Warning: pic heavy, as usual.
Thrunite has sent me an engineering sample of their newly revised Scorpion model – now known as the Lynx. Note that the model label on my sample hasn't been updated yet.
There have been some significant updates to the user interface (and build of the tailcap) since the original Scorpion V1 and subsequent V2. Let's take a look-see ….
Manufacturer Reported Specifications:
(note: as always, these are simply what the manufacturer provides – scroll down to see my actual testing results).
- LED: Cree XM-L2
- Max output 1000 lumens
- Uses logarithmic analog dimming
- Total 4 modes, and every mode can be set by the user from Firefly (0.3%) to High (100%), Slow Strobe and Quick Strobe
- Default settings: Low(108 Days), Middle(90 Min), High(50 Min), Quickly Strobe(Min).
- Operating range: 2.7V-6.0V
- Power sources: 1x18650, 2xCR123A (Reviewer's note: CR123A not fully support, see comments later in review)
- Peak Beam Intensity: 15,600cd
- Max Beam: 250m
- Smooth Reflector
- Reverse Polarity Protection
- Material: Aircraft grade Aluminum
- Surface Treatment: Premium Type III hard-anodized anti-abrasive finish
- Waterproof IPX-8 (1.5M)
- Impact Resistance 2M
- Designed for Tactical use
- Anti-vibration design
- Include Accessories: unknown
- Optional Filter Accessories: Diffuser, Red, Green, Blue, Yellow
- MSRP: unknown
I don't know what final packaging will look like, but it will likely be similar to the Scorpion (i.e., wrist lanyard, spare o-rings, belt holster, manual, warranty card). Note than an optional Turbo head was available for the Scorpion – I can confirm that this still fits and works fine on my Lynx sample.
From left to right: Eagletac Protected 18650 3400mAh; Thrunite Lynx, Scorpion V2; Foursevens Maelstrom X7; Olight M22; Eagletac G25C2 Mark II; ArmyTek Viking Pro.
All dimensions directly measured, and given with no batteries installed:
Thrunite Lynx: Weight: 209.9g, Length: 167mm, Width: 35.0 (bezel)
Thrunite Scorpion V2: Weight: 171.2g, Length: 168mm, Width: 35.0 (bezel), 37.0mm (tailcap grip ring)
Thrunite Scorpion V2 with Turbo Head: Weight: 188.3g, Length: 171mm, Width: 41.0 (bezel), 37.0mm (tailcap grip ring)
Skilhunt S2: Weight: 133.0g, Length 153.0mm, Width: 36.0mm
Olight M22: Weight: 148.4g, Length: 144.8mm, Width: 41.2mm (bezel)
Olight M21: Weight 119.5g, Length 145.2mm, Width 38.5mm (bezel)
Eagletac G25C2-II (stock): Weight 141.0g, Length: 150.6mm, Width: 39.6mm
Eagletac TX25C2: Weight 93.6g, Length: 120.4mm, Width (bezel): 31.6mm
Klarus XT11: Weight 133.0g, Length: 148.8, Width (bezel) 35.0mm
Nitecore MH25: Weight: 145.4g, Length: 160mm, Width (bezel): 40.0m
The body of the light seems virtually unchanged from the previous Scorpion version in terms of overall build (i.e., just some label changes). But there are some significant changes to the tailcap, including all the weight difference in the light (see below).
Black anodizing (type III = hard anodized) is in matte finish, similar to the other Thunite series. Lettering (which is even more minimal now) is bright and clear. Knurling is fairly aggressive, and there is a generous amount of it over the light and tailcap. Grip is good, especially with the removable clip and built-in tailcap aluminum grip ring.
Square-cut screw threads are anodized for tailcap lock-out, as before. Light cannot tailstand.
There is no longer a spring on the positive contact plate in the head, but it is slightly raised (ensuring contact for flat-top cells). All my recent high capacity cells fit fine in the light
Clip now has Thrunite written on it.
Let's take a closer look at the tailcap …
Although superficially similar, Thrunite has switched to all-metal construction for the Lynx (i.e., gone is the polymer button and control ring). The internal construction seems to have changed as well, as the weight of the tailcap unit is much higher now (i.e., the original Scorpion tailcap weighed 31.0g, and the new Lynx weighs 83.0g – with no change to the rest of the light).
As before, the control ring is directly connected to the substantial spring assembly unit inside the head, and the whole area spins freely when the tailcap is not attached. Clearly patterned on the Night-Ops Gladius originally, it has undergone some significant revisions in this latest Thrunite model.
For more on how the control ring functions – and how the interface has been updated – please see my User Interface section below.
As before, the light feels quite solid and durable overall – perhaps even moreso now with the all-metal tailcap.
Reflector is smooth, and reasonable for the size. Coupled with the XM-L2 cool white emitter (which was well centered on my sample), I would expect ok throw with reasonable spill (scroll down for beamshots).
Note that was an optional Turbo head for the Scorpion, which offered more throw (i.e., larger and deeper reflector). From my original Scorpion V2 review:
And on the new Lynx:
As before, the Turbo head doesn’t look out of place on the light (in fact, they could probably have gotten away with an even larger one). There is no knurling or markings on the Turbo head sample I was sent, and I don't know what is currently available.
As before, control of light is entirely through the tailcap. When fully assembled, you will feel four clear detents on the control ring for the four programmable output modes of the light. Ring feel is somewhat similar to before, despite the all-metal construction now. The metal button is used to control on/off and mode setting. Modes have changed from the earlier Scorpion light. The main difference is that each of the four mode positions is now fully programmable.
To activate, press and release the switch to turn the light on (i.e., click) – in whichever mode the control ring is set to. Each mode has memory, and retains the last setting used. Press and release the switch again to turn off.
Note that if you want to change modes by turning the ring, you need to click the switch again. In that sense, the light acts like reverse clicky, and can't change modes without a reset of the main switch. Note that you don't need to turn off/on – a simple single click of the switch resets the light to the new current mode, once you've turned the ring.
To set the memorized level of any mode, press-and-hold the tailswitch from Off. The light will ramp through its output levels, including a continuously-variable ramp. As before, the ramp has a quick reverse function (i.e., it changes direction if you release the switch and re-press from Off). Ramping time is longer now (see graph below), and shows a different pattern.
To help you make sense of the above, it takes ~9 secs for the Lynx to ramp from the minimum output to max output. The light flashes twice at this level (which you'll see as the dip at time 10 secs above). You then get ~2 secs at this max level below the slow strobe starts (the next recording dip at time 13 secs). The slow strobe lasts for about ~2 secs, and then immediately switches to fast strobe for another ~2 secs. All told, after ~16 secs, the light restarts the ramp from the minimum level. Let go of the switch at any time to set the mode level.
You'll note in the above ramping trace that the Lynx has a much lower minimum output than the Scorpion V2.
Another change is that the switch ring lockout mechanism is gone now, replaced by an electronic lock-out. Previously, you could lock out the Scorpion by partially depressing the switch in the left-most mode of the ring, and turning the control ring further to the left (i.e. counter-clockwise). This was always a bit fussy though (i.e., you could accidental lock the light on sometimes). Then, as now, I prefer to physically lock out the light by simply unscrewing the head a quarter turn (i.e. by holding the base of the tailcap and turning). But Thrunite has also supplied an electronic lockout on the Lynx - press the switch three times rapidly. The light will remain off until you triple-click again.
Note that control circuit in the tailcap works by detecting the presence of magnets in the light. As a result, a strong magnet waved near the tailcap can have the effect of changing modes (i.e., acts as if the ring is turned and the switch clicked). Apparently, the new electronic lock-out is resistant to magnetic activation (confirmed in my testing - I was unable to get it to come one when the triple-cllick lockout was engaged).
For information on the light, including the build and user interface, please see my video overview:
Video was recorded in 720p, but YouTube typically defaults to 360p. Once the video is running, you can click on the configuration settings icon and select the higher 480p to 720p options. You can also run full-screen.
As with all my videos, I recommend you have annotations turned on. I commonly update the commentary with additional information or clarifications before publicly releasing the video.
As with the Scorpion V2, there is no sign of PWM on any level - either the light is current controlled or the frequency is too high to detect.
There are two strobe modes available now:
The slow strobe is a 6.6Hz and the typical fast "tactical" strobe is 13.5Hz frequency.
There is bound to be a standby-drain when the tailcap is fully connected with a battery installed. However, this is more complicated to measure given the distinctive tailcap design, and I have done so yet.
For white-wall beamshots below, all lights are on Max output on an AW protected 18650 battery. Lights are about ~0.75 meter from a white wall (with the camera ~1.25 meters back from the wall). Automatic white balance on the camera, to minimize tint differences.
Beam pattern is similar to other lights in this class and size. Output is definitely high though, compared to other lights.
