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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Buy the A101 here https://amzn.to/3dKnzga

Buy the 50W Solar Panels here https://amzn.to/3RiImp1

 

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.

JLasers 450nm Laser (Affordable, 1.6W, 14500 Battery)

Thrower flashlights seem to fascinate many enthusiasts and is a gateway into the hobby. Recently LEP lights have taken that distance to new levels using lasers, what I have for you today here is a very powerful blue laser that can reach an incredible distance, and even burn things. Thanks to JLasers for sending me their 1.6W 450nm blue laser.

 

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JLasers: 450nm the laser I have: https://www.jlasers.org/lasers/450nm-1600mw

JLasers Website: https://www.jlasers.org

Laser Safety Glasses that I have: https://amzn.to/3C7pDbP

 

Safety

Before I get into the actual review, I did want to touch on safety here. These lasers are a class 4 lasers, and that’s directly related to their power. This is not a toy and can do serious damage to people, pets, and things when used incorrectly. Pointing them at an aircraft is a felony in many places. You really should invest in some special laser glasses to protect yourself when using this especially inside. I have a pair of Honeywell Uvex Ultra-Spec 2000 which provide protection and conveniently are also what I use when curing UV glue when I glue tritium tubes in place. I will link to them in the comments below.

 

Performance

Check out the video for this. The results are pretty impressive and it’s near the first half of the video 🙂

 

Talk about the host & lens

So internally the light is using an Osram PTLB450B 5.6mm multimode laser diode powered by a JLasers JBL450 single mode boat driver. It produces a laser beam at the 450nm wavelength. To my eyes, this is a dark blue almost purple beam. Lasers have a duty cycle here to prevent damage, it’s recommended to run it for up to 1 minute on, and then 5 minutes off to cool. The 14500 battery goes positive side up, and interfaces directly with the PCB. One thing I would like to see is a small brass contact like you see on many flashlights, this can help with wear and ensure a good connection in the future, and more compatibility with other batteries if say spring was used.

JLasers recommends a 14500 lithium ion button top battery capable of at least 3A discharge. I found that I could run these Vapcell Gold flat tops without a problem, but the laser was less powerful since it was just at the 3A limit, it took more time as a result to burn cardboard. I ended up running instead of this blue Vapcell that was a button top and capable of 7A continuous discharge, the change in performance was impressive until the voltage sag kicked in. It’s worth noting here that fake and poor quality Li-ion batteries are a big problem, Amazon and Ebay are bad sources for batteries, Illumn.com is my favorite seller of legit batteries in the USA.

Up front, there is a small lens that unscrews so that the beam is focusable. I melted my first lens by getting the laser too close to some black foam, trying to burn a hole through it, and instead, it melted the lens. Good to know these are replaceable if you make some rookie moves like I did. While JLasers doesn’t have this item listed on his storefront, he does sell them separately.

Everything here is packaged in a stainless steel host. This is a common host that you also see on generic flashlights on AliExpress, I actually happen to have one. I think JLasers must polish up his more, though because there is a big difference in appearance. Machining here is pretty decent, the threads are a little gritty but the included grease helps. These are tail-activated lasers with a mechanical reverse clicky switch and lanyard attachment at the tail. It’s not tapped or milled for a pocket clip which I think is ok in this application. There is a spring-loaded piston in the rear, and at the front, there is a battery polarity sticker on the inside of the host which is a nice touch. The weight of my battery and lanyard was 120.7g. 

The packaging was a very basic generic cardboard box. I think it would add to the product to add a Certificat of Authenticity with the specs of the laser, and maybe a half page of safety and operating instructions. 

 

Website

JLasers is a small business out of Canada and that’s worth noting here because of the website. Functionally the website is fine, but it was created using Google sites, so it doesn’t have it’s own domain name, and to finish your order you are bounced out to Stripe. This is fine, but in my opinion, JLasers should go ahead and spend some time bringing the site into the current century for a more cohesive and professional experience. The current format could cause some buyers to question the legitimacy if they didn’t have prior knowledge they were a trustworthy business. Right now JLaser can only be found on Facebook for social media, and it’s a little tricky to find the link on his website, but it’s under Contact Us. Hopefully, they expand out to other platforms in the future. Powerful lasers should go viral!

