Foxfury Breakthrough
Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast
Results 1 to 30 of 47

Thread: Fenix TK45 Review (XP-G R4 Testing Sample): RUNTIMES, BEAMSHOTS and more!

  1. #1

    Cool Fenix TK45 Review (XP-G R4 Testing Sample): RUNTIMES, BEAMSHOTS and more!

    Reviewer's Note: The pre-release Fenix TK45 was provided for review by Fenix and the Canadian Fenix distributor Notosora International Imports Ltd. Please see their websites for more info. Note that my review is of a pre-release engineering version sent for beta-testing.

    Warning: pic heavy, as usual

    Note: Fenix has sent a number of these out to CPF members to review, so I urge you to check out other reviews posted here (especially for the additional beamshots).


    Manufacturer Specifications: (taken from the Fenix manual and website).
    • 3 x Cree XP-G LED (R5) (note: review sample is R4 output bin)
    • Four types of lighting mode: Turbo (760 Lumens, 2Hrs) -> Low (8 Lumens, 232Hrs) -> Mid (95 Lumens, 22Hrs) -> High (312 Lumens, 6.5 Hrs) (Tested with 2500mAh Ni-MH battery)
    • Three types of flashing mode: Strobe, SOS, Warning flash
    • Max beam length: 200 meters
    • Digitally regulated output - maintains constant brightness
    • Intelligent memory function
    • Outstanding heat sinking performance offers long working time in Turbo mode
    • Uses eight 1.5V AA (Ni-MH, Alkaline) batteries
    • 202mm (Length) x 39.2mm (Diameter) x 56mm (Head)
    • 324-gram weight (excluding batteries)
    • Made of durable aircraft-grade aluminum
    • Premium Type III hard-anodized anti-abrasive finish
    • Waterproof to IPX-8 Standard
    • Toughened ultra-clear glass lenses with anti-reflective coating
    • Sidewinder dual switch system
    • Capable of standing up securely on a flat surface to serve as a candle
    • Included accessories: Lanyard
    • MSRP: tbd

    The TK45 is the latest Fenix addition to the high-output/multi-emitter class of lights. Following up on their earlier 8xAA MC-E-based TK40, the 8xAA TK45 uses three of the current highest output single-die XP-G emitters (R5 in the shipping versions, R4 in the pre-release beta sample tested here). The light is thus suited for those of you looking for high output on common AA batteries.





    I have no idea what final packaging will look like – my light (clearly labeled “testing sample”) came in a fairly sturdy plastic case with a “beta testing instructions” sheet. I would expect the regular set of Fenix extras on the shipping versions.

    Clearly, the styling of this light is distinctive.




    From left to right: Duracell AA alkaline, Fenix TK45, ITP Polestar A6, Lumapower Mentor (2xC), Olight M30 (no extender), EagleTac M2C4

    Fenix TK45 Weight: 307.3g (no batteries), 514.7g (with batteries)
    Fenix TK45 Dimensions: 202mm, Width (bezel base) 50.6mm, Width (tailcap) 44.0

    Overall weight (sans batteries) is not as high as most of my 2x18650-sized high-output lights, but seems hefty enough with batteries installed. Note that the TK45 definitely weighs more than the 6xAA ITP Polestar A6 (~210g without batteries).




    The light has anodized screw threads at both ends of the battery tube, but that doesn't really matter since the current is carried through the battery carrier (lock-out is still possible, scroll down for details). Screw threads are thick and square-cut, so they should be durable and stable.

    There are no flaws in the black type III anodizing on my sample, and lettering is clear and sharp.

    Consistent with the relatively low overall weight, body tube walls are not as thick as most of the 2x18650 high-output lights I have reviewed. But they do seem thicker than the budget 6xAA ITP A6.



    Grip is very good on the light. In addition the overall checkered pattern of the handle, each segment has a large number of tiny concentric ring ridges running along. Rather distinctive, this pattern certainly adds to the enhanced grip.





    As you can see, the light uses a battery carrier to hold the 8xAA cells. Quality seems ok – but note the wall construction is all-plastic, aside from the contact plates and springs. The batteries also have a tendency to pop out easily.

    As an aside, the battery carrier introduces a lot of rattle if you shake the light laterally when its fully loaded. Sounds rather like a maraca!



    The TK45 uses electronic switches in the head to control on/off and mode switching. These are conveniently located right below the head. The right switch controls on/off and mode selection, and the left controls output levels within each mode.



    As you can see, the light can tailstand thanks to the flat base.




    Ok, no doubt about it – this is one unusual looking light.

    Fenix refers to this model as the “MINI-GUN” - presumably in reference to the early Gattling Gun design (with its rotating gun barrels). From on top or behind, it doesn’t look so strange – but when looking head-on, the three independent bezels on a common base is … ummm … unique.

