Anyone still use the cap style carbide lights?

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Postby Teresa » Sep 25, 2006 10:42 am

icave wrote:
I find that it's best if everyone in a group has similar strength lights, as caving with people using brighter lights can be a real pain. Of course, you caould just make sure you have the brightest light, then it's not a problem.


You know, that might be the answer. Or only cave with people as tall as you are. Was in a mixed group of wheat lamps, incandescents and LEDs Saturday. Only the BIG LEDs were excruciatingly obnoxious--had to look into the dark for a few moments--like after you get hit with a camera flash. Most people had their headlamps tilted reasonably. It's probably the mix of light sources which is the problem-- the LEDs light looked like the fluorescent handhelds they use in some tour caves, in terms of a cold light--if all were on LEDs, we probably wouldn't notice.

Has anyone done any research which sort of light is least disruptive to the cave biota?
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Postby NZcaver » Sep 25, 2006 12:55 pm

Teresa wrote:Has anyone done any research which sort of light is least disruptive to the cave biota?

Black light? :tonguecheek:
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Postby Seamus Decker » Mar 21, 2007 11:35 pm

Need to read this thread in full, but question:

Anyone know anything about repairing autolites? I got one with the threaded gas-nozzle cracked. I tried soldering it tonight and it worked for a while. I tested the gasket, and around the solder for gas leaks . . .maybe held the flame a bit too long on the soldered part. It worked fine and did not leak for a few minutes, but then I guess I melted the solder and all the sudden gas started jetting out of three holes instead of two.

I did this solder job with a soldering stick and a little roll of solid core solder. Maybe if I used some other type of solder or a hotter source of heat it would make the solder less sensitive to remelting?

As it is, I did not hold the carbide flame (from another lamp that IS working) on it for that long; maybe 2 minutes max, probably more around 1 minute. Cap lamps can get pretty hot sometimes, and I'm guessing that I did not have a good solid solder. My retainer bracket on the back of the lamp is held on with solder, except with stuff I put together years ago (when I still remembered how to solder properly, and had an old buddy who helped me) and I believe i used a blow torch to melt the solder.

Anybody here an expert on soldering cap lamps?
"Sittin' in a cave as black as midnight,
Cause I got a brand new plastic Justrite
Oozing off the front of my hard hat."
_Plastic Justrite_ Cave Ballad by Barb MacLeod (1973)
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Postby Seamus Decker » Mar 21, 2007 11:48 pm

I once led a survey trip into a very wet and muddy cave, 2 teams totalling 7 cavers (pre-LED days), and 21 lights, 4 of which were carbide. We came out with 6 working lights, including the 4 carbides. One by one the electrics failed, and being so far from soldering irons, blow dryers, and the requisite AC electric... The old tried and true carbides kept on going. That is when I came over to the dark side.

The greatest advantage of carbide over electric is that, short of a drop that cracks the stem, water reservoir, etc, a carbide lamp can be fixed in cave. The notorious "temperamentality" of carbide is usually just ignorance in action (overfilling, failing to clean the tip, etc) The only real disadvantage (to me anyway) is dealing with the dump (much easier to just throw spent batteries in the pack)


Carbide stinks there is no doubt about that. And it is also (IIRC) mildly carcinogenic. I doubt breathing sulphur-tinged acetylene is "good for you." But then its not like we sit there and inhale it like glue sniffers. Also there are those traces of arsenic, and supposedly if you do not bury it sufficiently in your yard when you get home, or else throw it away, deer will eat it and keel over dead. Too bad the feral pigs in the Smokies don't try some . . .

On the other hand, I agree completely with both the scenario you present, and the merits you point out for carbide.

I too have been on long survey trips in wet muddy caves, and electrics just don't hold up. I don't care what it is: I have yet to find an electric that can stand the sort of punishment that a carbide can handle surveying 50 or 100 stations in a wet slime hole. Plus, those LEDs produce way LESS heat than light. With a pre-packaged "cave taco" (two space blankets with edges taped with duct tape, and then taped together in the middle) and a trash bag, you can sleep comfortably for a couple hours between 2 and 4 AM on long survey trips. Try doing that with your electric light!? (course you could carry in a candle instead :)

The last thing that carbides are ABSOLUTELY FANTASTIC for, is surveying. A lead tape person without a carbide cap lamp is like Elvis without a microphone or guitar. Its like Michael Jackson without his glove. Its like Macaroni without cheese. Its like . . . erhm . . . well you get the point.

