Fake Regenerative Flashlights

Discussion in 'Fred's House of Pancakes' started by 8AA, Jan 27, 2007.

  1. 8AA

    8AA Active Member

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    I just got back from the Auto Show in Washington DC and while I was there I checked out the Toyota Mobile Hybrid Experience. For participating, one of the items that Toyota was passing out was a pretty nice rechargable flashlight, the kind that you shake to recharge. A pretty good souvenir, especially since it is somewhat relevent to regeneration and the storage of energy. It's nice and small and I thought that it would be good to keep in the car. In fact, the box that it came in says "Great for cars, campers, boats, cabins, or emergency kits!" It's pretty bright, but while I was looking at it I saw that instead of a capacitor, it had a couple of button cells. That seemed unusual since I didn't think that there was such a thing as a rechargable button cell. Closer inspection reveled that the leads from the induction coil weren't even connected to anything.

    I was pretty disappointed and at the same time surprised that someone would create a flashlight that had the components to appear to be a rechargable flashlight, but was really a cheap disposable. This doesn't seem to fit the expected Toyota philosophy, so I suppose that they were deceived by a less than reputable supplier. However, I wonder how many potential buyers will be influenced by this cheap flashlight with the Toyota logo on it.
     
  2. darelldd

    darelldd Prius is our Gas Guzzler

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    The only thing I can tell you for certain is that there ARE rechargeable button cells. I have worked with a guy who makes solar-recharged button cell lights that are the bomb.

    But anyway... yup, they exist. So if you shake this thing it gets no brighter? Have you left it on for a few hours? Really, this just amazes me that anybody would try to pass something like this off. Especially if they already paid for the coil and installed it, etc. Why put it in the light if it isn't used? That makes no sense whatsoever. You're SURE there are no traces that connect the coil to the battery?
     
  3. 8AA

    8AA Active Member

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    Thanks for the information about the button cells, I did not know that there were ones that are rechargable.

    The flashlight has a nice clear case, so it is easy to see that the leads from the induction coil are not connected to anything. It also appears that the circuit board is designed for a shake-to-recharge flashlight, but the components for rectifying the current are missing. All that is installed are the two button batteries, a resistor, a switch, and the LED.

    I'd like to think that the flashlight manufacturer either deceived Toyota, or had to rush the flashlights into production and skipped some steps. Either way, it reflects poorly on Toyota who is a leader in quality control and product reliability.
     
  4. qbee42

    qbee42 My other car is a boat

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    I've seen these fake rechargeables sold at dollar stores. They have a coil of fine wire not attached to anything, and a piece of steel rod cut to look like a magnet. The deception comes from the manufacturer and importer. I imagine Toyota thought they were getting a really good deal on imported rechargeable flashlights.

    Tom
     
  5. daniel

    daniel Cat Lovers Against the Bomb

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    It would be easy enough to test: leave it on until the light dies; then shake it for a couple of minutes and see if the light comes back on.

    I have a shake-to-charge flashlight and it's really cool. However, it's a lot of work. A better gadget I also have is a combo radio/flashlight that can be charged by its built-in solar array or by turning a crank, which is easier to do. I believe this thing has a rechargable battery rather than capacitors, like the flashlight. And, unlike the shake-flashlight, the radio/flashlight has a bulb, which is a disadvantage
     
  6. hycamguy07

    hycamguy07 New Member

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    I too have a regenerative flashlight its the size of 2 c-cell. When I first got it the directions said you must shake it for two minutes.

    Note; You should not shake it while driving a van in traffic. It may give the wrong perception.. :blink:

    Anyway The one I have is still holding a charge, even after a month of no use. B)
     
  7. John in LB

    John in LB Life is good

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    <div class='quotetop'>QUOTE(priusguy04 @ Jan 28 2007, 09:43 AM) [snapback]381960[/snapback]</div>


    Come Again?

    Was that a "Chick Magnet" or a Flashlight?


    :D :lol: :p B)
     
  8. DaveinOlyWA

    DaveinOlyWA 3rd Time was Solariffic!!

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    i have one of those flashlights and its set up like yours. have had it for probably a year and all i can say is... we need a couple thousand of those button cells in the Prius because the light is still going strong.

    granted, other than a stretch in Nov (power outages) only use it occasionally, but one night, used it at least a few hours and yes, my left arm is now bigger than my right because of it.

    afaic, until Toyota officially manufactures flashlights, i would not lose any sleep over this.
     
