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Thread: Review of Skilhunt H03F, and with a trick H03 and H03R - For submission in the review

  1. #1
    Flashaholic* Budda's Avatar
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    Default Review of Skilhunt H03F, and with a trick H03 and H03R - For submission in the review

    I received the Skilhunt H03F from GearBest for the review.

    Skilhunt Specs for the H03F:
    Super bright & latest CREE XML-2 U4 LED, Max 1200 LED lumens. High-Performance, High-Efficiency and energy conservation.
    Durable aluminum vacuum plating reflector, Efficiency reflection, perfect beamshot, excellent structure and temperature resistance.
    Flat tail cap with strong magnet to secure to ferrous surfaces.
    Rugged indestructible aluminum body with anti-scratching type III hard anodization
    Multi-level dissipating heat designand new copper starboard, excellent heat dissipation. Flashlight head integrated construction, high thermal conductivity.
    Side switch button to transferring mode user-friendly interface to adjust output.
    Eight output levels and three Strobe, suitable for different environment.
    Wide input range provides more choices of batteries. High efficiency driver circuit, no visible flash in any mode.
    Automatic memory function, remember last used setting and can be preset to specific output mode for instant access.
    Reverse polarity protection, to protect from improper battery installation.
    Low-voltage prompts function, the light will flash when the battery is low,remind user replace the battery on time.
    Engineered anti-slip knurling for a tightly firm grip.
    Dual recoil absorbing springs, better impact resistance.
    Tail stand as a candle-light.
    New intelligent temperature control technology for headlamp stable and safe use
    Low standby current below 0.5uA
    New side switch lock-out function.







    Skilhunt told me that the H03, H03R and H03F share the same driver, meaning that the only difference between the 3 is the reflector-optic: H03 has a TIR lens, H03R has a reflector and H03F has the reflector of the H03R plus a movable diffuser.
    So, the light construction, the UI and the runtime plot will be the same for all the models (H03F with the diffuser in place and H03 may have a bit less output compared to the H03R and H03F without the diffuser in place). The beam of the H03R is the same of the H03F without the diffusor on the beam, so the beamshot will be identical.
    Skilhunt told me that the H03 has the same optic of the H02… I have a H02 and I swapped the optic of the H02 on the my H03F. Now I have a H03 also :-)

    So, this in review I can say that I am testing the H03F (the light I received, with the diffuser on the beam), the H03R (the light I received, without the diffuser on the beam) and the H03 (the H03F I received, removed of its diffuser and reflector, and installing the optic from the H02 I bought).

    Let’s start with the H03F.
    The H03F is the new headlamp from skilhunt. It recalls the form factor of the H02.
    Like the H02 has a reflector, but the H03 has a detachable diffuser. I believe this is one of the few quality headlamps that has this feature.

    The H03F itself:


    Knurling on the body, anodized threads at the tailcap allow physical lockout.


    The head with cooling fins and a hole for the lanyard.



    Inside the tailcap there is a spring that keeps in place a strong magnet that can be used to attach the light.
    At the positive pole there is a spring, so flat top cells will work.

    If you don’t want the magnet in the tailcap, there is a spacer in the box to fill the void left by the removed magnet.

    Now the main feature of the H03F.
    The H03F features a XM-L2 U4 emitter, in a small OP reflector.

    There is a diffuser that pivots around a metal rod, on the side. The diffuser is free to rotate, and has a few “stops”, due to the indents (green) present in the reflector pivot, and the bump present on the black part (red).
    When the diffuser is in “open” position, it doesn’t interfere with the reflector beam, it is relatively stable.
    On my sample there is some play when the diffuser is in the closed position.
    What I mean is that when the reflector is closed and you move the light around, it “shakes” between resting on the glass, and being few millimeters from the glass.







    Compared to the older H02 (you can see the modded emitter of mine) the H03 is smaller, the anodization is more matte, and the threads for the scews are now inserted in the aluminium.



    Here with the optic of the H02.


    UI
    Skilhunt provides a nice flowchart

    The light has 4 modes: low, mid, high and turbo. Each mode can be set on one of the two pre-set. For example: low mode can be set at 0.2 or 3.5 lumen, mid at 20 or 70 lumens, and so on. The choice will be remembered by the light.
    From off: a short click turns the light on at the last used mode, while a long click will give you low mode, and a double click turbo mode.
    When the light is on, a long click will turn the light off, while a short click will advance the modes (low-med-hi-turbo-low-med-hi...).
    To change from Low1 to low2 or from Low2 to Low1, make a quick double click when the light is in low mode.
    When the light is on a triple click will activate the flashing modes: strobe and 2 beacons. To cycle between these 3 modes, make a double click. The light will remember your choice for the flashing mode the next time you switch from regular output to flashing mode.

