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Author Fellows lamps forum.
royfellows

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Posted: 21/01/2011 16:05:33
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I have an anouncement to make, and as my old thread is somewhat out of date now that I am established producer of lamps, I have taken the liberty of opening a new one.

Early in 2010 Cree Inc the market leader in LED technology announced a new super emitter, the XM-L. This produced quite a buzz with many requests “Where can I get one from”, but to no avail. Eventually the buzz died down and it remained forgotten about until December that year when suddenly major LED torch producers such as Fenix announced new models based on XM-L technology.

Very shortly after this Hong Kong suppliers started to list them, and I immediately sent away for samples.
Even before these arrived, I was busy experimenting with possible driver solutions based on information from the Cree data sheet.

Testing
My initial testing of the samples involved temperature and beam comparison with the XP-G emitters already in use in my lamps.
I ascertained that the beam is about 20% wider than that from the XP-G in any given reflector, so obviously to maintain throw I would have to engineer any lighting solution to provide at least this much extra light.
A comparison with regard to heat generated by the LED indicated that the new XM-L runs about 16% cooler than the XP-G.
I also tried the new emitter behind a small 18mm X 12mm diameter reflector and was pleasantly surprised with the result. I expected light to go everywhere, it didn’t, and this greatly increases the usefulness of the new lamp.

The XM-L also has a lower Vf than the XP-G which means that at any given current the lower Vf will mean less power consumption, however I found this advantage marginal.

A comparison of light output is possible from the data sheet, where Cree state 280 lumens at 700 mA for the XM-L, and 139 lumens at 350 mA for the XP-G. This is the same output, however the Cree graph indicates more light from the XM-L once the current goes over 700mA. Lumens at 1 amp, XM-L = 381, XP-G =347.

The main advantage of the new LED is in that it is possible to drive the it at up to 3 amps to produce a maximum of 910 lumens from a single die. However the real clincher from my point of view is the fact unlike the XP-G, the XM-L when mounted behind a single reflector gives a more than adequate peripheral footlight, something that the XP-G just didn’t do. This was most noticeable in places like big slate mine chambers.

This had caused my lamps to be designed whereby the EcoStar simultaneously burned a bare emitter in addition to the beam, and my more powerful Trigon and MagnumStar lamps continued to use the old Q5 XR-E in single lamp mode.

The result of all this is my EcoStar, Trigon, and MagnumStar lamps are now being redesigned around the new emitter.

When I originally finalised the basic design of my lamps it was with the likelihood in mind that better and more efficient emitters would come along, so full upgradeability is inbuilt.
One of the big bonuses is the fact that I can dump the old XR-E; this is a major heat producer while at the same time being limited in output. However it will remain in use for the WorkStar and WorkStar Pro as it is the only high power emitter capable of being focused into a tight beam from a small reflector.

The ability to dump the quad die MC-E in the MagnumStar, another huge heat producer opens the door to a caplamp with an output that could finally exceed 4000 lumens.

So where is the MagnumStar likely to end up? Mounted on the police helicopter?

More to follow.


--

''the stopes soared beyond the range of our caplamps' - David Bick...... How times change
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ttxela

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Posted: 21/01/2011 17:33:35
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Sounds Good Roy,

Would you be able to upgrade existing Magnumstars if a significant increase in output is gained?
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royfellows

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Posted: 21/01/2011 17:58:50
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Absolutely Alex.
Please accept my sincere apologies over this but the situation with technology is that we just dont know what is around the next corner. The PC you buy today for £600 can become obsolete in 3 months time, we all all in the same boat on this.
The new Trigon will be, well, interesting!
I have a stock of brand new quad dies which I am trying to sell, I suppose I will end up sticking them in a torch mod and putting it on ebay. In meantime, well ****** it, if anyone is interested make me an offer. M BIN MC-Es and D BIN P7s.
I have just shipped a Maggie to a really nice guy in Italy as well.

One can almost feel sorry for the Chinese dealers, without beating about the bush, and this has already been said, the XM-L makes the quads obsolete. The only thing is, the P7 still makes a lovelly photo lamp, I am sure Mr Mike will agree here.

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''the stopes soared beyond the range of our caplamps' - David Bick...... How times change
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Mr Mike

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Posted: 21/01/2011 18:09:52
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royfellows wrote:

The only thing is, the P7 still makes a lovelly photo lamp, I am sure Mr Mike will agree here.


Almost Roy, the P7 is dead, long live the SST-90 !

