Astrolux TP01 Review (Tactical Pen, Titanium, Parker Refill)

Today I have something a little different from my typical flashlight or electronic review in a writing pen from Astrolux the TP01. This is Astrolux’s first pen on the market and it’s available in titanium and aluminum, so let’s take a look and see how they did. Thanks to Banggood for sending this one to me to review. I will have a link with a discount available in the description below.

 

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Packaging

The Astrolux TP01 pen is packaged much like recent flashlights from Astrolux, in a white cardboard box with silver foil on the front. On the side is a sticker showing which version you received. Inside the pen was nicely protected in foam. Included was a bag of accessories which included a T6 torx wrench for the clip screws, and a small Allen key for the interior set pin. You get a set of extra screws and an extra set screw, as well as an extra spring for the pen. You also get a little pouch which has faux leather on one side and then a wool/felt front side and a snap to keep it closed. I have been using this since the clip isn’t the best.

One quick note is that Astrolux does sell a holder for this pen to display it on your desk. But the price is quite high, only about $10 less then the aluminum version of this pen. 

 

Construction

The Astrolux TP01 pen comes in 3 material choices. The one I have here in front of me is an anodized titanium in the wave pattern, but it’s also available in stainless steel, and anodized aluminum. The titanium comes in a raw, and then 2 colors as well. What I have here is the wave pattern which I just love. It looks like a heat anodized mokuti pattern but is indeed flat. It has blues, purples and a little bronze in it. It does a good job of breaking up finger prints pretty well.

The body is 8 sided, with the corners rounded in the center of the body, at the tip in the grip area it comes down into 4 flats that kind of pinch inwards and then back into 8 sides for the tip. This anodized pattern really does a good job of making that all blend in.

The bolt itself is a rectangle with 3 lines of jimping on it to provide some grip. I will talk more about how it functions later on.

 

The clip is the last area I want to talk about on this pen. It’s attached with 2 T6 screws, on mine it doesn’t make contact with the body. My big problem with the clip is how little area is milled out from the body. The result is a clip that has trouble attaching to anything but the absolute thinnest material. If you use a front pocket in a shirt this would work, but anything else thats thicker then it just doesn’t have the clearance. For me this is the biggest draw back of this pen and the ability to EDC it. 

Demonstrate Disassembly

Disassembly on this pen requires tools  but easy enough after you have done it. To disassemble you will need a T5 and T6 torx bits/wrench. Astrolux includes a pair of these in the box which is nice, or you can use your own like I am here. First step is to take the pen top off. Inside is the very small hex set pin which fits a T5 bit, which once unscrewed allows the bolt to come out of the side of the pen (Flat spot facing up), when then allows the carrier, cartridge, and spring to come out the rear. 

Reassembly is the opposite, place the spring on the cartridge and into the body. Then place the bolt in taking care to orient the hole for the handle to face the milled slot. Place the handle in with the flat facing up, and then screw in the set pin tight. 

 

The clip uses T6 screws, lucky a small T6 torx wrench is included with the pen. The clip is not required to be removed for the cartridge to be changed.

 

Size and Weight

Length I measured at 119mm, diameter at 11mm. Weight with the cartridge is 33.6g. This is a little shorter then your standard pen. A Pilot G2 is 143mm tip to tip. The shorter length doesn’t bother me on this one.

For comparison on weight, my Brass TiScribe Bolt with cartridge is 34.9g, and my Nitecore NTP30 also in titanium is 28.8g. So the Astrolux TP01 even being made of titanium is a heavy compared with the nicer bolt action pens I have.

Feel in the Hand

So how is the bolt action on this pen? At first I wasn’t super impressed with it but it’s grown on me. The tolerances on this isn’t as tight as either of my other bolt action pens, but the price here is a lot less as well. The result of that increase in tolerances is you get some more noise in the body. The downwards stroke takes a bit more resistance and when you release it, it’s a little more violent to slam to the shut position. As it’s broken in this has improved.

 

As for in the hand, the 4 flats on the grip area of the pen is a little weird for how I grip a pen with 3 fingers. It’s not uncomfortable but not as good as a round or triangle shape either. It’s perfectly fine for an hour or two meetings, but not something I would want to write with all day. 

How it writes

The pen cartridge it comes with is a pretty generic medium tip ball point pen cartridge. It’s not bad, but not great either. I have been using it at work to take notes for a couple of weeks and it does the job just fine but isn’t special. The good news is that it does take Parker style refills so you can put in something better if you want to, and sourcing refills is easy as long as you don’t lose your torx drivers that are required to change it. 

 

Pro’s

  • Pretty affordable especially in aluminum.
  • Uses a common Parker style refill
  • Beautiful anodizing on the 2 anodized titanium models

 

Con’s 

  • Pocket clip has basically no clearance for any material. 
  • Disassembly requires tools and is somewhat complex. 
  • 4 sided grip area isn’t as nice as a 3 sided or round grip.There isn’t any grip or texturing present.

 

Conclusion

If you were looking for an inexpensive bolt action pen to try out, and wanted something that took a standard cartridge that was easy to get your hands on this is a good choice of pens to get started. I love that Astrolux decided to make this pen in 3 different materials at 3 different price points. It allows everyone to try a nicer pen at any price standpoint. I am a big titanium fan so that’s what I went with on this one, and the anodizing is beautiful, but I think the best bang for the buck is one of the aluminum options. Definitely make sure you check the links below and check these out on Banggods website. 

 

If you have enjoyed my first pen review, please let me know in the comments below. I have a couple of other pens that I could review in the future such as my Nitecore NTP30 or USG TiScribe in brass. 

 

Save 24% on the Astrolux TP01 Titanium Bolt Pen at http://bit.ly/2yILZ1r with code: BGATTBA (24%off) 

Fireflies E07 Review (7 LED + Secondary LEDs, 21700, up to 6900 lumens)

Fireflies is a newer flashlight brand to the market that’s bring multiple emitter option lights with secondary LED’s to the market. Today I am looking at the E07 a 7x LED light with secondary emitter running Toykeepers Anduril UI. Thanks to Banggood for sending this to me to take a look at and review. Make sure you see the bottom of the post for the discount that’s been provided on this light.

