This post previously appeared on a message board, a place where I love to talk to people about flashlights. Usually it feels like the people I’m talking to are really into flashlights, more so than I, like they do mods and stuff. The interest levels are like Disinterest/Curioisty/Love of/Obsession/Hacking and making your own. I’d say I’m in the “Love of” camp.Read More
For the last six months I’ve been riding my bike to work. I haven’t used the car much. This is pretty exciting. Trying to dial things into being hyper local has been exciting. The more we get into local the more it makes sense to use the resources around us, as opposed to going out of our way to say save money on groceries. The causality really throws a wrench at your entire way of looking at things. Six months into bicycling I’m so close to the job it makes just as much sense to walk now.
Putting the effort into creating a routine is hard. Having to change that routine is hard. Some of the goal is about shaking the trap of routine. There is certainly nothing wrong with having a healthy cycle of doing things, but then routine traps you and it feels hard to break free from.
We’re in the midst of two remodels and moving into an impossibly small house; there is no routine anymore. And really, maybe I’ve had enough of routine. Maybe this is the beginning of my personal disruption, where I can live the rest of my life comfortable with uncertainty, and not feeling like the aforementioned is a negative either.
I have this concert I’m traveling to in the next few days and I’ve gotta decide on if I’m going to drive there, or catch a bus and just try to wing it. I think part of me wants to wing it. I know what the trip looks like from inside a car, maybe I’ll catch a bus.
All I really know is that I have to work, continue this move, keep remodeling both houses and get on the other side of this transition. There is no routine anywhere in sight. I think I’m ok with that and it looks like I walk to work now.
I lost my Jetbeam-1 MK flashlight. This flashlight snuck into my life and became a daily fixture and then like that stray that comes to your Backporch a few nights in a row, it was gone. That was a very busy day, I put a lot of miles on the bike, visited clients, had a photo shoot. I was really bothered, I don’t like to lose things I like. Let me tell you, my hand is just patting my thigh all the time now, just to be sure my lousy backup light doesn’t leave my side. Truth be told I’d love for my lousy backup flashlight to leave.
I think I’ve talked about the Thorfire TG06S before. I’ve certainly taken pictures of it.
This is a budget pocket torch which really is more than adequate and quite exciting for non flashaholic folk. It runs on a traditional AA battery, or if you want to get fancy and sustainable you can run it with a 14500 battery. The upside is that you would be well on the road of not using disposable batteries for a device you use regularly. You would also get such a bright light, in a flashlight that isn’t much bigger than your ring finger.
This paragraph originally started with the sentence “I’m only going to talk about the Thorfire TG06S for a few more sentences.” ROTFL! The cons of this flashlight is that pocket placement leaves you with almost an inch of the head pointing out of your pocket; I don’t get that. I think all pocket flashlights should be flush. The Thorfire TG06S also chews through batteries. Once you realize you can have so much power in a small light, it is addicting, depending on your use case you might be like me charging every third day or so. This is less than desirable in my opinion, but who am I to complain. I charge the battery in the evening and I’m back in business. Lastly the Thorfire TG06S doesn’t have memory mode. So if you like the setting of “not so bright” which is one click after the starting setting of “holy heck this is really freaking bright!” You’re out of luck, cause the Thorfire TG06S is always going to start on the setting of “holy heck this is really freaking bright!”
The flashlight does have a great clip, and also a great tail switch. The Thorfire TG06S starts on bright which makes it idea for people who like to use flashlights throughout the daylight hours. And switching to the lower settings is just half clicks on the tail switch, you get good at doing it after awhile.
The Thorfire TG06S is the Everyman budget flashlight. No one else should get it. Only the man who only wants to spend $15 on a great flashlight should buy this bugger. And even then said Everyman should still pony up for buying himself a 14500 battery and a charger. Now I’ve taken the Everyman to say $25. This is all about the buy in. The Everyman doesn’t want to hear such shit. I barely had him convinced to pay $15 and now I’m suggesting he get a weird battery and a proprietary charger; tis true... That said on a high quality AA battery the The Thorfire TG06S will still please the Everyman.
