Flashlight Reviews Review Reviews Website

Lumintop ODL20C Review (26650 Thrower w/ USB-C Recharging)

Today I have the Lumintop ODL20-C. This is a Thrower style light using a 26650 battery and it has USB-C on it for recharging. This light is using a Cree XHP35 HI LED Emitter, is capable of upto 2000 Lumens meaning it can throw a beam 860 meters. Thanks to FastTech.com for sending this to me to review.

Full Image Gallery: https://imgur.com/a/V8DqyxV

YouTube Version of this Review:

Packaging
Packaging is similar to other Lumintops, with the light coming in a brown cardboard box that is tight fitting. A good amount of information is on the back of the box. Inside the light is well protected in black foam cut to fit.


The light does come with the light itself, lanyard, spare oring, USB to USB-C charging cable, 26650 to 18650 adapter, and manual, warranty card, etc. I like the addition of the battery adapter. It works pretty well and I think more 26650 lights should come with it. No 26650 battery was included but one is shown in some of the official marketing material. The manual is pretty good, with a diagram, runtime tables, and good directions.

Construction
Lumintop again has nice construction on this light. It’s pretty large for a single 26650 light, and is pretty heavy. Fit and finish is tight on this light. It’s made of aluminum and is hard anodized black with a mostly matt finish. The tail cap has a pretty deeply recessed center section, and a small hole for the lanyard. It features a large diamond pattern to help with grip. Inside the tail cap it features a heavy dual spring. The body tube features nicely greased orings on each end and threads that are ACME cut, they are anodized and smooth. The body tube is reversible. It features a trapezoid patterned grip on it. Each of the 4 trapezoids are parallel. 2 feature the large diamond grip pattern milled in and the other 2 are plain. It’s a different look to your traditional knurling and provide a medium/low amount of grip.



The head is decently sized and where a lot of the mass for this light comes from. Inside it features a button style contact and a large rubber ring to provide reverse polarity protection. Button top and flat top batteries as well as protected cells are all compatible with this arrangement. Heatsyncs are pretty deeply cut into the sides and around the reflector of the light. They are not sharp and work well. The bezel is smooth and may be glued, I could not remove it with my hands along, it does retain the iconic Lumintop red bezel oring. The glass is glass and anti reflective coated. It feels pretty thick. The reflector has just a slight orange peel, and to LED is nicely centered.

The button is fairly large and surrounded by a polished metal ring. The button itself has a little transparent area in it that allows the led’s underneath to act as a status indicator for power level. The button itself is pretty flat and has a nice snap to it. Ergonomics and balance are pretty good on this.

The silicone cover that protects the USB-C port on this light is quite large. It’s a tight fit and I find if you close up the light say to put a different battery in the cover has a tendency to pop open. The only thing I can figure is its air pressure but this doesn’t seem to affect the water resistance of the light. With the door closed it stays in place reasonably well but the little tab on it does get caught pretty easily. Not the best design here. I would like to see another included in the package like other brands do.

Size/Weight/Comparisons
This is not a small of light weight light. I found it to be on the heavy side. Weight with a battery measured in at 400 Grams. Length measured at 147.5mm, diameter at it’s widest was 59mm and 35mm at it’s narrowest.


LED/Beam/Runtime
This light uses a Cree XHP35 HI LED in a pretty neutral cool white. Being a thrower the beam pattern is mostly spot with a little spill. The Lumintop GT mini was even more focused. The reflector here has just a slight orange peel.

For my runtime test (Starting in Turbo mode until the light shuts off) I used a protected Keeppower 26650 cells that is rated for 5000mAh as it was one of the only 26650 batteries I had till recently. You do need a cell capable of at least 7A in order to activate Turbo. Total runtime I thought was a little short at about 105 minutes. However the bulk of this run time (about 95 minutes) was at about 1000 lumens which makes it pretty good. Turbo lasted about 5 minutes before the light started to take a major decline. Overall not a bad runtime in the big picture. One of the benefits of the weight of this light is that it’s able to handle heat pretty well. It gets warm but never hot during use.

Charging
This light has onboard USB-C for recharging and is capable of 2A. I didn’t see fast charging out of it but my USB-C meter is still on a boat in the Pacific somewhere. It does come with a USB-A to USB-C cable which is great since not everyone has USB-C cables laying around at this point. You do need a good charger to see 2A though, I had issue the first time I tried charging it getting less then 2A.

UI
UI is the same as the Lumintop ODF30 I reviewed last month. It features a single electronic switch mounted on the side. Ui is overly simple on this light. Low, medium, high in that order. When in high, double click to go to turbo. Eco mode (Still too high for my taste) is accessed when the light is off by long pressing the button till the light comes on. To shut it off while on requires a long press (2 seconds). Tho light also has Strobe but it can only be accessed from Eco Mode by double clicking to reach strobe. I like that strobe isn’t a part of the main group but this is a little awkward.

Lockout mode is also available. When the light is off long press for 4 seconds and the light will flash to enter lockout. To unlock requires unscrewing the tail cap. That’s certainly a different way to unlock and it’s not my favorite. Unscrewing the tail cap to mechanically lock it out seems more intuitive to me.

The light has low voltage reminder by flashing the LED under the button. This is a little hard to see if you don’t notice it. It comes on under 3V.

