Fenix TK45 Review and suggestions

en1808

Newly Enlightened
Joined
May 11, 2010
Messages
14
thanks for waitting:
Fenix TK45 show off the trobe and other lighting modes
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RJqjQBeN4YU

Fenix TK45 on my bicycle ( DIY Bike Flashlight Mount )
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Re3tfXZCpf4
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Ding-Dong, a door bell chime, found a yellow package lying on the front door stairs. My intuition told me that this must be the Fenix TK45 that I’ve been dreaming of (it is real headache that some of these courier personnel can be so irresponsible, they will just let the insurance company compensate for lost packages.)
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Size comparable to a corn
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Taking advantage of sun’s dusk
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DSLR is not around at the moment, using small DC for some quick shots. When outdoor, we can use stuff like bottle as DIY baton.

I’m proud as a Chinese to see that we have a world renowned outdoor brand like Fenix. As an outdoor enthusiast, I’m also proud of the quality and attention to details that Fenix has put into their products. This is the first time that I feel Made in China product is no less than top international outdoor brand.
Independent R&D is a path that require continuous exploring and accumulating experience, I’ll take an outdoor enthusiast approach in testing and evaluating Fenix TK45, and hope to share with all my view towards the pros and cons of TK45.
Note: the testing sample of this TK45 is using R4 LED instead of R5, the production model may be different.








Pros:
  • Compare to TK40 (630 lumens) it can output a higher 760 lumens using a smaller form factor and with the same number of battery! (The brightness is just astonishing, leaving TK45 doing a ceiling bounce, it lighted up the whole leaving room!!)
  • It can disperse heat more effectively with the 3 headed design
  • The use of AA batteries means more accessible power source when you are travelling or doing extended outdoor activities
  • Improvement to the battery holder’s front contact will results in more stable operation under high heat
  • Strong waterproof-ness design
  • Balance in portability and high performance
  • Very detailed and fine machining
  • Compare to TK40, thread are now anodized

Areas for improvement:
  • It has less throw than TK40
  • It can only sustain running in Turbo mode for an hour+ (but there seems to be significant improvement when using higher capacity primaries)
  • It runs warmer
  • The battery holder rattles, and the batteries seems to easily fall off from the holder
  • There are no lanyard hole at the tail-cap
  • Due to weight, the new anti-slip design seems to be more slippery when wet
  • The material used for battery holder seems to be weaker
Initial evaluation:
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Preparation for testing: 16 freshly charged Eneloop batteries + 8 Energizer Ultimate Lithium primaries




8 pieces of freshly charged Eneloop gives 1 hour 8 minutes on Turbo before the light starts to dim (the dimmed brightness is equivalent to running the light on High, it continue in this brightness for another 22 minutes) finally it runs in brightness equivalent of Low mode for rest of the total 2 hours runtime.
TK45 felt warm at the handle when continuously running on Turbo mode for half an hour, and the head assembly is hot (can’t touch for more than 3 seconds) A fully submerged TK45 however is performing normally (using another 8 all freshly charged batteries) and with good waterproof-ness.
Both tests show the same runtime regardless of dry or wet condition.
When using high capacity batteries (Sanyo 2900mAH) or primaries on Turbo mode, the runtime seems get some improvements.


As a seasoned flashlight enthusiast, following are my opinions and suggestions on TK45, it is my hope that you will share yours so that I, as well as Fenix can learn and improve:
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If the front bezel of the heads can be longer and wider, it should provide more protection to the lens. The crenellated bezel is a little sharp, it could ripped one’s cloths or scratch one’s skin.
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Wider thread will gives a better feel when tightening
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The head assembly could add more fins to disperse heat more effectively / a heat warning could also be mark on the head

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Add a laser pointer at the centre of 3 heads / removable diffuser cap / diameter of 3 heads can be made just a little larger

If all 3 heads are user replaceable, then this will be a good design (e.g. replace with neutral white LED in foggy environment…) a flat metal bar can be used to unscrew the 3 heads to change the LED

If one can design a cap-on reflector to cap on the 3 heads, and refocus all 3 beams onto the reflector, this will potentially enhance the throw and penetration reach, when not in use, the cap-on reflector can be screw on at the tail-cap.
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Not sure if the enhanced circuit can improve heat management, thus improve the wear and tear of o-ring and electronic circuits.
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The rubber switch could age early due to high heat; suggest increasing the switch contact area.

