Wuben X-2 Owl Review (3X LH351D, 1800 Lumens, USB-C)

Wuben is back at it with another Kickstarter project, this time with a smaller version of the side by side X series light using 2X 14500 batteries and 3 LED’s. Wuben sent me this early production prototype to take a look at and help them promote the Kickstarter campaign for the light. The Kickstarter ends December 1st 2022, so if you are watching this before then make sure to check out the link in the description below, and if not ill try to find some links to where you can get it after.

 

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Link to the Kickstarter

Check out the Kickstarter for the Wuben X-2 Owl at http://bit.ly/3ErUEHf

 

Packaging & Accessories

Since this was a prototype it didn’t come with a box, or any of the accessories. If you buy one I would expect a full retail box, charging cable, and lanyard at a minimum. 

 

Construction & Design

The looks of the X-2 Owl is similar to the X-1 Falcon that I took a look at a few months ago, but smaller. It’s the same design language as the X-1 headlamp that Wuben also debut in 2022. So more squared off, sharp angles, and kind of a cyber space-aged type look.

The light is made from aluminum and is being offered in 3 color options, a standard black anodizing, a gradient ramp that’s a white fading into blue, and then the “white” MAO version I have here. I’m becoming a fan of the Metal Arc Oxide coating look even though it’s not the most durable finish around. The front and rear pieces are black and I think this is smart as it should help with durability. There are also going to be copper versions, and 4 different anodized titanium versions too. The light is offered in two LED options, the Samsung LH351D, and an Osram P9. Not every LED and body material/color combination are available currently.

The lights are held together with several screws, my Wera Hex Plus 1.5mm keys were able to unscrew them, and there was no thread locker that I could find. The rear specifically says “Do not disassemble” but I had to at least take a peak inside. What I found was a pair of what I assume are 14500 batteries in a pack, labeled as 2000mAh, 3.7v.. I couldn’t fully remove the battery pack so it must be attached to wires inside to the switch and charging port circuitry. I’m guessing removing more of the screws would get this to a place you could actually replace the batteries if you wanted to, but it would be a somewhat complicated process and may involve a soldering iron. Most consumers are not going to do this, even most flashlight enthusiasts.

Edit: I did go ahead and remove some more screws and the battery has wires coming out from it that are soldered directly to the circuit board. Totally replaceable if you should choose to, you just have to work a bit and solder. 

 

 

 

 

The button section appears to be the same as what Wuben used on the X-0, it’s a hatch system that covers the button and the USB-C port cover. It’s an interesting design, and while it doesn’t offer much water protection for the port, the port itself is waterproof. I will note, that because of this design using lockout is a must as this large switch is easy to press when carried in a pocket or bag. The hinged lid for lack of a better word is magnetically attracted. There are 2 sprung silver-colored magnets that it rests on. There was definitely some engineering that went into this. 

 

Retention

My prototype didn’t come with any of the retention options that Wuben is promoting on the campaign page. It looks like it has a lanyard option that attaches at the rear on one side with a metal clasp. This lanyard looks like it doubles as an integrated USB-C charging cable too, which is neat. 

 

My light did ship with the large improved clip that’s on the rear of the light. This is a very large clip that takes up the entire rear of the light pretty much. I don’t see myself carrying this in my front pocket, due the size. You could in theory put it in your rear pants pocket (In lockout mode), but I think for many people this will be a light they put in a bag and this is what Wuben shows in their material. The clip works well to fit onto molle webbing, which you might have on a bag or vest. Unfortunately, the clip is facing the wrong direction to clip this on to the top of a hat, the lights a little heavy for that too IMHO. 

 

Size & Weight

I measured the light at 3.35” long, 0.80’ wide, and 1.55” thick. I measured it as 4.33oz with the clip installed. The light is IP68 water and dust rated. 

 

LED & Beam

There are two LED options for the Wuben X-2 Owl. There is the Osram P9 which produces a few more lumens and I believe is a cooler white and the Samsung LH351D emitter which is a more neutral white and high CRI. Each version has 3 of the same LED’s, in a linear setup, each with optics. I have the Samsung LH351D version, and on my Opple Meter I measured the CCT at 4468K, and 96Ra (CRI). DUV was right in the middle, with no green tinge which was nice. The beam here does have a profile that mimics the shape of the physical light at shorter distances, at longer distances it diffuses and is unnoticeable. There is PWM here in all the modes, it’s pretty fast and I can’t see it with my eyes or camera.

 

Night Shots

Night shots can be found on the video. 

 

Outputs

Below are the outputs I got at the 30 second mark in terms of outputs and the percentages of claimed outputs with the Samsung LH351D emitter

.

  • Turbo – 1750 – Lumens – 97.2% of Claimed
  • High – 312 – Lumens – 78% of Claimed
  • Medium – 80 Lumens – 80% of Claimed
  • Low – 7 Lumens – 140% of Claimed (Take this with a grain of salt)

Wuben’s official Outputs.

https://i.imgur.com/LSgRi5c.jpg

 

Heat & Runtime

I did my testing with my Owl here that has the Samsung LH351D LED’s. I did this in the default output levels for each mode (they are adjustable). Turbo lasted about 90 seconds and after stepdown was about 600 lumens. This was then very consistent out to 1:17:00 when the light turned off. Max heat during this time was about 43C (Uncooled), at the 40-minute mark. 

I also did runtime comparisons with 3 modes, Turbo, High, and Medium. Turbos total runtime was 1:17:00, High was 2:50:00, and medium was out to just shy of 11 hours.

 

UI

The interface seems to be the same as the X-1 Falcon, so here is what I had written up for that. My light arrived in Lockout mode, so 4 presses of the button unlock or lock the light. Single press to turn on, long press once on to cycle through the 4 main modes. Double press from anywhere to get to turbo. The light does have blinking modes that you can get to from anywhere by triple pressing. Triple press again to cycle between strobe and SOS modes.

 

The unique aspect of this light is the programming mode, It allows you to adjust the preset value of the 4 main modes by one on Clicking and holding and the light will ramp up slightly and blink when at the top of the range. Just stop when you reach the brightness you want and it will memorize it. There are upper and lower bounds on what each mode will do too. Consult your manual to see the exact ranges and directions.

 

Recharging

As mentioned before there are two 1400 Liion batteries internally witht a total capacity of 2000mAh according to Wuben. These are non user replaceable. I did my recharging testing by first running the light untl it shut itself off. I then hooked it up to my tester and in this case used an Xtar 45W USB-C power source (With my own cable rated for 100W), and the light charged in 2:37:00. Max amperage during this time was right at 1A. The charge curve here I felt like was a tad harsh at the beginning, many lights tend to ease into it at the beginning while they are sensing the battery’s charge level, this did’t do that, just straight on with as much as it wanted. I did some subsequent testing and had no trouble charging via USB-C to C, or with chargers supporting USB-C PD. The light will work in Low, Medium, and High while charging. The light will still operate on low, medium and high while charging too.

 

Conclusion

The X-1 Falcon was a pretty large light, so making a smaller version is a logical step to take. The X-2 Owl I think will be a size that ends up being a better fit for people and a good combination of output with runtime. I’m not sure the switch version here makes a tons of sense, it make the use of lockout mandatory whenever the light is in a bag or pocket. While neat and different accidental activation is really easy if not using lockout modes. 

I like that Wuben is offering this in so many colors and materials from the beginning nearly. While I’m not a huge fan of established companies using Kickstarter, this does give them a good method to determine the demand for more specialty materials, or emitters. The LED choice here is good with the LH351D seeming to be the default choice for most lights, it’s a good neutral white, high CRI option. The beam profile is decent despite the emitters being in a line. Too bad here though that the batteries are not more easily replaced, it seems like that would be a fairly simple thing to do, even if you had to use a screwdriver to do it a few years down the road. So overall a solid option, if you want a form factor that’s a bit different or a flashlight that doesn’t look like your typical round light.

The Kickstarter campaign here runs through the end of November 2022, so if you are interested in looking more at it and picking one up check out the link below in the description on where you can find this one. It looks like they are expecting to ship these out pretty soon, in January of 2023, so you won’t have to wait very long.

Link to the Kickstarter

Check out the Kickstarter for the Wuben X-2 Owl at http://bit.ly/3ErUEHf

Wurkkos TS10 Review (Inexpensive, High CRI, 14500, EDC Flashlight)

The Wurkkos TS10 was a light designed with input and feedback from forum members at BudgetLightForums (BLF) and the company. The idea ended up being an inexpensive triple-emitter flashlight with auxiliary LED’s powered from a 14500 battery to maintain a slim profile. Thanks to Wurkkos for sending me the black light here, I liked it enough, I bought this white MAO (Metal Arc Oxide) version myself when it was available for a brief time.

If you are watching this review around November 11th make sure to check the description below for links to where you can pick the light up for around $20 on AliExpress. If watching after no fear I will have links and any discount codes too, this is an affordable light, but might was well get it for less by using my links right? 

 

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Links to Purchase

Wurkkos Direct https://www.wurkkos.com/search/?Keyword=TS10

AliExpress Store https://www.aliexpress.us/item/3256803886988095.html?spm=a2g0o.store_pc_promotion.promotePruductList_2003993329748.4&gatewayAdapt=glo2usa4itemAdapt&_randl_shipto=US

Amazon

TS10 Silver: https://amzn.to/3NXNsGS

CODE: USTS10BSR  20% OFF +10% coupon on the Amazon Page

 

TS10 Black : https://amzn.to/3E2gxg0

CODE: liquidre       20% OFF +10% coupon on the Amazon Page

 

TS10 Red? https://amzn.to/3E2gxg0

CODE: TS10USBSR    20% OFF +10% coupon on the Amazon Page

 

Packaging & Accessories

The light comes in a Retail Wurkkos orange and white box. The only identifying info is a sticker on the side showing which model and options you have. Inside it comes in a plastic tray, and the accessories include a lanyard, clip and optional Wurkkos 14500 battery (recommended), as well as the manual. 

 

Construction & Design

The light is made from aluminum mainly (There is a brass version too) with a number of configurations. The bodies come in 4 main body colors, Black, Red, Silver, and Green, with two LED tint choices 4000k and 5700k, as well as 4 aux LED colors, red, orange, ice blue, and green, and the final option is with or without a battery. I have the Black, with 4000k tint main LED’s and Ice Blue Aux here. Then I have this limited run of MAO finish that Wurkkos did with 4000k tint main LED and Orange Aux that I bought. The MAO finish looks great but isn’t the most durable as you can see from some of the marks and scratches on it. 

The design itself is quite small at only 2 and 6/8ths inches long. I have AAA lights that are longer. The tail features a metal disk with rings for texture covering the button On both of my lights it’s gray, not body color which is a little disappointing. The tail is glued to the body tube for reliability I assume. In the hand, it works reasonably well for a cigar or pinch grip. There is no texture on the body so in some conditions it could be a bit slick. The head is simple with some milling for grip and style. There are a few too many markings on the light for me, with a warning, brand, and model number as well as a CE, ROHS, nonrecyclable symbol on the back, and a battery polarity symbol on the tail. There isn’t a serial number that I can find on the outside of the light. 

 

Retention

Retention is where I deduct a few points for this light, and that’s mainly for the double-direction pocket clip. If I am going to EDC light, I use a pocket clip so it’s an important feature for me. The clip here could be deeper carry in the pocket in my opinion, it leaves about a ½” of the top of the light sticking out. It’s the pocket clip from the Sofirn SC21 and I had similar complaints there. The top hoop of the clip itself needs a bit more space for the material to maximize that deep carry ability, in my experience, it’s not enough to fit onto my jeans. Lastly, there is a bit of a shelf when putting it into your pocket for material to catch in prematurely. There are a few alternatives that the community has found fit, like the Olight Baton 3 clip, or Lumentop E05C clip that both carry deeper. There is also the option to attach a lanyard at the tail, but as you guys know that’s not really my thing.

 

Size & Weight

I measured the length of the light at 71.3mm, and a diameter of 21mm at the head. Weight with the included battery and clip at 1.79oz. The light is IPX8 water rated.

 

LED & Beam Profile

The TS10 is using 3X LatticePower CSP LED’s as its primary LED’s, and they are available in 4000k, and 5800k variants. There are also 3 secondary LED’s of various colors depending on what you order, these don’t have a brand mentioned. The colors available are Red, Orange, Blue, and Green. On the two examples, I have blue is brighter than Orange, and that’s not unexpected.

