Photon v. ASP Battle Royale

PHOTON v. ASP, Salt water immersion
Ok, I started the ASP on part 4 of the Photon test- with Photons in tow. This is the salt-water dunking. The impact test just wasn't in the cards at 101°F in the shade- never mind at the water (so the fishing didn't happen either). I'll try to beat on the other ASP this week with stepping and throwing/dropping.

Anyhow, here's the scenario. Similar to the Photon pictures last week (I'll get the pics to Spark later today/tomorrow for posting of this test)- pint glass of SALT water from the Atlantic, same orange Photon I've become accustomed to beating on, a blue Photon with lanyard attached to the marker and the ASP clipped onto the Photon. The ASP has a binder clip on teh switch to keep it on. The initial pic will show all 3 right before their swim.

11:20PM Instantly upon dunking the ASP begins to bubble, as water goes in the bottom edge and fills the casing. Possibly a couple of bubbles from each of the Photons.

11:21 After 1 minute, the ASP is noticacbly dimmer- Photons: no change.
11:22 2 Minutes: ASP dimmer still- bubbling more (?), Photons- maybe slightly dimmer.
11:24 4 minutes- ASP is dead- no light at all. Photons still glowing brightly.
11:50 30 minutes into test, Photons are still glowing brightly- very little, if any, change from before test began. ASP spews some cloudy substance into the water- ewwwwww- then bubbles some more.
11:55 35 minutes: ASP is removed under the assumption it's not going to get well sitting in the water.
ASP drains into sink/paper cup, spewing some more substance that vaguely resembles battery acid or rust. Hit (not too hard) corner of ASP on the sink to remove as much water as possible. Hmmm- sink now has these neat stains that won't rinse off. Picture shows offal in sink and cup- unpleasant. Even more so if the stain is indelible and wife sees it.
Play with that later. Rinse with clean tap water. Hit some more.
12:00AM Use hair-dryer on ASP to try to dry it out. Light comes back on! Super dim, however- almost like when you can't shut the Photon off when it's soaked- it will when it's dry. This appears to be the same situation- where the leads and batteries are wet and minor contact is maintained. Pressing button yields little to no increase in light. More hair dryer. Seems ineffective- no changes.
12:15 Slightly bored. Drop Orange Krill into salt water for fun. Go read a book.

Time passes.

2:44AM Boredom sets in. Photons are still going strong in the salt water. The ASP is on the desk, barely alive. Decide I'm sleepy. Also decide if you've dropped your photon in salt water, after 3.5 hours, you're not going to find it anyhow. Thus, Photons are removed from water- emitting their own cloud of "stuff" as they go. Water has a nice orangey-tint from all of the lights. See the pic later on.

2:46 Hit Photons on edge of sink to get water out- use elastic and lanyard to generate more force. No damage and some water comes out- clear water, however. Run entire assembly (keyring, lanyad/clasp under fresh water to clean. Towel Dry. Lights won't shut off and are dim in the "OFF" poistion. Full brightness in the on position.

Krill suffered no problems, no leaks, no corrosion- just rinsed off and towel-dried. Works fine. Note to self: need to go fishing.

2:54 Since I can, I decide to open up Photons and dry (and take pictures) them out. Upon opening (see pics) note there is some corrosion along the pins of the orange and some right at the base of the bulb- not the leads (gold plated)- in the blue. All batteries show some corrosion. With water and tissues it comes off the batteries and lamp. Some remnants remain on case and switch, which LUDT takes off with aplomb. Photons are now dry and 99% visibly corrosion-free.

3:17 Re-assembly. Photons are back to their old selves- orange seems possibly a little weaker, but it wasn't a new battery by any means- probably had 2-3 days usage on them already before any testing was done. ASP still sits on desk- dim. Take a picture of all 3- Orange, Blue, then ASP on the right.

3:32 Phew! Stains come off the sink with some 409 and paper towels- she'll never know!

3:38 Photons resting in the OFF position, waiting for next punishment. ASP is still slightly glowing, as you'll see in the picture with the note and if you look close- the time is on the corner of the computer.


8:30 ASP ever-so-slightly glowing- almost dead.

8:45 ASP is dead. Long live the ASP. Well, apparently not.

It would seem the ASP doesn't handle salt water immersion very well at all. I'm not going to waste my time/money seeing if fresh water will have the same effect on the other ASP I bought- I suspect it will allow the light to last longer than 4 minutes under water, but not in any significant way.

Ok, next question- looking for input here. Do we "test" the warranty procedure of ASP (cheesey IMO since I did do this on purpose) or do I dissect it and see what happened inside? You can see some rust/corrosion still on the case where it leaked. Opinions please.

I'll beat on the other ASP for impact and stomping fun later on. Back to work.

Nor'east Knives

There are two rules for ultimate success in life.
Never tell everything you know.

Jedi Knife

May 6, 1999
Thanks Tim!

I'm glad you took the time and trouble to perform these tests, and tell us about it.