 

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Packaging

The light comes packaged in a black cardboard box with fireflies logo embossed on it. There is a sticker on the side with the lights specs handwritten in. Inside the light is protected in foam. Extras include 2 spare orings, a wrist lanyard with clip that connects at the head, a pocket clip that connects at the tail only, a nice adapter to allow you to run an 18650 battery, and a nice manual that’s not micro sized. The manual is really nice for a newer brand, it mostly goes over the UI and has the diagram many of us are familiar with, but also a kind of quick start guide on the back for specific tasks. 

Construction

Fireflies offers 4 body colors available and of those Banggood is currently carrying 3 of them. A Matte black, desert yellow which  is a more yellow tan, and a gun gray, which is what I have here. Branding on the light is minimal with only a heat warning, model number and manufacture on the light body. On the tail cap there is a bit of minimal required marks and a serial number. The tail cap is flat and allows the light to tail stand nicely. It has a few flats to allow you to unscrew it more easily. Inside you have a low resistance spring mounted to the circuit board. Threads were dry and rather shallow but square cut. 

The pocket clip only attaches at the rear and is kind of short. Overall diameter of this light isn’t too bad, it’s front pocketable as an EDC but on the bigger side for that. Retention with the clip is good but I do wish it carried a bit deeper. The body tube has square nub milling on it, kind of like a small frag design. I like this, it’s grippe but not aggressive. Threads on the head side of the body tube are anodized, very fine, ACME cut, and also dry. 

 

The head itself is pretty small, and grows in diameter to accommodate the 7 emitters + secondary LED’s inside. Inside the spring in the head is short, and fairly heavy gauge wire. It has a blob of solder that’s been filed down to I presume help improve contact. On the outside there is heatsinking. The electronic button on the side has 4 LED’s underneath that can indicate a few things depending on the mode. The color of these LED’s is the same as the secondary on your light. 

The circuit boards in the head of this light is a bit non traditional for a flashlight, The white emitters and secondary emitters are actually on separate circuit boards that are stacked on top of each other with wires hand soldered on to connect the two boards. There are 3 pots that allow you adjust the intensity of the secondary. I was unable to find a screwdriver to fit mine to a point I was comfortable adjusting them though. The front bezel is a polished stainless steel. It’s easy to unscrew the front bezel as it’s not glued on. Underneath is the glass lens and optic. Overall build quality is pretty good for this price range of light. 

Size/Weight/Comparisons

I measured the length at 114mm, maximum diameter at the head at 37mm, and minimum diameter on the center body section at 25mm. Weight with the Sofrin 21700 battery is 187.6g. 

I compared the light to the Emmisar D4, because it’s pretty common multi emitter light, even though it uses a 18650 and the E07 uses a 21700. The D4 is shorter, obviously, and the head is smaller, but the body tube is pretty similar. Both are high performance affordable lights with great UI’s by Toykeeper and in mine both are using the Nichia LEDs. 

 

LED | Beamshots | Heat | Runtime

My light is using 7x Nichia 219B R9080 LEDs for it’s primary emitter. This is one of my favorites not only because it has 98 CRI but also because it produces a good amount of red meaning colors are more realistic. The downside is this Nichia LED’s isn’t the most efficient around and produces the least amount of lumens (3500) then the SST20 (4500 Lumens) or XPL-HI LED (6900 Lumens) that the light are also available with. This is really nice that you have 6 emitter and tint options with this light in addition to it’s 4 body colors. That also said the Nichia 219B are the most sensitive to being over driven with the FET in this light, so choice of battery is important. 

 

On my light the secondary emitters are purple, other colors fireflies sells are red and blue. The secondaries do shut off when low voltage protection kicks in at 2.935V, but the LED’s on the switch do not. For this reason if you are not going to use the light for a long time, it would be best to mechanically lock it out with a slight twist of the tail cap or remove the battery. 

Heat is a big thing on this light. It’s a small compact size and can output a ton of light. The fact that I have the Nichia emitters on my example here doesn’t help the heat issue. On turbo the light heats up very quickly, in under 2 minutes I was seeing temps of 61C (142F) on the head opposite the button. This kind of proves to be a problem as you need some resistance to click the button and turn it off or down. Thermals do spread out on the light relatively well, the body tube tail cap remain cool enough to handle when in turbo. For me this is too hot to hold comfortably. Lucky you can configure thermals on this light in the UI, so I might be turning it down a bit. 

 

Ruintime

Runtime on the Fireflies E07 is 100% temperature dependent. Turbo by itself is good for less then a minute before step down due to heat. Your actual runtimes do vary up and down between roughly 25% and 50% as you can see on my graph for just over 100 minutes. At this point the light goes into it’s lowest mode due to the battery voltage for the remaining 150 minutes. Low voltage protection kicks in 2.935V.

 

Batteries

I am using some Sofirn 21700 batteries that Banggood sent out with this light. Being a FET powered light you want usually high drain, but in this application a medium drain cell is good especially for these Nichia LED’s as they are a little more sensitive to being over driven. The Sofirns fit that nicely, they are listed at 4000mAh and I measured them at a capacity of 3868mAh and 3861mAh respectively on my Xtar VC4s.

UI

This light is using Toykeeper’s Anduril UI. It’s currently one of my favorites available as it has a ton of options and neat little easter eggs that commercial UI’s don’t include. By default the light comes in ramping UI which is where I left it. The ramping is fast and logical. A stepped mode is a vailable that you can configure as well if you prefer. The light has thermal controls, you can configure beacon mode, as well as 5 types of strobe including candle mode, party strobe, and lightning storm. How practical these are could be a point where one could argue, but I like that they are present and it just makes things fun. One of the neat thing the UI has is sunset mode, which allows the light to run in and slowly fade out over I believe a 30 minute time period then shut off. Overall just about anything you want to do is in this UI and it’s’ a great choice for a light. 

Pro

  • Big lumen flood light with great emitters.
  • Always on secondary that can be toggled off via UI. The secondary is adjustable internally. 
  • 3 body color and 6 emitter options available (from Banggood), so something for almost everyone without mods.
  • 21700 battery – Provides a bit more runtime, and a nice size for the head.
  • Early QC issues seem to have been fixed on this light.