With my Opple Light meter, I measured the primary LED’s at 4152k and 96ra (CRI). DUV was good in my opinion and has an ever-so-slight orange tint. The beam profile is pretty good out of a triple LED light with an optic, it’s not perfectly round, and a larger hotspot for such a small light. As expected with an Anduril light, there is PWM here but it’s fast and not noticeable to my eye or camera. 

 

Here are the outputs I measured on my lumen tube at the 30 second mark. 

  • S1-NA
  • S2-7 Lumens
  • S3-52 Lumens
  • S4-300 Lumens
  • S5-1070 Lumens

Runtime & Heat

For my runtime tests I ran with the thermal configuration as the light arrived to me with the included Wurkkos battery for most of my tests. It was reported by others that the the light’s thermals were pretty accurate from the factory, and let’s face it most probably won’t be recalibrating this but know that you can, and that will improve how long it can sustain higher outputs. I also tested mine in a ramping mode which might explain why I didn’t see any step up in output like I would expect.

Turbo produced about 1250 peak lumens but within about 45 seconds stepped down to 150 lumens or so because of heat. Heat peaked at about 42C during this run, and this is factory setting. This is warm to the touch but quite safe. I probably should set it a bit higher and I will be messing with that after my review here. Total runtime was 2 hours 5 minutes at this lower output. 

I tested the battery as well, It’s a claimed 900mAh and I tested it as 836mAh on my Vapcell S4 Plus charger. I then did my runtime graphs with a Vapcell H10 and had only minor differences, with the Vapcell battery recovering a little better and producing more light in the first 5 minutes of runtime but overall getting down to that lowest output at the end about 6 minutes earlier. 

 

UI

This light uses Anduril 2 firmware. I won’t go into great details on how to operate it because I have done that on other videos but know that it can do nearly anything you want.

All that said the original version of the light shipped with a buggy firmware version (2022-02-08-0614) that meant the auxiliary LED’s stayed on during use of the primary LED’s, the larger problem was that the Auxilary LED’s had no Low Voltage protection. This would allow the light if the aux LED’s were on in high to drain the battery in a matter of days, potentially damaging the battery if it had no protection. Another thing the fixed firmware does is allow the lowest mode to be lower output. 

The good news is this bug has been fixed on lights shipping the past 2 months, so if your buying one today especially from Wurkkos direct the light you receive should be fixed. If not I created a video on on how to flash the firmware with Android since the light does have exposed pogo pins. I will flash this black light here after filming the video. 

 

Recharging

The light has no build in recharging. To recharge you will need an external charger. I have reviewed several here on the channel that would work well,

 

Conclusion

The Wurkkos TS10 is a really nice small EDC light in my opinion. It has a lot of the features that you typically have to step up in price to get, like auxiliary LEDs, high CRI in a slightly warm tint, a triple LED driver. It has enthusiast firmware that’s easily modifiable due to the exposed programming pads. It’s also relatively easy to do LED swaps on since the front bezel piece unscrews and gives access. There are a few Redditors that do this as a service for people wanting LED swaps. 

As with most triples High and Turbo produce a lot of heat and don’t last very long. This isn’t surprising but like most people, I wish it would last a little longer. The clip is a disappointment all around, I suspect they used parts bin part to save cost, but I would gladly pay a few dollars more for a purpose-built clip here that worked better. 

Overall it’s really a great value, with normal prices around $25 with battery, and if I get this video out soon enough you can even catch it for $20 on Singles day 11-11-2022 on Wurkkos AliExpress Shop or Wurkkos Direct. Any other coupons or deals I have I will put in the description below as well. I am sure some of you guys have this light already, so let me know what you think of it in the comments below.

Reylight Pineapple Mini Seigaiha Edition (Nichia 519a LED, Titanium)

Urban EDC has created an exclusive edition of the Reylight Titanium Pineapple Mini flashlight by milling a seigaiha wave pattern into the body tube. It’s available in a bead-blasted titanium or a stonewashed finish like I have here. Thanks to Urban EDC for sending this to me to review and show everyone. Links to their website are below in the description.

 

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Buy the Reylight Pineapple Mini Seigaiha Edition at https://bit.ly/UrbanEDCLR

If UrbanEDC is sold out I am told they will be restocking in a couple of weeks so make sure to check back!

 

A history lesson on Seigaiha

A little history lesson here first, The Seigaiha pattern first appeared sometime in 6th century Japan. It symbolizes waves, power, and resistance, which are key elements of Japanese culture. It’s also come to symbolize “surges of good luck”. In recent years, the pattern has increasingly become popular in the EDC community. I think it’s classic and elegant. Something that could be used daily, or on special occasions while at the same time adding a very functional grip to the flashlight, pen, or knife. 

This also ties in nicely with Urban EDC’s recent brand identity updates to its compass logo that now incorporates the seigaiha waves too.

 

Brief Bit on the light design and function

As far as the light itself this is mostly a standard Reylight Pineapple Mini I have reviewed before, with a few updates. I like the Pineapple Mini and own several in different colors, materials, etc, and carry one often, due to its slim size, lightweight, and appealing tint.

For those unfamiliar with the Pineapple mini, let’s look at a few of the high points. Starting at the tail there is a 1.5 x 6mm tritium slot in the tail button. Underneath is a reverse clicky switch. The clip sits below that, held in place by the tail cap. That space is required, if you prefer to go clipless Rey sells a spacer or there are ones you can 3D print too. The clip itself is deep carry and has a reasonably large hoop at the top to easily accommodate jeans. The clip is not reversible. 

The body tube is the start here on this Seigaiha model, it adds texture that in the hand feels good, not too aggressive on the skin but is more aggressive on your pocket than the standard pineapples. So not only does it look good but it’s functional too. Threads are fine and standard. Mine could have used a bit more grease but that’s an easy fix with some Superlube grease. The head is largely plain with minor styling. Up front there is no crenulation, the AR glass is inset slightly, surrounded by an orange peel reflector. The stonewashed titanium model here weighs 1.37oz with the battery and clip. 

 

LED & Beam Shots

Urban EDC lists the light as having a Nichia 219b LED, but based on the many Reylight Mini’s I have, the 519a Mod’s I have done, and after talking to Rey I am pretty certain these have Nichia 519a LED’s. Reylights 219b’s tended to be around 4500k, and this 519a is closer to 4000k. In my shot below the grey titanium on the left is the 519a, and the brass 219b is on the right. This updated LED is a good thing in my opinion as the 519a has more output than the 219b, still high CRI, and has a nice rosy tint which I prefer myself. It’s the most popular LED at the moment due to it’s great characteristics. 

On my Opple Light Master Pro I measured the light on High with a liion and got 3896k, at 97Ra (CRI). DUV was slightly orange, with no green in the beam which I like. On High there is PWM but it’s very fast. The beam profile with the 519a LED is a larger hotspot, this is partly due to a slightly revised reflector I think too. It’s a nice beam pattern for a non TIR EDC light in my opinion.

 

Outputs

While the light will a AAA alkaline or NiMH battery all my testing was done with the 10440 Liion it ships with. For me this is the only way I run any of my Reylight lights, performance is quite a bit more, but you do trade runtime. In general

With a 10440 battery, I got the following outputs in the default mode.

  • High – 280 Lumens
  • Medium  – 65 Lumens
  • Low – 16 Lumens
  • Moon – 1-2 lumens I would guess, my lumen tube isn’t very accurate this low.

 

With a AAA Alkaline or NiMH I got the following

  • High – 85 Lumens
  • Medium – 45 Lumens

 

Heat and Runtimes

I had a little trouble with my runtime data here, I will insert graphs of what things look like and let them speak for themselves. No issues to report. I will say that on High when running a NiMH is short depending on the resistance of your battery. The 10440 is really the way to go here.

 

UI

The UI here is basic and pretty easy to use. The light does have a reverse clicky switch which means you must press the button all the way in to turn on. Once on you can half press to change the modes. By default, the light does not have memory mode but that can be turned on. The light is programmable into 4 preset modes that vary the output of the low, medium and high outputs. The 4th mode adds a strobe option too. 

Reylight has some directions on their website, and I will try to link to some of them that I made when I gave some mini’s as gifts. This is an area for improvement, Reylight should include some directions inside the package. Make sure to charge that included 10440 battery before use too. Side note you will need to supply your own charger, my recommendations are the Vapcell S4 Plus and Xtar VC4 Plus (VC4SL) both of which I have done reviews on in the past.

 

Final Thoughts

I have 8 different Reylight Mini lights it’s no secret I am a fan of them. The titanium Seigaiha version from UrbanEDC is visually really nice I think. I find the Seigaiha pattern appealing, and I like the history behind it as well. As someone who works in technology, it looks like the wifi symbol too which is fun. 

Functionally the new pattern is nice as well, you get a surprising amount of grip from it in the hand. While it does grip the pocket well, in my jeans, the new pattern does seem to almost grip too much, I would expect it to wear the inside of the pocket material more so than my other Reylight Mini Pineapples I have.  

This isn’t the light that you are going to take camping or expect to put in heavy-duty during a natural disaster, but it functions really well as a small EDC light that you carry in a pocket to have with you for small daily duties. Finding the lock on a door, not tripping over something inside or outside the house at close range, finding the dog in the back yard briefly, extra light to find a lost item in your car or under the couch etc. I find myself carrying a mini quite often because I really like the slim size. 

Remember these come with the Nichia 519a LED too, so it’s more output than older Pineapple Mini’s you might have, but still retaining a high CRI and pleasant tint. It’s a great way to try what’s arguably the LED of the year that enthusiasts are loving almost universally. 

 

Buy the Reylight Pinapple Mini Seigaiha Edition at https://bit.ly/UrbanEDCLR

If UrbanEDC is sold out I am told they will be restocking in a couple of weeks so make sure to check back!

Nitecore NTO10 8 in 1 Bottle Opener

Get the Nitecore NT010 at the following links below.

Indigogo: https://www.indiegogo.com/projects/nto10-8in1-multipurpose-titanium-bottle-opener-edc#/

Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B0BFGSXPNW?ref=myi_title_dp AliExpress: https://www.aliexpress.us/item/3256804577201291.html?gatewayAdapt=glo2usa4itemAdapt&_randl_shipto=US

Nitecore Store: https://shrsl.com/3rg6l

 

 

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Thrunite Catapult Pro Review (2713 Lumens, 1005 Meters Throw)

Today I have the latest and greatest version of the Thrunite Catapult Pro. This is a long-distance handheld thrower flashlight. It uses an SFT70 LED, which results in an improved throw of over 300 meters out to 1005 meters, and a 132,500 candela improvement. On throwers, it’s that candela number that you are looking for not lumens. Thanks to Thrunite for sending this to me. 

 

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Buy the Catapult Pro from Amazon at https://amzn.to/3SQkURn

Buy the Catapult Pro from Thrunite at https://thrunite.com/catapult-pro/#tab-description

 

LED & Beamshots

The Catapult Pro is using a Luminis SFT70 LED, this is a flat top LED and well known for its throwing capabilities. On my Opple meter, I measured about 6000k when in low, and it gets slightly cooler up to 6100k when in infinity high mode. CRI (Ra) measured at 68. The DUV showed it was just slightly green in person this is hard to notice. There is very fast PWM when using the infinity UI as you would expect, but high and turbo are free of it. 

As you show from the night shots section the beam is what you expect out of throw, a very small, very intense hot spot, this has a small spill around it that’s about half as bright, and then the wider spill is very minimal. Compared with older versions the beam here is more intense and has a tighter more defined spot. This is reflected in the greater distance and improvement of 132,400 candela. 

 

Output Testing

Turbo – 2450 out of Rated 2713 = 90%

Infinity High – 1620 out of Rated 1482 = 102%

Infinity Low – 50 out of Rated 42 = 119%

 

Heat and Runtime

Quickly let’s go through the heat and runtime here of the Catapult Pro. The light is able to sustain 1500 lumens or more for 9 minutes and it reaches 48C during this. The first minute and a half are good for at least another 1000-1500 lumens. In high mode the lights able to sustain the 1500 lumens for an impressive 14 minutes. Total runtime in Turbo and High are right at 1:50:00. I also tested by ramping to 1000 lumens and seeing how long it could hold this and that got me out to 2:17:00.