Note that the slightly larger Throw head from the previous Scorpion fits and works one Lynx, and increases the throw. Scroll down to my output tables below for more info.
UPDATE OCTOBER 4, 2013:
For outdoor beamshots, these are all done in the style of my earlier 100-yard round-up review. Please see that thread for a discussion of the topography (i.e. the road dips in the distance, to better show you the corona in the mid-ground). I think this batch of outdoor beamshots looks fairly good, due to all the Fall colors in the trees.
Sorry, my positioning was a little off on the standard head Lynx shots, but this should still give you the general idea. As is clear above, the Lynx has greater overall output than the SRT-7. In terms of throw, the standard Lynx head is slightly more thowy than the SR7 (but that's really due to the greater overall output). The Turbo head option definitely gives the Lynx greater throw.
Also, please ignore any tint differences above – they are mainly due to the automatic white balance setting on the camera.
All my output numbers are relative for my home-made light box setup, as described on my flashlightreviews.ca website. 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, except for any extended run Lo/Min modes (i.e. >12 hours) which are done without cooling.
I have devised a method for converting my lightbox relative output values (ROV) to estimated Lumens. See my How to convert Selfbuilt's Lightbox values to Lumens thread for more info.
Throw/Output Summary Chart:
My summary tables are reported in a manner consistent with the ANSI FL-1 standard for flashlight testing. Please see http://www.flashlightreviews.ca/FL1.htm for a discussion, and a description of all the terms used in these tables. Effective July 2012, I have updated all my Peak Intensity/Beam Distance measures with a NIST-certified Extech EA31 lightmeter (orange highlights).
As you will see above, and consistent with the beamshots, the Lynx is an extremely high output light (at least initially). In fact, it currently has the highest output of any 18650 light in my collection. FYI, I've included the throw measures with the Scorpion Turbo Head in place.
As always, please note that my estimated lumen scale may not be accurate in this output range. The initial calibration of my lightbox was based on lower output lights (as described in the links above). As such, what you should focus on is the relative output differences between lights, not the absolute estimate. By any measure, my Lynx sample has the distinction of the highest max output on 1x18650 (at the moment). I find Thrunite's 1000 lumen estimate to be believable.
That said, I did experience a number of cases where the light would not consistently run at the max level on some of my high-capacity 3100/3400mAh 18650 batteries. The reduced max output is indicated by the "*" in the table below.
To be clear - there was NO issue in reaching the higher max output on any of my AW protected 2200mAh cells, any of my protected 2600 mAh cells (based on the Sanyo core), or my AW unprotected IMR 18650 cells. But my higher capacity 3100mAh and 3400mAh cells (all based on the Panasonic cores, and under the Xtar, 4GREER, Tactical Impulse and Eagletac brand labels) were inconsistent in this regard. Sometimes I could activate or ramp to the max level on these cells, other times it would limit me to ~200 lumens less. Oddly, the ramp would seem to proceed to the max level, but when you tried to select it, it jumped back down by ~200 lumens. It thus seems as if these cells could not consistently provide the power required.
In playing around with the light further, I notice that the sub-max issue on these cells seemed to be when the batteries or light were cold (i.e., not recently in use). Hot-off-the-charger, or in a still-hot light that had been running recently, the 3100/3400mAh cells generally produced the higher max output as expected. But if the light and cells were allowed to cool to room temperature first, most of my 3100/3400mAh cells wouldn't reach the max level (even when fully charged). There thus seems to be some voltage/charge characteristic of the 3100/3400mAh cells that interacts with temperature in this particular light.
I'll have to leave it to those with more experience/understanding of these cells to discuss further.
Given the 2.7-6.0V circuit range, it's an interesting question whether or not 2xCR123A can be used in the light. Please see my runtime results below for a discussion.
To start, here is a comparison of standard ICR chemistry AW protected 2200mAh cells versus IMR chemistry unprotected AW (red label).
As you can see, the IMR cell has lower capacity overall. In both cases though, there are three step downs that occur before the batteries are exhausted. The last of these drops you to an ultra-low level. This means that you can safely run unprotected cells in the light – this is a very clear signal that it's time to change the batteries.
Let's see how it compares to other lights, on my standard AW protected 2200mAh test bed (note that I had no problem getting max output on these cells).
Runtime is quite good, at all levels. On max, the Lynx is definitely higher output than any of my other lights (at least initially). Runtimes are slightly reduced because of this, but overall efficiency is still very good on max.
