EDIT 24-11-2018 - Mod with XPL-HI U6-1A
EDIT 18-11-2018 - OUTDOOR BEAMSHOTS and CONSIDERATIONS posted on post #2
For a while I’ve been wanting a small push-pull zoomable flashlight, not an AA nor a AAA, but a 16340 flashlight! Also, I’ve been tempted - for a while - to get the On The Road i3 that so far existed in other shapes and versions! This is an already famous flashlight around here as can be seen by some of djozz’s modes, here and here
In the last months, I contacted the On The Road store in AliExpress to check if there was any update on these lights and…guess what, there was. A new model was on the forge and was released in October, if I remember correctly!
So, here is my review of the On The Road i3, 2018 version, that I bought in OTR AliExpress store, here: Page Not Found - Aliexpress.com
There are 2 versions, one with the charger kit, and other without! I bought the one without!
OTR i3 can also be found in OTR “main” store, here: http://www.zlsh.net/i31
I wanna thank to the seller for sending me some extras with this light I bought
First of all and so that you have a notion of the i3 evolution throughout the years here’s a photo provided by OTR seller in AliExpress:
And now, the review!!!
Body Material: T6061 Aluminium
Body Colour: “Titanium” colour
Emitter: XML2 U3-3C (*special request I made ) [*see below]
Lens: Glass, Optical (non AR-Coated)
”Reflector”: Smooth (aluminium?)
Switch: Reverse Clicky Switch (tail)
Beam distance: 50m / 140 m
Beam intensity: 625cd / 4870 cd
Water Resistance: IPX6
Impact resistance: 1 m
Batteries: 16340 Li-Ion / RCR123 / CR123
Low voltage warning: 2.9V (light will blink)
- * * [This light is sold with 3 options: XML2 U3-1A / XML2 U3-5C / XP-G2 R5-1A . As this was probably one of the first lights to be sold, I made a special request to use an XML2 U3-3C as it is a Neutral White LED I prefer!]
Driver: Constant Current Circuit (by manufacturer)
Battery Protection: Anti-reverse battery protection (Poka Yoke :question: )
Other: Active intelligent temperature control
PACKAGE: THE FLASHLIGHT & ACCESSORIES
The On The Road i3 arrived in a OTR branded cardboard box, that protects really well its contents, and that is similar to the one of the OTR M1 and the OTR M3!
On the side it has a sticker indicating the model of the flashlight and type of LED that we will find inside!
And what’s inside the box? Well, in this package I found the: OTR i3, 2 O-rings, the User Manual, a Pouch and a Lanyard (OTR branded).
The representative of OTR offered me some other accessories, which I will show later!
And now the flashlight!
The OTR i3 is a push-pull zoomable flashlight that uses CR123/RCR123A/16340 batteries. It is a small flashlight, with “titanium colour”, a square “chocolate” knurling in the body, an hexagonal shape in the pill area, and also some fins in the head.
In the “neck” part, it has 2 marks: on the one side, the brand & model of the flashlight, and on the other side, a kind of “rule” with 1 cm , corresponding to the length that the “head” can be pushed/pulled!
As can be seen here, in the bottom we have an OTR branded tailcap (silicone), 2 lanyard holes, a 4 small holes on the external retaining ring (through which we can access the reverse tail switch). In the head, a stainless steel bezel with some grooves, the optical lens and we can see the XML2 Led.
Disassembling the flashlight what do we find?
Starting by the top: stainless steel bezel, the glass optical lens, a thick –cut- o-ring / cushion, the smooth “reflector”, the led plate and emitter, brass pill.
When the head was disassembled, a thinner o-ring popped-up from the inside, which helps on sealing the neck/head when pushing/pulling it!
The PCB is aluminium, and below it there is white thermal paste. The LED is involved by a white gasket that doesn’t protrude much above the reflector basis (therefore avoiding some reflection artifacts on the beam).
The ”reflector” is screwed into the pill and can be disassembled, using some force. It sits on the white gasket avoiding contacts with the driver’s wires (what would probably provoke a short-circuit).
A short look into the lens! It is very well made, seems to be scratch resistant (unlike the plastic/acrylic lenses) and gives confidence when using the flashlight! Also,I believe it has a positive impact in the beam.
The manufacturer specifies this as a “optical quartz lens with a transmittance of up to 95%”, so…I guess it will have some impact
About the pill, it made of brass, has an integrated shelf to support the emitter plate. On the bottom, the 15mm driver is surrounded by a brass retaining ring. There is a sealing o-ring that helps sliding the head up and down.
The pill is screwed into tube battery tube! I had to use some thin tweezers to be able to (un)screw it again. It is well machined, no flaws nor aggressive edges!
On the bottom (tail), we will find a silicone OTR tailcap, held by an (un)screwable retaining ring that gives access to the reverse switch with a OTR branded PCB. The tail is detachable by unscrewing it from the body. The threads are square and arrived well lubricated. There is a sealing o-ring on the tail!
The overall feeling about the flashlight is that it is incredibly well made, no machining flaws, a very nice feeling in touch.
The push/pull is soft, and can easily be done by just one hand (some zoomies are difficult to slide…).
Also, being a small flashlight it fits well in the hand, with or without lanyard or pocket clip!
Let’s start by the User Manual. It is written in English, being quite effective in what concerns the overall structure and functioning of the flashlight. I guess it has one or 2 small mistakes, but nothing relevant! (click to see bigger images)
However, the seller was very kind to send me the other accessories that can be used with this flashlight. The next points are about them
Diffuser and pocket clip
I was sent a silicone diffuser and a pocket clip that can be bought separately from the available packages (as far as I can tell).
The diffuser is soft and mouldable, and is not opaque but transparent! The pocket clip is not shinny as the one from the OTR M1 (top, in the photo of the right). It fits quite well, but it is not reversible (well, it fits the groove, but as the head is large, it wont attach easily). It is quite sturdy and well made and also seems to be scratch resistant! There is no problem using the pocket clip with the light zoomed in or out
Besides the diffuser and the pocket clip, I was also sent an On The Road 16340 700mAh 3.7V 2.6Wh Li-Ion (ORB1607) battery! It was well wrapped, outside the flashlight, and was a nice extra
DIMMENSIONS AND WEIGHT
To end this part, here are some physical measurements of this flashlight!
About the UI, this flashlight is quite simple, in my opinion, but it has some specificities!!
It has 4 regular modes: Ultra Low > Low > Medium > High
And it has 1 special mode: Strobe
How to operate?
- When OFF: Full click to switch the light ON
- When ON: Full click to switch the light OFF (from any mode)
- When ON: Half press to cycle through the 4 regular modes (UL > L > M > H > UL > L…)
- When ON: Double half press from any mode to activate Strobe
- When in Strobe: Half press to return to the previous mode.
The flashlight has MEMORY in the following condition:
- After using a regular mode (it doesn’t matter how long), if the flashlight is turned OFF for more than 3 seconds, it will remember the last used mode. However, if a mode is used > light is turned OFF > light is turned ON within 1-3 seconds, the light will advance to the next regular mode
FUNCTIONING: Sometimes, when half pressing slightly faster to advance modes, it enters strobe. It is not so easy to do that as in other flashlights (Convoy T2 comes to my mind) it sometimes happens to change to the blinking mode. A deeper-not-so-quick-half-press helps to avoid this situation most of the times
OUTPUT & RUNTIMES
As stated in the User Manual, the output tests were made with a16340 battery and XML2 U3 Led (probably U3-1A, Cool White), so it will change according to the LEDs used.
Still, these are the outputs vs runtime:
ULTRA LOW > 3 lm >>> 40hours
LOW > 90 lm >>> 4h20m
MEDIUM > 240 lm >>> 1h30m
HIGH > 620 lm >>> 40 m
It is probable that the output will reduce with time due to the temperature protection integrated in tge driver!
Some flashlight comparison, with the OTR family and with other flashlights!!
So, these are only some indoor beamshots to check how this flashlight expels the light
Later on the weeked I will post some more on post #2!
First a “under UV light” photo, to check that this is not a CW led, as it is orange not yellowish or pale! CRI is probably 70 but I have no clue about that! Funny image, I guess
And now to check the CC driver, with no visible PWM, despite the stripes on the beam in the 3 first modes! There is no noise as well :+1:
And now a quick check on the beam pattern with the flashlight zoomed in and out! AS can be seen here, the modes are well spaced and it can be seen that there is a clear beam ! There are always some artifacts due to the reflection of the bezel and other things, but it is a clear beam!
And some indoor beamshots I was able to take, zoomed out and zoomed in!
More will follow outdoor, to give an image of the distance covered by this flashlight!
Stay tuned for the next beamshots in a Post#2 near your :partying_face: