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Thread: Nitecore "Tiny Monster" TM11 (4x18650, 3xXM-L) Review: RUNTIMES, BEAMSHOTS, VIDEO +

  1. #601

    Default Re: Nitecore "Tiny Monster" TM11 (4x18650, 3xXM-L) Review: RUNTIMES, BEAMSHOTS, VIDEO

    Quote Originally Posted by sidecross View Post
    My question is what disadvantage is there in using 8 123 Surefire batteries in the Nitecore 'Tiny Monster'? If battery life of the Surefire is 10 years from date of manufacture could these batteries be used in the light as an 'emergency light' and ready to work?
    Sure, the TM11 takes primary CR123A just fine. Surefire is a great choice, they perform comparable to Duracell and Panasonic (USA) in my testing.
    Full list of all my reviews: flashlightreviews.ca. Outdoor 100-yard Beamshots 2011. Latest: Thrunite Neutron 2014 - 2A 2C.
    Gratefully accepting donations to my battery fund.

  2. #602

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by selfbuilt View Post
    Sure, the TM11 takes primary CR123A just fine. Surefire is a great choice, they perform comparable to Duracell and Panasonic (USA) in my testing.
    I guess the key is it safe? That's 8 batteries that could potentially go bad during the course of "storage"...



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  3. #603

    Default Re: Nitecore "Tiny Monster" TM11 (4x18650, 3xXM-L) Review: RUNTIMES, BEAMSHOTS, VIDEO

    Quote Originally Posted by selfbuilt View Post
    Sure, the TM11 takes primary CR123A just fine. Surefire is a great choice, they perform comparable to Duracell and Panasonic (USA) in my testing.
    Thank you for your response.

    I have been using Surefire lights for years and years, and have always used CR123 Surefire batteries.

    I have replaced some of my older Surefire lights with the newer Eagletac lights and have been impressed on the great change in flashlight technology.

    I normally keep 48 CR123 Surefire batteries in groups of 24 stored each in a Pelican case; I just purchased 24 new Surefire batteries that expire 2022 and my other 24 are good to 2017.

    I would use the TM11 for ceiling bounce light; I like the long battery runtime at 500 lumens and the small footprint of this light.

    My appreciation to you and those who have responded is very much appreciated.

  4. #604

    Default Re: Nitecore "Tiny Monster" TM11 (4x18650, 3xXM-L) Review: RUNTIMES, BEAMSHOTS, VIDEO

    Quote Originally Posted by Ualnosaj View Post
    I guess the key is it safe? That's 8 batteries that could potentially go bad during the course of "storage"...
    Well, I've seen plenty of rechargeable Li-ions not keep their charge reliably over extended periods of time. But I've never seen Panasonic/Surefire CR123A go bad (and I've kept cells around for many years, to compare performance over batches).

    Personally, I suspect 8 Surefire-brand CR123A (from the same batch) are more likely to perform without incident after a period of storage that 4 unknown 18650s. I would always recommend verifying the charge status of any 18650 that has been sitting for a period of time - especially if you are planning to run in a multi-cell setup.

    As long as you store the light locked out at the head sidecross (i.e., with no standby drain), I think you should be fine for long-term storage with your Surefire cells (especially since you seem to take proper care in their storage).
    Last edited by selfbuilt; 08-11-2012 at 01:39 PM.
    Full list of all my reviews: flashlightreviews.ca. Outdoor 100-yard Beamshots 2011. Latest: Thrunite Neutron 2014 - 2A 2C.
    Gratefully accepting donations to my battery fund.

  5. #605

    Default Re: Nitecore "Tiny Monster" TM11 (4x18650, 3xXM-L) Review: RUNTIMES, BEAMSHOTS, VIDEO

    Quote Originally Posted by Ualnosaj View Post
    I guess the key is it safe? That's 8 batteries that could potentially go bad during the course of "storage"...


    ________________
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    Your point is well taken, I store all my battery ready lights in a cool, dry space and out of direct sunlight; it is also the same way I store two sets of 24 123 Surefire batteries in their Pelican cases.

  6. #606

    Default Re: Nitecore "Tiny Monster" TM11 (4x18650, 3xXM-L) Review: RUNTIMES, BEAMSHOTS, VIDEO

    Quote Originally Posted by selfbuilt View Post
    Well, I've seen plenty of rechargeable Li-ions not keep their charge reliably over extended periods of time. But I've never seen Panasonic/Surefire CR123A go bad (and I've kept cells around for many years, to compare performance over batches).

