[REVIEW} TM39 Clone W5101 – Plastic! – Fantastic?

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[REVIEW} TM39 Clone W5101 – Plastic! – Fantastic?

Or – Why Does This Thing Not Melt or Cook The LEDs?
This is a review of the light RustyJoe liked so much.

Here is a link to his video which shows all the beam shots you need.

I got it from Amazon for ~ $35.

You can get it direct from China for like $14!

What You Get
A large hunk of plastic closely resembling a Nitecore TM39, Micro USB charging cable, Shoulder strap, and the box.
Batteries (3×18650) are built in and hard wired.
The only parts not made of plastic are the Reflector(s), Batts, wire, and driver boards.

The UI
From Off:
Click to High, 2 Clicks to Medium, 3 Clicks to Low.
4 Clicks to Strobe. 5 Clicks to SOS.

From On:
Press and hold to turn off from any mode.
There is no memory.

The power button is on a flat spot. There are 4 LED indicators above the switch to indicate battery charge level.

Under a large rubber flap there is a micro0USB port for changing. Also a USB-A for use as a power bank.

What’s it like?
First impression – Gee it’s big (for those of us not used to Mega-Lights).
Then you pick it up and – Holy Crap – Is this thing light!

The construction is all plastic. The shell is 2 castings connected lengthwise and held together with a goodly number of small screws set into fairly deep skinny holes in one half of the light.
The plastic front bezel screws onto the body. It holds the plastic lens (mine has rub marks (I assume from shipping)). The Bezel also holds the metal reflector in place.

The switch requires a firm push to activate. It is flat to the body and is unlikely to be activated by accident.
Note that the light came partially charged – two dots showing on the charge indicator LEDs.

The USB port cover is OK. But comes out easily.

There is no water sealing of any kind. So liquid will wick into any of the seams.

What’s Inside?
The guts are held in one half of the clamshell. The 3×18650s are in parallel acting as a single 3.6v (4.2v) source.

The Driver and charging boards’

The LED driver board is glued(?) to a smaller reflector. Which in turn is glued(?) to the larger reflector.

Looks like they took an assembly from another light and stuck it on a bigger reflector to make this one.
The smaller reflector does not make even contact with the larger one.

There is nada in the way of heatsinking. That tiny board gets rocket hot in no time.
And naturally I can’t find any of my non-contact thermometers.
Why the LED didn’t cook during the runtime tests is beyond me.

Possible Mods?
It sure looks like enough plastic can be chopped out from the clamshells to fit a second set of 3×18650s in there. Hook it in parallel with the first set for a 6P battery.
And chuck out that crappy OEM batteries while you are at it.

The board is marked BL17064. The LED is running in the 3.3 volt range.
The thing is just hanging in a vast empty cavity behind the reflector(s). Seems like someone with some skills could stuff some real metal in there.
Still there is no place for the heat to go since everything is surrounded by plastic.

Length: 11.75” 306mm
Bezel: 4.0” 102mm
Lens: 3.4” 87mm
Head: 3.85” 98mm
Ist Step: 3.05” 78mm
Switch: 2.4” 61.6mm
Body: 2.05” 52mm
Tail: 2.2” 56mm
Inside battery area about: 1.78” 45.2mm

Weight: 15.1oz

Compared to a C8 and SP70

Manufacturers Specs:
5000 Lumens
30W (I assume 30 watts)
4500mAh Battery
Charge Time 5 Hours
Run Time: 3-5 hours.
Claimed Water Resistance Rating: IPX4

The output drops so fast it’s hard to grab a reading. Non-the-Less – on my Lumen Tube I got:
Mode, Turn On, 30s, 60s, 120s
High, 1070Lm, 898Lm, 818Lm, 714Lm
Medium, 562Lm, 519Lm, 504Lm, 476Lm,
Low. 257Lm – I didn’t do any runtimes on Low.

A far cry from the claimed 5000Lm in the Advertisment.