 

Customer Service

Just a quick few words about customer service with JLasers. Jim was fantastic to converse with over email. I’m not a laser expert and had a few questions, especially about safety and he was more than happy to give me additional directions and reassured me that my laser glasses were appropriate. He was super nice too when I melted the lens too which was completely my own fault.

 

Final Thoughts

High-powered lasers are fun and impressive to shine up into the sky, or point out things at a great distance. My retired neighbor was so impressed with mine that he had me order him one. He loves star gazing and watching the international space station fly over so I am sure this will aid in pointing out those to others.

High-powered lasers have been around for a while. I remember ordering a green laser from China about 17 years ago from China and thinking it was amazing. This one puts that to shame in terms of performance. I always wanted better lasers, especially something that could burn a match head, or pop a balloon, but knew it was pretty expensive after looking at places like Wicked Lasers, where a 1W laser in the same wavelength would run you about $200. This JLasers 450nm is only $60 and is more powerful and smaller. Now if you are in the USA there is a shipping charge that adds to the cost, but you’re still looking at about 40% cheaper for more performance. As of publishing this video, Jlasers offers 7 different models in a variety of colors and wavelengths, all being under $100 before shipping. These are hand built so it might take a little while to build when you place your order but it ends up being a fantastic value and a warranty is even offered too. I can recommend this specific laser.

JLasers: 450nm the laser I have: https://www.jlasers.org/lasers/450nm-1600mw

JLasers Website: https://www.jlasers.org

Laser Safety Glasses that I have: https://amzn.to/3C7pDbP

 

Xtar VC4 Plus Review (VC4SL, USB-C, 3A)

It’s been a long while since I have had something from Xtar on the channel, so I was happy when they reached out to let me know that they had some new chargers and offered to send me the new VC4 Plus. It’s the new upgraded version of the VC4 I reviewed years ago. Xtar fans will rejoice to hear that you now have manual control over charging speed and a few other nice upgrades. One quick note before we get started, this version is known by 2 names, the VC4 Plus, and the VC4SL. The only difference I can find between them is the SL version doesn’t seem to come with the QC3 power adapter. Xtar didn’t give me the reason why it’s known as 2 different names. Let’s take a closer look.

 

The YouTube version of this review: 

 

This charger is known by 2 names the Xtar VC4 Plus and the Xtar VC4SL.
Xtar VC4 Plus: https://amzn.to/38YNwpI
Xtar VC4SL: https://amzn.to/391ACXG

 

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Packaging & Accessories

The packaging is a brown cardboard box with a line drawing of the charger on the outside, the sides give specs and battery sizes and chemistries that are supported. The back of the package gives a few more features.

What’s included is the charger itself, a thin nylon bag a leather texture and drawstring at the top, and Xtar 110/240v AC to QC3 USB adapter capable of 5V @ 3V, 9V @ 2A, 12V & 1.5A, and a USB-A  to C cable to make it all work together.

 

Construction & Design

The VC4 Plus physically shares a lot of the design and construction with other Xtar 4 bay chargers. The ABS plastic is fire resistant should there be a problem. There is venting on the sides and bottom. The differences here are mainly on the screen and in the power input which I will get to in a minute. The charger supports the most common sizes of the most common chemistry of batteries. I won’t go into all of them but put a photo of what Xtar says fits. In my measurements, I measured the minimum size of the bays at 77.7mm and the maximum at 31mm, so sorry 21800’s won’t fit here. I will insert a picture of all of the different battery sizes that can fit and are compatible. Basically, everything between 10440 to 32650 includes protected 21700’s and common NiMH sizes.

 

Power Input

The charger does have a USB-C connector as its power input. It can support a wide range of standards, Officially Xtar rates it as QC3.0 with the 5V, 3A, and 9V, 2A Profiles. QC3 was never a standard that caught on with me or my devices much so I ran it primarily off of USB-C PD which it did excellent under. 

4 Fully discharged 18650 batteries pull about 25 watts via USB-C PD. There is now powerbank function on this charger, not a deal-breaker for me for sure. While the charger can charge at 3A this only applies to one bay at a time, with 2 batteries the maximum is 2A, and with 3 or 4 the max is 1A each. 

