Friday, December 9, 2016

Lumintop Torpedo 007, 1xCR123A,stainless steel luxury flashlight REVIEW

The Torpedo 007 is a CR123A powered flashlight in a luxury stainless steel shell flashlight offered by Lumintop.
They are known with their great tactical light,the TD16 and the powerful multi LED PS03 but also produce beautiful small EDC flashlights.
Torpedo 007 is a 65mm long compact flashlight meant for people that like more special looking lights,great as a gift,great as a EDC flashlight.
The flashlight has a torpedo/bullet form with a beautiful smooth,reflective body finish.
The finish reminds me a lot on a chrome plated metal. Characteristic sign of the flashlight is the Gold plated ring with etched flame figures. You will also be surprised to see a Tritium insert in the tail switch.


Lumintop also provided discount codes for my readers.
(not paid links and codes)
US Amazon store: http://amzn.to/2421r4t
WE6SUROE
UK Amazon store: http://amzn.to/293oBQQ
PP3Z3S5A
DE Amazon store: http://amzn.to/290zJjK
YLQTDJSK



Size and finish comparison.
CR123A battery - Lumintop Torpedo - CQG Bullet - ThruNite T20T - Olight S1
All flashlights run on CR123A battery.

Lumintop Torpedo and CQG bullet are made of stainless steel.The T20 is in its Titanium version.

Front view at the reflectors.
Lumintop Torpedo(Cree XP-L + textured reflector)
CQG Bullet(Cree XP-G + textured reflector)
ThruNite T20T(Cree XP-G2 + textured reflector)
Olight S1(Cree XM-L2 + TIR lens)


Very clear and clean tempered glass lens with anti-reflective coating.
Aluminum reflector-textured for best beam profile.
Cree XP-L V5 LED.
Stylish red O-ring for sealing the glass lens.
Well center LED.



The Torpedo 007 comes in a luxury brown box. Great for collectors,as a gift or just if you like to see that more care is taken to the packaging.


In the box-well explained instruction sheet,Keychain with carabiner,Two spare O-rings.

The included 1500mAh CR123A battery is protected from discharging during the delivery with a yellow sticker. You have to remove it before first use.


Tailcap design with long channels for lanyard or split ring attachment.
The tail cap fits perfectly to the battery tube with no gap. All parts connected looks as a nice peace of metal.
There is nothing in the form that could cause dis-comfortable grip.No sharp edges.
One thing that differs the Torpedo from almost any other similar flashlight is the miniature continuous glowing stick(Tritium vial) which usually can be found only in custom made/modified luxury collectors flashlights.
Lumintop is giving us the chance to get it right out of the box on a quite reasonable price.

The advantage of a continuous,battery free glowing light in the tailcap/switch is easy location and use of the switch,as usually it is very hard to distinguish tail end from the reflector end in the dark,taking the flashlight out of a pocket. The glowing is very low and hard to notice in ambient light,but is quite good in the dark.
The stick in my sample has a greenish light. It is fixed in place with a plastic/maybe epoxy material with a bulging like a convex lens shape.This ensures great protection for the glowing insert and allows to see it sideways.
No anti-roll design of any kind.You will have to attach a split ring to be able to leave it stable on a table.
As you may noticed from the picture,tail-standing is not from the strongest points of the flashlight.
The lens shaped switch button protrudes enough to make it unstable.


Precisely machined tail cap. Triangular-cut threads. Metal retaining ring.
Battery tube is well sized-rechargeable batteries with carefully packed protection like the Olight RCR123A fit well in the flashlight,while relatively curved batteries like the old Keeppower 16340 are too long and wide.




A very close look at the laser engraved logo.


User Interface and Driver Performance
The Torpedo 007 has a little more specific interface but is quite easy to use.
4 different brightness modes,no hidden flashing or other special modes.
The switch is a momentary push button with light click sound.
To turn the light On,just press the switch.No press and hold in this flashlight.Quick and comfortable instant access to the light.
To turn it Off,again just briefly press the switch.
To change the mode-while the light is On,turn it Off then again On within a second.
That's it. Mode sequence is Low-Mid-High-Moonlight (yes the Lowest mode is latest in the sequence).
So,to be more clear,the way of operation is Low-Off-Mid-Off-High-Off-Moonlight. 
Mode spacing is very good. Low mode is quite low brightness for frequent use,so the Moonlight may get a limited use. Yet,if you prefer very low brightness first mode to use in full darkness,the Torpedo may not be suitable for you. Having in mind the way of changing the modes,Lumintop have chosen the correct first mode,which will be preferable by most of the users. 

