Discussion: Testing lamps and shoes
in: Orienteering; Gear & Toys;
Hi-Tec is interested in having some good orienteers try out their shoes, and Petzl is interested in having some good orienteers try out their lamps. If you are interested in either or both, please let me know by Friday Oct 26. (Saying you're interested is not a guarantee you will be Chosen.) Might be a nice way to contribute to the development of better equipment. On the other hand, it might all be a marketing strategy. But that's not necessarily bad, since it could translate into more financial / prize support for some of our events.
Does this imply that Hi-Tec is trying to develop a terrain running shoe? Looking at their website, I wouldn't say any of their current models look very promising for orienteering but if they're working on something new, that's another matter.
I believe they're aiming at longer races like goats, highlanders and rogaines. So, more like trail-running shoe than studded O-shoe, I guess. I should have said that to begin with.
Do you need to be in some particular geographic region to respond?
So Australians, New Zealanders, Suisse, Swedish, British should all feel free to respond?
USOF officers were contacted by Petzl, looking for 3 top US night orienteers / rogainers to test headlamps. We contacted and recommended several. I think Petzl may have already selected their 3 (2 male and 1 female). Petzl also was contacting other National Governing Bodies (eg cross country skiers) as they wanted testers from several sports, but as far as I know, they were limiting the testing to 3 top competitors in each sport. I do not know if they were limiting the scope of the test to USA or not.
I don't know anything about Hi-Tec's shoe test.
V P Program Development
U S Orienteering Federation
Petzl is testing stuff here in Sweden, too. A few of OK Linné's runners will be testing Petzl lamps in the next few weeks, so I guess it's pretty international.
So Mike, did USOF officers mention anything to Petzl about ski-orienteers? They tend to do a lot of training at high speeds in the dark. Good headlamps make a huge difference here. Last I knew Petzl didn't have anything even close to Silva and Mila, but I'm pretty dated in my knowledge of current equipment offerings. If they have something competitive with the likes of these, it would be good news, especially since Silva and Mila are hard to come by in North America.
it will be nice to hear which model and also the comments . i am looking myself for a head lamp
Unless you're looking for a super-powerful, light-up-the-night model with specialized batteries, look at the Princeton Tec Apex. It's the most popular headlamp among adventure racers right now.
I agree, I've tried out the Apex, and it's quite a fine product.
"it will be nice to hear which model and also the comments . i am looking myself for a head lamp"
if you are interested in HID:I got one for a not bad price:
also bought separate carrying equipm from mila.
paid ~300$ plus some simple electrical work...
and if you buy the whole set from mila its ~1000 euros..
and light is incredible..
vyc---What did you use for the part that holds it on your head?
Here no-one buys HIDs any more. LED lamps are much more reliable more bright. Lupine Wilma has been very popular here, it is about twice as bright as the Eclipse HID above.
There is some cheaper alternatives too for DIY men, for example:
Are there any LED alternatives that are not as expensive as Lupine Wilma - maybe more around 300 Euro - but still give performance better than the good old 20W Silva/Mila halogen lamps?
What are the differences between the classice 20W silva/Milas and the new technology? Can you really notice the difference? What are the advantages?
How good is the color of the LED lamps? For all the "white" LEDs I'm aware of, only a fraction of the total production is a favorable color. I find bluish LEDs to be the most objectionable. I've used brownish and yellowish LED flashlights that were okay. The most prized (and most expensive) are LEDs that close to "pure white". Manufacturers test each LED and sort them into color bins (or lots). Are the manufacturers of these orienteering headlamps getting good LED color bins?
Color is ok, it is pretty white. It's not the blue kind I have had in all of my previous small LED lights. It's whiter than HID lights.
Advantages over classic silva/mila/mica halogen.
- brightness. You really can see the difference immediately, there really is three times more light, no doubt about it. Or even more If you have a light like Betty. You get both wider beam and you can spot objects from far in open terrain.
- you can have several brightness levels, for example 1w (~ 6W halogen) for warm up/down and full power for 2.5 hour race. Or run it with 4W (equals ~ 15W halogen) for all night and use full power only when needed - with 200 g battery.
- Weight. Battery weight is about 200 gramms or even less, you don't necessarily need any a battery vest. I keep mine in back zip pocket of my O tights, some keep even lighter 100g battery in head band if they need light for only 1 hour or they don't use it full power.
- easy to use. You can leave it on, it turns off when battery is empty enoug without damaging the battery. Also charger stops charging when it is full, charger tells you afterwards how many ah was charged, also lamp tells how many volts you have in your battery.
But of course you can get li-ion batteries and smart charger/discharger for 20W halogen lights if you like, but usually you don't.
