Review / Comparison: Three colorful AAA budget lights from DD (Bronte RA01, SKILHUNT Ramble-ι (Iota) & Tank007 E09)

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_the_
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Review / Comparison: Three colorful AAA budget lights from DD (Bronte RA01, SKILHUNT Ramble-ι (Iota) & Tank007 E09)

Three Colorful AAA Budget Lights from DinoDirect:
Bronte RA01 vs. SKILHUNT Ramble (Iota) vs. Tank007 E09 

Reviewer's Overall Rating: ★★★★☆ / ★★★☆ / ★★★☆☆

Three Colorful AAA Budget Lights from DinoDirect:
Bronte RA01 vs. SKILHUNT Ramble (Iota) vs. Tank007 E09 

Reviewer's Overall Rating: ★★★★☆ / ★★★☆ / ★★★☆☆

 

Summary:

 Bronte RA01SKILHUNT Ramble  (Iota)Tank007 E09
Battery:1xAAA (Alkaline, NiMH, Lithium)1xAAA (Alkaline, NiMH, Lithium)1xAAA (Alkaline, NiMH, Lithium) or 1x10440 Li-Ion
Switch:TwistyTwisty  Twisty 
Modes:3 (Med, High, Low - No memory)3 (High, Med, BeaconNo memory)3 (High, Med, Low - With memory)
Led type:Cree XP-G R5 (CW)Cree XP-E R2 (NW)Cree XP-E R3 (CW
Lens / reflector:Glass / LOP Glass / LOP Glass / SMO 
Tailstands: No Yes (+ Tailhangs w. magnet!)Yes 
Price payed: $13.49 $12.59 $11.15 
From: DinoDirect DinoDirect  DinoDirect  
Date Ordered: May 2012 May 2012  

May 2012

 

Pros & Cons:

 Bronte RA01SKILHUNT Ramble-ι  (Iota)Tank007 E09
Pros:

- Good price Smile
- Smallest of these
- Well spaced modes with a real low mode
- Fast PWM
- Good CW tint (not green at all!)
- Good runtime
- Good retail package (best of these)
- Threads were smooth & well lubed
- No battery rattle

- Good price Smile
- Good NW tint
- Good beam pattern
- Brightest of these (on lithium)
- Best PWM (it's there, but fast enough)
- Very smart tail design, allowing the use of clip or split ring +optional magnet
- Clip works as anti-roll
- Tailstands perfectly
- Strong magnet -> also tailhangs perfectly
- Magnet is removable (no issues with credit cards etc)
- Best threads: Very smooth & well lubed
- Beacon mode (can be counted as a con too)
- No mode memory -> can avoid beacon Smile
- No battery rattle

- Good price Smile
- Good knurling (easy to turn on)
- Anti-roll design
- Small & lightweight
- Well spaced modes with a real low mode (with really bad PWM though)
- Mode memory
- Accepts 10440
- Comes in a nice tin box
- Threads were smooth & well lubed
- No battery rattle
Cons:- Mode order (I prefer Low-Med-High)
- A bit slippery without any knurling
- Doesn't tailstand
- Quite cold tint
- Ugly & heavy claw
- Mode order (I prefer Low-High)
- Real low mode missing (High-Med)
- A bit longer knurling on head would be nice
- A bit heavy
- Longer than the two others 
- Runs HOT (even on normal lithium battery)
- Bad, really slow PWM
- Bad regulation or thermal issues?? Brightness goes down from 200->150 units in first 30s
- Lower runtime than in others (and not that much brighter)
- Ugly beam pattern (I didn't win in the lottery)
- Mode order (I prefer Low-Med-High) 
    
 

Features / Value

Packaging of all three lights is shown below. Bronte has the best retail packaging with good information, SKILHUNT is in "ok" blister (information is ok too), and Tank007 in a tin box without any information. 

 

All of the boxes contain the light itself, extra O-rings and split ring. Bronte includes also a claw, but it's unnecessarily heavy and IMHO ugly. SKILHUNT has also a clip and a separable magnet. Note that SKILHUNT has hidden the goodies inside the back paper(!!)  -> very easy to throw away by mistake.

 

Features are otherwise very basic, but the tail design of SKILHUNT is very clever! This is worth +1 star for sure.

