Review: ThruNite TN31 (XM-L U2 | 3 x 18650)

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turboBB
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Review: ThruNite TN31 (XM-L U2 | 3 x 18650)

ThruNite is on a roll lately, first the Flood King and now the Thrower King. They have made a name for themselves with the throwing ability of their Catapult series but the competition has stepped up their game so ThruNite has gone back to the drawing boards and released this monster with a massive 79mm (3.11in) head and super smooth and deep reflector to take on all challengers. Let's see what they have in store for us. 

ThruNite is on a roll lately, first the Flood King and now the Thrower King. They have made a name for themselves with the throwing ability of their Catapult series but the competition has stepped up their game so ThruNite has gone back to the drawing boards and released this monster with a massive 79mm (3.11in) head and super smooth and deep reflector to take on all challengers. Let's see what they have in store for us. 





MFG SPECS
MSRP: $220 USD
- LED: Cree XM-L U2 LED with a lifespan of 20+years of run time.
- Max 1147 lumen output using 3 * 18650 batteries.
- Level 1: 0.5 lm. 2000 hours; Level 2: 21 lm. 140 hours; Level 3: 146 lm. 22 hours; Level 4: 366 lm. 9 hours; 
Level 5: 620 lm. 5 hours; Level 6: 1147 lm. 2 hours; Standby: 65 uA; Strobe: 1147 lm. 4 hours.
- Working voltage: 4V to 13V.
- Max runtime: 2000 hours.
- Max beam distance: 700 meters.
- Peak beam intensity: 75000cd.
- Impact resistant: 1.2 meters.
- Waterproof to IPX-8 standard, 2M.
- 201.70mm length, 79.00mm bezel diameter.
- Weight: 452.80g without battery.
- Aircraft grade aluminum body structure.
- Premium type III hard anodized anti-abrasive finish.
- Ultra-clear tempered glass lens with anti-reflective coating.
- Momentary forward click tactical switch.
- Strobe mode for tactical and emergency use.
- Smooth reflector for max light output.
- Highly focused beam for maximum distance.
- Tactical knurling for firm grip.
- Streamlined body design.
- Mechanical reversed polarity protection design for battery carrier. 
- Intelligent highly efficient circuit board design for max performance and long run time.
- Specially designed for Military, Law Enforcement, Self-defense, Hunting, Search & Rescue and Outdoor activities.
- Intelligent temperature controlled light output for user safety.


PACKAGING / CONTENTS
None were included, I elected to forego waiting for them in order to get this review out to you guys earlier. If I receive them in the future, I'll post pics.

 

CONDENSED VIDEO SUMMARY
As with the TN30, here is a quick high-level video of the TN31 until I can flesh out the review in the coming days:


DESIGN / FEATURES
[NEW 5/20:
Without the use of optics, the basic formula for creating a flashlight with great throw would involve a large reflector as a basic ingredient so the TN31 is not exempt. One look at its large reflector and you know it means buisness:


Of course the reflector is just one piece to the equation with the other half being the illumination source and in this case, the TN31 has been endowed with a XM-L U2 that is perfectly centered in the massive reflector:


All the collimated light is then projected out through a double-sided coated AR lens:


The crenelated SS bezel adds a layer of protection for these components in case it's dropped head first:


...and allows one to easily see if the light is on when stood bezel down:


Somewhere there is a tool that fits into these grooves to allow removal of the bezel but since I don't have it, I wasn't able to uninstall it:
]

[NEW 5/22: With a little persistence I was actually able to remove the bezel. There is a clear o-ring that sits within a groove on the bottom side of it (please see reply #38 for a quick vid on reinsallation without binding it):


Upon removal, I noted that the lens sits on top of this rubber gasket/flange:


These are all the parts that comprise the head that is removable without the use of tools:

Clockwise from top left: SS Bezel w/o-ring, doub-sided coated AR lens, rubber flange, reflector. Center: TN31 head

Speaking of the reflector, I measured it to be 69.5mm in diam and just shy of 64mm in depth:


With all that out of the way, one can have easy access to the LED should modding be desired:
]

Helping to keep things cool are these fins just aft of the head, however as can be seen in the Runtime section below, the TN31 actually doesn't get all that hot:


The control ring is used to select the 6 levels of output (runs lowest from L1 to highest at L6 clockwise w/bezel away from you) as well Standby and Strobe modes. There are no explicit markings to indicate which output level you're at but the triangle indicator on the ring does align precisely with the Stand by mode (which is etched) with L6 being one click/detent away (counter-clockwise) and L1 aligning with the end of the decreasing output icon:

The solid detents coupled with the distinct and well spaced output levels enabled me to easily make a mental note of the level I was in.

The body itself features three "flat" sides of which one is unamrked, the other features the company name and slogan and the final bears the model and serial number:


There are two machined grooves that run parallel between each of these flat sides and the body features texturing that provides decent grip:


The tail cap features two attachment points for the lanyard and has flat surfaces allowing the TN31 to tailstand:

There is a forward clicky switch that acts as the master on/off for the light (more details in UI section).

[NEW 5/23: Save for the model/searial no. etched on them, the battery tube and its components is identical between the TN31 and TN30 and thus interchangeable:



Digging into the "innards" of the light, there is a spring tip for the positive battery path while the metal plate surrounding it mates with the corresponding surface of the battery carrier for the negative path:


The battery carrier aligns the cells in series and is wired in such a way that the postive/negative paths are redundant on either end thus allowing it to be inserted into the tube either way, care however still needs to be taken to ensure the batteries are inserted with the correct polarity into the carrier:
[pic]

There are raised tips allowing the use of flat top cells, however the heatshrink can catch on the edges during removal:


Both my shortest cells and longest had no problems fitting in the carrier length-wise, however as per my video review, cells with wider diameters will have difficulty being inserted/removed from the tube:


The "tail cap" can be removed allowing access to the switch. The aluminum retaining ring helps ensure water resistance for the rubber tailcap and there is an o-ring around it that serves the same purpose:


Anodizing has been removed on the edge that the switch PCB sits on. The threads aren't square-cut on either end but I had no difficulties during threading:

They are however anodized thus allowing lock-out at the head (the tailcap wasn't really meant to be removed).

While the switch itself is mechanical, there are additional chips and resistors integrated into the PCB it's soldered to:


I measured full voltage @ 12.55v with the battery carrier isolated, but it dropped to 10.34v with the switch inline and turned on and nothing when off:


The switch itself draws 9.56μA when turned on (again isolated w/just the battery carrier) and measured either through the negative spring or the ground/negative path on the PCB. I however wasn't able to measure any draw when it was off:


With the switch wired inline w/the head, I measured the current draw of Stand by mode to be 8.55μA when on (this jumps to 91μA without the switch) and nothing when off:
]


SIZE & HANDLING

L to R: Sunwayman V60C | Lumapower D65V w/TurboForce Kit | ThruNite TN31 | Lighten7 Max L2A | SureFire M3LT | Sunwayman T40CS | XTAR S1 (Production)

I threw in a mix of coventional throwers that have their batteries in-line (darn it, that was the word I was searching for in the video ) as well as those that have it in parallel arrangement. I also threw in the XTAR S1 for size-reference. The TN31 is a large light!

[NEW 5/20: Even so, I still found it manageable with my medium sized hand and operating the control ring with two fingers was relatively easy (albeit slightly difficult w/just the thumb):

As expalined in my video review, the one thing I did have problems with was the semi-sharp recess where the thumb rests over to access the tailcap.]


BEAMSHOTS
Indoors (5m)
L6
  

L5
  

L4
  

L3
  

L2
  

L1
   
For details of the above indoor shots and comparo vs. many other lights, please check Epic Indoor Shots Trilogy

Whitewall Hunting
Exposure settings sequentially from top left: 1/25, 1/100, 1/800, 1/1600 @ f2.9 on AWB (light is ~.4m to wall / camera ~.59m):


Outdoors
Still negotiating to get back into the underpass but for now, here is an outdoor vid of the TN31 vs. a few other lights:


RUNTIME
The relevant battery stats are provided above each runtime graph along with:
- Voltage of the battery at the start and end of the test
- Current draw as taken right before the test
- Actual runtime using ANSI FL1 (first in HR and then in M so for the RL3100 read this as 1.5hrs OR 91min)
- Also for High, captured the temperature: ambient, the head at start and the max it reached (fan was used for all bats)

As with the TN30, there is a subtle but distinct step down after 1.1 minutes, but it's only about 100lms. After that it does two more tiny step downs and then one step up as if trying to find a sweet spot and then runs just about nearly perfectly regulated for the rest of the run. Shortly after 123min, the low voltage warning (3-4 blinks every min or so) kicked and at 127 min, one of the RL3100's PCB finally kicked in terminating the run.

