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Equipment Discussions >> Equipment

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Alan French
Night Owl
*****

Reged: 01/28/05

Loc: Upstate NY
Re: What this Hobby Needs: A Quality Red Flashlight new [Re: Darren Bly]
      #6430765 - 03/26/14 05:23 PM

Quote:

I'll second for Rigel. I have 6 of them both 3 of the old larger ones and 3 of the newer flared "mini" and they are all working great. My oldest is well over 20 and newest is about 3 years old.

Great people to buy from and to work with.




You've had better luck than we have. The old ones all flicker because of the rheostat, and my wife has completely worn down the knurled knobs on a couple of older ones.

Clear skies, Alan


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JayinUT
I'm not Sleepy
*****

Reged: 09/19/08

Loc: Utah
Re: What this Hobby Needs: A Quality Red Flashlight new [Re: dpippel]
      #6430779 - 03/26/14 05:33 PM

I found an item that I actually really like over at REI. It's $39.95 (cheaper online) and has 130 Lumens for its white light, with another dimmer mode. It has a red mode and in all modes including red, you can hold down the switch the light dims down to an acceptable level. At the full red bright level, I think it is much too bright. It can be used as a headlamp or it can attach to other items and be worn on the chest etc.

It's the Black Diamond Spot Headlamp and here it is at the REI link. Comes in a variety of colors, I got red. Anyway here is the Black Diamond YouTube video of it but I don't like that they don't dim the red in the video. It's the first headlamp besides one that I did a personal mod on using red clown balloons on and replaced the white LED's with red LED's that is acceptable to me.


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dpippel
scholastic sledgehammer
*****

Reged: 04/05/13

Loc: Desierto de Sonora
Re: What this Hobby Needs: A Quality Red Flashlight new [Re: Alan French]
      #6430797 - 03/26/14 05:41 PM

Quote:

If a light of constant brightness was needed, that would be fine. However, the light necessary to just barely read a chart varies, depending on the darkness of the site and the degree of dark adaption. So I'd really like a quality light of variable brightness.

It's certainly possible to use a variety of layers to adjust the brightness, but that's a bit clunky.




I've never felt the need to have a variable red light source, so the Rubylith solution works well in my case.


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TCW
Pooh-Bah


Reged: 11/05/13

Loc: The North 40
Re: What this Hobby Needs: A Quality Red Flashlight new [Re: dpippel]
      #6430936 - 03/26/14 06:51 PM

It would be nice if a maker of quality flashlights would make a red flashlight. Makers like Pelican, Streamlight, Mag or Surefire. I have a red lens accessory I use on a small Maglite but is is a little too bright. I would pay the money for a quality red light as all the ones sold for astronomy look like junk.

If someone would sell red low wattage quality bulbs or led's for quality flashlights that might be the answer.


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herrointment
Post Laureate
*****

Reged: 03/12/11

Loc: North of Hwy. 64
Re: What this Hobby Needs: A Quality Red Flashlight new [Re: dpippel]
      #6430960 - 03/26/14 07:01 PM

Just for kicks I looked for the most expensive headlamp on the REI site......The Petzl Ultra Rush Accu 4 Belt Headlamp throws a beam 100 yards and is only $500.00!!!

Back on topic.....sorta......there are all sorts of convenient and well made flashlights on the market. Compared to days of yore we now live in The Golden Age of the Flashlight. This doesn't make the selection of one that will suit your needs any easier. I have become an unwitting collector of nice flashlights and still search for the one that will do exactly what I want.


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JayinUT
I'm not Sleepy
*****

Reged: 09/19/08

Loc: Utah
Re: What this Hobby Needs: A Quality Red Flashlight new [Re: herrointment]
      #6431021 - 03/26/14 07:26 PM

One could try this flashlight LINK as it has 12 white LED, 3 red or a 1 red mode. Aviation flashlights from somewhere like the Pilot Store LINK could be the answer. The first link is to Sportys.com



Edited by JayinUT (03/26/14 07:30 PM)


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palmer570
super member
*****

Reged: 09/04/12

Loc: Scranton, Pennsylvania
Re: What this Hobby Needs: A Quality Red Flashlight new [Re: JayinUT]
      #6431092 - 03/26/14 08:08 PM

I can't seem to find it now but years ago I saw mini flashlights that you could wear like a ring. They came with white or red light. No idea if they worked as advertised or could be dimmed.

I plan on getting a hotech astroaimer g3 this year. Waterproof, red and white light with 3 levels of brightness, and the green laser make it a good fit for me. A little pricey at $120 but I don't want to keep buying cheap ones every year or two and i need a green laser. Also the mini tripod/finder mount would make it easy to use as a finder.

