Review

Lumintop Prince (Brass) – Review

Lumintop asked me if I wanted to review a series of flashlights for them so I said yes. Over the coming weeks I will be posting my written and video reviews with a few photos.

The construction and fit and finish of this light is impressive. The front emitter and tail are both made of brass. The light comes vacuum packaged to keep the brass in a pristine shiny state. As soon as you open it, the brass will start to oxidize and distress. I found this to be a fast process, within a few days your light will start to take on a lot of character. You can always seal the metal first thing to preserve the shiny look or use a metal polish to “restore it”

The center tube is internally made of copper for heat dissipation, with the outside having a carbon fiber weave with what looks like a few brass wires in it to set the look off from normal carbon fiber. This middle section is the best place to hold on to the light when it starts to get hot from continual use on high. The end cap is brass as well and holds the tail click button. I will talk more about that below. The light is IPX-8 rated for about 6 feet. With a battery installed this isn’t a lightweight light, it’s a very solid somewhat heavy but it’s a powerful tool too. Mine with the included battery weighed in at 5.7 oz.

Lumintop Brass Prince

Brass Prince 2

The light quality is good. This light uses a Cree XM-L2 U2 LED Chip and I would call it a neutral color. The light on high mode produces 1000 lumens and will run for a quoted 2.5 hours. I think this is pretty accurate as the brightness compares to my other 1000 lumen lights. On medium it produces 170 lumens at 11 hours, and on low 25 lumens for 65 hours. The light has a glass lens that has double antireflective coating on it, with an o’ring to seal it to the body. The reflector is mirror like and smooth. The LED itself has a lens over it too. I would call this light between a thrower and a flood. It has a narrow angle reflector but the beam spreads pretty easily.

The head (brass) really does get very hot on high. I would guess north of 130F after about 10 minutes of high use. The carbon fiber parts and the rear stay cool enough to touch. On the lower light outputs, the heat output are not a problem. It might be a good idea for Lumintop to put in a thermal controls to dim the light if it gets over a level where the outside could burn you.

This light is turned on with a large button in the tail cap. The button is flat and made of metal a milled aluminum it looks like. It has the lumintop logo on it and it spins freely. The switch feels pretty good but has a little side to side play. The switch can either be On or Off and used in ½ presses to change modes. I do like that it’s flush as this light will tail stand. The light has only 3 modes as I covered above, a high, medium, and low mode. No special flashing etc. There is also no memory modes.

This light has a slim long “Deep carry” style clip. It really is tight to the body of the light and makes the light very secure in your pocket or its included pouch. On my brass model light it’s made of a polished stainless steel. It uses torx screws to attach to only one point of the body of the light. It is removable.

The Lumintop Prince comes with a nice full grain leather case. The light fits tightly in it with the pocket clip to one side. It also has a belt clip. It’s a nice upgrade over a typical nylon “tactical style” holder. The leather makes sense for a classy light. The case has a spot on one side for a spare 18650 battery as well which is nice.

Brass Prince leather case

The light came with a Lumintop 18650 lithium ion battery that’s 3600mah but did not include a charger. This battery says it’s one of the popular NCR18650B models made by Panasonic. I have no way of verifying that it is actually a Panasonic battery. When I got it, it came at about 3.7v. I charged it in my Nitecore D2i charger at 500ma and it was full 5 hours later before it read 4.2v (Full). I have a charger that prioritizes safety over speed and I am ok with that. Never leave your lithium ion batteries unattended when charging. Safety first. The battery life has been great with this cell, no trouble at all with it so I would say it’s probably a real Panasonic cell because of it’s high quality.

18650

The materials of this light set it apart and make it a luxury light. It’s non tactical and probably fits most people in most situations better than a tactical light. This would make a great gift for someone if combined with a nice, safe, lithium battery charger (Assuming they didn’t have one). I like the light and have been using it a lot. For it’s size it’s performance is great, the heat is a bit of a concern if used on high for a long time but that’s to be expected for such a high lumen light. Overall I recommend it.

