TorchLAB BOSS FT Clicky Collector Vintage Brass 35 Flashlight Review

TorchLAB BOSS FT Clicky Collector Vintage Brass 35 Flashlight Review

Let’s talk a bit about the TorchLAB BOSS 35 FT Vintage Brass!  I won’t call this a typical Fun Fund Friday review, but I’ll throw a little bit of testing in with my love affair of these BOSS flashlights…  Read on!


Official Specs and Features of the TorchLAB BOSS 35 FT Vintage Brass Flashlight

Here’s a link to the TorchLAB BOSS FT Clicky Collector Vintage Brass 35 flashlight product page.

Versions

Really there’s just one version of the TorchLAB BOSS 35 FT Vintage Brass.  In fact, the version I have here is essentially a one-off, since the emitters I’m using were installed by special request.  You might be able to get this as well, but the emitters being one-off and the body being out of stock… chances aren’t that great.

TorchLAB BOSS 35 FT Vintage Brass Flashlight Price

The “Collector Vintage” editions of the TorchLAB BOSS 35 demands a small premium over the already price flashlight.  As seen here, the light costs $557.  The non-Collector Vintage is a bit less costly, at $545 and it’s currently available.  The Collector Vintage link is here.


Short Review

It should be no secret that I love the BOSS.  The headline image of the website is part of my BOSS collection.  I was at first less enthusiastic about the Forward Taper, but at this point, I like it at least as much as the Reverse Taper edition.  I am pleased with the emitter option I have in this Collector Vintage Brass – very warm and cozy and matches the aged brass quite well.  The updated user interface with files is a nice upgrade, too.

Long Review

The Big Table

I am going to preface this table by saying that the point of Nichia 219b sw30 (3000K) emitters isn’t high output, or great throw, or anything like that.  They are not the most efficient option, and for high output, you’d pick other emitters.  You opt for this because you want higher cri, and/or warmer output.  Or want something with a negative Duv (trending away from green and toward pink).  Here’s the table, anyway.

TorchLAB Boss 35 371d v2 Vintage Brass
Emitter: Nichia 219b 3000K High CRI (sw30)
Price in USD at publication time: $557.00
Cell: 1×18350
Runtime Graph
LVP? Yes, if programmed so
Switch Type: Mechanical
On-Board Charging? No
Claimed Lumens (lm)
Measured Lumens (at 30s) 631
Candela per Lumen 5.5
Claimed Throw (m)
Candela (Calculated) in cd (at 30s) 396lux @ 3.025m = 3624cd
Throw (Calculated) (m) 120.4
All my TorchLAB reviews!

^ Measurement disclaimer:  I am an amateur flashlight reviewer.  I don’t have $10,000 or even $1,000 worth of testing equipment.  I test output and such in PVC tubes!!  Please consider claims within 10% of what I measure to be perfectly reasonable (accurate, even).

What’s Included

TorchLAB BOSS 35 FT Vintage Brass what's included

  • TorchLAB BOSS FT Clicky Collector Vintage Brass 35
  • Spare o-rings (2 types)
  • Spare switch cover
  • Cotton hankie
  • Cotton carry pouch
  • Extra lube (in the “7604” container)

The green container is meant for holding the spare o-rings and boot.

Notably, all of these things are part of the Collector Vintage special edition.  Even the box you’ll see below is part of the special edition.

Package and Manual

TorchLAB BOSS 35 FT Vintage Brass box TorchLAB BOSS 35 FT Vintage Brass box TorchLAB BOSS 35 FT Vintage Brass package

I mention repeatedly and often that these “higher end” brands (such as Oveready/TorchLAB, Hanko, etc) should really have a “better” package.  Okluma does it nicely already – Even years ago they were shipping in a branded and custom box.  Then there are brands like Civivi, who ship a $50 knife in a custom branded pouch.

So finally and pleasantly, Oveready has stepped up the package game.  I am not at all opposed to every BOSS shipping in a little zippered pouch like the Civivi, though.  Someone get on that game.

The Lux-RC driver (371 v2.0) has a manual that covers a BUNCH of information.  I have a page fully dedicated to that.  Please go see the manual there:

BOSS

Build Quality and Disassembly

TorchLAB BOSS 35 FT Vintage Brass

Just sit back and enjoy this Collector Vintage brass.  I have many other brass flashlights.  In fact, I have more-than-I-should-probably-admit brass flashlights by Oveready/TorchLAB.  This one is special.

TorchLAB forces a patina on the brass.  I don’t know how they do it, but I know it’s magical.  It’s a mix between “worn in” and “forced” patina.  It isn’t like a shipwreck – the metal is still smooth and not “grippy.”  I differentiate that because I’ve forced patina myself (you can see it on the ReyLight Pineapple) and I hate it.  It feels gross in my hands, leaves a bad smell, and has completely the wrong kind of grippy feeling.