 

Screen and UI

The screen is similar to what other Xtar VC chargers use, you have the 4 dials that display the voltage of each bay, that changes with what type of cell you have charging. On the lower right side, you have the charging speed that it’s currently charging at then at the bottom you have the counter of the energy that has gone into the cell during charging.

New on the VC4 Plus is the ability to change the charging rate. After inserting the cell, the charger measures the resistance and decides what it thinks is the best charging speed to use, however you can override this by clicking the current button. Available options are 250mA, 500mA, 1A, 2A, and 3A. This charge rate applies for all of the bays at the same time. 

Pressing the mode button while charging will also display the to Grading mode where the charger tests the capacity of the batteries that are installed by charging, discharging, and charging again, and then Storage mode which puts Li-ion batteries at an optimal voltage for storage, about 3.66v in my experience.

The charger also offers a couple of other useful features like 0V activation, reverse polarity protection, protection from short circuits, overcharge, and overheating. 

I had no issues with overcharging with the charger. Depending on the cell’s internal resistance you might see slightly under 4.2V at final charge.

Conclusion

I like the VC4 Plus, it’s a nice upgrade to bring the old VC4 into 2022 with the USB-C input which works with both USB-C PD and QC3. For me I ran here almost exclusively in USB-C PD because I really don’t have many QC3 chargers, it was a standard that never really caught on for me once USB-C became the norm. 

Xtar finally addressed the issue many people had with it’s chargers that you couldn’t manually overwrite the charge rate, gone are those problems and now it’s selectable from 3A, 2A, 1A, 500mA, and 250mA all of which are great to see. It also retains the other features to restore cells, grade them, measure internal resistance and finally charge them to a storage voltage. 

 

The two things I don’t love here are that all bays are linked together for the charging speed and that it’s not capable of charing each bay at up to 3A at the same time, or 2A on more than 2 bays at a time. This falls short of other charges I have looked at like the Vapcell S4 Plus that can chare all its bays at higher speed rates without an issue. 

 

The end result I think is a very well-rounded charger that’s affordable and without major issues. For many, I think this could be your one and only charger, or a nice upgrade from an older model you might already have and it should be pretty affordable. 

 

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Sofirn LT1s Lantern Review (21700, Tint Shifting, Red, USB-C)

Today I am looking at the Sofirn LT1s, where the s stands for Small or Short. If you have followed my reviews you know I really enjoyed the BLF/Sofirn LT1. While the LT1s takes some design cues and even a few parts from it’s larger brother, the two are really different lanterns on the inside. The LT1s runs on a single 21700 battery, offers red mode, tint shift in white, aimable beam, and a different UI. Thanks to Sofirn for sending this to me now let’s get to it.

 

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Pickup the Sofirn LT1S Lantern at https://bit.ly/LQLT1S and use code BJ5B11QN to save 15%. (Valid till 4/28/2022)

The LT1S is also available on Amazon https://amzn.to/3Nz5xL5  use code 20WQ2PHC to save 20%. (Valid till 4/28/2022)

Here is the case I featured in the review, it fits but isn’t a perfect fit. https://amzn.to/3LlK1aO

 

Packaging & Accessories

Not much to write about here, Sofrin like usually has very basic packaging. Inside the light is wrapped in bubble wrap to protect it during shipping. Accessories with the LT1s include a 5000mAh battery that’s preinstalled, 2X extra orings, USB-A to C charging cable and the manual. 

 

Construction & Design

The LT1s takes many design ques from the LT1 on the top half at least. Starting at the top you have the hanger which is identical. You then have the main textured button that has a satisfying click to it, your 4 amber power level indicator LED’s, and the USB-C charge point. It’s a little odd to see the charge port be on top for moisture reasons, but the LT1s did survive a trip in the shower with me without issue. 

Below this is the same style of diffuser as the LT1 a white diffused hard plastic. The LT1s are all on the top of the light facing down, and in the white modes you can turn off half to better steer the beam to the side where you want the light, I will talk more about this later on. 

