13 April 2011

The MJ850 in a coma?!

So I returned from my dive holiday (which was great!) with a defective MJ850 torch.

How and what happened
During my last nightdive on the liveaboard, I had a buddy with me that was not really too confident in nightdives. I decided that if I would use my light, set to maximum power, it would be a bit easier for the buddy to dive.

Setting the MJ850 to 100% power creates blind fish, atrackts lionfishes from 200m distance and burns holes in coral. It is that bright! Until this dive I had been using the minimum setting, still overpowering all the other divelamps of the team.

Seeing the light it produced I decided to throttle back a bit to the medium setting, and since this was the last dive onboard decided at the end of the dive to reset to maximum power for the last 15 minutes of the dive or so... I had not tested the lamp that much, yet.

Nearly back at the boat (the MY Rosetta) the light suddenly dimmed to something comparable to my backup. Returning to the boat the 5% light is more than enough, as the Rosetta uses it's floodlights during the nightdives. Initial thoughts: the batteries must finally have reached a minimum level. (I actually recharged the batteries only once during this trip... and only because I figured not to trust the battery indicator.)

Back on board I was not able to turn the MJ850 off. It remained on, in emergency power setting, during the fresh water soak.

Resulting in
The MJ850 is now, still, burning at 5% emergency power as soon as I reconnect the batteries. I tried the obvious... shaking it a bit, leaving it on for a while, turning the magnetic switch ring to all different settings possible. Still no solution.

The aftermath
I am now in a mail/msn discussion with the company in China, to see if I can send this lamp for repairs. With no real foothold in Europe for the company, this will obviously be an expensive exercise for me and for them... hoping I can trust the repairs to be made and the lamp to be returned in time for my next dives.

Anyway .. the answer to my earlier questions on Scubaboard: MJ850 cheap. Too good to be true? might now actually be answered... cheap! and too good to be true (at least if the warranty and service does not really work out.)


Anonymous said...

how did this work out - would you recommend their light for underwater video?

Unknown said...

Hi Anonymous!

I would recommend this light for just about anything ;-]

The lamp works great as a first, cheaper, solution. I will eventually work my way up to more professional lighting systems.

I am using this lamp for photos and video using the lamp in one hand and the camera in the other. That is not the most convenient solution .. but it works. For my purposes the lamp (if I include the diffusor I have made for it) works just fine. I noticed some problems when metering light but I am not sure what the issue is (Most likely it is caused by the modulation of the light together with the camera metering timing.)

An even cheaper solution might be to go for the AT810, the new one with build in diffusor. I am thinking of buying one, myself. It is smaller, but still 800+ lumen if you set it to max. A friend of mine uses the old model and is quite happy with it.

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