 

Con

  • Early models had some QC problems, I have run mine quite a bit and have not had issues with it so far.
  • Heat – 7 Nichia emitters make a lot of collective heat

 

Conclusion

The Fireflies E07 packs a ton of features for well under $100. So many emitter options, as well as body options allows you to really find the perfect combination for you. While I love the 98 CRI Nichia 219B emitter in my light you might choose one of  the others that offers more lumens. The biggest downside to this light is probably the heat, but you expect that in a small form factor light that has 7 main emitters. I do like that they went with a 21700 battery here over an 18650 for a bit more runtime without going with a larger 26650. Overall it’s a high value light that I recommend for the flashaholic. 

 

Banggood has provided a coupon to allow you to get the Fireflies E07 at a better then list price. I will have the details for that in the comments below. Make sure to give that link a click and check it out.

 

As always I think you for watching this video. If you are not subscribed to my channel I would appreciate you do so, make sure you like and share this video with anyone who you might think would be interested in it. See you on the next gear review video! 

 

Discounts

Fireflies E07 7x Nichia/XPL/SST20 Flashlight: Save 15% with code: BGFFBD at http://bit.ly/2JlGoUX  

2X Sofirn 21700 Batteries: $11.39 with code BGREC at http://bit.ly/2FYtuKk 

ReyLight Gemini Review (Triple SST-20, 18350, 304 Stainless Steel)

Reylight has a new more budget entry to their existing line of Triple LED EDC style flashlights, the Reylight Gemini. The Gemini makes a few design and material changes over the Dawn and Krystal models to reduce cost to make this a more affordable light. Full disclosure, Rey at Reylight is a friend and send me this light to evaluate and review. I will do my best to remain impartial and give an honest review.

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Packaging

Packaging consisted of an unbranded plastic case that clamps on all 3 sides, with an oring in the lid, and with foam inserts to keep everything from moving during transport. The light comes with a pocket clip attached and 3 GITD tail cap boots that are currently shipping, make sure to check my social media and I will post a picture when they arrive. 

I do think Reylight should consider including a paper manual with the lights they sell or at least a link on the website to the UI. Even though it’s a pretty common UI (Bistro) a lot of first timers end up asking questions in the Reylight Facebook group that could be answered with the manual. 

 

Construction

The Gemini is made from 304 Stainless Steel. This isn’t a super common material used on flashlights. In talking with Rey he liked the solid and cool feel of steel, and how it can take a high polish. The downside is that it does weight a bit more, I will cover that in the size and weight section.  

The Gemini uses a forward clicky switch with a textured silicone boot over the button. It’s pretty deeply recessed which allows the light to tail stand without and issue. While there isn’t any place on the tail for a tritium vial like all of the previous Reylights, I really like how this button feels when used, without any slop like you sometimes see on metal buttons. It’s a nice touch to come with 3 additional colors (Green, Orange, Blue) to add some personalization. The only negative I see with this design is it does collect some dust around the boot of the light and wall. 

The walls of the Gemini are pretty thick in diameter, I think this is one thing where the light could be made a bit smaller in diameter while still feeling good in the hand and it would reduce weight. The body tube has a large diamond pattern milled in using what looks to be a round nose ball mill. The edges of the diamond are not chamfered over so this provides some grip without being too aggressive. 

The head is mostly smooth. There are 4 larger teardrops with circles to give the light some design. You can see some milling marks inside these. The head has a non removable bezel that 4 semi circles cut into it to give a little relief and allow light to escape.The lens in use is a sapphire lens which provides superior scratch resistance and is surprising at this price point. A green glow oring is a nice touch too.

Stock clip is the same design that was on the Reylight Dawn but made of a relatively thick stainless steel that’s been nicely tumbled. Retention out of the package was quite good and I don’t think people will have a big issue here with clips getting caught or bent on things. There is plenty of room at the top for various thicknesses of pants. It does like to hold onto your parents a bit more than normal and i think this is because the clip touches the body at a place where it grows in diameter. The screw pattern is also “standard” so other clips on the market such as steel flame will fit if you want to replace the clip or personalize your light further.

Last thing I will mention is that since this light is made of steel my advice would be to put a light coat of oil on it just for preventative measures to prevent rust. If you are a knife guy, most pocket knives are made of stainless steel and depending on the alloy used some can pit and rust even if they are “stainless”. This light is the same, depending on how much you use it, your sweat, and climate it’s possible you could see a little rust. I noticed just a tiny spot on mine, that has basically disappeared after a very light coat of Ballistol. 

 

Size & Weight/Comparisons

When I first heard this light was going to be made of stainless steel, I was worried about the weight. Stainless steel isn’t a lightweight metal but I was surprised that it’s lighter than copper and brass by 12.45% and 8.05% respectively. That said Titanium blows it out of the water with it being 54% lighter. The weight I measured the stainless steel Gemini was 133.9g without the battery.

Size wise this is pretty similar to a lot of triple LED lights on the market that take 18350 batteries. I measured it at 80mm. This is very close to the dawn at 82mm. Maximum diameter at 25mm, minimum at 23.5mm. In the photos below I compare it to the Reylight Dawn in copper, and the Emmisar D4 with the 18350 tube installed.

LED/Beamshot/Runtime/Heat

The LED in use in my Gemini is SST-20 in 4000k in high CRI. Also available is the Cree XPL-HI in 6000k. While I am a big fan of the Nichia 219 B/C that Reylight typically offers, it’s not the most efficient or cost effective LED in the market any longer. The high CRI version of the SST-20 is 95. 

Reylight claims 2000 lumens on turbo mode with the SST-20 LED’s and 3000 lumens with the XPL-HI LED’s.

 

Heat

This light does get hot pretty quickly on higher output modes. This is pretty common on triples. This light does thermal cycle pretty fast within about 1.5 minutes on turbo output, and if you keep pushing it it gets too hot to hold. Unfortunately my infrared thermometer doesn’t like the highly reflective steel here so I didn’t get a good reading on an actual number.

 

Beamshot

The beamshot is fairly even for a triple. Nothing perfect but nothing glaring either. The opic in use here is the same size as a carclo 10507, but a Chinese version. 

For my runtimes I did both a standard uncooled test and a cooled test where I had a fan blow across the light. In both I used a Keeppower 1200mAh battery.