 

Packaging & Included Accessories

The packaging is the same as Thrunite’s standard brown cardboard box, with line drawings on the outside, and minimal info. Inside the light is well protected with foam. The accessories are the light itself, with a preinstalled 5000mAh 26650 protected battery, USB-A to C charging cable, nylon holster, branded lanyard, split ring, 2 spare O-rings, spare port cover, inner button material, and the manual. 

 

Construction & Design

The Catapult Pro is a step away from the design we have known on the Catapult V6 and V6 SST70 versions. While the tail sections are the same, the body tube is where the difference shows. Gone are the milled diamond grip pattern which was one of my favorite things, and they have been replaced with more traditional rectangle milling that Thrunite uses on other lights like the TN series. Here the blocks are a little larger and deeper, it makes for an aggressive grip on the black anodized aluminum. Interestingly all 3 versions of the Catapult have interchangeable heads and bodies, and they all work with each other. Anodizing here is good quality and matches very well with other black Thrunite flashlights I have. 

The light only separates at the top of the body tube right before the switch. Inside there is a beefy double spring in the tail and threads at the top are square cut, and nicely greased. The button is the same one that Thrunite uses on most of their models. It’s low profile and is a decent click for an electronic switch. Reverse the switch is the USB-C recharging port, with a good silicone cover that stays in place nicely.

The head design is similar to the TN42 V2 that I reviewed last year, where it’s a smooth cone on the exterior, silver bezel, large glass lens, smooth reflector, and a nicely centered LED.

 

Size, Weight, and Retention

With each revision of the Catapult, they seem to grow a little in size, and that’s no different here with the Catapult Pro. Length is 5.92” (150.5mm) long, 1.3” (33.5mm) in diameter at the body and 2.55” (65mm) at the head. Weight with the battery installed is 10.89oz or 308.6g. Weight increases only slightly 0.19oz over the outgoing Catapult V6 SST70 version. 

Retention options are the same as previous models, there is a place for the lanyard attachment at the rear with or without the use of a split ring using the branded lanyard. Your other option is by use of the nylon holster. This holster has a very minimal amount of padding inside, it features a fixed belt loop and plastic Dring. 

 

UI

The Catapult Pro has a change in UI, from Thrunites normal stepped modes to a ramping interface we have seen on a few other Thrunite lights. I don’t mind this because it allows for the user to dial in exactly how bright they need the light and optimize battery life. However here it’s just a touch slower than I would prefer. 

The ramping interface works logically and has memory mode. It’s infinity ramping, so if you press the button and hold it the light will ramp up, flash twice at the top of normal brightness, and then start ramping down, where it will then flash twice and start ramping up again. Long press from off to get to firefly, Double Press in any mode to get to Turbo, and triple press from any mode to get to strobe. One interesting note here about strobe is that it doesn’t produce anywhere near peak output. It’s only rated to 776 lumens whereas the light is capable of producing 2700 lumens in Turbo.

 

Recharging

Recharging here is accomplished with the onboard USB-C. The port cover here is good, it stays in place easily. I had no issues charging the ligh with USB-C to C or with chargers capable of PD. I tested the included 5000mAh Thrunite button top protected battery at 5543mAh. From LVP at 3.159v to full at 4.156v in 3:20:00 with a maximum charge rate of just under 2A for about 70% of the charging time. Let me know how you like the graph here, I got some new equipment that gives a more detailed output. 

 

Final Thoughts

I have been a fan of previous versions of the Catapult and the new Catapult Pro earns that spot and recommendation too. It’s a pretty big upgrade in performance over the previous version. It’s a significantly more focused, intense beam, and the result is 300 meters more throw than the previous version. 

The UI here will be a hit-and-miss thing for you depending on if you like ramping UIs. For me it’s a touch on the slow side but good. It would be nice if they would allow you to switch between a Ramping and Stepped UI, but that’s not a thing here. I do wish they would have kept the diamond milling on the body, while the rectangles on the Pro here are more aggressive they just look like most other Thrunite models, and the diamonds of the previous Catapults I thought elevated the look of the light and made them stand out. Fear not, the body tubes are interchangeable if you have previous models and want to make a switch you can.

This is the biggest upgrade Thrunight has done to the Catapult line, not only visually but also for performance. If  you want a handheld thrower that uses a single larger battery this one won’t disappoint especially with its fairly long duration on higher outputs. 

 

Buy the Catapult Pro from Amazon at https://amzn.to/3SQkURn

Buy the Catapult Pro from Thrunite at https://thrunite.com/catapult-pro/#tab-description

FlashFish A101 Portable Solar Generator Review

Today I am looking at the FlashFish 98Wh Portable Power Generator. This is a small power station with 1 120W AC outlet, 12V out, as well as USB-A and C ports. I will also be looking at their 50W Solar panels and how they interact with this unit. Thanks to FlashFish for sending this to me to look at and review.

 

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Packaging & Accessories

The packaging here is a brown cardboard box with black printing on the exterior and a decent amount of data. Inside the unit is protected with large pieces of ridged styrofoam. Accessories include an AC Power 12V power adapter to charge it, 12V car power source to charge, a 12V auxiliary adapter to power things you normally would in a car off the FlashFish, a Lanyard, and a quick start guide. 

The solar panels are a separate product and came in a nondescript cardboard box. They came with a 1M cable, and a bag full of different-sized adapters, and a manual. 

 

Physical Design and Construction

The size of this Power Generator is about 6 x 6 x 4”. Weight is 2.65 LBS. It’s an Orange and Gray plastic construction with a place for the included lanyard. There isn’t a handle here which I think would be a nice edition even though this isn’t a huge unit. 

On the front side there is a small screen in the center that gives you the battery percentage and lets you know if it’s turned on, and in AC or USB mode. The screen is hard to see in direct sunlight. I do wish during use the screen told you the amount of power going out in watts and the estimated time left, but unfortunately, it doesn’t do that. On the front panel, there are 2 USB-C ports, 2 USB-A ports, and a 12V IN, and 12V out. 

