Do you have enough candles stored away?

emergency candles for disasters and grid-downnote: article first appeared in August 2015

I have a number of preparedness friends that talk to me about their generators. I listen patiently and allow them to go on and on about how their generators can run their house, run their air conditioning or run their freezer for some number of days. I invariably ask the question, “Then what?”

They seldom have a good answer.

My point is, why have a generator for household needs? There are some exceptions but I consider those exceptions to fall mostly into the medical category. The most notable exception would be battery charging. And battery charging only when your solar charging system can’t recharge your batteries. And I am only talking batteries to run your Ham radios, handheld radios or power boxes to run mobile radios. And, maybe your AAA & AA battery chargers that already aren’t solar powered.

What the heck am I really saying and what does that have to do with candles?

OK, I am not a fan of generators unless they have a very specific purpose and a very, very limited mission. Example: powering a Ham radio. I am not a fan of generators for general purpose electric generation and certainly not for “lights.”

Read this : TRAP – Generators can get you unwanted attention. < click here to read the brief article >

Hence my tie to candles. I am a big believer in candles.Candles for emergency lighting

I firmly believe that you can use candles for 99% of your true lighting needs during emergencies and disasters. And for grid-down I am not sure you have any viable long-term alternatives. So how many candles do you have stored?

First of all let’s define the two levels of candle needs; 1) short-term for emergencies and disasters, 2) long-term for grid-down.

Short-term needs are pretty easy to meet. Calculate the maximum number of days you feel an emergency or disaster could knockout the power. Then figure how many hours each day that you would need light from those candles. You would have to figure-in the activities requiring the candle light (i.e. reading). Then take the number of hours per day of need X the number of days expected. Take that number and add 50% to it for a margin of error and unexpected issues.

If you expected a 3 hour per night need and you expected the power could be off for a maximum of 10 days then you would need 30 hours of candle use. But, then add in the 50% margin of error and that number bumps to 45 120 hour emergency candleshours of need. Now just go buy the right sized candle with the appropriate expected burn time. You can buy 115 & 120 hour emergency candles out on the Internet for $8 – $12. So you should be able to meet your needs easily and economically.

Sound pretty simple, yes? And it is.

Emergency candles come in one basic form, so-called “paraffin.” But paraffin comes in two basic forms in relation Candles at hobby lobbyto emergency candles, liquid and solid. You are probably most familiar with solid paraffin candles, just walk into Hobby Lobby.

Liquid paraffin is actually more efficient when it comes to lighting. But don’t confuse “liquid paraffin” with “solid paraffin” at all. While theoretically they are both hydrocarbons, you can’t make traditional candles out of liquid paraffin. and you can’t make liquid paraffin by melting candles. Liquid paraffin is actually highly refined kerosene. It is referred to as lamp-oil in many places.

But between the two, it is mostly cost that drives the purchases. Then storage capability. Get the most burn-time for your hard-earned money for candles you can safely store.

Couple thoughts:

  • Watch for garage sales, estate sales or church rummage sales. Sometimes regular everyday candles can be bought for a fraction of the cost of those in stores.
  • Keep an eye on “dollar stores.”  They sell some pretty big candles for $1 from time-to-time. Just buy one of the big candles, take it home, and test it for burn-time. Go back and buy as many as you can if you get good burn-time out of them.
  • Candle-03Some of the preparedness websites regularly have both kinds of emergency candles on sale. https://www.foodinsurance.com/ has them onsale for $5.59 when you buy 12. That is 1200 hours of candle light for $67.00
  • I bought and use ReadyCANDLE from https://www.foodinsurance.com. They are inexpensive when bought on sale and ready to use when needed. They give out lots of light and they are not the hassle of a regular candle.

However, what about long-term “grid-down” needs?  That becomes whole new ball game when you can’t continue to buy regular or liquid candles. In a future post I will go into detail about making your own candles with nothing special other than what you already will have on-hand. But for now, think in terms of homemade candles…

Candle-08

Candle-07emergency candles made out of crisco

 

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Will we really be hit with an EMP? (part #2)

EMP Strikenote: article first appeared in December 2015

In part #1 yesterday I laid out the case for the probability of an EMP strike on America. I started laying out the case for the severity of the impact of such a strike. This article, Part #2, finish up on the impact severity, and end with what you can do to mitigate the EMP threat.