 

For the cooled runtime test the light had a seesaw output as it delt with heat for 25 minutes while still providing the most output it can as the battery declines in voltage.. For me the amount it decreases by is just a little too much too often. My advice would be to use the least amount of light to get your task done with this light rather then maximum output to conserve power and keep the light output as stable as possible. Total useful output time was 45 minutes, but 25 minutes of that saw the highest output and seesaw outputs. 

Uncooled runtimes were actually longer due to the light ramping down due to heat and staying lower to manage the heat, thus using less overall power and more runtime. 

We saw similar output patterns with the Reylight Dawn in Titanium, but my Reylight Dawn in Copper was better about this because its ability to dissipate heat to the environment is much better. The good news here is since the light is running a modified Bistro the firmware parameters can be modified to change the runtime behavior. It isn’t all that uncommon for Triple LED lights to reduce output in an extreme to manage heat, but most stay lower, requiring the user to bump up when they need more output. Low voltage protection kicked in at 2.904v. 

 

To show this ramping down and up due to heat I shot a 6 minute video of this happening and sped it up https://youtu.be/jTCe-K_ZHOI?t=785

 

UI

The light uses a modified Bistro firmware, with 23 total modes. Pretty standard with lots of configurable options if you like. Chances are you probably own a light with Bistro already here, so nothing new to learn.

 

In the default mode you get 5 brightness modes in a pretty linear outputs, starting low and going high. In the default configuration memory mode is turned on.

 

I will leave some links to where you can see more about the firmware and a helpful diagram if your going to change anything on the light such as thermal controls. Or mode groups 

http://budgetlightforum.com/node/54621

 

Pro

  • Pretty affordable 
  • Good LED choices available in nice tint’s and a high CRI option available.
  • NIce build quality for the price
  • Sapphire Lens – Superior scratch resistance and a great value at this price.
  • Standard Clip screw pattern.

 

Con

  • No tritium slots on this light, that’s something ReyLights have been known for. But it would increase cost of production.
  • Bistro in the default settings is pretty temperature sensitive and this light cycles from very bright to dim when it gets hot. This can be improved in the UI by changing the temp threshold.
  • Stainless steel conducts heat well so when it’s hot, it’s HOT!  

 

Conclusion

For the price point of around $100 this is a pretty affordable high value light. Stainless steel wouldn’t be my first choice for material for a flashlight but it does work here. It’s a bit heavy but I like the overall design. If you are used to carrying a copper light, stainless steel won’t be much different in wait. I could see future version getting a little thinner maybe, and other materials being used too. I think a brass or bronze here would be neat. I like the diamond pattern on the body, and that it’s aggressive but not too much so far. Retention is very strong on the light. It’s a little disappointing that there are no tritium slots as that’s something Reylight has been known for. If you are looking to dip your toes into the semi custom flashlight market this would be a good place to start at an affordable price point. 

 

Check out the Gemini on Reylights website at http://bit.ly/335LAEd 

Olight Javelot Pro Review (Neutral White, 1000 meters of throw, 2100 Lumens)

Olight has a new thrower on the market the Javelot Pro. This is a big update from the older MX3-UT Javelot that I reviewed quite a while back. The new light has an impressive 2100 lumens and 291,000 candela on turbo meaning it can throw 1000 meters. Thanks to SkyBen for sending this to me to review and tell you all about. Let’s jump in! 

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Packaging

Instead of a box, the Olight Javelot Pro comes in a plastic case similar to a Pelican case. It even has an air release valve on it to equalize pressure. Inside everything has foam cutouts and fit’s just right and a gasket around the opening. This is a nice case, nicer than many firearms come in. I do wonder how much this contributes to the lights price as you can’t buy it without the case. 

Accessories include a large belt holster for the light, manual, as well a larger magnetic charger capable (MCC5V) of charging at 2A. Battery is built in with the light, so it’s included as well. While my light didn’t come with these, the remote pressure switch (RWX-07) also fits the Javelot Pro as does the weapon mounts. My E-WM25 mount fit’s but could be more secure. Skyben also included a black an Olight i3E EOS AAA light and a 18650 battery case as a bonus for buying from them. 

Construction

It’s no surprise that the light is made from aluminum and hard anodized black. A desert tan version of this light is available in very limited quantities and only from Olight direct. As one would suspect fit and finish from Olight is great, no complaints or flaws to be found in that regard. That said I have seen in the forums some people are having issues with the black wearing off the side button on this light.

The tail on the very rear is bead blasted aluminum and serves as the contacts for the magnetic recharging as well as a momentary and full lock on/off switch. It reminds me of the tail that was on the M2R but larger. The sides have some flats milled in for grip and style. Inside we see some flat sheet brass contacts to manage the recharging, and dual wall construction of the light for the eswitch up front. 

The battery tube section of this light has great relief features milled in providing texture and something to grip on to. It’s much deeper then more traditional knurling and works well with gloved hands. I can’t imagine this is an inexpensive part to machine. Batteries are self contained inside by two retention rings on either side with generous amounts of black thread sealant applied. I tried to disassemble the retaining rings on either side without destroying the light but had to stop. It may work if you wanted to apply heat to break the thread sealant/epoxy. Olight has designed this so that the batteries are contained in the tube and not removable. 

The head of the Javelot Pro grows in diameter greatly from the body tube in 2 main sections. The first section is where the eswitch button is placed. It’s a large black silicone button with a battery level indicator in the middle and texture across the button. I have read that some people have had durability here with the blackness of the button but so far I have not. On the sides you have some milling for head dissipation. As we go up the head olight has nicely stylized things here with teardrops we have seen and then some additional areas milled out. It’s a stylish design. The front has the signature blue bezel with shallow crenulations. The lens is double anti reflective coated and the reflector is smooth and deep. 

Size/Weight/Comparisons

I measured the Javelot Pro’s length at 252mm. Maximum diameter at 63mm and minimum diameter on the body at 22mm. Weight with battery was 375.7g. The light is IPX8 rated and drop rated to 1 meter.

In comparison to my Klarus XT32 the Olight Javelot Pro is very similar in size in all dimensions. Same length and diameter pretty much. The Olight is a little lighter in the hand and has a more aggressive grip area and I think it’s a bit more attractive. But the Klarus does use standard 18650 batteries. 

