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Author Topic: River Rock 6V Headlamp  (Read 3251 times)
zapper
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« on: February 22, 2009, 07:21:01 PM »

     OK. I know, this is an old light to be reviewing but it's not listed here and I haven't contributed in forever (been away from everything just because I've been busy, not in jail as some speculated...).

So, I bought the River Rock 6V Headlamp at Target on clearance for like $14.95 plus tax! Great deal !     ... until you read the rest of the review...
It didn't cost much at least, which is great because my wife threw away the package and doesn't know where the receipt is soooo... make the best out of it I guess.

The good:
   Came with some good Duracell CR123's. Current draw is only 530 mA on new batteries.
   Has a very nice lightly stippled deep reflector which creates a beautiful ring free beam.
   Has a great hot spot that really throws with a lot of spill like a Fenix T1 or Jet II I.B.S.
   Output is more than a Romisen RC-N3 Q5 with 2AA (~2700 lux w/2AA) but comparable with CR123 (~3900 lux).
   Is very light weight for having two batteries all in one unit.
   Has a dual band strap which keeps it snugly in place.
   It does look kind of cute because it looks like a 35mm SLR camera !! ;-)

The bad:
   The stickers in the battery compartment were affixed to mount both batteries in the same direction so no power from the git go. Also, the spring tab for the incorrectly labeled battery was smashed down so even with proper installation no go. I had to lift up the tab to make contact.
   Not waterproof by any stretch of the imagination. I don't think it would explode in a light fog or mist but I wouldn't bet on it or stay in it too long.
   No significant heat management. The beam starts out a bright neutral color but within 1 minute (literally) it starts turning angry blue and fading quickly.

Overall, It's easy to take apart and modify. I took it apart and the Cree is mounted on a very small disk just barely bigger than the Cree itself which in turn is riveted to small piece of tin for heat sinking. When I had it apart I connected the batteries and the heat sink was too hot to touch after about 50 seconds!

I unmounted it from the tin and attached it with thermal epoxy to an aluminum slug as big as would fit in the space. I let the epoxy set an hour and connected the batteries again. Much better! It took about 2 minutes before the aluminum heat sink was too hot to touch and the beam turned angry blue and dim!!

Ah well. Guess I'll probably put a small resistor in line with one of the leads to limit the current, but that would also limit the output. Second guess would be to get the Dremel and whack a big hole in the back, mount a big aluminum heat sink of some sort and silicone it to death.

Funny, out of the other site reviews, no one has mentioned a heat problem. Wonder if it's just mine?

Pictures - Headlamp, beam , beam from JB II I.B.S.


* RR2CR123HL2.jpg (36.67 KB, 446x538 - viewed 362 times.)

* RRCR123Headlamp.jpg (20.68 KB, 682x511 - viewed 366 times.)

* JB II IBS.jpg (19.93 KB, 682x511 - viewed 355 times.)
« Last Edit: March 08, 2009, 09:07:53 PM by zapper » Logged

Gun control is hitting your target.

Crime prevention is double tapping an assailant first.

Criminals perform crimes, not inanimate objects.
nightcrawler
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« Reply #1 on: February 23, 2009, 12:57:52 AM »

I have one of these myself and appreciate your taking the time to review it....especially since I've never found the time/motivation to do it. grin


I haven't used mine much, but after reading your review and observations about the heat management, I ran it for 10 minutes or so to see how hot it got. I didn't notice any significant dimming or color shift to the LED, although I could feel the case get warm as the light ran. I'm wondering if you got a bad one or lost the LED lottery and got one that had a lower Vf (which I think would result in a bigger current draw and more heat, right?)

My main criticism of the light is that it isn't an all-purpose light at all, and in fact is useless indoors. The focused beam and massive output makes it just too damned bright for close-up use. It would be a great headlamp for a bicyclist or even a night-hiker tho'. It throws a very impressive beam, and as you noted, has an ample side spill too. When I got it and tried it out on a nighttime walk I was afraid I'd blind anyone that got within a 1/4 mile in front of me.

And while I haven't used it cycling, I do think it would excellent for this use, especially if a person is riding on trails or off road. But I do feel sorry for the poor guy who bought it to use in a blackout or to change a car tire at night...can you say 'burnt retinas'?

BTW...nice to see you back on the scene, zapper. wink
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zapper
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« Reply #2 on: February 23, 2009, 01:07:04 PM »

Let me tell you what, I'm glad to have the time to be back and be active. I was stunned to read about 3rd_shift.

Well, I agree with you completely about your observations. Blind everyone including yourself if not diligent and careful. Could be the basis for a funny Monte-Python skit. "These are the Bob's I blind I blind..." (tune sung but modified words). crazy grin

A low Vf would normally be great in all situations, ...except in this one it seems... angry

I think the best option for this light would be to put some Scotch brand tape as a dime size dot right in the middle of the lens to disperse the hotspot a little but still allow for flooding. Ofcourse, a second level would be an invaluable option thus nullifying the need to disperse the beam in the first place.

Well, more heat management is first on the agenda and then the other hits as time becomes available. I will review a few more lights I have aquired in my absence and actually post pictures as well in the next few days.  shocked

Glad to see things are still going well as I last left this place!!  :party: :clap: :jumpsmiles: :tapdance: :respect: :dance2:
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Gun control is hitting your target.

Crime prevention is double tapping an assailant first.

Criminals perform crimes, not inanimate objects.
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