Review: Utorch S1

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joechina
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jon_slider wrote:
is the concensus that the USB battery is NOT included?

No, did you read the post before yours?

Narmattaru
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what about battery – manager says “ no”, other guys at thread says yes.

what about ripple…i dont know the cause. but that is something like 1-2% vawe, you will not see it at all in reality.

i wrote other, because i`d prefer other utorch product, run by 14500 and without lense. more classic one

"How to choose flashlight, Main things in simple words":http://budgetlightforum.com/node/68418

joechina
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Battery is included!! Bought the lamp in May at the release.
Some at Gearbest have no clue what they are selling.

It has a battery test.
But mine is way off. One blink is acording to the manual below 30 percent capacity. When I remove the battery I measure 3.8V! (normally 3.6V is seen as 50%)
I guess my lamp has an issue, defekt or it’s an error in the firmware. I have also other issues.

You can get the battery check from OFF by a double click
Battery Check:
Flashes: 4 = 100%, 3 = >70%, 2 = >30%, 1 = below 30%

jon_slider
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Narmattaru wrote:
what about battery – manager says “ no”, other guys at thread says yes.

what about ripple…i dont know the cause. but that is something like 1-2% vawe, you will not see it at all in reality.

i wrote other, because i`d prefer other utorch product, run by 14500 and without lense. more classic one

thank you
I found one other person with a Utorch S1 Mini NW, and they did receive a USB rechargeable battery

agree the ripple is not visible, just looks funny on paper, lights like HDS and D4 do that, as part of thermal regulation, but I dont expect Utorch needs thermal regulation on medium.. no worries, just another form of invisible PWM/Constant Current Flicker

“other” as in, you dont like the aspheric and prefer 14500
thanks for clarifying, I dont use AA nor 14500, prefer 16340

Im curious to try an aspheric as a headlamp for indoor use at arms length, where my Olight S1 Mini High CRI beam is narrower than I would like (so it throws farther outdoors, which is not my need)

choices are good, thanks for all the info

jon_slider
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I have been using a Utorch S1 Mini NW for a few days now and am very happy with it as a close range headlamp and worklight indoors. It did come with USB battery included.

I am enjoying the light very much

lots more pics, impressions, and comparison to Olight S1 Mini here
http://budgetlightforum.com/node/60324

presently on sale for $27, no special code needed
https://www.gearbest.com/led-flashlights/pp_1356404.html?wid=21&lkid=133...

jon_slider
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Narmattaru,

I really appreciate your runtime chart, however, there may be an error in your time scale.

ZeroAir got this runtime chart, note runtime on Turbo and Medium are approximately the same as the specs. otoh, IF Im reading the time scale on your chart correctly, you get 2x the runtime on turbo, and 3x the runtime on Medium.. I think there is an error in your timescale.

Here is the ZeroAir review runtime

and here is Narmattaru’s chart:

and here is the specs in the manual

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Turbo limitation, LiIon battery behavior in
Olight S1 Mini

I turned on the light on Turbo, and it immediately dropped to a dimmer level. Tested the battery, showed 3.82 Volts. The Low Voltage light on the Olight switch did not turn on, it is triggered around 3.4v

moved the battery to Utorch S1 Mini
fired turbo, my light meter showed ~75% of full Turbo, let it run for 10 seconds, measured the lumens and it was on Medium (65 lumens on my meter). Tested the battery, it showed 3.72 volts. Did the Utorch battery check and got 1 blink.

Rule of thumb, no Turbo means Battery is below ~3.8v
Use lower modes and prepare to charge the battery.
Failure to maintain 250 lumen turbo, is how some HDS owners do a battery check.

Narmattaru
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oh.
seems to be i really made mistake.

what is strange, i post english review after russian version, to make sure that all the mistakes will be found – and you was the only one to take a deeper look into this chart ((

"How to choose flashlight, Main things in simple words":http://budgetlightforum.com/node/68418

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Narmattaru I did not think you made any mistakes. Your runtime charts are excellent to show that high mode drops over time. (although I dont understand why your runtime is so much longer than spec)

joechina wrote:
It has a battery test. … One blink… When I remove the battery I measure 3.8V … Lamp doesn’t go to high a second time IF the voltage is 3.8V

It was joechina that discovered that 3.8v, and One blink on the battery monitor, is the end of Turbo on a Utorch S1 Mini. I confirmed his findings.

makes sense to me, turbo runtime specs confuse a lot of consumers. They dont realize that Ansi runtime is until the light drops to 10%. Advertising makes us think Turbo will run for 72 minutes, of constant Turbo output, but that is not correct.

In any case, on the Utorch, one blink on the battery monitor, means no more Turbo

I agree w joechina that 1 blink is not below 30% power remaining, more like 50%, but Turbo requires more than 50% battery level.