LED/Beamshots/Runtime/Heat/Lumens

The Javelot Pro is running a Cree XHP35 HI LED in Neutral white. Who would have thought we would see an Olight available in only Neutral White! My only guess is that since this light is targeted at search and rescue and hunting is making a difference here. The tint does have just a slight amount of green in the beam but nothing like what I am used to from most Cree Neutral White LED. 

The beam is for the most part what you expect from a thrower. A vast majority of the light is focused in the center and it’s a small hot spot. The spill on the Javelot pro was a little more then I expected but the edge is where things get a little weird. At short distances you do see the outline of the crenulations on the end of the bezel. You then get a second very small ring outside the main spill. At distance neither of these really make an operational difference. 

The Javelot Pro isn’t a cool running light, but that’s not expected either with the 10 minutes of turbo runtime. I measured the following temps.

  • 1 Minute – 106 F (41C)
  • 5 Minutes – 140 F (60C)
  • 10 Minutes – 124 F (51C)

Olights Official lumen ratings which are generally pretty accurate are the following.

  • Turbo – 2,100 Lumens then 1,000 Lumens
  • High – 600 Lumens
  • Medium – 150 Lumens
  • Low – 15 Lumns

I was pleasantly surprised with runtime on the Javelot Pro for turbo. It stays at near the 2100 lumens for most of the 10 minutes Olight claims (Excuse the bump on my long duration graph (my mistake). It was even a more impressive 18 minutes when I ran it with a fan to dissipate heat. This is really nice to see since so many other higher output lights make turbo last for just a few minutes. I think on a thrower this is extra helpful if you do need that bump to reach maximum distance in say a search application. After turbo steps down you are left with 1000 lumens for about 120 minutes, and the light then takes an additional step down for about 10 minutes. Total runtime with the included 7,000mAh battery pack was 145 minutes. I did measure the voltage of the battery tube after the light shut off and measured 2.17v. I believe the internal cells to be at a higher voltage but there must be some protection circuitry that is factoring in here. 

Cooled Runtime

UI

Olight has chosen a little different interface here, then the standard they are known for and it works well with the tail and eswitch. Starting at the rear of the light you can half press on the switch here to activate a momentary low mode and if you give it a full press and hold you get momentary turbo. If you do a quick press in either half or full it will lock the light on. 

With the electronic switch on the front a quick tap activates the battery charge level indicator on the front of the light. A slightly longer press turns the light on in the mode last used (it starts in low by default). To increase the brightness a quick tap will do the job. Long press to shut the light off from the side switch. Lastly there is no strobe on the light. 

Recharging & Battery

The Olight Javelot Pro does come with Olights magnetic recharging system. It comes with a larger diameter recharging base (MCC5V) but charges at the roughly 2A speed of the MCC2A that recent models of Olights have been shipping with. The cable is longer here at 1.2M. I measured the speed of recharging of the internal 7,000mAh battery pack as taking 3 hours and 50 minutes at a maximum of 1.85A. The electronic switch does have an LED that gives battery level indication that goes through green, orange and red. 

As mentioned previously the batteries in this light are 2x 3,500mAh 18650 batteries. They are no user replaceable and instead Olight only is selling the battery tube with the cells inside for $49.00. It’s really unfortunate that Olight has decided to take a big step further down the non user replaceable battery path since the cells here are likely not to fancy or expensive. When buying an expensive light I expect to be able to find batteries for it for at least a decade, and thats not an issue when using standard 18560’s.

Pros

  • 10 minute Turbo runtime, best that I have tested among the throwers I have. (18 minutes if cooled)
  • Fantastic machining, fit, finish and packaging. Olight does it well here.
  • An Olight that’s only available in Neutral white? Crazy I know. My theory is this is because of the hunting community. 
  • No Strobe, while I am not disappointed with this it’s something I would have expected to see).

Cons

  • Battery replacements consist of replacing the body tube of the light instead of just the cells. This makes replacements expensive at $50 for an already expensive light, and they could become hard to source in a few years and I would imagine the limited edition desert tan tubes could be even more difficult to get.
  • Low capacity battery for it’s size. In 2019 we can do better then 7000mAh in a 149mm x 23mm package.
  • Limited Edition Desert Tan color, only available through OlightStore in the US, not the dealer network
  • It’s not using the standard Olight UI here but a modified version of it. It takes a little getting used to but works well.

Conclusion

While the performance and interface of this light are both nice, I have a hard time fully recommending a light in this price category that doesn’t have a more user friendly battery replacement option. I realize this is a choice Olight made to reduce consumer complaints and problems with people using the wrong batteries and then complaining about performance or runtime, but it just kind of rubs me the wrong way. Buying an entire new battery tube instead of just replacing the cells seems wasteful and expensive. I also think it’s a lost opportunity given this lights size to not have gone with 20700 or 21700 sized cells to get a lot more then a total of 7000mAh in capacity without much additional length or weight. Olight could have gone with a light capable of 10,000mAh battery here if they would have gone with 21700’s and this might have justified that higher price. 

Other then that this is the most ergonomic thrower I own, I love the design of the body tube and head. I like the olight blue accent touches as well. This is a big light but not crazy like the BLF GT or Sofrin SP70 I reviewed last week. I do really like that this has the longest “Turbo” runtime of any of the throwers I have, more lights need to engineer turbo to last longer and on a thrower that really makes a lot of sense and it’s an olight that’s only available in neutral white. Who would have thought we would have seen that day coming?

If you have any questions let me know in the comments and I will do my best to answer them. If you are interested in this light you can pick it up from Skyben on Amazon.

Sofirn SP70 Review (5500 Lumen Thrower, XHP 70.2)

Do you miss the days of having an old big multi cell Maglight? If so Sofrins SP70 is for you. It’s  their new, flagship thrower flashlight and it’s the largest modern flashlight I own. It’s so big in fact that it ships with a shoulder sling. Thanks to Bangood for sending this to me to review. If you are interested make sure to check the links in the description below for the discount that’s currently being offered on this light. 

 

Pickup the Sofirn SP70 at http://bit.ly/2J2vZxr and use Coupon Code: FINSP70 to get the light for $50 (Maker sure to choose the Chinese warehouse for the coupon to apply correctly)

 

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Packaging

Sofirn doesn’t spend any time or money on their packaging like some flashlight companies do, instead its a basic brown cardboard box with nothing on the outside, and foam inside protecting the contents. Accessories include a set of spare orings, an extra button and some steel rings to make attaching the shoulder strap. It also comes with a shoulder strap since this is such a large light.

