The Tektite Mini-Trek is an uncommonly bright 1-LED flashlight that runs on 3 AAA cells arranged in an unusual triangular side-by-side configuration, so the flashlight is not long and skinny. It has a large clip built in, so you can clip it to baseball hats, pockets, belts, or whatever else (thin material; not more than 1/4 of an inch) you want. It also has a bite tab on the back, so you can hold it in your mouth if the job requires you have both hands, and you aren't using a hat.
The Mini-Trek comes with a black lens hood (glare shield) that you can remove and replace as you see fit.
The Mini-Trek is ready to use right out of the package. It comes in a plastic "clamshell" package that is easy to open; just pull apart the two plastic pieces at the top, and take out your spiffy new flashlight.
To turn it on, twist the bezel clockwise (as if tightening it) until it comes on. Turn the bezel counterclockwise (as if loosening it) and the light will turn off. There is no momentary mode, but I don't think this light was made for signalling.
There is a large plastic clip built into the Mini-Trek's body; you can clip the light to any thin surface you wish, such as the brim of a baseball hat, your pants pocket, belt, coat pocket, or whatever.
The Mini-Trek also comes with a bite tab on the back; you can just stick this in your mouth and bite down on it to hold the flashlight. The bite tab has a hole near the end, so you can thread a lanyard of your choosing through it, and carry it around that way.
Now this is where it gets a bit tricky. Start off by unscrewing the head & removing it plus the silvery colored LED assembly. Tip the flashlight body upside down and throw out the single battery that comes out. Now, take a ballpoint pen or similar instrument and press down on the battery labelled as "2 (-)" on the outside of the barrel. Move the battery with the pen so it's in the center of the opening on the flashlight. Turn the flashlight barrel over, tap it in your hand if necessary to get that battery out. Repeat with the last battery, labelled as "1 (+)" on the outside of the barrel.
To reload this flashlight, place a new AAA cell in the flashlight body at an angle in the "1 (+)" slot, button (+) end up. Use your pen to press down on this cell and move it all the way into its chamber. Now, insert another AAA cell, negative (-) side facing up, and positive (+) side down, so that the (-) side goes onto the spring for it. Use your pen again to tilt the cell fully vertical in its chamber. Finally, drop the third cell straight in, button (+) side facing you. This cell sits higher than the other two, and does not need to be pushed down.
Place the silvery LED module into the barrel, LED facing out. Then screw the lens assembly on, and loosen it a bit when the Mini-Trek comes on.
The advertised runtime is 20 hours on "high", and an additional 75 hours of "usable light".
The Mini-Trek appears to be rugged and durable, as other Tektite products are. Dropping the flashlight certainly won't break it, and neither will letting it rattle around in a toolbox or car trunk. So don't be afraid to USE this flashlight; you don't need to baby it like some other flashlights.
If you wish to use the flashlight "candle style" by setting it upright so its beam reflects off the ceiling, you can remove the black plastic shroud from the bezel, set it on a flat surface face-up, and set the Mini Trek tailfirst into the hole. The flashlight can be balanced this way fairly easily.
One thing I noticed almost immediately was that "angry blue color" that a Nichia white LED emits to let you know it's being overdriven and it's really pissed. I think Tektite already knows this, as they quote the LED life at 10,000 hours, rather than the 100,000 hour figure touted by LED manufacturers and most other LED flashlight makers, whether they overdrive their LEDs or not.
The flashlight's light turns an overall shade of light cyan about 1 second after being turned on. This of course, is with new Duracell alkalines in it. Once the batteries run down a little, I think it'll stay white instead of turning that "angry blue color".
Beam photo at ~12".
Measured 34,000mcd on a Meterman LM631 light meter.
Notice that bright blue "pissed off" color in the center.
With new batteries, the rest of the beam has a light cyan tint.
Sample was provided by Scott Mele of Tektite earlier this year (May 2003 now that I've checked). It is now in its initial stages of testing. I apologise for the delay in getting it on my website.
Brighter than most other 1-LED flashlights
Included glare shield is removeable & replaceable
Uses batteries that are cheap and easily available
Overdrives its LED significantly, especially on new batteries
Batteries can be a pain in the toilet muscle to change
Beam is a bit funny - may take some getting used to
PRODUCT TYPE: Small handheld LED flashlight
LAMP TYPE: 5mm LED
No. OF LAMPS: 1
BEAM TYPE: Wide spot with bluish die image in center
SWITCH TYPE: Twist bezel on/off
BEZEL: Integral lens in bezel with removeable black lens hood
BATTERY: 3 ea. AAA cells
CURRENT CONSUMPTION: Unknown/unable to measure
WATER RESISTANT: Yes
ACCESSORIES: 3x AAA cells
WARRANTY: Unknown (probably lifetime)
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