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ttxela

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Posted: 21/01/2011 18:19:30
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No problem Roy, very pleased with the lamp on the trips so far Thumb Up



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royfellows

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Posted: 21/01/2011 18:20:13
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Mr Mike wrote:

royfellows wrote:

The only thing is, the P7 still makes a lovelly photo lamp, I am sure Mr Mike will agree here.


Almost Roy, the P7 is dead, long live the SST-90 !


Trust you to complicate things
Actually, you have got me thinking.
At some time in the future you could look back on this and ask yourself "Why did I have to say that, just look what I started"

See, it will all be your fault

Seriously though, what is the colour temperature like on these?
Obviously with LEDs going the way they are, just producing lamps that generate more and more light will become a nonsense. My thinking , and I already started on this route with current MagnumStar, is to provide a diversity of lighting options.
Much can be learned from others, which is what these forums are all about. The Scurion provides an option which they call "room light", basically to view beautiful formations one does not want a beam coming back in your eyes. Now I recon, well, this is on my eyesight, that the XP-G has a wonderful pure white light output similar to a carbide lamp. The XM-L appears for want of a better description, a bit of a 'dirty' light in comparison.
You can see where I am going to, so what of the SST 90, have you tried one?

--

''the stopes soared beyond the range of our caplamps' - David Bick...... How times change
IP: 78.150.194.69 Edited: 21/01/2011 18:21:30 by royfellows
Mr Mike

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Posted: 23/01/2011 15:17:46
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This is a sad state of affairs, I've had the SST-90 sat on the work bench for about 6 months now, got the samples direct from Luminous (the highest bin, so you get 100lm/W), and I've still not done anything with one.

The CT is 6500K.

However, I've got round to getting the parts to build a driver, just need to write a little PWM control program to get different modes and then I will have an all new flood photo lamp.

I plan to drive it at 6A, so will get 1500lm.



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NewStuff

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Posted: 23/01/2011 18:31:48
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I've ordered an XM-L, but Optics for spot seem thin in the ground at the moment. Leidl make one, but I can't find one to buy at the moment.

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royfellows

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Posted: 24/01/2011 13:57:20
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EcoStar Mk2 XM-L

This weekend saw me testing the first of the new versions of my lamps, the EcoStar XML.
Just to bring everyone up to speed, this lamp has no external heatsinking and therefore weighs no more than a standard Oldham.
The LEDs are mounted on a copper plate that attaches at the top to the old pilot screw holes by offsets, and at the bottom to the positive terminal block. This causes the heat generated to sink into the lamp body, particularly the metal work.

The previos version had a bare XP-G emitter, “The room light” working from SW 1 at 350 mA, while SW2 did this as well but in addition burned another XP-G on 3 modes, a low, medium and high. The high being at about 1 amp.

The new version retains the XP-G as a room light but runs it on the same 3 modes as the previous version did the beam; however this now runs on its own. The other switch position operates the beam only, this has been made possible by the fact that the new beam emitter is a XM-L which provides more than enough foot level peripheral light.

The beam now also operates on different settings, the low is about 0.4 amps, the middle is about 0.7, and high is 1.4 amps.
At full power temperature maxes out at 48 degrees C at the room light, and 51 degrees on beam, readings taken at the LEDs. I have deliberately kept the max drive current down for the room light because it’s mounted on a heat conductive stalk up against the glass.

The light from the XP-G is a brilliant pure white like daylight, while the XM-L is distinctively yellowish.

Testing the lamp underground was done at Ratgoed where immediately entering the level with the lamp on low beam I could see quite clearly, vision of course improved considerably as my eyes got used to the lower light level
On the low setting I found that this was all the light I needed, see the pictures, indeed I could see right across the chambers, all this on only 0.4 amps draw on the battery pack. The throw tested against my fenix TK11 was the same as that on non turbo mode, in fact seemed slightly better. On full power it was very bright.
The implications of this are that the low level will give about 12 hours as conservative estimate on the little 2 cell Li Ion pack, more than enough for full day trips.
The room light is now more versatile; see my kit bag pictures, and ideal for admiring formations or working with. Even on the low setting there was enough light to say eat sandwiches with a group, and yet it is possible at that level to look directly at the LED without being dazzled.

This is an indication of where LED technology is going, the implications being that LEDs will be producing more light and less heat so powerful lamps will be available in cheap plastic headsets; this must bode ill for the producers of expensive CNC machined aluminium lamps.