 

There are a couple of versions available of the Sofirn SP70. I received just the light itself, but Sofrin also has a kit version that includes 26650 batteries and a basic charger. I know both versions are available on Amazon, but it looks like Banggod is only selling the light only version. 

 

Construction

The light is made from aluminium and has a smooth black anodizing on it. Quality overall is good, no sharp edges or visible machining marks. It is a heavy weight coming in at 864.7 grams. The light is large enough I am going to take it apart here to talk about the various components and fit them on frame. 

 

The tail has a mechanical button covered with a silicone button with grip. It’s surrounded by two wings that allow the light to tail stand. One has a rather large slot milled in it to allow for the shoulder strap to attach. On the sides the tail cap has a 12 sides milled in to give some style and a bit of grip. Inside is a stiff dual spring. 

 

On the body tube tail end threads are square cut and anodized. The light does have a tactical ring, but on a light this big it’s more of an anti roll ring. It has two holes where you could attach a lanyard if you wanted. The center part of the body tube has nice diamond knurling on it, providing a good level of grip. Threads on the top part of the body tube are anodized, square cut making it reversible.

The inside of the head has two springs as well which is nice to see in a light this size. The button is on the lowest level nearest the body tube and fits my hand pretty well. It has green LED’s underneath that power on when the light is on. There is a good amount of milled in heat syncing on the light all over the head to help dissipate heat and reduce weight. I do like that they left some metal in directly under the button to give you a place to rest your pointer finger when you press the button. Also in the head just in front of the button is the other shoulder strap attachment point. The very front of the light has a lightly crenelated bezel that allows for the glass lens to sit recessed. The reflector underneath is has a heavy orange peal all around it.

Size and Weight Comparisons

This is the first light that was too long to measure with my calipers in one go, Length was measured at 250mm, Diameter at its largest (Head) was 90mm, and minimum diameter on the body section was 34mm. I measured the weight with two KeepPower 26650 cells installed at 864.7g, which makes it the heaviest light I have tested. That almost 2lbs of flashlight, no wonder this comes with a shoulder sling. The light is IP67 water rated.

I don’t have any modern lights this long or with this big of head to compare it to. Here is a Klarus XT32 Thrower that uses 18650’s. The Klarus isn’t a small light either but the SP70 just puts it to shame in it’s size. I will insert a picture of the Astrolux FT03 I reviewed last week on this channel for comparisons in size too.

LED/Beamshots/Runtime/Lumens

The Sofirn SP70 uses a Cree XHP 70.2 LED at 6000k. It’s got the usual XHP 70.2 falts but here at least in my example the Cree rainbow isn’t as noticeable. It’s a good emitter for tons of output and throw. 

 

hat brings me to the beam pattern here, while a good thrower it’s not as tight as beam as I was expecting. The hotspot is pretty good size and doesn’t have the usual hard edges you see no a lot of throwers. In my night shots you saw that bigger beam and even larger spill. 

Sofrin lists the following outputs for group 1 modes. 

Moon – 2 Lumens

Eco – 60 Lumens

Low – 400 Lumens

Medium – 1,200 Lumens

High – 3,000 Lumens

Turbo – 5,500 Lumens

Beacon – 1,000 Lumens

 

Although this light can run on 18650, for the runtime and the performance benefits I would recommend running with 26650 batteries instead. In my runtime graphs here you can see the difference between using 18650 and 26550 batteries. Turbo would be the letdown here, because it only lasts about 2 minutes while decreasing in output. The light declines over about 30 minutes to around 70% relative output. At this point we see a large decrease in output to about 30% for the next hour. From here we see small declines then the light runs at a very low output for another 130 minutes for a total runtime of 240 minutes on 2 26650 batteries. On 18650’s total runtime was similar but you only got about 50 minutes of effective light. 

LVP kicked in at 2.85V. I did notice the cells didn’t discharge evenly (2.85V and 2.89V) so if I was using this light alot I would rotate positions every once and a while after a full recharge. 

UI

This light has 2 UI modes. By default it came in a more conventional stepped interface by default, but it’s also capable of a ramping UI. I did my testing with the default UI. It has 6 mode groups from 2 lumens to 5000 lumens. The UI starts on low and goes up progressively. The light has a mechanical switch at the rear and then an e-switch up at the top. The mechanical switch does work as a momentary. You can have the mechanical switch on the the e-+switch off but this does increase the power drain on the light. When the light is on if you want to turn it off (standby) with the eswitch a quick press will do that. Longer presses make it cycle up in modes. Double click takes you to turbo. The light has memory, and lockout modes as well. Overall it’s a pretty simple interface and pretty intuitive. I like that beacon is hard to access.

 

Pro’s

  • Thermals are pretty well controlled, for as many lumens as we see here it doesn’t get too hot to touch.
  • That said I would prefer active thermal controls over timed step down but that is more difficult to do at this price point.
  • Huge output and good throw
  • Beacon isn’t part of the main mode groups

 

Con’s

  • It’s really big and appropriately heavy, your not going to EDC this light in your pants pocket. The big head size does make me a bit worried about damaging the glass lens with an impact.
  • XHP 70.2 has some cree rainbow.

 

Conclusion

If you miss the days of having a big 3 or 4 cell D Maglight that had some real heft to it and in the market for a high lumen, long distance thrower light, the Sofirn SP70 is a good option and fairly affordable as well. Everything about this light is big, from it’s throw, lumen output, spill, or gross weight. Sofirn has done a good job in the past year of listening to enthusiasts and turning out better and better lights. It’s quickly becoming one of my favorite budget brands to recommend and the SP70 is their best large format thrower to date that I have tested.

 

Pickup the Sofirn SP70 at http://bit.ly/2J2vZxr and use Coupon Code: FINSP70 to get the light for $50 (Maker sure to choose the Chinese warehouse for the coupon to apply correctly)

——————————————————————————————

Bangood is also having their summer prime sales, June 25th to July 12th with lots of prizes available.

Enter to win prizes http://bit.ly/2RKRdm9

They are divided into 3 mains section: The Lead Up period, followed by the Warmup period and finally the Detonation period.

