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I'm fairly new to diving, and I'm gradually buying more kit. Next on the list is a torch, can anyone recommend to me a good rechargeable torch?
 

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A short fat well off crap cave diver. Likes wrecks
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Get the best you can afford and look out for SH bargins as divers go HID and sell off perfictly good halogen units.

Diver mag has a good artical in this month on torches so check that out.

Personaly I would look to spend about 200-250 for a S/H 50w halogen umbilical canister torch. You wont regret it.

I have a Custom Divers which is a very good torch with a few minor glitches. Umbilicals have big advantages over hand held units due to head size and ease of use.


On the CD halagon unit:

The mag switch can slip out of position preventing
it turning on

The lid is a bugger to screw on at times.

Its heavy

Appart from that its great


When it has failed I have been able to fix it with my masive abuility to wire a plug level electronics knoladge and a soldering iron. To check fro a switch failue uoi just need a magnet. It is very nice to use and the bulbs cost about 80p from screw fix as opposed to the HID ones at about £90.00.

ATB

Mark Chase
 

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Finless: You couldn't invent him...
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I have the UK D8 as my primary light. Although it is a bit of a lump it has lasted over 5 years of regular use on charter boats, friends boat, shore dives etc. Although well battered and scratched it has never let me down - not even needed to change the bulbs yet! It has two bulbs which can be switched during a dive by an external switch so if one blows during the dive you have a built in back up.

Despite splashing out on a NiteRider head mounted umbilical light at the LIDS I still take the D8 with me on every dive.
 

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I went DIR... but my bungies pulled me back!
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I use a Suunto F208 torch.  Its all aluminium and has rechargable nickel metal hydride battries.  It cost £200 at the NEC show a year or two ago.  It fits into my BC pocket, has a 20w xenon bulb which I find plenty.  It takes about 4 hours to fully charge and can be charged at any time,(ni cad batteries can be damaged over time if charged when not fully discharged first).  It has 3 power settings 20, 10 & 5 watts.  On full power it will last for about 70 minutes.  It also has a S.O.S setting which flashes the bulb on and off.  It has external charging points so no need to open the case except to change a bulb.  Overall very happy with it.

My wife has an Oceanic OPex 20.  Looks exactly the same as the Suunto (must both be by the same manufacturer)  It only has 2 power settings 20 & 10 watts and on full power will last for about 55 minutes.  Other than the colour is the same in all other respects to the Suunto except it was about £20 cheaper at the NEC.

The one proble with both is being made of machined painted aluminium they are prone to getting scratched.  Kowolski torches are supplied with neoprene covers.  We have made some covers for our torches by cutting up the arms of an old wetsuit.

I can only recomend these two torches as I have no other experience, but one general tip I could offer is to get a nickel metal hydride battery in the torch, especially if you do liveaboard diving when there may not always be time to fully recharge ni cads between dives.

Have fun looking and shopping

Darren
 

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I got a Hartenberger Mega Compact at the Dusseldorf Boot (Boat) show...and there's a huge dive section.

Anyway, it's quite useful for zero, or next to zero viz, just so your buddy can know you're still there and he keeps his eye on the light...diving in the lake means he'll be no more than arms reach away even if you can't see him.

50w halogen bulb with NMH cell pack 14.4v and at 125% your burn time is 48 mins...this can be increased to 80 mins if you switch to a 30W halogen bulb.

I normally go on 100% if I'm doing a single dive and that gives me 65 mins at 125%...but that's when viz is at 30cm during the day. You can reduce the output at night even if the algae and silt is bad...

During the winter when the water is clear of algae you can get viz to 4m so the output required is less and you can get 2 good dives at 65% with burn of nearly 2 hours...assuming you're on singles.

Blah blah...it's a nice torch, gives you 2-3kg weight but it's pricey and to be honest I'm glad I have it but having seen other lamps I'd not buy it again.....having said that...every time and everywhere I dive with it, everyone asks me what lamp i have...it's easy to blast up to 125% for a quick peek somewhere and zip back down again...etc etc.
Verdict:

It's a great bit of kit but pricey...

