Author Topic: Personal lamp preferences!  (Read 10854 times)

Walrus

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Personal lamp preferences!
« on: July 01, 2008, 12:02:07 pm »
I wondered what experiences got you to the lamp you use now? Do you aspire to something greater (or brighter)? This isn't another my-lamp-is-better-than-your-lamp debate! Just for expressing personal experiences.

I started off with a cheapo ebay light for £15, then a Nova3 (which failed at sump one in Swildons so I lost faith in it), then a FX5 (battery was a brick), then an Oldham mod (cant remember the name but it was temperamental) , then tried with varying degrees of success to play with battery configurations and finally stumped up for a Stenlight, which I'm still very happy with. I might be tempted by a Scurion though... I use a Petzl e+lite for a backup.

Offline Brains

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Re: Personal lamp preferences!
« Reply #1 on: July 01, 2008, 12:12:44 pm »
Started off with club oldhams, guaranteed to the limit of daylight  ;D. Next was a homemade double "fx2" - 4 f cells resined into an oldham case. Then I had a 3 cell wet nicad donated to me by a customer at work. By now I was sick of electricky and Lucas, Prince of Darkness, so got an expedition carbide - Malham generator, petzl head piece with electric backup. Eventually got fed up with the electrics and used the "2xFX2" as the back up again. Then got fed up with carbide despite its nice glow, reassuring smell and nice warm generator and moved to a second hand FX3. Upgraded this with a 1W led pilot bulb and now have an impactxl and another dive light as backups. Still using this now but think I maybe needing a new battery soon...

Offline shotlighter

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Re: Personal lamp preferences!
« Reply #2 on: July 01, 2008, 01:11:34 pm »
Started off with club oldhams, guaranteed to the limit of daylight  ;D. Next was a homemade double "fx2" - 4 f cells resined into an oldham case. Then I had a 3 cell wet nicad donated to me by a customer at work. By now I was sick of electricky and Lucas, Prince of Darkness, so got an expedition carbide - Malham generator, petzl head piece with electric backup. Eventually got fed up with the electrics and used the "2xFX2" as the back up again. Then got fed up with carbide despite its nice glow, reassuring smell and nice warm generator and moved to a second hand FX3. Upgraded this with a 1W led pilot bulb and now have an impactxl and another dive light as backups. Still using this now but think I maybe needing a new battery soon...
That 3 cell wet ni-cad is now in a museam (Apedale mining museam)! ;D
I started with an Oldham (pre halogen), then made my self an FX3 (before Spelio made one), then Fisma/Petzl carbide with homebrew back up. Went back to my trusty Oldham (now on halogen) untill very recently & I'm now running a Raptor which might just oust the Oldham - although it's not as well made, it's brighter, much lighter & 1/3 the price.

Offline Addy

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Re: Personal lamp preferences!
« Reply #3 on: July 01, 2008, 02:15:04 pm »
Started with an Oldham back in 1979 with a 'C' type headset with manual focus bought from Chris Bradshaw or Rocksport in Wells. This lasted for a few years and was supplemented by a Caving Supplies second hand Youle caplamp. Eventually they both gave out and I hollowed them and replaced the innards with 20Ah wet NiCds. These lasted the best part of 15 years until 2000 when a 'number of embarrassing lamp failures' prompted me to build a new lamp.

Started with early white 5mm LEDs and have built many through Luxeon 1Ws and 3Ws and have settled for 24 x 5mm LEDs with (initially) PWM dimming (Youle headset) and more recently a small microcontroller in an Oldham headset. This is a 2W lamp which, with a helmet mounted 4.8Ah Li-Ion battery (105g), gives me 8 hours on full power. I carry a spare battery in my pocket and a separate 3-LED backup lamp.

Why?

Offline caving_fox

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Re: Personal lamp preferences!
« Reply #4 on: July 01, 2008, 04:31:04 pm »
STarted way back with an Oldham. Since then I've been on an FX3 which has done sterling service, but is now beginning to become flickery at times, and needing more frequent maintenance so I'll be interested to see what the most common upgrade is.
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Offline graham

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Re: Personal lamp preferences!
« Reply #5 on: July 01, 2008, 04:38:26 pm »
Started with a stinky. then NiFe cells then Oldham NiCad conversions, then FX2s, Kirby kidney packs, Speleoshitnics headlamps, now Petzls.

Now do less maintenance then ever before.
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Online paul

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Re: Personal lamp preferences!
« Reply #6 on: July 01, 2008, 05:47:21 pm »
Started with a cheapo "Pifco" strap-on headlight. When the battery box died very quickly - probably because it was in my boilersuit pocket and got damaged - I replaced this box with a dry-cell bell battery with 2 screw terminals. When I could afford it (I was still at school), I got an Oldhams. This decided to leak after a year, all over my sleeping bag! Arse. Then I gouged out the innards and replaced with NiCad cells from Caving Supplies. Also I sometimes used a Premier "stinky" at that time (which I still have).
When starting to go caving abroad, I got a "ceiling burner" Petzl Laser carbide light with Fisma genrator screwed onto a Joe Brown climbing helmet. That was in 1985 and I still have them, too.
Then about 7 years ago I got a Kirby Kidney lamp (similar spec.to the FX5 but a much better shaped battery and smaller by using NiMH cells.
About 4 years ago I got a Speleotechnics 7-led NiMH Headlite. This lasted about a year before I had to change the headset switch contacts which didn't work very well. I eventually threw the original headset away and transferred the reflector and wire/plug to a second-hand Oldhams headset. Not long after that I got one of "potholer"'s "Bisun" conversions and changed the Speleotechnics reflector to this one - a massive improvement.
Then while on a trip to the US 2 years ago I got a Stenlight (for £150!) and have been using that for regular underground use. I have no desire to change from this as it should last quite a while yet, although I do change to the Bisun conversion when having to run off AA cells on trips abroad.

Well, you did ask!


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Offline Cap'n Chris

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Re: Personal lamp preferences!
« Reply #7 on: July 01, 2008, 05:56:35 pm »
Speleoflickernics headlite, then 7LED version, then Nova1 then finally moved to more reliable Tikka, XP, MYO XP, now on to 2008 MYO; I retain (fully functional) all the Petzl lights, but none of the Speleoflickery relics.

Offline AdrianTurner

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Re: Personal lamp preferences!
« Reply #8 on: July 01, 2008, 06:06:38 pm »
Started with Bernie's Oldhams, then quickly moved on to a Petzl Duo and carbide combo.   After a while I added a 1W led ukKinetics dive light and over time found myself using that in preference to the crappy duo (2002 era) or the carbide (far too lazy for that).  Eventually got a 2W ukKinetics dive light and stripped off the Duo.  The two dive lights were great, zero maintenance and ample light for the majority of stuff.  I'm so glad I didn't stump for a speleo when everyone else was getting one.  Unfortunately, the 2W is starting to die now, it's giving out less and less light, though the 1W is still going strong.  Have occasionally taken my Myo XP underground as an auxiliary light source and really like the light it gives out, but wouldn't think of having it as a primary or backup as I like those to be IP rated.  Thinking about using a non-caving dedicated light or two, something like a Wolf Eyes Angel A or Zebralight, or combination of, but will be interested to see what others are using.

Offline Cap'n Chris

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Re: Personal lamp preferences!
« Reply #9 on: July 01, 2008, 06:37:58 pm »
Are IP ratings relevant, though? For cave-diving, perhaps; "standard caving"... not convinced.

Offline Anon

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Re: Personal lamp preferences!
« Reply #10 on: July 01, 2008, 06:46:06 pm »
Started with a very cheap headtorch, which was replaced soon after with a Petzl Zoom.
When I started caving proper it was whatever Bernies or Inglesport provided (Oldhams mainly) before I finally purchased a second-hand FX3, this was later upgraded with 7LEDs, eventually got fed up of cable/connection issues and switched to a Petzl Duo - which was upgraded with LED to replace the halogen bulb - this is doing the job nicely for now..

Offline SamT

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Re: Personal lamp preferences!
« Reply #11 on: July 01, 2008, 07:08:45 pm »

Started on an Oldham - headsets where in the shed from my 1980s and early 90s scouts days so got a new T3 battery for them.

Got a 7Led speleo reflector and modded this into the Oldham Caplap and used a Pretzl zoom battery box and 4.5v flatpacks
This worked a treat on my last foreign caving trip along with the stock standard pretzl Arian carbide set up

Then got one of AndyF's "LED Caving Lamp" things which has been great - still really like it. (modded to mount battery on rear of helmet)

Just got one of Potholers "Bisuns" which replaced the 7 led reflector in my Oldham - and Im liking it very much. (Best pay him for it then  :-[).

However - ChrisJ's offer of his second hand Sten is tempting.

Im too stingy to fork out for a new one and deffo not interesting in taking out a 2nd mortgage for a Scurion - its got to have a really proven track record before I'd consider parting with that kind of money, especially as the market is changing really quickly and latest mega lamp is probably only just around the corner.


Online Pete K

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Re: Personal lamp preferences!
« Reply #12 on: July 01, 2008, 07:56:09 pm »
Not been caving for as long as some of you guys so my list may be a little modern.
Started on an original Myo 3, good but ate batteries.
Moved on to FX2s & 3s 'borrowed' from my work.
Upgraded a few years ago to a 7 LED FX Headlight which just did not impress me.
My back-up Tikka just died from cronic corrosion so...

