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Thread: Need A New Flashlight

  1. #1
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    Default Need A New Flashlight

    My much-loved, ultra-reliable 35 year old Tekna-Lite 8 may have given up the ghost. I intend to attempt a resucitation, but one of the two 9v-style connectors on the bulb-holder has broken off and I'm not sure I can bodge together a repair. It's a sort of grommet affair, set in a plastic base, so soldering is out and... We'll see.

    So I'm looking for a new flashlight for Bucephalus. Ideally I'd buy another Tekna-Lite 8, since it was perfect. However, Tekna has been out of business for something like a decade, so I need to find a new version of the same idea.

    What I like about the TL8, and what the successor must have --non-negotiable:

    The TL8 uses 8 AA batteries. Whatever flashlight replaces it must also use AAs, since pretty much everything else electronic on the boat (MiniMag, VHF, my new second-hand GPS) uses AAs and I don't want to carry a variety of spares.

    Waterproof. Duh. The TL8 was actually a dive light, which makes it pretty incontestably waterproof.

    Bright. No, I mean REALLY bright. Bright enough that you feel recoil when you turn it on. Bright enough to make a containership helmsman mistake me for a lighthouse. Those 8 AAs are in series, so the TL8 is a 12v light.

    Compact. Bucephalus is a small boat, and I don't want to try finding space for some some pistol-grip monster.

    Not imperative, but ideal:

    No on/off switch. The TL8 turned on and off by twisting its lens housing, so there were no switches to leak, break, etc. This also served as a mechanism to focus its beam, which I liked.

    Focusable beam. I know some LEDs can do that, some can't. The TL8 wasn't LED, and it could, but it seems everything out there now is LED.

    Wrist lanyard.

    I don't promise to race out and buy what y'all recommend, but I sure would like to hear what, along the lines of the TL8, you have and/or like.

    Thanks,
    Alex

  2. #2
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    Default Re: Need A New Flashlight

    It's America, just get your favourite assault weapon, with a laser sight.

  3. #3
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    Default Re: Need A New Flashlight

    Do you know how many lumens it produced? That would seem to be the most accurate way compare modelís capabilities.


    This one is 250 lumens: http://www.tek-tite.com/proddetail.php?prod=TREK_PRO
    Last edited by StevenBauer; 04-07-2018 at 10:05 PM.

  4. #4
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    Default Re: Need A New Flashlight

    AA is limiting. Tektite has some nice stuff.

    Very reliable and dead simple.

    I think this one is twisty.

    http://www.tek-tite.com/proddetail.php?prod=TREK_PRO

    You may find a more suitable product if you noodle around their pages.

  5. #5
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    Default Re: Need A New Flashlight

    Do you know how many lumens it produced?
    I haven't a clue. I seem to recall it uses a xenon bulb, which would imply <a lot>, but that's hardly an quantifiable reference. I love the silly thing for being able to pick out the reflectors on nav buoys half a mile away (or so it seems). It's a little overwhelming down in the cabin, but that isn't why I have it.

    Tektite has some nice stuff.
    They do seem to, and I like that they have a couple twisties.

    Knocking around on the interweb, this seems pricey, but close to what the TL8 was: https://www.westmarine.com/buy/princ...7?recordNum=16 Not a twisty, but a dive light, 8xAA, and very bright (330 lumens). And I have had *excellent* experience with Princeton Tec in the past. It might be worth a drive over to WorstMarine to check it out.

    Thank you, and please keep the info coming.

    Alex

  6. #6
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    Default Re: Need A New Flashlight

    https://www.amazon.com/Dorcy-41-2510.../dp/B0039PV1QK

    I have one of these and it's very good. LEDs are a must.

    I wish I could buy an LED cluster as a bulb replacement for my Makita torch, it would be perfect then, I'm sick of bulbs.
    '' You ain't gonna learn what you don't want to know. ''
    Grateful Dead

  7. #7
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    Default Re: Need A New Flashlight

    I use head torches almost exclusively now.

    Rick

  8. #8
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    Default Re: Need A New Flashlight

    There are two kinds of boaters: those who have run aground, and those who lie about it.

  9. #9
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    Default Re: Need A New Flashlight

    EDIT: Is this the part you need?
    Sadly, no. That part snaps, via a typical 9v-style paired snap, directly to the bulb-mount/reflector upper assembly. It's that upper assembly I need --or, more specifically, I need a way to replace that upper assembly's female-type snap, which is molded (rivetted?) into the plastic of the upper assembly itself, just like on the battery holder you show.