Mode, Turn On, 30s, 60s, 120s
High, 4.87a, 4.31a, 4.17a, 3.70a
Medium, 2.40a, 2.36a, 2.29a, 2.25a
Low, 1.14a, 1.13a, 1.12a, 1.06a

Watts? 4.13a x 3.3 v = 14.2w or 25% of the Specs.

First 15m

As you can see it steps down steadily to around 460-430(ish) lumens and holds there. A power off and on jumps it back to a bit over 900Lm and it steps down to the low 400s.

Notice how the brightness stair steps down instead of making a ramp.

Full Runtimes

On High, after the second stepdown, it holds in the low 400s until about the 1 hour mark. Then it continues dropping until around 1h 45m. It’s putting out about 300Lm.
Then there is a quick fall off and the light quits after 1h 56m or so.

After the stepdown(s) the light holds in the low 200s until around 2h 55m where it drops below 200Lm.
The light hangs on and starts to get tired around the 3h 25m mark. Then ramps down and is almost gone at 3h 50m.
The big peak at the start of the second stepdown is from clicking through high to get to medium.

The light shuts off when it thinks it’s done.
Switching it back on shows 2 dots on the charge indicator. The light will run at a reduced brightness for a while.

The Battery & Charging
The battery is 3×18650 connected in parallel. Rated at 4500mAh total capacity.
Three 1500mAh batteries? Gotta wonder what XP era laptop they got pulled from?

After the light made various runs – the most angry pixies the battery would accept was 3366mAh. Taking 4h 40m. This was the time on my USB meter. The 4 dots indicated full charge had been lit for some time.
I observed a max charge of 2.26a for a short while. It settled around 1.3a for much of the time.
As the battery filled, the charge rate dropped accordingly.
When 4 dots were showing on the charge indicator – indicating a full charge. The light was still pulling 0.43a.

Checking the voltage during a second charge run I measured 4.09v when the 3 dots were lit (4th blinking) indicating a nearly full charge. The light was still pulling 0.36a.
With the 4th dot lit (indicating a full charge) the light was pulling 0.18a and the battery was at 4.16v.
When the charge current dropped to 0v, I measured 4.18v.
Looks like the cut off voltage is conservative. Just like I like it.
At least, in this example, the charger is not cooking the battery.

After the light turned off during the runtime test, I measured 3.18v after the battery had a little while to rest.
Again – a very conservative number.

A light is useless if it has crappy PWM. I was pleasantly surprised by the W1510.
It does use PWM to control brightness. The Frequency is 20kHz. No way anybody is going to see that.

PWM Low 20,000Hz, 23% Duty Cycle

PWM Medium, 20kHz, 47% Duty Cycle

PWM High, 20kHz, 91% Duty Cycle – But note there is a DC offset.

The Strobe runs at 8.2Hz with a 50% Duty Cycle.

So basically 8Hz on and off.

In the Wild
I took the W1510 out with the Sofirn SP70 and a few others. It held it up to the competition remarkably well before stepdown. The SP70 with way more Lumens did better at lighting a larger area.
The center spot on mine is not a full circle. There is a little nibble out of one edge where something isn’t projecting correctly. Can’t see any obvious defects in the LED or reflector.

My beam shots suck so refer to Rusty Joe’s video to get a look at what this plastic light will do.
Here is a look at the beam profile.

A fairly concentrated center spot. With a fairly narrow spill.

So is it a keeper?
I’ve got mixed emotions on this one. On one hand it’s a $35 light that really chucks out a column of light.
On the other hand, the batteries are 1500mAh for 3×18650s. What’s with that?

There is no heatsinking what so ever. Why it doesn’t go up in flames is beyond me.
I don’t have great faith that this will last very long.
But on the third hand, part of me wants to put in 6 halfway decent 18650s and see what happens.

All the Best,

Edited by: jeff51 on 09/24/2021 - 16:01