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Trek 6000



TREK 6000 (Incandescent), retail $TBA (http://www.tek-tite.com)
Manufactured by TEKTITE
Last updated: May 06 2001


LED Light


The TREK 6000 is a high intensity handheld lantern. Using 6 "C" cells, the lantern's 9 watt bulb shoots an amazingly bright and even spot of light at whatever you shoot it at. The light is made of black ABS plastic and has a G.E. Lexan lens bezel. Two switches - one primary, and one backup, provide you with an almost failsafe way to turn the lantern on and off.

SIZE:



The tested sample arrived in a plastic tube with the batteries already inside and the pistol grip attached to the outside of the tube. Slide the grip into the groove on the belly of the flashlight, and push it forward until it clicks into place. That takes care of the handle.

Install the batteries if necessary, and you're ready to light up the night.

The Trek 6000 comes with the lens pre-set in such a way the toggle switch on the body functions as intended. While holding the flashlight by its pistol grip, move the switch lever to your right, and the Trek blazes to life. Slide it back to the left, and it goes off.

Should something ever happen to this switch, the light can still be operated by turning the clear bezel clockwise (tightening it) until it comes on, and unscrewing it to turn it off. This gives you an extra measure of security that is not found in very many other flashlights.

LED Light
Note how the flashlight is held and aimed with the handy, comfortable pistol grip. As you can see, I'm a lefty. :)





The TREK 6000 uses 6 "C" cell batteries to provide approximately 4 hours of high intensity light.
When you need to change them, unscrew the transparent lens bezel until it comes completely off, then lift out the bulb & reflector assembly. Dump the old batteries in the campfire - wait, no, better use the trash. :)
Place the new batteries in the battery chambers, following the (+) and (-) markings on the open end of each chamber.
Line up the notch in the base of the reflector with the protruding tab where the switch is, lay the reflector onto the batteries, and screw the head back on.

To readjust the switching mechanism after a battery change (to help guarantee that you have both a primary and a backup), turn the switch to the "OFF" (fully left side position), screw the head down until the light comes on, and then unscrew it 1/4 turn. Finish by testing the on/off switch to see that it works, and you're done.
The light comes with instructions that detail this procedure in case you forgot what you read here.
Sure it seems a little inconvenient now, but isn't five extra seconds worth your peace of mind?

Another benefit to this dual operation is that you can set the light so that it will not accidentally activate inside your camping gear. To do this, perform the operation described above except start with the light turned ON, and finish by turning the switch to the fully off position before putting it away.




My sample arrived with some minor problems, so let's wait here until I get things fixed up correctly before I start beating the piss out of it.

This flashlight, originally intended as a diving light, is by far the brightest incandescent I have ever seen. The 9 watt bulb really packs a punch, and according to the directions, the beam can be tightened even further by just changing the faceted reflector with a smooth one. Doing this will make this into a diving light (or a landlubber's spotlight!) that can penetrate even farther.
Testing this for myself resulted in the transformation of the Trek 6000 from a light with an even, slightly widish beam into a light with a tight, narrow central beam that would put a good police flashlight to shame.

The Trek 6000 is not meant for use in "candle mode", either by removing the reflector or by balancing it on its heel. Although it will stand if balanced very carefully, it really isn't meant for this purpose.

Light comes with both the pistol grip (the most common usage) and a tail ring for slinging it to a lanyard. Due to the light's weight, pistol grip operation would be most comfortable.

A feature touted in the packaging is its degree of water resistance. It has a little brother (the Trek 400) with a virtually identical construction and identical adjustable switching mechanism which was meant to be a diving light. I have no reason to believe the Trek 6000 will be any less water resistant, but I won't be checking this feature until I've gotten the test sample working 100% correctly. Parts are on the way, so it shouldn't be very long.

The Trek 6000 comes with a lifetime guarantee (I've already put mine to use) so you need not worry about breaking it. As is usual for good flashlight guarantees, bulbs, batteries, and intentional abuse are not covered. Flashlight abuse by children under 5 is probably also exempt from the warranty. :-o


LED Light
Light blasting a hole through my test target. :)
That pitiful blue tinge on the right is a C.C. Expedition with 7 LEDs!
This picture is with the faceted reflector the Trek 6000 came with.

This flashlight is so bright, I will have to find some new ground to test on. When the people in the luxury hotel across the street start closing their curtains and reaching for the phone every time I pick up a flashlight, it's probably time to quit while I'm still ahead. :)

TEST NOTES:

A replacement sample was received on March 31. In this sample, the two battery springs and a piece of adhesive (epoxy or similar) were found rattling loose inside the casing. This was judged to be a minor inconvenience and does not affect the light's performance, as the battery tension holds the springs in place in their fitted chamber once batteries are installed. Subsequent removal of the batteries did NOT cause them to fall out again.

The switch (a component that was defective on the first sample) appears to function properly in this one.

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

UPDATE April 04 2001:
Sample was dropped once from approximately 4 feet onto linoleum, landed face first at an approximately 40 angle and promptly extinguished. Failed to work again even after lamp replacement.

Failure mode analysis has determined that the batteries were crushed by the impact; their button-ends mooshed down just enough to prevent contact. Replacing them initially restored operation, however the secondary "twist-on" switch no longer functions; only the lever switch still works if the head is tightened down completely. The contacts on the reflector base do not appear to have been distorted, so I'm uncertain as to what may have happened.

The lamp that was in-use still works, although its filament is all bent out of shape and it will produce an irregular, unfocused beam.
This is to be expected of any PR-style lamp bulb that's dropped while in operation.

The next logical step here is to try to pull up on the lower battery springs that may have been overcompressed during the test and see if stretching them out like that helps. Mr. Spock says it should, as does Lt. Cmdr. Data.

Well, it would appear that Spock's logic was faulty. Stretching the lower springs had no effect - light turns on and off with the lever switch, but not with the backup twist-on, twist-off mechanism. I'm just thankful it works at all, and you would be too if you got stuck out in the trees and dropped your Trek 6000 into a rocky streambed or onto the harder ground often found above the timber line.
This is one example of why outdoors people always carry a backup light! (UPDATE!!! Apparently, this fault was caused by a damaged battery getting mixed with the good ones - subsequent examination and reassembly with new batteries resulted in a light that works properly!)

UPDATE April 30 2001:
Light measured approximately 1,100 foot-candles, making it easily the brightest light I have of any type. This is similar to what a Surefire E2 measured, except the Trek has a wider beam that's just as bright as the E2's for the entire width of the spot.
If it were concentrated into the E2's smaller beam size, it would easily double in brightness.

Note on storage issues: The pistol grip easily comes off, making the light easier to store (in a suitcase/bag) than previously thought.

Note on breakage issues: Most of the problem with this lies with the sheer weight & mass of all those batteries. Even though the Trek 6000 is built like a battleship, even a battleship will sink if you torpedo it just right. Damage from the first big drop test was actually sustained by the batteries, not the flashlight. All six batteries had their positive buttons punched inwards almost flush after a moving drop of approximately six feet, but there was no visible damage to the Trek 6000 itself.

UPDATE May 06 2001: A thorough examination of the flashlight found no damage, and the original reflector & lamp base from the drop tested sample worked properly when reinstalled. Damage was apparently only to the batteries. I speculate it failed to work because a damaged cell got mixed in with the good ones, preventing contact when the head was tightened. This will affect the "durability" rating of this product.


PROS:
Uncommonly bright, waterproof, adjustable switch (allows for primary & backup), large & comfortable pistol grip handle, interchangeable reflector, uses common batteries.

CONS:
Doesn't do well when dropped, especially if it hits face first (see above for the 4-30 and 5-6 update). Awkward shape could mean possible storage/stowage problems (see 4-30 update), one of the heaviest flashlights.


          MANUFACTURER: Tek-Tite
          PRODUCT TYPE: Pistol-grip handheld flashlight
          LAMP TYPE: Incandescent, PR flange style, 9 watts
          No. OF LAMPS: 1
          BEAM TYPE: Medium narrow spot with soft edges, corona
          SWITCH TYPE: Twist-on bezel, side-action lever
          BEZEL: Clear lexan bezel, faceted or smooth reflector
          BATTERY: 6 C cells
          CURRENT CONSUMPTION: Unable to measure
          WATER RESISTANT: Yes
          SUBMERSIBLE: To 1000 feet
          ACCESSORIES: Alkaline batteries, detachable pistol grip
          WARRANTY: Lifetime




                PRODUCT RATING:

                DURABILITY: 8
                BRIGHTNESS: 10
                USEABILITY: 8
                BATTERY LIFE: 7
                BATTERY AVAILABILITY: 10

                OVERALL SCORE: 43




TREK 6000 * WWW.TEK-TITE.COM



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