It is probably a good idea to read Part #1 first if you haven’t already done so.

Severity –

The experts and planners really don’t know for sure just what the extent of and EMP blast effects might be. Yes, there are books written talking about a 90% die-off in the first year. But, they are writers not experts in EMP warfare, they are novel authors.

I had the opportunity to talk to a 40 year expert that worked for Motorola and was a professor of electronics at a major university. We discussed the EMP potential. He explained to me that all their own testing was different than the hype and scare that we hear about in the media and read about in the books.

He was referring to all the post-EMP books hyping pre-computer controlled cars. Granted, vehicles with all the EMP resistant BOVdifferent computer technology would be far more susceptible to being rendered useless by an EMP strike. So some cars beginning in the mid-70’s began using integrated circuits, actual computer modules were about 3 – 5 years later. Obviously any vehicle without an integrated circuit board or computer module would be far less susceptible to damage from an EMP strike.

He went on to explain that not even the cars with computers that were all “zapped” had died an electronic death. The EMP pulses that they tested with only killed about 60 – 70% of cars with computers. I found that very interesting. He explained that sometimes all they had to do was disconnect a battery and the car would survive just fine. And not all the batteries were automatically destroyed by the pulses either. So the outcome for vehicle transportation may not be as dreadful as some would lead us to believe.

Electronics were a little different in their testing. If electronics weren’t protected they usually got wiped out. But, they also discovered that protecting the delicate electronics wasn’t all that difficult. They found the concept was to direct the energy of the pulse around the electronic gadget not allowing any of the energy to come in contact with the piece of equipment.

When I asked him how difficult it was, he chuckled and said, “Not very.” He told me that placing electronics in a metal box on insulated material should be just fine.

To me the operative word was “should.”

He said there was no way to conclusively say what kind of metal box worked all the time. And the reason is the EMP pulse itself. The energy flows through the air at different frequencies. The key was to block that specific frequency of energy associated with that specific EMP blast. And he also told me that there couldn’t be any gaps in the metal box, a tight metallic seal was paramount.

By then my eyes were kind of glazing over, I was getting lost. Then he said it was pretty simple to test. He said take an FM radio, tune it to a clearly heard station, and turn the volume up. Then place it in your metal box on insulated material. Slowly start to close the lid. If the radio reception died away and you could no longer hear the radio then the box was blocking the energy frequency of most EMP pulses.

He did qualify that by saying that to the best of their knowledge at that time EMP, energy pulse frequencies were roughly that of FM stations. And that is why if you could block the FM reception, you could block the pulse energy. And technically you weren’t blocking the energy pulse. The metal box was moving the energy pulse around the outside of the box not allowing the energy to come into contact with the radio’s antenna.

He also said it would be a good idea to remove the battery and the antenna from the radio. That would further assist in keep the energy out of the radio since both of those items attracted energy. We talked about wrapping the radio in a layer of insulation and he thought it would help if there were no gaps in the wrapping.

Faraday Cages –

We talked about Faraday Cages for awhile, he was not impressed. He thought they were overrated and pretty Farday Cage protection against EMPmuch was just a fancy and more expensive version of a metal box. He even mentioned that a garbage can with no holes or cracks, with a tight fitting lid, and lined with a non-conductive material could accomplish the same thing…maybe even far better.

The idea was simply to keep the energy from entering or contacting the piece of electronic gear that you were trying to protect.

A Faraday Cage was simply a fancy metal mesh box, that might not work as well as a metal container such as a garbage can mentioned a minute ago. We again talked about steel garbage cans with a plastic lining (i.e. a plastic garbage can) as an option. He said that would probably be just fine if the garbage can lid was tight fitting and let no gaps in the lid’s seal. We talked a little more and he liked my idea of using crumpled up aluminum foil as a “gasket” to ensure that there was no gap at all between the lid and the garbage can lip.

Layer after layer –

After thinking it through for awhile I talked with another buddy of mine, a serious and intelligent prepper. And the qualifications to be called such. We talked for awhile about EMP strikes and the potential for damage. Mostly sticking to how to protect radio equipment from damage.