Here are some figure.
Beam: Low 168 lumens, Med 275 lumens, High 518 lumens.
Room light: Low indeterminate, Medium 112 lumens, High 350 lumens

Upgrade of existing lamps.
This involved dispensing with the relay circuit and connecting existing multi mode driver to room light. Existing beam emitter is replaced by XM-L and connected to new driver circuit.

The next new model that I will be announcing will be the Trigon XM-L, this is a bit further away although I have diversity of driver options ready.

Pictures
Roy’s kitbags, Oldham standard, then room light low, med , and high

Chamber with Oldham standard, then beam at low, medium and high.

Walking passage standard Oldham and then beam at low.

All straight off the camera, no messing and all same exposure.



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--

''the stopes soared beyond the range of our caplamps' - David Bick...... How times change
IP: 78.150.194.69 Edited: 24/01/2011 14:01:13 by royfellows
PeteJ

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Posted: 25/01/2011 20:33:58
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Just wanted to say that I have seen geology underground using an Fellows lamp that i never saw with carbide or incandescent bulbs. I guess that means that the colour of the light is very important? IP: 213.106.45.184
royfellows

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Posted: 25/01/2011 20:36:23
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Peter, you were one of my first customers.
Thumbs Up

You also make a good point, yes the colour temperature of the light from LEDs is much closer to daylight hence the new appreciation of colour.

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''the stopes soared beyond the range of our caplamps' - David Bick...... How times change
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Brakeman

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Posted: 25/01/2011 20:43:27
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Mr Mike wrote:

This is a sad state of affairs, I've had the SST-90 sat on the work bench for about 6 months now, got the samples direct from Luminous (the highest bin, so you get 100lm/W), and I've still not done anything with one.

The CT is 6500K.

However, I've got round to getting the parts to build a driver, just need to write a little PWM control program to get different modes and then I will have an all new flood photo lamp.

I plan to drive it at 6A, so will get 1500lm.



Now that is something I would like, a really good controlable photo flood lamp, but would really like to get up to 2000/3000 lumens for the really big places as I already use 1200/1600 & it is not enough for my liking.



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royfellows

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Posted: 25/01/2011 20:48:34
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I have played about with these based on 3 X SSC P7s which I still rate as the best emitters for a photo flood. Unfortunately, I have yet to assemble a platform that I would consider suitable for offering for sale.

I have a good record of not one single caplamp as yet returned, I dont want to spoil this.

EDIT
Another thought. I have taken pictures that have been quite reasonable using my caplamp, just set the camera on a tripod, put it on timer and step out in front with the MagnumStar on full blast, all 2400 lumens of it.
The new model, without letting too much out of the bag with have a 'daylight mode'

--

''the stopes soared beyond the range of our caplamps' - David Bick...... How times change
IP: 78.150.194.69 Edited: 25/01/2011 20:51:52 by royfellows
royfellows

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Posted: 02/02/2011 22:08:36
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I feel obliged to post yet again on the EcoStar, I do hope that I am not becoming a nuisance.

I have been using this myself, and I am a lumens fanatic.
I sincerely feel that that the stated output by the manufactures (Cree Inc) of their XM-L emitter is a gross understatement. I cannot help but continue to rave about the beam low setting of 400 mA on the battery pack.

I am aware that in the past I dropped a clanger on my estimated burn times in that I forgot to take into account the voltage drop on the cells and its effect on the shut down electronics, I have therefore just done a duration test on the EcoStar on the minimum setting which I state as “estimated 12 hours”

It burned steadily from 08.00 this morning to 20.00 (eight p.m. in old money) when a loss of brightness was discernable. There was still easily enough light to get you out of Dodge City possibly for almost another hour. And this on a silly little 2 cell pack.

As I have already stated, many people will consider that this is all the lamp that they will need. Further, I am happy to carry out conversions of customers own lamps to this specification providing that the headset supplied is in good condition, for £70 plus £4 p and P.
Battered relics will be rejected.


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''the stopes soared beyond the range of our caplamps' - David Bick...... How times change
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Alasdair Neill

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Posted: 03/02/2011 09:28:03
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Important feature with any light for many people is will it affect a compass? Probably no problem if it is if you have access do a Disto-x, which I don't at present. If you are not sure try taking a compass reading without wearing light/helmet in daylight, then repeat the reading with the light in the position you may need to read a Suunto underground, ie dirctly over the compass. If the readings are the same in several different directions then it sounds good to me. IP: 62.171.194.38
royfellows

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Posted: 03/02/2011 09:43:00
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Hi Aly
This comes from the magnetic switch on the Stenlight and is something that Scurion have made a thing out of as they are strong business competitors.
My lamps are based on Oldham GT headsets which are plastic, and the only ferrous components are the original switch contacts, all other metal is aluminium or copper.

