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Thread: Review: Thorfire VG10 (1x18650 or 2xCR123)

  1. #1
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    Default Review: Thorfire VG10 (1x18650 or 2xCR123)

    ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    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.
    ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Iíve previously looked at a couple of Thorfire lights, and this is the first 18650 powered light of theirs Iíve tested. Supplied as a full package, this VG10 comes with everything you need to get started with 18650 power.





    Taking a more detailed look:

    As well as the boxed VG10 package a mains plug adapter was provided.




    The VG10 kit is comprehensive as you get the VG10, lanyard, spare lens, spare o-rings, spare switch boot, spare switch, holster, Thorfire branded 3000mAh 18650 cell and a basic 18650 charger (with US plug).




    The supplied charger is for a single 18650.




    This charger is rated at a 1A charge current.




    The simple holster has a fixed belt loop.




    Already fitted to the VG10 is a stainless steel pocket clip.




    The solidly built head has heat dissipation fins cut into it.




    The stainless bezel is cleanly machined and the outer rim has been bevelled to take off any sharp edges.




    You can see that the tail switch is semi-recessed.




    The switch boot does protrude a tiny amount making the tail standing slightly wobbly, but it does tailstand.




    A view of the tail-cap contacts and the switch retaining ring.




    Fully anodised square cut threads are used for the tail-cap. These come well lubricated.




    The battery tube also unscrews.




    Allowing us a close look at the contacts in the head.




    As with the tail-cap, the head end threads are square cut.




    An XM-L2 LED is used as well as a smooth reflector.





    The beam

    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!



    As soon as you switch it on, you see a bright disc projected, as the VG10 has a focussed beam. Starting indoors, we can see the well defined hotspot and relatively dim spill. The stainless bezel has a minimal effect on the outer spill.




    And outdoors we see the hotspot giving a usefully wide brighter area. The spill, though dim, is still enough to give a broad view.





    Modes and User Interface:

    You have the choice of four constant output levels (and thank you Thorfire for NOT putting a Strobe in there) Ė High, Mid, Low and Moonlight.

    The tail-cap is a forward clicky, so gives you momentary operation.

    Mode selection is simple and there is a memory, but this light has a slightly different approach to timing for changing mode.

    To move to the next output level (High, Mid, Low, Moon, High etc), turn the VG10 ON for less than 2s. Next time you turn it on it will be in the next level. Repeat until you have the level you want, but to stay on that level, you must keep the VG10 ON for more than 2s.

    Take a moment to consider the differenceÖ.

    Most lights like this change mode if you turn it off and press the switch again within 2s, but the VG10 will not change mode if you turn it off for a split second, but will change mode if you didnít keep the current mode on for at least 2s.

    Iíd summarise this as Ė
    Find the mode you want then click the switch fully on to keep it.
    Next time you will get this mode but need to keep the VG10 on for at least 2s to keep the mode memorised.



    Batteries and output:

    The runs on 1x18650 or 2x CR123.

    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.

    ___________________________________________ ________________________________ ________________________________
    Thorfire VG10 using Thorfire 3000mAh 18650 I.S. measured ANSI output Lumens PWM frequency or Strobe frequency (Hz)
    ___________________________________________ ________________________________ ________________________________
    High 580 0
    Medium 245 3840
    Low 22 3840
    Moonlight Below Threshold (<1.7lm) 0

    * Beacon and Strobe output measurements are only estimates as the brief flashes make it difficult to capture the actual output value.

    Peak Beam intensity measured 7500lx @1m giving a beam range of 173m.

    There is no parasitic drain.

    There is no evidence of regulation as the output is in constant decline.





    Troubleshooting

    This section is included to mention any minor niggles I come across during testing, in case the information helps anyone else.

    No issues were encountered during testing.

    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 Thorfire VG10 in use

    Considering its low price, the VG10 is incredibly well made. The build is solid and fit of components is excellent. Absolutely great value.

    However there are a few details to consider which become evident the more you use it.

    Its solid build also comes with weight. Compared to similar lights the VG10 does feel a bit heavy. Of course, some will prefer this.

    I always prefer a forward clicky (momentary switch) for its immediate response, but couple this with the mode changing method, and you canít use the VG10 to flash a message or signal without constantly cycling through the modes.

