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Thread: Disappointed in TLE-5 Minimag LED drop in

  1. #1

    Scowl Disappointed in TLE-5 Minimag LED drop in

    I'm very disappointed in the Terralux TLE-5 2xAA Minimag drop in module. I've even changed the plastic lens to the Glass lens sold by Lighthound and the beam quality is very floody with a donut hole in the middle. The focusing is poor to say the least becasue there is no more pin-point hot spot, just a cheap donut flood. I did notice that after installing the glass lens, the seal around the lens is more further apart than the plastic lens.

    I was expecting something spectacular, such that it would over shadow the Fenix L1P. The L1P's beam seems to be more tight and more brighter and no donut hole. I'm very disappointed!

    Can anyone suggest what I can do to improve the beam quality such as tightening the hot spot and get rid of the donut hole?

    Thanks in advance.
    Surefire: E1e, E2e+RKL1, E2e+KL4, Milky L1, L2, A2, Z2+Detonator+KT1+LuxV Tower, Vital Gear: VB1/VB3+KL1; Garrity 2AA w/PRMJLED, Garrity 2D w/PRMJLED; Fenix: L0P x2, L1P, L2P; MiniMag w/Nite Ize LED drop-in + IQ Switch; Mag 3D w/Diamond 3W LED drop-in.

  2. #2
    Flashaholic leduk's Avatar
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    Default Re: Disappointed in TLE-5 Minimag LED drop in

    I'm not sure what else you can do short of find a new reflector. The TLE-5 seems to have its optimum focus where the dropin just touches the reflector. This seems to give the tightest beam. Moving to the floodier beam the LED moves away from the reflector and light is lost behind the reflector.

    I suppose modding the TLE-5 so the LED stands-off from the driver pill might help. You might have to drill out the reflector a little.

    Other than than new reflector I think your stuck.
    Most comments about the TLE-5 seem to have the words floody, soft or flood in them.

    In my experience you get a brighter, far tighter spot with a SMJLED PR2 bulb and a 2 cell torch with a decent reflector even though there's less power.

    Cheers

    n.b. One note of caution. The supplied TLE-5 reflector mirroring stripped off one of my reflectors easily.

  3. #3

    Default Re: Disappointed in TLE-5 Minimag LED drop in

    That's odd, since both of my recent TLE-5 minimag upgrades produce an almost identical beam profile to my Fenix Civictor V1 (which would be comparable to your L1P). I've actually measured the exact beam profiles, and they are very close - no signs of a donut hole with the supplied reflector for the TLE-5.

    Using the stock mag lens, and with the reflector screwed all the way down to the drop-in base, the peak throw is exactly the same compared to the Civictor V1. TLE-5 actually has a slightly tigher main beam (i.e. a bit less corona) than the V1. In contrast, The spillbeam on the TLE-5/mag is slightly greater (due to the wider mag head, I presume). As the a result, the overall output is roughly identical between the two lights.

    Where the TLE-5 really shines is on run time ... over 6 hours to 50% on 2 2300mA NIMH (compared to about 2h:50min on the V1 with 1 battery).

    Maybe you need to drill down the reflector more? Check out both the hole opening and the "fins" on the back of the reflector, sounds like you aren't able to get the reflector close enough to the emitter. Good luck!

  4. #4

    Default Re: Disappointed in TLE-5 Minimag LED drop in

    I dont have a doughnut hole in mine either.

  5. #5
    Flashaholic Inferno's Avatar
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    Default Re: Disappointed in TLE-5 Minimag LED drop in

    Like everyone else, I don't have a hole in my beam, but my upgrade module came with a new reflector that was essentially a drilled-out stock one.
    Simple trauma assessment: Air goes in & out, blood goes `round & `round; any variation is a bad thing.

    Exercise is good for you.

  6. #6
    Flashaholic* nakahoshi's Avatar
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    Default Re: Disappointed in TLE-5 Minimag LED drop in

    Are you upgrading this light for a friend? If not, your Sigline would tell me you have alot of nicer lights, and ive given up trying to make a minimag better a long time ago. Ive heard alot of nice things from the Drop In Sandwhiches at the Shoppe, if you really are looking to make the mag a fenix killer. Contact the company even, ive had VERY good customer service with them.
    -bobby
    MLR<3

  7. #7

    Default Re: Disappointed in TLE-5 Minimag LED drop in

    You're right Nakahoshi! I do have a lot of other nice lights. I never really started out with a Mag-Lite so I figured how others before me have gone through. I've read many posts and even the reviews from Flashlightreviews.com saying how wonderful the LED upgrade was so I tried it and hate it. It's simply not worth it. I guess if you start with a Surefire, it's hard going back unless it's a modifed light. In the case of the modded minimag, two thumbs down. It will probably be a gift for someone. I can't bear to use such an inferior light. It will probably do wonders camping and I wouldn't have to worry about losing it.

    Thanks for the replies.
    Surefire: E1e, E2e+RKL1, E2e+KL4, Milky L1, L2, A2, Z2+Detonator+KT1+LuxV Tower, Vital Gear: VB1/VB3+KL1; Garrity 2AA w/PRMJLED, Garrity 2D w/PRMJLED; Fenix: L0P x2, L1P, L2P; MiniMag w/Nite Ize LED drop-in + IQ Switch; Mag 3D w/Diamond 3W LED drop-in.

  8. #8
    Flashaholic leduk's Avatar
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    Default Re: Disappointed in TLE-5 Minimag LED drop in

    I come from the other side where I was working on a job and found a minimag dropped inside the equipment I was working on.

    It could only have been another maintenance guy. I've been doing the job for 3 years. Easy come, easy go and its mine.

    Put a TLE-5 in and I was happy.

    I'm saving up for the HDS.

    No donut here.

    Cheers.

  9. #9
    *Flashaholic* greenLED's Avatar
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    Default Re: Disappointed in TLE-5 Minimag LED drop in

    The TLE-5 beam has the spot only right after you turn the light on. Twist the head further out, and you get the ringy beam you'd get with the incan bulb. That's the nature of this beast.

  10. #10
    Flashaholic* eebowler's Avatar
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    Default Re: Disappointed in TLE-5 Minimag LED drop in

    Is the LED a side-emitter or high dome? The HD LED will give a much better throw. Really, if the module is dissapointing, then sell it. I'm sure there are others in here who'd love to get their hands on it.
    Last edited by eebowler; 07-24-2006 at 05:14 PM.

  11. #11
    Flashaholic* offroadcmpr's Avatar
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    Default Re: Disappointed in TLE-5 Minimag LED drop in

    I actually prefer the floody beam, mainly because it is my night hiking light. It is plenty bright, and a nice floodly beam so that I can see the whole trail. if I need to spot something in the distance I use the SL 4AA lux.

  12. #12
    Flashaholic
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    Default Re: Disappointed in TLE-5 Minimag LED drop in

    I have several, probably 8, of the TLE-5 mods. They all work great. Some I received had the old style reflector and did have the donut hole. A couple I modified and a couple I just replaced the reflector with the new style.

    If they sent you the old style reflector you can improve the beam and pretty much eliminate the donut by taking the reflector out and lapping about .050 off the back of it using 220 grit sand paper on a flat surface. It only takes about 5 minutes of lapping. Just keep it flat on the sand paper and draw it across slowly.

    This will increase the size of the bulb hole to around .240 of an inch. I have had good results with this method. Or an easier way to do it is to email Terralux.com and tell them your problem and request a replacement reflector....the new style please. I have done this and they were very responsive.....they actually sent me a couple of extra ones. And they don't want the old ones back.

    Btw, all of my TLE-5 mods do out shine the L1P, but only slightly. Using NiMh.
    Last edited by Bozzlite; 07-24-2006 at 07:41 PM.

  13. #13

    Default Re: Disappointed in TLE-5 Minimag LED drop in

    With the supplied reflector, the TLE-5 is excellent for indoor use but definitely not powerful enough for field use.

    If that beam profile does not satisfy your needs you can always opt for a Fraen LP which will yield a squarish spot beam, which is great for certain situations.

    nakahoshi: I'd like to retain my MMags and yes I would definitely appreciate an NG750/UX1L pill which will make all TLE-5s a joke. But at $55 a pop... no thanks.