When as was said and done we decided that we would wrap our gear in non-conductive material ensuring that there were no gaps. Then wrap that bundle in aluminum foil without gaps or open seems. So, imagine a bubble-wrap envelope sealed tight with clear shipping tape. Then that bundle is wrapped tightly with aluminum foil with absolutely no gaps in the wrapping.

Then use the non-conducting bubble wrap again, then another foil wrap, and then finish them off with a final layer of non-conducting bubble wrap. When we were all done with that, we placed them in a metal box with a tight fitting lid that left no gaps between the lid and the box.

I thought through that a lot. Basically we would be doing what my expert buddy had talked about. End result…redirecting the energy around the piece of electronic gear you are trying to protect.

Now what?

What to do now?” is the big question isn’t it. And honestly, that is up to you. I didn’t say that to be smug or avoid answering the question. It really is up to you.

Here’s how I see it…

  1. If you take your radios and EMP proof them in a metal box, then you don’t get to use the radio. You don’t get the operational practice or get to have fun with the radios.
  2. The EMP pulse, if it does occur, might be on a completely different frequency than what you have prepared for. Therefore your box is a complete failure and your radios get fried anyways.
  3. We may never get hit with an EMP pulse. Remember, it is rated in the low or very low probability category. So you wasted all that time, effort, and money for nothing.
  4. Or you can hedge your bet. The Baofeng UV-5RA radio is very inexpensive. Buy a set to use with all the right accessories, etc., especially the programming software. Get them all set up and enjoy them. Then buy just the radio itself, a back-up  for each radio you actually use. Program them, wrap ’em up, box ’em up for that potential EMP strike. And just to be on the safe and plush side…throw in the old family laptop with RT Systems programming software loaded on it, along with the cable and DVD.
Become obsessive?

No! While the potential for an EMP strike severity could be quite high if we are struck, the probability of being struck is still quite low. So there is no reason to start obsessing over being hit with an EMP.

And honestly, what part of your preps are truly dependent on electronics or batteries? For me it is:

  • Radios
  • Tactical flashlights
  • Solar generators
  • Night vision
  • GPS

Yup! That’s it for my dependency on electronics and batteries. So I have to ask myself the question, “Could I survive without all of the above?”

“Of course I could!” is the easy and accurate answer. Would it be more convenient with them? Yes. But we could get long without them.

So you really have to ask yourself the same questions –

What preps of your depend on electronics and batteries?

Could I get by without those things?

Summary –

As far as priorities go I would put EMP-proofing your electronics way, way down the list. I would say look into it after; a year’s worth of food, water, and garden seed. And then after, considerable medical supplies, weapons, and 1000’s of rounds of ammo. Then put in water filtration and purification capability, a good tents, clothing, and quality tactical gear. Then…and only then, would I consider worrying about protecting my gear from an EMP.

This has been a really long article on EMPs, but I thought it prudent to go through it in detail. But, by now you also have a pretty good idea of what you need to be doing about it.

Now…just go do it!  “whatever “it” may be.

 

 

 

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Will we really be hit with an EMP? (part #1)

EMP Strike electromagnetic pulse note: article first appeared in December 2015

I’ve pretty much stayed away from the whole EMP subject over the years. I’ve been asked about it a bunch of times but given some pretty vague answers. I guess it is time I get serious and share my real opinions on it.

Background –

My EMP opinion has changed over the years. Remember, I worked with intelligence information when I was in the Navy back in the 1970’s. I can tell you that back then during the Cold War there wasn’t any war-based “measured response” option. There also wasn’t any of thought of a weapon to do little damage to conquer the Soviet Union or any East Block country. We were in it to win it! And that meant nuke the crap out of them.

Sure, they knew about EMP effects for nuclear explosions even back then. But that was a distant concern, issue, or topic. What we wanted was to devastate them, their military, their people, their infrastructure, just basically blow em up.

But, as times have changed I have looked at what would Russia want to do to us in terms of war-based destruction. Russia is short of resources, all kinds of resources with the possible exception of fossil fuels. That being the case, I don’t think Russia would want to slick us off like glass with nukes. Well, with one possible exception, if we hit them first. If we would throw our missiles at them first, they would throw everything they had back at us as fast as they could turn keys and push buttons.

If you think about it, why would Russia, or even China, want to turn us into a nuclear wasteland? I simply don’t think Iran Nuke weaponsthey would.In all reality…they would love to have access to our resources…natural and man-made.

Iran on the other hand has the stupid 12th Imman, end of the world thing as part of their Muslim Shia beliefs. Those crazies would nuke us just to fulfill their desire to expedite the end of the world. But, Iran would hit Israel before they would hit us.

The crazies in North Korea, although crazy, don’t do anything without the approval of China. NK won’t nuke us unless China tells them it’s OK. North Korea really doesn’t want war. They know they would lose. But, they want the attention and associated power that comes with threatening war.

We are China’s biggest customer of the goods they produce. We spend huge amounts of money buying their stuff year in and year out. China loves those dollars! Why would they want to blow-up their best customer?

Well, there actually is a point when China might make a move against us. China has been an empire for 1000’s of years. Yes, China is currently a communist country, but it no less an empire now than it was 500 or 1000 years ago. When it comes to international politics China views everything in a very large context. I am talking in terms of 100’s of years to accomplish something, for sure decades.

Let there be no doubt in your mind, China expects to be a, if not the, world dominating empire. It is only a matter of timing for them. When China decides that the timing is right, they will use all appropriate tools available to them to accomplish their goals. And using nukes against us is seen as a strategy, nuclear weapons are nothing more than tools to them. Albeit maybe not their first or most desired option.

That being said, I do not think that China wants to slick us off either. It just wouldn’t fit their history-based reputation. Sure, they want to beat us, and beat us decisively, but I don’t see them going into “annihilation mode” on us. I think they want to subjugate not eliminate. They like our natural resources and ability to grow lots of food.

You also have Pakistan and Turkey as nuclear armed countries. While they are both supposedly secular governments, they are both Muslim countries. Pakistan has really moved towards being a Islamic government, Turkey is now maybe the most Muslim of both countries. When Pakistan completes its total transition to an Islamic state, then I would move them into a similar category as Iran. Same would be true for Turkey. I think it won’t be long for both of them to finalize that transition.

So what about the EMP thing again?

Remember, I look at “threats” as “risks.” And I then look at all of it in terms of “risk mitigation”. Risk is judgement based on probability and severity of the risk actually occurring. I look at an EMP strike the same way.

Probability –

I see the risk of us being hit by a nuclear weapon that generates an EMP as low…very low at this time actually. The reason I give it such a low probability is their fear of retaliation. Russia and China have no desire to exchange a nuclear strike with us. Iran would probably love it but they aren’t ready for that yet. Pakistan and Turkey probably aren’t ’t too far behind Iran but they are maintaining a resemblance of normal behaviors. North Korea, well, they are complete nuts jobs in that country, so I don’t expect them to actually launch a nuke at us.

So based on all of that, I see the probability as pretty dang low. However, 20 years ago I would have given it a zero chance. 10 years ago, slightly more than zero. When Iran did the nuke deal with Obozo I believe Iran’s potential use of a nuke against another country went to 100%. Their use of a nuke against us is maybe at 50%. Iran nuking Israel………..just a matter of time. It’s not an “if”……it’s a “when.”

So now I have to rate the probability as on the chart.

Severity –

Here is where it could get ugly. If anyone launches a nuke at us and it actually detonates on US soil, it will be devastating regardless of where it hits. It will be the blow against us that challenges, and perhaps negates, our super-power status. If we are hit, and we don’t hit back, we will be re-categorized to the group that includes France, England, Italy…maybe worse. If we are hit and we hit back, then we can expect WWIII. And should that happen, an EMP is the least of our problems.

So let’s look at the severity if it is just an EMP. By the way, it would be more along the lines of North Korea going rogue and hitting us with an EMP without China telling them to. However, there is a potential scenario where China would tell them to hit us with an EMP just to weaken us and test out retaliation resolve.

Whatever the reason we were hit, the outcome would be very damaging. The damage would be two-fold. 1) the EMP-Strike hits our power gridactual direct result damage to infrastructure, 2) the economic fallout.

Economic Collapse from an EMPThe economic damage would be far worse than the direct damage. The stock markets would crash, the economy would nose dive. It would be economic Armageddon for awhile. Mostly due to banking being out of business. Yeah, completely out of business. Modern banking is all computer based with that information being transferred between customer and banks, banks and business, etc. entirely by electronics (i.e. the Internet). An EMP would fry most large-scale electronic systems, including the Internet and telecommunications.

EMP Strike effectsThe direct damage is a little less clear. EMP damage is directly related to a few things:

  1. The size of the weapon as described in “megatons”
  2. The altitude above the surface of the earth
  3. Your relative location to the blast area

The absolute worse location to be at the time would be directly under the atmospheric blast. As the zone expanded outward, the impact would lessen. But, that would be in direct relation to the size of the detonated weapon. The bigger the weapon, the larger the affected area. However, the further away from the blast you were, the more diminished the impact would be.

Now is when it gets blurry. And I will cover that tomorrow when I finish this 2-part series.

 

 

 

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LED Lenser T-Square 240 Lumen Flashlight

880229 LED Lenser-240 lumens T square Flashlight note: article first appeared in December of 2015

Yesterday I did a review on a tactical flashlight that I have been using for a number of years now. It is the LED Lenser V2. I absolutely love that flashlight! It has done everything I’ve ever asked of it and then some. It has never failed me, that is saying something.

The V2 was always plenty bright enough, tough as nails, fit my carbine’s vertical grip perfectly and was just an all-round perfect tactical flashlight. It was so good actually that I made it my family’s all-purpose flashlight. Yes, that means we standardized on it.

Then LED Lenser discontinued manufacturing it. But, they supposedly replaced it with a new and improved version. I am always leery of “replacements”, they never seem to be as good. This review is all about the “T Square” replacement version (model # 880229) of the LED Lenser.

The mission:

“A single flashlight that is capable of operating in the most demanding of tactical environments, bright enough to see a minimum of 100 yards, and battery efficient.”

Here were the flashlight restrictions and requirements:

  • Metal & tough enough to handle any reasonable field or tactical handling for our family/group.
  • Lightweight & compact enough for pocket use.
  • AAA or AA batteries.
  • Water resistant enough to handle any rain and momentary submersion.
  • Bright enough for any tactical weapon usage. Minimum beam distance 100 yards.
  • Narrow light beam.
  • Fit any 1” light mount.

880229 LED Lenser 240 lumen T square FlashlightThe flashlight specs:

FEATURE
V2 (original) T-Square (new)
Lumens 104
  • 240 high beam
  • 25 low beam
Lighting Modes 1 (2) High & Low Beam
Beam Distance 180 yards
  • 197 yards high beam
  • 60 yards low beam
Length 4.5” 4.5”
Diameter 1” 1”
Weight 3.6oz 3.56oz
Batteries 3 x AAA 3 x AAA
Housing Aluminum Aluminum
Water Submersion Rating IPX4 IPX4
Finish Semi-Gloss Black Matte Black
Burn Time 4 hrs
  • 4 hrs high beam
  • 25 hrs low beam
Switch
  • Momentary on
  • Constant on
  • High beam – Momentary on
  • High beam – Constant on
  • Low beam – Momentary on
  • Low beam – Constant on

I’ve owned this line of flashlights for a very long time. I think I had one of the first V2’s that hit the market. I really like the way they feel, and how sturdy and dependable they are. The first model had a slick/smooth switch cap in the end of the tube. I am not talking “slick” as in a good thing, I am saying there was no positive grip to it. Then they upgraded to a nice button with checker boarding in the rubber. That really made this flashlight a winner.

So, I open the box, excited as always anytime I get a new product to review, and what do I see? This stupid orange target on the switch button cap. I mean bright orange and it looks just like a clay pigeon. I hate that!

LED Lenser 880229 T square FlashlightOK, that relieved a little stress. Can anyone in their right mind tell me why a company would go with a bright orange anything on a tactical flashlight? I mean seriously…do they think we can’t find the button without it being bright orange? And another bad thing is the button cap is now back to being “slick” as in slippery.

Well, that is the downside. Everything else about this flashlight rocks!

The finish on the flashlight is better than before, less reflective. I also found that the finish added to my ability to hold onto the tube. This is especially helpful when your hands are wet with body fluids or something similar.

LED Lenser T square Flashlight 240 lumens 880229One of the first things I noticed, after the bright orange crap, was a distinctive red band around the inside of then lens right below the flashlight’s lip. I liked the “look” of it but had no idea what the purpose or advantage would be. So I kept looking at it from different angles. Low and behold I figured it out. While it may be unintentional it is interesting. I held a V2 model up to the new model and saw that from the side view the red band inside the lens drastically reduced the amount of light seen from the sides.

LED-Lenser-240TsquareFlashlight-004aYeah, think that one through for a minute. If you are trying to reduce your night-time profile you want to use red light. But for most tactical purposes you want to keep your overall location pretty much to yourself, right? So there you are in a warehouse, the middle of the night, using your new 240T on low beam. The red reduces the amount of light seen from the side and reduces the other guy from being able to get a solid “fix” on you. Sure, they can see your beam out in front of you but it is hard to spot the origin of the beam. The red simply helps keep you more covert.

Well, while I was playing around with that idea I tried shining one light on the front of the other light’s front. The light without the red in the lens reflected back brightly. The red lens lights barely reflected at all. So another nice feature at covertness.

Here is the biggest change to the new 240T light…the button switch. There are multiple positions now for the switch. The V2 had a partial depress would give you the beam that would turn off as soon as you let up the pressure on the switch. Fully depress the switch and the beam would stay on until you fully depressed the switch again. The new 240T has a high beam and a low beam light.

You activate the light just as before, but this time when you partially depress it the first time you get the high beam. Next time you partially depress it you get the low beam. Same goes for full depression of the switch for constant on. You have to do the depressing quickly for the switch to go from high to low.

What I mean is it alternates between coming on with the high, then the low beam. But it “resets” after about 5 seconds to come back on with the high beam.

So I have mixed feelings and opinion about the whole high/low beam thing. The low beam keeps your projected light much closer in and significantly increases burn time. And that is a really nice thing. I think the vast majority of my flashlight time is more closely associated with low beam needs than high beam capability.

I wanted to verify that Amazon had them for sale. While I was looking at the product to validate it, I noticed that there was a review with a “one star” rating. So here is the 1-star review, “When i received I saw different than this in the picture, and when I was using did not work.”

Yeah, I don’t put any value to that review whatsoever. It reads like they are from Russia. I think it was a “plant” to run down the product vs. what someone who actually bought and used the flashlight. I have bought a bunch of these flashlights over the years; never, not once, did they arrive broken or misrepresented. Actually, I have yet to break one of these flashlights or even burnout a bulb.

Other than a couple of subtle differences, the newer version flashlight is as rock solid as the V2. And I love the V2!

Final note, the flashlight carries the name “Leatherman” and I believe this is a marketing thing only. I don’t think this is a true Leatherman designed, engineered, and manufactured product. But, that being said, it is still a quality piece of gear.

My recommendation…”BUY!”  I did…multiple times.

Buy It !2019 NOTE: FYI…the price on Amazon has been reduced to $30…for how long I don’t know.

Amazon leatherman LED Lenser T2 T square Flashlight

Tip: The LED Lenser tactical light fits perfectly in a pistol magazine pouch.LED Lenser in pistol single mag pouch

 

 

 

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LED Lenser V2 Flashlight

LED Lenser Flashlight V2note: article first appeared January 2015

Let me start this review of the LED Lenser V2 by describing what I was looking for in a flashlight.

The mission was:

“A single flashlight that was compact, lightweight and bright enough to standardize on a single brand & model.”

Here were the flashlight requirements:

  1. Metal & tough enough to handle any field or tactical handling.
  2. Lightweight & compact enough for pocket use.
  3. AAA or AA batteries.
  4. Water resistant/proof enough to handle any rain and momentary submersion.
  5. Bright enough for any tactical weapon usage. Minimum beam distance 100 yards. Narrow beam.
  6. Fit any 1” light mount.

To sum it all up – This flashlight does the job in every aspect, excels at each requirement.

So here are the technical details –LED Lenser Flashlight V2

  • Length: 4-1/2”
  • Diameter: 1”
  • Weight: 3.6oz
  • Tough aluminum housing with checker boarding for sure non-slip grip.
  • Uses 3 AAA batteries.
  • IPX4 water resistant rating (it’s not designed as a submersible light but is water resistant under pressure).
  • 94 – 104 lumens (brightness) in a narrow beam that can reach nearly 180+ yards.
  • 4 hour constant burn time with medium quality batteries.
  • Finish: Black matte

I first started using this brand/model of flashlight over 10 years ago and I’ve never been disappointed. Actually, I’ve been CAA Comand Arms foregrip flashlightthrilled with it! It is a great size for my pants pocket and fits any flashlight holder or belt mounted light/magazine holster that I use. I use a Command Arms Accessories Flashlight Holder Grip Adapter on my AR and this light fits it perfectly. The light shines a very bright narrow beam of light that exceeds my expectations of a tactical light. The light is not so bright that it will washout my vision in the dark but plenty bright enough for me to do whatever I need to with it. The distance the beam goes is amazing for such a little unit running on AAA batteries.

My Duracell batteries will last well over two years in the light depending on how much I use it. The battery carrier/cartridge is absolutely high quality, as is the entire housing. I felt the quality and close tolerances as soon as I began to unscrew the battery cartridge. This flashlight is a top-quality piece of equipment.

The checker boarding on the body is substantial but not uncomfortable, they struck a happy medium. It has never slipped in my hand under any conditions, wet or dry. The newer models have a thumb switch that has ‘nubs’ on it as well to ensure that your thumb won’t slip off. And speaking of the switch, it does have the momentary-on capability or the ‘click-on’ for a constant light.

This flashlight has replaced all my other flashlights except my big 4 x D-cell Mag light that I keep under the front seat of the truck. You won’t need another flashlight (other than a ‘tire checker’) once you’ve tried out this keeper.

LED Lenser Flashlight V2You’ll love it!

Use with absolute confidence.

The price on this can vary from about $28 – $40 out on the Internet so shop around. I’ve bought mine (6 of them now) off of eBay.

Note: If you are going to submerse your tactical light for any length of time you might not want to search elsewhere or waterproof the Lenser yourself. I don’t think it would hold up too long underwater but I haven’t done any conclusive testing on it for that particular mission. Why? I don’t swim underwater with my flashlight.

2019 NOTE: This flashlight is no longer retail available. However, I’ve seen them on eBay. I would not hesitate to buy a sued one as long as it worked and the insides were clear of corrosion.

 

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Radio Antenna Storage Case

Radios stored in Hard Casenote: article first appeared in November 2015

Earlier this year I did a series of posts that showed how I store my radios long-term for safekeeping. I put them in military grade SKB iSeries hardcases. I really like those cases, very sturdy and less expensive than Pelican cases. But what I neglected to show you was how I store my radio antennas. So here you go…

The stated mission for this is –

“The ability to safely store and transport ‘stick’ antennas that match the radio storage and transportation system.”

First thing I did was put all the antennas in one location so I could see what I have. Then I measured each antenna to assess what was the length of the tallest antenna that would be stored in the case. That measurement was over 50″. Next I had to figure out where to find a reasonably priced hardcase solution that would work.

The first place I looked was the SKB cases, then Pelican cases; both of which were out of the question. I kept looking for other conventional options and either couldn’t find the “right” option or they were far too expensive to be realistic. I gave up…or rather took a break of several months.

One day I was working in my storage shed and low and behold, what did I see? Yup, an old plastic gun case. I had picked it up at a garage sale a long time ago and put in the shed for storage. It was in great shape, padded, Antenna hard Case - gun caselockable, and ready to be used.

Its interior usable space was 9” x 48” so it was plenty big enough. Too short for the longest antenna, the Diamond CR8900A. But then I remembered that the Diamond CR8900A “breaks” at the base so it can folder over while attached to a vehicle for clearance issues.

Once I folded the Diamond CR8900A at its base…BINGO! It fits just fine. The case is padded to keep everything from being damaged. The padding also kept all the antennas getting jumbled around. Looked like the perfect option. Into the shop it went.

I got all the antennas back out and started arranging them in the gun case. It only took about 15 minutes to get Ham radio Antenna Case hardcase gun caseeverything in the right place, the lid closed without any binding, and it locked up tight. A perfect solution!

So here is the picture of the gun case with all of the antennas in it. I hope it gets you thinking of a solution for you radio antenna storage and transportation needs. For me, this option will allow me to grab my radio cases and my antenna case and know that I can transport them safely and securely wherever I might be headed.

Antenna Case legend

 

 

 

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