Any suggestions on a Butterfly carbide light?

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Any suggestions on a Butterfly carbide light?

Postby hoosiercaver1 » Jan 8, 2008 7:25 pm

My mom got me a carbide lamp off ebay. It is a butterfly. I now have learned that they aren't the greatest ever made. Any one have any suggestions to make it more reliable. I'd like to use it until i get an autolite. What makes the butterfly so bad besides it was made overseas?? Does anyone know what tip could work for it, i cant find one specifically for butterfly.
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Re: Any suggestions on a Butterfly carbide light?

Postby ArCaver » Jan 8, 2008 7:39 pm

I don't have a lot of experience with Butterfly but I have a friend who swears the older models worked great. He has one thats been super reliable. Others he's tried had problems with bad soldering on the gas tube. The only Butterfly I have I've never fired. Good luck with it, it may work just fine.
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Re: Any suggestions on a Butterfly carbide light?

Postby Wayne Harrison » Jan 8, 2008 8:51 pm

Here's a link to a personal page on the Caves.org Web site that discusses the various brands of carbide lights:

LINK
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Re: Any suggestions on a Butterfly carbide light?

Postby Jep » Jan 9, 2008 10:01 am

Check with Bill Fritz. He picked up a bunch of spare parts from the West Virginia Cave Conservancy during OTR last year. Jep.
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Re: Any suggestions on a Butterfly carbide light?

Postby MUD » Jan 9, 2008 10:25 am

The Butterfly huh? Yessum that was ma first lamp...parents gave me one fer x-mas when I was 10 years old. I used it reliably fer 12 years until it BLEW UP :yikes: on ma head while cavin! The bottom ruptured and caught fire...lucky fer me I was sittin on a huge piece of breakdown and not in the tight crawl we just negotiated! :clap:

Sooooooo......it may work fer ya and it might not. If yer gonna go carbide I'd sell the butterfly on ebay and getcha a Justrite or an Autolite or any quality lamp. :carbide:
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Re: Any suggestions on a Butterfly carbide light?

Postby hoosiercaver1 » Jan 9, 2008 11:47 am

Well that was a pretty quick response. I appreciate all the info and advice. I really dont like the story of the butterfly blowin up on your head though. That scares me. I think I will try and get this lamp working well and determine if I really like caving with carbide, before I buy a better more reliable light. If I like it I will probably get an autolite. Has anyone tried goin carbide and not liked it???
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Re: Any suggestions on a Butterfly carbide light?

Postby Jeff Bartlett » Jan 9, 2008 12:03 pm

hoosiercaver1 wrote:If I like it I will probably get an autolite. Has anyone tried goin carbide and not liked it???


plenty of people don't like it. i bought an autolite specifically for cold, wet surveys where the heat is a boon and i need something good to mark permanent stations - it's tough to beat a carbide dot, and it's tougher to beat a carbide "tent" when you're cold and can't move to warm yourself up.

for "regular" caving, i'd take an Apex or comparable LED headlamp over a carbide most of the time (personally, i use a Sten, but i don't want to recommend a $300 headlamp as an alternative to a $30 autolite). you change carbide twice as much as you change batteries, a carbide caplamp with a full load will weigh 3 or 4 times more than an LED headlamp (with all the weight in the front pushing your helmet down), and even the Apex is more waterproof than a carbide lamp =)

spare AAs also take up less space in your pack than a baby bottle or nalgene full of carbide and a bag for spent carbide, and don't need to be sealed/protected as carefully as carbide does.


of course, that's just my $0.02, and I'm bracing myself for the incoming firestorm from the carbide cavers! :sadbanana:
"Although it pains me to say it, in this case Jeff is right. Plan accordingly." --Andy Armstrong
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Re: Any suggestions on a Butterfly carbide light?

Postby Wayne Harrison » Jan 9, 2008 5:43 pm

Cavemud wrote:The Butterfly huh? Yessum that was ma first lamp...parents gave me one fer x-mas when I was 10 years old. I used it reliably fer 12 years until it BLEW UP :yikes: on ma head while cavin! The bottom ruptured and caught fire...lucky fer me I was sittin on a huge piece of breakdown and not in the tight crawl we just negotiated! :clap:


Not to mention having my cave pack go VROOOM! after I put a spent bottom in it, but loosened the bottom cap slightly to keep the gas from building up and rupturing the bottom... then, later, while looking in my pack for something to eat... I got nearer with the working carbide lamp on my head and VROOOM!