If you are interested in purchasing this light, please click my Amazon link. http://amzn.to/1V9X50I

Lumintop has offered me a 20% off discount code for my fans by using the code PZKZTJFB 

Make sure the seller is “LUMINTOP DIRECT” to make sure the code works to get your 20% discount on all Lumintop products. The code is valid through 12/31/2016

To see the entire store where the discount is valid https://goo.gl/UkmNlN

Homeownership Life Tech

Networking the House

For years I had wanted to network my house with ethernet. The reason I wanted to do this was I was tired of somewhat poor wifi performance and some other things. Despite having a “good” signal strength my actual performance was not great especially with streaming video inside the network. I had been using a combination of wifi and powerline adapters and while that worked it wasn’t great with having to reboot things from time to time as well. Another reason was my city is going Gigabit over the next couple of years from two announced providers so  far. No way my current setup was going to stand up to gig internet. Lastly was interest in moving data to a NAS for drive redundancy. Having recently suffered a few drive scares, even though files are backed up to the cloud, having some drive redundancy is the way to go if you can. I wanted a gigabit wired network in the house to access everything.

 

I started by thinking more seriously about this, going so far as to using Sketchup to create a blueprint of sorts of the layout of my house and marking where I wanted wires to go. I then talked to a friend who had done the same thing to his house and got the advice of people on a few different forums too.

 

The plan in general was to put 2 drops in each room, usually on opposite walls where possible and in each location a minimum of 2 wires per box. This included a total of 4 lines to the Garage, 4 to the living room, 6 to the office, 4 to the master bedroom, etc. So most rooms were between 4 to 6 lines total. I also put in a drop for access points on my main floor where I spend most of my time. Lastly I put in a drop in the attic to all 4 corners of the house and over the front door for future security cameras. Overkill yes, but well while you’re doing it you might as well do it right.

 

I also put in “Blue Smurf” conduit that runs from where services enter my home to my rack. Anticipating the fiber service in the future I figured this would just make things simple and give a service provider a better reason to refuse to run an extra 20 ft of fiber.

 

All of this terminated in the basement on the unfinished side near my HVAC equipment. There I pulled a new 20A circuit with GFCI to power the equipment. I installed a ¾” piece of plywood that I painted and attached to the studs of the wall. There I installed a 12U wall mount rack and terminated all the Cat6 runs. I grounded the rack to the water pipes above and installed some leftover LED’s in the top of the rack.

 

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What did I learn?

  • You need more wire than you think, a lot more wire. In my case I bought from monoprice a few months before  1 box of 1000ft CAT6 thinking initially that would be more than enough. I was not even close. Total amount used was 2586 FT in the walls. Pulling a bit more than that for slack on either end. I really didn’t estimate originally with much thought into it. So the suggestion here is to be more accurate when  you plan and then add some for additional runs, slack, and mistakes. It’s also a lot easier to pull 2 wires at one time out of the box then measure, pull, cut, and attach to another to do your pull. So my advice is buy more wire/really measure.
  • I used what’s known as “Fishing Rods” to pull twine from the basement to the attic and then between floors. They are cheap but super useful. Could not have done it without them.
  • If you’re going to the hardware store for 1, buy 2 and return it if you have to. Spray Paint, zip ties, clips, old work boxes etc, were all things I needed more of than originally planned. Luckily I drive by a big box hardware store twice a day on my way to and from work so it was an easy stop. It’s also an easy return process but I could have saved time by just buying more and returning once.
  • When pulling wire, it goes faster to have 2 people and two boxes. Having a friend help is pretty valuable. I was thankful to have a buddy who was a journeyman electrician help for about 2-3 days.
  • Hole saws VS Twist bits – When trying to put a hole in a wall stud or floor joist a hole saw makes a lot nicer hole that’s larger than a twist bit. Eye, ear, and knee protection are all good ideas at various times too. The right tool does the job.
  • Headlamps are a must. I had been meaning to get one for a while and finally did. Being able to work in a dark attic hands free is fantastic.
  • Velcro not Zip Ties – Zip ties become brittle when they are exposed to extremes in temperature like in an attic and will break in short time. Velcro on the other hand is far more durable and is easy to secure to a stud with a screw.
  • A cable Toner and Cable Tester are super useful. Sometimes labeling is off or smudged a toner makes quick work of this. I verified all my ends after putting them on with the Fluke Cable tester I borrowed from work. 99% success rate the first time, but now I know it’s 100% right after a fix.