- you can easily blind yourself with nearest branch or your map at first if you are not used to run with 20W halogen.
Note, these lights has nothing to do with the those tiny led lights you could use only as a back up light. I don't think any top teams will use halogen lights in 10mila any more.
I haven't seen any Petzl models suitable for orienteering, I assume they have some new producs they ahve been testing.
jankoc, nightlightning link with vyc's battery link is about what you are asking. Is there any NZ Attacpointers who might know more about those lights, light color and 20W halogen comparison?
I used mila original belt system.
my friends uses LED and it's ~ the same light, but it has some problems with the heat.. (I'm not really specialist about LED of course..)
very good thing about HID - it doesn't blind you up when you look at the map.
I am sure if you turn the HID beam directly to the map it will blind you up just as a LED. Brighter the light is, more important it is to learn to use the less bright edge of the beam for map reading. No difference there.
vyc, is your Eclipse still ok? I have friends whos Eclipse isn't as bright as it used to be year ago. All Lupine Edison HID users I know has had same dimming problem too. These bulb dimming experiences are on reason why people does not much buy new HIDs here any more. Have you some special tricks how to keep the bulb bright?
(4 led lightset). It's a clear competitor to Wilma. Depends of course on how much under 300£.
I tried to compare blinding effect between HID and halogen, so it's way better with HID.. my expierence.. it's diferent light spectrum I guess..
I used my eclipse only several times, so don't see any problems yet :) as all HID light they are sensitive to number of times to be swithced on, so I try to keep it on during whole training even if I don't need it at that moment.. (I heard something ~1000 swithcing on times..not so bad..)
I'm quite impressed about LED posibilities, but they are too expensive at the moment.. still I saw few home made LED (quite cheap) used during competrition here and they were quite impressive.
as I know HID is still very popular in Scandinavia..
I can be wrong with my (crazy) judgement of course :)
vyc, if you need to discharge your battery, as you may have to do time to time, use 12V halogen bulb for it. Not your HID. You can easily spoil the hid bulb by burning it without moving (no air current), it easily overheats and bulb will dim.
HIDs are still popular here, but they use HIDs they already have. These days people seem to buy cheap halogens, expensive leds or they wait for new cheaper LEDs. I don't know anyone who has bought HID lately. But one reason may be there is no HID lights so easily available any more, Mila and Lupine had stopped making HIDs, so you'd have to order parts and do it yourself like you did. people might still buy HIDs if they were cheaper and more easily available.
This one may be close to what jankoc was asking:
Two times more light than 20W halogen and a bit more than Eclipse HID, price will be about 300 euros, I think. Has anyone tried that for orientering?
unfortunatelly, I already have some expierence burning down HID bulbs :D
..using halogen for discharging the battery didn't come into my head.. thanx.
If you really want to wreck an HID in a hurry, try flipping a Kayak while you have it mounted on your helmet. That was a $400 set of rapids for me. Another advantage of LED's is that they are quite a bit more durable.
Wow, some seriously high-end lighting for some serious orienteers! Thanks for the enlightening discussion.
FYI, I've passed on the names of willing testers, but not sure if anything will come of it. We'll see.
Donna Fluegel was expressing interest in having ONA articles on people's experience with shoes & lights. That would be neat, if anyone wanted to pull that together...
barb note, links above were just 'cheap' alternatives. For example the one TG runs with is 2-3 times brighter (and 2-3 times more expensive) than those examples.
Sorry to come into this late. The ultimate light Geeks at Candlepower Forums did a comparison chart.
Be sure to check out the price, burn times and lumens, especially of the triple LEDs. The SSC emitters are more efficient than the older Luxeons, and have brightness similar to HID but far more durable and dim- able.
Here's an update. I just got some new generation emitters, and pimped my Apex. Bash and I agree that the new one is as bright on low spotlight as the original on high, and the new high beam's almost twice as bright for the same battery life. It only took a screwdriver, soldering iron and $10 or so.
Check out Posting #52 here:
As you can see the difference is huge. And your upgraded Apex may not be able to use full potential of those leds, max current might be a bit low for these leds, because the driver is designed for an other type of led.
Lupine uses these Seoul P4 LEDs too. Wilma has four and Betty seven of those LEDs. I guess about 5-6 of those pimped Apex lights will give about the same amount of light than one Wilma. It's a lot of light and really fun to run with.
The problem is those lights are so expensive and there is no cheaper alternatives yet. There is not equal lights in the CF comparison chart. At the moment the only alternative seems to be making it by yourself. Making weather proof lamp with 3..6 LEDs, heat sink, constant current drive with dimming features is possible, but you need to be quite a light geek to do it.