Pro

  • USB-C makes it to another light for recharging faster and easier. 2A charging was seen.
  • Good build and finish quality.
  • Ergonomics and balance are pretty good on this light.

Cons

  • Pretty beefy light and heavy but with good ergonomics
  • Only 2A maximum charging speed – 26650 batteries can safely accept higher speeds, and USB-C can deliver it.
  • No Neutral white option or cell included.

Conclusion
Another nice light in what I am calling 2018 the year of the thrower flashlight. While the weight is noticeable here it translates in the pretty decent runtimes and it deals with the heat pretty well. I would love to see neutral white be an option on this light but the cool white isn’t too cool which is good. I prefer the 26650 format for a thrower because it’s easier to bring with you and fit into a pocket or bag then a end over end 18650. The ergonomics on the ODL20C are good and I love that USB-C recharging options are becoming more and more common!

Link to this light on Fasttech https://www.fasttech.com/p/9659882 (non-affiliate)

EDC Flashlight Reviews

Amutorch AT40 Review(Titanium, Quad Nichia, 18650)

The Amutorch AT40 caught my eye because it was made of Titanium, had quad Nichia LED’s, used an 18650 battery, and a screwed on deep carry pocket clip. This light has a few things going for it and some negatives too. Thanks to Banggod for sending this too me so I could investigate it further.

 

Full Image Gallery: https://imgur.com/a/Iel4Okl

Video version of this Review:

Packaging

Packaging is very basic at best. It’s a brown generic cardbox. Inside is some foam fit for the light, and couple of extra o’rings, and rear button. The manual is all in Chinese.

 

https://i.imgur.com/HJpzE4d.jpg

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

https://i.imgur.com/2spbAGT.jpg

 

Construction

The basic and simple design of this light as well as being made in titanium is what grabbed my eye on this light. Starting at the back the clip is screwed on to the very top ring of the light, using 2 T8 Torx screws. I like the clip design on this light, it’s deep and pretty sturdy. The button is a loud mechanical fairly stiff switch but it’s recessed a little. Accidental activation isn’t an issue. Threads are square cut, and came with a decent amount of grease.

https://i.imgur.com/D4AKzGK.jpg

https://i.imgur.com/MSC0WXb.jpg

https://i.imgur.com/IiB517f.jpg

https://i.imgur.com/d0iykCA.jpg

https://i.imgur.com/10VnV2E.jpg

 

The body tube is a tumbled titanium finish and has cylindrical machining rings in it for the grip. It’s subtle but nice. The head is made of what looks to be a different material then the rest of the light. Not sure if this is titanium or another material

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

https://i.imgur.com/10VnV2E.jpg

https://i.imgur.com/r9JzmoA.jpg

 

Disassembly of this light is very simple. Nothing was glued in place. The only trick is to unscrew the rear ring you need to first remove the clip. I used some strap wrenches to tighten and loosen the rear bezel.

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

 

I used this light to try some heat anodizing of titanium for the first time (I went a little further then I wanted). This went moderately well and I will probably attempt to redo the front ring and do the body tube as well. It’s important to make sure you wipe it down one more time right before anodizing.

https://i.imgur.com/w1H5ixK.jpg

https://i.imgur.com/r4u2w5h.jpg

https://i.imgur.com/7EbrLMf.jpg

https://i.imgur.com/y63HF4X.jpg

https://i.imgur.com/KC2VNWA.jpg

 

LED/Runtime/Heat

This light uses 4x Nichia 219C LED. They are in a neutral white color. The beam pattern on this light in it’s stock configuration isn’t pretty. It’s rather square with rounded corners and has artifacts. It’s convex lens means its pure flood, with no hot center. I personally don’t care for this type of lens, I find it less useful and prefer some spot or TIR options.

https://i.imgur.com/p4k6a54.jpg

https://i.imgur.com/b15uums.jpg

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

 

Heat is a pretty major issue with this light, I measured the surface temperature of the pill at 140F which is hot enough to burn you. The light stays quite warm even in it’s medium mode. The pill area gets the warmest and pretty quickly but it doesn’t take much time for this to radiate to the rest of the body.

 

Runtime

For my runtime tests I used a 3000mAh Sony VTC6 battery. This light only works with unprotected flat top cells. The top runtime (About 2000 lumens according to the listing) is good for about a declining 5 minutes. Between 5 and 10 the light steps down to about 65% relative output where it sits fairly comfortably for the next 60 minutes. Total runtime was about 100 minutes. The last 30 or so minutes the light goes into low power warning mode. It slowly fades out then fades back on.

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

 

UI

UI on this light is 3 simple modes, Starting in high, then to medium, and then to low. It has memory and will remember the last mode you are in. I don’t see this as a tactical light so I would prefer it start in low, go to medium and then high.

 

Pro’s

  • Pretty affordable titanium quad host.
  • Awesome, custom like pocket clip
  • Nichia Emitters
  • Decent option for modding, I hope I can find an optic that will fit.

Con’s

  • Stock convex lens is pure flood with an odd beam pattern and artifacts
  • Extreme Heat
  • Only flat top unprotected batteries work.
  • I have read about some DOA units on other forums although I didn’t have one
  • I wish it started in Low mode first.

