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Thread: 'SHOT SHOW Special' Review: Streamlight ProTac HL3 rubber grip (3xCR123)

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    Flashaholic* subwoofer's Avatar
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    Default 'SHOT SHOW Special' Review: Streamlight ProTac HL3 rubber grip (3xCR123)



    'SHOT SHOW Specials' are a series of reviews inspired by, or as a consequence of, my visit to the SHOT SHOW 2015.
    These may contain photos taken while travelling, and may be of a slightly different format.


    ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Author's Statement for Transparency and Disclosure
    The test sample/s featured in this article have been provided for technical testing and review by the manufacturer. Test samples are retained by the reviewer following publication of the completed review for the purposes of long term testing and product comparisons.

    All output figures and test results published in this review are the sole work of the reviewer, and are carried out independently and without bias. Test results are reported as found, with no embellishments or alteration. Though best endeavours are made to maintain the accuracy of test equipment, the accuracy of these results is not guaranteed and is subject to the test equipment functioning correctly.
    ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Streamlight have entered the compact 1000+ lumens market with the ProTac HL3, which also featuring their TEN-TAP Programming, to allow you choose which modes are available. With this SHOT Show sample you can see the forthcoming rubber grip, making the HL3 more comfortable to hold, especially in colder climates and better grip.





    Taking a more detailed look:

    This ProTac HL3 is wearing its new rubber overcoat.




    The moulding in the rubber is crisp.




    With one side having the model, and the other having Streamlight's logo and the TEN-TAP Programming legend.




    The HL3 next to the three CR123s that power it.




    Here are the contacts inside the tailcap.




    The threads are fully anodised and cleanly cut truncated standard threads.




    A good sized and deep reflector give the HL3's beam its power.




    With an XM-L2 LED




    Semi-recessed, the soft rubber switch boot features the Streamlight logo.




    For an idea of size, here is the HL3 amongst a batch of lights on test.

    From left to right these are: Olight S10R, Olight S15R, Olight S30R, FOURSEVENS Bolt-Action, FOURSEVENS Preon P2, FOURSEVENS MMU-X3R, Streamlight ProTac HL3, MAG-LITE XL200, NITECORE TM06, Lumintop ED20-T, V54 DC25Cvn and the Streamlight Siege AA.





    The beam

    The good-sized deep reflector of the ProTac HL3 provides a well-focussed beam, though this narrows the spill.


    Please be careful not to judge tint based on images you see on a computer screen. Unless properly calibrated, the screen itself will change the perceived tint.
    The indoor beamshot is intended to give an idea of the beam shape/quality rather than tint. All beamshots are taken using daylight white balance. The woodwork (stairs and skirting) are painted Farrow & Ball "Off-White", and the walls are a light sandy colour called 'String' again by Farrow & Ball. I don't actually have a 'white wall' in the house to use for this, and the wife won't have one!



    Taking a known comparison, first we can see the Fenix TK41.




    At exactly the same exposure the HL3 proves itself to be very capable.





    Modes and User Interface:

    Keeping things simple, the HL3 has a total of three modes available, High, Low and Strobe.

    With a forward-click switch the HL3 has momentary operation. There is no memory.

    TEN-TAP programming allows the user to pre-select the mode set that is available. These are:

    High-Strobe-Low (Factory Default)
    High Only
    Low-High

    To choose the mode set, from OFF, tap the switch rapidly 9 times (within 0.4 seconds per tap) and hold it down the 10th time. Continue holding the switch until the light turns off (after approximately 1 second), then release the switch.

    Whatever the first mode of the chosen mode set is what the HL3 will always first come on with. To use the next mode, you need to use a rapid multi-tap on the switch.

    For example with the default mode set, one tap gives High, a rapid double tap gives Strobe, and a rapid triple tap gives Low.

    Personally I prefer the HL3 with the Low-High mode set.



    Batteries and output:

    The ProTac HL3 takes 3 x CR123. No alternatives are specificed.

    To measure actual output, I built an integrating sphere. See here for more detail. The sensor registers visible light only (so Infra-Red and Ultra-Violet will not be measured).

    Please note, all quoted lumen figures are from a DIY integrating sphere, and according to ANSI standards. Although every effort is made to give as accurate a result as possible, they should be taken as an estimate only. The results can be used to compare outputs in this review and others I have published.

    Streamlight ProTac HL3 I.S. measured ANSI output Lumens PWM frequency or Strobe frequency (Hz)
    High 1140 0
    Low 39 285
    Strobe 616 11.9

    Peak beam intensity/beam range measures at – 37100lux – 385m

    After the initial drop from the maximum output at switch on, the HL3 then gradually reduces output from the 1140 ANSI output down to 650 lumens over a period of 7 minutes. There is then a 29 minute regulated output phase, maintaining the 650 lumens, until the CR123s start to weaken. Output then trails off approaching ANSI cut-off at around 1 hour and 4 minutes.