I currently use a heavy duty flashlight, energizer brand I think, has red, green, and white LEDs. Rubber coated, tilt able head, and clip on the handle to put on your belt. Was like ~$20-$30. Red light seems to be too bright once dark adapted though. It can however take a beating and hasn't skipped a beat in over a year of rough use.


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roscoe
curmudgeon
*****

Reged: 02/04/09

Loc: NW Mass, inches from VT
Re: What this Hobby Needs: A Quality Red Flashlight new [Re: palmer570]
      #6431151 - 03/26/14 08:45 PM

I used to have one of those ring lights, the switch got scratchy fast.....

I haven't looked to see if they are available for mini-mag-lites, but red glass lenses are available for d-cell ones.

I built myself a map-reader using an old battery-light magnifier that I replaced the white incandescent with a red LED, and added a potentiometer to the back end to dim it down. My old-guy eyes like the magnified image of the star map, and the ring around the magnifier contains stray light.

A place you might look is marine supply outlets, boat people use red map lights, and the better of that stuff is pretty ruggedly made. And waterproof, and floats, too, important in the astronomy biz.....
I suspect aircraft supply houses sell red ones, too.
R


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beatlejuice
Pooh-Bah
*****

Reged: 04/05/11

Loc: Hamilton, ON,Canada
Re: What this Hobby Needs: A Quality Red Flashlight new [Re: Alan French]
      #6431310 - 03/26/14 10:10 PM

Takes a lickin and keeps on tickin



It's 10 years old from orion I think. Stepped on it a couple of years ago and lost the plastic face. Tightened up the wheel a couple of times, duct tape carefully folded over the ridge and cut to fit holds the guts in(I thought red was appropriate) and it still works fine.(I guess I'm just a cheap B******.)

Eric


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zawijava
scholastic sledgehammer
*****

Reged: 10/06/07

Loc: Wells, Maine 04090
Re: What this Hobby Needs: A Quality Red Flashlight new [Re: JayinUT]
      #6431343 - 03/26/14 10:28 PM

I flew Helicopters for many years and accumulated a few really nice aviation flashlights, all of which are going strong to this day. Most were a bit too bulky for Astronomy use except the Smith & Wesson Captains Flashlight [see 1st LINK in Quoted Post]. It's a fantastic flashlight for Astronomy and likely the last one you'll need to buy. Probably can be found elsewhere but Sporty's Pilot Shop is a fine Vendor! -Tim

Quote:

One could try this flashlight LINK as it has 12 white LED, 3 red or a 1 red mode. Aviation flashlights from somewhere like the Pilot Store LINK could be the answer. The first link is to Sportys.com






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Alan French
Night Owl
*****

Reged: 01/28/05

Loc: Upstate NY
Re: What this Hobby Needs: A Quality Red Flashlight new [Re: zawijava]
      #6431355 - 03/26/14 10:35 PM

I am sure the aviation lights are fine, but they don't have one feature I find invaluable - adjustable brightness like the rheostat on many flashlights made for astronomy. As I mentioned, I find the amount of light required depends both on how dark the night is and on dark adaptation. It is very nice, and agreeable, to set the light at exactly the level needed - enough to just read the charts or write notes.

I do think there would be a market for a better, dedicated astronomy flashlight. It doesn't need a white light, a laser pointer, or an AM/FM radio. Just a good rheostat that doesn't start causing flicker and unpredictable brightness changes as it is used a lot, a knob that stays attached to the rheostat, and parts that don't fall out.

Clear skies, Alan

Edited by Alan French (03/26/14 10:38 PM)


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beatlejuice
Pooh-Bah
*****

Reged: 04/05/11

Loc: Hamilton, ON,Canada
Re: What this Hobby Needs: A Quality Red Flashlight new [Re: zawijava]
      #6431367 - 03/26/14 10:41 PM

Tim, those all look like great flashlights but as Alan said it is the combination of a good red flashlight with variable brightness (very important) and nothilng else, that seems to be missing from the marketplace.