    What I'm trying to figure out now is if I could buy one of these...


    ...and solder it into the bulb-mount/reflector assembly.

    I hesitate 1) Because I don't know whether those wires are adequate to carry the load of 8AAs in series (12v, yes?) rather than just the 9v I expect they're intended for. I don't want to start a fire with my flashlight. 2) I'm not sure I could pack the extra material of the new connector into the flashlight along with the original parts. Very frustrating.

    I wish I could buy an LED cluster as a bulb replacement for my Makita torch, it would be perfect then, I'm sick of bulbs.
    On the other hand, the convenience of LEDs is, as Peter points out, tempting. And this one throws a corker of a beam --260 lumens and 190m range-- with only 4xAAs: https://www.westmarine.com/buy/princ...ight--14160030

    I use head torches almost exclusively now.
    I keep a headlamp aboard for close range use --e.g. working on tasks aboard the boat. However, for lighting up nav aids, or making sure an approaching vessel sees me (Bucephalus is under 7m, so it's a legal requirement), I want something with a bit more oomph.

    Alex

  10. #10
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    Default Re: Need A New Flashlight

    Streamlight makes pretty good gear
    https://www.streamlight.com/products...ld-flashlights


    Quote Originally Posted by PeterSibley View Post
    https://www.amazon.com/Dorcy-41-2510.../dp/B0039PV1QK

    I have one of these and it's very good. LEDs are a must.

    I wish I could buy an LED cluster as a bulb replacement for my Makita torch, it would be perfect then, I'm sick of bulbs.
    You can buy 18v LED bulbs for the Makita, just be sure to check the polarity

  11. #11
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    Default Re: Need A New Flashlight

    Princeton and Pelican both make double AA powered LED lights. I've both and have been happy. There is Fenix and of course the standby Mag lights which I think now are LED available.
    Ben Fuller
    Ran Tan, Liten Kuhling, Tipsy, Tippy, Josef W., Merry Mouth, Imp, Macavity, Look Far, Flash and a quiver of other 'yaks.
    "Bound fast is boatless man."

  12. #12
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    Default Re: Need A New Flashlight

    Hi Alex...... LED's are the future and the future is now. I bought a pack of three Duracell led lights from Costco a few years ago that are amazing. These take four AAA batteries, not your prescribed AA's so I guess that's a deal breaker. Nevertheless, these lights are 350 lumens on their high setting which is pretty amazing. Deer in our garden don't stand a chance of not being seen! The high setting eats up battery life pretty quick though. The AA batteries would last a lot longer.

    So probably not much help here. Sorry. But I wanted to say hi anyway.

    Jeff

  13. #13
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    Default Re: Need A New Flashlight

    If you change your mind about the AA, I recommend the 18650 cells and lights. Rechargeable at 12v. Cheap regulated cells now because of esigs. Lots of power. If you stick with AA, you might like Eneloops (sp).
    Last edited by bluedog225; 04-08-2018 at 02:59 PM.

  14. #14
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    Default Re: Need A New Flashlight

    Streamlight makes pretty good gear
    I had forgotten about them. I'll check them out.

    Princeton and Pelican both make double AA powered LED lights. I've both and have been happy.
    Cool. Princeton's "League 100" is currently the frontrunner; I'll check out Pelican and Fenix, too, and maybe see what Mag has on offer. Thank you for the recommendation.

    LED's are the future and the future is now.
    Hello Jeff! Yeah, I know, and I do like my LED headlamp, but even if LEDs use less energy and last longer, it always seems like the old incandescent/xenon bulbs threw a better beam. <grumble/sigh> Yeah, I'll get over it now.

    If you stick with AA, you might like Eneloops
    Yep, I love my Eneloops! Best NiMH batts on the market. And the mid-range Amazon-branded AAs are made by Eneloop, too.

    The rechargeable 18650s are an idea I hadn't considered, and it has merit, but given how everything else on the boat is AA, I'll stick with that.

    Thank you all.

    Alex

  15. #15
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    Default Re: Need A New Flashlight

    Quote Originally Posted by Pitsligo View Post
    Yep, I love my Eneloops! Best NiMH batts on the market. And the mid-range Amazon-branded AAs are made by Eneloop, too.

