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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I've heard a few people here recommend this Trustfire TR-801 flashlight as a good option for use as a helmet light. It's a single mode light, 230 lumens. I see they also offer a 5-mode Trustfire TR-801 which seems to have the same specs, as far as emitter, battery, lumens, etc. Does anyone have any experience with that one? I like the idea of having 3 brightness levels, to conserve power.

Thanks.

JZ
 

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I was just thinking of getting one of those for the same reason, after seeing this thread:

http://forums.mtbr.com/showthread.php?t=453678

(check the link in the thread for beamshots)

That looks like a powerful light for it's size. The only drawback (for me) is that it does not use AA's, even so I could overlook that for a good light.

This is the one I use on my helmet and it does the job (not super, but better than most). On high on a dark night it really helps to see around corners:

http://www.dealextreme.com/details.dx/sku.12093

I just read some of the reviews on DX and took another look at the beamshots from the link and it does not look like it has quite the throw to make a difference for me. One review says it is not a thrower. On the helmet I like a good throwing light with the bar light filling in for the flood.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
OK it arrived today, I strapped it to my helmet and took it out for a night ride tonight, and I'm diggin' it! Thank you to Capnstem, who recommended the TR-801s in an earlier thread. :thumbsup:

I ordered this light (same specs as above but with 3 brightness levels), these batteries, and this charger.

First, let me say don't order that charger....it's crap. On mine the left side shuts down the charge early and the status LED doesn't work right. If I had read the feedback on the DX website I would have known it was junk. Capnstem recommended this one in the other thread, and I think I'll get one next time I put in an order.

I don't have any other "good" LED lights, and I was riding solo tonight, so I don't have anything to compare this to. But it's definitely bright enough on high....brighter than the 12w side of my dual halogen handlebar light, and similar to running both the 12 & 20w halogens together, but much whiter. (that may not be a fair comparison...the battery pack on that light is dying...I'll see how they compare when the new pack arrives next week). And it doesn't have the pronounced blueish tint of some other LED lights I've seen.

Medium level is still pretty bright; fine for climbing on singletrack. Low is on the dim side for riding, but perfect for trailside repairs or digging through the camelback looking for the Snickers bars. There is also an amusing disco strobe mode, and a pointless SOS mode (unless maybe you're lost at sea?) It has mode-memory....whatever level it's at when you turn it off will be what it turns back on to. And a cool glow-in-the-dark rubber clicky switch on the back end. It's 4.5" long, 1" in diameter, and weighs about 3.75 ounces with the battery.

Capnstem said the single-brightness version of this light was more of a flood beam. Again, I have nothing to compare to, but this 5-mode model has a fairly strong center spot, with a wide but dimmer side spill. Similar to the spot beams of my halogen light. I'd love to add a pair of the floodier single mode 801s on my bars...that should be a sweet set-up. But since I just ordered a new battery for the halogens, that will have to wait.

I rode tonight for 2 hours, switching between the 3 brightness levels frequently, according to speed and terrain. I didn't notice any decrease in brightness in that time. The fully charged battery measures 4.2v; after my ride it measured 3.8v.....still above the battery's rated voltage of 3.7! I won't hesitate to run it at full brightness more often on future rides....the runtime should be more than adequate for my standard 2 hour night rides. And the spare battery is in the camelback if needed. I think this is an awesome little light, especially for about $40 all up.

JZ
 

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Glad you like it. I recently had flicker issues with mine, and found that the pill (if you can call it that) that holds the rear switch was not screwed tightly. I used a set of longnose pliers and wound it in tighter (you can use the 2 little grooves in the pill to latch onto). I have a belief that the pill starts to unscrew eventually (either from the bumpy trails, or from the unscrewing action during battery removal). In any case - it is a very easy fix - so do not feel let down by this little wonder. It does have a strong white spot, but its spill is quite excellent (giving it the impression of a flood torch). Compared to my other torches that don't have the same spill, these guys are my fav light for bush bashing. Had a chance to compare it to a Fenix Q5 (it took 2xCR123's) - so I am not sure of its model number. But that torch was quite spotty with very little spill.
 