But this, this is different.

 

TorchLAB BOSS 35 FT Vintage Brass tailstanding

But let’s talk about the “FT” part of the name.  FT stands for “Forward Taper” which is different (in fact “the opposite”) from the original BOSS, which has been renamed the RT BOSS – “Reverse Taper.”  I love the RT shape and look, performance, and feel in hand.  I haven’t found a light to match it.

While the FT matches (or exceeds) the RT in performance, it has a different presence in hand.  It looks different.  The taper causes the neck (the area of the body just below the head) to be thinner (unlike the RT, which is the opposite).  You’d be tempted to say by looking at it “well that affects grip in this way or that way and …” on and on.  Grip is fine.  Usage is great.

TorchLAB BOSS 35 FT Vintage Brass tail detail

Some notable characteristics are maintained.  The tail end still has the “tripod” setup, so will tailstand flawlessly.  This also allows easy access to the tailswitch, without making the tailswitch protrude.

TorchLAB BOSS 35 FT Vintage Brass switch access

The TorchLAB BOSS FT Clicky Collector Vintage Brass 35 bezel is unchanged – there are still three sets of double divots on the very front which allow light to escape while headstanding.  This is a personal favorite feature (of all lights with it, not just the BOSS.  But also definitely the BOSS.)  For whatever reason, this feature speaks to me of a refined design.

TorchLAB BOSS 35 FT Vintage Brass forward taper

Heads between the FT and RT are actually exactly the same in design.  And even interchangeable!  The FT all have updated electronics though, while most RT’s do not.

TorchLAB BOSS 35 FT Vintage Brass headstanding

The TorchLAB BOSS FT Clicky Collector Vintage Brass 35 has a similar design language as the RT.  Where the RT had “long” teardrops on the body, the FT has teardrops so long they extend off the body (in the deeper parts), and are much bigger in the other parts.  It might not look like much, but these change the weight quite dramatically.  All things being equal, the FT BOSS is around 10% lighter than the same RT BOSS.

Funny story about that, too.  When I received my aluminum FT, I held the package in hand and just thought… there’s no way anything is in this package.  I weighed the package unopened and compared it to just the light of another copper BOSS.  The copper BOSS weighed more than the entire shipped package of aluminum FT!  The aluminum FT is comically light.  Even with a cell installed, it’s remarkably light.  And that weight difference in FT and RT is across the board.

TorchLAB BOSS 35 FT Vintage Brass

Only the head is removable.  Through the head is where you’ll do cell swaps.  The threads do not get any patina treatment (of course) and are so very shiny.

TorchLAB BOSS 35 FT Vintage Brass head off

Both head and tail have a nice beefy spring.  That tail spring is part of a McClicky switch.

TorchLAB BOSS 35 FT Vintage Brass head off

All FT BOSS lights also receive the new “Speed Clip” too.  More on that later.

To7rchLAB BOSS 35 FT Vintage Brass pocket clip

Size and Comps

Oveready does not provide official measurements for the new FT.  Here are mine.

Head diameter:  25.12mm
Thickest body diameter (Tail end area):  25.15mm
Thinnest body area:  20.96mm
Length:  83.05mm

Clip length:  56.38mm
Clip hole spacing:  (approximately) 7mm (but standard “SteelFlame” distance)

Weight without cell:

If the flashlight will headstand, I’ll show it here (usually the third photo).  If the flashlight will tailstand, I’ll show that here, too (usually the fourth photo).

TorchLAB BOSS 35 FT Vintage Brass in hand

Here’s the test light with the venerable Convoy S2+.  Mine’s a custom “baked” edition Nichia 219b triple.  A very nice 18650 light.

And here’s the light beside my custom engraved TorchLAB BOSS 35, an 18350 light.  I reviewed the aluminum version of that light in both 35 and 70 formats.

TorchLAB BOSS 35 FT Vintage Brass with torchlab boss 35 RT

You may wonder how much I like these lights…. well the two images below should answer that.  I have three.  That’s how much I like these.  My wallet cries when I begin to wonder if a 70 edition will be offered.  More interesting points on that later, though.

Retention and Carry

I mentioned that the pocket clip has been updated on the TorchLAB BOSS FT Clicky Collector Vintage Brass 35 (and in fact all FT BOSSes).  This is called the “Speed Clip” and is available separately from Oveready.

All these clips are titanium, and I believe they’re slightly thinner than the original clip (which is called the “Square Clip.”)  The springiness is welcomed!!  I have never called a clip “responsive” before but it probably fits here.  It works very well.

The screws included are titanium as well.  The Torx size is T10.  Those screw holes do not extend completely through the body, which displays the nice touches on these BOSS lights.

Also, note the unofficial three-hole logo from Oveready here.

To7rchLAB BOSS 35 FT Vintage Brass pocket clip screws

When this clip first dropped, I referred to it as the “Spoon clip.”  I still think that’s fitting, but I’ll go with Speed Clip as Oveready does.  The Speed Clip touches the body in just the right area (tell me more…) and provides just the right amount of grab.  The hold pressure is perfect.

To7rchLAB BOSS 35 FT Vintage Brass pocket clip

There’s no knurling to grate your pocket material, either.  No knurling is good or bad, depending on your perspective.  But on the BOSS, I love it.

To7rchLAB BOSS 35 FT Vintage Brass pocket clip

Not only does the clip land in the perfect place, it also has a slight curve such that it’s not a line of touching, but a point of touching.  This means easier manipulation from more angles.  Essentially what I call the “mouth” is bigger, and accessible from more angles.  It’s a great improvement.

To7rchLAB BOSS 35 FT Vintage Brass pocket clip

To7rchLAB BOSS 35 FT Vintage Brass pocket clip

Finally, the clip has a light bow and not a bend like the Square clip.  I have a feeling this holds tension more accurately, but I don’t know how to convey that.

To7rchLAB BOSS 35 FT Vintage Brass pocket clip

Included with the Collector Vintage is the cotton pouch mentioned and shown above.  Yes, the light could be carried in that pouch.  It’d also be reasonable to carry the light wrapped in the cotton hankie.  As much as you would do that with any light, those two items suffice for this light too.  (What I am saying is that I would personally never carry this light or even light in either of those items.)  Great for storage, though.

That’s where the carry methods end for the TorchLAB BOSS FT Clicky Collector Vintage Brass 35.

Power and Runtime

Power is provided for the Lux-RC engine in the TorchLAB BOSS FT Clicky Collector Vintage Brass 35 by a single lithium-ion 18350 cell.  A cell is not included in the package.  I tested with various cells, including the Keeppower 1200mAh cell you can see below.

TorchLAB BOSS 35 FT Vintage Brass with 18350 cell

The cell is installed in the usual way:  positive terminal toward the head.

TorchLAB BOSS 35 FT Vintage Brass with 18350 cell installed

I would recommend using only flat top unprotected cells in the TorchLAB BOSS FT Clicky Collector Vintage Brass 35.  The light would work with protected and/or button top cells, but you’re likely to compress the springs.  And while once won’t cause any problems (probably), many times of using these longer cells can cause spring fatigue, and you’re more likely to run into issues.  Also dropping a light that has springs compressed in the way a long cell would in this light will almost certainly cause permanent spring damage!

TorchLAB BOSS 35 FT Vintage Brass with 18350 cell installed

I hinted about a BOSS 70 above – the BOSS 70 in most RT formats accepts a single 18650 cell, and also two 18350 cells.  The updated driver is the 371 v2.0 (not the 372 v2.0 drivers, which is for a different product line by Lux-RC).  This driver still has a voltage range all the way up to 9V, which means two cells will still work if a 70 tube is ever available.

In a flashlight like this one, which has less efficient Nichia 219b emitters, which are High CRI and very warm, two-up cells would be pointless.  This light is limited to 21W (or maybe even lower), and 21W is 21W no matter the input voltage.  I wouldn’t get any extra output from this light with one or two or twenty cells.  Also since the cells are in series, I’m not going to get much (or even “any,” depending on some things internally) extra runtime out of two cells, either.

I’ll say that the name covers a ton here – this is the Collector Vintage.  While I won’t say that it’s only for collectors, I will say that many users could be underwhelmed by the output.  There is a certain market for this type of light.  I am the market.  You may not be the market.  And that is perfectly fine.

zeroair_reviews_torchlab_boss_35_ft_vintage_brass_101 runtime graph

All of that said, I was quite surprised by a couple of things with this runtime.  I think the test demonstrates how remarkably inefficient these emitters are.  Be reminded it was my choice to get these!  Thus there’s no blame on the light for this short, fairly low output.  Secondly, the light gets remarkably hot due to this inefficiency…  Nearly 70 degrees Celsius, and I had to adjust my scale to fit it on the graph!