Light geek- that's me. I had a 3 x 3watt Luxeon lamp I made up in a Nightlightning housing, with a custom dimmer that allowed burn time of several nights on medium-low power with 8AA lithium batteries, and it's been borrowed by 3 other AR teams so far. Also runs on small 6-7.2 volt rechargeables.
This winter it's off to Night Lightning to get upgraded to Crees, so it will be ultra-powerful, pretty much waterproof, with a good heat sink, constant current drive and 5 different brightness settings. Best of all it will run on any of the many 6V battery packs I already have.
About NightLightning - I don't believe they are able to get constant 720 lumen out of the lamp (3 x 240 lumen). Wilma is rated only 830 lumen (instead of 4 x 240= 960). There is lenses and all, there can't be 100% efficiency. I may get thins wrong, but I think it will be something like 600-650. It is a lot, but not so much more than a good old 20W halogen, so I am not sure is it worth it if you use it for regular night O and you dont' need the dimming feature. For AR it is excellent of course.
By popular demand, I just put links and full instructions for supercharging your Princeton Tec Apex or Eos on my log http://www.attackpoint.org/weeklyactivity.jsp/user...
I saw one of those new Petzl lights last weekend, a headlamp with 7 power leds. There wasn't any Lupines around to compare with, but it looked quite good - first Petzl lamp suitable for orienteering I guess.
Hey, I just found out that Fred Pilon, who supplied the new high power emitters for my Apex mod, is actually an orienteer. He was partnered with PG at the World Rogaine champs in Arizona and Australia, where they won their age group. I know it's off topic, sort-of.
By popular demand, for those of you who don't want to take up soldering, I have the name of a fellow who modifies LED lights.
$32US includes the new emitter, modification and first class postage back. No financial interest. To avoid a scolding for commercialism, send me an e-mail if you want the contact.
He can do a Princeton Tec Apex and Eos and most likely Petzl XP and others.
An update from the light Geek- A few of my friends have had the 'Bent modified Apex with double the regular 60-80 lumen output, and are the envy of all they see.
Sorry friends, the exclusivity's over- Princeton Tec will be shipping the new 130 Lumen version soon, pre-pimped. You'll need to check that it's not old stock though, as I suspect they'll want to get rid of those.
Another update- Night Lightning now has their iBlaast II out, with Cree R2 emitters. Same battery mileage, but 30% more light than before. Probably 900+ lumens, well into HID territory. Also lots of dimmer settings for adventure-racing or Rogaine burn times.
I've had the previous upgrade P4 version for a while, and it's light and bright, about 650 lumens on high.
The website's not fully updated yet.
The super-duper Petzl mega7LED headlamp is only about 360 lumens and about $100 more than the Nightlightning.
I got the LED upgrade from Night Lightning, and it's even brighter now.
I'm guessing 900 lumens on high, but more importantly tons of battery life on medium or low for multi-day adventure racing.
Warning- light geek alert:
Technology marches on, and I re-pimped my Apex with a new more efficient XP-G emitter.
It's much brighter than the130 lumen upgrade. Not for the faint of heart though- ti's a bit fiddly to do the mod.
Here's how: http://www.candlepowerforums.com/vb/showthread.php...
Night Lightning is doing XP-G upgrades to their mini-blaast now too.
Some new tiny XP-G lights coming out that look promising:
Where did you buy the emitter?
Bent - what's your battery life like on the XP-G Apex? Is it markedly different from stock, or are the emitters just more efficient?
I got the emitters from Cutter. http://www.cutter.com.au/products.php?cat=Cree+XPG
The specs and link are on the Candlepower link I posted.
The battery life is exactly the same, just 200+ lumens vs 70 originally.
Sounds like a good plan to me, then. :)
Ordered a couple of the neutral R4s, so I can break one with my fumble fingers and awesome soldering skills.
Wheee! Apex upgraded. :)
You're not wrong 'Bent, that was fiddly as hell. The XP-G is like a small sun, looking forward to testing it in the bush this weekend. Thanks very much for the links & info.
Juffy: Please tell me you're taking spare batteries ;)
I've got another emitter shaved down and ready to pimp my spare Apex.
Juffy, you could probably run the XP-G on low all night on some lithium AAs, but I'd throw in a spare set.
Good news- they will be shipping 200 lumen PT Apex lights soon straight from Princeton Tec.
Should be close to my latest pimped version.
If you're buying one soon, don't get the old-stock 130 lumen, or the very-old-stock 70 lumen original.
Also a beefier hinge than the old generation.
This discussion thread is closed.