Very interesting. Have you tried a KiLite, Capsule-Lite, KeyLED? For that matter how about those $30+ LED flashlights? There are 3 different brands (LEDTronics, Tek-Tite and Mellenium Light) that I have found in the net. But after trying a 3-diode bulb for regular flashlights from LEDTronics I decided not making any more LED purchases. To satisfy curiosity I bought a Photon I and will be buying a Photon II but so far nothing is changing my mind. And I'm considering a Yellow LED for my Mini-Maglite (just try and find that one

The battery burntimes and shelf-lifes (most have lithiums) for these keychain LEDs were attractive on paper but once I got a Mini-Pocket and Blast that didn't matter. The Photons are nice and small but I've never noticed my Blast in my pocket. (What did I just say?) I haven't done any testing but I'm sure they will survive all your tests and then take it to the next level. Plus I don't need a screwdriver to change the batteries. The Photons are one BF Member standard issue I will not be adapting. That doesn't mean I'm right though.

[This message has been edited by David Williams (edited 06 July 1999).]
Glad to oblige.

Well, my job isn't to proselytize, thankfully, because that's extra work I don' want to be bothered with. There are more than enough people who do like the Photons, ASPs, SureFires, Streamlights, LEDtronics etc. to make anyone happy buying or selling any of them.

I've not done testing on any of the others you mention (KiLite, Capsule-Lite, KeyLED, LEDTronics, Tek-Tite and Mellenium Light). The LED Tronics held no interest for me- but your pocket Blast {WHAT?!
) as well as the others you mention sound interesting. Since I'm so busy breaking things, could you be so kind as to post links to these others? Thanks.

Tell me what you need for the yellow LED (size, powerhandling, wavelentgh) and I can probably get you one or steer you to one.

Nor'east Knives

There are two rules for ultimate success in life.
Never tell everything you know.
AH- Princeton! I must have missed the brandname on the Blast. Thanks. I've seen them, but if I'm carrying something that size, it'll be my UKE2AAA or SF3P. Otherwise the Photon and and carely'd mag and SF 6&9 are preferred.

Thanks for the link.

Nor'east Knives

There are two rules for ultimate success in life.
Never tell everything you know.
I guess my question on the LED for Mini-Maglite sounded more like a request than a challenge. If you are interesed check this out; it is the last item of the page.

In my quest for the ultimate flashlight I found lots of lights and bought several. For putting on my keychain I bypassed the Photon/ASP and got the Underwater Kinetics Mini-Pocket. That was recently replaced with a Princeton Tec Blast though either will do as they are almost the same.

If I was vague (Again. Comes from avoiding accountability in government work.) in which lights I actually had, here are the manufacturers sights: and for the Mini-Pocket and Blast. You and Walt seemed to be up to speed on flashlights so I assumed you would know what I was talking about. BTW gave JP that link for IMO. If you would like help finding anything else flashlight related on the net ask me I've probably seen it.

Again, this time with more substance, I don't think there is anything wrong with the Photons or ASPs in design or construction. I'm just wondering what the fuss is about. Has anyone needed a light but it wasn't working because they accidently dropped of a building then somebody stepped on it then kicked it into the ocean? If it is counted on for use and doesn't work with little or no abuse applied then that is another matter. I'm not trying to single your test out or anybody elses for that matter and it would be nice to know that these or any other light can take some abuse and still work. But, well... I would like to know their limits to I guess.

I would like to know what you sell. I do plan to buy a couple of Krill Lites from you still. I have figured out you sell Photons, ASPs and Krill Lites. Are there any other flashlights/lights you sell? What brand knives do you sell? Do you sell multi-tools? Is this a side business? Do you plan to have a website? Can you email a list of what you offer to me? (

[This message has been edited by David Williams (edited 06 July 1999).]
Go ahead and cut open the ASP. I'd like to know whats inside myself. Its in the name of research.

Be a bit careful with this type of testing. Larger Lithium batteries can explode violently in water, especially salt water.

i've heard a few people mention the carley-ized maglites, and i was wondering what this entailed and how much of an improvement it makes? is this done to the 2AA minimags, or is it done to the larger ones(i have a spare 2AA one kicking around someplace)
sorry, im not up to speed on this whole flashlight thing, i dont even have a photon yet(i will order one soon though)
Tim? Are you there?


Mr. Falanagan sells Carley Lamps. They fit the full size C and D cell flashlights. If you want a xenon bulb for your Mini-Maglite you need to call Brinkmann and ask for a xenon 2.4v bi-pin bulb for the NexStar flashlight, they fit the Mini-Mag also. They're $2.50 plus shipping for a pack of two. This is the only source for xenon bulbs that fit the Mini-Mag I have found so far.

I don't like the Photon and haven't tried the ASP. I seem to be the only one of this opinion though.

[This message has been edited by David Williams (edited 09 July 1999).]
thanx, i was just wondering about that since i had seen a few references to that on here(ive been lurking for a while)