The tail can be disassembled and user can choose if he wants to use clip or key ring attachment. The magnet is strong, but also removable => no problems if you have credit cards in the same pocket: Just remove the magnet! [Removing the magnet might feel difficult, but you can catch it easily with the clip]

Here's the light with key ring attachment and without magnet => ready to go into your pocket:

 

UI is ok in all lights, but I would prefer Low-(Med-)High. Operation is normal twisty: Tighten head to turn on (to first mode). Loosen to turn off. Turn off and on again for next mode. Only Tank007 has memory, which can be considered as a good thing, especially given the H-M-L mode order. That makes it the only light of these, which can be set to start on low (but you have to remember to leave it on low when you stop using it!). Modes are well spaced in all of these, but SKILHUNT doesn't have a real low mode, which costs it one star. None of these have annoying blinky modes (good), but SKILHUNT has beacon mode (about 1/s) which can be useful in some situations. And you don't have to see the beacon since the light has no memory => it always starts on high. 

 

Value for money: Especially the SKILHUNT feels like a much more expensive light, but also the others are good.

 

Star rating:
Bronte ★★★★
SKILHUNT ★★★★
Tank007 
★★★★



Design / Build Quality

Design is good in all of these lights. Tank007 has anti-roll design (hex-style in the end of the head), others don't. On the other hand, SKILHUNT has a clip, which prevents it from rolling.

The size is ok for key chain use, but aluminum as material is a bit weak for that. I prefer either SS or Ti for key chain lights... But  then again: All of these are cheap, so you can buy a (better) replacement next year. Aluminum is also lightweight, so good for key chain in that sense.

Bronte doesn't tailstand, but others do it well. In addition to this SKILHUNT "tailhangs" very well with it's magnet on any magnetic surface (90 degree / 180 degree positions can be achieved without sweat).

Bronte doesn't have any knurling, which makes it a bit slippery. Knurling in SKILHUNT is quite narrow and requires a bit practice to use. Knurling in Tank007 is nice, making it very easy to operate.

Let's take a closer look to the knurling. Head of Bronte (no knurling here - minus 1 star):

 

Head of SKILHUNT (notice the narrow knurling):

 

Head of Tank007 (Good knurling, but note the "spilled paint"-look in the anodization. Weird!)

 

 

A look to inside. Similar design in all three lights: Tail spring keeps the battery in place and prevents rattle.

Bronte:

 

SKILHUNT (Note the thick walls!)

 

Tank007:

 

 

To my surprise the threads were very smooth and well lubed in all three lights. However, SKILHUNT was significantly smoother and felt like a real high-end light.

Bronte:

 

SKILHUNT:

 

Tank007:

 

A look to drivers. Bronte doesn't mention the brand there, others do.

 

Bronte:

 

SKILHUNT:

 

Tank007:

 

Tank007 has a SMO reflector, causing bad beam in my sample (kreisler & others have mentioned that the beam quality is a lottery in Tanks, I guess I didn't win.. Cry). Others use LOP, which is good! Emitters are well centered, no problems there.

 

Measurements:

Bronte: 14.0 x 70mm, 26g with claw and lithium battery (13g light only).
SKILHUNT: 15.5 x 75mm, 30g with clip, magnet and lithium battery (20g light only)
Tank007: 14.9 (15.5 max from hex) x 70mm, 22g with lithium battery (13g light only) 

 

The bottom line in the quality: Machining & anodization is good in all of these, nothing else to complain than the "paint spill" in Tank007.

 

Star rating:
Bronte ★★★☆☆
SKILHUNT ★★★★ 
Tank007 
★★★★

 

Battery Life

Good in others, not-so-good in Tank007.

I measured the current draw of all lights:

Bronte: 0.58A, 0.20A & 0.04A => Theoretical runtime about 2h on high, up to 30h on low.

SKILHUNT: 0.64A & 0.14A => Theoretical runtime about 2h on high, up to 8h on low (= med).

Tank007: 2.00A, 0.66A & 0.06A => Theoretical runtime is only about 35min on high, up to 20h on low.


The high current draw in Tank007 caused some weird things in my tests, for example throw dropped from  840cd to 600cd in 30s, bringing the brightness down to SKILHUNT level! (SKILHUNT didn't drop almost at all during the first 30s)

Also the temperature after taking the white wall beamshots was significantly higher in Tank007 than others (45°C vs. 35°C, and this was after a couple minutes!)