    My first thought when I saw the design was to wonder if they simply stuck three LD10/LD20 heads on there. But I can assure you that’s not the case:



    Each bezel on the TK45 is wider than a standard LD10/20 head, and seems to have a thicker wall diameter. The reflector is also noticeably different – wider and shallower (i.e. not as deep), and with a larger opening around the reflector.

    Despite first appearances, Fenix has clearly engineered the head for this light. This give me hope that the beam profile will be reasonably smooth.

    Beamshots

    To start, here are some “white-wall” beamshots, comparing the TK45 to some of my other high-output lights up close. The distance is taken ~0.5m from a while wall, and is designed to show you the spillbeams:


















    First thing to notice is that the new 3-head design of the TK45 does NOT produce any hotspot or spillbeam artifacts up close. This is very impressive.

    In my experience, multi-emitter lights that use partially-shared reflectors (e.g. Eagletac M2XC4) produce a “daisy-flower” pattern from the overlapping beams. Even lights that use separate reflector wells in one large unit (e.g. Lumapower MVP 3xCree) tend to have some artifacts. Good job Fenix!

    UPDATE: for some additional up-close white wall beamshots, scroll down to post #25.

    To better compare the hotspot and spill of the lights, here are some outdoor shots focused on a point ~ 10 meters from the lights. Note that these were taken at different times for different reviews, so they may look a little different (e.g. I planted a tree at the end of last summer ).









    And here are some lower exposures to better show you the hotspots:









    Clearly, the TK45 is not a great thrower – you wouldn’t expect it to be with this design. But it does have one of the smoothest and most even beam profiles I’ve seen in a high-output light. If you want a "wall of light," this would be a good choice. Frankly, it’s hard to believe this is achieved with three separate heads.

    UPDATE: Some additional long-distance beamshots, to show you how the light compares to others in its class.

    Please see my recent 100-yard Outdoor Beamshot review for more details (and additional lights).







    User Interface

    As previously mentioned, the Fenix uses two electronic switches to control on/off and mode selection. These are located just under head, in the traditional location of mainstream consumer flashlights.

    The right button is the main switch. Click it to turn the light on/off. The left button is output selection switch. Click it to advance through the output states.

    Note that the TK45 has 2 sets of output modes. The constant output mode is the default setting when you turn the light on. Press the left switch to cycle through Lo – Med – Hi – Turbo output, in a repeating cycle. The light has output level memory, and will come back on at whatever level you turned it off in.

    The light also has strobe/SOS modes, but these have thoughtfully been relegated to their own mode that you never have to see if you don’t want it. To access these flashing modes, double-click the right button while the light is on. The left button will not cycle you through Strobe – SOS – Warning Flash.




    Strobe was measure at high (and annoying) 15.6Hz, and the “Warning Flash” at a nice and comfortable 2Hz.

    Note that the left-button-selected output level memory is independent for the two modes (i.e. it remembers both the constant-output level and the flashing level setting separately). And no matter which mode you are in when you turn off, it always comes on at the last memorized constant output mode. So there is no risk of you accidentally strobing yourself if you last used that mode- you won’t see strobe again unless you do a double right-click from on to re-enter the flashing modes.

    I am unable to detect any sign of PWM at the constant output levels, suggesting the light is indeed current-controlled like other Fenix offerings.

    UPDATE: I don't normally report these, but here are my measured current draws for all output modes, including the stand-by current when off but with the carrier still connected:

    Turbo: 1.012A
    Hi: 290mA
    Med: 77mA
    Lo: 5mA
    Standby drain: 0.055mA


    Testing Method: All my output numbers are relative for my home-made light box setup, a la Quickbeam's flashlight reviews method. You can directly compare all my relative output values from different reviews - i.e. an output value of "10" in one graph is the same as "10" in another. All runtimes are done under a cooling fan.

    Throw values are the square-root of lux measurements taken at 5 meters from the lens, using a light meter, and then extrapolated back to estimate values for 1 meter. This will be my standard way to present throw on these types of high output lights from now on. The beams don't really have a chance to fully converge until typically several meters out.

    Throw/Output Summary Chart:



    As expected, the throw of the TK45 is less than most of the competition. Although the lux meter says it is roughly comparable to the MC-E-based Olight M30, I think you will find that throw is less at greater distances.

    What was a bit of surprise to me is the overall output – both my ceiling bounce and lightbox report that the TK45 is brighter than any of my MC-E/P7/SST-50 lights.

    In fact, both methods suggest that the TK45 is at least 15-20% brighter than either the ThruNite Catapult V2 or Eagletac M2C4 on max, my previous two high-output champs (well, the SST-90-equipped Olight SR90 doesn’t really count ). Note that part of the issue may be the wider spillbeam pattern of the TK45 (i.e. thrower lights tend to get lower scores in my lightbox and ceiling bounce tests). But these results do match what I see by eye in the ceiling bounce tests - the TK45 does a better job lighting up the room than other lights.

    A note about the Lo output – this is surprisingly low for a high-output class light. It also has a funny quirk – only one of the three heads lights up on low. But which one lights up rotates every time you enter the mode (i.e. it remembers the last head to light up, and moves along in sequence).

