Jetbeam RRT-M1X Review (LEP, Laser Flashlight, 1.32 Million Candella, 21700)

If you like thrower flashlights that reach a super far distance, this review is for you. Today I am looking at the Jetbeam RRT-M1X Raptor a LEP light, where the main LED has been replaced with a Laser Excited Phosphorus module producing a crazy amount of throw and a very tight compact beam. It also has Jetbeams rotary controls up front. Thanks to Jetbeam for sending this to me to look at and review.

 

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Packaging & Accessories

The light comes in a generic plastic case with a handle and sliding latches. It has as sticker thats placed on top. It’s not the level of packaging I expected for this price range of light. That said it does the job, and I would rather more be put into the light and less on the packaging. Inside the there is foam that works but isn’t cut specifically for this light. YOU get the light itself, a Jetbeam  JR51 5000mAh 21700 battery with onboard MicroUSB charging, lanyard, MicroUSB cable, 1 extra switch cover and 3 spare orings. 

 

Construction

The RRT-M1X Raptor is made from aluminum JetBeam’s popular gunmetal gray anodizing, I really enjoy this finish and it’s pretty durable as I found out during testing as my testing on accident. My light took a tumble from my jacket pocket about 1M onto concrete. It is a little scuffed up but not too bad. The design here is similar to the M1X WPRX it replaces. Starting at the tail you have a forward click mechanical switch and 2 tails where you can attach a lanyard. It will tail stand but it’s not very stable. There is minimal knurling on the tail and body tube that add some grip. Threads are square cut, nicely greased and anodized.

 

You do have a rubber tactical ring which is nice to allow you to cigar grip the light if you wish. The body tube has flats milled in for the labels and a little added grip. The body tube is also removable from the head, but not reversible. 

The head features the rotating ring controls, with a total of 5 detents that are just over 180 degrees in total movement. They feel ok, not super crisp but not mushy either. I like rotary control on a light like this, they are simple and they work great with gloves on which is important this time of year. There is some thinner heatsinks too.

The head has a cool design. It has some scallops out of it to save weight and reduce thermal mass and its a fun design. Then some non useful straight knurling for design. The bezel does unscrew and is lightly crenulated. I did minimal disassembly and the lens is glass, quite thick and antireflective. There an optic inside and it looks to be a magnifying lens of sorts.

 

Size and Weight

Overall length was 183mm, minimum diameter on the body was 26.6mm, maximum diameter was 61m. I measured the weight here at 334.9g. So it’s a little on the heavy side. Here are a few pictures of what it’s like compared with other flashlights. The light is IPX8 water rated. 

 

Emitter & Beam

So instead of an LED, the RRT-M1X uses a LEP or Laser Excited Phosphor. Jetbeam calls this the WP-T2 LED but it’s not an LED. LEP’s work by using a blue laser emitter on a layer of phosphor to create a “whitish” beam that is then sent through a convex lens. This is the second generation LEP light from Jetbeam and it’s a more compact system thats on a single board and much more compact then the previous systems. However it does still have a front heavy design.

The result is a beam that’s extremely concentrated. At 8ft it’s less than a 3 inch circle, it also has basically no spill like your traditional flashlight does. This concentrated beam does spread out a little at distance but it’s not much and my night shots show that. I did a comparison with the AceBeam L17 the furthest throwing 18650 light I have, on it’s own it’s quite focused but it makes the RRT-M1X look like a laser pointer. The tint here definitely has a greenish tint to it. There was no visible PWM to the eye or camera.

Jetbeam on the Left, Acebeam L17 on the Right

 

Acebeam L17 Beam Shot

 

Jetbeam RRT-M1X

 

I will throw up a stats photo here of the official stats. It’s important to note that LEP lights are not super bright in terms of lumens, only 480 lumens, but they are super intense. Jetbeam claims that it’s 1,322,500 candela. That’s higher then my meter goes up to so I was unable to verify but I can tell you it’s the most intense flashlight I own and throws the furthers. 

 

Heat & Runtime

Runtime here is good to look at. First off I expected that this light would produce more heat because of how intense it was but it doesn’t Maximum heat I saw was about 32C during testing, and that’s a regulated temp. It does seem to have a timed stepdown, to 50% relative output after 3 minutes. Compared with other LED based throwers I have this is good, given the other LED based throwers generally produce a lot more heat. 

 

Total runtime starting on high with the included fully charged 5000mAh battery was 4:42:00 with several stepdowns along the way. When the light shut off I measured LVP at 2.974v. You don’t need a high output battery for this light either with the maximum amperage requirement I measured under 3A. So since this light is using a non proprietary button top protected battery (Long in length) you can choose based off of capacity rather then performance. 

 

UI

The UI here is simple with the rotary switch at the front. It’s 5 position switch with detents at every point, total rotation is just over 180 degrees. Starting from the left most detent and working clockwise you have low, medium, high, strobe, SOS. The switch at the rear is a your on and off control without a momentary mode as it’s a forward clicky switch. 

 

Recharging

Recharging here is accomplished with the included Jetbeam 5000mAh 21700 battery. The battery itself has microUSB built into it, with a small LED at the positive side. Red when charging, green when charged. I would have loved to see USB-C instead here, especially on a premium light. It took a lengthy 7:13:29 to fully charge this battery which is quite slow, the fastest charge rate I saw was .75A, and it only decreased from there for the remaining 6 hours. Fully charged the battery measured 4.206V. 

