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Hydra Light


Country Singer:
Hydra Light Website

Original Hydra Light KickStarter Listing

I'll update this when I actually get it and test it, but I'm so excited about it (since I finally got a shipping notice) that I wanted to go ahead and post.  I will occasionally peruse KickStarter for items that might be of prepping interest and 20 months ago ran across Hydra Light.  After multiple delays resulting from major engineering and manufacturing plant changes they have finally shipped the first product.  Actually, that's not true, they shipped a "let's keep the investors from being too pissed off about the delays" product, which on their site is the FCM-L01 Emergency Light.  Since it's a single use product, I haven't tested it yet.  Once it's available on the open market I'll go ahead and test the one I have. 

Anyway, what I have enroute (should be here in about 10 days) is the "SC1C-L Supercell Lantern/Charger".  The premise of their line of products is that they have fuel cells that are water activated.  The fuel cells themselves are supposed to have a "25+ year" shelf life and provide light for at least 100 hours.  You dip the fuel cell in water and then insert it into the device.  Originally they had designed these as running on salt water, then they figured out that that concept was sort of dumb, since many people don't live near the ocean and during an emergency might not have salt with them.  Accordingly, they redesigned the cells to incorporate the sodium in the cell so that now all you need is water.  I'm not sure if it has to be fresh water, however...but I think either fresh or salt can be used.

So, for my initial $75 investment here's what I'm getting: the SC1C-L Lantern, the AL-100 Accessory Light, 4 Power Rods, and a small solar panel (another "sorry for the delays, here's an additional consolation item" add-on), along with the FCM-L01 Emergency Light that I've already gotten.  The solar panel is a supplement to the charger on the lantern, allowing you to charge USB devices during daylight, thereby reducing use of the power rods.  All in all, assuming it works as advertised, not a bad investment.

Sounds good! Keep us posted!

Country Singer:
So I arrived back home this evening to find my light had finally arrived.

I had been forewarned by the manufacturer that there was a QC issue and that replacement parts were already enroute.  Seems the latches were made using the wrong type of plastic, causing failure not just in use, but in shipping!  Sure enough, mine arrived with broken latches.

Here's the fuel cells:




You soak the cells in water for 10-15 seconds and put them in the bottom of the case.  The cells have a ridge and the case is notched so that there's only one way to insert them.

With no latches, I had to hold the top containing the lighting portion down on the base containing the fuel cells.  I'm not sure if you can tell from the pictures, but it does put out quite a good amount of light.  I'll get some better pics when the replacement latches arrive.

Low Power

High Power

I also tested the accessory light, but could not get it to operate.  I'm not sure yet if this due or related to the broken latches, the accessory light is itself defective, or if there's a wiring issue with the accessory power ports (there are two and I tried both). UPDATE: A little fuirther testing got the accessory light functioning, however it only functions if the main light is also on...which is a little weird.  Likewise, I haven't tested the solar panel that came with it.  Once the replacement latches arrive and I can do more testing I'll follow up to this post.

Another feature I'll be testing: the instructions say that the cells can be reconditioned by soaking them in salt water.  I'll try to verify that as well.


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