At lower output levels, overall efficiency is excellent on the Lynx, consistent with my top-performing current-controlled XM-L2 lights.
But of course, one of the differences here is that most lights in this comparison are multi-power (i.e., also support 2xCR123A/RCR). What about the Lynx? From the specs, 2xCR123A is not supported. But since the supported range is close, I thought I'd give it a try.
To explain what you are seeing above, I needed to drain off ~1.5 mins of capacity on my CR123A cells before they would run in the Lynx. If you put fresh CR123A cells into the light, it just flickers/strobes initially. But if I ran off ~1.5 mins of capacity in another high-output light first, the cells would now work normally in the Lynx.
As you can see, overall efficiency of these slightly depleted CR123A cells in the Lynx was quite good.
I recommended to Thrunite that they see about widening the voltage range of the Lynx to fully support CR123A. In response, I am led to understand that they plan to release a separate multipower version of the Lynx. But the 18650-only version of the Lynx I reviewed here does not support 2xCR123A.
Note however that I previously cautioned against running 2xCR123A on max for extended periods in the Scorpion V2. That light was so heavily driven that it could sometimes trigger the PTC protection circuits on CR123A, see my earlier thread here for a discussion.
The improvements to the tailcap switch/circuit design on the Lynx (i.e., all metal now, fully programmable levels for each mode, lower low on the ramp, etc) resolves many of the previously identified issues with the Scorpion V2 (which was itself a significant upgrade from the V1). Note that the Lynx tailswitch only has constant-on modes now, at least on my sample (i.e., there is no longer a momentary max mode, like on the Scorpion).
The Lynx sample I was sent only fully supports 1x18650. Thrunite informs me they are working on a multi-power version of the Lynx. But note that I had previously warned against running the similarly highly-driven Scorpion V2 on 2xCR123A/RCR. I had previously experienced PTC engagement of some brands of CR123A in that light (and I would expect the same here). The Lynx really is ideally suited to 1x18650.
The light can't tailstand.
Given the electronic nature of the tailswitch control mechanism, there is bound to be a standby drain when fully connected. I have not measured it, but you can easily disable any drain by physically unscrewing the tailcap a quarter turn.
The presence of strong magnets close to the switch can cause aberrant mode switching, as before. Use the new electronic lock-out feature (or the physical lock-out feature) if you are concerned about accidental activation.
The Lynx marks the continued evolution of the Scorpion series from Thrunite. You could therefore reasonably think of it as the "Scorpion V3", given how much of the overall build remains the same. But what have changed are the things that really matter – the control interface, the feature set, and output/performance.
Let's start with the tailcap – responding to user feedback, Thrunite has changed the design to all-metal now (i.e., no polymer button or control ring any more). Personally, this was never an issue for me, but I know others objected. More significantly, the user interface has changed – rather than a pre-set (and frankly rather arbitrary) set of modes, you can now customize each of the four mode states of the ring to anything you want.
And the options available to you have increased – the continuously-variable ramp now sports both higher and lower output levels (i.e., a higher max, and lower min). There are also two strobe frequencies available (although I personally would prefer an even slower signaling strobe/beacon). But I understand this light is meant to appeal to the "tactical" crowd.
Output/runtime performance and efficiency is excellent on 18650 cells. I like the multiple step-down feature as the batteries run out of juice – and I particularly like the final step-down to an ultra-low level. This means you can safely run unprotected cells, as you get plenty of advance warning when it's time to recharge.
But there is cost to all of this – true multi-power support is not available on the sample I tested (although Thrunite tells me they plan to release a version that fully supports 2xCR123A). But like the Scorpion V2, the Lynx is so heavily driven on max that it would not be a good idea to run max output on 2x battery sources anyway (i.e., you would exceed allowable discharge rates for standard ICR chemistry RCRs, and risk engaging PTC protection features on CR123As).
This is basically your trade-off – if you want the most maximally-driven light possible, you need to stick to 1x18650 only.
All that said, the Lynx is certainly very impressive for output and runtime. It's hard to believe that we have reached an era where single-cell lights can delivery 1000 lumens. To put that in perspective, the original Scorpion V1 (release in early 2011) maxed out at about half that output. With the optional Turbo head installed, the Lynx also provides a crazy amount of throw for the size.
Again, I recommend you pay close attention to the tables and charts – and my comments above – to help determine if the Lynx is right for you. Hope you found the review useful.
Lynx provided by Thrunite for this review.