Oct 18, 2006 at 7:09 am #1219928
The Atom by Cyclops. Its a 1-LED lamp with a maginifier lens. Puts out a lot of light from a small source. Has a 15 hour burn time on two Panasonic CR2016 3V batteries. Got mine at Bass Pro and really like it. Great deal for only $9.99.Oct 18, 2006 at 7:21 am #1365071
Doug JohnsonBPL Member
@djohnsonLocale: Washington State
Great headlamp and suprisingly WAY brighter than a Black Diamond Ion. This has been my mainstay for over a year now…although the new Petzl might unseat it.Oct 18, 2006 at 2:58 pm #1365114
Nathan VBPL Member
@junkLocale: The Great Lake State
I have been using the atom all summer, and have been very happy with it. Works great around camp after dark.Oct 18, 2006 at 3:18 pm #1365115
My Princeton Tec Scout has just recently broken AGAIN and for the last time… I might swing by BassPro tonight and see if they have any of these. Thanks for the tip.Oct 19, 2006 at 2:04 am #1365139
just curious, what problems have you had with your PT Scout?
i’ve had a Scout for a few years and use it for a lot of light duty task/proximity work. no problems yet with mine (other than breaking the cap brim clip on my first Scout.
Be sure to check out the new Petzl e+Lite – a definite Scout competitor. My guess is that it may force PT to upgrade the Scout, hopefully soon.Oct 19, 2006 at 12:31 pm #1365156
My problem with the scout is repeated and catastrophic destruction of the clip.
First the little tangs that mount up to the headband break off, then cracks develop near the hinge, the cracks then result in bits of plastic falling off, leaving jagged edges pointing out. When this happens the band no longer has anything to grab onto, and it obviously cant clip to a hat or anything else, so Im then forced to resort to either carrying it by hand, or duct taping the thing into place. Usually all of these little failures happen in the course of about 2-3 days. As soon as the little band tangs fall off, I know Ill need a new clip soon.
Im on my 3rd or 4th clip now. PT wont even return my requests for new clips anymore. Even when I offer to buy several at a time! Im tired of having to tape it to the headband just so I can use it as a headlamp….
Time to move on!
The e+Lite does look nice. I may give it a go eventually. If I can find one.
I had something come up last night and wasnt able to hit BassPro. Tonight I pass by there on the way to something else so I’ll pick up one of these Atom lights then.Oct 19, 2006 at 12:45 pm #1365158
You jogged my memory, before breaking the clip off of my first Scout (i used it for quite a while clipped to my cap brim), the headband tangs broke off – same failure mode as yours.
My second one has held up better – not sure why. My OCD, anal-retentive nature forces me to be overly cautious with my gear, yet i still broke one too.
You might want to compare the Atom to the eGear Mini Titan 0.3watt LED headlamp. REIoutlet.com has them on closeout – special pricing ($11.93). It uses a single AA batt and claims a 33hr “burn” time (down to how few Lux at 33hrs they don’t say). Mine has only seen less than an hour’s use, so, i haven’t tested the “burn-time” claim yet. I’ve used it with the focusing lens for a “spot” effect (this is the way the unit comes) & w/o it for a “flood” effect (just unscrew the rubberized bezel). However, it’s nearly 3x heavier than the Atom. I use it w/o the top “bucket” strap – works fine & save a bit of weight & probably a bit larger in size (i don’t have an Atom to perform a comparison).
The 0.5watt Streamlight Enduro (and other incarnations of the same headlamp) is very nice. It uses a Luxeon LED. It uses 2xAAA batts & has a 6 lumen low setting & a 14.5 lumen (IIRC) hi setting (24hr lo “burn-time” & 6hr hi “burn-time”, IIRC)- perfect for those times when the 1watt Eos is overkill, but a smaller task light just doesn’t have enough snot to permit safe trail negotiation after/before sun down/rise. Weighs under 3oz & goes for around $15 at http://www.Brightguy.com, IIRC. I believe Target carries another incarnation of this headlamp for either $10 or $15.
