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POST: FR- Freeplay ML-1 Lantern - askLarry

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  • larry
    Hi Tom- Here is my FR on the Freeplay ML-1 lantern. Have at it! Html is here: http://tinyurl.com/c6b4bm Thanks in advance for the comments! -larry ... FIELD
    Message 1 of 3 , Mar 2, 2009
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      Hi Tom-

      Here is my FR on the Freeplay ML-1 lantern. Have at it!

      Html is here:
      http://tinyurl.com/c6b4bm

      Thanks in advance for the comments!

      -larry


      ---------------------------------------------

      FIELD REPORT
      March 2, 2009



      FIELD CONDITIONS

      Over the past two months, I have used the Freeplay lantern on 4
      nights of camping, 3 of which were in primitive cabins, whereas the
      fourth was in a non-primitive cabin with electricity and heat.
      Temperatures inside the cabins ranged overnight from about 40 F (4 C)
      to the low-60's F (16-18 C). In addition to use on the trail, I had
      the opportunity to use the lantern for 2 additional nights at home
      when the power went out.


      FIELD EXPERIENCE

      The most important question that I ask about any light source for the
      trail is: does it provide adequate light? In my experience with the
      ML-1, I would say that I have been quite pleased with the amount of
      light it provides. Although it is not as bright as a gas lantern, it
      is much easier to use, since it does not require gas, does not
      generate heat and it is much easier to regulate the amount of light
      produced owing to the flywheel. The lantern generates plenty of light
      for playing cards or for writing in my journal, which tend to be the
      major light-requiring nighttime activities when I am camping. I also
      like the fact that I can turn the level down very low, which provides
      enough light for sitting around and talking without ruining the
      nighttime ambience.

      When I have gone walking at night with the lantern, I prefer to use
      the 4-LED array, since I like the diffuse light produced better than
      the single beam generated from the work light (single LED). Of
      course, this requires more battery usage, but seems a safer way to go

      Although I don't like the worklight for walking, I have used it a
      lot, because I have found it a good light source when I am reading in
      my sleeping bag at night. When reading, I typically lie on my back
      with the lantern laying flat on my chest. This arrangement causes the
      single LED beam to shine at about a 45 degree angle down towards my
      toes, which is just about the right spot for me to hold my book.
      Although I like the fact that the lantern provides good light for
      reading without shooting a lot of light elsewhere, this arrangement
      is not without its difficulties. Specifically, because the lantern is
      cylindrical, it has a tendency to roll off my chest when I am using
      it this way. Although I can extend the handle to prevent the rolling,
      this causes the light to shine off to the side, which is not
      conducive for reading.

      As noted, I have used the lantern for about 6 nights in total, which
      is not an excessive amount. Despite this, the initial charge I gave
      the lantern by plugging it in has completely dissipated. I was hoping
      it would last longer, since 5-6 days is not particularly long for a
      backcountry trip. Other rechargeable devices I have owned take 4-5
      full charges until they reach their full potential, so I will see if
      that is the case with this lantern.

      After the battery had run out, I tested how long it would hold a
      charge. I cranked the handle (at a speed to light the green LED
      indicator) for a minute, and then turned the 4-LED array on full.
      Although the charge is supposed to last for 7 minutes, I found that
      the charge lasted just over 3 minutes. Of course, on the trail, it is
      unlikely that I would run it on full after hand-cranking it, because
      even 1 minute required a decent amount of exertion on my part.


      WEAR AND TEAR

      Although the lantern has some edges to it, I have not had any
      problems with the lantern catching on other items in my pack. It is
      sturdy enough that there are no scratches or chips on the plastic.


      FIELD SUMMARY

      So far, I like the Freeplay ML-1 lantern for the amount of light it
      provides, as well as for the different LED arrays, which provide
      different types of light for different uses. I am a little concerned
      that the lantern does not hold a charge for that long, but I will
      continue to monitor this thorough the Long-Term testing period and
      try to get a sense of how many nights usage I can get out of a single
      charge.


      This concludes my Field Report on the Freeplay Energy ML-1 Mini
      Lantern. Please check in back in about 2 months for my final report
      on this item.
    • tcallahanbgt
      Larry - Nice report, only 1 EDIT and 2 comments. Ready for upload after editing. ... Change thorough to through Comment: For the LTR, would be good if you can
      Message 2 of 3 , Mar 11, 2009
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        Larry - Nice report, only 1 EDIT and 2 comments. Ready for upload after editing.

        EDIT:
        > but I will continue to monitor this thorough the Long-Term testing period and try to get a sense of how many nights usage I can get out of a single charge.

        Change thorough to through

        Comment:
        For the LTR, would be good if you can get some pictures of its use in the field.

        Comment:
        From your FR it seems you are focused on using the lantern relying on its charge from home. For the LTR would be good to ensure you give the crank charge function a good test as well.
      • larry
        Hi Tom- Changes made and the report uploaded. I will be using the lantern more now that the seasons have changed, so I will make sure to get some pics in the
        Message 3 of 3 , Mar 16, 2009
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          Hi Tom-

          Changes made and the report uploaded.
          I will be using the lantern more now that the seasons have changed, so I will make sure to get some pics in the field. I also don't plan to charge it again, so I will be cranking dat...

          -larry

          (get the Soulja Boy reference? I didn't either until my son explained it to me)
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