Traser x2 Glowring

x2 Glowring

By Arnie

RRP £9.99
Colours Vibrant
Pink, Cool Green and Ice Blue

Click here to visit H3 Ltd

Click for a larger version

MaxPedition? Bundled in with some samples
from Jack at Woodland
. Was a rather cute item called the GlowRing X2. The technology
is something that I’ve seen before in the H3 watches (as seen on this

Click here to visit Woodland Organics

First impressions: The GlowRing X2 is the latest
keyring design from Traser (the 3rd to my knowledge). Personally I’m somewhat
confused by who owns and distributes the Traser technology at this exact point
in time, as I have what seem to be conflicting reports. Anyway, the details
on the packaging for the GlowRing X2 mention that the H3 technologies are exclusively
marketed by H3
(UK) Limited
here in the UK.

Called the GlowRing X2 the keyring
is basically a clear vial with a singular tritium element (GTLS) inside,
and two anodised alloy caps glued at each end. The top metal cap has the actual
keyring loop through it. The Glowring is available in three different colours
which basically boil down to blue, green and red (well it’s more like techno
pink really, the official names being Vibrant
Pink, Cool Green and Ice Blue

Written on the inside of the packaging you’ll find a note from
the manufacturers:

The glow in this product is created by a pressurised
laser sealed glass tube called a Gaseous Tritium Light Source (GTLS). This
highly advanced lighting technology is designed to glow for 10 years. H3
(UK) Limited DO NOT guarantee the glass components of this product which
may break if subjected to vibration, shock or misuse. If this occurs the
GTLS inside the acrylic casing will stop wokring and the glow will no longer
be visible. (H3 Products

How it works: The X2 glowring is from the same
people that brought you the Traser watch technology, with much the same ideas
behind it. The keyring constantly glows powered by a small vial of radioactive
gas. The end result is a keyring that glows in the dark to be seen over 20
feet away by the naked eye.

The physics behind the GTLS is really quite simple.
The vial contains gaseous tritium sealed
inside a phosphor-coated borosilicate glass vial. THe tritium gas is mildly
radtioactive with a half-life of roughly 10 years, and as it decays it emits
beta radiation, which simplistically speaking is an excited electron. When
these electrons hit the wall of the vial and come incontact with the phosphor
the electron is absorbed and a photon is released.

For anyone worried about
the design and the safety aspect, this is exactly the same system (principally
speaking) that a standard TV employs to produce a picture. The only real
difference here is that the electron source is a gas rather than an electron
gun. The end result is that the vial emits no harmful radiation (the electrons
are absorbed and photons are emitted) merely a low light output 24/7 for
a good 10-20 years.

Possible faults: There have been reports of
the keyrings coming to pieces, but as has also been said in the same places
(see external reviews), the manufacturers warranty would cover any issues.
If the ends aren’t secure enough for you for any overly punishing use you plan
to put it to, I’d recommend taking the top cap off (if it will) and using a
small about of Araldite or similar epoxy to glue the end back on. For the
record the version that I have here is very secure and there’s no signs of
the top cap being loose.

Product history: I’m
led to believe that the H3 technology was originally
used during the cold war providing emergency lighting for submarines. As
is usual with most military technology (cellphones, GPS etc) these gadgets
are becoming another of the latest fashion accessories out there.

Self-luminous materials activated by radium have been in use since 1918.
With the advent of the atomic age a number of radioisotopes became commercially
available as possible replacements for radium. Among these was a product called
Tritium, an isotope of hydrogen, which provided a half-life of twelve years and
only a very soft beta radiation, which if absorbed with certain luminescent materials
was found to be highly effective in producing a cold light. For years this technology
was used in commercial applications where an independent light source for dark
reading was required.

Although very effective, the process was not entirely satisfactory as the organic compound
was not contained and some Tritium would be released which if inhaled could cause a mild irradiation
of body tissue. Also because the compound was not contained, the useful life of the luminosity
was greatly reduced.

This prompted one of the most exciting breakthroughs in the industry by a Swiss manufacturing
company who had developed a special process of laser sealing Tritium in its gaseous form inside
borosilicate glass vials, which is similar to that used in the manufacture of cookware. The
Tritium was completely sealed inside the vials under pressure and because of this the Tritium
could not escape, which solved the problems of possible irradiation and loss of luminosity.

These glass vials still remain at the cutting edge of this highly specialised technology.
(H3 Products Ltd)

Uses: Obviously the amount of uses
that you can put this product to are really only limited by your imagination.

Colour choice: Because of the way that the human eye works, and
the sheer physics of visible light some colours of GTLS are brighter than other.
The actual colour emitted is determined by the phosphor used in production.
This is why there is a limited choice of colours available. The best colours
for the human eye to natrually percieve in low light conditions are yellows
and greens. For this reason a small green light can be seen in darkness by
the human eye roughly 40 metres away.

The brightness
of other colours relative to green (with green at 100%) are: 80% yellow –
60% white – 50% orange – 25% red – 20%
blue. So for the Glowring X2,
you should be aware that the easiest to see in the dark is the Green, followed
by Red and then closely by the Blue.

Tried and tested: The H3 lighting is wonderful.
Having used a watche that is powered by the same system for a good 7 months
I’m well aware of the advanges. I’ve been out at 2am in the middle of nowhere
where it’s pitch black (don’t ask, no really), and the watch is easily readable
plus can be used to read printed material in pitch black conditions if needed.

Here with the same technology built into a keyring, the GlowRing
X2 can be attached to anything from a zipper, to a set of car keys. I don’t
know about you, but if you’ve ever dropped your keys at night and they’d fallen
intoa dark corner somewhere there are obvious advantages if youcan actually
find them!

A few other uses that I’ve come across that people have used
these items for range from fitting them to your pets collars so that thye can
be seen in the dark (yup.. I’ve stepped on cats at night before), fitting
them to diving gear, to attaching the keyring to rucksack zippers for easy
use and night-time location.

Conclusion: If you are after something that
you can spot in the dark, or are just a gadget freak (like me I suppose) then
you won’t be disappointed. You know, I think that has to be the longest review
I’ve written about such a small item. ^_^

According to the H3 Products website:

Note – Due to International Regulatory differences regarding the use of GTLS
(H3 lights), this product can only be sent to residents of the UK.

I’m not quite sure what that means, although I assume it has
something to do with the nature of the lighting mechanism itself.

External links: Links to external sites of interest.

X2Glowring review at
H3 Products Ltd – makers of the X2 Glowring

by Arnie

on this review in the forums

Friday, September 3, 2004 4:06 AM
Copyright ArniesAirsoft

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