Modes and Currents

The below image demonstrates approximately the testing settings for most of the work I did on this light, including the runtime above.  Despite having the light set to “Afterburner” the emitters are never seeing more than 21W of power anyway.

lux-rc 371 v2.0 programming page

Mode Mode Claimed Output (lm) Claimed Runtime Measured Lumens Tailcap Amps
30W 631 3.58
17W 3.58
2W 1.43
0.6W 0.20
17mW 0.2
5.8mW 0
1.5mW 0
Red 0

Pulse Width Modulation

One of the things claimed by Lux-RC about their driver is that its constant current with NO PWM.  I can confirm that the modes I tested do not have PWM.  Here’s a sample:

For reference, here’s a baseline shot, with all the room lights off and almost nothing hitting the sensor.  Also, here’s the light with the worst PWM I could find.  I’m adding multiple timescales, so it’ll be easier to compare to the test light.  Unfortunately, the PWM on this light is so bad that it doesn’t even work with my normal scale, with is 50 microseconds (50us).  10ms5ms2ms1ms0.5ms0.2ms.  In a display faster than 0.2ms or so, the on/off cycle is more than one screen, so it’d just (very incorrectly) look like a flat line.  I wrote more about this Ultrafire WF-602C flashlight and explained a little about PWM too.

User Interface and Operation

Specifically, the TorchLAB BOSS FT Clicky Collector Vintage Brass 35 has a McClicky switch, which is made by McGizmo.

TorchLAB BOSS 35 FT Vintage Brass tailswitch

This switch is screwed into the body, but the switch cover is held in place by a friction fit o-ring.  A spare of both parts is included.

While I would really love to (and may in the future, if needed), I’m not including a user interface table here.  There’s just too much, and too many options.  But in general, I’ll cover the UI.  Much of this was covered in my previous post on the RT BOSS which was updated by Oveready to the new firmware.  This FT BOSS has new hardware too but the user interface is about the same.  (The differences in UI being the differences in hardware.)

V5.1 Triple engine with thermally-enhanced metal core PCB

By user request, I actually have a BOSS page, which has a pdf link to the manual, and all the manual pages as jpegs, for posterity.

TorchLAB describes the FT BOSS as having “Our New v5.1 Engine.”  Based on how I read the serial page, the FT BOSS has the following:

LE Hardware:    371 RES-26749 BLUE [371V2 HW UPGRADE]

So this is a 371 v2.0 driver.  Let’s cover a few facts about the driver’s physical hardware first.

The driver in all BOSS lights is made by Lux-RC.  There are a number of revisions of both hardware and firmware.  According to the Lux-RC presentation of drivers, this driver appears to be called the “371 v2.0.”

Just for some fun bit of information, here’s the list of Lux-RC part names, and the Oveready counterpart.  Some of those are in more than just BOSS lights – for example, there are 4.0 and 5.0 P60 drop-ins, as well as e-series 5.0 heads (which look just like BOSS heads.)

Lux-RC Name Oveready Name
xx 1.0 driver
xx 2.0 driver
332 3.0
333 3.1
334 4.0
371d 5.0
371 v2.0 5.1

Again, as I said above, the BOSS FT does not have the Lux-RC 372 v2.0 hardware.  (I consider that a good thing.)  Many of the features are the same, but 372 v2.0 loses two-cell support.

Serial Number

Somewhere along the way (during 2019 actually), Lux-RC implemented a motion sensor on the mcpcb.  Unlike the BOSS I got a firmware update on, this FT BOSS does ship with a motion sensor!   One way to check if your BOSS has the motion sensor is to check your serial number, which will give you many details on your light.

Here are some of the details of my BOSS shown in this review.

How do you even check your serial?  The FT BOSS Pin is 112.  Pins are entered as seen in the video below.  (Note if you have an older BOSS, your pin is likely 222 (or 112 if you or someone before you changed it)).  Pins are the tap/click process you’ll need to do with the light in your hands.  The tap/click process is like this:

tap [pause around 1 second]
tap [pause around 1 second]
tap twice [pause around 1 second]
Click

This can be hard to get, but just remember, you have to pause, and if it’s “not working” then pause longer.  My original video demonstrating the 222 pin should help you:

This technically enters programming mode, but if you leave the light in programming mode for a bit, the secondary emitter will begin blinking (instead of being steady).  It’ll blink like this:

Blink blink pause
Blink pause
Blink blink blink blink blink blink blink blink blink blink pause
Blink blink blink blink blink pause
Longer pause, restart blinking serial.

It does this until the 5 or 6 digit serial is blinked out.  Zeros are represented by ten binks!!  In the example above, that serial is 2105 (which isn’t a real serial, just an example).

To ascertain if your 371d has the motion sensor input your serial number here at Lux-RC, and look at the “LE Carry Sens:” section.  On my BOSS lights without motion sensory, it says “NA.”  If yours says anything else there, then you have the motion sensor.  This BOSS, which does have the motion sensor, says:  “LE Carry Sens: CSX 180A.”  I don’t know what CSX 180A is, but all that matters is that it means I have the motion sensor.

Manual

Here’s the manual in its full glory.

Here’s a pdf link:  LUXRC-371-372-V2-EN  It’s a slim 688KB.  In case you don’t want to mess with a pdf, here are images of the same manual.

That’s right, a nine-page manual!  A whole bunch of that is more geared to the 372 driver, which is different hardware than I’m covering here.  Technically 371 v2.0 and 372 v2.0 have “identical firmware” (according to the manual), so practically everything you read in this review will also be useful knowledge for your TorchLAB BOSS 371 v2.0 firmware driver.  There is one massive difference, however.  The 372 v2.0 driver has compatibility with a maximum of one cell whereas the 371 v2.0 will work with two cells as well as one.  But BOSS lights aren’t available with 372, so 372 isn’t the scope of this discussion.

That manual is very good!  There are some graphical things that sometimes I want to see written, or described in other ways.  It’s also good sometimes, for someone who didn’t make the product or write the code, to play with in detail.  That’s where this post comes in.  I’m not really saying anything that the manual doesn’t say.  I’m just saying it in sentences, not graphics.  Mostly.

You should know now that there are different ways to program different aspects of the 371 v2.0.  Some parts are still programmed through the web-based interface and the optical sensor on the BOSS.  This process is still very much like it has been in the past (with some enhancements you may never need).  Other parts (“switches”) are programmed through a series of pin entries on the flashlight itself.

Pin 112 (can be manually changed to Pin 222): Optical programming

There’s a lot to programming the light optically.  You can plan your modes at the Lux-RC webpage, then through the magic of magic, optically enter that program into your light.  Getting into the programming mode is just like checking the serial – see above for that.  When your secondary emitter comes on very low, you’re ready to program.

The programming itself looks just like in the old video which I’ve linked above.  Build your program on lux-rc.com.  Enter programming mode on your BOSS.  Place BOSS facing the screen and wait for one full cycle (green screen to green screen).  And your light is programmed!  The very low output of the secondary emitter will shut off when programming is successful.

Here’s an example of the programming screen with both one cell and two cells in play.  Broadly speaking, this is the test setup I used for the TorchLAB BOSS FT Clicky Collector Vintage Brass 35.  Specifically speaking, not all these modes are applicable because as you can see above, this particular boss with the HI CRI Nichia 219b emitters is limited to something like 21W.  (Just to state it clearly, 21W means something like 21W/4.2V = 5A total, among 3 emitters.  So 5A/3 emitters = around 1.6A to each emitter, max.)  If we use a lithium-ion nominal voltage instead (and we probably should), then (21W/3.7V)/3emitters = around 1.9A per emitter.  Either way, this is well within the safe limits of these emitters.

lux-rc 371 v2.0 programming page

And the screen you see once you click the orange “Save and Program” button above:

lux-rc 371 v2.0 program page prompt

And finally, the green screen where you place your BOSS.  When you see this screen, get your BOSS in front.  Don’t wait.  Also, don’t place your BOSS on the screen after this has switched to blinking.

lux-rc 371 v2.0 ready to program

And here’s a blink example of some random (but good) programming options.  Flash/Seizure warning…

 

Just to have an official video of entering programming/serial on the new version, here’s the PIN 112 with the new delay spacing.  Time between taps is much more brief on these!

Pin Programming

Pin programming is a little different.  Well, different from optical programming, but also will be familiar to programming other drivers (like the H17f), since it requires a series of button clicks.

First off, here are all the pins, per the manual.

lux-rc 371 v2.0 manual pins list

Pin 4: “Files”

One of the most discussed (and important) features of 371 v2.0 is the “Files.”  I was nearly certain I’d seen this also called “Pages” (and I’m putting it here once just for search purposes) but as the manual refers to it as Files, and so I will too.

The four Files of the 371 v2.0 essentially make your BOSS into four flashlights.  Every single parameter of each File can be configured completely independently from the other Files.  So while the manual boasts “Up to 32 memory modes,” it’s really a max of 8 per file (which the manual is also clear about.)

Thus, we need to know how to switch between files!  The pin is 4.  The tap/click process for switching Files is like this, from an off state:

tap tap tap tap [pause very briefly]
Click (or technically you can hold the switch in the “momentary on” position).

At this point, the secondary emitter will begin blinking.  First, it blinks out the count of the File you’re in.  So if you’re in File #2, you’ll see two blinks.  After this the cycle begins – in this case, it’d do 3 blinks, then [longer] pause then four blinks, and then back to 1 blink.  The cycle will continue until you select a File.

