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Thread: What keeps you from being interested in the MecArmy PT-18?

  1. #1

    Default What keeps you from being interested in the MecArmy PT-18?

    The PT-18 has become one of my three favorite lights since its Nichia transplant. I have no connection with the company, or any flashlight related businesses, just a persistent curiosity about the failure of this particular model to grab the interest of buyers.
    When it was first released, especially after Vinh produced his video, and offered Nichia upgrades on copper boards (now no longer included as a Skylumen option), I figured it would satisfy many interested in a poor man’s triple. Seeing 30% discounts during Cyper Monday, and noticing the PT-18 now being closed out at 30% off from another dealer, I have to wonder why it has turned into such a marketing dud.

    Cons:
    The design looks like they copied (stole from) the Wasp
    Only CW LEDs are offered as stock
    There is no glass lens to protect the TIR optics
    The bezel around the ‘too recessed and soft’ electronic switch can fall off, or become loose
    The LEDs come mounted on aluminum
    The tailcap is large, and might be considered incongruent
    Lumen ratings are overstated, and the included battery is their own brand
    In my experience, the USA dealership is 100% unresponsive to any inquiries I have made, doesn’t answer the phone during the business hours they claim, and offers very little in the way of technical information.

    Pros:
    The proprietary TIR optic seems better than many others, with good flood beam, and lack of petaling thanks to its ‘larger than Carclo’ head.
    With little more than an electric stove, soldering iron, a YouTube video, rubber strips and pliers, you can implant Nichia 219s or other CREE flavored XPGs
    It isn’t picky about the cells it accepts, and is able to deliver long runtimes from 18650 cells
    A micro-USB charging port is built in under the head, protected from the elements without the need for any rubber cover
    The head can be interchanged with the PT-16, 14, and 10
    Constant current is claimed, and it does in fact seem to avoid PWM and pulsed current (jon slider can correct me if needed)
    It is the only relatively inexpensive, and widely available stock triple I know of until now that the Jaxman E2L tube light is making an appearance.

    The anodization is top quality, at least on my sample, which has survived falls without a scratch
    The balance is good, pineapple knurling adequate, and threads well machined
    Its size puts it among the most popular lights from ZL, who has lost some esteem among many due to lack of choices and consistency involving tint options
    It doesn’t EDC as well as my smaller ZLs, and can’t reach as well as my TX30C, but with the 3 x Nichia 4000k HiCri LEDs installed, I have to say it is kinder to my eyes, and more pleasant for extended indoor use than my other lights, becoming my ‘go to’ light for most purposes.

    The question is: What turns you off about the PT-18?
    Last edited by Lex Icon; 03-21-2017 at 07:35 AM.

  2. #2

    Default Re: What keeps you from being interested in the MecArmy PT-18?

    I love the heck out of mine and the PT-16 too!
    The only downsides for me is how sharp the Bezel is as it xuts through the pockets I carry in.

    Otherwise mine are both solid.

  3. #3

    Default Re: What keeps you from being interested in the MecArmy PT-18?

    I have a PT16 and did swap better emitters into it (neutral white XPL-HI), but am not really fond of the design:

    It's not very comfortable for EDC pocket-carry.
    * It has a wide sharp bezel and wide protrusions on the tailcap.
    * the e-switch has a soft touch and feels like it could very easily accidentally turn on in the pocket.
    * output is only mediocre, though that might be fixable with a resistor mod.
    * Due to the need for space for the onboard USB and due to the wide head it's not the smallest triple around.
    * I also found the PT16 somewhat awkward to carry due to the knurled body tube being such a small portion of the light. I expect the PT18 with its much longer tube won't have this issue.

    I prefer slimmer lights without sharp bezels and tailcaps for pocket carry. My current EDC is a Convoy S2+ triple with 18650 and a head that I shortened by 16mm (Entire light is 102mm long, which is just slightly longer than a PT18, but the Convoy is also 4mm slimmer, has no sharp protrusions, and has a tailcap clicky which is less likely to accidentally activate).
    Last edited by Fireclaw18; 03-21-2017 at 09:43 AM.

  4. #4

    Default Re: What keeps you from being interested in the MecArmy PT-18?

    I have to confess to being a bit of a MecArmy fanboy. The tiny IllumineX-1 was the first of their lights I saw, and it is perfect for keychain use. Light, small, and, like all of their lights, usb rechargeable. I've always been wary of lights with usb charging, but all the MecArmy ones I now have have completely reassured me. I check with a usb meter what the charge rates are when recharging (all are good); all cut off when charged; and all come off around 4.18v after charging.

    The PT18 is one of my go to lights for dog walks, and has replaced my SC600, simply because the usb charging is more convenient. In fact the SkyRC MC3000 I bought when it first came out 15 months ago is rather redundant now - I have forgotten how to use it!

