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Edit - Black Diamond Icon Headlamp - Stefan Dragoi

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  • richardglyon
    Stefan, Welcome to BackpackGearTest.org! A special welcome, in fact, as we don t have any Romanian testers, and expanding our geographic coverage is great.
    Message 1 of 2 , May 4, 2010
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      Stefan,

      Welcome to BackpackGearTest.org! A special welcome, in fact, as we don't have any Romanian testers, and expanding our geographic coverage is great. I've been assigned to edit your first Owner Review. Before I can approve it, though, you need to post a version in html format to the Tests/Owner Reviews folder on BackpackGearTest.org. When you have done so, and revised to take account of the edits below, please repost the plain text version to this list with "REPOST" followed by the product name and your name in the subject line (see message # 79099 for an example), and include a link in tinyurl or snipurl format to the html copy in the Tests/OR folder.

      You've made a great start on your first OR – interesting and informative, and you had the good sense to select a relatively simple item. You need some work on BGT conventions, however, as my edits indicate. You might consider requesting a mentor. The mentor program provides a seasoned tester to work with you through your first two owner reviews. Your mentor can guide you through our rules and protocols, and assist you with the mechanics of uploading reports. Many of our top testers are former mentees; I think a mentor might expedite your progress toward becoming a tester. If you are interested, post a note to this list with "Mentor Request" in the subject line.

      Turning to your edits, I use the standard BGT format: EDIT (all caps) means a required change; Edit (initial cap) means a suggested change or request for clarification; and Comment is just that, with no change required.

      Cheers, Richard

      << my usual pack weight is 14 kgs (31 lbs).>>
      EDIT: At BGT weights and distances are always singular: 14 kg (31 lb)

      <<Manufacturer's Website: www.blackdiamondequipment.com>>
      EDIT: This is the web address for a software company. www.bdel.com is to the outdoor equipment company. If it's different in Europe, please let me know.

      <<Features:
      Tech Specs:>>
      EDIT: You need to indicate that these are from the manufacturer's website or the product packaging.

      <<You can choose from two colors, a cool grey/silver and a fresh yellow-green lime.>>
      EDIT: BGT doesn't allow "projection" – reporting on what another person might experience. For that reason any use of the second person (you or your) is suspect. When you revise your OR, try to change all these (and there are many) to first person (I, me, my). This is the kind of thing a mentor can help you with.

      <<(personally, I am very pleased as it fits easily on my rather big head). >>
      Edit: It's not required, but you might indicate just how big your head is. Certain personal measurements (torso, sleeve length, and the like) are very helpful to our readers in evaluating products based upon our reviews.

      <<Although the screw had a special grip on it to be able to turn it with your
      fingers it was too hard and I had to get something else.>>
      Edit: Present tense – "has a special grip" – would read better.

      << you can untighten it but you cannot pull it out of the door.>>
      Edit: "can loosen it" reads better

      <<Regardless the LEDs that are turned on at that moment, half-pressing the switch changes the mode of operation regarding economy. >>
      EDIT: Regardless of the number of LEDs

      << As I've used it in all seasons the temperature range went from 5
      degrees Fahrenheit (-15 Celsius) to 90 F (32 C).>>
      EDIT: 5 F (-15 C). [Another BGT convention: no use of the word "degrees" and no need to spell out the scale used. You got it right the second time. ]

      << The three batteries it came with were used until approximately 10% and were used for around 70 hours in mixed-mode operation.>>
      EDIT: until they read approximately 10%

      <<Although it is pretty heavy for a headlamp its weight goes unnoticed and t stays secure on the head even if you are running.>>
      EDIT: it stays
      EDIT: securely [adverb, modifying "stays"]

      <<Since the NRG battery pack seemed a bit too expensive to me I tried to use normal NiMh rechargeable batteries. >>
      EDIT: nickel-metal hydride (NiMh) rechargeable batteries.

      <<Most probably, I've probably overtightened the screw at some point.>>
      EDIT: Delete the second "probably"

      <<- The cost - it's the most expensive LED headlamp on the maket>>
      EDIT: the most expensive LED headlamp I've seen on the market [Another example of projection. You can't say what every LED headlamp sells for.]
    • one_and_only_dragois
      Richard, hello and thanks for the welcome! I m sorry I couldn t re-post this OR earlier but I was in the process of moving from one PC to the other, together
      Message 2 of 2 , May 10, 2010
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        Richard, hello and thanks for the welcome! I'm sorry I couldn't re-post this OR earlier but I was in the process of moving from one PC to the other, together with all of my documents and the BGT files got a bit lost. I appreciate the edits and have modified the review accordingly.

