Author Topic: Cheap bastered gear and D.I.Y reviews  (Read 1012 times)

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Offline xj35s

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Cheap bastered gear and D.I.Y reviews
« on: January 18, 2018, 02:30:23 PM »
I wanted to start a thread on the cheap gear I find and like. Some stuff I build cheap too.

This first post is going to review a dollar store flashlight. ?, yup.

I found this in the everything for a dollar store. I think it got there because the led's light while your charging it. I don't think it's supposed to because there is an on/off switch. That simple glitch is not a bad thing. It does still charge and it holds a good charge for a long time.

I have two pictured. The green one has a solar panel that actually works very well. The gray one is just a dynamo but they are fairly equal. The green one was $8 at a K Mart maybe 10 years ago and it still works fantastic and gets a lot of use. ( K Mart was the walmart for us old farts)

First picture is the side by side. The gray one has a lock so the charge mechanism is out of the way. The green one has a solar panel on the opposite side as the crank. yes it's cracked but still works fine.

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Second, I was going to let it run completely out of power then charge it for one minute and time how long it lasted. After 20 minutes of still bright light on a nearly dead battery I decided NOT to do that. I don't know if it's nickle metal hydride, a Capacitor, or lithium but I didn't want to damage it.

I would guess maybe 25 lumen? plenty enough to see what your doing or read something. Charging for one minute makes for an easy 30 minutes of use. If I can find another at the same dollar store I will do the charge duration test but I'll have to start that very early in the morning!

The green one is 3 oz the gray one is 2 oz. There are solar dynamo's on amazon cheap. I might buy another just because the longevity is now proven as is the durability. These are a little bulky but still small, about the length of a swiss army knife.

 The glory of them is the ability to always have light on hand without any batteries, for years. Maybe forever, because when the battery will no longer hold charge the dynamo will still produce power for light.

I am going to try to upgrade the gray one to a 1 cell lithium battery. They are only a buck or two and I have a few kicking around from rc airplanes. I think that alone will make a 3 minute charge last several days. Maybe upgrade the l.e.d. to a cree? NO because the point is, it's a very cheap usable and reliable flashlight. There are cheap cree's out there, with a dynamo though? not sure.

So when SHTF, all Hell breaks loose, the grid goes down, and everyone is going to die, This light is going to light you're way. LOL!

These were taken in daylight...I love the carabiner on  the one, very handy.

,

pessimist complain about the wind. optimist expect the wind to change. realist adjusts the sails.

Offline wolfy

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Re: Cheap bastered gear and D.I.Y reviews
« Reply #1 on: January 18, 2018, 04:25:15 PM »
My mother-inlaw gave me one of these for Christmas about 6-7 years ago....

https://www.redcross.org/store/clipray/ARCCR100R-SNG.html

Made by Eton Corporation, it works great and I keep it on the nightstand, where I use it every night.  :thumbsup:      1.5 minutes of cranking will last for 3 nights of stumbling to the bathroom. :-[
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Offline wsdstan

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Re: Cheap bastered gear and D.I.Y reviews
« Reply #2 on: January 18, 2018, 04:30:15 PM »
I have one with a crank handle similar to what Wolfy has.  Works pretty good although the light is a different color than a regular flashlight.  Mine lives in the console of my truck and with a few cranks is good to go for a time, enough to change a tire or jump a battery kind of thing. 
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Online madmax

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Re: Cheap bastered gear and D.I.Y reviews
« Reply #3 on: January 18, 2018, 05:03:33 PM »
I got one as a Christmas gift from a well meaning family member.  They really have no clue as to why we love camping in the woods.  Nor could they spot quality from junk.  It was made of pot metal and it couldn't hold a charge at all.  Finally broke apart while I was cranking.  They asked if I used it now and then for years.

... I flat out lied.  "I sure do!"

Was that so wrong?
"Life should not be a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving pretty with a well preserved body, but rather to skid in sideways in a cloud of smoke, thouroughly used up, totally worn out, and loudly proclaiming, Wow! What a ride!" 
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Offline wolfy

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Re: Cheap bastered gear and D.I.Y reviews
« Reply #4 on: January 18, 2018, 05:18:25 PM »
We also have 2 different models of the multi-function, crank-up radios made by Eton Corporation/Red Cross.  They have been used steadily over the past decade, too.  They look different these days, but here's link to the newer model......

https://www.grainger.com/product/22A871?cm_mmc=PPC:+Google+PLA&s_kwcid=AL!2966!3!166594254140!!!g!82166549157!&ef_id=VdPNoAAABPBzzFRA:20180119000228:s&kwid=productads-adid%5E166594254140-device%5Et-plaid%5E82166549157-sku%5E22A871-adType%5EPLA

They are multi-band radios with solar recharging in addition to the crank recharge system.  It is really nice to have the built-in NOAA weather radio, flashlight and the ability to recharge your smartphone all in the same small unit.  WOLFY APPROVED!    :thumbsup:
The only chance you got at a education is listenin' to me talk!
Augustus McCrae.....Texas Ranger      Lonesome Dove, TX