To change Files, click the switch after the LED blinks the File you want.  So you want File #1, then you click the switch after 1 has blinked fully.

The manual attached above covers Lux-RC lights broadly speaking, but the BOSS itself ships with a different file setup.  I am not sure that’s documented, and I think the idea is that you’ll likely want to (and need to) poke around to get familiar and also build out the Files as you want.  I think generally the modes stated in the manual are right, but specifically, they might be something a little different.

Pin 111: Voltage Meter Application

tap [pause very briefly]
tap [pause very briefly]
tap [pause very briefly]

The main emitter will blink out the voltage.  For example, the light I’m testing right now has a cell with a 4.0 voltage, so the white emitters blink 4x, then pause, then 4x again – repeating.

Pin 113: Battery Meter Application

This is a feature not fully supported by the BOSS but in theory, the driver will put a load on the cell, and return a value from 1-5 of cell health.  The load consists of the main emitters stepping up to turbo.

tap [pause very briefly]
tap [pause very briefly]
tap tap tap [pause very briefly]

I’m not sure how it works exactly (electronically), but on the BOSS lights, I’ve found it to report inconsistently.  Other users have reported that results can vary dramatically depending on which Files you’re in.  Again, this is a feature not fully vetted by the Oveready team on the BOSS.

Pin 311: Blink Current Switch Configuration

tap tap tap [pause very briefly]
tap [pause very briefly]
tap [pause very briefly]

Relevant when thinking about these “switches” is to think about something like the DIP switches on something like the Oveready P60 drop-in which I reviewed here.

On that P60 drop-in, the physical DIP switches have two states.

torchlab dip p60 dropin

The toggles switches for this driver can be thought of in exactly the same way, but are entirely electronic.  These switches have just two states.  Here’s an overview.  In the image below the top row is “ON” and the bottom row is “OFF” but more importantly and cleverly in this image – the top row is WHITE and the bottom row is RED.  That fact actually means something!

lux-rc 371 v2.0 pin manual listing

Switch 1: Standby locator beacon
Switch 2: Motion sensing
Switch 3: Motion sense timing
Switch 4: Mode layout
Switch 5: Standby mode for twisty/McClicky
Switch 6: Double click action
Switch 7: Double click action on/off

When entering pin 311, the emitters will blink to indicate “on” or “off.”  On is a single white flash, while Off is a single red flash. “Red” in my case and “red” is what I’ll say mostly throughout this post – technically, of course, it’s not necessarily red, but technically “secondary”.  But to be fair “red” is also how the manual refers to it, and not “secondary”.  But just so we’re clear, any time I say “red” I do technically mean “secondary.”  As my version of this driver does not have a motion sensor, many of these pins don’t pertain to me.  And as you probably know about me, I find amber secondary (or 611nm) to be vastly superior to red. 😀

Pin 311 is a very useful pin indeed, and something I wish was replicated for the optical programming side of things.  I have long wished to be able for the light to blink out a code for me to be able to identify the specific program my light is in.  There is a finite but astounding number of possibilities….

So as you can see, the white/on and red/off is an important way to see what’s going on with your current switch setup.

Pins that change Switches

In case you aren’t keeping track, pins we’ve covered until now haven’t changed any of the switches.  The others only identify things, aside from pin 4, which changes the File.  All the 33X pins change something about the switches.  In fact, they iterate the state of the switch.

Pin 331: Locator beacon in standby mode

tap tap tap [pause very briefly]
tap tap tap [pause very briefly]
tap [pause very briefly]

This action iterates whether the locator beacon (a single secondary flash every few seconds) is on or off in standby mode.  I personally find the locator beacon annoying.

Pin 332: Motion sense on/off

tap tap tap [pause very briefly]
tap tap tap [pause very briefly]
tap tap [pause very briefly]

Unlike the BOSS which received a firmware upgrade to this 371 v2.0, and did not have a motion sensor, this TorchLAB BOSS FT Clicky Collector Vintage Brass 35 does have a motion sensor!  I know personally many people who just love the motion sensor.  It’s a very interesting and neat feature.  But as far as useful?  I haven’t found it terribly useful.  It’s possible to turn the feature off, and pin 332 does that.

Pin 333: Motion sense timing profile

tap tap tap [pause very briefly]
tap tap tap [pause very briefly]
tap tap tap [pause very briefly]

Despite my overall indifference to the motion sensor, I haven’t turned it off, and I have left it on the default timing.  There are two choices.  The default is for the sensor to cause a dimming of the light after 1 minute, and to hibernate after 10 minutes.  A quickened option is available, which will cause a dim after 10 seconds, and a hibernate after 1 minute.

Pin 334: Mode number configuration

tap tap tap [pause very briefly]
tap tap tap [pause very briefly]
tap tap tap tap [pause very briefly]

This iterates whether you have the “new layout with 8 modes in one line” or the “legacy 4+4 modes in two lines.”  New is considered “off” and blinks red (4x).  Legacy is considered “on” and blinks white (4x).

But what does this mean exactly?  It took me a bit to get this sorted (in my head – in practice it’s very simple.)  The old way, you had a few options:   A single 18350 (the “35”), a single 18650 (the “70”), or two 18350 cells in one 70 body.  The light didn’t differentiate between a 18350 and 18650 – the setup was the same.  You had 4 modes, and that was that.  But during programming, you could select the “Two in series” cell configuration, and you’d have four other modes.  (Still just a max of four modes at any given setup, but with 2 cells they could be different modes.)

Now, what’s changed here?  Well, first of all, the page for optical programming has not changed.  As you can see below, so it still is no matter what BOSS you’re programming.

lux-rc 371 v2.0 programming page

So you’ll still be looking at the page which differentiates single and double cell setups, making this page a little confusing.

However with the new firmware, you have the option to have either the way it used to be (“4+4” – essentially different modes depending on your cell set up at the moment), or you can have access to all eight of those modes no matter what your cell setup.  And in truth it doesn’t have to be eight modes – you can program down from 8 to four modes if you wish.

I’d call this smarter anyway since the driver is smart enough to prevent overpowering a single cell.  Ie, it’s not going to try to run afterburner from a single cell (18350 or 18650).  And since we know the driver won’t voluntarily overpower a cell, why not just have access to all 8 modes at one time?  On the 371d, a single cell output was limited to 17W.  But with 371 v2.0, a single cell has been limited to 21W (according to the oveready.com page), which is a little spec bump.  This does mean that on a single cell setup if you have any modes higher than 19W, they’ll max at 19W.

All in all the 8 mode (new) is a better setup, unless you have a specific application for 1 cell vs 2 cells.

I’ll throw this in, too.  The lux-rc.com serial page mentions the following:

I honestly don’t know what “NXS R2” is.  I don’t see the page on lux-rc.com.  The only programming link I’ve used, and that I see is the following one:

https://lux-rc.com/content/NXS/NXS_R1_programming

Pin 335: Standby mode with locator beacon for McClicky

tap tap tap [pause very briefly]
tap tap tap [pause very briefly]
tap tap tap tap tap [pause very briefly]

Here’s the text from the manual about this bit.

Standby mode is now implemented also in twisty/McClicky flashlights. Similar to MOMUI, when the flashlight is in standby mode it consumes almost zero power and may stay in this mode for months with minimal battery discharge.  Flashing standby locator beacon can be enabled in standby mode. Standby mode is selected after a “long half-click”. A “short half-click” in standby mode resumes normal operation. Depending on the memory settings flashlight may return to the last mode (memory is ON) or start from the 1st mode (memory is OFF).

I found this mode to be absolutely confounding…. It seems to play with the clicky action in a way that makes it seem like the clicky isn’t working about half the time.  So I’d say leave this one set to “off” or if you just want to play around with it, realize that this is probably the setting that’s giving you difficulty.  I can’t say exactly why it’s so problematic, but I’m sure it has to do with how the driver is trying to interpret “long half-clicks” and “short half-clicks.”

Pin 336: Double click action configuration

tap tap tap [pause very briefly]
tap tap tap [pause very briefly]
tap tap tap tap tap tap [pause very briefly]

More text from the manual:

Two PINs control the double-click function. PIN “336” sets the double-click action. PIN “337” enables and disables double-click support in twisty/McClicky flashlights. Note that double-click is always enabled in momentary button flashlights.

It’s more important to talk about Pin 337 first, because with 337 disabled “Off/red”, then double click does nothing.  So with 337 off, 336 is irrelevant.  But with 337 on/white, the McClicky has a double click capability (from off only, of course.)

And with double click enabled, 336 can switch between what double click can do.  This setup is just a little bit dependent on another setting – pin 334.  Thus the double click result will depend then on quite a few things….  Pin 334, and pin 337.  If you have 4+4, double click on, and double click set to “forward hop” then the double click action is dependent upon how many cells you have in the light.  Either way, it’s to the fourth mode, and that fourth mode can be any of the settings available through optical programming.  But if you have your light set up to the new 8 “in line” modes, double click will go to mode 8 regardless of how many cells are installed.

I’ll describe that above as “just a sample” of what you can do with the configurations of these three switches.  That’s obviously not all and there are [some permutation of] possibilities.  It’s really up to you to flesh this out how you want it.

