Author Topic: Phaethon Lights  (Read 18464 times)

Offline Duncan S

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Re: Phaethon Lights
« Reply #50 on: August 24, 2015, 02:51:47 pm »
Just a little 'gotcha' I learned over the weekend.
The plastic wrap needs to be pared off the negative end of the battery with a knife to make a good contact at the bottom of the battery case.
Two second job - just remember to do it!

I learned the hard way - went caving with my new batteries; both in the lamp and spares.
I'd run them through the capacity tester and all was well; but didn't try them in the light - DOH!
Result was an intermittent connection; actually more off and only occasionally on.
Quickly gave up trying to keep the Phaethon turned on and reverted to using my backup light for the rest of the trip (Craig a Ffynnon).
I've had that Petzl Tikka XP for years and is always around my neck just in case; this is the first time I've needed it. It is uttterly bombproof and reliable, even if the strap is no longer elastic and the light output is slightly lacking by today's standards.
Some lessons are learned the hard way - check and re-check your equipment!

The supplied batteries worked fine and I used my Phethon on the next day's trip with no issues. There was definitely something different about my new batteries, but they tested OK and work well in my dive torch; it was very puzzling.
An email to Phaethon got a rapid response telling me exactly what I needed to do and a photo illustrating what they meant.
Very happy with this level of service!

UK Caving

Re: Phaethon Lights
« Reply #50 on: August 24, 2015, 02:51:47 pm »
Warmbac

Offline Duncan S

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Re: Phaethon Lights
« Reply #51 on: August 27, 2015, 01:58:42 pm »
Some battery usage info for you...
My capacity tester has a neat feature that indicates how much charge was needed to top up the batteries while charging.
The result from last night was 800mAh.
That's from two hours caving on mode 2 (both lamps on level 2) with occasional  bursts on full power to have look at the caverns plus about 20mins cycling on mode 4 (both lamps on level 3).
The tested battery capacity is 3400mAh, so the claimed run-time of 12 hours on mode 2 looks realistic.

Offline Duncan S

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Re: Phaethon Lights
« Reply #52 on: September 08, 2015, 05:11:11 pm »
Battery usage update...
Four hour trip to High Country in Reservoir Hole including high beam usage while we got our heads around the pull-through (took us lots of attempts) and to illuminate the vast chambers.
Capacity tester indicates it needed 1060mAh to top off the batteries.

It's pretty conclusive...
The Phaethon Dual will easily last for 12 hours normal caving.

My concerns over the button haven't been a problem in actual use. Even when it was caked in dried mud from a previous trip it worked fine and a quick trip down Swildons cleaned it up nicely :)
The lamp modes are logical and well thought out; I'm still not feeling the urge to start tinkering with the settings.
The flat out crawls in Hunters Lodge Inn Sink and Reservoir Hole have added another small scratch to the perspex, but the overall condition is still excellent. The lamp and battery box are faring far better than my oversuit and tackle bag.

I'm getting increasingly impressed using the Phaethon for photography. The spot's soft edge means I can use it to fill in a dark corner without it looking unnatural. I've also started using the flood as my main foreground lighting, it is artefact free and means I need to carry less lights.

Offline Duncan S

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Re: Phaethon Lights
« Reply #53 on: October 19, 2015, 12:30:28 pm »
A GoPro shot with my Phaethon Light for illumination.


So far, my Phaethon Light has performed flawlessly.
It's looking in remarkably good condition; after many trips it is in way better condition than the helmet it is attached to.
Battery life is matching expectations which is increasing my confidence to use the high output more often. I'm regularly using the light as part of my cave photography.
Surprisingly, I'm still not feeling the need to tinker with the settings; at no point in my caving or cave photography have I been left thinking I'd like something slightly different.
I'm a very happy bunny :)

Offline maxf

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Re: Phaethon Lights
« Reply #54 on: October 19, 2015, 07:44:12 pm »
Very good !

What settings do you use on your gopro ?

All my stills end up very cold and un natural looking...

Offline Antwan

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Re: Phaethon Lights
« Reply #55 on: October 19, 2015, 09:04:11 pm »
If your shots look 'blue' try white balance adjustment in your editing program or sometimes disguised and tone/tint control.

Offline Duncan S

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Re: Phaethon Lights
« Reply #56 on: October 19, 2015, 10:16:23 pm »
I just let the GoPro get on with it!
Auto White Balance, auto exposure.
This particular shot is pretty much pure under-exposed (black) and over exposed (white); the mid tones are where the black and white have been blurred. I reckon just about any white balance would produce similar results.
However, in normal shots AWB seems to give OK results too.

The one thing I do that I would highly recommend is using continuous mode at 5FPS.
Usually, the first image in the set is blurred as I press the button, and the last image is blurred when I release the button.
But fingers crossed there is going to be a tolerably sharp images somewhere in the set.
Shots like this I usually take 6-9 images and just 1-3 of them have no blur and are usable.

Offline maxf

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Re: Phaethon Lights
« Reply #57 on: October 20, 2015, 05:50:23 am »
Thanks for the tips, will try them out next time I use it underground

Offline Fulk

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Re: Phaethon Lights
« Reply #58 on: December 21, 2016, 10:04:02 am »
Hi Duncan,

Are you still happy with your choice of lamp?

I prefer a relatively focused beam for general-purpose caving – how tight is the Phaeton’s spot beam? From the Phaeton website the  dual (your choice, I believe) appears to be 4 degrees – that sounds very narrow, do you find it’s OK? How long do the batteries last?