At the bottom you have the large tailcap. It doesn’t have much in terms of grip on it and it could be challenging to use with gloves or when wet. Threads here are ACME cut and sufficient. The tail cap has a large beefy spring to make contact with the inner battery tube, completing the circuit on the inside of the light. The large spring also allows you to run the light on an 18650 without issue other then some side to side rattle if shaken, even though it’s not officially rated for it. The head side also has a smaller spring. 

There is very minimal branding on the light, Only the Sofrin logo, model number and battery direction indicator on the front, serial number on the back and your typical CE, ROHS, and Recycling marks on the bottom. 

 

Thanks to Reddit user /u/DerMaxPower for allowing me the use of his deconstruction photos. You can see there are only emitters mounted on the top facing down, the center battery tube is aluminum which helps with heat dissipation. It’s a simple design but very functions.

Overall it’s a solid feeling lantern. The aluminum on top and bottom feel much better then the cheaper feeling plastic the competition uses. I suspect it makes it a good amount more durable as well. 

 

Mounting

Your primary method of mounting this light will be the wire bail at the top. This folds in either direction and can be removed if you wish. The LT1s ditches the ¼ 20 threaded receiving holes that the LT1 had and the tailcap is not magnetic. 

 

I spent some time on Amazon looking for a speaker case that would fit the LT1S and ordered a few things. Here is a link to the best one I could find at the time. https://amzn.to/3LlK1aO It’s not a perfect fit and a little to narrow but it does zip and leaves a little room for a charging cable and small charger if you wish.

 

Size & Weight

I measured the length at 97mm at the maximum height. Diameter at the top was 68mm, diameter at the bottom was 59.5mm. Weight with the battery is 338.9g. The light is IPX8 water rated and I confirmed this by putting it in the shower with me one day. I didn’t completely submerge it though. Here are some comparison photos with the LT1 and Olight O’Lantern. 

 

Emitters and Beam

The LT1s uses a lot of LED’s, 40 in total to be exact. 18x 2700k in the CSP 1919 package, 18x 6500k in the CSP 1919 package, and 4x Lattice Power Red LED’s. Sofrin doens’t give an exact model, but there is speculation they might be Luxeon brand due to the high CRI. My unscientific Opple meter measured the warm tint as 2585 CCT with a 97Ra, and cool white as 5732 CCT with a 100 Ra. I think these numbers should be taken with a large grain of salt for the Ra value. They are clearly high CRI probably above 90 but I wouldn’t read any more into it. It’s interesting that the cool white number didn’t quite hit the 6500k claim. In moonlight mode I did notice some PWM visible to the eye but this largely goes away in higher outputs at least to my eye. However it can be detected via my Opple meter or scope. 

The LED’s are mounted on the top of the light and well diffused to create a nice light pattern. The light does have the feature of being able to shut off one side while in white mode, to direct the beam to a 180 field of view rather than the full 360. This works pretty well,  I think it’s probably more useful to maybe not shine in your eyes so much if you have it out on a patio table or in a tent etc. It’s a nice idea but only works in the white modes.

 

Official Outputs

 

Runtime & Heat

I did lots of runtime tests here with all the different modes, and a few extra with the light powered by an 18650, and by a 10k powerbank. I will try to let the graphs do most of the talking here.

 

Since the light is capable of 4 tints I ran some tests multiple times and did comparisons. Here is the runtime test for the maximum warm output with the 5000mAh battery, As you can see the light can sustain nearly 100 relative output for 25 minutes before stepping down, Total runtime ends up being 3:09:00, with max temps reaching 42C. I ran the same test comparing Warm, Cool, and Neutral Outputs, and results are similar. Cool white had the least runtime, but only by 10 minutes, then warm. The surprise was Neutral white, it had the longers runtime by about an hour. More LED’s but less bright I assume. It resulted in a more linear output and ran out to 4:03:00. 

I also tested the runtime of running one side of the emitters in the warm mode at full output vs both sides. As expected running half of the LED’s result in a more stable output initially and for longer. It resulted in a substantial increase in total output but over half of this was at about 5% relative output so very dim. 

The red runtime shows the light isn’t able to sustain it’s high output for nearly as long as it’s white output in it’s highest mode before step down but the decline is slow. It has about 2:30:00 of it’s main output but continued to run at 5% for a considerable amount of time for a total of 5:30:00. 