I need to do some more testing to see the regulation and real runtimes of these lights. Please stay tuned..

 

Star rating:
Bronte ★★★★
SKILHUNT ★★★ 
Tank007 ★★☆☆

 

 

Light Output

Good for a EDC pocket / key chain light. From about 3 lumens on low to about 80 on high => certainly enough to cover most situations on EDC use.

The tints were from really white Bronte to "almost NW" SKILHUNT. Nothing to complain in any of those. The tints can be seen in the following white wall beamshots (1/160s, f/3.4, ISO200, WB: Daylight)

Low mode (From left to right: Bronte, Tank007 - SKILHUNT missing due to no real low mode)

 

Medium mode with same exposure (From left to right: Bronte, SKILHUNT, Tank007)

 

High mode with same exposure (From left to right: Bronte, SKILHUNT, Tank007)
 

 

High mode, decreased exposure (1/1000s) to show the differences better (From left to right: Bronte, SKILHUNT, Tank007) 

 

Beam angle on low (From left to right: Bronte, SKILHUNT, Tank007) 

 

Beam angle on medium (From left to right: Bronte, SKILHUNT, Tank007) 


Beam angle on high (From left to right: Bronte, SKILHUNT, Tank007) 

 

Star rating:
Bronte ★★★★
SKILHUNT ★★★ 
Tank007 ★★


Summary

All of these three budget lights are very good value. Give these to anyone and ask to guess the price: You'll most probably get answers of $30 or higher. Really nice lights, which all have some slight shortcomings, which is understandable for this price. The smart clip / magnet / key ring combination of SKILHUNT makes that light a winner in this comparison. If that light would have a real low mode, it would be a very good candidate for my EDC. Now it will serve as a secondary pocket light, not on my key chain, but securely attached with the clip..

Verdict: SKILHUNT Highly Recommended, others Recommended (for the price)!

 

The Ends (pun intended).

 

Thanks for reading & watching. Hope you enjoyed the review!

=the=

 

Edited by: sb56637 on 08/26/2014 - 17:12
kreisler
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Yeaaahhhhhh!!!! -- Thanks a million! Great photos, great review/comparison!

 

Technical notes:

Maybe your Tank specimen doesnt perform as nicely as mine. I did intensive and extensive tests and measurements and documented them in 2 threads (the review, the comparison review incl video). The Tank has sort of a "constant current" driver and therefore there is no perceivable downstep/drop in brightness (as shown in my video). With an Eneloop the current *never* exceeds the 1.8A mark and typically it's constant between 1.6-1.8A which is a good regulation imho, here a quote from my review:

Hopefully my V3 sample is as nice as my other copies.. yep, there is some lottery involved with the hotspot beauty due to the tininess of the reflector and its manufacturing tolerances.

EDIT: my above quote actually indicates that the light has regulation which is better than constant current regulation. With an overcharged Eneloop cell (1.55V resting voltage) amperage is 1.6A@Hi and with an almost depleted Eneloop cell (1.28V resting voltage) amperage is 1.8A@Hi. And in between, most of the time (~1.4V), amperage is 1.7A@Hi.

*FMI* i got 4 i/o sh
how2
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Nice review and pics.

scaru
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Thanks for the review _the_!

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Veeery nice reviews, the Crown
If you can make a small lumen/time graph, would be awesome Big Smile (just to see how well they are regulated)

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Great review, _the_, thanks!

 

My E09 came Friday, from the DD special. Nice light, beam quality is pretty poor, but for the price paid, no complaints. My EOSLAMP SP11 beats it hands down.

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Great review, thanks. Think I’ll pop over to DD for the third time in as many days to get a few Ramblers for Xmas presents (I’m not joking).

edit>> Damn! the price is now $17.99. Might wait.

UPz
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Thanks a lot for this awesome comparision! Love

jacktheclipper
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I like the looks of the Skilhunt .

Laughing Nice clip .

What I do

 

gloomywarfreak
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Nice review! Makes me wanna buy a Skilhunt brand.

