CHAMELEON



Chameleon, retail (Not yet available - prototype) (http://darkgear.com)
Manufactured by MrBulktm of DarkGear (http://darkgear.com/mrbulk)
Last updated 10-23-05





The Chameleon is the latest offering by well-known flashlight modifyier and maker MrBulktm (Charlie) from Hawaii in the United States.

The Chameleon comes in an all-aluminum body.

It uses a single Li:ION (lithium ion) rechargeable RCR123A cell in the barrel, and a 3 watt Luxeon LED at the bottom of a partly texturised/partly smooth reflector to produce its light. The LED and reflector are protected by an AR (antireflective) glass window - or "lens" if you prefer that term, even though it does not focus or defocus the light in any manner.


 SIZE



Feed the Chameleon first, then you can go to town.

Press and release the rubberised button on the side of the barrel to turn the flashlight on.
Press and release it the same way again to turn the flashlight off.

The Chameleon has 5 brightness settings: to activate them, press and hold the button down when turning the flashlight on; the brightnesses will ramp up from dimmest to brightest. Let go of the button when the setting you prefer is on.
If you go past the setting you prefer, release the button and then press & hold it in within 1.5 seconds; the Chameleon will then ramp down from the current setting to dimmer ones.

The Chameleon will "remember" the last setting it was in; and come on in that setting again when you go to use it next.

If you're in one of the dimmer settings and need maximum power for whatever reason, press and hold the button for approximately one quarter second (0.25 seconds), and the Chameleon will switch to its highest setting automatically.

To lock out the switch, quickly press and release the button three times and wait for a flash. After three more seconds the Chameleon will flash three more times in quick succession. This serves to indicate the switch button is now locked out, and the unit will not turn on during storage or transport if anything smashes against it.
To unlock the switch and restore the Chameleon to normal operation, just quickly press and release the button three times - exactly the action you performed when locking out the switch.

To turn AutoSleep on, while the Chameleon is turned on, quickly press and release the button three times and wait for a flash, then press & release the button once. The light will come on at its dimmest setting; this indicates AutoSleep is functional.
To deactivate AutoSleep, press & release the button once; the light will become brighter and then go out after three seconds.

How AutoSleep works:
After the Chameleon has been on for 15 minutes it will step down one brightness level each minute until it reaches Level 1 where it will remain, and eventually it will turn itself off after a total of one hour has elapsed from when the light was first turned on. But a CLICK or PRESS of the button any time during this dim-down sequence will immediately bring the light back to its last used level, at which time the 15-minute countdown begins again.

To set it to one of the four current tables, turn the flashlight on, quickly press and release the button three times, wait for a flash, then quickly press and release the button two times. The light will then come on at a dim level. By quickly pressing and releasing the button three more times after this, the light will get progressively brighter, and then go back to dim the fourth time you do this. Each of these brightness levels indicates which current table you are setting the Chameleon to: 350mA max, 500mA max, 750mA max, and 1,000mA max. Stop fiddling with the button when you reach the desired current table; the light will flash after three seconds to indicate the current table is now set.

These instructions make the Chameleon seem harder to operate than it actually is; please visit http://flashlight-forums.com... to view the Chameleon's operation in a "Q&A" format.
Be sure you scroll down to "Update 9-27-05".



To charge or change the battery in your Chameleon, unscrew the two halves of the Chameleon, throw the bezel in the {vulgar term for feces}bowl, yank that silver handle on the front of the cistern down, and flush it away...O WAIT!!! THAT'S THE GOOD PART!!! So just set it aside instead.

Remove the cell from the tailcap, and charge it as directed in the instructional materials included with the battery and charger. I was furnished with a Nano Charger; that's what I'll be using to charge the cell that was provided with the Chameleon prototype.

Insert a recharged cell into the bottom half of the Chameleon, orienting it so its flat-end (-) negative goes in first.

