Mapache's (and Mrs Mapache's) newb review - Thorfire TG06S –

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mapache
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Mapache's (and Mrs Mapache's) newb review - Thorfire TG06S –

We all know why you’re here. It’s because of how interesting my reviews are… Wait a minute, you’re probably thinking “Hey mapache, isn’t this your first review?” Hmm, you’re right: this is my first review. In that case, you must be here for my great sense of humour… “Hey mapache, I think I’ve read some of your posts. You’re not as funny as you think you are.” Oh, then I guess you’re here to see what I have to offer in the way of a review?

If you’re still reading, you might be starting to wonder what is going on. Well don’t worry – this is indeed an attempt (note to self: emphasise attempt) at a review. A number of weeks months ago, ThorFire contacted me and asked if I would like to review a light. I said yes, however I stipulated – and this is a direct quote from the PM that I sent them – “I won’t lie in the review but if there are any major issues, I will contact you first to try and sort them out before making it public.” The only follow-up communication I have ended up having to make was letting them know that I hadn’t forgotten to do the review.

As there were already plenty of reviews of the TG06S by the time I had my review almost finished, I decided to change this to a long-term experience review.

All my testing was carried out using AA NiMh and Alkaline cells.

The TG06S is the latest version of this AA/14500 light. It arrived in the typical brown ThorFire box. However, unlike some of the earlier TF packaging that I have seen images of, this one had both the CE and the RoHS marks. Included in the box was the light inside a bubble wrap “sheath”, the manual, a little bag with spare o-rings, and a piece of open-cell foam in the bottom of the box for padding.

The dimensions that I measured are as follows:
96.5mm length
20mm head, with the anti roll flats measuring 21mm
16.9mm x 12mm smooth reflector
16.8mm driver
1mm pill shelf

The anodising is quite nice. The surface is low gloss, but not completely flat like the C8. A sturdy clip is supplied already attached to the light, and is reversible so that the light can be attached to the peak of a cap / carried bezel up.

The threads are a very smooth, square cut and came lightly lubricated. The tail threads are anodised allowing for tail cap lockout.

The emitter is listed as being an XP-G2 R5. The tint isn’t listed, but it’s quite neutral looking with the slightest hint of green. The emitter was well centred prior to me removing the pill. However, due to the centre ring / gasket design it took a few attempts to realign upon assembly. I am far from experienced (AKA a newb) with gasket design and emitter focusing, but it appears that the gasket may be slightly taller than needed and could be causing a slight loss in light output. However, the beam seems to be nicely focused when white wall hunting.

This version of the light comes with a reverse clicky switch, and the sealing flange of the switch boot had adequate lubricant on both sides to help seal out water. The modes are: High, Medium, Low, Moon and Hidden Strobe – without mode memory. The strobe had an alternating frequency almost like a bicycle flasher and strobe combined. The TF lumen claims are 500 lumen on High, with a 14500 cell and 150 lumen with a AA cell.

Opinion Time (yes, everyone has one)

I have been carrying this light on and off for quite a few months now. It spent a lot of time clipped to one of the small pockets on my work pants, or clipped to the pocket of a hoody. The size and weight of the TG06S is excellent for my indoor EDC purposes, being just large enough that I know it’s still there without being so large that I am constantly aware of it. Mrs Mapache was quite interested in this light compared to other lights: she too really liked the size, commenting that the 18650 light she has is too heavy for permanent purse carry (I’m somewhat paraphrasing here). She also likes the fact that the TG06S on AA cells runs cool enough that an accidental activation shouldn’t burn anything in her purse.

I found this light to have quite a nice tint with plenty of output on AA and a tight hotspot with reasonable spill. Indoors the tint has the slightest hint of green, but is quite pleasant and Mrs Mapache commented that she really likes the tint colour and finds it relaxing compared to the “harsh” 1A tints. Outdoors the green was not visible to my eyes and the tint was excellent for inspecting wildlife burrows for activity and seemed to make the vegetation stand out well. On a number of occasions, I had the light clipped to my baseball cap for inspecting fence lines and wildlife cameras. Most of the time this worked well, but I found that the hotspot was a little too narrow whilst wearing an old and loose-fitting flexfit cap that refused to stay in position due to the increased weight on the peak. However, whilst wearing an adjustable style cap I had no issues with the narrow hotspot as the cap would stay in place with correct adjustment.