    [IMG]http://des.gearbest.com/uploads/pdm-desc-pic/Electronic/image/2016/07/01/1467356888469408.gif
    The led under the switch works as a power indicator (When the battery voltage drops down lower than 3.3V, indicator flashes twice every 2s; lower than 3V, indicator flashes 3 times every second), and also as a locator.
    From off, keep pressed the switch for more than 1.5 seconds to activate the lockout and the locator. With the locator on the red led under the switch will glow every 2 seconds, and to turn the light on you will need to keep pressed the switch for more than 1.5 seconds.

    Beamshots
    1 meter from the wall.
    Only Reflector, no diffuser (AKA H03R). You can see the pivot holder points of the diffuser in the upper part of the spill (this is only for the H03F, the H03R doesn’t have the contact point for the pivot, so no beam artifacts due to their presence). I measured 3’170 Cd for the H03R at the turbo level.



    H03F with the Diffuser in place


    The movement of the diffuser in the closed position has a very small effect on the beam pattern (it just moves a bit the rings, the sound it makes moving and hitting the head is more annoying) and does a good job of smoothening the spot.
    The diffuser of the H03F, similarly to many other clip on diffusers works fine smoothening the beam, but will diffuse a lot on the side of the diffuser, making the light hard to use since the diffused light will hit directly on the eyes (for example when you mount it as a headlamp and aim it low).

    Now, H03 (H03F removed by its diffuser and reflector, with the optic of the Skilhunt H02)




    Now, these are few beamshot done with other headlamps (all lights at turbo mode, all with charged LG MJ1). All at half meter from the wall.


















    Output and runtime
    All the testing of the H03F has been done using unprotected 18650 LG MJ1, and the measurement of the output is done with the reflector (with the diffuser on the side). Remember that H03F, H03R and H03 shares the same driver, and will have similar performances (a bit less output on H03F with the diffuser and H03 with its tir optic).

    My measure are consistent with Skilhunt specs.



    In practical terms, Turbo 2 has the same brightness of Turbo1 after his only stepdown.
    Yes, you can go back from T2 to T1 with a double click after the stepdown.


    My thoughts for the common part (UI, Output, Runtime)
    The light is well built. The user interface is similar to the one of the H02, but with customizable brightness (the H02 has 4 constant light modes, the H03 has 8) and a locator-battery indicator. The H03 series allows me to access: a low and a high output mode, and the last used mode. This is 100% according to my taste in flashlight UI.
    I find the lack of a level between 500 and 1000 lumen, since after 3 minutes the output of T1 steps down from 1000 to T2 output, around 500 lumens.

    Here is a small parenthesis about different kind of headlamp beams:
    the completely flood (such as zebralight H602), where you have only spill. They can be used from a few centimeters to a few meters (because the light is not focused and will disperse itself in short distances).
    The “throwy” (such as Zebralight H600, Skilhunt H02R, H03R), where you have a regular beam composed by a spot and a spill. The spill is narrower than the one of the completely flood light, and the spot makes them usable to longer distances, but not for close distances where the spot will dazzle your eyes)
    The “middle ones”, they go from models with a frosted lens (Zebralight H600F) to the one with the optic/lens (Armytek wizard, Skilhunt H02, H03, H03F). They fall somewhere in the middle of the 2 above. The spot is very softened and widened by the lens, so even at close distances it won’t be an issue for your eyes, and can be used from close distances to a few meters more than the flood ones. Flashlight with optics such as TIR lens can still have “traces” of hotspot and its angle depends on the characteristic of the lens.
    I don’t believe one of these beams is superior to another, simply there are different scenarios that requires different beams and there is also user preference.

    The H03R, with the reflector, falls into the Trowy category of lights.
    The H03, with the TIR optic, falls into the “middle ones” category of lights.
    The H03F with its removable diffuser should allow to change between 2 types: a “throwy” (without the diffuser) and a “middle one” (with the diffuser).

    Does the diffuser of the H03F works this way?
    In practice, yes: as you can see from the beamshots above, there is a significant difference between the reflector and the diffuser.
    I tried to use it as a headlamp and jump around to see if the diffuser moved (anything more than the small play that there is in the closed position), and it did not. The noise was still annoying.

