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Thread: Review: The BitZ, Excellent EDC Light (Updated)

  1. #1
    Flashaholic ROK's Avatar
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    Wink2 Review: The BitZ, Excellent EDC Light (Updated)

    Introduction
    Past 4 months was real pain for me. I had a new and good light but I couldn’t open it to keep maker’s secret project.
    Here I’d like to share my impression of the new flashlight BitZ. The 2 lights were provided free of charge for test & review. I have got the sand blasted bare Al proto Bitz 4 moths ago for a test and production HA one only 2 days ago for a review. (Thanks HgRyu for tasting it first )

    I have no connection with his business. Its price is $135. And I do not know the available quantity.
    This custom-made light is made by the long time CPF member HgRyu. And the light is available in his website here: http://www.bitz.kr/.

    CPF sale thread is HERE






    Specification - by maker
    • Material : Titanium (Bezel, Clip), 6061 Aircraft Grade Aluminum Alloy (Head, Body)
    • Finish : Type III Hardcoat Anodized Natural Finish and ChemKote Interior for enhanced Corrosion Protection
    • Lens : Sapphire Crystal Glass, optical grade (Anti-Reflective coating for one side)
    • LED : SSC P4 bin – USXOH
    • Driver : High efficient Buck-Boost converter with 3 regular brightness levels and 4 hidden signals.
    • Reflector : High quality Orange Peel aluminum reflector
    • O-ring sealed Twist On-Off (no battery rattle)
    • Battery : One 3V CR123A or one 3.6V RCR123A (recommend AW's protected Li-Ion cell)
    • Dimension: Diameter 20.3mm, Overall Length 72mm
    • Hole for DIY Tritium vial or Glow-Powder on tail (hole size for 1.5mm X 6.5mm). Sorry, no tritium for international shipment.
    • Accessories : Titanium Pocket Clip, 2 Split Rings (one stainless steel, one polished brass)
    • No commercial packing

    Driver and Brightness levels, Hidden Signals - by maker
    • BitZ Pocket use high efficient Buck-Boost converter and it will control power to the LED even though you use 3.6V rechargeable Li-Ion battery. So, LED will not be damaged by unregulated high current from Li-Ion battery. Off course, birightness by regular 3V CR123A and 3.6V rechargeable Li-Ion battery will be same.
    • Input voltage range : 1.8V ~ 5.5V
    • There are basic 3 Brightness levels (Medium-Low-High) and hidden 4 Signals (Strobe-Locater-Extreme Low-S.O.S.)
    • Brightness (estimated) : High (120~130lumen), Medium (30~40lumen), low (10lumen)
    • Current to LED (tested) : High (500mA), Medium (150mA), Low (30mA)
    • Rumtime (tested) : High (1~2 hours), Medium (3~6 hours), low (12~24 hours) depending on 3V or 3.6V. (see runtime graphs for details)
    • Runtime for Signal mode (RCR123A, CR123A) : Strobe (8, 12 hours), Locater (24, 36 hours), Ext.Low (45, 70 hours), S.O.S. (8, 12 hours)
    • Basic 3 brightness levels has Memory Function. You will get next level by Off and On within two seconds.
    • You will get into Signals by consecutive 8 On and Off. No memory function for Signal.
    • Locater signal : useful mode for tracking and camping as "follow me" signal or location signal.
    • Extreme Low : This mode is useful as a overnight candle at tent. Current to LED is 10mA.

    Runtime Graph - by maker
    • Tested by primary Panasonic CR123A and rechargeable AW RCR123A batteries.





    What’s in the package
    Light comes in a zip-lock bag, as other custom light do, with each SS and brass split-rings and 2 spare o-rings.



    The Design and Construction
    When I saw BitZ first time, it reminded me the Fire-Fly and Nautilus. Yes, the Bitz belongs to the custom CR123A light class like the FF and Nautilus.

    As you see the manufacture’s specification, The BitZ used high grade parts, e.g. Titanium bezel ring, Titanium pocket clip, custom made Al reflector and sapphire crystal lens etc.

    For size comparison


    There is no marking on the head and body.

