Apex GT01 “Gas Tin” (2011-11-29)

This is the Apex GT01 that I purchased from CQNG for $25 shipped during a recent group buy held by Ric. Normal price for this light is $27 + shipping.

  • Dimension:  Head diameter 22mm, Body diameter 22mm, length 65mm

  • Cree XP-G R5 LED

  • 3 Modes—Hi>Mid>Lo ; 600mA>130mA>18mA; Memory; Current Regulation

  • Switching: Twisty

  • Material: Aircraft Aluminum Alloy T6061

  • Net Weight: 32g (without battery)

  • Waterproof to IPX-8 standard

  • Battery: single CR123A or 16340

  • Lens: Glass (uncoated)

  • Reflector: Aluminum

  • O-rings: 4 (lens *1, bezel *1, body *2)

  • Tail Stands:  Yes

  • Price: $27 + shipping

Initial Impressions:
As you can see in the pics, this torch is crazy small! It’s also incredibly well machined to very tight tolerances. In fact, you can feel the accuracy when doing simple things like inserting the battery (can feel the air being pushed out from around the battery as it’s inserted) and separating the tail from the head (suction and “pop” when clearing the inner o-ring).  The first thing I noticed (besides the incredibly small size) is that changing modes could be easier. The outer body almost entirely encloses the tail/battery tube with just the very end of the tail end sticking out.  Due to the rounded tail and smooth finish it’s very hard to grip with only the “handle” at the very end giving any gripping point.  Once you work it a few times, however, it seems to improve greatly.  It may be that I grew used to it but I don’t think that is all of it. The fit and finish on the light is incredible and the output is very nice for it’s size.
Construction:
The HAIII anodizing and machining is impeccable. All threads are smooth and anodized and came lubricated. Machining inside is just as impressive as it is on the outside. The only thing I can find to criticize is the screen printing on the name & model is a little thin and blotchy in spots. Power is not on until the front of the battery tube makes contact with a ridge onto which the driver sits.  This means that using a QTC pill in this torch won’t work and is a shame because I really was hoping I could.
The bezel unscrews from the body and the reflector comes out easily exposing the emitter and pill.  The pill is removed through the front by unscrewing it. The emitter is perfectly centered and cleanly soldered. The emitter base appears to be bonded to the pill with just enough thermal epoxy. Unlike most Chinese torches, this one appears to have been assembled by a skilled worker that knows how to properly torch components.
Properly sized o-rings are used throughout the torch. One in front of the lens, one at the base of the bezel threads on the head, and 2 on the battery tube.  They fit so perfectly that when separating the tail from the head you can feel the suction and hear the “pop” of the vacuum being broken.  I’ve never felt that in any torch before.  This baby is definitely water proof, not just water resistant. When threading the main body parts there is just enough resistance (without being too stiff) from the o-rings letting you know that the light won’t come on in your pocket on it’s own.
Performance:
CNQG rates the three power modes (Hi/Med/Low) as 600mA/130mA/18mA with current regulation. I am unable to detect any PWM with this light. BLF user “_the_” tested his GT01 with a 16340 battery @ 3.74V and got the following results that closely match the claimed outputs:
  • High: 570mA
  • Medium: 120mA
  • Low: 20mA
My calculations based on his results show that output is 226L/47L/8L from the R5. The GT01 should run for about an hour on High, 12 hrs on Med, and up to 30 hrs on Low based on a decent 16340 Li-Ion producing 600mAh.
Mode memory is extremely quick.  You have to be quick about changing modes but more than a half second it seems to be locked onto what you want.
The tint on my example is on the neutral end of cool white and is very pleasing to my eyes.  There is a nice concentrated hotspot of roughly 7″ from 1 meter and the rest is a butter smooth yet immense flood with ZERO rings. If not for the intense hotspot in the center of the beam you would almost think you were looking at the output from an Ultrafire UF-H2/H3).  The shallow reflector was definitely well designed and not just some random offering conjured up from some universal parts bin.
Positives:
  • This torch has a love it or hate it design.  I happen to love it but then again, I appreciate unusual designs.
  • Crazy small!  Compact lights don’t really get much more compact than this one.  If you were to grind off the “handle” & “valve” from the rear of it it would only be 6cm long but then you’d have almost no way to grip it to turn it on/off or change modes.
  • Output is phenomenal especially considering it’s diminutive size.
  • Fit and finish is superb.
  • Quality to price ratio is outstanding.
  • One hell of a “WOW!” light and a great conversation piece.

Negatives:

  • This torch has a love it or hate it design. Some hate it. Not me.
  • Almost too small to grip well when changing modes or turning on/off. I did get used to it very quickly though.
  • Have to be quick when changing modes.  Change window is very small (0.5 seconds?) and until you get used to it, the small size can make it difficult.
  • The inner body o-ring on mine was torn when I got mine.  Fortunately I had the exact size in my bin to replace it. Light did not come with any spare o-rings or lanyard.  I can live without the crappy lanyards we usually get but a couple spare o-rings would have been nice.
Conclusion:
A great little torch that I am happy I bought and can recommend with confidence to anyone that finds it’s appearance enjoyable! In the mean time, enjoy the pics I took below.  Lighting could be better but they’re not too terrible either. The lanyard in the pics was added by me.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s