It is drop dead EASY to mark stations when the lead tape person has a carbide cap lamp. It is a constant struggle of one sort or another with pretty much any other means of station marking with which I am aware.

Long live carbide cap lamps! Survey HO!
"Sittin' in a cave as black as midnight,
Cause I got a brand new plastic Justrite
Oozing off the front of my hard hat."
_Plastic Justrite_ Cave Ballad by Barb MacLeod (1973)
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Postby fuzzy-hair-man » Mar 21, 2007 11:52 pm

Seamus Decker wrote:Anybody here an expert on soldering cap lamps?

Not and expert and never seen a cap lamp but...

Maybe bronzing(using an oxy acetelene torch) would work better as it should be less sensitive to heat? it shouldn't melt as a result of heat from the lamp.
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Postby Seamus Decker » Mar 22, 2007 12:09 am

Hmmm. Seem to remember using an oxy acet torch in HS shop class about 20 years ago :)

Now where DID I leave that OA torch . . .

One of my buddies mentioned something about a guy in Lexington, KY who fixes them Maybe I'll just mail it to him. I've got four of them and the stem is broken on one, and cracked on the other (well cracked and now caked with solder!). The other two work, but I like having plenty of them.

Both stems were broken in my garage: not in a cave.

I did once cause my cap lamp to jump off my hat while checking a canyon passage in Fitton Cave, AR. The lamp went ahead about a meter and down a slot about 1.5 or 2 m deep. JUST beyond how far I could stretch. Took me about 30 minutes, but I managed to snag it with my pack strap and retrieved it!

I think the only other mishaps I've had with carbide are losing them. Well I have had "explosions," but that was no big deal . . . I was back-kicking through some wet crawls in Rimstone River Cave, MO. Very wet, very muddy, not quite a belly crawl, and very slick silty mud for a couple hundred feet. The ideal way to traverse: lay on your back, put your pack behind your head and push with your feet.

All the sudden while doing this there is this big *BOOMPH!!* and this flash of fire around my head! Didn't even singe anything though. I've also had spent carbide bags "explode" but it is really more like a firecracker than an explosion. Just an instant of loud pyrotechnics that did not do any damage to anything (including me and my face). But if you ask carbide novices about "explosions" they seem to think they are potentially lethal :-)

Most problems that occur with carbide are: (a) not knowing how to use it; (b) acting like a bone head (for example bending over to peer deeply into a spent carbide bag with a lit lamp ON your hat! that was how I caused the "bag explosion;" same trip as the back-kicking explosion in Rimstone River); (c) inconsequential "freak" accidents that are actually a manifestation of poor form (e.g., the back-kicking in wet passage with leaky carbide bag in cave pack; should have had the bag tied off, and should have sprinkled some water in there to expend the remaining carbide [else not put half spent carbide in the dump bag] before closing it up and putting it in my pack); (d) poor maintenance, i.e., not cleaning your lamp thoroughly after each use; or (e) factors so severe that they would have destroyed any electric anyway (e.g., being flat rocked, dropped, etc).

All in all, carbide cap lamps are far superior to any other form of light for caving. I can understand why people use electric, and I have used electric (and always have one on my hat in addition to a cap lamp). If I'm ridgewalking or not surveying, I'd probably choose electric, unless the cave was wet and muddy, in which case I'd definitely have carbide. For SRT, having an electric on your head at all times is smart, but no reason you cannot also have a carbide cap lamp there too. With this and an LED mag lite on a lanyard around the neck, you got all your lights on the safest spot on your body: your head. Lamps carried in bags wear out far faster than on heads. I understand why people continue to use electric lights for caving: It seems "easier, and less yucky.

But when you stop to consider how hard it can be to replace batteries in a wet muddy passage and NOT foul it up resulting in a non-working lamp; when you stop to consider that, if you do not COMPLETELY dismantle your electric after any cave trip that is wet you WILL be replacing it before too long; and when you stop to consider that those batteries will still be recognizable artifacts in some land-fill somewhere for the next million years or so, LONG after spent carbide has been completely dissolved and reincorporated into the organic cycle: electric is NOT easier, better, nor even less yucky. It is only more commercially available and superfically easier to use.
Last edited by Seamus Decker on Mar 22, 2007 12:44 pm, edited 1 time in total.
"Sittin' in a cave as black as midnight,
Cause I got a brand new plastic Justrite
Oozing off the front of my hard hat."
_Plastic Justrite_ Cave Ballad by Barb MacLeod (1973)
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Postby potholer » Mar 22, 2007 6:07 am

On the environmental front, I think I'm doing reasonably well.
In my LED lights I use NiMH packs which I make up from cells I get from a friend who's a technician in a hospital - ex-backup batteries from equipment which have to be replaced on a very conservative schedule after a year or two, and which would otherwise end up being thrown away, but which will work fine for me for many years of caving.
Even somewhere really grotty, changing packs is easy - just unplug one and plug the other in. Anywhere there was too much mud to make that possible, reloading a carbide would be tricky as well. In any case, since I get 8 hours on the maximum output, with many hours of usable light after that, I hardly ever have to change packs, and will likely never have to change packs without many hours of notice.
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The carbide electric challenge!