 

My recommendation would be to use your own charger like the Vapcell S4 Plus or Xtar VC4SL and charge at a more reasonable rate. This battery can very safely handle a 2A charge rate and that will cut the charge time to more than half. I tested the capacity of this battery with my VapCell S4 Plus charger at 4785mAh. 

 

Pro’s

  • Seems durable after a 1M drop onto concrete (Accident)
  • Crazy amount of throw, super focused beam
  • Love the Rotary interface, it’s easy, simple and works.

 

Con’s

  • LEP lights in general are more expensive then your typical flashlight. This is no different but the performance is unparalleled when compared with LED lights. 
  • Supplied battery charges extremely slow, use an external charger instead of the onboard MicroUSB on the cell.
  • Non proprietary battery, low amperage requirement.

 

Conclusion

I am so glad I was able to try out a LEP light. I have been wanting to try one since I first learned about the technology. They are super fun to play with but from a practical perspective, they are pretty specialized. This isn’t the brightest flashlight I have (Lumens) but it is the most intense (candella). The result is a light with a super compact, tight beam that really goes the distance without having the usual size or weight of most of your ultra thrower LED based lights.

 

I have a few doubts on if it is capable of throwing what it says (2300 meters) in the real world of if this is more of a “lab” number. What I can tell you is that it outperforms any of the LED flashlights that I have in putting light on target at a distance as long as you can deal with a small hot spot. Think of it like a fat tip laser pointer almost instead of a fine point. It basically has no spill at all, either at a distance or up close. 

 

So for very specialized tasks, maybe hunting (With a colored filter), search and rescue at a distance, or signaling a LEP makes a lot of sense. I don’t think this is the best option for hiking or camping, or power outages though. So I can recommend the Jetbeam RRT-M1X Raptor for you to tip your tow into the world of LEP lights. 

So do you guys have a LEP light yet, if so let me know in the comments what you use yours for as I would love to get this thing out in more scenarios.

Soundcore Trance Review (80W of peak power)

 

Get the Soundcore Motion Trance at https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07YDF1WQ7?maas=maas_adg_api_8014460300101_static_12_26&ref_=aa_maas&aa_campaignid=soundcore_speaker_trance_liquidretro-B07YDF1WQ7-inf&aa_adgroupid=youtube_&aa_creativeid=US-ZMAa7czQP-?tag=liquidretro0a-20

Soundcore Motion Boom Review (30W, Bluetooth 5, USB-C)

Today I have one of Anker’s newer larger bluetooth speakers with the Soundcore Motion Boom. This thing reminds me of an old school boom box, and sorry if I just dated myself for knowing what a boom box is. The Motion boom has 30 watts of power, and a 10,000mAh internal battery to keep the tunes going for up to 24 hours. Thanks to Anker for sending this to me to take a listen and tell you more about it.

 

Pickup the Soundcore Motion Boom at Amazon at https://amazon.com/dp/B08LQNL42Z?tag=liquidretro0a-20 

 

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Packaging & Accessories

Packaging here is basic,  It’s a retail box with quite a bit of information on the outside about the specs, features, and it gives pictures and ideas of possible uses of the speaker. Inside accessories are pretty minimal, you get the speaker, a small manual, and a 3ft USB-A to C cable. 

 

Physical Description

The speaker itself is larger, I measured it at about 11.5” long, 6.5” tall and about 4” wide. It has a large handle on top thats molded into it’s overall shape, with a piece of branded rubber grip in the top. I found this handle super nice when moving the speaker around my house. Weight was 54.38oz so it’s got a bit of heft to it. That said one of the neat feature is that it’s IPX7 water rated and floats on water, so this could be a nice addition to your boat, beach parties, or backyard pool sessions too. It sounds decent when wet but it seems to want to balance face down in water so it would be best to keep it on shore. 

The front features a large traditional speaker grill with metal mesh, inside you can see the two 2.5” silver colored titanium speakers that do the bulk of the sound output. On the sides of the speaker you have the two bass reflectors, now when playing these move a decent amount but there is little protection for them. I would like to see grills here for added protection from sharp objects, or kids fingers as a hole here would affect the sound quality.

Internally there is a 10,000mAh battery that allows for up to 24 hours of playback time, depending on the volume being used and if the baseup sound enhancement feature is turned on. You can also charge your phone or other device from the USB-A port on the back of the unit when it’s turned on. The port cover in the rear is large, and fits quite tightly. USB-C is power in, USB-A is power out. Anker says the charge time is about 4 hours which I can confirm. 

 

Sound

The Motion Boom features 2 decently sized titanium drivers, I would guess they are about 3” in size along with 2 bass reflectors on each end of the speaker. Anker quotes it as having 30W of total power. This is a speaker designed for outdoors and I did some brief testing outdoors but the weather here has been below zero Fahrenheit for the past 2 weeks so it was minimal. I had no trouble with sound out on my deck, and it was plenty loud to hear in my moderately sized yard. 

 

Inside the sound quality was more than enough for a large sized room for music or youtube content. I didn’t notice any delay when synced up to video on my Ipad,l thanks to the Bluetooth 5 technology. The speaker can also pair to another Motion Boom to provide true stereo sound which I think would be really cool in a party situation. 

 

Personally I left the bassUP technology turned on, and noticed a difference in sound quality especially when playing music or a movie. It’s not as good as a real subwoofer but it’s better than most similarly sized bluetooth speakers. 

 

You do want to download and use the soundcore app with this speaker. It has 4 built in EQ settings, Soundcore Signature, Voice, Treble Boost and balanced, as well as Custom EQ settings that you can adjust and setup yourself. See my video for more on the app. 

 

Pro’s 

  • Pretty loud and decent bass with no distoration
  • Customized EQ settings via the Soundcore App
  • Handle is nice

 

Con’s

  • No Auxiliary port for connecting to an outdoor projector or laptop easily.
  • Bass reflectors lack protection on the sides.

 

Conclusion

My conclusion on the Soundcore Motion Boom is that it’s a nice speaker for both indoor and outdoor use. Sound quality was better then I expected, and the BassUP feature worked better then I expected. Mids and Highs are clear, and bass was decent for it’s size. I think it’s my best sounding Anker speaker to date. 

 

It has very solid construction, the handle was more useful than I expected. While the speaker does float, it tips forward putting the speakers in the water so it’s not practical to use while floating. This is ok, at least it doesn’t sink if it was to go into the water. 

 

Battery life here is great, I have no doubts it would last 24 hours. I do wish the USB-C port could be used for power out as well and that the speaker could be used as a powerbank when off but those are pretty minor issues.

 

Let me know what you think of the Anker Soundcore Motion Boom in the comments below! 

Vero Axon Review

Today I have a knife review for you of the Vero Engineering Axon. This is a knife I preordered, and have been waiting since August 2020 for. I have had it for about 2 weeks now and been carrying it most days during that time. This is going to be a bit of a long review so settle in and enjoy.

 

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Who is Vero

Vero Engineering is one of the hot new knife designers of 2020. Joseph Vero has a background as a mechanical engineer and was working in the drone industry in a professional setting. Vero Engineering started as a hobby with some CAD sketches but with it’s growth, it has allowed him and his wife to work on Vero Engineering full time which I think is an accomplishment in itself, especially with everything that happened last year economically. The Axon is his 3rd knife design. All knives are made by Bestech in China, to Vero’s tolerances and standards.

https://veroengineering.com/

 

Packaging & Specs

The knife comes in a zippered taco pouch with padding. You get a Vero branded microfiber cloth that the knife is wrapped in, as well as an identification card with the specifications of your specific knife on it too. The case has a cool velcro embroidered patch with the Axon on it. The background is green which is perfect for me.

 

Specs & Size Comparison

      • Overall Length: 8″
      • Weight: 3.67oz
      • Blade Length: 3.4″
      • Cutting Edge: 3.25″
      • Blade Thickness: 0.135″
      • Blade Material: M390
      • Blade Style: Sheepsfoot
      • Blade Grind: Full Flat
      • Finish: Hand Rubbed/ Hand Belt Satin/ Stonewashed
      • Lock: Titanium Nested Liner Lock w/ Steel Lockbar Insert
      •     Handle: Micarta/ G10/ End Cut Carbon Fiber

The Good

I had high expectations for this knife as the hype was real and it was the most expensive knife to date, that I have purchased. Fit and finish wise it didn’t let me down. I have the black micarta configuration here that’s unoiled which I am really enjoying so far, and the belt satin grind on the blade. Centering was perfect and there is absolutely no blade play which is saying something with how well the action works here.

The grinds on the M390 sheepsfoot blade are all symmetrical and pretty intricate, you have the belt grind on the blade, then the flat is going in a different, contrasting direction, then an upper faeit, again, is ground like the blade. The edges where you’re going to be touching on the spine have a nice chamfer and these get slightly less and less as you go towards the tip. To the point of there are sharp edges on the sheeps foot but no burr. Then the rectangular ‘V-spot” (Which has what the Vero community on Facebook has named it) notches in the blade are bead blasted inside which is a nice touch and some added contrast.

I am a fan of the sheepsfoot blade, it’s slicing machine, everything from opening boxes, breaking down cardboard and more. The blades “belly” is flat in the warrencliff style and gives you a lot of cutting surface and it should be easy to sharpen on a normal stone or other sharpening systems when it’s time to do so, and there is a small sharpening choil to help with that as well. It’s not your best piercing blade shape but the only time I miss that in my EDC use is to open envelopes under the flap and that still works for that task. It’s a nice touch that every knife does have a hidden serial number at the base of blade near where it locks up. There is jimping on the spine of the knife just where you need it to help with deployment and no more.

 

Weight

When I first picked up this knife out of the package the weight was the first thing to hit me. It was lighter than I expected for the size. My scale says 3.67oz and this is thanks to the extensively milled titanium liners, backspacer, and clip. For the size of the blade this is fairly light weight while still feeling solid in your hand. For me it works well.

 

Action

The knife runs on ceramic bearings inside brass races which makes for a super smooth action. This is the factory action, I haven’t taken it apart, added oil, or messed with the pivot tightness at all. There is no grit or break-in needed here. There are multiple deployment methods which I will talk about in a minute. The knife does have a detent ramp, which makes it feel even smoother, while still having a knife that won’t fall open. That said if I flick it hard with my entire arm or shake it violently in my hand, I can get it to come open on its own. Lockup on my knife is about 40% and there is a steel insert on the titanium nested lockbar, so no lock stick concerns.

 

The closing action is great too, it’s so close to being drop shut that I think after a bit more use or a cleaning the first time; it will be. All it takes now is a slight jiggle to drop shut in a controlled manner. The sharpening choil is also sized just right so the blade will drop on your thumbnail which is nice considering how free flowing it is.

 

Deployment Methods

There are multiple deployment methods with the Vero Axon. It’s designed as a front flipper, with the jimping on the spine allowing you to roll your thumb over it to open if you want. You can also use your index finger to kind of light switch it from the front side. I can’t do this myself one handed, but you might have better luck with larger hands or longer fingers. Other options are using what the Vero Facebook group has called the “V-spot”, which are the rectangular reliefs on each side of the blade as a Spydie hole of sorts, it works well and since they are on each side you can easily middle flick it from the underside too.

 

Material choices

Another thing I really like is the wide selection of materials that Vero is offering on most of his knives but especially the Axon. At preorder your you had 3 blade finish options on the M390 Steel (Tumbled, Belt Satin, Hand sanded hand satin), 2 colors of unoiled Micarta, a Red G10, and an end-cut carbon fiber. Since then, he has offered, or teased, that DLC will be an option for the blade, clip and body, brass scales have been offered as well. Bacon Damascus has been talked about for the blade here too. I wouldn’t be surprised if you see Timascus back spacers or clips offered eventually as it’s an option on most of his other designs. With that wide selection of options, it feels more like a custom knife then a production model. It’s also been said that Joseph is going to have scales available for purchase after all the preorders ship too so you can swap out colors. I am thinking I may have to pick up end cut Carbon Fiber or the Red G10.

I like that all of the scale materials options ship unoiled too, so you can let the knife either take on your own patina as you use it or oil it if you prefer. The micarta I have ads a nice grip without being too grippy. Blade steel here of M390 is a great choice for this price range.

 

The Not So Good

One of the areas I think there is room for improvement in future generations of the Axon is access to the nested lockbar when you disengage the blade. It’s a little tight and hard to access, I have to press my thumb pretty hard into the knife and then over to get it to move. If you had larger fingers, I think this would be even more difficult. I think possibly changing the relief angle or even amount on the opposite scale to open that area up ever so slightly would improve the user experience when closing the knife.

 

Screws

One of the reasons the Axon was slightly delayed was the screws. They were changed in the late stages from T6 on the prototype to T8 on the production models to make the design a little more robust for owners who plan on swapping screws. All the screws and the pivot are stainless steel, and the screws are a bright polished finish. On my knife the screws were a little inconsistent in their depth – which is something that isn’t an uncommon problem in the industry on popular designs. I tightened them which helped slightly but I still have one in the rear that sticks up a little higher and isn’t perfectly flush with the scale. This seems to not be a widespread issue based on other owners I have chatted with and it’s pretty minor.

 

Clip

I feel a little bad listing the clip as a not so good on this one because it’s a good clip but let me explain a few small issues I have with it if I am really nitpicking. The clip is mounted internally using hidden hardware and is solid titanium. It is mounted for right hand carry only, and is not reversible. It’s deep carry but not ultra deep carry, about 10mm of the knife will stick out of your pocket. Tension is good, with a few pairs of pants I have tried, my issues comes with the amount of relief that’s in the clip. Depending on the pants you’re wearing you may have to either pry up on the clip slightly or hold your pocket to keep from bunching up when carrying the knife. This is still better than a clip being too loose in my opinion and it’s easy to get used to.

Ergonomics in my hand are decent, this kind of goes back to the clip which is why I am putting it here, but the bottom of the clip where it flares out is a bit of a hot spot in my hand if I grip the knife really tightly in a normal way. If I choke up, or slide back a bit so the flare of the clip fits between my fingers instead of my palm it feels better. I do like how the body slightly tapers as you reach the clip. It helps the knife feel slimmer. 

 

The Ugly

There isn’t a lot to say here about the Axon, but the availability of any of Vero Engineering designs is a bit of a negative. They sell out in 2 to 3 minutes tops, everything from the various knife designs to the prybars, he just can’t keep them in stock. The result is they are hard to get, and even the secondary market is hot if things do pop up. This isn’t new to other knife manufacturers, or things in the EDC world but just a little frustrating if you’re a fan trying to get one.

 

The other thing is the time it took to get my Axon. I ordered in August, and it showed up late January. 5 Months is a long time for a preorder for a production knife, I knew it was going to be a while, but I didn’t quite expect it to be this long, and I was even in the first wave. Not everyone who did that preorder the same day I did has their knives just yet.

 

Conclusion

I am really happy with my purchase of the Vero Axon. I was worried after waiting for months and seeing the continual hype that it wouldn’t live up to what I built up in my head but for me that’s not been the case. I see holding onto this one for quite a while and it being a staple in my EDC rotation.

I think this is about as close as you can come to a “Custom” knife but with high end production level prices. Production location doesn’t matter to me, as long as the quality is there and for me Vero and Bestech achieved that. This is a really nice design that’s been well executed. Should you have the issue Vero Engineering is easy to get a hold of. They have an active social media presence too, with live streams of updates on preorders, upcoming models and more. That’s one thing I always like to see when paying for a higher end EDC item is that the maker is accessible not only for service but I think it helps create a community feel and draws at least me more into the brand.

So, let me know in the comments if you have been able to pick-up any of the Vero Engineering knives and what you think of the Axon.

Full Image Gallery https://imgur.com/a/tvSAd5T

Nitecore T4K Review “The Worlds Brightest Keychain Flashlight” (4000 Lumens, USB-C, 4 Emitters)

Today I have Nitecore’s new T4K the worlds smallest 4000 lumen light. This continues on Nitecore’s trend of coming out with increasingly larger, higher performance keychain style lights, with the TIP, TUP and now the T4K. Thanks to Nitecore for sending this to me to look at and review. I will have a link to where you can find it if you are interested. 

 

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Packaging & Accessories

Packaging here is really stepped up, and it reminds me of Olight boxes with its magnetic closure and Thank you Message inside the front lip. The sides have some info and feature list on the back. Inside you get the T4k itself, a USB-A to C cable, a keychain clip, the manual and a warning about using lockout (Smart). 