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Look what Clemence Did to my Utorch S1 Mini!
http://budgetlightforum.com/comment/1333091#comment-1333091

d_t_a
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Ok, I ordered the UTorch S1 Mini, one each of the CW and NW tints, and just received them yesterday. Testing them now, the Neutral White version has a problem — it only has Low brightness mode (does not go to Medium or Turbo modes).

note: I haven’t tested the 3.8v threshold yet mentioned above. I first fully charged the batteries (indicator turns green) using the built-in micro-USB port.
After they turned green, checking on my DMM, one battery reads 4.19v while the other reads 4.21v (so one very slightly undercharges and one very slightly overcharges), using a USB meter, the ending charge current (from the USB port) is around 0.044A (for both).

(side question: can these Lumintop 700mAh 16340 batteries also be charged using a normal lithium-ion battery charger? or are they supposed to be charged only using the built-in micro-USB port? I notice the max charging current (USB) is 0.40A, ending at around 0.044A )

Anyway, I think my S1 Mini NW also has the same problem that ‘joechina’ mentioned, however, mine is a bit more serious:
Because a fully-charged 16340 placed inside the S1 Mini (NW), doing the built-in ‘battery check’, it will only blink 2 times (indicating 50% or less capacity), but when I place that same fully-charged 16340 battery inside the S1 Mini (CW), it blinks 4 times, as it should be, since the battery was just fresh-from-charging.

The S1 Mini (CW) appears to work properly (I haven’t tested the 3.8v threshold though) — it has moon, low, medium, high, strobes.

But the S1 Mini (NW), it behaves similar to what joechina mentioned at 3.8v threshold — it only has moon and low mode, and strobe sometimes doesn’t work either.
My S1 Mini (NW) seems to think the battery is “low-batt” when it is fully-charged.

I’ll try to issue a complaint to GearBest, but I’m reading up here first if many others have the same issues. (joechina mentions that occurs at 3.8v level. But mine occurs when the battery is fully-charged, although the flashlight seems to think the battery is 50% or less capacity already).

(comparing the same fully-charged battery in a working UTorch S1 Mini (cool-white) and “problematic” UTorch S1 Mini (neutral-white)


(sorry it’s just a boring video, so play it at 2x speed to speed it up..)
joechina
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Hello d_t_a, have you cleaned and lubed your contacts and threads?

You can charge the battery in any regular charger.

d_t_a
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joechina wrote:
Hello d_t_a, have you cleaned and lubed your contacts and threads?

You can charge the battery in any regular charger.

I haven’t cleaned and lubed the contacts and threads since they look quite clean (after all, it’s less than 24 hours since I opened the package)..

Another video (plan to submit to Gearbest…)

jon_slider
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d_t_a wrote:
joechina wrote:
Hello d_t_a, have you cleaned and lubed your contacts and threads?

You can charge the battery in any regular charger.

I haven’t cleaned and lubed the contacts and threads since they look quite clean (after all, it’s less than 24 hours since I opened the package)..

Another video (plan to submit to Gearbest…)

> can these Lumintop 700mAh 16340 batteries also be charged using a normal lithium-ion battery charger

yes, I agree w joechina

> the S1 Mini (NW), it behaves similar to what joechina mentioned at 3.8v threshold — it only has moon and low mode, and strobe sometimes doesn’t work either.

makes sense that strobe wont work if medium does not work, since strobe uses Turbo

sorry to hear your NW Utorch S1 Mini is not operating correctly, does not read battery level correctly, and does not give Medium, nor Turbo.. sad

> (joechina mentions that occurs at 3.8v level. But mine occurs when the battery is fully-charged, although the flashlight seems to think the battery is 50% or less capacity already).

joechina has good info, but, Im not sure you have the same situation
then again, his suggestion that there may be a bad contact sounds correct, I suspect the white wire at the driver.

My NW Utorches had poor contact of the white wire to the pill. it attaches to a screw, that was loose
the screw, (wire disconnected):

screw removed

Your video is good, that is what gearbest customer service needs, in order to issue a refund, or replacement

It definitely appears your NW is defective, as the battery level indicator is not working correctly, and the modes are not working correctly

I hope you get a resolution you are happy with, either refund or replace with hopefully working unit

d_t_a
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Thanks for the detailed and informative response, jon_slider. I have submitted to Gearbest the videos above as “proof”, hoping for a resolution.

It could be the white wire that you mentioned, but I’m not sure how to open the head to access that, and I may not have enough skill to fix it.. But I’ll probably try to do that once I get a good resolution to the problem from Gearbest (in case they need more pictures/videos), so I wouldn’t open the flashlight yet at this time.

However, it seems I’m having bad luck with UTorch flashlights — last year I ordered a couple of UTorch UT01 – one didn’t work upon arrive [which I “fixed / worked around” with the help of people here], and the other worked initially, but both of them developed the “need to break the circuit to turn on again” problem in a few months time.

I thought this UTorch S1 Mini would have better quality control, looks like the UTorch brand is really not that good — 3 out of 4 defective (we still don’t know if my UTorch S1 Mini (CW) that’s working normally right now may also develop a problem within a few months…)

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I agree, dont open the light until gearbest provides resolution. They may offer refund or replace. I suggest refund. They may let you keep the defective light, after that open it and try to fix it, if so inclined, when you have nothing to lose

the bezel unscrews, the lens is held only by an o ring, then it drops out, as does the centering ring. Then you would need to unsolder 3 wires, to get to the side with the loose screw.. all beyond my tool set, my lights get modded by people with more skills than I have developed

otoh, its not rocket science, if it is something you want to learn to do, the Utorch comes apart relatively easily.. imo, they are cheap lights, built with cheap parts… fun when they work, but definitely not known for reliability..

I have an Olight S1 Mini also. It is reliable, smaller, lighter, and I like the UI better. But it cannot be opened to modify, which is why I gambled on some cheap Utorch.. and sent them to modders for LED swaps. Im paying more for the Utorch mods, than I did for the lights..

I do like the aspheric lens. Klarus makes a version also. I have heard of no reliability issues w the Klarus, while Utorch has many reports of unreliability, unfortunately.

The Utorch is cheaper, but sometimes the Klarus goes on sale too. Right now Klarus is not on sale and goes for $49 on gearbest.. you can get an olight Ti S mini for that price, or for 30% less than that, an S1 Mini. theres a sale at illumn.com w code blacknovember … Im not affiliated, I do buy from them

since your NW Utorch is the one that failed, I recommend the Ti S Mini, it is the only NW option other than Utorch.. Klarus is CW only, S1 Mini is also CW only, and the tint is pathetic green.. the Ti S Mini is a class act, even if it is not High CRI

maybe plow the refund from your NW Utorch, into an Olight and have youself a really nice Ti light, if NW and Ti interests you.. one caveat, the Olights do not offer the aspheric lens, they are TIR, and more spot, less flood

d_t_a
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Ok, opened a dispute to Gearbest and after some days, they refunded me.

So I did the above suggestion — removed the bezel, aspheric/convex lens and the plastic centering ring, until I saw the board with 3 wires (red, black, white). I don’t have the tools nor the skills to solder/unsolder those wires, so what I just did was use a scalpel to sort of wiggle the board and the wires a bit, hoping it may have an effect.

Fortunately, it did. A full battery is now detected as 4 blinks and the UTorch S1 Mini can now switch between Moonlight (from Off only) to Low to Medium to High modes (at least when the battery is still full).

However, I’m not sure if my UTorch S1 Mini driver is normal or not… I tried measuring the tailcap current several times. At times, it maxes at around 1.8 amps, which seems to be the “correct” result as per the other test values mentioned above (I think that amount of current will yield the “600” max lumens stated).

However, at other times, I’m getting in excess of 2 amps and even 3 amps current => drawing that amount of amps for the XP-L HD LED should result in much higher lumens (I’m not very sure if the flashlight was brighter or not when it’s drawing 2 or 3 amps though).

But what is happening? Because when it’s drawing 2 to 3 amps, the flashlight gets hot very very quickly (maybe that’s what caused my earlier problem?)

see video (UTorch S1 Mini drawing more than 3 amps):

Actually, I decided to test tailcap current because I was also testing some of my other 16340s (protected ones). In particular, I have an Olight ORB-163PO6 (650mAh protected 16340) — when I placed this battery in the UTorch S1 Mini, then go to the Highest brightness mode, the flashlight will turn off — I presume that this is due to the Over-current protection feature of the Olight protected 16340 (not sure how many amps is the overcurrent protection of this Olight). However, the included Lumintop 700mAh protected 16340, does not seem to trip overcurrent protection (probably has a higher threshold level for over-current protection).

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d_t_a wrote:
Ok, opened a dispute to Gearbest and after some days, they refunded me.


what I just did was use a scalpel to sort of wiggle the board and the wires a bit, hoping it may have an effect.

Fortunately, it did. A full battery is now detected as 4 blinks and the UTorch S1 Mini can now switch between Moonlight (from Off only) to Low to Medium to High modes (at least when the battery is still full).

congrats on your refund

and yes, sliding the LED board around a bit, and or wiggling the white wire a bit, tends to temporarily solve the bad contact at the end of the white wire that cannot be seen.

dont worry, it will fail again, at least that is my experience, and that of joechina

what seems to be happening is the loose white wire, at the end you cant see, is being moved slightly, to make better contact, temporarily

good luck, I hope it lasts
in my case, the wiggle fix would work for a little while, than it would go back into error mode, where Turbo would not work, or would drop to low immediately. A new battery would not always fix it, and I would have to wiggle the white wire again.. repeat fail, repeat wiggle, repeat…

as far as current draw and high mode
here is approximately what happens at various voltages.. bear in mind operating voltage sags below these at rest values:

the turbo only works until the battery drops below 3.8v and is at 1 flash, so the high current reading is only when the battery is very full, 4 flashes.
> 4v = 4 flashes = Turbo for 40n seconds, then steps down to medium
> 3.9v = 3 flashes = Turbo works, but its not as bright
> 3.8v = 2 flashes = Turbo starts to not work, after a shorter and shorter time, like 3 seconds, and then steps down to Low
<3.8 v = 1 flash…. there is no turbo here

verify your flashes and battery levels for your unit, thats about what mine does

joechina also confirmed <3.8v there is no turbo

the info about the Utorch S1 Mini failing repeatedly and being fixed temporarily by wiggling the white wire is also discussed in detail here:
http://budgetlightforum.com/comment/1336825#comment-1336825
with lots of pictures

d_t_a
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Thanks for the added information, jon_slider.

Any comment about the UTorch S1’s current draw when on Highest output mode? I’m not sure why it sometimes maxes at around 1.8A (more or less), which seems to be the “correct” value.

But in other times when I test it, it goes a lot over (it’s drawing up to 3.4A in the above video). If the 3.4 amps is coming from the XP-L HD LED, then it should yield around 1000 lumens (which I’m not sure it is… as the specs of the UTorch S1 Mini indicate up to 600 lumens max).

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bansuri wrote:
Thanks for the review, Narmattaru.
I wanted to add my impressions and findings after receiving this light, couldn’t find any discussion threads, let me know if this isn’t the place for this info and I’ll post it on the sales thread or start a discussion thread.
Was really hoping this would include the timer but it looks like it didn’t make the final cut.
I ordered and received the 5000k version, the tint is much warmer than that as you’ll see from some beamshots I’ve attached. The output has all sorts of artifacts so it’s an awful wall hunter but it’s a nice little light for most everything else. Don’t know why the tint is so far off but it’s the first warmer light that I’ve liked.

If you remove the bezel and optic for mule operation it is a drastic improvement in the beam profile. A thin lens with DC fix might be perfect.
The optic is plastic and sits on a shoulder to keep it in place.

The clip has a firm grip and stays in place thanks to a fitted recess.
The ramp when changing from HIGH to LOW is so slow it feels a little gimmicky.
Despite some of the quirky elements I’ve ordered another one before the sale ended, the build quality seems great and I have a few mods in mind for one of them.
The built-in magnet and lanyard attachment point give this a couple options that I wish my Olight Ti S Mini had.

OK, while writing this I was looking at my pile of parts and I have some lenses that are the right diameter. I’ll include some mule beamshots.
A consideration when running it this way is that you have to keep pressure on the black conical insert in order to keep pressure against the MCPCB so the emitter doesn’t fry. In this configuration I had to put the o-ring underneath the lens to keep the pressure on. After closer inspection I see that my lenses are just 1MM or so too big and they don’t sit down in the head as far as the optic does, thus the need for the o-ring underneath instead of on top. Will try to reduce diameter with a diamond burr.

Zebralight SC62d (Philips LUXEON T @5000k) on left, Utorch S1 on right:

Utorch S1 stock configuration:

Utorch S1 with optic removed and standard lens only:

You can see that the tint changes drastically without the lens and it almost completely eliminates the rings. As there is nothing to diffuse the output there are 4 noticeable spots in the center, but they blend in with normal use. Will try to reduce the diameter of another lens and will post results.

I just sanded the flat side of my lens with fine sandpaper. This give a nice balance between the beams you show and totally ring free.

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Hello everyone, I was wondering if anyone had the approximate driver dimension? I’ve got one of these coming for a host to build a special use light for my wife to use at her work and the vF requirements of the LED are really going to be taxing the 7135 based driver (which will be custom) so I wanted to start on the layout now to maximize the amount of copper pour on the board. I can finalize the board outline and switch placement after my light arrives in 15-30 days and I take measurements but having the basic layout now would save time.

Diameter and component height would be all I need, actually just diameter would be enough for me to get the jump I need. Thanks!

 RIP  SPC Joey Riley, KIA 11/24/14. Now I am become death, the destroyer of worlds.

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