ThruNite Archer Pro---Initial Impressions

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AFAustin
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ThruNite Archer Pro---Initial Impressions

I recently started a thread asking if anyone had tried out the new ThruNite Archer Pro: link

I decided to give one a spin myself and submitted my comments to Amazon (which apparently takes a few days to process before posting them). I’m posting them here with the caveat that I’m not technically knowledgeable, so consider these simply an everyday user’s initial impressions.

Photos and more information here: Amazon.com

and here: Thrunite.com

Thanks,

Andrew

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

I just received my ThruNite Archer Pro. It is a solid well built light and a very comfortable size in hand. I have a preference for small flashlights and I find the AA/14500 ones more comfortable to hold and use than the CR123A/16340 size lights. The latter are shorter and fatter, which means a 3-finger grip, whereas the former, like the Archer Pro, are longer and slimmer and allow for a 4-finger grip. The Archer Pro is actually a bit longer than most of my AA/14500 lights, but that’s an advantage in that it allows that 4th finger to have more purchase.

Left to Right: ThruNite Archer Pro; Convoy T2; Lumintop Tool AA 2.0; Skillhunt E2A ; JETBeam JET-1MK

The build quality of the Archer Pro is excellent, and it is a handsome light with a simple, sleek, and straightforward design. This is enhanced by the small unobtrusive lettering on the body. ThruNite resisted the temptation to conspicuously advertise the make and model in huge letters as some manufacturers do.

The output is impressive, with a good sized hotspot which transitions to a wide and bright spill. Mine is the CW (cool white) version and the beam is white and pleasant, although when compared to some of my other lights, it has a slight greenish tint. Overall, the beam suits me fine, with a good combination of throw and spill.

You adjust the brightness level by pressing and holding the rear button, and the level ramps up and down. The ramp speed is moderate—-I have lights which ramp faster and some that ramp more slowly. The Archer Pro’s rate is a pretty good compromise. And there is a memory feature—-that is, if you turn the light off at a certain level, when you switch it back on it will be at that same level. Turbo is accessed by a double click, whether the light is on or off, and that’s very handy.

The large tail button is a plus. While lights with a side button have the advantage of being easily accessed in an underhand grip, oftentimes the side button is small and hard to locate in the dark. The Archer Pro’s prominent tail switch is easy to locate quickly.

The long bi-directional clip compliments the light’s long sleek shape and allows for deep pocket carry. As for ease of sliding it into your pocket, I’d rate it fair. It’s far from the worst I’ve seen but does usually require lifting the clip slightly to slide it in.

One of the Archer Pro’s biggest advantages is the hidden USB-C port cover. You simply screw the head forward to access the recharging port and then afterwards screw it back down. This is a huge improvement over the typical flimsy and annoying rubber port covers on rechargeable lights. They always get in the way, and my fingers tend to pull them loose as I use the flashlight.

The Archer Pro has a couple of features that are somewhat problematic. The first is the lockout procedure, which keeps the light from turning on accidentally when packed or buried in your pocket. When I first unboxed the light I spend 10-15 minutes trying to figure out how to enter and exit lockout mode. They have made it too complicated and the instructions are little help.

Here’s my version:

To enter lockout mode, first click the light off. Then press and hold for about a second till you enter firefly mode. Release the button. Then press and hold again till you see it flash twice (very dimly). You’re now in lockout mode.

To exit lockout mode, press and hold till it flashes once (dimly). Release the button. Then press and release button again to turn it off. Then press button again and light exits lockout mode and turns on.

This is too complicated and needs to be simplified. Since double click gets to turbo and triple click to strobe, maybe just designate 4 clicks to lock or unlock the light.

When I put away a light with an electronic switch like the Archer Pro has, I usually lock it out so as to minimize parasitic drain of the battery. Rather than having to remember the distinct lockout sequence of each light, I just unscrew the tailcap a half turn to break the circuit and lockout the light. This isn’t possible as the battery in the Archer Pro is built in and the tailcap can’t be unscrewed. I contacted ThruNite about this and they told me that there is a tiny amount of standby current (parasitic drain) in the Archer Pro whether it’s locked out or not. (And kudos to ThruNite for their very responsive customer service.) They put it at 20 microamperes (20 millionths of an ampere), which is basically negligible. So I probably won’t end up using the lockout feature much at all. Still, they need to simplify it.

The other problematic feature is the non-removeable battery (1000 mAh 14500). This is a negative in at least two respects: First off, when the battery eventually dies, so does the light—-battery replacement isn’t possible. This isn’t a deal killer for me because I have a lot of lights I rotate and don’t use any of them intensely. Even if I did, my bet is the Archer Pro’s battery would last a few years. Given the cost of this light, that’s very reasonable, not to mention that in a few years the latest and greatest LED lights will be calling to us in any event.

The second downside to the non-removeable battery is that you can’t pull it out and check its remaining voltage on a DMM or battery tester. ThruNite could have remedied that by having a battery check feature as some lights do, so that, for example, when you turn it on different colored lights or a certain number of blinks indicate the battery status. The instructions do say that the light will blink when the battery gets low (how low is low?), so that helps a little.

All in all, the Archer Pro is a high quality and high performing light, with a very attractive size and design, and several excellent features. While it does have a couple of negatives, they are significantly outweighed by the positives. The Archer Pro is a very appealing little pocket light, and at the current price point ($32 after $8 Amazon coupon applied), a good buy as well.

Edited by: AFAustin on 07/30/2022 - 10:53
Scallywag
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Does it look like the head is accessible at all for emitter swaps?
Shame about the built-in battery.

AFAustin
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Well, it clearly isn’t designed to be screwed off. But I’m not a modder and don’t have experience forcing a head off, so can’t say for sure on that.

Andrew