Review WowTac A3S (Zoomable 18650)

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robo819
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Review WowTac A3S (Zoomable 18650)

This is the Wowtac (fomerly Atactical) A3S zoomable flashlight , sent to me for my review and NO other compensation other than keeping the light.

You can find the Wowtac A3S at either the main site….(links are NON affiliated)…….
http://wowtac.com/wowtac-a3s-zoomable-1000-lumen/

Or on Amazon site …. https://www.amazon.com/Flashlight-Zoomable-Adjustable-Resistant-Tactical...
For $29.99 (usd) at the time of this review.

The A3S is the newest in the line up from Wowtac , which seems so far to be bringing us some good quality lights for a decent (budget) price. Wowtac receives technical support from ThruNite for thier products and it seems to show in the build quality of the lights I have received from Wowtac so far , as the quality of the lights has been very good with all of them.

The A3S is a pretty compact 18650 sized ZOOMABLE light with a side switch ONLY for controlling On/off and all the modes , which makes it pretty unique , as I do not know of any other side switch only Zoomies. The switch itself is a nice looking metallic one and compliments the light. I personally do not know of other zoomies that incorporate the side switch only feature. This particular model uses a XP-L HI emitter , with what seems to be a constant current driver. The light is unfortunately glued or sealed VERY well , so I have not tried to force it apart as I didnt want to damage the light before I could finish the review. ( even the bezel is rock soild on my sample) The color temp is a cool , but not like super cool , I am guessing in the 6000K to 6500K range , but it does look a little warmer when the light is in flood mode than it does in the focused mode.

The A3S comes with a 3400mAh USB rechargeable cell and charging cord included. You will need to use the proprietary USB rechargeable cell or one of the longer protected cells in this light however , as it is made to fit pretty long cells , such as the proprietary one with USB charging built on. The tailcap does not have a spring in it , but instead a button , or knob made into the tailcap itself so there is only the spring on the driver at the head end. I did try the Panasonic Protected NCR18650B , which works well in the light , as does the protected Voidhawk cells I have. I am pretty confident that any other cells that are 69 mm in length or slightly longer should work fine also. The unprotected cells , flat top or button top either one , would not work in the light. (Efest Purple , LG HE4 , LG HG2 , Lg MJ 1 and such did not power the light as they were too short)

As mentioned already , the quality of the light is really good , especially for a light that only cost $30.00 and comes as a “FULL” package with everything you need. When I took the light out of the box and inspected it carefully I could not find any thin or bare spots in the Anodizing anywhere. The square cut threads were lubed just about right and they are smooth when screwing the tailcap on or off. The head moves smoothly to get the beam where you want it. This is also an improvement over the first (A3) model as that one is so air tight it was hard to get it to stay put when the focus is moved.
The head does stop just short of full focus , meaning you dont get the really defined edges showing from the emitter or see the dots from the die , but again it is improved over the first version and IS more defined to almost the well defined edges , with just slightly rounded corners.

I like the UI on the A3S ,which has the hidden strobe and also the hidden “Reading” as they call it , I call it Moon mode , but either way it is a long press (about 1 second) to activate that. The hidden strobe can be accessed from the Turbo mode with a quick double click , or 4 quick clicks in a row from off. The rest of the modes are Low / Medium / High /Turbo (double click). The Low , Medium and High modes can be accessed with a long press (1/2 to 3/4 second) or you can simply hold the button down and cycle through each mode and release the buton when the desired mode is reached. The Turbo is a quick double click from any of the other modes including if you are in strobe , just double click back to Turbo. A quick click turns the light on in the last used mode for L / M / H and another quick click turns the light off.

Overall the A3S is a nice zoomie light IMO , with a good UI and overall it seems to be a very good quality light with excellent run times.
I would like to see the A3S have a choice of neutral or cool emitters though.

Below are the test charts from the testing I have done witht he A3S so far.

For those that don’t not want to watch the whole video , the still pictures of the light and beamshots start at 6:34 of the timeline and the live outdoor footage comparing the original A3 with the A3S starts at 10:52 of the timeline.

Video Followed by listed specs……..

Specifications
•LED: CREE XP-L HI LED with a lifespan of 20+ years of run time.

•Runs on: Wowtac li-ion 18650 battery (3.6V/3400mAh).
•Working voltage: 2.7V-4.2V
•Reflector: TIR lens.
•Output & Runtime (Tested with Atactical li-ion 3.6V/3400mAh)

– Strobe (1000 lumens /3.3 hrs), – Turbo (1000 lumens /3 hrs), – High (400 lumens /5.4 hrs), – Medium (126 lumens /35 hrs), – Low (27 lumens /4 days), – Reading (16 lumens /5.6 days). •Peak beam intensity: 19200cd (max.) •Max beam distance: 277 meters (max.) •Waterproof to IPX-4 Standard. •Impact resistant: 1.5 meters. •Weight: 83g (excluding battery). •Dimensions: 123 mm in length x 34 mm in head diameter x 25.4 in body diameter. •Accessories: USB Rechargeable Li-ion 18650 battery*1, Cable*1,Spare O-ring*2, Pocket Clip*1

Click any link to see MY REVIEWS:

Maxtoch M24 Sniper / Maxtoch 2X Shooter (2016 factory dedomed) , 2X - XHP 70.2 / Maxtoch Xsword *** ### ThruNite // Archer 2A V3 / Ti4T / TN4A HI / TH10 / TH20 / C2 Mini / TC12 V2 / T01 / MCC-4S , neutron 2C V3 , TC20 / Catapult V6 / *** ###  Olight // H2R Nova , S10R III / S30R III / H1 Nova / H1 R Nova / X7 Marauder , PL Mini ,  M2R warrior //// Orca T11 / Nitecore EC20 / BLF A6 / Custom Convoy C8 / Lixada Triple 3800LM / Lixada 1000LM / LuxStone X30 / Manker E02 / Manker E14 II / Small Sun ZY-T43 / Warsun X60  //////// ### Thorfire /// PF03PF04 , Upgraded PF04 , C8 , S-50 ,  VG-10 , VG25 , C8s , BL30 , TK4A  , S1 , VG15 S  , TK 18 //// Atactical (Wowtac) // A1S , A1 (original) , A2 headlamp , A3 //// Acebeam L16 /// Massdrop (Lumintop) Brass EDC

Edited by: robo819 on 05/22/2018 - 01:38
Firelight2
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I quite like my A3S. In my opinion, it’s one of the best stock zoomies on the market. A few easy mods make it even better.

What I liked:

  • The zoom in my A3S is butter-smooth. Smoothest zoom mechanism I’ve seen on a zoomie yet. It’s just a joy to use.
  • The beam pattern goes from a wide even circle in flood mode to a small blurry circle in spot mode. Unlike most cheap zoomies, the A3S does not focus all the way to a sharp image of the LED surface. The result is a very pleasing beam pattern at the expense of slightly less max throw.
  • The beam pattern is absolutely flawless. Completely artifact free. No rings or other artifacts at all, regardless of what zoom position the lens is in. Cleanest beam pattern of any zoom flashlight I own (and I own dozens).
  • The threads are compatible with threads for the Convoy S2+. This means you can use alternate battery tubes for the Convoy S2+ and Jaxman E2L. the thread length is slightly different though. I’m using mine with a Jaxman E2L 18500 tube. I bent a thin strip of copper into a C-ring wedged behind the driver in the head so that the slightly shorter Jaxman tube can make contact with the back of the driver.
  • The UI is very well designed. It’s similar to that in Olight’s. Long press for low, double-click for turbo. Press-and-hold to cycle up modes. Single-click from on to turn off. Single-click from off to turn to high. Biggest disadvantage of the UI is it has a low, but does not have moonlight.
  • The light is substantially brighter when run on a low-resistance IMR cell. I haven’t looked at the driver, but perhaps it is using a FET. The upshot is you can “hot-rod” this light simply by replacing the battery with a better cell.
  • Fit and Finish is excellent*.

What could be better:

  • Head is quite a bit wider than the lens opening. The biggest advantage of this is very slightly wider max flood mode as the edges of the bezel are further away so block less of the flood. In my mind, I don’t think this tiny gain is worth the extra width in the head. I would have preferred a narrower head (for more comfortable pocket-carry), or a wider lens making more use of the extra width (for better throw).
  • Battery tube. The light is designed to use the supplied battery that comes with a built-in USB socket. This cell is quite a bit longer than most 18650 cells. The springs in the battery tube aren’t long. Most 18650 cells won’t work in this light without modification because the stock springs are too short. This can be fixed by using longer springs, or shorter battery tubes.
robo819
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Hey Firelight2…….Thanks for the info about the battery tubes interchanging and all.

Was the bezel glued in tight on yours like it seems to be on the one I got? If so how did you get the light apart and did it cause any damage in doing so , if you don’t mind me asking in the public thread.

Click any link to see MY REVIEWS:

Maxtoch M24 Sniper / Maxtoch 2X Shooter (2016 factory dedomed) , 2X - XHP 70.2 / Maxtoch Xsword *** ### ThruNite // Archer 2A V3 / Ti4T / TN4A HI / TH10 / TH20 / C2 Mini / TC12 V2 / T01 / MCC-4S , neutron 2C V3 , TC20 / Catapult V6 / *** ###  Olight // H2R Nova , S10R III / S30R III / H1 Nova / H1 R Nova / X7 Marauder , PL Mini ,  M2R warrior //// Orca T11 / Nitecore EC20 / BLF A6 / Custom Convoy C8 / Lixada Triple 3800LM / Lixada 1000LM / LuxStone X30 / Manker E02 / Manker E14 II / Small Sun ZY-T43 / Warsun X60  //////// ### Thorfire /// PF03PF04 , Upgraded PF04 , C8 , S-50 ,  VG-10 , VG25 , C8s , BL30 , TK4A  , S1 , VG15 S  , TK 18 //// Atactical (Wowtac) // A1S , A1 (original) , A2 headlamp , A3 //// Acebeam L16 /// Massdrop (Lumintop) Brass EDC

Firelight2
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Actually, I didn’t disassemble the head on my A3S. When I did the mod, I placed the copper c-ring onto the outside of the driver, wedged between the driver and the threads at the bottom of the head. Head disassembly was not required.

I have removed the bezel on my Wowtac A3. It was not glued, but had an o-ring that made the bezel quite difficult to unscrew. I was not able to unscrew it with bare hands. I used 3M indoor stairway grip tape (rubber tape), to provide additional grip on the head and bezel. With that the bezel unscrewed easily. I do not know if they added glue with the A3S.

robo819
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Thanks again for the info Firelight2.

I have actually tried gripping mine with rubber on the head and wedged the bezel against wood and then ended up taking chunks out of the wood without ever moving the bezel at all.

It will be revisited though…….lol

Click any link to see MY REVIEWS:

Maxtoch M24 Sniper / Maxtoch 2X Shooter (2016 factory dedomed) , 2X - XHP 70.2 / Maxtoch Xsword *** ### ThruNite // Archer 2A V3 / Ti4T / TN4A HI / TH10 / TH20 / C2 Mini / TC12 V2 / T01 / MCC-4S , neutron 2C V3 , TC20 / Catapult V6 / *** ###  Olight // H2R Nova , S10R III / S30R III / H1 Nova / H1 R Nova / X7 Marauder , PL Mini ,  M2R warrior //// Orca T11 / Nitecore EC20 / BLF A6 / Custom Convoy C8 / Lixada Triple 3800LM / Lixada 1000LM / LuxStone X30 / Manker E02 / Manker E14 II / Small Sun ZY-T43 / Warsun X60  //////// ### Thorfire /// PF03PF04 , Upgraded PF04 , C8 , S-50 ,  VG-10 , VG25 , C8s , BL30 , TK4A  , S1 , VG15 S  , TK 18 //// Atactical (Wowtac) // A1S , A1 (original) , A2 headlamp , A3 //// Acebeam L16 /// Massdrop (Lumintop) Brass EDC

beam0
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Firelight2 wrote:
I quite like my A3S. In my opinion, it’s one of the best stock zoomies on the market. A few easy mods make it even better.

What I liked:

  • The zoom in my A3S is butter-smooth. Smoothest zoom mechanism I’ve seen on a zoomie yet. It’s just a joy to use.
  • The beam pattern goes from a wide even circle in flood mode to a small blurry circle in spot mode. Unlike most cheap zoomies, the A3S does not focus all the way to a sharp image of the LED surface. The result is a very pleasing beam pattern at the expense of slightly less max throw.
  • The beam pattern is absolutely flawless. Completely artifact free. No rings or other artifacts at all, regardless of what zoom position the lens is in. Cleanest beam pattern of any zoom flashlight I own (and I own dozens).
  • The threads are compatible with threads for the Convoy S2+. This means you can use alternate battery tubes for the Convoy S2+ and Jaxman E2L. the thread length is slightly different though. I’m using mine with a Jaxman E2L 18500 tube. I bent a thin strip of copper into a C-ring wedged behind the driver in the head so that the slightly shorter Jaxman tube can make contact with the back of the driver.
  • The UI is very well designed. It’s similar to that in Olight’s. Long press for low, double-click for turbo. Press-and-hold to cycle up modes. Single-click from on to turn off. Single-click from off to turn to high. Biggest disadvantage of the UI is it has a low, but does not have moonlight.
  • The light is substantially brighter when run on a low-resistance IMR cell. I haven’t looked at the driver, but perhaps it is using a FET. The upshot is you can “hot-rod” this light simply by replacing the battery with a better cell.
  • Fit and Finish is excellent*.

What could be better:

  • Head is quite a bit wider than the lens opening. The biggest advantage of this is very slightly wider max flood mode as the edges of the bezel are further away so block less of the flood. In my mind, I don’t think this tiny gain is worth the extra width in the head. I would have preferred a narrower head (for more comfortable pocket-carry), or a wider lens making more use of the extra width (for better throw).
  • Battery tube. The light is designed to use the supplied battery that comes with a built-in USB socket. This cell is quite a bit longer than most 18650 cells. The springs in the battery tube aren’t long. Most 18650 cells won’t work in this light without modification because the stock springs are too short. This can be fixed by using longer springs, or shorter battery tubes.
Thanks for posting all the useful information! I came across this and read your post in the other (older) thread where I found this review.

.

Firelight2 wrote:
………….Most 18650 cells won’t work in this light without modification because the stock springs are too short. This can be fixed by using longer springs, or shorter battery tubes.

Do you know if the slightly longer button top Samsung 30Q would work in this light as is? The ones I have are a hair over 2mm longer than a VTC5:

Flat-top VTC5…….65mm
Flat-top 30q………65mm
Button top 30q……67.06mm
Wowtac USB……..69.44mm ± 0.5mm

If the 30Q button top doesn’t work I wonder if maybe the springs could be stretched about 1mm each to make up the roughly 2mm difference?

"Over 2000000 hours (about 200 years) standby time"  (DQG Tiny 4th)

"27,157 results for zoomable flashlight" (ebay)

 

 

Newlumen
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Hey you can use any unprotected button top then add magnet ( to negative side of the battery). After that,the battery will not rattle.

rickw12
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I can’t find this for sale now. It isn’t in Amazon, and I don’t see how to buy it on Wowtac’s site.

Rick

robo819
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rickw12 wrote:
I can’t find this for sale now. It isn’t in Amazon, and I don’t see how to buy it on Wowtac’s site.

I just asked them about the A3S last night and got the reply today……

They are sold out at the moment , but will be back on the Amazon site when they become available.
I did not get a time frame , but I am pretty sure it will be after the big Spring Festival in China , which I think is still another 2 weeks or so before it is over.

Click any link to see MY REVIEWS:

Maxtoch M24 Sniper / Maxtoch 2X Shooter (2016 factory dedomed) , 2X - XHP 70.2 / Maxtoch Xsword *** ### ThruNite // Archer 2A V3 / Ti4T / TN4A HI / TH10 / TH20 / C2 Mini / TC12 V2 / T01 / MCC-4S , neutron 2C V3 , TC20 / Catapult V6 / *** ###  Olight // H2R Nova , S10R III / S30R III / H1 Nova / H1 R Nova / X7 Marauder , PL Mini ,  M2R warrior //// Orca T11 / Nitecore EC20 / BLF A6 / Custom Convoy C8 / Lixada Triple 3800LM / Lixada 1000LM / LuxStone X30 / Manker E02 / Manker E14 II / Small Sun ZY-T43 / Warsun X60  //////// ### Thorfire /// PF03PF04 , Upgraded PF04 , C8 , S-50 ,  VG-10 , VG25 , C8s , BL30 , TK4A  , S1 , VG15 S  , TK 18 //// Atactical (Wowtac) // A1S , A1 (original) , A2 headlamp , A3 //// Acebeam L16 /// Massdrop (Lumintop) Brass EDC

rickw12
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Thanks for checking on that!

Rick

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I have lots of problems with flickering on mine. I’ve tried wiping down the contacts and still having issues. Thoughts?

robo819
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Buckeye_Guy wrote:
I have lots of problems with flickering on mine. I’ve tried wiping down the contacts and still having issues. Thoughts?

Are you using the included cell or a shorter one? Most any shorter cell will not make good contact in this particular light.

Other than what you already tried and the cell used , these lights are a pain to get open in order to get to the driver or LED.

Click any link to see MY REVIEWS:

Maxtoch M24 Sniper / Maxtoch 2X Shooter (2016 factory dedomed) , 2X - XHP 70.2 / Maxtoch Xsword *** ### ThruNite // Archer 2A V3 / Ti4T / TN4A HI / TH10 / TH20 / C2 Mini / TC12 V2 / T01 / MCC-4S , neutron 2C V3 , TC20 / Catapult V6 / *** ###  Olight // H2R Nova , S10R III / S30R III / H1 Nova / H1 R Nova / X7 Marauder , PL Mini ,  M2R warrior //// Orca T11 / Nitecore EC20 / BLF A6 / Custom Convoy C8 / Lixada Triple 3800LM / Lixada 1000LM / LuxStone X30 / Manker E02 / Manker E14 II / Small Sun ZY-T43 / Warsun X60  //////// ### Thorfire /// PF03PF04 , Upgraded PF04 , C8 , S-50 ,  VG-10 , VG25 , C8s , BL30 , TK4A  , S1 , VG15 S  , TK 18 //// Atactical (Wowtac) // A1S , A1 (original) , A2 headlamp , A3 //// Acebeam L16 /// Massdrop (Lumintop) Brass EDC

Itsme
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Wowtac just released the BSS v3 so maybe a brighter version of the A3S is coming

Buckeye_Guy
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robo819 wrote:
Buckeye_Guy wrote:
I have lots of problems with flickering on mine. I’ve tried wiping down the contacts and still having issues. Thoughts?

Are you using the included cell or a shorter one? Most any shorter cell will not make good contact in this particular light.

Other than what you already tried and the cell used , these lights are a pain to get open in order to get to the driver or LED.

I know I’m late to this reply. But yes I am using the battery they issued. Seems to flicker more when I turn the flashlight vertically. Definitely sounds like a short battery issue.

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Itsme wrote:
Wowtac just released the BSS v3 so maybe a brighter version of the A3S is coming
Just saw the review on that, looks like a great tactical light!

.

I kind of hope they don’t change the A3S driver though…

Firelight2 wrote:
The light is substantially brighter when run on a low-resistance IMR cell. I haven’t looked at the driver, but perhaps it is using a FET. The upshot is you can “hot-rod” this light simply by replacing the battery with a better cell.

What I’d rather see done is they shorten the battery tube and dump the USB battery idea, the longer tube to accommodate the USB battery creates an issue for using a lot of different cells. I guess it was a “quick and dirty” way to compete with some of the newer zoomies with built-in USB charging. Pretty much any of the high drain IMR cells will need a magnet to the negative side (per Newlumen’s helpful suggestion) whicht seems like a good setup on this for 18650.

Firelight2’s revelation about the Convoy/Jaxman tube lego is what really has me stoked for this light (Thanks again Firelight!) I’ll run an 18500 Jaxman tube as well, I’ve got some Efest purple IMR 18500 high drain cells to use in it. Only drawback is shimming the driver side for contact, because that probably won’t be something that easily goes in and out, so swapping back and forth with 18650 might be a PITA. But I’ll more often be swapping back and forth with a 18350 Convoy tube and Aspire INR 1100. I’ll try using a ring of 14g or 12g solid copper wire (Romex type) for the shim mod, if that works.

"Over 2000000 hours (about 200 years) standby time"  (DQG Tiny 4th)

"27,157 results for zoomable flashlight" (ebay)

 

 

beam0
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Robo, you probably know this but this review isn’t linked in your sig, no biggie but thought I’d remind in case you forgot, I use those links to jump around your reviews.

Also I guess they are the same light body but the first 2 sets of slide-show photos are the A3, not the A3S, no biggie there either, just sayin because when I look at those pics I have to check if I’m in the right review FacepalmLOL . Maybe you could just make a note of that somewhere around the pics to avoid confusion.

.

Something else I want to point out on this to avoid confusion: In the “listed specs” (manufacture provided) it shows “Reflector: TIR lens” however it appears to be an aspheric on this. (and hopefully is) Wowtac really needs to fix that, unless there’s some type of hybrid thing going on with this?.

"Over 2000000 hours (about 200 years) standby time"  (DQG Tiny 4th)

"27,157 results for zoomable flashlight" (ebay)

 

 

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"Over 2000000 hours (about 200 years) standby time"  (DQG Tiny 4th)

"27,157 results for zoomable flashlight" (ebay)

 

 

rickw12
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Thanks. And there’s a 20% off coupon in Amazon.

P.S. And I hope that my experience with this won’t be the same as that of several people commenting in Amazon that theirs failed after a month or two!

Rick

robo819
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20% off through March 5th with the coupon code …… wowww2018

Code also good on the A1 and the A3

Click any link to see MY REVIEWS:

Maxtoch M24 Sniper / Maxtoch 2X Shooter (2016 factory dedomed) , 2X - XHP 70.2 / Maxtoch Xsword *** ### ThruNite // Archer 2A V3 / Ti4T / TN4A HI / TH10 / TH20 / C2 Mini / TC12 V2 / T01 / MCC-4S , neutron 2C V3 , TC20 / Catapult V6 / *** ###  Olight // H2R Nova , S10R III / S30R III / H1 Nova / H1 R Nova / X7 Marauder , PL Mini ,  M2R warrior //// Orca T11 / Nitecore EC20 / BLF A6 / Custom Convoy C8 / Lixada Triple 3800LM / Lixada 1000LM / LuxStone X30 / Manker E02 / Manker E14 II / Small Sun ZY-T43 / Warsun X60  //////// ### Thorfire /// PF03PF04 , Upgraded PF04 , C8 , S-50 ,  VG-10 , VG25 , C8s , BL30 , TK4A  , S1 , VG15 S  , TK 18 //// Atactical (Wowtac) // A1S , A1 (original) , A2 headlamp , A3 //// Acebeam L16 /// Massdrop (Lumintop) Brass EDC

rickw12
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I bought this a week or so ago. But right now it’s boxed up ready to go back to Amazon. I’m sitting on the fence, but leaning toward returning it. The fact that I also bought a Thorfire TK15 that can pretty much serve the same use would make it easier to let it go.

I like the side switch, the UI, and the light output. And with the 20% off, I got it at a great price. But the zoom is annoying. The seal is so strong between the zoom and the body that when you slide it out, it wants to pull back because of the slight vacuum produced inside. You have to hold it a couple of seconds for it to get fixed in place. The same kind of thing happens when you pull the zoom back. Do zooming lights like this every loosen up?

Rick

beam0
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rickw12 wrote:
I bought this a week or so ago. But right now it’s boxed up ready to go back to Amazon. I’m sitting on the fence, but leaning toward returning it. The fact that I also bought a Thorfire TK15 that can pretty much serve the same use would make it easier to let it go.

I like the side switch, the UI, and the light output. And with the 20% off, I got it at a great price. But the zoom is annoying. The seal is so strong between the zoom and the body that when you slide it out, it wants to pull back because of the slight vacuum produced inside. You have to hold it a couple of seconds for it to get fixed in place. The same kind of thing happens when you pull the zoom back. Do zooming lights like this every loosen up?

Mine doesn’t do that at all, did you get the A3S or the A3? Pretty sure I read somewhere of that same problem on the A3, and it’s been corrected with the A3S. This review is of the A3S.

The A3S is more expensive, the A3 is a close out.

A3…….(600lm) $19.99
A3S…(1000lm) $29.99

Can’t compare a non-zoomie to a zoomie, if they serve the same use for you then you probably don’t need a zoomie, around here these are usually bought specifically for the zooming function.

"Over 2000000 hours (about 200 years) standby time"  (DQG Tiny 4th)

"27,157 results for zoomable flashlight" (ebay)

 

 

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rickw12 wrote:
I bought this a week or so ago. But right now it’s boxed up ready to go back to Amazon. I’m sitting on the fence, but leaning toward returning it. The fact that I also bought a Thorfire TK15 that can pretty much serve the same use would make it easier to let it go.

I like the side switch, the UI, and the light output. And with the 20% off, I got it at a great price. But the zoom is annoying. The seal is so strong between the zoom and the body that when you slide it out, it wants to pull back because of the slight vacuum produced inside. You have to hold it a couple of seconds for it to get fixed in place. The same kind of thing happens when you pull the zoom back. Do zooming lights like this every loosen up?

No. Not all the zoomie light are like that.. jaxman z1 use thread.

beam0
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Not all the push-pull “slider” zoomie lights are like that. Although screw type is fine in a larger light, personally I prefer the slider type in a smaller light like this because it’s so much faster and easier (and delightful!) to work the zoom one handed.

.
I’m thinking rickw12 has the A3 not the A3S, here’s a post from the “A3S anyone seen it yet” thread describing that exact same issue (post #12): http://budgetlightforum.com/comment/1188094#comment-1188094

Firelight2 wrote:
Received my A3 today. Here are my initial impressions:……………………….

What I didn’t like

  • Light is mostly, but not completely sealed. This isn’t a good thing in a push-pull zoomie, since air pressure causes the bezel to tend to revert to whatever position it was in when the battery compartment was closed. There’s a reason why most budget zoomies omit one of the o-rings. Doing so is necessary for a smooth zoom that stays in position. It’s not completely sealed so it is possible to cycle the zoom and have it stay in position, but it may take a few tries each time.

.

Same member wrote in post #2 in this thread above:

Firelight2 wrote:
I quite like my A3S……………………………

What I liked:

  • The zoom in my A3S is butter-smooth. Smoothest zoom mechanism I’ve seen on a zoomie yet. It’s just a joy to use.
    .

"Over 2000000 hours (about 200 years) standby time"  (DQG Tiny 4th)

"27,157 results for zoomable flashlight" (ebay)

 

 

rickw12
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It’s the A3S (I unboxed it to be quadruple sure). I would post a picture, but it requires an image URL (?). I followed the link that beam0 posted above to Amazon. At that time there was a 20% coupon, so it cost me $23.99, I think.

Something else interesting is that box shows A3S CW and A3S NW with CW checked. I didn’t know this could come in an NW.

Rick

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rickw12 wrote:
It’s the A3S (I unboxed it to be quadruple sure). I would post a picture, but it requires an image URL (?). I followed the link that beam0 posted above to Amazon. At that time there was a 20% coupon, so it cost me $23.99, I think.

Something else interesting is that box shows A3S CW and A3S NW with CW checked. I didn’t know this could come in an NW.


Be careful , Amazon monitors return rate .

https://www.techwalls.com/amazon-ban-return-too-many-items/

rickw12
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Thanks for the heads up and link. Fortunately for me, the amount I spend each month is nowhere near his $1200, nor is my return rate 17%. The Amazon reps have been very friendly and accommodating over these last several weeks, even issuing return labels before I have decided finally to return things. I dropped off my Sofirn SP10b at UPS yesterday and sent Amazon a notice (as a reply to their email), and before long I received a text message saying they had refunded my money and it should show up in my bank in a couple of days. And they haven’t even gotten the light yet!

I wrote to Wowtac about this problem this morning. I think it’s the middle of the night in China, so I probably won’t hear from them until tomorrow at the earliest. I would love to have this resolved somehow so I could keep the light and enjoy it for a long time. I’ll wait to see what they have to say. At least they need to know that a user is having that problem with the flashlight.

Rick

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rickw12 wrote:
It’s the A3S (I unboxed it to be quadruple sure). I would post a picture, but it requires an image URL (?). I followed the link that beam0 posted above to Amazon. At that time there was a 20% coupon, so it cost me $23.99, I think.

Something else interesting is that box shows A3S CW and A3S NW with CW checked. I didn’t know this could come in an NW.

OK thanks for clearing that up, sorry yours has the problem that’s been reported on the A3, something to do with the O-ring (maybe one needs removed?) I think Firelight wrote somewhere he fixed it? Not sure though. I’m sure Wowtac / Amazon will take care of you one way or the other.

Thanks for pointing that out about the NW option printed on the box, mine is checked CW as well, NW is not showing anywhere as an option, maybe the box print was just a “before thought” in case they would offer it later, either that or they decided not to offer it. Even though the tint is not overly cold, I’d much rather of had NW. I’d like to hear Wowtac’s response on why it’s printed there though.

"Over 2000000 hours (about 200 years) standby time"  (DQG Tiny 4th)

"27,157 results for zoomable flashlight" (ebay)

 

 

rickw12
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I unpacked it one last time and tried it out to see if I thought I could get used to it, but decided it would be too much of a nuisance. So off it goes to UPS today and Amazon will refund the cost. I’ll put a note in my email to Amazon about the problem in case they want to notify Wowtac.

Rick

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Used my A3S that I got from robo on Thursday night’s walk, mine is now modified witha dedomed XM-L2 and a ramping FET driver, as such it was pretty neat to see the beam… nicely potent zoomed in to the square die shaped hot spot. Wide open isn’t real useful on a walk but the range between abot 10% and 85% zoom is really good and the zoomie is easy to operate with one hand. Haven’t been a big zoomie fan but as zoomies go this one is pretty slick.

I do have the Z1, it’s threaded long zoom is a bit of a pita to be honest. I have an SBT-70 in it and the round die is really cool in the larger zoomie, it’s not efficient though and goes through a cell pretty quickly, pulling high amperage for the lumens output.

Dale

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How many amps can the XM-L2 handle?

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The new U3 version does up towards 5A, they do as much amps as they used to but put out as much or more lumens typically. Since it’s output I’m looking for, that’s a win win all around as the cell lasts longer. Wink

Dale

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