That’s the thing about the The Thorfire TG06S, it is a good flashlight. It isn’t the best, but I’m still carrying it daily and it is still asking what I want of it, even though I have other flashlights, it is such a small package I leave with he cons of it, at least for now. I finally broke down and repurchased my Jetbeam-1 MK and a couple of other lights to play with, cause apparently I’m obsessed with flashlights.
I use flashlights daily, frequently, this is a high touch situation and I’ve decided not to feel guilty about the fact that my desires are very particular given the time of day and kind of work I’m doing. I own half a dozen shovels; I didn’t see that coming, let me tell you. Now that I own all of these shovels I get why my first twenty years using a shovel was so painful, I never had the right one! The Thorfire TG06S is officially a piece of backup kit for me, and it does a fine job working when I call on it.
The whole idea of doing something is always wet blanketed by logistics. The brilliant fireworks of an idea never discusses prep, setup and refinement. I always love running something through my mind. I go here with the thoughts, I go there with the thoughts. It is just a big fat thought party for me. It has taken me years to not be lost in fantasy about what I’m going to be doing, and instead focus on what it will take to be successful, which means a lot of pre prep and thus the wet blanket.
So there is that saying that simple (even dumb) people do better with running a business than smart folk. There is so much to unpack there. When you’re not desperate to survive, whether running from lions, or having to absolutely come back with food that you caught, it is easy to forget the rules of success, even if your job is detail management. And so we find ourselves haphazardly trying to record a podcast.
I love the sound of my voice. It isn’t that I think i can do better than others. I just think i have something to say. We glossed over the details of production and as we got closer to a start date, we started to scramble. Jumping to action doesn’t mean you’re going to be successful, it just means your trying harder. Things are always harder than you think and your high level assessment is always couched in an arrogance which completely disregards the smallest details. And It is always the smallest details which derails your project. This is how you can find yourself realizing you don’t even have everything you need and realizing your first podcast attempt will just be a tangle of wires and “what the fudge are we doing” It is a comedy of errors, for two people who used to alway carry the kitchen sink with them.
The whole situation is very humbling...
- Make an equipment list
- Bring backups when possible
- be supportive to your partner doing the setup. It is easy to rockstar it out with your opinion of how things should be.
- Be willing to always lower expectations, what can you accomplish, how do you get that incremental progress in.
- Whatever setup you can document you should document
-I used to be such an asshole. I don’t know why i had to get old to smooth out, it sure seems like there should have been some other way to grow to be a better person, that didn’t just come with age.
-On days you’re trying to figure out production stuff you will lose your desire to want to talk.
We pulled success from the jaws of the Failure beast. I’ll try to work on that sentence more... 15 minutes before our designated time to stop, we finally got one of the external mikes to work with the onboard mike. After thinking we might actually record zero audio, we were at least able to record a test track. Not bad.
This piece is a terrible mashup that no editor ever would have allowed. Sometimes a article just keeps drawing words to it like a black hole, this is one of those articles. Every attempt to tighten up this writing met with more words. So now it has become this exercise is editing, i’m not sure it is getting better...
My trigger warning to you is that this is a long form read.
I recently joined the "Budget Light Forum" a message board for flashlight enthusiasts. If you don't count Reddit, I haven't joined a message board in twenty years, I joined BLF cause there is a camraderie there that I didn't find in other groups. If you asked me to explain a message board i'd tell you it was a cave filled with know-it-alls who waited for people to ask them questions so they could reign over all who would listen, showing their great intellgence. I've always gone to message boards usually on the trail of someone who had a similar problem to me and sought out an answer. But when I started lurking the budget light forums everyone seemed like they were in a good mood. The upbeat energy was enough that I found myself wrapping up my evenings watching people chat about flashlights.
A great message board is like hanging out in the green room at a convention, “You’re on the inside man.” The worse thing that can happen when you like something is that you find a bunch of other upbeat people who also like it, that is a message board.
That is where I was, i always went to message boards to grab some info and go. The crazy kids hanging out and chatting were kinda weird to me, i wasn’t sticking around, I’ve always been grateful to have them around though. There are four tribes to any topic, the uninterested, the interested, the obsessed and the know it alls. The only thing any of us can likely agree on is that the uninterested think the other three tribes are too much, and the three tribes think the uninterested are uneducated suckers.
Recently I was at my office and we were chatting about flashlights and what I mean by that is my coworkers brought up one thing about flashlights and I enthusiastically started babbling about flashlights. Don’t get me wrong, I've totally been on the other end of this conversation before; where i have to tell the person that if “X” thing they were interested in did it for me i'd be the happiest man in the world.
My work friends aren’t afraid of the dark. They didn’t grow up with alleys, or utility poles with flyers warning about super rats #Chicago. Midway babbling about the amount of the minimum lumens any sane person should want at any given time, with a rapier like wit my shift mate suggested I write about it in my flashlight newsletter. I was suddenly struck with the the understanding. I'm that guy. Sometimes I hear the babble come on me and I just can’t stop spewing. It starts with a long deep dive into just one detail about the industry, recently I’ve been talking 18650 vs 14500. I really love talking about flashlights.
I use flashlights daily as do other flashlight freaks. Do we see different? Do fans of the flashlight as visual aid focus on things differently? I will use a flashlight in broad daylight to brighten up room, look over a shelf, or while cleaning. I hate my phone flashlight and only use it begrudgingly. Finding a world of flashlight fans is a befitting topic to bring me back to my old BBS days, it feels kinda silly but oddly comforting
This piece started on a different track...
I was originally going to revise and add on to to my article about the Thorfire TG06. The update was going to include an updated perspective on the thorfire and my continued like of said budget flashlight, compared to my Olight SR20 II and also how I came to be in possession of a new light, the Jetbeam Jet-1 MK Professional. As much as I wanted to write about the flashlight, once I started typing I realized I was really taken aback by the generosity of a BLF member who offered to send me a couple of batteries, after I'd posted for advice on tyring to understand the 18350 (18350 is the 18650 cut in half) battery choices out there. I didn't (don't?) know how to acknowledge that act of kindness, which also to my surprise included the Jet-1.
Dial it in Paul.
The Jetbeam Jet-1 MK Professional is at first perplexing. The two piece construcion with no visible tail switch or button to dial in the UI brings you to the natural conclusion that this must be some kinda super budget light. You unscrew the bulb assembly from the body, place a 14500 or AA battery in and twist the bulb assembly back on and if you twist long enough it tighens and the light comes on. This is a crazy interface. Somewhere in the back of my mind I remember growing up with twist lights, but they were trashy and this light is anything but that, I was unable to believe it this was the light, twist on and twist off, admittedly it was sent to me for free in the mail by a stranger.
The Jetbeam Jet-1 MK Professional is really well constructed, how could it compete for my attention, with all of these other lights I’m dabbling with and their much more sophisticated UI (if that is what you want to call a tail switch, or a button you have to long press or double or triple click? At the very least, the Jetbeam Jet-1 MK Professional certainly doesn’t qualify as a good EDC light, right? Really I thought something was wrong, either with me or the light. And for the output, it seemed like it should be a AAA light, not a AA or 14500, surely I was missing something. I went over the body again and worried that maybe I shouldn’t have started with the 14500, maybe it was a gradual intensity light and I had broke it?
So I disassembled it and tried again. Tighten and then the light comes on ? I swapped out the 14500 and went to a AA. i eventually realized the light wasn’t consistent either. Was the twist also changing the light intensity? I wasn’t sure, maybe I wasn’t supposed to use a 14500 and something happened? I went online and my first review only menitoned the AA battery, had I broken this gift on the first day? I went on line and learned that the Jetbeam Jet-1 MK Professional has three modes with memory and no secret modes. You do in fact twist it to nearly tightened and it comes on, if you quickly loosen it and twist again to tighten, it will step down to a lower setting; once more another setting and then it repeats. if you twist it off and wait a second it will remember whatever mode you last used.
