Review: TrustFire TR-J20 - 12 x XM-L (3 x 32650) Chunky Monkey!

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FlashPilot
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Boosting amps as voltage drops puts extraordinary stress on components. The higher the conversion ratio, the more heat is produced and conversion efficiencies decrease. Thats another reason I love those huge 32650’s that can sustain a continuous huge load without sag. So far, Im quite impressed with this driver.

Ive been using copper pipe strands, 12 gauge solid core copper and end pieces from noctigon/sinkpads die stamps to cool mosfets and diodes. Although the data sheets often show many of these components as being able to handle high temperatures, if its made in China… all bets are off. Sink those (potentially shitty made suckers) before you push them beyond.

In other lights, regardless of what others have indicated as being a “tough mega driver”, enough have failed that I always sink the hot parts. IMO, potting insulates most hot parts and shortens component life. If its hot, sink it with copper, using the copper as a heat conductor to transfer heat to an exterior sink. Its easy to do and will definitely increase longevity. If she goes poof, then look forward to your new mosfet driver swap.

BTW, those TF 32650’s are definitely worth the money. Ive been running the crap out of them in my stock TK70. 3 cells and an additional spring with copper wire & disk mod launches the boost driver into DD, and that sucker keeps up with my modified BTU shocker with XML2. Im just as impressed with those cells as I am with the TR-J20. In fact they are THE ONLY Chinese made cells I have ever been impressed with.

Looking back on my 9 x XML comparison vs this 12 XML chunky, Id take the 12X any day. While the 9X is driven much harder, its a meager “wow light” that edges out the 12X in terms of raw lumens, but it overheats FAR too quickly to be of much use to anyone that expects to use it for any length of time. IMO, a wow light has some purpose as a pocket EDC, but not as a monster bashing continuous burn beast… enter the TR-J20.

For your mod, if you have any concerns, decrease your resistance in increments and see how hot the mosfets get. I assume you have the driver dismounted from its home while testing, so also check the board to see how hot its getting. Being dismounted from the sink will prevent it from conducting heat, which will skew your observations. I doubt the tail switch will prove to be a weak link.

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Ouchyfoot wrote:
I think I’ve almost talked myself into getting one of these. I’m just a little backed up with mods at the moment.
Ive read enough of your posts to know that Im quite confident that you’ll be more than impressed with the “chunky” build and design. But knowing you, I foresee a brutal assault on those poor emitters via a mosfet driver swap. Thank god for that friggen mega floor plate assembly, cause its going to whimper after the ouchy-arc welder conversion youre sure to give it. :bigsmile:
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The switch is listed as 1.5amp/250volt, it’s going to poof but I’m going to replace it anyway. The driver I’m leaving mounted in the lower half of the head to bleed any heat it might. This also lets me monitor the components. The batteries used are the new Keeppower 26650 5200 mah. By the way I’ve seen a few Trustfire lights with this 12 led reflector design, its a good design.

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RMM in his store thread reports he has a hopped up version doing 11,000 Lumens initially and 10,200 at 60 seconds. Wants to know if any interest in his offering this hopped up unit commercially.

http://budgetlightforum.com/node/25986?page=76

Se post # 2295

This seems to be the heavy duty host available at a reasonable price at the moment for major hop-up opportunities to absolutely ridiculous output levels. Send him a PM or post in his thread if interested.

Rich Wood
Reno, NV

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Not enough LEDs! Big Smile

BLF

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Any one done a reading of Lumens out on the stock light as delivered? Curious to know how it does.

Rich Wood
Reno, NV

RMM
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Richwouldnt wrote:
Any one done a reading of Lumens out on the stock light as delivered? Curious to know how it does.

IIRC mine was around 4,000-4,500. (or was it 7,000-7,500??? Man, I should have written it down!)  The cool thing is that is could run at that level without any fears of overheating and the driver seems like it is actually up to the task.  Underpowered for such a large light but probably pretty efficient.  

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texas shooter
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It looks like the TR-J20, it might even be but its $10.00 cheaper when you add it and shipping over the fasttech one.
Description looks nice, even though it contradicts itself a few times;

http://www.aliexpress.com/item/13000LM-Flashlight-torch-12-CREE-XM-L-T6-LED-32650-26650-battery-charger/1950168174.html
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texas shooter wrote:
It looks like the TR-J20, it might even be but its $10.00 cheaper when you add it and shipping over the fasttech one. Description looks nice, even though it contradicts itself a few times; http://www.aliexpress.com/item/13000LM-Flashlight-torch-12-CREE-XM-L-T6-...