On the left side of the unit is the AC power plug, and on the right, there is a small intake fan that comes on when AC mode is turned on. On the back side, there is a diffused panel with a series of cool white LED’s underneath. This is more of a lantern, while I couldn’t fit the entire thing in my lumen tube, what did fit produced about 173 lumens, so I would guess the whole thing is about 200 lumens. Total Runtime was 9:14:00. There is also an SOS mode on the white LED, and all flashlight modes are controlled at the top. 

 

Performance

There are multiple output methods with the FlashFish, mainly USB-A, USB-C, 12V DC, and 120V AC up to 100W. 

 

USB-A on the unit is capable of the following profiles I will insert a photo of the tests I did with the CT-3 Meter. USB-C had a few differences, but overall more support than I was expecting. It’s not capable of PD support over 27W, so don’t expect to be charging most laptops over USB-C here.

I tested discharge here from 100% to 0% runtime using a USB-A load, and got 15849.6mAh of useable power, this took 5:47:00 with a load of 2.5A at 5V. Internally the unit claims it has 26400mAh of battery storage, so that’s about 66% of rated capacity, it’s normal to expect losses here depending on how things are calculated and just normal conversion losses but to me, this doesn’t seem like the most efficient circuitry. 

 

I also tested the 120W DC to AC converter here to charge my Canon Camera battery. Now, this is pretty inefficient because the power is going from DC in the unit’s batteries, to AC with the inverter and then the camera’s charger is taking it back to DC. The battery was about 2700mAh capacity, but to charge this took nearly 25% of the unit’s battery power. Good if you need it but not a very efficient use of power.

The AC power is capable of up to 100W maximum. That includes bursts that are often needed when motors start up etc. I tried to run a portable ice maker but there just wasn’t enough power available when the compressor kicked in. The AC power here is not a true sine wave, instead being sawtooth. This isn’t surprising given the price point here and size but it means that it’s not ideal for electronics, and some motors may not care for this. I hooked up a tower fan to it and while it worked the sound the motor made you could tell that something wasn’t right. I don’t believe this does damage to the fan motor but it’s just not designed for it and there could be issues with speed control. I also used a smaller desk fan that didn’t seem to care. I ran it for 2.5 hours and it discharged the battery to 50%. You can use the light or USB ports when AC mode is in use. 

 

Recharging

In the box, there is a wall wart to recharge the unit. It outputs 12V 2A, and this 12V port is the only way to charge the unit. It, unfortunately, doesn’t charge via USB-C. I charged the unit from 0% to 100% via the AC power adapter in 4.5 hours. During recharging the USB ports can be used to charge other things but the AC out will not work. Also included in the box is a car 12V power plug to adapter cable so you can charge via the car which is a nice touch. 

FlashFish also sent me their 50W 18V solar cells which I was really excited about because it’s the most powerful panels I have. They measure 17” x 16” folded, and 34” x 16” unfolded. They have nylon protecting them, and come with handles for easy transport. On one there is a pocket with the inverter electronics and a place to store cables. The inverter has 3 ports, USB-A capable of 5V & 2A, USB-A capable of QC3.0 but it’s unclear exactly which power specs, of course, this also depends on the conditions the panels are in too. The inverter also has a DC output jack on it as well as various adapters to fit other DC charging needs. The control electronics are designed so that you can use the USB ports and 18V DC if desired too.

I did a decent amount of solar charging on this unit because I was really interested in the different results in different conditions. I charged it from 0% to 100% in only about 4 hours during a very sunny day from about 10 am to 2 pm in Mid August without a cloud in the sky, peak time for solar.

 

I did the same thing in a partially cloudy sky across a 7-hour time window and it only charged to about 78%. So the amount of sun you are getting really makes a difference on how much power you are producing and then storing in the batteries. The solar panels to require adapters to be used with this power station, luckily they are included, but I think it will be hard to keep everything together. 

 

Final Thoughts

This is an interesting product, while it works as advertised, it has a number of areas for improvement in my opinion. My first would be to charge via USB-C so that you don’t have to use the 12V AC adapter, solar, or car charger. High-wattage USB-C charging is becoming the norm and it would be one less thing to travel with. A full sinewave inverter would be ideal too. Luckily it looks like Flashfish fixes most of these things on their larger units and I am guessing budget considerations prevented them from including everything here. 

 

The target market here is interesting, It’s small and portable, but 100W of nonfull sinewave power limits what it can power. I suppose a fan if you are out camping, radio, or lighting solution, or charger for a laptop, small medical device, etc. But 100w maximum isn’t a lot of power, and if you are charging things or batteries there is a fair amount of loss from going from DC battery power to AC back to DC most likely. When used as a 12V power source it should be more efficient. And I think if you wanted it for USB-C or A power there are better choices that are smaller, lighter, and accept USB charging. In a way it’s almost too big to be useful as a USB power source, but to small to be used as an AC power source. This is their entry-level unit, and larger units don’t have these problems.

 

I loved the solar panels here, they can be used to charge any 12V power source which is where you are going to get the best performance. I was surprised that in full sun they charged the powerbank at nearly the same speed as AC power did. The USB-C side works, but you just can’t deliver all the power they can produce. For instance, I charged my Sofrin LT1 and it took just as long as it would of plugged in via AC power. More a fault of the lantern then the panels. The solar panels are a must if you do plan to be without AC power for days and need to recharge multiple electronics daily. 

You could power a lot of smartphones, tablets and flashlights with this combo of the portable power generator and solar panels as long as the size and weight were not too restrictive for you. As a former boy scout, there were numerous trips I wish we would have had something like this, and that was back before everyone had as many electronics, or high-quality LED flashlights, like they do today.

Acebeam Pokelit Review ($22, 5000k, 95CRI, 550 Lumens)

Today I am looking at the Acebream Pokelit. It’s a AA-sized light, that can run on 14500 lithium-ion batteries or alkaline/NiMH. It features a neutral high CRI Nichia emitter and is very affordable. Thanks to Acebeam for sending this to me to look at and review.

 

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Get the Black Pokelit AA from Amazon at https://amzn.to/3RZxoW9 (10% Coupon on the page)

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Buy all the colors at Acebeam https://shareasale.com/r.cfm?b=1738751&u=2603230&m=108326&urllink=&afftrack= use code Liq10 to save 10%

 

Packaging & Accessories

The packaging is quite small and compact. It’s a nice retail box with a see-through window. Everything slides out in a plastic tray. Accessories came with the clip preinstalled, optional Accebeam 920mAh 14500 battery with onboard USB-C charging, USB-A to C charging cable, Acebeam lanyard, 2 extra orings, and manual. 