    Troubleshooting

    This is a new section I am adding to mention any minor niggles I came across during testing, in case the information helps anyone else.

    Nothing to report so far.

    As per the description of this section, this information is provided in case anyone else finds a similar 'issue' that might be fixed in the same way.



    The HL3 in use

    Stepping up from the most common 2 x CR123 to 3 x CR123 gives the HL3 extra punch. The additional length combined with the rubber sleeved battery tube provides a more substantial feel to this light while still remaining relatively compact.

    I may have a particular sensitivity of PWM, and I do notice PWM effects using the Low mode.

    Being able to easily choose the set of available modes using the TEN-TAP programming makes a big difference to usability. As mentioned earlier I have the HL3 set on Low-High, but also use High only from time to time.

    Streamlight's ProTac HL3 also uses one of my favourite interfaces for mode selection. No memory means you always know what it will start on. Requiring rapid taps to change modes means that you have to positively try to change mode, rather than having instances where you accidentally change mode when turning the light on and off a few times.



    Review Summary
    Things I like What doesn't work so well
    TEN-TAP Programming PWM noticeable in low
    1140 lumen maximum output Limited number of output modes
    Excellent 'rapid tap' mode selection Only runs on 3 x CR123
    Good power and throw
    Comfortable rubber grip



    If you enjoyed the review, please remember to 'Like' me on Facebook

    Last edited by subwoofer; 03-30-2015 at 06:29 AM.
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    Flashaholic* subwoofer's Avatar
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    Default Re: 'SHOT SHOW Special' Review: Streamlight ProTac HL3 rubber grip (3xCR123)

    Reserved for updates...
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    *Flashaholic* Capolini's Avatar
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    Default Re: 'SHOT SHOW Special' Review: Streamlight ProTac HL3 rubber grip (3xCR123)

    Thanks for the review.

    I ran into a fellow "Newbie" flashaholic on the trail a few months ago. He was more than amazed w/ my modded throwers! The next time I saw him with excitement originating from the inspiration of my lights[that is what he said!] he was sporting a similar version of this light? His[maybe the revised version?] takes CR123 or RCR123's[16340's].Another difference[cosmetic] is his is ALL Aluminum w/ no rubber grip.I am guessing the shot show version was pre production?

    It is a nice light,but a HUGE negative are the batteries. The website states 2 hours on max. He told me he gets 25 minutes,,,,30 minutes at most.Too bad they did not make it an 18650 light or alternative.

    The company that makes these is 7 miles from my house in Eagleville, Pa. Most of the cops in my area use Streamlights.

    Unlike the general public, A Cop told me they can actually go to the plant for replacement or repair!

    EDIT: I just noticed the manual says DO NOT use RCR123's!!! That makes this light even more unattractive! Short run times and throw away/recycleable batteries! Next time I see him I think I will mention that to him,,,,,,,,,,his torch might be fried!
    Last edited by Capolini; 03-29-2015 at 01:01 PM. Reason: ***********************
    Environment molds a person. Perseverance changes them. ,,,Capolini 10.21.2003

  4. #4
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    Default Re: 'SHOT SHOW Special' Review: Streamlight ProTac HL3 rubber grip (3xCR123)

    Why can't it run on 2- 17500 cells?
    My Surefire M3LT-S normally uses 3-123 batteries. I have 2- 17500's in it now and it works fine.

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    Flashaholic* subwoofer's Avatar
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    Default Re: 'SHOT SHOW Special' Review: Streamlight ProTac HL3 rubber grip (3xCR123)

    Quote Originally Posted by Capolini View Post
    EDIT: I just noticed the manual says DO NOT use RCR123's!!! That makes this light even more unattractive! Short run times and throw away/recycleable batteries! Next time I see him I think I will mention that to him,,,,,,,,,,his torch might be fried!
    Protected RCRs won't even fit in the tube. They stick out so you can't get the tailcap on properly.

    Quote Originally Posted by musket3 View Post
    Why can't it run on 2- 17500 cells?
    My Surefire M3LT-S normally uses 3-123 batteries. I have 2- 17500's in it now and it works fine.
    It probably can. I don't have any 17500 cells to try it. They are not officially supported, but with all the Streamlights I've tested prior to this light I've found an alternative even if it is to use one or two RCR123s and a spacer to keep the voltage in the supported range.

