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Author Nice head/cap lamp for a 'newbie'?
LeeW

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Nice head/cap lamp for a 'newbie'?
Posted: 17/01/2013 18:56:42
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Seeing as I couldn't be bothered looking through all the different forum posts I thought I would start a new one.

..........

Here goes - Seeing as recently I appear to have been getting lost ( Wink ) and ending up in some dark underground hole; I thought I would enquire about getting some light. Currently I lend one of Ian's headlamps along with my cheapo led headtorch for seeing where my feet are. We use handhelds for lighting for photos.


What I'm looking for is at getting a nice reasonably cheap and bright headtorch/caplamp. Currently we've spent about 5hours underground on each trip. Ideally I'm looking for 'white' light and not orange light; not too bothered is batteries or rechargeable set etc; looking for a reasonable amount of run time on full power and or next to full power. I'm not looking for something with mega lumens but say something which can light up the foreground. We don't go anywhere too wet so doesn't have to be super waterproof, just something that will easily take roof droplets etc. And finally seeing as I'm a 'newbie' (well to the u/g) I don't want to spend megabucks, say up to about £60-80, so anyone who mentions ought in excess of £90 gets a slap; 2nd hand is okay along as it's in good condition and is gonna last a while.

The ones I've had a quick look at include:
Fenix HP11 (unfortunately Maplins have sold out theirs at £40)
The New Wisdom Portable 2A&2D
And Roy's EcoStart (but looked slightly too pricey for me)

Any thoughts or recommendations?

--

'Ask no questions, get no lies' If it's not grown you need to know some geology
IP: 86.11.200.126 Edited: 19/01/2013 17:22:56 by LeeW
chrisj

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Location: Blaenau Ffestiniog

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Nice head/cap lamp for a 'newbie'?
Posted: 17/01/2013 19:32:02
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I have one of Roy's Ecostars and I can't recommend it highly enough. Really solidly built (well it uses an Oldham as the base so you'd expect that), I've never run out of battery (and I have done some long days).
It may be at the higher price end of your list (I haven't checked the prices of the others so I'm guessing this from what you've said in your post) but it will take the knocks and last years so doesn't look so pricey on a per trip basis.
IP: 92.13.58.143
RJV

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Nice head/cap lamp for a 'newbie'?
Posted: 17/01/2013 19:33:14
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Ooh, is this like a camera thread? Can I respond to your request for info on affordable lamps by telling you all about my gazillion pound lamp? Innocent IP: 217.212.230.150
somersetminer

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Nice head/cap lamp for a 'newbie'?
Posted: 17/01/2013 19:46:11
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Right, if you want a -basic- good quality lamp that'll go on and one and not over priced I'd recommend a Speleo Techincs similar to this
http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/CAVING-LAMP-SPELEO-TECHNICS-FX2-and-CHARGER-/281051497673?pt=UK_Collectables_Memorabila_RL&hash=item416ff984c9

n.b. the auction is nothing to do with me I just know from regular use of one how reliable they are. such a shame they are not manufactured anymore. get an FX3 if you can find one
IP: 81.155.129.229
christwigg

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Nice head/cap lamp for a 'newbie'?
Posted: 17/01/2013 20:01:07
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An FX2 or an Oldham with a battery belt would make you look 'proper' but personally I would say LEDs with modern small helmet mounted batteries are the way to go now.

Or go half-way house and get one of Mr Mikes retros.
http://www.mineexplorer.org.uk/ledlighting.htm

That's £60 on top of an Oldham / FX2
IP: 81.103.213.148
LeeW

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Nice head/cap lamp for a 'newbie'?
Posted: 17/01/2013 20:04:22
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RJV wrote:

Ooh, is this like a camera thread? Can I respond to your request for info on affordable lamps by telling you all about my gazillion pound lamp? Innocent


Obviously, why not? I mean; if you were trying to find out about a multimillion pound extremely powerful lamp then a forum about an economic lamp is the first place you would start looking Wink

I think the number of 'slaps' should be exponentially proportional to the amount of £s over the limit.


PS I don't have a £2000 Nikon camera either - but that's for another forum topic Devil

--

'Ask no questions, get no lies' If it's not grown you need to know some geology
IP: 86.11.200.126
NewStuff

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Nice head/cap lamp for a 'newbie'?
Posted: 17/01/2013 20:06:38
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I'll second both the Ecostar or Mr Mikes retrofit for an Oldham. I've seen both in action, and did I not make my own lamps, I'd be choosing between them myself.