The Jetbeam Jet-1 MK Professional is closer in size to the Olight S1A. Slid into your pocket the end of the flashlight barely shows and the slim ink pen like clip has a bit of proud end, but seems like it'd be mild on wearing on slacks. The action to twist the light on or off, or to access the battery compartment is buttery smooth. To be honest trying to imagine this flashlight as EDC or even usuable seems high implausible. The first times I attemped it I felt out of sorts.
I'm right handed.
I carry my knife or multi tool on my right side
I keep my flashlight on my left hand.
I fire my flashlight left handed and eventually hand off to my right hand.
After the first day I walked away from the odd duck Jetbeam Jet-1 MK Professional and put my trusty Thorfire back in my pocket. I ran errands, returned home, made dinner and the next time I used the Jetbeam Jet-1 MK Professional my hand wasn't as perplexed, it seemed comfortable and had a bit of memory built up. My right hand enjoys the action, my left hand finds it tolerable enough to not fumble and make me notice. I think I could walk with it, but could i really walk with it in my pocket for a mile or two and not friction trigger it? CouldI bike with this light in my pocket?
The Thorfire TG06 is a budget flashlight that I got for $16, because of size and power it makes me question my Olight S30R II, which was my previous EDC. The Jetbeam Jet-1 MK Professional is smaller than the Thorfire TG06, has a lower lumen moonlight mode using 14500 battery, , and is also not as bright as the Thorfire TG06. The jetbeam jet-1 also has a slimmer profile in the pants pocket than the Thorfire TG06. I think the next big question will be how the Jetbeam Jet-1 handles step down, which is when the bulb lowers lumens either for the sake of the bulb, or the battery, or a combination of both.
Low setting: Supposedly 1.5 lumen(Really though on AA you might get 5, on 14500, probably 10) and this is supposed to last you 110 hours.
Medium setting: 30 lumens, and you'll go approximately nine or so hours on this setting.
Max lumen: 150 lumens 0n AA (480 lumens on 14500) and ninety minutes run time.
"UI" User Interface: Twisty. Twist on. Twist off. Twist through three power modes, low, medium, high.
Memory: Yes, last used setting
The Jetbeam Jet-1 MK Professional isn’t made anymore, but if you look you’ll probably be able to find it online. If you do discover a flashlight online that isn’t made anymore, purchasing these lights used is a good buy, the bulb lifecycle for most flashlights goes into the thousands of hours and flashlights that are not made of fancy materials can sell cheap.
The knife in the picture is the Gerber EAB pocket knife seen here It can still be bought online and takes a straight razor. It is an interesting knife to carry, light, with a decent one handed action. It might be well suited for the warehouse worker or someone who deals with unpacking materials frequently and who isn’t going to maintain a knife edge.
Neptune beach - summer 2018
I’ve always been mad at George Lucas for messing with the old Star Wars movies, and I really feel like when Spielberg tickled ET (The policeman guns became flashlights) and started tweaking stuff, it was just like moral support. But I couldn’t help but notice that i’ve done this for years with my writing. I started writing before the 2000’s and I’ve been tweaking my old content from KungFuOnline for twenty years.
No one cares. I’m just doing a disk defrag and slowing going mad thinking about the past.
Oh sure, it starts with grammatical stuff, then you go for clarity, then hindsight starts to peek in. In between you get big doses of OMG and these bursts of clarity just turn into guilt.
I should have entombed her, but I instead scattered her into this irrelevance, ruining the time capsule. I assume there was some catharsis in this for me.
Long Live KungFuOnline.I’m going to make all the posts live, but I’m not going to edit anything anymore, and I’m going to move any new writing to “Thisisthenew.me”, I should have done it awhile ago.
It is a rainy Saturday and at any moment the lights might go out, which is fine, cause right at my side I’m ready to fight the darkness off with my most recent flashlight The Thorfire TG06S. I came by the TG06S cause i thought it might be a budget gift for the wife. She doesn’t give one hoot about flashlights, but she is going on a camping trip, and while she doesn’t care about flashlights, she will appreciate a good flashlight over a dime store flashlight, with 12 crappy LED’s that eats three triple a batteries in an hour. I’ve always loved flashlights. I can’t count how many maglights I had growing up, or Duracell branded flashlights. There was always one thing in common, I was constantly buying batteries and the flashlights were of poor quality, so I’d get a year or two out of one, and it would eventually go on to become the kitchen flashlight.
There are hundreds of great flashlights out there and most regular folks don’t know anything about this world except for a small group of flashlights enthusiasts. And like all the other enthusiasts, we are just a little too excited to talk about flashlights. I am writing this as a common language observation, it is not a jargon filled review, for other flashlight hounds.
“The best flashlights are as dim as they are bright”
The Thorfire TGO6S can be bought for less than $20 online and for regular folks, this flashlight is all you need. On a regular AA battery you have a potent flashlight that handles your day to day and will give you years of great service. In addition to being a sturdy small flashlight, which is where most peoples interest in flashlights stop, you also have multiple modes, including a mode called “moonlight” which gives you the ability to use the flashlight when very little illumination is called for.
A lot of people would wonder why you’d want a flashlight to have a “not much light” mode, and I was certainly surprised to see that I missed it, once I got a flashlight that didn’t have it, like the TGO6S. Another interesting thing about the Thorfire TGO6S is it can also be powered by other batteries and not just the double a. In addition to blowing away casually purchased brick and mortar flashlights with their dubious lumen claims, the Thorfire TGO6S can use a battery common folk aren’t familiar with known as the 14500 and deliver 500 lumens for cheap. But what even is 500 lumen? 500 lumens is really the most light that regular people will ever care about wanting. It is an amazing amount of light. The way I like to describe 500 lumen is that this is not the setting you’d use in the house, if you were looking in a dark pantry, or under your bed, but it is great outside.
Going back to power the 14500 is a type of rechargeable battery, similar to the double a in size, but with much more power. Some 14500 batteries can be up to a quarter inch longer, and/or a hair thicker, but devices built for the 14500/AA configuration accommodate both sizes and usually take any 14500 you throw at them. As with all non standard rechargeable batteries, you also need a nonstandard charger. You’ll have choices, with either the route of getting a charger that just recharges your one weird battery, or a more pricer model that charges the lions share of weird batteries.
Ok, let’s talk specs and performance a little. On a double a battery your profile for the the Thorfire TGO6S is very exciting. You will start on your highest setting, this is 150 lumen, this is totally fine for the pantry or under the bed, and walking the dog at night. Life is good. From there you go to the next settings of 80 lumen. this is a moderate light level, it is about what you’d expect from a store flashlight on a fresh battery. Your next light level is 20 lumen which is on par with a key ring flashlight. The last setting is your moonlight mode. This setting is great for reading a book, or walking through the house and looking for something. It is supposed to be half a lumen, but it is probably more like five lumen, still very nice, just not as low as some of the other more premium flashlights. This again is not the feature most folks want out of a flashlight.
I personally like for my Every Day Carry “EDC” flashlight to start high. it feels very unpleasant to not have my light be strong when I call on it, but I feel the opposite when around the house.
Ok, let’s talk performance with a rechargeable 14500 battery. Your high setting is now 500 lumen. 500 lumen on a fresh battery is best described as being probably too bright for most people to use inside the house. If you were walking outside you could light up the branches in the highest tree you could find, either directly in front of you or many houses down. You could go to a football field and your light would reach all the way to the other side. 500 lumens is magnificent.