Offline Ed

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Re: Phaethon Lights
« Reply #59 on: December 21, 2016, 12:48:21 pm »
I'm more than happy with mine.

On setting 2 - low flood and spot, idea for general caving i use one set of batteries per club weekend. That would be a 4 or 5 hour trip one day and another 3 or 4 hours the next day.........if i remembered to charge them before hand.

It depends on setting and battery quality really.

Also has the advantage that it is a 30 second job to transfer to normal head band or bike for non caving use




Offline Fulk

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Re: Phaethon Lights
« Reply #60 on: December 21, 2016, 11:21:48 pm »
Thanks, Ed.

Online Rob

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Re: Phaethon Lights
« Reply #61 on: January 17, 2022, 09:01:20 pm »
Digging this thread up from eons ago.

Does anyone here use a Phaethon and have any long term feedback on them? Looks like a well engineered and cost effective option, on the face of it anyway...
The end is where we start....

Offline PeteHall

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Re: Phaethon Lights
« Reply #62 on: January 17, 2022, 11:58:56 pm »
I know a couple of people who use them and both highly rate them. :thumbsup:

I nearly bought one, but opted for a Scurion Dive instead on the basis of local options for after sales service/ support (and I got the Scurion 2nd hand, but nearly new, for a good price).

I've no reason to doubt the after sales support for a Phaethon, other than it's overseas and an unknown.

I do know of someone who had a lot of trouble with one, but that person seems to have trouble with whatever kit they buy, so possibly it is the user at fault, not the light...  :shrug:

Offline Minion

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Re: Phaethon Lights
« Reply #63 on: January 18, 2022, 08:14:35 am »
I have one, and it’s absolutely brilliant! I sometimes favour it over my Scurion 1500 due to it being so light and low profile - ideal for the grotty Mendip caves on my doorstep.

Offline ImperialCollegecaver

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Re: Phaethon Lights
« Reply #64 on: January 18, 2022, 08:29:10 am »
I've had a phaeton for the last 2 years - so can't really comment on the long-term durability of the build.

But I've used it on expeditions and camping trips, using a set of two 18650's for about 2.5 days caving on a mix of setting 1 for camp, and setting 2 for normal caving, with here and there bursts of the brighter settings for large passages. I've not had any problems with it, so I highly rate it. It's reliable and water proof, and you can get more 18650's to build your set of spare batteries. I also like the low-key functional design of the lamp. The switching on/off with the piezoelectric switch can be fiddly to 'get' at first, but there are no moving parts, so once you get past the 'press three times at the right rhythm business', you can get the full functionality even with extremely thick, muddy gloves.

Has anyone got experience with the after-sales side of things?

Offline royfellows

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Re: Phaethon Lights
« Reply #65 on: January 18, 2022, 10:18:08 am »
This just a well meaning 'heads up'

If you purchase anything in the UK you are covered by UK consumer protection law. Purchasing from overseas, besides shipping cots etc, can carry risks.
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Offline RobinGriffiths

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Re: Phaethon Lights
« Reply #66 on: January 18, 2022, 10:45:19 am »
Heh, heh. I see they are in Greece. I'm not going for obvious cheap comment!

Offline Tseralo

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Re: Phaethon Lights
« Reply #67 on: January 18, 2022, 12:29:56 pm »
I've been using mine for nearly a year now, love it. It feels bombproof, it's light, the batteries are cheap it's easy to service, so far it's been to 30m several times with no issues whatsoever and I know they have gone much deeper. Battery life is basically the same as all the others, they all use 18650s inside and very similar leds and drivers.

I'm quite impressed with the engineering and thought that's gone into it unlike some of the more "garage engineering" of the UK ones. My simian light-flooded at 6m twice on me and several of the 18650 holders just died.

The only downside is you cant put protected cells in it if like me you already have backups or side lights that take protected 18650s. I am working on a solution for that though which ill share at some point.

Offline tony s

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Re: Phaethon Lights
« Reply #68 on: January 18, 2022, 06:43:32 pm »
Had mine for at least 5 years.  It went back to Greece for a new cable in first year (and was repaired only for the cost of postage) but apart from that its been great - small, light-weight, easily-changed batteries in the middle of long expedition trips, great on flood for photos, and robust.  My only reservation is that the circuit is completed by screwing the bottom half of the battery casing to the top, which of course includes an O-ring for water-proofing.  I suspect that the aluminium case can build up oxide, and I have to tighten the Allen bolts a lot to keep the circuit good and stop any flickering.

Offline royfellows

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Re: Phaethon Lights
« Reply #69 on: January 18, 2022, 08:43:13 pm »
I have some interesting info on this.

I believe that it was the culmination of a project known as "Light 1777".
I have an original html download on local disk which I just opened in my browser but cannot get graphics up. The webpages are now gone, hyperlinks on the document are all dead. My documents are all in French as well.
I also have on disk the plan -drawing for the lamp which I will attempt to attach to this posting.
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Offline royfellows

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Re: Phaethon Lights
« Reply #70 on: January 18, 2022, 09:08:23 pm »
I have just run the docs through Google Translate

First paragraph my be of interest:

"1/ Basic principles: This project, open to all without restriction, dates from the beginning of 2013 but was dormant: it was a question of creating an empty front box in relatively versatile milled aluminum for handymen of caving headlamps which could then be adapted by each for his personal use. The project has just restarted under the impetus of Bastien, a caving colleague from the Quebec City region (Canada). "
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