Jian Wei W1 (XR-E R2, 1x18650/2xRCR123A) Thrower: RUNTIME, BEAMSHOTS and more!

selfbuilt

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Warning: pic heavy, as usual. :whistle:

W1010.jpg


Specifications:
  • LED: CREE XR-E R2 LED
  • Two stage output: High output: 1A at 220 Lumen for 3 hours, Low output: 300mA at 80 Lumen for 12 hours
  • Function: High - Low - Strobe
  • Reflector: High efficient smooth reflector with 300-meter range.
  • Size: Length 147mm, Body Diameter 25.4mm, Head Diameter
  • Type-III hard anodize high quality aerospace grade T7075 aluminium construction
  • Water proof: waterproof to 5m/15ft
  • Tactical type switch: High/Low/Strobe/Off
  • Weight: 127 g / less than 4 ounces excluding the battery.
  • Included in the gift box: Lanyard, Glow in Dark Tail Cap Button, Spare O-Rings
  • Estimated MSRP ~$39
I don’t typically review "budget" lights anymore (due mainly to lack of time), but this one caught my interest - the distributor informs me that it is made in Tiablo’s factory. Let’s see how it compares to other mainstream XR-E R2 "thrower" lights, including those made under Tiablo’s own name.

W1011.jpg

W1008.jpg


Packaging is fairly standard, with a hard carboard box with magnetic closing flap and cut-out foam. Inside, the light comes with a manual, spare o-rings, GITD boot cap, and simple wrist lanyard.

W1007.jpg

W1003.jpg

From left to right: AW Protected 18650, Jian Wei W1, Dereelight DBS V2, Tiablo A9-R5, Tiablo A10G, Olight M20-R2.

W1: Weight: 126.4g (no batteries), Length 125.6mm x Width 45.2mm (bezel)

W1012.jpg

W1017.jpg

W1018.jpg

W1023.jpg


Build quality seems reasonably good, generally consistent with other Tiablo lights I’ve reviewed. However, the overall aluminum construction seems thinner, and the light is definitely a bit smaller than most lights in this "thrower" class.

Screw threads are anodized at the tailcap for lock-out. :)

Anodizing is perfect on my sample, no chips in the medium gloss black (HA = type III). Knurling is not as aggressive as some some lights, but overall grip is alright. Lettering is sharp and clear, but looks "budget-like" in its choice of font and logo design.

Light can tailstand, but is a bit wobbly with the slightly protruding forward cliky. You may be able play with the boot cover to improve tailstanding.

Flat-top 18650s didn’t worked on my sample, so I recommend you stick with button-top cells.

Note there is no clip included with the light, and the wrist lanyward is very basic (there’s a whole in the tailcap to thread it through).

Note that the light engine/pill is easily accessible (reverse threaded into the battery tube), which should make modding/upgrading relatively straight-forward.

W1015.jpg
W1002.jpg


The W1 features the standard "thrower" emitter, the XR-E R2 output bin, with a large and deep smooth reflector. This should produce excellent throw.

Which brings us to the requisite white wall hunting ;). All lights are on Hi on AW protected 18650, about ~0.75 meter from a white wall (with the camera ~1.25 meters back from the wall). Automatic white balance on the camera, to minimize tint differences.

W1-Beam001.jpg
A5-Q5-Beam001.jpg


W1-Beam002.jpg
A5-Q5-Beam002.jpg


W1-Beam003.jpg
A5-Q5-Beam003.jpg


W1-Beam004.jpg
A5-Q5-Beam004.jpg


From now on, all my beamshots will be taken in this standard configuration, to facilitate comparisons.

As you can see, the W1 throws an even tighter hotspot beam than the "classic" Tiablo A9-Q5.

UPDATE 11/30/10: I have just updated my 100-Yard Outdoor Beamshot thread with pics of the W1, directly compared to the DBS and Tiablo A9-Q5. Check out that thread for more info, but here is an animated GIF showing the relevant comparisons.

W1-A9Q5-DBS.gif


User Interface

Turn the light on by pressing the tailcap clicky (press for momentary on, click for locked on),

Basic operation is controlled by repeated flashing or clicking off/on the tailcap. The light has 3 modes and moves through them in repeating sequence: Hi > Lo > Strobe.

Unfortunately, the light continues to remember the last setting used indefinitely, and advances to the next mode when you re-illuminate. :ohgeez:

PWM and Strobe

W1-PWM.gif


The W1 uses PWM on its low mode, at a frequency of 253 Hz on my sample

W1-Strobe.gif


Strobe is 13 Hz.

Testing Method:

All my output numbers are relative for my home-made light box setup, a la Quickbeam's flashlightreviews.com method. 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 recently devised a method for converting my lightbox relative output values (ROV) to estimated Lumens. See my How to convert Selfbuilt's Lighbox values to Lumens thread for more info.

Throw/Output Summary Chart:

Effective November 2010, I have revised my summary tables to match with the current ANSI FL-1 standard for flashlight testing. Please see http://www.sliderule.ca/FL1.htm for a description of the terms used in these tables.

