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Anchor '189' Dive Torch

Discussion in 'General Scuba Diving' started by Wibble, Jul 28, 2019.

  1. Wibble

    Wibble Fish don't talk
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    Went through a bit of a selection process for my next dive torch and decided upon the Anchor '189' dive torch.

    Umbilical mode.jpg
    Anchor 189 torch with umbilical cable attached


    There's many dive torches available, which I've been through in other threads. I chose this torch primarily because:
    • It has a spot beam and a wide 'video' beam, plus lots of other modes
    • Bright beams
    • It has a detachable umbilical cable and can work as a standalone torch - when the cable breaks, or I need a longer/shorter one, I just buy one.
    • It can work as a standalone torch out of the water - has temperature sensors which can reduce output
    • It has various brightness modes: 100%, 50%, 25% as you don't need full beam all the time and sometimes saving battery power's a good option
    There's other features which I liked such as
    • The red beam which doesn't disturb the fish
    • Two video modes; warm and cold, again these can be dimmed for use in overheads when not using video
    In practice it's been quite good. The controls are done with a mixture of long and short presses on the single button; changing modes and changing brightness. The spot and wide beams can be used concurrently and independently adjusted to suit the required brightness.

    I'm very impressed with the quality of the build and the amount of accessories shipped with the torch, which includes a couple of 1" ball mountings. The front 'glass' is made out of, errm, glass. Very solid piece of kit.

    I've only done a couple or three dives so far, but it's been nice in action. The torch head's smaller than my previous Light For Me torches and the Goodman handle's been comfortable, with enough space to mount other items if necessary (e.g. 1/4" bolt for cameras).

    Anchor compared with LFM 2.jpg
    Comparison of the Anchor 189 with the Light-for-Me NW7 (left) and 4Tec top.

    I'm particularly pleased with the modular components of the torch: battery, cable, torch head. Simply unscrew the umbilical cable and screw in the battery holder. This takes a 32650 battery which seems to last long enough (was using it on a sailing boat as a reading light outside - lasted ages).

    Standalone torch - open battery.jpg
    Showing the standalone battery holder and battery.


    Standalone torch with battery.jpg
    Standalone torch


    Umbilcal cable disconnected.jpg
    Umbilical cable unscrewed

    The spot beam is different from the Light-for-Me torches. It's a little warmer than the LFM and has a bit more halo around it due to it being in a reflector. I think the LfM is brighter than the Anchor when comparing like-for like. Comparing these at about 1.5m from a cream-coloured wall highlights the colour differences and the 4Tec's spotlight.
    LfM 4Tec vs Anchor 189.jpg
    Light-for-Me 4Tec (left) compared with Anchor 189 (right)

    Need more diving, and especially team diving to see how well it works for signalling.

    The video light's been OK, but my video equipment and skills leave a lot to be desired. So here's a crap picture taken from a video. This, obviously, was taken in a small room which was dark. The LHS foreground shows some shadowing but only as it's close. The camera is a Paralenz, hence the depth & temp.

    As I know nothing about video techniques compared with others on this forum, I can't comment on it being pretty uniformly lit.

    Aristos shitter - sample - resized.jpg


    I'm going to fit a 1" ball mount to the Goodman handle and will then use a butterfly connector to attach it to the camera handle bar (whatever the two handled camera mount is called).


    Summary

    All in all I'm pleased with my new purchase. I think it's a quality, well made, strong piece of kit which I hope will last out the battering it's going to take from me. I'm particularly pleased with the modular nature of the components, so shouldn't have issues with needing to wait months to get a cable replaced. All connectors and covers seem to have two O-rings.

    It's 'certified' to 115 metres. Maybe one day I'll get down that deep, but probably not.

    Most of all it gives me the lighting I need for my diving which generally consists of rummaging around inside wrecks or mines. I'm looking forwards to using the 'dual' beam in anger in an overhead, so I can light up the periphery.

    Might work out how to edit a video one day. Might even work out how to film stuff properly.

    Very happy to recommend this torch to others.
     
  2. Sheck

    Sheck New Member

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    Hi Wibble.

    What's the spot bean angle?
    And how was the back scatter when using the narrow beam?

    I like the fact that it's modular and the cable can be replaced. Most lights die through that.

    Thanks!

    Sheck
     
  3. Wibble

    Wibble Fish don't talk
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    The spot beam's a parabolic reflector using a single LED -- looks the same as the 2 x 4 wide LEDs. This gives it a softer beam that's less pronounced than torches which use a lens to focus the image. The side-by-side photo comparing the beams of the LfM 4Tec (which uses 4 lenses) and the '189' using the reflector (was about 5 feet from a cream-coloured wall). The core of both beams is about the same with the LfM being extremely sharp-edged.

    Anchor state 8 degrees, LfM say 6 degrees. Won't dispute that. The wide beam on the 189 is 120 degrees and the LfM NW7 is 70 degrees. From my video attempts, the 189 video light doesn't show a shadow but the NW7 needs to be held further back.

    From what I've seen, all torches based on a reflector design have that softer edge. The very hard edge of the lens-based torches are probably better for signalling in lighter conditions, but the softer edge of the reflectors are better for using, especially in very dark environments (in a wreck / cave).

    The other difference you can see in that image is the colours. LfM produces a very cold colour beam, almost blue, whereas the Anchor 189 uses a warmer colour.

    In use... I've had the Anchor 189 torch for just over a month and done about 8 dives with it, all in the sea on wrecks, so about 8 hours on the bottom (doesn't include the gawd knows how much hovering around at 6m...). I like the softer beam which is a little less searchlight in operation. The clincher for me is being able to turn on the wide and narrow beams at the same time AND adjust them for brightness (the LfM NW7 has only one power: full). This is much better inside a wreck with the wide beam lighting all around you and the spot beam reaching further into crevices.

    I've done some playing around with the red beam. Full power's too much for close use, but the dimmest is great for lighting up critters without them running away -- I've a penchant for blenny's.

    Not sure about the blue beam!

    A picture from this weekend. Screenshot from a video (Where I learned not to use the depth & temp overlay as it moves around once the post-processing anti-shake is applied)
    Cuttlefish snap.jpg
     
    JohnL likes this.
  4. Sheck

    Sheck New Member

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    It does sound like an interesting option. I might give it a try.

    Thank you!

    Sheck
     

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