 

Conclusion

I think of this more as a project light rather than an everyday user, or EDC. I personally don’t care for the convex lens it ships with and the squarish beam pattern it creates. It’s basically a big flood. It doesn’t appear to not have any thermal controls which means it gets dangerously hot for extended runtimes. I like that it’s made of titanium, and can be flame anodized pretty easily. If I am able to find a different optic or reflector for this light I think I will like it quite a bit. If you do decide to get one make sure you mechanically lock it out as an added layer of protection against burns.

 

Banggood is offering a coupon for this light to get it for $31 with coupon “f0d761” at https://goo.gl/ViGxwQ (Affiliate Link) if you are interested

EDC Flashlight Reviews Review Reviews

[Review]Lumintop GT mini (18650 Thrower – Mini Giggles)

For the past few years forum members have been designing a huge thrower flashlight called the BLF GT, an 8× 18650 thrower. Lumintop was the manufacturer, and it was a great success, but very pricy. Lumintop decided to make a much more reasonable, smaller, and more affordable version which I have here today to review. The Lumintop GT mini takes what was learned from the BLF GT and shrinks it to a light capable of 1200 lumens and a throw out to 700+ meters, in an easy one handed pocketable light. Thanks to Banggood for sending this to me to take a look at.

Full Image Gallery: https://imgur.com/a/oUqIr4C
YouTube Version of this Review:

Packaging
Lumintop typically has nice packaging and the GT mini, is no different. The brown box had an outer brown cardboard sleeve with a line drawing of the GT mini, the inner box just has the Lumintop name on it. No info on this light is listed externally other then if it’s Neutral or Cool white with a sticker on the end (Probably from Bagngoogd). Inside the light is packed in form fitting white foam. Accessories that came with my light were 2 extra o’rings and a purple unbranded lanyard. I prefer the orange lanyards that Lumintop used to use. A short 18350 tube is also available for this light. It’s a $5 extra to get it separately or get order it from the beginning for a few extra dollars.



Construction
Lumintop does a nice job with their lights and this is no different. It’s made from aluminium that’s been hard anodized in a near mat black. Threads feel nice, although they were dry from the factory. The tail cap is flat, but indented in the center. It looks like you could fit a thin magnet in if you desired. The lanyard hole is small as well but that’s not a major issue. The tail cap has 6 small flat areas to aid in grip. The light includes dual springs in the tail cap. Threads are fine, and have a slightly flat profile on top.





The body tube has flat diamond knurling that’s medium grip. It has some concentric areas turned in it to break up it into 4 blocks, and then 4 flats milled into it for writing and orientation. The spring on the head is short, stiff, and single :). There isn’t any physical reverse polarity protection on the head. The head itself has a series of rings with varying degrees of depth of cut to dissipate heat. The button has a silicone rubber feel to it and is slightly raised. Underneath is a LED that has various functions. The rest of the head is relatively smooth with small cuts for style near the edge. The reflector is deep and smooth. The LED is nicely centered. The front bezel is lightly crenelated and is not glued on. The lens is anti reflective coated.




My only build complaint is that the flats on the body tube, where the labels are for the light don’t line up with the power button when screwed all the way down so that the light is operational. Aesthetically this bothers me, but it’s also a small operational thing as well because I like the flats to line up with the button because it’s easier to find the button in the dark. Since this light by default has a lit up button it’s less of an issue. It seems not all the lights are affected by this by reading on Budget Light Forums.

Size/Weight/Water Rating/Size comparison
I measured length at 132mm, width at it’s largest at 50mm, and at it’s narrowest 23.3mm. Weight with an 18650 battery is 200 Grams. The light is rated for IPX68.

In comparison to other throwers, The GT mini is the same length as the Thrunite Catapult V6 but the head is head and body tube are smaller. Compared with the Convoy C8+, the GT mini is a good deal shorter (no tail switch), and has a slightly larger sized head.

LED/Runtime
This light uses a Cree XPL HI LED and is available in cool or neutral white. Mine that I am testing here is in neutral white which is my preference. This is pretty warm for neutral white which I don’t mind. Probably around 3800k or warmer. It uses a FET driver to achieve around 1200 maximum lumens in Turbo mode.

For runtime I used a 3400mAh Protected Thrunite battery. Step Down was pretty fast and pretty agressive on this light. It really stepped down pretty low and quickly after 2.5 minutes. It stepped down again at 3.5 minutes to 10% relative output. This is great for thermal and overall runtime but less practical for actual use. It requires you to either bump up again repeatedly to get brighter levels. Overall runtime was over 300 minutes but this was at about 10% relative output. Heat was not too bad, the head got to about 105F.

UI
This light uses the popular NarsilM V1.3 firmware. I won’t pretend to be the expert on this firmware as it offers a lot of options. It’s a firmware designed by enthusiasts for enthusiasts. What I like about it on this light is that it’s ramping, meaning the light doesn’t have predefined levels by default. This can be switched if you don’t like ramping but I will stick with the default for this review. The manual does a nice job of explaining the firmware. Full ramp from low to high is about 2.5 seconds. The light flashes at the top and bottom to let you know where it is. It has a shortcut to turbo if you double click. If you double click again from turbo you get into the strobing modes, and double click to exit. The switch has a green LED under it, this is on when the light is off, but not when the light is on. This can be turned off with turning the light on and off in rapid succession. Battery status, and lockout are also available, as well as momentary. It really is pretty much all here including setting the UI back to factory default. Make sure to give the manual a read or two to make sure you have a grasp of the capabilities.