    I was considering a 17670 with CR123 spacer, but with the High output a 17670 will struggle to keep 1100 lumens running and might trip the protection.
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    Flashaholic* RI Chevy's Avatar
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    Default Re: 'SHOT SHOW Special' Review: Streamlight ProTac HL3 rubber grip (3xCR123)

    Another excellent review! Thank you for doing these for all of us.

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    *Flashaholic* Capolini's Avatar
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    Default Re: 'SHOT SHOW Special' Review: Streamlight ProTac HL3 rubber grip (3xCR123)

    subwoofer:

    Protected RCRs won't even fit in the tube. They stick out so you can't get the tailcap on properly.

    __________________________________________________ __________________________________________________ __________________________________________________ ____

    Well,somehow he got them in,,,,,,,,,,,he took them out and showed them to me. I do not recall the brand,maybe IMR flat tops?
    Environment molds a person. Perseverance changes them. ,,,Capolini 10.21.2003

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    Flashaholic* RI Chevy's Avatar
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    Default Re: 'SHOT SHOW Special' Review: Streamlight ProTac HL3 rubber grip (3xCR123)

    Maybe LiFePo's?
    Last edited by RI Chevy; 03-30-2015 at 09:27 AM. Reason: battery correction sorry

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    *Flashaholic* Capolini's Avatar
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    Default Re: 'SHOT SHOW Special' Review: Streamlight ProTac HL3 rubber grip (3xCR123)

    Quote Originally Posted by RI Chevy View Post
    Maybe LiPo's?
    I don't know. I am waiting for him to call me back! I do not know much about LiPo's either! I googled it and they say they come in a pouch not in cylinder form?!! These looked liked cr123/16340 batteries,,3 individual batteries he pulled out and said that they were rechargeable?!
    Environment molds a person. Perseverance changes them. ,,,Capolini 10.21.2003

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    Flashaholic* RI Chevy's Avatar
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    Default Re: 'SHOT SHOW Special' Review: Streamlight ProTac HL3 rubber grip (3xCR123)

    I think they are made by Tenergy. I see know that they may be discontinued.

    Tenergy 30200 LiFePO4 RCR123A 3.0V (3.2V) 750mAh Rechargeable Battery

    http://www.batteryjunction.com/rc375reliba.html
    Last edited by RI Chevy; 03-30-2015 at 09:35 AM.

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    Default Re: 'SHOT SHOW Special' Review: Streamlight ProTac HL3 rubber grip (3xCR123)

    mine has run on 2 17500 since day 1. no problems.

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    *Flashaholic* Capolini's Avatar
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    Default Re: 'SHOT SHOW Special' Review: Streamlight ProTac HL3 rubber grip (3xCR123)

    @ RI Chevy

    These are what he is using. I told him his WARRANTY WILL BE VOIDED if anything happens! He is a NEWBIE. He did not even have/get a warranty or instructions w/ his light!

    He said he initially used the Tenergy ones you posted. They did not last long,I guess they degraded quickly.

    http://www.mdbattery.com/k2-energy-3...n-battery.html
    Last edited by Capolini; 03-30-2015 at 03:36 PM. Reason: ***********
    Environment molds a person. Perseverance changes them. ,,,Capolini 10.21.2003

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    Flashaholic* RI Chevy's Avatar
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    Default Re: 'SHOT SHOW Special' Review: Streamlight ProTac HL3 rubber grip (3xCR123)

    I think they are basically the same type of cell, but I am a little confused as to the link referring to the 3.2v's, as well as the 4.2v's. They should be totally different battery chemistries.

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    Default Re: 'SHOT SHOW Special' Review: Streamlight ProTac HL3 rubber grip (3xCR123)

    I have used the k2 batteries safely in lights made for cr123a batteries. I charge them in the tenergy charger. they work fine but do not have much capacity IMHO

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    *Flashaholic* Capolini's Avatar
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    Default Re: 'SHOT SHOW Special' Review: Streamlight ProTac HL3 rubber grip (3xCR123)

    Quote Originally Posted by bladesmith3 View Post
    I have used the k2 batteries safely in lights made for cr123a batteries. I charge them in the tenergy charger. they work fine but do not have much capacity IMHO
    So you think this guy is ok using these? His light won't blow up will it??!! I printed out the instructions and warranty for him.

    This is what it says in the beginning of the warranty:

    STREAMLIGHT PROTAC HL
    ®
    3
    OPERATING INSTRUCTIONS


    Note:
    This product is not designed to use rechargeable CR123 cells.
    Last edited by Capolini; 03-30-2015 at 04:26 PM.
    Environment molds a person. Perseverance changes them. ,,,Capolini 10.21.2003

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    *Flashaholic* Capolini's Avatar
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    Default Re: 'SHOT SHOW Special' Review: Streamlight ProTac HL3 rubber grip (3xCR123)

    Quote Originally Posted by RI Chevy View Post
    I think they are basically the same type of cell, but I am a little confused as to the link referring to the 3.2v's, as well as the 4.2v's. They should be totally different battery chemistries.

