Incomplete Review: XTAR WK30. Once the review's done there will be a giveaway.

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Don
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Incomplete Review: XTAR WK30. Once the review's done there will be a giveaway.

Xtar WK30

Reviewer's Overall Rating: ★★★☆☆Copy and paste, maximum ★★★★★

Xtar WK30

 

Summary:

Battery: If it is 14mm in diameter and around 50mm long it'll probably work
Switch: Reverse clicky
Modes: The usual 5
LED Type: Cree XP-E Q5
Lens: Feels like glass to me
Tailstands: Yes
Price Payed: List price US$39.99. SZWholesale say $15.96 plus shipping
From:SZ Wholesale
Date Ordered: March 2011

 

Pros:

  • Type 3 hard anodising.
  • Comes with a spare switch and two spare O rings.
  • Comes with a useful keychain attachment and a lanyard.
  • This one won't roll.
  • Very durable finish.
  • Reverse polarity protection.
  • Well put together.
  • Available in seven colours
  • Nice gift box and presentation.
  • Can't see any PWM even on low.

Cons:

  • The head and body don't line up perfectly when the head is fully tightened down.
  • Claimed maximum voltage is 3.2V though I've fed it 14500's with no trouble.
  • There are rings in the beam. White wall hunters are likely the only folks who'll be bothered by this.
  • I'd like it better without any flashing modes.

 

Features / Value: ★★★★★

This was provided for free by SZ Wholesale (Who seem to be the main distributor for XTAR lights). Once this review is finalised, I'll be giving the light away as is my policy for review stuff. If I like it enough, I can buy my own one.

At the list price of $39.99 it isn't a very good deal to me. However, from the SZWholesale link above, it sells at $15.96 plus shipping. Unless the shipping is silly expensive I'd give this one 5 stars. I'm giving it 5 stars assuming it can be had for $20-22 delivered. At $40 I'd only give it three stars - at $20 I'd say it is an excellent deal. It is now available from szws here for $20 in three colours. At that price it richly deserves five stars for value.

http://budgetlightforum.com/node/2355

 

It has the usual five modes but no detectable PWM flicker. As an aside since most of Europe's AC power is 50Hz as opposed to the US/Japan's 60Hz, Europeans seem to be much less sensitive to flicker than Americans.

I like the hexagonal body design - you put it down and it isn't rolling.

The package is rather nice.

Packaging

The upper box is the WK30's one, the lower the WK20's. Ignore the CR123 which came with the WK20 for review.

 

It comes with some nice extras. A spare switch is unusual. The two spare O rings are very good to have, the handmade lanyard does little for me but the crab claw keychain attachment is very good.

Extras

 

I have no way of testing whether or not the finish is Type 3 anodising or not, but the light spent a month attached to my work keys so I can vouch for the durability of the finish.

There are a small number of marks visible on the tail end after a month of sharing a pockets with keys, coins and all the other stuff one keeps in pockets. The marks round the switch retaining ring were my attempts to remove it to play with the replacement switch.

Tail end

 

 

The head end also has a few marks. With my normal usage of lights, none of these marks would have happened as I don't normally put anything bigger than an AAA light on a keyring.

Head end

 

One good feature is the reverse polarity protection. A wrong way round battery isn't going to do bad things to the driver. The black foam ring at the base of the head has a hole for the battery's + contact. A wrong way round cell can't complete the circuit.

The head

 

It is a pretty big light as AA lights go. It is a couple of millimetres longer than the Trustfire F22/Yezl S5 but smaller in "diameter"

Size comparison

WK30, Yezl S5, Trustfire F22 (A replacement for the much-loved lost one), Trustfire R5-A3, Uniquefire S10 singlemode, Tank007 E07, Zebralight H50 and an XTAR WK20 whose review will be up soon. All but the last one are AA lights.

 

 

Design / Build Quality: ★★★★★

The design is a matter of taste. My taste doesn't like the extra engraving. I like plain and simple.

?vines

Beloved!!!!!

This bit's OK

If they'd just left it with the XTAR logo I'd have liked it more. The build quality is very good. The only niggle I can find with it is that if you screw the head down hard, the head and the body do not line up.

