Fitorch        
Results 1 to 22 of 22

Thread: Ultratac K18 (XP-G2 S2, 1xAAA/10440, side switch) flashlight review: RUNTIMES+

  1. #1

    Wink2 Ultratac K18 (XP-G2 S2, 1xAAA/10440, side switch) flashlight review: RUNTIMES+

    REVIEWER'S NOTE: I am backed up with review samples again, so will only be providing abbreviated comments in this review. All the usual analyses and results are presented, however.





    Ultratac is a relatively new maker on the scene. Here, I have their popular initial offering, the 1xAAA K18. Unusually for this class, it features a clicky switch in the head. I have the stainless steel version for review.

    Manufacturer Reported Specifications:
    Note: as always, these are only what the manufacturer reports. To see my actual testing results, scroll down the review.

    • LED: CREE XP-G2 Cool White
    • Output/Runtime AAA: Hi: 110 Lumens / 1h, Med: 25 Lumens / 5.7h, Lo: 3 Lumens, 45h
    • Output/Runtime 10440: Hi: 360 Lumens / 20min, Med: 80 Lumens / 1.5h, Lo: 5 Lumens, 15h
    • 3 Light Levels, Plus Strobe
    • Beam Distance: 84m
    • Peak Intensity: 1764cd
    • Side Button Switch: Provide convenient one-handed operation. No need to twist the head for mode switch.
    • Convenient one-handed operation
    • Super Long Standby Time: Ultra-low standby current. 80% power 1 year later.
    • Compatible with A Variety of Batteries: 1.5V Alkaline AAA, 1.5V Lithium AAA, 1.2V Ni-MH AAA, 3.7V Li-Ion 10440.
    • Direct Thermal Patch (DTP) Copper MCPCB: Direct Thermal Path Copper MCPCB provides excellent heat dissipation to ensure the best light performance.
    • Reverse polarity protection
    • Compact size and light weight
    • Body Material: Aluminum, Stainless Steel, or Brass
    • Lens: AR coated lens, 99% light transmittance
    • Two-Way Clip provides More Carrying Options: UltraTac K18 comes with detachable two-way clip, the flashlight can be put in a purse, pocket, or simply fasten onto your cap.
    • Impact Resistance: 1.5m
    • Water Resistance: IPX-8, 2m
    • Weight: grams 14, oz 0.49
    • Length: Inches 3.0, mm 75
    • MSRP: ~$22-$30, depending on body material







    Again, my review sample is the Stainless Steel version.




    From left to right: Eneloop Pro NiMH AAA; Lumintop Tool Ti; Ultratac K18; Lumintop Worm; Fenix LD02; Thrunite Ti3; L3 Illuminations L08.

    Ultratac K18 Stainless Steel: Weight: 29.5g, Length 76.0mm, Width 14.0mm (bezel)

    Fenix LD02 (with clip): Weight: 16.5g, Length: 76.9mm, Width (bezel): 14.4mm
    Fenix E99Ti: Weight: 18.7g, Length: 66.1mm, Width (bezel): 14.1mm
    Foursevens Preon P1: Weight 15.3g (with keychain clip), Length 75.6mm, Width 14.0mm (bezel)
    L3 Illumination L08: Weight: 22.4g, Length: 77.8mm, Width (bezel): 17.0mm
    Lumintop Tool Ti: Weight: 22.6g, Length 73.6mm, Width 14.4mm (bezel)
    Lumintop Tool AAA: Weight: 15.3g, Length 82.6mm, Width 14.4mm (bezel)
    Lumintop Worm Stainless: Weight: 27.3g, Length 72.0mm (battery installed, off), Width 14.1mm (bezel)
    Olight i3 (2013/14): Weight 12.3g, Length: 69.3mm, Width (bezel): 14.0mm
    Thrunite Ti3: Weight: 11.5g, Length: 69.9mm, Width (bezel): 13.6mm
    Titanium Innovations Illuminati Aluminum: Weight 13.9g (with keychain clip), Length 68.8mm, Width 14.0mm (bezel)






    The side switch has a standard feel for an electronic mode-changing switch, and is located under grippy a rubber cover (easy to find by touch alone).

    Please see my video overview below for more information about the build.




    User Interface

    Press and hold the electronic switch for at least 0.5 secs to activate the light.

    Light comes on in its last memorized mode. Click the switch to advance through modes. Mode sequence is Lo > Med > Hi, in a repeating loop. Press and hold the switch for 0.5 secs to turn off the light. Memory for the last mode used is retained.

    Double-click the switch from On to active strobe. Single click or press-hold to exit. There is no memory for strobe mode.

    Double-click from Off to lock out the light (light will flash once). Double-click again to release the lock out (light with flash twice).

    Video:

    For information on the light, including the build and user interface, please see my video overview:



    For 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 an aside, if you want to get an instant notification for every new review that I post, you can subscribe to my YouTube channel. The vids go public at the same time as the reviews here on CPF.

    PWM/Strobe

    The K18 uses pulse width modulation (PWM) at its Lo and Med levels, at a consistent 3kHz frequency:

    Hi


    Med


    Lo


    This PWM is high enough to not be distracting in actual use, although I find it is still detectable at the lowest level (if you are sensitive to it). As usual, there is no PWM on the Hi level.

    Strobe


    Strobe is a fairly typical 10 Hz fast strobe.

    Stand-by:

    As on/off and mode switching is controlled by an electronic switch, there is going to be a standby drain.

    On my DMM, the current fluctuates initially, but seems to settle down to around 0.14mA. For a 900mA Eneloop Pro, that would translate into just under 9 months before a battery would be fully drained.

    It is likely that the electronic lock-out mode would lower this further, but I haven't tested it. The aluminum version should have a physical lock out as well, due to anodized screw threads (not possible on stainless steel)

    Beamshots:

    All lights are on 1xAAA Sanyo Eneloop NiMH, about ~0.75 meter from a white wall (with the camera ~1.25 meters back from the wall). Automatic white balance is set for the Cool White emitters, to minimize tint differences. All beamshots taken immediately upon activation.










    Testing Method:

    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).



    Here is how my lumen estimates compare to the Ultratac specs:



    Impressive levels of output on 10440 – and good mode spacing overall, on all batteries.

    Output/Runtime Comparison:











    See my wrap-up section for comments on the runtimes.

    Potential Issues

    The light uses PWM for its Lo/Med level, but at an unobtrusive high frequency of 3kHz.

    There is a standby drain due to the electronic switch, which is reasonable at just under 9 months for an Eneloop Pro AAA. Locking out the light electronically should lower this drain and allow a battery to last longer. The stainless steel build tested here cannot be physically locked out, as anodizing is not possible. However, I expect the aluminum build would have this feature.

    Tailstanding is not possible.

    Preliminary Observations

    The K18 is a quality built light, consistent with others I have reviewed in this 1xAAA class. The side-mounted electronic switch is certainly distinctive here – I haven't seen that before.

    Physically, this light seems comparable to many others in this class – although I only have the stainless steel version to compare. It is a decent build, with a good range of output levels. I particularly like the Lo to Hi mode sequence, and it does have mode memory.

    The electronic side switch worked well in my testing, and is easy to access by touch alone (i.e., it protrudes sufficiently, with a grippy rubber cover). Press-hold for activation makes sense, and I appreciate the electronic lock-out option. I presume the aluminum version can be physically locked out at the head.

    Output/runtime performance of the light is very good for this class, on all batteries - despite the use of high-frequency PWM on the Med/Lo levels. Rest assured, the PWM frequency is high enough (3kHz) that it is very hard to detect it visually – and will not be a concern in practice.

    I am actually quite impressed with how well it performed on standard alkaline and NiMH rechargeables. Note the L92 lithium performance was not as impressive as some of the competition. But it is a nice touch that 10440 is officially supported in this light – with higher outputs. They have done a good job maintaining reasonable output modes for all battery types.

