder wrote:
If you buy older lights say 5-10 year old but they are new stock unused, would degradation of any parts be concern apart from batteries ?
No. LED’s do not degrade when not in use. And certainly metal should be fine as long as there aren’t any moisture sensitive parts, or inferior stainless steel that might rust. I’ve got flashlights with rubber switch boots that are from 2008 and they’re just as pliable and intact as when they were new.
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lightwonder wrote:
If you buy older lights say 5-10 year old but they are new stock unused, would degradation of any parts be concern apart from batteries ?

Generally only electrolytic caps, as they can dry out over a decade or so.

Lights in general don’t (as in have no need to) use electrolytics.

I’d touch-up (clean and relube) O-rings, though, as they can age a bit.

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xevious wrote:
How many of you folks label your spare flashlight parts?

I have a drawer and a box full of “flashlight stuff.” A lot of little ziplock bags with a small item inside, like a single o-ring.

…/…

Anyway, for those of you building collections or already have a good number of parts… get labelling! Do it before you start forgetting. It’ll save you a ton of hassle later on in the future.

I went out and got some 1½” x 1½” ziplocks for those small parts. Was the best for sorting those centering gaskets. And then the small screws for the clips, the re-flowed LEDs, and so many little ‘O’ rings.

But my storage box is getting overgrown – have to upgrade that also.

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xevious wrote:
lightwonder wrote:
If you buy older lights say 5-10 year old but they are new stock unused, would degradation of any parts be concern apart from batteries ?
No. LED's do not degrade when not in use. And certainly metal should be fine as long as there aren't any moisture sensitive parts, or inferior stainless steel that might rust. I've got flashlights with rubber switch boots that are from 2008 and they're just as pliable and intact as when they were new.

 

Lightbringer wrote:
Generally only electrolytic caps, as they can dry out over a decade or so. Lights in general don't (as in have no need to) use electrolytics. I'd touch-up (clean and relube) O-rings, though, as they can age a bit.

 

I've seen some old boxed lights that must have been in high humidity and/or heat where somehow the reflectors became tarnished badly.  If a lens isn't crystal clear then it could be a film from moisture or perhaps outgassing from thermal paste, but that's easily cleaned up, whereas reflectors are probably junk if they're the vapor deposition type on the inside surface (those that use mirror paint on the outside, usually plastic, can be cleaned or rescued).  Occasionally brand new fresh lights have these issues if they were assembled when it was particularly humid.  While the emitters don't degrade, if that high humidity in storage permeated the light then it's possible the dome could have a little accumulated and while it should be just fine I'd run the light at a low setting for a bit, maybe with the head opened, before going full blast.  If body threads were greased then you might need to clean that off and apply fresh.  I've seen some side switch boots (the old cheapie tall hat types) crack from oxidation but those are easy to replace and the light functions just fine without them if need be...most of the usual silicone-esque tail switch boots seem to last forever.  In the cheapest lights it wouldn't hurt to take a close look at solder points just in case they used a flux that could be slightly corrosive and didn't bother to clean it off. 

 

 

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TermsakC wrote:
Thanks Jason WW for your kind responses. I have found two sellers on Ali Express who sell small number of 26800 cells at an affordable price. I have ordered two cells from one of them, which altogether cost about US$25, inclusive of shipping fee. This is good enough. Will see whether they are any good. There is another big wholesaler on Ali Express who sells big lots of QB 26800 cells, the minimum order is 50 pieces. Battery sellers in the USA and in The Netherlands who have QB26800 battery in stock just would not ship their lithium batteries to Singapore. Similarly, Banggood also cannot ship lithium batteries to Singapore. But most of the Chinese sellers on Ali Express can without any problem. Isn't Banggood also based in China? I wonder why Banggood cannot ship lithium batteries to Singapore.