 

Construction

The Nitecore T4K will look similar if you are a TUP owner, and it has a similar physical layout with a few changes. It’s made of a black anodized aluminum construction shell that’s held together with torx bits smaller than T4. On the top you have 2 buttons, a power and mode, as well as a small OLED screen that helps navigate the UI. It’s not necessary but I really like it. Branding is minimal which is nice as well.

 

On the front you have what looks to be a custom optic and flat face, when the light is on at the front you get kind of a side indicator like on a car at the seam which is kind of neat. At the back you have the USB-C port with no cover, and the mounting point. Nitecore says it can withstand 66 pounds of weight which hopefully is significantly more then you have on your car keys, but that should help it from getting caught too if pulled. This has a quick detach point too thats quite solid, and made of metal. I will talk more about the clip in the retention section.

 

Size & Weight

I measured the length at 36.34mm width at 29mm, and thickness at the head at 25.2mm. Weight with the clip and quick detach is 76.3g. The T4K is IPX 54 rated which means splashing water and dust should be fine. 

 

This compares to the TUP which comes in at 53.9g and is smaller in all dimensions. If you are TUP owner and are happy with the size the T4K isn’t that much bigger but is larger in all dimensions. Here is a photo of a few other keychain lights that I have and you can see the T4K just towers over all of them. It’s even a little larger then the Olight S1R II Baton. 

 

Retention

The T4K has a few options for retention. First you have the pocket clip on the back. It’s a wide clip, that’s attached via small Philips screws which seem like an odd choice given the rest of the light is assembled with Torx. This clip allows the light to sit pretty low in the pocket, if you choose to carry it that way. I won’t due to it’s diameter but it also clips on to molle webbing pretty well. 

 

At the back there is a quick release mount to attach it to the included key ring or you could use a small diameter lanyard too. It has a spring mounted button to attach and detach and can withstand a pull force of 66lbs which is impressive.

 

LED & Beam

The T4K has 4x Cree XP-L2 V6 in Cool White, no exact tint is specified but it’s pretty standard cool white, not super blue. The beam pattern out of the optic is fairly round but far from perfect, it has a few artifacts but it’s only really noticeable on a wall or flat surface and not in use. It’s a large spot, with very minimal spill, a little surprising as I expected this to be mostly flood. Rather then tell you all of the official technical data, here is the slide from Nitecore. 

 

Heat and Runtime 

Turbo runtime is going to be easier if I show it here due to the sample rate of my light meter, so let’s do that. Remember that this is 4000 lumens and a very small light. At first it will run for 10 seconds, before stepping down, I can keep running retriggering turbo and you will see the graph on the screen get shorter and shorter as the light heats up. After doing this 6 times the light does warm up. The thermocouple on the side during my testing said 52C (126F) but it doesn’t feel too hot to hold in the hand. With the normal modes it only gets slightly warm. After these 6 turbo runs the battery voltage did drop from 4.2V to 4V. I do wish I had a thermal camera because of how this one spreads heat out on the bottom of the light and through the clip. Not your typical flashlight. 

 

Normal mode runtimes were pretty good, they have flat outputs until they run out of power, with a small spike at the end. I tested High and came up a little short of Nitecores official rating of 2:45:00, at 2:17:00. So you might take the other runtimes with a small grain of salt.

 

UI

This light ships with 2 UI, the default being “Demo” mode. Given the package is a sealed box without a window, I can’t think of a legit reason why the light has a demo mode, and why it would be the default. Nitecore says this is for EDC use, but I would prefer to manually turn the light off, if my task takes longer than 30 seconds. For practical use the user needs to switch it into daily mode by pressing both buttons at the same time while the light is off.

 

Daily mode is more straightforward and what you would expect. The light starts in moon light mode and linearly goes up. Ultralow mode is 1 lumen, then 15 lumens, 65 lumens, 200 lumens, and momentary turbo of 4000 lumens. This is the same as the Nitecore TUP except for the difference in Turbo output. The light has memory in this mode and will remember where you were last at. It has 2 buttons, basically a power and a mode button.

The light has direct access to low and Turbo. To access low, when the light is off (and not locked) press and hold the power button to access 1 lumen mode. To access tubo press and hold the mode button, and this is in momentary.

 

The light also has 2 lockout modes. Lock 1 is half lockout mode. It locks the power button but if you press and hold (about 1 second) the mode button you get access to turbo. To exit lockout you have to hold both buttons at the same time. In lockout mode 2 the light won’t turn on until unlocked. 

 

Recharging

Internally the Nitecore T4K has a 1000mAh lithium polymer battery. For recharging the light has a USB-C port on the rear. The interesting thing here is that it doesn’t have a cover to prevent dirt and water. I think it would be nice if it did but I suppose it’s fine that it doesn’t. We all carry around smartphones most with exposed ports and things end up being fine. 

 

Total charge time of the internal battery was 1:20:00, with max charge rate bing 1.1V at the 32 minute mark. The light does support charging via USB-C to C cable and via a USB-C PD charger which is the way it should be. It’s nice the display say the voltage of the battery as well. 

 

Pro’s

  • Nice to see USB-C being used here and full compatibility but a port cover would be nice
  • I like the screen, and it gives a lot of useful info like output, estimated runtime, and battery voltage.
  • UI makes sense here, just remember to use lockout if it’s being carried to prevent an accidental blast of 4000 lumens.

