"Rechargeable lights have no place in caving"

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Rechargeable lights have no place in caving

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Re: "Rechargeable lights have no place in caving"

Postby NZcaver » Sep 15, 2008 3:07 pm

xcathodex wrote:
NZcaver wrote:OK then, which one of you wants to write an appropriate rebuttal letter for publication in the next NSS News?


This is a very good idea. I too thought this editorial was WAY off base and was surprised to see it published.

Actually I think it's great that such opinions are published, regardless of how off-base most of us perceive them to be. This is obviously a legitimate opinion, even though it's one which begs rebuttal (in a respectful manner, of course). Are you volunteering?

I will admit, with some embarrassment, that my first response was to snort "how old must this guy be to be this far out of touch?" and check to see if he had a 4-digit NSS number. That's an unfair generalization, hence the embarrassment, but nonetheless the letter seemed a case of a strong opinion based upon (or, in spite of) some woefully lacking technical knowledge.

I too, perhaps unfairly, had the same knee-jerk reaction. Hence I started this topic, and tried to keep my initial post relatively neutral. I was surprised and somewhat impressed that after his initial assertions, this gentleman went on to sing the praises of the latest LED flashlight technology. He even quoted specs for his favorite Olights (which, near as I can tell, are basically copies of the Fenix design).
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Re: "Rechargeable lights have no place in caving"

Postby incavenow » Sep 15, 2008 3:20 pm

Maybe someone could direct the author to candlepower forum and so he can see some of the advances the techno-genius light folks have made.
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Re: "Rechargeable lights have no place in caving"

Postby Jeff Bartlett » Sep 15, 2008 3:42 pm

NZcaver wrote:Are you volunteering?


I don't think I'm the best candidate. There are several more knowledgeable about the technology than I, more eloquent than I, and with NSS numbers that don't start with "59," empowering the older cavers to have the same "those damn young whippersnappers don't know anything" knee-jerk reaction we did.

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Re: "Rechargeable lights have no place in caving"

Postby incavenow » Sep 16, 2008 5:19 pm

My prior replies on this thread were based on what I had read here. Now that I finally dug out my August NSS and read the gentleman's letter I'm really confused were he stands. I see he likes carbide,(with it's bulky gererator, extra water, extra carbide, and carring spent carbide out of the cave with attendent fire hazard?). Ok, I see he doesn't like rechargables. My experience with the first rechargables to hit the market was the same. However they are a totally different beast today. We'll leave that issue lay. My confusion stems from the author first denouncing LEDs then going about face, and starts recommending different hand held flashlights,(although he did mention mounting two small ones on a helmet). even up to a C cell size flashlight. Advising to carry these in your pack, then having to dig them out when you need a bright light to save running a helmet mounted light on 'turbo' is where I start getting confused. I don't think I want to tote a large flashlight in my pack when I have two light weight, very powerful lights on my helmet. If your main light fails then you're reduced to tryng to navigate with a hand held,(whoops, don't drop it!). Like most cavers, I've gone thru different gererations of caving lights. It's the reason for all them helmet holes. :big grin: Started with a wheat light, then a laser with carbide and added my own version of a TAG light to that for, (at the time), a truly awesome light system. Heavy and bulky, yes. Lots of extras to carry in the cave pack too. Maybe the author just hasn't seen some of the newer LED lights for caving and witnessed just how much more freedom we have with a really compact and efficient light system. I do hope a knowledgable person replies to this gentleman's letter.
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Re: "Rechargeable lights have no place in caving"

Postby Squirrel Girl » Sep 16, 2008 7:30 pm

incavenow wrote:My prior replies on this thread were based on what I had read here. Now that I finally dug out my August NSS and read the gentleman's letter I'm really confused were he stands.

Hah, me, too. I cleaned off some stuff from a big pile, and there was my August News on the bottom. :roll:

I was thinking he included rechargeable AAs, but that wasn't what he meant. But he would have included wheat lamps. Not something I ever wanted, but people certainly used them happily for a long time.

Nevertheless, I stand by what I said before. If rechargeables are so bad, why I have heard so few (no) examples of disaster occurring because of them?
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Re: "Rechargeable lights have no place in caving"

Postby NZcaver » Sep 16, 2008 7:40 pm

incavenow wrote:My prior replies on this thread were based on what I had read here. Now that I finally dug out my August NSS and read the gentleman's letter I'm really confused were he stands....

...I do hope a knowledgable person replies to this gentleman's letter.