As can be seen, heat isn't really an issue and based on lessons learned from the TN30 run, I was able to validate that the highest heat point would be right aft of the control ring so I placed the thermocouple there. The TN31 only got to a high of 96F with the heat dissapation likely greatly aided by the large head, reflector and the copper heat sink within.

So there you have it folks, an amazing thrower with great run time and very well regulated output to boot. Good job ThruNite!

EDIT 5/5: I redid the output and runtime to conform to more accurate measurement (see output measurement vid below for details). The above runtime chart reflects the new run.  Runtime achieved w/the RL3100's this time was 126min before the low voltage warning started blinking. This time I shut off the light before the PCB could kick-in.

 

MEASURED PERFORMANCE

L6 - 1270lms (ANSI FL1) | 1139lms (avg for regulated run) | 87.2K lux @ 1m

I redid the output meaurement and runtime after recalibrating the sensor.  I feel this is more accurate and would rather err on the side of underestimating (during calibration).  Hit up the video for details but bottom line is that I feel that the 1147lms for L6 claimed by ThruNite is totally realistic.

The output of 1270lms is according to ANSI FL1 (measured @ 31 seconds), however this is before the step down at roughly 1 minute.  The actual average output for the entire regulated run after that is: 1139lms




=======
TN31 provided by ThruNite for review

 
Edited by: sb56637 on 08/26/2014 - 17:20
ILIKEFLASHLIGHTS
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That ought to out throw any other single XM-L light on the market. 

Pok
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The only thing that I want to know is....

lux? @1 meter Wink

turboBB
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Sorry, I forgot to post that: 87.2K! =)

pounder
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i'm really digging the tn30 and tn31..I think one of these will be bought when I save up..

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turboBB wrote:

Sorry, I forgot to post that: 87.2K! =)

Thanks Laughing

87200 lux = 590 meters

DARCANGEL
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WOW,lux numbers are pretty suprising,this light is a BEAST! thanks for the review and I only have one request,OUTDOOR BEAMSHOTS PLEASE! Cool BTW,I like the integrating pipe that's one heck of a cool concept.

fishinfool
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Thanks for the review turbo!  

It's nice but waaaaaay too expensive a torch for me.  Frown

 

Don wrote:

"But as I said long ago, you are more likely to be killed by a dead fish dropped by a seagull in the Sahara Desert than by a lithium ion

my9221
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Thanks for the pics & beamshots!

turboBB
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Thx guys, runtime on RL3100 now added. In addition to great throw, it's also got great regulation.

I'll definitely try getting some outdoor shots and a video as soon as the weather clears up here.

DrJones
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They already have the beam intensity in their specs: 75kcd (75000cd), which means "75000 lux @1m calculated", however kcd is the proper unit for that. (see here).

Really measuring @ 1m is a bad thing to do and calculating throw from that gives quite inaccurate results.

75kcd give 550m of NEMA throw, which is a somewhat optimistic value, half of that might be a more realistic/practical throw value - but that depends on the target you shine your light on.

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DrJones wrote:

They already have the beam intensity in their specs: 75kcd (75000cd), which means "75000 lux @1m calculated", however kcd is the proper unit for that. (see here).

Really measuring @ 1m is a bad thing to do and calculating throw from that gives quite inaccurate results.

75kcd give 550m of NEMA throw, which is a somewhat optimistic value, half of that might be a more realistic/practical throw value - but that depends on the target you shine your light on.

IMO someone and I want to know real measurement not official specs , however measure @1 @4 @5 @10 ..... meters and mean calculated @1 meter.

turboBB
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Redid the output measurement (w/new vid) and runtime graph. I feel the new one more accurately reflects the output and am pretty comfortable w/the numbers achieved.  I'm really happy with this setup as it allows me to convey what is the real expected output after any step down's etc.

EDIT:  I hear you guys about the lux measurements.  Will retake at multiple distances and post when ready.

Cheers,
Tim

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wow these thrunite lights are good but expensive Shocked

 

 
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Fantastic pictures as usual. And what a monster. I am starting to dig the short fat lights. A real shame I cannot DL the vid on this sloow connection. 

But I am surprised that the Kcd value is not even higher. When did you measure? Was it the highest measurement just at start up or is the value of 87,2 Kcd a average value? Is it after initial step down or after max temperature is reached?

Sorry about all the Q's but I am very curious about this one Smile

~ Ledsmoke ~

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[quote=djozz]

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Tecmo
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Wow too bad it's not $100. I'll have to pick up the clone when it comes out.

turboBB
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@Ledsmoke, it was after 30 seconds but before the step down.  Done on freshly charged battery and no warm up beyond waiting the 30 seconds.  I'll be retaking at different distances and will post results when ready.

