When you first get a CMG Sonic, the first thing that you notice is the size. It is really small, even smaller than the Infinity light you may already have. And the red one kind of looks like a dog pee-pee, but you certainly can't confuse the two when you turn the Sonic on!!!
The Infinity is a bit large to go on your keychain, but the Sonic isn't.
The next thing you'll notice is that the Sonic is around twice as bright as an original Infinity (about the same as an Infinity Ultra, or even a bit brighter), so you can use it for jobs the original Infinity just isn't quite bright enough for.
To use the Sonic, you'll need to feed it first (see below) and affix the keychain attachment to the Sonic's tailcap if you wish.
To attach the keychain attachment, thread one of the two rings on the ends of the keyring attachment through the hole in the Sonic's tailcap. I ended up having to use the awl on my swiss army knife to get the ring open far enough to get through the hole in the Sonic's tailcap. You may have to use an awl or similar instrument, or you may be able to use a fingernail if they're strong enough. Once you have this on, it stays put. And you only need to do it once, so I won't bitch about it anymore.
To get light, screw the tailcap in clockwise (as if tightening it) and the Sonic will come on. Unscrew the tailcap counterclockwise (as if loosening it) to turn the Sonic back off. If you unscrew the tailcap about 1/10 to 1/8 of a turn after it first turns off, you can have momentary light by pressing the tailcap inwards. Unscrewing it about half a turn more engages the LOTC (Lock out tailcap) function, and the light will not come on at all, even if it's squished in a box or bag.
To change the single AAA cell, unscrew & remove the tailcap, and set it aside. Dump the dead battery in the disposal container of your choise, and insert a new AAA cell in the barrel, button end (+) first. Screw the tailcap back on, and back it off about 1/2 a turn when the Sonic comes on.
Runtime is advertised at 10 hours peak, 40 hours useable.
Current usage with the new Duracell AAA cell it came with was measured at approximately 215 milliamps.
The CMG Sonic appears to be durable and well-made. It's about 5mm longer than an Arc-AAA (when both are off); another 1x AAA 1x LED flashlight you can get. The Sonic comes with a funny looking nylon keychain attachment with a small metal split ring at each end, so you can hang it from your keys or from a lanyard of your choosing.
The case is anodized aluminum, and it appears to be quite water resistant. So you shouldn't have any concerns using the Sonic in the rain, near rivers, creeks, snowbanks, beaches, puddles of wolf pee, fishbowls, toilet bowls, sinks, tubs, or other places water may be found. I don't think the Sonic is dive-rated though, so you'd better leave it in the boat if you go scuba diving.
There is a slight bluish cast to the Sonic's hotspot; however this is perfectly normal for white LEDs and does not in any way indicate a problem with the flashlight. The bluish tinted hotspot is easy to get used to, but things will look a bit different in the Sonic's light if you've been using incandescent flashlights and have never used an LED flashlight before.
The brightness of the Sonic's beam is excellent for a 1 cell 1-LED flashlight. I measured over 25,000mcd at 12 inches. This is brighter than the CMG Infinity Ultra and the Arc-AAA, two single cell LED flashlights known to have good bright beams.
Beam photo at ~12".
That's pretty darn high for a non-lensed, non-reflectored white LED.
Spectrometer plot of the LED in this flashlight. Ocean Optics USB2000 Spectrometer on loan from TWO-CUBED.
Sample of a CMG Sonic was provided by Battery Station several days ago (around 08-05-03 or thereabouts), and as of 08-08-03 it is just now being evaluated.
Sonics will be available in black anodize, silver, ice blue, and red. All have a white LED.
I received this rather disturbing report from a Sonic user this morning:
I have a Sonic (actually I have 3) I like the light very much. But (here’s the but) every now and then I find when I take my keys out of my pocket, the end cap is the only thing attached. Is there any retrofit or any suggestions to keep this from happening? I check it a lot but it still seems to happen.
And here's the reply he received from the Gerber/CMG representative:
Thank you for contacting Gerber Blades regarding the Sonic. There really isn't anything that can be done. There should be an o-ring on the barrel of the handle at the base of the threads and that will help secure the end cap. Make sure when you turn the light off that you do not turn the end cap past the o-ring. If you have any other questions, please don't hesitate to email.
This does not appear to be a widespread problem, as this is the first instance that I've heard of.
I received another email from the same Sonic user this evening, which states:
The Gerber rep suggested Teflon tape on the threads and that has worked great, its much harder to rotate the cap (varies with how much tape you want to use).
I received an email and a photograph from a user of the Sonic this morning, and was given permission to use the following photograph:
This is a photograph of a "Hillman Easy Release Key Ring".
As I understand, it spins or rotates, so when the Sonic is affixed to it, the Sonic's tailcap cannot unscrew itself.
From his email, comes the following text:
There are two really cool things about using something like this. For one thing it prevents your keys from twisting the tail piece off. For another it's nice if you have a lot of different flashlights.
You can connect your keys easily to a bunch of different flashlights on the fly.
Good brightness for a 1-banger
Uses cheap and commonly available battery
No rattling sound when shaken
Looks a bit like a dog urinator (especially the red one); the odd shape may take some getting used to :-/
Consumes more current than some other 1xAAA 1xLED flashlights.
MANUFACTURER: CMG Equipment LLC
PRODUCT TYPE: Small, keychain sized LED flashlight
LAMP TYPE: 5mm white LED
No. OF LAMPS: 1
BEAM TYPE: Central bluish hotspot with softer corona
SWITCH TYPE: Twist tailcap on/off
BEZEL: LED recessed inside the head
BATTERY: 1x AAA cell
CURRENT CONSUMPTION: 215 milliamps
WATER RESISTANT: Yes
SUBMERSIBLE: Not stated, but probably not
ACCESSORIES: 1x alkaline AAA cell, keychain attachment
WARRANTY: Limited lifetime
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