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Kitchen table review:The Streamlight Sidewinder *Update:1/18/08: Reflectorized!

us Offline NutSAK

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Thanks for the offer!  I'll see what information shakes out in the CPF discussion first.  If I don't get any solid information, I might take you up on that.
- Terry


england Offline Benner

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Spoon, have you ever found that after running the Sidewinder for a while it does not switch off on the first click all the time?  I have noticed this a couple of times now but can't be sure that I have just not pressed it positively enough.
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us Offline Spoonrobot

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Hmm.

Haven't had that issue myself, most of my use of the Sidewinder takes place in long-runtime situations. The switch cover is pretty thick.


england Offline Benner

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Hmm.

Haven't had that issue myself, most of my use of the Sidewinder takes place in long-runtime situations. The switch cover is pretty thick.

That's why I am thinking that it might just be me not pressing it hard enough. :think:  It has happened possibly 3 times since I have had it and at the time it has not felt like I haven't pressed it correctly.  I will see if it happens again and report back if it does.

Cheers Spoon.  :)
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england Offline Benner

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Ok it definitely isn't just me.  :(

After using it last night on the red LED, I tried to turn it off and it didn't.  So I then tried again and all it did was make the LED dimmer.  I then turned the switch round to a different colour and it stayed on red no matter what setting it was on.  It only eventually changed when I pressed the button again while it was left on a different colour and then it switched off fine.

This only happened when using the red LED.  All the others seem to work fine.  Any thoughts?

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us Offline Spoonrobot

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That sucks.

Sounds like the switching mechanism is out of whack, I had a similar problem when I dropped my first model from way high up. I didn't want to poke around too much on mine so I just returned it and got another.

I don't know what a good fix would be, you may want to call or email Streamlight. They seem to give a lot of feedback on this light.


england Offline Benner

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That sucks.

Sounds like the switching mechanism is out of whack, I had a similar problem when I dropped my first model from way high up. I didn't want to poke around too much on mine so I just returned it and got another.

I don't know what a good fix would be, you may want to call or email Streamlight. They seem to give a lot of feedback on this light.

Yeah I am going to shoot them an email later.  I am just happy it happened whilst still in warranty and not a week after.
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us Offline Spoonrobot

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I've got one of mine apart and am looking at the switching mechanism.

It is possible that the cylinder that depresses the switch inside the light is out of true? If you wouldn't mind trying a small experiment:

Pull the selector ring out as if to change colors, but, don't switch to a different color. Leave the ring between two colors and press the switch in all the way a few times. This allows the activiating cylinder it's full range of motion and may even it out.

Now, if you remove the bezel and rotate the activation cylinder to green, the LED assembly comes out, you may want to check for dust/debris.


Also, I can mimic the problem in a slightly different way.

With the green LED if I activate the switch and then hold it down to increase the brightness to maximum, the LED can't be turned of for a few seconds, almost like it's timed. Perhaps whatever circuit controls this is messed up for you?


us Offline Spoonrobot

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If you are going to take it apart you may want to try the actual switch on the LED module itself, see if it is a problem with that switch or the actual rotating switch mechanism.


england Offline Benner

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I'll give the test a go and see what happens.  It would make sense if it was a debris thing as it is so inconsistant.  I am happy to see how this develops as I still have many months of warranty yet so have plenty of time to get it repaired.
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england Offline Benner

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Just a quick update.  I contacted Streamlight about my problems and they said to send it back to them in the US (not the UK workshop that I was hoping for) as they feel that the US dept. is more equipped to fix the problem.  Problem is, I can't get the fault to happen anymore  :think:.  So now I am not sure what to do ???
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us Offline Spoonrobot

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Well, you could always just hold onto it until it happens again and then send it in. That's what I would do.

In other news, I pulled the tailcap apart and found a few extra features I wasn't aware of. Inside the tailcap there are 2 catalyst pellets that reduce the waste hydrogen gas produced inside the battery compartment. Feature number 2; inside the battery compartment is what looks like an umbrella valve to release excessive gas that does happen to build up. Very neat.

Also, the side plugs on the rotating joint are epoxied in place so be aware that if you try to remove them the plastic will deform and you will have to glue the plugs back in place ( :-X). The rotating mechanism is riveted together and cannot be broken down easily.

