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Old 04-29-2018, 02:35 PM   #1
 
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A review of the ExFog system

This review is a WIP as I received the unit yesterday and have yet to field it.

Basic background stuff. Made by Battlewear Components, owned by Arron Bennett. Website: Home page

Price: $80

Variants: Headband and T-band. (I bought the T-band version.) The T-band version is designed to go on 1-2 inch thick headbands.

=====

Whats in the box: The unit, 2 different manifolds, tubing, headwear, velcro, usb charge cable, 4 zip-ties.

Its nicely boxed. Made of lexan. Built-in Lipo battery (non-removable).
2 different air manifolds included.

=====

Images:













=======

Initial Thoughts:

Overall I think this is a good unit. I have used other solutions, this one seems like its better. Price wise, I think its a little on the high side for what it is, but we will see if its really worth the price. Features, it has some nice features. Though not openly marketed. The changeable manifolds is nice, though the manifold lock system needs a little work in my opinion. Its glued on to the main body and the locking area is a little weak. But this is not something I see being a major issue as its not like you will switching those out all the time....

Well maybe... if you setup multiple head pieces and swap the main unit from setup to setup. Then it could be an issue.

A feature that is not mentioned is the fact you can run this unit off an external battery source. Its a nice feature. The 4 to 6 hours of constant use is not really that high, to the ability to use an external battery pack is good. I would have liked to see a removable battery in the next evolution of the product. A dust filter would be a nice touch as well.

Mounting:

I am not overly impressed with the mounting solutions supplied with it. Yes they are solid themselves, but the main part that connects the unit to the mount is velcro. While velcro is pretty stern stuff, I would want a more positive connection then that. Which I plan on fixing.

The advice I received from ExFog and other users of it for mounting it to a boonie, all involve cutting the boonie in some fashion to run the tubing. Not a deal breaker, but its not a great solution. I will come up with something to make it work. Once I get mine setup I'll post up my solutions and how I run mine.

=======

I think this is a strong good product and it has potential, but it needs a revision or 2 before its really a fantastic product. Ill update this thread later after I get some field time with it.
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Old 04-29-2018, 03:44 PM   #2
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I'm thinking of getting one of these. What other systems have you tried? Can you feel the airflow? I have Smith OTW Turbofan goggles, which still fog up under bad conditions, I have a homemade two-fan set of goggles that works well, and I had a Cyclone Mike system ( Action-Fans ). The Cyclone Mike eventually broke from laying down on it but it had good, noticeable airflow and could at least keep half my goggles clear (it has one tube). My usual solution is just to wear glasses, although they fog up too.

Basically, if there was a world championship for fogging up eye protection I think I'd win. If Exfog were a little less expensive I'd buy one without hesitation but I want to have some idea if it's going to work for me.
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Old 04-29-2018, 05:16 PM   #3
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Seen it before. The construction looks fragile, it has this "3d printed prototype" look to it. It would be better if it was more curved for helmet mounting. And i agree it's expensive.

Does it do multiple speeds?
Is it loud?
Details on the external battery system?
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Old 04-30-2018, 01:04 PM   #4
 
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I have used numerous different solutions, turbofan goggles, some DIY, the cyclone mike, as well as a few others.

You can feel the airflow, however I am still in the process of setting it up. So Ill get back to you on this.

It has 3 speeds. High, medium, low (in that order). High is a little loud, but if its stuffed inside a helmet counter-weight pouch it should be quiet enough. Could use some sound dampening. The coil whine is pretty real with it. I think if its in a pouch or something on low it would be fine.

As for the "external battery," https://www.newegg.com/Product/Produ...B&gclsrc=aw.ds

I am pretty sure I do not need to explain how to use one of those, as its pretty self-explanatory. I brought this up because not all modern electronics can use an external source while running. I have a few cheap-ish action cameras that completely lack this ability. (Which is beyond stupid....)

The units are not 3d printed. The prototypes were, but the production models are not. I know the manifolds are injection molded, the rest of the unit probably is as well. They do have that Gen1 look to them though. The back of the unit is contoured already, and does match up to a helmet. The included velcro would make mounting to a helmet easy.
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Old 04-30-2018, 05:34 PM   #5
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Alright. For some reason i had this idea of 12v plug or something for external power rather than micro usb. That makes sense.
In a perfect world, it would run 1-2 x interchangable 18650 cells...but w/e.
What's the internal battery capacity? I usually get like 50+ hours out of a 11,1v 1500mah stick for my helmet fan.
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Old 04-30-2018, 06:47 PM   #6
 
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Dunno exactly. I am not really in the mood to tear it apart yet. Considering the form factor its going to be small. I have not seen any documentation about it.

I would love to see it use 18650 cells. I have a few of those and they are easy to find. Hmmmm... I think this is a job for my cheapo chinese endoscope. Though no pics will be included with that as the "software" (if you can call it that....) actually worked like its supposed to, but that is what I get for buying cheap $20 chinese junk.

My goal for the evening is to get it setup in a "working solution."