I've seen your comments about this and wondered...seems like a really unfortunate hassle, and expensive when you can get them!  Here's a link to your latest regulations from Dec. 2020.  I think page 27 and some preceding pages spell out that they are apparently just being very strict about requirements that lithium cells/batteries/packs are installed in equipment rather than shipped loosely (along with a handful of other requirements limiting size/capacity/etc...very similar to what most countries do now).  In the US we seem to have relaxed the requirements (in practice, not in regulatory words) compared to years ago, but most are shipped by ground rather than air, too, with the special labels designed to prevent accidental air flight or putting those packages on trips they shouldn't be on.  That said, when I got my 26800 from Aloft Hobby in California, they arrived so quickly that I was amazed.  They did not affix the lithium warning label on the box and it shipped Priority mail, which in that case meant an airplane for the first leg of the journey.  That's a huge violation, not to mention potential safety risk.  The second time I ordered from them, same thing.  While it was nice to receive the batteries so fast, I hope it never causes an accident and they would be in deep doo-doo if something were to happen.  As Jason said, it's most likely that Banggood is simply honoring the regulations of the carriers and/or governments, while other sellers are trying to dodge the laws so they can make a buck.

If you could get someone to "install" the cells in something worthy, like a flashlight or even a sturdy metal tube with insulators that prevent an electrical connection/short, then it sounds like you should be able to receive up to about a 5400mAh cell (up to four of them per parcel), if that satisfies the requirement for packaging/"installed" cells.  Seems to work for most countries when they ship flashlights with included cells.  Then again, you guys don't allow chewing gum anymore, either, so.....who knows.  Smile 

https://www.singpost.com/dgguide


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mitsuki08 wrote:
JasonWW wrote:
mitsuki08 wrote:
I have an Aneng AN8008. Just recently got some fuse for measuring amps since it came with a blown fuse. Tried to measure a convoy S2+ and it shows the amps but it has a very audible buzzing to it. Not sure if this is a feature but I don't see a mention about this in HKJ's review. Is this common with DMMs?
None of the dmm I have make a sound. You really don't want to use that for measuring amps anyway. It introduces extra resistance and it never reads accurately. For measuring stuff over an amp or so, I'd get a clamp style ammeter. Use a thick wire like this. I use the UNI T UT210E. A dmm is pretty accurate at lower amperages like under an amp. Great for microamp parasitic drain measurements.
Yeah I thought the buzzing sound was weird. I don't measure amps that often to justify a clamp meter. I'll stick to measuring voltage and leave the amps to reviewers. Thanks for the response :BEER:


Not common, not normal.  Blown fuse was the best indicator but it's not uncommon for there to be damage to circuits even when the fuse goes (especially true in the majority of cheap meters...so I hear).  If you bought that new I would try to return or exchange it, even if it's past the return window, because it should never have been sent to you in that condition.  If you're stuck with it, I'd probably just retire it and replace with a new undamaged meter, but if other functions are still working accurately then I suppose you could limit its use to only low-voltage applications like our flashlights and still be safe enough.  For testing higher voltage or mains, even if you're not testing amps, I would no longer use this meter if it were me.
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Forsyth P. Jones wrote:
CollectEverything wrote:
Do any of the Hank lights (Emisar/Noctigon) come with Anduril 2?
Yes, they say so in the product pages, though I think they are not yet shipping with the latest builds. If you buy one, you should also get the programming key ($14.50) so you can flash the latest code into your light. There are some new features that make the current development build noticeably better than the old stuff.

 

Just send Hank an email and he'll tell you what it did/will ship with, and if you're ordering a new light he may even be willing to flash something else if you prefer and it will work with the light.  On the page for the KR4 (which I just received last week....wonderful light) he didn't specify anything other than linking to TK's repository.  I was curious if it was plain vanilla Anduril or if it had been tweaked at all...replied to my email very quickly.  He doesn't send any paper instructions or link to similar.

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> Just send Hank an email and he’ll tell you what it did/will ship with,

I expect it ships with the d4v2 configuration from the Anduril source tree. But one thing for sure is that it didn’t ship with a future version that doesn’t exist right now. And the software keeps getting better, so it’s really good to be able to upgrade it as you go along. For that reason I definitely encourage getting the reflashing gizmo. It’s a great feature.

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Thanks Correllux for your highly informative explanation. The Singpost regulations are especially useful to me.

One follow-up question: How do you all (air) travel with big flashlights, like a WT90, a Q8Pro or Convoy 7?

