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Fenix under pressure

Discussion in 'Flashlights & Other Illumination Devices' started by Kilted1, Oct 23, 2011.

  1. Kilted1

    Kilted1 Loaded Pockets

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    A few days ago, I needed some light. So I grabbed my Fenix LD01 and was surprised to find the bezel was much more difficult to turn than normal, almost as though it had been cross-threaded though that couldn't possibly have been the case. The light still worked normally so I finished the task at hand and later went investigating. Unscrewing the bezel to the gasket, and the end of the threads, there was a slight *pop* and then everything went back together and worked normally. Thinking there had been some pressure build up maybe from altitude changes or some such, I chalked it up to "one of those things".

    Today, working in the garage, I heard and felt a rather noticeable *pop* in my pocket. It must have been loud because I had my ipod with in-ear noise blocking phones in and turned up to hear over power tools (though I wasn't using any at that moment). I reach in my pocket and there's my LD10 with the front lens blown out!:sigh:

    So now I'm thinking it was the battery (Energizer Industrial, probably a few years old but not ancient) out-gassing and if not that then it must have been some Djinn come to mess with me. Has this happened to anyone else? I've been through plenty of those same batteries as well as many others. I just got this light in July but it replaced an LOD which was lost after many years of nary an issue. I've never heard of alkaline batteries out-gassing, especially when they're not in use. I guess I just need to order a new lens and probably get another light or three with it.;D Some new batteries too...
     
  2. Kripto

    Kripto Evil Sid

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    I've had similar experiences with flashlights (as well as a ham radio) due to heat buildup. In the case of my ham radio, the Yaesu VX8R, it completely sealed to the elements, so when I last used it, it had overheated due to a bug in their firmware. This caused the radio to overheat and the speaker slightly puffed out causing the audio to sound horrible. I simply pulled one of the rubber stoppers on the audio port and heard the "hiss" and all was back to normal.
    In the case of one of my flashlights, I had a Ultrafire 18650 overheat and caused pressure to build up. The front glass didn't come out, but when I opened the light (it had properly downgraded the output power so I knew I had a battery problem) I heard that hiss as well.

    I now only use the IW protected cells or Panasonic cells. :)

    Are you sure the light wasn't on in your pocket causing it to overheat?
     
  3. Valerian

    Valerian Tea-powered admin

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    Without any technical expertise, I'd say it sounds like gas build-up. I think my UKE light's manual mentioned that it has a pressure valve that will blow out in case of gas build-up. So I guess it's possible, but hasn't happened to me.
     
  4. Kilted1

    Kilted1 Loaded Pockets

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    As sure as I can be. I discovered some time ago that there's enough lash in the thread that it can be turned on by a squeeze if it's only turned a bit, so I give most of a full turn. The LD10 seems to have less of this problem than the LOD did. It wasn't on when I pulled it out of my pocket. I have usually noticed the heat when a light has been on in my pocket for an extended period and the internal pressure would have made this even less likely.

    I don't know specifically what they make those lenses out of but it's such a small piece, how much pressure would it take to cause the thread to bind, much less break the lens into four little pie pieces?
     
  5. Manatakui

    Manatakui Loaded Pockets

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    I've had issues with gas build up in an E01 I use; it happened both with an alkaline battery (I no longer use alkalines at all), but also with an Eneloop, which is highly unusual. I only use Eneloops now, but I don't tend to keep batteries in flashlights I don't use; also I unscrew the head (or tail, depending on model) completely on the few flashlights I have batteries in every couple days to try to keep gas build up from occurring. It'd be annoying if I lost an E01; I'd be ****** if I lost a more expensive light due to battery gas build up. :/
     
  6. kubolaw

    kubolaw Loaded Pockets

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    This used to happen occaisionally with Arc AAAs and CMG Ininities, lights with very well-sealed heads that could drain batteries way down. If they were left on for really long periods of time, outgassing of the alkaline battery inside would create a high pressure buildup that could just about lock the head on the body. I think I heard of it happening with some dive lights that didn't include proper venting.

    So perhaps your light was turned on and you didn't realize it. I'm surprised, though, that it would happen after you had previously "vented" the light. Was it still running the same battery?
     
  7. Kilted1

    Kilted1 Loaded Pockets

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    It was the same battery. The first time when the head was nearly locked up from the pressure, I thought it was an anomaly and I'd never heard or thought about alkaline batteries outgassing like that. If I had, I would have gotten a new one right then.

    I'm as certain as possible that the light was not on in my pocket. It wasn't on when I pulled it out on either occasion and I am in the habit of screwing it out too far for it to come on when squeezing out the thread lash. Since the battery has since died with virtually no use, I think it was suffering an internal resistance breakdown, which could explain the whole thing.

    Now the problem has become one of getting the lens replaced. It's still under warranty but I have no idea where the receipt went. My wife should have it somewhere on her computer but hasn't had time to look for it. I'd be more than willing to purchase a lens and install it myself but haven't been able to find a source.