Monthly Archives: September 2007

Blinded By the Light – High Power Flashlights in Your “Go-Kit”

I’ve had a couple emails concerning the Devastator Surefire Flashlight I mentioned last week in “In the Wee Small Hours” or “Daddy, its a drunk under the Sloper!”

Yes it is the M4 Devastator that developes enough light to stun & disorientate. 

M4 Devastator Flashlight

Surefire rates this flashlight at 225 lumens stock, 350 lumens with the hi-power bulb unit.

This is roughly eleven times the output of a big D-Cell flashlight.

Often you will see “Candlepower” as a rating – not a very useful unit for technical reasons – but roughly the M4 Devastator is 50,000 plus Candlepower in base configuration.

There is a nice series of night time photos at Lights for Hunting on the Hunting Chat Forum  showing the actual beam from flashlights of various lumens. 

The Lithum 123A batteries (the M4 uses four) are similar to the camera batteries used in many cameras with flash units.

This basically “portable search light” is teamed with a Surefire Z2 CombatLight with lanyard in my “Go Kit.”  Several spare bulb units, spare 123A batteries, a handful of light sticks, and an inexpensive LED flashlight w/spares complete the lighting setup for the kit.

The light part of the kit is designed to offer everything from minimal light – the LED light on one LED is a pipsqueak – to allow a quick look at maps or settings without completely trashing night vision, to a pocket sized serious flashlight in the Z2, to the very serious light power of the M4.

The M4 is about equal to a single landing light from a light aircraft, so it is very useful for much more than the “stun factor” Surefire promotes.  On the down side it is expensive (List is $330.00) and hold $15.00 worth of batteries.

The Z2 is easy to tuck in the pocket, yet is enough light to do detail work under – potentially first aid – and shares batteries with the M4. Though less costly, by the time you add the lanyard, holster and batteries it is a $140.00 investment.

The LED flashlight (I actually have several banded in different names, of various grades) can run a very long time on the one or three LED settings, often can be set to flash to attact attention or be left static as a marker, and are inexpensive enough to be “give aways” if the situation warrants.  They also use common battery sizes.  With batteries these are seldom above $30.00 and sometimes are found in the sub-$10 price range.



The Leaves are Turning – Readying for Winter

Flocks of Canada Geese flying southbound in v-shaped wave after wave, silhouetted by the burnt auburns, rusty colors and golden yellows bursting from the changing leaves of the surrounding woods.

The large Jake Turkey strutting through the yard, uncomfortably eyeing the four or five deer of mixed ages & sizes feeding near the ravine. 

As one drives the golden & deeper browns of various fields ready for harvest.  Feed Corn standing proud, the grains rippling in the breeze waiting for that moment when the farmer decides the time is just right.

Walking in the woods the dozen grouse that one by one get up and fly, escaping from the nearness of my striding by. 

Reading the newspaper and seeing pictures of huge fish and heavy-racked deer shown off by the harvesting sportsmen, the high school football pictures, and advice to the farmer on making this harvest a success.

It all adds up to the wonders of Autumn, with the impending certainty of winter not far behind.

And it is time to check the antennas, to finish the outside projects at the tower and ready one’s shack for those months where dark hours exceed the lit, where a cup of coffee is more than a drink when it warms your hands after the quick dash outside to make a minor adjustment.

Here at K9ZW it is time to finish off the tower-base electronics housing – that box that will contain the switching, lightening protection and connections that feed RF in and out of the ether.

It is time to trench-in that last run of “Bury Flex” to put the vertical antenna back on-line.

And if I am quick enough about it I will free up time to shoot sporting clays and perhaps even some hunt time during those increasing scarce & precious daylight hours.

Not to have a reader think I rue Winter, but I am ready for a long Autumn first. 

One worries they are tempting an early winter by looking over the snowshoes, cross-country skis and ice-fishing tip-ups too early, but tempting fate I’ve already been.  Youngest sons will need new skis, having grown since last season, the damage I did to one ski pole makes ordering new poles a must before the trails open, and the smallest snowshoes also need replacing as these young men grow.

As this posts, I’ll be attending the NEWDXA DX Club meeting, an email arriving late last night asking me if I would put together a program on various QSL methods. 

Should be fun.

It is a wonderful world. 




WordPress Times & Oddities

Wordpress Doing Flips

Articles posted & un-posted, system dates and times askew.

Seems that WordPress has been acting like I feel this morning – just not quite certain what time it is.

 Wordpress too has had its morning Coffee and seems to be sorted out!

Wordpress all-better….. whew!



iCard Series – No. 39




The Rambling Series – Oddmusic

Oddmusic Logo

Something interesting and Audio to check out:

Oddmusic is home to unique, odd, ethnic, experimental and unusual musical instruments and resources. Tour the Gallery, see in-depth sections featuring artisans who blazed new trails or are on the cutting edge of new and previously unheard musical instruments. Look, listen, and explore music and musical instruments that aren’t part of the mainstream. Showcasing unusual musical creations and sounds of unique artists and artisans from around the globe. From gourd music to electronic odysseys, harp guitars to industrial insects, from beautiful, to bizarre, to just plain wacky. New, unique innovations, along with heavily modified hybrids of instruments once formally known as guitars, basses, keyboards, drums, wind and stringed instruments. Musical stalagmites, bowed telegraph wires, twisted electrons, Circuit Bending, Waterphones, Hang drums, ethnic instruments, Stamenphones, Theremins, Serpents, Light Harps, and much more. Give your eyes and ears a treat. Feed your imagination at Oddmusic.



Arduino Arrives & First Programs

As I first mentioned in Flexible Electronic Bits – The Arduino Electronics Prototyping Platform an Arduino Starter Kit from Adafruit was on its way.

Well it has arrived! 

Here is the Arduino successfulling running the first program I compiled and downloaded to it – a Blick the LED program:

Arduino Hooked Up to the Macbook 

Here is an up close look at the board:

Arduino up close  

And of the software running:

Arduino Software Running on the Macbook (OS-X Intel)

I will be working my way through the Arduino Tutorial – have Lessons 0, 1 & 2 done this evening.

I won’t have too much time to play with the device until I get caught up on chores around the house, but first impressions are very positive!

More to follow!