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Looking for that not-quite EDC lamp.

Discussion in 'Flashlights & Other Illumination Devices' started by el_murdoque, Oct 24, 2019.

  1. el_murdoque

    el_murdoque Loaded Pockets

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    The busy reader in this board knows that I've recently looked for a flashlight.
    Things were purchased. Things were tested.
    Opinions were re-evaluated.

    So right now, I am of the opinion that to satisfy my needs, It'll take three flashlights.
    1. An EDC light. I'm well covered on that topic. I have a rotation and spares.

    2. A nice thrower. The only practical application I regularly have for that is to scan a field for deer when walking the dog. That task needs a thrower that can cover a thousand foot distance. Apart from that it's just that .. when you're into flashlights, you'll need a potent thrower, am I right?

    So, on this topic I have three contestants.
    1. Lumintop GT Micro (or Mini). It has a useful throw that covers enough distance for my application. Big bonus is that both micro and mini are cheap. So cheap that the lack of nice-to-have-functions does not really bother.
    2. Thrunite Catapult v6. It basically is the thrower that fits the bill. I like the beam pattern and power. I like the UI. I like the USB recharging. The form factor is coat pocket compatible.
    3. Olight Javelot Pro. I must say that when this was announced, I was intrigued because I really really like the looks of this one, especially the desert tan color. The features are quite agreeable as well. It's just one of these things that strike a chord within you and you want one badly. When it came out, I dismissed it, though. I could only justify 200 bucks for a flashlight that I use and depend on a lot. Now it happened that I bought a new one way under price. I snagged it up and have yet to decide whether to keep it or pass it on. Hopefully, I will be able to make a decision when the Olight arrives and either blows me away or feels like 'meh'.
    3. The not-quite-EDC.
    The light you pack in a scenario where you know you will need one. My EDC has to fit into my jeans pockets and the main reason is a dozen little tasks every day. Dark cupboards, backsides of computers and whatnot. The not-quite-EDC will expect a lot more runtime on a lot more Lumens. A longer walk through dark, unfamiliar Terrain. A makeshift-bicycle-headlamp for a night ride. Camping. That kind of stuff.

    I have a Lumintop F3WA which I do not like very much.

    I'd buy the latest Zebralight SC600 in a heartbeat if there was a way to charge it, but AFAIK it only runs on short 18650 cells and those that offer recharging via micro USB are too long.

    The Nitecore MH20/23/27 fits a lot of the things I like. Recharging within the lamp, good form factor etc. But they seem to be way to pricey for what they offer, because the lumens on tap feel a bit outdated.

    Any input on throwers or the perfect not-quite-EDC light would be appreciated.
     
  2. BigGreenTick

    BigGreenTick Loaded Pockets

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    What is it about the FW3A that you don't like?

    In the budget realm it would be hard to beat the combo of an Astrolux FT03 (thrower) & EC01 (slightly larger than EDC).
     
  3. el_murdoque

    el_murdoque Loaded Pockets

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    1. The light it gave - As I understand it, mine is an early version. It's mushy and not very defined. No throw at all.
    2. The Lockout. The proud button is activated too easily. I'm too stupid to do the required four clicks on the first try.

    I'd prefer something with a button that's a bit harder to press. And with a single LED. And charging within the light.
     
  4. PragmaticMurphyist

    PragmaticMurphyist Loaded Pockets

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    I'll suggest a possible alternative approach - rather than an almost-EDC and a thrower, how about an SC600w HI and a Nitecore F1 field charger?

    The ZL doesn't have quite the range you were after, but comes close and is nice closer in as well (my EDC has been an SC600w III HI since they came out). The F1 will charge from a USB charger thus getting you round the battery length problem (at the cost of having a little more kit to carry)

    (Of course you could still get the GT Mini if you wanted to. For £40 it seems almost churlish not to...!) ;)

    Good luck with whatever you choose!
     
  5. BigGreenTick

    BigGreenTick Loaded Pockets

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    I realize my initial thought about what you were wanting was off, I was thinking lights a bit larger in size than EDC where I think you are looking for something that is EDCable just a little more.

    The Thrunite TC15 fits your criteria pretty well.
     
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  6. el_murdoque

    el_murdoque Loaded Pockets

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    I will always have a spot for a lamp that does throw. I guess for an enthusiast, that is something of a must have.

    Further contemplation of my situation made me realize what I want from the not-quite-EDC lamp is the ability to work on 500+ Lumens for the length of an 18650.
    I don't care that much about throw distance, as long as it is able to shine well past a hundred yards.

    There's this situation stuck in my mind. I was in Asia, riding a rented motorcycle. I drove somewhere and stayed past Sunset. On my way back, I realized that the light on my bike was emitting enough brightness to be seen, but did nothing in terms of illuminating the road in front of me. We're talking about one of these countries where having a bad light is a big no-no because the potholes might easily end your ride for good. And instead of reinforced leather overalls one is wearing shorts and flip flops, so you DO mind falling off the bike even at low speeds.
    My EDC helped some, but at that time, I only had about 150 Lumens in my pocket.
    Now that was a scenario where I'd have brought a better flashlight because I knew I'd be travelling in the dark.
    And it is a scenario where my current EDC might run out of juice before I get home safely.

    I don't really need a lamp that outshines the sun for a few moments and then runs into problems with heat or power.
    I need a lamp that can shine with something around what my Olight does on high (600lm), but with a LOT more stamina.


    But to be honest, I need a lamp that will do the recharging with Micro USB, USB type C or type A, or with the Olight magnetic charger - no matter how, but I can't see myself bringing another charger with me on a backpacking or camping trip.

    I WILL buy that SC600 somewhere down the road, I promise. But I'll do it because these lights get so much praise from their users and I want first hand experience with them. Right now I'm looking for something special and the Zebralights don't tick all the boxes unless someone points me towards a 18650 with built in USB recharging that will fit into the body of a SC600.
     
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  7. Swe_Nurse

    Swe_Nurse Loaded Pockets

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    The Olight universal magnetic charger (not the flashlight charger) is compact, lightweight and versatile. It has doubled as charger, fridge magnet and been used for object retrieval.

    If you're looking for decent performance (500 lumen) with decent runtime (hours) and able to be charged in the light:
    Fenix UC35 is an option, another one is the Lumintop EDC25, yet another is the Thrunite TC12.

    My main complaint with all of these is the lack of a true moonlight mode like the Zebralight has. They all have low lumen levels but nothing like the Zebralight.
     
  8. EZDog

    EZDog EDC Junkie!!!!!

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    I have to say that the biggest thing for you about a ZL is what was said right above my post too!
    The ZL offers so many more ways to get the right amount of output that you CAN optimize the runtime because of that configurability!
    You can further optimize by having your 3 groups of modes setup for different situations so that you you will never blind anyone accidentally or disturb your night vision by having a group of just low modes while easily switching to a different group with entirely different preset options.
    There are really no other lights that I have found that operate like the ZL and you need to try one to truly appreciate the power this can give you to manage your light and power use.
    Battery charging for the ZL is just not a big challenge but you do need a charger for sure.

    Also as said above the Olight Mag charger is the smallest charging device that I can imagine that is not built in to a battery and while you do need to feed it USB power I imagine you already have to carry some form of USB power for your phone if nothing else and any light that charges will require some USB power no matter how it charges.

    Another light that I have been liking a lot is the Rofis R series which have a rotating head and come with a headband and by carrying this one light you have both a flashlight and headlamp all the time which seems ideal for the scenario you listed to me.
    The battery also does charge inside the light if you want but again of course you will still need USB power as you will for any light.
    The icing on the cake I think for you is that the Rofis/Rofi? seem to throw a whole lot more than almost any light that I have that is not sold as a thrower,it is pretty amazing really if thats what you want and it sounds like it is.
    They sell this light in all battery types too from AA,123.18650 to 21700 and they are pretty sweet options to everyone elses similar lights I have found.
     
  9. el_murdoque

    el_murdoque Loaded Pockets

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    Given the fact that y'all are slowly wearing me down, and given the circumstance that that olight recharger really is an option;
    What 18650 would be the best one for the SC600 MkIV NW HI ?
     
  10. PragmaticMurphyist

    PragmaticMurphyist Loaded Pockets

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    I've only used Sanyo NCR18650GA in my Mk III and they work well. I can't speak to how well they compare with other 18650s.

    Please bear in mind that I mentioned the Hi as the throwier of the SC600's. If you're getting a dedicated thrower too then you may be served better by a different beam pattern.
     
  11. el_murdoque

    el_murdoque Loaded Pockets

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    Well, these Sanyos are reasonably cheap if ordered from the same supplier that sells ZL in my neck of the woods.

    I've seen that the Hi has a 8° Hotspot, which is fine for me. I like my flashlights with a neutral to warm tint (whenever possible) and the pattern more on the throwier side of things. As long as it's not some 'All hotspot zero spill' full on thrower, I'll be happy.
     
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  12. PragmaticMurphyist

    PragmaticMurphyist Loaded Pockets

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    My Mk III is throwy rather than thrower, and I'm happy with it as an EDC light. (Can't speak for the IV)
     
  13. Moshe ben David

    Moshe ben David Loaded Pockets

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    @el_murdoque: I'm just curious. Why is category 2 a need? Unless its hunting season or unless your dog has a tendency to take off after a deer as soon as he sees it of course....?

    Just wondering.

    L'chaim!

    Moshe ben David
     
  14. Swe_Nurse

    Swe_Nurse Loaded Pockets

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    I'm running either Samsung or LG INR cells in my SC600 Mark III. Always supplied from nkon. I'm using Eneloop pro in my SC5W.

    The cost of cells are negligible today. They cost about €5 each and to power one light fully you really only need 2, one in the light and one in the charger.
     
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  15. el_murdoque

    el_murdoque Loaded Pockets

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    Well, it's a hunting dog with a keen nose and it's trained rather well, but when the right circumstances fit together and the hunt is on, there's no calling it off. So I need to make sure before the leash comes off.
    But honestly, I think that's also the kid in me. When I was young, there was one way and one way only to determine the quality of a handheld flashlight and that was how far it could shine. I still think it's amazing where we got in a few short years, where a AA pocketlight loaded with a 14500 cell outshines the good ol' 3D Maglite tenfold.
     
  16. dml24

    dml24 Loaded Pockets

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    Another good thrower fo a good price NIGHTWATCH NI40 Stalker SST40 2400lm/ running on a single 26650. Under $40.00USD.

    Sent from my SM-G965U using Tapatalk
     
  17. dml24

    dml24 Loaded Pockets

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    I don't own a FW3A, however I have enough reviews and see or 7 YT reviews. The FW3A is generally well liked. Its a powerful light at a good price point. The least liked aspect of the FW3A is the turbo mode duration. Ofteness than a minute before aggressively stepping down. It also get hot quickly in turbo mode. To be sure the FW3A has no heat sink find. OTOH, the new FW1A, running a single emitter has a great deal of appeal!

    Sent from my SM-G965U using Tapatalk
     
  18. flux

    flux Loaded Pockets

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    If you dont like the fw3a.. BLF A6 or Convoy s2+ for EDC, Astrolux FT03 for throw, for all purpose/camping.. Armytek Wizard Pro or Zebralight as a headlamp.. Wowtac A2 or A2S if you want something cheaper.
     
  19. aicolainen

    aicolainen Loaded Pockets

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    Without the kid in us, there would hardly be any reason for this forum to exist. I think.
    There is much utility in our gadgets, no doubt, but this excessive fascination that makes me/us spend (rather precious) time discussing pocket tools on the internet is so much bordering on childish there has to be some kind of kid involved :)

    Now, in all seriousness, I haven't seen that connection before, but I think you are definitely on to something.
    My fascination for many of the things we discuss here, I've traced back to different periods of my life. I've touched on this before in other threads, but during my years in the army, in SAR and even just a few years back when I worked internationally for 200 days a year, and travelled just about everywhere, I could have improved my days significantly with some of the tools and knowledge I've come across on this site.
    However, your comment regarding kids and flashlights really resonated. Thats exactly how it was back then. I think it concerns flashlights maybe more than anything else, but even some of my less reasonable knife, gun and gadget fascinations can probably be traced back to that period when we were kids exploring the world. Fuled with inspiration from western-/spy-/action comics/books/movies, and all the other (quality?) pop culture we consumed before the age of internet and 24/7 mass produced-, meaningless-, stupidifying children TV.

    I'm fully aware that some of the things I've acquired lately, would have made more sense way back when. Maybe I'm grasping for bygone times or bygone dreams, I don't know. There is still an aspect of practicality that I can still enjoy in my fairly active, but way less critical way of life, so it doesn't really matter much where the motivation comes from.
    I'm rambling again. Sorry ;-)
     
  20. el_murdoque

    el_murdoque Loaded Pockets

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    You kinda hijacked the thread, but you took it somewhere nice ;-)
    I guess that the ability to own some of the things we dreamed of having as kids is reason enough to
    have them.