18650-FL1-Summary1-2.gif


18650-FL1-Summary2-2.gif


18650-FL1-Summary3-2.gif


The W1 is actually very close to the throw of my DBS R2. The W1 definitely throws further than the Tiablo A9-Q5, but not as far as the Tiablo A10G-R2. This is not surprising, given the emitters used and the size of the reflectors on all these lights.

Output/Runtime Comparison:

Effective January 2010, all CR123A runtimes are now performed on Titanium Innovations batteries. You can compare the performance of these CR123A cells relative to the Duracell/Surefire cells used in my earlier reviews here. These new light results are marked by an "*" in the graph legend

18650-HiRuntime.gif

18650-MedLoRuntime.gif


2xRCR-HiRuntime.gif


2xCR123A-HiRuntime.gif


Oddly, the W1-R2's output/runtime performance seem slightly lower than the A9-Q5. The PWM-controlled W1 does not seem quite as efficient as the A9-Q5 or A9-R5, even taking into account the emitter output bins used.

Potential Issues

There is no output mode retention – the light always advances to the next output mode in sequence when you turn it back on. This is rather frustrating in practice – I would prefer that it memorized the last mode used, or always came on in Hi.

Strobe is included on the main sequence, so you need to go through it to return to the beginning of the sequence. I would have preferred to see it "hidden" away somehow.

Output/runtime performance is acceptable, but nothing more.

Light uses PWM on the Lo mode, at a detectable but not overly obtrusive 256 Hz.

Consistent with its budget price, extras are fairly limited.

Preliminary Observations

I think this light is evidence that the recession has hit all world markets. In the past, it wasn’t uncommon for brand-name Asian flashlight makers to release scaled-down versions of their mainstream products exclusively for the lower-cost Asian market. There are also plenty of Asian budget-brands that sell through Western dealers. But this is one of the first times I’ve seen a brand-name maker release a budget product directly through a North American distributor (with the standard warranty and customer service support of the Western market).

Build quality and output/throw-wise, there is nothing to object to here for the price. Although the light is a bit smaller and thinner than the typical Tiablo offerings, it certainly seems to meet standard Tiablo manufacturing standards. And output and throw are certainly what you would expect for a XR-E R2 emitter with this size smooth reflector. :thumbsup:

That being said, you are missing a few of the bells and whistles of higher-end lights (including those made by Tiablo). Packaging is basic. So is the user interface. And that brings me to the main real issue I have with the light - the fact that the light *always* advances to the next mode in sequence when you turn it back on (i.e. no matter how long you leave it off). Given that Strobe is included in the sequence, that can be annoying. :green:

Overall efficiency is acceptable, but at the low-end of this class (and typically slightly underperforms the Tiablo A9-Q5). Taken with the user interface quirk above, I recommend they pay more attention to the circuit design. On the plus side, the light engine/pill is easily accessible, which may make this a very popular platform for modders.

Basically, this is a budget "thrower" light, built by a good quality manufacturer, available through a North American distributor. It thus provides another locally-available option for the budget-conscious flashlight consumer.

----

W1 provided by Kit-tronics.com for review.
 
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selfbuilt

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Written by Mathiashogevold on 11-15-2010 12:20 PM GMT

Great review as always :thumbsup:

One more christmas gift for a friend on the way! Interesting light.

How did a flashlight manufacturer get that logo? a man with a hat? :laughing:

I wonder why they chosed that..
Written by ergotelis on 11-15-2010 12:56 PM GMT

selfbuilt great again as always!How many times should i have to write it?

Plz edit and write on it the head diameter, you forgot it! :D
Written by selfbuilt on 11-15-2010 01:35 PM GMT

Mathiashogevold said:
One more christmas gift for a friend on the way! Interesting light.

How did a flashlight manufacturer get that logo? a man with a hat? :laughing:

I wonder why they chosed that..
I hope your friend likes strobing this holiday season. I hope your friend likes strobing this holiday season. ;) But it does provide a good amount of throw for those on a budget.

And yes, that is one of the strangest logos I've seen to date. On the manual, the hat is colored olive green, so I guess it's suppose to evoke a military theme? :shrug:

ergotelis said:
selfbuilt great again as always!How many times should i have to write it?

Plz edit and write on it the head diameter, you forgot it! :D
Thanks - and it's there in the review, 45.2mm at the bezel (i.e. head diameter at the opening). Thanks - and it's there in the review, 45.2mm at the bezel (i.e. head diameter at the opening).
Written by frogpl on 11-15-2010 01:37 PM GMT

Great review thank you.
Written by Mathiashogevold on 11-15-2010 02:23 PM GMT

selfbuilt said:
I hope your friend likes strobing this holiday season. ;) But it does provide a good amount of throw for those on a budget.

