A Review of the Streamlight Pro Tac 2 AAA Tactical Penlight

Just for the record, I do not own the featured image on this page. It is actually the property of Streamlight Inc.

Since my teens, I have been a self-taught computer technician.

I had become considerably proficient at fixing computers in my early twenties and by my thirties, people are frequently coming to me for a repair or at least consulting me for advice.

I guess I can say that I am a computer nerd. And I am proud of it!

However, there are those that want to make trouble with people like me.

And then there are those who just want to make trouble.

There are people like these even in the best of workplaces.

Then there could just be someone off the street who wants to commit a robbery, I mean computer equipment is very valuable and computer repair equipment is also somewhat valuable.

How does one defend oneself against such a belligerent individual?

I mean, they are probably more fit physically and carrying a weapon of any sort is at best heavily regulated and at worst downright illegal.

Meet the tactical flashlight!

Specifically, meet the Streamlight Pro Tac 2 AAA model, which this piece will be a review of.

I have owned three of them, but misplaced two.

I bought my first one in January of 2018, then another in March of 2018 and my current one in March of 2019.

I EDC my current one with the rest of my computer repair tools for self-defense purposes, rather than general or specific illumination.

This neat little flashlight is slightly longer and thicker than an ink pen, meaning it can be tucked away in a backpack or purse and not noticeable until needed.

The Streamlight Pro Tac 2 AAA can be programmed to three different configurations, which is a feature known as “TEN-TAP® Programming.” The three different modes are:

1. high/strobe/low

2. high only

3. low/high

I have kept mine set on the default high/strobe/low configuration (more on why in a bit.)

The LED light engine has somewhat generous specs, at least for its hardware setup:

High Mode features a 130 lumen 70-meter beam, runs for 1.75 hours and has a beam intensity of 1,230 candelas.

Low Mode features a 20 lumen 30-meter beam, runs for 13 hours and has a beam intensity of 230 candelas.

Strobe Mode runs 3.5 hours and is available for signaling help or disorienting an opponent for defensive purposes.

This flashlight is somewhat water-resistant and has a rating of IPX7 which means the unit is waterproof to a depth of 1 meter for 30 minutes.

It is also impact forgiving and was tested to withstand a fall from a height of 2 meters.

It is constructed of a very durable and abrasion-resistant machined aluminum with a Type II Mil-Spec anodized finish.

The openings are O-ring sealed to keep harmful fluids out.

The glass lens is more robust than say a polycarbonate lens.

It is 5.62 inches (14.27 cm) long and weighs 2 ounces (57g) with batteries installed.

So how is this flashlight a potential self-defense instrument?

I will explain:

First off it is made of a hard Aluminum.

Then, the front bezel is scalloped making a semi-sharp striking weapon.

Finally, it features a strobe which can disorient an attacker, especially in darkness.

The idea is one knows he or she will near any trouble makers to have this flashlight in a place where it can be quickly deployed.

Then if confronted by a violent or threatening individual, especially in the dark, the idea is to activate the strobe, which is done by two quick presses of the switch and shine it in the opponent’s eyes. As the opponent shields his or her face, the next step is to either run away and get help, or to stike the opponent as hard as you can with the scalloped bezel. Places to hit would be the face, eyes, throat or temple as hard as you can. When the impact is made, push and turn into the point of impact as this will break the skin and cause more pain and therefore more stopping power. There are a few videos on sites like YouTube that can show how to execute these movements with better precision and effectiveness than what I am simply describing on my blog. Yes, this methodology turns a small flashlight into a potentially lethal weapon. The good part is that, while it is not considered a weapon legally, it, therefore,may be carried almost anywhere.

Also for the record, I am not liable for any criminal or legal penalties you, the reader, may incur for using this as a weapon. Take my advice and the advice of others at your own risk.

Unfortunately, we live in a society that punishes people for simply defending themselves, even against armed and dangerous criminals. This is a curse that seems to be falling onto the entire Western World.

However, it is better to be judged by twelve than carried by six.

I would advise using this only if the opponent is wielding a weapon, has battered you first or has demanded your property.

This is meant to be a defensive, not an offensive weapon.

Still, it can be a legal equalizer without the red tape, obligations, and requirements of a concealed carry weapons permit.

My one complaint about this flashlight is the faulty pocket clip.

That design needs to be completely redone, as it was the faulty clip that malfunctioned and caused me to misplace my first two.

I keep my third one in a dedicated compartment of my EDC backpack with my computer repair tools and if I felt the need to carry it, I would clip it to my pocket but rather store it deep in my pocket.

I wish the LED could also be at least 200 lumens instead of 130, but that I pushing it, I get it.

All in all, I give this product a 4.75 out of 5 stars because of the faulty pocket clip.

If the pocket clip were as robust as its 2 AA sibling, I would give it a full 5.

This, therefore, concludes my review of the Streamlight Pro Tac 2 AAA.

I hope you, the reader, have been informed and entertained…

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A Review of the Victorinox Cyber Tool S Swiss Army Knife

For the record, I do not own the featured image. It is the property of Victorinox.

