Review : XTAR WK41 SIRIUS AA

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IClight
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I hate to sound like the negative nancy here, but I received this light recently and while it’s a decent little AA light it’s not without a few complaints.

Firstly the switch. It is much too small and very very difficult to locate by feel alone. The tiny button sits nearly flush with the surface and its difficult to activate quickly, especially with larger hands and forget about with gloves on. Aligning the pocket clip with the switch helps give some tactile cues as to where to press when it’s pitch black, but its still not very fast or user friendly.

Take the Zebralight SC52 for comparison, it uses a much larger side button which is easier to feel and activate, and then it is recessed so that you can clearly find the button by feel alone very quickly. The pocket clip is bolted in place which means it always helps align you with the button once you get used to it. The same can’t be said for the WK41, although the pocketclip isn’t that big of a deal.

The second issue I have is also related to the switch, but more about the UI and buttons timings. Double clicking to select special modes is fine, however the timing requires you double click the button extremely fast, to the point where I cannot reliably get to the blinks modes. This seems like a bad idea for a feature that may be needed in very dire situations.

Thirdly, and again still on the switch, the amount of time required to turn the light off is annoyingly long at 1.5 seconds. It sounds quick on paper, but in actual EDC use it feels like an eternity, and the thought of waiting on my flashlight is absurd to me. Fenix uses a long click to turn some of their lights off, but their timing seems to be a bit better thought out, or I’m just impatient. Smile

Finally with so many normal modes to cycle through I feel like they missed a real opportunity to do something with a long-click from off, either for momentary on, or direct access to high or some other setting. Cycling through 4 modes to get the one needed is again an exercise in patience with this light, in fact everything about this light feels like it’s testing my patience.

I will give Xtar credit for their beam and tint quality, it is quite good and somewhere between cool and neutral. The beam is fairly floody, and very smooth, a great beam for an EDC light. Support for 14500s from the manufacturer is very welcomed to see, and the low battery indicator is pretty neat, although I haven’t gotten the hang of how many minutes of light are left once it comes on. Overall this isn’t a bad light despite my numerous complaints with it, but I don’t think I would buy it again.

Trevi_lux
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Hello IClight

I think most of your complaints relate to issues that you should know before you buy. Specifications and photos on the web of Xtar are simple and well explained.

If I do not like red cars, and I bought a red car. Is it fair that I’m complaining then “do not really like the color of my car”?. I think I should not have bought the car ….

BanglaBob
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I just couldn’t resist, thanks to you, Trevi-lux Big Smile
Pulled the trigger on the WK41 just this afternoon.

Lights out! That's when things get interesting...

IClight
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Trevi_lux wrote:
Hello IClight

I think most of your complaints relate to issues that you should know before you buy. Specifications and photos on the web of Xtar are simple and well explained.

If I do not like red cars, and I bought a red car. Is it fair that I’m complaining then “do not really like the color of my car”?. I think I should not have bought the car ….

I don’t believe that makes my criticism any less valid, however. I’m just trying to be objective about this light, whether I bought it myself or was given it to review shouldn’t change my opinion of it.

spaceboy
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I found the critisisms interesting. I dont think the difficulty in accessing the disco modes would bother me in the slightest though!

Trevi_lux
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This is my new WK42.

Received a few days ago, more compact and powerful than WK41.
I love my wk42 (I paid for this, the wk 41 was donated for review by Xtar, I liked it so much that I bought the wk42).
Now I prefer the 42 as EDC. I’ve used it with EagleTac 16340 and LIR123A Xtar 800mA and Nitecore NL-146, all fit perfectly. The low battery warning goes perfect with rechargeable and non-rechargeable. It’s a small cannon with RCR123A.

IClight .
Of course all the criticism is legitimate. I’m sorry if I upset you. Beer Beer

NLE
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I’m in agreement with you ICLight. I too, bought the XTAR WK41, and as much as I want to reach for it when I need a light, I am always reaching for my SC52.
I think the WK41 is a very handsome light, and although not the most powerful, I was actually OK with it. In comparison with the SC52 on Eneloop AA, I didn’t find the difference in brightness to be a huge issue.
I have a Fenix E25, and also notice it felt quicker to turn off. To quantify it, I timed it a few times. Repeatedly, I got 0.6 seconds on the E25, and 1.2 seconds on the WK41. To the WK41’s credit, it does turn on instantly, whereas the E25 requires the 0.6 seconds to turn off.
XTAR’s own website states it is 1.5 seconds to turn off, so the 1.2 seconds that I recorded is even better.
I bought this light when I read Trevi-Lux’s excellent review, and I feel he has been quite accurate in his review. What is hard to convey, are the more subjective elements like switch feel, or how easy it is to activate.
I always intended on gifting this light, and I will miss it when it is gone, in spite of its shortcomings. Perhaps I will replace it again with another WK41, as I see myself now becoming a collector as opposed to someone who buys lights to keep up with the advancements. Also, the price I paid for it at MD-Lightsource is incredible value (IMHO) for a well-built light with excellent features.
My perception of value may have been permanently altered though, as I received my Fandyfire Warrior today. Now THAT is a light with exceptional excellent value!!!!!

th@
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As to the criticism of the button accessibility, I have to agree. I tried the light a little whether it would be suited for situations in which I might need the strobe mode, and the button was very difficult to detect in the dark with bare hands. It would be close to impossible to use it as an effective strobe light in a real life situation without a minimum of calm preparation time – not to speak of use with gloves. This is too bad since the direct strobe mode access is actually pretty nice. A sufficiently elevated ring/semi-circle around the button might significantly improve quick tactile detection…

However, I still love and carry the WK41 in my bag all the time for situations when the performance of my keychain Olight i3s EOS does not suffice for me or for when I might need a decent strobe light with some calm preparation time (the olight i3s EOS hidden strobe is almost never really an option IMHO). Also, the WK41’s groove is nice and allows holding it with the mouth/teeth quite comfortably which may prove useful (not sure if this has been mentioned already).

Now, I have seen that not all 14500s are suited for use in the WK41 (which is a shame), and I am therefore still using AAs. I would really like to have the additional notch of performance provided by the 14500 but I want to use protected ones for safety reasons (nonwithstanding the battery level indicator). Does anyone know already (positively) of a protected 14500 that works fine in the WK41?

ps and btw: Hi girls and guys, I am fairly new in the flashlight world and try to catch up on the respective knowledge. Help is always appreciated Wink

Stefano
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Congratulations Trevi, excellent very detailed review.
I have to make a gift for a friend, I am torn between Fenix E11 and XTAR WK41 or WK42.
I read with great interest your review and all the other comments from other users.
In Italy we have a vendor who has both models, I am undecided.
You can make the case for more photos? I'd love to see photos in open space (outdoor)

I have the Fenix E11 which has less beam performance but has a slightly more concentrated (more throw)

I think the XTAR WK41 is ok but I would like to know if throw is enough

Many thanks


(terrible translation by Google Smile

Trevi_lux
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Hi Stefano.
I live in city and it’s difficult exterior photos. If you can wait 2 or 3 days, I try to compare Wk41, wk42, E11, with outdoors pics.

For me the best of the 3 is the WK42. No problem with the size of the primary or rechargeable batteries. Its power is very good with rechargeable RCR123A Lithium. But if your friend does not use Lithium, WK41 be better. People do really like the low battery warning.

Stefano
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Hola Trevi

Thanks for the quick response.
The torch is for a girl (not flasholic) I do not think it will use RCR123, I could give a battery of these but then there's the problem of the lack of autonomy of RCR.

Warning of low battery is good for inexperienced user.
WK42 looks interesting for a woman, the small size are well suited to a woman's bag.

I'm really torn between the two models, even the WK41 is small and looks very handy to put in a bag woman.One question: XTAR both have ability to turn on the light directly on the turbo? (ideal for defense)
Fenix E11 I like to switch back easy to find even in the dark.


Translated with Google Translate

Trevi_lux
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Hi
The wk have memory, they turn on in turbo, but only if you turn off turbo.
For non flasholic, I dismiss the wk42. Better AA NiMH batteries.
If I need defense flashlight, really 3.7V are required, 1.5 or 1.2V AA does not give enough power to defense.
I would choose the E11 or Wk41 and will also give away a package of ultimate energizer L91 (but this does not serve to self defense)

Stefano
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Thanks for the tips, I am aware that it takes for defense flashlight with many lumens.
Together with the torch (WK or E11) gift a charge XTAR XP1 and Eneloop Black.
I found the throw indicated on the website XTAR, 60 meters for WK41, 65 meters for WK42

These values increase much with 14500 or 16340 battery (XTAR declares: 115 meters for Wk 41 and 100 meters for WK42)

The XTAR is a flashlight with superior features but I did have a lot of opinion that flood as the Zebralight.
Even 2xAA Model WK40 is declared only 70 meters

They are 85 meters for the new Fenix E11 (115 lumens model) or 74 meters for the old model 105 lumens.

I think that these values ??are suffienti for both cases, I think the gift will certainly XTAR WK41 or 42
But as a fan of lights I'd like to see some comparison between Fenix ??E11 and WK41 with AA batteries

This evening I tried to take some pictures but my camera equipment is of poor quality (Coolpix L25)

I can only show two photos acceptable, Fenix ??E11 old model (105 lumens)


Photo 1 - 30 lumens power

http://imageshack.us/photo/my-images/441/6olw.jpg/

Photo 2 - 105 lumens power

http://imageshack.us/photo/my-images/197/sa95.JPG/

 

 

 

Firelight2
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My Xtar WK41 just arrived yesterday.

The anodizing and build quality felt excellent. Anodizing is perfect. the knurling is very well done and provides a good grip, and the switch is small and recessed enough that I doubt it would accidentally turn-on in the pocket. The beam pattern is excellent for short range work.

