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Division 2 Responder



DIVISION 2 RESPONDER (Incandescent), retail $TBA (www.flashlight.com/pdf/500305.pdf)
Manufactured by Koehler-Bright Star, Inc. (http://www.flashlight.com)
Last updated: 03-05-07


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The Division 2 Responder is a special UL safety-approved flashlight, designed to be used in hazardous areas and situations. The rugged, mostly nylon unit can be operated from either C cells or a rechargeable battery pack, and uses a 4 watt halogen lamp to produce a bright, long-range beam.

SIZE:


This flashlight comes in two basic styles: one using 4 alkaline "C" cell batteries, and one using a 4.8V 1.8Ah nickel cadmium rechargeable pack.
The version I'm testing is their Model 500305 UL Division 2 using disposable batteries.
It is the same version as the rechargeable and can be switched over at will.

The sample came with batteries already installed; yours may or may not come this way.

To turn on the Responder, firmly press the large switch on the right side of the head (as the flashlight is facing away from you); press it again to turn it off.

The unit uses a 4 watt halogen type PR-base lamp, which of course will eventually need changing. To access the lamp and the provided spare lamps, unscrew the black lens ring until it comes free. If you face the flashlight towards the floor when doing this, the reflector will come out with the lens and stay in there. Grasp the old lamp (when cool!) and pull it straight out. Remove a spare from one of the two receptacles provided for them inside the flashlight head, and push it straight into the lampholder. Halogen lamps are sensitive to contamination like skin oils, so you might want to handle the new bulb with a folded Kleenex or clean cloth when taking it from the spares compartment and installing it into the lampholder. If in doubt, after installing the new lamp, wash the glass bulb with alcohol & a tissue or clean cloth, and dry it with a tissue or a dry cloth before putting the light back together.

To reassemble the flashlight after relamping it, lay the reflector onto the lamp (the lamp fits in the hole) and screw the lens ring back on tightly.



The version of Responder tested uses 4 alkaline "C" cells. To get the batteries out, loosen the two captive screws on the base, and pull the base off; wiggling it gently if necessary. Dump out the dead batteries, and install four new ones, following the polarity indicators inside the battery compartment.
Press the base straight down onto the body, and while holding it down, tighten the two screws.

These screws are captive, and are not designed to be unscrewed so much that they fall out. Loosen them only enough to release the base.



The Division 2 Responder is one tough cookie. The nylon body is without question, unbreakable. The body of the flashlight can easily survive being run over by heavy vehicles like ambulances or fire trucks; and the head shouldn't do too badly either, as long as you don't just punch something through the clear lens. No amount of drops, falls, bangs, and kicks will do this light in.
Testing by Koehler-Bright Star indicates the Responder will survive a 30 foot fall.

In my testing, impact damage so far has been limited to the light bulb, which was very quickly and easily changed out, using one of the two spare lamps that came with it.

On the back of the light, protected behind the metal belt clip, is what appears to be an explosion proof pressure relief valve, which should help prevent the flashlight from blowing up should the batteries overheat and begin to outgas. This should not be tampered with, adjusted, removed, or defeated.

The Responder comes with a glow in the dark front label (telling you what the light is) and another glow in the dark ID label on the base for recording your name, department, company, or for placement of other identifying marks as you see fit. The body of the light is a fluorescent greenish yelolow, which stands out strongly in virtually any light.

On the back of the Responder is a very beefy spring steel belt clip, secured to the light by two screws. This clip secures the Responder to any suitable area; a belt, shoulder harness, safety harnesses, or your handy-dandy fireman's outercoat pocket. A keyring also comes with it, fitting into a loop built into the metal belt clip; this allows for more versatility such attachment to a shoulder strap or coat clip.
A pair of holes in the flashlight's heel can be threaded with a lanyard for even more versatility.

The light stands up on its own, so it can be set somewhere and left burning - leaving your hands free to attend to whatever disaster you are dealing with at the moment, be it fighting a fire or digging the camp toilet.

The switch placement on the side of the head looks a bit awkward at first, but when you grasp the light, your forefinger "automatically" lands right on top of it with just a flick. For you lefties, your thumb fits right there just as easily. In fact, I found it "easier" to use it left handed than I did with my right.

Now, as for its UL , CUL, and CSA safety certs... I'm no expert, so I'm just going to list the certifications embossed into the back of the Responder:

  • Class I, Division 2, Group A, B, C, D
  • Class II, Group F & G, Op. Temp. Code T2C
These certifications are only valid if certain conditions are met, and these are: Using 4 Alkaline or Zinc Carbon "C" cells, one NiCd pack model 500200, and bulb types halogen H-13, krypton KPR-13, or standard PR-13.
So it's still pretty versatile in what parts you can use in it and still maintain safety certification.

I think it's pretty safe to say you can use the Responder in most environments, including some of the more nasty ones like battling a burning petroleum cracking tower or rescuing the dog from a sewerpipe.


LED Light
Another light that can blast a hole through my test target. :)



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


ProMetric analysis
Beam cross-sectional analysis.
Image made using the ProMetric System by Radiant Imaging.


The beam of the Responder is prefocused, and is very tight, as prefocused flashlights go. Testing this light to its limits may be problematic, as I live in the densly populated retail core of a major city, and there's no place to run from all the damn sodium vapor streetlamps. But on my last outing, a night baseball game, the light had no trouble reaching out 100 feet or better. Rated beam intensity is 60,000 beam candlepower with alkaline cells, and 45,000 beam candlepower with the lower voltage rechargeable pack.

TEST NOTES:

Testing on this sample will be ongoing, as I still need to determine maximum range, battery life, and water resistance.

Flashlight is most suited for long-range illumination, not for short range or close-up tasks - though like any flashlight it will do in a pinch.
Stated battery life is 5 hours with alkaline cells, 2 hours with rechargeable pack (recharges in 1 hour in any of the Responder quick chargers). Bulb life, barring sudden impact or other abuse is 50 hours.

An excellent flashlight for those who tend to have problems with breakage or anger management.

LED Light
Very narrow beam illuminating a fake plant about 20 feet away.
This is about as far away inside my home as I can get from a test target.

UPDATE 06-13-01:
The flashlight leaked when placed in a sink of water. It will handle splashes and rain OK, but keep this one off the bottom of the pool.
The leak occurred around the bezel & lens assembly and the water was confined to the space behind the reflector; the battery compartment remained dry.

Any updates related to this review will be posted as they happen.




PROS:
Very bright narrow beam, less yellow than other incandescents, uses common batteries, offers option for rechargeable battery system, big reflector makes excellent use of the halogen lamp. Also extremely well-built, rugged and dependable for an incandescent. You simply can't ask any more of an incandescent with this bulb type & cell count.

CONS:
Awkward 90 shape could take a bit of getting used to if you're used to regular cylindrical flashlights. A bit on the heavy side.


          MANUFACTURER: Koehler-Bright Star
          PRODUCT TYPE: Handheld angle-neck torch
          LAMP TYPE: Incandescent halogen
          No. OF LAMPS: 3 (one in-use, two spares mounted inside)
          BEAM TYPE: Narrow, irregular hotspot, wide corona
          SWITCH TYPE: Pushbutton on/off
          BEZEL: Ribbed bezel with clear lens. Large, smooth reflector
          BATTERY: 4 C cells, or rechargeable pack (see article text above)
          CURRENT CONSUMPTION: Not yet measured
          WATER RESISTANT: Yes
          SUBMERSIBLE: No, but will survive dunkings
          ACCESSORIES: Batteries, heavy duty split ring, spare lamps
          WARRANTY: TBA




                PRODUCT RATING:

                DURABILITY: 10
                BRIGHTNESS: 10
                USEABILITY: 7 (beam too narrow for some uses)
                BATTERY LIFE: 8
                BATTERY AVAILABILITY: 10

                OVERALL SCORE: 45

Product rated as-is; I was not able to test the rechargeable battery option.



DIVISION 2 RESPONDER * http://www.flashlight.com/pdf/500305.pdf



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