To prove the point I have just held the lamp within 2 inches of my Silva map compass placed atop a wooden stool and it makes no difference at all.

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Alasdair Neill

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Posted: 04/02/2011 09:24:01
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Thanks.
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royfellows

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Posted: 18/02/2011 13:31:00
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Hi Gang, sorry 'gremlins' re my original posting re new EcoStar.

Max light output is 560 lumens.

I cant imagine where the 518 came from.

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royfellows

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Posted: 22/02/2011 18:10:40
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The Trigon XML (Mk 3)

The development of the new Trigon has only been finalised after a great deal of thought, the mission being to get everything right first time and to utilise the new technology to best advantage.
In considering how the XML technology could be applied to the Trigon, the logical first step would be to update the emitters with XMLs and then just change the loop back resistors for a lower value so as to drive the LEDs at a higher current.
However, with the emergence of the new emitter the goal posts have moved considerably in that now it not just a case of getting as many high power LEDs into a lamp and then driving them at full power, but now there exists the very real situation whereby doing this will exceed the capability of the heat sink platform.

Experimentation confirmed that this is just the case, so the avenues of possibility then fell into 2 distinct directions, that of taking the aforementioned course and driving 3 emitters at a lower current so as to produce as much light as was possible within the heat sink platform, or driving just 2 rather harder.
After some experimentation I found that taking the former course it was possible to get an extra 100 or more lumens, but at the expense of loss of efficiency through having to drive one of them as a single lamp, and also loss of light by dividing output between 3 reflectors, one reflector a small one at that.
The option of containing the main lighting modes through the 2 large reflectors working from one switch further opens the door to other practical and useful functionality which has been applied to the previously described EcoStar XML

Now if one examines the Cree data sheet in detail one gets the impression that it was written by different people reading from different hymn sheets. There is no way that the XML is capable of producing 1000 lumens! Cree state 280 lumens at 700 mA, and relating this to the light against forward current graph this equates to 910 lumens at the maximum current of 3 amps.

However, looking at the chart of thermal characteristics it suggests something a bit dodgy above 2.5 amps. This is substantiated by the new Fenix TK35 tactical torch for which Fenix claim an output of 800 lumens. Relating this to the graph on the Cree data sheet this corresponds to a drive current of 2.5 amps. I regard Fenix as the premier producer of LED torches and feel that they have come to the same conclusion as I have.
I have therefore decided to make 2.5 amps my maximum setting.

The new Trigon is therefore radically different to the old; I have however kept on eye on the implications of upgrading existing models.
Furthermore the motivation has been to provide what people will want in a lamp together with practicability and user friendliness, no strobes, SOSs, or plays Colonel Bogey.

There are 3 separate switch positions, the 2 standard Oldham ones plus a completely separate one to power what I call the “Emergency Light”, the term “Pilot Light” suggests a gas boiler to me rather than a lamp!. This third switch is mounted on the LED module, in fact everything is now mounted on this, and the only trailing component is the emergency light which tucks in at the bottom and is secured to maintain its forward ‘in line’ orientation. This greatly streamlines production of the new lamp.
As with this heat sink platform, the LED module is built up on a copper plate that secures firmly to the leg of the thermodynamic heat conductor. A soldered copper bracket provides a ‘near to the glass’ mounting for the series wired tandem mount emitters that provide one of the alternative lighting modes.

The main beam is from 2 XM-L emitters wired in series and mounted behind the binocular reflector, the driver for these now returns to pulse width modulation (PWM) but in a more user friendly manner than the Mk 1.
There are 3 mode settings to which I have applied my own naming convention, a standard, high and turbo. I have matched the lowest output to the most useful output on the EcoStar, the next lamp down. This is the same in that the 2 series LEDs are driven at 200 mA to produce the output of 168 lumens, same as the EcoStars 400 mA on single lamp.
High is matched approximately to the EcoStars high output of 560 lumens with the emitters being driven at 700 mA.
The turbo setting drives the emitters at 2.5 amps to produce an output of 1600 lumens.
Left on this setting indoors the internal temperature maxed out at 78 degrees C after 20 minutes plus, thermal shut down comes in above this but I could not generate the condition where this will happen.
I am aware of the loss of the “Eco power” mode of the earlier model, I have experimented with this on the XL-Ls but found difficulties incorporating it into the lamp, however the most obvious issue was the jump from that setting to max. Also, the earlier model was subject to difficulty in appreciating the difference between the low walk mode of the single lamp and its higher setting and hope that incorporation of all normal settings into the one switch position using PWM will encourage the use of ‘sensible’ and economical normal use.
Although my own lamp, I have to say that I would impartially award it 10 out or 10 for general user friendliness.