    Output/Runtime Comparison

    Here’s how the TK45 output levels compare:



    Good spacing of levels, and excellent regulation on all levels on Eneloop NiMH.

    I’ve only done the one run on alkalines, on Hi, for comparison purposes. But you can see the excellent regulation and runtimes on all tests. I just wouldn’t recommend Turbo on alkalines, since I doubt the cells could handle that kind of load for long.

    Here's how the TK45 compares to other members of the high-output class (most on 2x18650 2200mAh).





    Well, this is impressive. Although many enthusiasts would dismiss multi-AA lights when it comes to high output, the 8xAA TK45 is certainly holding its own. More than that – output and runtime of the TK45 is typically greater than any of my 2x18650 lights (when run on the older 2200mAh cells, at any rate). Although again, the floodier nature of the TK45 may be skewing my lightbox results slightly (i.e. thrower lights tend to score a bit lower than floody lights in my lightbox).

    Potential Issues

    The three separate heads mean there is more area for dirt and debris to accumulate. Not likely an issue for most people, but could be a problem if you plan to use it in rugged environments.

    The light uses a battery carrier for the 8 AA cells. The carrier is mainly plastic. The cells also have tendency to pop out easily when you are loading it.

    The battery carrier has quite a bit of rattle when loaded with cells in the light. I don’t have the TK40 to compare, but this is more than I’m used to.

    Due to the electronic control switches, there is a continuous parasitic drain when the batteries are installed. I am not setup to measure the specifics, but there is an easy work-around - unscrew the tailcap or the head a full turn or more when not in use. Thanks to the overall tolerances in the head of the battery carrier, this is sufficient to cut the current flow.

    UPDATE: With HKJ's help, I've managed to get current draw and stand-by drain readings (see post #15-18). The standby drain was measured at 0.055mA, which means your 2000mAh Eneloop cells would be drained in 4.15 years.

    Final packaging and extras are unknown at this time.

    Preliminary Observations

    I will be honest – I wasn’t expecting to be impressed with this light, given the unusual head design and 8xAA configuration. But despite these aspects, and a few other quirks, there’s definitely a lot to like here.

    Let’s start with the output – it is brighter overall than any of other 3xCree/MC-E/P7/SST-50 lights in my collection at the moment. How much more is harder to say, given the floodier beam pattern on the TK45, but my ceiling bounce measures do match what I see by eye. The TK45 also lasts longer on 8xAA Eneloops than any of those other lights on 2x18650 (albeit the older 2200mAh cells in my testing).

    Of course, max output isn’t everything – so what are the lower levels like? Here again, Fenix efficiency pulls through. I was impressed with the runtime and regulation at all levels (which are well spaced apart). I was even pleasantly surprised to see Hi mode could run so well on standard alkalines (I don’t recommend Turbo on alkalines, since I doubt they could last long).

    I also wasn’t expecting much from the beam – in my experience, multi-emitter setups generally have some degree of artifacts in the beam (especially in the corona and the periphery of the spillbeam). But none of that is present here – the beam is beautifully smooth. It really is a true "wall of light."

    Of course the flip-side is that throw is relatively low – but typically not much worse than the MC-E/P7 lights that use shallow reflectors to compensate for the dark center void (e.g. the ITP A6 or Olight M30, which use the same reflector).

    How does this light compare to the Fenix TK40? Honestly, I can’t say, not having tested the TK40. But from the specs, the output has clearly increased on the TK45. I would expect the TK40 to throw better, though. I would welcome others with direct experience of both to comment further.

    How about the interface? Again, I like the placement of the buttons near the head, and the fact that all the strobe/SOS modes are relegated to a hidden mode (thank you! ). I’ve never been thrilled with having to contend with a flashing mode when cycling through constant output levels on other lights. One small point – the buttons aren’t labeled on my engineering sample, so there’s no intuitive way to know which one does on/off and which one does level selection until you give it a try.

    So what don’t I like? Well, battery carriers are never fun at the best of times, and this one has enough rattle when fully loaded to make you feel like playing a rumba or cha-cha-cha. The body of the light is also less substantial feeling than most of the members of this high-output class – but it’s still a few notches up from the budget ITP A6. And of course, “beefiness” is largely a matter of preference – as long as you aren’t planning to use the TK45 as an impact weapon, you should be fine.

    I also find it hard to embrace the aesthetic of the triple-mount head, but that’s really a cosmetic issue. I can assure you that I certainly like what’s coming out of that head, and that really is the true measure of a flashlight.

    Bottom line, the TK45 is a nice addition to Fenix’s high-output line of lights. Not sure if there’s enough here that would cause existing TK40 owners to upgrade (i.e. more output - but likely less throw - and a new and improved interface), but it does give new consumers a choice of beam patterns. And I think the performance on 8xAA cells is enough to give dedicated Li-ion fans something to think about – output, regulation and runtime performance certainly exceeded my expectations in this case.
    Last edited by selfbuilt; 07-21-2010 at 11:05 AM. Reason: typos
    Full list of all my reviews: flashlightreviews.ca. Outdoor 100-yard Beamshots 2011. Latest: Jetbeam RRT26.
    Gratefully accepting donations to my battery fund.

  2. #2
    Flashaholic*
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Location
    Central Europe
    Posts
    1,578

    Default Re: TK45 Review (XP-G R4 Testing Sample): RUNTIMES, BEAMSHOTS and more!

    Excellent review
    The lightbox brightness is really impressive. And production version with XP-G R5 should be even slightly brighter.

  3. #3
    Flashaholic*
    Join Date
    Mar 2002
    Location
    San Diego
    Posts
    2,285

    Popcorn Re: TK45 Review (XP-G R4 Testing Sample): RUNTIMES, BEAMSHOTS and more!

    Great Review!

    I'm really impressed with the beam also.

    I wonder how much the battery carrier rattle would be reduced when loaded with some of the fatter 2700 maH cells. Given all the complaints about how few AA cells will fit into a 4aa > 1D carrier in Maglites, this looseness with relatively skinnier eneloops might have been planned. Its never fun to try to shake out a sticky battery carrier, and plastic carriers may break if flung out by shaking.

    Is the carrier set up as 4S2P or as 8S?
    Last edited by lemlux; 06-08-2010 at 10:52 AM. Reason: added question
    Anything worth illuminating is worth illuminating to excess.

  4. #4

    Default Re: TK45 Review (XP-G R4 Testing Sample): RUNTIMES, BEAMSHOTS and more!

    Quote Originally Posted by jirik_cz View Post
    The lightbox brightness is really impressive. And production version with XP-G R5 should be even slightly brighter.
    Yes it should ... although I would caution again that the floodier nature of the TK45's beam is giving it an edge on my lightbox and ceiling bounce measures. But that's the nature of optics - throwy lights always score a bit lower in confined spaces, unless you have a proper calibrated integrating sphere (and perhaps even then, depending the sphere's specifics).

    Quote Originally Posted by lemlux View Post
    I wonder how much the battery carrier rattle would be reduced when loaded with some of the fatter 2700 maH cells. ... Is the carrier set up as 4S2P or as 8S?
    Good point about the thicker cells. Like with CR123A in wide-bore protected 18650 lights, it's possible some sort of thin sleeve or shim may help reduce the overall carrier rattle (just make whatever you choose is non-conductive!).

    Although I can't see all of the direct connections, the printed circuit tracings on the carrier's endplates suggest they are all wired in sequence (i.e. 8S). Consistent with that, I was unable to get the light to illuminate in 4xAA configuration, no matter how assembled within the carrier.
    Last edited by selfbuilt; 06-08-2010 at 11:14 AM.
    Full list of all my reviews: flashlightreviews.ca. Outdoor 100-yard Beamshots 2011. Latest: Jetbeam RRT26.
    Gratefully accepting donations to my battery fund.

  5. #5
    Flashaholic* was.lost.but.now.found's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2008
    Location
    O'Fallon, MO
    Posts
    852

    Default Re: TK45 Review (XP-G R4 Testing Sample): RUNTIMES, BEAMSHOTS and more!

    Great review!! Do you have any outdoor beamshots of the ITP A6, or the 1/1600 shots of the A6 and M30?

  6. #6

    Default Re: TK45 Review (XP-G R4 Testing Sample): RUNTIMES, BEAMSHOTS and more!

    Quote Originally Posted by lemlux View Post
    Great Review!

    I'm really impressed with the beam also.

    I wonder how much the battery carrier rattle would be reduced when loaded with some of the fatter 2700 maH cells. Given all the complaints about how few AA cells will fit into a 4aa > 1D carrier in Maglites, this looseness with relatively skinnier eneloops might have been planned. Its never fun to try to shake out a sticky battery carrier, and plastic carriers may break if flung out by shaking.

    Is the carrier set up as 4S2P or as 8S?
    There's quite the rattle when it's loaded with Energizer primaries, as well.

  7. #7

    Default Re: TK45 Review (XP-G R4 Testing Sample): RUNTIMES, BEAMSHOTS and more!

    Quote Originally Posted by was.lost.but.now.found View Post
    Great review!! Do you have any outdoor beamshots of the ITP A6, or the 1/1600 shots of the A6 and M30?
    I never bothered with the outdoor shots of the A6 since it uses the same reflector as the M30. The only difference is the M30 is about ~15% brighter overall (as measured by ceiling bounce), with ~15% more "throw".

    The M30 also has a slightly narrower spillbeam because of the crenelated bezel (the A6 is basically bezel-less). But since the spill of either light would fully fill the camera frame, the only difference you would see in the outdoor shots is a slight reduction in output/throw on A6.

    As for the 1/1600sec A6/M30 shot, I forgot to take it. But here's a 1/800sec shot, if it helps.

    Full list of all my reviews: flashlightreviews.ca. Outdoor 100-yard Beamshots 2011. Latest: Jetbeam RRT26.
    Gratefully accepting donations to my battery fund.

  8. #8
    Flashaholic* Walterk's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2010
    Location
    Netherlands
    Posts
    746

    Default Re: Fenix TK45 Review (XP-G R4 Testing Sample): RUNTIMES, BEAMSHOTS and more!

    A pity they still use clear plastic for the battery-carrier.
    Clear plastic is usally more brittle, probably the first part to break after a few years rendering the light useless.
    Shell thicknes really is no issue, you won't ever dent it.

  9. #9
    Flashaholic Pandorum's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2009
    Location
    USA
    Posts
    147

    Default Re: Fenix TK45 Review (XP-G R4 Testing Sample): RUNTIMES, BEAMSHOTS and more!

    Very nice review and test!
    Have you noticed any way to service the sidewinder switches if necessary or are they permanently sealed?

  10. #10
    Flashaholic* Kid9P's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Location
    NY
    Posts
    3,036

    Default Re: Fenix TK45 Review (XP-G R4 Testing Sample): RUNTIMES, BEAMSHOTS and more!

    Great review

    As always, thanks for taking the time to do this for us.
    Very informative

  11. #11

    Default Re: Fenix TK45 Review (XP-G R4 Testing Sample): RUNTIMES, BEAMSHOTS and more!

    Quote Originally Posted by Walterk View Post
    A pity they still use clear plastic for the battery-carrier. Clear plastic is usally more brittle, probably the first part to break after a few years rendering the light useless.
    Yes, the carrier seems to be the major weakness of the light. Although no carrier is perfect, I think they could have done better here.

    Shell thicknes really is no issue, you won't ever dent it.
    True - I only mention it so people can calibrate their expectations. If you are looking for a club (a la ThruNite Catapult style ), you'll need to look elsewhere.

    Quote Originally Posted by Pandorum View Post
    Have you noticed any way to service the sidewinder switches if necessary or are they permanently sealed?
    No, I don't see any way to directly access them. So that is another point to consider in terms of long-term stability - unlike a traditional clicky, you wouldn't be able to replace the switch. Of course, the electronic switch design should hopefully be longer lasting than a typical mechanical switch.
    Full list of all my reviews: flashlightreviews.ca. Outdoor 100-yard Beamshots 2011. Latest: Jetbeam RRT26.
    Gratefully accepting donations to my battery fund.

  12. #12
    Flashaholic* rookiedaddy's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2009
    Location
    A Place Called HOME
    Posts
    534

    Default Re: Fenix TK45 Review (XP-G R4 Testing Sample): RUNTIMES, BEAMSHOTS and more!

    Quote Originally Posted by selfbuilt View Post
    ...
    Due to the electronic control switches, there is a continuous parasitic drain when the batteries are installed. I am not setup to measure the specifics, but there is an easy work-around - unscrew the tailcap a full turn or more when not in use. Thanks to the anodized threads and the overall tolerances, this is sufficient to cut the current flow.
    ...
    selfbuilt, can you measure the parasitic drain?

  13. #13
    Flashaholic chenko's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
    Location
    Italy
    Posts
    237

    Default Re: Fenix TK45 Review (XP-G R4 Testing Sample): RUNTIMES, BEAMSHOTS and more!

    Great review, as usual I should say! Thank you Selfbuilt for gathering all this very important information!

  14. #14

    Default Re: Fenix TK45 Review (XP-G R4 Testing Sample): RUNTIMES, BEAMSHOTS and more!

    Quote Originally Posted by rookiedaddy View Post
    selfbuilt, can you measure the parasitic drain?
    Honestly, I can't really see how to given the design of the light. Hopefully someone else out there with a TK45 testing sample can figure out a way to hook up electrodes?

    Quote Originally Posted by chenko View Post
    Great review, as usual I should say! Thank you Selfbuilt for gathering all this very important information!
    And thank you for the all the caving shots in your review.
    Full list of all my reviews: flashlightreviews.ca. Outdoor 100-yard Beamshots 2011. Latest: Jetbeam RRT26.
    Gratefully accepting donations to my battery fund.

  15. #15
    HKJ's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    Location
    Copenhagen, Denmark
    Posts
    6,281

    Default Re: Fenix TK45 Review (XP-G R4 Testing Sample): RUNTIMES, BEAMSHOTS and more!

    Quote Originally Posted by selfbuilt View Post
    Honestly, I can't really see how to given the design of the light. Hopefully someone else out there with a TK45 testing sample can figure out a way to hook up electrodes?
    Probably something like this I used on TK40 can be used here also:
    Last edited by HKJ; 06-09-2010 at 10:11 AM.
    My website with flashlight, battery and charger information: lygte-info.
    More than 200 battery reviews and 80 charger reviews.
    Compare 18650 LiIon batteries or smaller (RCR123, 16340, 14500, 10450) LiIon batteries.