Because of the electronic way of disconnecting the power to the LED,there is a small Standby current draw.
Initially it is about 100microAmps,decreasing after a few minutes to 10microAmps and maybe lower.
If you plan to store the flashlight for a long period,it is recommended to take out the battery to prevent unwanted discharge.

My lumen measurements show:
Powered with a rechargeable Olight 16340 battery 650mAh.
High mode 13Lm
Mid mode 100Lm
Low mode 660 initial, 635Lm after 30sec(on a primary 3V CR123A battery the maximum output will be lower)
Moonlight mode is hard to measure with my setup.

Comparison High mode vd Mid mode.
The 100 lumen Mid mode is easy for the battery and provides constant brightness for a little more than 230 minutes(3h 40 min). Discharging was terminated by the battery's low voltage protection.



High mode is impressively bright for such a small flashlight. Accordingly the performance is different from the low brightness modes. High output generates a lot of heat which requires programming the driver to decrease the brightness after few minutes work on the highest mode.
Here the programmed timed step down comes gradually around the second minute after activation.
For a small stainless steel flashlight the performance is good. We have 483 lumens after two minutes,which for a pocket-able EDC light is still quite useful.
340 lumen output after step down for about 16.5 minutes.
The combined total run-time is a little less than 20 minutes.


Check out my short video demo below.

Beamshots
The light from the Cree XP-L LED used here is Cool white with a hint of greenish,especially if you compare it to a beam with better color reproduction. The light is not distracting and should serve quite well in every day use.I can not say that color rendition is very good,but it is much better than the Olight's S10L2,which I was using for quite a long time and never liked the light from it.

Beam angle and profile are good. Thanks to the textured reflector beam is ring and artifact free with very smooth transition between hotspot and spill. Hotspot is relatively wide-suitable for frequent use in different situations.Does not disturb the vision when using it at close distance.

Beam profile




White wall, 1 meter distance
1/20sec




White wall, 1 meter distance
1/250sec



Good points:
Beautiful luxury look and feel; Great chrome-plated like finish;
Excellent machine work;Comfortable switch with well defined clicks;
Easy to the eyes smooth beam; CR123A battery and keychain carabiner included in the set;
Works with both-primary and rechargeable CR123A batteries(2v to 4.2V operating voltage)

Possibly weak points: 
The gap between 100 lumen Mid and 650 lumen High mode may not satisfy everyone;
Beam's cool white tint may not be by any taste;
The interface takes some time to get used and require a lot of clicking,although it is easy to operate; 

Thanks for Reading! I hope the review was helpful for you.

Thanks to Lumintop for giving the chance to test the Torpedo 007 and share my results with the world!
No aff Links to Lumintop's stores:
Website: http://www.lumintop.com/
DE Amazon store: http://amzn.to/290zJjK
AliExpress: https://www.aliexpress.com/store/2529001
UK Amazon store: http://amzn.to/293oBQQ
IT Amazon store: http://amzn.to/29cRxlC
ES Amazon store: http://amzn.to/2dXGAIb
US Amazon store: http://amzn.to/2421r4t
CA Amazon store: http://amzn.to/29LZfWx
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Tuesday, December 6, 2016

Vollsion MK-S Miniature flashlight(XP-G2,TIR lens,130Lm,Li-Ion 10180) REVIEW

The miniature EDC flashlights became very popular in 2016. The so small and easy to carry lights can be found from different brands in very similar design. About a year ago,I had the chance to test a flashlight from one of the first manufacturers producing this type lights and maybe the original designer of the Coyoo shape.I tested the MecArmy Illuminex1 in its titanium version.   
A brand called Vollsion is also offering an interesting version of the miniature light-the MK-S.
It is a 43mm long and 13mm diameter flashlight made of durable stainless steel. As the other flashlights of this type it offers built-in charging port/circuit and included in the set rechargeable battery.
A new feature here is the added magnet in the tailcap. This feature could be a big plus allowing you to mount the flashlight on different metal surfaces,having a hands free illumination.

Size comparison-
AAA(10440)battery, 10180 battery, Vollsion MK-S, MecArmy Illuminex1,Fenix E99Ti, Fenix HL10, Bronte BT01
Dimensions: 43mm long,13mm head diameter, 22gr weight with the battery.

Here the MK-S is in my hand. The small flashlight is not hard to hold stably,but rotating the head may take some time to get used and find the most comfortable grip to do it.


