Nitecore "Tiny Monster" TM11 (4x18650, 3xXM-L) Review: RUNTIMES, BEAMSHOTS, VIDEO +

cynic

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Re: Nitecore "Tiny Monster" TM11 (4x18650, 3xXM-L) Review: RUNTIMES, BEAMSHOTS, VIDEO

The TM11 does have a spring. However, it is small, and you are correct that not all cells will work properly. You need a raised top, and it can't be too long. But just because Panasonics don't work, doesn't mean it is poorly designed. If you talking about the green bare cells, with protection, they are some of the very longest 18650s in existence. So it isn't surprising they don't work.

Take this as a learning experience...you need to check fitment before you buy any light/cells. There is always someone who has already tried it...

I wish I had known that when I bought the TM11. I don't recall it saying only certain 18650 batteries will fit. I am not a fan of the kind of spring they use for the Tm11.

This is what Nitecore should've done http://i243.photobucket.com/albums/ff97/selfbuilt/2013/EA8007.jpg

instead of this

http://i1.ytimg.com/vi/How5zxYBo6c/maxresdefault.jpg
 

thedoc007

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Re: Nitecore "Tiny Monster" TM11 (4x18650, 3xXM-L) Review: RUNTIMES, BEAMSHOTS, VIDEO

I wish I had known that when I bought the TM11. I don't recall it saying only certain 18650 batteries will fit. I am not a fan of the kind of spring they use for the Tm11.

I think it was a conscious decision by Nitecore to keep the light as small as possible. Larger springs = more length. But I totally understand your annoyance at the lack of standardization. It would be nice if there was one single specification that was actually adhered to by both cell and light manufacturers. An 18650 can be anywhere from 64mm to 70+mm. And 17mm wide to 19mm wide. If you accommodate ALL these sizes, you will have rattle with the smaller ones. If you make a decision to only utilize a portion of them, those might fit better, but then others will not work at all. Judgement call as to where the line should be drawn. WE NEED STANDARDIZATION!

Edit: Don't even get me started on flat-top vs. button top. Whole new set of issues!
 

cynic

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Re: Nitecore "Tiny Monster" TM11 (4x18650, 3xXM-L) Review: RUNTIMES, BEAMSHOTS, VIDEO

I think it was a conscious decision by Nitecore to keep the light as small as possible. Larger springs = more length. But I totally understand your annoyance at the lack of standardization. It would be nice if there was one single specification that was actually adhered to by both cell and light manufacturers. An 18650 can be anywhere from 64mm to 70+mm. And 17mm wide to 19mm wide. If you accommodate ALL these sizes, you will have rattle with the smaller ones. If you make a decision to only utilize a portion of them, those might fit better, but then others will not work at all. Judgement call as to where the line should be drawn. WE NEED STANDARDIZATION!

Edit: Don't even get me started on flat-top vs. button top. Whole new set of issues!

Exactly! Now my other shorter 18650 battery won't fit b/c my panasonic batt have bent that spring so far back. :( Terrible idea to use that kind of spring on the TM11.
So it seems I have to buy new batteries for my Tm11 since my Panasonic is too long for it.
 
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thedoc007

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Re: Nitecore "Tiny Monster" TM11 (4x18650, 3xXM-L) Review: RUNTIMES, BEAMSHOTS, VIDEO

Exactly! Now my other shorter 18650 battery won't fit b/c my panasonic batt have bent that spring so far back. :( Terrible idea to use that kind of spring on the TM11.
So it seems I have to buy new batteries for my Tm11 since my Panasonic is too long for it.

We will have to agree to disagree, I actually like the Tiny Monster battery compartment, springs included. Again, it is a judgement call, and I think the TM11 springs are just fine. But you do have to use the right cells...LOTS of protected cells will work fine. You just picked the longest cells in existence. Almost all other cells will be shorter than the standard green NCR18650B.

I'd head over to Illumination Supply and order some SoShine 3400 cells. They are shorter than most (68.3mm max) and only $40 for four. There are coupon codes, and right now if you spend $100, you get $35 off and free shipping. If you need to stock up, now is the time!
 

cynic

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Re: Nitecore "Tiny Monster" TM11 (4x18650, 3xXM-L) Review: RUNTIMES, BEAMSHOTS, VIDEO

We will have to agree to disagree, I actually like the Tiny Monster battery compartment, springs included. Again, it is a judgement call, and I think the TM11 springs are just fine. But you do have to use the right cells...LOTS of protected cells will work fine. You just picked the longest cells in existence. Almost all other cells will be shorter than the standard green NCR18650B.

I'd head over to Illumination Supply and order some SoShine 3400 cells. They are shorter than most (68.3mm max) and only $40 for four. There are coupon codes, and right now if you spend $100, you get $35 off and free shipping. If you need to stock up, now is the time!

I wish I had known about that site/battery sooner. I just ordered me some Eagletac 3400mAH 18650 and they are $17/each! Holy crap that is expensive. Going to cancel my Eagletech order and get me some SoShine.
I don't get why Eagletech 3400mah protected would cost almost 2x more though. I hope I'm not sacrificing too much quality by going SoShine 3400mah.
 
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pageyjim

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Re: Nitecore "Tiny Monster" TM11 (4x18650, 3xXM-L) Review: RUNTIMES, BEAMSHOTS, VIDEO

I was wondering if possibly Nitecore decided to forego a traditional spring for the negative battery contacts and use what they did to possibly acheive less resistance at these contacts on what was an extremely high output light at the time?
I understand it can be frustrating with batteries with many of our lights. Many cannot use flattops and high capacity cells etc. I have found that Eagletac 3100 batteries work in virtually every light I have tried them in. This thread was also very helpful to me because the battery issue has been discussed at length from the very beginning as I recall. I would recommend to anyone buying a light to check any of the great reviews here before purchasing if possible.
 

thedoc007

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Re: Nitecore "Tiny Monster" TM11 (4x18650, 3xXM-L) Review: RUNTIMES, BEAMSHOTS, VIDEO

I don't get why Eagletech 3400mah protected would cost almost 2x more though. I hope I'm not sacrificing too much quality by going SoShine 3400mah.

You aren't sacrificing much at all. The cell inside the branded wrapper is exactly the same. Both of them are based on a bare Panasonic cell. The only difference is the PCB, and for your purposes, the cells will work just as well as the Eagletacs. You can pay upwards of $25 for one cell, if you aren't careful. They charge that much because they can! A lot of people read higher price = higher quality, and just don't know any better.
 

cynic

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Re: Nitecore "Tiny Monster" TM11 (4x18650, 3xXM-L) Review: RUNTIMES, BEAMSHOTS, VIDEO

You aren't sacrificing much at all. The cell inside the branded wrapper is exactly the same. Both of them are based on a bare Panasonic cell. The only difference is the PCB, and for your purposes, the cells will work just as well as the Eagletacs. You can pay upwards of $25 for one cell, if you aren't careful. They charge that much because they can! A lot of people read higher price = higher quality, and just don't know any better.

Just wanted to say, THX YOU VERY MUCH thedoc007. You are a life saver. I was beginning to go real broke from all these batteries and was totally clueless on what to get and the differences. I now know better. I have cancelled all the Eagletech battery and ordered me the Soshine.

Prior to this thread I was always under the impression all 18650 batteries are the same length.
 

thedoc007

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Re: Nitecore "Tiny Monster" TM11 (4x18650, 3xXM-L) Review: RUNTIMES, BEAMSHOTS, VIDEO

Prior to this thread I was always under the impression all 18650 batteries are the same length.

That would be nice, wouldn't it? Technically the cells themselves are usually right around the official specified length - 18mm diameter and 65mm long (hence the name). But once you add protection (PCB), things get more difficult. The PCB usually adds 3-5mm to the bare cell. And rather than taking the time to remove a wrapper, they often just wrap their own branding around the existing one. This can make a cell wider too. It may not seem like much, but it can make the difference.

Anyway, happy to help! Hope the SoShines work as well for you as they have for me.
 

selfbuilt

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Re: Nitecore "Tiny Monster" TM11 (4x18650, 3xXM-L) Review: RUNTIMES, BEAMSHOTS, VIDEO

I wish I had known that when I bought the TM11. I don't recall it saying only certain 18650 batteries will fit. I am not a fan of the kind of spring they use for the Tm11.
An 18650 can be anywhere from 64mm to 70+mm. And 17mm wide to 19mm wide. If you accommodate ALL these sizes, you will have rattle with the smaller ones. If you make a decision to only utilize a portion of them, those might fit better, but then others will not work at all. Judgement call as to where the line should be drawn. WE NEED STANDARDIZATION!!
Prior to this thread I was always under the impression all 18650 batteries are the same length.
Yes, this was an issue I identified in the original review when it was posted (way back in November 2011). Here is the quote from the Potential Issues section of the review, based on my measurement and testing at that time:

Unprotected 18650 cells - and extremely long (high-capacity) protected 18650 cells - may not activate in the light. For example, my unprotected AW IMR-18600 cells (65.1mm height) would not activate in the light, even with a magnet spacer to raise the height to 66.0mm. Most of my raised-top protected cells, from my AW protected 2200mAh (67.4mm height) to my Redilast 2900mAh cells (68.9mm height), worked fine. However, my unusually long button-top 4GREER 2400mAh cells (69.2mm height) were too tall and would not let the head screw down all the way. My 4GREER 3100mAh cells (69.0mm) worked in one TM11 sample, but not another. Basically, 67-69mm seems to be the height tolerance range for the light, and should safely cover most primaries and button protected 18650s out there. True flat-top cells (where the positive contact plate is recessed below the level of the wrapping) will definitely not work in this light.


A lot of higher capacity protected cells have gotten longer and wider over time. It's a bit of a "boiled frog" problem - a lot of lights can handle a small dimensional change, but eventually you hit a breaking point for some lights. The flat spring design of the the TM11 is one of those lights.

To be fair, the light was designed when 2900mAh Sanyo cells were highest capacity out there (and most of those were still <69mm due to thin PCBs and connector buttons). So it was still relatively rare to find batteries that wouldn't work in the light at the time it was released. But this remains a light where you need to know your cell length before purchasing - a problem that has just compounded with age and increasing cell capacity/length.
 
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HKJ

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Re: Nitecore "Tiny Monster" TM11 (4x18650, 3xXM-L) Review: RUNTIMES, BEAMSHOTS, VIDEO

An important point to keep in mind is that standard ICR Li-ion chemistry has not changed all that much in the last decade. So the main way that manufacturers have managed to squeeze in more capacity is by exceeding the typical length and/or width limits of a 18650 cell.

That is not correct, the chemistry has changed significantly and the size is exactly the same 18*65mm within a few tenths. The long batteries are due to button top and protection circuit. Thick batteries are due to two layers of wrap and a connection strip on the side of the battery, most of it added due to the protection circuit.
 

selfbuilt

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Re: Nitecore "Tiny Monster" TM11 (4x18650, 3xXM-L) Review: RUNTIMES, BEAMSHOTS, VIDEO

Ok, fair enough, I'll revise that comment about the bare cells.
 

Richwouldnt

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Re: Nitecore "Tiny Monster" TM11 (4x18650, 3xXM-L) Review: RUNTIMES, BEAMSHOTS, VIDEO

A new version of the TM11 is now out with a listed output of 2500 Lumens rather than the original 2000 Lumens maximum. It is shown and specifications listed on the Nitecore web site. Other output levels are increased by about the same percentage. The new upgrade's main change seems to be a switch to XM-L2 LEDs. as run times are unchanged IIRC. So far few dealers seem to have it in stock.
 

PeterPan82

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Re: Nitecore "Tiny Monster" TM11 (4x18650, 3xXM-L) Review: RUNTIMES, BEAMSHOTS, VIDEO

What seems to be responsible for it having less runtime and fewer lumens than the Niwalker MM15/18 which also runs on four 18650 batteries?
 

thedoc007

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Re: Nitecore "Tiny Monster" TM11 (4x18650, 3xXM-L) Review: RUNTIMES, BEAMSHOTS, VIDEO

What seems to be responsible for it having less runtime and fewer lumens than the Niwalker MM15/18 which also runs on four 18650 batteries?

It is years older than the MM15, it uses completely different emitters (XM-L or XM-L2 versus MT-G2 in the MM15), the TM11 uses a less efficient (but inherently much safer) parallel setup for the cells, the TM11 is better regulated, while the MM15 is direct-drive like, so it dims with the cell voltage, etc. They are both small and floody, but otherwise very different lights...
 

oKtosiTe

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Re: Nitecore "Tiny Monster" TM11 (4x18650, 3xXM-L) Review: RUNTIMES, BEAMSHOTS, VIDEO

What is the current draw at max output? Could I run this light off of a reduced number of IMR cells?
 

thedoc007

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Re: Nitecore "Tiny Monster" TM11 (4x18650, 3xXM-L) Review: RUNTIMES, BEAMSHOTS, VIDEO

What is the current draw at max output? Could I run this light off of a reduced number of IMR cells?

Not likely. The TM series is designed for protected cells...IMR would likely be too short, unless you modified them or the springs. However, some protected cells can run the TM11 without tripping. Not sure exactly what the current drain is, but I'd guess it is between 5.5-7 amps.

In an emergency, given only one cell, you could make it work. But why would you want to use less than four, in practice? It is harder on the cells, regulation would be worse, runtime would be shorter, and output would decline more rapidly than with a full complement of cells.
 
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oKtosiTe

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Re: Nitecore "Tiny Monster" TM11 (4x18650, 3xXM-L) Review: RUNTIMES, BEAMSHOTS, VIDEO

Not likely. The TM series is designed for protected cells...IMR would likely be too short, unless you modified them or the springs. However, some protected cells can run the TM11 without tripping. Not sure exactly what the current drain is, but I'd guess it is between 5.5-7 amps.

In an emergency, given only one cell, you could make it work. But why would you want to use less than four, in practice? It is harder on the cells, regulation would be worse, runtime would be shorter, and output would decline more rapidly than with a full complement of cells.

Because... it's cheaper?:broke: It was kind of a hypothetical question. :sssh::whistle:
 

martinaee

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Re: Nitecore "Tiny Monster" TM11 (4x18650, 3xXM-L) Review: RUNTIMES, BEAMSHOTS, VIDEO

LOL I just read the addendum about the time stamp after looking at this thread for 5 minutes wondering where several years of my life went. I was sitting here questioning whether the TM-11 and xm-l leds have really been out since 2008... I got sad for a second lol. Okay then. Hip hip.. carry on!
 

oKtosiTe

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Re: Nitecore "Tiny Monster" TM11 (4x18650, 3xXM-L) Review: RUNTIMES, BEAMSHOTS, VIDEO

LOL I just read the addendum about the time stamp after looking at this thread for 5 minutes wondering where several years of my life went. I was sitting here questioning whether the TM-11 and xm-l leds have really been out since 2008... I got sad for a second lol. Okay then. Hip hip.. carry on!
I don't think that's right. Note that even the very first reply is dated 2011-11-16.
 
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