I think if the battery life is terrible, I may mod mine to take 18650s. We will see though.
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Old 04-30-2018, 07:32 PM   #7
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I've run ESS Turbofans for the past several years. They work well, but after about 2 years of use the fans become loud and the electronics finicky. I usually replace them at that point. In extreme conditions, they don't remove all the condensation. I sweat so much that my Turbofans are always slightly fogged up after an hour of use.

I purchased the ExFog to supplement my Turbofans.

The ExFog sound as loud as a worn down pair of Turbofans. I contacted ExFog, and they told me that using the unit would "wear" in the parts and reduce the noise. I haven't had a chance to prove this, but I've been turning the unit on and letting it run inside my closet to give it time to "wear" in.
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Old 05-08-2018, 03:23 PM   #8
 
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Its been a little bit, been sick. I have had time to think about it.

While I do think $80 is a touch on the high side, I cannot say its overpriced. I think its adequately priced all things considered.

You can cheaply setup multiple loadouts without buying multiple units. All you need is the manifolds ($6.25 per set of 2), tubing($5.75 per 10 inch), and maybe additional head mounts ($8.50 each).

I would like to see the spare manifolds sold separately and not in a pack with the 2 different ones in it. It would cut down on wasted bits if I am only using one type of manifold.

For the tubing, I think its Tygon PVC tubing, McMaster sku#6516T14. Though I have not confirmed that, its merely a hunch and nothing more, until proven otherwise.

A Cyclone Mike kit at roughly $63.50 (Fan kit, Y-kit, and Filter) + whatever you need to mount it + batteries. Really does not sound like that much of a deal to me. (Yes, I know you can do that for cheaper. This is from the standpoint of someone who does not do DIY, or has no skills in such things.)

I feel that the adaptability this unit has over all the others is what really made the $80 dollar price tag worth it for me. The fact I can use this on virtually any eyewear I wish and be able to move it from setup to setup really sold it. I am happy with the $80 I spent on it.

===========





So I was able to mount it to my hat. The front strap is held to the front with a ziptie.

The tubing is going to be routed with some eyelets/grommets. I'll post the exact ones when I get back home.
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Old 05-08-2018, 07:48 PM   #9
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Good price
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Old 05-11-2018, 12:03 PM   #10
 
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Tubing routeing, I will be using 1/4 inch large eyelets. The fit is perfect too.

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Old 05-25-2018, 01:04 PM   #11
 
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Well apparently my pics have vanished.... Good job to whatever did that...

Anyway, its done! (I have been sick the last 2 weeks....)

Pics are an attachment.... or should be....
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File Type: jpg 20180525_125126.jpg (90.9 KB, 19 views)
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Old 06-02-2018, 02:41 PM   #12
 
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Fielded the unit today. Temp at the field was 102f (38.88C).... Works perfect! On medium speed, no one noticed any noise. No dry eyeballs either. So far I am completely sold on it. Worth the hassle.
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Old 06-02-2018, 03:22 PM   #13
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Bought a set too, i like the idea of a modular/external system to run with diffrent goggles. I allready own two Fan goggles but they still tend to fog on me sometimes (Smith & Revision).
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Old 06-19-2018, 09:40 AM   #14
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Received my kit and had a first game this weekend. I ran it with a Revision Desert Locust (non fan version) wich i upgraded with thermal lenses. We had around 24C, playing in the woods.. lot of sweat, goggles where swimming inside ;)
I did run the ExFog on the lowest setting 99% of the time with no issues at all. 3-4x over the day i had the feeling the goggle where at the edge of getting a bit foggy so i turned on high mode for 2-3 minutes till i cooled down a bit.
Overall my goggles did not fog up a single time over the day.

Low setting is silent enough to run it all day without any annoyance, high setting is kinda loud though.
No Problems with dry eyes for me. Overall alot better performance than my smith fan otw's or my fan locust (no thermal lense). I think the thermal lense had a big impact on my fogging issues but the ExFog is a great addon for the time i run into my limits.
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Old 12-25-2018, 08:10 PM   #15
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I got my hands on a set now, and i'm not impressed.

It's loud enough that this is an issue for sneaky beaky (think night time close up). It is also loud enough that it creates significant through-helmet noise when used with comtacs.



The USB charge slot is exposed for dirt etc.

The box is not shaped right for fitting on helmets either...? Bit of a miss, though it still fits well enough to be used.

There is a installation paradox by requiring the tubes to go into goggles while having the unit sat on the helmet. The goggles are sat on your head and would require some QD system of sorts. If the tubes are mounted to the goggles, it will interfere with helmet movement because a helmet typically moves independently of eye wear.

The airflow is incredibly low even on high setting. You can barely feel it. The fan/outlet design does not strike me as a very efficient design at all. The manifold openings are quite small.


I'm sure that they are fine for other people. I'm a sweaty bastard and this solution is insufficient for me. These would not be able to defog glasses inside my I4 mask, they would not be able to direct the airflow correctly to shooting glasses, and they would not mount correctly for full seal glasses with helmet.

(See the photo) I run a 12v PC fan on the side of my helmet, installed on a polycarb plate that just slides into the helmet siderail. It is very cheap, low noise and moves an insane amount of air across my glasses/face.


I like the idea, but i think the EXFOG needs a "generation 2" release before it is interesting for me again.


I think it is also expensive for a product with so many design shortcomings.
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