 

Nice price, especially since it comes with 4x 26650 batteries and a charger, even if they might be low quality.

It doesn't come with batteries or charger.

Batteries and charger are included.

Batteries and charger are $15 extra.

Maybe

The low mode should be lower.

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Just received my Trustfire TR-J20 today. Even with all the photos I’ve seen of it, I still wasn’t prepared for the sheer size and weight of it. Arrived in flawless condition and in perfect working order. Depending on the cells used, I get 3.11a (KeepPower IMR26650 5200mah) – 3.32a (MNKE 4000mAh) at the tail on high mode. My KeepPower protected 26650 5200mAh cells are long for the light, but the tailcap closes to within one thread of being completely tight, which is fine.

Thanks FlashPilot for this review.

Richie

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Hey Richie, Im glad you’re enjoying your new light. Its quite the Chunky Monkey, isnt it? Big Smile Thanks for the amp readings with those cells. Ive been using unprotected 32650 Trustfires and they seem to be holding up quite well… which I find amazing for Chinese mfgr cells. Every time I hold my J20, Im always amazed that this is a Trustfire product. The upscale build and finish are what we usually find in more expensive name brands. Although this is not to be considered a bargain light, I still think its a steal for the price. When you have a chance, unscrew the head pieces and check out that massive thick heavy floor plate/heat sink. I might mod mine some day with a 100 watt Bridgelux and boost driver.

Richard at RMM built a FET driver for me but I havent had a chance to rewire and instal it yet. My Supbeam X60 from the GB has been my power light of choice lately, but its getting time to move forward and see what this J20 can really do with that RMM driver.

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I just received Trustfire’s other Chunky Monkey, the TR-S700, and shipped it off to RMM to see what he can do. I think that if it is a monkey he is named King Kong! I asked for him to do a max output sphere check before and after so we shall see what happens. The TR-S700 is HUGE compared to other multiple parallel soup can style lights and weighs about 54 ounces with three 26650 batteries installed.

Rich Wood
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FlashPilot wrote:
Hey Richie, Im glad you’re enjoying your new light. Its quite the Chunky Monkey, isnt it? Big Smile Thanks for the amp readings with those cells. Ive been using unprotected 32650 Trustfires and they seem to be holding up quite well… which I find amazing for Chinese mfgr cells. Every time I hold my J20, Im always amazed that this is a Trustfire product. The upscale build and finish are what we usually find in more expensive name brands. Although this is not to be considered a bargain light, I still think its a steal for the price. When you have a chance, unscrew the head pieces and check out that massive thick heavy floor plate/heat sink. I might mod mine some day with a 100 watt Bridgelux and boost driver.

Richard at RMM built a FET driver for me but I havent had a chance to rewire and instal it yet. My Supbeam X60 from the GB has been my power light of choice lately, but its getting time to move forward and see what this J20 can really do with that RMM driver.

FlashPilot, It’s funny you mention how impressive a Trustfire flashlight can be, at least their two flagship models, the TR-J20 and the TR-S700. I was thinking exactly that myself. It’s unfortunate they have to be so heavy, but for proper heat dissipation, I have no problem with it. It makes me realize how badly designed my other multi-led lights really are in comparision. At least I’ll be able to mod this one and not have to worry to much about overheating the internals.

As for price, at $91.98 on AliExpress with free shipping, I don’t know how they were able to do it, and I consider it a fantastic deal.

I did want to ask you a question, the 32650 Trustfire cells you’ve been using, what are you using to recharge them?

Please post back when you rewire your J20 to accommodate RMM’s FET driver. I’m interested in knowing how involved rewiring the LED’s will be in case I wish to follow your example.

Richie

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Richie086 wrote:
Please post back when you rewire your J20 to accommodate RMM's FET driver. I'm interested in knowing how involved rewiring the LED's will be in case I wish to follow your example.

Man, it's been a while, but I think that the stock setup was wired 2S6P, and I know that I changed it to 3S4P.  With the stock emitters and King Kong 4000 cells, it does an easy 10,000 OTF with well over 12A draw at the tailcap.  I only used 22 AWG wire instead of 18 or 20 to limit the current a little bit, especially with the relatively low vF of the XM-L emitters.   The next step is going to 12x XM-L2 U3 on Noctigons and using even heavier gauge wire all the way through with 3x Purple Efest 26650s...I am hopeful for 15,000 OTF, but will settle for 14,000.  

The Trustfire 32650s aren't too shabby actually, but the protection circuits stink so don't get the ones with protection.  I almost immediately tore them off of my set since they cut off at around 5A and had a TON of resistance.  There is a huge PCB with space for 4-5 FETs and instead they use 2 crappy FETs.

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Richwouldnt wrote:
I just received Trustfire’s other Chunky Monkey, the TR-S700, and shipped it off to RMM to see what he can do. I think that if it is a monkey he is named King Kong! I asked for him to do a max output sphere check before and after so we shall see what happens. The TR-S700 is HUGE compared to other multiple parallel soup can style lights and weighs about 54 ounces with three 26650 batteries installed.

Good luck with your new light. Steve

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RMM wrote:

Richie086 wrote:
Please post back when you rewire your J20 to accommodate RMM’s FET driver. I’m interested in knowing how involved rewiring the LED’s will be in case I wish to follow your example.

Man, it’s been a while, but I think that the stock setup was wired 2S6P, and I know that I changed it to 3S4P.  With the stock emitters and King Kong 4000 cells, it does an easy 10,000 OTF with well over 12A draw at the tailcap.  I only used 22 AWG wire instead of 18 or 20 to limit the current a little bit, especially with the relatively low vF of the XM-L emitters.   The next step is going to 12x XM-L2 U3 on Noctigons and using even heavier gauge wire all the way through with 3x Purple Efest 26650s…I am hopeful for 15,000 OTF, but will settle for 14,000.  

The Trustfire 32650s aren’t too shabby actually, but the protection circuits stink so don’t get the ones with protection.  I almost immediately tore them off of my set since they cut off at around 5A and had a TON of resistance.  There is a huge PCB with space for 4-5 FETs and instead they use 2 crappy FETs.

Im just catching up…

RMM pumps out custom mod lights like crazy, so it would be difficult for him to remember the details of each. Here’s some notes from Richards PM (copy/paste) concerning his FET driver build for my J20:
_____________________________________________________________

i. I put one of the 46mm SRK drivers in mine, but it is still a bit too small so I soldered some shims on the outside ground ring. I also soldered two qlite springs together on the battery side that were then assisted by a silicone wire (in lieu of copper braid.) I also added the zener diode and off-time FW and capacitor. Usually the 46mm driver is used with an e-switch, but it doesn’t need to be.

That said, none of them are a direct drop in but any of the FETs could work if piggybacked onto the stripped stock driver. You will need it zener modded or else it will fry in very short order. For me the 46mm option was the easiest, but if I were to build a bunch of them I think I would just strip the stock driver, reflow the FET onto one of those pads, then piggyback a zener mod driver to control that FET.

ii. Yes, you do need to rewire the emitters. You need 3S4P. I also swapped the down wires to 22 AWG silicone.

iii. Copper braid everything else if possible. This light can handle the heat, no problem. Surprisingly the tail switch has been holding up to 15A+ for a while now.

If you have any more questions feel free to ask!

Richard
_____________________________________________________________

As for recharging TF32650 unprotected cells, Ive been using an Xtar SP2. If you push the cells slightly off-center in the charging slots, it will allow the cell ends to make contact with the tabs and charge a pair of these cells @2A each.

From another thread: Discharge result at 10 Amps is 5797mAh. The unprotected TF32650’s are awesome and dont even break a sweat at 10A sustained discharge rates.
http://budgetlightforum.com/node/26978 After removal of the crappy PC, compare the 10A curve (capacity and sustained voltage to any 26650, and they all lose). I have 12 of these cells that have been cycled at 7A several times. Although they are less than a year old, they discharge evenly with the same ending voltage in 3S config and havent shown any signs of deterioration yet… which is usually not the case with any of the Chinese cells. So AFAICT, no other cell of this size or smaller can match the capacity and sustained high voltage of the unprotected TF32650 @10A.

IMO, all else being equal, its not worth the L2 on copper upgrade since human eyes wont notice a large increase in apparent brightness. Different tints are a whole other ball-game. :bigsmile:

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I agree that the dollar per lumen price to upgrade beyond the driver and resistance mods is huge...and not a very good value.  But sometimes we do things that don't make much sense.  Money Mouth  

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RMM wrote:

I agree that the dollar per lumen price to upgrade beyond the driver and resistance mods is huge…and not a very good value.  But sometimes we do things that don’t make much sense.  Money Mouth  

What’s this? Everything we do makes sense! Big Smile

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Thanks Flash and RMM,

This is some great information you’ve both posted. RMM I’ll be contacting you to see when I can send you my J20 and have some of these mods done. I know you’re very busy these days, but perhaps we can schedule something. I think beyond pushing this light for a bit more power, getting rid of useless flashing modes would be great.