As I’ve frequently mentioned before, I am a self-taught computer technician.

Repairing computers is one of my more useful hobbies.

Since July of 2018, I’ve added to the items that I everyday carry when working on computers.

I still have everything previously mentioned except for the Baval branded case, which broke on me-I was sorely disappointed.

In addition to the Incandescent Mini Maglite (which is carried with these items just for general personal lighting in a post EMP situation), a Texas Instruments TI-36 X Pro (which is for assisting a computer programmer or computer scientist, though probably overkill), an Energizer HardCase Inspection Light (for looking inside a tower or mainframe while it is running) the usual USB flash drives and a Victorinox Cyber Tool S (which is for actually having to open up a computer and what this piece will be a review of.) I have since added an additional flashlight, a 2 AA Streamlight ProTac in march of 2019 (mainly for personal illumination protection should I be needed to work on a computer in a shady area or be confronted by a trouble maker in any area.) These items are all kept in a dedicated compartment of my Wenger SwissGear EDC backpack.

I have been using Swiss Army Knives on and off since 2005.

I purchased this particular Swiss Army Knife (a Victorinox Cyber Tool S) in 2018 and it is currently my favorite one.

I use this mostly for when I am working on computers, but I will also open a canned meal with it or if I have to cut something open. Though the blades are some of the sharpest steel I’ve ever encountered, I wouldn’t advise using this for self-defense purposes unless nothing else is available. I see this as much more of a tool for nerds than a weapon for a fighter.

This is what Victorinox had to say about its awesome product, “We took the traditional Officer’s knife functions and added tools like a bit wrench to match new standards in the electronics industry. And that legend continues into the digital age with the CyberTool pocket knife. It’s everything you need to become a superuser.”

Victorinox is a very reputable manufacturer, that should be common knowledge. I mean they’ve been around since 1884. And Victorinox is a Swiss firm, which I believe the Swiss are the world’s finest craftspeople, change my mind! For the record, I am not Swiss, but I do indeed admire them as a people and a sovereign state. I’ve purchased their products many times before and they have always served me well. Furthermore, I have used this particular product frequently in conjunction with my computer repair hobby, so I completely and wholeheartedly agree with their aforementioned statement. The MSRP is 75 American Dollars. Yes, Swiss goods come at a premium price, but they are worth every single penny. Swiss Army Knives easily outperform and outlast all of their East Asian knockoffs and are a hair above their American-made Leatherman counterparts, or so I’ve read. The Swiss take pride in their work, probably more than anyone else, so their products are indeed superior so that is why they have a premium price tag. I justify this purchase because I use my computer repair hobby to assist others, especially since many times cannot afford a new one. Probably the most important lesson I learned at the high school I attended was the importance of being kind to others and I do get a tremendous amount of happiness when I can be a blessing to my fellow human being.

This handy gadget is 4 inches long, 0.8 inches thick and has a net weight of 3.4 ounces. This means that it is lightweight and compact enough to be carried in a pocket and not noticed until needed, but offers a plethora of useful items when deployed!

In addition to the main features of large blade, small blade, corkscrew, reamer, punch, and sewing awl, can opener, screwdriver (3 mm), bottle opener, screwdriver (6 mm), wire stripper, key ring, toothpick, straight pin and tweezers found on many medium sized Swiss Army Knives, there are also the following implements which are indispensible for all computer technicians: a pressurized ball point pen, a precision screwdriver slotted bit which fits onto the corkscrew, a slotted screwdriver bit (size 4), a Phillips screwdriver bit (size 2), a Phillips screwdriver bit (size 0) (Pozidrive), a Phillips screwdriver bit (size 1) (Pozidrive), a Torx screwdriver bit (size 10), a Torx screwdriver bit (size 15), a bit case, a bit wrench, a female Hex drive (5 mm) for D-SUB connectors, a female Hex drive (4 mm) for bits, a Hex screwdriver bit (size 4), and a Torx screwdriver bit (size 8.)

The handle is made of a red translucent plastic known as Cellidor, which means it could easily be located in a backpack when needed.

Actually, Swiss Army Knives are mostly red because there is a lot of snow in Switzerland and they need to be easy to locate should they be dropped in the snow! Probably also the colors of the Swiss Federation are red and white.

This is the least expensive of all the Victorinox Cyber Tool models, yet it has everything I need and even things I probably won’t need, but are still good to have.

The most useful implements in relation to computer repair are the Philips, Hex and Torx Bits. Of course, the Hex wrench that drives these bits is equally important.

These bits have just about every size needed to open up a computer and even a disk drive for the most advanced of users!

Honestly, if Victorinox could make a Cyber Tool without any knife implements, but instead had those important bits and a high capacity flash drive (such as 128 GB or 1 TB) where the knife blade would be, I would definitely save the money and buy it. The reason why I could want such a high capacity flash drive is to store all of the image files of the Linux distributions that I download. Also, if such a tool existed, it could be taken to school without the owner catching a charge and on a plane without getting confiscated. This would be a hit with IT students, professionals and even amateurs like me.