Cheers,
Tim

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No offense this is a good torch but for that price I would go for a TK70 instead. Big Smile

Ok, just take this as a joke. Tongue Out 

2100
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Been a long time since i have purchased any light, and this is good.  Nice and i was going to email my regular shops till i saw the price. Unfortunately at 220 bucks it's crazy.   My TK70 with batteries included still is under this and kcd is a wee bit higher.  (of course that's a bigger light)

But it's good, time for Trustfire/SkyRay/Ultrafire to come out with 85mm head diameter based lights. The last time that one from cnquality goods was underdriven at 2A.  They already have the host ready (and it's quite nice), the X7.  Smile

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2100 wrote:

Been a long time since i have purchased any light, and this is good.  Nice and i was going to email my regular shops till i saw the price. Unfortunately at 220 bucks it's crazy.   My TK70 with batteries included still is under this and kcd is a wee bit higher.  (of course that's a bigger light)

But it's good, time for Trustfire/SkyRay/Ultrafire to come out with 85mm head diameter based lights. The last time that one from cnquality goods was underdriven at 2A.  They already have the host ready (and it's quite nice), the X7.  Smile

I hope so 2100 Wink

 

My mod Zhi Jun JD-9668 now is 78,000 lux

(XM-L U2 and driver is about 3.6A to LED)

While stock driver and LED is 37,750 lux

Sorry, din't take beamshots yet.

 

2100
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Yeah man, 80k cd would be good.  

 

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Yeah and my Trustfire T8 is ~ 85Kcd after I played more with the positioning of the led. And settles into a comfortable ~ 75Kcd after some minutes continous running. But this is definately good news none the less. I am 100% sure that the quality of the two lights are lightyears apart although I was amazed at what 63 usd will get you these days. And a 10 usd emitter swap Smile

~ Ledsmoke ~

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scaru
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Any chance of outdoor beam shots?

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scaru wrote:

Any chance of outdoor beam shots?

I have done some, a review will follow later.

My website with reviews of many chargers and batteries (More than 1000): https://lygte-info.dk/

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[quote=HKJ][quote=scaru]Any chance of outdoor beam shots?[/quote]I have done some, a review will follow later.[/quote]
Do you think you could add the Xtar S1 to your comparison?

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I recorded a (poor) vid with comparos vs. a few other lights last night but just need to edit it a bit.  Should have it posted tonight.

Thx for the shots HKJ!  

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Tecmo wrote:
Do you think you could add the Xtar S1 to your comparison?

I cannot add any light to this (I would have to redo it to do that) and I do not have a working S1.

My website with reviews of many chargers and batteries (More than 1000): https://lygte-info.dk/

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[quote=HKJ][quote=Tecmo]Do you think you could add the Xtar S1 to your comparison?[/quote]I cannot add any light to this (I would have to redo it to do that) and I do not have a working S1.[/quote]

No problem, thank you for your efforts!

Thanks to you as well turbo, looking forward to your video.

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WHOA,throw junkies rejoice!!!! that outdoor shot makes it look like a "frickin laser beam" love it! This is a must have I'm goin to count up the swear jar right now,should be enough in there lol!

turboBB
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Outdoor shots of video comparo of TN31 vs. a few other lights are now up in OP (don't forget to flip to 720P if you're going to compare beams). Sorry that it's poorly done (blurry on some lights), I'm still learning how to make vids but lessons learned from this shoot has given me ideas for improvement on the next one.

Here are the lights (DBS V2 is off to the right somewhere):



Timeline in the vid (I have included titles as well)
ThruNite TN31 - 1:32
XTAR S1 (prod) - 2:09
Sunwayman T40CS - 3:08
ThruNite TN30 - 4:02
Niteye EYE30 / EYE25 - 5:11 / 5:55
ThruNite TN 11 (2 x 18650) - 6:43
NITECORE TM11 - 7:19
Sunwayman V60C - 8:07
SureFire M3LT (MC-E) - 8:48
Klarus XT20 - 9:38
Lighten7 Max L2A - 10:25
Dereelight DBS V2 (w/UF XM-L) - 11:07

Distance to the fence I was shining at is 246ft (75m) and to the bleachers approx. +10-15 ft.

Cheers,
Tim     

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Turbo BB,thanks for taking the time to do this lots of "big gun" lights going up against each other,really gives a perspective on how they preform.Nice job and glad you didn't get jacked by the cops!

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