    This is a nice light, with a good implementation of a novel switch position. If you are not a fan of twisy keychain lights, then this is certainly another clicky option. It is also capable of incredibly high output, with the officially supported 10440 option. No issues, the light performed very well in my testing.

    ----

    K18 provided by Ultratac for review.
    Full list of all my reviews: flashlightreviews.ca. Latest hobby: whiskyanalysis.com. New: Selfbuilt's Summer Sale!
    Gratefully accepting donations to my battery fund.

  2. #2

    Default Re: Ultratac K18 (XP-G2 S2, 1xAAA/10440, side switch) flashlight review: RUNTIMES+

    Great review as always! Quick question, is the double click from off lockout a new feature? My K18 aluminum that I've had for three months does not have that feature....and it's actually the one feature that I wish it had....when I saw it mentioned in your review I got all excited but no luck.

  3. #3
    Flashaholic* Wendee's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2016
    Location
    Ontario, Canada
    Posts
    627

    Default Re: Ultratac K18 (XP-G2 S2, 1xAAA/10440, side switch) flashlight review: RUNTIMES+

    Thanks for another great review, selfbuilt!
    Your reviews are what led me to CPF. I can't count the number of times I've Google searched: "flashlight model" + review + selfbuilt.
    I certainly appreciate you taking time to do these reviews (as I'm sure everyone does).
    The K18 looks like a nice flashlight!

  4. #4

    Default Re: Ultratac K18 (XP-G2 S2, 1xAAA/10440, side switch) flashlight review: RUNTIMES+

    Quote Originally Posted by Vothelo View Post
    Great review as always! Quick question, is the double click from off lockout a new feature? My K18 aluminum that I've had for three months does not have that feature....and it's actually the one feature that I wish it had....when I saw it mentioned in your review I got all excited but no luck.
    Hmm, I guess it must be new then. I know this model has been around for a little while now - my sample was sent in February.

    Quote Originally Posted by Wendee View Post
    Your reviews are what led me to CPF. I can't count the number of times I've Google searched: "flashlight model" + review + selfbuilt.
    I certainly appreciate you taking time to do these reviews (as I'm sure everyone does).
    Thanks, always nice to hear.
    Full list of all my reviews: flashlightreviews.ca. Latest hobby: whiskyanalysis.com. New: Selfbuilt's Summer Sale!
    Gratefully accepting donations to my battery fund.

  5. #5
    Enlightened mayo's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2007
    Location
    Oklahoma
    Posts
    78

    Default Re: Ultratac K18 (XP-G2 S2, 1xAAA/10440, side switch) flashlight review: RUNTIMES+

    Had this one for a month now. Rocks on 10440. My new edc. Thanks for the review.

  6. #6

    Default Re: Ultratac K18 (XP-G2 S2, 1xAAA/10440, side switch) flashlight review: RUNTIMES+

    Thanks for the great review!!

    UPz had reviewed the black K18, candlelamp too. It's become a popular item on the German forum. I removed the clip and the light has been on my keychain for months now. Still looks like new. I use a light-weight 10440 in it .. fantastic beam, non-greenish tint. Also super effective for curing mosquito bites on the skin.

    Here is a tint comparison video where the K18SS is featured last:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OKF1uYS4dGY

    Don't mind the music though

  7. #7

    Default Re: Ultratac K18 (XP-G2 S2, 1xAAA/10440, side switch) flashlight review: RUNTIMES+

    Quote Originally Posted by kreisl View Post
    ...Also super effective for curing mosquito bites on the skin.
    Well, I never thought about that! My regular AAA lights don't produce enough heat for that. I presume you are using a 10440? What other single AAA lights can safely handle a 10440?

  8. #8
    Enlightened NCF8710's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2012
    Location
    Connecticut
    Posts
    57

    Default Re: Ultratac K18 (XP-G2 S2, 1xAAA/10440, side switch) flashlight review: RUNTIMES+

    I also have the black anodized aluminum K18. I've had it for 7 weeks and use it with an IMR 10440 cell. No electronic lockout, but does lock out with a 1/4 turn of the head. It is my current key chain EDC light. I need to keep track of the charge level as the cell is unprotected.
    I'm an admitted flashaholic, but haven't enough posts to make it official. Keep your powder dry and your batteries charged!

