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Thread: Typical "tactical" flashlight operating question

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    Senior Member mythaeus's Avatar
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    Typical "tactical" flashlight operating question

    I bought and ATN J125 Javelin flashlight because I got a good deal on it. The unit was shipped directly from ATN, which is well-known for making night vision equipments. Anyway, I haven't owned/used any of these flashlights before and the way the Javelin works really bothers me. It has 4 modes, which is cycled through each time I pressed the switch in the back. So if I turned it off, then on again, it goes to the next mode in the cycle. The same if I turn on and lock if I twist the end. I really don't like the fact that I have no idea which mode the flashlight will be in when I turn it on for the first time. I have to cycle through to get to the mode that I want each time. Is this typical? If so, is there a reason for these flashlights to work that way?

    Thanks,
    Al
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    Senior Member jbp-ohio's Avatar
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    Re: Typical "tactical" flashlight operating question

    First, I don't want a flashlight with multiple functions like a strobe function. I want a high beam to search and to blind, and a low beam to workon something longer without burning up the battery.

    I have a Fenix light I use at work (cause it uses AA batteries instead of 123$) that has a strobe fuction. If you turn the light on, then off for 5 seconds, it skips the strobe function and the steady light comes back on. Surefires are the same. If you wait 5 seconds, the high beam comes on first...

    One feature of Surefires I like is that they regulate the battery. Once the battery level reaches a certain point, you can only get the low beam. That way you still get an hour of low light instead of a dead light.
    Last edited by jbp-ohio; 04-18-2012 at 03:41 PM.
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    Senior Member mythaeus's Avatar
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    Re: Typical "tactical" flashlight operating question

    Quote Originally Posted by jbp-ohio View Post
    First, I don't want a flashlight with a strobe function. I want a high beam to search and to blind, and a low beam to work without burning up the battery.

    I have a Fenix light I use at work (cause it uses AA batteries instead of 123$) that has a strobe fuction. If you turn the light on, then off for 5 seconds, it skips the strobe function and the steady light comes back on.

    One feature of Surefires I like is that they regulate the battery. Once the battery level reaches a certain point, you can only get the low beam. That way you still get an hour of low light instead of a dead light.
    Hmmmm...I don't think I've tried the bolded part. I'll try that when I get home. Thanks!

    Al
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    Senior Member jbp-ohio's Avatar
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    Re: Typical "tactical" flashlight operating question

    At least with hi-low only, if you need the light before five seconds are up you only have to cycle thru low beam and not 3 functions...
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    Senior Member knitepoet's Avatar
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    Re: Typical "tactical" flashlight operating question

    Al, IME that's typical of the low to mid-range "tactical" lights. The higher end models either have a separate switch to select which mode it comes on in, or "remembers" the last mode it was in when it was turned off the last time
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    Senior Member mythaeus's Avatar
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    Re: Typical "tactical" flashlight operating question

    Quote Originally Posted by knitepoet View Post
    Al, IME that's typical of the low to mid-range "tactical" lights. The higher end models either have a separate switch to select which mode it comes on in, or "remembers" the last mode it was in when it was turned off the last time
    Thanks Paul! That makes me feel a little better, if that makes any sense. I thought something is screwy with this one that I bought. I'm still finding it difficult to understand why these are designed to work that way. It's not really that difficult to add a selector switch I don't think. It's sold for around $80, by the way.

    Al
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    Senior Member SirGeorgeKillian's Avatar
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    On my cheap light it is one push button to turn on and off and cycle through the modes. When it has been off for 30 seconds it automatically reverts to the first setting. So as long as nobody has been missing with it 30 seconds before I need it, I will know exactly what it will do when I turn it on..

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    Senior Member mythaeus's Avatar
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    Re: Typical "tactical" flashlight operating question

    Quote Originally Posted by SirGeorgeKillian View Post
    On my cheap light it is one push button to turn on and off and cycle through the modes. When it has been off for 30 seconds it automatically reverts to the first setting. So as long as nobody has been missing with it 30 seconds before I need it, I will know exactly what it will do when I turn it on..

    Sent from my Sony Tablet S using Tapatalk 2
    No one is missing, but now I'm REALLY anxious to get home to test mine out again

    Al
    "In a controversy, the instant we feel anger we have already ceased striving for the truth and have begun striving for ourselves." - Siddhartha Gautama

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    Senior Member alphasigmookie's Avatar
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    Re: Typical "tactical" flashlight operating question

    Another thing, most you can quickly cycle through the modes with a half click without fully turning it off. Takes a bit of practice and agree it can get quite annoying if there are multiple modes. The tactical light I have for my AR (eagle-tac T100c2) changes the setting by twisting the bezel so I can set it to high or medium and know what I get every time I click the switch.
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    Re: Typical "tactical" flashlight operating question

    I've been carrying a Blackhawk Gladius for about six years now that neatly solves most of these issues.

    The controls consist of the tailcap button, and a rotary dial that surrounds it. The dial has three positions; all the way clockwise is full brightness with a momentary button just like the base Surefire tailcaps; one stop back from that is a full brightness strobe with a momentary button; the final setting is a programmable mode. You can set this up to start at the dimmest setting and gradually increase in brightness until you let go of the button, at which point it will stay on at that level of brightness until you push the button again (this is the setting I use). You can program it to work in reverse (bright to dim). The third program lets you instantly turn the light back on at the last brightness level it was at.

    It's easy to use one-handed and solves all my flashlight needs in one package. You want to keep it in one of the momentary modes and keep it in the Blackhawk holster that covers the tailcap to prevent battery burn out on the dim setting, but that's the only negative I've found.
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    Senior Member mythaeus's Avatar
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    Re: Typical "tactical" flashlight operating question

    Alpha, Bigslug... thank you both for your input.

    Al
    "In a controversy, the instant we feel anger we have already ceased striving for the truth and have begun striving for ourselves." - Siddhartha Gautama

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    Senior Member JasonMPD's Avatar
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    Re: Typical "tactical" flashlight operating question

    I am not a fan of multi-mode lights. I want a light with ONLY these three, if it needs three: full-power torch, strobe function and 1/2 power dim light for illuminating paperwork. Activation should be as follows:

    Click on for torch.
    Double click for strobe.
    Click-hold for 2 seconds for dim torch.

    This already exists in the Streamlight Strion, Stinger, etc. Its a great light for $100.

    I have no experience with ATN lights.
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    Senior Member mythaeus's Avatar
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    Re: Typical "tactical" flashlight operating question

    Thanks for your input Jason!


    Al
    "In a controversy, the instant we feel anger we have already ceased striving for the truth and have begun striving for ourselves." - Siddhartha Gautama

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