        One thing I would like to note: <<www.blackdiamondequipment.com>> is the site of the outdoor equipment manufacturer (at least when I'm using my PC), I don't get directed to a software company. Also, <<www.bdel.com>> works just as good and I see no differences between the two addresses. So, I've decided to go with the <<bdel>> version to avoid confusion in the long run.

        The link for the uploaded OR is: http://snipurl.com/w4b8d


        And this is the plain text version of my REPOSTed OR:


        BLACK DIAMOND ICON HEADLAMP
        BY STEFAN DRAGOI
        OR
        April 24, 2010

        TESTER INFORMATION

        NAME: Stefan Dragoi
        EMAIL: stefan (underline) dragoi (at) hotmail (dot) com
        AGE: 22
        LOCATION: Bucharest, Romania
        GENDER: M
        HEIGHT: 5' 10" (1.77 m)
        WEIGHT: 201 lb (91 kg)

        I started hiking in the Carpathians with some friends 5 years ago. A couple of years ago, I got involved in a local "outdoor school" for youth as a survival and first-aid instructor. This translated into overnights every two weeks and week-long hikes at least two times a year. I have visited the great outdoors in every season and in every weather. As carried weight is not an issue, I prefer a full stock of gear and the comfort it brings, my usual pack weight is 14 kg (31 lb).

        PRODUCT INFORMATION

        Manufacturer: Black Diamond
        Year of Manufacture: 2007
        Country of Manufacture: China
        Manufacturer's Website: <<HYPERLINK GOES HERE - "http://www.bdel.com" LINK TEXT = "www.bdel.com">>
        Listed Weight: 6.63 oz (188 g) with batteries
        Measured Weight: 6.88 oz (195 g) with batteries

        Features:

        * TriplePower LED spotlight plus 4 SinglePower LEDs emit 100 lumens (max setting) for brilliant long- and close-range lighting
        * Powered by 3 AA batteries or the NRG Rechargeable Battery
        * Single Positron switch activates 7 different settings and 2 modes
        * Battery-power meter uses 3 indicator lights: green (50% or more), yellow (20% or more) and red (less than 20%)
        * Faceted reflector maximizes distance of beam
        * Protected against splashing or sprayed water from any angle (IPX 4)

        Tech Specs:

        * LED Type : TriplePower (3-watt), 4 SinglePower
        * Lumens : 100
        * Max Distances : 100 m (TriplePower LED), 23 m (4 SinglePower LEDs)
        * Max Burn Time : 145 H (TriplePower LED), 164 H (4 SinglePower LEDs)
        * Batteries : 3 AA included, NRG compatible

        Features and Tech Specs are taken from the manufacturer's website.

        DESCRIPTION

        The Black Diamond LED headlamp, hereafter named the "headlamp", comes in a blister pack containing the headlamp assembly, the detachable top elastic strap, the instruction sheet and three (3) AA batteries. I had a choice from two colors, a cool grey/silver and a fresh yellow-green lime. I chose lime as I was sure nobody else would choose such an unusual color for a headlamp. The moment I got back home from the retailer I proceeded to turn it on right away and I left the instructions for later.

        The top elastic strap is easy to attach and both straps are easy to fit to size (personally, I am very pleased as it fits easily on my rather big head). The whole fitting process took just a couple of minutes. The battery compartment, being on the back side and not on the front near the bulbs as with my other headlamp, looks pretty big and bulky at first but, believe me, that's just an initial impression. On the inner part of the compartment (the part in contact with the head) there are a few small pieces of rubber-like material, probably to absorb shocks.

        The battery compartment door is locked in place by a plastic-top screw. Although the screw has a special grip on it to be able to turn it with bare fingers it was too hard and I had to get something else. A normal door key fit the profile so I managed to open it right away (I'm sure a normal screwdriver would have done the trick). Opening the door revealed the three AA battery slots with readable directions (+/- terminals) and a small socket labeled NRG (later I found out that the headlamp also works together with a special rechargeable battery made by Black Diamond, the NRG). After placing the batteries inside, I closed the compartment door and tightened the screw with my fingers and did an additional half-a-turn with a screwdriver.

        Two notes regarding the back end of the headlamp: Firstly, the battery compartment door, when opened, comes off the compartment but it is still attached to the left side of the horizontal strap. Also, the main compartment is still attached to the right side of the strap. Secondly, the screw used to secure the door cannot come off the door, it can be loosened but it cannot be completely pulled out of the door. Thus, there is no need to worry about losing parts of the headlamp when changing the batteries.