An additional advantage of the new system is that overheat detection will power down the emitters to a lower output level rather than just turning them off. I have also been able to obtain better than 95% efficiency on some settings.
Changing modes does not require any knack of catching it just right, it works flawlessly even on a slight delay, however after prolonged delay the last mode is saved on memory and will be the one that the lamp opens to next rime it’s switched on. It will also memorise second choice which adds to the user friendliness.

The other main switch position powers 2 series wired Cree XP-Gs series wired and mounted in tandem on the same copper heat sink base mount. I call this “Daylight Mode” which replaces my previous description “Room Light”. It is more descriptive as the light of the XPG is in my opinion a lot more suitable for this purpose than the XML. After a lot of consideration I decided not to use a multi mode driver but just power them at a straight 1.46 amps. Because it is not a beam but an overall light I decided that incorporating modes would be more nuisance than good. The implication of this is that upgraders will have their existing XP-Gs recycled in to the new lamp, plus one of their existing drivers with a small change to a surface mount component. The old Turbo drive switch and sub miniature relays will be removed and represents the only non recyclable components.
I considered the option of giving a user ability to mix beam and bare emitter which is the trend followed by some other lamp builders. I have experimented underground over the last few weeks with lash ups of LEDs mounted on old computer heatinks etc and formed the opinion that due to the wide beam width of the XM-Ls, a very marginal advantage would be gained and this at a detraction of simplicity of design and user friendliness, and would have added to the complexity and cost of the lamp.

The new extra switch is mounted on the LED module and operates the emergency light. The inspiration for this came from 2 sources. A while ago I purchased a quantity of faulty miners lamps manufactured by Gokang, replacing the battery cells with 18650 Li Ions I was amazed to find that I could get 36 hours burn time on main beam. (For sale at £50 each, chargers £5, limited stock). The other was an offhand comment on a website about the recently trapped Chilean miners to the effect “I wonder how they managed for light”.
This lamp is intended for the situation that everyone dreads of being trapped underground waiting for rescue. It can also be used for chatting in a group etc as the only other low mode is 168 lumens. Additionally it is intended as the recommended switching position in the event of a power pack becoming fully discharged and the protection circuits disconnecting. The first time this happens they should come back on line almost immediately the lamp is turned off and turning to the emergency light it will continue to burn for several hours.
This single LED has its own built in reflector and gives a nice round beam. Driven at 60 mA the output is about 60% of the output of a standard LED miners lamp except for it being a wider beam, there is certainly enough light to get you out of anywhere, third party opinion agrees with this. A fresh 4 cell power pack should give you 3.5 days light.

When the Trigon was first introduced, it was at an introductory price of £140 as a kit with 4 cell helmet mount power pack, charger, and fitting kit of 4mm shockcord. I was ‘promising’ a price increase from the start. The cost of the new model as a helmet kit is now £165, so owners of the Mark 1 or 2 models will not really be out of pocket much as the expected upgrade cost will not be much more than £40. That has yet to ascertained.

As a passing comment, this lamp was developed before Scurion announced their new 1500 model, so I am not being petty by deliberately trouncing them, however at this time of writing the Trigon probably takes the title as “TheWorlds Most Powerful Caplamp” beaten only by my yet to be announced Mk4 MangnumStar

The gaff was blown while testing the prototype new Trigon in Browns Folly mine when I was happened upon by a group of explorers, one of them posted on darkplaces:

“I have witnessed Roy's latest lamp first hand in Browns. Bright does not really describe it, on full beam it was akin to a 250W halogen output, full flood. “

I have now to develop the new MagnumStar, I wouldn’t think its rocket science to see where it will go, there is a waiting list building up for it and it hasn’t even been announced yet!

I currently have a few people waiting for the new lamp, and am also awaiting a consignment of parts, so I expect that it will be some time before I have stock.


--

''the stopes soared beyond the range of our caplamps' - David Bick...... How times change
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Fellows lamps forum.
Posted: 22/02/2011 19:58:01
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royfellows wrote:

The Trigon XML (Mk 3)


I have now to develop the new MagnumStar, I wouldn’t think its rocket science to see where it will go, there is a waiting list building up for it and it hasn’t even been announced yet!



Hello Roy

I trust I am on the waiting list for the upgrade to my existing MagnumStar Thumb Up

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