Oct 24, 2020

Down with the Sickness - Cover by Ai Mori & Violet Orlandi

I loved the original but man, this cover is crazy good. Ai Mori (girl with the harsh voice) is just awesome here. You can feel the rage through her.

Let's get down with the sickness!


Open Door - Ai Mori & Mike Shinoda

This is such an awesome cover and tribute to Linkin Park from one of its fans.

There is so much energy in this song. It carries you through the highs and the lows, the soft and the rough, and it does so so smoothly. What a journey.



Sep 30, 2020

Convoy S21B and S2+

I ordered these lights at the beginning of the month but they took forever to arrive.

The package came from China but actually landed in the US within 4 days. However, at that point, the carrier messed up and routed it to Utah, Nevada, back to CA, then bounce around in CA for a few days before arriving at my door. Sigh...
Anyway, what matters is they're finally here.

I originally wanted a Convoy S2+ with the high powered SST40 emitter (1800 lumens vs 1000 on a typical S2+) so I can add my brass 18350 battery tube to it. However, when it arrived, I found that the thread on the new S2+'s are different now so the brass tube doesn't fit. Doh!

I also wanted a 21700 version so I ordered the S21A (2300 lumens). However, just after I ordered, I learned about a new Convoy flashlight called the S21B. I contacted Simon (manufacturer of all Convoy lights) to switch to the new light. He did it and threw in 2 lighted tail cap switches to boot. 😍

Lowest emitter modes

I love the S21B but the S2+ (at 1800 lumens) is no slouch. Both are very bright.

Brightness comparison
Camera fixed to F1. 5, 1/60s, ISO 400, 5000k WB
*Note: the S2+ high and max mode are dimmer  because I was using a low battery (my bad). 
With fully charged battery, its high and max modes are close to the S21B's.

Beam on max brightness (camera auto-compensated)
Left is S21B vs S2+ on right
This is with 2x 5500 lumen LED shop lights in the background so the beams are much brighter than this picture.

On max, the head on both lights warm up within 40 seconds.
The S21B's black aluminum body feels like it's rubber coated but it's just matte anodized aluminum. Very different design from S2+. The stainless steel bezel is a nice touch although I wish it was a bit larger to create more of a contrast against the rest of the body.

Beautiful emitters & AR glass

Said emitters in lowest mode

Pretty close in size. S21B on top accepts 21700 battery (also 18650) while the S2+ takes 18650. 
That gap between tail cap and battery tube bothers me a bit, but that's my OCD talking 😂

Both are SST40 5000K so they look very similar. This emitter is a bit green on lower power but they're bright white on high or max.

The 2 new lights flanking my current favorite Convoy light: Sand S2+ with 18350 brass tube.

I modded the S2+' s tail switch to a blue lighted switch then changed it to orange. This is on 20% remaining battery so it's dim. 

Here's a pic of it on fresh battery vs S21B (which will get the blue button treatment soon)

Sep 26, 2020

Keep them poor!

Wow. This short speech is eye opening.

We all know we have to work but we've been doing it wrong. You're not supposed to receive a paycheck.



Here's another great video. It talks about many things but the one that stood out to me is the 3 types of income. 


Sep 20, 2020

New flashlight: Lumintop FW3A

This baby arrived in the mail yesterday. I couldn't help but take it out for a spin.

I don't have any shot of the original light as I immediately converted it to short form with the 18350 copper tube that arrived last week.

This is a 2800 lumens, tri-led flashlight from Lumintop. It is designed by the folks at Budgetlightforum.com. As such, it runs the open-source Anduril user interface.

Specifications:

Emitters: 3 x LEDS on Copper DTP MCPCB 
     Cree XP-L HI 3D (Neutral White 5000K)
Optic: TIR Carclo 10511
Lens: Glass with AR coating
Max Output: 2,800 lumens

In 18650 (original, long) form, it runs at max brightness for about 2 minutes before getting too hot. In 18350 form, it runs about 30 seconds before getting warm. After a minute (and multiple turbo runs), it's uncomfortable to hold due to the copper tube's high heat conductivity. This is a true "pocket rocket" after all.

FW3A in sand & copper
2800lumens, 5000k goodness in a super short body (18350)
This is shot in my "studio", aka the top of my convection oven, against the kitchen backsplash 😁

Price:

Typically $50 but it can be had for ~$38 on sale. I bought mine from Lights and Tools, a small specialized tools dealer in Mississippi.
+ $10 for 18350 copper tube
+ $10 for Turboglow GITD gasket

Cigar-grip dual-wielding

Lumen candies
That optic looks fuzzy because it's frosted to create a diffused, smooth beam.

Lowest possible beams
Color Temps (left to right): XPL-HI 5000K, XPL-HI 6500k, SST20 4000K

Comparing green Turboglow (glow in the dark) vs Aux green led on D4SV2

Low beams on with 18650 battery for size comparison

The FW3A looks like a salt shaker

Cigar grip

Love that beautiful Turbo glow
It's bright, even in a well-lit room

Brothers in sand
The sand color on FW3A is darker than the desert sand color on the S2+. I like the lighter tan color but the chocolate brown on FW3A fits well with copper.

The D4SV2 in 26350 form is down right stubby. I like it in the regular 26650 form better...maybe because of the knurling.

For everyday carry, I needed a clip. The included clip is too long so I had to find another solution. Here's the clip from S2+. It's not the best but it will do for now. 


Some final thoughts:

  • This flashlight is a lot smaller than I expected. I got the Emisar D4SV2, which is a big brother to the D4V2 (direct competitor of this light) and it was fairly large. The D4V2 is also pretty nice and, seeing pictures online for both "edc" lights, I expected the FW3A to be a bit bigger than it is. Pleasantly surprised when I saw it in person. It's a good surprise though as it's definitely pocketable.
  • The electronic button takes some getting used to. Initially I had a few clicks that didn't register. You have to get used to pushing in the middle of the button. That said, the shallow stainless steel button is a beauty.
  • Very bright for its small size. I'm using vapcell 1100mAh battery for the short body but I'll probably use it more with Sanyo GA 3500mAh battery in long (18650) body.
  • I wish it had a drilled lanyard hole in the back. It would be quite painful to drop this beauty. Ugh...can't even think about that. They do sell a small lanyard ring thing but it sticks out and wouldn't feel right in pocket so I skipped it.

Sep 19, 2020

Poets of the Fall - Where Do We Draw the Line

Such a sad but beautiful song.

It's fair to say that things haven't been easy in 2020. In this time where many of us are going through sadness, loss, pain, uncertainty, or depression, we need comfort, and a reminder that we still have our freedom: our choice.

Sep 8, 2020

Poets of The Fall - Angel

This is such a beautiful song, both acoustically and and poetically.

Poetry in Rhyme. Vocals in Flight. Music for the Soul.

This tear I cry...falls like healing rain. Softly soothe my pain...

My home is my skin
And in the world I've within
All I have... Is my love for you...

If I can seal my fears. Will I be in the clear?
Or am I giving life...to phantom pain

Cos it's playing out... Every note in the score.
I surrender once more...