--

In your mines, Taking your pictures...
IP: 109.224.135.253
RJV

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Nice head/cap lamp for a 'newbie'?
Posted: 17/01/2013 20:08:33
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You'll get a Raptor/Chinese Mining Lamp type lamp for the budget you're talking about.

Had one for years and they do the job perfectly well. Can also whack an insert in one at a later stage if you ever want to increase the output.
IP: 86.14.202.171
royfellows

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Nice head/cap lamp for a 'newbie'?
Posted: 17/01/2013 21:56:13
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chrisj wrote:

I have one of Roy's Ecostars and I can't recommend it highly enough. Really solidly built (well it uses an Oldham as the base so you'd expect that), I've never run out of battery (and I have done some long days).
It may be at the higher price end of your list (I haven't checked the prices of the others so I'm guessing this from what you've said in your post) but it will take the knocks and last years so doesn't look so pricey on a per trip basis.


Well thanks for this. I have said before that it is probably the reliable caplamp you could buy and with a more than adequate maximum output of over 500 lumens.
There is that much circuit redundancy as long as you have power you probably have more chance of winning the lottery than being left with no light. I had a workstar returned once because only one led would work. The reason was easy to spot right away, the lamp was full of water. (Broken bezel)
Exactly the same problem on a Trigon totalled everything except the LEDs.
I am trying to push these simply because I have no trouble with them.
Waiting lists are for Trigons and MagnumStars, however I have been selling Ecos as fast as I get one ready lately. Maybe the message getting across?

Only issue is the cost if you need a charger as it then goes over £100

The thing about the Chinese mining lamps is that they are what they say on the tin, mining lamps. Intended for working mines not recreational use, so relatively low power but hightly focused narrow beams.

--

Whatever you find difficult do more not less, then it become easy.
IP: 84.13.96.255
stuey

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Nice head/cap lamp for a 'newbie'?
Posted: 17/01/2013 22:57:57
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Get a Roy lamp.

Don't cut corners. I have a Trigon which also comes in useful for stripping paint where a blowtorch won't cut it, however chums have his other models (workstar ecostar) and they are very bright, last for ages and are good to go.

A lamp is something you shouldn't cut corners with and if you don't find you are caving enough, you will find that a very good lamp holds it's value. Don't resort to petzl lego.

Get a Roy lamp. Bloody good value, excellent professional service, bloody good bloke, epic lamp. Make the right choice!
IP: 92.40.57.27 Edited: 17/01/2013 22:58:56 by stuey
derrickman

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Nice head/cap lamp for a 'newbie'?
Posted: 18/01/2013 08:08:59
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RJV wrote:

You'll get a Raptor/Chinese Mining Lamp type lamp for the budget you're talking about.

Had one for years and they do the job perfectly well. Can also whack an insert in one at a later stage if you ever want to increase the output.


another vote for this. I have one of these and it serves me fine. I've also used them at work, and as an inspection lamp for my car.. I have no clue about its lumen rating, or a number of other things mentioned here, but it's a reliable lamp at no great cost.

The Oldham is a better product with certification that is actually believeable, and I like to support a British company where possible, but as a cheap and cheerful caplamp for occasional caving the Chinese ones are quite sufficient.

what helmet do you have?

--

''the stopes soared beyond the range of our caplamps' - David Bick...... How times change .... oh, I don't know, I've still got a lamp like that.
IP: 86.30.241.199
AR

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Location: Knot far from Knotlow in the middle of the Peak District

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Nice head/cap lamp for a 'newbie'?
Posted: 18/01/2013 09:07:55
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I briefly saw one of the self-contained New Wisdoms in action a couple of weeks back and it seemed like a decent lamp for the money, the people who import them are good friends of mine and I've got one of the KLM5s. As has been said, the beams are fairly tightly focused but I've never found that too much of a problem and mine has taken quite a lot of abuse in the time I've had it without any problems. Another alternative for a self-contained unit is the Dula that Simon sells, I got an ex-demo off him last year. Again, a mining lamp so the beam is tight but build quality is good.