Pro’s

  • The Neutral white version is a pretty warm tint which I like.
  • Lumintop have a nice build and packaging quality, on par with an Olight or Acebeam.
  • Glowing power button
  • Manual is different (in a good way vs the standard ones from Lumintop)
  • Great value thrower
  • Small 18350 tube available and included in some versions of this light.

Con’s

  • The body tube has flats, with labels and they don’t line up with the button, this is annoying to my “OCD”.
  • Large and Aggressive stepdowns in the runtime
  • Large head, small body tube makes it a little less ergonomic. I imaging this is even more so with a 18350 tube (Disappointed on isn’t included).

Conclusion
At the current sale price (With coupon) this is a high value thrower light. Unlike it’s big brother the BLF GT, the Mini is affordable, and easily fits in one hand. It offers great firmware, good build quality, and a long runtime even though it steps down a little fast for my liking. With the 18650 body tube it fits fairly well in the hand, but I can imagine the 18350 tube will be a little weird to hold on to, and get fairly warm to hold. That said I will probably buy one because of the novelty factor on my next Banggood order. With all the new throwers out this year, the GT mini ranks high on my list because of it’s firmware and neutral white options and that its been heavily influenced by enthusiasts.

Banggood has offered a great coupon for the Lumintop BLF GT mini: https://goo.gl/B6V9vT  Get it for only $32 with the coupon code: ab8a87

EDC Flashlight Reviews Review Reviews

Haikelite SC26 (26650/26350, ramping UI, CW/NW, Body Color Options)

The Haikelite SC26 is a new light utilizing the 26650 battery format as well as the hard to find 26350 battery size with the included optional tube design. It comes in 5 different exterior colors and 4 LED options. Thanks to Banggood for sending this to me to review. Let’s take a look at this interesting light.

Full Image Gallery: https://imgur.com/a/AmkMR1w
YouTube Version of this Review:

Packaging
Packaging is pretty basic, It’s a brown cardboard box, with a Haikelite sticker on the top. Inside is foam that is cut to the light’s shape. Included accessories are the 26350 tube, 2x orings, pocket clip, and manual. The manual is 1 half sheet of paper with a few technical details printed and operating instructions.


Construction
The light is made from Aluminum alloy, and is available in 5 colors of anodizing, Blue, Silver, Black, Teal, and Tan. The anodizing on my Blue SC26 doesn’t match. It seems the body tube is the outlier as the battery tubes, and end cap all match pretty well. The tail cap is small and has smooth rounded edges. Inside is a very stiff large spring. The body tube is what you would expect with orings on each side. Knurling is in a diamond pattern but not super aggressive.




A clip does come on this light but it only fits well in the larger configuration, lens up carry. Due to the thickness of this light I don’t consider it a front pocket EDC, it would be fine in a jacket pocket. I would have liked to see a spot for a lanyard but it does not have one.

Size/Weight/Comparison
I measured length with the long tube at 124.4mm, with the short tube it was 85mm. Diameter at its greatest is 35.3mm, and 32.1mm at its narrowest. Weight was 211.3g. No water rating is given but it has o’rings and seems reasonable for most uses.

With the short tube it’s pretty similar in length to a Emmisar D4 with the 18650 tube. When the SC26 has the longer tube its about 1/4 “ shorter then the Thrunite Catapult V6.

LED/Runtime
This light is using a Cree XHP35 and is available in the HD or HI variants. Mine is the HD variant in neutral white. The beam in this light has quite a bit of Cree Rainbow effect, for me it’s most noticeable in the hot center of the light. There is a definite donut, even at a distance, I find the direct center to be the warmest white, then there is a slight ring on the outside of the center that is brighter before the light fades to flood and the tint cools off. I found this more noticeable in the non turbo modes

For my runtime test I used a 4500mAh KeepPower protected 26650 battery. Overall total runtime was impressive at 350 minutes from turbo. This long runtime distorts the graph a little as nearly all that time at about 30% relative output which is somewhere near 700 lumens. When the power gets low the light does some flashing of the emitter to let you know it’s about of of power. Turbo lasted for just about 1.5 minutes before step down with my battery. Turbo mode is thermally controlled but with a timer too. Thermal mode is configurable. I used a fan to cool the fan during my short runtime test.

UI
This light has a ramping UI which I like. It flashes to let you know your at the bottom or top of the range. Ramping UI is listed at 21 to 2050 lumens. To get to turbo when the light is on just double click. Double click again to go back to the previous level you were at. To adjust your ramping level just press and release when you want to stop. To decrease output do the the same. The light also offers configurable thermal protection between 44 and 55 degrees Celsius.

The light also offers a 5 group mode UI that you can switch into. Make sure you check out the manual or the Banggood product listing on how to configure this and all that’s offered. There is only one mode that has strobe.

The light does have lockout in the UI. When the light is ON double click followed by a long press to lock out the light. Repeat to unlock. This is not my favorite method because with the ramping UI you are long pressing a lot. So it’s easy to put the light in to lockout if you double click to shortcut to turbo and then want to adjust down.

Batteries
This light is able to run on 26650 batteries which is what I did my testing with. I used KeepPower 4500mAh protected batteries. It can also run on 2× 26350 batteries or with the included short tube 1× 26350 battery. I like the look of it in the short chubby design, the problem is finding high quality 26350 batteries. They do exist but they are hard to find and of unknown brands. MTNElectronics carries some but the brand is not mentioned and they have no reviews. This was similar to just about everything else I found including Banggood. I don’t like the safety aspect of using lithium ion batteries from an unknown, unlabeled manufacturer. Hopefully some 26350’s from a known manufacturer will hit the market if this size becomes more popular or I can get some of these unlabeled 26350’s to test with this light. It’s also worth noting the light has Battery level indicator via the switch. Greater than 3.6V it will be blue, Less than 3.6V it will flash blue and below 3V it will red flash.

Pro’s

  • I like that the light has 5 color choices and 4 emitter choices including neutral white.
  • Ramping firmware and backlit button, it could be faster and have Lockout revised.
  • I like the size and feel in my hand with the large side switch.
  • Large stiff springs, but slight left to right rattle.

Con’s

  • Sources for high quality 26350 are pretty slim. It’s not a popular sized cell.
  • Non Uniform color anodizing.
  • Mine came with fingerprints on the inside of the lens, I was able to easily disassemble and clean it.
  • No lanyard loop.

Conclusion
This light is advertised as an EDC, at least for me it won’t be used as a front jean pocket EDC, because that 26650 is just too big in diameter and I don’t like lens up carry with the clip, but I could easily see throwing this in a jacket pocket or bag. I like that it comes in a wide variety of colors as well. I wish 26350 batteries were more widely available because I like the small size in the hand with she short tube. Even in it’s longer configuration I like the size of this light because of it’s narrow profile for a 26650 battery. I wish it had a lanyard loop on it but even without one it’s a pretty nice light if you don’t mind a bit of Cree Rainbow.
———
Banggood would like me to mention that this light can be found on their site https://goo.gl/KHhyym (Affiliate Link) and they have provided a coupon code of “ef3048” to get the light for $42 if you are interested in it.

Review Reviews

Omars AC Powerbank 24,000mAh up to 80W AC

Today I have an Omars AC Powerbank. This is a little different from the powerbanks I have taken a look at in the past. This one has an AC output jack on it that’s good for up to 80W. It also has 2 USB ports that are capable of up to 3A each. Thanks to Omars for sending this to me to take a look at. Pickup this Omars AC Powerbank on Amazon https://amzn.to/2oh65e1 Save 10% with the code OMARS80W

Construction

Construction of this Powerbank is mostly plastic. It’s quite large, It’s pretty big, and heavy. Think ream of paper but not quite as wide. I measured the weight at 934G. It feels decently constructed and I would guess internally there may be a metal structure inside to keep it rigid. Omars also makes a model of this powerbank with twice the capacity in what I can tell the same footprint. To me it seems like this model the batteries are near the rear because of how it balances. On the front there is a button to turn it on, and 2 standard USB ports. Under the cover on the left is the ungrounded AC plug, with a manual switch to turn it on and off.

The manual isn’t bad but it’s not great either. It’s pretty short and generic. It’s not the level I would expect for an $80 electronic. Packaging was a brown cardboard box with an Omars sticker sealing it all in. there was a good amount of foam keeping everything in place.

 

Power/Features

The manual does say that the AC port is using Fixed wave inverter and is not suitable for small motors. I tested it with an AC fan and it worked but introduced a wine in the motor that I figured is not healthy. This is unfortunate but not uncommon with consumer DC to AC inverters.

 

I charged my laptop (With it powered off) from 6% to 100% using the Omars power bank . My laptop has a 56wh battery and the Omars has an 88wh. I was pleasantly surprised that after this full charge the powerbank indicated it had between 50-75% of power left. My killowatt meter showed 0.5kwh so this adds up. Losses due to conversions were less than what I expected. With my laptop I would expect about 2 full charges out of this powerbank.

 

Uses for this I can see being places where size and weight are less important but you need to keep your AC devices. Car camping, emergency preparedness,

 

Recharging

I completely discharged the powerbank and plugged it into the included 12V barrel wall charger and it charged in right at 3 hours. I thought this was a great charge speed given the large capacity. When measured on my kilowatt meter, it was pulling 36W at the beginning. What I didn’t love is the use of the

 

Conclusion

The Omars AC Powerbank does a good job at what it claims to do, I had no problems with the way it operates while being reasonable. It would be nice if small motors worked well with it, and it did work to power a fan. I can see potentially using it to charge a laptop once while car camping maybe or at a convention but in doing so you pay a pretty sizeable penalty in size and weight. This isn’t something that I would want to hike with at least in this size. As long as you recognize the the limitation of this type of powerbank and they fit your application you won’t be disappointed in having one.

Flashlight Reviews Review Reviews

WowTac A4 Review (2000 Lumen 2x 18650 Thrower)

On my review table today is the new WowtTac A4 thrower. It uses a Cree XHP 35 HI LED and a deep reflector to achieve a claimed 820 meter throw. The A4 follows the older established design of a thrower by using 2× 18650 batteries in series. Thanks to WowTac for sending this to me to take a look at.

Full Image Gallery: https://imgur.com/a/avSYy2t
YouTube Version of this Review:

Packaging
The Wowtac packaging is a compact, long box that folds up from the front flap to reveal the light sitting in a foam protection. Underneath is the only accessories the light comes with (2 orings) and the manual.The box on the outside is pretty plain with not many details but it does make mention of an A5 model that currently is unannounced and I wonder what this might be to fit in this box.. . . .



Construction
The light is made from aluminum and anodized in a semi gloss black finish that’s even and without flaw. The tailcap is mostly flat with a slight recess with nice deep diamond knurling on the edges. It does have a small lanyard loop. Threads are square cut. The spring in the tail cap is rather short, and doesn’t have much travel.

The body tube is one long piece of aluminium that is symmetrical on both ends and it’s completely round. Knurling is deep and a diamond pattern. It feels nice in the hand, grip wise. I do miss it not having any flat areas though that help locate it’s orientation in the hand and help find the front power/mode button.

If the head of the Wowtac A4 looks similar, that’s because it is. The Thrunite Catapult V6 is identical in design with the only difference being that the Catapult V6 is that it has micro USB recharging opposite the main button and the threaded area where the tube connects is made to accommodate the different power sources. This makes sense, because Wowtac receives technical assistance from Thrunite on their designs. Think of Wowtac as the value brand for Thrunite. In this end this is good for both companies as it helps increase volume of manufacturer and lowers costs for both. The reflector is deep and smooth, the bezel is silver aluminium and looks like it should unscrew with the proper tool. The button itself is silver and metal, in the middle is a LED indicator that shows blue when the light is on. When the battery power is less then 20% it turns red, and when less then 10% the red will begin to flash.




I measured the length of the A4 at 202mm, maximum diameter at 58mm, minimum diameter at 25.3mm and weight with batteries at 321.5g. The light is IPX8 water rated.

LED/Beam/Runtime/Heat
This light uses a Cree XHP35 HI LED in cool white. It sits in front of a deep smooth reflector with anti reflective coated glass. The LED is nicely centered. It’s tint while cool white is fairly neutral.

The beam pattern is a small very focused hot spot in the center, with a large but dim spill. The spill has a hard cut off on the edges. It’s pretty identical to the Catapult V6. Heat isn’t too much of a concern, it’s big head does a good job of dissipating heat during operation.

UI & Modes
The UI of this light is simple and straightforward. From Off Long press to receive “reading” mode of 0.5 lumens. When on in any mode, long press to move up in brightness. Starting at Low of 22 lumens, Medium of 180 lumens, high of 950 lumens. From any mode the light is on you can double click to go to turbo at 2000 lumens. The light has Strobe which you can get to from tubo by double clicking again.

Runtimes
I performed my runtime tests with 2x Thrunite 3400mAh Protected button top 18650 batteries. Total runtime was just shy of 140 minutes in my runtime test. Turbo runtime was consistent with the 1.5 minutes that WowTac claims. The light stepped down 9 times over 22 minutes until it stabilized and ran for the remaining 120 minutes before an abrupt shut off. Step Downs were not the smoothest and most were drastic.

Batteries
This light does not ship with batteries, which is a first from WowTac. It needs 2x protected button top 18650 cells as specified by the manual. Flat tops without buttons or protection are too short to make contact. There while there is a spring in the tail cap there isn’t a ton of give to it. Magnets will work as a spacer if needed. For my test I used 2x Thrunite 3400mAh protected button top cells. Working voltage is 5.5-8.4v, so CR123A and 18350 cells are not an option for this light.

Comparisons
2018 seems to be the year of the thrower, and I have had several this year to review. I have not been disappointed in any of them. The Thrunite Catapult V6 has a super similar head as the Wowtac A4, and they use the same LED, however they give different throw distances. The WowTac has a claimed 820m, while the Thrunite claims 750m. My assumption is that the WowTac is driving the LED a bit harder due ot the higher voltages.

Pro

  • High Value for a large 2× 18650 thrower
  • Offers a firefly 0.5 lumen mode that throws well due to the reflector geometry
  • It should be pretty simple to change the emitter on this one if you wish
  • Minimal and tasteful branding on the light

Con’s

  • No batteries included, this is the first model from WowTac to have that.
  • Only offered in Cool white at the moment.

Conclusion
2018 Seems to be a popular year for throwers and I am enjoying it so far. The WowTac A4 offers everything you would want in a budget oriented handheld thrower, in a narrow but longer package. I think it’s a nice option for people who have lots of 18650 batteries and a charger already or don’t need USB charging.

Personally I am finding that I enjoy using the 1× 26650 battery format throwers a little better than the 2× 18650 category of throwers just because they are easier to carry in a bag and fit in my hand. That said the 2X 18650 form factor is well proven and works well. The Wowtac A4 is an affordable option, with a great beam profile for long distance throwing.

If you are interested in purchase, the light appears to be sold out at WowTac direct right now, but is available from Amazon yet (Affiliate Link).

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Thrunite TH30 Headlamp (3350 Lumens, XHP 70.2 LED)

Today I have the new Thrunite TH30 Headlamp on my review table. This is a fairly slim profile headlamp that can also double as a EDC type light. It has a impressive 3350 lumen turbo mode, is USB rechargeable and ships with a Thrunite IMR battery. Thanks to Thrunite for sending this to me to take a look at.