 

Construction and Design

The light comes in 3 available colors as of this review, Green, Orange, and Black that I have here. It comes both with and without a 14500 battery, the version I have is with the battery, and it would be the one I would recommend for most people. 

Starting at the tail, there is a proud button, with a textured grip and hard plastic sides that stick proudly of the light. This is quite a stiff button and is a mechanical switch I believe. The tail cap has straight knurls and is glued onto the body of the light. 

The clip attaches at the rear and is nonfixed in place, more on that in retention. The body is fairly plain with horizontal groves cut into it providing some grip.

The head section is straight with no detail milled into it. It contains all of the engraving of the model name, serial number, brand, and temperature warning. There is a smooth shallow bezel protecting the AR-coated glass lens and a shallow smooth reflector. 

 

Retention

Retention options include the snap-on pocket clip. It’s finished in a glossy blue anodizing. It’s a dual-direction clip that’s reasonably deep carry. A bit of the tail does stick out of the pocket but with the stiff switch, I experienced no accidental activations. Your other option is an Acebeam lanyard. Its only attachment point is the hole built into the clip. Not my favorite attachment method but the clip does fit tightly here. 

 

Size & Weight

I measured the length at 3.74”, the diameter at 0.72”. I measured the weight with the included battery and clip at exactly 2 ounces. The light is IPX8 water rated and drop-rated to 2M.

There are a number of competitor lights that I pulled from my collection. The Olight i5T and i5R are probably your two most similar lights, In general, the Acebeam is slightly smaller in diameter, and the two have a very similar button style. The Acebeam Ryder RX is similar in size, although with its stainless steel outer body and bolt action it’s different. The heads here are not compatible with each other. I will throw in a Reylight LAN as well since it’s dual fuel, although it’s in a different price category. 

 

LED & Beam

The Acebeam Pokelit AA uses a Nichia 219F LED in 5000k and 90+ CRI. I measured the light on medium mode on my Oppple meter at 4438 CCT (k), and 95 RA (CRI). It’s a pleasant tint, without any distracting tint shifts. The beam is a medium-large hotspot and a large minimal spill. Exactly what was expected from the medium-depth orange peel reflector. My meter detects PWM here but it’s very fast so my eye or camera can’t detect it. 

 

 

 

Heat & Runtimes

I will hit on a few highlights here and let the graphs speak for themselves. I primarily will run this light with the 14500 Li-ion battery because of the better performance. High came in just short of 500 lumens, and that decreases to 300 after 1:30. Total runtime slowly decreasing is 1 hour. Max heat here is 61C. This does get pretty warm to hold when on in high. Medium mode with the Li-ion battery is a pretty stable output starting at 150 lumens decreasing to about 80 or so out to 2:35:00 total runtime.

I also tested with an Ikea 2450 NiMH and you get about 225 lumens at the start by 2 and a half minutes you are running at about 70 lumens for two and a half hours, total runtime was 2:45:00. Medium mode extends this out to 3:12:00. 

 

UI

The UI here is very simple with the reverse clicky switch. With the 14500 battery, you have 3 modes with memory mode. Click once to come on in the lowest model, if you fully clicked you do need to shut if off and then on again to advance, but if you don’t fully click you can half click to advance, hopefully, that makes sense. It’s a very simple user interface that I think anyone can understand. 

 

Recharging

While the flashlight itself doesn’t have built-in charging, the optional Acebeam 14500 battery does have built-in charging via USB-C. I had no issues charging this via USB-C to C or PD. Charging here is at 0.5C about .45A at the maximum for most of the charging time. Overall charging time is 2:30:00 at which time the LED on the battery itself goes from red to green. The battery itself has LVP built into it. 

 

Final Thoughts

Acebeam is on a streak of listening to consumers and enthusiasts and has been doing great putting out some new models this year with great emitter options. The Pokelit AA is no different. The Nichia 219F LED here puts out a neutral 5000k tint, with no ugly tones, and a nice beam pattern with High CRI. It does run hot when used for extended periods of time with the 14500 battery in high mode, reaching up to 140F. You may have to change your grip on it to be comfortable when it gets hot, holding more at the rear instead of in your fist. 

 

I like the Pokelit AA better than the Lumentop Tool personally because it has a more desirable LED and a better clip. It also comes with a Li-ion battery here (depending on where you order it from), and is very affordable. It’s available on Amazon right now for about $21 in black or orange. Acebeam sells them directly too, but the cost is a little higher. For a basic, high-quality flashlight that anyone can use with an easy user interface, the Pokelit AA is a great choice that I can recommend. 

Vosteed – Nightshade LT Review (Titanium Shark Bomb Prybar Preview)

Today I am taking a look at a new folding knife from Vosteed, the Nightshade LT. I bought the Limited edition Nightshade earlier this year because it was a unique shape in my collection and have really been enjoying it, as a fantastic all-around blade. That version is sold out for now, but don’t fret because the Nightshade LT is available and is a very similar knife. Vosteed reached out and asked if I would be interested in taking a look at it and I said, of course, I would be. They have offered me a coupon to save $5 or a package deal to save $20 with their titanium prybar, both good deals below.

 

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Get the Nightshade LT from Vosteed direct at https://www.vosteed.com/products/nightshade-lt and use code “LR5” to save $5 off the Nightshade or use code “LR20” to save $20 off the Nightshade and Prybar combo.

Link for just the Shark Bomb Titanium Prybar at https://www.vosteed.com/products/shark-bomb-prybar

Get the Gray Nightshade LT on Amazon at https://amzn.to/3TvWEEY
Get the Black Nightshade LT on Amazon at https://amzn.to/3ebx4Fd

 

Packaging

The packaging here like the other Vosteed products I have is top-notch. You have the cardboard sleeve over the steel case, it reminds me kind of the Altoids boxes but the lid just pulls straight off. Unfortunately, I can blame the USPS for the damage here, mine got squished pretty good. Thankfully the nylon zipper pouch inside the tin with the knife inside was unharmed. Inside you also get a nice card giving knife specs, and a card urging you to join the Vosteed community on Facebook.

