Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Review - FOURSEVENS Preon P1

A excellent EDC choice for someone who wants a little more style in their flashlight, the Preon P1 is small, bright durable and really cool looking. Coming in 4 bright colors, and even a titanium version, there really is a Preon P1 for everyone.

The Preon P1 is powered by one AAA battery, giving you 60 lumens out of the front of the light. This isn't an extreme brightness, but considering the size of the Preon P1, it is very good. The current model of the Preon P1 is powered by a CREE XP-G S2 LED, which is CREE's most efficient XP-G LED.

The Preon P1 has 7 lighting modes. They are listed below.

The Preon P1 by FOURSEVENS
comes in many different colors.
The modes are:
Low(1.8 lumens, 23 hours)
Medium(8.5 lumens, 6 hours)
High(70 lumens, 0.8 hours)
Strobe(1.6 hours)
Beacon (High)(8 hours)
Beacon (Low)(40 hours)
S.O.S.(2.4 hours)

Operating the Preon P1 is fairly straightforward. The light is turned on by tightening the head. Likewise, the light is turned off by loosening the flashlight head.

The Preon 1 has a textured reflector, giving a soft, diffuse beam.
To select a different level of constant output, turn the Preon P1 off and then on again within 1 second. This will select the next level of constant output in the following sequence:

Low » Medium » High

If the light is turned off for 2 seconds or longer, it will revert back to Low.

The Preon P1 has 4 special output modes: Strobe, S.O.S., Beacon (High), and Beacon (Low). To access these modes, quickly switch through two full "cycles" of the regular outputs, starting with Low. These two full cycles must be completed within 3 seconds:

Low » Medium » High » Low » Medium » High » Special Outputs

You can continue to cycle through the special outputs in the following sequence:

Strobe » S.O.S. » Beacon (High) » Beacon (Low)

The Preon P1 comes with a AAA battery,
spare o-rings and a keychain/lanyard ring.
After Beacon (Low) mode, the output reverts back to Regular Low. Both Beacon modes will first flash 5 times and then once every 10 seconds.

The Preon P1 is constructed out of aircraft grade aluminum (except for the titanium version, obviously). The colors are hard-anodized onto the aluminum, giving a very even and elegant finish. The flashlight weighs 0.9 oz with the included AAA battery. It is 3.0" long and 0.55" in diameter. It really is a very small and lightweight flashlight.

Carrying the Preon P1 is very simple as well. It can either be done with the included pocket clip, or the pocket clip can be swapped out for a keychain/lanyard ring. If you wish, you can take just throw it in a pocket or pouch and carry it like that. With the small size of the Preon 1, there really are a number of carry options available.

I should also say, that like all FOURSEVENS flashlights, the Preon P1 is waterproof. It has a o-ring seals on all openings. This particular flashlight is waterproof to 10 meters for 30 minutes, as rated by FOURSEVENS.

What do I think about it? Well, I love the flashlight. Bright flashlights don't have to look bland anymore. The bright colors offered by the Preon P1 are very attractive. For those who want a colorful but no less functional flashlight, definitely consider the Preon P1.

Sunday, January 16, 2011

Review - 4Sevens Quark Turbo Series

The Quark Turbo series of flashlights
are a great EDC choice.
There are basically two types of flashlights. Flashlights that are commonly called "throwers" (far shining) and flashlights called "flooders" (close shining). 4Sevens makes a series of fairly small throwers, only marginally bigger than their Quark series of EDC flashlights. If you're looking for an small, inexpensive thrower, than look no further than the Quark Turbo series of flashlights.

The Quark Turbo comes in two flavors: One that uses two CR123A batteries and one that uses two AA batteries. They are both similar in brightness, varying mainly in size and in weight. The Quark 123² Turbo (CR123A batteries) is lighter and smaller, while the Quark AA² Turbo is longer and heavier.

I'll list the specifics behind each light below, then I'll go into the review for the flashlight in general. Both flashlights are excellent, so the difference is mainly between the types of batteries that you wish to use.

Quark AA² Turbo:
Weight with Batteries 5.4 oz
Weight without Batteries 3.7 oz
Length 6.2 in
Head Diameter 1.2 in
Body Diameter 0.87 in
Bulb/Emmiter CREE XP-G S2 LED
Operating Voltage Range 0.9V - 4.2V
Battery AA
Battery Amount 2
Max/Min Output 190 lumens/0.6 lumens
Max/Min Runtime 1065 hours (Moonlight)/47 minutes (Max)

Quark 123² Turbo:
Weight with Batteries 3.9 oz
Weight without Batteries 2.8 oz
Length 4.9 in
Head Diameter 1.2 in
Body Diameter 0.87 in
Bulb/Emmiter CREE XP-G S2 LED
Operating Voltage Range 3.0V - 9.0V
Battery CR123A
Battery Amount 2
Max/Min Output 200 lumens/0.7 lumens
Max/Min Runtime 800 hours (Moonlight)/2 hours 30 minutes (Max)

The deep, smooth reflector lets the Quark Turbo shine far.
As you can see, the differences in the two types of flashlights mainly lies in their dimensions and weight. Since AA batteries are longer and heavier than CR123A batteries, the flashlight that uses them is also longer and heaver. However, there is a benefit to the AA battery. It is more commonly available, which can be very important. If you can't resupply batteries for your flashlights, it's just a fancy paperweight.

The Quark Turbo series, like the Quark series, is made out of type III anodized aircraft grade aluminum. It has ample knurling on the whole body. It is very easy to hold. It has a larger head than the Quark flashlights, due to its deeper, smoother reflector. This reflector is the secret behind the further shining beam. Flashlights with deep, smooth reflectors have a more concentrated beam, which translates to a beam that can illuminate objects that are far away.

You can clearly see the bright spot in the middle of the beam.
Looking at the beam pattern, it has a bright spot in the middle, and then dims out around the edges. This is great for far-away illumination, but not as good for close-up work. If you are mainly going to be illuminating objects at a distance of 25 yards or less, I would suggest choosing a different light, since it will give you a more diffuse beam pattern. However, if you see yourself needing a further, shining beam, or don't mind a bright spot in the middle, then the Quark Turbo is something you may want. Continue reading...

The Quark Turbo can be carried easily due to it's removeable/reversable pocket clip. I have had a lot of experience using the Quark 123² Turbo and I must say that it's pretty comfortable to carry. I cannot speak for the Quark AA² Turbo, since it is 1.3" longer. I would guess that, for some, it might be too long to carry comfortably.

Programming & Use

The flashlight is turned on via a clicky tailcap switch. You can also press the tailcap lightly (you don't have to "click" it on) to activate the light momentarily. This is known as the "momentary-on" feature. This feature is useful for quick flashes of light. It's a lot more convenient to be able to tap the button to shine the beam, and then let it go when you no longer want to use the light, than to have to depress the tailcap fully to turn the light on.
The protruding tailcap is easily depressed.
The programming of the Quark Turbo is identical to that of the Quark Tactical. The Quark Turbo can memorize any two modes of output, from its eight total modes, to be instantly available. These two memorized modes are accessed by either tightening or loosening the head (for example, tight can be Max, and loose can be Low).

To have your Quark Turbo memorize a different mode, turn it on and loosen the head by a half-turn. Then, tighten the head at least four times rapidly (twisting it tight, then loose, then tight, etc., four times). After the fourth time, leave the head tight or loose depending which position you want to program.

After three seconds, the light will flash, signaling it is ready to be programmed. Cycle through the eight available modes by clicking the tailcap off and on. The mode sequence is as follows:
The Quark Turbo comes with a many accessories.
Moonlight » Low » Medium » High » Max » SOS » Strobe » Beacon

Once you find your desired mode, leave that mode on for ten seconds and the light will flash again, confirming that the mode has been memorized. To cancel programming before it flashes, turn the flashlight off for three seconds.

Waterproof

The Quark Turbo, like all 4Sevens flashlights, is waterproof. It can go 10 meters underwater for 30 minutes, which is very impressive. I actually went to a swimming pool with the Quark 123² Turbo in my pocket. After 3 hours of swimming, the flashlight still functioned perfectly. No water got inside.

Conclusion

If you are in the market for pocket-sized thrower, the 4Sevens Turbo series may be what you are looking for. I was thoroughly impressed by the light, so impressed that it is currently my everyday carry (EDC) light. For a while now, it has served me flawlessly. I highly recommend taking a look at this light.

Monday, January 10, 2011

EDC - More Than the Tools You Carry

I know that practically all of you are familiar with the concept of EDC (Everyday Carry) and carry a number of tools on your person to prepare you for daily chores. While tools are necessary for EDC, the concept of EDC is so much more than that.

What would happen if you no longer had the tools that you normally carry every day? Would you be totally unable to deal with the jobs that await you?

A simple folding knife like the Kershaw Chill can do a lot.
If you truly are an advocate of EDC, then you shouldn't be unprepared, even if you have no tools. The reason being, EDC comprises primarily of a mindset to be prepared. It is also a mindset to be creative with what you have.

Let me explain. Most of us carry a pocket knife, but we can use that knife for more than just cutting. We can use that knife to pry, scrape, drive flathead screws, hammer (when closed), etc. Having that knife allows you to practice improvising with it. It allows you to think outside of the box to improvise in other situations.

These improvisation skills lead to a mindset of perseverance when faced with a difficulty. Likewise, if you were in a situation without any tools, and you do have an EDC mindset, you should not give up, and try to make the most with what you have to get the job done.

You don't have to improvise much when you have a CRKT Zill-Tool Jr.
EDC also requires a mindset to acknowledge reality, otherwise you would not know what to prepare for, or you would fail to acknowledge the reality that it helps to be prepared. Many people are ignorant of reality. They just do not have a desire to be prepared, to make the most out of one's situation. People who EDC should not fall into this category.


If you lack any of these mindsets, and you do not carry tools for everyday preparedness, then I would suggest you begin. Learning to think like a EDC'er is a process that comes with time and with experience. Don't waste another day. Start taking things into your own hands. If there's a problem that you repeatedly come across, carry the tools necessary to overcome it. You will be a better person because of it.