  9. #9
    *Flashaholic* Capolini's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2013
    Location
    Valley Forge, Pa.
    Posts
    5,643

    Default Re: Ultratac K18 (XP-G2 S2, 1xAAA/10440, side switch) flashlight review: RUNTIMES+

    Thanks for the review SB!

    I have Four key chain lights[went on a little binge a few months ago!] I have the K18SS, K18 Blue Al., Olight i3E and i3S CU.

    Yes,the Aluminum version of K18 has a physical lock out w/ just a slight twist of the head.

    I chose the K18SS for my key chain light. The extra weight does not bother me. It is attached to my carabiner. I LOVE the fact that it takes 10440 L.Ion.This fits the bill w/ the high output it possesses for such a small torch,,,,,,right up my alley w/ my High output modded VINH lights!

    I like the versatility w/ all the other batteries it takes. I am a MUCH bigger fan of a side switch than a Twisty!

    I am very satisfied w/ the light.
    A resentment is a cancer that eats us away from the inside and is portrayed by our attitude from the outside. Capolini-6.4.2003
    Physical beauty temporarily satisfies the eye. Inner beauty is eternal and nurtures the soul. Capolini-7.23.2017









  10. #10
    Flashaholic* KeepingItLight's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2015
    Location
    California
    Posts
    1,820

    Default Re: Ultratac K18 (XP-G2 S2, 1xAAA/10440, side switch) flashlight review: RUNTIMES+

    Thanks for the review!

    Does Ultratac say what happens when a Li-ion 10440 battery gets low?

    • Is there a low-voltage cutoff that turns off the flashlight completely?
    • Is there a low-voltage warning that blinks the main beam or an LED?
    • Is there neither?

    If the flashlight is accidentally activated, or is left on, is it possible to over-discharge a Li-ion 10440 battery?
    Last edited by KeepingItLight; 05-06-2016 at 01:25 PM.
    Prince plays George Harrison's masterpiece While My Guitar Gently Weeps. R.I.P.
    Great vocals & guitar by LeAnn Rimes & Joss Stone as they cover Gershwin's Summertime.

  11. #11
    *Flashaholic* Capolini's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2013
    Location
    Valley Forge, Pa.
    Posts
    5,643

    Default Re: Ultratac K18 (XP-G2 S2, 1xAAA/10440, side switch) flashlight review: RUNTIMES+

    ^^^^

    SB can verify this or tell me I am wrong!!!

    I believe there is NEITHER. I did run time tests on max where the last 2 minutes[min 18 to 20] caught me by surprise and the voltage was below 2.0v iirc. The battery works fine after that test which was a few months ago.

    It will certainly over discharge if left on when not aware of it.

    Simple solution...........slight twist of head for ALUMINUM versions and Double cl. to activate lockout for this, SS version. Double cl. to reactivate.
    A resentment is a cancer that eats us away from the inside and is portrayed by our attitude from the outside. Capolini-6.4.2003
    Physical beauty temporarily satisfies the eye. Inner beauty is eternal and nurtures the soul. Capolini-7.23.2017









  12. #12

    Default Re: Ultratac K18 (XP-G2 S2, 1xAAA/10440, side switch) flashlight review: RUNTIMES+

    Quote Originally Posted by Capolini View Post
    SB can verify this or tell me I am wrong!!!
    I believe there is NEITHER. I did run time tests on max where the last 2 minutes[min 18 to 20] caught me by surprise and the voltage was below 2.0v iirc.
    Capolini is correct - there is no evidence of a low voltage cut-off, nor advance flashing. Once the output has dropped noticeably, you have probably already taken your 10440 to unsafe voltages.

    This is not uncommon in multi-power AAA lights that accept 10440.
    Full list of all my reviews: flashlightreviews.ca. Latest hobby: whiskyanalysis.com. New: Selfbuilt's Summer Sale!
    Gratefully accepting donations to my battery fund.