 

Specs

There are two versions of the Nightshade LT available. There is the black G10 model with the gray center pivot, and a satin blade finish, and the Gray G10 model with the white pivot color and a stonewashed blade which is what I have. The knives are made in a Kizer facility but by Vosteed employees. It’s a Vosteed design.

Overall length is 7.48”, blade length is 3.26” which should be legal in a lot of places, and the blade width is 1.21” so it’s a little wide in the pocket, I measured blade thickness on the rounded crown at 0.1135” and at the tip 0.025”. Handle thickness is 0.531”. The weight came in at 4.16oz and it does have pockets milled in the liners to reduce weight. It’s a liner lock with a flipper too. The body and clip screws are T6, and the pivot is T8. 

 

The Blade

The blade here is made from 154CM,  and on my gray model here it’s a light stonewashed finish. I like 154CM steel, it has good edge retention for the price range, is easy to sharpen, and is made in the USA. The blade shape most closely resembles a traditional Shilin style knife. The Shilin is a traditional all purpose knife blade shape from the Chinese & Taiwanese regions and has a long history of carry by all different professions and demographics. It has a little Kukri in it too with the downward sloping angle too. 

This blade shape is pretty unique in my collection, the closest I probably have is some of the leaf-shaped Spyderco’s like the Manix or Sage 2, both are different though. The grind here is full flat grind which is always my favorite, here though it has a crowned spine which isn’t super common in my more modern collection, it makes it comfortable in the hand. Centering here was spot on, and lockup was good. 

The blade performance is my favorite feature of the Nightshade. It really can take on a ton of different tasks and excel at that. I did a little food prep with it over my time with it, and it did well here. I tend to do very little food prep with my pocket knives at home because I have kitchen knives, and as a side note, I reviewed the Vosteed Morgan which is from the same designer over at Vosteed. Food prep isn’t all what it is good at, I am in the process of doing some reorganizing at home which involved breaking down a lot of cardboard boxes. This is a lot of draw-cut motions to cut through both cardboard, tape, and an occasional zip tie or plastic strapping. It did that without issue and stayed pretty sharp still. The only thing I have done is to stop this with some Gunny Juice diamond emulsion on leather. 

 

Feel in the hand

The G10 Scales on the Nightshade are simple and rounded, edges are well chamfered so there are no sharp points. The G10 gives some texture but it’s not aggressive, nor is it smooth. One of the more interesting design features of the scales is the different color materials around the pivot of the knife. 

To me the scales are comfortable, I can fit for fingers on the body, and my thumb on the jimping up top on the spine. If I am gripping as hard as I possibly can, the clip creates a little bit of a hot spot for me but it’s not a problem with normal grip strength. I like that the lock bar has a little grip milled into it too. 

 

Action

The Nightshade is designed as a flipper but that’s not the only way to deploy it. It runs on ceramic bearings and it closes just as nicely as it opens. The flipper has deep jimping on it. The detent is good but a little stronger than I expected. I had no issues using a light switch motion and it makes a satisfying swack when opening too. The flipper tab it’s too pocky and actually allows the knife to sit on its back very nice and square. On my knife, I am able to press on the side of the blade a little to open it too. I think Vosteed could easily make a thumb stud version or a version with a thumb stud and both would work very well too. 

 

The closure is drop shut smooth. This is how it came from the factory, I haven’t disassembled it, to clean or get the factory oil out, I did put a drop of Gunny Glide on it though. It’s drop shut closed, I think that’s due to the bearings and the size of the blade. It just adds to the fidget factor of the knife here for me. 

 

Retentions

Retention on the Nightshade LT is accomplished via a deep carry simple stainless steel clip that only mounts on the right-hand side of the knife. For me, I had no issues either with the knife coming loose or the clip snagging on anything. There is also a lanyard hold if that’s your style. 

The only pitfall that I have with the knife is really that this isn’t a lefty-friendly knife. Not a big deal for me personally, I transitioned to right-side carry years ago, but I know this will bother some people. 

 

Prybar

A few quick words on the Vosteed Sharkbomb prybar too. It’s made of titanium, has a heavy stonewash, and has a fish-style backbone laser engraved on both sides. The front features the prybar, and a nail puller, the eye is a hex bit driver, however, my standard-sized bits didn’t quite fit, and smaller ones do though. It has a bottle opener for the mouth, and a deep carry pocket clip on both sides. I like the design and it was an impulse purchase for me. I do actually use a prybar at work sometimes to help depress the lever on an ethernet cable in tight areas. It also came in nice high-quality packaging. 

 

Final Thoughts

I have quite a few pocket knives, and many are drop points, sheep foot, and other designs. Most have some negatives, like the grind might be too thick and not great at slicing or opening mail, others have a delicate tip, or might not carry in the pocket as well due to a compromised factory clip (Spyderco’s standard clip). The Nightshade for me doesn’t have any of those, it’s a slicing machine and the tip has enough steel where I don’t have to worry about it being too delicate.

For me, the biggest downfall is probably its width in the pocket. It’s not thin and takes up some real estate, but even with thin shorts on the knife isn’t what I would call too big for me personally. I’m not sure I would call it a lightweight in its name since it’s over 4oz, but it does have a pretty large piece of steel for the blade too. 

Between my two Nighshades, it’s honestly been in my pocket several times a week, for weeks and weeks. It’s a great pocket knife, it’s fun to flip and play with, and it does very well as a knife. MSRP is $69 with free shipping in the USA,  and I think it’s pretty a good value, especially with the coupon codes I have down in the description. That will knock $5 off for the knife only or there is also a code to save $20 off the Titanium Bomb Prybar and the Nightshade LT combo which makes it a pretty good deal to grab both. 

Get the Nightshade LT from Vosteed direct at https://www.vosteed.com/products/nightshade-lt and use code “LR5” to save $5 off the Nightshade or use code “LR20” to save $20 off the Nightshade and Prybar combo.

Link for just the Shark Bomb Titanium Prybar at https://www.vosteed.com/products/shark-bomb-prybar

Get the Gray Nightshade LT on Amazon at https://amzn.to/3TvWEEY
Get the Black Nightshade LT on Amazon at https://amzn.to/3ebx4Fd