Many thanks for the swift reply. Take care.Oct 19, 2006 at 1:06 pm #1365159
Bill FornshellBPL Member
@bfornshellLocale: Southern Texas
San Antonio has a new Brass Pro Store. It opened yesterday. I went by today and bought 2 of the Atom 1oz’ers. I weighed one of mine and it weighs 0.89 oz. Under weight.
The light without the head band weighs 0.64 oz.
The head band weighs 0.24 oz.
If you remove the light from the bracket the weight of the light drops down to 0.52 oz.
The batteries are easy to change, no screws to worry about.Oct 19, 2006 at 9:18 pm #1365184
Picked up my new Atom headlamp.
Its a $10 powerhouse! My only issue with it is it has only two settings – off and on.
Otherwise it looks to be just the ticket for everything I need.Oct 20, 2006 at 5:54 am #1365200
JR, hope you like it. And remember, that little magnifier lens can be used to start an emergency fire if you have some sunlight to work with. With it only weighing in at 1 oz., you could always carry two if you’re worried about it breaking on you.Oct 20, 2006 at 9:29 am #1365210
I assume you mean break it open and use it as a magnifying lens? I cant figure out how to access it otherwise.
I thnk Im gonna get one or two more and keep them in emergency kits.Oct 22, 2006 at 7:53 pm #1365357
Here’s an even lower price:
(Specifies a different battery type, but otherwise seems to be the same, so maybe that’s just a website typo?)
Also, with my altimeter watches, bike computers, and now lights using this coin-style batteries, any source for buying these in bulk?Oct 22, 2006 at 8:07 pm #1365359
Just realized that one source is the same etailer cited in a previous post:Oct 22, 2006 at 8:39 pm #1365362
Well, yes, it is a typo. It comes with 2 CR2016 batteries. BUT you can substitute one CR2032 battery for the 2 CR2016’s as a CR2032 is the same diameter, but twice as thick as a CR2016.
They are also the same voltage.Oct 22, 2006 at 8:57 pm #1365366
Jason HamBPL Member
@jasonhamLocale: Sierra Nevada
Anyone know of a source of rechargeable CR2032 batteries? And a charger? Anyone had any success with do it yourself?Oct 22, 2006 at 9:31 pm #1365367
@eaglembLocale: AZ, the Great Southwest!
While a 2016 and a 2032 are both nominal 3 Volts, be careful, as there is a different voltage (6 V) if the 2016 cells are stacked on top of each other.
Mike BOct 22, 2006 at 10:31 pm #1365373
thats a good point. CR2032 will work in place of two CR2016s, it will only be half as bright though. But hey, its nice to know you have options.Oct 23, 2006 at 1:24 am #1365375
Using a 1xCR2032 in place of 2xCR2016 for some applications may not produce the desired result, LED applications being an example of such.
The forward bias voltage of green, turquoise, blue, violet, UV, and white (shorter wavelength – white, actually produces a “blue” light internal to the LED – “How then, does it…” – read on) LEDs is higher than that used in IR, red, orange, amber, yellow LEDs (longer wavelengths), hence the need for a greater supply voltage. This is why Mfr’s using 2x3v coin cells in series in those applications and 1x3v in the longer wavelength producing LEDs. In simple terms, it has to do with the composition of the silicon substrate and its “doping” with an impurity that actually produces the light (in colored LEDs; white LEDs use a phosphor coating on the inside of its casing to produce “white”/broad-spectrum light) and allows the silicon to function as a semiconductor.
