Nitecore TM15 (3xXM-L U2, 4x18650, 8xCR123A/RCR) Review: RUNTIME, BEAMSHOTS, VIDEO +

utahfuntimes

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I have a question:

Brand new 3400 cels, fully charged. When I put the light into turbo mode it stays on for about 5 seconds and then the entire thing shuts off. I can put it into a dimmer mode and it will stay on with no problems. I get 4 blinks from the light when I first turn it on indicating the batteries are charged to 4v. and when I plug in the charger the light goes solid to indicate they are charged.
 

selfbuilt

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Brand new 3400 cels, fully charged. When I put the light into turbo mode it stays on for about 5 seconds and then the entire thing shuts off. I can put it into a dimmer mode and it will stay on with no problems. I get 4 blinks from the light when I first turn it on indicating the batteries are charged to 4v. and when I plug in the charger the light goes solid to indicate they are charged.
Sounds like a battery issue. If the in-light charger won't charge further, they should be at a resting voltage of ~4.2V (not 4.0V). What brand of cells are you using, and where did you get them from?
 

utahfuntimes

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They are orbtronic... based on panasonic cells with button tops and protection. They are listed to specifically be compatible with the TM15, and based on my research people seem to have good things to say about them. The CR123 were all brand new duracells.
 

selfbuilt

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They are orbtronic... based on panasonic cells with button tops and protection. They are listed to specifically be compatible with the TM15, and based on my research people seem to have good things to say about them. The CR123 were all brand new duracells.
Hmmm, good battery brand. Have you tried each one in another heavily-driven light to make sure they are all working ok? Ideally, would be good if you could try another set of 18650s in your TM15, to rule out a battery issue. Otherwise, it could be a problem with your flashlight. But I expect the manufacturer will want you to confirm with another batch of batteries before sending in for repair.
 

NoNotAgain

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Try using a pencil eraser on the battery body contact plates. They oxidize rather easy. Then while you still have the batteries out of the light, screw the battery tube down till its tight and place a mark on the side noting where it screwed to. Place batteries inside and try the same thing again. The marks should align. If not you could be not making good contact and when the light has a high draw arcs to break contact.
 

Reji22

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I had a similar problem with my TM11. As soon as the light is put on, the low battery indicator used to flash. But on checking the voltage of the batteries they were full. Finally, I got a replacement TM15 from the vendor as he didn't have another TM11.


Sent from my iPad using Candlepowerforums
 

Reji22

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My TM 15 was being charged by the supplied charger for quite some time. Yesterday, after charging them full, I removed the batteries from the body and placed it on my D4 charger. To my surprise, 2 of them showed almost full charge while the other 2 were at 3.74 V. Is this a common phenomenon?
 

selfbuilt

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My TM 15 was being charged by the supplied charger for quite some time. Yesterday, after charging them full, I removed the batteries from the body and placed it on my D4 charger. To my surprise, 2 of them showed almost full charge while the other 2 were at 3.74 V. Is this a common phenomenon?
Yes, it's a potential issue with all in-light chargers. Over time, discrepancies can crop up between the cells. These get magnified on each subsequent re-charge, eventually leading to a situation when some cells are consistently under-charged. Doing a periodic recharge of the cells outside the light should set everything straight again.
 

Timothybil

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Yes, it's a potential issue with all in-light chargers. Over time, discrepancies can crop up between the cells. These get magnified on each subsequent re-charge, eventually leading to a situation when some cells are consistently under-charged. Doing a periodic recharge of the cells outside the light should set everything straight again.
That's one of the reasons I am not enamored of lights with built-in chargers. The other is that when I am using it as a charger, I can't use it as a flashlight, and if I need that light right then, it won't be completely charged so I won't know how much I can rely upon it.
 

kreisl

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My somewhat used cells all came out ~4.14-4.15V in my testing, which is a nice conservative level (i.e., just ~0.01-0.02V less than my Pila charger on these same cells).
nice random post kreisl :D, my abused NCR18650GA come out at 4x 4.108V, which is about 4x 235mAh short to 4.20V (mc3k). I've been using the light for many years regularly as work light (cleaning, vacuuming, work) and been enjoying the third-party accessories/ecosystem for it (Thrunite flipup diffuser, tripod mount ring, color filters, NHM10 mount handle, sturdy wrist strap, quality holster). The internal charging electronics once broke down but warranty covered it; since then i didn't make use of the recharging capability also because i needed a recharge only once every 2 weeks, so it was no big deal to fast-charge the batts at 4x 1.75A externally (mc3k). over the years the light has held up well, no complaints. It's a pity that the construction is so picky about the battery length; i must use my unprotected 4x NCR18650GA with neodym magnets :ironic:. And i always lock out the light mechanically after work; no big deal, and good to have that mechanical lock out option.

After the recharging capability of two other daily-much-use lights broke on me (cheap fragile construction ports:faint:, had to retire those lights what a shame) i am substituting now the TM15. It is going to light on the 600lm mode for several hours everyday and be recharged with its built-in charger everynight. Four things could break again as witnessed on my other rechargeable lights: the charging adapter's electronics, the charging adapter's physical build (cable, solder, internal construction), the light's charging port (socket breaking loose or off, or just failing), or the light's recharging electronics. But at this point i don't expect that any of the four will fail, let's have some trust in de Nietcore :poke:

Interestingly the TM15 is still in the web catalog and available from several sources, not a discontinued model unlike the infamous TM11, the first popular beast of its kind! (EDIT: by now the Nietcore product webpage says "TM15 (Discontinued)" :laughing:) Not long ago the TM15 was sold off at 80usd or 80-90eur, special offer on various sites; i am thinking that i should have bought another unit at that price as spare. ( Fortunately i already have an Imalent 5-mode version DT70 as spare work light, yet for good reasons i won't use its micro-USB imacr*p recharging socket, too poorly built :sick2: - i like imalent otherwise :poof: )

Fingers crossed that both the TM15 and the DT70 keep serving me well for countless years to come. As long as i don't drop these heavy lights on the floor (fall impact), there should be no reason for failure imho. Other lights like Surefire, Elzetta, Maglite, Prometheus don't fail either! :thumbsup:

Here more charge and discharge tests for my abusted NCR18650GA in the TM15 voltage operation range:
2019-12-23 test2. 7h42min08sec from 4x 2.998V to 4x 4.114V in TM15
2019-12-28 test3. 7h48min31sec from 4x 2.892V to 4x 4.114V in TM15
2020-01-04 test4. 4x 2863mAh in 6h30min from 4x 2.85V to 4x 4.11V in mc3k @1750mA\0.01A (average numbers)
2020-01-05 test5. 4x 2807mAh in 6h18min from 4x 4.11V to 4x 2.85V in mc3k @-500mA\-0.01A (average numbers), so mc3k charge efficiency is over 98.0%
 
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kreisl

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Four things could break again as witnessed on my other rechargeable lights: the charging adapter's electronics, the charging adapter's physical build (cable, solder, internal construction), the light's charging port (socket breaking loose or off, or just failing), or the light's recharging electronics. But at this point i don't expect that any of the four will fail, let's have some trust in de Nietcore :poke:
i knew that it could happen but i didn't expect it to happen. i've been recharging the TM15 on a daily basis, to which purpose i never shut the charging socket with the rubber plug: all the plugging and unplugging day in day out seems unnecessary if i recharge the light every night. so i leave the rubber unplugged. fine.
in the unplugged position, however, i cannot easily plug in the charging plug because the rubber plug is in the way. as intended by the manufacturer, one must bend the rubber plug such that the charging plug can be inserted without obstruction.
one doesn't need to use 2 hands or a hand for that matter, the entire plugging can be done single-handedly, no problem.
in any case, the rubber gets bent by 90° or up to 180°. and after repeated bendings, the material fails. boo-hoo. nothing surprising, nothing new. rubber gets consumed, rubber ages, rubber fails, rubber is not built for repeated bendings.
I just wanted to document in picture that this kind of failure is real and even happens with posers who baby/pet their lights:
img_20210528_115438loj03.jpg

img_20210528_115307kck79.jpg

img_20210528_1152235xkou.jpg

img_20210528_115551e7j19.jpg


Fortunately the accessory bag came with a replacement rubber iirc. But it would be a poor idea to perform the 1:1 replacement, after a year the substituted rubber plug would be broken like that too! I would like to add that the rubber material is made of the cheapest friable quality, disgustingly cheap quality. The material fails not because of all the minor bending but because it is sh*t quality.

What's the rubber plug good for? Protection against humidity, water ingress, dirt, dust, dandruff? Maybe. But since i use this worklight indoors only, i can just shut the opening with a piece of masking tape or whatever, for the day. And indoors, usually it is not necessary to seal the charging port, me thinks.

A: watt? you still got the honky old TM15 and still use it?
B: yee. and how's your wife doing?
A: touché :rolleyes:
B: and btw the bump got 37.5k views, so somebody must be interested in reading
 
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