 

Con’s

  • Too big for the keychain name, it’s more of a jacket pocket light
  • Short turbo runtime but that’s to be expect at this size
  • Pricey if you think of it as a keychain light, not terrible if you think of it more as a pocket light.

 

Conclusion

My conclusion on the Nitecore T4K is it produces a ton of light from such a small package, but I don’t think it should be called a keychain light. It’s just just quite a bit larger than I want on my actual keychain especially if I try to put them in my pants pockets. I think it works better as a something to put in a jacket pocket. Runtimes on the lower modes are long enough that you could realistically go walk the dog with this one more then likely if you wanted, and the UI is such that it’s easy to boost from 200 lumens to 4000 lumens if you need more light. That mode spacing gap though is huge between 200 and 4000 lumens, A mode of 1000 or 1500 would be nice to bridge the gap especially if you could get a minute or two out of it. 

I don’t always talk about price but I feel like I kind of have to here, the current MSRP of the T4K is around $80 at the time of this review, and I feel like that’s on the pricey side for what’s targeted to a keychain light. It’s got the output, screen, and USB-C but that’s just a lot. 

 

The TUP might be more practical but the T4K is the output king. If you want something to impress someone with how bright it can be for how small it is the T4K does a great job of that and I can recommend it. 

Olight i5T Brass & OPen 2 Blue Reviews

Today I wanted to share with you 2 special editions that Olight is going to have for sale on their upcoming Valentine’s day Flash Sale tonight. The i5T in Brass, and the OPen2 in blue anodized aluminum. Now you have probably seen lots of gear influencer video’s in the past on other Olight sales, this isn’t one of those videos, but full disclosure Olight did send me these to help promote the sale, and provide an affiliate link which does help support the channel. I have been a long time Open2 and i5T user so let’s talk about the sale and get into the details about both items.

Link to the Olight Valentines Sale (Brass i5T & Blue OPen2) http://bit.ly/OlightLiquidRetro

Flash sale date: January 25 2021 8:00PM EST – To January 26 2021, 11:59PM EST

Open 2 Blue(Limited Edition), $44.96?MSRP?$59.95?
i5T EOS Brass(Limited Edition), $31.96?MSRP?$39.95?

35% OFF These bundles
1) Open 2 Blue + i5T EOS Brass, $64.94?MSRP?$99.90?
2) S1R II + Baton Pro, $100.69?MSRP?$154.90?
3) S1R II + S2R II, $87.69?MSRP?$134.90?
4) i5T OD Green + i5T PU, $42.84 (MSRP?$65.90)

Free Tiers:
1) Over $129 get a FREE i3T Black (MSRP: $19.95)
2) Over $199 get a FREE M1T Plus DT (MSRP: $59.95)
3) Over $299 get a FREE Seeker 2 (MSRP: $109.95)

 

 

Thrunite BSS W1 Review (693 Lumens, SST20, 16340 Battery, Onboard charging)

Thrunite has a new light in their BSS (Black Scout Survival) series of lights this time focused on the compact small EDC market. This light produces 693 lumens from an SST20 LED and a 16340 battery. It has a deep carry pocket clip, and is available in two different colored bodies. It’s very similar to the Wowtac W1 I looked at earlier in the year with a few differences. Thanks to Thrunite for sending this too me to look at, if I have a discount for it make sure to check the description below.

 

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Pickup the Thrunite BSS W1 from Amazon. Don’t forget to apply the Coupon code BSS202012 to get an additional 20% off

BSS W1 Green – https://amzn.to/3c4ra5r 20% off with coupon

W1 Blue – https://amzn.to/3oe0hyt (No extra discount)

 

Packaging & Accessories

Packaging here is a rather small cardboard box that folds up from the top. On the side it lists the option the light is in, interestingly a black version and NW is optional here but those options are not listed for sale currently. Inside you get the light itself, along with a 16340 battery. Mine here happens to say it’s a Wowtac (Sister company) so maybe they had some wrappers leftover? Other accessories include the pocket clip, microUSB to USB cable for charging, manual and a bag of 2 spare orings, 2 spare USB covers. 

 

Construction

The W1 is made from aluminum and at current time is available in an OD Green and a Blue. I like the green color here myself quite a bit. The back end is mostly flat, it has a small milled center thats slightly lower with the Black Scout Survival logo engraved in the center. On mine the logo doesn’t really seem to be lined up at all with the head. The tail is magnetic and pretty strong, it has no trouble holding the weight of the light up. 

The pocket clip attaches at the rear of the light only, it’s a non captured clip and the tail and body are a one piece design. The groves milled into the body section are nice, they give quite a bit of grip but should clean up much better than traditional diamond knurling. The body also tapers in, to give the light the feeling of thinness

The head section of the light is a decent amount larger than the body, especially around the button and USB port area. This does change how the clip fits the light, more on that in a minute. This larger section serves as kind of an anti roll ring. The button is slightly recessed and protected with the aluminum around it. There is a LED underneath to give a charging status. Opposite the button is the charging port. It’s covered with a silicone cover. Not the best design I have seen but effective for the price. The front has a very shallow bezel that’s smooth. It looks to be a 2 piece design but I can’t get it to budge. The lens is anti reflective coated and the reflector does have an orange peel. The LED centering isn’t perfect but this doesn’t seem to have a noticeable effect on the beam.

 

Size & Weight

I measured the length here at 67mm, maximum diameter at 23.22mm at the head, and minimum diameter at the body at 18mm. Weight with the battery and clip was 51.5g. The light is IPX8 water rated.

