So handy, so cheap (23 Jan, 2019)

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So handy, so cheap (23 Jan, 2019)

Postby aardvark_admin » Wed Jan 23, 2019 6:41 am

This column is archived at: https://aardvark.co.nz/daily/2019/0123.shtml

A couple of useful and reasonably priced "torches" have come in very handy over the past few weeks but I wonder how many people even have a torch these days.

Do you have a "real torch" or do you simply rely on having this functionality built into your phone for emergency lighting purposes?

And do you wonder about the people who would make a solar-powered device black???
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Re: So handy, so cheap (23 Jan, 2019)

Postby RoddyAxn » Wed Jan 23, 2019 8:01 am

https://youtu.be/Ilnb8cNcPR0
Here is the review on YouTube I made that started all this off.

I have purchased a number of battery banks in the past and over time they are all left flat of charge when you go to pick them up to use them.

This solar power idea is great in the way it keeps a charge to replace what is lost due to time.

This technology can be applied to all recharge items found in the garage.

think of a day when all cordless drills work when you pick them up

You leave them changed and they go flat

I get my drills from the dump and that makes them old before they start

the battery is stuffed

but with solar technology the battery could have a charge maintained for that one hole you need infrequently

so this product reviewed is about a paradigm shift in electronics

I also used this item last night when I tried one of the two USB ports

I think the warehouse got them in and over priced them.

so the $14 was a Clarence price

and so we who have them are winners in getting the paradgm started by making videos and posts on how good they are

I understand the color issue but if you want to wrap your in tinfoil expect for the solar part then you have your space age alumnum shield
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Re: So handy, so cheap (23 Jan, 2019)

Postby hagfish » Wed Jan 23, 2019 8:21 am

It's much more spendy, but I'm quite taken with Goal Zero's 'Yeti' line of rechargeable batteries. As you say, anything with a 'pocketable' solar panel is going to take a week. Far better, I think, to charge it up from the mains. Solar can then keep the charge topped off, per Roddy's suggestion. They're big and heavy and expensive, but so is a BioLite stove - the difference is that the little Yeti 150 will kick out 80W, rather than 2W (along with smoke, constant twig-feeding, a banshee fan, and regular cursing).

As for torches, I have a couple of Diamondback head torches for tramping. I know where to grab them if the lights go out. I also have a tiny key-torch, perfect for finding the front-door keyhole at night. The torch I use most often is my phone. It's good enough, it's charged, and it's right there.
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Re: So handy, so cheap (23 Jan, 2019)

Postby Perry » Wed Jan 23, 2019 8:33 am

Very useful LED gadgets to have around.
1 x keyring
4 x head torches
3 x handheld

One thing I've concluded is that wide-beam-only LED head torches are not as useful as spotlight-type, or ones that can be focussed from wide to narrow beam.

And wasn't it a shock to see "batteries included?" Seems to be a trend, these days.
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Re: So handy, so cheap (23 Jan, 2019)

Postby GadgetFreak » Wed Jan 23, 2019 9:13 am

Phone-as-torch is to me the same as most other utilities on a phone: great as a "Swiss Army Knife" because it's there, not as useful as a dedicated piece of kit.
As with everything, comes down to which is more inconvenient: searching for a "proper" tool, or using an "only adequate" tool to do the job.
I tend to use my phone to find a torch: 2xAAA "mini-cree" torches are splashed throughout my home, with an additional in my briefcase and one in my ofice. At less than $5 NZ ea landed (ex AliExpress), these are focussable (wide/narrow beam) and emit lots of light.
Likewise I've got a Nitecore TINI on my keyring: outputs a massive amount of light for a small device..and is there when I need it.
Finally, for real "emergency lighting" I have a 1.2 kVA generator, multiple trouble/work lamps (and enough left over to power laptops, the fridge and freezer) - has warranted enquiry from power company workers when in a power cut ours is the only place lit!
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Re: So handy, so cheap (23 Jan, 2019)

Postby par_annoyed » Wed Jan 23, 2019 9:25 am

As a cyclist (for keeping fit rather than any serious competition) I have a couple of cycle lights around. These are quite bright multi LED units and use 4 'AAA' cells, so I have rechargeables in them. They double as torches for emergencies... And I have a few 'novelty' solar LED keyrings in the shed, on a particular nail in the wall.....

Design flaws....

Those really cheap solar garden lights - I notice that several types have an 'on/off' switch, but whichever brilliant designer came up with the circuit diagram wired it so the off switch ISOLATES the BATTERY, so in the 'off' position, no solar charge gets to the battery !! Duh !!! Just moving one wire.....

...But they have a useful little voltage doubler chip in them allowing a 1.5/1.2v NiCd/Nimh to run a white LED.
Have cobbled together an old filament cycle lamp with 2 white leds as replacement with two of these tiny boards in it. Works really well !!

Oh and a 30W fluorescent with a 12V driver circuit (an old Velleman kit) for power outages - just use any car battery and good for at least 10 hours.
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Re: So handy, so cheap (23 Jan, 2019)

Postby phill » Wed Jan 23, 2019 10:55 am

1 cree T6 headlight
2 cree T6 headlights with broken strap mounts
1 cree T6 diving torch
all using 18650 batteries
2 x aaa led headlights
1 hand generator / solar torch / light / radio / siren
1 gas tilly light
2 x 1kw generators
1 phone
obviously power cuts are frequent here
( ,,,,,,,, ....... A E I O U use em sparingly theres probably not enough )

i might live and eat in a sewer .. but hey look how many of these shiney things i have got
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Re: So handy, so cheap (23 Jan, 2019)

Postby Kiwiiano » Wed Jan 23, 2019 3:55 pm

https://xkcd.com/1603/
Be sure to click on the image, the comment is pertinent.
~ Kiwiiano
“I'm right 98% of the time, so who gives a damn about the other 3%?"
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Re: So handy, so cheap (23 Jan, 2019)

Postby joeseph » Wed Jan 23, 2019 7:39 pm

I have often thought that torches are devices that are a place to store flat batteries...

meanwhile atop the fridge:
20190123_203346.jpg
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Re: So handy, so cheap (23 Jan, 2019)

Postby Mike23545 » Wed Jan 23, 2019 11:19 pm

Hi Bruce et al,
I just happen to have one of ".....the old EverReady Dolphin 6V filament-bulb-based torch with zinc/carbon batteries..."
NB: I run a 6 Volt Alkaline battery in it.

1/. 1 x small keyfob type red LED. Handy for finding the key hole/s.
2/. 2 x small white LED torches.
3/. 1 x Big Jim type multi LED torch.
4/. 1 x small green LED torch for reading my star charts.
5/. 1 x small red LED torch, so that I don't annoy/ruin anyone elses dark adaption or when they are taking images.
6/. 2 x small LED camping type lamps. For when the power goes off. (Sort of a frequent occurrence around here.)

That's about all but I am sure there are a few more floating around that I forgot about.

ps. Just found a very old Eveready, chrome plated, brass, 2 x "D" cell torch that I used during my Electrical Apprenticeship
way back in the early 1960's.
Still works fine.
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