DarkTort DT-E1.0 Review: RUNTIMES, BEAMSHOTS, DETAILED PICS, and more!

Elizabeth88

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Dear selfbuilt,

Thanks so much for taking time to do all the tests and put up the review so quickly. We ( DarkTort ) really appreciate all your comments and suggestion. We will try our best to develop new and better products in the future.

Thank you again! Thanks for all your support!

Best regards,
Elizabeth
 

cruisemissile

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Very interesting light and great review as usual. To summarize:

Pros
*high manufacturing quality
*attractive look (even if it's subjective)
*Good performance compared to competition
*Innovative regulation + moon mode
*ergonomic UI
*reasonable price

Cons:
*over rated specifications (16,000 lux and 16 hours runtime on low)
*misleading perfectly flat manufacturer runtime graph (no good for trust)
*glued head (for a claimed upgradable design, big mistake!)
* "squishy" feeling of the tailcap switch

All in one, apart the usual marketing bulls*t specs, seems a nice product, especially from a new comer :twothumbs
well in fact it's not really a new comer. These guys know how to produce flashlights for sure and I will not be surprised if DT is the OEM NITECORE manufacturer. Let's see how things evolve in the future fot these 2 companies. 2009 will be interesting :whistle:
thanks for the review. it looks like its another light to stay away from.
save your $ for the Surefire Optimus or Invictus.
 

selfbuilt

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I see DarkTort responded in detail to some of the points raised here in their manufacturer's thread (see their post #140)

I've updated the first post with some additional information, and some shots of the head internals (I got it open without strap wrenches, just needed more force with a cloth over the bezel ring).

DarkTort has confirmed my general observations of the light, although they still report getting 16K lux for centre throw with their light meter. :shrug: Regardless, I think the beamshots show that throw is within the same range as the JetBeam Jet-III M and Olight M20, so you should go by that for comparison purposes.

Thanks so much for taking time to do all the tests and put up the review so quickly. We ( DarkTort ) really appreciate all your comments and suggestion. We will try our best to develop new and better products in the future.
And thanks for the rapid response to the issues raised here and elsewhere Elizabeth. :)

thanks for the review. it looks like its another light to stay away from.
save your $ for the Surefire Optimus or Invictus.
To each his own - I certainly enjoyed testing this light. And I agree that the Optimus and Invictus look like great lights (if they ever actually ship :rolleyes: - we have been waiting a while ... :poke:). Maybe Surefire will have some news at the next SHOT. :tinfoil:
 
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selfbuilt

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One more thing - on the issue of batteries and runtimes:

I'd like remind folks that all my runtimes are done under a cooling fan. I've noticed that if you don't use a fan, you tend to get slightly higher output and lower runtimes. Not suggesting one approach is better than the other (both cooling and not cooling have merit), but you should keep it in mind when comparing results.

Also, all batteries can be variable in output, including AW protecteds. I test all my AW cells in my JetBeam IBS lights to quantify their capacity under similar high drain situations, and I can tell you I've seen up to 20% variation in runtimes on different 18650 cells, and up to 40% variation on the smaller RCR/14500.

Anecdotally, it's actually my newer cells that seem to have the lower range of capacities. ;)

In any case, I do this testing to insure I pick "average" AW batteries for all my runtimes (i.e. I don't use extremes, but stick with more median values). As always, YMMV ...

Finally, if DarkTort was indeed testing a Lo mode that had half the output of mine, then I would think 18hrs is actually quite a low estimate on their part. I would expect my batteries would last a lot longer than that, if I get ~11hrs on twice the output.

:wave:
 

Jay T

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Hmm, the runtime looks like a direct drive light. In a direct drive light are not the brightness and runtime determined by the specs of the LED? Seeing that this sample was sent out as a review sample is there a chance that this light could have a cherry picked overachiever LED?
 

Mdinana

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I shouldn't of used the word lumens. :ohgeez:

... Or used the phrase "shouldn't of" instead of "shouldn't have." :nana:

LOL

OK, enough of me playing Word-Nazi. I'm liking the specs of this light. What I'm not liking is the battery type, or the look. Why, one may ask? I don't think that the red head sink or silver bezel head are different enough from a handful of other flashlights to spend money on yet.

I get the feeling that many Chinese flashlight manufacturers are a lot like early Ford: you can have any color you want, as long as it's black (apparently with some accent colors, though). What ever happened to olive, or coyote, or something simple like red?

This isn't a DT-specific complaint, btw. Just a clarification of why I'm not ready to drop my money on them yet.
 

selfbuilt

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Seeing that this sample was sent out as a review sample is there a chance that this light could have a cherry picked overachiever LED?
As always, that is a possibility with review samples. As Jarl also pointed out, direct-drive lights are heavily influenced by Vf (although in my limited modding experience, swaping for different Vfs seems to affect runtime to a greater degree than output). Time will tell when other members here have their samples in hand to compare output to other lights.

Sorry if its posted somewhere, But is that reflector solid? Aluminum? Plastic?
It appears to be a solid piece of metal. Whether it's aluminum throughout I don't know, but it feels like it could be.
 
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jzmtl

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This isn't a DT-specific complaint, btw. Just a clarification of why I'm not ready to drop my money on them yet.

See 47's comment regard colored e01. People don't put money where their mouth is, all colored sale combined is still not even close to black sale, despite many many people say they want one before release.
 

selfbuilt

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See 47's comment regard colored e01. People don't put money where their mouth is, all colored sale combined is still not even close to black sale, despite many many people say they want one before release.
That's interesting - I hadn't heard that before. Frankly, I find it a little surprising for a keychain light, since black shows up dings the most.

Just a personal preference, but I'm a fan of dark grey natural finish myself (although it can be hard for manufacturers to consistently match the anodizing between portions).
 

matrixshaman

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All in one, apart the usual marketing bulls*t specs, seems a nice product, especially from a new comer :twothumbs
well in fact it's not really a new comer. These guys know how to produce flashlights for sure and I will not be surprised if DT is the OEM NITECORE manufacturer. Let's see how things evolve in the future fot these 2 companies. 2009 will be interesting :whistle:

I just did a little research and for what it's worth DarkTort appears to be 'Shenzhen Xinhui Opto-Elcetronic CO.,Ltd' (note elcetronic misspelling is not mine - this was copied and pasted) with a different email, phone number, address and city than Nitecore. All this was gleaned from their web sites info available through 'whois' and similar lookups. I think it's more a case of how successful ideas often get copied or at least 'borrowed from' in making a new product.
 
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Robocop

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Great review as always and it is appreciated by us all.....

Have you been able to play around with the pill section at all? I am curious how difficult it would be to swap out the emitter. From what I remember the maker designed this light to be easily modded by the user and I am not sure if this is done by purchasing an entirely new light engine or simply changing out components on the existing light engine.
 

selfbuilt

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Have you been able to play around with the pill section at all? I am curious how difficult it would be to swap out the emitter. From what I remember the maker designed this light to be easily modded by the user and I am not sure if this is done by purchasing an entirely new light engine or simply changing out components on the existing light engine.
Here's what I found under the hood: ;)

DT-14.jpg


As you can see, the emitter is easily accessed by removing the 3 screws on the cover plate. Looks like they used a good amount of thermal epoxy, but you should be able to pop out the mini-star for a DIY emitter swap pretty easily (with basic modding skills and components).

DT-15.jpg


The circuit board is also easy to access should you want to. But be warned - the contact retaining plate is attached under pressure (i.e. the 3 longer screws are holding the plate in place, against the resistance of the 3 springs used to control mode switching).

I found it a real pain to re-attach this plate, as you need to carefully tighten each screw while gently but firmly holding it all together against the springs (recall the exposed emitter dome at the other end of the pill!). When tightening the screws, it's easy for the plate to slip sideways a little - which then makes it impossible to fit back into the head, because tolerances are tight.