 

The Competition

The closest light I have to the Thrunite BSS W1 is the Wowtac W1. As you may or may not know Thrunite and Wowtac are sister companies, and these two lights are very similar in terms of physical appearance, design, and shared parts. There are some differences, most obvious is the body tube differences. The Thrunite BSS W1, has in my opinion a more attractive body tube, with its linear milling, it’s also a little slimmer by 2mm. The heads are the exact same design with the only difference being color, and accents. They have the same button, USB Cover, bezel, lens, and reflector. The heads are also interchangeable between lights. 

 

The Olight S1R Baton II and S1 Baton Mini are both smaller then the Thrunite BSS W1, in terms of length, and as far as the mini has very similar maximum performance. One big difference is that the Olights carry bezel up, and the Thrunite is bezel down carry.  

 

Retention

The Thrunite BSS W1 uses a non captured dual direction clip that only fits on the tail of the light. It’s a pretty tight clip, enough so that it does scratch the anodizing, it’s very deep carry which is great and has enough space to fit over the pocket of my jeans to clip onto the pocket. The light also has a small place in the tail to allow a small diameter lanyard to be attached if you wish.

 

LED & Runtime

The Thrunite BSS W1 uses a SST20 LED in Cool White. No tint data is given directly. When I compare the beam to the Wowtac W1 it’s very similar, the SST20 in the Thrunite is slightly more neutral in tint to the Cree G2 in the Wowtac. The beam hot spot is slightly large as well. On this style of light I personally prefer a TIR style optic, because I think it provides a better overall beam for EDC use, that said the traditional reflector design here does throw further. 

 

Thrunite lists the output specs of the BSS W1 as the following.

  • Firefly 0.5 Lumens
  • Low  7.5 Lumens
  • Medium 58 Lumens
  • High 215 Lumens 
  • Turbo 693 Lumens with step down to 215 lumens after 1 min.

 

Heat & Runtime

Turbo runtime on the BSS W1 was 1:15 before step down, relatively short but this is a small light. Past here it seems to follow the curve of a non regulated driver. It ran at 30% relative output for right at an hour before slowly stepping down. Total runtime was 1:43:00 before the light shut off with the battery measuring 2.925v.

 

UI

UI here is extremely simple. From off, long press to enter firefly mode at 0.5 lumens. Once on long press to cycle through the 3 normal modes. Double press to go to turbo, or triple press to go to strobe. There is memory mode here. No lockout mode is here but you can mechanically lock the light out if you wish by a ¼ twist. 

 


Recharging

Recharging is accomplished via MicroUSB onboard the light. The charging port has a small silicone gasket that’s hinged at the top at one point. It’s not the best design I have seen, not the worst either. Charge time took 1:21:00 in my testing, with the max charge rate being .46A which is safe for this small of battery. The fully charged battery measured 4.145V. 

 

Pro’s 

  • Very inexpensive (Less than $30)
  • Only a cool white emitter available at this time.
  • Blue and Green anodizing are available.

 

Con’s

  • Not a crazy amount of performance but it is small.
  • MicroUSB instead of USB-C
  • Bit of a green tint on lower power modes.

 

Conclusion

If you are new to EDCing a flashlight, and wanted to try something small out, this would be a great option to try without breaking the bank. If you just wanted a small flashlight to use on a hat, carry in a bag or purse, or just wanted an impulse buy in a color you liked this fits all those applications here too. 

 

For EDC this is a decent light. The clip design allows for a pretty deep carry which I like, but the head design means I need to pull it out slightly to slip the clip over the side of my pocket. I like that it’s available right away in colors, and that they didn’t wait for a special edition with colors later on. It’s a little disappointing to see that it didn’t go to USB-C for the onboard recharging. 

 

The Thrunite BSS W1 is very similar to the Wowtac W1 that I reviewed last year. The exterior designs are slightly different, and I prefer the Thrunite BSS W1 here. I like the two anodizing colors being offered here an OD green and a nice blue. The SST20 LED is a little brighter than the Cree emitter used in the Wowtac W1. For the minor price difference (Around $25 total price) here between the two models and the availability of body colors, I would say to  buy the Thrunite BSS W1 over the Wowtac W1 at this time but I can’t say you would be wrong choosing either. 

Pickup the Thrunite BSS W1 from Amazon. Don’t forget to apply the Coupon code BSS202012 to get an additional 20% off

BSS W1 Green – https://amzn.to/3c4ra5r 20% off with coupon

W1 Blue – https://amzn.to/3oe0hyt (No extra discount)

Sofirn SC31 Pro Review & Giveaway ($27, 2000 Lumens, USB-C, SST40, 18650)

Sofirn has a new low cost EDC 18650 light out with the SP31 Pro. It features an SST40 LED capable of 2000 lumens and available with 2 different tints and onboard USB-C charging for a very low price. Thanks to Sofirn for sending this to me and providing a discount to my viewers. I also have a SP31 Pro to giveaway so make sure you check out the description of this video and top comment on how to enter to win. 

 

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Enter the Giveaway https://gleam.io/Xmkd9/sofirn-sc31-pro-5000k-kit-giveaway

 

Pickup the Sofirn SP31 Pro from Amazon. Don’t forget to click the Coupon code on the page for an additional discount too.

5000k Kit https://amzn.to/39JoSGf with Coupon DCNKLHS3

6500k Kit https://amzn.to/39yFJLC

 

Packaging

Sofirn won’t win any packaging contests but for lights that are sold online I don’t really give any bonus points for spending more in this area. It’s functional, generic, and does the job. With the light you get a Sofrin branded 3000mAh battery (Light only options exist), USB-A to USB-C Cables, lanyard, and spare orings, button cover, and USB port cover as well as a decent manual. 