It gets the five stars for the hexagonal body and the build quality, most emphatically not for the extra engraving. It may appeal to some, but doesn't to me. Some appropriately coloured filler would fix that easily enough. If the engraving bothered me more, I'd give it 4 stars.

 

Battery Life: ★★★☆☆Copy and paste, maximum ★★★★★

Current Draw:

 

Battery TypeHighMediumLowStrobeSOS
NiMH     
Alkaline     
Li Primary     
NiZn     
LiFePO4     
14500     
      

 

 

Runtime graphs to follow:

Alkaline High

 

 

Alkaline Medium

 

 

Alkaline Low

 

 

 


Light Output: ★★★★

The reflector is pretty deep for an AA light and has a narrower beam than many AA lights. On the left, the XTAR on a 14500, on the right an Ultrafire C303 on medium. As you can see the beam is relatively narrow. Both are tailstanding on top of a door 60cm from the ceiling.

WK30 and C303

 

The beam on its own.

WK30 Beam

 

I need to add results from LiFePO4 cells which arrived last week. I also need to add throw numbers, which I am sure I have already done, I just can't find the numbers.

  Lightbox luxLightbox luxLightbox luxEst. LumensEst. LumensEst. Lumens
LightBatteryTurn-on30 secs2 MinutesSwitch-on30 secs2 Minutes
Xtar WK30 HighNiMH386353333696360
Xtar WK30 MediumNiMH144142140262525
Xtar WK30 LowNiMH343434666
Xtar WK30 HighAlkaline418356324756458
Xtar WK30 MediumAlkaline157152143282726
Xtar WK30 LowAlkaline353535666
Xtar WK30 HighLi primary338327320615957
Xtar WK30 MediumLi primary123120120222222
Xtar WK30 LowLi primary373635766
Xtar WK30 HighNiZn441428424797776
Xtar WK30 MediumNiZn176175173323131
Xtar WK30 LowNiZn474747888
Xtar WK30 High14500976888854175159153
Xtar WK30 Medium14500317310303575654
Xtar WK30 Low14500767575141313

 

Some outdoors beamshots.

It wasn't all that dark but I was in urgent need of sleep. It was, however, a lot darker than these pictures make it seem. Living in a city with plenty of light pollution and rapidly lengthening days, we don't get all that good-quality darkness round here till around the end of September.

I'm not working this weekend so will do better pictures later at night.. The white balance is locked on daylight so I also used an outright yellow light (Mega warm designed for jewelry inspection) for comparison.

 

Control

Control

 

Strange jade inspection light. According to DX this is a very warm bin Cree XR-E P4. According to my lightbox it puts out just short of 100 lumens at switch on, down to 70 after a couple of minutes. It gets hot.

Strange yellow thing

 

WK30 High

WK30 High

 

WK20 High This is an XP-G as is the Ultrafire C303

WK20 High

 

Ultrafire C303 High

C303 High

 

WK30 Medium

WK30 Medium

 

Ultrafire C303 Medium

C303 Medium

 

WK30  Low

WK30 Low

 

WK20 Low or medium. It is a 3 mode light with high, less high and strobe.

WK20 Low

 

Ultrafire C303 Low

C303 Low

 

The level spacing is good at 175 / 57 / 14 lumens on a 14500, 69 / 26 / 6 on an NiMH. This is not the brightest AA light, but performance is respectable on 14500 and perfectly acceptable on NiMH where it is in the same ballpark as the Tank007 E07 but is much throwier.

 

 

 

 

Summary: ★★★☆☆Copy and paste, use rounded average, maximum ★★★★★

I like this light a lot. It will be given away, but I think I might well get myself another one. My rating is absolutely dependent on the shipped price. I'm expecting it to be available for $20-22 delivered. If it is at the RRP of $40 I'd not be interested. SBFlashlights are selling it for a little over $40 shipped.


 

The numbers from my light tests are always to be found here.

https://spreadsheets.google.com/ccc?key=0ApkFM37n_QnRdDU5MDNzOURjYllmZHI...