As I’ve said before, the knife implements are some of the sharpest steel I have ever seen and felt, but I would much rather a flash drive in their place.

The can opener implement would, of course, be useful for getting lunch out of a can in the break room or just to have should the power fail and one needs to eat canned food.

The bottle opener implement would be useful for drinking beer or high-quality soft drink after a stressful day when all the equipment had a mind of its own.

The wire stripper on the bottle opener implement would be useful for any computer technician should he or she have to assist maintenance personnel with wiring a receptacle or switch.

And I could take or leave the corkscrew, but I fully understand it could have a use when opening that bottle of bubbly to celebrate a career milestone.

The precision screwdriver bit that attaches to the corkscrew could be used to perform minor repairs of eyeglasses on the fly, Lord knows most computer repair people both amateur and professional will need some sort of eyewear because of all the reading of screens, components and motherboards that ages the eyes prematurely.

I don’t have any complaints about this product whatsoever, I just wish a more legal version was available.

This, therefore, concludes my review of the Victorinox Cyber Tool S.

I hope I have been informative and entertaining.

Back to “Product Reviews”

All of the Industrial Grade Flashlights I’ve Owned-Written from 2013 a Conversation on CPF

Back in February of 2013, I was consulted on Candle Power Forums because I had frequently talked about industrial grade flashlights on there.  So I sent a private message detailing all of the industrial grade flashlights I had owned up to that point.  I had recently added to the list since it was dated.  At some point in 2015 or 2016, I had switched to more tactical models, but I still have extensive experience with the industrial models and they will always have a place in my heart.

 

Without further ado, here is the piece:

 

“…Well, I like the explosion proof models most. I don’t know why except for the fact that they are common in my area (South Louisiana.) We have plenty of sugar refining, oil production, grain storage, chemical processing and people working on boats. Incandescent explosion proof flashlights are significantly dimmer than a flaslight with a Krypton bulb. This is because the surface temparature of a bulb filled with a noble gas is much hotter than a vacuum bulb. This keeps the flashlight’s temparature below the ignition point of the hazardous dust or vapor that it is approved to be used in. I try to buy only American Made lights, but I have experience with both. IMHO I find smooth reflectors out preform faceted ones. I don’t know who brilliant idea (sarcastic) was it to start making those durn things. I will attempt to list, describe and review every industrial flashlight I have ever owned or used.

Rayovac Industrial 2D (1990’s version.) I have had mine since February or March of 2000. It is actually the flashlight that I have had the second longest. It has always preformed wonderfully and has a uniform beam. It came with a powerful, high quality PR Krypton bulb. It is American Made. Bought it from Wal-Mart when I was 13. Faceted reflector.

Eveready Industrial IN-251 (1990’s version.) Made in Macau. Incandescent. I had one for over a year from 1994-1995. From what I remember, it was VERY bright for its time. I remember one night I was playing in the backyard at dusk and my neighbor [and uncle by marriage] was coming in from working in the shipyards and I shined it at him from about 200+ feet away. He acknowledged it by shining his bigger and brighter flashlight at me. He also likes flashlights, in fact it was him who gave me my first flashlight. (playskool 2c lantern.) This was probably the flashlight that made me interested in industrial flashlights. The bulb blew finally and instead of buying a new bulb, my mom bought me an Eveready Value flashlight (the good 1980s-90’s version.) Came with a high quality PR bulb. Smooth reflector.

Eveready Industrial 1151 (very similar to previous model, 2000’s version) Made in China and no where near as good as the 1990s version. Bought several around 2007-2008. Unless I got used to brighter lights, this one seemed dimmer. Faceted reflector.

Rayovac Industrial MSHA (1990’s/2000’s version.) I bought one at an aviation supplier and hangar in 2006. It preformed just like my original Rayovac 2D, just not as bright. This is because it uses a standard PR bulb and not a Krypton bulb. I lent it to my aunt during Hurricane Gustav and never got it back. Smooth reflector.

Eveready 1251 (2000’s version.) I’ve had several of these and I plan to buy another. It is American Made. Almost as good as the Rayovac Industrial 2D from the 1990s. It also uses a high quality Krypton PR bulb, but is slightly dimmer. This is because of the contact point at the bottom of the bulb socket. It easily gets oxide on it and that comprimises the connection. Produces a uniform beam. Bought it from my local NAPA auto parts store. I gave the damn thing away. Faceted reflector. UPDATE: I also have a few of the 1990’s versions of the Eveready 1251 and I must say that they are brighter somehow and just look cooler in general.

Eveready 1259 2D and 1359 3D (1990s versions.) I currently have each. They are not as bright as their Krypton counterparts, but they have a much better connection system at the base of the bulb socket. Instead of a Copper or Bronze contact at the base of the bulb socket, it has a stainless steel wire coil. This makes a very solid connection and with fresh bulbs and batteries, it produces a decent amount of light for its class. They are both American Made. It does not produce an even beam and that is about the only drawback for a light in its class. Got the 1359 off ebay and the 1259 from Motion Industries. Smooth reflector.