    Personally, I suspect 8 Surefire-brand CR123A (from the same batch) are more likely to perform without incident after a period of storage that 4 unknown 18650s. I would always recommend verifying the charge status of any 18650 that has been sitting for a period of time - especially if you are planning to run in a multi-cell setup.

    As long as you store the light locked out at the head sidecross (i.e., with no standby drain), I think you should be fine for long-term storage with your Surefire cells.
    Only my lights that are in daily use are in a ready to use posture; all stored lights with batteries are in a 'locked out' by having the end cap loose.

  7. #607

    Default

    I'm just thinking of those stories where perfectly good batteries go south with no warning. Good brand primaries too. Jut don't want one I the 7 to be bad when you reach for it. Having said that, the TM11 does show voltage on cold startup so it's a bit of protection.



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  8. #608

    Default Re: Nitecore "Tiny Monster" TM11 (4x18650, 3xXM-L) Review: RUNTIMES, BEAMSHOTS, VIDEO

    I have about four years of 123 Surefire batteries use. On average, I use at least 24 batteries per year and have not had one problem with the Surefire battery.

  9. #609

    Default Re: Nitecore "Tiny Monster" TM11 (4x18650, 3xXM-L) Review: RUNTIMES, BEAMSHOTS, VIDEO

    I received my Nitecore TM11 and it came in "Cool White" which is what I prefer.

    I like what is called the "Lock Out Mode" which shuts down the light including the blinking light switch. I much prever this than backing 'off and on' the head and body connecting threads.

    For my purposes this light is what I wanted and I am running it on 8 Surefire 123 lithium batteries; I did check the voltage of each battery so they were all exactly the same.

  10. #610
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    Default Re: Nitecore "Tiny Monster" TM11 (4x18650, 3xXM-L) Review: RUNTIMES, BEAMSHOTS, VIDEO

    My TM11 came in the mail yesterday. Installed 8 Surefire CR123A and tightened the threads. Switch flashed 6 then 4, so I thought I was ready for first light. Turned on Hi and noticed that the switch was rapidly blinking. Battery holder was tight to light head assembly, but as I moved light it went off and then back on. Removed batteries to find one stack hot and the remaining 3 stacks cold. Reasoned I had been running light on just one stack of 2 batteries. Using a dental scraper, I gently pulled up on all 8 copper battery tabs on the bottom of the battery holder. Reinserting batteries it now works with the switch constantly illuminated. Guess I demonstrated it will run with only 2 batteries, but better using 8.

  11. #611
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    Default Re: Nitecore "Tiny Monster" TM11 (4x18650, 3xXM-L) Review: RUNTIMES, BEAMSHOTS, VIDEO

    Quote Originally Posted by Jabberwocke View Post
    Removed batteries to find one stack hot and the remaining 3 stacks cold.
    That could have turned out REALLY bad had you continued to use it like that

    Never CR123's for me!

    -Jamie M.

  12. #612

    Default Re: Nitecore "Tiny Monster" TM11 (4x18650, 3xXM-L) Review: RUNTIMES, BEAMSHOTS, VIDEO

    Quote Originally Posted by toysareforboys View Post
    That could have turned out REALLY bad had you continued to use it like that

    Never CR123's for me!

    -Jamie M.
    If I understood the explained problem the CR123 batteries were not the problem; it was the lights contact points that caused the malfuntion.

    In any case Jabberwocke took the time to see what the problem was and made the correction. If anything, we should all be aware that mass produced products can arrive with a problem.

  13. #613

    Default Re: Nitecore "Tiny Monster" TM11 (4x18650, 3xXM-L) Review: RUNTIMES, BEAMSHOTS, VIDEO

    selfbuilt

    Is there any way to tell if the 'Locked Out Switch' which Nitcore did write about is drawing any power?

    I know Nitecore said in 'Locked Out' the button switch light will not be on, but would this be same as not drawing any power with the head and body in the tight possition?
    Last edited by sidecross; 08-18-2012 at 03:39 PM.