Lead Up? June 25th-July 2nd
Warm-up? July 2nd-July 9th
Blowout Sale?July 9th-July 12th

Shopping Guide: http://bit.ly/324vMBl
Must Buy List: http://bit.ly/326AtL1
Giveaways List: http://bit.ly/2JbArIY

 

Astrolux FT03 (Best value large thrower of 2019, Coupon Available)

Astrolux has a new lare thrower the FT03. It features a large deep reflector and a SST-40 LED to to give it throw. It’s mated to a 26650 battery tube (but it can accept 21700’s and 18650’s (With an adapter too) and features USB-C fast recharging. Thanks to Banggood for sending this too me. They do have a pretty aggressive coupon available for this if your interested.

 

Pickup the Astrolux FT03 SST40-W at http://bit.ly/31CYUzb and use Coupon Code: BGAFT03 to get the light for $29.99 USA ONLY

 

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Packaging

The light came in a white sturdy cardboard box with minimal info on the outside. The light was packaged in foam on the inside. The included accessories were minimal, with a lanyard, spare orings, manual, and an adapter to fit 18650 batteries. No charging cable comes with this light.

 

Construction

The light is made from aluminium and has smooth anodizing, in a fairly mat finish. Starting at the tail cap the light does tail stand very well, thanks to the notch cut in it’s side to allow the lanyard to go through. It has an octadecagon milled in for grip. On the inside it has dual springs inside the simple tail PCB.

The body tube is directional (Threads and anodizing are different on each) with 12 panels of knurling. It has to flats milled on each side and a grid pattern milled in too. It’s a nice feel in the hand without tearing up your skin or clothing.

Moving up to the head section we have the e-switch with LED’s under that act as a way to find the light in the dark and as a charge status indicator when charging. It has minimal heat syncing milled in to the sides. Opposite the button is the USB-C charging port with a silicone cover that fits well and flush. It doesn’t get in my way. The bell of the light is smooth as is the top part of the head. The deep bezel piece has large shallow crenelations on it that allows a bit of light to spread when face down.

 

Size & Weight

I measured the length at 170mm, Maximum diameter in the head at 70mm, minimum diameter in the body at 32mm on the flats. Weight with a 26650 battery was 396.7g.

The FT03 fit’s pretty well in my hand. To me the 26650 tubes feel pretty natural and I like the length and where my fingers and thumb fit. Ergonomics are good.

A bit of comparisons with the Thrunite Catapult V6

LED/Runtime/Beam Profile

The FT03 comes with a clear domed SST-40 LED in Cool or Neutral white. Mine is a NW example. It’s surrounded by a fairly smooth reflector that is deep and helps this light throw. The reflector leaves a decent amount of space around the LED, about ¼”. The lens is glass and double anti reflective coated. It’s using the Texas Star FET driver.

The beam profile is that of a pretty typical thrower. Small hot center where 90+% of the light is focused and then a spill. I don’t see any real undesirable traits. You do notice if there is anything on the lens that’s dirty or causes distortion.

Runtime

Since this is a FET driven light, a high drain cell is recommended for most performance. That means a high drain 18650 like a Sony VTC6 or Samsung 30Q would be good choices, or for a little more runtime a 21700 sized cell. I ended up going with a Sony VTC6 (3000mAh) for my runtime tests. Turbo steps starts stepping down after about a minute, until the 5 minute mark where you see the aggressive output step down to about 30% relative output. It held this for about 140 minutes. At this point it did more pronounced steps down to almost nothing at the 175 min mark. The light at this point is still on but only in moonlight mode, I left it for another 100 minutes and stopped the test, since it was clearly in need of a recharge. With larger capacity cells I would expect the time after the initial step down to be longer.

I didn’t do a lot of formal heat testing with this light but I can tell you that even with the fairly aggressive turbo stepdowns the head section of the light gets warm to touch as does the body. Nothing dangerous but it’s definitely normal.

 

UI

The Astrolux FT03 is using the enthusiast developed NarsilM Firmware V1.3 along with an e-switch which is great. By default it ships in the ramping mode which is what I like, it also has a stepped mode you can switch it in to if you want. It’s highly configurable and can be a little complicated depending on what you wish to do. The good news is there are lots of guides on Youtube and various cheat sheets on BLF forums that I will try to link to as well. A couple shortcuts I find myself using is double clicking to strobe.

NarsilM 1.3 Firmware Guide http://liquidretro.net/wp-content/uploads/2019/06/NarsilM1.3.pdf

 

Recharging

This light does have USB-C for recharging, but it won’t charge batteries that are at 4v or above which is a little strange. So if you need to top up a cell after a brief use you would need to take it out and use a charger. Frustratingly the light also won’t charge from a USB-C to C cable, it requires a USB-A to USB-C cable or a microUSB to USB-C adapter. When recharging the LED’s under the E switch turn red, and then go green when charged. Maximum charge rate I saw was 1.9A so pretty close to the 2A that’s advertised. This means charging speed is pretty quick even on larger 26650 and 21700 batteries. Terminal voltage was 4.149v.

Pro

  • Fantastic value thrower especially with USB-C recharging
  • Fit’s a wide variety of Batteries, 26650, 21700, 18650 (With included adapter).
  • Good LED and I appreciate the tint choices at this price range
  • NarsilM Firmware

 

Con

  • Only will charge via USB-A to USB-C cables, no C-C cables allow for charging.
  • Won’t recharge cells if they are above 4.0V
  • Not a small light, but that’s to be expected with most throwers
  • Aggressive turbo step downs but this can be modified with the firmware.

 

Conclusion

At this price point, especially with the coupon I have here, the Astrolux FT03 is the best value thrower of 2019 that I have tested thus far. It’s using the great NarsilM firmware that’s highly user configurable, it has onboard recharging via USB-C (Even though it’s not capable of C-C charging), and is available in Neutral White or Cool white for whichever you prefer. The short of it I recommend this one if your looking for a larger thrower light. Don’t forget to click that link in the description and check it out over on Banggod.

