Sunday, February 14, 2010

Headlamp vs. Torch: A discussion of proper light usage

Contributed by Joe (yes, not-contributed by Joe)

Joe: last night i was coming down from El Cajon Mountain at night.
we started at dusk and before we got to the road it was stargazing dark.
two of us had headlamps, one had a dim hand light, and i had the P2D.
(one hapless guy had nothing. he walked in the middle of the pack.)
(to be fair none of us expected to be out that late. i would have brought Streamlight if i had.)
(by "none of us expected to be out that late" i mean "we arrived at the foot of the mountain at 8:30 AM.)
Me: "In our defense, it was unexpected, so it was ok that we were unprepared for it."
Joe: uh huh.
we were walking over uneven terrain. not treacherous, just with lots of little rises and dips, and there were bits of light scrambling.
i discovered that
when i held the P2D low, basically just holding it in my hand as i left my arm swinging like normal walking, the bumpy ground was full of shadows and hilights.
i could see the 3d-ness of it.
relief might be the right word?
Me: relief.
Joe: but basically i could see the terrain,
the topography of it.
if i held the P2D at my temple like a headlamp,
the shadows all disappeared,
because the light and my eyes were inline.
Me: yeah that's a thing, and a part of using a light; that's one reason I often don't care for headlamps.
holding it away allows you to see relief on the ground better and you can see farther because you get less backscatter from atmosphere, holding it in line with your eyes allows you to check for reflections like eyes.
so what did you conclude?

Joe: i concluded that a headlight will never be my only (or even primary) source of light when covering rough terrain
*that i will never plan for a headlight to be my only.
Me: good lad.
and that's an important lesson.
if you go on an Online Forum,
you'll find that it's full of lots of Opinions.
lots of People have an Opinion, and they really like the one they have,
and many say, I have a Torch, I don't need a geeky headlamp. others will say, once I tried a Headlamp I never bought another torch because they're pointless.
as is usual with such Opinions, both are Wrong.
both do good things, both are necessary at different times, and having and respecting both is the only correct answer.

Joe: yeah a headlamp is nice for close work
in fact it is nice for work that needs a hand and then another hand, where neither of those hands is holding a torch.
Me: yep, if you're, like, carrying stuff and doing ... hand stuff, a headlamp is great.
Joe: and if i were serious about crossing some ground and didn't mind being a bright obvious target (and annoyance to sleeping animals), i could easily see using one of each.
headlamp for the basic business of one foot in front of the other, walking on the mud not the three inch deep puddles; torch for finding a path, terrain relief, and mid-range looking & seeing.

Friday, February 12, 2010

ProPoly Revived!

Contributed by Joe (or more like not contributed, because he's a jerk about it).

i went to the streamlight repair place
Emergency Equipment Engineering
they have *the [worst]* website, don't even bother. actually do. it's amusing.
inside it was all uniforms and holsters
this is apparently where police officers *actually* get uniforms?
and like, such as "tactical equipment"
they don't repair Propolys at all
they repair "some models"
(Stingers ha. ha.)
so it'd be: accept from me. at the end of the month, sent off with the batch to Streamlight Central. at the end of the month it comes back. so like 2 months of waiting.
so he recommends just calling lady at Streamlight Central. he gave me her direct line. apparently she is the repairs lady.
that'll take 2 weeks plus i pay shipping. : /
so i leave
i call the other authorized repair place int he county, 15 minutes east in El Cajon
he says the only thing he can repair on a Propoly is the tailcap switch, but their shipment to the factory is going out next tuesday, and it'll be returned in 2-3 weeks after that.
so, hey, i'll save shipping.
so i go over there
he says, you know what, let's put a new switch in. just in case.
he disappears into a backroom for a while
i look around at the various things in what is basically the lobby
he comes back and it works!!
so somehow
when alkalines explode
tarnish the reflector
get all kinds of powdery gunk all over the contacts and the emitter itself
... they actually only ruin the switch.
streamlight is totally working again. free of charge.
it was only the outside of the reflector that got mesed up
the reflecty part is great.

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Welcome to the club, Rushi!

Rushi just got a Ra Clicky EDC to replace his stolen Fenix P2D! Hopefully it will generate some stories for him to share with us here.

Thursday, February 4, 2010

Another moving day

I once again got to spend a day moving for my mom. Trucks, boxes, stairs, narrow doors, stress, all the usual. Not a whole lot to report. My UK Rescue cut a piece of cardboard off a box to wedge the armoire door and the Clicky Cgt was used a bit after sunset. Nothing exciting, but glad to have them.