 

Construction

The SC31 Pro has nothing I can find wrong with it, it’s a budget light but all the edges are chamfered anodizing is consistent, and markings are good. Starting at the tail, it’s slightly recessed but still tail stands well, non magnetic. The lanyard attachment point is on the tail as well. Internally you have a single spring and what looks like room for a magnet if you wish. 

 

Threads are square cut and nicely greased. The body tube has one pocket clip area milled into it, but the tube is reversible so it could go on the front or back. There is standard diamond knurling and it’s about average grip. 

The front of the light is removable. Internally it has a pretty stiff spring and it should work with all non proprietary 18650 batteries. Externally there is a silicone button thats fairly flush, the button has some texture to it to help you find it, and 2 LED underneath that work as a locator, and battery status indicator when charging. Minimal milling on the sides for heat dissipation. The USB-C Charging port on the rear has a rounded cover with a large flat. Mine fits pretty well and is out of the way. The head itself has a minimal bezel with no crenulations. There is a reflective coated glass lens, smooth reflector and LED centering is good. 

 

Size and Weight

The SC31 Pro is very similar in size and dimensions to the popular Wurkkos FC11. And for good reason, Sofirn is the parent company to both companies. I measured the SC31 Pro at 115.7mm in length, minimum diameter at 24mm, maximum diameter at 26.5mm. Weight with the battery and clip was 110g or 3.88oz. It’s IPX7 water rated.

 

Retention

The SC31 comes with a basic lanyard that attaches at the tail cap if you want. The pocket clip is decent but not as deep carry as I would like with 22mm of the light sticking up out of your pocket. It is a friction fit clip but fairly tight. If only this was a deeper carry clip it would be even better. 

 

LED & Beam

The LED that’s being used here is the Luminus SST-40 LED. It’s available in both Cool white (6500k) and Neutral white, and I have the latter here in 5000k. It surprised me a little as mine has a bit oa a rosy tint, it’s nice despite being only 70 CRI. It has a smaller hot center, with a medium amount of spill. There are some some kind of ugly outer edges in the beam with reflections off the edge of the reflector and bezel. Maximum output is rated at 2000 lumens and with the ramping modes you can adjust it to anything you wish. The light does have PWM but it’s minimal and only visible with my oscilloscope. This is expected since its running Andruil. 

 

Heat and Runtime

One thing that I have started doing is comparing my lights running Andruil as they come from the factory and then after thermal calibration. While I firmly believe that lights should come calibrated from the factory the reality is for the money here they don’t and that’s a shame because it’s worth doing. ZeroAir has a good writeup on this in his reviews, and I followed that and the difference in my lights were impressive. Turbo runtime went from 1:50 when uncalibrated to 3:05 after calibration, with peak of that being right at 2 minutes. So if you get this or any Andruil light it’s worth going through the calibration procedure. Output was also roughly 13% better during most of the duration too. This does effect overall runtime going from 7:05:00 uncalibrated to FL1 to 4:05:00 when calibrated to FL1 but this is a trade off I am willing to take for more output and a less aggressive thermal restraint. Max temp I saw when calibrated was 41C but this is my own setting and was at the 7 min mark. 

 

UI

The Sofirn SP31 Pro here uses the Andriul firmware by Toykeeper. It’s standard Andruil but I did notice one difference at the top and bottom of the ramp I don’t get the blink like I do on say my FW3A, and most other Andruil lights. I like this. By default the light ships in ramping mode, there is a stepped mode too. Andruil is good but complex. It’s highly configurable (for example you can change the behavior of the backlight switch) so make sure to take some time to understand it fully. 

 

Recharging

The Sofirn SC31 Pro has onboard USB-C charging. It supports USB-C to C charging cables as well as USB-C PD in my tests. It’s great to see a budget light support this. Total charge time of the included 3000mAh 18650 battery from LVP at 2.780V to full at 4.145V was 2:30:00 with the maximum charging rate just at 1.88V. I have no complaints here, and it’s great to see at budget prices.

 

Pro

  • My NW SST40 LED here in 5000k has a really nice tint with a rosy hue
  • Fantastic value for a complete kit
  • Andruil firmware is a love it or hate it thing, but it provides a lot of options for the enthusiast or budding flashaholic. 

 

Cons

  • The pocket clip here is a small letdown, it’s not as deep carry as I would have hoped. 
  • Non magnetic tail, although easy to modify to make magnetic. 
  • Edges of the beam are a little ugly. 

 

Conclusion

I am not ready to call this the Wurkkos FC11 killer since it’s an extremely similar light made by the same parent company but what I will call it is an extremely good value for a slightly more advanced light because it has Andruil UI. While I love the LH351D in my FC11 the tint here in the SC31 Pro is better in my opinion, slightly brighter, but you do lose the high CRI of the LH351D. 

 

The Andruil UI is complex, and that may be a turn off for some new to the hobby, but for a noob there is muggle mode. Take some time and study the diagram to understand how it works and I think you will enjoy it. Build quality here is appropriate for the price, nothing is bad but it’s also not class leading. This is a great all around light for the money here and I have no hesitation recommending it, especially at the price Sofrin has offered to my viewers with the discount you can find in the description. About $25 at the time of filming. 

 

Enter the Giveaway for the Sofirn SP31 Pro Kit (5000k) https://gleam.io/Xmkd9/sofirn-sp31-pro-5000k-kit-giveaway