Since an 18650 battery fits and makes contact I threw in a 3000mAh VTC6 and it’s output shape was identical to the 5000mAh 21700  but just shorter Total runtime was 1:43:00 vs 3:06:00. 

The lantern will also run directly off USB power (Without a tail cap or battery too when plugged into USB), although in lesser output. I ran it off a 10k powerbank and it ran for 12:20:00 which is impressive.

  • LVP – 2.738v
  • Full – 4.102v
  • Drain measured at 150-198uA

 

UI

Unlike the original LT1 the LT1s is using a UI Sofirn developed instead of Andruil. This is kind of disappointing because Anduril works so well on the LT1 and the special blinking modes are great there. That said my guess is Sofrin wanted a simpler UI, especially for switching between LED colors. The Sofirn UI here works well in my experience and the list below should serve as a simple guide of what you can do.

 

From On

  • 4 clicks to switch between ramping or stepped mode
  • 3 clicks to go between red and white modes
  • 2 clicks (Double click) to operate as a directional light and move between either side or full on just repeat
  • Double click when in red mode to activate SOS
  • 1 click and hold to change the tint of the light
  • 1 Click hold to switch between modes or ramp to adjust brightness

 

From Off

  • Long press to turn on to moon light mode. 

 

There is no ramping in Red mode and when you shut the light off in red mode, memory won’t return you to red. 

 

Recharging

The lantern recharges via a USB-C port on the top thats well sealed with a silicone cover. It is USB-C PD compatible, and it works as a powerbank to charge your smartphone or other device. My Samsung Smartphone reports it as charging via “Fast Charge” when plugged in. I didn’t do much testing here other then to verify it works. Here is the charging graph of the included 5000mAh battery from LVP at 2.738V to full at 4.1V. This took just at 3 hours and 18 minutes. Max charging speed I saw during this was 1.8A. The manual says it charges up to  3A max charging speed but I didn’t see anything like this. It may possibly need to trigger QuickCharge but it doesn’t seem to use the normal USB-C protocol for this. 

The light will run while charging although this significantly slows down charging speed. I ran the light at max output and started charging via a 65W USB-C power source, and at the end of 4 hours it was showing only one LED solid so between 25-50% power. I let the light go for 24 hours and it never fully completed charging but got to between 75-100%.

 

Final Thoughts

Lanterns are one of those things you can probably do without if you have a good flashlight but once you have one you immediately notice the value of having a light designed with a specific task in mind. The LT1s is the smaller, more stable, easy to use version of the LT1. 

Reading over the comments at BLF on the LT1s there are a few that are a little unhappy about the similarities in design to the BLF LT1 that Sofirn produces. That said I think most have concluded that the two are different enough not to ruffle too many feathers, and I agree. 

 

I like the more simple UI here for the most part, it’s going to be better for most people who are not used to Anduril nor want to take the time to learn it. The addition of red here is great for those who want to preserve night vision but even in low, I would say it’s almost too bright and on high it’s really bright. I like the ability to shut off half the white emitters to steer the beam, it’s nice for keeping the light out of your eyes if it’s sitting on a table or something. I am using this lantern quite a bit in the shower even to have something a little more soothing, and with less blue light.  

This is an easy recommendation for me, the pro’s easily outweigh the small cons. Sofirn has provided a 15% discount which I will have in the description/comments below the video. I will also have a link to the case I found that almost fits but isn’t quite thick enough for my liking. 

 

Pickup the Sofirn LT1S Lantern at https://bit.ly/LQLT1S and use code BJ5B11QN to save 15%. (Valid till 4/28/2022)

The LT1S is also available on Amazon https://amzn.to/3Nz5xL5  use code 20WQ2PHC to save 20%. (Valid till 4/28/2022)

Here is the case I featured in the review, it fits but isn’t a perfect fit. https://amzn.to/3LlK1aO

Thrunite TS2 Review (Emergency Survival Lantern & Powerbank)

Thrunite has a new product on the market with the TS2, they are calling it a self-rescue light. I am going to call it a mini lantern. It’s a simple product but well thought out and I think it has a wider appeal then just the flashaholic market. Thanks to Thrunite for sending this to me to look at.

 

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Pickup the Thrunite TS2 with a 20% discount by clicking this link https://amzn.to/3ncyilo

 

Packaging and accessories 

Packaging here is a step up from what Thrunite has done in the past, it’s a white cardboard box with color photos and info, upscale a bit. I will show a picture of everything that comes with this package, but let’s talk in depth about each piece in the next section.

Construction and Details

So the light part of this kit is the small plastic piece with the dome at the top. This plugs in via USB-C on the side of the 21700 battery, and doesn’t use the contact at the top of the cell at all. All power comes from the USB-C connector, the positive terminal isn’t used. The “light” part has a single protruding side where the single power button can be found. I did find the head works on other batteries, I tried a Acebeam 21700 I had with a USB-C on the side and it fit perfectly. Presumably if you had a Female USB-C cable you could plug this in and run indefinitely. 

The battery is a standard button top 21700, 5000mah cell coming in at 77.3mm long. Not much to write home here about other then it has a neat power indicator on top that I haven’t seen before. 4 LED lights with a tiny button that you press for 3 seconds to show you the power level. When recharging the battery these go solid green too.

 

Case and Hanger

The battery and light assembly slide into the plastic tube that it comes with. It stays in place via a magnet at the bottom of the tube. The helps to protect the battery, and server as an attachment point. You can attach a lanyard here, or attach it via the magnet. It’s enough strength to hold on a painted metal surface. Your last mounting option is a magnetic hook that’s magnetic and pretty strong. This would be great for attaching to a bag, clipping to a wire or branch, etc. 

 

Cables

The cable here deserves some attention. It’s a bidirectional cable, with multiple connection types. So you can use it to recharge the cell, just take the light off the battery to expose the USB-C port. Then use the cable via USB-A or remove the cap to expose the USB-C and charge via C to C. You can also use the cable to charge your phone or other device via the USB-C, Apple Lightning, or MicroUSB connections. Total charge time from when the battery was empty to full was 2:07:00. 

 

Size & Weight

Weight with the battery and light comes in at 3.00oz, add in the plastic case for a total of 3.65oz, and then the hook and everything else 4oz.  

 

LED, Beam, and Runtime

No data is given on what LED is inside of this light, but I can tell you it’s 4 warm LEDs under the diffuser which is nice. Official outputs are High at 118 Lumens, for 11 hrs, medium for 40 lumens for 30 hours, low at 5 lumens for 180 hours, and SOS at 118 lumens for 20 hours. I will insert my runtime graphs that show this. 

UI

UI here is very simple, the light has 3 modes, and one button. Push for about one second and the light will come on in the low mode. Press and hold to cycle up to medium or high. Double press to go to SOS mode. Single press to shut off. 

 

Conclusion

I like the TS2, while it doesn’t put out a ton of light, it’s a very functional small/light weight lantern of sorts. Like the box says, good for an emergency or rescue situation. I can see putting this in a glovebox in your car, in a go bag for natural disasters, in home or work desk for power outages, or to take camping to hang in a tent. The addition of the plastic sleeve makes it safer but I am not sure it’s quite kid proof since it’s only held in place with a magnet. Speaking of which the magnetic hanger is strong but I could see it coming loose if brushed up hard. 

 

I really like that nothing here is proprietary, I was able to get this working on an Acebeam 21700 battery I have with USB-C on the side. Remember it doesn’t use the batteries traditional contacts like all other flashlights use, it uses the USB-C port for power. 

 

As far as value it may not be the best value on the market, but it’s a unique product that I think a lot of people who watch my videos would find useful. The cable alone is really handy especially when travling to charge a variety of devices or lights. So I can recommend it without reservations. It would make a great stocking stuffer too for the holidays.

Golisi Mothra Review (18650 Battery Charger, Wireless Qi Powerbank)

Golisi is a brand many flashlight users may not be familiar with, they are more well known in the Vape community for their batteries and battery chargers. It’s a brand that I have heard of but is new to me too. Today I will be looking at their brand new 18650 charger, that acts like a powerbank, and has a wireless Qi charging pad on it too. Thanks to them for sending this too me, I will link to their product page where you can find it where it’s available for preorder at the time of this review.

