My Thoughts On Some Throwers (Astrolux Ft03 and Uniquefire 1508)

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gcbryan
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My Thoughts On Some Throwers (Astrolux Ft03 and Uniquefire 1508)

I just got a couple of throwers, one is the Astrolux Ft03 with HXP 50.2 emitter. I’m using a 26650 battery in that one. I also got the Uniquefire 1508 with 75mm aspheric head. I’m not sure what the emitter is in that one but it is a white light rather than the IR versions. I’m using a single 18650 in that one.

My best aspheric thrower before the Uniquirefire was one I modded together using a 40mm aspheric.

My first impression of the Astrolux is that it is well made and a good deal for the money. As a reflector thrower obviously it has a lot more flood than an aspheric. This is good if you want to use the light to see where you are going and you want to see far in the distance. It’s harder to use in a city backyard in that it calls a lot of attention to yourself and you have to be careful not to disturb the neighbors.

Since it’s a ramping light it can also be useful as just a “regular” flashlight to take out the trash or to move around the yard. When you ramp it way down it doesn’t call attention to yourself. I mainly bought it as a thrower however.

I bought the Uniquefire mainly out of curiosity for the 75mm aspheric head. I didn’t want to have to do any modding and I just wanted to see what it would do out of the box. As others have said, it has an ugly beam. There is the emitter shape which you would expect but it also has several dark and lighter donut like rings or artifacts. I’d rather just see the emitter shaped beam.

To get the beam focused you have to unscrew the head almost to the point of falling off. With the aspheric that I have from the past there was initially some artifacts but I removed most of that with a black permanent Magic Marker. That emitter was set in a flat chrome pill. I just marked out the outer flat chrome band and that took care of the artifacts.

In the case of the Uniquefire the pill is a brass screw-in pill with a chrome outer band and then between the emitter dome and that outer band is brass that kind of makes a tiny brass “reflector”. I took a magic marker and marked out the outer band and as much of in inner brass as I could.

It helped but it’s still ugly but not as bad. When I take it outside and use it as intended for throw after using the marker your eyes mainly just go to the emitter shape. Since it has plenty of throw I also screwed the head in a bit more so that it feels more stable, the emitter shape is rounded off a bit so the combination of all that does make the beam better and it still throws plenty far.

When I bring out the Astrolux it throws just as far (to the extent that I can tell in my current location) but the Astrolux (of course) just has a ton more light but in terms of flood near me and at my “targeted” tree tops.

The Uniquefire makes me appreciate the Astrolux more than I did initially. The Uniquefire is useful and fun and would make a good mod platform. With the right driver and emitter and with more done to remove the artifacts and maybe some machining to be able to get the emitter to focus with the head screwed on tighter, it could be made even better. I don’t have the tools to do any machining however. It is a big aspheric although the quality isn’t impressive it is adequate.

The only “improvement” I’d make to the Astrolux (wouldn’t be an improvement for some) would be to have an even deeper reflector if that would result in a tighter flood pattern close to the flashlight holder. That would make it easier to not disturb others nearby or to call so much attention to yourself. As it is the pattern is fairly wide. The hotspot in the middle is very focused however. The flood is just too wide for my tastes or maybe it’s just too bright when you have it on high due to the throw you also want.

When you don’t need max throw and can ramp the light down a bit it’s fine however.

I read the reviews of the Uniquefire before I bought it so there were no real surprises. At least mine didn’t arrive with a chipped aspheric as was the case in one of the reviews. I actually have two heads, the other is 67mm. That’s the way I had to buy it (with a 67mm head and then with the 75mm head as an additional purchase).

None of the Uniquefire artifacts seem (to me) to be due to the heads. They are all matte black internally (and externally) so it seems to just be coming from the pill (anyone please correct me if I’m wrong regarding any the physics in play here).

I used to be more involved and up to date on this stuff, I was away from “lights” for a while and I’m now trying to get caught up again.

Maybe this post is helpful for anyone considering either/both of these lights.

Rdubya18
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I have both of these lights . I prefer the Asrolux . I think the Uniquefire was my first aspheric lens . I recall being somewhat disappointed with it overall.

gcbryan
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Yeah the Astrolux is much nicer. The modded aspheric I played around with years earlier had a much cleaner beam pattern. Even the focused emitter pattern was much sharper. However this one throws further. As a specialty light it’s functional (more laser like) but the Astrolux throws further than them all and the extra flood is often a good thing (and sometimes not so much).

If anyone has the Uniquefire and has figured out a way to clean up the beam artifacts more I’d like to hear about that. I’m guessing it just is what it is.:)

Muto
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Location: Southeast, PA

First thing you will want to do is use a real paint rather than an ink.
Fireplace hi temp paint is true flat black, coat all surfaces with 2-3 coats.
Next you could play with emitter board height by using thicker board. If you want to make real laser you need old high amp XP-G2 S3 and then de dome that sucker.
Also up the amperage at same time with new driver.

Have this one and it is impressive, I got #2 429kcd ;
https://budgetlightforum.com/node/39147

HTH
Keith

“History doesn’t repeat itself, but it sometimes rhymes,” Mark Twain

After the Apocalypse there will be only 2 things left alive, Cockroaches and Keith Richards

“You’ll develop like a herd mentality,”
“It’s gonna be herd-developed and that’s gonna happen.”

Yep it already happened

gcbryan
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Thanks for the tips.