  9. daniel

    daniel Cat Lovers Against the Bomb

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    <div class='quotetop'>QUOTE(priusguy04 @ Jan 28 2007, 09:43 AM) [snapback]381960[/snapback]</div>
    Mine loses its charge after a week or two of no use. But then it only takes a couple of minutes of shaking to charge it up again. Another minute and the light is significantly brighter. Definitely not for everyday use, but great to stick in a drawer for emergencies: no worries about a battery going dead, or leaking and ruining the flashlight, and no worries about a bulb burning out.
     
  10. qbee42

    qbee42 My other car is a boat

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    <div class='quotetop'>QUOTE(daniel @ Jan 28 2007, 11:02 AM) [snapback]381931[/snapback]</div>
    You don't need to test them; the circuit is right there for all to see, and all it is is an LED, a resistor, two button cells, and a circuit board that is really just a crude switch. Nothing else is connected.

    Tom
     
  11. TheForce

    TheForce Ron Paul 2012

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    Can you get some good macro pictures of this flashlight? Maybe take it apart?
     
  12. Tempus

    Tempus Senior Member

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    <div class='quotetop'>QUOTE(John in LB @ Jan 28 2007, 01:02 PM) [snapback]381964[/snapback]</div>
    He said his was a '2 C-Cell' - A Chick Magnet would be the '5 D-Cell' version :)
     
  13. 8AA

    8AA Active Member

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  14. TheForce

    TheForce Ron Paul 2012

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    <div class='quotetop'>QUOTE(8AA @ Jan 28 2007, 09:46 PM) [snapback]382115[/snapback]</div>

    Your link does not work. :(

    I would contact their marketing department just for the hell of it. You never know they might send you another free broken gift. :)
     
  15. 8AA

    8AA Active Member

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    Sorry, the PriusChat Photo Gallery is down, so I posted them on Yahoo. I forgot to make them publically accessable, but the links should work now.
     
  16. TheForce

    TheForce Ron Paul 2012

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    All I can say is WOW.

    Thats not a real magnet?

    Could the wires have broken off?

    Not seeing a CAP on that circuit board makes me believe you on that this thing is fake.

    I would shoot the guy in charge of making this. They put all that work into it ( circuit board, resistor, batteries, LED, switch, a good length of wrapped wire, a metal?? rod, and plastic ) and it dont even do what it was meant to do! Add a CAP and a magnet and this thing would be functional.

    But I guess when it comes to free stuff beggars cant be choosers.

    I would scrap that thing for parts. Use the LED for some kind of cool mod. Batteries could be use for another device that would need them. The wire and the small rod might be useful for something. Keep the plastic in case you ever meet the guy in charge of making it and shove it up his crap hole.
     
  17. San_Carlos_Jeff

    San_Carlos_Jeff Active Member

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    <div class='quotetop'>QUOTE(theforce @ Jan 28 2007, 08:53 PM) [snapback]382120[/snapback]</div>
    Link worked fine for me.

    I agree, you should contact Toyota, maybe they will give the vendor a beat down due to this (assuming they didn't know about it).
     
  18. darelldd

    darelldd Prius is our Gas Guzzler

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    <div class='quotetop'>QUOTE(daniel @ Jan 28 2007, 02:59 PM) [snapback]382051[/snapback]</div>
    If you want a REAL light for emergencies that has all the other attributes, just get a quality LED light with Li batteries. The shelf life of the batteries is fantastic, and they'll never leak. And when you need the light, it is ready when you turn the switch on... and bright. But it is probably best not to get me started on LED flashlights. I have a collection that is worth about as much as my Prius. :)
     
  19. orionll

    orionll Active Member

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    I also have got a pair :D . I got them when I went to the San Jose Autoshow and visted the Highway of the Future trailer. I do like the L.E.D.s in them. Are there any other things that Toyota will give away?
     
  20. daniel

    daniel Cat Lovers Against the Bomb

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    <div class='quotetop'>QUOTE(darelldd @ Jan 28 2007, 08:17 PM) [snapback]382152[/snapback]</div>
    Yeah, but how many hours of light will it provide? Mine will provide light forever, and I get exercise too. Li batteries may be great for a car, but just as a pair of sneakers are the best mode of transportation, where adequate, a shake-to-charge flashlight is better than any batteries for applications where you don't need constant light. Besides, shake-to-charge is as cool as the PSD in the Prius.
     
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