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Review: Smith and Wesson Galaxy 13 Flashlight

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#1 Olivier Biot

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Posted 15 March 2012 - 03:57 PM

Review: Smith and Wesson Galaxy 13 Flashlight

By Scott Davis.

#2 Jeff Morgan

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Posted 15 March 2012 - 08:12 PM

Another great observing accessory from Smith & Wesson :grin:

#3 Radiostar

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Posted 15 March 2012 - 09:07 PM

I've used their products (the ones that go bang) for a couple of decades so I am sure they are well put together. I'm thinking that the red is a little too bright though. Any way to dim the red LED's down?
Cheers

#4 7331Peg

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Posted 16 March 2012 - 12:08 AM

Got one and it hasn't gone off accidentally yet, but I always keep the safety on. :grin:

I've got the ten white-three red version, and have had it for about two years. It's stood up to being dropped countless times, not to mention being used in the rain at night to walk my dog. The batteries certainly do last for a long time, but you'll notice the light gradually gets dimmer as they run down, especially the white light.

The red light is great for walking around at night or for working around your telescope and mount in the dark. But it's way too bright for close-up use, such as sketching -- much too hard on the night vision, although my vision adapts back rather quickly.

For sketching, I use a Regal flashlight which works much better than the red-tinted candles I used to use. :lol:


John :refractor:

#5 Paul Romero

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Posted 16 March 2012 - 12:14 AM

Hi,

I received one of these for Christmas 2010, and it is a really good flashlight. Two problems I've had are that the red is too bright for starpartys, as it gets conmplaints from neighbors and there is no way to fit lanyard.

Other than that, its like a nice watch...going to be around for while.

Paul

#6 stevetaylor199

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Posted 16 March 2012 - 05:26 PM

I appreciate that the reviewer noted that the red and white LEDs are on a separate switch, which is a big plus. For a counterexample, I just got a nice Energizer headlamp on Amazon for about $15, but when I opened it up I realized that it uses a moment switch that requires cycling thru white LEDs before shutting off. It's a senseless design, or at least one that is simply not useful for astronomy.

I'm curious about dimmable lights as well. The only product I know of that offers dimmable, red LEDs are the ubiquitous 9V jobbies with 2 LEDs and a rotary side dial (mine is branded Celestron). Of course, that model is not a headlamp.

I'm aware of dummy-battery inserts that lower the effective voltage (anyone selling them these days?), but I consider them kludgey and inelegant. All I want is an adjustable dial. I've seen a page that shows DIY for that, but I need to practice my soldering first. Is any dimmable headlamp on the market?

#7 LarryinWNC

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Posted 16 March 2012 - 07:20 PM

I bought one of these a year and a half ago. The light was good and the dual lights was a sell, but after 2 months the rubber on the on/off switch started to peal off. So I put some tape over it. But its almost round so I had a problem with it rolling of my astro accessory table. I mean its hard to set up a table exactly level outside on the ground. Well, dropped it a couple times and it stopped working. I wanted to try to fix the loose wiring, but they have welded (or glued) the lens cap to access the wiring. Ended up getting cheaper one that I still have (and have dropped more times that I dropped the Galaxy flashlight). Thats my take.
Larry

#8 Ed D

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Posted 16 March 2012 - 07:23 PM

One of my flashlights has both white LEDs and a red one, and are each on it's own switch. However, in the dark it's easy to hit the wrong one and light up the white LEDs as both switches are on the head 180* apart. What I do is press the LED end up to my palm and press a switch, instantly knowing which light is on without damaging my dark adaptation. The white LEDs make my skin glow yellow-orange, the red glowing deep red. Works for me!

Ed D

#9 Rustie

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Posted 26 March 2012 - 06:32 AM

Great review of a great astro accessory.
I have the Smith & Wesson Galaxy 6 flashlight and love it to bits. 3 white LED's and 3 red LED's. The dual buttons work great, although i did hit the wrong one once and incurred the wrath of the other observers...opps!
Great build, very nice feel to it. Like the belt holster.

#10 DLB242

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Posted 23 April 2012 - 11:28 PM

Hi,

I received one of these for Christmas 2010, and it is a really good flashlight. Two problems I've had are that the red is too bright for starpartys, as it gets conmplaints from neighbors and there is no way to fit lanyard.

Other than that, its like a nice watch...going to be around for while.

Paul


Paul,

Just received mine today and the base has cutouts for a lanyard on the new version. A wrist loop was included with the one I received looks like a small split ring will fit the opening to allow attachment of a longer lanyard.

I have a 5 white one red LED flashlight by Coast that has the has separate switches on opposite sides easy to turn on the white by mistake like this layout with both switches on the same side much better. The light is brighter than my Coast unit which is good because I wanted something to use for setup and break down I think the Galaxy 13 will be just what I was looking for. I have several one and two red LED flashlights to use along with this big guy.

Thanks Scott, glad I ran across this review.


#11 Paul Romero

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Posted 24 April 2012 - 10:38 AM

Hi Scott,

Glad you were able to get one with a Lanyard fitting...that is soo cool. I'm not sure if this will happen to you, but, again, the other night, I got complaints that my red LEDs were too bright. After much muttering to myself in self pity, I added 3 more layers of Red film over the front of it, and still its a bright point source...but now doable with regards to star party etiquet. I would like to hear of any other's solutions....is there an additional red lense I could put on? The red tape solutions seems messy and detracts from the otherwise really nice flashlight.

clear skies,

Paul






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