 

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Packaging & Accessories

Packaging is a nice high quality printed heavy cardboard box, with information on all sides. Inside the Mothra is protected with foam. The only accessory was a USB-A to C cable. Since mine was preproduction it did not include any paperwork but I was able to get the manual from Golisi’s website.

 

Construction

The Golisi Mothra is built from a high quality glossy plastic and a solid feel. It has an attractive black and white color scheme with gold lettering. There is no water rating given on the unit. On the top you have a translucent outline of an X that lights up blue when the QI wireless charger is active.

The front has the USB-A (Labeled output) and USB-C port (Labeled input) a small LCD screen and a single button. The LCD screen is inverted with a dark background and light colored letters, and is backlit in blue. The battery door in what I will call the back of the unit, has a slide mechanism with a detent to stay locked in place. When open I would caution you to be a bit careful of the hinge as it only opens up 90 degrees.

Cells are installed with the positive end facing the LCD screen. I used LG HG2’s unprotected flat top cells that I had for my tests, and these worked fine. I put a few different types in included protected and button top protected and had no problems with cells of different lengths.

 

Size and Weight

I measured the Mothra at 90mm x 90mm and 33mm tall. With 4 LG HG2 Batteries it comes in at 346.2g. I will put a few comparison photos of other multicell Powebank and chargers that I have reviewed in now. 

 

As a Battery Charger

The Golisis Mothra is designed to charge via USB-C. It supports Power Delivery as an input and officially supports 5V @ 3A, or9V @ 2A. I don’t have a charge graph with this one like I would normally. Despite suppring PD my meter would not come on when connected in any of the configurations I tried. My guess is something here with the handshake doesn’t meet the spec 100%. That said I successfully charged it via PD with my Xtar, Aukey, Anker, and Energie chargers that I know meet the PD spec. So I ended up timing how long it took to charge my 4 LG HG2 batteries. They took right at 3 hours to charge. Terminating voltage was 4.15V, so a little low but reasonable. 

 

As a Powerbank

As a powerbank you have a few options to charge your devices. The Mothra has USB-A out that can output 5V at up to 3A. You also have USB-C which can output the same 5V @ 3A, 9V @ 2A, or 12V @ 1.5A. The USB-C port supports PD delivery, and the A port supports the QC charging standard.

Your other option is the QI wireless charging pad on top of the Mothra. To activate this you have to press the button on the front for 4-5 seconds and a blue outline of an X across the top will light up to show it’s active. This is reported to charge at 10W and my Samsung smartphone reports it as fast wireless charging. 

I love the addition of the wireless charging pad, as that’s how I charge my phone most of the time, but the one here I found to be a little tricky to get the position just right. After some practice this got easier though.

When in powerbank mode the percentage of charge of the cells read individually. Golisi told me that it chooses the highest charged cell, then when everything random it picks cells at random to discharge. Kind of a unique way to do it. My experience is this varies, by up to 4% but in the end was fairly balanced. It will charge via wired or wireless with any combination of 1 to 4 batteries. The charger does support pass through charging. 

Golisi reports the charger as being about 70% efficient when used as a powerbank, and my capacity test was lower then that with 4x LG HG2 batteries only seeing 6228mAh. These batteries are older which I believe is part of the issue. 

 

Conclusion

The Mothra is currently available for pre-order from Golisi direct for around $66. At that price I feel like it’s a bit expensive. There are other products that have 2 of the 3 features and support less batteries but also cost quite a bit less.

I do think they did things right here in supporting the most common and up to date standards. Bi directional USB-C to C charge/discharge with PD support, as well as Qualcomm Quickcharge. While not the biggest thing I wish the display was more predictable, when discharging there seems to be a percentage sag vs when there is no load on the device. I have seen a roughly 10% swing on a loaded vs unloaded cell. It’s frustrating but not a deal breaker.

Overall a nice device, that seems to do everything it claims. I like the addition of the wireless charging pad a lot. I have a hard time fully recommending a device that can only charge 18650 batteries for flashlight users given there are smaller and larger sizes that are popular these days. That said this offers more features than just a charger on it’s on, so it’s definitely worth considering if you want a multifunction charger and powerbank combo and you’re solidly in the 18650 camp.

http://www.golisi.com/?dt_portfolio=mothra-3in1-wireless-charger