Full Image Gallery: https://imgur.com/a/zuZo4rz
YouTube Version of this Review:

Packaging
Packaging is typical of what we are used to from Thrunite, simple, and functional. It’s a small brown cardboard box with minimal details printed on the outside. Unfolding it from the front cover reveals the headlamp packed in white foam. The battery is preinstalled with a protection disk. One of the nice things is that the head strap is already assembled and attached to the light. Underneath are the accessories which include a Micro USB cable for charging, pocket clip for the light (Can’t be used while in the headlamp mount), extra head mount, usb cover, manual, and branded black and red 3 piece head strap.





Construction
The TH30 itself is made from aircraft grade aluminium and is anodized a fairly shiny black. The light comes into 3 basic pieces, the head, body tube, and tail cap. Starting at the tail cap, the bottom is flat, and non magnetic. Knurling matches the body tube in a fairly aggressive diamond pattern. Threads under the cap are ACME style, and were lightly greased. The body tube has a pretty minimal diameter, and it has the same knurling as the tail cap. The pocket clip can mount onto the body tube either near the head or tail. Unfortunately the clip isn’t very deep carry when mounted near the head , but is reasonable when at the back of the light.


The head itself is fairly typical of a right handed light but it has been slimmed down where possible. As a result it only has cooling fins opposite of the emitter, and the sides are flat which is where the writing on this light are located. The only button is on the top of the light surrounded by an uncoated aluminum accent bezel. It’s a large, domed textured silicone rubber button that is semi transparent. Underneath are charge status indicators. The button stands a little proud and as a result the light won’t slit flat on it’s head.

The mount and stap were nicely preassembled. The mount itself is made from a black silicone rubber and is the style where you pass the light through silicone rubber hoops. This means the light stays put pretty well and isn’t the easiest to remove or add back. The head strap bands are black with red Thrunite lettering woven into the fabric. It’s a fairly basic strap and doesn’t include any of the silicon strips on the inside to keep the strap in place on helmets.

Size/Weight/Water Rating
I measured length at 106.5mm, minimum diameter at 23.6mm and maximum diameter at 28.2mm. Weight of the light with the included cell and head strap was 172.3g. The light is IPX8 water rated.


LED/Runtime
This light uses a Cree XHP 70.2 LED available in both cool and neutral white. My example here is in neutral white which is my preference. The LED is quite large but nicely centered in the reflector. Lens is glass and anti reflective coated, the reflector has a orange peel on it that does a good job of smoothing out the beam.

Runtime on the included 3100mAh IMR battery totaled 110 minutes from Turbo. When starting on high the light really steps down after about 5 minutes due to heat and is only running at about 25% relative output where it ran for the majority of the time. I saw very little difference when I ran a cooled output for 20 minutes compared with uncooled as well suggesting it’s a timed/voltage decline. Stepdowns were smooth. The last 10 minutes of runtime the light will start flashing to let you know the battery is depleted and ready to shut down.
Total Runtime

Uncooled 20 Minutes

Cooled 20 Minutes

Heat is a bit of a concern with this light on turbo since it produces up to 3350 lumens. During my test, the head easily reached 120F while on turbo within about 3 minutes. This is hot, but it won’t burn you. When being warm as a headlamp the silicone rubber mount does a good job of insulating your skin from the heat. The manual does say for the safety battery, driver and LED they recommend not using the light at the maximum for more than 10 minutes.

The beam is mostly flood and quite smooth. The center is slightly hotter but it’s nicely diffused thanks to the orange peel reflector. This light really isn’t a thrower but because of it’s power it does a decent job out to about 100 yards or so.

Battery and Recharging
Included in the package is a 3100mAh Thrunite Branded high drain, button top IMR 18650 battery. While not officially mentioned, given the performance characteristics it’s believed this battery is a rewrapped Sony VTC6 with protection. Working voltage of this light is 2.75V to 4.2V so 2x CR123A batteries will not work in this light.

Recharging is accomplished via a microUSB port on the very top of the head of the light. I like this location as it’s out of the way. The usb cover is attached with a decent amount of material as well and an extra is included in the packaging just in case. A red LED is under the main operation button will let you know the light is charging and it turns blue when charged. I measured max draw during charging at 1.5A which matches ThruNite’s claims, and a full recharge took 2 hours and 34 minutes. The light can be powered on to low mode during charging via USB.

UI and Mode Spacing
Changing modes in this light is easy. When the light is on pressing and holding the button will cycle through modes. The light starts on low, and progresses linearly though Low, Medium Low, Medium, High, and SOS. To get to turbo at anytime double click, and to use firefly when the light is off just long press. The light will remember the mode you were last in except for Firefly, Turbo, or SOS.

Turbo (3350 lumens for 1.5 min then 1050 lumen after step down)
High (1275 lumen; 90 minutes)
Medium (352 lumen; 5 hrs)
Medium-Low (130 lumen; 14 hrs)
Low (25 lumen; 60 hrs)
Firefly (0.5 lumen; 32 days)
SOS (645 lumen; 305 minutes)
The light can be mechanically locked out by just breaking contact with the tail cap or body tube. Given this lights power I would recommend doing that.

