Fenix hp-11 or Spark st-6 500cw

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Re: Fenix hp-11 or Spark st-6 500cw

Postby Chads93GT » Jan 18, 2012 9:10 pm

Used the spark with the frosted lense for the first time this weekend

Wow. The flood on the ground makes it super easy to walk and it
Still throws it decently.
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Re: Fenix hp-11 or Spark st-6 500cw

Postby NSS8921 » Jan 19, 2012 6:51 am

Chad, which do you like better - the Zebra or the Spark - apart from sheer brightness? How spotty is the Zebra, compared to the Spark with the clear lens?

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Re: Fenix hp-11 or Spark st-6 500cw

Postby Chads93GT » Jan 19, 2012 9:32 am

they arent that spotty at all. A buddy of mine had the fenix hp11 at the megadome. while his hp11 was a more concentrated beam and would light up the very top of the dome, it wouldnt light up the walls at all. when I would turn mine on it would flood the entiredome. Neither the spark nor the zebra are that spotty. you can keep the clear lense, point the lamp at a downward angle, and see just fine. Personally, I can get along just fine with a spotty headlamp because I dont look where I walk, I look several steps in front of me. I had to learn this when i was a framing carpenter and I had to walk across walls that were 16 feet drops from the 2ndd floor or 24' drops from the 3rd floor on the exterior walls, or in vaulted areas of the homes. I really dont need ambient light to get around but i do like the ambient light the spark puts out with the frosted lense. That being said the spill on both the zebra and the spark are 10x that of the fenix lights that i have used in the past couple years.
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Re: Fenix hp-11 or Spark st-6 500cw

Postby NSS8921 » Jan 19, 2012 10:14 am

Perfect - I might have to get a Zebra to go with my Spark, especially since it doesn't look like Spark will offer a headlamp version of their 800 lumen flashlight.

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Re: Fenix hp-11 or Spark st-6 500cw

Postby BrianFrank » Jan 23, 2012 8:02 pm

I own a Fenix HP-11 and love it. Usually one of the brightest lights in any group we go caving with. But, I do get a barely blue tint that sometimes on camera looks almost purplish. The Fenix HP-11 is my primary and my older HP-10 is my backup. Both on the same helmet. Before you ask, it has not been too heavy having 2 lights with battery packs on the same helmet....no problem at all.

I'm the first guy on the right with the brightest light in the group. See the barely noticeable blue/purple tint on the ceiling above me? Picture was taken 2 Sundays ago in Limrock at the Brimstone Dams.

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Re: Fenix hp-11 or Spark st-6 500cw

Postby Lava » Mar 2, 2012 7:13 pm

Just resurrecting this thread to say that I finally used my Spark ST6 underground for the first time last weekend, and it was awesome. Trip was 7 hours, I used it on medium 2 most of the time with occasional high bursts and never ran out of batteries (as expected). But one thing I should report is that if you are using CR123As, you can bump the unit and briefly lose contact which will shut the light off. This didn't happen to me until I was on my way out of the cave, and it's due to the diameter of the cells not matching the diameter of the battery compartment which allows the cells to wiggle a bit. I made a tiny plastic shim and put it in there along side the batteries and the problem was eliminated. An 18650 cell would not have this issue.
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Re: Fenix hp-11 or Spark st-6 500cw

Postby Chads93GT » Mar 4, 2012 6:57 pm

3 of my friends fenix hp11's have shorted out now. One yesterday while in a relatively dry cave (for Missouri). I do not recommend this lamp.

My spark did fine. So did my zebra.
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Re: Fenix hp-11 or Spark st-6 500cw

Postby BrianFrank » Mar 4, 2012 10:55 pm

Chads93GT wrote:3 of my friends fenix hp11's have shorted out now. One yesterday while in a relatively dry cave (for Missouri). I do not recommend this lamp.
My spark did fine. So did my zebra.

They must have let dirt get onto the o-ring of the battery case lid or did not tighten the battery case lid like they should. Easy to do when changing batteries in a cave. That is the only part on the light not permanently sealed. I have used my HP11 a dozen times in wet caves, under waterfalls, caked in mud and washed at home and it is a champ.
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Re: Fenix hp-11 or Spark st-6 500cw

Postby Chads93GT » Mar 4, 2012 11:23 pm

i dont see how the battery case can cause the electronics of the light that make it "fancy" to short out. Isn't that circuitry sealed in the head unit of the lamp?
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Re: Fenix hp-11 or Spark st-6 500cw

Postby BrianFrank » Mar 5, 2012 12:05 am

Chads93GT wrote:i dont see how the battery case can cause the electronics of the light that make it "fancy" to short out. Isn't that circuitry sealed in the head unit of the lamp?

Water getting into the battery case can cause corroding of the power cable to short. That is unless you know that it shorted at the light itself?

I'd like to see if anyone else can chime in here who has had an HP11 failure?
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Re: Fenix hp-11 or Spark st-6 500cw

Postby Chads93GT » Mar 5, 2012 12:36 am

That Id ont know. yesterday in the cave the light would turn on by its self after batteries were put in, on low. wouldnt turn off or cycle. he tried again and the light was then on high and wouldnt cycle. He then said the hell with it and put on his HP10 backup and finished the trip with that lamp. My wife used my HP11 that I have, she hated how spotty it was, and hated the halo ring from the diffuser as well, lol. I changed her batteries for her and didnt have any short issues but I always make sure never to get the batteries muddy or wet when changing them.
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Re: Fenix hp-11 or Spark st-6 500cw

Postby BrianFrank » Mar 5, 2012 2:20 am

Chads93GT wrote:That Id ont know. yesterday in the cave the light would turn on by its self after batteries were put in, on low. wouldnt turn off or cycle. he tried again and the light was then on high and wouldnt cycle. He then said the hell with it and put on his HP10 backup and finished the trip with that lamp. My wife used my HP11 that I have, she hated how spotty it was, and hated the halo ring from the diffuser as well, lol. I changed her batteries for her and didnt have any short issues but I always make sure never to get the batteries muddy or wet when changing them.

Thanks for the info on his light. I agree on the diffuser, I took mine off as it was useless.
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Re: Fenix hp-11 or Spark st-6 500cw

Postby tncaver » Mar 5, 2012 9:03 am

Chads93GT wrote: yesterday in the cave the light (Fenix HP11) would turn on by its self after batteries were put in, on low. wouldnt turn off or cycle. he tried again and the light was then on high and wouldnt cycle.


Fasinating. That is exactly what my Apex did after water got into it when the cord pulled loose of the head piece and battery
compartment. I sent it back and they fixed it for free. I've had no trouble with my Fenix HP11 but I rarely use it. It is too
spotty with or without the diffuser. I still like my Apex better than my HP11. At least the Apex has a lifetime warranty and they honor it.
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Re: Fenix hp-11 or Spark st-6 500cw

Postby BrianFrank » Mar 5, 2012 10:15 am

Chads93GT wrote:3 of my friends fenix hp11's have shorted out now. One yesterday while in a relatively dry cave (for Missouri). I do not recommend this lamp. My spark did fine. So did my zebra.

What is your favorite of the two lights? Spark or Zebra?
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Re: Fenix hp-11 or Spark st-6 500cw

Postby Chads93GT » Mar 5, 2012 11:04 am

I like the zebra actually. the spark makes the helmet very "front heavy" as it sticks out a couple inches.
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