Postby Seamus Decker » Mar 22, 2007 1:01 pm

Kudos on the environmentally friendly battery use Potholer :kewl:

Here is a challenge for you electric advocates :-) :boxing:

Pick a wet muddy cave of your choice, obviously go in with at least one partner, don't go solo. Take whatever you normally take when you go caving. The cave doesn't have to be long, or big, it just has to have a wet sloppy muddy part that you can go and stay in for a while. Ideally, this muddy part will be primarily muddy, but maybe with some small puddles of water. If there is plenty of water, that doesn't make the challenge quite as challenging.

Go to the wet sloppy muddy part of the cave and wallow in it so that you are thoroughly coated in mud. Now, dump out your pack and mire everything in mud, including your backup energy containers, your food, your water, EVERYTHING!

Now, take your main light source (electric in your case, carbide in mine) off your hat and pack it in a mud ball. Roll it in the mud! Get it good and mired! Now open the battery pack and dump out your spent batteries (I'll open up my carbide and dump out my spent carbide). Now, take the two "halves" of your light: in your case the [a] main lamp and [b] open battery case / case cap; in my case [a] the water tank and [b] the gas tank.

I'm talking STUFF! mud down in side your battery container (I'll be stuffing it in my gas tank) STUFF! mud down inside your battery case cap (I'll be stuffing it inside my water tank), and STUFF! mudd around your bezel switch (I'll be jamming it in the tip, the sparker, reflector, water dripper adjuster, etc.).

Now, change your batteries while I change my carbide :woohoo:

If there are pools of water readily available for us to just dunk and wash our stuff, obviously the test is not that big of a deal; although even in this instance, I think I'll be more confident of getting my brass lamp working than you will be that you'll be able to get all your electrical connections cleaned of mud and slime.

If there is a shortage of clean liquid, and we have to use our carbide water and/or drinking water to clean things off, then I suspect I"m going to have a considerably easier time getting my lamp going than you will! :waving:

Now obviously no fool would do this intentionally in the absence of an artificial context like this challenge. However, when you survey 50 or 100 stations in a wetsuit, mud-hole with predominantly crawly-canyony passages in the 1.5-feet-wide by 3-feet-tall variety, you rapidly approach this degree of slimed-ness. Under ideal conditions, it is possible to get either an electric or carbide going from comparable degrees of slimed-ness. But what if conditions are not ideal?

This combined with the safety feature in producing warmth, the diffuse warm glow of light, and the ease of marking stations makes carbide cap lamps ideal for the type of caving I do: surveying in Mammoth or in Tennessee caves.
"Sittin' in a cave as black as midnight,
Cause I got a brand new plastic Justrite
Oozing off the front of my hard hat."
_Plastic Justrite_ Cave Ballad by Barb MacLeod (1973)
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Postby hunter » Mar 22, 2007 5:59 pm

Hmm, I'm not sure I buy this. I like my petzl ceiling burner a great deal but I think you guys are trying to justify carbide and are ignoring realty to do it. Electric lamps have advanced a lot in the last few years and if all you adheare to is carbide can you really say you've even tested them? I use carbide (occasionally now) because I like it, not because of the following dubious justifications:

1) Heat - I don't believe this for a second. You can buy any number of stoves and other heat producing devices that weigh less and will produce more heat than carbide.

2) Durability - This was true but electric lights have advanced a lot, especially with the introduction of LEDs that don't burn out very often.

3) Battery Changing - If I'm going into the situation you've described Seamus I'm not going to be changing batteries. There are plenty of lights that can run up to 100 hrs on a set of batteries. I can also carry half a dozen spare electric lights in the space a carbide canister takes up.