Screw the bezel back onto the Chameleon's body, and be done with it.
Aren't you happy that you didn't flush that bezel away now?

Due to the way the Chameleon was constructed, I am not able to furnish you with current usage measurements.

Battery discharge analyses of the Chameleon will be a little different - well, ok, a LOT different than usual. In this instance, I'll be taking intensity measurements of the flashlight at its highest setting at least three times; same with all current tables.

At its highest current table, the starting intensity was 2,590,000mcd. The test (using the highest current table) was started at 8:10:45am PDT.

At 8:10:45 it measures 2,590,000mcd.
At 8:20:45 it measures 2,580,000mcd.
At 8:30:45 it measures 2,300,000mcd.
At this point, the flashlight body is uncomfortably hot, at 144F (62.2C).
It suddenly went out at 8:36:40. The flashlight is too hot for me to pick up and examine, so I'll have to let it cool first.
I'm guessing the flashlight went out because the Li:ION cell reached a low enough voltage to trigger a protection circuit, thus preserving the battery's life.

This is a total battery life of 26 minutes if used continuously on the highest setting, on the highest current table.

The test on current table 3 was interrupted numerous times because of the lack of time, but it ran sufficiently long that the Chameleon would outlast most people's ability to wait.




Photograph of the Chameleon's "business-end", showing the LED and reflector.
The AR glass window ("lens") is not very visible in this photograph.

The Chameleon appears to be reasonably sturdy. Ordinary flashlight accidents should not be enough to do it in. Because this is a prototype that needs to be returned, I will not perform "The Smack Test" or "The Toilet Test" on it. So this section of the Chameleon's web page will be significantly more bare than this section of the web page on a page about a flashlight I get to keep, thrash, trash, use, and abuse.

As I understand, the Chameleon is waterproof and even submersible to shallow depths too.

The light produced by the Chameleon is a pure, slightly cool white, with no pink, yellow, blue, purple, or "rotten porpoise urine green" tint to it. Not in the hotspot; not in the corona either.

For all original purchasers MR Bulk will repair your unaltered MR Bulk light for the cost of replacement parts and return shipping to me.
There is No Charge for labor
This unofficial "warranty" is hereby extended only to original purchasers of MR Bulk lights who are registered members of, and in good standing with, MR Bulk Forums.



Beam photo (high) at ~12".



Beam photo (low) at ~12".

The five levels measure:
2,590,000mcd, 1,305,000mcd, 861,000mcd, 456,000mcd, and 108,400mcd.

All five measurements were taken on a Meterman LM631 light meter.



Beam photo (high) at ~15'.

That red star thing is from an American DJ Laser Widow.



TEST NOTES:
Test unit plus a Nano Charger for the included Li:ION RCR123A cell were loaned by the light's maker, and were received on 09-30-05.
I have since learned that I can keep the battery and charger - thank you Charlie!!!

Because this Chameleon prototype flashlight is a loaner that must be returned, hopefully with no dings on the bezel or rat pellets in the barrel, the punishment testing I usually perform on (inflict upon) flashlights will not be performed here.


UPDATE: 10-07-05
As this is a prototype unit that had to be returned, you'll see an "" icon next to its listing.


PROS:



CONS:



    MANUFACTURER: MrBulk
    PRODUCT TYPE: Small flashlight
    LAMP TYPE: 3W Luxeon LED
    No. OF LAMPS: 1
    BEAM TYPE: Narrow spot with corona
    SWITCH TYPE: Pushbutton on/brightness change/off on barrel
    BEZEL: Metal; AR-coated glass window protects LED and reflector
    BATTERY: 1x R123A Li:ION rechargeable cell
    CURRENT CONSUMPTION: Unknown/unable to measure
    WATER RESISTANT: Yes
    SUBMERSIBLE: Yes, to shallow depths anyway
    ACCESSORIES: None that I'm aware of
    WARRANTY: See above

    PRODUCT RATING:

    Star Rating





Chameleon * http://darkgear.com







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