Bright Star 2618 2D Incandescent (2000’s version) and 2618 LED (2010s version.) American Made (shame.) At first they seem like very good flashlights, especially for their price. BUT stear clear of them! Their switch mechanism, though replaceable, lasts only a few weeks with regular use. I bought the LED version a few weeks ago. Very bright and efficient (40 lumens for 200 hours,) however it also has a failing switch system and gave out within about a week. The good news is that Koehler-Bright Star stands by their products. They sent me a 2217 LED as a replacement. This one has a much better switch and also the LED engine that gives off 40 lumens for 200 hours. The Incandescent came with a high quality PR bulb. The LED produced a perfect beam. Got the 2618 LED from Bright Guy and the 2618 Incandescent fro Motion Industries. Faceted reflector.

Bright Star 2217 2D Incandescent (2000’s version) and 2224 3D (2000’s version.) They have a much better switch system than the 2618. It is more rugged and doesn’t move as much. I have had the 2D for almost 3 years and the 3D for almost 2 years. They are starting to flicker, but ONLY because I tampered with them and shouldn’t have. If I would have left them alone, they would still be working wonderfully. American made and came with high quality PR bulbs. Got them from Motion Industries. Faceted reflector.

Bright Star 1618 2D (1950’s version.) This is the ancestor of the 2618 and works almost infinitely better. It has a similar, but much better switch system than the modern 2618. It also has better contacts at the base of the bulb and metal rings pressed into both ends. I gave mine away because there was something on my shelf that ate the lens. These are getting harder and harder to find and many times they cost much more than what they were worth when they first came out. I personally call it the “Kel Lite of Industrial Flashlights.” It was American made and produced a very uniform beam. Also came with a high quality PR bulbs. Got it off ebay. Smooth reflector.

Eveready 330 2D (1970’s version.) This is American made and produced a decent beam. It worked fine in lieu of its age and came with a high quality PR bulb. Got it off ebay. Smooth reflector.

Railtek 992-321-AG Trainman’s Lantern 6 Volt 908 (2000s or 2010s version. Both LED and incandescent. Has a screw base Krypton bulb which has a specific model number. I am trying to look it up but the site seems to be down or slow. I have no idea what is the country of origin. It was given to me by a railroad dispatcher whom I initially heard on my scanner than looked up online. I have it as a shelf queen, so I don’t know how it would preform under harsh conditions. Supposedly they are very rugged since they are used by conductors and brakemen which are exposed to some of the roughest conditions a job can present. Faceted reflector.

Duracell Industrial-I was given this by some BNSF Railway maintenance of way workers. I seriously don’t know what the issue with this light is. It comes with a decent quality Krypton PR Bulb. The connection is very stable, but there has to be some kind of loss of current in circuitry. But it only gives off 6 lumens on a fresh set of batteries. It is made in Thailand. Beam is dim and ringy. Faceted reflector.

Garrity R300G 2AA Mini Rugged Lite (1990’s version.) It looks like an industrial flashlight and it could be used as an industrial flashlight. It is, however, also marketed to consumers and even children. This was my favorite flashlight growing up. It was made in 1994 and I got my first one in the summer of 1998 (age 11.) I’ve had several of them over the years. They were made in Macau. Garrity is now back in business and I will strongly petition them to bring back this flashlight again. It came with a VERY high quality Krypton PR bulb. Had a ringy, but very focused and uniform beam. The rings were produced by the Fresnel lens. These are now EXTREMELY rare and a fellow CPFer mailed me one. May God immensely bless him. Smooth reflector.

Energizer Hardcase 6 Volt 908 lantern (2006.) Made in China and built like a tank. It floats too. IIRC, it came with a Xenon PR bulb. Could have also made a good self defense weapon. Got one in the summer of 2006, but lent it to my now ex in laws and never got it back. Smooth reflector.

Energizer 4 AA Hardcase swivel flashlight (2000’s.) Made in China. Decent brightness. smooth reflector. Built like a tank.

Rayovac Workhorse 2 AA (1990s version.) Made in Malaysia. Focused, neatly ringed beam. Bright, Krypton PR bulb. I bought one when I was 12 and had it for years until I lost the spring. I even EDCed it on and off as a child and teenager. Smooth reflector.

Garrity G600G G-Tech Floating Lantern. Made in Thailand. This is not as rugged as an industrial flashlight, but it still rugged enough for the outdoors. It has plenty of features to brag about. High quality Krypton PR bulb. Strong, decent beam. I personally called my “fisherman’s lanterns.” I had two of them, [my now ex-]wife bought them for me at West Marine, two of the last three on the shelf. Faceted reflector. UPDATE: My divorce was semi-nasty and I gave back just about everything she gave me, including these lanterns. I told her to give them to her nephews.

Bright Star 575 2D made in USA, shame. (been around for a long time.) Do NOT buy one of these, unless only for shelf display. One of the flimsiest flashlights I have ever laid my hands upon. smooth reflector. I honestly don’t know how these railroad journeymen put up with such a flimsy flashlight, but it is very common among railroad electricians.

Lumilite Industrial 5451 with push button switch 2 AA. Made in China.  Bought one in the late winter of 2004. It lasted until about 2007, then began to flicker. Don’t remember too many details.  Faceted reflector. How do these railroad journeymen put up with such a flimsy flashlight?”

UPDATES (not in orginal text):
Eveready Commander Lantern (1970s version.) Made in Hong Kong. This was probably the flashlight that sparked my interest in flashlights. My Paternal Grandpa (God rest his soul) carried one on his job and also used it into retirement and there is a picture of him showing it to me as an infant. It produces a sharp beam, especially when the PR-13 is upgraded to a KPR-113. It is reasonably rugged, constructed of HDPE. It has a white riveted sliding switch.

Rayovac Industrial 2 D flashlight (1970s version.) Made in USA. I am not sure of the model number, but have one in near mint condition that was supposed to be company issue for the Kansas City Southern Railway. I could see it being rugged enough for an engineer, but not for a journeyman or conductor. However, it does cast a sharp beam and it is bright enough with fresh batteries. It has a smooth refelector and a Fresnel lens. Constructed of rugged enough PP.

Star 292 Conductor’s Lantern (current version): Made in USA. It seems to be built rugged enough, but the internal circuitry is very delicate, so don’t tamper with it. It runs on a 6 Volt 908 lantern battery and has a light for both signalling and car inspection (both KPR113 bulbs.) I’ve had mine since May or June of 2017.

Star 2012 Conductor’s LED Lantern (2012 to present version): Made in USA. It also seems to be rugged enough and the internal circuitry is all electronic, which adds to the ruggedness. It too runs on a 6 Volt 908 lantern battery, but is all LED. There are dedicated LEDs for both signalling and inspection or they could all be turned on. This is probably the most expensive industrial flashlight I own and I keep it as a shelf queen.

Energizer HardCase LED 2AA and 2AAA (mid 2010s to present version): Made in China, but built very well. Bought in December of 2015 and July of 2017, respectively. I use these for working on computers and other electronics. I mist admit the they are rugged (constructed of ABS.) They are also very bright and give off a pure white light. These are one of my favorite Energizer products.

Garrity Tuff Lite 2D and 2AA (1980s and 1990s versions): Made in Thailand. These are built very well and come with high quality Krypton bulbs. I’ve had my 2D model since Christmas of 1998 and it is the flashlight that I’ve had longest! Many men in my neighborhood also had these. The newer Garrity Tuff Lites (starting in 2004, or so) don’t hold a candle to these.

Garrity Power Lite 2AA (1990s version): I’m not sure the country of origin, but I bought a four pack of them in late 2017. They seem to be built fairly decent and cast a sharp pin point beam. They are fitted with Krypton bulbs and have a slide switch system in addition to a monentary on off button. I’m not sure though how much abuse they can withstand, and I imagaine they are on the fence between industrial and consumer grade. They do come with a Fresnel lens and a smooth refelector.
I hope I have been helpful. I hope you, the reader, have been informed and entertained.

A Review of the Uniden BC72XLT Handheld Programmable Scanner Radio

For the record, I do not own the featured image. I downloaded it from Radio Reference.

I have been listening to scanner radios since September of 2002, when I was fifteen going on sixteen.

In those days, I wanted to listen to police traffic, because I was a rebellious teenager and I felt very empowered when I did so.

At the age of twenty-two, I was seeing a new psychiatrist and she advised me that I shouldn’t listen to police traffic because it was too stimulating.

By that time, I was interested in listening to other stuff.

Since 2003 or so, I’ve been listening to retail, security and janitorial frequencies.

In 2011, I began listening to railroad traffic and was actually taught by others to understand what was being said.

Also 2011 was when I became a full blown foamer.

I say full blown because, since infancy I had harbored an interest in trains, but in late 2011 at the age of twenty-four going on twenty-five, I finally had the time to dedicate to my railroad hobby.

In 2015, after learning that railroads will eventually go to Nexedge, I was inspired by a dream in 2015 to start listening to marine traffic

I had been through several different scanners which I used specifically for my railroad and later my marine hobbies:
From December of 2011 until March of 2014; I used a Radio Shack Pro-404, it died on me in July of 2014, but always had receiver issues.
From March of 2014 until August of 2016; I used a Uniden BC75XLT, it worked great until the display failed-more on that in a bit.
From August of 2016 until October of 2018 and February of 2019 to present; I used a Uniden BC72XLT, which this piece will be a review of.

In August of 2016, the display on my Uniden BC75XLT had begun to malfunction. I was strapped for cash at the time and couldn’t afford a new one, so I looked on eBay and found a gently used Uniden BC72XLT for around $50. I purchased it and it came in the mail a few days later.

It was definitely a downgrade from the previous Uniden I had purchased.

For example:

It could only hold 100 memory channels whereas the BC75XLT could hold 300 channels.

It wasn’t narrowband capable like the BC75XLT.

It did not have a dedicated railroad search function.

It couldn’t be charged with USB.

Despite all of this, I find it was built more ruggedly and it was slightly more compact-excellent for when foaming or gongoozling on foot.

While it doesn’t have a dedicated railroad search, it does have dedicated service searches for conventional police, fire/medical, civilian aircraft, 10m/6m/2m/70cm FM amateur radio, VHF marine and weather radio.

This scanner can accept most frequencies between the ranges of 25-54 MHz, 108-174 MHz and 406-512 MHz.

It also has ten custom searches that can be programmed to search between those aforementioned bands.

There is a Uniden Close Call™ RF Capture Technology, which allows the user to detect nearby frequencies in use. This is especially useful for listening to retail or janitorial frequencies.

There is an orange backlit display for reading in low light conditions.

It has a generous runtime on 2 AA batteries.

From 2016 onward I had taken this scanner on just about every railfanning trip I’d been on and it pulls the signals in nicely and it does so even with just the stock antenna. The speaker has decent, crisp audio reproduction.

This scanner has assisted me watching trains in places like Raceland, Louisiana, (almost daily from August 2016 to January 2018), Des Allemands, Louisiana (every Sunday from August 2016 to January 2018), Schriever, Louisiana, (frequently between 2016 and 2018), Lafayette, Louisiana, (October 2016, January 2017, Ferbruary 2017, January 2018, February 2018, March 2018) Lake Charles, Louisiana, (February 2017, February 2018), Livonia, Louisiana, (December 2016), Plaquemine, Louisiana, (April 2016, December 2016, April 2018), Alexandria, Louisiana, (October 2016, January 2017, January 2018, April 2018), Oakdale, Louisiana, (October 2016), Meridian, Mississippi, (November 2016, November 2017), Baton Rouge, (April 2016, December 2016, April 2018), New Orleans (multiple times), Dallas (January 2017 and 2018), Shreveport (January 2017 and 2018), Little Rock (August 2018), Beaumount (February 2018), and Houston (February 2017.)

As for marine listening, this scanner has helped me in places like Houma, Louisiana, Amelia, Louisiana, Morgan City, Louisiana, Bourg, Louisiana, Bayou Blue, Louisiana, Lockport, Louisiana, Larose, Louisiana, Plaquemine, Louisiana, Tallulah, Louisiana, New Orleans, Baton Rouge, Baytown, Vicksburg.

Most of the fire dispatch voice pagers are still in analog FM and I do have their frequencies stored in this scanner.

Usually, I have it in a special slot of the console of my Buick Century and it keeps me informed and entertained.

So, even though it is 2019, there is still a good bit of stuff to hear on a budget friendly, entry level scanner.

In October of 2018, I had sold mine in order to have some extra spending cash.

However in February of 2019, I had ordered another one for about $60. Iinitially, I wanted it because I had planned to take it with me whilst fishing. However, I hadn’t been able to go fishing like I wanted to, but it is still frequently carried by me.

In fact, it is sitting on my computer stand in front of me as I am typing this review.

Even though narrowbanding to 6.25 KHz steps was mandated for 2018, many radio users are still using 15 KHz or 25 KHz steps in FM mode, including the railroads in 2019. They come in loud and clear in most cases. As for marine traffic, they will still be in 25 KHz steps for years maybe even decades to come, since VHF Marine is internationally implemented and regulated. This means that for listening to VHF Marine, this scanner is perfect and will be for a good while.

This scanner came on the market in 2004 and I believe was sold brand new until about 2011 or 2012. In the mid to late 2000s decade, this scanner was common among volunteer firefighters as a cheaper alternative to a voice pager. It was usually clipped to their belts next to the badge and a red Mini Maglite in its Nylon holster. It is now quite common on eBay, usually still in good condition.

I really enjoy this scanner, even though it was never top of the line.

I do give it a 4.85 out of 5 stars because it didn’t come with a dedicated railroad search and it didn’t cover 800 MHz, but other than that it is an awesome scanner radio.

This therefore concludes my review of the Uniden BC72XLT…

Back to “Product Reviews”

A Review of the Pelican 1920 Pocket Sized LED Flashlight

First of all, I do not own the featured image. Pelican Products, Inc. does.

However, I give them plenty of kudos for making such an awesome flashlight, namely the Pelican 1920.

I am not a practicing tradesman anymore. I haven’t been doing that sort of work full time in a little over a decade.

However, I know a good flashlight when I see it and I equally know how much a good flashlight is revered and sometimes coveted among tradespeople.

I believe this is Pelican’s best flashlight for the money, hands down.

It can be had brand new for about $25 and it is bundled with two Energizer Max (Alkaline) AAA batteries!

I had owned one for almost two years and I have another one coming in the mail either later today or sometime Friday. There will be no mail service Thursday in observance of Independence Day.

I had mine for almost two years and I EDCed it in my backpack and quite a few times in my pants pocket and it performed flawlessly. It was even dropped on hard concrete and had the battle scars to show it, but it still performed without a single hiccup.

