Black Diamond Apollo Lantern

LED Type : TriplePower (3-watt)
Batteries : 4 AA not included, NRG compatible
Max Burn Time : 60 H
Lumens : 56
Weight Without Batteries : 220 g, 7.8 oz
IPX Rating : 4



A bright, non-glaring, soup-can sized backcountry lantern with rechargeable capabilities.

  • TriplePower LED with 56 lumens (max setting) enclosed inside a frosted globe produces bright, ambient light
  • Dual reflector system captures and maximizes light output
  • Power meter displays charge status or battery level for rechargeable NRG Battery Kit or 4 AA alkalines
  • Unique dimming switch provides adjustable brightness
  • Distinctive fold-down legs increase lantern height to 24.1 centimeters (9.5 in), maximizing light dispersion

Using alkaline batteries not only hurt ones pocket if you are constantly in outdoor but you have to carry enough spare batteries for your trip. Previously I was using the Sanyo eneloop rechargeable batteries (read my review) now I have my own DIY rechargeable batteries for the lantern.

Black Diamond makes rechargeable batteries for the lantern but after reading some reviews claiming that the rechargeable batteries did not have enough juice to keep it lighted, I decided to DIY my own rechargeable version. According to Black Diamond rechargeable batteries specification, they only use 3 batteries. Probably that was the reason it can't provide enough burn time.I decided to engage Mr Battery who is station in Kaohsiung to rig up a battery bank (4 batteries) using Sanyo eneloop batteries. They are specialised in all kind of gadget battery. Now my lantern can be charged using Mr Battery Ti3450 portable battery which have voltage selection from 5V to 19V. The DIY rechargeable batteries is 6V either 7.5V or 9V is able to charge the lantern DIY rechargeable batteries through the lantern charging port.

I did notice that during charging, I was not able to use the lantern. I am unsure if this is the same if using Black Diamond rechargeable batteries.  Also the light indicator cannot indicate if it is charging however if I leave it over night charging it will still do the job





APOLLO AND ORBIT COMPARISON



After purchasing the Apollo back in 2007, a year later Black Diamond came out with Orbit. It is smaller and lighter. Having both these lanterns, I must say that I prefer the Orbit, it is compact and ring hook makes it easy to hang the Orbit anywhere, a great mini lantern for over night hike. The brightness between both these lantern has little difference 56 and 45 lumens. But do note the burn time for the Orbit will be lesser as it uses AAA batteries. If you prefer more brightness maybe you should look at the new Titan with 250 lumens which will be great for family camping.




photo from tetonat.com
Apollo and Titan


6 comments:

  1. Your review is very helful to me. I was looking for solution to replace NRG Kit( 3 AA battery pack ).
    One question - About the type of the adapter(DC Jack) - is it 'central positive'?

    ReplyDelete
  2. Yes it is central positive. Frankly, I would recommend using rechargeable batteries instead. Forget building this NRG kit, get your hand on the Sanyo eneloop USB charger and the eneloop batts....they are really a great piece of gadget to have. Here is my review. http://www.taiwancamping.net/2009/11/sanyo-eneloop-usb-rechargeable-battery.html

    ReplyDelete
  3. Thank you for your reply and good ideas.
    One more question - other users will be curious about:
    The manufacturer (BD) provides the battery holder – 4 AA batteries in serial connection.
    Will they be charged in the holder, if enough dc power is provided through charger port?
    Other wise – do we have to use that small rectangular battery socket. (seen from your photos)


    Ken Lim – representing some of Apollo lantern users in S.Korea ^^

    ReplyDelete
  4. Ken,

    You mean to put in 4 x rechargeable batt and charge through DC port. It is possible but you will need to do a modification to the original batt holder. You might need to solder 2 wires to the batt holder and make a connector as seen in the picture. As for which is positive or negative, you will have to check with a multimeter.

    Just a suggestion.
    If you have the BD NRG kit. Why not open that up and make it 4 batteries solution. But before you do that, do you know what is the charging rating for the NRG kit? Make sure the voltage should be more than the the combine batt otherwise it will not charge.

    South Korea...nice of you to drop by. Will be nice if we have S. Korean fans to join CiT facebook, we can share some camping ideas.

    http://www.facebook.com/pages/Camping-in-Taiwan-tai-wan-lu-ying/383670074601

    ReplyDelete
  5. I'm back to ask some questions.
    Is red wire positive or negative?
    I'm making my own version of battery pack.

    ReplyDelete
  6. Hi Ken, If I rem correctly it should be positive.

    ReplyDelete

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