Author Topic: lights  (Read 5633 times)

Huw Groucutt

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« on: August 19, 2003, 09:14:25 pm »
What lighting systems do people use? Personally i use an fx-ion with 7 LED's.

eyecave

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« Reply #1 on: August 20, 2003, 04:33:58 am »
:? depends on the cave of course, but fer the regular weeknight quickie or tourist type cave or pit i take a petzl mega zoom i haven't worn out yet and two small 3 LED headlamps....i also have a small mini lite around my neck and a PAL ninevolt in my pocket, along with a cigarette lighter.........why so freaking many lites!! you ask.........well, i think too much is better than too little......unless too much is too heavy or too bulky!!........      i always wear two lights on my helmet and will turn on both when doing a climb or pit......i don't like a brite lite in a crawl, makes things look too small......i don't like a dim lite in a big passage, makes things look too big!!    petzl ceiling burners are wonderful in some caves.......regular carbide helmet lites are better than electric in most of the cave, but definitely not all of the cave......

Offline underground

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« Reply #2 on: August 20, 2003, 10:19:52 am »
I'm on a 14-LED FX-ION, which I find fine in everything other than big passages or pitches, when it can mean that I don't fully appreciate the view. An Underwater Kinetics Mini Q40 divelight on the side of my lid as a backup...

The new Speleotechnics Nova looks interesting mind....

Offline bubba

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« Reply #3 on: August 20, 2003, 10:22:11 am »
I'm with the underground on the 14LED FX-ION.

Pricey, but nicey. Should really carry a backup too, but hey, I've not even been down a cave for about a month due to all this lurvely sunny weather.....and being a lazy twat  :)
=:blubba:=

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Offline Johnny

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« Reply #4 on: August 20, 2003, 03:09:07 pm »
Yes bubba get yourself underground you lazy-arse :wink:

I worry a bit about these LED lights, I know of people, new to caving, that have only ever caved with LED's. I think that the larger arrays are better but I find the light rather flat and that it dulls the cave, making it less enjoyable and harder to navigate.

The Mini-Q40 is an excellent back up, I have one on my helmet all the time, its light and extremely tough. For general caving I run an Oldham headset with 1ah lamp and a 3 LED back up from a 4.5 Raylight battery. Where the caving is more awkward I use an Oldham set with a 'sawn off' olham battery containing two wet NiCad cells. For more awkward still and I use an FX Headlight 7 LED array.   I also use the Headlight when abroad along with my carbide set; Petzle Aceto & Arrian.

Horses for courses.
Onwards to glory!

Huw Groucutt

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« Reply #5 on: August 21, 2003, 12:23:18 am »
I've got a little mitylite on the side of my helmet incase something goes wrong with the main one. Occasionaly carry a petzl zoom aswell if i'm feeling parnoid or for long trips like Darren camps.

I've seen the 14 LED fx ion and wasn't particularly impressed. I think the 7 LED'S is just the right amount of light for normal caving, the 14 didn't look twice as bright for half the burn time and twice the price! Being a South Wales caver i'm used to big passages but virtualy never use the main beam (0.85 amp halogen) except for looking off into the distance or up avens and stuff. I've also occasionly found it useful in fast water where the LED'S are not powerfull enough to see the bottom, in somewhere like the OFD streamway it helps to be able to see the bottom in case your about to walk into a big submerged hole!

Johnny....I dont find the light particularly flat, any light coming from so close to your eyes is going to make things look flat but i think this is if anything lessenned by the better spread of LEDs....and i don't think it dulls the cave, its fare more pleasing, natural looking light, far better than a horrible like orange pencil beam, you may well be able to see the way on in the distance but seems a bit pointless if you can't see your feet!

On a recent trip i forgot my helmet and light and had to use a borrowed (well, hired) Oldham...my main lamp used to be an oldham but i've forgotten just how annoying they are! Can't move without it catching on something! And the horrible colour of the light! YUCK!