Pro’s

  • Available in Neutral or Cool White
  • Mode spacing is nice, and it has a simple UI but I wish strobe was not part of the main group.
  • Very smooth floody beam, not much noticeable tint rainbow to me.
  • High quality included battery that is non proprietary.
  • 2 Year free replacement warranty, with a limited lifetime warranty after that

Con’s

  • Pocket clip is reversible but not very deep carry
  • The button cover protrudes a little so it won’t stand on its head very well.
  • Wish it had active thermal controls

Conclusion
If you have followed my reviews for a while you will know I am a fan of headlamps, for me it’s probably in the top 3 types of flashlights everyone should own. The Thrunite TH30 is a very nice high lumen headlamp option. Understandably Turbo doesn’t last too long, due to the immense amount of heat 3350 lumens creates, but the lower modes are sufficient. I really like that this headlamp uses non proprietary batteries which makes getting extra’s or a replacement easy and less expensive than some other brands. I like that the light comes with an excellent and safe battery as well, I think it’s an extra layer of safety to have a protected cell when your using one on your head. I think it’s safe to say this is my favorite headlamp of 2018 so far.

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Convoy C8+ in Sand (Best Budget Thrower for the $?)

Today I have a Convoy C8+ in the new Sand color to take a look at. The C8+ has a deep smooth reflector and works as a great budget thrower. For those of you who don’t know Convoy they have a reputation of providing great quality lights for very low prices. This sand colored C8+ was provided to me by Gearbest Link) to take a look at and I thank them for that.

Full Image Gallery: https://imgur.com/a/RjhQeXu
YouTube Version of this Review:

Packaging
Packaging is pretty much non existent. My C8+ came in a white cardboard box that got got crushed a bit during shipping.The light doesn’t come with any accessories other than a lanyard that was already attached. Nothing on mine was tight either so make sure you tighten up the front lens and body/tail caps prior to first use.

Construction
The C8+ is made of aluminium and is anodized with a color they call sand but it’s pretty close to the Cerakote color Burnt Bronze which I happen to really like. Starting at the tail cap you have a black rubber clicky button. It does full click and momentary. There are lanyard holes on both sides and the light will tail stand. Threads are ACME cut and were lightly greased on the rear. On the body tube the knurling is pretty deep and aggressive. I like the diamond pattern.



The head itself has lots of cooling fins milled into it. It gets larger to accommodate the large and deep reflector which is what gives allows this light to throw. The front bezel has very shallow crenulations. It’s very easy to remove, allowing the smooth reflector to come out and access to the emitter circuit board. This is an easy light to mod.


In the hand I find it’s mostly comfortable. It’s a little short with the larger head unless you grip up on it, it works pretty well in a cigar grip.

Length was measured at 142mm, diameter of the body tube is 25.2mm, diameter of the head is 44.5mm and empty weight is 145 grams. No claims about water rating was made but it has orings everywhere I would expect so it should be pretty decent. It survived a brief sink test.

LED/Runtime
This light uses a Cree XPL HI LED that’s available in 4 different color tints. (6500k, 5000k, 4200k, 3000k). Mine is in 4200K which I quite like as a neutral white. I don’t notice any tint rainbow to it. Beam pattern is consistent with a deep reflector thrower. Small, hot center, with minimal spill and a hard cut off. High mode is listed as 1100 Lumens.

For my runtime test I used a 3500mAh NCR18650B battery. Light fall off started to occur pretty fast and it was a very linear drain for the first 80 minutes down to about 45% relative output. At this point the light started taking larger decreases down to where it shut off at 130 minutes.

UI
This light is using revised UI from Convoy. It’s a little hard to describe in words as there are several modes, so ill include the Diagram that Convoy Publishes. The light has 12 mode groups that you can switch the light into by entering configuration mode by doing a bunch (10+ taps or until the light stops turning on and you will be in config mode) By default from what I can tell I believe the light I received ships in mode 1 which contains 0.1%, 1%, 10%, 35%, 100%, Strobe (Fast then Slower, then fast), Biking (Steady on at about 50%, with super fast strobe every second), and then a battery check that counts out voltage. The light does have memory and momentary. The good thing is between the 12 modes offered there is just about something for everyone and it’s not too hard to switch if you have the directions handy.

Pro’s

  • I love that the C8+ comes in a wide variety of tint options, make sure to pay attention when ordering.
  • It’s great value for the money, for under $30 shipped it might be the best thrower for the money.
  • Moddable – Lots of mods exist for Convoy lights, I think I will do the glowing tail cap for this one.

 

Con’s

  • While I love the new “sand” or burnt bronze color it does feel a little chalky to the touch, and I know some people dislike this.
  • On the larger side of things, not EDC-able in a front pant pocket (Works ok for a coat)
  • Barebones packaging, no extras, or manuals included.

 

Conclusion
The Convoy C8+ is a great bargain 1× 18650 cell thrower. For under $30 shipped to the USA it’s hard to find a better thrower with as many tints as the Convoy C8+ offers and as many operating modes. I love that it comes in 2 main tints (Black and Sand) and that the light is pretty moddable. This Convoy is pretty well built and is a nice value. If you don’t mind waiting for overseas shipping this is a great value thrower.

Gearbest has provided a coupon code of “ConvoyC8” to allow you go get this C8+ in Sand for $19.99 at https://goo.gl/VckBeo (Affiliate Link)

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Up Next I have several lights (Thrower, Headlamp, and more) so make sure you are subscribed to my Youtube Channel so you won’t miss the next review.