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Tailcap Magnets - Downsides?

Discussion in 'Flashlights & Other Illumination Devices' started by superpacker, Apr 21, 2017.

  1. superpacker

    superpacker Loaded Pockets

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    A newer trend is for some flashlights to have tailcap magnets. But can these magnets harm anything in your edc? Obviously they could affect your bank card. But what about cell phones (light is more likely to be near my phone than my wallet)? What about bank cards with chips?
     
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  2. severdhed

    severdhed Loaded Pockets

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    I keep a light with a magnetic tailcap on my belt, as well as a powerful retrieval magnet (advertised to hold 45lbs) stuck to the bottom end my duct tape spool that hangs from my belt. I've been carrying this stuff for at least a year without any kind of problems.

    My light is on my right side, not to far from my wallet.

    The duct tape spool hangs in my left side. I keep my phone on my left front pocket.

    I've had no issues[​IMG][​IMG]

    Sent from my Pixel using Tapatalk
     
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  3. superpacker

    superpacker Loaded Pockets

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    So it looks like the retrieval magnet is near your phone, with no issues?
     
  4. superpacker

    superpacker Loaded Pockets

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    In my case, looking at the Eagletac d25aaa, it would sit in my pocket and concerned about accidentally dropping it in the same pocket as my phone. Or dropping the phone in the same pocket as the light
     
  5. XavierCPF

    XavierCPF Empty Pockets

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    I have carried an Olight S1 with its magnetic cap downward with my phone in the same pocket and have seen no ill effects. However the phone does come out of the pocket when I'm at my work desk or when I'm home so there is usually less than 60 minutes of exposure per day.
     
  6. Holliday

    Holliday Loaded Pockets

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    The short answer is yes, but it depends on how big and strong the magnet is. You already mentioned the problems with bank cards, and I've read accounts of EDC lights with magnetic tail caps damaging them.

    As far as other EDC items? Automatic watches come to mind.
     
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  7. DCBman

    DCBman Loaded Pockets

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    Great question, and one which needs to be asked more frequently on many fronts!

    Short answer...don't worry about it for data storage, BUT it can be an issue for credit cards. Here's the background...

    Back in the 'days of old', things like floppy disks and tape type media were definitely adversely affected by magnets. However, modern storage doesn't contain enough ferrous metal to be affected by a nearby magnet. If a magnet were strong enough to affect the microscopic ferrous elements of a cell phone's storage, or an HD, flash drive, SD card, etc. it would also be strong enough to literally suck the iron out of your bloodstream (through your skin). Plus, if you take a HD apart you will find an extremely strong magnet right inside the drive itself. This is the magnet which controls the read arm over the disc platter(s). So, not much to worry about with your cell phone or other storage media. However, credit cards are a different story.

    The physics behind how a credit card works is quite a bit different than storage media, and without getting into a bunch of complicated science suffice it to say if a magnet comes into physical contact with a credit card the card may well be damaged and become unusable. The key thing here is "physical contact". Your credit card in your wallet passes through strong magnetic fields all day and isn't damaged, but virtually none of these magnets physically touch your card. And further, it's not really the strength of the magnetic field which damages the card, but rather the dwell time in he magnetic field. So, even a small refrigerator magnet could damage a credit card if you set one on top of the other for long enough.

    Hope this helps.
     
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  8. DCBman

    DCBman Loaded Pockets

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    Actually, it's not the field strength, but the dwell time in the field which causes the damage (as noted immediately above).
     
  9. superpacker

    superpacker Loaded Pockets

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    Great comments. I wear a manual wind watch - so I'm glad that was mentioned. Not too worried about bank cards as they'll be secluded in the back pocket.
     
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  10. severdhed

    severdhed Loaded Pockets

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    The only thing other than credit cards if be worried about would be if you carry a compass.

    Sent from my Pixel using Tapatalk
     
  11. Holliday

    Holliday Loaded Pockets

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    What are you referring to, credit cards only?
     
  12. DCBman

    DCBman Loaded Pockets

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    Yes.

    Electonics won't be appreciably affected at all. I mean I'm sure we could probably find some exceptions, but not in daily life. Sure, if I stuck my cell phone in an MRI it'd probably get jacked up, but there would be other, much larger, problems first (like trying to figure out how to get all the tiny cellphone fragments out of the machine )
     
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  13. Holliday

    Holliday Loaded Pockets

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    Pacemakers immediately comes to mind. Size, strength, proximity, duration, etc. can all play a part it how magnets wreak havoc.

    I guess it all depends on what items we are discussing. Like the previous example I gave, an automatic watch can be magnetized due to the magnet in these types of flashlights, hence "damaging" the movement. Folks have had their watches magnetized by brief contact with the magnetic seal on refrigerator doors.

    But my initial response was addressing the OP's question:

    Short answer, yes.
     
  14. Holliday

    Holliday Loaded Pockets

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    Double post
     
  15. Holliday

    Holliday Loaded Pockets

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    Official word from Apple on magnets near the iPhone:

    https://developer.apple.com/accessories/Accessory-Design-Guidelines.pdf

    There is also a concern that magnets interfere with the NFC features on some current phones.

    So, it stands to reason that the magnets used in these flashlights will cause problems (some permanent) for most modern day smartphones.
     
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  16. baccar-3

    baccar-3 Loaded Pockets

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    Does anyone know of a container that will block a magnetic field?
     
  17. Westerdutch

    Westerdutch Loaded Pockets

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    Steel will do a decent job at redirecting magnetic force but the best way is going to be distance. Just keep magnets and stuff that doesn't like em far apart.

    Magnets are not as massive an issue as some think tho, there's plenty magnets actually inside most smartphones. As long as you don't store your data on magnetic tapes or drives you'll probably be fine.
     
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  18. ac7ss
    • In Omnia Paratus

    ac7ss Loaded Pockets

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    For the cellphone question I have a case for your consideration:
    I have a Rokform case on my phone. The magnet is designed to hold the phone on a considerable slope by itself, it pairs with another magnet in my wife's car for a solid mount. I have no trouble with nfc except for the additional distance the case provides and the phone works just fine.
    Personally I don't like storing magnets with edc gear because they tend to magnetize other items in the gear. Magnetic tools become annoying after a while.
     
  19. Westerdutch

    Westerdutch Loaded Pockets

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    Sure can. Demagnetizer are a thing tho, and they are not expensive anymore. Great for screwdrivers (the non-magnetised ones ofc), tweezers, bits, wrenches or other things you absolutely do not want magnetised.

    You can even hack up an old motor to build one from scratch.
     
  20. Holliday

    Holliday Loaded Pockets

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    So how do you demagnetize a smartphone?
    That is one of the biggest concerns when carrying a flashlight with a tailcap magnet. It can magnetize metal components inside the phone.

    Do the manufacturers of these lights inform the consumers of the potential of this?