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It would give a better feel if the lanyard hole employ a more curvy design

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Flashlight body balancing could be improve further

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It would improve the stability of TK45 by enlarging the tail-cap surface area

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The battery holder has some improvement over TK40, it’s lighter and the contact surface is better, but it would be better to use a thinner aluminum design as plastic tends to crack upon impact, and the circuit contacts are screw on to the plastic holder, when use in high temperature, it could cause early aging or crack / battery may fall during replacement due to loosening of the holder.

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Small defect, guess the production unit would not have such problem.

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Very noticeable rattles when shake. This could be solved by padding with silicon at the tail-cap.

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Due to weight, it feels more slippery in wet condition, suggest adding a thin layer of replaceable rubber grip.


I’m prepare to use TK45 on a 14 days walk at the Yellowstone National Park (I’ll also compare it against my 150 lumens headlamp and peers’ lighting equipments. If necessary, I’ll bring along solar charger and this should realize the benefit of TK45’s AA battery design) / I’ll also evaluate the impact of using TK45 outdoor and waterproof ability, using TK45 as camping light (lantern), hopefully a reliable and high performance TK45 can replace the need for headlamp and lantern for night activities later, thus lighten the load for back-packing! (will record using Video…)
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Stay tuned…


Fenix TK45 on my bicycle ( DIY Bike Flashlight Mount )
[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Re3tfXZCpf4[/youtube]

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Re3tfXZCpf4


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Pandorum

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I agree with the switch rubber covering aging or probably breaking eventually. Doesn't look like it or the switch is serviceable.
 
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DM51

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There is little point in continuing with this thread unless/until you fix your photos. Did you read Rule 3?

Please attend to it, or it will have to be closed.
 

davidt

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Jun 11, 2007
Messages
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Location
DFW Texas
I'd would love it if the TK45 were able to take lithium energizers. Did you by any chance run the light on energizer lithiums?
 

selfbuilt

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i am fixing now
Wow, that was worth it - those have to be some of the wackiest flashlight shots I've seen yet. I particularly liked the lit-up orange and cob of corn scale reference. :lolsign:

That's even better than my infamous integrating carpet and Icon carrot peeler. :laughing:

Thanks for the pics!
 
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tre

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Northern IL USA
Nice pics. You have some good suggestions that I've never heard before. Nice review. I like that you beat the TK45 up a bit and it kept going.
 
Joined
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Messages
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Location
O'Fallon, MO
Wow, that was worth it - those have to be some of the wackiest flashlight shots I've seen yet. I particularly liked the lit-up orange and cob of corn scale reference. :lolsign:

That's even better than my infamous integrating carpet and Icon carrot peeler. :laughing:

Thanks for the pics!

+1
 

Ralph_S

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Joined
Sep 23, 2007
Messages
31
Re: Fenix TK45 Review and suggestions (battery holder)

The battery holder's front end should rest on an aluminum ledge running around the inside wall of the TK45's head, below the threads, instead of resting on a circuit board. Then if the flashlight is dropped head-down, the mass of 8 batteries won't be shoved hard into the circuit board. The springy contacts on the front end of the battery holder can ensure electrical contact, while isolating the circuit board from the inertia of the batteries, if that inertia is handled by a ledge extending inward from the head. (If the battery inertia can be handled by a rubber washer resting on the ledge, that might be even better.)

I am happy to have a plastic battery holder, if it is made of polycarbonate, so it will be virtually unbreakable. About the only significant force the battery holder must deal with, is the the inertia of the batteries, if the light is dropped on end. That would argue for adequate thickness of the plastic at the front and back ends of the battery holder. (Polycarbonate, please--or did I mention that?) The design already may be thick enough at the ends; I can't tell.

I, for one, want the light to be less angular. I am thinking about the semi-angular base for the three light heads, and the crenelations at the front and rear. Those parts will gnaw into my knapsack. (I realize that some people like crenelations.)

I very much like the switches on the side, toward the front. I like the light output. I like the use of AA batteries; I am unwilling to switch from AA batteries for flashlights, except for coin cells. I am glad that Fenix is working on the design of this type of flashlight.

Thanks
 
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