One size fits all

Being Commander Zero is not all sunshine and stun grenades….its a constant ‘arms race’ in terms of gear. Interesting little tidbit for today:

Flashlight that takes multiple battery sizes
And some press on it:

Flashlight Takes Batteries of Any Size

By JIM SUHR
Associated Press Writer
       
ST. LOUIS (AP) — Anyone who has cursed when their flashlight goes dead may have something new to beam about – a flashlight that accepts batteries of different sizes.

Energizer argues that its Quick Switch flashlight is a shining example of utility, with users able to raid batteries from such things as remote controls, toys or wall clocks and plunk them into the flashlight.

Launched nationally last week, two truckloads of the flashlights already have been hustled to Florida, where consumers bracing for the third recent hurricane to rake the state have been stocking up batteries, in some cases depleting supplies.

Still, “we weren’t planning on launching this in the middle of the hurricane” season, Energizer’s Mark Larsen said Tuesday.
       
The Quick Switch takes two C, D or AA batteries and works by merely adjusting a switch to the proper cell size, automatically locking the batteries into place.

The light output is the same no matter the cell size, though operating time will vary. It retails for $9.99 to $12.99.

The gizmo is the latest entry in the often look-alike arena of flashlights, the Quick Switch “solves the No. 1 consumer concern with flashlights – it never seems like I have the right batteries when I need them,” Larsen said.

A spokesman for Energizer rival Rayovac declined to discuss the Quick Switch, saying he hadn’t yet seen the product. But he suggested that the Quick Switch may be an extension of some available “battery adapters,” which convert a smaller battery size to the next size up.
       
The Quick Switch spotlights just how the flashlight has evolved light years since its inception more than a century ago as a “hand torch,” then primitively made of crude paper and fiber tubes, with a bulb and rough brass reflector.

With flashlights then more of a novelty, folks did what they knew best to search in the dark – grab a candle or kerosene lantern, knowing the possible downsides were seeing their homes and offices accidentally go up in flames.

There wasn’t battery power strong enough to power it for long stretches, and carbon filament bulbs were inefficient. So users pushed a button to literally – and for a moment – “flash light” on the path in front of them, giving the devices their name.

Since then, the flashlight became ideal for more conventional uses, with its size and shape morphing as batteries became smaller and stronger.

Ignoring, for the moment, just how slow a newsday it must have been for AP to do a fluff piece on a flashlight………..

Interesting? Yes. Essential? Eh. If youre reading this then youre probably smart enough to know how to take some wire and electrical tape and make any battery work in a particular flashlight….all theyve done here is do it in a manner that doesnt involve ‘redneck engineering’ batteries that may or may not fit the battery compartment.

Nonetheless, it does bring up a good point – battery size standardization. Simply put if it doesnt run on AA or D battereis, I dont get it. Im not going to make my logistics even more complex by keeping track of AAA, AA, D and 9v batteries. Whatever it is, whatever it does, theres a version out there somewhere that takes AA or D’s. If not, well, as I said, you can McGyver a powerpack pretty easily.

However, for the person who has started to leave sheeplehood but hasnt quite gotten in touch with his inner Burt Gummer, this might be a good choice.

Speaking of flashlights, and really, Ive always found myself fascinated by them, Home Depot had Eveready flashlights for $0.85 each. Simple plastic 2 d-cell flashlights (batteries not included) that are ideal for handing out to guests, keeping as spares and are essentially ‘disposable’. Picked up five of ‘em. And CostCo is a pretty good place for buying Duracells in bulk.

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