Thrunite TN40 (4xXP-L HI, rechargeable battery pack) Review: BEAMSHOTS and more!

moldyoldy

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It would've been much more convenient if both options were available.

I suspect that a standard DC-AC converter, meaning 12VDC -> 120VAC, as plugged in to the aux 12v output plug available in most vehicles, would solve the problem nicely. I normally carry a DC-AC converter under my front seat. Just remember that the converter has to handle the inrush current of the TN40 power supply as well as the steady-state current. and that most DC-AC converters output a stepped square wave, not a sine wave (expensive). the really cheap DC-AC converters output almost a square wave. Oversizing the converter is a good idea. just do not let it run after completion of TN40 charge (or whatever) and thereby discharge the vehicle battery!
 

nollij

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I suspect that a standard DC-AC converter, meaning 12VDC -> 120VAC, as plugged in to the aux 12v output plug available in most vehicles, would solve the problem nicely. I normally carry a DC-AC converter under my front seat. Just remember that the converter has to handle the inrush current of the TN40 power supply as well as the steady-state current. and that most DC-AC converters output a stepped square wave, not a sine wave (expensive). the really cheap DC-AC converters output almost a square wave. Oversizing the converter is a good idea. just do not let it run after completion of TN40 charge (or whatever) and thereby discharge the vehicle battery!

It seems like a no-brainer to offer a alternate cable to plug from a 12v car lighter socket into the charging brick... just saying. I'd use it! There's a definite loss of power going DC-AC-DC and it's totally unnecessary

I've been looking for a thrower like this to light up my fence line and the critters that invade my yard and try to fight with my dog... I have an old "2 million candlepower" spotlight I bought from Costco back around 2005 but the thing weighs about 8 pounds and is HUGE (almost 2 feet long) This seems almost featherweight and tiny by comparison and the "bulbs" won't burn out at an inopportune time either :)

Not sure if buying direct from ThruNite is the best option... any opinions? I'm also curious about the color temp difference between the cool white and the neutral white... of course, there's going to be variation, but a general sense of the range in terms of color temp.

Great review... made me want one!
 

ThruNite

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Hello Nollij

You can buy from amazon and our website for Thrunite Products. both are managed by ThruNite self. The Products are packed and shiped by amazon. if you buy from our website. you can get at most 10% off discount/ and online chat service. I am sure this will be helpful to you!

Anyway. Thanks to Choose ThruNite!
 

moldyoldy

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A field report on my copy of the TN40.

Received my TN40, charged it (fast), and well after sunset walked out into a very muggy buggy night to check it out. I brought along my LD75C with roughly the same lumen output on turbo for a cross-check of beam types. Test objects at many distances were trees, docked boats, a dam, a smallish warehouse area, paths in woods, and wooded back roads.

The bugs drove me back to my apt, but, my initial impression was "WoW!". In particular, the lumen step from high to turbo really demonstrated what was possible for lighting up distant objects and adjacent area well beyond ~100 meters.

The turbo level provided enough spill at a distance to not feel that I was looking down a lighted hole in the dark. And therein lies the catch: The TN40 is optimized for mostly throw, and that objective was achieved nicely. However, thereby the beam is less useful at shorter distances and especially at lower output levels, exactly because there is relatively little spill at short distances w/o increasing the lumens. If I increase the power to provide spill, the spot is too bright. By comparison, for my walks in/out of vantage points, I quickly reverted back to the LD75C with it's relatively broad spot and good spill yet still some distance, but no where near the distance reach of the TN40.

Tonight I will drive to a more open area of mixed grassland/woods to see how the TN40 performs at still longer distances. I need mixed trees & grassland such that the grassland shows the spill out to the distant object better. Water on a lake does not reflect very well.

Frankly, the TN40 reaches out farther than I can usefully discern what may be moving out there. I could see eyeshine, but had no idea what the animal was, except maybe a guess from the height of the eyeshine above the ground.

I also estimated the TN40 size correctly - the TN40 does fit in my various coat pockets, no matter if an uninsulated mountain parka, or a down parka. The overall length is more than short enough, even if the lens is broad. I could not do that with my TN35. The stubbiness of the TN40 is useful!

On a broader note: the TN40 with the battery pack was actually lower in cost than an LD75C since quality 4x18650 cells at ~$18/each raised the effective cost of the LD75C above that of the TN40.

For me, the TN40 is useful, but in more specialized circumstances where the beam needs to reach out, find, and 'touch' something. The TN40 is not an all-arounder like the Fenix LD75C or the Eagletac MX25L4C, nor was it intended to be.
 
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selfbuilt

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A field report on my copy of the TN40.

And therein lies the catch: The TN40 is optimized for mostly throw, and that objective was achieved nicely. However, thereby the beam is less useful at shorter distances and especially at lower output levels, exactly because there is relatively little spill at short distances w/o increasing the lumens. If I increase the power to provide spill, the spot is too bright. By comparison, for my walks in/out of vantage points, I quickly reverted back to the LD75C with it's relatively broad spot and good spill yet still some distance, but no where near the distance reach of the TN40.
Thanks for the detailed field test report, very interesting.

I quoted the above bit, because I can see how that could be the case. When it comes to dialing down these sorts of lights to lower levels, I find I either prefer larger hotspot/coronas that even things out more - or focused hotspots with almost no spill (i.e., a spotbeam effect). Of course, it is hard to find one light that does everything at all output ranges and distances. :)
 

moldyoldy

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Tonight I drove around a wooded countryside for an hour looking for suitable distances with tree lines in the background and open mixed vegetation in the foreground to test the distance that the TN40 could effectively reach. I am still amazed at how far the TN40 can reach. ~200 meters was trivial to light up a tree line or the field in front of the trees.

After about 200 meters I lose my ability to judge distances at night, but some of the tree lines had to be approaching 500 meters. Admittedly I was only lighting up the tree foliage or a field directly in front of the tree line. but it was still a long ways out there. Yes, I saw eyes walking around in the grass. the slower movements suggested a raccoon.

One problem I had in finding suitable areas to scan thru with the TN40 beam was that most clumps of trees had a farmhouse somewhere in the middle. at least I could see those lights to avoid them.

A minor problem I had with the TN40 itself was the double-click speed necessary to achieve the turbo output. More than a few times I was simply too slow with the double-click, including some cases of sequential failures in my double-click technique. When I focused on the 'clicking', I did not have a problem. time to pay attention to technique!

The TN40 is admittedly specialized for lighting up objects at a considerable distance, but, the spot/spill combination at a long distance is impressive! I have never had such a resource before.
 
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moldyoldy

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The beam from the TN40 is somewhat deceptive, at least for me.

Nearly all of my handheld lights since the '40s have been a case of increasing brightness increases the useful distance. emphasis on useful => find and highlight an object or moving animal in mixed terrain, not just around a room in a house/apt.

in the '40s, I started out with the standard household handheld flashlight which was a 2-D cell carbon-zinc light with an incandescent bulb. Initial output improvements were achieved by filling the bulb with different gases, halogen, Xenon, Krypton. Belatedly the alkaline battery was introduced. Then GE brought out Ni-Cad cells inside of a D-size shell which allowed affordability for a higher-current source. light sources evolved, etc. etc. etc.

As ray-tracing software improved and reflectors with more complex shapes were producible (sputtered plating, etc), then handheld lights became a sales and marketing effort as to how much spill with how much throw.

The TN40 seems to have hit a sweet spot for throw + spill + power in a reasonable handheld & pocketable (coat pocket) light. The TN40 is only really consistently useful starting around ~~50 meters/yards and 'shines' at distances at ~100 to ~200 meters/yards and beyond. Admittedly I now need to carry another shorter-range broader-beamed light for the dense wooded trails.

BTW, I discovered that I appreciate the UI feature of always reverting back to the lowest output level when increasing the output (less the turbo mode). That spot intensity is very deceptive.

For me, the TN40 is a keeper! Any handheld light with greater throw and less spill would not be acceptable. IOW, a confirmation of the TN40 design requirements and build from an old flashaholic....

edit: My complements to SelfBuilt and his consistently excellent reviews! In particular, I pay attention to the output vs time discharge curves, and the beam comparisons between competing lights. Thank you!
 
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selfbuilt

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edit: My complements to SelfBuilt and his consistently excellent reviews! In particular, I pay attention to the output vs time discharge curves, and the beam comparisons between competing lights. Thank you!
Thanks, I've always found the runtime curves to be among the most informative test results that I do.

As always though, appreciate the real-world practical experience. :)
 

Underdriven

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If Thrunite sold the battery pack as a spare part with a screw on plastic cap to protect the contacts then you have a very convenient way to carry your spare "cells" ,quick to change over and can charge almost as quick as you can discharge the active pack (unless you are a turbo junkie ) .
If you also had the "car charger" option that was suggested earlier it would be great for night patrol work.
 

moldyoldy

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addendum 2x:

FWIW: Thrunite brought out the TN42 to compete (?) with the TN40 utilizing the same battery pack:

http://www.thrunite.com/tn42-rechargeable-led-searchlight/

Avoiding further comment on the TN42 in this TN40 thread, I will still reiterate that any light with more range and less spill than the TN40 does not interest me, including the TN42. I will be interested in any reviews with beamshots that compare the two lights.

Ref my testing of the TN40: although I spent a lot of time on rifle ranges in the US/Germany, my range estimation loses credibility rather quickly beyond ~200 yards. So I revisited most of the places that I was testing the TN40 for range and checked the actual distances with a Nikon Prostaff 3i laser rangefinder. My estimate of 'has to be over 500 meters' measured to be 415 meters per the Nikon laser rangefinder. Noting also that if the atmospherics do not interfere, it is rather difficult to find distances beyond about 200-300 meters to test these long-range beams which do not disturb the local residents.
 

RemcoM

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Sadly enough (i want this light soon much), i can not order it, here in the Netherlands...nobody here has it in store.

Some questions,

1 Can the TN40, visibly light up a treelike, at 500...........and 1000 1200 meters?

Have treelines, at this distances....but have not the light.

2 Does this light, surpass....match, carhighbeams, in intensity/reach? Can/or have somebody tested this? Compared this?

Or even airplanelandingights?

More headlight questions, i will do, via PM, off course.

3 Whats more blinding/disorienting......turbomode constant on, or the 13 Hz strobe at turbo intensity too?
 

vadimax

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With lights of that power I guess strobe has no value -- an opponent will be blinded by sheer power of the beam itself. It's like looking into the sun in the middle of the night :)
 

moldyoldy

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Well, here are my thoughts about the questions posed by RemcoM. but perhaps in reverse order

3: I agree with vadimax. if a beam with ~4000 lumens is aimed at your head in a dark environment, it really makes no difference if strobed or not. If you looked into the beam from any shorter distance, you would not be able to see much of anything for a while. Part of the question of a narrow beam is the ability of the handler to keep the beam on a suspect's head.

2. The TN40 vs a car headlight. The TN40 emits more lumens than any vehicle headlight I am aware of. Reportedly an HID headlight emits around ~~3000 lumens (?) and a halogen headlight bulb emits about ~~1300 lumens, but with different beam dispersions. The output of LED headlights are unknown to me. More importantly, the TN40 emits a cone of light which disperses over a distance. A vehicle headlight beam is supposed to cover the road from side to side with very little loss to any vertical component, depending high/low beam. The best comparison between the TN40 and a vehicle-mounted light that I know would the rally driving lights that are mounted on so many German cars, especially for their late night runs thru the mountains (Harz, Mittelgebirge, etc). These are rather large reflector-based driving lights mounted on bumpers. There are many sizes of rally lights for vehicles. To my perception, those rally light beams are intended to reach a long ways down the road - primarily a cone of light. The intent is to show the dips in the road surface and upcoming curves, which at high speeds could be more than distracting.

1. Lighting up objects such as trees at long distances depends on the atmospherics (haze, humidity), and the reflectivity of the target. I lit up a deciduous/leafy treeline at 415 meters (laser-measurement). I perceive no problem with the TN40 reaching 500 meters on a leafy tree, but... Coniferous trees (pine needles) do not reflect as much light, so those would need to be closer. The foliage at the base of the trees is usually a broad-leaf plant, and those will reflect adequate light. dead branches are worse than pine needles for reflecting light. A broader question is - what could you do at 500 meters away? warn away some predator - 2 or 4 legged? I doubt that I could positively identify any animal at 500 meters in the beam of a TN40 or K70 or TN42. not actionable.

which is a seque to comment indirectly on the listed range of lights: Another poster in another thread made the observation that the listed range of a light is best observed by lighting up a reflective street sign at the assigned distance. Otherwise, my guideline is to divide the listed number by at least 2 to obtain a more usable illumination at distance.
 

moldyoldy

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On the subject of TN40 tested distances, I did read one test on another forum that showed the TN40 beam clearly lighting up a high-rise 760 meters distant. The high-rise had white on the surface, so there was adequate reflectance.

FWIW, although I certainly do not need more 'throw' on the TN40, I am very curious about any upgrade to the TN40 LEDs with the intent to increase the lumens significantly. There have been TN40 LED upgrade discussions with Thrunite on yet another forum, including one test sample from Thrunite. I would welcome, and maybe purchase, a significant upgrade to the TN40 in lumens: retain the approximate 1KM FL-1 distance, but divert the extra lumens to spill, or perhaps a wider spot with the same spill. again, I am satisfied with the existing TN40, but recognize the potential for upgrades. I am sure that the modders (Vin,et.al.) have some tricks that they are testing.
 

RemcoM

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Had last night, tested my TM36, from Nitecore, and shined at a tree, at 700 meters distance, and the tree was lit up a bit, but pretty clearly.

And lit up trees at 300 meters, like daylight.

And the TM36, has about the beam distance, as the TN40.

1 But.....i next go test with my 1100 meters reach.....320 kcD light, shine at a friends home, at night...he shuts off all lights inside......can i lit up, his dark house inside a bit, with 320 kcD?

His house is at about 1300 /1400 meters distance, from where i shine at it.

2 What about the intensity, of the fireflymode of the TN40?

Very dim, or not so?
 

moldyoldy

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Was on travel, had the chance to show the TN40 to some relatives or almost relatives: They were impressed. We had a river to range across (~600-700 meters), or a lot of woods nearby. They ran it mostly on high and turbo. The lowest level (firefly) meant nothing to them.

What they liked:
1. Handy size, not long and clumsy like the Maglite 4-6 D-cell lights.
2. Obviously sufficient lumens and focus to the beam to reach across the river and then some. but still enough spill to see what was near the spot.
3. Turn-key power solution. IOW, no fussing with individual cells. They would probably not bother with a spare battery pack given that the quick charge was fast. They were not interested in micro-USB charging given the speed of the quick charge. a 12VDC-120VAC adapter in their trucks would be sufficient for any needs while covering their rounds on a hobby farm or river or outside businesses.

What caused some difficulties: The double-click speed. Both of them were initially too slow with the double-click, until they understood how fast it needed to be.

Summary: Probably sold 2 more TN40 lights. and maybe another two since both of them have workers with similar interests/needs/wants.
 

moldyoldy

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Had last night, tested my TM36, from Nitecore, and shined at a tree, at 700 meters distance, and the tree was lit up a bit, but pretty clearly.

And lit up trees at 300 meters, like daylight.

And the TM36, has about the beam distance, as the TN40.

1 But.....i next go test with my 1100 meters reach.....320 kcD light, shine at a friends home, at night...he shuts off all lights inside......can i lit up, his dark house inside a bit, with 320 kcD?

His house is at about 1300 /1400 meters distance, from where i shine at it.

2 What about the intensity, of the fireflymode of the TN40?

Very dim, or not so?

no one else answered, so here are my quick reactions:

1. Your friend at 1300-1400 meters distance in his house could probably look out his window and see a light in the distance, but I doubt that the TM36, or TN40, or TN42, would 'light up' the inside of his house even a little bit, even with open windows.

2. The firefly mode of the TN40 is certainly dim. not very usable for my old eyes. Increasing age always means increasing need for light to 'see' the same way as when the body/eyes were younger. My ophthalmologist repeatedly pointed out me that the lens in the eye yellows with age and does not pass as much light to the retina as before. Furthermore, with age the retina becomes increasingly insensitive at the focal point. IOW, you can see really dim lights more easily by 'looking away' from the light source, thus moving the light source away from the focal point of the retina. Replacing the lens in the eye via cataract surgery solves only one aspect of "needing more light".

to answer differently: Any firefly mode with less than 1 lumen output is totally useless for me. The Nitecore TUBE at the lowest output level is barely usable.


Edit: It is good that the firefly mode is outside the L-M-H cycle. My testers also liked that the L-M-H cycle always restarted with Low vs continuing up with the next highest level. and that turbo was on a double-click action rather than as part of the regular cycle.
=> TN needs to slow down the double-click speed a bit to accommodate wearing gloves.
 
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mntbighker

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A few battery comments...

Apparently the BP-10 battery pack is 4 matched 18650's in 2S/2P arrangement.

I asked Thrunite about a car charger and they said the BP-10 7.2V pack cannot be car charged. But this was a non-tech person responding as far as I could tell.

The factory "charger" appears to be nothing but a generic 8.4 volt power supply that maxes out at about 3.5 amps.

I'm ordering a current and voltage controlled adjustable DC/DC supply from Amazon for the car. Given the specs of the AC supply I should pretty easily be able to car charge at a somewhat slower rate with no fear of damaging the battery. Not sure just how much smarts are in the battery pack itself, but the factory charger seems to have pretty much none.

Thrunite does sell spare packs.
 
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