The reason why I no longer have mine is because it fell under the sofa at my friend’s house. I located it there but before I found it I told him he could have it if he found it. Then I checked under the sofa and there it was. So, I presented it to him.

He is a welding student and almost finished with trade school.

I had been wanting for about a year to give him a small flashlight for use at school and on his future jobs.

This one couldn’t be more perfect.

I bought my first one at Smoky Mountain Knife Works in June of 2017, while on vacation in East Tennessee.

When I got home from that aforementioned trip, I decided to rewrite (“The Textfile”) completely from memory as I had deleted it from all my devices and storage media, because I felt so ashamed and convicted for writing it. In this new version, my main character, Grayson Thomas, was no longer a tractor mechanic (that position had gone to Logan Baines in “Radiant Affection”, which I started in 2012 and at first was written as a replacement and a form of repentance and atonement for writing the original version of “The Textfile” in 2005 and 2006.

In the new (2017) version of “The Textfile”, Grayson Thomas is now instead a dockyard mechanic, and he extensively uses his Pelican 1920 on his job but he also EDC’s it during his off hours. Grayson Thomas will be knocked unconscious and comatose from a fall he sustained on the job while repairing the yard crane and the envious roustabouts in the dockyards will gamble over his Pelican 1920 flashlight that had fallen from his pants pocket. That is how much this flashlight impressed me, by the way!

I soon realized that I miss that flashlight, so recently, I ordered a new one.

Here is what I like about the Pelican 1920:

It can take a great deal of abuse and still work as well as when it was first unboxed. While, the impact rating isn’t rating isn’t available on Pelican’s website, I would imagine it to be “tactical grade” or at least “contractor grade” and I’ve dropped mine on concrete from a height of maybe five feet and it still worked perfectly.

The pocket clip is made of Carbon Steel and won’t bend or break like so many other pocket clips. It is firmly planted on the flashlight body as it has a ring around the threaded connector where the tail switch attaches, so it won’t even pop off!

The switch is “tactically correct.” This means that it has a forward clickie and can be turned on momentarily and then off as soon as the switch is released or with more pressure it can be turned completely on. Switching between light settings can be done without fully depressing the switch as well.

The LED light engine features two settings:
Low-22 Lumens for 8 Hours and 45 Minutes-enough to see close up work for maybe a week on a set of batteries.
High-224 Lumens for 2 Hours and 15 Minutes-just enough to light up the walk from the bus, train, aircraft, boat or personal vehicle to the job site. This is especially useful as many of these jobs in which a flashlight like this is used entail coming in around dawn and knocking off around dusk. This is even more true in the winter months especially at higher Latitudes.

The water resistance rating is IPX7, which according to ANSI, means:
“Ingress of water in quantities causing harmful effects shall not be possible when the enclosure is temporarily immersed in water under standardized conditions of pressure and time.”
In other words, it should be okay to work in and under shallow bodies of water without it being ruined. Pelican makes flashlights that are capable of going much deeper underwater as well!

The only jobs where this flashlight would be inappropriate would be those that involve working extensively on live electrical circuits or those that involve the direct handling of volatile commodities, to which Pelican has a wide selection of flashlights for those situations, as well.

My only complaint I have about this flashlight is that it isn’t American made like some of the other Pelican flashlights, but we live in a shrinking world.

I would be tickled pink if my new flashlight would be in the mail today, but accept that I might have to wait until Friday.

By the way I give the Pelican 1920 a five out of five stars!

This therefore concludes my review.

I hope, you, the reader, have been informed and maybe even entertained.

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A Review of the STREAMLIGHT JR® LED FLASHLIGHT

By the way, I don’t own the featured image. It is property of Streamlight Inc…

The Streamlight Junior has been in production since 1988 and I believe was Streamlight’s answer to the Mini Maglite.

I believe in the late 2000’s an LED version was put on the market.

And then in the mid to late 2010’s an improved LED version was again put on the market, with a better switch system, more robust pocket clip and brighter light engine.

There was a 130 Lumen version and a 225 Lumen version of this latest incarnation of the Streamlight Junior. I’m not sure which one I currently own. According to website specs, it runs on two AA Alkaline or Lithium batteries. It has a battery life of six hours and a physical length of 6.5 inches, long enough to be located easily but short enough to be carried even when travelling light.

I was in the market for a tactical LED flashlight in April of 2018 and I bought my first Streamlight Junior LED. I was immediately impressed by the performance. I later sold it in October of 2018 because I needed the money.

I had missed that flashlight a lot, so in January of 2019, I purchased another Streamlight Junior LED flashlight and I have been pretty much EDCing it ever since.

It is almost constantly in my right pants pocket or somewhere otherwise nearby.

I’m not sure if mine is the 130 or the 225 Lumen version, but in the words of my ninety something Paternal Grandmother, it’s a “powerful” flashlight. I visit her frequently, especially since her husband, my Paw Paw had passed away. I think I inherited my flashlight interest from him.