IME, using a single FRESH 3v coin cell battery will, at the very most, make a white LED, merely glow dimly. For 2xCR2016 applications, IIRC from when i first started using microlites and periodically taking voltage measurements on the partially expended batts, when they get down to about 2.75v each (down from ~3.25v at beginning of life – yes, those 3v coin cells begin life at ~3.25v), the light output from a white LED is quite dim (but much more than a mere glow). IIRC, i’ve run them down to about 2.25v to 2.5v each and had very dim light output – not very usable except perhaps for reading. Remember, as current is drawn from a batt (any batt), that batt’s internal resistance (all batts have it) will drop some voltage internal to the batt, thus providing a lower voltage to the load (in this case an LED). This is why simple, earlier types of microlights (e.g. Photon II) did NOT need a current limiting resistor to prevent the LED from “burning up” due to an overcurrent condition. The coin cell’s int. resistance functioned as such.
[Note: An interesting aside, as any “caver” will tell you, cycle your lights off after using them for a while in order to allow their batts to cool down (this partly is why caver’s carry at least two primary light sources as well as a backup light source). Any batt’s int. resistance increases as it heats up, thus dropping more voltage int. to the batt. This is quite demonstrative, for example, when using a BD VectraIQ or ZenixIQ headlamp. When the light output drops down to a lower output level, just switch the light off for a few seconds to a few minutes (depending upon the state of charge remaining in the batts) and when it’s switched back on, it will be able to be operated on HI or MED instead of MED or LOW for a few more minutes (or just a few seconds as the batts are further drained of “trons”.]Oct 23, 2006 at 6:17 am #1365384
Ah, I was wondering why different colors of the same light will use different battery configurations — many thanks for the explanation!
Now regarding this:
“For 2xCR2016 applications, IIRC from when i first started using microlites and periodically taking voltage measurements on the partially expended batts, when they get down to about 2.75v each (down from ~3.25v at beginning of life – yes, those 3v coin cells begin life at ~3.25v), the light output from a white LED is quite dim (but much more than a mere glow). IIRC, i’ve run them down to about 2.25v to 2.5v each and had very dim light output – not very usable except perhaps for reading.”
…does you mean that any light powered by such batteries is inherently dim? I always keep a very small coin-type light (e.g., Princeton Tec Impulse or Photon II) as a backup to my 3xAAA original Zipka, since they’re so small as to be essentially weightless, and I can keep one clipped into my neck pouch (for various essentials) and another one clipped in my pack next to my mult-tool and car key. But I’m wondering if these 1 oz lights that are more like regular headlamps can be used for on-trail hiking or cross country skiing. They also have some appeal since they’re so absurdly cheap, so I could just keep one in each of my zillion packs for different purposes.Oct 23, 2006 at 9:26 am #1365386
You’re asking a difficult question. Low-light visual perception has physical (which doesn’t change from person-to-person as it’s based upon inviolate laws of physics), physiological, and psychological factors. The last two factors are quite individual (e.g., genetics and emotions) and can even change for a particular individual due to diet, medication, smoking, age and perhaps some other factors i’ve failed to list.
Sure, these “microlights” don’t put out a lot of light – just compare their light output in lux, lumens, or CP to their “big brothers”. Furthermore, their battery source doesn’t store a whole lot of energy, comparably speaking to even AAA batts (about 1/6 for a CR2032, IIRC and about 1/15 for a CR2016, IIRC). They can be pretty bright, especially the newest 2x-as-bright 5mm white LEDs (probably introduced in 2006 and found in a number of current headlamps). However, this limited battery capacity causes the output to dim markedly after only 30-60 minutes in many applications. Perhaps the best implementation, to date, of coin cell headlamps is the Princeton Tec Scout (you can ditch the headband and clip it to your cap/hat brim for hands-free operation). That’s b/c it uses 4xCR2032 batts.
If you’re young, with no visual problems you might be able to slowly negotiate, on an overcast night with a new moon, a non-technical trail using just a microlight. Many old geezers (like myself) will be more hard pressed to do so however. Snow, is always wonderful as it reflects a lot of light back to the eye, making it far easier to see at night.
