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#1457 - 08/31/01 03:40 AM Photon II
Anonymous
Unregistered


I haven't really had much of a play with a Photon II. I intend to check one out soon. I am rather attached to my maglite, it goes with me everywhere. It's one of those items that you end up needing if you don't bring it along, know what I mean? Is the Photon II as bright as a AA Maglite? I need a good light all the time at work to examine the insides of various devices. I work in the engineering section of a hospital so having tools at hand is a must as I'm not always in the actual workshop.<br><br>

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#1458 - 08/31/01 04:50 AM Re: Photon II
Chris Kavanaugh Offline
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 02/09/01
Posts: 3824
I have the photon in my pocket tin and a pelican in my larger kit. If you want to replace the minimag go to www. watkins aviation.com ( listed by Doug in retail suppliers.) they have a comparable AA unit @ $20. It is waterproof and can switch from white to red or green light.<br><br>

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#1459 - 09/05/01 02:48 PM Re: Photon II
harrkev Offline
Enthusiast

Registered: 09/05/01
Posts: 384
Loc: Colorado Springs, CO
I carry an ARC "AAA" flashlight. This unit looks like a Mag-AAA, but is slightly shorter. It has a single white (or any other color you want) LED bulb. It runs at near-constant brightness for five hours, and is only $25.<br><br>If you turn on a Photon and an ARC at the same time, the Photon will be brighter at first, but after five minutes, the Photon will fade and be dimmer than the ARC. <br><br>Also, the Photon takes expensive button cells, and requires a screwdriver to change the batteries. The ARC takes an "AAA," and installs just like a Mag light.<br><br>As far as durability, I do not know what the Photon is made out of, but it looks like plastic to me. The ARC is a solid chunk of aluminum.<br><br>Check out www.arcflashlight.com, or read about the history and evolution of the ARC from www.candlepowerforums.com.<br><br>BTW: Both the ARC and the Photon are about the same brightness (or better) than a Mag AAA with new batteries.<br><br>
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#1460 - 09/05/01 03:41 PM Re: Photon II
Anonymous
Unregistered


>>Also, the Photon takes expensive button cells, and requires a screwdriver to change the batteries. The ARC takes an "AAA," and installs just like a Mag light.<<<br><br>I think a large part of the attraction that the Photon has, especially for folks on this forum, is it's size and weight. Both are critical for a pocket survival kit.<br><br>As for the screwdriver needed for battery changes, that's true only of the Photon 2. The Photon 1 and Photon 3 do not require one, and are also more water-resistant than the 2.<br><br>>>As far as durability, I do not know what the Photon is made out of, but it looks like plastic to me. The ARC is a solid chunk of aluminum.<<<br><br>Manufacturer says it's glass filled polyurethane- call it plastic if you want, but it's very durable. Again, size and weight can be important, and a "solid chunk of aluminum" is less than desirable if you're counting fractions of ounces. The ARC lights have gotten favorable reviews, and it might be ideal if you need something like this often, so that the cost of button cells becomes a factor.. but they both have advantages. No need to slam the Photon to promote the other.<br><br>Not only survival kit builders concentrate on weight. Several articles from the ultralight backpacking movement (Ray Jardine et al) have pointed out that for the weight penalty of one AAA flashlight, you can carry two or even three Photons. Having a complete spare, ready to go, when the first is lost, damaged, or the batteries just run out in the dark could be worth a lot.<br><br><br>

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#1461 - 09/06/01 02:21 PM Re: Photon II
harrkev Offline
Enthusiast

Registered: 09/05/01
Posts: 384
Loc: Colorado Springs, CO
I agree!<br><br>For use in a survival tin, a Photon would be close to ideal. The size is miniscule, and the lithium batteries in it should have a shelf life that is far longer than alkalines.<br><br>However, for a general-use keychain light it is a much closer call. The photon has size and weight on its side. The ARC is tougher and cheaper to operate. I also do not think that a photon could survive a good dunking in water, while the ARC is waterproof up to 3 feet.<br><br>The light output from both lights is nearly the same.<br><br>
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Darwin was wrong -- I'm still alive

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#1462 - 09/06/01 03:27 PM Re: Photon II
Anonymous
Unregistered