I assume you have to put them in check-in luggage. But what about battery cells? Leave them inside each big flashlight, but neutralize them with pieces of paper to disconnect them, the way sellers on Ali Express and Banggood normally do? Or worse, don’t bring big flashlights along when flying?

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Just flew from California to DC with a Tool AA in my pocket and a 21700 in a locked out light in my carry on. No problems with TSA.

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The flashlights are fine in checked baggage but typically most airlines require Li-ion batteries to be carried onto the plane whether they are loose or installed in a device. I’ve flown with a dozen Li-ion cells of various sizes in my carry-on luggage and never had an issue.

If you want to get really fancy, you can even get special fire-resistant bags intended for transporting Li-Po packs.

Photon Master
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This might be a stupid question but is this the “ The There Are No Stupid Questions Thread”?

Couldn’t resist…

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TermsakC wrote:
Thanks Correllux for your highly informative explanation. The Singpost regulations are especially useful to me. One follow-up question: How do you all (air) travel with big flashlights, like a WT90, a Q8Pro or Convoy 7? I assume you have to put them in check-in luggage. But what about battery cells? Leave them inside each big flashlight, but neutralize them with pieces of paper to disconnect them, the way sellers on Ali Express and Banggood normally do? Or worse, don't bring big flashlights along when flying?

 

You're most welcome, TermsakC.  I'm clueless on the air travel but you got good answers already.  With as much as I've seen and heard over the last several years, if it were me I'd call ahead to the airline I was flying on and get their input before arrival.  Better safe than sorry and sometimes airlines have slightly different rules than the general federal ones.  Probably safest inside the flashlight body and insulating paper for one end is smart...then just put it where they allow or require I guess.  In the backpacking/hiking world people had lots of problems and erratic results for simple items like collapsible hiking poles, tent stakes, small stove burners, etc. even though all of those were clearly discussed in the general rules.

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Photon Master wrote:
This might be a stupid question but is this the “ The There Are No Stupid Questions Thread”? Couldn’t resist…

No.

And it is also is not the "The There Are No Incorrect Answers Thread"

Rev 22:15

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Photon Master wrote:
This might be a stupid question but is this the “ The There Are No Stupid Questions Thread”?

Couldn’t resist…

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Photon Master
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richbuff wrote:

Photon Master wrote:
This might be a stupid question but is this the “ The There Are No Stupid Questions Thread”? Couldn’t resist…

No.


And it is also is not the “The There Are No Incorrect Answers Thread”


Haha
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Did you have a good quality CDMA smart phone and have since sold it for a better phone? If you still have yours, it’s now too late. It seems that all major cellular carriers that supported CDMA (Verizon, Sprint(T-Mobile)) are no longer accepting CDMA activations AND they are phasing out CDMA support in 2022. T-Mobile in Jan, Verizon in Dec.That means… any CDMA phone will no longer be able to work with cellular networks. Smart phones at least can use WiFi. But older flip phones? Now JUNK. Useless… well, except for things like travel alarms! I have an old LG Lotus that was an amazing little QWERTY flip phone with dual LCD’s and dual speakers. Really nice sound for its size. Back when the only way to get sound files available for ringtones required the file to be sent via the cellular network, I had loaded quite a few good ones. I use that as a backup travel alarm and it’s terrific. Otherwise… now that thing won’t even be able to make Emergency Calls—no network visible at all.

edited for clarifications

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xevious wrote:
Did you have a good quality CDMA smart phone and have since sold it for a better phone? If you still have yours, it's now too late. It seems that all major cellular carriers that supported CDMA (Verizon, Sprint(T-Mobile)) are no longer accepting CDMA activations AND they are phasing out CDMA support Jan 2022. That means... any CDMA phone will no longer be able to work with cellular networks. Smart phones at least can use WiFi. But older flip phones? Now JUNK. Useless... well, except for things like travel alarms! I have an old LG Lotus that was an amazing little QWERTY flip phone with dual LCD's and dual speakers. Really nice sound for its size. Back when the only way to get sound files available for ringtones required the file to be sent via the cellular network, I had loaded quite a few good ones. I use that as a backup travel alarm and it's terrific. Otherwise... now that thing won't even be able to make Emergency Calls--no network visible at all.

 

I appreciate the heads up X, but could use more info please!  

If this is true, I would have expected some type of notification from Verizon by now, if not months ago! How did you learn of this rather major development? 

Is the phase-out period supposed to only begin this coming January, or be completed? If it's just the beginning, does your source provide a scheduled completion date? 

If any BLF member would like design suggestions or help with tying a customized paracord lanyard or fob for use with lights & knives, please feel free to message me here.

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Photon Master
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Hopefully the rumor about the iPhone 13 having satellite capability is true. Maybe that’ll become cheaper than the regular carriers with Musk’s satellites or something.

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I had an old LG Prime (original, not the 2) that I loooooooved. Sleek, disappeared in a pocket, worked like a champ, wonderfully dumb.

Got notice late in the year (early November??) that it was no longer gonna be supported by AT&T by the end of the year, and that I had to get a newer one or lose service come January.

Literally on the 31st I caught a sale on AT&T phones that was expiring that day, got a Zsomething (poopooed brand owned by ChiComs, forgot offhand, damn), and no time to trek on out to the AT&T store, so ordered one online to get my foot in the door.

Came like 2wks later, played musical phones for that 2wks ‘til I got it.

Point being, if you’re on their email list, you’ll get notice there, usually 1-2mos before the cutoff.

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xevious
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KnotSoMuch wrote:
I appreciate the heads up X, but could use more info please!  

If this is true, I would have expected some type of notification from Verizon by now, if not months ago! How did you learn of this rather major development? 

Is the phase-out period supposed to only begin this coming January, or be completed? If it's just the beginning, does your source provide a scheduled completion date? 

Several tech websites have indicated this, like The Verge. Jan 2022 is for T-Mobile. Actually, with Verizon it's end of 2022. LINK. And of course, Verizon has confirmed this as well, HERE.
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Photon Master wrote:
Hopefully the rumor about the iPhone 13 having satellite capability is true. Maybe that’ll become cheaper than the regular carriers with Musk’s satellites or something.
Really doubt that. Satphones require a lot more power to operate. Not feasible to do it in such a small form factor as a pocketable smartphone.
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xevious wrote:
Photon Master wrote:
Hopefully the rumor about the iPhone 13 having satellite capability is true. Maybe that’ll become cheaper than the regular carriers with Musk’s satellites or something.
Really doubt that. Satphones require a lot more power to operate. Not feasible to do it in such a small form factor as a pocketable smartphone.

Yeah, I believe the satellite connection is more like an emergency beacon like some survival watches have as apposed to being able to make a phone call through the satellite link. Actual sat phones are quite large and expensive.

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JasonWW wrote:
Yeah, I believe the satellite connection is more like an emergency beacon like some survival watches have as apposed to being able to make a phone call through the satellite link. Actual sat phones are quite large and expensive.
Now that would be a terrific feature—kind of like a panic button. Lots of scenarios where that could be useful.
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Hmm… excellent points. I wonder why no one has figured out a way to bypass cell towers to either transmit data and voice directly to other devices or even form a mesh network. My iPhone obviously has the ability to send/receive data using 4g and 5g frequencies to/from a tower that’s miles away.

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The distress beacon things (Personal Locator Beacon) doesn’t have the bandwidth for voice calls. It only sends your GPS coordinates. I don’t know why they didn’t make it also able to include some text from you: maybe to stop people from using it for chatting. But it looks like the rumor was false and the iphone 13 won’t have any sort of satellite comms. The last msg of this thread has a link with details:

http://forums.equipped.org/ubbthreads.php?ubb=showflat&Number=299858

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Forsythe P. Jones wrote:
The distress beacon things (Personal Locator Beacon) doesn’t have the bandwidth for voice calls. It only sends your GPS coordinates. I don’t know why they didn’t make it also able to include some text from you: maybe to stop people from using it for chatting. But it looks like the rumor was false and the iphone 13 won’t have any sort of satellite comms. The last msg of this thread has a link with details:

http://forums.equipped.org/ubbthreads.php?ubb=showflat&Number=299858


Thats old and incomplete information.

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