Double Barrel 18-LED

Double Barrel 18 LED Retrofit, retail $100 (Only available on ebay)
Last updated April 06 2001

LED Light

The Double Barrel 18 LED flashlight, or DB-18 for short, is a remarkably well-built retrofit for an existing incandescent product, the Energizer Double Barrel series. An array of 18 LED bulbs lights up the night (and anything else it is shone upon) and the sturdy aluminum flashlight is powered by six "AA" cells.

The DB-18 is equipped with a nearly silent, soft-touch switch just behind the head. Press it once to get light, and press it again to get dark. Flashlights just don't come any easier than this.

6 aa cells
The DB-18 uses 6 "AA" cells in an unusual series-parallel configuration. This setup gives 4.5 volts to the LEDs, but doubles the effective battery life over a setup that gives the same 4.5 volts using only three cells.

To change the batteries, unscrew & remove the two tail caps. Set them aside. Tip out the two battery carriages, and remove all of the dead batteries. An opening underneath each battery makes it easy to push them out the open portion of the carriage.
Install AA cells in each compartment, facing the button end of the cells towards the button end of the carriage. Slide the full carriages (both button end first) into the flashlight body and screw the tailpieces snugly back on.

It's actually quite easy; more so than the description makes it sound.

With a series-parallel combination, it is more important than ever that you replace all six cells at once, and to never mix old and new. If for some reason you just can't get six brand new fresh batteries, the flashlight will actually work fine on just three, but the overall life will be just about cut in half. To run it on three cells, just empty one of the two carriages and put the empty back inside.

This setup is the same as my Magellan Map 410 GPS receiver, and its instructions state "the unit can be used with half the batteries in an emergency". The same theory is sound with this flashlight.

The battery life has not yet been determined, but should be between 10 and 20 hours, perhaps longer with dimmer light.

This is a very sturdy flashlight. The body is composed of a solid aluminum billet, and is for all practical purposes, indestructible.
The head is composed of G.E. Xenoy® polycarbonate. The weak point would probably be the junction between the plastic head and the metal body, but you'd probably have to stomp on the flashlight in order to break it here. Dropping it on the ground ain't gonna do it.

The switch is almost completely silent, and pushes on and off very easily. Although this makes the light handy and easy to use, it also opens up the possibility of unwanted activation in storage or inside your camping gear.

The flashlight is said to incorporate some as of yet unidentified form of protection against installing the batteries incorrectly and causing a short circuit. I'm sure that someone on Candlepower Forums will eventually butcher one of these flashlights up and find out for us.

The side-by-side battery configuration also helps prevent the light from rolling away when set down, so no additional fins or protrusions are necessary. One of the battery caps has a hole through it and allows you to attach a lanyard for hanging and carrying.

The light is sealed with O rings that should offer some degree of water resistance. I have not been able to locate any specific information regarding this, but I will keep looking. I'd rather know *how* waterproof it is before dropping the $100, limited edition instrument in my fishtank. :)

LED Light
Beam picture of the large flashlight. That's it on the right.
The beam is slightly brighter and somewhat wider than that of the popular C.C. Expedition.

LED Light
The business end.
Note: In response to e-mails, the "CCD Array" refers to the imaging device in my camera, not the LEDs.

Testing is now underway. I can only afford one of these, so I will try not to break it. :)

Update 04-06-01:
This is another ebay-only flashlight. This link will take you to the seller's listings, look for listings that start "18 LED FLASHLIGHT".

Feels sturdy and substantial in the hand, very bright beam, LEDs resistored for long life, durable overall construction, nice switch.

Some may find it too heavy or too long. Head is permanently sealed in place; so LEDs cannot be adjusted if they ever get knocked out of whack.

          MANUFACTURER: OEM: Energizer; retrofit: hobbyist
          PRODUCT TYPE: Large handheld flashlight
          LAMP TYPE: LED, White, 5mm
          No. OF LAMPS: 18
          BEAM TYPE: Narrow flood with soft fall-off
          SWITCH TYPE: Pushbutton on/off
          BEZEL: Sealed, with plastic window
          BATTERY: 6 AA cells in two banks of 3
          CURRENT CONSUMPTION: Unknown
          WATER RESISTANT: Weather resistant
          SUBMERSIBLE: No
          ACCESSORIES: Sample *may* have come with Energizer batteries
          WARRANTY: None

Double Barrel 18 LED Flashlight * Sold on ebay only

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