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Did you order 1 or 2 of these? I found 1 okay for off-road mtb night riding. The hot spot was good but the spill was a little bit dim. I'd say equivalent to a 15W halogen mtb light. However, 2 of these were great. Larger hot spot area, and the overlapping spill was very nice and bright. Two of these replaced my 20W halogen spot light, on my helmet. Easily brighter and much more usable (more compact, no wires, etc).
 

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another data point

I have a single mode TF-801. So far so good. I'm running it on my helmet along with a bar mounted amoeba flood light. Two early morning rides here in Phoenix were fine. Ambient air temp around 85 degrees F. Tonight I'm riding and it will be more like 93degrees. Hoping the heat doesn't hurt either the 801 or the amoeba...
 

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I placed a good size $90 order for a P7 MTE 5 mode 12060 and a TF801 single mode with 4 18650 Blue TrustFire protected batteries and a charger on 10-3-08 at 8 AM, and a TF801 5 mode on 10-8-08 (today), so we'll see... seems to take them a while to get the items from the vendor before they ship out and notify you.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Cino said:
Thanks Jim,
Could we trouble you for some beam shots?:D
Yeah, I can give it a try. Are there some sort of standard camera settings used for beam shots? f-stop, exposure time, iso setting? I have a digital camera with a manual mode, and a tripod.

Seems to me if there was a standard procedure it would be easy to compare shots from different people.

JZ
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
capnstem said:
Glad you like it. I recently had flicker issues with mine, and found that the pill (if you can call it that) that holds the rear switch was not screwed tightly.
When I first got mine and installed the battery it was flickering. I found that the rear cap really needed to be tightened down firmly to make good electrical contact. I should check that lockring too.

(I keep seeing the term "pill" being used in reference to something in these led lights, but I'm still not sure what it means. I was a pharmacist in a previous career....I know what a pill is, and there aren't any inside this light :)

capnstem said:
It does have a strong white spot, but its spill is quite excellent (giving it the impression of a flood torch).
I just discovered while sitting here fiddling with it that the front portion of the light can be unscrewed 2 different ways: removing the entire light head, or just removing the lens and reflector, leaving the led unit in place. By unscrewing the reflector section slightly the center spot can be expanded. You can't go far, or you're no longer compressing the rubber o-ring, and the reflector section could rattle itself off while riding. But maybe putting a fatter o-ring on might help keep it snug. I'll have to see what they have at the hardware store....they have a drawer full of o-rings.

JZ
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
notnormal said:
Did you order 1 or 2 of these? I found 1 okay for off-road mtb night riding. The hot spot was good but the spill was a little bit dim. I'd say equivalent to a 15W halogen mtb light. However, 2 of these were great. Larger hot spot area, and the overlapping spill was very nice and bright. Two of these replaced my 20W halogen spot light, on my helmet. Easily brighter and much more usable (more compact, no wires, etc).
I'm running one on the helmet, with a dual 12w+20w halogen setup on the bars. I'd love to run 2 more on the bars, in place of the halogens....I think that would be a great setup. But I just ordered (before the TR-801 had arrived) a new 14.4v 5Ah battery pack for the halogens....over-volting them is supposed to dramatically increase their light output. We'll see how that works out.

I've read that halogens put out 15-20 lumens per watt, so you're right, one of these should be similar to a 15w halogen. But so much whiter light....I can't believe how yellow my halogens look in comparison.

JZ
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
rideandshoot said:
air temp around 85 degrees F. Tonight I'm riding and it will be more like 93degrees. Hoping the heat doesn't hurt either the 801 or the amoeba...
Wow...your air temps are about double what we've seen here in VT the last few days!

I've noticed no heat problems with the 801. I haven't really been paying attention to heat while riding, but when I reach up to change brightness, I haven't noticed that it's warm at all. And my helmet has not caught on fire. Running it on high mode for 5 minutes, here on the desk with no airflow, it gets warm but not too hot to hold.

JZ
 

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TF-801 and amoeba flood warm weather report

Both operated perfectly. It ended up being a little cooler than expected by the time we switched the lights on. Still it was near 90 degrees F and no problems with either. They both got warm, the amoeba was very warm at the top of the longest climb but performance never dropped off at all.
 

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JimZinVt wrote: ...(I keep seeing the term "pill" being used in reference to something in these led lights, but I'm still not sure what it means....and.. ( about the TR-801 )...I just discovered while sitting here fiddling with it that the front portion of the light can be unscrewed 2 different ways: removing the entire light head, or just removing the lens and reflector, leaving the led unit in place. By unscrewing the reflector section slightly the center spot can be expanded. You can't go far, or you're no longer compressing the rubber o-ring, and the reflector section could rattle itself off while riding. But maybe putting a fatter o-ring on might help keep it snug. I'll have to see what they have at the hardware store....they have a drawer full of o-rings.
Some LED torches have the LED/driver attached to a metal plug that screws into the torch tube. I believe the term "pill" refers to that metal plug. ( if I'm wrong about that someone please correct me ) About moving the reflector....Yes I too noticed the same thing when I was fooling around with my P-7 torch. Because a P-7 torch uses an "orange peel " ( textured ) type reflector, I found that when I unscrewed it a tad I could get a little better center hot spot. Tonight, messing with the torch again, I decided I was going to do some throw comparisons of the P-7 with the reflector in different positions. If I see more throw with the tighter hot spot I'll post some photos. I like your idea of using some more O-rings to lock the position in although I'm not sure that would work on my P-7 torch. My idea was to use some Loc-tite on the threads. I've not tried it yet because I don't know what kind would work best. I also need some for my disc brake levers ( Hayes niners ) to keep the adjustment screw set. When I find the right type I'll be able to kill two birds with one stone..:D ...Recommendations anyone?
 

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Cat-man-do - i think you're right. I have been seen the folks over at CPF refer to the metal plug which typically holds the LED on one side, and a snug fitting driver on the other side a "pill". Having said that, I have seen the metal plug thingy on the other side that typically holds the reverse or forward clicky a "pill" too. Who knows, maybe any metal plug thingy that contains electrical goodies and screws into a torch barrel might be called pills!

I am still kinda new to this stuff too. For instance, I have only worked out what a forward or reverse clicky is in the last month! (and no, the CPF did not have anything to do with the discovery!)
 

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Cat-man-do said:
Some LED torches have the LED/driver attached to a metal plug that screws into the torch tube. I believe the term "pill" refers to that metal plug. ( if I'm wrong about that someone please correct me ) About moving the reflector....Yes I too noticed the same thing when I was fooling around with my P-7 torch. Because a P-7 torch uses an "orange peel " ( textured ) type reflector, I found that when I unscrewed it a tad I could get a little better center hot spot. Tonight, messing with the torch again, I decided I was going to do some throw comparisons of the P-7 with the reflector in different positions. If I see more throw with the tighter hot spot I'll post some photos. I like your idea of using some more O-rings to lock the position in although I'm not sure that would work on my P-7 torch. My idea was to use some Loc-tite on the threads. I've not tried it yet because I don't know what kind would work best. I also need some for my disc brake levers ( Hayes niners ) to keep the adjustment screw set. When I find the right type I'll be able to kill two birds with one stone..:D ...Recommendations anyone?
Loctite "Blue" would do fine. Green should be ok also, just do not use the Red.
 

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JimZinVT said:
But I just ordered (before the TR-801 had arrived) a new 14.4v 5Ah battery pack for the halogens....over-volting them is supposed to dramatically increase their light output. We'll see how that works out.
Going from 12V to 14.4V should see an 85% increase in output of light.

JimZinVT said:
I've read that halogens put out 15-20 lumens per watt, so you're right, one of these should be similar to a 15w halogen. But so much whiter light....I can't believe how yellow my halogens look in comparison.
That's the thing, the colour/tint of the light. I've read that the eye perceives white/blue better at night then yellow.
 

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Light color...

... Actually, I've heard that you needed less power from a yellow light for it to be perceived...That's why the fake HID bulbs (the standard bulbs with a light blue coating) you can buy in car shops, are more than the standard 50/55 watts, in order to compensate for lower visibility.

...That's what I've read !!!

Johnnydrz
 
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