Plastic Justrite carbide lamps MELTED on your head. Maybe we should do a survey: Which would prefer, a carbide lamp that explodes or melts?

Another inconvenience back when I used them: having to ream out the tip periodically because it got clogged.

I'm with xcathodex -- LED over :carbide: any day.
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Re: Any suggestions on a Butterfly carbide light?

Postby Jeff Bartlett » Jan 9, 2008 5:59 pm

Wayne Harrison wrote:I'm with xcathodex -- LED over :carbide: any day.


whoa, nelly! you're gonna get me killed! can we append that to read "LED over :carbide: except on really cold, wet surveys"? :big grin:

(and, for the record, a carbide caplamp throws about the nicest, smoothest, widest flood i've yet seen on any lamp outside the $500 Scurion)
(and i still like carbide dots best for marking permanent survey stations)
"Although it pains me to say it, in this case Jeff is right. Plan accordingly." --Andy Armstrong
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Re: Any suggestions on a Butterfly carbide light?

Postby Wayne Harrison » Jan 9, 2008 6:31 pm

I carry an 8-hour candle or two for surveys. It weighs less than a carbide lamp and gives off enough heat to get a little warm in a 39-degree cave.

But back on topic, personally I'd ditch the Butterfly carbide lamp and go LED.
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Re: Any suggestions on a Butterfly carbide light?

Postby Evan G » Jan 9, 2008 7:25 pm

Wayne Harrison wrote:But back on topic, personally I'd ditch the Butterfly carbide lamp and go LED.


I did carbide once ......

I had a butterfly, but it was more for novelty :down: also had a autolight, it was great as a camp lamp :tent: now enjoy the reliability of LED :egyptian: .

MMmmm..... lets take plastic and mold into a shape so that it shoots a flame out it which is hot enough to melt the plastic. Cooollll!!!!
That is like a Automobile clock with a snooze alarm!
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Re: Any suggestions on a Butterfly carbide light?

Postby Wayne Harrison » Jan 9, 2008 7:38 pm

There was a Salon song from the 70s about that.. and here are the words:

Plastic Justrite

by

Barb MacLeod (1973)

Tune: "Plastic Jesus," traditional.

C
Now Justrite's got a new device,

F
Superior design, economical price,

C G7
Construction unexcelled in quality;

C
It has an unadjustable water drip

F
A styrofoam felt and a plastic tip

C G7 C
And other blessings of technology.

Chorus:

C F
Plastic Justrite, plastic Justrite,

C G7
Melted on the front of my hard hat;

C
Shoulda known better than to go and trust you;

F
If I ever get out I will stomp and bust you;

C G7 C
Underneath by Jeep I'll squash you flat!

Sittin' in a cave as black as midnight,

Cause I got a brand new plastic Justrite

Oozing off the front of my hard hat.

The lamp was fine, it was workin' OK,

I was trucking down a virgin passageway

Then it belched and melted out and that was that.

from: http://www.wingedseed.com/rstitt/cavsng94.html
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Re: Any suggestions on a Butterfly carbide light?

Postby Squirrel Girl » Jan 9, 2008 8:58 pm

Wayne Harrison wrote:There was a Salon song from the 70s about that.. and here are the words:

Plastic Justrite
by Barb MacLeod (1973)

Tune: "Plastic Jesus," traditional.


http://www.caves.org/committee/salons/b ... strite.mp3

and updated:
http://www.caves.org/committee/salons/b ... arbide.mp3
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Re: Any suggestions on a Butterfly carbide light?

Postby hoosiercaver1 » Jan 9, 2008 9:09 pm

I really enjoyed that song!!! Hopefully the one my dad, brother and me wrote will make a good showing at this years salon!!! Ill get it on my site as soon as i get it recorded!!!
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Re: Any suggestions on a Butterfly carbide light?

Postby Ed from Mason » Jan 11, 2008 11:20 pm

The only bad thing about trying carbide with a questionable lamp is that it might turn you off to the whole experience. You might try to pick up a good Autolite, Justrite, or Premier lamp so you can give it a fair shake. I still use my 1969 vintage Justrite. Hope this helps, Ed A.
NOS after many years out of caving back in in 2000 ,enjoying it a lot and learning lots new gadjets and sharing old ones.
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