The head of the light disassembled easily. There was no threadlocker. In unscrewed the bezel and the lens and reflector popped out. I removed the isolator disk revealing a standard 16 mm star, nicely lubed with thermal grease on the back.

The driver and physical reverse polarity protection insert are held in with 2 small screws at the back of the head. Unscrew those and the driver came right out. As expected, there were 2 pieces: one piece being the driver (looked to be around 19mm or so), plus a small rectangular piece holding the switch. The switch portion fitted into a slot in the head and was kept in place by the driver board.

The light isn’t perfect though. The interface left a bit to be desired. Click to turn on, then click repeatedly to advance through the modes. There’s a shortcut to strobe, but no shortcut to min or max. The emitter is also a bit dated, being an XML and not an XML2, and it’s cool instead of neutral. Turning off the light feels awkward as you have to hold down the button for 2 seconds. If you’re at high and click once, it will go to low power, but won’t turn off. This is tricky, given that on most other lights 1 click turns the light off. With the WK41 you might click once and think it’s off, not realizing it has actually just cycled to low.

Also, output was less than I’m used to. On Li-ion, this light only produces 300 lumens on turbo. I’m used to pocket rights like the SC52, RRT-01 and EYE10 that all easily produce 500 lumens or more.

Three and a half hours of modding later:
1. I replaced the star and LED with a 16mm copper Noctigon with an XML2 T6 5,000k neutral.
2. I replaced the driver with a 2.8 amp Nanjg 105c with a DrJones driver. No need to try to solder the negative contact to the body of the light here. Instead I bent a piece of tin around the edge of the driver and soldered it on. Negative contact is made when the top of the body tube hits this tin ring.
3. I built a new switch base and replaced the switch with a 2.5mm radioshack momentary switch.
4. The new driver stuck out more than the old driver. To allow the light to fully close, I sawed off half the threads on the head. The light now cinches fully closed with 1 full turn. Definitely not going to be as strong as the default light.
5. Removed the driver spring and soldered a small copper disk on the positive contact.

The result. running on a Kinoko IMR 750 Mah 14500: Much, much, MUCH brighter than before. It’s noticeably brighter than my modded Jetbeam RRT-01 (running on an EYE10 driver, Kinoko IMR 18350, and an XML2 T6 neutral on copper).

My modded Xtar WK41 now has a beautiful neutral tint. The new driver has shortcuts to minimum, 10% and max, and has 2-way ramping. The outside of the light looks and feels the same as the original.

I’m pretty pleased with how this mod came out, and how fast it was to assemble. The entire mod took less than 4 hours, which is pretty good for me. This light was just a joy to work on.

weaver
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Thanks for a nice review.

I’m wondering if the WK41 has any PWM, detectable by eye, especially in the lower modes?

That might decide if I will buy it or not, because I find PWM annoying. Their other model WK50 has very noticable PWM in every mode except the highest.

Thanks.

Wrathbringer27
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weaver wrote:
Thanks for a nice review.

I’m wondering if the WK41 has any PWM, detectable by eye, especially in the lower modes?

That might decide if I will buy it or not, because I find PWM annoying. Their other model WK50 has very noticable PWM in every mode except the highest.

Thanks.


I have one and it doesn’t Smile

Words can be broken,
so can bones.

weaver
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Wrathbringer27 wrote:
I have one and it doesn’t Smile

That’s great, I might get one then Smile

weaver
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Wrathbringer27 wrote:

I have one and it doesn’t Smile

I just got mine, and it does unfortunately have PWM on all modes except the highest, making it far less nice to use than a flashlight which has a consistent light beam.

The fact whether a flashlight has PWM or not would be important to include in a review as well.

You can see easily if a flashlight has PWM by having it on and moving it in an arc in front of you, and you will see in the air a series of short flashes instead of a solid arc of light.

You can also see it, though not as easily, while paying attention to any point that reflects the light from the flashlight, and moving your eyes quickly, then you can see the reflective point as a series of “pictures,” rather than it moving smoothly in your field of view.

Wrathbringer27
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weaver wrote:
Wrathbringer27 wrote:

I have one and it doesn’t Smile

I just got mine, and it does unfortunately have PWM on all modes except the highest, making it far less nice to use than a flashlight which has a consistent light beam.

The fact whether a flashlight has PWM or not would be important to include in a review as well.

You can see easily if a flashlight has PWM by having it on and moving it in an arc in front of you, and you will see in the air a series of short flashes instead of a solid arc of light.

You can also see it, though not as easily, while paying attention to any point that reflects the light from the flashlight, and moving your eyes quickly, then you can see the reflective point as a series of “pictures,” rather than it moving smoothly in your field of view.


Sorry Sad but I didn’t detect any… hmmn

Words can be broken,
so can bones.

weaver
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Wrathbringer27 wrote:
Sorry Sad but I didn’t detect any… hmmn

No problem, it’s still a good flashlight, and got it for half price on eBay promotion. Smile

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