I also think the following disadvantages weigh strongly against carbide:

1) Carbide goes out, modern LEDs VERY seldomly just die. Carbide can also be hard to start again (if you get it wet or covered in mud). There are situations, like on rope in a waterfall, where this can be very dangerous.
2) Carbide can burn people and other gear (like ropes). Commerical electric lights don't have this problem, and burning rope is not a small problem.
3) I have yet to see the carbide lamp that will run for 100hrs w/o refill.

Anyway, I'm off email for a day so don't be surprised if I don't answer right away.

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Postby potholer » Mar 22, 2007 7:09 pm

On the heat side, there is the possibly largely psychological effect of clamping a Fisma generator between the upper thighs when sitting around. Sometimes even a little heat does make you feel better when the world seems cold, wet, and windy. When it *feels* like it's free heat, that also helps, but then I guess there are nice things you could take in place of the weight of a large carbide set, possibly bought with the money you save by not buying carbide. That said, I guess for the smaller carbide lamps, weight and running cost may be less of an issue.

The spread light from carbide is nice, but then, you can get a decent spread from appropriately-used LEDs. Especially with the very latest high-efficiency ones, you can get a lot of spread light throughout the length of a good long trip without using a great deal of electricity.
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Postby Teresa » Mar 22, 2007 8:22 pm

hunter wrote:1) Heat - I don't believe this for a second. You can buy any number of stoves and other heat producing devices that weigh less and will produce more heat than carbide.


But stoves, etc., don't produce both heat and LIGHT to navigate by. With a carbide, you've got both capabilities in one device.

2) Durability - This was true but electric lights have advanced a lot, especially with the introduction of LEDs that don't burn out very often.


All electrics are vulnerable to water one way or another. LEDs (even 'waterproof' ones), even moreso. Electronics fry. I've had an electric beltpack battery catch fire while squirming around in a cave. All sources of light should only be used with adult supervision. If you only do dry caving you probably don't have water issues.

3) Battery Changing - If I'm going into the situation you've described Seamus I'm not going to be changing batteries. There are plenty of lights that can run up to 100 hrs on a set of batteries. I can also carry half a dozen spare electric lights in the space a carbide canister takes up.


Canister? What canister? Caplamps don't have canisters, unless you count the baby bottle of carbide. That's great if you can afford a half a dozen spare lights. I can't. That just sounds like excess capacity to me.


I also think the following disadvantages weigh strongly against carbide:
<snip>[/quote]

I don't think anyone seriously believes that carbides are the be all and end all of lighting products. I've got all three: carbide, electric incandescent, and a Petzl Tikka. I often carry all three. But being too quick to dis old technology isn't necessarily a good idea either.

I just wish LEDs weren't molded in a tilted position; light color of a tube fluorescent, but warmer, and such an irritation to my astigmatic eyes.
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Postby Seamus Decker » Mar 22, 2007 8:47 pm

Hunter, if I were caving in New Mexico, I'd probably use electric. Or for that matter if I were in a big open air pit, or a big multi-drop I'd use electrics. But in a crawly multi-drop in TAG I'd have carbide AND electric, both on my head at all times, electric flipped on when I'm traversing or abseiling, carbide on the rest of the time.

Like I said I DO use electric. I've owned probably 10 different makes of electric lights in my life. Right now there is a Tikka and some other Petzl piece of crap (that I paid $80 for) sitting dismantled in my garage drying out in preparation for me to douse them in W240. The most annoying part? It seems that you cannot fully dismantle the damn thing, so the four or five LEDs in the bottom will likely be dead by the end of the summer I'll wager. Even if I could get it completely apart, putting it back together is a serious annoyance. And if DON"T take it completely apart and let it dry out what will happen? It will last maybe 50 trips tops before it starts to act twinkly.

In a cave where most of the moisture you encounter is from your perspiration, an electric may be great, but in caves where you are in a veritable milieux of moisture their longevity is short.

As Teresa pointed out, carbides provide heat, and light, and station marking all in one compact durable device, and they are impervious to water.

Re: going in to a wet muddy section with a 100 hour capacity electric light. Indeed, this is one partial solution. But what happens when the light mysteriously fails and you have to do a repair? Most electric lights of any long-hour capacity have a battery pack that is separate from the bezel mount, meaning it has to be attached somewhere besides right with the bezel mount: either on the back of the head, or on the belt. This means cords. Cords are a weak link, as are connectors. A few low crawls with pointies that snag every so lightly on your cord per trip causes wear to the cord. Repeat 20 or 30 trips, and pretty soon you've got a cord that only conducts about 50$ of its orginal capacity, and only when it is in a certain position. Twist it or jiggle it the wrong way and poof it stops working. I've used far too many electric lights to conclude that they've simply "come a long way" and these basic problems fundamental to the enginneering of electric lights have suddenly been solved. I own two of the most modern electric lights there are, this Tikka and the other thing. The bulbs are smaller and more efficient, the housings and basic design perhaps a LITTLE bit more caver-use friendly, but overall I see very little change. For the kind of wet muddy caving I do, electric lights still appear to be a disposable item. At $50 to $80 a pop, I'd rather keep fondling my stinky old cap lamp!