    Overall CNC machining is outstanding with no sharp edges.
    Threads are smooth and very durable. The feeling of twist switching is butter smooth.
    I have tested over 15,000 on/off cycles. Switching operation is still flawless. But my fingers are… you can imagine…





    You can see the slight off center of LED. But I believe it does not affect the beam quality.

    Knurling is in the middle between aggressive and smooth. So, it provides decent gripping.

    Favorite but expensive Ti bezel ring and pocket clip are standard parts. And both are natural Titanium color. I have drilled one hole on the proto pocket clip and polished it with fine grit sand paper. It’s better than natural Ti to sand blasted bare Al proto Bitz.

    The color of HA is, my favorite color, dark grey. It is very similar to Surefire’s dark grey color with no hint of greenish. And HA quality is top notch and color matching is perfect. I could not find any flaw on the anodizing.

    The slot on the tail end can accept 1.5mm X 6.5mm tritium vial. I have attached a 1.4mm X 6.5mm yellow tritium vial on the proto BitZ and 1.4mm X 6.5mm green vial on the production one.


    Weight is only 48g with AW protected RCR123A and well balanced.


    Let’s see the inside of Bitz

    ChemKote applied inside the tube and thread to protect corrosion.

    You can find the brilliant design of leaf spring mechanism that can eliminate the battery rattle.


    Unfortunately the bezel of production BitZ is sealed by some adhesive. I believe I can disassemble the bezel without any damage but I didn’t. Because I love its beauty and I have a proto sample. So, I’ll show you exploded pics of proto head as follow. I don’t know what’s changed between proto and production.


    LE is tight fit in the head to make ground path and heat sinking.
    At hi mode, Bitz reached warm quickly but not hot in the hand. Therefore I guess BitZ has a proper heat sinking.


    Driver Circuit & Runtime
    Personally I love a buck/boost driver due to the flexibility of battery use. Thankfully BitZ has a buck/boost circuit. When I checked its function with my DMM, output currents are identical regardless of primary CR123A or RCR123A. And the maker specification of output currents is reliable.

    BitZ has 3 brightness levels (Low - Mid- Hi) and hidden 4 signals (Strobe – Locator - Extreme Low - SOS).
    The brightness levels are changed if you turn off/on within 2 seconds. You can notice the brightness level set with one blinking at Mid and Low ranges. Bitz also has a memory function in 3 brightness levels.

    IMO 500mA Hi is good compromise between performance and heat sinking for this small light.
    Mid is enough to walk around the house and hiking at night.
    Low is perfect for indoor use.

    From any brightness level
    - 8 off/on (off-on-off-on-off-on-off-on-off-on-off-on-off-on-off-on) : Strobe
    - 9 off/on : Locator
    - 10 off/on : Extreme Low
    - 11 off/on : SOS
    There is slight whine (buzz) noise on the Extreme Low mode but very good function on the other modes.

    The runtimes of Bitz on Hi are 60min and 72min with AW protected RCR123A and Energizer CR123A respectively. After 72min it will go mid-mode with the primary CR123A.
    So, manufacturer’s runtime graph is very reasonable.


    Beam quality
    Sorry, crappy pics. I need a good camera. My camera does not catch the difference of each bright level. So, I’ll post the comparison beam shot.
    Beam shows excellent quality. Thrower hot spot with smooth corona and plentiful side spill though small reflector.

    BitZ Hi(left) vs McR2—S Piglet Hi (500mA)


    BitZ Low vs McR20-S Piglet Low (50mA)


    Bitz Ext. Low vs McR20-S Piglet Low (50mA)


    I could not find any penetration of water in 1 hour washbowl test.



    Conclusion
    The BitZ is an excellent quality EDC light. Machining is flawless and switching is very smooth and durable.

    cons:
    - Slight whine noise at Extreme Low mode
    - Slight off centered LED (I hope this is only in my case)

    pros:
    - Everything else!
    - Decent size and weight for a pocketable EDC light
    - Multi-level brightness and decent runtimes.
    - Great beam quality
    - Flawless machining and well matched HA
    - Reasonable price and actual shipping cost
    - What do you want more…?

    If you looking for a good quality, comfortable and decent size EDC light, it’s a BitZ

    Cheers to HgRyu
    And thank for long reading.

    ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Edited

    How to open the BitZ head!

