Results 1 to 10 of 10

Thread: Headlamp repair question - Easter Seal

  1. #1
    Moderator Peakbagr's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2003
    Location
    Near the Adirondack Blue Line
    Posts
    3,574

    Headlamp repair question - Easter Seal

    For those of you who remember them, Choinard, now Black Diamond used to distribute and sell a red headlamp with a 2 3/4" reflector, a red battery pack on the back of your head, with the wire and battery pack connected by a neat rubber headback with ventilation holes cut into it.

    It was my main headlamp for the last 20 years until I replaced it with one of the "toy" 4 LED headlamps. I decided to take it out of its role as backup headlamp and discovered that the bulb lights up, but VERY dimly. This headlamp takes either 1 D alkaline, or 4 AA's in a plastic adaptor. Using 4 new lithium AA's, and a couple of fresh D cells, no dice. Still comes on dimly.
    Changed the bulb, still lights faintly.

    I checked to see if the copper contacts anywhere were loose or if anything is corroded, still, no problems. In my view, this is one of the best headlamps every made, and I'm not ready to junk it. The case says it was made by the Easter Seal company of Hartford CT.

    Anyone familiar with this lamp? Any engineers or tech types care to offer advice on how to save this headlamp's life? Its a really good piece of gear, light for its size, taking regular or lighium batteries with cheap bulbs and throws a ton of light.

    Thanks,

    PB

  2. #2
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Sep 2003
    Location
    Southern NH
    Posts
    120
    Hey Peakbagr, thought I was the only one still using this headlamp. We are certainly showing our age when using it! A number of winters ago I had a problem with mine as well, it was "blowing" bulbs and dimly lighting as yours.

    The only advice I can pass on (which worked for me) is to use 1 Lithium 3.0 volt battery (very expensive) with a GE116 bulb or 4 Lithium 1.5 volt batteries (not as expensive) with a GE502 bulb.

    Good luck.

  3. #3
    Member JNewell's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
    Location
    West of Boston Avatar: S. Twin just before older son (C) completed NH 4Kers
    Posts
    67
    Quote Originally Posted by Mike
    1 Lithium 3.0 volt battery (very expensive)
    I have a 3.0v Li D cell here, bought at REI a few years ago, still in the wrapper and unlikely to be needed by me any time soon. If you are interested, PM me.
    Complete, but not finished...

  4. #4
    Moderator Peakbagr's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2003
    Location
    Near the Adirondack Blue Line
    Posts
    3,574
    Mike,

    The only thing is...it was working fine a few months ago and I know the bulb is receiving current as it lights, but just barely.
    Mine never blew a bulb.
    I tried using 4 alkaline and lithium AAs, bulb lights, but almost not at all.

    Did yours start going dim all at once?

  5. #5
    Senior Member DougPaul's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2005
    Location
    Bedford, MA; Avatar: eggs anyone?
    Posts
    10,077
    Quote Originally Posted by Peakbagr
    Mike,

    The only thing is...it was working fine a few months ago and I know the bulb is receiving current as it lights, but just barely.
    Mine never blew a bulb.
    I tried using 4 alkaline and lithium AAs, bulb lights, but almost not at all.

    Did yours start going dim all at once?
    The D lithium cell is a 3V cell, the alkaline D cells are 1.5V. If you change the battery voltage, you have to change the bulb to match.

    If you are using the 3V D lithium (the AAs are 1.5V), it forms a passivation coating in storage. If you leave it on for a few minutes, it will brighten.

    A dim light can be from any of a number of causes:
    * weak battery
    * wrong bulb
    * mismatched battery (dim if voltage too low, blows the bulb out if too high)
    * bad connection somewhere (battery, cable, switch, bulb)
    * passivation coating in 3V lithium cell (burns off in a min or so)

    Doug

  6. #6
    Senior Member paul ron's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2003
    Location
    NYC
    Posts
    511
    I think your problem is amperage and or oxidation.

    Check the bulb contacts to see if they are oxidized. The small button on the bottom of the bulb is generally a dot of solder which in time will oxidize. Also battery connections will oxidize. Check all solder joints carefully, the dim light says it is trying.

    The other problem may be the Li batteries don't have the same amperage of an alk bat. Have you tried using alks instead as you once used in your old reliable? It sounds like you need alot of power to fire it up. 4 AAs in parallel adds up to quite a few mAHrs, each AA is @ 1800-2300mAHrs ea.

    ANother sugestion someone had is change the bulb, that might be a good idea as well, you will want to have an extra anyway, besides bulbs are cheap and they ahve improved over the years with halogens and Kryptons and Xenon...etc. Be sure to match the voltage?