I'd rather face an in-field repair in those kind of conditions using a carbide than an electric. If I were in Lechuguilla or Carlsbad I'd never dream of even putting my carbide in my luggage! But for Kentucky, Tennessee, Missouri, Arkansas, and the rest of the East and Southeast, a carbide cap lamp is a very handy thing, esp for sureying.

You are right about the changing of carbide. It does get tiresome to change carbide every 3 hours.

ADDIT: It seems the electric lamp that I'm struggling with getting the LED part open with is the MYO SB 5. Here is what the owner's manual says:

Maintenance
The LEDs cannot be dismantled. LEDs have a very
long life and do not require service. Water in the
headpiece or battery case can cause the lamp to
malfunction. After use in a wet environment, remove
the batteries, the bezel, and the bulb. Allow the lamp
to dry thoroughly, keeping the battery case, bezel, and
headpiece open.


Great. So they've designed this little booger so I cannot take it completely apart to fully expose all the corrodable metal electrical contacts to air. That means they sold me a disposable piece of junk IMO.
"Sittin' in a cave as black as midnight,
Cause I got a brand new plastic Justrite
Oozing off the front of my hard hat."
_Plastic Justrite_ Cave Ballad by Barb MacLeod (1973)
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Postby potholer » Mar 22, 2007 9:09 pm

But stoves, etc., don't produce both heat and LIGHT to navigate by. With a carbide, you've got both capabilities in one device.

But most of the time, you're not using the heat.

All electrics are vulnerable to water one way or another. LEDs (even 'waterproof' ones), even moreso.


Everything (even cavers) are vulnerable to water one way or another.

Why should LEDs be intrinsically more vulnerable to water than incandescents? Possibly some commercial LED headtorches may be vulnerable, especially if they aren't made for caving, but that's somewhat down to what lights people choose to use. A Tikka is not really a caving light.
My LED light sits in a supposedly basically waterproof headset, but even if the headset leaks, the light inside keeps soldiering on - one unit seemed happy sitting in a damp headset for the best part of a year, being used at least once a week, and the internal unit seems happy working at the bottom of a barrel of water. Despite a fair number of headsets (including mine, on occasion) leaking more or less regularly, I'm not aware of any failures due to damp, and if anything had failed, I think I'd have heard about it, since they'd have ended up coming back to me. Still, the light was actually designed for caving.

Electronics fry. I've had an electric beltpack battery catch fire while squirming around in a cave.

I've had a remote-generator carbide set on fire when I was in a tight passage (hose leakage). Amongst close caving mates, I'm aware of several fires, including one well-melted helmet.
In any case, a pretty universal sentiment seems to be that belt-mounted batteries are the kind of thing that people don't go back to once they've tried helmet-mounted ones, and LEDs rather remove the need for large batteries.
With a proper (ie mining-spec) cable from helmet-mount battery to headset, the kind of damage that would break the cable would likely trash the helmet as well. If I have to change cables every decade or so, that's a price I guess I'll have to pay.

Though I haven't used a caplamp carbide, only a remote-generator one, I'd assume from the fact that I don't know of anyone who has a caplamp one except possibly as an ornament or memento, and even including the many people who must have used one at one time I don't think I've ever seen anyone using one probably says something.
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Postby potholer » Mar 22, 2007 9:12 pm

Great. So they've designed this little booger so I cannot take it completely apart to fully expose all the corrodable metal electrical contacts to air. That means they sold me a disposable piece of junk IMO.

I'd reckon it means that they didn't sell you a caving light, just a general-use headtorch. For caving, I guess Petzl would recommend a Duo.
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Postby Seamus Decker » Mar 23, 2007 12:11 am

I've gone through three Duos as my secondary light sitting benignly on my head being used strictly as the backup to carbide (see that on my head in my avatar pic = Duo ~ 7 years ago, it is now useless: connectors in the base of the battery case (which cannot be taken completely out to be dried and cleaned = too corroded to send an adequate signal). Duo's are no less crap than Myos or any of the rest of them. It is the basic reality of electricity and cheapo conductor materials, combined with engineering that is more about appearances than the fixability of the lamp by a caver that make electric lights problematic for caving. Your LED may have soldiered on on THAT trip; but how many more trips of exposure to water until the connectors corrode? I can leave my carbide cap lamp sitting in a vat of cave for a year to collect moisture, come back, fetch it, clean it with muriatic acid and a bit of elbow grease, replace the seals and filters, and the flint (maybe the tip) and voila! good as new.

ADDIT:

Though I haven't used a caplamp carbide, only a remote-generator one, I'd assume from the fact that I don't know of anyone who has a caplamp one except possibly as an ornament or memento, and even including the many people who must have used one at one time I don't think I've ever seen anyone using one probably says something.


Like what? Cavers are no less ignorant and commercialistic than the rest of the general populace? :grin:

Re: your comment about things blowing up in crawlways: I cannot speak for the belt mounted generator things, though I will say those always have seemed problematic. But I will say this. If you hand a firearm to a cave man and say "have fun" you shouldn't be surprised if somebody gets hurt. Using a carbide properly requires a bit of training (at least for the cap lamps). If you do not get that training first, it is not surprising if you do not figure out how to use it, and maintain it properly on your own. Course you can always buy an electric which is as simple as flipping a switch . . . until you get in that mud-wallow section, where it might turn into an $80 piece of inert plastic!

ADDIT:

But most of the time, you're not using the heat.


I think perhaps your missing the point. The point is that a carbide cap lamp is multi-functional. When you need heat, you got heat! You don't need to carry some other device, you got heat from your lamp. When you need station marker, you got station marker. You don't need to carry another device, you got station marker from your lamp, and you got heat from your lamp, and you got light from your lamp. A rather pleasant kinda diffuse, warm, soft, glowing light at that.

If I can carry ONE piece of gear that doubles as a screwdriver, pliers, and wrench, vs. carrying one of each, I'll go for the multi-functional tool myself.

ADDIT*2

I'd reckon it means that they didn't sell you a caving light, just a general-use headtorch. For caving, I guess Petzl would recommend a Duo.


Whah? It doesn't get wet in the mountains? It doesn't get wet canyoneering? It doesn't get wet when big wall climbing? It doesn't get wet when camping or hiking? It doesn't get wet when kayaking, rafting, fishing, hunting, canoeing, or any of the other myriad activities that Petzl can pass off their gear as being well-suited for?

The crap they sell us is poorly designed, cheaply-made, uninspired junk. The only reason their ropes hold up is they know people will be dangling on them.

It is too bad that the company that makes Wheat lamps or other similarly tough (and extremely heavy) lighting devices does not apply their standards of durability, and excellence to cutting in to Petzls market on lights.

I admit it. I use a LOT of Petzl gear, and in general it works. But electric lights send me to the moon. I should NOT have to replace an electric light every 2 or 3 years simply because I do hard, wet, muddy caving! But I have! Consistently for 20 years had to do just that!

I will also admit: Petzl has begrudgingly reimbursed me a number of times for Duos, etc., that clearly underwent use-induced design-failure. I had to harangue them, but more than once they have given me a free light. IMO, they would be wise to stop monkeying around with these half-ass designs they use. LEDs, and high efficiency systems? Sure that is great. How about modularizing the entire set up so that if any specific part fails, it can be replaced? How about giving up on the whole "water proof" nonsense, and simply make it water resistant, but also easily, readily, and clearly disassembleable COMPLETELY. Let me get the thing FULL of water and gunk, bring it home, take it COMPLETELY apart, clean it, dry it out, put anti-corrosive on it and put it back together! That would be fine and dandy. I believe there are a couple of cheapo brand electric lights that one can take COMPLETELY apart allowing ALL the conducting parts to thoroughly dry and be individually cleaned; forget what brand it is, IIRC THe Fisher Ridge cavers use it as their primary tool. Why can't Petzl come up with something similar? Cause they design lights that look sexy on the outside to the climber, supa-scuba, REI, fashion-plate-environmentalist crowd, not for cavers and hardcore outdoorspeople.
"Sittin' in a cave as black as midnight,
Cause I got a brand new plastic Justrite
Oozing off the front of my hard hat."
_Plastic Justrite_ Cave Ballad by Barb MacLeod (1973)
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Seamus Decker
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Joined: Dec 30, 2006 10:20 am
Location: Amherst, Massachusetts
Name: Seamus Decker
NSS #: 32936
Primary Grotto Affiliation: University of Massashusetts Outting Club
  

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