Incoming – Zebralight SC600

December 27, 2013 | Posted in 18650, flashlights, LED, SC600, VP1, XTAR, zebralight | By

Having been accused of ‘doing people a service by writing the garbage you did and putting it on the net..’ by a keyboard warrior who didn’t leave his own name on comments to THIS POST I thought I would take the recommendation and splash for a Zebralight SC600 Mk II 18650 XM-L.

This is the slightly older 900 lumen version and not the 1020 lumen SC600w Mk II L2 18650 XM-L2 that was recently released.

I also had a good look round on CandlePowerForums and pulled the trigger on an XTAR VP1 Li-ion Battery Charger from LED Fire Torches

Only arrived today but will be going out on the next underground trip probably for some test shots…

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Evolution…

November 12, 2013 | Posted in Cetacea Basic Coil Lanyard, CSO, flashlights, Lenser, P7.2, Tripod, Underground, water | By

P7.2, 320 lumen…nuff said 🙂

For all the Fenix waving Lenser hat0rz out there every single underground shot on this blog is either partially or exclusively lit with a Lenser P7.

I’ve owned many, some are at the bottom of mines and mysterious shafts where they will lay for eternity (yes I feel super guilty about those decaying batteries), some have been lent to people and never returned, some were submerged for months, assumed MIA and then found (working) months later and the surviving ones ones are permanently attached to Cetacea Coil Landyards to prevent anymore waist deep *PLOP* “Oh Shit!!!” moments 🙂

(Need solution for tripod now as last *PLOP* “Shit!!!” moment involved a CSO and a pricey tripod….)

So Lenser released this updated version, this guy is 320 lumen instead of standard 200 lumen so should make some big improvements, he will be coming out on the next underground trip for some testing. 

Never buy one of anything ;-p

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Nemesis & The Resurrection

February 21, 2012 | Posted in Canon, DSLR, EOS, flashlights, flooded, GEO E-540, Lenser, Thrunite, Tripod, Underground, wad0rs, waders | By

If you follow this blog you might be aware of an incident that caused me an amount of problems, sadly the upshot of that day has since had even worse fallout and has been the reason for radio silence on this blog…

The place is really my nemesis, we’ve been going there for a long time and it doesn’t reveal its secrets easily, hard work and an often dangerous environment are required to get any payoff. We have found really neat stuff in far flung corners that makes all the slog worth the effort. In fact certain things, that have become obsessional, still elude me and it was just this said ‘thing’ that was on the menu when karma dealt me a sucker punch.

Its true my wad0rs split and I dropped a few quids worth of Lensers into the murky depths but the damage was far far worse as I was to find out. The Thrunite is now working, although it took several days for it to dry out, the ‘sinking tripod’ issues turned out to be the column clamp failing on my Velbon E-540 of which I am waiting to get a spares/repair price for.

The icing on the cake was when my 40D stopped working….yep…d-e-a-d. All of the buttons apart from the shutter had stopped working, the display had gone and the camera just sat there with the autofocus chattering away to itself trying to focus on an invisible/imaginary subject in the distance….FUBAR!!

It was left to dry for a week or so but still refused to play so it got shipped off to the camera doctors while I started searching for a new Canon body (just in case). Two weeks later and several hundred pounds worse off it got couriered back to me having been totally stripped, lovingly rebuilt (with several new parts) and calibrated to Canon factory standards, oh and they cleaned all the mine gunk off it for me too 🙂

The repair slip said my camera had suffered ‘contamination and corrosion’ LOLZ

So, I’m nearly back in the game…stand by for updates in the coming weeks 🙂

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Dead Wad0rs

January 30, 2012 | Posted in flashlights, flooded, Lenser, wad0rs, waders, water | By

Apologies for the lack of updates, been a lot going on in the last month or so…

This pair of wad0rs didn’t last long, they’ve had a couple of leaks for a while now but I suffered a full ‘blow out’ 250ft from dry land in four feet of stinking, fetid, skanky water yesterday.

In epic Kit Fail stylee at the same moment my 40D started sinking on its tripod, I dropped a Lenser P7 and a P3 in the water (that should have been clipped to me on Paracord…) and flooded my Thrunite Catapult. Water then came over the top of my wad0rs just to add insult to injury. I could feel the Lensers around my feet and could have dived to retrieve them but with the 40D in the other hand it was an easy decision to make….walk away and go buy yet another Lenser Twin Pack…

Three lights down and soaked to the skin we continued the trip and was glad to get out of the wad0rs once away from the location. Suffice to say they went straight in the wheelie bin after I took these shitty cameraphone pix of the damage…..(cheap wad0rs suck by the way).

Their replacements were ordered last week so should be here soon….black Gimp Style rubber with an industrial boot this time 😉

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Quark, Strangeness And Charm

November 1, 2011 | Posted in 4Sevens, CR123A, David Chow, flashlights, Quark RGB, torch | By

As mentioned on this blog previously I am a self confessed ‘flashlight whore’. I’ve not done an audit for a long time and I don’t really care to either as I may even shock myself, lets just say I most likely own too many flashlights…

Doing lots of underground shots presents its own lighting problems, one of which is colour temperature. These new fangled LED’s although wonderfully bright seem to produce a very blue beam which tends to make the pictures suck. This issue gets further compounded when I use two or more different lights to paint a shot as you end up with differing ‘blueness’. Of course this all gets fixed later in post as I have to even up the Colour Temperature but what if you could get a flashlight with a ‘neutral’ temperature…?

The theory was to try something from the wonderful people at 4Sevens as they are a company started and run by a self confessed Flashaholic called David Chow who produced a Limited Edition run of Cool, Warm and Neutral temperature lights. Most of these are now discontinued but luckily I managed to pick up a 4Sevens Quark RGB Neutral White from Led Fire Torches.

The 4Sevens Quark RGB Neutral White also has another neat feature (the clue is in the name!!) and that’s a quad die emitter so it has a different colour in each corner (white, red, green, and blue) so I get to kill two birds with one stone:

A) Have a nice neutral light to paint with underground.
B) Try some Troy Paiva type stuff using the coloured die.

Quark RGB Neutral White specs:

Length: 4.8 in
Diameter: 0.86 in
Weight: 1.8 oz (without batteries)
Finish: Type-III hard-anodized aircraft-grade aluminum
Batteries: 2 CR123A

(All lumen outputs are COOL WHITE, Out-the-front)

    * Moonlight: 0.4 lm, 650 hours, 1 ma
    * Low: 2.8 lm, 130 hours, 10 ma
    * Med: 15.0 lm, 25 hours, 50 ma
    * High: 58.4 lm, 7.5 hours, 250 ma
    * Turbo: 150 lm, 2 hours, 700 ma
    * SOS: 22.5 hours
    * Strobe: 4 hours
    * Beacon: 20 hours

From 4Sevens:

The Quark RGB features a CREE MCE-RGB emitter. The MCE-RGB is a quad-die emitter that features a different color for each corner of the die: white, red, green, and blue!

The Quark RGB UI is unique. When the head is tightened, it is always white (or neutral white depending on your model). When the head is loosened, it is one of the RGB colors. Cycling between loose and tight will toggle through the three colors.

The way to change modes is similar to the regular Quarks. Just tap the tail button to change modes (or just turn it on and off within 3-4 seconds). It will toggle between eight modes: moonlight -> low -> medium -> high -> max -> S.O.S -> strobe -> beacon.

Additionally, it will remember the last mode used even after you turn off the flashlight. It will also remember which mode you used in both the tightened and loosened state as well as which color was used in the loosened mode.

As soon as I get the chance I will be out testing this new toy 🙂

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Swithland Water Works

August 8, 2011 | Posted in flashlights, Great Central Railway, Penstock, Reservoir, Severn Trent, Underground, victorian, waterworks | By

If Brick Arch Porn floats your boat then get ready for a nice fat slice…

The 5th July 1894 was the ceremony for the cutting of the first sod in the presence of 2-300 invited spectators and Swithland Reservoir and Water Works was completed two years later in 1896 to the designs of architects J B Everard and Everard and Pick.

Our sole interest on this visit however was the hexagonal Victorian underground reservoir underneath an elaborate octagonal stone gazebo. This sits on a large stone plinth and has 8 Doric Roman columns supporting arches, entablature and a lead dome with a carved stone lantern on top, surrounded by six further hexagonal Filter Beds which cleaned the water from the open reservoir before supplying the City of Leicester.

The sole purpose of the gazebo was that of an air vent for the underground reservoir and is typical of the over the top, detailed Victorian architecture found everywhere at these waterworks…Everywhere you look is red and blue brick, dressed stone and wrought iron!!