  14. #614

    Default Re: Nitecore "Tiny Monster" TM11 (4x18650, 3xXM-L) Review: RUNTIMES, BEAMSHOTS, VIDEO

    I just ordered the Eagletac M3 Diffuser lens; thanks for the tip selfbuilt!

  15. #615

    Default Re: Nitecore "Tiny Monster" TM11 (4x18650, 3xXM-L) Review: RUNTIMES, BEAMSHOTS, VIDEO

    Quote Originally Posted by sidecross View Post
    Is there any way to tell if the 'Locked Out Switch' which Nitcore did write about is drawing any power?
    The circuit will still be drawing some power, even when locked out. Typically, however, well-designed circuits draw less power in lock-out mode than in regular standby.

    I have not measured in on mine, as that requires a more complicated setup with the DMM in the current path. In any case, the currently shipping models are different from mine in how they handle the standby indicator, so I don't know if the results would be comparable.
    Full list of all my reviews: flashlightreviews.ca. Outdoor 100-yard Beamshots 2011. Latest: Thrunite Neutron 2014 - 2A 2C.
    Gratefully accepting donations to my battery fund.

  16. #616

    Default Re: Nitecore "Tiny Monster" TM11 (4x18650, 3xXM-L) Review: RUNTIMES, BEAMSHOTS, VIDEO

    Is there anyway that you can tell if a TM11 is cool white or neutral white? is it in the serial number?

  17. #617

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Sberri View Post
    Is there anyway that you can tell if a TM11 is cool white or neutral white? is it in the serial number?
    If you email Nitecore they can tell from the serial. Else you will notice a slight tint in the LED itself (slightly yellowish).



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  18. #618

    Default Re: Nitecore "Tiny Monster" TM11 (4x18650, 3xXM-L) Review: RUNTIMES, BEAMSHOTS, VIDEO

    Quote Originally Posted by selfbuilt View Post
    The circuit will still be drawing some power, even when locked out. Typically, however, well-designed circuits draw less power in lock-out mode than in regular standby.

    I have not measured in on mine, as that requires a more complicated setup with the DMM in the current path. In any case, the currently shipping models are different from mine in how they handle the standby indicator, so I don't know if the results would be comparable.
    I have a newer version and I will compare using the lockout feature first and post after I use the 'twist the head' on a second set of batteries.

    One thing I did notice and liked was after exiting lock-out the lighted switch gave out a voltage read-out.

  19. #619

    Default Re: Nitecore "Tiny Monster" TM11 (4x18650, 3xXM-L) Review: RUNTIMES, BEAMSHOTS, VIDEO

    Quote Originally Posted by Ualnosaj View Post
    If you email Nitecore they can tell from the serial. Else you will notice a slight tint in the LED itself (slightly yellowish).

    Thanks, my serial number is V112-1111 maybe someone can tell if that match a neutral or a cool white ?

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  20. #620

    Default Re: Nitecore "Tiny Monster" TM11 (4x18650, 3xXM-L) Review: RUNTIMES, BEAMSHOTS, VIDEO

    Thanks, my serial number is V112-1111 maybe someone can tell if that match a neutral or a cool white ?

  21. #621

    Default Re: Nitecore "Tiny Monster" TM11 (4x18650, 3xXM-L) Review: RUNTIMES, BEAMSHOTS, VIDEO

    Quote Originally Posted by Sberri View Post
    Thanks, my serial number is V112-1111 maybe someone can tell if that match a neutral or a cool white ?
    My Nitecore's box had a label on the right side of the box, as you open the box, and there a barcode label which also had written "Cool White". This is what I prefer and has a higher Kelvin temperture and "Neutral White".

  22. #622

    Default Re: Nitecore "Tiny Monster" TM11 (4x18650, 3xXM-L) Review: RUNTIMES, BEAMSHOTS, VIDEO

    Quote Originally Posted by selfbuilt View Post
    The circuit will still be drawing some power, even when locked out. Typically, however, well-designed circuits draw less power in lock-out mode than in regular standby.

    I have not measured in on mine, as that requires a more complicated setup with the DMM in the current path. In any case, the currently shipping models are different from mine in how they handle the standby indicator, so I don't know if the results would be comparable.

    I switched to using Eagletac 3100mAh Li-ion protected batteries and now lock-out the head from drawing any power.

