Review: Fandyfire Rook (Cree XM-L T6 | 3 x AA or 3 x 14500)

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_the_
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Review: Fandyfire Rook (Cree XM-L T6 | 3 x AA or 3 x 14500)

Fandyfire Rook (XM-L T6 | 3 x AA or 3 x 14500)

Reviewer's Overall Rating: ★★★

 

Summary:

Battery: 3 x AA or 3 x 14500
Switch: Side switch, electronic
Modes: 3: High, Low, Hidden Strobe
LED Type: XM-L T6  
Lens: Glass, AR coated
Tailstands: Yes, perfectly!
Price Payed: $40.90
From: DX
Date Ordered: October 2012

 

Pros:

  • Nice tint (for a CW)
  • Bright with 14500
  • Low voltage warning (with 14500)
  • Thermal protection
  • Long runtime with alkaline AAs
  • No low voltage protection with AAs -> "Moonlight mode" after four hours Smile
  • Alkaline, NiMH, Li-Ion - everything goes => Good for converting people to flashaholics(!!)
  • Significantly smaller than King -> pretty pocketable
  • Side switch
  • Hidden strobe
  • Tailstands perfectly
  • Great design & build quality
  • Flat bezel, stainless steel
  • Comes in a nice box, lanyard included, very good for gifting!
  • Operating instructions included (in plain English)

Cons:

  • PWM on low mode (~125Hz)
  • No option for lock-out

 

Features / Value: ★★★★

The light comes in a nice black box:

 

..which contains the light itself, good lanyard, one extra O-ring and a manual (in English!) 

 

Another shot showing the manual:

 

Features are good: Two modes (about 800 and 240 lumens OTF with 14500, 200 and 80 with AA) + an easily accessible strobe in case you should need it.

One of the main features is the compatibility with many battery types and drastically changing characteristics when changing the cells: You can think this light both as a safe beginner light with AAs (moderately driven, long runtime, doesn't get hot), and a real flashaholic light with 14500 (well driven, as bright as my Shadow TC6!, throws pretty well).

I noticed a strange glitch once with brand new AA alkalines (about 1.6V): The light went to low voltage warning mode. When the AAs were just a bit depleted (or when NiMHs were used) there were no issues.

 

UI is good: Electronic side switch (press 2s for on/off, short click to change mode). The light always starts on High mode. Strobe can be turned on by fast double-clicking the side switch (well hidden, doesn't activate by accident).

There is small parasitic drain of 1.35mA, which can be considered negligible (>2000h, nearly three months to drain the batteries).

Unfortunately there is no option for locking out the light, but considering the 2s delay to turn it on, that shouldn't be a big problem.

Value for money: Very good!

 

Design / Build Quality: ★★★

Design is very nice. Short, thick, good handle. The handle fits my hand perfectly and the side switch is in a good location.

Color of anodizing is also good in my eyes and to top of it, bezel is both stainless steel and flat!!

 

The anodization is very good overall, glass lens looks nice and durable (+ is AR coated!). Let's see some details..

Cooling fins, side switch, and a nice way to attach the lanyard:

 

A well centered emitter:

 

The threads were smooth, but very dry (requires lubing): 

 

Another photo of the body with the batteries:

 

A look to the inside. Three cells in a triangular formation and nice springs at tail. Looks great!

 

Side clicky can be simply screwed off:

 

...which reveals the electronic switch: (Note also the well designed O-ring, which keeps in place and is tight enough)

 

The bezel can also be screwed off pretty easily, allowing removal of the lens and thick O-ring under that:

 

The lens is AR-coated, as can be seen in this photo:

 

Next thing to remove is the reflector, which was flawless:

 

The reflector is also quite thick & heavy, which is good for absorbing heat: (weighs 18g)

 

After removing the reflector we have clear visibility to the emitter, which sits on a large star, glued to the head with some thermal compound. There is also a plastic centering ring, making sure that the emitter stays perfectly centered. As the driver is glued (or just very tight press fit), this is as far as I would go for disassembling the light.

 

Some measurements:

Length: 119mm

Head diameter: 41mm

Body diameter: 37mm

Tail diameter: 39mm

Reflector diameter: 38mm

Reflector depth: 27mm

Weight: 257g with 3 cells (= ready to use), 188g without

 

..and here's some pictures confirming the measurements:

 

 

 

 

 

This light is actually unbelievably small, for example when compared to King and Darth:

 

..or small AA lights like Balder SE-1, Xeno E01 and Quark AA²:

 

And the bottom line in the quality: Great light, absolutely nothing to complain!

 

Battery Life: ★★★★

Good! Three batteries will allow fairly long runtimes, especially with AAs.

I measured the current wit 14500 and got results of 2.5A on high and 0.8A on low (PWM 124.3Hz, 30.1% duty cycle).

In real life test, the light did give about 4h runtime on high with AAs + fifth hour of "Moonlight" (first 30min more or less regulated, declining in a quite linear manner after that):

 

Two photos of the "moonlight" mode (light running 5th hour with alkaline AAs):

 

 

When trying the same with 14500, something weird happened:

When the temperature of the head did go near 50 degrees Celsius, the light output dropped drastically, keeping the temperature below 50 for the rest of the runtime. I think it was some kind of temperature protection kicking in, but I'll have to re-test in lower ambient temperature to make sure.. Please stay tuned. A funny thing to notice is that there was no PWM during this period of lower output, and I could change modes "normally".