  7. #7
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Sep 2003
    Location
    Southern NH
    Posts
    120
    Quote Originally Posted by Peakbagr
    Mike,

    The only thing is...it was working fine a few months ago and I know the bulb is receiving current as it lights, but just barely.
    Mine never blew a bulb.
    I tried using 4 alkaline and lithium AAs, bulb lights, but almost not at all.

    Did yours start going dim all at once?
    Yes it did. I was told that Lithiums dim quickly and Alkalines give you a little warning. I blew my bulb because I replaced the old bulb with the extra bulb that came with the unit (located inside the reflector) and didn't realize that it was for an alkaline battery.

  8. #8
    Senior Member ChrisB's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2003
    Location
    Portsmouth NH
    Posts
    311
    When I needed parts for this dinosaur a few years back, IME in N. Conway was able to help. They had a replacement head band for it in their "junk" box!

    I believe they also still sell the Lithium batt ($20).

    But, I have retired this vintage piece of gear and replaced it with a contemporary BD headlamp (Nighthawk) based on LED technology.

    Now my red Easter Seal headlamp has retired to the "Old Gear" shelf in the basement. It sits alongside my North Face St Elias tent, Chiounard Piolet, Salewa adjustable crampons, (orange) Sierra Designs 60-40, and Galiiber Hivernale double leather winter mountaineering boots.

    There it dreams of climbs gone-by and friends departed.

    Sometimes ya just gotta move on...

    cb
    Last edited by ChrisB; 10-03-2005 at 08:40 AM. Reason: typo
    Almost there...

  9. #9
    Senior Member DougPaul's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2005
    Location
    Bedford, MA; Avatar: eggs anyone?
    Posts
    10,077
    Quote Originally Posted by Mike
    Yes it did. I was told that Lithiums dim quickly and Alkalines give you a little warning. I blew my bulb because I replaced the old bulb with the extra bulb that came with the unit (located inside the reflector) and didn't realize that it was for an alkaline battery.
    LIthiums and alkalines contain similar amounts of energy (voltage x mAh) for the same physical size. (Lithiums also come in two voltages--3V and 1.5V. Don't confuse them.)

    Lithiums and MiMH batts have a rectangular discharge curve--that is the voltage will stay constant until the cell is exhausted and then the voltage will drop quickly. Alkalines have a decaying discharge curve--that is they will give full voltage only when new and the voltage will taper off as the cell is used.

    So a head lamp with lithiums will stay full intensity for the lifetime of the batteries and then go out quickly. Wilth alkalines, the amount of light will diminish as the batteries are consumed.

    In winter, use lithiums--they basically unaffected by the cold. Alkalines are poor in the cold. (NiMH is medium.)

    LIthiums (and NiMH) have good high current capability, alkalines, poor high current capability. Thus, use lithiums or NiMH in digital cameras at any temp. Alkalines work poorly in this application.

    Doug
    Last edited by DougPaul; 10-03-2005 at 10:08 AM.

  10. #10
    Senior Member DougPaul's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2005
    Location
    Bedford, MA; Avatar: eggs anyone?
    Posts
    10,077
    Quote Originally Posted by paul ron
    Check the bulb contacts to see if they are oxidized. The small button on the bottom of the bulb is generally a dot of solder which in time will oxidize. Also battery connections will oxidize. Check all solder joints carefully, the dim light says it is trying.
    Good advice--these are frequent trouble spots.

    The other problem may be the Li batteries don't have the same amperage of an alk bat. Have you tried using alks instead as you once used in your old reliable? It sounds like you need alot of power to fire it up. 4 AAs in parallel adds up to quite a few mAHrs, each AA is @ 1800-2300mAHrs ea.
    Sorry, your teminology looks a little confused here:
    * High current capability (maximum current for a short time period, amps (A) or milliamps (mA)):
    - Lithium, NiMH very good
    - Alkaline, poor
    * Total cell capacity (mAh = currrent x time)
    - Lithium, NiMH, alkaline, similar: AA 2000-2500 mAh
    * Power (watts = voltage x current)
    * Total energy (watt-hrs = voltage x current x time):

    Lithiums have far greater high current capability than alkalines. (Dont carry lithiums, NiCad, or NiMH cells in your pocket with metal objects--you can get burned.) AA Photo lithiums and AA alkaline cells have the same voltage (1.5 V), about the same amount of total enegy (~3-4 watt-hrs) and capacity (2000-2500 mAh), but lithiums can deliver far more current and power (which is why they work so much better in digital cameras).

    Doug
    Electrical engineer

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •