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  • Tight beam, eccentric driver

    posted by frills on 01/19/2010
    0 0

    Involvement:Expert (understands the inner workings) - Ownership:1 day to 1 week

    Pros:

    The polycarbonate optic concentrates the light into a tight beam pattern.
    Works with AA, 14500 or CR123.
    Decent output on CR123 primary, around twice as bright as AA.
    Extremely bright on li-ion, well over twice as bright as AA. Appears to go into direct drive. Might be more tame on 3.2V RCR123 but I have none to test.
    The extension segment to allow AA/14500 has an appropriately-sized bore and threads to the middle of the light. Between the extension's grip and tail spring pressure the battery does not rattle.
    Good quality spring steel pocket clip. Not too tight and springs back well.
    Square threads, a rare detail and a nice touch.

    Cons:

    Not waterproof. The body o-ring is too thin, and there is no o-ring at all on either the AA extension nor the tail assembly.
    The holes for the pocket clip screws are also bored straight through the body wall and can be seen among the threads inside the tail of the light.
    You would need to seal at the pocket clip screws in addition to installing proper o-rings before the light could be made waterproof.
    Gets hot very fast while in direct drive on a fresh li-ion.
    Output is rather low on AA, comparable to the 70lm setting on another of my lights. Although, it's still more effective than expected due to the beam pattern.
    CR123 primaries were actually too short until the switch pill was adjusted. Will add a spring later.

    OtherThoughts:

    The optic creates a highly concentrated spot, and the spill is also concentrated as it's pulled tight around the spot. The entire beam pattern fits in about half the diameter of one from a reflectored Cree.
    Spot to primary spill transition is smooth, then some Cree ringing around the primary/secondary spill boundary.
    On a fresh 14500 (4.2V) it was outshining an 18650/P60 host with an R2 emitter, and I discovered it was drawing ~1.4A at the tail so I'm sure it had gone into direct drive.
    Measured ~600mA on AA (1.4V) and ~800mA on CR123 (3.0V).
    Mode switching requires a quick tap. If it's off for a second it resets to high mode.
    The threads came bone dry, so in addition to installing proper o-rings I lubed the threads as well.
    The switch pill threads into the inner face of the tail assembly, and then the tail assembly threads into the back of the light.
    I actually had to thread the switch pill a couple turns out of the tail assembly in order to use CR123 primaries since they're too short to make contact otherwise. A better fix will be to solder a small spring to the back of the emitter pill, because it comes without one.
    Mine came with a tiny chip in the side of the optic near the front that I discovered when removing the emitter pill, but the beam is unaffected.

    Bottomline:

    Seems geared towards 3.0/3.2V operation with AA being a backup, though 3.7V operation has some serious punch if managed carefully. Don't take swimming.

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