    Deleted by the request of manufacturer.
    Last edited by ROK; 06-03-2008 at 08:05 AM. Reason: Added How to open the head

  2. #2
    Flashaholic* Crenshaw's Avatar
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    Default Re: The BitZ, Excellent EDC Light

    Looks nice! but..more then a bit of influence by McGzimo's creation? and arc too...hmm thats probably why it looks nice..

    but i dont see any indication of price?

    Crenshaw

  3. #3

    Default Re: The BitZ, Excellent EDC Light

    Quote Originally Posted by Crenshaw View Post
    Looks nice! but..more then a bit of influence by McGzimo's creation? and arc too...hmm thats probably why it looks nice..

    but i dont see any indication of price?

    Crenshaw
    Price is U$135/pc

  4. #4
    Flashaholic* Dead_Nuts's Avatar
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    Default Re: Review: The BitZ, Excellent EDC Light

    Interesting light.
    Dead Nuts

    "Wherever you go . . . there you are."

  5. #5
    Flashaholic* Crenshaw's Avatar
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    Default Re: Review: The BitZ, Excellent EDC Light

    but a 500ma high....seems kinda low...

    this light is one helluva fine looking light though...its almost like a PD with knurling

    Crenshaw

  6. #6
    Flashaholic* schiesz's Avatar
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    Default Re: Review: The BitZ, Excellent EDC Light

    Quote Originally Posted by Crenshaw View Post
    its almost like a PD with knurling
    Interesting thought. I don't think it looks anything like a PD myself, but it does look good.

    schiesz

  7. #7
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    Default Re: Review: The BitZ, Excellent EDC Light

    I see CR2ion with some Novatac. I like it.

  8. #8
    Flashaholic* gollum's Avatar
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    Default Re: Review: The BitZ, Excellent EDC Light

    looks pretty nice
    I like the agressive knurling...
    $135 + s/h is ok

  9. #9
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    Default Re: Review: The BitZ, Excellent EDC Light

    I like it. The hidden modes seem like a good idea.

  10. #10
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    Default Re: Review: The BitZ, Excellent EDC Light

    Very nice. Looking forward to these becoming available.

  11. #11

    Default Re: Review: The BitZ, Excellent EDC Light

    Very nice light. It has a lot going for it - small size, nice knurling, rugged design, and versital. I like it - thats the bad part.

  12. #12
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    Default Re: Review: The BitZ, Excellent EDC Light

    Nice light, at 500ma should put around 100 lumens OTF, good enough for all my EDC needs. Very well balanced light.

  13. #13
    Flashaholic* Crenshaw's Avatar
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    Default Re: Review: The BitZ, Excellent EDC Light

    Quote Originally Posted by schiesz View Post
    Interesting thought. I don't think it looks anything like a PD myself, but it does look good.

    schiesz
    i think it was the clip that reminded me of the PD, but yeah, on second look,its more of a novatac look, mixed with ARC Knurling, and ARC pcb..

    Crenshaw

  14. #14
    *Flashaholic* toby_pra's Avatar
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    Default Re: Review: The BitZ, Excellent EDC Light

    I like it too...

    But there is a little bit of everything, from the Nautilus, McGizmo and also
    looks like Katoshiki...
    Greetings from Germany - Toby

  15. #15
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    Default Re: Review: The BitZ, Excellent EDC Light

    Quote Originally Posted by toby_pra View Post
    I like it too...

    But there is a little bit of everything, from the Nautilus, McGizmo and also
    looks like Katoshiki...
    Yup

  16. #16
    *Flashaholic* toby_pra's Avatar
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    Default Re: Review: The BitZ, Excellent EDC Light

    But i think it looks very interesting...
    Greetings from Germany - Toby

  17. #17

    Default Re: Review: The BitZ, Excellent EDC Light

    Love the design and looks, and I would of been tempted..but it needs a higher high definitely.

  18. #18
    *Flashaholic* toby_pra's Avatar
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    Default Re: Review: The BitZ, Excellent EDC Light

    Why a higher high?
    Greetings from Germany - Toby

  19. #19
    Flashaholic* Thujone's Avatar
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    Default Re: Review: The BitZ, Excellent EDC Light

    Looks absolutely fantastic...


  20. #20

    Default Re: Review: The BitZ, Excellent EDC Light

    Quote Originally Posted by toby_pra View Post
    Why a higher high?
    Because their too bunched, med and low are too close together imo, difference between 30 and 10 lumens is quite minimal, medium would just never get used as it is.

    Personally speaking I would like:
    Hi = ~850ma - For the odd time I need a lot of light, I would like to at least have the option.
    Med = 350ma>450ma - I can use this as the normal light mode.
    Low = <50ma.
    Last edited by Bigsy; 04-18-2008 at 01:29 PM.

  21. #21
    *Flashaholic* toby_pra's Avatar
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    Default Re: Review: The BitZ, Excellent EDC Light

    Hello!

    Oh i just oversaw...

    yes thats right the diferences should minimal and hard
    to see...like a novatac it would be good if you have
    0.3Lumen on low...
    Greetings from Germany - Toby

  22. #22

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    Default Re: Review: The BitZ, Excellent EDC Light

    This is a very kewl looking light, thanks for posting the information ROK. OOOh, and it's a tailstander-a must for my needs.
    Last edited by chaoss; 04-18-2008 at 05:34 PM.

  23. #23
    Flashaholic* skalomax's Avatar
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    Default Re: Review: The BitZ, Excellent EDC Light

    A very nice light indeed.
    Could we choose the emitter, possibly?
    SXO is a little too cool for my blood
    I miss my Milkmods.

  24. #24

    Default Re: Review: The BitZ, Excellent EDC Light

    According to the web site it's available 4-23-08. I really am thinking about ordering this light. I missed the Muyshondt Nautilus so I think this might work out for me. Reminds me of Enrique's light with a twist of some other lights thrown into the design.

  25. #25
    Flashaholic ROK's Avatar
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    Nana Re: Review: The BitZ, Excellent EDC Light

    Easy one-hand operation

  26. #26

    Default Re: Review: The BitZ, Excellent EDC Light

    I can’t help but thinking this is what the next generation Arc was to be (from the looks, specs, and features). I have been part of CPF much longer than what my join date reflects. I bought the very first Arc and still have it. This light has all the features that the next generation Arc (from way way back) was striving to be – very small size, versatile output, high output, and durable build. I know there is a new Arc and it has fabulous specs but it reminds me more of a next generation PD (I hope I do not get flamed).

    This was my first impression after reading and seeing the light.

  27. #27
    Flashaholic* FrogmanM's Avatar
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    Default Re: Review: The BitZ, Excellent EDC Light

    That is one smart looking torch there! Looks like it'd make a great edc!

    Mayo
    Torch Collection

    *Where fact is fiction and TV, reality*

  28. #28
    Flashaholic* Cuso's Avatar
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    Default Re: Review: The BitZ, Excellent EDC Light

    I looked around the website and they specify NOT to use the clip on your belt..I wonder why . The light looks awesome , I can see those Ti parts getting some color. Saphire, Ti , and multilevels under $150?? Nice , very nice. It could use a little more current to the emmiter though. Are this lights available already?? They could change the driver to a more aggressive one , i would prefer 800ma or more, on the high.

  29. #29
    Flashaholic* Edwood's Avatar
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    Default Re: Review: The BitZ, Excellent EDC Light

    Not a fan of agressive knurling. Love the features. The only thing it loses out on to the Nautilus is run time, since the Nautilus high output is around 350mA.

    The major downside of the Nautilus is the flood sucks. It's a great throw light, but the beam spill is very narrow. Even my Orb Raw NS with Q5 Cree has a significantly wider beam. (brighter and whiter too).

    Looks like the BitZ has a little of everything. If it wasn't for the very aggressive knurling, I'd be sending PayPal payment right now.
    Small: MJP Extreme III Orb Raw Ti and NS
    Medium: Oveready Triple Copper E2e
    MJP-E3e (15-3Ostar) Surefire L4 (MC-E) LensLight Mini
    Large: Surefire M6-WA1185 M-Zep MZXR-7a

  30. #30
    *Flashaholic* toby_pra's Avatar
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    Default Re: Review: The BitZ, Excellent EDC Light

    Hi Cuso!

    Perhaps you could send E-Mail to the person who builds that light, with
    our whishes?!
    Greetings from Germany - Toby

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