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Thread: TrustFire TR-J1

  1. #1

    Default TrustFire TR-J1

    Just picked up the TrustFire TR-J1 off the 'bay.
    Came with 2 UltraFire 18650 batteries (2400 mAhr), and a charger. About $45 total with shipping.

    Took it diving in the Gulf yesterday: 85 feet, on an old airplane that fell off a carrier deck in a hurricane (looks like a Hellcat but is badly corroded).
    Great illumination for a cheap, small light. Perfect for finding shovelnose lobster in the wreck and holes.

    It needs a velcro holster to keep it on your BC; shouldn't be hard to make or find.
    No where near the 1000 lumens claimed, but good light nonetheless.
    A very blue/white light on land, but in the Gulf, with visibility at 35 feet, it had a faint purplish hue.

    No signs of leak; I was at the bottom about 30 minutes.
    Don't know the total run time on a charge; I only used it for about 15 minutes.

    G.

  2. #2
    Enlightened Doc Ed's Avatar
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    Default Re: TrustFire TR-J1

    Thank you for this review. I've been searching for one as well prior to buying one off eBay, and purchased one nonetheless. I'll give my input as well when I get my light.
    Ed

  3. #3

    Default Re: TrustFire TR-J1

    Thanks Doc.

    Yes, can't beat it as a back up light, and small enough to stash on your BC for the light you never thought you'd need.
    I wouldn't pick it as a primary dive light, but at that price I don't think you can go too wrong.

    G.

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    Enlightened Doc Ed's Avatar
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    Default Re: TrustFire TR-J1

    Actually, my current primary is an XML based light in a Ferei BL09 head with a similar head diameter and my back-up is a Ferei W150 XPG light. I really like their build quality and am looking forward to comparing them with the TR-J1. I'd also like to test their claims of 100m (variably listed as 30m on some sites) - though I'll probably only test it to around 50-60m in my pressure pot. Do you have any beamshots?
    Ed

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    Enlightened Doc Ed's Avatar
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    Default Re: TrustFire TR-J1

    Blindeye, I hope you don't mind me adding my input to your review.

    CONSTRUCTION:

    I Got mine in the mail today First impressions: Seemed relatively well built - nice and solid. On removing the head, there were one or two swarfs, but otherwise it looked great. The cooling ridges on the head are not overly-done as seen on some other dive lights. The removable stainless steel attack crown was the first to come off. Granted, it looks like it could do some serious damage if ever used for its intended purpose:



    Tail cap comes with a generous hole which allows you to use different thicknesses of line for tying in a bolt snap. Without a lanyard, the light can stand on its end:



    The light has 4 modes: off-flash-low-med-high. It has a bi-directional switch, so from the off position, you can go directly to the highest beam, or into flashing mode. Turning the switch is at best a two-handed affair, as there's an o-ring adding friction to prevent accidental switching. There are no detents, but after taking it apart, there's a groove with pits and a corresponding hole in the ring, so I guess you could put a bb and spring there to add the detents if you wish. Personally, since this will see salt-water use, I'd just leave it as is. Also visible is the small magnet used for switching. I may fix it in place with a bit of glue, as it might fall out and get lost when disassembling the light.



    Speaking of o-rings, the tail-cap has 2 rings, while the other end has just one (the other ring is just for friction for the switch). Seeing as this part isn't unscrewed as much, I guess it'll suffice, though I guess 2 would've been better, though there is an extra groove in it. I may just add one later on:



    Inside the front bezel are small indentations which I initially took to be the mating points for a tool to remove the ring. I used a watch-back tool, and what I thought was an internal ring is actually just part of a solid front ring which can be unscrewed from the outside.



    The reflector is a smooth aluminum reflector. I've been so used to having reflectors that screw into the pill, but this one just rests on it. Also seen in the inside of the head is the ledge where the lens and gasket rest.



    Given the dimensions of the light head, the lens (3mm x 30mm) seems adequate to do its job. The lens is surrounded by a rubber gasket which provides good sealing properties especially at greater depths due to the greater compression of the seal.



    The next photo is of the LED in situ. I didn't feel comfortable disassembling further than that, so that's where I left it at.



    TESTING:

    One thing to remember is that this is a dive light. As such, many eBay ads claim it to be able to go up to 100 meters. On KD though, they give a more realistic 30m figure. I decided to go half-way and test to the same depth rating for my GoPro cameras. Put it into my pot along with my watch/depth-gauge and brought it down to around 65 meters for about 15 minutes. No leaks



    Since this was to be my back-up light, I decided to test it against my current back-up: a Ferei W150 XPG light. The Ferei is slightly more solid and heavier (~220 g vs the ~180g for the TR-J1). In hand, the slightly thicker tube of the Ferei and the knurling on the tube makes it easier to hold I guess, but I like the TR-J1 for its sleek outline - though knurling would've been a nice touch for holding with wet or gloved hands.



    Anyway, in terms of light output, here's a few comparative shots of the TR-J1 vs the Ferei which is rated at 200 lumens. 24mm lens, 5.6 aperture, 1/30 shutter speed, ISO 400 (I didn't have a tripod so I didn't want a slower speed). Wall is around 8 meters away. Upper row: High, medium, low. Lower row: Ferei W150, W150 vs TR-J1, control shot.



    Bottom line: Looks like I've got a new favorite back-up light! Since I opted for just the light, I got it for around $35. At that rate, as Blindeye states, you can't go wrong!
    Last edited by Doc Ed; 05-06-2012 at 04:42 PM. Reason: corrected some info
    Ed

  6. #6
    Flashaholic* DIWdiver's Avatar
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    Default Re: TrustFire TR-J1

    Great review, Doc Ed. Thanks!

  7. #7

    Default Re: TrustFire TR-J1

    Wow Doc,

    Now that is a review! Very informative.....thanks!

    G.

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    Default Re: TrustFire TR-J1

    A lot of effort here Doc, most appreciated!

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    Default Re: TrustFire TR-J1

    Nice one Doc. Been looking for a good back-up and your detailed review here just helped make up my mind.

    Couple (wife get's one also, of course) of them ordered and hopefully arriving in time for trip to Malta in a couple weeks. If they arrive they'll get a good testing there.

    Will certainly post afterwards with any issues/non-issues.

    Cheers,
    Joel.

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    Enlightened Doc Ed's Avatar
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    Default Re: TrustFire TR-J1

    Interesting...

    I took some tail-cap readings. Tested the light at high, medium, and low. Battery was a Smallsun 18650, "2400mah" at 3.97v. Seems the driver is only putting out half what an XML is capable of:

    High setting: 1.79A



    Medium (50%): 0.83A



    Low (10%): 0.17A



    Interpolating the data with the Cree specs for an XML, the emitter lumens would be around:

    High - prob ~ 600lm
    Medium - prob ~300 lm
    Low - less than 100 lm

    Throw in your reflector losses so you can get the OTF lumens. Still, pretty bright. I was wondering how they could claim an 80 minute run-time on high. I guess it's because the light isn't driven that hard.

    When I get my other light, I'll have an n=2 so it'll be better data.
    Ed

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    Default Re: TrustFire TR-J1

    Good work. Don't forget the driver efficiency, so LED current is probably around 1.5A. Still reasonable for a backup light.

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    Default Re: TrustFire TR-J1

    My TR-J1 arrived yesterday. At the tailcap mine draws 1.5A in high, .75A in medium and .15A in low. Any tips on removing the lens? I don't want to mess up the gasket prying it out.

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    Enlightened Doc Ed's Avatar
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    Default Re: TrustFire TR-J1

    I'm going to try the suggestions of Hanachan and DIWdiver and either try using thicker gauge wires or use a different multimeter to determine tailcap current. So far, I'm seeing a large spread ranging from your values (1.5A here up to 2.3A from Hanachan's measurement). Anyway, more data is usually a good thing

    While I think the ideal tool would be one that fits precisely onto the 4 mating surfaces inside the ring, it think any tool that gives good traction on the outside could be used. At any case, I was thinking of making a square tool that mates with all 4 points on the inside.



    As for the lens itself, after removing the bezel in front, simply tap the head and the lens/gasket should fall out on its own.
    Ed

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    Default Re: TrustFire TR-J1

    Can you try removing the led/driver? Unscrew the retaining ring with a pair of pliers and the pill should pop right out.

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    Enlightened Doc Ed's Avatar
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    Default Re: TrustFire TR-J1

    Hehehe! I was waiting for someone else to do that. Anyhow, if no one else does it, I should have photos this Thursday after I get my 2nd light.

    Were you able to remove the lens/gasket?
    Ed

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    Default Re: TrustFire TR-J1

    Will try again when I get home. It certainly did not want to fall out when turned upside down. :-) On the flip side, the plastic slug around the positive terminal on the other side of the pill definately does not twist out. :-/

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    Default Re: TrustFire TR-J1

    Quote Originally Posted by Doc Ed View Post
    I'm going to try the suggestions of Hanachan and DIWdiver and either try using thicker gauge wires or use a different multimeter to determine tailcap current. So far, I'm seeing a large spread ranging from your values (1.5A here up to 2.3A from Hanachan's measurement). Anyway, more data is usually a good thing
    I have two of these little fellas here now. First impression is good....looking forward to testing them out in Malta next week.

    If you could excuse my ignorance and point me in the right direction of how to measure the tailcap current, I can go ahead and do that on my two here and add to the data pool.

    Cheers,
    Joel.

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    Flashaholic* 350xfire's Avatar
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    Default Re: TrustFire TR-J1

    Quote Originally Posted by JoelSim View Post
    I have two of these little fellas here now. First impression is good....looking forward to testing them out in Malta next week.

    If you could excuse my ignorance and point me in the right direction of how to measure the tailcap current, I can go ahead and do that on my two here and add to the data pool.

    Cheers,
    Joel.
    You would need to remove the tail cap and use an amp meter to measure current between the battery and the light's case. So get a multi meter and set it up to measure amps. Touch one of the leads to the back side of the battery and one to the flash light's barrel where it does not have anodizing. The light should turn on (once the switch is turned on) and the meter should show amps.
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    Default Re: TrustFire TR-J1

    Further to what 350xfire said, depending on the multi-meter you have, you may need to move your red lead from the volt port to the current port. The black lead can stay in common.

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    Default Re: TrustFire TR-J1

    Here is the LED pill in the TR-J1



    Here is the back of the pill:


    Now what you've been waiting for- the driver:


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    Default Re: TrustFire TR-J1

    Quote Originally Posted by 350xfire View Post
    You would need to remove the tail cap and use an amp meter to measure current between the battery and the light's case. So get a multi meter and set it up to measure amps. Touch one of the leads to the back side of the battery and one to the flash light's barrel where it does not have anodizing. The light should turn on (once the switch is turned on) and the meter should show amps.
    Now that you put it like that it indeed seems perfectly logical. Thanks for that.

    Just got the batteries on charging to full now and I'll run some tests.

    Moving on to some other observations.

    It indeed seems that consistency during manufacture/assembly is not high on the list. Between Doc Ed's example and my two I am seeing some differences.

    One point between my two when breaking them down was the difference that one had quite a lot of aluminium and plastic shavings from the machining process and quite an excess amount of silicone grease over almost every surface. The other was quite free of shavings and with a much more reasonable amount of greasing.

    Then there was the o-rings.... Doc Ed mentions having only one at the light head end (plus the friction ring). This differed between my two. One came with only one and the other with two:


    Also I think that between both lights and a total of 7 of the black o-rings all of them have some small amount of damage to them. This is leaving me somewhat sceptical as to whether they will in fact do their job. All o-rings are super soft also which I am a touch sceptical of...not sure how they will handle pressure. (feel free to comment for or against that train of thought). All in all starting to think that switching out o-rings could be a smart move.

    @ Doc Ed: I know you pot tested yours to 65m. Was this using all the original o-rings? Did you notice any damage to any of yours when you received it?

    Also a +1 to Doc Ed's idea of a dot of glue or something on the little magnet for switching mechanism. They do indeed fall out quite easily. Currently I have just dabbed a little silicone grease on the bottom of it

    Over all though I am still quite impressed with these little lights. Will be interesting to see the current draw results soon.

    Cheers,
    Joel

    P.S. Note to self (and others) threads on tail cap end are rather sharp, got a nice little slice on my thumb from it But something to be aware of I guess when placing o-rings back in place. More meaning being aware or not slicing the o-rings......
    Last edited by JoelSim; 07-12-2012 at 11:14 PM. Reason: re-linking to picture

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    Default Re: TrustFire TR-J1

    Quote Originally Posted by sucnip View Post
    Are those hall-effect sensors on the periphery? Sweet! Now I wanna take mine apart as well!

    And what chip does the driver use? And the white wire attaches to what?

    I also note a tab near the LED star. I take it this is to align the pill with a corresponding groove in the head to ensure the sensors are properly aligned with the indicator marks on the outside. Nice to see it looks relatively robust Is there a similar method of aligning the driver when you reattach it to the pill so the modes positions remain the same?

    @JoelSim: I guess QA isn't really a strong suit with them. I can sort of understand possible differences between your light and mine (maybe different batches) but then to see those same differences between two lights of yours which most likely came from the same batch is really a weird one. I think I really will add that extra o-ring. I didn't try to lever off the existing o-rings to check the durometer. I conducted my pressure test using the stock o-rings, as I noted no damage on them and the amount of lube on them was okay. Do both of your lights have the soft o - rings?
    Last edited by Doc Ed; 05-30-2012 at 02:19 AM.
    Ed

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    Default Re: TrustFire TR-J1

    Quote Originally Posted by Doc Ed View Post
    @JoelSim: I guess QA isn't really a strong suit with them. I can sort of understand possible differences between your light and mine (maybe different batches) but then to see those same differences between two lights of yours which most likely came from the same batch is really a weird one. I think I really will add that extra o-ring. I didn't try to lever off the existing o-rings to check the durometer. I conducted my pressure test using the stock o-rings, as I noted no damage on them and the amount of lube on them was okay. Do both of your lights have the soft o - rings?
    Yeah I see your point about the different batches, but agreed that it's a bit strange between my two.

    Yes both lights have the "soft o-rings". Whether they actually are soft or if I just consider them to be is anyone's guess though I figure. But most of them look like they have a slither missing off them and one in particular looks just a little deformed in general. Bit of a shame, but.....

    Time to duck to the shops and see if I can find some new o-rings to do the job though I think.

    Cheers,
    Joel.

  24. #24

    Default Re: TrustFire TR-J1

    sucnip, thank you for the photo of the 'driver'.

    it looks very simple, consisting of five hall-ic, one maybe FET and one micro controller (AVR or PIC??).
    IMO strictly speaking, it is NOT driver but direct driving with PWM.
    the micro controller may sense hall ic outputs and do PWM on LED current via FET (high:100%, mid :50%, low 10%).
    if so, we should NOT use a good battery with very low internal resistance to avoid burning LED
    and NOT use non protected battery to avoid over discharge in this light.
    there may be a very little current at OFF mode.

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    Enlightened Doc Ed's Avatar
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    Default Re: TrustFire TR-J1

    That would probably explain the wide spread in the measured tail-cap voltages. It is my understanding that in direct drive, as voltage decreases, so does current (please correct me if erroneous). However, I didn't quite notice that large of a dimming effect in your beam-shots in your other thread. Although, it does jive with your findings of being able to drain the battery to 2.75v without any indicators like blinking and such. I guess its back to the multi-meter to measure currents at various discharge states.

    @Sucnip: I assume that the pill is easy to remove after unscrewing the ring from the front half? Going to try this myself tomorrow
    Last edited by Doc Ed; 05-30-2012 at 06:07 AM.
    Ed

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    Default Re: TrustFire TR-J1

    Quote Originally Posted by Doc Ed View Post
    I guess QA isn't really a strong suit with them.
    Hahahaha.... When you pay employees $1 a day to assemble something, you can bet you will get what you pay for... As with anything cheap from China, you may need to rework it to make it do what it was intended to!
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    Default Re: TrustFire TR-J1

    Just checked the tail cap current draw on my two and they are virtually identical.

    With fresh charged batteries- Trustfire 3.7v 2400mAh

    4.2v- Hi-1.85 Med-0.91 Low-0.19
    4.2v- Hi-1.83 Med-0.91 Low-0.19

    I just used my multi meter as is. No using thicker wires(as was suggested earlier)or anything like that.
    Joel

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    Default Re: TrustFire TR-J1

    Quote Originally Posted by Doc Ed View Post
    Are those hall-effect sensors on the periphery? Sweet! Now I wanna take mine apart as well!
    Yup.

    Quote Originally Posted by Doc Ed View Post
    And what chip does the driver use? And the white wire attaches to what?
    Not sure what the driver is. There's a small microprocessor and a current limiting chip. The white wire attaches to the positive terminal of the battery via the white plastic disc.

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    Default Re: TrustFire TR-J1

    Quote Originally Posted by Doc Ed View Post
    @Sucnip: I assume that the pill is easy to remove after unscrewing the ring from the front half? Going to try this myself tomorrow
    It wasn't too bad. Remove the screw down ring with a pair of needle nose pliers. The pill will fall forward a few cm and get caught by the white wire connected to the plastic plug. I rotated the pill 90 degrees and used a small screw driver to push the white disc out. Then I unsoldered the white wire from the disc and the pill fell out.

    There are two solder spots where the board attaches to the pill. Simply use the hold in the PCB and the alignment disk to make sure you put it back together the same way. No problems with the modes when reassembling the light. Good luck!

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    Default Re: TrustFire TR-J1

    Quote Originally Posted by hanachan View Post
    sucnip, thank you for the photo of the 'driver'.

    it looks very simple, consisting of five hall-ic, one maybe FET and one micro controller (AVR or PIC??).
    IMO strictly speaking, it is NOT driver but direct driving with PWM.
    the micro controller may sense hall ic outputs and do PWM on LED current via FET (high:100%, mid :50%, low 10%).
    if so, we should NOT use a good battery with very low internal resistance to avoid burning LED
    and NOT use non protected battery to avoid over discharge in this light.
    there may be a very little current at OFF mode.

    +1

    In direct drive lights, the current measurement will be very much dependent on the meter and the leads you use (mostly the meter, unless you have really poor leads). The only way to get a really accurate measurement is to use a short piece of heavy wire and a clamp-on ammeter. Or a low-impedance shunt and the meter on millivolt range.

    And yes, the light will begin to diminish as soon as you turn it on, and will keep diminishing until you turn it off or it goes out.

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