I think part of what determines what we value is simply how much we use it. I use a flashlight almost never during the course of a normal day, and I keep a very, very bright light- a 4 AA StealthLite, hanging by itís cord from a push-pin in the back of my nightstand for emergencies. This flashlight is so powerful that you canít buy bulbs for it, you have to buy the entire reflector assembly, which is ceramic, to withstand the heat. You can actually feel the heat of the beam as you play it across your hand.<br><br>So, since I almost never use a micro-light, for me itís really an emergency device (I have been caught in windowless offices and subway stations during power outages). As an emergency device, I value itís tiny size and light weight, because the smaller and lighter it is, the greater the chance that Iíll actually have it when I need it. This was a lesson drummed into me as I slowly transitioned from notebook computer to Apple Newton (ugh) to Palm- if itís not small and light enough to take when you DONíT think youíll need it, it probably wonít be there when you do. This applies to anything, and is the main reason ďRamboĒ knives are so out of favor now. Obviously, Doug is very aware of this principle- I had never seen useful survival kits this small until I found this site.<br><br>Speaking of the StealthLite, that brings up something else Iíve really wondered about. One of the big reasons that I picked that particular light is that it has a real switch, which is unusual in waterproof flashlights. Doug rather prominently features one-handed operation in fire starters, but he barely mentions the issue with regard to flashlights, and I think thatís a startling omission. The military has rejected an entire generation of lights on this point- you simply cannot afford to carry a light that takes two hands to turn on and off if the reason you need to turn it off, NOW, is that it's being shot at in the dark. Hopefully that wonít apply to any of us soon, but still- if it takes two hands to turn it on or off, what else are you going to have to drop to do that? Not to mention that the USAF survival folks have always made a huge point of the prevalence of hand injuries in crashesÖ<br><br>Of course the Photon does operate with one hand. Another thing I do like about the Photon 3- the ďrearĒ switch can be programmed to two stages of ďdimĒ, as well as flashing. Especially in red or green, the dimmer light can be a great aid in preserving night vision. (For those who know enough about LEDs to be skeptical, no, itís not really ďdimĒ, itís flashing too fast to see.)<br><br>As for the ARC being waterproof- you might want to take a look at the Photon 3. Theyíve gotten rid of the slider switch that was used on the Photon 2, so itís pretty well sealed. I think it might stand immersion to 3 feet- but I wouldnít be surprised if the ARC did better.<br><br>Neither of them is up to the standard of waterproofness that weíve come to expect from Mag-Lite, but we have to remember that solid state lighting is in itís infancy. When I started backpacking in the late Ď60s, there simply were not ANY small waterproof flashlights. Period. You picked the best of what the drugstore or hardware store had to offer. Anyone remember the Mallory? <br><br>So, why havenít we seen an LED from Mag-Lite, anyway?<br><br>Sorry for the long post.<br><br><br>

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#1463 - 12/11/01 09:32 PM Re: Photon II suvives 40 foot dive
Anonymous
Unregistered


I mistakenly took my Photon II to 40 feet scuba diving and it survived! It was dimly lit when I got out -- shorted by salt water. After opening and drying it functions normally. I spoke w/someone at LRI (makers of Photon) and he said that it might work better if I actually flood the photo w/fresh water before the dive, so it doesn't short. Even when shorting it still gave bright light on pressing the button. I doubt if any non- LED light would survive 2 atmospheres of pressure.<br><br>Thanks.<br>Charles Huff<br>Kaneohe, Hawaii


Edited by FireMonkey (12/11/01 11:42 PM)

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#1464 - 12/12/01 12:19 AM Re: Photon II suvives 40 foot dive
Bagheera Offline
journeyman

Registered: 11/30/01
Posts: 62
Loc: The Netherlands (Europe)
Hi FireMonkey,<br><br>I didn't go that deep with my Photon II and it was normal fresh river water but my Photon II survived also although it was also dimly lit after it was submerged in the fresh water.<br>Opening it and drting it with an hairblower brought it back to normal functioning.<br><br>Your last remark about knowing no non LED flashlights surviving 2 atm. well just get yourself any UKE (Underwater Kinetics) flashlight from the 2 AAA mini keychain model up to their biggest models and you'll find that they probably can stand the atmospheres better then you do ;)<br><br>I have a friend who I gave a 2 AAA UKE and while on holiday diving he took it to 100 feet without any problems whatsoever. The best part these UKE's don't need drying of the inside after submerging them ;)<br><br>Best Scouting wishes from Holland,<br><br>Bagheera

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