  16. #16

    Default Re: Fenix TK45 Review (XP-G R4 Testing Sample): RUNTIMES, BEAMSHOTS and more!

    Quote Originally Posted by HKJ View Post
    Probably something like this I used on TK40 can be used here also:
    Yes, that makes perfect sense, since the both the positive and negative terminals are present on both the carrier and head - thanks HKJ!

    Unfortunately, I know from experience that my Uni-T UT60A DMM doesn't seem to give the most reliable battery current draws (same goes for my cheapo DX meter).

    Here's the problem - I couldn't get measurements on the standard uAmA terminal, so had to use my 10A terminal. There, I could illuminate the light and run through the levels, and found the following current draws (after letting stabilize for 10secs):

    Turbo: 1.012A
    Hi: 290mA
    Med: 77mA
    Lo: 5mA

    When turning off, the parasitic drain registered at 0.000. But since I do not seem to be able to get lower than 1mA resolution on my 10A port, all that tells me is the drain must be lower than ~0.5mA (otherwise it would have likely rounded up and registered as 0.001A).

    What do you think HKJ?
    Last edited by selfbuilt; 06-09-2010 at 09:32 PM.
    Full list of all my reviews: flashlightreviews.ca. Outdoor 100-yard Beamshots 2011. Latest: Jetbeam RRT26.
    Gratefully accepting donations to my battery fund.

  17. #17
    HKJ's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    Location
    Copenhagen, Denmark
    Posts
    6,281

    Default Re: Fenix TK45 Review (XP-G R4 Testing Sample): RUNTIMES, BEAMSHOTS and more!

    Quote Originally Posted by selfbuilt View Post
    What do you think HKJ?
    The values are reasonable when comparing to my old TK40 values, except low must be lower than TK40.
    Note:TK45 has around half the values of TK40, because all batteries are in series.

    Quote Originally Posted by selfbuilt View Post
    I've tried my cheapo DX meter, and get the same problem - the light will not illuminate when the lead is on its mA port, only on the 10A port.
    The light obvious need some current to turn on, but to measure the standby current, you do not need the light to turn on, just use the mA socket.


    The series resistance is meters is often a problem when measuring currents at low voltage, in my guide to DMM I recommend to use the 10A range when possible.
    The TK45 must be a bit "nasty" with the current draw to have problems with the mA range on the low brightness settings (It has a rather high battery voltage). Did you see any type of under voltage protection, i.e. the light shutting abrupt off when batteries are empty (I can not see any on your runtime curves)?
    My website with flashlight, battery and charger information: lygte-info.
    More than 200 battery reviews and 80 charger reviews.
    Compare 18650 LiIon batteries or smaller (RCR123, 16340, 14500, 10450) LiIon batteries.

  18. #18

    Default Re: Fenix TK45 Review (XP-G R4 Testing Sample): RUNTIMES, BEAMSHOTS and more!

    Quote Originally Posted by HKJ View Post
    The values are reasonable when comparing to my old TK40 values, except low must be lower than TK40.
    Note:TK45 has around half the values of TK40, because all batteries are in series.
    Yes, I concur. The Lo mode of the TK45 only illuminates one LED, and it is quite dim. 5mA makes sense.

    The light obvious need some current to turn on, but to measure the standby current, you do not need the light to turn on, just use the mA socket.
    Ah yes, of course - the stand-by current would occur as soon as the carrier is connected to the head.

    I see the problem here is clearly with my UT60A DMM. I get no signal at all on the uAmA terminal, even for standby current drain.

    But playing with my cheapo DX DMM, I see it will take readings on the mA port after all. It reports the standby current as 0.055mA (actual values are 0.06mA on the 20mA scale, .055mA on the 2mA scale, and 540uA on the 200uA scale). That's quite a bit lower than the 0.38mA you found with the TK40.

    FYI, just to confirm, I've run through all the current draws on the 10A port on that DMM, and get the following (note that it is limited to only 3 sig figs):

    Turbo: 1.08A
    Hi: 0.30A
    Med: 0.08A (or 79.5mA on the 200mA scale)
    Lo: 0.01A (or 5.6mA on the 200mA scale)

    Very good concordance with my higher-quality (and 4 sig fig) UT60A DMM on 10A port.

    So, if I go with the 55uA drain estimate, that should give me 4.15 years on 2000mAh Eneloops (given that the Tk45 seems to be all 8 batteries in series). Does my math sound right to you HKJ?
    Last edited by selfbuilt; 06-09-2010 at 01:44 PM.
    Full list of all my reviews: flashlightreviews.ca. Outdoor 100-yard Beamshots 2011. Latest: Jetbeam RRT26.
    Gratefully accepting donations to my battery fund.

  19. #19
    HKJ's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    Location
    Copenhagen, Denmark
    Posts
    6,281

    Default Re: Fenix TK45 Review (XP-G R4 Testing Sample): RUNTIMES, BEAMSHOTS and more!

