Intrinsically Safe Helmet Headlamp – Nightstick XPP-5462RX

Over the last few years I’ve been looking for a more suitable headlamp for my helmets.  The headlamps sold for hiking or other activities aren’t durable enough nor do they have the safety features I wanted.  I finally found a light that would meet all my needs.

The headlamp I chose is the Dicata Nightstick XPP-5462RX.  The light is designed to be worn on a firefighting helmet or hardhat.  It has a low profile so that it can be used with shield equipped helmets so that it won’t interfere with the shield.  I may want to change the light from my Phenix First Due helmet over to a firefighting helmet with a shield if the situation calls for it and not worry whether I’ll have an issue.

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From product instructions

It is intrinsically safe in various hazardous environments reducing the risk of a spark causing an explosion.  The intrinsically safe rating calls for the use of three Energizer AA batteries E91 or EN91 only.  According to the manual those are the only batteries it has been tested with.  The light also meets NFPA-1971-8.6(2013).  The light is waterproof down to 1 meter.  It also has a drop rating of 2 meters.

The headlamp is held onto the helmet by a heavy duty rubber strap.  The strap has two clips that hold the power cord in place.  It feels like it will last for several years if not damaged during use.  The battery pack and lamp housing are made from glass filled nylon polymer and appear the be very durable.  The company says it comes in two colors green which looks lime-yellow to me and red which looks very much orange on my helmet.

TILT

Lamp in tilted position

The lamp is connected to a stainless steel frame with an adjustable hinge.  The angle of the light can be changed if desired.  I found that setting the light to the most advantageous viewing angle then tightening the bolt/nut down so it won’t move works best for me.  Before I did this whenever I turned on the light it would move back to the original position so that I always had to readjust after changing the settings.

LIGHT ON

Light with spot turned on high power

The light uses Cree L.E.D.’s that are rated to a 50,000+ hour lifespan.  The spot light is on the users right with the flood on the left.  There is a separate control button for each light.  The control button sequence for both lights is first press high power, second push low power and third push light off.  Both lights can be on at the same time in the high or low power setting.

XPP-5462RX_ANSI

The spot light in high power is 275 lumens with a run time of 6 hours 45 minutes reaching 120 meters.  Low power is 100 lumens with a run time of 25 hours reaching 75 meters.  The flood light in high power is 250 lumens with a run time of 7 hours.  In low power 100 lumens with a run time of 25 hours.  When the spot and flood lights operate simultaneously they put out 310 lumens with a run time of 6 hours reaching 86 meters.

REAR LIGHT

Rear facing green “follow me” light

The battery pack also has rear facing “follow me” light.  The green L.E.D. light is very bright and easy to see.  The control button on the housing allows the user to turn the light to steady on with the first push.  The second push will make the light flash at regular intervals and the third push will turn the light off.

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Replacement strap

In the future more of these headlamps will be added to the other helmets used for rescue activities.  I also plan on having spare straps on hand if we need them.  After using this light I’m very happy with the performance.  Check out the video if you want to see how the light works.  -13

Helmet Project: Update complete!

After nearly 2 months of sourcing materials and ordering new suspension liners the firefighting-rescue helmets are up to date!  I’ve constructed sweat band liners with a thin foam pad that uses elastic to hold it in place.  Ratchet covers with another thin layer of foam with snap closures like the originals.  Crown pads with a layer of foam with Velcro holding it onto the original pad.  The double fold bias trim I made was difficult to finish and make look good due to the thickness, its easy to see it in the crown pad photo.  Not perfect but will work just fine for our needs.

At first I was reluctant to add foam of any kind.  I ordered some any way to test it then decide if I’d use it on my project.  After doing a burn test on the 1/8″ foam and watching the product be almost completely consumed by the flame turning into a thin black stream of smoke with no dripping or melting of any kind I decided I would be willing to take the risk.  What sold me was there was no dripping or melting, plus I would have all of the foam be completely enclosed in Nomex twill.  Plus I could easily blow out and snuff out with a bare finger the open flame emitted when freely burning.

The end result is I have a much more comfortable helmet.  And a bag full of extra replacement parts in case I need to clean them, or replace them for some reason.  I like the fact that I can now outfit a completely new or unfamiliar Phenix First Due 1500 in a matter of minutes and be back in service quickly.  I can use this on any of the 1500’s and from the looks of it maybe all of Phenix Helmet lines.

Thats all for now on the helmet updates.  I will be searching for new 1 x 4 Reflexite Helmet Strips to replace the seeming good old ones.  The old ones reflect light perfectly it’s the typical edge curling I always see with aging reflexite helmet strips.  Look at any helmet that has had them on for more than I’d guess 2 years and you’ll see the edge curl.  I really like those things except for that pesky fact.  I’ve also learned over the years to buy a sheet of them not just what you think you will need.  They will come off unexpectedly and end up in your hair or other weirdness sometimes so it pays to be ready.

I think the Scotchlite brands works as well to reflect light, they just don’t have the same
eye appeal to me as the way the Reflexite strips do.  The appeal to me is the sort of electric feel they have when I see them as opposed to the more dull look of the Scotchlite brand.  So, soon I’ll do a search for replacements.  I think that’s all.  -13

 

Helmet Project: Earlaps & goggle cover making.

Originally posted Jun 9, 2016 @ 01:24 on WordPress.

Earlaps and goggle cover finished!  I had no idea how difficult it would be to film or photograph a project as I worked on it.  Stopping during the process doesn’t work so well.  I’ll have to do more staging then let the cameras capture whatever.  I only want to capture the action and essential information.  Leave out the filler, and me.

I replaced the suspension liner in our Phenix First Due helmets within the last couple weeks since the other ones had deteriorated so much and unexpectedly.  Phenix needs to look into the longevity of the foam choices because they don’t hold up over time.  The liners are old, 10 years, but I expected as well as I take care of my helmet that the foam would not turn to powder.  My helmet wasn’t the only one.

I didn’t want to pay 20+ for earlaps and didn’t like the way they looked or mounted so I decided to make my own.  Two for each helmet that way we can always have one available while the other is getting laundered, repaired or replaced.  I also didn’t like the velcro-tab mounting option so I used snaps.  Not sure how but I managed to mess up the snap placement on one side.  It’s not perfect but it works.  The important thing is the cover is in place and no burned earlobes and or any ear part or my neck!

Plus I get to choose the materials against my skin. I’m picky about materials with skin contact.  I used 4.5 oz. Drifire fabric for the inside of the earlap and a 7 oz. nomex/cotton blend twill outside and flame retardant cotton/nylon for the binding, nomex thread.  I recycled velcro from other helmets.  I had new binders to work with and material so I made the goggle cover first.

For the goggle cover I recycled the bag the goggles came in.  Ripped out the seams and sewed that rectangle to a piece of nomex the same size.  Then used one of the new binders I just purchased and bound the edges.  Went well but I’d like to be able to finish the ends a little better.  The reflective material was recycled from an old safety vest.
The next projects for the helmets will be a cover that goes over the ratchet, a cover for the chinstrap leather and a crown pad. -13