And yes, that is one of the strangest logos I've seen to date. On the manual, the hat is colored olive green, so I guess it's suppose to evoke a military theme? :shrug:
It's okay, i don't know why, but my friend loves strobe, so he doesn't care if he have to cycle trough It's okay, i don't know why, but my friend loves strobe, so he doesn't care if he have to cycle trough :whistle:

I got a good laugh when i saw that logo, not impressive actually, but if overall quality is okay, it will do a great job at that price.
Written by ergotelis on 11-15-2010 04:39 PM GMT

selfbuilt said:
Thanks - and it's there in the review, 45.2mm at the bezel (i.e. head diameter at the opening).
Well we are both right!You write it, not in the first overall specs the manufacturer gives, but two pages down. I read on the first specs, saw that you are not writing it, i guess you forgot it, but in fact, the manufacturer on this webpage does not write that too! Well we are both right!You write it, not in the first overall specs the manufacturer gives, but two pages down. I read on the first specs, saw that you are not writing it, i guess you forgot it, but in fact, the manufacturer on this webpage does not write that too!
Written by jabe1 on 11-15-2010 04:54 PM GMT

Is the light engine removable?

This could be a great light driven a little harder, and without disco! :naughty:
Written by crossliner67 on 11-15-2010 05:06 PM GMT

I must have missed it but will an A8/A9 collimator fit this baby Mr. Selfbuilt? Tia and have a nice day. :)
 

selfbuilt

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Written by selfbuilt on 11-16-2010 07:09 AM GMT

jabe1 said:
Is the light engine removable?

This could be a great light driven a little harder, and without disco! :naughty:
Yes, the light engine/pill is easily removable. The assembly is reverse threaded into the top of the battery tube - just unscrew, and the whole thing comes out. Should make for a good base for modding. Yes, the light engine/pill is easily removable. The assembly is reverse threaded into the top of the battery tube - just unscrew, and the whole thing comes out. Should make for a good base for modding.

Just added to the review:

W1023.jpg


crossliner67 said:
I must have missed it but will an A8/A9 collimator fit this baby Mr. Selfbuilt? Tia and have a nice day. :)
No it, won't - the W1 is considerably smaller in the design. The W1 battery tube is narrower than the A8/A9 body, so the collimating head won't fit. No it, won't - the W1 is considerably smaller in the design. The W1 battery tube is narrower than the A8/A9 body, so the collimating head won't fit.
 

selfbuilt

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Written by selfbuilt on 11-16-2010 07:09 AM GMT

jabe1 said:
Is the light engine removable?

This could be a great light driven a little harder, and without disco! :naughty:
Yes, the light engine/pill is easily removable. The assembly is reverse threaded into the top of the battery tube - just unscrew, and the whole thing comes out. Should make for a good base for modding. Yes, the light engine/pill is easily removable. The assembly is reverse threaded into the top of the battery tube - just unscrew, and the whole thing comes out. Should make for a good base for modding.

Just added to the review:

W1023.jpg


crossliner67 said:
I must have missed it but will an A8/A9 collimator fit this baby Mr. Selfbuilt? Tia and have a nice day. :)
No it, won't - the W1 is considerably smaller in the design. The W1 battery tube is narrower than the A8/A9 body, so the collimating head won't fit. No it, won't - the W1 is considerably smaller in the design. The W1 battery tube is narrower than the A8/A9 body, so the collimating head won't fit.
 

selfbuilt

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Written by crossliner67 on 11-16-2010 08:16 AM GMT

:(..Thanks a lot.
Written by jabe1 on 11-16-2010 04:01 PM GMT

Thanks! Now to find a 3 mode driver (16mm?) with a 1.4amp max... :devil:
Written by selfbuilt on 11-16-2010 05:37 PM GMT

jabe1 said:
Thanks! Now to find a 3 mode driver (16mm?) with a 1.4amp max... :devil:
I haven't opened it up, but the positive contact discat the base of the light endinge is ~18mm in diameter. That would seem to be your max width. I haven't opened it up, but the positive contact discat the base of the light endinge is ~18mm in diameter. That would seem to be your max width.
Written by coolperl on 11-17-2010 05:04 AM GMT

As you can see, the W1 throws an even tighter hotspot beam than the "classic" Tiablo A9-Q5.
This is because it's using new smaller EZ900 die, whereas A9 is using bigger, older EZ1000 die. This is because it's using new smaller EZ900 die, whereas A9 is using bigger, older EZ1000 die.

The UI is one of the most stupid and annoying, I've ever seen :ohgeez:. Total dealbreaker. <- This, and the crappy driver makes it no better than typical "throwy" DX stuff (Ultrafire C8, Aurora WF-600, etc.).
Written by nlight3318 on 11-18-2010 07:57 AM GMT

:hitit:what an awsome flashlight!!
Written by selfbuilt on 11-19-2010 02:34 PM GMT

coolperl said:
This is because it's using new smaller EZ900 die, whereas A9 is using bigger, older EZ1000 die.
Yes, that makes sense. Yes, that makes sense.

And I agree - it's a shame they didn't source a better circuit.
Written by selfbuilt on 11-30-2010 08:36 PM GMT

I have just updated the review and my100-Yard Outdoor Beamshot thread with pics of the W1, directly compared to the DBS and Tiablo A9-Q5. Check out that thread for more info, but here is an animated GIF showing the relevant comparisons.

W1-A9Q5-DBS.gif
 
Last edited:

selfbuilt

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The main review post has been updated with the final review text.

The thread discussions have been fully restored from the search engine cache data (thank you tandem!).

Please carry on! :)
 
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