I’m swearing off Wirecutter. Again.
It’s not that their recommendations are awful, they’re just kind of inexpert. They don’t actually use the products they recommend, they just test them.
Like the Black Diamond Spot headlamp. I needed something for an upcoming trip and it wasn’t mission critical, so I used the Wirecutter recommendations. The Spot actually works ok, and seems well made, but it’s ridiculously complex. The Spot is what happens when you give bored Chinese engineers some chip space.
Serious climbing headlamps have maybe two settings — basic and high. This has at least 6 settings based on combinations of switch press, hold and side tap. My brain looked at the directions and shut down.
And those directions — they go on for pages and pages in many languages, but the core is a small series of pictures. Sure to be lost, essential to reference, and not available online.
So here’s my scan of the part of the Black Diamond Spot User Guide that matters
Here are all the friggin modes (I put them in a note on my phone). Die Wirecutter, Die.
TOP BUTTON modes
Not Powered On (why it needs a lock mode)
- press and release 1x: turn last active light on
- press and release 2x: toggle between spot and wide angle light
- press and release 3x: strobe
- press and hold 2s: red light on
- press and hold 3s: always turns on spot light
- press and hold 4s: toggle lock mode (small blue light blinks for a few seconds in lock mode)
- press and hold: goes to bright then dims as hold
- 3x: strobe
TAP RIGHT SIDE
(light tap when powered on)
- activate BOTH spot and wide angle
This product violates my cardinal rule: Don't Make Life Harder Than It Has To Be.
Unfortunately, it's not just wire cutter that recommends this thing.
And not only is it unnecessarily complicated, BD seems to think it's intuitive or something. (Clearly, they only test with BD employees.) That's why, for example, there's no instructions explaining how to open the battery compartment. Perhaps they think it's obvious. Well, it's not.
Exactly the information I've been looking for for years, and a precise description of the problem. Thanks!
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