Dostone 5-LED Headlamp, (Found on Ebay)
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Last updated 09-22-03
When you strap this headlamp on your head and turn it on, don't get all excited about the light output and pee all over yourself. No really, don't.
The Dostone LED headlamp has five white LEDs, a self-retracting "zip cord" on a reel (for attaching it to your head), and a small magnetic compass on the back. The light and compass did not work to my satisfaction, so read on...
To use the Dostone for the first time, put batteries in it (see below) and go to town!
As the light is right-side up and facing away from you, slide the switch on the top to the left to turn all five LEDs on steadily, or slide it to the right to get blink mode. In this mode, all LEDs blink at about 3Hz, and could make the unit useful for signalling (as a "here I am" light) or clip it to something near your tent to quickly identify the tent as yours after taking a whiz in the bushes. Sliding the switch to the center position turns off your Dostone when you're finished using it.
The Dostone comes with a headband attached. This consists of a thin cord affixed to the light on both sides at the back, and unreels with a spring-loaded reel & magnetic compass from a small circular piece, again, on the back of the light.
Holding the Dostone's body firmly in one hand, grab the small circular thing and pull it away from the light's body. When it's extended about 12", you can put the whole thing on your head, and let the circular thing back in until it's touching the back of your head. Then you can let it go.
To use the compass, take the Dostone off, and reel it back up (the spring-loaded reel takes care of this part for you). Hold the Dostone upside down, so the compass is facing straight up, and read it.
The Dostone LED headlamp uses three AAA cells, which come included with it.
To change them (or install them if it's empty when you get to it), follow these instructions:
Use a house key or similar instrument to press in on the latch at the top of the light (behind the switch). This should cause the back to lift up; just pull it the rest of the way off and set it aside. Remove the dead batteries (if any) and dispose of as you see fit. Install three new cells into the chambers, following the polarity markings embossed in the bottom of each chamber. Close the light by placing the "hinged" edge of the light's back into the back of the blue part closest to where it says "Dostone" on it; swing the piece down until it latches into place.
In practise, I found this to be a bit more difficult than it seemed to appear, but not impossible by any means.
The above picture shows the compass on the back of the Dostone. If the compass in yours works, you need to take the light off your head in order to see it. My compass does not appear to work at all because there's a bubble in there that screws up the rotary "dial".
The unit does not appear to be very water resistant at all, so you'll need to be careful around ponds, lakes, streams, rivers, beaches, toilets, sinks, tubs, pools, and other places where water might be found.
If you think it got wet, take the back off, take the batteries out, and set it someplace warm and dry for a couple of days to be sure it gets all the way dry. If it falls into salt water or if the dog goes to the bathroom on it because of the dim output, douche it out with fresh water, and then set the parts out to dry.
The Dostone, affixed to the head of a flashlight tester. :-O
The beam from this light is smooth, but it is quite blue and VERY much dimmer than expected. Whoever made this light was definitely an egg roll short of a poo poo platter that day. I hope other units are brighter than this. Only the LED Club Flushlight gets a crappier rating than this POSMF.
The Dostone has a rubber "bumper" on the back to help cushion the front of your head. The rubber is harder than I expected, but it's not really all that uncomfortable. The light aims too far down (near your feet) while in use, and it's not very adjustable so you can't really aim it up without physically moving the light much farther up on your head than one might feel comfortable with. This is somewhat a matter of personal preference though, so your results can and probably will vary.
Beam photo at ~12".
Measured a pitiful 17,100mcd on a Meterman LM631.
Unit was purchased on Ebay in early 2003. There is no reference on the web to this particular light, so I don't have any URLs to pass along.
As I understand, this is a copy of the Petzl Zipka. Petzl is known for making good stuff, so this review should *not* be taken as anything but a review of a COPY, not the real thing.
Nice enough looking.
Includes a blinking function.
Nice looking beam.
Difficult battery change.
Compass reading requires you to remove the light.
Really dim for a 5-banger. What went wrong?
Not very water resistant - light splash resistance only.
MANUFACTURER: Not yet known
PRODUCT TYPE: LED headlamp
LAMP TYPE: White 5mm LED
No. OF LAMPS: 5
BEAM TYPE: Smooth with soft fall off at edges
SWITCH TYPE: Slide switch on/off/blink
BEZEL: LEDs mounted in reflector, protected by plastic window
BATTERY: 3x AAA
CURRENT CONSUMPTION: TBA
WATER RESISTANT: Light splash resistance
ACCESSORIES: 3x AAA cells
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