She is definitely right about that, it is indeed powerful.

And the battery runtime is pretty generous considering the brightness.

The other night, I was assisting a friend who was working on my car late into the evening and my trusty Streamlight Junior was our light source. It gave us useful light for hours on end. We worked well before and past sunset and until the hour of 11 PM, and I still had useful light being emitted from the LED engine. I had used it daily on the same set of batteries prior to that.

Another example of when this flashlight went above and beyond was back in April or May of 2018 when I was trying to locate the house number of some potential troublemakers at night to warn their location to someone I cared about in order to stay away from them. I was able to see the house number from my car at night and operating the tactically correct flashlight was easy as pie, even in a moving vehicle on a narrow winding road.

Speaking of protecting people I care about from trouble makers; if I purchase another firearm, it will be a Ruger Lightweight Compact Revolver, which would be a frequent companion to my Streamlight Junior when and where I am legally able to do so.

I don’t see any design flaws of this flashlight at all and I have owned one on and off for over a year.

Even though it has plenty of battle scars from everyday use, I trust it 100% to light up any situation.

I do have but one complaint and it is:
Why can’t this flashlight be made in the USA?

Of course the Chinese are getting closer and closer to American or even German quality at producing high performance flashlights.

Of course Streamlight is an American company that outsources foreign labor and can actually be traced back to the 1968 Kel Lite which was the original line of tactical flashlights.

It does, sadly outperform all LED versions of its main competitor, the American-made Mini Maglite, I’m ashamed to admit because that is my favorite flashlight.

Since I have no true complaints about this flashlight, I give it five out of five stars and it is right here in my right front pocket as I write this review.

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A Review of the Leatherman Style PS Pocket Tool

By the way, the featured image on this page is not mine, but property of Leatherman Tool Group, Inc.

I discovered Leatherman Multi Tools in early 2010 when I had just made 23.

I’ve owned the Kick, the Style CS and the Style PS. Someday soon, I hope to own the Wingman.

This piece will be a review on the Style PS.

I bought my first Leatherman Style PS in February of 2018. I was going through a divorce and staying with a friend while waiting for my apartment to become available. I ordered this wonderful tool on eBay.

I misplaced it somewhere in my friend’s house at some point in April of 2018.

In May of 2018, my apartment became available and I ordered another Leatherman Style PS.

It has been a staple in my EDC gear ever since.

Usually it stays on the right front belt loop of whatever pair of pants I am wearing at the moment. If not there, it is then in my EDC backpack hanging from an internal keychain strap.

Supposedly, this pocket tool is TSA compliant, which means it can legally be carried on aircraft and not get confiscated.

There are no edged weapons (knife implements) featured on this tool, so I guess this is what makes it TSA compliant.

However, I’ve heard many instances where some of these TSA personnel are either douchey, greedy or incompetent and could still potentially confiscate it.

Because of this paranoia and the sentimental value this tool has to me (it has a cameo in story I wrote), I never once took it on a plane with me.

Since it is marketed as TSA compliant, I wonder if it is kosher to bring in government buildings such as hospitals, schools or courthouses?

I’ve never deliberately tried except when it was accidentally on me, but those times I didn’t have to go through a metal detector.

The Leatherman Style PS features eight implements on a gadget that is roughly the size of a sugar wafer.

They are as follows:
1. Spring-action Needlenose Pliers
2. Spring-action Regular Pliers
3. Spring-action Wire Cutters
4. Spring-action Scissors
5. Flat/Phillips Screwdriver
6. Tweezers
7. Nail File
8. Carabiner/Bottle Opener

I have used the Needlenose or Regular Pliers to connect and disconnect my car battery.

I have used to Wire Cutters to prune flowers.

I frequently use the Scissors to cut open the seal on my bottles of Starbucks Frappucino, of which I am a frequent drinker.

I use the Screwdriver, usually to clean my fingernails.

I have yet to need to use the Tweezers

I have sometimes used the Nail File to take corrosion off of electrical contacts.

As stated before I use the Carabiner to clip this awesome little tool to my pants pocket and I frequently use the Bottle Opener to remove the cap from a bottle of soft drink.

I have heard of people in my State (Louisiana) catching a charge for simply possessing a weapon on their person while arguing with someone else even though they didn’t start the argument. I’m ashamed to admit that Louisiana is one of the most if not the most corrupt states in the Union. So, I guess to cover my butt, I try to not carry any kind of object that could be considered a weapon, unless I absolutely need it with me.

This Leatherman Style PS has no real weapons on it, so it should be safe and perfectly legal to carry.

I have no complaints about this pocket tool, except that it requires frequent applications of WD-40, but that is probably because I live in nearly tropical Louisiana.

It fits the bill perfectly, I just wish it could come down a little in price, but American made products inherently cost more than their foreign counterparts.

This could be a perfect gift for a little boy or girl that is too young for a knife and it could be an equally perfect gift for a grownup that frequents weapon restricted areas.

For the record, I give this product a five out of five stars!

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