Sardion Master
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UPz wrote:
Thanks a lot for this awesome comparison! :
+1

Men occasionally stumble over the truth, but most of them pick themselves up and hurry off as if nothing had happened.

fishinfool
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Thanks for the awesome review _the_!   

 

 

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

fran82
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Wow! Nice review nice comparison nice all

Very worked review! Thanks for the effort!

This post/thread "may" contain referrals, a little contribution I "earn" in form of points ONLY if you buy the item. The purpose is to redeem items using the points and then making reviews of them in the forums to shar

Infinite
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Thanks for the comparison!

Quote:
All of the boxes contain the light itself, extra O-rings and split ring. Bronte includes also a claw, but it’s unnecessarily heavy and IMHO ugly

I own the Bronte and that’s just what I was thinking :bigsmile:

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Thank you for the review(s) the and the comparison.
If looks were all I cared for the Skilhunt would be the choice for sure. But no low low is a killer. Dang. Still havent found what I am looking for. Bu thank you for showing it like you do.

~ Ledsmoke ~

Dutch humor:

[quote=djozz]

 I do not think that the BLF-community ben

_the_
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Thank you all for the compliments!

I'll do the runtime / regulation tests as soon as I have enough time. I have two very interesting lights incoming (most probably tomorrow) and I think I'll write those reviews before even trying to measure these lights => Don't hold your breath.. Wink

=the=

 

blinded
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Thanks the for taking the time to share these lights with us. I’m surprised that the 10440 capability doesn’t give the tank more of an edge. Interesting.

Blinded? BUY the light!

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5 stars for this review!

From pictures it looks like SKILHUNT has more warm tint than others. True or false?

Keychain flashlights FTW!

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Very nice comparison, bud!! Shame the Skillhunt doesn’t have a real low. Large body but great construction and accessories!

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How strong is the Skilhunt-magnet in comparison with the DQG III or Preon P0 magnet ?

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blinded wrote:
I'm surprised that the 10440 capability doesn't give the tank more of an edge.

Yes. It takes 10440 and is significantly brighter with that. But that's not what I want from a keychain light. Smile

 

Paranid wrote:
From pictures it looks like SKILHUNT has more warm tint than others. True or false?

True. I would classify it as a neutral white. The packaging says that SKILHUNT is manufactured as CW, NW & WW versions. Maybe I won in the DD lottery? Wink

 

Infinite wrote:
How strong is the Skilhunt-magnet in comparison with the DQG III or Preon P0 magnet ?

Much stronger. It tailhangs without any problem in any position.

=the=

 

bbuuu
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Nice review ! Thank you

vēer
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Thanks for comparison, very nice!

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Thanks for the comparison, I was wondering when the SkillHunt would be out, I’m glad you ran a comparison because by itself it’s nothin fancy but it excels as a backup or coat light Wink

I’m glad I’m not the only flashlight collector out there, I was beginning to think I was strange.
My name is Kendall and I’m a Flashaholic from western Canada

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very nice comparison ty
unfortunately prices are unstable at DD…

could you compare the mid of the E09 with the high of the others? mAh are leveled if the e09 is not bright like the others the driver sux to don’t speck about PWM

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Thanks _The_. Really good and informative review. Its nice to see comparisons side by side.

 

djozz quotes, "it came with chinese lettering that is chinese to me".

                      "My man mousehole needs one too"

old4570 said "I'm not an expert , so don't suffer from any such technical restrictions".

Old-Lumens. Highly admired and cherished member of Budget Light Forum. 11.5.2011 - 20.12.16. RIP.

 

phoneix
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Thanks The, great pics and detail review. I think i will find a Ramble for myself very soon ^^

sb56637
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Very nice! Love the comparison review style. Frontpage’d and Sticky’d.

Budget Light Forum ...where Frugal meets with Flashlight!

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Review was so good that I rushed over to get a Ramble at DD but was disappointed to find it now $16.99. Hopefully it’ll go on sale soon!

_the_
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Ubehebe wrote:
Review was so good that I rushed over to get a Ramble at DD but was disappointed to find it now $16.99. Hopefully it'll go on sale soon!

DD is known to have jumpy prices. It went to $17.99 after the review and dropped to $16.99 some time after that.

You can still get 10% off with coupon retailmenot10off, bringing the price down to $15.29 (not bad for this kind of light!)

=the=

 

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wow very nice review!

 

 

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