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Old 10-18-2015, 10:37 AM   #1
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New rechargeable flashlight.

I'll be gone for most of the day, but I wanted to post pictures of my new flashlight, and explain why I bought this particular model.

I have several Surefire flashlights from the fuller size 6P down to the little early model E1e that has been in my pocket for +15 years. I recently got a rechargeable flashlight that plugs right into the wall, the issue there is that it is also a 4.5 million volt taser...

With the BOB project progressing, I wanted a more modern lamp, but most of the ones that could light up a campsite were huge, and some had big suitcase handles on them. But like the Tardis, I only wanted "big" on the inside.

That, and all of my flashlights, T-shirts, Harleys and boots are black. I've been buying gray Harley shirts this year, and I was pleased to find this model from Amazon came in colors.

(The flashlight itself calls this a 'Sky Ray,' but the box says that it's a LED Glare Illumination. I'm guessing a Taiwan rendition of an older American design, assembled in China by Mexicans, but that's just a guess.)

It appears to made from a solid billet of anodized aluminum, it's quite sturdy--and here's the good part, it's rated at 8500 lumens. I quickly charged the 3.7 volt Ion batteries for just a few minutes each, and then took the flashlight into a dark, interior, walk-in closet with no windows or lights. I switched it on, and night became day!

It even has a 'moon' setting that is brighter than one of my earlier SureFires.

I have now fully charged all the batteries, and the next test and full(er) report will come after I go out at zero-dark-thirty tomorrow morning and get the newspaper. I want to see what the light does on acres of open, dark ground.

...you never know when you have to jury-rig a broken motorcycle...

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Old 10-18-2015, 12:12 PM   #2
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Nice flashlight Chico, it will throw tons of light but it will also get very hot. Skyray is a Chinese company that originally designed the light to use 3 LED's, the original version was called the "King". The light was very popular with flashlight addicts and sold like crazy. When sales would start to fall off they would add another LED, there have been 4, 5, 6, 7 and 8 LED versions. I bought one of the 3 LED versions when they first came out about 4 years ago and think that for the money it's a great light. The disadvantage of adding more LEDs is that they have to make the reflectors smaller and shallower so the lights have more flood and less throw.





I'd suggest you use good protected cells in the light and when you're not actually using the light loosen the head about 1 turn to prevent parasitic battery drain. Your best friend will be a multi meter, over and under charged cells are dangerous.

> 4.2 V = Over-charged. Dangerous cell, recycle it immediately.
4.2 V = 100%
4.1 V = 90%
4.0 V = 80%
3.9 V = 60%
3.8 V = 40%
3.7 V = 20%
3.5 V = 0%
< 3.5 V = Over-discharged.

If less than 3V, it is too dangerous to recharge. Recycle it immediately.

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Old 10-18-2015, 02:03 PM   #3
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It is possible the added LEDs have downgraded the heat issue. I've been playing with mine and I cannot feel any heat whatsoever.

My concern is re-chargeability. I'm searching for an adjunct that plugs into a USB port or truck cigarette lighter.

I will be doing the "real" test this week. I've found a supplier for more batteries, and surprisingly, they are very affordable.

The size for me is just about perfect. While a little to big to lug around just running errands, it's fine for camping, the truck or the BOB.

Chinese or not, my example is truly machined, it's tight, the o-ring is an afterthought, and it is solid as a bank vault door.

For forty bucks, I might buy a few and hide them.
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Old 10-18-2015, 09:38 PM   #4
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Flashlights are fun stuff. I'm really enthused about the usability of the cheap Chinese lights. I buy them from Deal Extreme (DealeXtreme - Cool Gadgets at the Right Price - DX Free Shipping Worldwide). They have a thousand different lights to choose from. All my lights cost between eight and fifteen bucks. I like the rechargeable ones for at home, just for the convenience. For backpacking, I like regular throw-away batteries. When I'm in the hills, recharging is not an option.

On my mountain bike, I run two Chinese lights. I will put mine up against any of the $400 American or European lights. For this purpose, I like a bit of a flood, and I like it brighter than a thousand suns. I need to see as far out as possible, and even that's not far enough. Brighter is better.

On the other hand, when not traveling at extreme speeds, dimmer is sometimes better. If a light is too bright and I'm looking at something close, I can get snow blinded. If you're with other people, excessively bright lights can really piss them off. You'll go around blinding people, and they'll hate you.

The best part about the cheap Chinese lights? You can buy a bunch. I have one in my machinist's toolbox, one in the kitchen, one in the nightstand, one in my desk drawer, and one in the truck. And I've given away a few, as well.
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Old 10-19-2015, 01:26 AM   #5
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It's 2:30AM now on Monday morning. At 3:00AM the newspaper comes and my neighborhood is really dark. I cannot wait for the first real test!

Edit: I just went outside. I live on an acre lot in suburbia. I flipped on the flashlight, and my entire front yard lit up like a spotlight! Yikes!
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Old 10-19-2015, 06:50 AM   #6
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The flashlight isn't getting hot because the LED's aren't coming up to full power. You're powering 8 LED's with the same power source that I'm using to power 3.

Do a little research on those inexpensive batteries, most exporters buy bulk cheap batteries and put their own wrappers on them, they love names with "Fire" in them. I found that AW (black), Keeppower and Panasonic are 3 of the best out there. To get any kind of decent run time out of your light buy the biggest mAh you can find, most of my batteries are 3400 mAh. Stick with protected batteries, I mark my batteries so I can keep them together in sets. Batteries in a flashlight will feed off of each other, mix a weak one in the set and it will suck life from the others.
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Old 10-19-2015, 08:31 AM   #7
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The customer service guy at Amazon said they carry two kinds of 3.7 Volt rechargeables. He trashed the ones that come in a green and white wrapper. He sent me the ones in the picture, the ones with the all blue wrapper.

I also charge batteries in sets. I agree, it's the best way. It looks like I have six or seven pairs on the counter now, in that I have only thrown one away because it failed.

The spec-sheet on these (from Radio Shack) stated that they could be charged 40 times. Oy vey, I've charged them hundreds of times, and the ones for my radio let it play for two months at a time. I do not think they are losing life span at all.

Now, I've just begun my research on the 3.7 Volt alternatives. Here, I'm a rookie.

As for the LED cluster, well, I'm a hobbyist, not a solder or an EMT. I can light up an entire acre of land at zero-dark-thirty. I did it for fun, but I doubt I'll ever really need that much candlepower to do anything useful.

Perhaps emergency roadside repairs. To me, "heat" was going to be the problem. I'm buying spare batteries today.
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