    I also bought two Nitecore i4 chargers version 2 and enough of the Eagletac 3100mAh batteries to keep company with my 48 123 Surefire batteries stored in two Pelican cases.

    Thank you again for all your help!

  23. #623
    Flashaholic* oKtosiTe's Avatar
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    Default Re: Nitecore "Tiny Monster" TM11 (4x18650, 3xXM-L) Review: RUNTIMES, BEAMSHOTS, VIDEO

    At which voltage level will the indicator LED start blinking rapidly, and when will the light fall out of regulation?

  24. #624

    Default Re: Nitecore "Tiny Monster" TM11 (4x18650, 3xXM-L) Review: RUNTIMES, BEAMSHOTS, VIDEO

    Quote Originally Posted by varuscelli View Post
    I don't know if this video has been linked in this thread or not (or elsewhere on CPF?), but it's about the coolest custom bike mount (in this case, for the TM11) I've ever seen. My dislike is how far forward the TM11 is attached in the mount (way too much heavy weight forward given the jolts associated with even casual bike riding) -- but if it attaches solidly, maybe that's of little consequence. This is an interesting process to watch and an interesting end product, in any case.


    Have you mounted it on the bottom. The light hold up better mounted that way.

    Or you can also put tape between the bar and the mounting to prevent it from moving.



    S/F,
    CEYA!

  25. #625
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    Default Re: Nitecore "Tiny Monster" TM11 (4x18650, 3xXM-L) Review: RUNTIMES, BEAMSHOTS, VIDEO

    Quote Originally Posted by varuscelli View Post
    I don't know if this video has been linked in this thread or not (or elsewhere on CPF?), but it's about the coolest custom bike mount (in this case, for the TM11) I've ever seen. My dislike is how far forward the TM11 is attached in the mount (way too much heavy weight forward given the jolts associated with even casual bike riding) -- but if it attaches solidly, maybe that's of little consequence. This is an interesting process to watch and an interesting end product, in any case.


    As a matter of fact, the person making these noticed the same thing and made a revised version, shown here as version 4:



    He offers them for sale, but I'm not sure linking to that page is allowed here. Feel free to PM me.

  26. #626
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    Default Re: Nitecore "Tiny Monster" TM11 (4x18650, 3xXM-L) Review: RUNTIMES, BEAMSHOTS, VIDEO

    Just ordered a TM11 today, should be here soon

  27. #627

    Default Re: Nitecore "Tiny Monster" TM11 (4x18650, 3xXM-L) Review: RUNTIMES, BEAMSHOTS, VIDEO

    I have to admit that I have been on the fence about a TM11 for the past year and in reality there are just too many concerns to allow me to move forward with this light.

    The biggest concern is what was outlined in post #610. This light uses four battery tubes in parallel - an absolutely horrible design from what I can see. How will you ever know if all four (or eight) batteries are actually making contact? Why would you ever have to pull up battery tabs on a production light. This can lead to very suspect and dangerous performance in my mind - and is also contributing to all of the heat in the light.

    With all 4 batteries in parallel you are basically drawing huge amounts of current out of the system and trying to drive 3 LEDs running parallel.

    My comparison would be with a RRT-3 which appears to have done it right. They use 3 batteries in series which connects to a driver which then drives the 3 XMLs in series too. This keeps system current down to a max of ~3Amps. With the TM11 I can only imagine overall system current running closer to 9Amps.

    Overall it would be the same power for both lights, but higher current across any resistance causes greater voltage loss and more heat overall. The higher voltage / lower current setup would be more efficient in the long run.

    Selfbuilt say in his original review that he would not recommend the light be left to tailstand on Hi for any extended period of time. I have taken my RRT-3 XML and set it on the 2nd to highest 1200 Lumens level and used it as an area light for 30-40 minutes at a time and it was never hot to the touch with no active cooling.

    As much as I want to like and buy this light I am going to have to pass for a better design.

  28. #628

    Default Re: Nitecore "Tiny Monster" TM11 (4x18650, 3xXM-L) Review: RUNTIMES, BEAMSHOTS, VIDEO

    Quote Originally Posted by ShineOnYouCrazyDiamond View Post
    I have to admit that I have been on the fence about a TM11 for the past year and in reality there are just too many concerns to allow me to move forward with this light.