You hit the nail on the head. You sound like a knowledgeable person, Jeff. :wink:
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Re: "Rechargeable lights have no place in caving"

Postby incavenow » Sep 16, 2008 9:23 pm

squirrel girl, there have been some issues with some of the rechargeables. Some have even exploded/caught on fire when their internal circuits had a boo-boo. I haven't checked out candlepower forum recently, but I do remember some issues with some batteries. If I recall right, these had been resoved with most of them. I ain't knocking the newer rechargables. I think they are the greatest things since sunlight was invented. Anything to keep batteries out of the land fill and especially to keep pollution down in caves.(ya know how much mercury shows up in resurgance springs?) Keep in mind, not everyone is up to date on technology. Some old timers haven't heard of anything new since they discovered carbide.
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Re: "Rechargeable lights have no place in caving"

Postby incavenow » Sep 16, 2008 11:35 pm

NZcaver wrote:
incavenow wrote:My prior replies on this thread were based on what I had read here. Now that I finally dug out my August NSS and read the gentleman's letter I'm really confused were he stands....

...I do hope a knowledgable person replies to this gentleman's letter.

You hit the nail on the head. You sound like a knowledgeable person, Jeff. :wink:


Thanks NZ for the kudos, but I'm not an engineer when it comes to light systems/batteries. 20 years of ham radio allows me to follow along in the discussion of the technical aspects of a discussion of the subject, but the people who are on the cutting edge of these subjects should be the ones to rebut this gentlemans comments. Where are the folks who developed the sten?!? And I've seen some excellant posts on candlepower by cavers who are working on some LED and battery combos which would truely amaze anyone. Unfortunately, most of these folks ain't on this forum. A little cross pollination between formuns whould be a wonderful thing!
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Re: "Rechargeable lights have no place in caving"

Postby barcelonacvr » Sep 17, 2008 12:12 am

I wonder how some of the older purists would react to this product


http://www.angstrompower.com/products_a2.html
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Re: "Rechargeable lights have no place in caving"

Postby NZcaver » Sep 17, 2008 12:21 am

incavenow wrote:Thanks NZ for the kudos, but I'm not an engineer when it comes to light systems/batteries. 20 years of ham radio ...

You too?

...allows me to follow along in the discussion of the technical aspects of a discussion of the subject, but the people who are on the cutting edge of these subjects should be the ones to rebut this gentlemans comments. Where are the folks who developed the sten?!? And I've seen some excellant posts on candlepower by cavers who are working on some LED and battery combos which would truely amaze anyone. Unfortunately, most of these folks ain't on this forum. A little cross pollination between formuns whould be a wonderful thing!

I see your point, but I think responses from regular cavers with some technical knowledge may be more useful than a pile of raw data from the experts.


Ponorplumber wrote:I wonder how some of the older purists would react to this product

http://www.angstrompower.com/products_a2.html

A complex, expensive hydrogen fuel cell system - and all to run a mere 1 watt LED flashlight? Not to sound like an old purist or anything :tonguecheek: but for now I'll stick with my rechargeable AA lights thanks.
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Re: "Rechargeable lights have no place in caving"

Postby YuccaPatrol » Sep 17, 2008 1:05 am

Fuel cell flashlight! :kewl:

But I agree that it is a bit overly complex to run a 1W LED. . . .

Now if it could run on any readily available alcohol purchased at any hardware store or liquor store instead of requiring a hydrogen refueling station, then it would qualify as decent field gear. But for now it is just a neat proof of concept. . .
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Re: "Rechargeable lights have no place in caving"

Postby Martin Sluka » Sep 17, 2008 2:22 am

YuccaPatrol wrote:Fuel cell flashlight! :kewl:

Now if it could run on any readily available alcohol purchased at any hardware store or liquor store instead of requiring a hydrogen refueling station, then it would qualify as decent field gear. But for now it is just a neat proof of concept. . .


Hmmm, only problem is that fuel cells use METHANOL instead of ETHANOL. And methanol is quite dangerous liquid according to your eyes and brain.

There are working product which uses US Army: http://www.ultracellpower.com/sp.php?xx25

166 Wh from 250 ml of 40% METHANOL!

"UltraCell offers fuel capacity options for the XX25 that range from a compact 250 cc cartridge (shown), which provides about nine hours of operation at a weight of about 350 g, to a 18 L tank that can provide uninterrupted power for days or weeks." 18 L tank for an underground base...

m.
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Re: "Rechargeable lights have no place in caving"

Postby Jeff Bartlett » Sep 17, 2008 8:12 am

maybe we should write a rebuttal collaboratively, and all sign it.
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Re: "Rechargeable lights have no place in caving"

Postby incavenow » Sep 17, 2008 9:03 am

xcathodex wrote:maybe we should write a rebuttal collaboratively, and all sign it.



Or have the NSS print the address for this thread? :question:
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Re: "Rechargeable lights have no place in caving"

Postby ek » Sep 17, 2008 11:53 am

I do think it's unlikely that cavers would use Angstrom Power's A2 Fuel Cell Flashlight.

My question is, who would use it?

Is it just a proof of concept piece, or does it actually have some application where it is truly preferable, with all its complexities (e.g. you need to have compressed hydrogen), to traditional battery-powerred LED flashlights?
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