    The different approach for memorising the current mode (by simply keeping the output on for at least 2s) is something I like. There are many situations where I turn off the light Iím using, only to want to turn it on again straight away. With a typical light of this type, I would end up changing modes, but the VG10 doesnít care if it is off for a long pause or a very short one, it will come onto the same mode as before, as long as you had that level ON for more than 2s.

    Mid and Low levels both use PWM and have an associated whine. Mid has an especially loud whine. At least the PWM frequency is high enough to not be a bother (apart from the whine) at 3840Hz.

    For anyone wanting to dip their toe into the rechargeable li-ion 18650 waters, the VG10 kit gives you everything and is an excellent choice.



    Review Summary

    _______________________________________________ _______________________________________________
    Things I like What doesn't work so well for me
    _______________________________________________ _______________________________________________
    Solid build and good finish Can feel a little heavy compared to other lights
    Great Moonlight mode PWM whine quite loud
    Intuitive UI Cheap charger may not be very good (unconfirmed, but beware)
    Full kit provided Output not regulated
    Great value




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  2. #2
    Flashaholic* subwoofer's Avatar
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    Default Re: Review: Thorfire VG10 (1x18650 or 2xCR123)

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  3. #3
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    Default Re: Review: Thorfire VG10 (1x18650 or 2xCR123)

    A good review, thank you!

    There is one thing I'd like to say though, concerning the mains plug adaptor. I've seen one that looks very like it, and the one I saw didn't have safety shutters to cover the contacts when there's nothing plugged into it. The shutters are required by British Standard (BS 1363), to prevent small children poking metal objects in and making contact with an energised circuit.

    If you get one of these adaptors, please check for the safety shutters, especially if you have small children or might be visited by people who do.

    I've posted more information on what to look for here:

    http://www.candlepowerforums.com/vb/...UK-mains-power
    Phlogiston is the main constituent of Magic Smoke.

  4. #4
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    Default Re: Review: Thorfire VG10 (1x18650 or 2xCR123)

    Quote Originally Posted by Phlogiston View Post
    A good review, thank you!

    There is one thing I'd like to say though, concerning the mains plug adaptor. I've seen one that looks very like it, and the one I saw didn't have safety shutters to cover the contacts when there's nothing plugged into it. The shutters are required by British Standard (BS 1363), to prevent small children poking metal objects in and making contact with an energised circuit.

    If you get one of these adaptors, please check for the safety shutters, especially if you have small children or might be visited by people who do.

    I've posted more information on what to look for here:

    http://www.candlepowerforums.com/vb/...UK-mains-power

    An interesting observation regarding the universal adaptor. It is a tricky one. The UK style shutters rely on the Earth pin to unlock the Live and Neutral. Even this is not ideal as in domestic environments Earth is not really Earth and is normally shared amongst several neighbouring houses (so if you short something to Earth, your neighbours get a voltage spike on Earth). I would think that in order to be able to make working shutters you would have to make a dedicated adaptor for that plug, so you now end up with several different and more expensive adaptors. The one included with this light is also useful in that it accepts EU and UK plugs as well which means I don't have to take it out of the socket to use different devices.

    It is very worthwhile being aware of the dangers to small people and like many other hazards around the home, parents need to be aware and take measures to protect their children. This involves asking people they visit to consider any potentially dangerous items. Unfortunately we can't make everything 'safe' in life and people need to understand 'danger' and have a respect for kitchen utensils, tool, bulb sockets etc.

    I'm not an expert on standards, but I suspect that fixed wall sockets need to meet British Standards as these cannot be removed to make an area 'safe' whereas adaptors can be removed.

    We are all responsible for our own safety and to have an awareness of the potential dangers and consequences of our actions and choices.

    Several of my reviews have included these style of adaptors, and I've got two in the draw next to me as I type this.

    Though these adaptors do not appear to be intrinsically dangerous (when used as intended they should not present a hazard), thank you for highlighting the potential danger.
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  5. #5
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    Default Re: Review: Thorfire VG10 (1x18650 or 2xCR123)

    You clearly have a well-considered attitude to informed personal responsibility, and I have to admit, I feel much the same way when it comes to the things I do.

    I just apply an extra level of caution, now that my cousins have lots of kids running about. Consider it practice in case I ever have any of my own
    Phlogiston is the main constituent of Magic Smoke.

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