Currently using a Duo 14 with 1w LED spot bulb, Princton Tec Attitude and a Tikka XP as reserves.

I still use a set of 6 FX2s for group work, no problems yet, but I have put in a lot of maintenence time on them. Also have a 7 LED FX running off an FX3 battery for large caves/photography.

Offline pete h

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Re: Personal lamp preferences!
« Reply #13 on: July 01, 2008, 08:45:21 pm »
Started with a stinky. then NiFe cells then Oldham NiCad conversions, then FX2s, Kirby kidney packs, Speleoshitnics headlamps, now Petzls.

Now do less maintenance then ever before.

The good old days of the stinky then the Nife cell but i would have thought your first light was a candle Graham  :lol: :lol:

Offline Hammy

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Re: Personal lamp preferences!
« Reply #14 on: July 01, 2008, 09:52:21 pm »
Started off with a Premier (stinky), then Oldham T3, then Petzl Explorer thing (not the Duo version) with an Ariane generator. Next came an FX2 followed by an FX3 which I later upgraded with the 7 LED conversion.

Finally I saw the light and got a 14 LED Duo on a Vertex which unfortunately never quite fitted my head very well so changed it for a Petzl Spelios. This is now my main light although if I'm in the mood I occasionally strap a Tikka on to an Elios for variety.

The LED lamps have never needed any maintenance or failed on me. All of the rest were horrendous, but they all went for good prices on EBay!!

Offline ditzy

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Re: Personal lamp preferences!
« Reply #15 on: July 02, 2008, 08:36:07 am »
started of with a cheap headlight attached to my helmet, then went onto a headlight that had been made aswell as two cheepp dive lights for backups, i then got a fx3 for my main light and decided that the cheep dive lights wernt very good (rubbish conexion) and got a impactxl to replace one of my two dive lights.

Offline docfunk

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Re: Personal lamp preferences!
« Reply #16 on: July 03, 2008, 08:54:56 pm »
Petzl Duo 14.

Offline Greg Jones

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Re: Personal lamp preferences!
« Reply #17 on: July 03, 2008, 09:35:27 pm »
My lamps, from when I started;

Premier "Stinky" caplamp - still comes out once a year for our Christmas retro trip.
3 cell Nife
FX2
FX5 - the worst lamp I have ever owned.
Headlite - later modified to be a;
7 led Headlite
Bisun P31 in an Oldham headset, running off the Headlite batteries - definitely the best lamp I have owned (so far).
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Offline jarvist

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Re: Personal lamp preferences!
« Reply #18 on: July 04, 2008, 12:36:34 am »
Started on club halogen FX3s, still remember the dying orange glow as I walked down from Maskhill on my first long trip!

Moved on to a prototype Bisun light for the summer expedition, and haven't looked back since. Takes a while to get used to the retrofitted switching, but simultaneously utterly reliable and self serviceable.

Backup is a Underwater Kinetics Q40 with LED conversion (screw version). Exposed lens is a little susceptible to scratching, but very reliable.

ColinA

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Re: Personal lamp preferences!
« Reply #19 on: July 15, 2008, 11:38:45 pm »
Started with Edisons Alkali Cells (great lamps) then stinky + Petzl Zoom as backup, on to Oldhams still use these for very wet trips Had a spell with FX2s crap, back on Oldhams, now use Tikka XP with MiniQ40 as backup through all this have never (30yrs) have never been stuck in the dark (touch wood)

Offline Cap'n Chris

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Re: Personal lamp preferences!
« Reply #20 on: July 16, 2008, 08:51:50 am »
utterly reliable and self serviceable.

Is it me or does this not make sense?

andymorgan

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Re: Personal lamp preferences!
« Reply #21 on: July 16, 2008, 04:25:16 pm »
utterly reliable and self serviceable.

Is it me or does this not make sense?

It's just you.

Agrophobic

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Re: Personal lamp preferences!
« Reply #22 on: October 28, 2008, 01:43:37 pm »
Started off with a 4D maglight back in the days when i just wore old clothes and waterproofs.
Then had a series of cheapo and or crap headtorches, then a couple of zooms. finally upgraded to a 5led duo which now has 1w led one side and 12 leds the other. yes i always look for something brighter. so i've got another duo which is currently being modded with two 3w cree leds, one with spot optics and one with flood optics.
Photos will be posted when it all comes together.
The zoom has also been modded with a 3w led.


Offline graham

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Re: Personal lamp preferences!
« Reply #24 on: November 14, 2008, 01:13:53 pm »


£225  :o :o :o
Caving is for Life not just for Christmas

 

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