I've been looking at modding the light and may go ahead with it in a few weeks when I get a better idea of what I need to build a light engine inside the bezel. As mentioned earlier the entire light engine can be removed easily by snipping the two wires, so getting back to stock should be easy if the mod fails.

Other than that, no news.  :)


us Offline NutSAK

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In other news, I pulled the tailcap apart and found a few extra features I wasn't aware of. Inside the tailcap there are 2 catalyst pellets that reduce the waste hydrogen gas produced inside the battery compartment. Feature number 2; inside the battery compartment is what looks like an umbrella valve to release excessive gas that does happen to build up. Very neat.

Those are features common with many Streamlight models.  The Propolymers have the pellets and check valve also.
- Terry


Offline axd

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In other news, I pulled the tailcap apart and found a few extra features I wasn't aware of. Inside the tailcap there are 2 catalyst pellets that reduce the waste hydrogen gas produced inside the battery compartment. Feature number 2; inside the battery compartment is what looks like an umbrella valve to release excessive gas that does happen to build up. Very neat.

I'm looking in my SW tailcap but can't see this (but I didn't try disassemble the tailcap section :-[) Do you have pics of these pellets? How do they look like? What color, size?

For the valve, same question: how does it look like? I even tried blowing into the battery compartiment to see if I can generate enough pressure to open some valve somewhere, no success. First I thought that the knob acts as a valve too, possibly it does so for the head part, not sure; it looks like battery compartiment and head are separate chambers.


us Offline Spoonrobot

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At your service!

Holy cow, taking me back with this thread! I've still got my Sidewinders so I busted one apart for you. The little e-clip only takes mild finger pressure to remove.



The pellets are actually a darker graphite-grey, they just look lighter because of the flash. The tip of the valve can also be seen, it's the white thing. You may not want to blow into the tailcap anymore. The catalyst pellets don't really appreciate a lot of moisture.


ca Offline jzmtl

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Also the pressure you can generate with your mouth is actually very very low. I tried blow into a tire pressure gauge once, can't even do it hard enough to register.


Offline axd

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At your service!

Holy cow, taking me back with this thread! I've still got my Sidewinders so I busted one apart for you. The little e-clip only takes mild finger pressure to remove.

The pellets are actually a darker graphite-grey, they just look lighter because of the flash. The tip of the valve can also be seen, it's the white thing. You may not want to blow into the tailcap anymore. The catalyst pellets don't really appreciate a lot of moisture.

:tu: Thank you so very much Spoonrobot! I'll have a closer look at the clip now, I didn't dare opening it, fearing it would not close any more :-) For the moment, my only "modification" is some Scotch tape to soften the blue and green leds.

But the catalyst should not suffer from moisture - it is supposed not to react to anything?

FYI - for some reason (and because of an FA-11(M) light) I'll have to write down later, I became quite fascinated by this flashlight :drool: , started collecting all sorts of knowies (such as related patent drawings) here: http://www.cpfwiki.com/Wiki/index.php/Streamlight_Sidewinder

BTW - it was your review that made me buy a SL (a month or so ago).


us Offline Spoonrobot

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I'll admit I was going on shoddy memory of the catalyst/moisture thing. Can't find my source, which I actually think was another poster on the boards so take it for what it's worth.  :-X

Thanks for link to the Wiki! That's a good ton of info right there!  :tu:


Offline american lockpicker

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I think I'm going to get one of these lights.
(


england Offline Benner

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I think I'm going to get one of these lights.

They are really good.  :)

Lack of a lifetime warranty and lack of brightness are the only issues I had.
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Offline ringzero

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I think I'm going to get one of these lights.

They are really good.  :)

Lack of a lifetime warranty and lack of brightness are the only issues I had.

Yeah, I've been intending to get a Sidewinder since they first came out, but never ordered one for some reason.

Probably because of their relatively high price and lack of lifetime warranty.  This is the only Streamlight that I'm aware of with such a short warranty.

Streamlight should offer a simpler, lower priced version that'd be white only without the extra colored LEDs.

Sidewinder does look to be a great little toolbox light because of that adjustable head.

I already have a few lights around the house with pivoting heads, including a couple of UK eLED models.  They can be very handy to set down on a flat surface and then adjust the head to illuminate whatever you're working on.

.
N


 

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