Remember that the pill assembly is not screwed in - pressure is maintained by the bezel ring/lens pressing down on the reflector, which in turn presses down on the pill assembly. On the plus side, a manufacturer upgrade of the entire pill assembly (i.e the entire red aluminum section) would be child's play for anyone to swap on their own.
 

I came to the light...

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Thanks for the review selfbuilt :thumbsup:. Looks like a very nice light, and I am very glad somebody finally got the moon mode concept right. But no regulation is a no go for me... I really hope they fix that.

It's funny, I hadn't compared this to EdgeTac before, but now that you say it, I'm almost convinced this is another of their brand names, testing a new market. We know they wouldn't hesitate to do it, as Raidfire is our example. Besides that, my Extreme had a "squishy" forward clicky switch, and the design is similar in taste to the original NDI, but a bit more curvy like the spear. Oh, and the NDI was initially advertised as 190 lumens, almost exactly the same exaggeration factor as this flashlight's lux.
 

Mdinana

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See 47's comment regard colored e01. People don't put money where their mouth is, all colored sale combined is still not even close to black sale, despite many many people say they want one before release.

I totally agree. However, it'd be nice to at least SEE the option. Personally, I have a red and blue MiniMag, and a red Mag 3D. A grey E1l. I don't personally like the e01, but.... if I bought one, it'd be in a color.

I mean, at the very least, if it's going to be "tacticool" at least offer a few different tactical colors! Not every place on the planet allows black to be good. Olive, coyote, or "real" camo and not some "hunter" version. (I never understand why hunters need camo, but that's a whole other topic) Geez, I'd love a good white light for the snow!
 

Sgt. LED

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Hello!

I am not worthy of a review thread so here are my observations.

Selfbuilt I hope you don't mind me sticking this on here, if you do just let me know and I will remove it ASAP! No problem.

This light is smaller than I expected it to be, almost in SF E2DL territory. Light arrived in a neat box, well lubed and has great O-rings with spares and an OK lanyard. It went into the shower earlier and had no leakage at all. None of the threads are SF compatible in case you were wondering. The thick HA is very lightly textured and flawless. The bezel is really thick, as is the battery tube, and tailcap rim! The light must be very strong! There is NO battery rattle present. The bezel does not have the goofy text saying 18650 only on it, instead it has a nice simple company logo on it. The crennelations are not sharp or needlessly long. The HI/LOW switching is smooth and thanks to the springy 3 prong mechanism it should last a lifetime. Actually the entire head is a near perfect execution! The lanyard holes in the tailcap are placed deep enough from the rim that they should not wear thru anytime soon.

The tailcap has a very long spring in it and the butt end of the body tube past the battery zone is quite long too. You could shorten the tube and the spring both and make this light almost a half inch shorter. I am clueless as to why this was done. Perhaps Dark Tort can enlighten me later?
icon3.gif


The switch is not so great, and the switch retaining ring's plastic portion is very weak and soft plastic. I took the retaining ring out twice and there is some visible deformation already. I had to take my fingernail and straighten them out so I could get it back together. This needs attention NOW as it is the only weak point in the whole light. Now if you don't fully disassemble your new light then it may never be an issue but I am a curious CPF'er and have to take it all apart as soon as it arrived. I disliked the switch's lack of feedback that it has indeed clicked on. The momentary is fine but if you want to click it on don't go wimpy on it, punch it in with authority and it works great. I bet a McClicky will fit in here with a little rigging and fix most everything till Dark Tort has a new one ready!

The spill is bright and the throw is good too. Not quite M60 throw but not that far off from it either! Cree ring is almost totally gone from this sample. The strobe is so out of the way I will quickly forget it is even there, awesome! There is no flicker on high or low. It get's warm on high but never really gets hot thanks to the excellent design. I have nothing to measure lux. I have done no runtime tests yet either. Looking forward to the lower low from the new module. Tint is cool.
 
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