    Although I generally prefer neutral tints, the one thing I would say about the PT series is that their white tints are actually very good, without any horrible green/blue/purple.

    So, I too wonder why these lights don't seem to get more attention. MecArmy seem to have built up a good distribution network in the short time since they started business. They are also very productive - I can barely keep track of their new products.

  5. #5
    Flashaholic*
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    Default Re: What keeps you from being interested in the MecArmy PT-18?

    Because it's a blatant copy of Oveready's design.

  6. #6
    Enlightened CELICA XX's Avatar
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    Default Re: What keeps you from being interested in the MecArmy PT-18?

    I would consider this if it had a magnetic charger like the Olight or some of the Klarus lights.

  7. #7

    Default Re: What keeps you from being interested in the MecArmy PT-18?

    The PT-18 has some uniquely desirable features that the Jaxman E2L lacks.

    1. The PT-18 does not use PWM, the E2L does.

    2. The PT-18 has a 5 lumen low, on the E2L the lowest mode is 50, which imo is too high.

    3. The PT-18 comes with a battery and charger, the E2L does not. As a gift to someone with no LiIon charger, the PT-18 with its USB charging option, is more likely to be useful.

    4. The PT-18 head is 5mm larger than the E2L, giving a better beam to the triple PT-18

    Quote Originally Posted by eraursls1984 View Post
    it's a blatant copy


    I do see the resemblance
    Wasps:


    PT-18: click pic for review
    Quote Originally Posted by _UPz
    But there are also a lot of differences, for example, the Wasp lacks USB charging, and has no side switch.


    wonder if this clip would work on a PT-18?:-)
    pic is a link
    Quote Originally Posted by Str8stroke View Post

    Last edited by jon_slider; 05-29-2017 at 10:25 PM.

  8. #8
    Flashaholic*
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    Default Re: What keeps you from being interested in the MecArmy PT-18?

    Quote Originally Posted by jon_slider View Post
    I do see the resemblance
    Wasps:
    Even more resemblance if you compare it to the one they tried to mimic, the Moddoolar V4. You can see a couple variations in this thread. http://www.candlepowerforums.com/vb/...et-Triple-NICE!!

  9. #9

    Default Re: What keeps you from being interested in the MecArmy PT-18?

    thanks for the link,
    The Wasp is NLA, base price was $350, its really a totally different insect.

    The PT-18 is still available, on sale at illumn.com for $51.03 with code blacknovember
    Last edited by jon_slider; 05-30-2017 at 11:06 AM.

  10. #10
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    Default Re: What keeps you from being interested in the MecArmy PT-18?

    Quote Originally Posted by jon_slider View Post
    thanks for the link,
    The Wasp is NLA, base price was $350, its really a totally different insect.

    The PT-18 is still available, on sale at illumn.com for $51.03 with code blacknovember
    The Wasp hasn't been discontinued, it's just on hold until demand for the Boss has been met.

    Yes, the PT-18 offers none of the advanced features of the Wasp, but the host is a blatant copy. It's a cheap clone. It would be one thing if they had just drawn inspiration from Oveready's design, or if Oveready departed the community in an unsatisfactory way (Lummi, MAC), but that's not the case. They didn't just take a single design que, but the entire package without even adding their own "flair". This is the only reason I haven't bought any other of their products, a few were interesting for budget lights.

  11. #11

    Default Re: What keeps you from being interested in the MecArmy PT-18?

    compare and contrast the Wasp:
    Quote Originally Posted by PoliceScannerMan View Post


    The Peu Pineapple came first, it may have inspired the Wasp, but is also NLA




    then ReyLight adopted the Pineapple name, but not the knurling pattern


    now back to the PT-18 :-)

    I really like the USB charging option of the PT-18 :-), none of the others mentioned have that feature.
    Last edited by jon_slider; 06-13-2017 at 05:31 PM.

  12. #12

    Default Re: What keeps you from being interested in the MecArmy PT-18?

    Update
    I am fortunate to have a PT-18, being modded to SW40 N219b 200 bin, in progress
    this is the LED source

    here is a preliminary comparison of his PT-18 mod, compared to a couple of 220 bin Eagletacs
    note the 200 bin is the pink one, the 220 bin is Green.



    Im really excited to receive my first 18650 light, and with a triple Nichia to boot!
    Fun Times!

    ps, this has the V2 UI, that starts on Low, with no memory. Recommended.
    Last edited by jon_slider; 06-04-2017 at 11:19 PM.

  13. #13

    Default Re: What keeps you from being interested in the MecArmy PT-18?

    Quote Originally Posted by jon_slider View Post

    ps, this has the V2 UI, that starts on Low, with no memory. Recommended.
    The whole PT series has this UI - PT10, PT14, PT16, PT18, PT26 and the big beasts PT60 & PT80. I think the first light in the series was the PT16, which had a really odd UI, which, to their credit, Mecarmy very quickly sorted out.

    I have a few in the series, and it's really nice to pick one up and instinctively know how it works. Unlike my Zebralights, where getting a particular mode depends on how long the switch is held down, with the MecArmy lights it's not an issue.

    Oh, and, as you say, the usb charging is great (and safe - charging currents are good, and I never have a problem with a battery > 4.19v once charging is completed. Recommended indeed.

  14. #14

    Default Re: What keeps you from being interested in the MecArmy PT-18?

    Quote Originally Posted by Dubois View Post
    I have a few in the series
    Cool
    Yes, Im tempted by other tube options, since they all use the same head

    the shorty PT16 is very cute, and. if I can believe online specs (not?)
    the carry weight of the PT16 is half as much as the PT-18
    in fact the PT16 is even lighter than the PT10 and PT14
    can you confirm the weight of the PT16?

  15. #15

    Default Re: What keeps you from being interested in the MecArmy PT-18?

    With the battery that is supplied with the lights, the weight of my (v1) PT16 is 75g. The PT18 is 106g. PT14 is 84g.

    The little PT10 is the real sweetie - 67g, but for such a small light to throw out pretty much the same as the 18650 light (but for obviously rather shorter time) is very impressive.

    Personally I use the PT18 more than the others. The PT10 is fun to amaze folk with though. I didn't realise the 18350 body was available separately.

  16. #16

    Default Re: What keeps you from being interested in the MecArmy PT-18?

    Dubois
    thank you Very Much for the actual weight info:



    related eye candy


    and a quote from a PT-16 review
    Quote Originally Posted by will34
    1hr 30min after the runtime test finalized it was still lit and putting out some useful light, it wasn’t much, but I’d say at least 5 lumens. At this point I took the battery out and it read 2.54V. This light does not have low voltage cut out. But then this also means it is compatible with CR123s.

  17. #17

    Default Re: What keeps you from being interested in the MecArmy PT-18?

    I just received a PT-18 modified with 4000k N219b

    First impressions
    This thing is tiny!
    Much smaller than I had thought from looking at pics online. This is my first "big" light, first 18650, first LiIon. Im loving it!

    It has the most beautiful Pink Nichias of any light that I own now.
    More pink than my Maratac, Worm or L11c.

    On my homebrew light meter, these are the actual brightness levels I measured for the Nichia. The xpg2 data comes from here



    I don't mind the brightness loss from removing the XP-G2, the Pink tint and High CRI of the Nichia are much more important to me.

    Lto R, PT18 4000k N219b 200 Bin, L11c 4500k N219b 220 Bin
    Last edited by jon_slider; 06-07-2017 at 10:17 PM.

  18. #18
    Enlightened wle's Avatar
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    Default Re: What keeps you from being interested in the MecArmy PT-18?

    would like under $35 , more light levels, no strobe, plain cylinder/tube shape {don't like the 'fat head' form factor, or all the 'fluting' at the ends }

    wle
    Last edited by wle; 06-08-2017 at 05:46 AM.

  19. #19

    Default Re: What keeps you from being interested in the MecArmy PT-18?

    I'd like to win the lottery every week, but it ain't going to happen.

  20. #20

    Default Re: What keeps you from being interested in the MecArmy PT-18?

    Id like one with individual LEDs for each brightness, in different color temps. Please include a battery monitor and over discharge protection.


    meanwhile my PT-18 w N219b mod rocks!



  21. #21

    Default Re: What keeps you from being interested in the MecArmy PT-18?

    I went to Illumn yesterday, and bought myself a PT-16 for $45, battery and charger included.
    It is the V3 model with the 18350/16340 tube. I really like it. My first stubby LiIon.

    The guys there were really helpful and are having a sale with 30% off if you use code blacknovember. Recommended!

    Wanted to compare the stock XP-G2 to the N219b modded PT-18, and decided to mod the tailcap on one.





    trivia, the PT16 tailcap came with no spring, and works fine without one (there is a spring at the positive end still):


    heads are identical:






    lumens on turbo, varies by battery and LED


    On Turbo, the 18350 w Neutral White, High CRI N219b head, is within 2% of the lumens of the 18650 w Cool White, Low CRI XP-G2.



    Lumens on Low, Medium and High do not vary by battery, only by LED.

    This modded little Nichia nubbin is getting a ride in my pocket today:
    Last edited by jon_slider; 06-10-2017 at 04:44 PM.

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