    It just says charge them from 3.65v to 4.2v.

    K2 Energy 3.2V 600mAh LFP123A Li-Ion Battery batteries are made out of K2's patented LFP chemistry. LFP is a safer lithium that doesn't have thermal stability problems. Recharge it 1000's of times. Charge from 3.65 to 4.2 volts and discharged down to 1.0 volt. Average operating voltage is 3.2 volts.
    Environment molds a person. Perseverance changes them. ,,,Capolini 10.21.2003

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    Flashaholic* RI Chevy's Avatar
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    Default Re: 'SHOT SHOW Special' Review: Streamlight ProTac HL3 rubber grip (3xCR123)

    I think the manual was referring to Li Ion 4.2v cells as they are more common than the lifepo 3.2v cells. Lifepo cells should not be charged up to 4.2v's, or at least that was my assumption.

  18. #18
    *Flashaholic* Capolini's Avatar
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    Default Re: 'SHOT SHOW Special' Review: Streamlight ProTac HL3 rubber grip (3xCR123)

    Quote Originally Posted by RI Chevy View Post
    I think the manual was referring to Li Ion 4.2v cells as they are more common than the lifepo 3.2v cells. Lifepo cells should not be charged up to 4.2v's, or at least that was my assumption.
    I don't believe the cells w/ the link I provided are LiPo 3.2v,they are 3.2V but a different chemistry I think,,,at least that is what it sounds like from their description. They do not mention LiPo.

    I am meeting him at 8 tonight. His streamlight will look like a match compared to my TK75vn KT!!! I know it is not a fair comparison. I have met this guy 3 times on the trail. He is in AWE of my modded throwers.

    Under chemistry it just says L.Ion

    Output Voltage 3.2V
    SKU LFP123A
    UPC 026190040138
    Voltage 3.2V
    Amperage/Capacity 600mAh
    Chemistry Li-Ion, Lithium Ion
    Approximate Length 33.5mm
    Approximate Diameter 16.3mm
    Product Weight (lbs) 0.1
    Rechargeable Yes
    Last edited by Capolini; 03-30-2015 at 05:30 PM. Reason: *************
    Environment molds a person. Perseverance changes them. ,,,Capolini 10.21.2003

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    Flashaholic* RI Chevy's Avatar
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    Default Re: 'SHOT SHOW Special' Review: Streamlight ProTac HL3 rubber grip (3xCR123)

    Not sure. I just looked at them again. It shows LFP123A cell chemistry. That is what I know to be a Lifepo 3.2v cell. ???
    Not sure why the link refers to them as Li Ion.

  20. #20
    *Flashaholic* Capolini's Avatar
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    Default Re: 'SHOT SHOW Special' Review: Streamlight ProTac HL3 rubber grip (3xCR123)

    Quote Originally Posted by RI Chevy View Post
    Not sure. I just looked at them again. It shows LFP123A cell chemistry. That is what I know to be a Lifepo 3.2v cell. ???
    Not sure why the link refers to them as Li Ion.

    Just got back. He showed me the batteries and they have Lithium Ion printed on them.

    Who knows,all I know is he was in AWE of my TK75vn and wants a light like that!!
    Environment molds a person. Perseverance changes them. ,,,Capolini 10.21.2003

  21. #21

    Default Re: 'SHOT SHOW Special' Review: Streamlight ProTac HL3 rubber grip (3xCR123)

    "Li-ion" is an all-encompassing term for several types of rechargeable batteries, not a specific chemistry. LiCo, IMR, Lithium Phosphate etc.. can all be referred to as Li-ion batteries.
    The batteries in question are Lithium Phosphate batteries w/nominal voltage of 3.2 and a recommended charge voltage of 3.65.

    Subwoofer,
    Apologies for adding to the digression of your thread.

  22. #22
    Flashaholic* RI Chevy's Avatar
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    Default Re: 'SHOT SHOW Special' Review: Streamlight ProTac HL3 rubber grip (3xCR123)

    Sorry

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    Default Re: 'SHOT SHOW Special' Review: Streamlight ProTac HL3 rubber grip (3xCR123)

    Quote Originally Posted by Up All Night View Post
    Subwoofer,
    Apologies for adding to the digression of your thread.
    No problem at all. Discussions about alternative power options are welcome and relevant.

    Unfortunately I can't stock all the possible options, so can't test/confirm as much as I would like to ideally.
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