The reverse clicky switch is smooth but personally I would have liked this light to have a forward clicky switch as I am digging them at the moment. However, this is a personal choice and is easy enough to switch (pun intended :P) out myself.

The TG06S does have visible PWM whilst using a AA cell in Moon, Low and Medium modes. 90% of the time I didn’t notice the PWM at all – nevertheless it did become evident when walking down really tight bush tracks in both Moon and Low modes. Whilst it was not enough to cause disorientation, it was enough that it took a minute or so to get used to it. However, where I found the PWM particularly distracting was when I was fixing a draw slider. I was at an awkward angle with the light clipped to a hat and the work-piece was less than 6” away. In this position, I found the PWM to be quite bothersome.

The following PWM images are f/2.8, 1/15s and an ISO of 1000 (equiv)

PWM Moon

PWM Low

PWM Medium

PWM High

The only thing that I felt was lacking with this light was that it doesn’t have memory. In my opinion, a light like this is well-suited to keep on a bedside table, tucked under the corner of a pillow, or next to a sleeping mat for when nature calls in the middle of the night. However, it really needs the ability to start in Moon so as not to wake your companion. I wouldn’t want the mode order changed though, as this light is just as useful for EDC – and the ability to start on High is as important as starting in Moon for a lot of people.

Overall I am very happy with this light, as is Mrs Mapache who will likely be claiming it for her purse and I would gladly recommend it to anyone who doesn’t notice PWM. However, I would strongly recommend to ThorFire that they make the PWM less visible and that they include last mode used memory.

EDIT – It has been reported by Dusty that there is a newer version of this light now available and it doesn’t have visible PWM! A short video is available in this post. It would be nice if TF made the update drivers available to purchase.

Edited by: mapache on 05/05/2018 - 07:26
mapache
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I should have added these thoughts to the main review but they will go here instead.

Lack of beam shots- It turns out reviews take a lot more work and time than I first thought, especially without proper equipment and less than perfect health. Attempting to get a reasonable outdoor beamshot with an old iPhone4 is nearly impossible. The first occasion was raining and the second occasion a few weeks later it started snowing! For my next review I will have to see if I can borrow a camera, or at least fix my old compact camera – even that should be better than a phone. For anyone interested in the missing low quality beamshots – this is a clothes line at a distance of 12m, with snow in the first pic. At least I think, maybe it counts as sleet to people who live in countries that have an actual winter.

“Camera” settings are as above f/2.8, 1/15s and an ISO of 1000 (equiv)

High.

Medium

How am I using this light 6 months on? – This light does find it’s way into Mrs Mapache’s purse on occasion as suspected, but it now spends most of it’s time as my couch light, living next to the TV remote. With nimh cells this light on high is the perfect brightness (for me) for the living room, and being on high there is no PWM to worry about.

FPV
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good review! I have the TG06 and I love the neutral tint. It is my favorite travel light when I want to avoid traveling with Lithium cells & charger (but lithiums wouldn’t be a problem on my flights).

mapache
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Thanks. I was quite disappointed with how the beamshots turned out, hence the reason they ended up in part 2. Hopefully I will figure out how to get good beamshots for my next review.

Pete7874
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mapache wrote:
Thanks. I was quite disappointed with how the beamshots turned out, hence the reason they ended up in part 2. Hopefully I will figure out how to get good beamshots for my next review.

You need a tripod (or two), manual exposure, and slower shutter speed… much slower than 1/15s. I’m not sure if your iPhone is up to the task.

I like your PWM shots though.

kramer5150
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Nice review thanks!! They need to fix the PWM and next mode memory on these lights. I have the regular TG06 and never use it because of these two aspects. It a real bummer for an otherwise excellent light.

mapache
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Pete7874 wrote:
You need a tripod (or two), manual exposure, and slower shutter speed… much slower than 1/15s. I’m not sure if your iPhone is up to the task.

I like your PWM shots though.

Thanks for the tips. The phone can do 1/1s shots but without a tripod 1/15s was the lowest I could go. I will get a cheap tripod and try with my old digital camera.

kramer5150 wrote:
Nice review thanks!! They need to fix the PWM and next mode memory on these lights. I have the regular TG06 and never use it because of these two aspects. It a real bummer for an otherwise excellent light.

The S version that I have has no mode memory, so it always starts on high. I will bold that in the review as it is a great improvement over the original, it’s just a shame they didn’t change it to have last mode memory instead. I agree with you on the PWM.

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Oh ok… Cool I can handle always starting on HI (or low). Its the next mode memory thats bad about the regular TG06.

mapache
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kramer5150 wrote:
Oh ok… Cool I can handle always starting on HI (or low). Its the next mode memory thats bad about the regular TG06.

I wonder if the “pencil trick” works with the old version. You draw a line with a pencil across the appropriate capacitor and the light in theory becomes memory free.

Dusty
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There is a new model of the TG06s, with a newly designed driver. I did a little video (on my cheap phone), to show the difference. 1st is a TG06s purchased in May, which has PWM. 2nd is a TG06s purchased in November.

It appears the older one is a bit brighter and defined on an AA, but I just threw a couple I had laying around to test. I didn’t check voltage. The new model doesn’t have PWM.

EDIT: The difference was the batteries. With 2 fresh AA batteries, the new TG06s appears a bit brighter.

Brianbug

mapache
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Nice! With this updated update of the TG06S, if everything else is the same I would highly recommend this light to people.

Thanks for the video, I will add a link to this in the OP.

kramer5150
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Cool… a PWM-less TG06S is a light I would be happy with.

lostheplot
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nice review .good to hear the pwm issue is gone..thankyou

sorry all images down
thanks photobucket

firedome
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Nice review mapache thanks!!

“We can easily forgive a child who is afraid of the dark; the real tragedy of life is when men are afraid of the light.

-Plato

g_damian
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What is the diameter of driver? You wrote it is 12.8mm but other reviewer reported 16.9 or 16.8mm..

mapache
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Just double checked and it’s ~12mm.

Just triple checked and it’s ~17mm

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mapache wrote:
Just double checked and it’s ~12mm.

Thanks!

luminarium iaculator
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Mrs Mapache and Mapache this is great review Thumbs Up

Modding is making something how you want it to be, not how it comes stock...

Old-Lumens

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Thanks. I managed to get Mrs mapache to help in another review I’m about to post but it needs better pics, however she wasn’t that interested in my third review.

jt_bennett
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I recently upgraded the driver for my TG06S and it is 17mm. (Purchased last week from Amazon- Thorfire vendor)

I think there might be a couple different versions of this light with different size drivers.

If you plan on doing a driver/emitter swap for this light, get the light in hand prior to ordering any emitters or drivers for it.
That way you can get measurements and be sure you are ordering the correct size.

Persechini
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I have the Sofirn’s clone/version of the TG06S, the SF12, and the driver is 17mm with 16mm MCPCB for the emitter

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My collectionEmisar: D4 / D1 / D4 (broken) ― Convoy: C8 Clear / S2+ Clear / S2+ / S2+ UV / S6 ― Nitecore: Tube / Thumb / Concept 1 / HC30 / HC33 / TIP / TIP CRI / TINI ― Lumintop: Tool AAA / Tool AA / HLAAA / EDC05 ― Sofirn: SF10 / SF12 / SF12 / SF14 / SF14 / SF14 / SP10A / SP10A (gifted) ― Jaxman: E3 ― UTorch: UT01 ― Trustfire: Z2 ― Skyfire: SF-065 (trashed)

mapache
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Well this is embarrassing. I just triple checked using my manual vernier and it is ~17mm Facepalm

I would blame nearly flat batteries in my digital vernier except last nights secondary measurement was also with a simple manual vernier Facepalm

Edit- Wait, this is the internet and I’m meant to dig my heels in, stand my ground and tell everyone their wrong. I must have a different version, and I won’t provide photo evidence because how dare anyone question my integrity Silly

jt_bennett
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No worries.
Your reflector centering ring and pill look different than mine so I figured the driver might be different too.

It’s common for vendors to change components (drivers, pills, reflectors etc.) throughout the production of the same light.
I’ve seen 3 different versions of my crelant CH10. Each has a different reflector set-up and/or driver.

mapache
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Update

I got a new version TG06S and can confirm that PWM is no longer visible in any mode with either a 14500 or AA battery. New version is on the left in all the following pictures.

It has a different driver that has a brass button on the positive and an isolation ring around the positive terminal, I am guessing for r.p.p.?

It is slightly brighter in all modes, however I only tested them with NiMh.

The reflector is different. It is still smooth, however both holes are marginally smaller than the older model, whilst having a slightly larger hotspot as seen in the above image.

The anodizing is slightly different too, this new version is slightly more matte, and almost has a deep red hue at certain angles.

These updates really compliment what was an already nice light. However I still wish it had a good previous mode memory.