 

Would I recommend spending all your free time over the course of about 3 weeks wiring your house with CAT6? Of course I would. I went a bit overkill and had some project creep as one of my friends put it. It’s just really nice to be able to have a reliable fast network in the house. For instance I have my Plex set at the highest possible bit rate now. I can play any file without it buffering.

 

So what’s planned for the future?

  • NAS – Need to do more research here and decide if I want to build from an old PC or buy an enclosure. Having 4-5 disk redundancy will be nice. I would like it to play nice with my a cloud backup service as well.
  • New Router and Larger Switch – Right now my old but Reliable Asus RT-N16 keeps on working until the Gigabit fiber service arrives. I also only have an 8 port Gigabit switch. When I find the right deal on a 24 port gigabit switch I will upgrade switches. Not sure yet on a new router, I need to do more research. For now however this equipment works with the wired setup.
  • Access Points??? This will play into my router decision, if I want to go with a consumer router or something more enterprise and then go with an enterprise wifi system kind of like an Ubiquiti system?
Instagram

From Instagram: The goal was a beef curry but we made a fantastic beef stew instead. #tw #wp

The goal was a beef curry but we made a fantastic beef stew instead. #tw #wp
on Instagram: http://ift.tt/1mVKzZF

Life Tech

Jawbone UP2 band fix

I liked my original Jawbone UP24 however it broke and Jawbone replaced it with their new model the UP2. Newer means it should be better right? I would say different, but probably not better. My chief complaint with my UP2 was that it would not stay on my arm very well. The clasp was too easy to knock off when out doing things, even simple walking it seemed to come off for no reason. I was concerned with losing it so I went online looking for an answer. I ended up bending the clasp a bit to put some more pressure on it after seeing this post, this definitely helped but didn’t solve the problem. I then saw a suggestion on Reddit to use an O-ring. That post has disappeared from what I can tell now so I decided I would make a new one with new photos to show the fix. Since doing this my band has not fallen off once.

Up2 Band Fix

I went to the corner neighborhood hardware store into the plumbing section and found o-rings in the sink rebuild area. The o-ring cost me $0.49. The size I used was a #7 O-ring which is ½  x  3/8 x 1/16 in size.

o-ring
You can put the O-Ring on the band or the clasp with similar performance. I hope this helps everyone fix their Jawbone UP2 bands.

Instagram

From Instagram: There is always something special about a @huskers night game. #GBR #tw #wp #Huskers #LNK

There is always something special about a @huskers night game. #GBR #tw #wp #Huskers #LNK
on Instagram: http://ift.tt/1S7NebO

Instagram

From Instagram: F-18 Flyby #GoBigRrd #Huskers @huskers #USA #wp #tw #LNK

F-18 Flyby #GoBigRrd #Huskers @huskers #USA #wp #tw #LNK
on Instagram: http://ift.tt/1N5DZrw

Instagram

From Instagram: The #perseid #meteor #Shower last night. More to come soon. #tw #wp #LNK #NEWX

The #perseid #meteor #Shower last night. More to come soon. #tw #wp #LNK #NEWX
on Instagram: http://ift.tt/1NcGyt6

Instagram

From Instagram: More #Nebraska #lightning from Saturday mornings storm near #LNK #NEWX #tw #wp

More #Nebraska #lightning from Saturday mornings storm near #LNK #NEWX #tw #wp
on Instagram: http://ift.tt/1ID4wbt