    The biggest concern is what was outlined in post #610. This light uses four battery tubes in parallel - an absolutely horrible design from what I can see. How will you ever know if all four (or eight) batteries are actually making contact? Why would you ever have to pull up battery tabs on a production light. This can lead to very suspect and dangerous performance in my mind - and is also contributing to all of the heat in the light.

    With all 4 batteries in parallel you are basically drawing huge amounts of current out of the system and trying to drive 3 LEDs running parallel.

    My comparison would be with a RRT-3 which appears to have done it right. They use 3 batteries in series which connects to a driver which then drives the 3 XMLs in series too. This keeps system current down to a max of ~3Amps. With the TM11 I can only imagine overall system current running closer to 9Amps.

    Overall it would be the same power for both lights, but higher current across any resistance causes greater voltage loss and more heat overall. The higher voltage / lower current setup would be more efficient in the long run.

    Selfbuilt say in his original review that he would not recommend the light be left to tailstand on Hi for any extended period of time. I have taken my RRT-3 XML and set it on the 2nd to highest 1200 Lumens level and used it as an area light for 30-40 minutes at a time and it was never hot to the touch with no active cooling.

    As much as I want to like and buy this light I am going to have to pass for a better design.

    You make a good argument against the design of the TM11.

    Time will tell if the concerns you bring up will be a cause for any problems down the road.

    I did buy the light because it is the third version of this light in production and because of the power it provides because it is in parallel and not series.

  29. #629

    Default Re: Nitecore "Tiny Monster" TM11 (4x18650, 3xXM-L) Review: RUNTIMES, BEAMSHOTS, VIDEO

    Quote Originally Posted by ShineOnYouCrazyDiamond View Post
    Selfbuilt say in his original review that he would not recommend the light be left to tailstand on Hi for any extended period of time. I have taken my RRT-3 XML and set it on the 2nd to highest 1200 Lumens level and used it as an area light for 30-40 minutes at a time and it was never hot to the touch with no active cooling.
    A couple of comments...

    I'm pretty sure you have valid points in your analysis (and this in in no way an attempt to shoot down your overall critique). However, I feel a bit as though you might be over-analyzing the technical side while perhaps deemphasizing the actual functionality of the TM11. I'm betting the majority of actual users of the TM11 would agree that its useful output and unique beam pattern outweigh what might be perceived as a couple of technical design weaknesses.

    On the tail standing issue, it's true that running the TM11 in turbo mode (2000 lumens) while it's in tail standing position will lead to a lot of heat buildup (an uncomfortable amount, to be sure). But, I don't think it's fair to compare the heat built-up to the RT-3 when the RT-3 is set to 1200 lumens without doing a side-by-side test of the TM11 at a similar setting. When run for extended time on high (TM11 at 1100 lumens) the TM11 body does gets warm...but not hot. Despite the cautions by Selfbuilt in his early review, running the TM11 on high (1100 lumens) for extended periods does not result in the body getting overly hot to the touch -- just warm, and not so warm that anyone should be hesitant to grab it up from the tail standing position after an extended period. As a TM11 user, I've tested this personally, for extended times, both in turbo mode and on high setting (up to an hour on high, tail standing), and I don't feel that the cautionary statement really applies to the TM11 high setting.

    Not trying to argue with your rationalizations (I think you made some solid points)...just putting out a slightly different perspective.
    Last edited by varuscelli; 08-30-2012 at 05:46 AM.

  30. #630

    Default Re: Nitecore "Tiny Monster" TM11 (4x18650, 3xXM-L) Review: RUNTIMES, BEAMSHOTS, VIDEO

    Quote Originally Posted by ShineOnYouCrazyDiamond View Post
    ...Selfbuilt say in his original review that he would not recommend the light be left to tailstand on Hi for any extended period of time. I have taken my RRT-3 XML and set it on the 2nd to highest 1200 Lumens level and used it as an area light for 30-40 minutes at a time and it was never hot to the touch with no active cooling. As much as I want to like and buy this light I am going to have to pass for a better design.
    Inspired by your example I set my TM to 2nd highest setting and ran it for 15 minutes (on table). At that point the head was moderately hot but the body was only warm. When I checked the batteries (4x Redilast 3100 mAH) they were barely warm and all felt like they were of equal temperature.

    My guess is that at 1/2hr things would be much hotter, but if hand-held probably ok.

    Brightnorm

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