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Thread: Blackshadow Terminator (4xXM-L T6 NW, 4x18650) Review

  1. #1
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    Arrow Blackshadow Terminator (4xXM-L T6 NW, 4x18650) Review

    The Terminator is a follow-up model to the earlier Darth from Blackshadow. It runs on 4x18650 batteries is four XM-L U2, high-output light. My review sample is XM-L T6 (Neutral White) version.





    Packaging is a cardboard box with built-in packaging foam. Included inside is the light, user manual-warranty card, extra o-ring, nice lanyard.
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    Manufacturer Specifications from Blackshadow website & user manual :
    • Dimensions : 69mm(HD)×132mm(L)×93mm(H)
    • Weight : 395g (Without battery)
    • Color : Dark brown
    • Emitter : 4×CREE XM-L U2 or XM-L 6 LED
    • Battery : 4x18650
    • Circuit : Digital CC circuit, Low-voltage alarming system, Power indicating system
    • Mode : High-Mid-Low-OFF, hidden Strobe mode
    • Dimming : Smart button switch
    • Lumens : High (3500Lums) - Mid (1500lums) - Low (400lums) - Strobe (3000lums)
    • Runtime : High (1h10min) - Mid (2h40min) - Low (11h25min) - Strobe (1h40min)
    • Material : Aluminum alloy
    • Lens : Impact-resistant optical lens with AR coating
    • Reflector : Metal reflector
    • Head & Tail : Stainless steel bezel ring, tailstanding tailcap
    • Waterproof : IPX-7, unable to support dive use.
    • Accessories : Tactical parachute-cord, Spare O-ring, User manual and Warranty card.
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    The hard (type III) anodizing is a slightly glossy gray and consistent throughout with no chips on my sample. All labels are sharp, clear, and bright white against the background. There is hot surface warning mark on the head, and manufacturer, model name with serial number on the battery tube. There are two bands of knurling and four flat sides on the battery tube. A big "X" is engraved on two flat side.
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    The light has mainly 2 parts (i.e. head and battery tube).
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    There is an independent flat stainless steel bezel ring on each lens. The light has three independent smaller cooling fins & four integral cooling fins on the upper & lower part of the head respectively. The handle is fixed with bolts between the upper and lower cooling fins and not removable. There is a button switch on the handle.
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    The light uses AR coating lens and the purple hue is reflected on it.
    All metal reflectors are smooth, and nicely finished. The terminator comes in a choice of emitter types, and my review sample is the XM-L T6 neutral white. Each emitter is well-centered in its own reflector. There is a waterproof o-ring between the stainless bezel ring and reflector.
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    The integral handle is not only useful but convenient to use the light. The fixation bolts are made of carbon steel. The button switch on the handle is electronic switch. Switch feel is about typical for this class and not much different. The switching travel a bit longer than average, with average resistance and provides audible click when engaged. It looks like the switch cover hides the green & red LED to signal the state of the light (i.e., battery status, standby modes). The gripablility is very good due to finger grip indentations on one side of the handle. These seem to be well placed for over-hand operation. There is a hole at the end of the handle for lanyard (comes with the light) attachment.
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    When you first connect the head to the battery tube with batteries installed, the green light comes on. This is to indicate that the Terminator is in Standby mode and the battery is not low. When the battery runs low, the red light will constantly flash quickly 2~3 times per second. The blackshadow says the low battery alarming will work when voltage is lower than 2.7V.
    This green & red light are helpful if you are trying to find the light in the dark. If you don't want to see these lights, break the current by loosening the head a little. The constant green light & blinking red light however are quite bright, and the red light flashes so quickly. I wish it could go much lower and flash once per 3~5 seconds or so.
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    The head base of the light has a raised brass yellow positive contact ring to contact with all positive contacts of the batteries. The negative contact rim surrounds the central positive contact. The light doesn't use a battery carrier. This makes the light more compact than others in this space.
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    Screw threads are triangular cut, but seems good quality. Note that both male & female threads on the head & tube are anodized for head lock-out. They are smooth with no cross-threading or squeaking on my sample.
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    The battery tube has four flat sides, continuing rounded corners. There are two bands of knurling and aggressive design elements around the battery tube which provide decent grip.
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    The Terminator has battery compartments which are molded into the aluminum, with common negative springs and hold four 18650 cells. Battery handle is quite compact, and easily houses 4x18650. The battery wells are in parallel. The overall construction such as wall thickness seems thicker and more solid than expected. It looks sturdy and well-made.

