Reviews

Greenforce F2 Umbilical Torch

In general I like greenforce products, I was once the proud owner of an 'Anniversary Special' a super bright torch with a hugh output that unfortunately 'died' on a regular basis which can be quite disconcerting when in the bowels of a wrreck in Chuuk. So as a substitute Greenforce supplied me with an F2........

That was a few years ago and I can honestly say that I have had no problems with this unit, it's been reliable and robust but before my opinion what do the manufacturer say?

150W output with a 90 minute burn-time, now this may not sound a huge burn-time but even on long run time dives by the time you've been in water for 90 minutes you will be decompressing in less than 20m of water so no real need for a super duper strong torch!

Depth rating of 350m, well no issues there, it will be more than adequate for technical dives around the UK, if I'm wrong and any of you reader regulary dive to 351m plus....well your have significantly larger balls than me!

It's supplied with a battery holder, ah well this is where I diverge from Greenforce and prefer to use a metalsub pony clip to secure the battery to the side of my 'box.

torch battery

You are going to need a clip, the metal-sub pony-clip is ideal!

Ok, so what 'additional extras' will you need to purchase, well apart from the clip to secure the battery or something a little more robust than the nylon bag I would recommend that you buy a goodmans handle. These are available from Greenforce so will match your torch or from a plethora of on-line suppliers who can supply handles that vary from adequate to less than, the choice is yours!

torch head

As a tackle tart I do like matching handles....

I have used this torch now for a significant amount of dark and dirty dives and it really is ideal, I know that my back-up torches are from other suppliers but for a primary I really like this unit. The torch has a wide beam which can be adjusted for a narrow or wider beam giving some level of personal setting, I like as wide a beam as possible and I am happy to loose the more penetrative aspect of a narrow beam to have a larger area where I can see 'things'. The thing to bear in mind is that you can only adjsut your torch in very shallow water, Greenforce believe down to 5m, so set the beam at the surface and leave it alone!

Now, being HID you do need to be a little more 'controlled' in using it, the manufacturer gives a couple of clear rules which you really should abide by when using a HID bulb:-

Rule 1 : Once the light is switched on you should leave it running for more than 3 minutes; and
Rule 2 : Once switched off leave it for at least 30 seconds before switching it on:

My issue is that switching on and off is via twisting the torch, a set-up that I hate with vengence but there was no option when buying thuis umbilical torch, I believe that the new metalsubs have a magnetic switch arrangement...much better in my opinion!

For those of you who don't want to use HID or have had bad experiences, well there is a kit available to change to a four LED system. This isn't cheap and to convert your torch would cost about half the original price....your choice is to buy a new LED torch, or convert your broken HID unit common sense would say that you would take the first approach but you may want the peace of mind that a new torch offers and ebay the old broken unit for spares. A new charger alone costs nearly £100 so you can certainly generate some cash.

The charging times are low and the charger has a clear LED indicator to let you know the exact state of the battery so fast flash leave the battery and a solid light its fully charged, easy and fool-proof!

In common with all dive equipment you will need to maintain this equipment, there are three connections where you will need to regularly strip, clean the o rings and re-grease and it goes without saying that it is imperative to thoroughly soak the torch assembly in fresh water after every dive to prevent the formation of salt crystals that could cause sealing problems.

Richies rating 8/10, just don't like the 'twist on' functionailty of torches it doesn't fill me with confidence, apart from that it's spot on!

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