Eric


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zawijava
scholastic sledgehammer
*****

Reged: 10/06/07

Loc: Wells, Maine 04090
Re: What this Hobby Needs: A Quality Red Flashlight new [Re: Alan French]
      #6431404 - 03/26/14 11:09 PM

I do have one Astro specific flashlight, possibly a Rigel(?). It's got 1 or 2 white LED's and 1 red LED with a small slider switch for color choice & ON/OFF plus a thumb wheel rheostat. The rheostat is likely the weak link in the design longevity plus it's hard to tell if the light is OFF or just dimmed so much you can't see it. And the thumb wheel takes too many thumb movements to get full travel. And forget about using it with gloves on. Needless to say, I could do without the rheostat

Tim


Quote:

I am sure the aviation lights are fine, but they don't have one feature I find invaluable - adjustable brightness like the rheostat on many flashlights made for astronomy. As I mentioned, I find the amount of light required depends both on how dark the night is and on dark adaptation. It is very nice, and agreeable, to set the light at exactly the level needed - enough to just read the charts or write notes.

I do think there would be a market for a better, dedicated astronomy flashlight. It doesn't need a white light, a laser pointer, or an AM/FM radio. Just a good rheostat that doesn't start causing flicker and unpredictable brightness changes as it is used a lot, a knob that stays attached to the rheostat, and parts that don't fall out.

Clear skies, Alan




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beatlejuice
Pooh-Bah
*****

Reged: 04/05/11

Loc: Hamilton, ON,Canada
Re: What this Hobby Needs: A Quality Red Flashlight new [Re: zawijava]
      #6431408 - 03/26/14 11:12 PM

I have to think that having the wheel inside the body just protruding a little is more robust than having it on top. That's why I am nut sure about getting the rigel when I finally decide to get a replacement.

Eric


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zawijava
scholastic sledgehammer
*****

Reged: 10/06/07

Loc: Wells, Maine 04090
Re: What this Hobby Needs: A Quality Red Flashlight new [Re: beatlejuice]
      #6431418 - 03/26/14 11:21 PM

Surely there must be a dimmer that does not require a mechanical wheel.....something along the lines of holding down the ON/OFF switch to dim or brighten

Quote:

I have to think that having the wheel inside the body just protruding a little is more robust than having it on top. That's why I am nut sure about getting the rigel when I finally decide to get a replacement.

Eric




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oldstargazer
Carpal Tunnel
*****

Reged: 08/03/11

Loc: Western Oklahoma
Re: What this Hobby Needs: A Quality Red Flashlight new [Re: zawijava]
      #6431438 - 03/26/14 11:33 PM

Have been using a Celestron night vision light for about 3 years now with no problems from it.

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beatlejuice
Pooh-Bah
*****

Reged: 04/05/11

Loc: Hamilton, ON,Canada
Re: What this Hobby Needs: A Quality Red Flashlight new [Re: zawijava]
      #6431513 - 03/27/14 12:13 AM

Quote:

Surely there must be a dimmer that does not require a mechanical wheel.....something along the lines of holding down the ON/OFF switch to dim or brighten




I'm not sure that the wheel is the problem. It needs to be made with some other material that will allow for longer lasting smooth motion of brightness adjustment and durability along with a quality glass front. The body of a good GLP (sans laser) with a solid wheel(permanantly attached-no screw) and rheostat might be a good starting point.

Eric


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mdine1us
sage
*****

Reged: 03/14/06

Loc: San Diego
Re: What this Hobby Needs: A Quality Red Flashlight [Re: beatlejuice]
      #6431525 - 03/27/14 12:25 AM

Here is what I use. Not cheap I know, but it is a very very high quality light. And I use it when I go flying as well...

http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/634694-REG/Surefire_A2L_HA_RD_A2_LED_Av...


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Hilmi
Post Laureate
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Reged: 03/07/10

Loc: Muscat, Sultanate of Oman
Re: What this Hobby Needs: A Quality Red Flashlight new [Re: mdine1us]
      #6431555 - 03/27/14 12:48 AM

The petzl headlamp I mentioned has 3 brightness levels. If you really need ultra dim lights you shouldn't go to a star party to observe as you won't have control over other people's lights. For those extra dark skies just take the supplied replaceable lenses on the petzl and start adding successive layers of transparent red paint used for building plastic models till you reach the level of dimness you want when the flashlight is set to minimum brightness.

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Alan French
Night Owl
*****

Reged: 01/28/05

Loc: Upstate NY
Re: What this Hobby Needs: A Quality Red Flashlight new [Re: Hilmi]
      #6431580 - 03/27/14 01:31 AM

I strongly disagree. Folks who attend star parties should be courteous enough to use proper lighting - lighting that preserves their night vision and protects that of others. Many amateurs spend time and money to travel to star parties at dark sites, and they should do everything possible to get the best views, and allow others to do the same. Getting and maintaining proper dark adaptation is a big part of that.

Clear skies, Alan


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