Huw Groucutt

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« Reply #6 on: August 21, 2003, 12:26:52 am »
Quote from: "eyecave"
petzl mega zoom


Can tell you ain't got any real caves in America if you can manage to use a pretzl stop as your main light! The light from the gloom is just about enough for use around a camp or something but i've found its useless for caving!


P.S. - only joking before you start lecturing that you have the longest cave in the world! Not for long though, Draenens getting there!

eyecave

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« Reply #7 on: August 22, 2003, 05:42:14 am »
Huw...it is an inadequate light for caving......i was wading up a river cave two weeks ago and had to retrieve a C cell flashlight from my pack to see the bottom of the water i was wading in..........the majority of cave i go into is small passage and under a couple of miles.......vertical and horizontal passage with water normally present.......so, the petzl mega gloom with a halogen bulb is adequate for that sort......previously i used hefty waist batttery systems such as the wheat and taglite........thats probably why i tolerate  the darn thing!!..........anyway as soon as i break it i will purchase one of the newer LED lights with 50 hundred LED's......as fer the largest cave......i have never caved outside TAG......i know a couple of larger caves well, but i like to waste weekends trying to create passage that leads to already created passage,....what is between the water's splash and the bat's squeak is what i seek..... I particularly like the vertical caves.  :shock:

Offline Johnny

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« Reply #8 on: August 22, 2003, 09:24:08 am »
Huw

If the beam from an oldham is too sharp it is a very simple exercise to widen it, you just position the bulb lower in the reflector and achieve any spread that you wish. Oldham headsets are the toughest around and, in my opinion, far exceed the of poor quality FX products.
I have been in some exceedingly tight and arduous passage with a 4v lead acid and get by just fine. In my experience, with the amount and style of caving that I do FX equipment is just not tough or reliable enough. Its probably perfectly fine for sports caving and the occasional pet dig but put it to serious use and it falls to bits.
For example, the poxy connection on the headlight is a joke. The strap provided to keep the connection in place is next to useless. I tried three batteries in the shop before I found one that didn't give an intermittent connection. I actually lost one battery when returning from a rigging trip into the PSM and had to resort to my Oldham and 4.5v laser battery pack combination for the through trip.
Enjoy stumbling around in the gloom Huw, I'll carry on doing what I do.
Onwards to glory!

Huw Groucutt

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« Reply #9 on: August 22, 2003, 10:54:14 am »
When your talking about your problems with fx's are you talking about the headlite? I've never used them but yes they are meant to be crap, the fx-ion ion is a far better light. As for the quality of construction i feel that the FX are fine. I know far more people who've cracked the battery or in some other way broken their oldham than have had trouble with the speleo technics stuff.

Quote


Enjoy stumbling around in the gloom Huw, I'll carry on doing what I do.


Well i find it good enough for the largest passage in Britain, but then your free to strap a brick onto your belt if you want!

Huw Groucutt

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Re: mega gloom's
« Reply #10 on: August 22, 2003, 10:56:17 am »
Quote from: "eyecave"
the petzl mega gloom with a halogen bulb is adequate for that sort



Ah fair enough if your using halogen, its using the normal bulb which is crap. How many hours do you get from a halogen?

Offline Johnny

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« Reply #11 on: August 22, 2003, 01:50:07 pm »
Straping a brick to ones belt does help with sumps :wink:

Oldham batteries are vulnerable to cracking, I have done it myself, and they are too expensive thats why I use a raylight battery. Far cheaper and far more robust than an FX.
Two potted metal pins that mate with two potted ferrules, all held together with a wing-nut :roll:
I had a caving buddy that used them and the ferrules used to open up.
The Ion and the Headlight both have the same method of conection to the battery, held on with a strap :roll:
The first thing that you have to do is throw the strap away and replace it with some bungy. I dont expect to start re-working something that has just cost me 200 quid :!:
What is the wieght comparison between FX batteries and a 4v lead acid :?:
Onwards to glory!

Huw Groucutt

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« Reply #12 on: August 22, 2003, 04:15:03 pm »
Quote from: "Johnny"
What is the wieght comparison between FX batteries and a 4v lead acid :?:


No idea, all i know is the fx-ion is bloody light!