 

Pickup the Astrolux FT03 SST40-W at http://bit.ly/31CYUzb and use Coupon Code: BGAFT03 to get the light for $29.99 USA ONLY

 

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Olight PL-Pro Review (1500 Lumen Weapon Light & Comparisons with the PL-2)

Today I have a review of the Olight PL-Pro Weapon light. This is a version of the PL-2 that came out last year but the Pro offers Olights built in magnetic recharging system, an optional remote pressure switch and a neutral white LED. Thanks to SkyBen for sending this to me to take a look at.

 

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Packaging

Packaging follows Olights recent trends for 2019. A white high quality box with a photo of the light on the front and information on all sides. Inside the light pulls out from a tray. Below is all the accessories including the picatinny insert (Glock insert comes preinstalled), extra screws, Torx driver, MCC1A USB charger, and the manual. Skyben also included a battery holder (Even though this light doesn’t have replaceable batteries).

I also got with my light the RPL-7 magnetic pressure switch which came in a small zip top bag. It includes the remote pressure switch itself, and then an adapter so that the switch can be mounted or zip tied to a picatinny rail section.

Construction

The body itself is made from hard type anodized aluminum. The battery compartment is contoured to match the PL-2  that had removable batteries where as the PL-Pro has an internal non removable cell. The PL-Pro carries over the mounting system from the PL-2RL by having a metal rail piece. Out of the box this came with the Glock sized rail preinstalled, but you get a 1913 rail piece in the box as well as an allen wrench to change it. The quick detach mount is very sturdy, and requires no tools to attach to the light. It has tension on the mounting system even in unlocked so it won’t drop free without pushing in from the side, I like this two step open option, as it makes sure the light won’t fall off if accidentally bumped or the unlock lever gets reversed.

The rear switches and battery cover look the same from the PL-2, the only exception is that on the PL-Pro they don’t open. On the bottom there is the magnetic charging pad. There is a slightly raised up section

The RPL-7 remote pressure switch fits onto the bottom of the PL-Pro perfectly. It’s a stronger magnet then the charger which is good because it’s not something you would want to fall off. The cable is a similar flat siliconized cover. The button itself is plenty long. My only semi complaint would be the way it attaches to your rifle, I would prefer a mount that screws into Picatinny rail or that Olight would offer a MLok adapter.

Size & Weight

Size wise the PL-Pro is basically identical to the PL-2. The only difference at the bottom there are little extra nibs on the Pro for the recharging base making it a little thicker. I don’t have a way to test this myself but I suspect some holsters that fit the PL-2 will also fit the PL-Pro or could with a very slight modification.  Weight of the PL-Pro is actually about 13 grams lighter. The PL-Pro is IPX6 rated.

 

PL-Pro PL-2
Length 81mm 80mm
Height 32.4mm 30.5mm
Width 36.6mm 36.6mm
Weight 103.4g 116.1g

 

Mounted Photos

LED/Runtime/Beamshot

The Olight PL-Pro is using a Cree XHP 35 HI NW. This is the same LED as the the PL-2 but in a different tint. My PL-2 is in a cool white, and the PL-Pro right now is only coming in neutral white. While I applaud Olight for offering a neutral white (Usually my preference) the bin they chose here has a good amount of green in it, and it’s most noticeable in lower output modes. In my comparison shots here it’s noticeable which is cool white and which is neutral white.

The beam is identical to the PL-2 due to the same reflector and LED being used with the difference being the tint of the LED. The light has a medium sized hotspot that throws pretty well out to 100 yards or so.

 

PL-2 On Left  —  PL-Pro on the Right

PL-2 on the Left — PL-Pro on the Right

In my runtimes were pretty accurate with what Olight saw. The internal battery is rated for 900mAh. On the full 1500 lumens the light lasted for 1.5 minutes, past that it saw a 60% relative output decrease where it ran for 35 minutes. Now this sounds like a big drop and it is but this was still quite a bit of output at 300 lumens. Next the light saw a step down to right at 20% relative output where it ran for another 10 minutes before shutting off. Step downs at the beginning are timed and then voltage controlled from there on out. Step downs are sudden and sharp. It would be nice to add a couple of flashes at the end of the runtime giving one last warning before the light shuts off.

Recharging of the built in 900mAh battery is accomplished with Olights MCCA1 charging system. It’s compatible with other older charges from Olight, except for the one for the PL-Mini. I saw a complete recharge in 1 hour and 18 minutes at a max charge rate of 0.9A.

UI

UI is a little different but similar on the PL-Pro. The light has 2 modes, a low power 300 lumen mode and a high power 1500 lumen mode. It’s pretty easy to switch between them, Just double click on one of the paddles to jump up into high or medium mode, similar to how you get to turbo on other Olights. Low Power mode is more of a lockout mode so it won’t burn a hole through you bag accidentally. To activate it with the light on press one of the paddles for 3 second then press and hold the other till the light shuts off. At this point it’s in a low power 100 lumen mode Olight is calling Lockout. To reverse this just do this process again.

In either mode the light a quick press of a paddle locks the light on, a longer press gives you momentary, and pressing both together gives you strobe.

 

Pro’s

  • Rechargeable is really convenient and cheaper to run if you are going to use a lot of hours on it.
  • Nice integration with a remote pressure pad as an option, gives this light the ability to mount on a rifle as well.
  • Neutral white, but that green tint kind of kills the deal here for me
  • Some holsters that fit the PL-2 may fit the PL pro as they are similar in dimensions. Your luck may vary

 

Con’s

  • LED choice resulted in a beam that has a green tinge.
  • Battery isn’t user replaceable thus it’s a consumable light.
  • Timed step downs for turbo.  

 

Conclusion

The Olight PL-Pro Valkyrie continues to show what Olight has learned when making weapon lights. The little refinements like making a low power (still 300 lumens) lockout mode to prevent the light from literally burning a hold in your bag is a simple, smart idea. I like the integration of the remote pressure switch as well being magnetic, meaning it can break free with sufficient force if needed without damaging things. It’s easy to reattach too. Olights tint choices for LED’s continue to confuse me. My only thought about the choice of going with neutral white here was to aid hunters who are more likely to use the rechargeable version of this light to save runtime costs over the CR123 version, over the PL-2 being more designed for a tactical role, better shelf stable batteries etc. The downside of neutral white at least here is more green tint then I would like to see.


Overall if you liked the PL-2 you will like the PL-Pro, and if your interested check out Skyben’s listings on amazon, to get it super fast if you have prime shipping that is.