Monday, September 04, 2006

The Hand Powered Flashlight

The humble hand powered flashlight. Available at most gadget shops, great stocking stuffers. The one above is like the one I carry in my car for some kind of unspecified emergency. It works by some electromagnetic quirk, there's a plug of magnetized metal in the middle which shakes past a solenoid, creating a small charge which is held by a small battery which lights a low-draw but very powerful LED. It's even clear plastic, so it serves as a handy peekaboo-look-over-here kind of beacon.

When one is on the side of a country road in the dark of night, wearing a black t-shirt, with an infant strapped to one's back, standing behind an effectively invisible black Volvo (where the battery has died and the hazard lights are perhaps as bright as a cigarette), waiting for a tow-truck sent out by a helpful agency who does not seem to grasp that there is only ONE road between Arthur, Ontario and Orangeville, Ontario that matches the critera of the road you told them you were on...a little light comes in handy.

Even if you're without an infant or a black Volvo, consider this to be the most sincere endorsement ever written for the hand powered flashlight. You can have it on for hours and not be afraid of your battery dying and losing the only source of light you have to stay visible for the tow truck that is allegedly on its way, or to show any swervy drivers that the shoulder is NOT clear. It do come in handy. More on this particular debacle later, suffice to say that the infant is fine, the car is minus an alternator (easily replaced, relatively cheaply) and the efficacy of CAA is largely in doubt.

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Norm Wilner said...

I was thinking of buying one of those wind-up LED jobbies, in case of blackout or zombie attack.

Little-known fact: Zombies are easily distracted by LEDs, much like kittens.

Anonymous said...

Those are kinda cool.

When a magnetic field crosses a conductor (like wire) it generates electricity.

By the way, on a ship at sea, a cigarette can be seen a mile away.

Back to the flashlight, are they really bright? I haven't had the guts to drop the cash on one, worried that it's just a junk novelty item.

Anonymous said...

I feel the side of the road pain. I have always had a small flashlight in my car, you know the baby version of the Mag light and it was great. There is, however, something about electrons that they do not like to move when cold. Hence, left in the dark in winter when I needed it most. I also have a full emergency kit with all of the usual goodies, spare hat and gloves, a trench shovel, and a bag of beef jerky. Every spring is the beef jerky eating party that my daughter and I dearly love on the condition that I was not stuck in the snow somewhere.

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