Monday, 15 December 2014

Hitchcraft – Fenix E12 Ring Fob

My new Fenix E12 was mentioned as playing a helpful role in this happy story.

I’m sure arguments have raged for years on CandlePowerForums over which battery is the best, but I just gravitate towards lights that run on commonly available / rechargeable AA or AAA batteries. (18650 and CR123 batteries aren’t going to be found if I have to stop at a gas station along a highway in northern Ontario.) And I’m especially a fan of single AA lights. Maybe not the brightest, or the longest run time, for my needs they’re okay.

I have been a very happy user of a Fenix L1D for years, but wanted another, similar light.

I had been carrying this around in various pockets since getting it, intending to whip up a pouch for it. I also had grand schemes to take lots of photographs before I put this fobby, ringy thing on it. Like the pouch, neither idea was realized.

The fobby, ringy thing was realized this afternoon, and the pouch will be soon as well.
Details for all the flashaholics. 

Runs on one 1.5V AA battery, which powers a Cree XP-E2 LED with a 50,000 hour lifespan. Made of aircraft-grade aluminum with a Type III hard-anodized finish. It’s 90mm (3.54") long, with a 19mm (0.75") diameter, and a weight of 28.5gm (1.0 oz) without the battery. (1 AA cell can weigh between 15 g (0.81 oz) to 31 g (1.1 oz) ).Pressing the tail cap all the way down clicks the flashlight on or off. When it comes on it is at its lowest setting, 8 lumens, which will run for 40 hours on a Ni-MH and 22 hours with an alkaline battery. A tap on the tail cap, bumps it up to the mid level, 50 lumens which runs for 6½ hours on a Ni-MH and 3½ hours with an alkaline battery. Another tap bumps it up to its highest setting level, 130 lumens, which runs for 1½ hours on a Ni-MH and 1 hour with an alkaline battery. It’s digitally regulated, meaning that the the power drawn from the battery remains at a constant the whole time. No slowly waning light over a long time. Bright, even light for a given period, and then it dies. The maximum distance the light will reach out to is 88 meters (289'). It is rated to survive a drop from 1 meter (3.3'), and has an IPX-8 rating to be waterproof to a depth of 2 meters for 30 minutes.

Unlike the L1D I have, only one side of the light opens up, the bottom (light end).There is no tail cap switch out, but the, end you open to get at the battery takes care of that by rotating it slightly. No strobe or SOS function, but lightly tapping the tail switch, makes for a rudimentary strobe.

Goes for around the $30 mark.
The ring fob serves as a tactile indicator, both what it is and which end it is, to pull it from a pouch or pocket, and as a more secure way to hold it. I can grasp it to shine on something, but I can also drop it, still retain it, and do whatever I need to do with my fingers.
 8 lumens.
130 lumens.
It can be hooked over either the forefinger or thumb, although I prefer the forefinger.
Here you can see a flaw where the grey Spectra cord I used as a base shows through. Two loops worth that I sewed together side by side, since I didn’t want to have a bump from a knot in it. Covered that with neon orange micro-cord in a solomon bar or cobra knot.
Some views of several indented rings, beveled areas on the tube and areas of knurling that make it a very grippable light.

If there is a drawback to this addition, it’s that I can’t stand it up on the tail now. Not that was ever really a consideration, so the drawback is a very minor one.

If you look really closely you can see where some of the anodizing has been damaged by several weeks/months of being carried around in pockets with keys, lighters, etc. Putting the split ring on the back also marred it a little bit. I don’t mind, expect it, and if I wanted a pristine light I would leave it in the packaging in a safe. I get lights to use them and expect them to get dinged up.

So far this has been another terrific little light from Fenix. Light, as in the weight sense. Bright. Several very useful modes. Nothing it doesn’t need. Fits easily in a pocket or pouch. Good self defence item. Runs on a battery type that is utterly ubiquitous, and can be had in rechargeables. $30. Added a ring fob to it which makes it even better. Also shows off my Netherlandic pride and makes it easy to find if I drop it.

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