    Quote Originally Posted by selfbuilt View Post
    I see the problem here is clearly with my UT60A DMM. I get no signal at all on the uAmA terminal, even for standby current drain.
    You might have blown a fuse in the UT60A DMM. Try using the other meter to measure ohms from mA socket to common (Meter must be on mA range). An open connection means "blown fuse"!

    Quote Originally Posted by selfbuilt View Post
    But playing with my cheapo DX DMM, I see it will take readings on the mA port after all. It reports the standby current as 0.06mA on its 2mA scale (or 55uA on its 200uA scale). That's quite a bit lower than the 0.38mA you found with the TK40.
    Looks like Fenix has taken the complains serious, with this drain eneloop will last 4 years. People that want to store the light with batteries, still needs to loosen the tailcap. This is much better than TK40 IMHO.
    My website with flashlight, battery and charger information: lygte-info.
    More than 200 battery reviews and 80 charger reviews.
    Compare 18650 LiIon batteries or smaller (RCR123, 16340, 14500, 10450) LiIon batteries.

  20. #20

    Default Re: Fenix TK45 Review (XP-G R4 Testing Sample): RUNTIMES, BEAMSHOTS and more!

    Quote Originally Posted by HKJ View Post
    You might have blown a fuse in the UT60A DMM. Try using the other meter to measure ohms from mA socket to common (Meter must be on mA range). An open connection means "blown fuse"!
    Hmm, I'll double-check - but thinking back on it, I'm sure that's what I did.

    I always take current draws on the 10A port to be safe, but figured I'd stick with the mA port for better resolution in this case, since I expected the standby drain to be low. But stupid me forgot to switch back to 10A before turning on the light to check the current draws. And I had left the light set on Turbo before taking it apart ... so I would have blown the 0.5A fuse on the mA port as soon as I hit the switch.

    That explains my current inability to take readings on the mA port. Time for a trip down to Radio Shack for a replacement fuse ...

    (just checked, $5 for two fuses at RS ... well not too expensive a bo-bo )
    Last edited by selfbuilt; 06-09-2010 at 02:21 PM.
    Full list of all my reviews: flashlightreviews.ca. Outdoor 100-yard Beamshots 2011. Latest: Jetbeam RRT26.
    Gratefully accepting donations to my battery fund.

  21. #21
    Flashaholic Gryffin's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
    Location
    People’s Republic of New Jersey
    Posts
    305

    Default Re: Fenix TK45 Review (XP-G R4 Testing Sample): RUNTIMES, BEAMSHOTS and more!

    I'm guessing the "rattle" is there because the carrier is sized for the fattest batteries around. Or, god forbid, in case one or more cells leaks and swells...

    I wonder if there's enough clearance to wrap a single layer of duct tape around the carrier? That would solve the rattle, and keep the cells from popping loose. If Fenix sells spare carriers, the tape sure would make reloads a bit simpler.
    Last edited by Gryffin; 06-09-2010 at 02:59 PM.
    "I'm not afraid of the dark. The dark is afraid of ME!"

  22. #22
    Flashaholic* was.lost.but.now.found's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2008
    Location
    O'Fallon, MO
    Posts
    852

    Default Re: Fenix TK45 Review (XP-G R4 Testing Sample): RUNTIMES, BEAMSHOTS and more!

    Quote Originally Posted by Gryffin View Post
    I'm guessing the "rattle" is there because the carrier is sized for the fattest batteries around. Or, god forbid, in case one or more cells leaks and swells...

    I wonder if there's enough clearance to wrap a single layer of duct tape around the carrier? That would solve the rattle, and keep the cells from popping loose. If Fenix sells spare carriers, the tape sure would make reloads a bit simpler.
    IIRC the early TK40s had a rattle as well, which was corrected shortly after the first release.

  23. #23
    Flashaholic* rookiedaddy's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2009
    Location
    A Place Called HOME
    Posts
    534

    Default Re: Fenix TK45 Review (XP-G R4 Testing Sample): RUNTIMES, BEAMSHOTS and more!

    Quote Originally Posted by selfbuilt View Post
    ...
    Turbo: 1.08A
    Hi: 0.30A
    Med: 0.08A (or 79.5mA on the 200mA scale)
    Lo: 0.01A (or 5.6mA on the 200mA scale)
    ...
    So, if I go with the 55uA drain estimate, that should give me 4.15 years on 2000mAh Eneloops (given that the Tk45 seems to be all 8 batteries in series). Does my math sound right to you HKJ?
    selfbuilt, thank you for the drain reading.
    HKJ, thank you for the instructions to take the reading.
    both of you are simply awesome

  24. #24

    Default Re: Fenix TK45 Review (XP-G R4 Testing Sample): RUNTIMES, BEAMSHOTS and more!

    Selfbuilt- I'm fairly 'new' here, but I have to say, you post a hell of a review!.
    Being a big believer in comparative beamshots, you answered a lot of questions for me with them.