  14. #14
    Enlightened TorchEnvy's Avatar
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    Thinking Re: Disappointed in TLE-5 Minimag LED drop in

    I just received and installed the TLE-5 module today in my old 2AA Mini Mag.

    I have to say that frankly, I'm rather impressed. It makes my X1 seem so purple! It even makes my L2T seem a tiny bit purple. And it's about as bright as the L2T's low beam setting.

    The focus isn't stellar, and adjusting it doesn't change the beam as much as the stock configuration did (but of course the stock beam was worthless no matter how it was focused) but it's more than adequate for simple around-the-house needs.

    Pretty cool for a light that barely cost $35, $10 of which I spent years ago buying the actual light. Even the $3 clickie I put on it works well.

    I might have a new in-bed reading light here...my wife hates the halogen desk lamp on our headboard!
    Inova X1 - Arc AAA-P - Fenix L1T - Surefire L2 - Fenix L2T - Fenix P1 - Peak LED Caribbean - Mini Maglite 2AA (TLE-5 LED) - Surefire 9P (P90, P91) - MagLite 4D (TLE-6N) - Inova T3 - Surefire 6P (P60, P61) - Streamlight ProPolymer 4AA Luxeon - HDS EDC U60GT - Fenix P2D - Fenix P3D - Fenix L2D

  15. #15
    Thread Killer Illum's Avatar
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    Default Re: Disappointed in TLE-5 Minimag LED drop in

    check your treflector...something tells me something is not angled correctly...

  16. #16
    Flashaholic
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    Default Re: Disappointed in TLE-5 Minimag LED drop in

    Quote Originally Posted by TorchEnvy
    I just received and installed the TLE-5 module today in my old 2AA Mini Mag.

    I have to say that frankly, I'm rather impressed. It makes my X1 seem so purple! It even makes my L2T seem a tiny bit purple. And it's about as bright as the L2T's low beam setting.

    The focus isn't stellar, and adjusting it doesn't change the beam as much as the stock configuration did (but of course the stock beam was worthless no matter how it was focused) but it's more than adequate for simple around-the-house needs.

    Pretty cool for a light that barely cost $35, $10 of which I spent years ago buying the actual light. Even the $3 clickie I put on it works well.

    I might have a new in-bed reading light here...my wife hates the halogen desk lamp on our headboard!
    My impressions exactly.....and while the beam and output may not be all that impressive outside in a night time environment with ambient light around......I couldn't disagree more with the assessment :
    "With the supplied reflector, the TLE-5 is excellent for indoor use but definitely not powerful enough for field use."
    The TLE-5 with more than 5 hours run time on two AA's, in a rugged Mini Mag
    host, lightweight and ergonomically functional, is ideal for backpacking/camping needs. 98% of the time folks don't need of a wall of light or massive throw for outdoor use.


    -Regards
    Last edited by phosphor; 07-28-2006 at 01:25 AM.

  17. #17
    Enlightened TorchEnvy's Avatar
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    Scowl Re: Disappointed in TLE-5 Minimag LED drop in

    I found it to be a bit bright for reading a magazine in an otherwise dark bedroom, but very white.

    I compared it to my A2's LED output. The A2 is a good level for reading, but it seems SO purple! And then there are those three little dots staring back at me.

    To be honest, it kind of pisses me off that this inexpensive drop-in LED for the Mini Mag makes the LEDs of my A2 seem like a bad attempt at an ultraviolet light. For less than one-fifth the price!

    Maybe I should evaluate in a dark outdoor trail situation with pavement and foliage before I condemn my A2 so harshly.
    Inova X1 - Arc AAA-P - Fenix L1T - Surefire L2 - Fenix L2T - Fenix P1 - Peak LED Caribbean - Mini Maglite 2AA (TLE-5 LED) - Surefire 9P (P90, P91) - MagLite 4D (TLE-6N) - Inova T3 - Surefire 6P (P60, P61) - Streamlight ProPolymer 4AA Luxeon - HDS EDC U60GT - Fenix P2D - Fenix P3D - Fenix L2D

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