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Thread: George Kemenes Omicron 10180: First Thoughts

  1. #1
    Flashaholic* MikeSalt's Avatar
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    Default George Kemenes Omicron 10180: First Thoughts

    After a lengthy two-year hiatus from buying custom lights, I just happened to be browsing CPF, moping a bit about my Lummi Wee Ti that I'd lost years ago, and hoping that I might see one in the WTS section. As I scrolled, this thread just happened to jump out at me and sparked my interest. Having experienced what a lovely beam of light can be from the Nichia 219 in some of my other lights, to see it offered in tiny 10180 form, and with a proper driver, I just had to have it.

    First contact and it was very reassuring to find that George was an excellent communicator and took great pride in what he brings to the table. There's no shelf queens in my collection, so I chose the most practical material choice, titanium, and to improve grip on this tiny light, I opted for the bead-blast finish, with green trits so I could find it when I need it.

    After a slight heart-in-mouth moment due to the UK carrier having a massive IT meltdown over the bank holiday weekend and losing visibility of my package for 4 days, I finally laid my hands on this yesterday. Here are my ramblings of my first 24 hours with it.

    After unpackaging the light from the substantial packaging George had provided to protect it, I found the light in a very elegant presentation box.

    The first thing that struck me was how slender it was. My other two 10180 lights, a Wee SS and MecArmy X4S are much thicker lights. Even though the Omicron and X4S are about the same length, the Omicron feels the most compact of all three of them.



    The next thing that struck me was how gorgeous the bead-blast finish is compared to all the machined-finish lights I've owned before. It was also a lovely surprise to peer down the barrel and see a proper orange-peel reflector. I didn't even know they were available in this size!



    Next task was to load the 10180 cell. Check the original sales thread for compatible cells, I know for sure that AW 10180 cells are too short. MecArmy are described by George as the perfect fit. You'll notice that the threads are absolutely silky smooth at this point, which is very impressive in titanium at this tiny size.



    And those silky threads, coupled with the long, slender body allow for one-handed operation, which is rare for this size. As I was hoping, the colour temperature is gorgeous, there's no ugly tint or indeed tint variation across the beam, and the transition from spot to flood in the beam is so smooth. Unfortunately, I don't have a white wall for beam shots, so the door will have to do.



    And the best part? NO VISIBLE PWM IN ANY MODE! Not even the moonlight mode, although this isn't quite as low as moonlight in a Zebralight.

    The one criticism I had, and George knows about this, is the mode programming information in the paperwork he provided, which has been mangled in the word processor. Also, if you search for the guppydrv documents, you tend to find the Rev. 2 guide, which is wrong for this light. Just use this guide and you'll be fine.



    Being a twisty, programming takes a bit of a knack. I have been able to program it with twists, although I find the best way is to tighten the tailcap just to the point before activation, and tap the tailcap. Be aware that the guppydrv firmware was written for a reverse clicky, so when it talks about a tap, that's assumed to be a small break in the current, so your last tap or twist should hold the light in the on position for it to work.

    And my verdict after 24 hours? This is my new favourite light. The quality, the features, the aesthetics, the beam and even the man behind it, the Omicron is a truly wonderful light.



    And I would recommend getting one. Hurry though, looking at the last stock update and knowing two have sold recently, I reckon there are only 5 left, and I don't know if more will be made.

    Thanks for reading
    Last edited by MikeSalt; 05-11-2018 at 04:41 PM.

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    xdayv's Avatar
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    Default Re: George Kemenes Omicron 10180: First Thoughts

    Thanks for this review. Having a Nucleus, I tend to gravitate to the Omicron naturally since its inception. I've still been on the verge of getting one mainly because this type of battery is a bit scarce from this side of the world. Other than that, this is really a keeper!

  3. #3
    Flashaholic* MikeSalt's Avatar
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    Default Re: George Kemenes Omicron 10180: First Thoughts

    I've ordered a few 10180 cells from here. Shipping wasn't bad either.

    I've got a MecArmy X4S to use for charging, however, at 100 mA, it charges the tiny 100 mAh cell a bit too quickly for my liking, so I've got a Veleno Designs 60 mA 10180 charger on the way from here.

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    Modernflame's Avatar
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    Default Re: George Kemenes Omicron 10180: First Thoughts

    A beautiful light and an entertaining read. Thanks, Mike!
    ďMay it be a light to you in dark places, when all other lights go out.Ē
    J.R.R. Tolkien, The Fellowship of the Ring

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    Flashaholic* the0dore3524's Avatar
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    Default Re: George Kemenes Omicron 10180: First Thoughts

    Good write-up! Iíve wished someone would review this light for quite a while. Iím also on the cusp of biting, but Iím so broke!
    My website: https://precogvision.wordpress.com (EDC, Gear Reviews, and More!)

  6. #6
    Flashaholic* MikeSalt's Avatar
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    Default Re: George Kemenes Omicron 10180: First Thoughts

    Quote Originally Posted by Modernflame View Post
    A beautiful light and an entertaining read. Thanks, Mike!
    Quote Originally Posted by the0dore3524 View Post
    Good write-up! Iíve wished someone would review this light for quite a while. Iím also on the cusp of biting, but Iím so broke!
    Thanks for your kind words folks. I'm quite surprised to see a lack of write-ups. I ended up harassing known owners by PM for their honest thoughts before I committed.

  7. #7

    Default Re: George Kemenes Omicron 10180: First Thoughts

    Thanks for adding a review about these very little known lights. They're not going to be in my budget any time soon, but I've really been enjoying following his threads to see what he's coming up with and the numerous different special versions of even more exotic materials than titanium.

    I'm currently holding my Fenix E01 in hand, marvelling at how much smaller the Omicron is in your photo.

  8. #8
    Flashaholic* MikeSalt's Avatar
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    Default Re: George Kemenes Omicron 10180: First Thoughts

    Quote Originally Posted by iamlucky13 View Post
    I'm currently holding my Fenix E01 in hand, marvelling at how much smaller the Omicron is in your photo.
    Thank you for your kind words, I thought the E01 would be a pretty useful reference point for most Flashaholics. I'm amazed at how many quality features George has managed to squeeze into such a tiny light.

  9. #9
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    Default Re: George Kemenes Omicron 10180: First Thoughts

    I was on the cusp of buying one of these, but in the end, I just couldn't justify the cost to myself.
    A blog on small pocket tools, keychain gadgets and more!
    http://keychainpockets.blogspot.com/

  10. #10

    Default Re: George Kemenes Omicron 10180: First Thoughts

    Mike, I really appreciate you putting this review together. I think, you're the first one to do a proper review on any of my lights. I'm always curious to hear your and others' opinion whether it's positive or negative. I'm glad, the only issue you've had was the description of the mode groups...I've since copied your attached image and switched it in the description, thanks for posting it:-) I hope, the other lights in the line-up will meet your expectations as well:-) Cheers, and thanks again!

  11. #11
    ven's Avatar
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    Default Re: George Kemenes Omicron 10180: First Thoughts

    Great write up Mike, loving the tiny piece of functional art. Amazing what such a tiny light can do and so nicely.

  12. #12
    Flashaholic* MikeSalt's Avatar
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    Default Re: George Kemenes Omicron 10180: First Thoughts

    Right, I've seen far too many of these beauties that have been locked in a safe, never carried and barely used. I've had a month of admiring it in its mint condition, now is the time it takes on the real work. The best flashlight you have is the one you've got with you.


  13. #13

    Default Re: George Kemenes Omicron 10180: First Thoughts

    These are such amazing little lights. The craftsmanship is amazing and they come in a great range of materials. The only downside being the "odd" battery. I'd love to be able to afford a Moku Ti version in the future.

  14. #14
    Flashaholic* MikeSalt's Avatar
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    Default Re: George Kemenes Omicron 10180: First Thoughts

    Just checking back in since carrying this on my keychain.




    I came across a tiny problem with keychain use, where the light would accidentally turn on in my pocket from time-to-time. Whilst I inadvertently found that the driver in this light had low-battery protection , I still needed a bit more resistance in the twisty action. The supplied o-ring (8.4 mm ID x 0.8 mm cross-sectional diameter) is great for a light action when 'playing' with the Omicron. However, for keychain use both George and myself were experimenting with different sized o-rings. I found that a 8.23 mm x 0.86 mm nitrile o-ring, lubricated with Nyogel, is ideal for my purposes, and so that is what I am now using.

    With the resistance set to my taste, it is such a wonderful light to be able to have with you at all times. I understand why some people keep these locked away safely, they are absolutely beautiful lights, but the Omicron has such wonderful utility, it's such a shame not to use it every day. Truly deserving of its place as my favourite flashlight
    Last edited by MikeSalt; 06-22-2018 at 03:36 PM.

