TrustFire X9 - Thoughts and beamshots

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fishmaniac
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TrustFire X9 - Thoughts and beamshots

She's been thru a few days (and nights) of playing around and annoying the neighbors. 0:) This is the brightest (ceiling bounce and most likely with my light meter) LED light I have now. Nice wide spill that's almost as bright as my Sipik clone on 14500's. The beam is tight w/o being too tight. From about 6 feet away, the "hottest" part of the hotspot is about 6 inches wide. Of course, I'm not going to be using this light from 6 feet. I'm relieved the beam's not super narrow like my $27 + tax HomeDepot 2D special I got a few years ago. I was going to return it as I really don't find such a light useful, but I dropped it and so.... Aaanyway, back to the subject.

First thing I did after opening the "present" to myself, was check her current. And much like the guy in another thread, I was only getting 1.47-1.54Ah on high (*These numbers were due to sub-par cells and poor DMM leads. The cells were old laptop pulls and is mentioned later in this thread. For the new leads I used 1/8 thick copper wire. With a panasonic imr, I got 4.9 amps, with green panasonics 3.7A and with the laptop cells 2.5A. So definitely this light is unregulated. Its the brightest single cell light I have. I love it!) Was a bit dissapointed until I turned X9 on. lol Once she was turned on, I forgot about her faults and the action got hot. Smile This is the first time I've actually felt a good amount of HEAT coming out the front of an LED light. And because I got a great price on ebay (about half), the faults are easy to forgive. Had I paid $54.00 from Manafont, I might be second guessing my purchase. But who know, perhaps I would have gotten a 3.0A light.(??)

-- Start Edit --

Just did some lux readings on my X9. My Meterman lightmeter's max lux range is 20K, so I had to record in fc and convert. (1 fc = 10.7639 lux). I only had time to do readings on the X9, the HomeDepot 2D Husky LED and my UniqueFire G10.

All readings taken at 1 meter (~39 inches).

UniqueFire G10 w/ 4.17v 14500 = 3,756 lux (ave of 3 readings)
Husky w/ 2D nimh 1.30v = 20,989 lux (ave of 3 readings)
TrustFire X9 w/ 4.17v 18650 = 36,489 lux (ave of 3 readings)
TrustFire X9 w/ 2xCR123a = 40,256 lux (ave of 2 readings)

Hopefully, this will give you an idea of how far she can throw relative to other similar size/style lights. For example, the G10 is brighter from a ceiling bounce than the Husky, but the Husky blows it away on throw (Most of the light goes to the "pencil" beam). I'll try to add more readings with different cells as well as record other flashlights like my Sipik which I can't seem to locate atm.

-- End Edit --

So on to the pics...more thoughts later.

Check out her good looks. Tall, dark and exotic...

Can you see me?

The "X9" part looks a litte funky.

Sometimes it's this color, sometimes it's darker. I love it.

Slight color mismatch just like a real SureFire!

The beveled edges are a tad sharp. Need to break out the dremel.

Preparing to get launched into space...

Now for some beamshots. About 75 feet to target. All shots were taken in manual but for some reason, the settings were a bit off. All the beamshots are a bit brighter than what I actually saw that night. I just couldn't tell from the camera's viewing screen. But since all of the beamshots came out this way, you can get an idea how bright things are relative to the other lights.

The control. (oddly, this shot looks darker than what I remember)

Here's the X9 on low.

Here's the X9 on med.

And here's the X9 on high.

UniqueFire G10 with 14500.

Sipik 68 clone with 14500.

Phoebus pk-05 with 17670.

Here's 2 pics that had the exposure dialed down equally. The Sipik zoomed and the X9 on high.
First the Sipik clone.

And now the X9 on high.


Again, I'm glad the beam's not like the Husky 2D (the spaceship) or spill-less, bordered beam of the Sipik 68.

Pros:

  • Nice design and finish.
  • Cool natural-ish color for a budget light.
  • Bright for a single li-ion flashlight.
  • Forward clickie.
  • Multi-modes (con for some I guess)
  • Returns to last mode used when turned off for 2+ seconds.
  • Good heatsinking.
  • Wide square threads.
  • O-rings through out. Double at tailcap end.
  • Can be completely disassembled (to pill).
  • Good pricing on ebay. (as of aug 2011)

Cons:

  • Dirty, slightly gritty threads. (but not a con anymore)
  • Tailcap had connectivity issues. (but not a con anymore)
  • Tailcap has sharp beveled edges!
  • At times looks like it's missing it's tailcap because of the polished end. lol
  • Entire body needs knurling.
  • Wish it had a SF C2/C3 grip thingy instead of the "pokey" lanyard/strap ring.
  • Not 3.0 Amps as supposed to be.
  • Even though it's not 3A, it burns through my cells (to 3.6v) in about 25 min. lol

I'll try to take some long range shots and compare her with the Home Depot light, the Streamlight Stinger mod and perhaps the Magcharger.

I know I'm repeating myself, but I really do like this flashlight! My G10 doesn't seem as bright as it used to..:(

 

**Edit**

Here's a video I made comparing the TrustFire X9 with a Keygos Ke5 and a Husky 2D.

Here's a video of the X9 going out to 500ft in an urban, light polluted area.

Edited by: fishmaniac on 05/19/2013 - 18:34
Ian2381
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Love my X9, thought it's not bright enough but when I tried to illuminate buildings and construction sites about 200 meters away it just lit the whole thing. really have great throw and useful spill.

weiser
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There's also this thread, which has been going for a while: http://budgetlightforum.com/node/3293

 

I won't be able to test mine until tomorrow. I literally don't have any 18650 cells at the moment because I loaned them out and the new cells I have on order haven't arrived! Manafont decided to take its sweet time for this order!!! Yell

 

But I'm also gonna get some XTAR batteries with the charger. It's been bugging me having this light for the past week and not being able to test it. Although I did throw a couple CR123's in it for giggles but they're old cells. 

krikstas
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thanks for the review its a very nice light... waiting for mine...

are sure about forward clickie (half push to turn on)?

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You guys make the light sound so good.  Now all the ebay sellers are raising their prices.  I can not get anyone to sell less than $37.  Well I guess I have to wait.  Frown 

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37 isn't really too bad of a price, but yeah it's surprising they stopped the auctions all of a sudden. IMO it's still worth it if you don't care for 2 cell lights and need some throw, because other than the xtar r01, there aren't any regulated xm-l's in that price range anyway and this is the best of the rest. IOW, worth the little extra over the KD C8.

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fishmaniac
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krikstas wrote:

thanks for the review its a very nice light... waiting for mine...

are sure about forward clickie (half push to turn on)?

Krikstas,

Yes, the X9 has a forward clickie/clicky. Half press to turn on, full press to leave on. Also, half press repeatedly to change modes or click on and off quickly to change modes. Can you let me know how many amps yours draws when it arrives? Thanks.

fishmaniac
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agenthex wrote:

37 isn't really too bad of a price, but yeah it's surprising they stopped the auctions all of a sudden. IMO it's still worth it if you don't care for 2 cell lights and need some throw, because other than the xtar r01, there aren't any regulated xm-l's in that price range anyway and this is the best of the rest. IOW, worth the little extra over the KD C8.

Good to know you think the X9's worth it at $37.00 over the $25.00 C8, cuz I know of at least one member that paid that. And since I now know that the X9 is brighter, you just saved me $25.00. Smile When I asked this question a couple weeks ago, I seriously considered the C8 mainly cuz of all the reviews. But when the bidding started on the X9's, I couldn't pass it up. I originally saw this light listed for $50+.

Btw, it's over at DX now in a set w/ one cell and charger for $44.40. And interestingly, they claim it to draw only 1.5A! So maybe my X9...she's a-ok?!

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Mine is 1.9A max and drops quickly. That's the one weak point of the light, but does save the emitter from burning out like full bore DD ones. The beam is quite good (tight spot, good centering), which mitigates it somewhat. In general it's a more sophisticated product than the C8's.

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2100
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1.9A max?!

XM-Ls are pretty hardy, no worries.  I mistreated them, gave them a nice knock and came back on.  3X already.  Sealed

fishmaniac
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2100 wrote:

1.9A max?!

XM-Ls are pretty hardy, no worries.  I mistreated them, gave them a nice knock and came back on.  3X already.  Sealed

Do you know a good replacement driver for the X9? Something closer to 3A perhaps? 3 modes would be nice.

But as is, I'm getting very little runtime on Hi. If I had a 3A board, wouldn't I have even less?

Thanks.

2100
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fishmaniac wrote:

Do you know a good replacement driver for the X9? Something closer to 3A perhaps? 3 modes would be nice.

But as is, I'm getting very little runtime on Hi. If I had a 3A board, wouldn't I have even less?

Thanks.

How much run time are you getting then?

 

krikstas
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[/quote]

Krikstas,

Yes, the X9 has a forward clickie/clicky. Half press to turn on, full press to leave on. Also, half press repeatedly to change modes or click on and off quickly to change modes. Can you let me know how many amps yours draws when it arrives? Thanks.

[/quote]

wow nice to hear it, actually i have won several of them for a very good price... one of them was 26 bucksEmbarassed including crapy batteries and charger ...

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okyeung wrote:

You guys make the light sound so good.  Now all the ebay sellers are raising their prices.  I can not get anyone to sell less than $37.  Well I guess I have to wait.  Frown 

There appears to be ebay retailer co-ordination/co-operation/a cartel like I've never seem before on the ebay price of the X9.   All the top/safest flashlight ebay retailers have exactly the same Buy It Now price with free shipping; that's Cyberport888, redlog, cwtco, go_market, etc.   I have never ever seen this before, not one cent (or penny) difference.  Interesting.

"You are making progress if each mistake you make is a new one."

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I ordered one last week from ebay. I must have missed the bit about <2a at the tail. Hope mine does better

 

http://i1193.photobucket.com/albums

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I have a chance to use my X9 in a situation last night, We got a flat tire on our way home from a family gathering in a very dark road. Glad I brought with me my edc(Zebralight SC50) and X9. I let the guys use my SC50 while I use the X9. All I could say is I'm happy with the performance of the X9, even though it throws far it still have a balance between flood and throw as the beam is big(compared to other throwers) due to the XM-L led and have useful spill.

 

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Does your X9 have the same PWM on lower modes as reported for others here? I would really like to have a solid light with these characteristics:

  • Multi-mode
  • 1x18650
  • XML (for spill)
  • Reasonabl throw
  • Non-PWM

As it would normally be used in lower modes, PWM would be distracting and annoying.


Keepin’ the “B” in BLF

Don wrote:
It sounds like the XM LEDs won’t really be suitable for flashlight use. Pity…

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Yes mine also have PWM but I only noticed this when read it in BLF, plus the fact I only have it for a few days. I can only hear it when I put the head near my ear so I have no problem with the pwm. still happy getting the x9.

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Ian2381 wrote:
I can only hear it when I put the head near my ear so I have no problem with the pwm.

Sound isn't an issue; It's the visible flashing at lower frequencies... Point it at a ceiling fan or shine it around outside at night when there are bugs flying around to see the strobe effect.


Keepin’ the “B” in BLF

Don wrote:
It sounds like the XM LEDs won’t really be suitable for flashlight use. Pity…

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VFMaddict wrote:

There appears to be ebay retailer co-ordination/co-operation/a cartel like I've never seem before on the ebay price of the X9.   All the top/safest flashlight ebay retailers have exactly the same Buy It Now price with free shipping; that's Cyberport888, redlog, cwtco, go_market, etc.   I have never ever seen this before, not one cent (or penny) difference.  Interesting.

 

Be careful it isn't just the same company with several ID's. That's quite common on ebay. For example, Eforcity, Inc controls the top four ID's: accstation, everydaysource, itrimming and eforcity. I assumed most or all of those sellers are controlled by the same company, but I could be wrong (I meant to remove that).

 

Eforcity started out with two guys selling stuff from home (but they started buying wholesale) and now operates with over $100 million in revenue annually. 

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keltex78 wrote:

Ian2381 wrote:
I can only hear it when I put the head near my ear so I have no problem with the pwm.

Sound isn't an issue; It's the visible flashing at lower frequencies... Point it at a ceiling fan or shine it around outside at night when there are bugs flying around to see the strobe effect.

Sorry, My mistake.Sealed

I actually don't see the strobe effect when shining around the house even outside. Only visible when pointed at a ceiling fan.

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I think Langcjl got the last good deal on x9 package.  Less than $34 with batteries and charger.  That was the last I saw it.  Hope Langcjl get it soon and update us.  I almost bid on it.  Tongue out

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Cyberport and GoMarket are the same person. They have the same shipout address (return address). And they use the same packing supplies as well.

fishmaniac
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2100 wrote:

fishmaniac wrote:

Do you know a good replacement driver for the X9? Something closer to 3A perhaps? 3 modes would be nice.

But as is, I'm getting very little runtime on Hi. If I had a 3A board, wouldn't I have even less?

Thanks.

How much run time are you getting then?

 

On a 4.18v cell at 1.64A, I'm getting 30 min down to .91A and 3.57v. I normally only take them down to 3.75 max and that's only about 15 min runtime.

At 10 min, it's down to 3.84v. lol...10 min!

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When I saw this light I new I had to have it!!

I have several other XML's and have been impressed with all of them but this thing just rocks Laughing

Are there any other single 18650 cell XML's that look as good as this thing? I don't think so!

The large diameter reflector and those chunky heatsink ribs should really lend itself to being pushed to the limit. If the stock driver is pushing anything less than 2.8A on high, I will be fitting a 3 mode, 2.8A (or more) driver.

Really looking forward to this beast arriving.

By the way, it is a little dissapointing that the bare X9 can only be purchased on ebay (@ ~$35). While KD & DX only offer the X9 package deal with the crappy charger and battery. I'm not saying that $45 for the package deal is bad value for money, but many of us already have enough 18650's and chargers and we really only want to purchase the flashlight.

Having said all that, if one of the vendors was to offer a 3 mode (H,M&L) version with a 3Amp driver, I would happily pay $45 just for the flashlight. Hint hint ....

Thanks for the review..

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fishmaniac wrote:

Do you know a good replacement driver for the X9? Something closer to 3A perhaps? 3 modes would be nice.

I ordered this one

http://www.kaidomain.com/ProductDetails.aspx?ProductID=10995

possibly for the X9, but haven't received either yet, so no firsthand experience at this time.

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This is the driver you want for the X9:

I have used these with great success with other single cell XML's.

http://kaidomain.com/ProductDetails.aspx?ProductId=10995

Provides a well regulated 2.8A on high and the driver can be set for three modes (H,M,L) or other modes too if you can't live without the strobes etc.

This is what I intend to put in my X9.

Have fun all..Wink

 

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I'm a bit baffled why cells are being run down so quickly given the low draw of most specimens here ??????  Can anyone explain this?

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fishmaniac wrote:

2100 wrote:

fishmaniac wrote:

Do you know a good replacement driver for the X9? Something closer to 3A perhaps? 3 modes would be nice.

But as is, I'm getting very little runtime on Hi. If I had a 3A board, wouldn't I have even less?

Thanks.

How much run time are you getting then?

 

On a 4.18v cell at 1.64A, I'm getting 30 min down to .91A and 3.57v. I normally only take them down to 3.75 max and that's only about 15 min runtime.

At 10 min, it's down to 3.84v. lol...10 min!

That really indicates just how poor the driver must be in the X9.

The XML forward voltage specs indicate that it should draw 3 amps from a 3.35v supply!

The fact that your X9 is only drawing 0.91 Amps @ 3.57v shows how ineficient the X9 driver really is on a single 18650 cell. For an XML to only draw 0.91A, the votage getting to te emitter must be only 2.95V, so the driver in this case must be dropping 0.6v across it..

If you replace that driver with an 8x AMC7135, the XML should draw 2.8 Amps right down to 3.6v or close to the battery low voltage protection point.

I have never been a fan of dual voltage (3.7 & 7.2V) drivers. Seems very few manufacturers are able to produce a buck driver that works adequately on 7.2v and still provides good performance at 3.7v and this is just another case in point. Ditch the crap driver and X9 will really shine Smile

weiser
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Sparktastic wrote:

This is the driver you want for the X9:

I have used these with great success with other single cell XML's.

http://kaidomain.com/ProductDetails.aspx?ProductId=10995

Provides a well regulated 2.8A on high and the driver can be set for three modes (H,M,L) or other modes too if you can't live without the strobes etc.

This is what I intend to put in my X9.

Have fun all..Wink

 

 

That's the driver I've had bookmarked for an X9 mod, but now I'm confident that I'll do this. I'll get it ordered this weekend. Thanks!

 

Btw, have you already removed the pill and if so, how did you go about doing it? I've only unscrewed the emitter to take a peek at the top side of the driver. 

how2
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fishmaniac  you need to get some news cells.

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