    This pullquote tells me a lot:

    "Clearly, the TK45 is not a great thrower – you wouldn’t expect it to be with this design. But it does have one of the smoothest and most even beam profiles I’ve seen in a high-output light. If you want a "wall of light," this would be a good choice."
    Fortunately for me, I want walls of light and a couple of throwers for my trade.

    Yes, separate heads make a difference because if you do a test that shows a beamshot of each head alone (covering the others) you'll find that the heads are probably NOT parallel, as is commonly the case with co-located reflectors. That's how the daisy overlaps are avoided! This is the right way to deliver beam that's useful close up.
    Eventually, Fenix will enclose the array in something 'circular' for aesthetic finish, but obviously it's not necessary.

    I take it the TK45 blows the TK40 away? I would appreciate a side by side of the beamshots and side-view to show relative size.

    I use these lights for photography primarily so I'm always keen to know how the new lights compare to what I'm using now.
    I see FENIX as the next leader in flashlights in about 2 years. MAG ought to buy them out before it's too late.

    Great job!
    Last edited by Archie Cruz; 06-10-2010 at 05:41 AM.

  25. #25

    Default Re: Fenix TK45 Review (XP-G R4 Testing Sample): RUNTIMES, BEAMSHOTS and more!

    Quote Originally Posted by Archie Cruz View Post
    Yes, separate heads make a difference because if you do a test that shows a beamshot of each head alone (covering the others) you'll find that the heads are probably NOT parallel, as is commonly the case with co-located reflectors. That's how the daisy overlaps are avoided! This is the right way to deliver beam that's useful close up.
    Well, they are at least somewhat parallel - just not perfectly so.

    FYI, here are some close-up shows of Med mode taken at varying distances from a white wall. I started at ~3cm away from the wall, and moved the light back in ~5-15cm at a time increments (accelerating over time), ending at ~1m. The camera stayed fixed.



    Give you a pretty good idea what the beam looks like. Somewhere around the third-fourth from last panel is ~0.5m, where I take most of white wall beamshots (including those in the main review).
    Full list of all my reviews: flashlightreviews.ca. Outdoor 100-yard Beamshots 2011. Latest: Jetbeam RRT26.
    Gratefully accepting donations to my battery fund.

  26. #26
    Flashaholic* was.lost.but.now.found's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2008
    Location
    O'Fallon, MO
    Posts
    852

    Default Re: Fenix TK45 Review (XP-G R4 Testing Sample): RUNTIMES, BEAMSHOTS and more!

    A question just occurred to me, what is the behavior on strobe? That is, do all three emitters 'fire' at the same time or are they out of sequence? I can imagine that to be one crazy strobe if they all flashed in a diffferent sequence. I might actually live up to Jetbeam's "randomizing and disorienting" strobe.

  27. #27

    Default Re: Fenix TK45 Review (XP-G R4 Testing Sample): RUNTIMES, BEAMSHOTS and more!

    Great review!

  28. #28

    Default Re: Fenix TK45 Review (XP-G R4 Testing Sample): RUNTIMES, BEAMSHOTS and more!

    Quote Originally Posted by was.lost.but.now.found View Post
    A question just occurred to me, what is the behavior on strobe? That is, do all three emitters 'fire' at the same time or are they out of sequence? I can imagine that to be one crazy strobe if they all flashed in a diffferent sequence. I might actually live up to Jetbeam's "randomizing and disorienting" strobe.
    Well, I haven't looked too closely at it (max output at 15Hz after all ), but it seems to me that everything is firing synchronously (i.e. all emitters at the same time).

    The only thing that ever changes is in the low mode, which rotates through each of the heads as you cycle through on-offs.
    Full list of all my reviews: flashlightreviews.ca. Outdoor 100-yard Beamshots 2011. Latest: Jetbeam RRT26.
    Gratefully accepting donations to my battery fund.

  29. #29
    Unenlightened Epimetheus's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2010
    Location
    Gondwanaland
    Posts
    17

    Default Re: Fenix TK45 Review (XP-G R4 Testing Sample): RUNTIMES, BEAMSHOTS and more!

    I notice that in its local promotional stuff, Fenix shows the cell carrier as being black (plastic presumably).



    Should this be of any interest, or has it already been clarified?


  30. #30

    Default Re: Fenix TK45 Review (XP-G R4 Testing Sample): RUNTIMES, BEAMSHOTS and more!

    Quote Originally Posted by Epimetheus View Post
    I notice that in its local promotional stuff, Fenix shows the cell carrier as being black (plastic presumably).
    Hmmm, interesting. From the limited picture, it looks exactly the same as my clear one (except for being in black, of course).

    Presumably, that will be the shipping version - but I have no direct info one way or the other.
    Full list of all my reviews: flashlightreviews.ca. Outdoor 100-yard Beamshots 2011. Latest: Jetbeam RRT26.
    Gratefully accepting donations to my battery fund.

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •