[Review] Astrolux FT02 XHP35-HI thrower (discount code included)

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ChibiM
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[Review] Astrolux FT02 XHP35-HI thrower (discount code included)

Astrolux FT02 Flashlight Review

 

 MFG specifications:

 

Brand/Model   Astrolux FT02
LED XHP35 HI

Lumens

2200

Beam Intensity

160000cd

Working voltage

~4.35
Battery 1x21700
Switch Side
Modes Ramping
Blinkies Strobe+SOS+Beacon
Mode changing Side switch
Anodizing HAIII

Tailstand

Yes
Lock-out Yes
Momentary On Yes
Lens Coated
Reflector Smooth
Waterproof IPX7

 

INTRO:

The Astrolux FT02 is a mini thrower and claims to throw 160kcd. Which is about triple the amount of the famous and budget friendly Convoy C8.  Let's find out if the claims are true. I'm curious to see how it stacks up agains the mini GT I reviewed as well.

 

What you'll get:

  • Astrolux FT02 flashlight
  • Carton box
  • Manual
  • Spare O-ring
  • Lanyard

The FT02 arrived in a classy box. Although higher end lights include cheaper boxes, I'm glad Astrolux just walked the extra mile.  Inside the package it has the basic accessories, a manual, spare o-rings and a lanyard.

 

 

HANDLING OF THE LIGHT

I'm not sure if you are familiar with the 21700 battery, but it's 3mm wider than the 18650 battery. The body of the flashlight has therefore a larger diameter. Some people like the diameter of a 18650 type flashlight, but I prefer the little bit wider 26650 or 21700 type better. It's just a tad thicker than a usual 18650 flashlight.

Unlike the Astrolux FT01, the FT02 has only 1 switch. The switch is located on the side, near the head. So you can operate the FT02 single handed. Later on I will explain how to change modes etc.

Can it tailstand?

  • Yes

 

BUILD QUALITY, PRINTS AND ANODIZING 

Although Astrolux once started as a budget brand, it has rapidly grown into a very affordable yet medium class flashlight manufacturer. The FT02 definitely has some class to it. I couldn't find any problems with its anodizing, nor with the prints or any other parts. The anodizing has a matte finish which makes it look nicer. The side switch is a little recessed so it doesn't active accidentally. All parts fit nice and not wobbly.

 

THREADS AND O-RINGS

The FT02 consists of 3 parts, the head, body and tailcap. The tailcap being just a tailcap without a switch. The threads and O-rings came slightly lubed. In the picture below you can see the double spring in the tailcap for max current!

 

LED, LENS BEZEL AND REFLECTOR

The Astrolux FT02 has a CREE XHP35-Hi LED for max throw. This is a 12V LED. Its is powered by a single 21700/20700 or 18650 battery. The driver boosts its Voltage in order to achieve 12Volts.
The bezel seems to be glued as I was unable to unscrew it by hand. The lens, as you can see, has some purple hue which indicates a coating. Typically AR (anti reflective). The LED is very well centered in the middle by a plastic white ring.  The reflector is smooth.

DIMENSIONS:

Measured with a cheap digital caliper.

  • Length of the Astrolux FT02: 155 mm
  • FT02 head diameter: 58.5mm 
  • Width body : 29.8 mm

WEIGHT:

  • Weight Astrolux FT02 empty: 264 gr / 0.58 lb.

Size compared to the BLF GT Mini, Lumintop ODF30 and Zebralight SC700d. From left to right. The FT02 is quite a bit larger than the BLF GT Mini, but at the same time has a larger head and bigger battery tube.

 

USER INTERFACE:

The Astrolux FT02 has a rather simple UI fortunately. Sometimes referred to as stepless dimming or ramping.

From off:

  • Press and Hold side switch: lowest ramping mode (it will not start ramping)
  • Single click side switch: Last memorized output mode
  • Double click: Highest output
  • Three clicks: Battery check
  • Four clicks: Lock out mode
  • Five clicks: Momentary mode: you can do morse coding etc in Highest output mode.
  • Six clicks: The side switch backlight will either start or stop "breathing". Which means the LED will ramp up and down continuously as if it is breathing.

From on:

  • Press and Hold side switch: Ramping up brightness / ramping down brightness
  • Single click side switch: turns off
  • Double click: Highest output
  • Three clicks: Battery check
  • Four clicks: Turns off and goes into lock-out mode.
  • Five clicks: Momentary mode: you can do morse coding etc in Highest output mode.
  • Six clicks: The side switch backlight will either start or stop "breathing". Which means the LED will ramp up and down continuously as if it is breathing.

Battery Check mode:

When you enter the battery

  • 00-20% = 1 blink
  • 20-40% = 2 blinks
  • 40-60% = 3 blinks
  • 60-80% = 4 blinks
  • 80-100%= 5 blinks

Moon mode:

There isn't really a moon mode, but a low mode.

Lock-out mode:

Yes, by doing 4 clicks in either the On or Off position. Another 4 fast clicks to go back to normal usage.

PWM

I couldn't detect any by eyes.

MOMENTARY ON:

Yes.. doing 5 fast clicks in iether the On or Off position. When you click the button or hold the button the light is in Highest output.

 

BATTERIES ANC CHARGING:

The Astrolux FT02 can use multiple types of batteries, being 18650, 20700 and 21700. These kind of batteries usually need a special charger, so even though you buy a flashlight for lithium ion batteries, you still have to buy a charger. That is not necessary with the Astrolux FT02, you can charge the batteries with the built-in charge system. It charges at a rate of 0.15Amps, according to my USB Amp meter. Which means that a 4000mAh 21700 battery would take about 30+ hours to charge.. That is a little on the slow side. The battery I tested wasn't empty, so it might charge faster at a lower Voltage. Other reviews pointed out a much higher charge current.... not sure what is going on, but you can see the charger current in the picture.

Using 18650 batteries:

Astrolux included a little adapter for 18650 batteries to fit the 21700 body tube. The white battery adapter gives a 18650 battery just the extra bit of length to make good contact on both negative and positive side. Although my Panasonic batteries and other batteries all worked without the adapter!

Parasitic drain:

The FT02 has some parasitic drain of 4.15mA. Which is really high... This would mean that a 4000mAh battery would drain in about 41 days. Calculate: 4000mAh /4.15mA =995,98 hours. That divided by 24 hours per day= 41 days.

 

 

PERFORMANCE:

Lumens measured in my self-made integrated sphere, calibrated with a Convoy S2+ with a constant 137 lumens out, received from BLF (Budget Light Forums) member Djozz. The LUX meter used is the Hagner E4-X. Measurements are within the first few seconds of startup. The low mode actually increases brightness slowly, but there is no difference between High and Turbo. So the max on ramping mode is the same as double click Turbo mode.

Here are my measurements:

    Measured Lumens Manufacturer Lumens
Astrolux FT02 Low 24  
Samsung INR21700 4oT High 1808  
Samsung INR21700 40T Turbo 1808 2215

THROW:

Measured outdoors at 10 meters with 2 lux meters: Hagner E4-X and Skytronic LX-101.

  • Hagner E4-X luxmeter: battery used: Samsung INR18650 25R : 156200 cd = 156kcd
  • SkyTronic LX-101 luxmeter: battery used: Samsung INR18650 25R : 187600 cd = 188kcd

Banggood has the Astrolux FT02 listed as being 180 000cd. Which is not far off rom the reading on the SkyTronic, but higher than the SkyTronic.

RUNTIME:

The runtime was measured using a Samsung INR21700 40T battery, without cooling. High mode dropped to about 60% output within 2 minutes. This continued for about another 50 minutes (about 1100 lumens) when it slowly dropped to about 15 lumens. The light turned off after 10 minutes running on 15 lumens.

Max 1800 lumens: 2 minutes
Output at 60% 1100 lumens: 50 minutes
Output drops slowly to 1% at 15 lumens: 12 minutes
Output at 1% 15 lumens: 10 minutes. 

So it has roughly a 1 hour runtime.

CONCLUSION

Pros:

1800 lumens and between 160-180Kcd

Easy UI

 

Cons:

No battery included

No LED tint available

Charge is slow on my sample

High parasitic drain

 

Flashlight was provided by Banggood at no cost. 

 

 

Use BGFT02 code for nice discount

 

Affiliate Link Banggood 50% of affiliate money goes to BLF (see the thread)

Non-Affiliate link Banggood

Edited by: ChibiM on 01/23/2019 - 09:37
marcus_z
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Hi, thank you for yor review!

There are some things I noticed on my sample: as far as i can tell from mine the battery check indicates the following: click three times – get three blinks as confirmation as well as turned-off main LED. Then 1-5 blinks coressponding to charge between 20, 40, 60, 80 and 100%.

Also there is according, to the productpage, a thermal sensor, yet they chose to have a timed stepdown at 90seconds or something (it’s actually mentioned in the manual, sorry I don’t have it on me). It baffles me as the light has enough mass to hold 1800lumens for longer. The battery-check also disables the “breathing light”.
Well the FT02 sure has some quirks (also worth mentioning is the high parasitic drain measured by djozz here ) but performance and build-quality is good for the price asked.

edit: added link to drain measurement

TomNMich
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Great review! Thank you.

ChibiM
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marcus_z wrote:
Hi, thank you for yor review! There are some things I noticed on my sample: as far as i can tell from mine the battery check indicates the following: click three times - get three blinks as confirmation as well as turned-off main LED. Then 1-5 blinks coressponding to charge between 20, 40, 60, 80 and 100%. Also there is according, to the productpage, a thermal sensor, yet they chose to have a timed stepdown at 90seconds or something (it's actually mentioned in the manual, sorry I don't have it on me). It baffles me as the light has enough mass to hold 1800lumens for longer. The battery-check also disables the "breathing light". Well the FT02 sure has some quirks (also worth mentioning is the high parasitic drain measured by djozz "here":http://budgetlightforum.com/comment/1442209#comment-1442209 ) but performance and build-quality is good for the price asked. edit: added link to drain measurement

You are 100% correct. I didn't read the manual concerning the battery check! I just read it, and edited in the review. I didnt check parasitic drain... 

I just checked but I'm not 100% sure about the reading, it says 4.15... but I don't know if that is mA? I'm using a Fluke 77III, which doesnt indicate whether it's A or mA or any lower...(quite annoying I know) But looking at Jozz's comment it might mean 4.15mA... with the breathing setting it goes up and down between 4 and 5mA.

marcus_z
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could you also check the current with engaged lockout-mode? Hopefully it’s lower, otherwise physical lockout is pretty much required Facepalm (edit: at least for storage purposes)

ChibiM
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marcus_z wrote:
could you also check the current with engaged lockout-mode? Hopefully it's lower, otherwise physical lockout is pretty much required Facepalm (edit: at least for storage purposes)

Same.. 4.15 - 4.12mA!

marcus_z
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well, physical lockout it is then Big Smile

ChibiM
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marcus_z wrote:
well, physical lockout it is then :D

Yup! Its one of the main reasons why I prefer tailcap switches Wink

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I bought 2 of these and I do like them. I’m just curious if any of those who bought it has the same issue as mine. There is a lot of bleed from the hot spot on mine. If you shine it on a wall at 10 to 15 ft. it is very noticeable. Not so much at distance of course. I may try and work on the focus at some point to see if it can be improved.

ChibiM
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HONDARIDER wrote:
I bought 2 of these and I do like them. I'm just curious if any of those who bought it has the same issue as mine. There is a lot of bleed from the hot spot on mine. If you shine it on a wall at 10 to 15 ft. it is very noticeable. Not so much at distance of course. I may try and work on the focus at some point to see if it can be improved.

You mean that the hotspot is not exactly in the middle?

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ChibiM wrote:

HONDARIDER wrote:
I bought 2 of these and I do like them. I’m just curious if any of those who bought it has the same issue as mine. There is a lot of bleed from the hot spot on mine. If you shine it on a wall at 10 to 15 ft. it is very noticeable. Not so much at distance of course. I may try and work on the focus at some point to see if it can be improved.

You mean that the hotspot is not exactly in the middle?

No, the hot spot is there just not as defined as much as lights in the same size. There is a nice hot spot with a lot of light bleeding from it, then the spill outside of that. Hot spot is not AS FOCUSED on mine. I will post a pic this evening when I get home.

ChibiM
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I still have to do some beamshots as well....

It would be great if you could share

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ChibiM wrote:

I still have to do some beamshots as well….


It would be great if you could share

I will. If I can remember how to load a pic.