The hexagonal shaped underground reservoir is split into two sections which could be controlled independently by way of complex piping and Penstocks, both sides are a mirror image of each other and share the central airvent. This was quite a challenging location to light due to the structure and some ingress of daylight through the five small arched windows, hopefully I have done it justice…

The underground reservoir could be discharged out into the small river behind the waterworks by way of buried cast iron pipes leading to an ornate octagonal Excess Fountain built from blue brick and two small, stepped, overflow channels reached via a dressed stone bridge with carved Renaissance obelisks running over a granite lined stream. Also amongst the woods is a large pond with sluice gates.

The rest of the site is worthy of mention and might form part of a report on a return visit. There is an amazingly ornate Draw Off Tower at the edge of the open reservoir and some incredible brickwork arches forming part of the overflow and huge granite lined Spillway. Large cast iron pipes are visible all over the place and and we came across some beautiful Victorian Penstocks in the woods.

The original pump house is still intact but sadly today is full of modern electronics, previously it would have looked like this:

The entire site is now grade 2 listed and owned by Severn Trent water works.

Also running across the reservoir is the Great Central Railway and we saw several steam loco’s flying across the viaduct while we inserted and extracted from the site dodging the throngs of tourists.

In 1893, the Manchester, Sheffield and Lincolnshire Railway received the Royal Assent for the construction of the new mainline from Annesley, 12 miles north of Nottingham, to London Marylebone. The line opened for coal traffic in July 1898. The following March, the Great Central Railway ran its first passenger train from Marylebone Station, and soon lived up to its slogan, `Rapid Travel in Luxury’. However, the motor car began to have a serious effect on the railways in the 1950’s and long stretches of the line were closed in 1966.

Today, the Great Central Railway is one of the few railways in the world where scheduled full size steam trains pass in motion on a double track. In 1969, a group of enthusiasts decided to recreate for future generations the magic and nostalgia of the great British age of steam. Eventually it is hoped to link Nottingham and Leicester.

Oops…FAIL…lighting in shot :-/
Gazebo air vent
NOT HDR…unedited shot!!

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Strobe Life

June 15, 2011 | Posted in 2130, flashlights, Pelican, strobe, torch | By

Got a need for a strobe light on a current project so I scored one of these little guys for £8.130 hours battery life and waterproof to 500 feet….just what I’m looking for 🙂

More available info here

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Ask My Flashlight

June 1, 2011 | Posted in flashlights, Q40, Underwater Kinetics, Vizion | By

I’m not going to own up to how many flashlights I own as I’m a self confessed Flashlight Whore and just can’t resist the lure of something different. I don’t ‘need’ them all, just every now and again something catches my eye and I just have to own it. The last time such things seduced me was the Thrunite Catapult V2 which as it happens is earning its keep very well at the moment on a weekly basis due to a massive underground playground that I’m currently exploring.

The latest score was yet another Underwater Kinetics flashlight. Underwater Kinetics have been firm favourites of mine for decades and I’ve had various colours of Mini Q40’s strapped to my Caving helmet since 1989. Their product is virtually unbeaten and can be seen in use with Fire Departments and Rescue Teams the world over, as well as their biggest market – Dive Lights.

Mini Q40

Also amongst my UK collection is an eLED Vizion Headlamp which is my EDC headtorch….you know, just in case 😉

Vizion

Anyway, the latest acquisition is a UK2AAA Xenon Mini Pocket Light  which has been looking at me seductively for a few weeks at my friendly neighbourhood (online) dive shop. Anyway, it showed up today and I must say its neat and it’s gonna get promoted to my exploring bag immediately as some sort of backup light...

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Big Guns – New Toys…

December 22, 2010 | Posted in Bunker, flashlights, Thrunite, torch | By

We went somewhere very BIG recently so I fancied taking some serious ‘firepower’ with me for light painting and general all roundnosiness, we were bristling with a variety of stuff anyway like variousLenser’s,Petzls,SureFires, Underwater Kinetics andSpeleoTechnics but I was still hankering for something silly, off the scale and OTT so I splashed for aThrunite CatapultV2…The Thrunite CatapultV2 is a revised version of the existing Catapult but with a redesigned driver. It’s a genuine 1000 out the front lumens on high due to the totally insane Luminus SST-50 LED.

You can run a variety of different batteries (CR123, 18650 or 17670) as it comes with two battery tubes.Its designed for Search & Rescue so as a result it falls into the ‘Long Range Thrower’ category so take care if you want to use this for close up light painting cos it kicks ass and has quite a tight beam!!!Physically it seems bomb proof and it has IPX-8 Water & Dust Resistance, I certainly dropped it many times during the day and didn’t notice any ill effects.

This is a SERIOUS flashlight but is not cheap…

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