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Easton Tracer LED lighted nock

 

 

             

Jason Harris, Product Manager for the Easton Tracer at product launch at the 2008 ATA Show 

 

Easton Tracer package

 

Package content

 

Detailed and clear installation instructions

 

Easy to assemble & fun to use

Easton Tracer (middle) compared to Firenock International and Burt Coyote Lumenok (right)

 

 

 VIDEO & night shot COMING SOON !!!

 

Introduction

Today we are reviewing the new Easton Tracer lighted nocks for crossbows.

As we have previously tested the Burt Coyote Lumenok (here) and the Firenock International Firenock 2.0c (here) Easton was the only one missing.

Easton launched the new Tracer this January at the ATA Show, as we reported here and it became available a few weeks ago.
The Easton Tracer is a LED illuminated nock that replaces your conventional nock and allows tracing arrow flight as well as helps you retrieve the arrow in case you miss your intended target. In hunting situations the lighted nock helps in identifying the where you hit your game and in locating game especially at dusk or at night.

Easton Tracer is magnetically activated, meaning that the LED on the nock is triggered by means of a small magnet that you have to position strategically onto your crossbow riser. This activation via a magnet is a patent that Easton bought from a company named Tracer Products Inc (hence the name).

Notes:

·         This patent is also the reason why Firenock developed the new G series lighted nocks (acceleration activated) and quit selling magnetically activated lighted nocks.

·         The Firenock International nocks we reviewed here are magnetically activated but are not available in the US

 

The Easton Tracer is a product that shows there is a big name behind it, the package is really designer stuff, very elegant in shades of black and green, (not that you buy products picking package design but it really stands out) .

The nocks are available in a blister package that contains a single nock and the activation magnet, or multiple packs of two and four. Multiple packs also include practice , matched weight nocks.

The Easton Tracer is available in both Flat nock and Half Moon nock variations.

The package also contains an instruction leaflet that is well written and easy to understand.

Also in the package you will find a Velcro patch with self adhesive back to easily attach the magnet to the riser of your crossbow. Since the magnet is really small and unobtrusive I prefer to use a few drops of silicone to permanently affix it to the riser though.

The nock is built using a Easton flat nock (translucent orange) that houses the PCB (printed circuit board)

The small PCB has a few electronic components to drive the LED and connects to the battery. The battery is not replaceable as it is wrapped with a thermo shrinking sleeve and its terminals soldered; this means that as the battery is exhausted you need to buy a new nock. Easton rates battery duration at 90 hours, that should be plenty enough for field practice, in hunting situations you will be probably searching for your game a few hours after the shot , again 90 hours are more than enough.

There is no magic about this long battery duration: Easton makes good use of the LED driving electronics , the LED in fact is programmed by the onboard electronics to switch on (passing over the magnet) and stay on for 10 seconds, after that it goes into flash mode (this saves battery)  thus it flashes once every seconds.

The LED is not as bright as competitor’s offerings:  this is due to the type of led used (this choice helps saving some battery) and by the fact that Easton decided to use an orange translucent nock that diffuses light but reduces the brightness further. I found, however, that this becomes a feature instead of a negative remark if you are target shooting: If I shoot a lighted arrow into the target on the subsequent shoots I have the tendency to be distracted by the light of the first shoot , (actually I really tend to concentrate on it…) and this is especially bad if your first shot is off center…  .

Another feature , so far unique to Easton’s Tracer, is that the chip inside the nock can be set to “transport” mode: in order to avoid unwanted (accidental)  activations. The nocks comes in this mode, as a result if you pass a magnet close to it just flashes once and then it goes back to sleep .To activate the nock you should put the magnet close and the nock will flash once, continue keeping the magnet close for at least 5 seconds and the nock will flash twice, immediately remove the magnet and the nock will flash rapidly five times, your nock is now ready to use.

Installation is pretty straightforward, just remove your old nock , use a little sandpaper to remove glue remains and slide in the new Easton Tracer , we used the size for 2219 aluminum arrows and we found it fits quite snugly , no cement is necessary , the nock is also self centering onto 6 ribs along its length; there is also a small O ring positioned onto the battery to help centering the battery in the arrow tube and to prevent it from shaking.

Now you can use the Tracer Nocks just like any conventional nock: thanks to its low mass you will barely notice a variation in the point of impact compared to your standard setup.

The Easton Tracer Flat Back Tracer Nock for 2219 Aluminum arrows weighs

 

The Easton Tracer triggers very well and it activates reliably on every shot , the magnet can be positioned a full inch within arrow path allowing you to find the best position on the riser.

Deactivation downrange is where a second magnet comes handy, unless you want to carry you crossbow downrange just to turn the nocks off. (Actually if you attach the magnet with the supplied Velcro patch you can remove it and carry it downrange to turn off your nocks)

 

Conclusions

Illuminated nocks are a valuable aid in field training to discover flight problems and to score your shot without a scope. In hunting situations illuminated nocks are invaluable in helping retrieve lost arrows or lost game.

The Easton Tracer is a remarkable product, well built and with the Easton name behind it.

 

Manufacturer data:

Easton Technical Products

Tracer Nock (LED Lighted nock)

Available for Carbon and Aluminum arrows

26 grains

Long-life lithium battery—up to 90 hours

http://www.eastonarchery.com

     
       
       
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