I've heard people say the fixing strap for ions/headlites is crap, but i've not had any problem with it so far.

eyecave

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life time halogen bulbs....
« Reply #13 on: August 23, 2003, 06:16:51 am »
i call a petzl zoom with a standard bulb a backup lite!!.....i have dropped the light with it switched on and the halogen's filament hot and gotten a very short time outta one.......i have always had them go out in consistently shorter times than standard bulbs..... they go out sooner than standard bulb in spite of costing a lot more!!..........i don't really know exactly how long they last but i never go without both a spare halogen and standard bulb.........the way they eat up batteries  they outta last longer!....i have also heard that the oils from our hands will cause hot spots and much faster bulb burnout in a halogen if you don't wipe them off after installing or fiddling with'em!!

Offline Johnny

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« Reply #14 on: August 27, 2003, 09:33:42 am »
Eyecave

I think i remember reading somewhere that grease, from hands etc., effects bulbs formed from a certain glass, you are right they do eat batteries.

Huw

I am sorry but I must continue to moan about Speleotechnics.
Big trip on Saturday and I forgot my light :!:  :oops:
Not a prpblem nip around the corner to nice people at Hitch & Hike and hire one, an FX3.
One hour into an eight hour trip and the main bulb failed :evil: . I had to do the next seven hours on the pilot bulb :x
The trip was one where you end up covered in mud all of the time and we did not have time to start fiddling with crappy lights so I just put up with it.
When I got it cleaned up and returned it we discovered that the switch was faulty :x
I have seen this same fault on my mates FX Ion, it appears to be a problem with the FX headset, not good, not happy.
Onwards to glory!

Huw Groucutt

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« Reply #15 on: August 27, 2003, 11:42:39 am »
unlucky!

Perhaps you and your mate are just cursed?!

Offline underground

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« Reply #16 on: August 27, 2003, 12:56:36 pm »
Yep, it seems to be about every 5th trip or so that we have to start messing about with the switch in my ION. Shaun at Hitch and Hike did a nice job of instlling a couple of washers to help, but even they have given up the ghost now...

If you bought a TV for 200 quid, you wouldn't expect to have to start taking the back off and fiddling with a screwdriver to get a decent picture, would you? I'm seriously considering a Raylite and Oldham combo now instead, but I for one don't like the belt mounted batteries- but if it means I've got peace of mind on long trips, it's probably worth the hassle...

Huw Groucutt

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« Reply #17 on: August 27, 2003, 05:18:29 pm »
You have to look on the positive side of the speleo technics poor quality, it can make your dig look far more promising i.e. "i think i've broken through, i can see loads of blackness boys" - words of wisdom from a fellow digger and his trusty (i.e. ancient) fx2, think he spent about as much time in the dark as with it working until he got a new cable and that seems to have cured the problem!

Fiona

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« Reply #18 on: February 18, 2004, 10:09:37 pm »
:D I am looking at getting a Nova headlight . has anyone got this, and how does it perform ?
Fiona.

Offline SamT

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« Reply #19 on: February 18, 2004, 10:23:18 pm »
see the Nova thread in this forum http://www.ukcaving.com/board/viewtopic.php?t=275

You'll see that there is a running battle on the site that has been raging for about a year over several threads. something along the lines of

"I hate speleotechics they're crap"
"Well I love mine its ace"

 :argue: ad nauseum

My personal experience with them has been poor, and that applies to most of my peers too. Very expensive for something that is poorly manufactured and therefore unreliable - IMHO.

Offline bubba

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« Reply #20 on: February 19, 2004, 06:12:10 am »
Well mine's been great, and as you know I'm hardcore and out almost every night  :roll:

To tell you the truth, if was in the market for a new light, I'd try and bribe one of this lot to make me one up  :wink:
=:blubba:=

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Offline Anon

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« Reply #21 on: February 19, 2004, 11:31:08 am »
I use the good old FX3 with the 7led reflector.

Does the job for me without any real hassles..