Similar to most of the other micro flashlights with a similar design,the MK-S relies on acrylic TIR reflector + Cree XP-G2 LED for the most important part of a flashlight-the beam.
The LED is not well centered on my sample,but it is not better on my Mecarmy copy.



Most of the edges are well rounded.Only the edges of the lanyard/keyring hole may feel a little bit sharper than needed.Yet,this should not cause serious discomfort in the hand,but it is good to mention it.
Something that differentiates the Vollsion MK-S from the most of the micro flashlights ids the mounted in the tailcap magnet. The magnet is not extremely strong,but still may be a good idea to keep magnetically sensitive devices in a different pocket.  (I don't know yet if there is an option for taking out the magnet).


Below is the flashlight disassembled on its base three parts. You can see also the 10180 battery.
Vollsion MK-S has two brightness levels-Low and High.
Switching between Low and High mode is possible thanks to the metal plate which acts as a momentary tactile switch. When you tighten the head,the metal pin on the middle part/battery tube is pressing the plate closing the electrical circuit. When you tighten the head further,the plate changes its contact with the board on which it is mounted-resulting in mode change.
A simple but effective method for mode selecting which does not require many elements and complex user interface.

As we got used to see in many of the flashlights lately,the machine work is excellent.
There are no serious dents or scratches.
The O-rings are thinner than these in similar lights like the Mecarmy Illuminex1.
I found the tail O-ring to not stay on its place and go to the threads,which may cut it after some time.
Actually there is no well defined channel for the O-ring.

Both threads(head and tail) are thick square-cut.This improves the stability of the small,thin construction and durability of the threads.

Close up of the microUSB port on the picture below-you can compare it to any other microUSB ports to see actually how small is the flashlight.
The small flashlight has as much grooves as needed for stable handling. They also provide some anti-roll functionality.
Twisting the head to turn the light On/Off does not cause troubles.

Very close look at the surface of both flashlights.
Note that the Illuminex is in its Titanium allow version,while the MK-S is made of stainless steel.

The built-in charging circuit is charging the miniature battery with maximum of 130mA current.
Charging the battery takes maximum 1 hour. If the battery is not completely empty,the charging process will take less time,30-40 minutes.Charging termination voltage is 4.17V;
The battery is 100mAh according to its marking.

Vollsion MK-S comes with everything needed to star using it,right out of the package.
Rechargeable Li-Ion battery of 10180 size is included.
More interesting is to find a good microUSB cable is also included.
These are the accessories and spare parts- three small O-rings,small keyring and a fine chain for carrying the flashlight on the neck.
The chain does not go through the lanyard hole and can be attached only via split ring.

Looking at the reflector comparison picture Vollsion MK-S/ Mecarmy Illuminex1,we can clearly see the difference in the LED's color. The MK-S produces warmer white light compared to the Illuminex1.
It is yet Cool white light,but with better color rendition,which is preferable for EDC use.
Looking at the position of the LED though,it seems not on the needed distance from the reflector resulting in not entirely covered reflective surface(the not yellow shape around the LED).
This affects the beam making it not so well focused,having zones with different brightness and various artifacts. A better centering ring(if there is such/I did not disassemble the head) could fix the problem.

Beam profile


Vollsion MK-S High and Low mode
1 meter distance to a white wall






 

Run time performance
Below is a graph illustrating  the moment brightness during the time of continuous use on High mode.
The 10180 batteries are too small for some serious capacity and we can not expect impressive runtimes even on outputs of about 100 lumens. The included Li-Ion battery has capacity of 100mAh according to its marking. As we can see from the graph,the MK-S has a hard time to maintain the maximum brightness.
Once the battery voltage is lower,the brightness also gets lower.
In real world situations output differences of 10 or 20 lumens may be not so noticeable. Even the not very consistent output the light from such a small flashlight with built-in charging circuit is still impressive and gives you useful light in every day use.
My Lumen Measurements of the Vollsion MK-S:
High mode 109Lm initial, 95Lm 30sec after activation
Low mode 12Lm

Only two modes do not give much choice for different situations,but the way of operating the so small flashlight is easy to understand,remember and use every day,so the compromise in most cases worth it.
The Low mode may be too bright in full darkness,depending on what you are trying to illuminate.
While the LED is pretty well selected,it needs better centering to allow optimal performance of the TIR lens.
Run times are somewhat limited,but it is hard to expect greater results from a 100mAh battery.
Overall the Vollsion MK-S is a good offer on the micro flashlight market and should serve quite well as a EDC light.

Thanks for reading!
I hope you found the review informative and interesting.

Thanks to Vollsion for providing the MK-S for test and review!