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#49591 - 09/21/05 02:41 AM Re: Gerber Infinity trouble
haertig Offline

Registered: 03/13/05
Posts: 2250
Loc: Colorado
Switch to a Mag Solitaire?
Not if you're interested in high reliability. At least not in my experience, and that of many others. The Solitaire was quite cute when it first came out. I bought a couple of them. But they're really not in the same league as the newer LED lights we have access to these days. I would expect an ARC or CMG Infinity (at least the older models) to take a whack with a sledgehammer and come out of it still working fine. Not so a Solitaire. No offense intended - they're just not very robust in any kind of semi-hostile environment.

#49592 - 09/21/05 04:32 AM Re: Gerber Infinity trouble
fugitive Offline

Registered: 08/26/05
Posts: 183
Loc: The Great Pacific Northwest
What's your favorite ARC?

I don't own one yet. The company went teats-up for a while. They are now back in business with a sizable backorder list to fill. I believe at this time they are only manufacturing the AAA model with 2 options of LED. When the backorders catch up I'll probably order the brighter Premium model.


#49593 - 09/21/05 09:27 AM Re: Gerber Infinity trouble
paulr Offline

Registered: 02/18/04
Posts: 448
The new Infinity Ultra has a different design than the old one. It has a spring but I don't think the spring helps reliability. CPF'ers generally prefer the old design.

Peak LED Solutions (www.peakledsolutions.com ) makes some nicer 1AA lights that cost a lot more. Supposedly the Arc AA will be re-introduced before the end of this year, but I wouldn't hold my breath.

For 1AAA lights, either the Arc AAA (now available again, www.arcflashlight.com ) or Peak Matterhorn are far better than the Mag Solitaire.

For a less expensive, extremely waterproof 2AAA light (about the size of a 1AA light), try the UK 2AAA eLED, about $12 from www.brightguy.com .

#49594 - 09/21/05 05:48 PM Re: Gerber Infinity trouble
ironraven Offline
Cranky Geek
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 09/08/05
Posts: 4642
Loc: Vermont
And I posted that question in responce to everyone who has said that my Solitaire is junk, even though it has NEVER given me problems that were not forseeable, and that what I REALLY needed was an Infinity.

I was being snippy. I get snippy when people insult my gear without being able to show a concrete example of why it sucks. The Solitaire is a $5 light that I can fix with everythign I carry on my person. If the switch breaks, I can fix it with a little fine wire. An Infinity has a IC in it, which can't be fixed if it fails. I'll take shorter battery life and a little bit more weather sensativity over if it breaks it can't be fixed, but until then, it has really good battery life.

No offense, that's just my opinion.

When a man dare not speak without malice for fear of giving insult, that is when truth starts to die. Truth is the truest freedom.

#49595 - 09/21/05 06:28 PM Re: Gerber Infinity trouble
paulr Offline

Registered: 02/18/04
Posts: 448
The Solitaire has terrible battery life compared to an LED light. It even has worse battery life than a coin cell light. And I never got mine to work reliably no matter how much I tweaked and cleaned the contacts. If you just want an upgrade from a Solitaire, PM me your address and I'll send you a Photon II knockoff for free.

#49596 - 09/21/05 06:33 PM Re: Gerber Infinity trouble
haertig Offline

Registered: 03/13/05
Posts: 2250
Loc: Colorado
And I posted that question in responce to everyone who has said that my Solitaire is junk...
Sorry. No intention on my part to call your equipment junk. All I can say is that MY Solitaires were no-so-spectacular. I could not recommend them on an emergency preparedness board where reliability and robustness are usually of primary concern. Maybe your Solitaires are better.

Our experiences obviously differ. My family has owned four(?) Solitaires over time. Every one of them has failed under light use. We now own maybe a dozen Infinities and ARC AAA's across the group of us. 75% of them receive heavy use. None of them has ever failed. I'd have to think hard to remember the last time we even had to replace a battery in one of them.

My intent was to point out what I thought was a more reliable alternative. Sorry if you took that to be an insult to your gear. That was not my intention by any means, although it may have come off that way.

#49597 - 09/21/05 06:48 PM Re: Gerber Infinity trouble
paulr Offline

Registered: 02/18/04
Posts: 448
I'm withholding judgement on whether the new Gerber design is reliable. The old CMG design was pretty good but even that went through several iterations. The new one is definitely cheaper looking and is made in China. Its design is quite a bit different than the old version and I don't think you can extrapolate from the old version's reputation. I won't say the new one is crap, it just seems less excellent than the old one.

If you want a bombproof 1AA sized survival light, try a Tek-Tite Trek Lithium. It's direct drive and uses a 3.6 volt lithium computer battery with very high energy density (not a normal AA cell). The battery has a 20 year shelf life. The light itself will stand ridiculous pressure extremes, like 1000 feet of water or something. The LED voltage bin is intentionally selected to keep the light pretty dim (still plenty for a low powered survival light), which means that it will run for 200+ hours nonstop without getting much dimmer. It has strap lugs for attachment to a pack or diving gear. You can get them from www.batterystation.com in the LED light section. Because of the dimness and exotic battery, it's not a good choice for everyday use, but is just about ideal for a ditch bag or lifeboat kit.

#49598 - 09/21/05 07:21 PM Re: Gerber Infinity trouble
Alejandro Offline

Registered: 07/06/04
Posts: 23
Loc: Caracas - Venezuela
What about the INOVA X1? I have one and it seems pretty decent to me, even though the tail switch is not a marvel.

#49599 - 09/21/05 07:33 PM Re: Gerber Infinity trouble
paulr Offline

Registered: 02/18/04
Posts: 448
The X1 isn't very popular on CPF because it's somewhat heavy for a 1AA light, and its beam is very narrow due to the focusing optic. Generally, low powered lights are best for close distances and you want a wide beam with lots of spill. The X5 is more popular (5-led flood powered by two CR123's) and is on sale right now at Countycomm. I don't have either one myself.

The version that everyone on CPF wants is the Ultra-G, which is the government version of the CMG Ultra and is hard anodized. They were available brand new for $14.50 or so until early this year if I remember right. Used ones now show up on sale on CPF BST fairly regularly in the $20-25 range and quickly get snapped up at that price.

There is also the Peak Kilimanjaro which is a nice light but is around $40 in the ultra power version. And as mentioned, the Arc AA is supposedly coming back.

#49600 - 09/21/05 08:23 PM Re: Gerber Infinity trouble
Paul810 Offline

Registered: 03/02/03
Posts: 1428
Loc: NJ, USA
Maglight used to be a tenant of my father, so I had about 100 of them. Every time he went out to CA to check on the building he would bring one back (later he told me he had to buy them because Mag doesn't give freebies, but that's another story.) Anyway, the single AAA, 2 AA, and 2 AAA were great flashlights at the time, but LEDs are a really improved design and getting better all the time.

The maglights have a few problems. The first is a drop from shoulder or even pocket height while the light is on will kill the bulb. I've had it happen quite a few times. The next is the bulb will die without warning. I remember as a kid walking from my campsite to the bathroom and the bulb died, there I was trying to change it in pitch black, luckily mag includes a spare. I did it, but it wasn't a very good experience.

With LEDs you get shock/drop resistance, a bulb that will last basically for the life of the owner, increased battery life, no need to worry about spare bulbs, with basically no loss. I've converted all my Maglights to LED. <img src="/images/graemlins/cool.gif" alt="" />

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