    The rechargeable 18650s are an idea I hadn't considered, and it has merit, but given how everything else on the boat is AA, I'll stick with that.
    There's a reason he suggested 18650s. The reason is that with modern LEDs and modern batteries, the best, brightest flashlights use 18650s. In general, AA and AAA powered batteries are only used for cheap flashlights (the Home Depot, Lowes, Walmart type), or legacy ones.

    Modern LED flashlights are incredibly bright. I see people in this thread wowing over their Home Depot 360 lumen flashlights. That not shabby for general purpose, but my trusty Zebralight pocket flashlight, specifically chosen as the brightest, smallest flashlight I could find, puts out 280 lumens off a single AA battery in a flashlight a mere 3 inches long and just under a inch in diameter at the head. Smaller in the battery compartment. It stays clipped on my pocket all the time. You don't realize just how handy a flashlight is until you have one on you all the time. Just starting to get flakey after 4 years of everyday carry and use, and I think it's because the top tab on my Eneloop battery is getting dented in from dropping the flashlight so many times. Certainly beat out my mini-mag LED in size, weight, blew it out of the water in brightness, and has lasted 4 times as long. I will never buy another flashlight from Mag-Light.

    Anyhow, I'd suggest reconsidering an 18650 flashlight. An LED flashlight powered with one of those is capable of putting out around 1200 lumens in a flashlight that's only 4 inches long (a single halogen headlight bulb on a car is roughly 1500 lumens). Most usually run off 2 or more for extra runtime if size isn't a concern. A definite sign of a cheap flashlight is one with a huge array of LEDs in the head. Modern LEDs are up to 1200+ lumens in a single LED, so quality flashlights will use a single LED so they can use a proper reflector and focus the beam as desired. You can get 3 LED flashlights that put out 3600+ lumens.

    If you want ideas on these new 18650 powered flashlights, take a trip over to candlepowerforums.com. I browsed around there, asked some suggestions back when I was looking at flashlights. Those guys are flashlight junkies.

  16. #16
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    Default Re: Need A New Flashlight

    I don’t even have a freakin flashlight on the boat(s) anymore. Just headlights. That “Dorcy” brand. The light does not pop out of the strap, simple off on switch, not a 5 position space invader disco attack.

  17. #17
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    Default Re: Need A New Flashlight

    I bought my son who works night shift and my gf who walks her dog at night one each of these. https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0...?ie=UTF8&psc=1

    They fit none of your parameters. They a much brighter than you specified at 2000 lumens, they offer a degree of safety. They are rechargeable, and the charge lasts ages. They do focus and you could temporarily blind someone if you chose too.

  18. #18
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    Default Re: Need A New Flashlight

    All these flashlights are cool! I want one of each.

    Jeff

  19. #19
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    Default Re: Need A New Flashlight

    Using 18650 batteries would make a great deal of sense if I were starting from scratch, or perhaps even if I had a way to recharge them on the boat, but as I said, everything else on the boat uses AAs, which I recharge ashore, so I intend to continue with AAs. Besides, if I'm out cruising around and my stock of charged Eneloops runs low, I know can find alkaline AAs in any store. They aren't a fad, they are as common as fleas, and they aren't going to phase them out any time soon. Maybe one day I'll have collected enough 18650-powered equipment to shift the boat over to a new power source.

    I bought my son who works night shift and my gf who walks her dog at night one each of these. https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0...?ie=UTF8&psc=1
    Those look like great flashlights --I might need to get one to live in my pocket! Sadly, as you point out, they meet none of my on-boat parameters.

    So far, going on power source (AAs), company reputation (from personal experience), waterproofness (IPX8), and a good balance of brightness (260 lumens) distance (190m) and battery longevity (14 hours), I'm leaning toward the Princeton Tec "League 100": http://princetontec.com/league-100. I'll be in town Wednesday, and can swing by WorstMarine, where they claim to have them in stock (theoretically!), and see what I think of it in person.

    Thank you all for your information, opinions, and thoughts!

    Alex

  20. #20
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    Default Re: Need A New Flashlight

    Looking forward to a review on your new light, Alex. May it serve you as well as your old Tekna did

  21. #21
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    Default Re: Need A New Flashlight

    And welcome to the forum follow flashaholic!

  22. #22
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    Default Re: Need A New Flashlight

    This page could be relevant Alex .https://www.crazyguyonabike.com/doc/?doc_id=9258
    Solar chargers.
    '' You ain't gonna learn what you don't want to know. ''
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  23. #23
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    Default Re: Need A New Flashlight

    Now I'm irked at Canoeyawl: I should never have been tempted to delve so deeply into Streamlight's products. I'll be having a look at the Princeton Tec "League 100," since there's no harm in looking, but with its multiple power levels and strong, long-distance beam, and better (for me) ergonomics, this is the current top contender:

    https://www.streamlight.com/products...4aa-propolymax

    Looking forward to a review on your new light, Alex. May it serve you as well as your old Tekna did
    If the new one can match the Tekna's 34 years of service, I'll be pretty darned pleased. And I promise to review whatever I get, but it won't be until after I've used it for a while.

    Until then, here's a real-life review of the Streamlight, from someone in Seattle: https://captnmike.com/2015/10/08/fla...-for-the-boat/ And the YouTube review, showing the different power settings, definitely caught my attention: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_xbZ818p4bI

    And welcome to the forum follow flashaholic!
    You're all sick, sick, sick...

    This page could be relevant Alex .https://www.crazyguyonabike.com/doc/?doc_id=9258
    Yes, that looks very relevant. Thank you, Peter. I do intend to do some longer cruising at some point, and would like to be able to charge the AAs without going ashore. Maybe even have the ability to charge <GASP!> an entire laptop.

    But for now, I need to stay focussed (hah!) on a flashlight. I have a small brain, and can only do one thing at a time.

    Thank you all!

    Alex

  24. #24
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    Default Re: Need A New Flashlight

    I use (superbright) LED head torch - very bright! Ebay.
    It has 3 dimmable levels and is focus-able.
    It does have a switch, under a rubber pad.
    Not AA but the new powerful rechargable units. Comes with a cigarette lighter charger.

    Sorry - don't know the brand.
    Not sure i'd drop it in the water, But i've been in driving rain and inundated with greenwater in the cockpit, with it on......
    Hands free on a boat is better i find.

    Not sure anyone makes anything that'll last 34 years anymore.
    Philip K. Dick ó 'Reality is that which, when you stop believing in it, doesn't go away'.

  25. #25
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    Default Re: Need A New Flashlight

    Hey! I'm just trying to help

  26. #26
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    Default Re: Need A New Flashlight

    I have been using LED Lenser head lights and touches.
    I now have 3
    H14 head lamp with 4 AA. Variable focus flood to spot and multiple outputs levels plus defense strobe effects. Use for Spotlight shooting for pests.
    MH10 head lamp which is 18650 powered with up to 600 lumin's its my go to light, being very light and a big tank but the beam is not as tight.
    P7.2 hand held with 4x AAA batter's. Has a longer spot light range than the MH10.
    Zane
    Last edited by Zane Lewis; 04-11-2018 at 03:49 AM.

  27. #27
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    Default Re: Need A New Flashlight

    Headlamps.

    I have a rechargeable Petzl that recently did an 8 day winter camping trip on the one charge.

    I use the red-bulb feature when I don't want to lose all my night vision. Handy for dinghy use in the marina in the dark.

  28. #28
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    Default Re: Need A New Flashlight

    Quote Originally Posted by Ben Fuller View Post
    Princeton and Pelican both make double AA powered LED lights. I've both and have been happy. There is Fenix and of course the standby Mag lights which I think now are LED available.
    I use Fenix at work. Great lights, I especially like the USB recharging on mine. They can take a beating and one of my lights is a 3000(!) lumen beast
    "If you think you are too small to make a difference, try sleeping with a mosquito"

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  29. #29
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    Default Re: Need A New Flashlight

    Since we are sharing, I just bought this Petzl after much research. It's the lightest I could find with a useable amount of light.

    The E+lite. 27 grams.

    petzel.jpg

  30. #30
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    Default Re: Need A New Flashlight

    I have a solar-powered flashlight. It works great in direct sunlight.

  31. #31
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    Default Re: Need A New Flashlight

    Quote Originally Posted by Mo 'Poxy View Post
    I have a solar-powered flashlight. It works great in direct sunlight.
    Ahhh...sorta like the heater in my British car...works great in summer

  32. #32
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    Default Re: Need A New Flashlight

    Another Ledlenser fan here. I bought their dive model many moons ago and it has worked beautifully for both diving and surface activities. Being a dive torch gives me more confidence using it for sailing since even violent wave activity is not likely to subject it to the sort of pressure it happily swims in at 34 metres (deepest I have taken it to). The model I have is seriously bright, but they have a lot of models so you can probably find one to give even more of that recoil experience.

  33. #33
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    Default Re: Need A New Flashlight

    Okay, so I bit the bullet and bought a Streamlight Polymax 4AA --thank you (darn you), Canoeyawl. It arrived yesterday.

    One of these https://www.streamlight.com/products...aa-propolymax:

    What I can report so far is that yes, it's bright. Not my initially-hoped for recoil-inducing bright but, if I'm being realistic, quite probably brighter than my old incandescent TeknaLite 8. Certainly bright enough to see details well beyond my property's back fenceline, maybe... 300' away? It's tough to tell beyond that, because I'm trying to pick out details among the trees, but I can definitely see the fence itself --stranded wire on T-posts-- perfectly clearly. It throws a good, tight beam, but has enough spill to give you some sense of what's to either side, too. I expect that the low setting, which is a much less tight beam, will be good for close at hand work.

    It's a lot lighter than the TL8 --half the batteries, duh. But it is still AA powered, so that's good.

    It's *not* dive rated, which, as SBR observes, would give a greater measure of confidence in its surviving being aboard a small boat. That was nice peace of mind that the TL8 always gave me. It does have the IP67 "waterproof for 30 minutes at 1 meter" rating, which I'm hoping means it can at least take what spray comes aboard. Nothing to do but wait and see how well it weathers life aboard a small boat.

    One nice feature they claim is that the electrical guts of it, up in the head, are sealed to prevent leaking batteries from destroying it. That's what killed my TL8, so I like the concept. Whether it works or not --hopefully I won't ever test.

    The "ergonomics" are exceptional, to my way of thinking: the grip is an ellipse in section, so it both fits in the hand *very* well and doesn't go rolling away when I set it down --like the TL8 always did. This one rolls a little, but not very far. The straight shape, not bent like the Princeton Tec I was looking at, means it'll stand upright on its lens housing in a locker, not slump over and mix itself up with whatever else is in the locker. It's a good size and shape to tuck into either a pocket or an out of the way corner of the cockpit while sailing at night. Thinking of future projects, the lens housing is the widest point, and is round, which means that if I want to build it a fitted stand in a locker I can do the job with a forstner bit.

    Unfortunately, it isn't a "twisty," and the controls are a bit odd, to me, from my lack of experience with them. It has a push button at the tail of the tap-to-flash, click-to-hold variety. The switch controls three illumination modes: high, low, and epilepsy-inducing, drunken-fisherman-startling rapid strobe. However, as opposed to my headlamp, where I *click* through the different modes, on this one you *tap* through the different modes. One, two, three light presses on the button gets you to the strobe, and you can then turn the third press into a click to hold it there, or release the press to return to the beginning of the cycle. It's not a problem, it just demands a lighter touch that I would have expected and is taking me some time to get used to.

    One potentially nice feature is that you can re-program the mode sequence by tapping that switch. Streamlight calls it their "Ten-tap" system, and you can get the details on line if you like. For now I've left it at the factory high-low-strobe, but you can also reprogram it to low-high, or just high, so you don't need to cycle through the modes you don't want. That feature does pretty much preclude using the light for sending Morse, though. Which I have in the past done... never. So it isn't a big deal for me. If I need to send "SOS," I can do it by turning the light on and occulting the lens with my hand. Or else: "dit, dah, didididididididididid," as the strobe lights up.

    A more serious bummer is that it doesn't have a good place for a lanyard. You can buy an optional clip for it --which I didn't want-- but there isn't a dedicated point for a lanyard to attach. Fortunately those two holes at the tail (visible in the photo), where the optional clip would screw into place, are just big enough to accept heavy-gauge seine twine (probably P-cord would work, too), and the situation is then made adequate.

    Beyond that, I'll need to wait and see how well I like it aboard the boat, but that's my initial assessment.

    Thank you all for your thoughts and experiences.

    Alex

  34. #34
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    Default Re: Need A New Flashlight

    [QUOTE=Pitsligo;5535739]


    Hey Alex, couldn't you have gotten a yellow one?

    Jeff

  35. #35
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    Default Re: Need A New Flashlight

    Yeah, I know. Yellow that bright? I could see my property's back fenceline even before I turned the light on!

    I think it's Princeton Tec that makes a glow-in-the-dark flashlight --but who needs it, with yellow like this?

    Alex

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