    Does the diffusor system feel 100% bombproof to me?
    No. I was a bit worried what will happen to the diffuser in case of a fall on a hard surface, especially when in the open position.
    In fact, after I accidentally dropped the light (from a bit more than 1 meter) on a hard surface, I noticed that the diffuser was rotating freely and did not stop in the “commended” spots. After close inspection I saw that the diffuser and the metal rod were fine, but one of the 2 attachment on the light was bent. The bending made the rod inclined and the diffuser was too far from the protrusion that keeps it in place. I applied some pressure with my hand on the attachment point that was bent and voilà:




    Now, I may have been unlucky and got a defective sample, and your lights may resist many falls, or the light may be constructed so the parts will be safe if the light falls from 1 meters (since mine fell from 1.20-1.30 meters). I am aware that this is the only review I’ve seen so far with this kind of issues…
    But I am not too much confident in the resilience of small plastic parts (especially when they fall with all the weight of the light on pushing them down), not only for the H03F but for all the lights that adopt them.
    Also, the mechanism that keeps the diffuser in place only in certain spots feels unreliable.
    Small Plastic protrusion against small plastic indent. What will happen when dust, dirt or just wear and tear will consume a bit the contact points?

    I contacted Skilhunt about this problem, asking if the play of the diffuser was normal and asking for possible replacements (at that time it was still in one piece) and they told me to contact the seller.
    GearBest told me that they don’t have any replacement from Skilhunt.

    So, the conclusions:
    I can recommend the H03 and H03R, which I have practically tested.
    If you plan to buy a H03F, based on my 1 sample experience, I will recommend to use it with more caution than I did.

    If someone asked me to improve the reliability of the design of the H03F, I’d say:
    Make the squared glass retainer / pivot holder made of metal, not plastic.
    The pivot is ok made of metal, but I’d like to be able to screw it on and off without the need of too much pressure.
    Make a circular diffuser holder, made of metal. Just an “O” shaped ring, where you can fit inside the diffuser (how about different colours/diffusers available?). Thus doing you will also neutralize the blinding light coming off the sides of the diffuser.
    To keep in place? magnets.

    Thanks to: AntoLed for lending me the luxmeter and the camera, Zampa for the tripod.
    Thanks for reading.
    Last edited by Budda; 08-05-2016 at 05:08 PM.

  2. #2

    Default Re: Review of Skilhunt H03F, and with a trick H03 and H03R - For submission in the re

    Thanks for the review! But damn you Photobucket!

    Why did it take so long for someone to make such a simple flip up diffuser? This is the first decent headlamp with one (not $15 plastic walmart junk) to my knowledge.

    Looks like there is some work to be done, but it's a start. Zebralight and Fenix should be doing the same with a quality, replaceable lens. But I can also see they want to see both versions for $50 instead to bump up sales.
    Last edited by markr6; 08-31-2017 at 07:22 AM.
    GOOD TINT!

  3. #3
    Flashaholic* Budda's Avatar
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    Default Re: Review of Skilhunt H03F, and with a trick H03 and H03R - For submission in the re

    I agree. Hopefully in the next lights SKILHUNT will fix this.
    However, it seems I am the only guy reporting this kind of breaking. This is ok since I dropped mine, but I didn't see any complains on the reliability of the system... and you don't need to break the light to have doubts.

  4. #4

    Default Re: Review of Skilhunt H03F, and with a trick H03 and H03R - For submission in the re

    Thank you for this excellent review. The H03F beam with the diffuser has a black ring on the outer part of the beam. That seems odd - I haven't seen that in photos of other headlamps with a frosted or diffused lens, such as the Zebralight H600Fw or Armytek Wizard Pro v3.

  5. #5

    Default Re: Review of Skilhunt H03F, and with a trick H03 and H03R - For submission in the re

    Thanks for a great review, just ordered one H03F from gearbest. Cant wait untill i receive mine..

  6. #6
    Flashaholic* Miciobigio's Avatar
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    Default Re: Review of Skilhunt H03F, and with a trick H03 and H03R - For submission in the re

    Thank you for this super review , just what i was searching for !

    Well done.
    Marco V.
    ----------------------------------> W.T.B. Spy Tri-V SW-GG <-------------------------------------------

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    Default Re: Review of Skilhunt H03F, and with a trick H03 and H03R - For submission in the re

    Thanks for the review!

    To H03 owners, has anybody ever replaced the TIR optic with a different one?
    Currently looking at Ledil 16mm x 9.7mm TIR optics and wondering if they will be compatible/fit.
    Was hoping to get a tighter beam without going to a reflector.
    Last edited by NPL; 06-10-2017 at 11:00 PM.

  8. #8
    *Flashaholic* Offgridled's Avatar
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    Default Re: Review of Skilhunt H03F, and with a trick H03 and H03R - For submission in the re

    Great review . Thank you!!

  9. #9

    Default Re: Review of Skilhunt H03F, and with a trick H03 and H03R - For submission in the re

    I was thinking of getting the H03 and modding it since it's the only model I can get in two days from Amazon.

    I am going to get a clear lens and reflector to turn it into an H03R.

    Does anyone know the exact lens size?
    Exact reflector size or link to get one that fits perfectly?

  10. #10
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    Default Re: Review of Skilhunt H03F, and with a trick H03 and H03R - For submission in the re

    What happened to all the pictures? Most now say "please update your account to enable 3rd party hosting". Anyway, I've owned Maglite, Surefire, Klarus, Convoy, Lumintop, but this Skillhunt quickly became my go to light after getting one when Banggood put it on sale a few months back. I keep the Klarus XT12 charged by the door for quick access when going outside at night. But anytime I'm doing any kind of work where I might need a flashlight, I grabbed the Skillhunt, until recently. It's versatility was just so incredibly useful! And it's so lightweight I'd practically forget that it was clipped to my shirt pocket. Unfortunately, I was working off a ladder where I really needed the headband, but didn't have it with me, so I stuck it to some metal using the magnetic end - which worked great, but just a slight brush knocked it loose and down it went onto the concrete floor about 5-6 feet below. The light works very sporadically now, mostly not at all, but oddly every now and then just like it's supposed to, when it'll actually come on that is. Today's flashlight makers REALLY need to put far more emphasis on durability, considering the prices they're charging. Advertising super-duper air-craft aluminum or otherwise ultra-exotic bodies doesn't mean ANYTHING, if they aren't designed to actually protect the sensitive electronics inside. If Armytek can make the same style light survive a 30 foot drop for the same amount of money, so can everybody else.
    Last edited by Chad Varnadore; 08-27-2017 at 01:40 PM.

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    Default Re: Review of Skilhunt H03F, and with a trick H03 and H03R - For submission in the re

    I found the original box and couldn't find anything on it relating to fall resistance, though I'm aware that the norm for lights like this is only 1.5 meters. So, I contacted Skilhunt at the email address included on the warranty card that came in the box and told them what had happened in detail. They very promptly replied, telling me to contact Banggood for service. Is Banggood associated with Skilhunt in some way? Or is this Skilhunt's way of passing the buck? Not that I'm sure that there's a buck to be passed yet, but I'm not at all familiar with the concept of third party vendors being responsible for handling service issues outside of DOA claims or failures within the 30 day return window. Is it a Chinese thing? Anyway, I'll shoot Banggood an email next. I just don't want to waste money on shipping the light to China if it's not something that'll be covered under warranty. I've already ordered an Armytek to replace it.

  12. #12

    Default Re: Review of Skilhunt H03F, and with a trick H03 and H03R - For submission in the re

    Quote Originally Posted by Chad Varnadore View Post
    What happened to all the pictures? Most now say "please update your account to enable 3rd party hosting".
    This is exactly how Photobucket was hoping to cash in bigtime. A person has a bazillion photos online with no easy option to move them and repost in an old thread. So it's basically holding linked photos at ransom; pay up or else. But I doubt many people are falling for the $0/year to $400/year jump.
    GOOD TINT!

  13. #13
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    Default Re: Review of Skilhunt H03F, and with a trick H03 and H03R - For submission in the re

    Quote Originally Posted by markr6 View Post
    This is exactly how Photobucket was hoping to cash in bigtime. A person has a bazillion photos online with no easy option to move them and repost in an old thread. So it's basically holding linked photos at ransom; pay up or else. But I doubt many people are falling for the $0/year to $400/year jump.
    Thanks for taking the time to explain that. I've been seeing similar graphics elsewhere too and have been wondering if it's the price of sticking with Windows 8.1 rather than downgrading to Windows 10 when it was still free to do so.

  14. #14

    Default Review of Skilhunt H03F and with a trick H03 and H03R For submission in the review

    Nice review, David. That looks like a good diving light. I love the rotary thumb wheel switch. Very convenient and easy to operate. I don't see it being a 1000m light like Luxstone claims but still very nice for an XM-L light. How much is retail pricing on it?

  15. #15

    Default Re: Review of Skilhunt H03F, and with a trick H03 and H03R - For submission in the re

    Hi,

    Does anyone know what size of reflector/TIR len would fit the H03/H04 series ?

  16. #16

    Default Re: Review of Skilhunt H03F, and with a trick H03 and H03R - For submission in the re

    Quote Originally Posted by yw.h View Post
    Hi,

    Does anyone know what size of reflector/TIR len would fit the H03/H04 series ?
    Lens size 14 mm

  17. #17
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    Default Re: Review of Skilhunt H03F, and with a trick H03 and H03R - For submission in the re

    Wow! This was an Excellent review with great images. But yes, need to be a bit more cautious while handling the H03F as it's more fragile.

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