--

I want you to kill Nicholas Parsons, and I want you to make it clean. But if you can't make it clean, make it messy. If you can't make it messy, make it noisy. And if you can't make it noisy, make it silly!
IP: 86.134.230.39
LeeW

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Nice head/cap lamp for a 'newbie'?
Posted: 18/01/2013 10:21:07
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My helmet is just a simple one from work (getting a few years old) without any fitting for a lamp. Although getting a new one isn't really an issue but it will depend on any type of lamp fitting. What ever type of lamp I get I will need a new hat, but obviously getting a new one costs it little extra.



--

'Ask no questions, get no lies' If it's not grown you need to know some geology
IP: 193.109.254.19
rikj

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Nice head/cap lamp for a 'newbie'?
Posted: 18/01/2013 10:51:30
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You can buy lamp brackets to put on any helmet. Petzl do one, and caving-gear. Couple of quid.

Think I might have one spare also.


--

'If the rule you followed brought you to this, of what use was the rule?'
IP: 86.146.66.0
stuey

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Nice head/cap lamp for a 'newbie'?
Posted: 18/01/2013 10:58:57
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I'd most certainly track down a good 2nd hand or NOS caving supplies/protex caving helmet.

They are confortable.
They are light.
They have the right lamp mounting gear.
They are not too big or bulky, like those darth vader things that all the rescue lot use.
They are probably the best value for money.

I have a new one which I am saving for when my old one finally falls to bits.
IP: 188.30.255.45
PeteJ

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Nice head/cap lamp for a 'newbie'?
Posted: 18/01/2013 14:58:15
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Not so far discussed in detail here is the robustness of the lamp and battery housing. The test is - will it stand being bumped by a rock attached to the rest of the world. Some housings are made from materials which will either break or fall apart, or both, and that will probably mean that you have no light at all, which means....the end....

Spend a little more and live a lot longer
IP: 82.9.98.70
christwigg

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Nice head/cap lamp for a 'newbie'?
Posted: 18/01/2013 15:40:20
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PeteJ wrote:

and that will probably mean that you have no light at all, which means....the end....

Spend a little more and live a lot longer


Well if you buy one of those 50 LED light from the petrol station on the way and don't have a backup light at all times, its probably just natural selection at work. Wink
IP: 145.8.104.65 Edited: 18/01/2013 16:19:15 by christwigg
royfellows

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Nice head/cap lamp for a 'newbie'?
Posted: 18/01/2013 16:52:18
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PeteJ wrote:

Not so far discussed in detail here is the robustness of the lamp and battery housing. The test is - will it stand being bumped by a rock attached to the rest of the world. Some housings are made from materials which will either break or fall apart, or both, and that will probably mean that you have no light at all, which means....the end....

Spend a little more and live a lot longer


A good point.
To be specific I hear the daft priced Scurrions are bad for this regarding the battery housing.
The bezel is the weak point on all plastic headset lamps, my lamps, Oldhams, and all of the Chinese stuff.
On my last posting I did myself a bit of an injustice re the water filled Trigon, I believe that the emergency light still worked. Its certainly designed to.

Mmm, I supose thats why I call it an emergency light

More thoughts are that the best emergency light would be a spare light whatever you use.

--

Whatever you find difficult do more not less, then it become easy.
IP: 84.13.96.255
christwigg

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Nice head/cap lamp for a 'newbie'?
Posted: 18/01/2013 17:03:48
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royfellows wrote:


More thoughts are that the best emergency light would be a spare light whatever you use.


Exactly, no-one should trust ANY light so absolutely to go underground without a backup.

I picked up the habit of wearing a small zebralight around my neck at all times. No-one needs to be fumbling in a bag in the dark should your light fail on a complex SRT pitch.
IP: 145.8.104.65 Edited: 18/01/2013 17:04:29 by christwigg
royfellows

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Nice head/cap lamp for a 'newbie'?
Posted: 18/01/2013 17:05:45
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christwigg wrote:

royfellows wrote:


More thoughts are that the best emergency light would be a spare light whatever you use.


I picked up the habit of wearing a small zebralight around my neck at all times. No-one needs to be fumbling in a bag in the dark should your light fail on a complex SRT pitch.


Yes, right on Chris, on a length of paracord, I do it.
Big Grin

--

Whatever you find difficult do more not less, then it become easy.
IP: 84.13.96.255
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