    All types (i.e., true flat-tops, wide and button-tops) of 18650's work fine. All my longer & wider protected high capacity (2600~3100mAh) cells all fit.
    You can see the fully loaded battery tube with unprotected & protected cells. I don't have any problem or issue to insert my shortest & longest 18650 cells into the tube. But note that only 4x18650 li-ion cells can be used in the light. (i.e., it doesn't support multiple CR123A or RCR123A due to 2.5~4.2v input voltage.) The battery tube introduces little rattle if you shake the light laterally when it's fully loaded with 18650's unprotected. But no rattle with the protected 18650 cells installed in my sample.
    The four 18650 cells are arranged in parallel, so you can run a lower number of cells, but with increased current draw on each one. I don't recommend you try to run High output level on anything but the full complement of cells.
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    The tail end has flat side where big "X" is engraved on. The rectangular-shaped knurling should provide more than enough grip. Knurling is a bit aggressive.
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    You can attach the lanyard came with small attacking cone to the hole in the head as shown above. The light can tailstand perfectly.
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    User Interface

    The Terminator provides three constant output levels and hidden strobe. They are accessible by clicking the switch. A click on switch can transfer in the order of Low -> Med. -> High -> Standby -> cycle. Light doesn't have memory, and the light first comes on in Low mode always. When you press and hold the switch for more than one second, you can access Strobe. Clicking it again returns to the last constant output level used. You can also access directly to Strobe from standby mode, and clicking the switch again returns to the standby.
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    Standby Current Drain

    Due to the electronic switch design, the light will be drawing a small current when the head is tightened. I measured this current as 4.42mA for 1xVicLite 18650 (2600mAh). Since the cells are arranged in parallel for 4x18650 cells, that would translate into around 3 months before the cells would be fully drained. This is high standby current. So I would recommend you to store the light physically locked out by loosening the head when not in use. I think this standby current can be reduced by decreasing the brightness of the switch and its flashing interval.
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    From left to right : VicLite 18650 protected, Niteye Eye40, Blackshadow Terminator, XTAR S1. Terminator is compact and shorter than EYE40.
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    The gripability is good. The build feels solid, and the light is fairly compact for their classes. I found it to be well-balanced and comfortable to hold and use. The overall build quality is very high.
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    Measured Dimensions & Weight
    [
    Correction of battery tube dia. 13.03.17]

    [Correction of battery tube dia. 13.03.17]
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    PWM
    [
    New 12.12.20]


    The Terminator uses PWM for its lower output. (i.e., there is a flickering at Low, Med, output detected by waving the light, but can't see it at High.) The frequency at Low doesn't seem high enough to not be noticeable to sensitive user in practical use. [New 12.12.20]
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    Runtime

    1. Fan Cooling



    On Med, the Terminator is initially stably flatter regulated, then increases to more than initial output and slowly drops down in output in a quasi-regulated state. On High, I don't see any sign of flatter regulation. As shown above, I have run the light on High output on higher capacity 18650 cells (3000mAh), and got the same pattern (i.e., just with a longer quasi-regulated period).

    The runtime for 10% output of High & Med. output is as follows.
    1) High : 67 min. (2600mAh), 87 min. (3000mAh)
    2) Med. : 127 min. (2600mAh)

    Note that the bare cell of the NLTEK is LGABD11865 (3000mAh), and its maximum charging voltage is 4.35v for full capacity. But I charged it 4.2v for runtime test, so the capacity is about 2700mAh reduced with about 300mAh.
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    2. No Cooling



    I measured with thermal probes attached to three points of the light for the no cooling run. The room temp. was 24.8~27 degrees C, and window was closed in the test room. The resting temp. for Terminator was 28.7 degrees C. You can see the three points on the light where the thermal probes were set in pace as illustrated above.
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    I have done a comparison of fan cooling and no cooling for the light, and measured surface temperature on the no cooling run as I had done that in Darth review.
    The rise in temperature triggered a step-down from High to Med. after 10 minutes of runtime.
    Although not shown above, I have run the light on same capacity 18650 cells (2600mAh) on condition of leaving the window open a little in the test room, and got the same pattern but different 15 min. of runtime in stepping-down from High to Med. output. It means this is not a timed drop-down but a thermal sensor feature to avoid overheating the light.
    Balckshadow informs me that the Terminator has a thermal control feature designed to protect the circuit from excessive light inner temperature (i.e., greater than 60 degress C).
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    Note that left y-axis is the relative output. The black, cyan, and green lines represent surface temperatures of the light in degrees centigrade (celsius) should be read off the right y-axis.
    I found that the light stepped down when the temperature at the point #2 reached approximately 59~61 degree C and never stepped up the output again. You can reactivate the High output by turning the light off and on again.
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    Relative Output Comparison
    [
    New 12.12.21]

    [New 12.12.21]
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    Beamshot

    1. White door beamshot (about 50cm from the white door)
    - ISO100, F/10.0, 1/200sec, Auto white balance


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    - ISO100, F/10.0, 1/500sec, Auto white balance


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    - ISO100, F/10.0, 1/1250sec, Auto white balance



    The light has almost same sized bright hot spot as EYE40, and it is well focused. There is a soft corona surrounds the hotspot. The edge region of the spill beam has no artifacts and the beam profile is very good. The hot spot and corona region show an warmer tint and the spill beam region shows the same tint as well. The beam shows neutral tint as claims.
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    2. Indoor beamshot (about 7m from the target)
    - ISO100, F/2.8, 1/10sec, Auto white balance


    - EYE40 (XM-L U2 CW)
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    - Terminator (XM-L T6 NW)
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    3. 55m Outdoor Beamshot
    - ISO100, F/2.8, 1sec, Auto white balance



    - EYE40 (XM-L U2 CW)
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    - Terminator (XM-L T6 NW)
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    4. 60~65m Outdoor Beamshot
    - ISO100, F/2.8, 1sec, Auto white balance



    - EYE40 (XM-L U2 CW)
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    - Terminator (XM-L T6 NW)
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    • Terminator supplied by BlackShadow for review. Thanks!
    Last edited by candle lamp; 03-16-2013 at 11:47 PM. Reason: [Correction of battery tube dia. 13.03.17]

  2. #2

    Default Re: Blackshadow Terminator (4xXM-L T6 NW, 4x18650) Review

    Thanks my korean friend, what do you think this light working with Fenix ARB-L2 batteries? You say this light working "flat-top" batteries.

  3. #3
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    Default Re: Blackshadow Terminator (4xXM-L T6 NW, 4x18650) Review

    Quote Originally Posted by gopajti View Post
    Thanks my korean friend, what do you think this light working with Fenix ARB-L2 batteries? You say this light working "flat-top" batteries.
    Hi friend gopajti,

    Exactly! The height of the positive contact from the wrapper on my 18650 protected cell is about 0.6~0.67mm, and looks like the Fenix ARB-L2 cell.
    If the two cells are similar, ARB-L2 cells will work fine.
    Please see the photo of my 18650 protected cell. I wish I could take a picture very well like you.

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    PWM updated!

  4. #4
    Flashaholic* d337944's Avatar
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    Default Re: Blackshadow Terminator (4xXM-L T6 NW, 4x18650) Review

    Thanks for the great review mate - well done!

    It's a real shame about the PWM though - I am very sensitive to it, so will not buy the light even though everything else about it sounds great.

    Cheers, and have a great Christmas.

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    Default Re: Blackshadow Terminator (4xXM-L T6 NW, 4x18650) Review

    Quote Originally Posted by d337944 View Post
    Thanks for the great review mate - well done!

    It's a real shame about the PWM though - I am very sensitive to it, so will not buy the light even though everything else about it sounds great.

    Cheers, and have a great Christmas.
    Thanks for your support. d337944!

    It's a shame the frequency is not high enough on lower modes.

    Hope you have a wonderful Christmas too.

  6. #6
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    Default Re: Blackshadow Terminator (4xXM-L T6 NW, 4x18650) Review

    Great review! It's a beautiful light. I heard, however, that BS is introducing an XM-L U3 1C version soon. Do you think that would make a noticeable difference?
    Far too many lights to list......

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    Default Re: Blackshadow Terminator (4xXM-L T6 NW, 4x18650) Review

    Quote Originally Posted by indenial View Post
    I heard, however, that BS is introducing an XM-L U3 1C version soon. Do you think that would make a noticeable difference?
    Thanks. indenial! The local dealer says U3 1C version will be brighter by 7% than U2 version, and the carbon steel will be changed to stainless steel in the fixation bolts of the handle.

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    Default Re: Blackshadow Terminator (4xXM-L T6 NW, 4x18650) Review

    Thanks for a such a thorough review! I love the size of this light, it's just too bad it doesn't have quite the performance of the Eye-40.

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    Default Blackshadow Terminator (4xXM-L T6 NW, 4x18650) Review

    Great review buddy!!!

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    Default Re: Blackshadow Terminator (4xXM-L T6 NW, 4x18650) Review

    Quote Originally Posted by Patriot View Post
    Thanks for a such a thorough review! I love the size of this light, it's just too bad it doesn't have quite the performance of the Eye-40.
    Thanks. Patriot!
    You seem to be saying the output difference. There's quantifiable difference between the lights, but EYE40 appears only slightly brighter visually (i.e., I didn't notice much difference in output to the naked eye).

    Quote Originally Posted by firelord777 View Post
    Great review buddy!!!
    Thanks. firelord777!

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    Default Re: Blackshadow Terminator (4xXM-L T6 NW, 4x18650) Review


  12. #12
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    Default Re: Blackshadow Terminator (4xXM-L T6 NW, 4x18650) Review

    Any chance someone could post comparison beamshots with a TM11?

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    Thumbs up Re: Blackshadow Terminator (4xXM-L T6 NW, 4x18650) Review

    12345
    Last edited by Nightbird95; 08-08-2013 at 10:19 AM. Reason: Bailing out

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    Default Re: Blackshadow Terminator (4xXM-L T6 NW, 4x18650) Review

    Quote Originally Posted by Nightbird95 View Post
    Thank you for helping me decide through this great review.
    It's my pleasure. Hope you love it. Nightbird95!

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    Default Re: Blackshadow Terminator (4xXM-L T6 NW, 4x18650) Review

    Thanks for the detailed review. Interesting looking light, with the aggressive handle.
    Quote Originally Posted by d337944 View Post
    It's a real shame about the PWM though - I am very sensitive to it, so will not buy the light even though everything else about it sounds great.
    Same for me. I'm surprised they weren't able to correct it after the Darth model. I'd definitely go for the Nitecore TM26 instead.
    LIGHT BRANDS IN ROTATION: FW3A, Zebralight, Jetbeam, RovyVon, Olight, Astrolux, Nitecore, Surefire, NovaTac

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    Default Re: Blackshadow Terminator (4xXM-L T6 NW, 4x18650) Review

    Quote Originally Posted by xevious View Post
    Thanks for the detailed review. Interesting looking light, with the aggressive handle.

    Same for me. I'm surprised they weren't able to correct it after the Darth model. I'd definitely go for the Nitecore TM26 instead.
    Thanks for your support & interest. xevious!
    I expect they will be able to release a better one in the near future. You know there's a saying. "Rome was not built in a day."

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    Default Re: Blackshadow Terminator (4xXM-L T6 NW, 4x18650) Review

    Quote Originally Posted by candle lamp View Post
    Thanks for your support & interest. xevious!
    I expect they will be able to release a better one in the near future. You know there's a saying. "Rome was not built in a day."
    I hear you. The good thing is that I'm not in the market for a TM26 as yet, so there's still plenty of time to wait for the next revision. I wonder if Blackshadow already has the PWM vs. controlled circuit aspect under consideration.
    LIGHT BRANDS IN ROTATION: FW3A, Zebralight, Jetbeam, RovyVon, Olight, Astrolux, Nitecore, Surefire, NovaTac

  18. #18
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    Default Re: Blackshadow Terminator (4xXM-L T6 NW, 4x18650) Review

    Did anyone measure the PWM frequency?

    PWM frequency higher than 4KHz, would be ok.

    I'm sold on this light, but visible PWM flickering is a deal killer for me.

  19. #19

    Default Re: Blackshadow Terminator (4xXM-L T6 NW, 4x18650) Review

    Candle Lamp

    I've noticed you've done a review on both the Black Shadow Darth and Terminator. Would you happen to know if the body of the Terminator will fit on the head of the Darth? Measurements show both 44.3 and 44.5

    I love my Black Shadow Darth as a general use torch, but if the Terminator's body with 4x 18650 would fit, that would be even better

  20. #20
    Flashaholic* madecov's Avatar
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    Default Re: Blackshadow Terminator (4xXM-L T6 NW, 4x18650) Review

    Quote Originally Posted by SHOXX View Post
    Candle Lamp

    I've noticed you've done a review on both the Black Shadow Darth and Terminator. Would you happen to know if the body of the Terminator will fit on the head of the Darth? Measurements show both 44.3 and 44.5

    I love my Black Shadow Darth as a general use torch, but if the Terminator's body with 4x 18650 would fit, that would be even better

    Just tried it and no, it does not work.
    In god we trust.........all others are suspects
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    Too many new lights to list

  21. #21
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    Default Re: Blackshadow Terminator (4xXM-L T6 NW, 4x18650) Review

    Quote Originally Posted by SHOXX View Post
    Candle Lamp

    I've noticed you've done a review on both the Black Shadow Darth and Terminator. Would you happen to know if the body of the Terminator will fit on the head of the Darth? Measurements show both 44.3 and 44.5
    As madecov replied, the body of the Terminator doesn't fit on the head of the Darth. The body of the Terminator is bigger than Darth. The dim. on the above table was wrong, 44.3x48.9mm is right. Sorry about that and thanks for the comment. Have just corrected it.

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    Default Re: Blackshadow Terminator (4xXM-L T6 NW, 4x18650) Review

    I've got my eye on this as my prawning light, which will be used submerged in seawater to a depth of around 3ft. International Outdoor's website says the light is rated to IPX-7 standards which is OK for my kind of usage. What is your view on the water resistance ability on your light? Are the O-rings good quality? Is there a gasket that seals the 4 stainless steel bezels against the glass lens? I usually find that to be a point of weakness on poor quality lights and where many water leaks occur.
    Before we can become old and wise, first we have to be young and foolish.
    When I die, I want to be like grandpa, peaceful and asleep. Unlike his passengers, screaming and yelling...



  23. #23
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    Default Re: Blackshadow Terminator (4xXM-L T6 NW, 4x18650) Review

    Quote Originally Posted by Fusion_m8 View Post
    I've got my eye on this as my prawning light, which will be used submerged in seawater to a depth of around 3ft. International Outdoor's website says the light is rated to IPX-7 standards which is OK for my kind of usage. What is your view on the water resistance ability on your light? Are the O-rings good quality? Is there a gasket that seals the 4 stainless steel bezels against the glass lens? I usually find that to be a point of weakness on poor quality lights and where many water leaks occur.
    There is an o-ring between each lens and bezel. Also it seems there's an o-ring at the base where the bezel threads into the main head. However, one user said that the part where the handle is mounted to the main head is not perfectly sealed. So He doesn't recommend using the light in the water.

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    Default Re: Blackshadow Terminator (4xXM-L T6 NW, 4x18650) Review

    WOuld you be able to upload a pic of the weak spot that you're mentioning? My younger brother is an automotive mechanic, we can make up some thin rubber gaskets to waterproof it if I have a clearer picture of the area in question. Thanks in advance! BTW, what do you think of PSY's new song: Gentleman?
    Before we can become old and wise, first we have to be young and foolish.
    When I die, I want to be like grandpa, peaceful and asleep. Unlike his passengers, screaming and yelling...



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    Default Re: Blackshadow Terminator (4xXM-L T6 NW, 4x18650) Review

    Quote Originally Posted by Fusion_m8 View Post
    WOuld you be able to upload a pic of the weak spot that you're mentioning? My younger brother is an automotive mechanic, we can make up some thin rubber gaskets to waterproof it if I have a clearer picture of the area in question. Thanks in advance! BTW, what do you think of PSY's new song: Gentleman?


    Of course! Please refer to the photo. You may need to unscrew the two fixation bolts after separating the two bezels from the main head.

    It's hard to believe, I still haven't heard that song. My daughters say the two songs (GangNam style & Gentleman) are similar.

    Cheers,

  26. #26
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    Default Re: Blackshadow Terminator (4xXM-L T6 NW, 4x18650) Review

    Thanks for the quick response!

    From what I see in the pictures, I cannot see how water can enter the flashlight via the threads in the screw holes unless the screw threads are not separated from the battery compartment or the individual front bezels. From the pictures I cannot see that is the case. The screw threads appear separate from the battery and bezel chambers.

    Lucky you, my teenage daughters have been driving me nuts with Gangnam Style dancing and singing for weeks and now THIS!!!
    Before we can become old and wise, first we have to be young and foolish.
    When I die, I want to be like grandpa, peaceful and asleep. Unlike his passengers, screaming and yelling...



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    Default Re: Blackshadow Terminator (4xXM-L T6 NW, 4x18650) Review

    Quote Originally Posted by Fusion_m8 View Post
    Thanks for the quick response!

    From what I see in the pictures, I cannot see how water can enter the flashlight via the threads in the screw holes unless the screw threads are not separated from the battery compartment or the individual front bezels. From the pictures I cannot see that is the case. The screw threads appear separate from the battery and bezel chambers.

    Lucky you, my teenage daughters have been driving me nuts with Gangnam Style dancing and singing for weeks and now THIS!!!
    My pleasure! The fixation bolts are irrelevant to that matter. There could be something wrong with the contact surfaces between the handle and the main head in waterproofing.

    Fortunately, my daughters (21, 18 year old) don't bother me at all. I didn't see they were dancing to Gangnam style. Are they normal? I think they take after me in that sence. So I'm not in a good condition.

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    Default Re: Blackshadow Terminator (4xXM-L T6 NW, 4x18650) Review

    Candle Lamp: What is the current supplied to each emitter? 2.5A?
    Before we can become old and wise, first we have to be young and foolish.
    When I die, I want to be like grandpa, peaceful and asleep. Unlike his passengers, screaming and yelling...



  29. #29
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    Default Re: Blackshadow Terminator (4xXM-L T6 NW, 4x18650) Review

    Quote Originally Posted by Fusion_m8 View Post
    Candle Lamp: What is the current supplied to each emitter? 2.5A?
    According to the manufacturer's comment, it's 2.9A on max. output level.

  30. #30

    Default Re: Blackshadow Terminator (4xXM-L T6 NW, 4x18650) Review

    Thx for the review...

    'Just curious how my U3 Term's would compare,
    seeing as how they're 2 revisions brighter than the T6... :-)

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