On the highest setting The TGO6S will lower output as the bulb and battery generate heat, but you have a few minutes, and even then the Thorfire will reduce you to approximately 300 lumen, which is still a staggering amount of light, but you will notice the difference. The other settings will not step down, they don’t generate nearly as much heat. The next level is 200 lumens which is still higher than the highest level the double a battery can produce. After that you are at 50 lumens. The thing though is that the moonlight mode is way too bright on the 14500 battery, you’re probably at 10 lumens or so, which is way more than you what you want for a low key light.
These flashlights use a lot of energy, and the initial brightness of a fresh battery is significantly higher than a battery you’ve put some clock minutes on. But you’ve got so much brightness to begin with, that said. If you use a rechargeable battery for power, you might find yourself hard pressed to run the battery down to low and then charge, and why should you?! I get a week of use out of my EDC and that is me using it daily multiple times and then by the middle of week two I start thinking “weak sauce” by the end of week two I can’t take it anymore, cause I know what it can do, so I charge back up. When I had maglights and cheap LED lights in the past I used them till the light was useless, cause I’d be tossing out disposable batteries. I don’t use disposable batteries anymore. Rechargeable batteries pay for themselves, on the second recharge. By the third or fourth recharge you’ve recouped the cost of even the charger.
The TGO6S is about the length of your forefinger and the size of a breakfast sausage and it fits in your pants pocket, or waist band, bout like a thick sharpie would. It is not a large flashlight, but it is capable of giving you this incredibly robust amount of light. Let’s talk more about how you operate the light, at the end of the light is tail switch, you will first turn it on with a full click and then half clicks will cycle you through the lower power modes. A double half click will get you to a strobe mode, which is good for personal defense, signaling and annoying people. This is a pretty simple interface, typical for the price range.
The TGO6S is a inexpensive and well produced product, but you’re missing out on some of the nuance of the more pricey lights out there. Most folks don’t care about nuance though.
1. a subtle difference in or shade of meaning, expression, or sound."the nuances of facial expression and body language"
See what I mean...
I think there are three kinds of people the Thorfire TGO6S could appeal to. For the conventional battery person, who is also likely to use the flashlight infrequently(?), it will just be a great compact and very bright flashlight, and ultimately they’ll get better brightness and a nice product to carry around, or throw in their glove box, or walk the dog with. For the person who has rechargeable double a batteries around the house, the TGO6S is a lot of guilt free fun. You’ll charge often, but it will be worth it. For people who are willing to get 14500 batteries and a special charger, you will absolutely find yourself with a level of performance that amazes you. It will cost you a little cash, like another twenty five dollars or so, to get some special batteries and their charger, but you now have a incredibly bright light, and when you run out of juice you, you can still use store brought, when needed.
Forget about the batteries discussion, this is the kind of flashlight everyone should own.
People already in the world of LED flashlights, will appreciate the cost, good construction, and the Cree XP-G2 bulb, but they might scoff at the fact that the Thorfire TGO6S has PWM (a flicker we can’t see with our eyes, but that cameras can detect, it is a sign of a cheaper flashlight) but regular folks don’t care about such things.
So the thing about the Thorfire TGO6S is that I did not give it to my wife. I bought this much more expensive light for her, it starts low and has a more advanced User Interface “UI” and is incredibly small. This light is the Olight S1A, but I purchased the Thorfire TGO6S, two, one for a good friend, and one for myself and it replaced my much more expensive flashlight. The Olight S1A is hard to find and ultimately has been discontinued. You can search around and dig one up. The truth is though that I had no idea how much I really appreciate those advanced features, cause I didn’t know till I got the Thorfire TGO6S. The TGO6S has these other features which I really appreciate and it beats out the Olight S1A on some levels. While it doesn’t have a proper moonlight mode. The beam center is tighter and brighter and the Olight S1A is more “floody” as they say, which means the beam comes out of the light very wide. it is a different experience, nice, but not as precise. I have no regrets about the Thorfire TGO6S, I’d absolutely prefer it over the Olight, if it had a good moonlight mode.