Edited by: Don on 05/07/2011 - 04:46
Don
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oldbobk wrote:

 Been a few years since my high school Latin. Could ya do it in English? My real question is, how do you like it compared to a Trustfire R5-A3?

 

It's probably nearly as long since mine. That is just placeholder text until I get around to writing the body text. It doesn't actually have any meaning. For some reason, printers have used that text for centuries.

Here's what Google Translate makes of it. "Hello world! is love, consectetuer adipiscing elit, make it hidden by contributing authors tincidunt administer and pain _PN_OF. Be added to by trivial example, whichof us ever undertakes the army tation ullamcorper lobortis nisl when some from the selection below. Edit or the normal models upon vulputate News, products, and / orpain good to him easy, but to no feugiat eros and but a heap and to hatred of the justwho upon gentle with a ready Sample a different zzril delenit a Sample duis feugaitthere is no pain you easy. This is text for us at the time when the feeble Thinking ofnothing option congue imperdiet mazim Domingo that which is roasted at the can I doto please. Where can I get some? is the use of the reader is in them that makes their splendor. The investigations showed the son of the readers to read me, they read that they very often too. The brightness of the process is also dynamic, which follows the custom of a change of the bed. It is a wonder to note than the Gothic alphabet, which they now do we think a little clear, anteposuerit of letters the form of humanity through the ages of the fourth and the fifth of the tenth to the tenth. In the same way types, who is now famous for it seems to us a little, they become a feast in the time to come."


I like the light more than the R5-A3 but it isn't as bright. The XTAR on a 14500 makes 175 lumens, the Trustfire 292 (Both are initial switch-on figures). The modes on the XTAR are better spaced. I have to do the throw numbers - I thought I'd already done them.

It is better built than the Trustfire and the switch is more usable though it is similar in design.

 



 

The numbers from my light tests are always to be found here.

https://spreadsheets.google.com/ccc?key=0ApkFM37n_QnRdDU5MDNzOURjYllmZHI...

sb56637
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Hey Don, looking good. Lucky! Want to trade for a nasty yellow color WK30? Wink But it's good to know we are "Beloved".

This is a pretty nice light, I'm just having a hard time getting over the ugly color and engravings.

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

edc
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Interesting! I like the shape.

 

http://i1193.photobucket.com/albums

Don
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I like the light. If I can get a blue or grey one for $20 shipped I'll buy my own. For me, that is the real test of a review light.

 

The numbers from my light tests are always to be found here.

https://spreadsheets.google.com/ccc?key=0ApkFM37n_QnRdDU5MDNzOURjYllmZHI...

KDLST
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Nice rewiew so far!
Davx
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Nice light. I like the different shape. Maybe the beam is too narrow.

"There are always new jobs, women, and apartments......there is only ONE BLF." - Chicago X (27/03/2012)

fran82
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Nice review and nice flashlight. However it would be better if it had a completely round body instead of that "hexagon" shape....

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Don
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Davx wrote:

Nice light. I like the different shape. Maybe the beam is too narrow.

 

It seems to work for me - there are beamshots now up. Not great ones, but they show the beam clearly enough.

 

The numbers from my light tests are always to be found here.

https://spreadsheets.google.com/ccc?key=0ApkFM37n_QnRdDU5MDNzOURjYllmZHI...

Don
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fran82 wrote:

Nice review and nice flashlight. However it would be better if it had a completely round body instead of that "hexagon" shape....

 

Actually, one of the reasons I like it is the body shape. That one isn't rolling off of anything. I suspect the WK25 is rather similar internally and has a nice round body - i rather like the look of it.

 

The numbers from my light tests are always to be found here.

https://spreadsheets.google.com/ccc?key=0ApkFM37n_QnRdDU5MDNzOURjYllmZHI...

fran82
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But Don, It is comfortable in your hand?

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Don
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fran82 wrote:

But Don, It is comfortable in your hand?

 

It is, it is quite a large light for a single AA - I have some pictures of it with other lights to upload when I get back home to a faster (and much less expensive) internet connection.