  13. #13
    Flashaholic* KeepingItLight's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2015
    Location
    California
    Posts
    1,820

    Default Re: Ultratac K18 (XP-G2 S2, 1xAAA/10440, side switch) flashlight review: RUNTIMES+

    Thanks, guys, for the info!

    Knowing how a Li-ion flashlight handles over-discharge is an important piece of information for me.

    I do not know whether protected versions of the 10440 battery are available, but if so, this flashlight sounds like a good candidate for one.
    Prince plays George Harrison's masterpiece While My Guitar Gently Weeps. R.I.P.
    Great vocals & guitar by LeAnn Rimes & Joss Stone as they cover Gershwin's Summertime.

  14. #14
    Flashaholic* GordoJones88's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2011
    Location
    Tennessee
    Posts
    1,151

    Default Re: Ultratac K18 (XP-G2 S2, 1xAAA/10440, side switch) flashlight review: RUNTIMES+

    Shiny!

  15. #15
    Flashaholic Gryffin's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
    Location
    People’s Republic of New Jersey
    Posts
    449

    Default Re: Ultratac K18 (XP-G2 S2, 1xAAA/10440, side switch) flashlight review: RUNTIMES+

    Quote Originally Posted by selfbuilt View Post
    Hmm, I guess it must be new then. I know this model has been around for a little while now - my sample was sent in February.
    My guess is, they added the electronic lock-out to the stainless model because it can't do a mechanical lockout. Still, like others here, I'd appreciate it on the aluminum model as well.
    "I'm not afraid of the dark. The dark is afraid of ME!"

  16. #16

    Default Re: Ultratac K18 (XP-G2 S2, 1xAAA/10440, side switch) flashlight review: RUNTIMES+

    I've had my stainless steel K18 for about a month now and like it quite a lot. It's a bit heavier than my wife's aluminum one, but I had read/heard on youtube that the aluminum ones might not have enough length to swallow a protected 10440.

    I've been using TrustFire 10440 cells and like the extra brightness they provide (even if it's for a short amount of time). These are protected cells and if they weren't, I'd probably be sticking with AAA cells exclusively.

    I like the size, the general feel of sturdiness, brightness and the side button. The first one I ordered had a tear in the rubber of the switch, but GoingGear straightened it out in no time with a replacement. I hope the rubber switch cover stands up to the test of time...

  17. #17
    *Flashaholic* Capolini's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2013
    Location
    Valley Forge, Pa.
    Posts
    5,643

    Default Re: Ultratac K18 (XP-G2 S2, 1xAAA/10440, side switch) flashlight review: RUNTIMES+

    Quote Originally Posted by PB Wilson View Post
    I've had my stainless steel K18 for about a month now and like it quite a lot. It's a bit heavier than my wife's aluminum one, but I had read/heard on youtube that the aluminum ones might not have enough length to swallow a protected 10440.

    I've been using TrustFire 10440 cells and like the extra brightness they provide (even if it's for a short amount of time). These are protected cells and if they weren't, I'd probably be sticking with AAA cells exclusively.

    I like the size, the general feel of sturdiness, brightness and the side button. The first one I ordered had a tear in the rubber of the switch, but GoingGear straightened it out in no time with a replacement. I hope the rubber switch cover stands up to the test of time...

    I have the Aluminum and SS version. EFEST IMR 10440 fit fine in both.

    I would go w/ EFEST,MUCH better and safer battery than Trustfire,,,,,sorry I would not get caught dead w/ Ultrafire/Trustfire ECT... "Fire"!!!
    A resentment is a cancer that eats us away from the inside and is portrayed by our attitude from the outside. Capolini-6.4.2003
    Physical beauty temporarily satisfies the eye. Inner beauty is eternal and nurtures the soul. Capolini-7.23.2017









  18. #18

    Default Re: Ultratac K18 (XP-G2 S2, 1xAAA/10440, side switch) flashlight review: RUNTIMES+

    Point well taken regarding the TrustFire.