Also, don’t forget that these switches are per File.  So you may have one file set up some way, and another file programmed (optically) in exactly the same way but with different switches, and you can have a completely different user experience.

Pin 337: Double click support for McClicky

tap tap tap [pause very briefly]
tap tap tap [pause very briefly]
tap tap tap tap tap tap tap [pause very briefly]

As described above!

Momentary Switch

The manual also covers a ton of information for momentary switches – that is not a momentary forward clicky switch.  MOM in this sense regards always connected switches, aka electronic switches (e-switches).  But this post is only covering BOSS lights, which are never e-switch lights, and it’s not a manual of Lux-RC products, so I won’t mention that further than what I’ve said here.

LED and Beam

Like I’ve said now repeatedly, my TorchLAB BOSS FT Clicky Collector Vintage Brass 35 has three Nichia 219b emitters.  I specifically asked for 3000K emitters, and these are high CRI versions.

TorchLAB BOSS 35 FT Vintage Brass emitters

These emitters are behind a clear narrow (standard) Carclo optic.  Optics are cheap, and the BOSS has a completely standard optic, it’s easy to buy and try other optics.  Floody, medium, and narrow are the other choices, and some or all of those are available as frosted.  So there are plenty of choices, and the optic is very easy to change.  Note that depending on how you ordered your BOSS, you may or may not need a special tool to unscrew the bezel.  Some, for a short while, were shipped with the bezel tightened down so much that unscrewing them was effectively impossible.  TorchLAB has designed a set of wrenches – very clever wrenches might I add – that will allow very easy removal.  I bought a set both for removing my bezel, and just to quell my curiosity on what Oveready had come up with.  They work absolutely fantastically, and they’re very clever to boot.  What’s more, they allow easy access with zero potential for damaging the finish on the light.  That was important to me and was done well.

TorchLAB BOSS 35 FT Vintage Brass optic

There’s also an option for the secondary emitter:  red and amber can be had.  When I bought, only red was available.  If I had my choices I’d go with amber for possibly no reason except novelty.

The bezel has slight intentions (three sets of two), which allow light to escape when headstanding.

TorchLAB BOSS 35 FT Vintage Brass emitters on TorchLAB BOSS 35 FT Vintage Brass emitters on

I said it before and I’ll say it again.  This TorchLAB BOSS FT Clicky Collector Vintage Brass 35 pairs so well with a very warm emitter setup, that despite the lower total output, I could not be more pleased.

LED Color Report (CRI and CCT)

I don’t remember asking specifically for anything other than Nichia 219b 3000K, but these are also high CRI emitters, which is a nice bonus.  I can fully recommend them. 😀

Beamshots

These beamshots are always with the following settings:  f8, ISO100, 0.3s shutter, and manual 5000K exposure.

Tint vs BLF-348 (KillzoneFlashlights.com 219b version) (affiliate link)

I keep the test flashlight on the left, and the BLF-348 reference flashlight on the right.

I compare everything to the KillzoneFlashlights.com 219b BLF-348 because it’s inexpensive and has the best tint!

Conclusion

What I like about the TorchLAB BOSS 35 FT Vintage Brass

  • Excellent Vintage finish
  • Nice updated “Collector Vintage” package
  • Use of High CRI emitters
  • Use of warm white 3000K emitters
  • The momentary sensor makes this a profoundly advanced flashlight
  • Vintage finish gives the brass a “low copper” smell
  • Extreme programmability of so very many settings
  • Files allow this light to be essentially “four in one” flashlights

What I don’t like about the TorchLAB BOSS 35 FT Vintage Brass

  • No 70 tube is available
  • Nichia 219b 3000K emitters have lower efficiency than some other emitters

Notes

  • This light was provided by me for review. I was not paid to write this review.
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8 thoughts on “TorchLAB BOSS FT Clicky Collector Vintage Brass 35 Flashlight Review”

  1. Nice review! And I’m carrying my Al FT today as well. They are fantastic lights. Why they can’t (don’t?) get the flutes to line up between the head and tail sections is the one thing that really bothers me about these. Otherwise, they are truly incredible.

  2. I actually lol’d at that runtime graph. Is it really that inefficient? Seems pretty extreme.

      1. Thanks for the reply, just out of curiosity what makes the 219b 3500k so much more inefficient compared to the 219b 4000k?

  3. Well I caved and bought the same one except with the 219b 4000k, looks like it was the last one. Never had a brass light, but I already have a distressed aluminum version and wanted something different.

  4. Pingback: TorchLAB Future BOSS with MOFF Flashlight Review - ZeroAir Reviews

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