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Gamma Ray



Gamma Ray', retail $13.95
Manufactured by Flipo Group LTD (http://www.flipo.com)
Last updated 12-13-08
Buy them here: http://www.gammagarb.com/products/pr_gammarays.shtml


LED Light



The Gamma Ray is a small, bright keychain type LED flashlight with an unusual but effective on/off switch and a brilliant blue LED. The unit is powered by a pair of lithium CR2016 coin cells, and hangs from your keys with a split ring & swivel arrangement.


Size reference



The Gamma Ray is ready to use straight out of the package. But first, you must actually get it out. The package is thermally welded at the seams, so you'll definitely need a razor blade, box knife, or sharp scissors to slice it open along one edge.

To turn the Gamma Ray on, hold it so your fore & middle fingers support it from the bottom, and then press the rubber button in with your thumb. It then "snaps" on with a tactile snap feel, and a brilliant blue light is created. To turn it off, just flip it over and do the same thing. Instructions with pictures are on the pack if you have trouble with it. Hell with it, I'll just take some pictures of my own. :)

activating the gamma ray
Any variation of this grip works fine as long as your forefinger doesn't lie across the button on the bottom at the same time as you're pressing the top one in with your thumb. To turn it back off, just flip it over and press the (now top) button in until you feel it "snap".

This is a continuous-on switch, so once it comes on, you don't have to keep squeezing like you do with some other lights.




[image 2cr2016 cells]
When you buy a Gamma Ray, be sure you have a size 00 phillips screwdriver in the house, as you'll need that to change the batteries.
Start off by removing the four screws and setting them aside. Turn the Gamma Ray upside down so the "OFF" side is facing up, then gently pull the case halves apart. Remove the two batteries, and replace them with new ones; laying them in the holder with the flat (+) side up. Be careful that the LED doesn't fall out and fall prey to the big horrible vacuum cleaner later on. Now, lay the loose half of the flashlight (the part with "OFF" on the button, remember?) back in place, and screw in the screws.

Because the screw holes are plastic, please try not to overtighten the screws or the posts with the screw holes in them may strip or break off.

Personally, I found changing the batteries easier than I thought it would be, given the unusual switching mechanism.



The Gamma Ray comes in a transluscent plastic case with rubber grips on the sides and rubber domes over both sides of the switch.
It is advertised as being "weatherproof", and although it appears it would survive being used in the rain, you shouldn't dunk this one in the pond or bring it in the hot tub with you. I was later advised it could survive a short "bath" in up to 2 feet of water, though it will probably leak if you actually try to use it underwater.
I dropped the test sample in my fishtank for approximately 10 minutes, then towelled off the outside and took it apart. Except for a *tiny* amount of moisture directly under the button seals right along the case/button interface, the light was completely dry inside and was immediately reassembled & tested. Works just fine, thank you very much.

The unit as a whole appears to be reasonably durable, although I wouldn't want to overtighten those screws when changing batteries because the plastic screw posts may come off or strip if excessive force is used.
The Gamma Ray was stepped on by a 250 pound person with street shoes on no pile, no padding carpet, and was unaffected. Throwing the light on the floor has no apparent effect on it either. It just kind of bounces around like a deflated football, and comes back for more.

The unit comes equipped with a swivel connector and a standard split ring type keyring already affixed to a hole on the tailpiece, so there's nothing to assemble once you take it out of the package. The swivel connector is a welcome plus, since you have to spin the flashlight 180 from turning it on to turning it off. This ensures the key connector won't twist or refuse to turn when you spin the light around to shut it back off when you've finished using it.

The most unique aspect of the Gamma Ray is its switch. It functions as a true on/off switch (not just a momentary button), and has an unusual action to it. I've never seen a flashlight of any kind with a switch like this. I've described how to use this switch in an earlier section of this article.

The rubberized buttons are strongly embossed with "on" and "off", and they activate easily with a firm press of the thumb. So it shouldn't "go off" in your pocket when you don't want it to.

The LED protrudes from the end of the Gamma Ray, and as such it may be prone to scratching or marring if dropped or if the flashlight is kept in a pocket full of keys and coins for a long enough period of time. Normally, minor scratches and scuffs won't seriously degrade the beam though, so don't worry if you see a scratch or two in it somewhere down the road.


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Intense blue beam shooting out of the Gamma Ray.

Measured 15,000mcd on my meter. Unit had been used very sporadically for less than 4 minutes total over the last week prior to taking this measurement, so the output should still be close to "like new" brightness.




TEST NOTES:
As you have probably figured out, I've been quite busy between testing a LOT of new lights and redesigning my website, so updates haven't been as fast and furious as before. However, since it has been asked of me, I'll "fast track" the Gamma Ray ahead of some others and try to finish my testing on it a bit more quickly.



Light while on. The entire body glows an eerie, electric blue when used in the dark.




UPDATE 01-10-02:
Testing was initially halted because my small Phillips screwdriver (needed to access the battery compartment) had become damaged. I have since purchased a whole set of them, and this evaluation can now continue.


UPDATE 11-03-03:
I received another Gamma Ray from Nichia today, along with several LEDs. They do not make the flashlight, but one of their LEDs is in it, and the Nichia logo appears on the top of the flashlight.

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Picture of the flashlight itself.
It comes in a translucent purple body, with dark grey grips on the sides and dark grey on/off buttons on the top and bottom. And it has, of course, a Nichia NSPW500BS white LED in its business end.

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Here's a beam shot of it approximately 12" from the target.
Peak brightness was measured at 25,100mcd on a Meterman LM631 light meter.


Spectrographic plot
Spectrographic analysis of the LED in this flashlight.
USB2000 spectrometer graciously donated by P.L.



UPDATE 07-26-06:
I received a Nightbuster Klik-It in late-2002 while I was in the rest home recovering from (Crash Course in) brain surgery; it just now turned up. It appears to be identical in all aspectas to the Gamma Ray; except that it has a green LED in it.

So, without further adoo, here are the photograps, intensity measurement, and spectrographic analysis of it:


Photograph of the flashlight itself.


Photograph of its beam on the test target at ~12".
Measures mcd on a Meterman LM631 light meter.

Spectrographic plot
Spectrographic analysis of the LED in this flashlight.
Ocean Optics USB2000 Spectrometer on loan from TWO-CUBED.


PROS:
Very unique and (so far) reliable switching mechanism.
Brilliant blue light
Rubber moulded grips on the sides
Swivel attachment means you can't tangle up while switching it on & off
Seems reasonably durable for the price


CONS:
LED is exposed and vulnerable to damage
Some people may object to the side spill & glowing body.
Requires tools for battery change
No momentary-on mode


    MANUFACTURER: Flipo Group
    PRODUCT TYPE: Keychain style LED flashlight
    LAMP TYPE: LED, Blue, 5mm
    No. OF LAMPS: 1
    BEAM TYPE: Medium spot with ring artifacts
    SWITCH TYPE: Snap action buttons - see article
    BEZEL: None
    BATTERY: 2 CR2016 lithium coin cells
    CURRENT CONSUMPTION: Not yet measured
    WATER RESISTANT: Yes
    SUBMERSIBLE: Yes, possibly to 2 feet
    ACCESSORIES: Batteries, swivel keychain w/ splitring
    WARRANTY:

    PRODUCT RATING:






Gamma Ray * Flipo Group LTD (http://www.flipo.com)



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