 

It is about 2mm longer than the very large Trustfire F22/Yezl S5, though about 1mm less in "diameter". I do not have large hands and find it comfortable to hold.

 

The numbers from my light tests are always to be found here.

https://spreadsheets.google.com/ccc?key=0ApkFM37n_QnRdDU5MDNzOURjYllmZHI...

fran82
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One curious thing:

I know that, to make a flashlight with normal round shape, you only need a lathe. But... How do they make this rare shaped flashlight in the factory?

I think they must invest many time in mechanizing the body... probably they begin with a round tube.... the start mechanizing and they get this thing?..... I dont know

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Oldienea
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Aluminium rods are availible in various shapes. They probably made it out of a hexagonal raw material.

Don
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Or got hexagonal tubes cast. If you are making enough of them, this might be cheaper.

 

The numbers from my light tests are always to be found here.

https://spreadsheets.google.com/ccc?key=0ApkFM37n_QnRdDU5MDNzOURjYllmZHI...

fran82
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mmmmm I thought that only were available round aluminum tubes. Never knew about hexagonal shaped alu tubes. Now I understand. Sorry

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Buwuve
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Thank you Don for the review and the lux/lumens of all the different batteries.

 

I like it, if things are a little bit special and different to many other products. Most flashlights are round - a hexagon form could be nice.

Nice flashlight in blue (I love blue).

Light up the darkness.

how2
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At $40 It's expensive but if it was available for $20 including shipping then it would make a great gift light

KDLST
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I really like the look too. The hexagonal shape is a warm welcome from the normal shaped flashlights and i really like the blue color. Too bad it's a bit pricy
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I like the hex shape, nice to have something a little different. I reapply like the beam though. I probably wouldn't have thought about that one before I saw those.

Piers said " ....but who wants enough light, when you have the option for far too much "

mfm
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Don wrote:
It has the usual five modes but no detectable PWM flicker. As an aside since most of Europe's AC power is 50Hz as opposed to the US/Japan's 60Hz, Europeans seem to be much less sensitive to flicker than Americans.

Actually Japan has both 50 Hz (Eastern Japan) and 60 Hz (Western Japan).

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mfm wrote:

Actually Japan has both 50 Hz (Eastern Japan) and 60 Hz (Western Japan).

 

I didn't know that. It must complicate their grid managers life considerably.

 

The numbers from my light tests are always to be found here.

https://spreadsheets.google.com/ccc?key=0ApkFM37n_QnRdDU5MDNzOURjYllmZHI...

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Nice review! Glad to find out i was not the only one thinking of it as a good one. I hear ya, blinkies could be hidden at least otherwise a very likeable flashlight.

kragmutt wrote:

They're gonna send you a green redcat with a black LED.

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Has anyone been brave enough to find out some actual shipping costs on this yet?

mfm
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SirJohn wrote:

Has anyone been brave enough to find out some actual shipping costs on this yet?

The "handling fee" if you buy for less than $200 is 30% of the order or $6 (whichever is the highest).

discord
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The light looks bright, but it has what appears to me to be a yellow tint on hi. I think I'd have to see it in person to determine whether I like the tint, or maybe its your camera?

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Don wrote:

mfm wrote:

Actually Japan has both 50 Hz (Eastern Japan) and 60 Hz (Western Japan).

 

I didn't know that. It must complicate their grid managers life considerably.

I've heard it's a bit worse than that, since the earthquake took out the reactors.  They can only move something like 1 GW between grids?

http://www.itworld.com/business/140626/legacy-1800s-leaves-tokyo-facing-...

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discord wrote:

The light looks bright, but it has what appears to me to be a yellow tint on hi. I think I'd have to see it in person to determine whether I like the tint, or maybe its your camera?

 

Not to my eyes. The first pic after the control shot is from an ultra-warm light designed for inspecting jade and jewellery. It certainly is very yellow, the next pic is the WK30.

 

The numbers from my light tests are always to be found here.

https://spreadsheets.google.com/ccc?key=0ApkFM37n_QnRdDU5MDNzOURjYllmZHI...