    The name seems like they're trying a bit too hard but still reminding you what might happen if you're careless...

  19. #19
    *Flashaholic* Capolini's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2013
    Location
    Valley Forge, Pa.
    Posts
    5,643

    Default Re: Ultratac K18 (XP-G2 S2, 1xAAA/10440, side switch) flashlight review: RUNTIMES+

    Quote Originally Posted by PB Wilson View Post
    Point well taken regarding the TrustFire.

    The name seems like they're trying a bit too hard but still reminding you what might happen if you're careless...

    HKJ is well known and respected for his work/reviews of batteries/chargers. Check his review on an ULTRAFIRE battery,,Trustfires are in the same league!!! LINK BELOW:

    http://lygte-info.dk/info/batteryDis...Fire%20UK.html
    A resentment is a cancer that eats us away from the inside and is portrayed by our attitude from the outside. Capolini-6.4.2003
    Physical beauty temporarily satisfies the eye. Inner beauty is eternal and nurtures the soul. Capolini-7.23.2017









  20. #20

    Default Re: Ultratac K18 (XP-G2 S2, 1xAAA/10440, side switch) flashlight review: RUNTIMES+

    Quote Originally Posted by Capolini View Post
    HKJ is well known and respected for his work/reviews of batteries/chargers. Check his review on an ULTRAFIRE battery,,Trustfires are in the same league!!! LINK BELOW:

    http://lygte-info.dk/info/batteryDis...Fire%20UK.html
    Hi there, nice to meet you guys. I have a different opinion on Trustfire, they are definitely not in the same league as Ultrafire. Have you actually owned one? In my case, i have five Trustfire 18650 3000mah, tested the capacity and it's all acceptable at 2800-2900 mah. They work just fine on my pure 3000+ lumens flashlight with decent runtimes. The protection circuit seems to work also.
    To further prove my point, just try to randomly order an Ultrafire and Trustfire. With Ultrafire, you'll get 99% crap battery with 500mah max capacity on 18650, or 150mah on 16340. On the contrary all my Trustfire purchase have been very pleasing for the price.

  21. #21
    *Flashaholic* Capolini's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2013
    Location
    Valley Forge, Pa.
    Posts
    5,643

    Default Re: Ultratac K18 (XP-G2 S2, 1xAAA/10440, side switch) flashlight review: RUNTIMES+

    Quote Originally Posted by LarcKen View Post
    Hi there, nice to meet you guys. I have a different opinion on Trustfire, they are definitely not in the same league as Ultrafire. Have you actually owned one? In my case, i have five Trustfire 18650 3000mah, tested the capacity and it's all acceptable at 2800-2900 mah. They work just fine on my pure 3000+ lumens flashlight with decent runtimes. The protection circuit seems to work also.
    To further prove my point, just try to randomly order an Ultrafire and Trustfire. With Ultrafire, you'll get 99% crap battery with 500mah max capacity on 18650, or 150mah on 16340. On the contrary all my Trustfire purchase have been very pleasing for the price.

    Yes I have tried them in the beginning of my hobby when I did not know any better!

    I choose to use QUALITY brand names like PANASONIC, LG,SONY,SAMSUNG AND SANYO.

    You will find that most people will choose the safer/better quality/realistic mAh batteries that I listed.

    A resentment is a cancer that eats us away from the inside and is portrayed by our attitude from the outside. Capolini-6.4.2003
    Physical beauty temporarily satisfies the eye. Inner beauty is eternal and nurtures the soul. Capolini-7.23.2017









  22. #22
    Unenlightened
    Join Date
    Mar 2015
    Posts
    1

    Default Re: Ultratac K18 (XP-G2 S2, 1xAAA/10440, side switch) flashlight review: RUNTIMES+

    I purchased one of these off eBay. After limited use on my wife's keychain the button is stuck and it doesn't work anymore. We would have used it about 5 times in the 2 months we have had it. No refund just disappointed.
    Letting everybody know that quality can be missing.

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •