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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
I have finally got my hand on Salvo's new Rats, the 3C which is an updated version of the original DIR back/up light and the Rat Jnr:
The Mini Rat next to it's big brother:


When I first set my eyes on them I thought that they were more like the Heser than the Photon. Similar grove lines down the body only more numerous and much more pronounced than the Heser so should be good to grip. When I picked it up it felt much lighter than either the Heser or the PT – they both have a definite plastic feel to them. I had to switch it on to really believe that it was in fact supplied with the 3 C Cell batteries that Phill had promised would be in there – it is that light in your hand. After my initial surprise I kept going back and picking it up and it felt more and more natural. It took a few moments but I finally realised that it is smooth compared to the fine diamond pattern on the PT and the fine horizontal scoring down the Heser - this is what makes it feel so different to the touch. It is marginally skinnier than the Heser and a few mm shorter.
Bottom to top: PT, Heser, Rat and Rat Jnr:


Opening the 3 C Cell Rat up revealed it's LED head to be unlike any other I have ever seen with a pronounced shaped lens, it's double O-ringed as per the norm – in fact inside it looks to be the same as the PT. The Heser has that nice retaining tube that runs down the centre of the light body but it remains unique in this respect. On the one hand this makes the Salvo lighter but on the other hand it may leave the Salvo open to the same issues as the PT when it comes to changing the batteries out i.e bending the fragile copper strip (but like the PT probably only an issue for the ham fisted amongst us).

The mini Rat is powered by 2 CR123A batteries (supplied), has a completely different type of LED head (again) and of course it too is double O-ringed. The insides look more solid with the conductive strip fixed in place unlike it's bigger brother.

As my PT is an old style LED head I didn't bother adding it to the mix when I put the other 3 head to head against the wall:
Left to right: Heser, Rat 3C and the Rat Jnr.



The Salvo 3 Cell Rat looks to be significantly tighter and more even but not necessarily brighter than the Heser and the Rat Jnr looks to blow both of them away with a nice bright blue light. The Rat Jnr has a decent central spot but also covers a much wider area. It will be interesting to see the Rat Jnr in the water to see how it's penetration compares to that of the Heser and the 3 Cell Rat.


The 3 Cell Rat is a good light, it does what it says on the tin and looks to be a good performing light. It won't set the world on fire and as it is so close to the price point of the Heser people will have to make their own minds up which one they prefer.
Left to Right: The 3C Rat and the Heser:


Close up of Rat 3C spot:


The Rat Jnr on the other hand is a real innovation. I have always been reluctant to carry a 3rd backup light as space in my pockets is at such a premium, but now with the Jnr it becomes a no brainer. At £70 it is cheaper than the PT LED and with the claimed 6hrs burntime it should be more than enough to get most of us out of the brown stuff. If it performs as well in the water as the reports from US cave divers are suggesting that it does (and it looks to from what I've seen), then this is a real alternative to a 3C for most rec and wreck divers.

The 3C Rat is a very competent backup that is effectively re-entering the market that it helped to pioneer, but that market has since reached near saturation. The Rat Jnr on the other hand is different and it offers something new - it packs a serious punch in a tiny package.

Left to Right: Rat Jnr and 3C Rat:
 

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OK, looking at those, is it me or does the cheapest one (the Rat Junior) beat the pants off both the other two - and if so, why wouldn't you have that as a first choice back-yup?
 

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Excellent and extremely helpful report. Only gutted i cant see a SBS of my Photon against the cracking looking rat Junior.

ATB

Mark Chase
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
OK, looking at those, is it me or does the cheapest one (the Rat Junior) beat the pants off both the other two - and if so, why wouldn't you have that as a first choice back-yup?
For most applications there is precious little reason that I can think of. OK they might be a little too small to grab from your harness strap in a hurry but with practice the muscle memory should get the idea.

The CR123A's may not be available in remote locations - C cells are easier to come by.

For big dives (I'm primarily thinking cave or extremely challenging wreck pen) then you want to be able to check the charge of your batteries before the dive with a multi-meter.

Some cave environments could need more than the 6hr stated burn time (I've not burn tested yet).

Finally they are new - so some people will believe that they unproven.

Personally I think they kick ass...
 

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thanks for taking the time to post, very informative review
Best wishes
John
 

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time to order me one :)
 

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Has anyone taken the Rat Jnr's in the water yet? Looking at them being the ideal holiday torch for the Gos - lightweight, birght enough for an occasional night dive, but good for lighting up what you are looking at for colour etc in the close range?
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Close range yes but the angle of the beam does restrict you to close range in murky UK waters. Nice clear foreign waters should be OK for the night dives etc but I've not had the chance to play in any since getting my mitts on one.
 

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As long as the build quality is as good as the Heser ,I could be investing, as I flooded mine in salt water two weeks ago, stripped it & threw it in a bucket of fresh & gave it a quick clean with the intention of giving it a proper going over when I got back.

Forgot about it 'till I read this article, went to get it & found it's been on since the 25th of last month and it was still going!!

Regards

Chris - 0
Sea - 2 (camera & torch!)
 

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As long as the build quality is as good as the Heser ,I could be investing, as I flooded mine in salt water two weeks ago, stripped it & threw it in a bucket of fresh & gave it a quick clean with the intention of giving it a proper going over when I got back.

Forgot about it 'till I read this article, went to get it & found it's been on since the 25th of last month and it was still going!!

Regards

Chris - 0
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Great report Chris :D
 

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look like very nice torches so going to be doing a little more research on the salvo i recon!!

:teeth:

regards leigh :teeth:
 

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leiigh
have a look at the greenforce diamond plus back up torch or the tektite expedition ls 4 torch.bothe are leds the greenforce has a 3 watt led in and the tektite has a 4 watt led in.the greenforce runs on 2 lithium batteries and the tektite runs on 3 c cell batteries and is a dir torch.
LUMB BROS Hand Torches
LUMB BROS Tektite Range Of Torches And Strobe's

the picture of the ls4 tektite is in silver but is also available in black.

the greenforce back uo is comparible in size and power to the salvos
and the tektite is comparible in size to the heser.

rob
 

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forgot one thing the greenforce back up torch now comes with the same end as the salvo rats where you can attach a key ring through etc

rob
 

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Nice report. It'll be interesting to see how the jnr reports in the water.
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
BTW the other week I was inside a silty wreck (The Radiation) and I took the time to put the Heser and the 3C Rat next to each other. I *really* liked the beam on the 3C Rat it has a tightly defined central light column which penetrates well and then a neat cone which flares out a few degrees around the central column. This lower intensity cone area is ideal for reading gauges up close whilst the central column makes it a decent tool for signaling.

The Heser by comparison is a more uniform light column. It projects fractionally further and the beam is whiter. As a pure signaling device the Heser just has the edge.

I didn't have the Jnr Rat on me at the time as a sub-30m wreck didn't really require 3 back/up lights :embarassed:

If I was stuck deep inside a wreck without a primary light and I was relying on a back/up to get me out then I think I'd reach for the 3C Rat first because the extended area of close range illumination is likely to be more useful than the marginal increase in range that the Heser offers.

When I lost my primary light scootering around a different wreck I reached for the Heser as I had enough ambient light to read my gauges and I needed the distance to stay in light contact with the guy I was scootering with (with limited success as it happens).

Both the Heser and the 3C Rat are great lights but with slightly different beam characteristics and therefore could be better suited to different environments. Take one of each...
 
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