The burrlight Manual - operation
Note: The drawings are derived from the graphics files used for the
paper Manual, and are included for reference in case the Manual is
lost. The paper-printed drawings are of much higher quality.
In the 'switched off' position, the location of the front strip is
not at all critical, just as long as the magnet has been pushed away
from the burrlight case. Note that the label, or most of it, remains
stuck to the back of the case.
The burrlight torch body is completely sealed. Inside the torch is a
a reed switch which lights the LED when a magnet is brought close to
it. The magnet is mounted outside the torch on a strip of 'hook' type
hook/loop fastener, better known as Velcro (TM), after the original
maker. This strip carries the 'burrlight' label at one end, followed
by a short shiny section that holds the twin magnet. If this shiny
section contacts, or gets close to the torch body just above the
internal reed switch, on goes the light. The front section of the
strip is used to lock down the magnet onto the torch body when light
is needed. To switch off, lift the front section, push it backwards
until the magnet lifts clear of the body, and stick it down again to
hold the magnet in this position.
Normally the back (label) section of the magnet strip stays down all
the time. If you are, for example, expedition packing and want to be
sure the torch is not accidentally switched on during the rough and
tumble of travelling to your chosen area, remove the strip and stick
it round one end of the torch, where it cannot possibly turn the LED
on. If you stick the strip over the LED window, it will protect the
window from scratches during transit.
Before you remove the magnet strip, make very sure you know where it
goes back! The switch is exactly under one of the stitch lines
marking the boundary between white and black, and exactly under the
middle of that stitch line. Locate the magnet first, see the light
come on, then stick down both ends of the strip. Any sensible
expedition member (the only ones that come back) will also practice
locating the magnet and strip in the right place by feel in the pitch
dark. Locate the LED window by feel, and then the stitch line by
feel. I had no trouble locating the magnet position that lit the LED,
with both eyes shut. It may be pitch dark the first time you take out
your carefully expedition-packed torch.
Mounting the burrlight on a hat
Most places you want to hang the burrlight, for example the wall of
your tent, or your jacket, a simple strip of 'hook' fastener, Velcro
(TM) for example, 25 mm wide (1 inch) and 80 mm long, sewn in the
required location, is all that is needed. Making a good hat-mount is
not as simple, since the result must allow the angle of the light to
be varied, and also not bob up and down when you are running. The
burrlight hat-mount only adds one and a half grams to your load.
The hat-mount is made from two vertical strips of 'hook' fastener
sewn side by side on the front of your hat, with a 27 mm gap between
them. When the burrlight is pushed onto the hat-mount, a strip
contacts the loop fastener on the torch body at each end, leaving the
centre torch area free for the switch to function as usual, so you
can just reach up, pull the switch tag down, and have immediate
light. The drawing can only show one hook strip, but notice hooks on
the strip are in contact with loops on the body over more than half
of the torch end. This mount does not wiggle, and you can't feel the
torch on your head.
If the beam is at the wrong vertical angle, pull off the strips, turn
the torch body round a bit, and stick them on again. The most useful
position is generally when the lower end of the hook strip just
clears the LED window on the burrlight body. If the vertical angle is
right but the beam points off sideways, turn the hat round a little!
The hard work
You need a metre or less of one inch wide (25 mm) black hook/loop
fastener. This can be found in a sewing, fabric or haberdashery shop.
Adhesive-backed fastener is now available. Don't buy it. Cut two
lengths of the hook strip 85 mm long. You do not have to be within
one mm accuracy, but keep dimensions as close as you can.
Fold over about 6 mm each end with the hooks on the inside, and put a
line of stitch down the centre of each fold to hold it down. You can
hand-sew since the stitch lengths are so short, or use a sewing
machine with the power off, rotated by hand to put in the very few
stitches. You can use alternative 'ending' methods such as stitched
down self-adhesive cloth backed tape, or bias binding, as long as the
resulting strip is the right length.
Here is the stitch line spacing when you sew the strips down to the
hat. You will have to mark these spacings (on the hook side) so you
can see where to sew. Marking the two edges of the strip is
sufficient. Personally I cheat, and use 4 mm wide double sided
adhesive tape to hold the strips to the hat while sewing, rather than
the conventional pins, and this both locates the strip and marks the
sewing lines at the edges. 4 mm tape is a professional product, and
may be hard to find. I was lucky enough to find a wholesale adhesive
tape distributors that was prepared to sell a single roll.
Pin or use double sided tape to hold both strips to the front of the
hat while sewing down. The bottom edge of the strips is about 20 mm
above the inside edge of the hat brim. If you are using a sewing
machine, the four stitch lines can be put in neatly as parts of one
sewn rectangle 21 mm high and 75 mm wide. Strong polyester thread is
Living with the hat-mount
As previously suggested, leave the burrlight on your sunhat all day -
you will not notice it. If you are caught by the dark and about to
get lost, being able to switch the burrlight on so easily is a good
way to avoid panic. I speak from personal experience. You will find
putting up a tent is now as easy in the dark as it is in the day. If
you are following a long trail in the dark, adjust the beam so it
shines into the distance when your head is looking forward. This
shows you what is coming up while keeping your eyes fully
dark-adapted. If you need bright light near your feet to avoid obstacles,
lower your head. The only nasty surprise is using a hat-mount in fog,
or low mountain cloud. The light scatters back from near your eyes,
and you can't see a thing. Hand-hold the torch, or stick it on your
belt or pack strap.