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Discussion Starter #1
I found an LED flashlight with a long acrylic bar that threads into the end of it. The makers call is a "refracting rod" because it has internal matte surfaces that disperse the light beam sideways. It takes 2 AAA's. It seems ideally sized for a leak light that you can use anywhere. (Coast Products model # 7533/2.) They claim it puts out 3.8 lumens.

I put it down my horn and found one leak, a pad that closes sometimes (and sometimes not.) But it might have missed others?

How bright does a leak light need to be?
 

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It depends upon how dark the room is. To see leaks in a well lit shop, it takes a very bright fluorescent or LED light to spot leaks. In a pitch dark room a much weaker light will work very well. The problem, of course, in a pitch dark room you might spot a leak in a pad but you can't see to repair it.
 

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I used a standard 4" LED Flash Light that fits perfictlly in the throat of my Tenor and is bright enough to light up the entire horn from top to the bell. The light is reflected by the horn itself. But I agree that the darker the room is, the better for finding the leak but repairing in the dark is a problem. At least you can target where the leaks are at.
 

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The basic rope light is a perfectly fine device if you're willing to dim the lights when you use it and it's also pretty cheap; $17.00 at Music Medic-

http://www.musicmedic.com/catalog/products/tool-lt100.html

The "too dark to work" angle (when the room lights are out) can be irksome at times. Absent a decent leak light- and shining a flashlight down the horn is pretty marginal (sub marginal) at best- you're really going to have to be awfully lucky not to wind up with a cornucopia of small leaks which you couldn't fix because you couldn't see them.

This means either a really stuffy horn with an iffy low end or a gorilla grip special- maybe both.

Bite the bullet and get the leak light.
 

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The basic rope light is a perfectly fine device if you're willing to dim the lights when you use it and it's also pretty cheap; $17.00 at...
It's common knowledge that you can get the very same thing at a Home Depot for around three bucks.
 

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I don't like the roope lights as they shine out of the tone holes all at once. I prefer a single bulb that I can slide to the exact pad I am working on. I use an old 12V power adapter from broken devices. I cut off the 12V end plug, attach a wire with a small lamp socket and screw a bulb in (radio shack 1143). I covered the wiring nearest the bulb with a bit of plastic tubing about a foot long. I can use it like a wand. Cheap to make and easy to hold. A problem that can appear with 110v lights is that if the bulb or wiring gets exposed, you have a metal shocker in your hand!
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Hm.

Well, this flash-w/-diffusion-rod thing I got seems about equivalent to some fo the options you are describing. I couldn't fidn the rope light at Home Depot, which is why I got this. Fry's Electronics for $20, but you could probably find it online for half that.

If you only want to illuminate one hole at a time, you could probably saw the rod down to about 1 inch.
 

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Go for it!

My own experience really did support the notion that the seventeen bucks from MM was a good investment- but with due diligence (and with all the lights turned out!) you can probably come out just fine. If you're handy, a plain old flashlight bulb with a pair of wires soldered on to it and a pair of D cells on the other end is pretty bright. It only falls short in terms of being difficult to use for closure synching as it's a "one pad at a time" deal.

Be really careful to get good illumination under each hole and then slowly close each pad while observing to see that all the light is cut off at the same time. Closing on one side before another ( that sliver of light at one portion of the pad to tonehole contact that goes away when you push harder) is really just asking for it in terms of good response. You'll also need to be very,very, careful when checking those pads that have part of your view obstructed by the posts and rods of the mechanism; you've really got to examine those closely when performing tests or you'll miss leaks. Also be observant for synching issues; the F#/G/Bb closure from the F touch and the Bb/A closure being high up on the list of suspects! Those pads (or hold downs) have got to close at just the same time or you'll be using a death grip to play!

Good luck and keep us posted-
Henry
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Thanks, Henry.

At this point, I'm only using it to determine whether the horn needs to go to the tech, or I need to build up my embouchure.
 
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