Anyways, the runtime with 14500s was 1h28min until the low voltage warning kicked in and the light started flashing.


Light Output: ★★★★

But for a light this small, I would still classify it as "very bright" (with 14500). Ceiling bounce was measured to be on par with Shadow TC6 on high!

 

I estimate (ceiling bounce + "known" references) the light output to:

- about 800 lumens on high with 14500s

- about 240 lumens on low with 14500s

- about 200 lumens on high with AA alkalines (a bit less with NiMH)

- about 80 lumens on low with AA alkalines (a bit less with NiMH)

 

Some white wall beamshots (1/100s, f/5, ISO80, WB: Daylight)

14500 High:

 

14500 Low: 

 

AA alkaline High:

 

AA alkaline Low:

 

Beam angle:

 

Tint comparison. "Normal" CW (TF Z5), Rook, and NW (Xeno E01) -  (1/100s, f/5, ISO80, WB: Daylight)

Note: It's not green to my eyes in real life!

 

Outdoor beamshots are canceled due the rain, slush & fog. Sorry about that. I'll add them as soon as the weather gets better..

 

Summary: ★★★★

Very good, small flashlight with nice design and finish for anyone, from beginner to flashaholic. Just throw in correct cells depending on your mood and you'll get what you want. Smile

 

Verdict: Highly recommended!

 

The End (pun intended):

 

Thanks for reading & watching. Hope you enjoyed the review!

=the=

Disclaimer: Above post might contain referral links, but only to items that I myself have bought, tested & approved. Or items that, based on my experience, can be considered as good deals & worth sharing.

Edited by: sb56637 on 11/06/2012 - 17:09
MRsDNF
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Thanks for the review _the_. Nicely done. Can we have a picture if possible someone holding it?

My current and or voltage measurements are only relevent to anything that I measure. Budget light hobby proudly sponsored by my Mastercard and unkowingly paid for by a hard working wife. Free plug for my daughter. http://missymupsnails.com.au

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Thanks for the work! Nice Review!

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Great review. Any idea on lux readings?

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fran82
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Veeeery nice review and veeery nice flashlight mate! Good job!

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I wish it was triple xp-g2, then it would be a real mini-king Smile

Nice review… how does it throw?

gords1001
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Thanks for the review, this looks an ace light for parents to replace a d cell Maglite, one of these, some eneloops and a charger and their good to go. 8)

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Another great review of what appears to be a very good light. I just wish you could lock out the power for no parasitic drain. Sad

_the_
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MRsDNF wrote:

Can we have a picture if possible someone holding it?

 

 

Rusty Joe wrote:
Any idea on lux readings?

Heh. I thought that I forgot something..

It's 16kcd with 14500 (measured at 4m) 

=the=

Disclaimer: Above post might contain referral links, but only to items that I myself have bought, tested & approved. Or items that, based on my experience, can be considered as good deals & worth sharing.

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Thanks for a fine review. Very tempting light.
Tecmo
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Can’t you untwist the head a little to lock it out like the king?

_the_
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Tecmo wrote:
Can't you untwist the head a little to lock it out like the king?

No. King has anodized threads, this doesn't. Sad

=the=

Disclaimer: Above post might contain referral links, but only to items that I myself have bought, tested & approved. Or items that, based on my experience, can be considered as good deals & worth sharing.

DARCANGEL
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Thanks for the review_the_ looks like a solid build and the AR coated lens is a surprise,few budget lights have them.I like the low voltage warning feature too,overall novice and pro friendly light.Great pics and really informative this 3xaa format is nice,I may just have to pick one up.

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Excellent review as usual, thanks so much! Looks like a real keeper there. I’ve been sort of eyeing this one. But I don’t really like the parasitic drain, and I wish there was a moonlight mode that could be activated without running down the batteries first. Smile An 80 lumen low is WAY, WAY too high. My idea of low is like 1 lumen, and moonlight should be around 0.3 lumens.

Well done! Frontpage’d and Sticky’d.

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mizjif
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Only 200 lumen on high with AA’s? So basically to utilize this light to its full potential you need to run 3 14500s?

Shoot. If it was more efficient off of AA’s I’d buy it.

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I don’t really understand this light. 3× 14500 is same capacity as 1 18650, and a hassle w/o >= 3 bay charger. If the point is a AA light, 2x AA makes more sense in terms of size, or even 3x in series. If running on 1.x V, then 1 C or D is better packaging. Seems like a niche/collector piece IMO since it’s well made.

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ezarc
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mizjif wrote:
Only 200 lumen on high with AA’s? So basically to utilize this light to its full potential you need to run 3 14500s?

Shoot. If it was more efficient off of AA’s I’d buy it.

Same, 3 eneloops = 3.6v or 3 alkaline = 4.5 volts. But as it is its just for 14500 users in my opinion.

agenthex wrote:
I don’t really understand this light. 3× 14500 is same capacity as 1 18650, and a hassle w/o >= 3 bay charger. If the point is a AA light, 2x AA makes more sense in terms of size, or even 3x in series. If running on 1.x V, then 1 C or D is better packaging. Seems like a niche/collector piece IMO since it’s well made.

I think 4xAA would have nailed it and put it up there with the PA40 and M40A.

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Nice review thanks!!

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really good review. i had a few questions and all addressed in detail..

 


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Cool

fishinfool
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Very cool looking light!  Thanks for the review _the_! 

 

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Sweet review! Thank you. This cleared up lots of things for me as I've been eyeing this light since it came to market.

So here's my take on it.

IMO the combined package leaves me wanting because:

Parasitic drain - non flashaholics and some flashaholics will leave batteries in it and forget about it. Soo primaries will die and leak. Rechargeables will maybe drain to ~0V even if protected since so low drain might not trigger the protection circuit. And then they die. Or a non flashaholic throws them in the charger without checking them. And then they die. Bummer all around!

Low mode of 80 lumens? Too high. I get the 200 lumens on primaries - still lots of usable light IMO - and the tradeoff is runtime of course. But a low of 80. Think about it this way. A standard incan maglight 3*D put out ~50 lumens. And people love those! But that makes 80 too high of a low.

 

 

 

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iron potato
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Thank you for the superb review the

But I dont like Gold ano myself, if they come out with the dark grey like Darth + control ring, surely I’ll get it :bigsmile:

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Nice review and the light looks great on first appearance. But I have to confess I’m rather confused at it’s intended use apart from a collectors piece.

A Mini Mag Pro puts out more lumens on 2AA and surely running 1×18650 would be more efficient than 3×14500’s?

I can see it’s good that it takes multiple battery types should the need arise (likely rare for most of use I’d have thought). And the bigger head should offer up better throw.

-undecided….

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For the review.  I'd wish it was a 4AA form factor, I'd be ordering... that's just me though as I hate getting odd number configs of alkaline cells or NmH cells....

I’ve got a thrower, a flooder, and an EDC too. Still looking for a bigger thrower, flooder, and a new EDC, give or take a few. I’m a flashaholic.

cone
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the wrote:

MRsDNF wrote:

Can we have a picture if possible someone holding it?

 

 

Great review and thanks for taking the time. I’ve been looking at the version of this that uses cr123a batteries, but I can see getting my sons the AA version if they like the look of mine. My only disappointment in this whole thread/review, and it is very minor, is that I was hoping that MRsDNF’s request would have have produced a different someone. You are in a Scandinavian country, right? Silly

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cone wrote:
I was hoping that MRsDNF's request would have have produced a different *_someone_*. You are in a Scandinavian country, right? :p

Yes, he is.... and so am I, you wanted to see me holding it naked? Laughing

 

cone wrote:
I don't know, maybe. If you are going to do it, let me know so I can get my wife over here because Vikings in their natural state always put her in _the right frame of mind_. ;)

Sorry don't have Rook, but here's next best thing.... Me holding TN31 naked

 

cone wrote:
Four quick questions, the first three are for M3tal_Lord. 1. Is your username a music reference? If it is, my wife might be a little too interested. Silly JK! I hope! 2. How did you get my quote above the post it came from? 3. Could you please clarify "rook"? 4. Did any of y'all click on M3tal's link? I'm too scared to do it now. And _the_, sorry about going off topic.

1. It is. I mostly listen Finnish metal (but which is song in English)

2. I press "quote", and copy text and go to my old message and do "edit" and paste text there

3. I thought this light is called Rook (FandyFire Rook to be exact)

4. Yes, that's me naked there... do not go look Tongue Out

Disclaimer: I might have been under influence while typing this message.

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M3TAL_L0RD wrote:

cone wrote:
I was hoping that MRsDNF’s request would have have produced a different someone. You are in a Scandinavian country, right? Silly

Yes, he is…. and so am I, you wanted to see me holding it naked? Laughing

I don’t know, maybe. If you are going to do it, let me know so I can get my wife over here because Vikings in their natural state always put her in the right frame of mind. Wink

fidem, prae caeteris omnibus praeter honestatem

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Four quick questions, the first three are for M3tal_Lord.

1. Is your username a music reference? If it is, my wife might be a little too interested. Silly JK! I hope!
2. How did you get my quote above the post it came from?
3. Could you please clarify “rook”?
4. Did any of y’all click on M3tal’s link? I’m too scared to do it now.

And the, sorry about going off topic.

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cone wrote:
Four quick questions, the first three are for M3tal_Lord. 1. Is your username a music reference? If it is, my wife might be a little too interested. Silly JK! I hope! 2. How did you get my quote above the post it came from? 3. Could you please clarify "rook"? 4. Did any of y'all click on M3tal's link? I'm too scared to do it now. And _the_, sorry about going off topic.

2. You can edit posts... Silly

4. Yes, I clicked it. Nothing to big. Silly

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cone wrote:
4. Did any of y’all click on M3tal’s link? I’m too scared to do it now.

Spoiler alert:  M3TAL_L0RD is wearing a watch.   Wink

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