Thursday, June 1, 2006

Flashlight Scam

You have seen them advertised on television for only $19.95. You can, of course, find them in flea markets for much less. I am not sure what brand I have. I’ll look up the information later. The point is, they are a scam. After getting poor results, no apparent charging, I disassembled two of them.

First, let me point out I have over 30 years in the electronic industry. I was dubious of the type of energy storage the light used. My mind told me this couldn’t work as advertised. I was right. Their claims are not just outrageous, but they are down right lies.

After having problems with the flashlight not charging, I finally took time to disassemble one. To my surprise, I found two button type batteries. Maybe I wasn’t that surprised. I had expected wafer capacitors or something similar.

Okay, so it had batteries, that’s not that bad of a thing. On further research, I found the wires from the charging coil not connected. This was the apparent cause if the malfunction. Unable to find exactly where they went, I dug farther. This is when I discovered the iron core, that you see shaking black and forth, wasn’t a magnet at all. It was a common piece of cold roll steel. With no magnet passing through the coil, I see no way the device could charge.

The nail in the coffin was when I took apart the one flashlight that I thought worked, there was at least one wire from the coil which was not connected to anything. There is no doubt this is a scam.

I nearly forgot, the batteries are lithium and non rechargeable as I can see.

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