Lastly, and maybe Rich Drehrer can help out here, the Mfr. specs about “throw” are, to me at least, a bit confusing. Some will be honest about how they measure duration (like down to 2lux output – you’re probably not going to be seeing much with just 2lux output), but i can’t recall seeing any info on how they measure “throw”/distance. Are they merely measuring a mere 2Lux at some distance to determine “throw”? If so this is totally unrealistic for actual use as only a small percentage of the light output, even in a dense forest, is going to be reflected back to the eye, and then it’s traveling the same distance back, so should have only 1/4 the intensity due to the inverse square law of radiating energy. These tiny lights work fine in a dark attic or basement where there are a lot of nearby surfaces to reflect the light back, but out-of-doors, i find them to be woefully deficient for the trails that i hike on (especially when trees obscure any moonlight from reaching the trail). Personally, i’ve found a minimum of divide by three, or 1/3 of the Mfr claimed distance is more realistic, so when they say meters, i substitute feet, but this is my personal experience and limitations. I like a lot of light and like to see well so that i don’t miss a bend or faded, low contrast blaze on unfamiliar trails.
IMHO, these microlights function fine as task/proximity lights. I could never negotiate most trails using one – a simple foot path, or out a couple hundred feet in the backyard from my house, ‘ok’, but not unfamiliar trails (especially if the foliage blocks any moonlight).
I think that you should have one with you as a backup – just like you said. At the very least, you can use it to enable you to see clearly to change your batts in your primary light source (if you’re carrying extra batts). Plus for many in-camp activities, you can use it and save the batts in your primary light source for more demanding trail/terrain navigation.
Well, this post is too long already – ’nuff said. If i’ve failed to answer your questions, feel free to post back – i’ll try to keep the next reply shorter.Oct 23, 2006 at 9:44 am #1365387
Rick DreherBPL Member
@halfturboLocale: Northernish California
To pile on a little further, button cell lights depend on the batteries’ inherently high internal resistance to keep the LED from harm, and the initial 6v (from two stacked cells) rapidly drops and with it, output.
The output graph for the Photon Freedom Spotlight review tells the tale–the light’s impressive high initial output can’t be sustained by such a tiny power supply. And the Freedom is by a large margin the most sophisticated such light I’ve ever used, with variable output, etc. Most are just two batteries, a switch and an LED, nothing more.
But they are light and in many cases cheap, so there’s little “harm” in carrying several. Heck, some pack manufacturer will probably start using them for zipper pulls. But for anything more than puttering around camp or perhaps briefly illuminating a trail, there are certainly better tools for the task.Oct 23, 2006 at 9:55 am #1365388
Rick, some pack Mfr’s (some hunting packs) have ALREADY started using them to automagically light the inside of the pack when the zipper is unzipped.Oct 23, 2006 at 10:25 am #1365390
Rick DreherBPL Member
@halfturboLocale: Northernish California
What a hoot. Well, I have always appreciated having a trunk light in my car ;-)
“Rick, some pack Mfr’s (some hunting packs) have ALREADY started using them to automagically light the inside of the pack when the zipper is unzipped.”Oct 23, 2006 at 5:41 pm #1365408
@eaglembLocale: AZ, the Great Southwest!
Actually, because of the way white LED’s work, it’s very likely you will get little to no light out. That’s because an LED requires a minimum voltage across it to (typically about 3.5 – 4 Volts for a white LED). Less than that and nothing happens.
… If on the other hand you go the other way and substitute 2 2016’s for one 2032, it’ll be REAL bright for a couple of seconds. <(:-(Oct 23, 2006 at 7:27 pm #1365413
“Actually, because of the way white LED’s work, it’s very likely you will get little to no light out. “
Actually, it works pretty well. Not fantastic, but I used a single 2032 in the Atom last night out in my backyard for about 20 minutes. I was able to see everything within about 20ft, and was more than able to read.
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