No good for caving.

Always have at least one back up light, 2 or more depending on your dives but these can be cheap UK lights which for the money are bloody good.

Soz for the waffle but my mother in law is here so i'm hiding on YDIvers.

Cheers.

Kinetic
 

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if you don't want to spend to much on a new torch try and pick up a second hand one.uk400r gives a good burn time and pretty decent light depending on which bulb/filament you go for.its the usual senario dont know what to go for because theres now so much choice about.i bought a light cannon 100 from under water kinetics about 2 yr ago,its a hid torch which puts out whiteish blue light which apparently goes further underwater,there available in rechargable or you can put 8 c cells in it.the burn time is 4 hours on the c cells and not sure on the recharge side unless you leave it on until goes dead.wouldn't it be great if you could try before you buy,the only problem is the bulbs cost a fortune if it blows,there around 80quid like mark said but there supposed to last 1000plus hrs so thats a lot of diving. lots of the divers i dive with have got ukd4rs or ukd8rs these all seem to give of a good light plus the added security of twin bulbs one 15watt and one 5watt.the best option probably is to go and have a good play with them in your local dive shop and see whats suits you best for your needs.or ask your dive buddys what they use,which ever you go for, nowadays there all pretty bomb proof.enjoy looking
 

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A short fat well off crap cave diver. Likes wrecks
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[b said:
Quote[/b] (GILBERT @ Sep. 11 2003,20:57)]
[b said:
Quote[/b] ]the only problem is the bulbs cost a fortune if it blows,there around 80quid like mark said but there supposed to last 1000plus hrs so thats a lot of diving.
The only point of referance I have for this is Dan who is on his third  bulb in about 18 months of diving. with Dan that probably 150-200 dives. But its the CD HID not the Light cannon.


ATB

Mark Chase
 

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Not quite the third bulb yet. The second bulb is still working its just that the glass reflector part of the bulb has cracked and wont take much more abuse. Its not really the torch or bulb at fault its the muppet who owns it and keeps dropping the damn thing


At some point when I can be arsed and get a quiet day at work I will put my engineering skills to good use and make some kind of protective cover for it or knowing me and what a cowboy I am I will just wrap a few 100 rubber bands around it...hang that isn't as silly as it sounds.


Back on to what torch. Spent as much as you can. Not alot of point going diving if when you get to the bottom you can't see sod all because of the darkness. HID is IMO the way to go. The light it gives off really brings out the colours, the others tend to be a bit orange which of course gives stuff a bit of a  orange tint.
 

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Erm, is it me, or have we all forgotten the old home-build option? Mine's run into a few difficulties as I've not the cash to be able to repair the blasted thing, after I broke it, but it's cost £76 all in for a 20W, 50W and 100W torch (each bulb is another £2.50) and if you want a longer burn time, a new canister is £10. I'm currently thinking about how I can build a canister that won't weigh me down so much I'll never get home!

Seriously, it might well have a 10 hour burntime at 100W. I'm just thinking about every possible avenue!


Dom's website has a very helpful and useful section about his torch, as well as plenty of newsgroups etc. on the net. Anyone with a link to Dom's website? Can't we just have a links page on here with Dom's site? I've forgotten it so many times by now it's funny.
 

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I agree that HID is going to be the best option if you aren't concerned to much about price, I have a UK100 which is the best hand held torch I have yet seen.
I get about 4 hours out of it and it gives a lovely white light.  I've got about 60 hours use on mine and not a problem yet, before the battery runs out the light changes to a nice shade of purple then goes dim rather than a straight cut out.
A handy feature is that it doesn't overheat if used on the surface, I found this great for wiring my loft

It does however take ten hours to charge up fully and has a nicad battery, you can use alkaline batteries if you wish to though.
 
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