        After placing the batteries I looked around the "business" end for the switch. If one looks at the headlamp from a normal perspective (top-down) the switch cannot be seen as it is beneath the bulb body. Weird at first but it is very logical and easy to use once the headlamp is placed on the head. The switch is a simple button that, after pressed, comes back to its initial position. And, oh boy, when I pressed it... it was like a spotlight. I've seen powerful headlamps but nothing like this. I ran around the house with the headlamp on my head for a few minutes and then I turned it off. When I turned it on again, something seemed different. And then I realized it: the headlamp switches through the two modes of operation (1 TriplePower LED / 4 SinglePower LEDs) by repeatedly pressing the button. Press it once to turn it on in one mode, press it again to turn it off and then press it a third time to get into the other mode. And then it turns off again and it starts the cycle all over again.

        Happy and dazed as I was by the bright light I looked around for the instructions to get more details. The instruction sheet is printed in six languages: English, French, German, Italian, Spanish and Japanese. The instructions include a very handy table for battery life and distance in different modes of operation as well as directions to attach the elastic strap. Also, the instructions make reference to a "half depression" which means half-pressing the switch. So I did it. Regardless of the number of LEDs that are turned on at that moment, half-pressing the switch changes the mode of operation regarding economy. The headlamp starts at full power and each mode of operation has two other economy levels. Half-pressing the switch once dims the light, doing it twice takes you to the most economical setting, doing it a third time takes you back to full power. Still, there is an exception - the 4 SinglePower LEDs have a fourth setting in which the LEDs blink at full power acting as strobe light. Half-pressing the switch in strobe mode takes it back to full power.

        After playing with the headlamp on and off my head I saw a little green light on the battery compartment. Looking over the instructions I found out that it is a battery life indicator: green means +50% capacity, yellow means 20-50% and red means under 20%. Also, the instructions explain very clearly the optimal operating instructions as well as care and troubleshooting tips. Finally, the bulb body can swivel to point at 90 degrees down the horizontal so if there is need for it, it can be pointed straight down so that everyone the face of the person wearing the headlamp.


        FIELD USE

        I have used this headlamp since February 2009 and I estimate at least 25 days of use (4-5 hours each day/night) with altitudes from sea level up to 7500 ft (2300 m). As I've used it in all seasons the temperature range went from 5 F (-15 C) to 90 F (32 C). The three batteries it came with were used until the battery life indicator was red and, more exactly, were used for around 70 hours in mixed-mode operation.

        As it became my main light source I took the headlamp everywhere I had a chance of spending the night out. I simply cannot express in words the lighting power of it in pitch black conditions. It really is more than I need. Walking down roads in the middle of the forest at midnight with the high power LED meant I could see the reflection in animals' eyes at 400 ft (120 m). I have done chores around the campground, cooked midnight meals at the stove and looked for people in the forest. I have used it in caves and during serious rain and snowstorms and it continues to light.

        Although it is pretty heavy for a headlamp its weight goes unnoticed and it stays securely on the head even if I am running. For something its size, it really turns night into day.

        There are three mildly negative things that I remember:

        Soon after the first set of batteries went into the "yellow" zone I looked for rechargeable alternatives. Since the NRG battery pack seemed a bit too expensive to me I tried to use nickel-metal hydride (NiMh) rechargeable batteries. I inserted the fully recharged set in the battery compartment, I pressed the switch and nothing happened. I pressed it again and again and still, nothing. I checked the polarity with no result and I changed back to the old alkalines and they worked. I felt bad about it and soon forgot about rechargeables. A few months ago, I really don't know why (I guess just for fun), I've put the same NiMh rechargeable batteries and they worked. I cannot understand it, the same batteries with the same charger did not work at first but later did.

        Another thing I've noticed after about 6 months of use is that the plastic battery compartment door had a very small crack near the screw. Most probably, I've overtightened the screw at some point.

        The last thing worth noting is that it temporarily blinds people when it is turned on at night. It is so powerful (provided it has a new set of batteries) that one needs a couple of minutes to readjust to the dark. This is because one cannot choose between the different economy settings when it is turned on, it always shines the most powerful light regardless of the operating mode.

        THINGS I LIKE

        - It's the most powerful light I've put my hands on
        - Incredibly long battery life
        - Very easy to use once I got the hang of it
        - Water-resistant
        - Battery life indicator LEDs

        THINGS I DON'T LIKE

        - The cost - it's the most expensive LED headlamp I've seen on the maket
        - Cheap plastic look - even though it is built pretty sturdy, the plastic parts look like they came from a cheap toy

        SUMMARY

        I would definitely recommend this headlamp to anyone that needs a powerful light and long battery life provided they can cover the initial cost.



        This report was created with the BGT Report Generator.
        Copyright 2010. All rights reserved.
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