Testing every part

Ice fishing is hard on stuff. It’s cold, stuff freezes, the sun beats down on it, it gets thrown in buckets or dropped in water. We know how it is. And we would be super pissed if we paid a lot of money for something and it just turned out to be a piece of crap that didn’t work.

So we test everything extensively to make sure it works. We tested a variety of LEDs to find ones that were bright enough and the right color and used the least battery (not easy to do).

A variety of LEDs we tested to find the brightest and best performing, with the right color (We went with #3).

A variety of LEDs we tested to find the brightest and best performing, with the right color (We went with #3).

Next was the rolling ball sensor. Mercury switches are not good for the environment, so we chose a rolling ball sensor. This is a small box with a little metal ball inside that rolls around. There are two metal leads sticking into the box, and when the ball rolls at the right angle it touches the two leads and makes a connection, turning it on. We found a variety of rolling ball sensors from a variety of manufacturers and tested them all out on a test circuit at different angles. Some of them were way too sensitive and would turn on at a measly 10 degree tilt. Others were only sensitive in one degree but not another. Ultimately, we found one that worked exactly how we wanted. It turns on when it should at 45 degrees of vertical whether it starts of flat or sideways. Note that not all tipup lights work like this, and we tested out some tipup lights to see how we stacked up and weren’t happy until we could proudly say we were better.

At different angles, different sensors light up.

At different angles, different sensors light up.

We chose the one in the top left because it performed the most reliably at 45 degrees on either axis.

We chose the one in the top left because it performed the most reliably at 45 degrees on either axis.

And that’s just two of the inside components. The plastic enclosure is another story entirely.


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