Also, nobody seems to have the Unprotected TF cells. I may consider purchasing the protected version and removing the protection myself. I’ll look into a good retailer and try and determine if they are at least selling real TF 32650’s.

Richie

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You’re welcome. Im sure you’ll enjoy RMM’s new mods once you get your light back. I just checked my source for unprotected TF32650 and they are out of stock. I just put in a product request to fasttech so hopefully they will carry them soon. FT still offers surface shipping on lithium cells, which takes about 45 days to the US. You can request FT to carry items here: https://support.fasttech.com/tickets/RQST

Maybe RMM would like to carry these and eliminate the long wait times. What do you think Richard?

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None of the suppliers I order from carry 32650s...I've checked with several of them.  I might need to do a bulk order to somewhere else to try and get some.  

I ordered some from Fasttech for myself back in July, and they still haven't shown up.  Tracking never updated and now I might be out of luck, unless they show up sometime.  I ended up getting some from a local forum member.   

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Would protected TF 32650 be ok in a stock J20?
Or they still suck too much for it?

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No clue which way they sent them.  It was Philippine Post, which was the only option at the time.  As usual I opened up a ticket...they said just wait.  I've given up on them now since I think it would take a miracle for them to show up after 80+ days, but it could happen.  

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RMM wrote:

None of the suppliers I order from carry 32650s…I’ve checked with several of them.  I might need to do a bulk order to somewhere else to try and get some.  

I ordered some from Fasttech for myself back in July, and they still haven’t shown up.  Tracking never updated and now I might be out of luck, unless they show up sometime.  I ended up getting some from a local forum member.   

Thanks for checking into a source for these. Did FT send them surface or air? I just received some 4k KK32650’s in about 45 days via surface shipping from FT.

Edit: I just deleted and reposted under my flashlipot account (from my flashpilot-x60 account) Sorry for any confusion.

Box wrote:
Would protected TF 32650 be ok in a stock J20? Or they still suck too much for it?

You should be fine. If you decide to mod your light in the future, you can remove the protection circuits yourself. Id like to find a source for the unprotected versions so I dont have to cut up the cool looking TF wrapper. Big Smile

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Thanks mate Smile

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Any time Beer

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FlashPilot wrote:
You should be fine. If you decide to mod your light in the future, you can remove the protection circuits yourself. Id like to find a source for the unprotected versions so I dont have to cut up the cool looking TF wrapper. Big Smile

I got in on the pre-order for the Enova ALL-80 8x Li-Ion + NiMH Charger, Richard is presently offering at Mountain Electronics. I can always use an 8-bay charger for all these 18650 and 26650 cells I have. Since it also handles the 32650’s, I’m now commited to getting my hands on some high end 32650 cells since the Trustfire J20 can use them.

Needless to say, anyone comes up with a good supplier, please post back here or start a new thread.

Mountain Electronics

Richie

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Hi folks,

Since the Trustfire 32650 cell seem to be the best cell of this size, I’ve opted to go through Trustfire directly to purchase some, but without the protection circuit. The price I was given by my Rep was $7.55 each. But this does not include shipping. Depending on shipping costs, I’m going to purchase 3 or 6 of them. When I get the total cost, I’ll be sure to post.

Richie

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Richie086 wrote:
Hi folks,

Since the Trustfire 32650 cell seem to be the best cell of this size, I’ve opted to go through Trustfire directly to purchase some, but without the protection circuit. The price I was given by my Rep was $7.55 each. But this does not include shipping. Depending on shipping costs, I’m going to purchase 3 or 6 of them. When I get the total cost, I’ll be sure to post.

I’ll be on the lookout as well. Im might need more cells if I join in on 18sixfifty’s TR-J20 GB.

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I just unscrewed the head pieces to check out a mod Ive been considering. There appears to be plenty of room for active cooling inside. A moderate sized cpu heat sink and fan could be modded and attached to the underside of the floor plate and a 2 chamber plenum fabbed out of thin aluminum sheet to efficiently channel the air. With a good drill press to bore the vent holes, it would be possible to make it look pretty close to stock. Things that make you go, “hmmm…”. :bigsmile:

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