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    Flashaholic* the0dore3524's Avatar
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    Default Re: George Kemenes Omicron 10180: First Thoughts

    Thanks for the update! As for me, mine has been around my neck since the day I received it. I agree that these flashlights were made to be used! Titaniumís properties are super practical especially at this size.
    My website: https://precogvision.wordpress.com (EDC, Gear Reviews, and More!)

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    Default Re: George Kemenes Omicron 10180: First Thoughts

    Why would the OP lament losing a Lummi Wee? I have one and hate it. Can't use with one hand (might be able to if it wasn't all smooth), ridiculous design where LED falls out when light unscrewed (come on!) and full flood makes it completely useless for general tasks (that's also up to personal preference however). Overall seems like something someone made in their basement - oh wait...

  17. #17
    Flashaholic* MikeSalt's Avatar
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    Default Re: George Kemenes Omicron 10180: First Thoughts

    Quote Originally Posted by the0dore3524 View Post
    Thanks for the update! As for me, mine has been around my neck since the day I received it. I agree that these flashlights were made to be used! Titaniumís properties are super practical especially at this size.
    The stock o-ring is perfect for this way of carry, you can really appreciate how light the action is . Trouble is, my keyring is very overloaded, so there's lots of extra forces to consider.

    Quote Originally Posted by Beckler View Post
    Why would the OP lament losing a Lummi Wee? I have one and hate it. Can't use with one hand (might be able to if it wasn't all smooth), ridiculous design where LED falls out when light unscrewed (come on!) and full flood makes it completely useless for general tasks (that's also up to personal preference however). Overall seems like something someone made in their basement - oh wait...
    I don't want to clutter this thread with Wee discussion, it was more of an anecdote to explain how I arrived at the Omicron. I've replied to this discussion in its own thread.

  18. #18
    Modernflame's Avatar
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    Default Re: George Kemenes Omicron 10180: First Thoughts

    Do you carry any other lights with you regularly? Or perhaps back up 10180 cells? The quality and convenience of your light are obvious, but I'd hesitate to leave home with a total battery capacity of 100 mAh. I've seen your recent thread celebrating a walk home with an Olight, so I know you own other gear. I suppose I'm asking what else you carry every day.
    ďMay it be a light to you in dark places, when all other lights go out.Ē
    J.R.R. Tolkien, The Fellowship of the Ring

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    Flashaholic* MikeSalt's Avatar
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    Default Re: George Kemenes Omicron 10180: First Thoughts

    Quote Originally Posted by Carnivean View Post
    These are such amazing little lights. The craftsmanship is amazing and they come in a great range of materials. The only downside being the "odd" battery. I'd love to be able to afford a Moku Ti version in the future.
    Sorry, I missed your post. 10180 used to be an odd size, but with many makers such as Fenix, Astrolux, DQG and MecArmy offering 10180 lights, it's not as odd as it once was. I remember the days of using spacing magnets to charge in an RCR123 charger, yet these days you've got the dedicated Veleno Designs charger, or even lights with on-board charging for 10180 cells, like the MecArmy X4S that I carry on my car key.

  20. #20
    Flashaholic* MikeSalt's Avatar
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    Default Re: George Kemenes Omicron 10180: First Thoughts

    Quote Originally Posted by Modernflame View Post
    Do you carry any other lights with you regularly? Or perhaps back up 10180 cells? The quality and convenience of your light are obvious, but I'd hesitate to leave home with a total battery capacity of 100 mAh. I've seen your recent thread celebrating a walk home with an Olight, so I know you own other gear. I suppose I'm asking what else you carry every day.
    Oh yes, I do regularly carry three lights. There's the Omicron, then I also have a MecArmy X4S (pictured in post 14) to act as a spare 10180 carrier, a field charger (from my portable USB power supply) and an emergency backup should the Omicron ever get lost / stolen.

    When I'm wearing jeans (which is most of the time to be fair), I have either the Olight S1R, which you mentioned, or a Zebralight SC52d. If I'm on a longer outing, I'll also carry spare cells in a twist-tube carrier.

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    Modernflame's Avatar
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    Default Re: George Kemenes Omicron 10180: First Thoughts

    Quote Originally Posted by MikeSalt View Post
    Oh yes, I do regularly carry three lights. There's the Omicron, then I also have a MecArmy X4S (pictured in post 14) to act as a spare 10180 carrier, a field charger (from my portable USB power supply) and an emergency backup should the Omicron ever get lost / stolen.

    When I'm wearing jeans (which is most of the time to be fair), I have either the Olight S1R, which you mentioned, or a Zebralight SC52d. If I'm on a longer outing, I'll also carry spare cells in a twist-tube carrier.
    I like the idea of the field charger. Those little batteries are well suited to charging on the fly.
    ďMay it be a light to you in dark places, when all other lights go out.Ē
    J.R.R. Tolkien, The Fellowship of the Ring

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    Default Re: George Kemenes Omicron 10180: First Thoughts

    Mike, while I also like to put my lights into good use and not putting them as shelf queens; hats off to you by putting it together with your keys! Brave.

  23. #23
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    Default Re: George Kemenes Omicron 10180: First Thoughts

    Quote Originally Posted by xdayv View Post
    Mike, while I also like to put my lights into good use and not putting them as shelf queens; hats off to you by putting it together with your keys! Brave.
    And that is one murderous looking set of keys! A lesser flashlight would have lost consciousness at the mere sight of them.
    ďMay it be a light to you in dark places, when all other lights go out.Ē
    J.R.R. Tolkien, The Fellowship of the Ring

  24. #24
    Flashaholic* MikeSalt's Avatar
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    Default Re: George Kemenes Omicron 10180: First Thoughts

    Quote Originally Posted by xdayv View Post
    Mike, while I also like to put my lights into good use and not putting them as shelf queens; hats off to you by putting it together with your keys! Brave.
    To be fair, the Omicron is a thoroughly sorted light for keychain use once the alternative O-ring is used. The window is well recessed to prevent damage to it, not that damage is likely anyway being that it is sapphire. The slim body is completely unobtrusive on the keyring. Titanium, whilst it picks up hairline scratches, avoids deep gouges very well. And lastly, the trits are properly protected; my original Wee Ti had trits, but they didn't last long on the keyring.

  25. #25
    Flashaholic* MikeSalt's Avatar
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    Default Re: George Kemenes Omicron 10180: First Thoughts

    Quote Originally Posted by MikeSalt View Post
    The first thing that struck me was how slender it was. My other two 10180 lights, a Wee SS and MecArmy X4S are much thicker lights. Even though the Omicron and X4S are about the same length, the Omicron feels the most compact of all three of them.
    I've just realised why the Omicron feels so compact.

    Lummi Wee, 15 mm diameter ◊ 34 mm length, Volume of flashlight envelope = pi◊(15/2)^2◊34 = 6008 mm^3
    Kemenes Omicron, 12.5 mm diameter ◊ 48 mm length Volume of flashlight envelope = pi◊(12.5/2)^2◊48 = 5890 mm^3

    So it is officially my most compact flashlight

  26. #26
    Flashaholic* MikeSalt's Avatar
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    Default Re: George Kemenes Omicron 10180: First Thoughts

    Quote Originally Posted by Modernflame View Post
    I like the idea of the field charger. Those little batteries are well suited to charging on the fly.
    The only downside is that 100 mA charging current in the X4S is a little too high for my liking. Where possible, I will use my 60 mA Veleno Designs charger, but it is nice to have the field-charging option.

  27. #27
    karlthev's Avatar
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    Default Re: George Kemenes Omicron 10180: First Thoughts

    Almost had mine but, shipping box was opened when this Ti model was shipped from a leather case maker! I'm hoping all make right on this and that another Ti can be gotten!



    Karl

  28. #28

    Default Re: George Kemenes Omicron 10180: First Thoughts

    Quote Originally Posted by karlthev View Post
    Almost had mine but, shipping box was opened when this Ti model was shipped from a leather case maker! I'm hoping all make right on this and that another Ti can be gotten!



    Karl
    ...?

    So you suspect they stole it? Or they enjoyed it so much they refused to send it to you and got to keep it for themselves??

  29. #29
    karlthev's Avatar
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    Default Re: George Kemenes Omicron 10180: First Thoughts

    Oh no! I received the box and, it has been torn open...by machine or by hands who knows?


    Karl

  30. #30
    Flashaholic* MikeSalt's Avatar
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    Default Re: George Kemenes Omicron 10180: First Thoughts

    Checking back in again. I went on holiday for a week and forgot to pack my Olight S1R, so the Omicron became the primary light. Served in this role particularly well when examining the underside of my caravan to see how to repair some damage it had sustained.


    Back home, its intelligent features proved their worth. I was replacing some of the bulbs in the office, so I left my Omicron in the kitchen with no windows so whoever was in there wouldn't be left in the dark while I turned the lights off. I forgot my Omicron for an hour or two. When I went to retrieve it, the battery saving had kicked in and saved my 10180 cell from damage.

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