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Thread: 4Sevens Maelstrom S18 (SST-90, 6xCR123A/RCR) Review: RUNTIMES, BEAMSHOTS and more!

  1. #1

    Ooo 4Sevens Maelstrom S18 (SST-90, 6xCR123A/RCR) Review: RUNTIMES, BEAMSHOTS and more!

    Warning: pic heavy, as usual.




    The S18 is a new offering in the Maelstrom line from 4Sevens, clearly designed to compete the other "big gun" SST-90 lights. This review is of an engineering sample, but the shipping lights should have the same performance and features.

    Manufacturer's Specifications:
    • LED: Luminus SST-90
    • Hi: 1200 OTF Lumens, 0.6 hours runtime
    • Med: 400 OTF Lumens, 3.5 hours runtime
    • Lo: 80 OTF Lumens, 17.5 hours runtime
    • Strobe: 1200 lumens, 1.5 hours runtime
    • SOS: 2.5 hours runtime
    • Battery: 6xCR123A or 6x3.7V RCR Li-ion
    • Operating Range: 4.5V~8.4V (reviewer note: I presume this refers to each of the 3 channels in the carrier)
    • Body Material: Type-III hard-anodized aircraft-grade aluminum
    • Bezel Material: Stainless steel strike-Bezel
    • Lens Material: Optical-grade hardened glass lens with external sapphire coating to resist scratches and internal anti-reflective coating to maximize output
    • Smooth reflector
    • Water Resistance: IPX-8
    • Included Accessories: Holster, instruction manual, 6xCR123A batteries, and spare o-rings
    • Dimensions: Length 9.3 in, Diameter (Body) 1.8in, Diameter (Head) 2.48 in, Weight (without battery): 24.5 oz
    • MSRP: $259 (before discounts)

    Packaging is unknown, since I only had the light to go by. But I expect it will be fairly typical for the 4Sevens Maelstrom line.



    From left to right: CR123A, 4Sevens X7, X10, S18, Olight SR90, Thrunite Catapult V3

    All dimensions are given with no batteries installed, unless otherwise stated:

    4Sevens S18: Weight: 700g (800g with 6xCR123A), Length: 233mm, Width (bezel) 63.0mm, (tailcap) 25.6mm
    4Sevens X10: Weight: 156.9g (245.7g with 1x26650), Length: 135.5mm, Width (bezel): 46.0mm
    Olight SR90: Weight: 1.6 kg (with battery pack), Length: 335mm, Width (bezel): 97mm
    Catapult V3: Weight: 434.8g (500g with 4xCR123A), Length: 254mm, Width (bezel) 58.0mm, (tailcap) 35.1mm.

    The S18 is a lot smaller and lighter than the SR90, and even smaller than the SR91 (which I don’t have, but is rated at 1.2 kg with battery pack, 286mm length, and 76mm bezel width).








    The S12 is a hefty light (reminds me of a small mace ). Black anodizing (manufacturer claims type III = HA) is slightly glossy on the smooth areas, very much like the X10 and the rest of the Maelstrom line. Knurling is of reasonable strength (not overly aggressive), but there is a good amount of it. I found the grip to be very good.

    Lettering is bright and clear on the body, but less distinct on the tailcap (may be due to my engineering sample, though).

    One of the most distinctive things about this light is the battery carrier – it is integrated into the tailcap. Although the tailcap superficially looks a lot like the X10 I reviewed recently, the S18 uses an actual clicky switch (press for momentary, click for locked-on). Traverse is deeper than typical for a clicky switch, and this one feels very substantial. The whole tailcap/holder assembly has a very solid feel.

    The holder fits six cells, is a 3x2 configuration. Both primary CR123A and protected 16340 (RCR) fit and work in the light. Note the light cannot take 3x18650. Contact points between the carrier and the head seem robust.

    Light uses square-cut machinist threads, which are anodized. Threads feel somewhat gritty and stiff to me. Note that it takes a full one-and-a-quarter turn to lock out the light at the tailcap (i.e. the switch is internal to the battery carrier assembly, so you need the further distance to break the contact in the head). The tailcap remains firmly attached to the light at this distance.

    Let’s take a closer look at the mode-selection aspect of the switch:




    The tailcap is actually in two portions – the bottom portion (including the tailcap switch) can rotate relative to the rest of the carrier and base. The feel is not really a detent per se, but you will feel a slight click when the mode changes. Note the ring is quite stiff to turn, so you won’t be accidentally changing modes.

    Scroll down to my UI section for a discussion of how it works.



    The S18 uses the Luminus SST-90 emitter, well centered on my sample, with a smooth reflector (although there are some fine concentric rings in it). There were a few specs of dust inside the head on my sample, but that may also be due to the engineering sample nature of the light they sent me.

    Here is how it compares to the Olight SR90:



    And now the white-wall beamshots. All lights are on their respective rechargeable Li-ion battery source, except for the S18 which is on 4Sevens brand CR123A. Lights are about ~0.75 meter from a white wall (with the camera ~1.25 meters back from the wall). Automatic white balance on the camera, to minimize tint differences.

    Let’s start with the Hi outputs:









    Despite only using six CR123A, output on the S18 is pretty close to the Olight SR90 (which uses a custom battery back consisting of 6x18650). Note that on 6xRCR, the S18 is pretty equivalent to my SR90 in output.

    Of course, the S18 doesn’t throw as far with the smaller head (i.e. the SR90 has a much more tightly-defined hotspot). I don’t have one to compare, but I imagine the S18 probably has a fairly similar beam to the Olight SR91.

    To better compare to other lights, here is a comparison with the S18 on Med and the SR90 on Lo, compared to the X10 and TK35 on Hi:













    UPDATE AUGUST 21, 2011: I have now done 100-yard outdoor beamshots, in the style of my earlier 100-yard round-up reviews.



    User Interface

    The S18 uses a forward-style clicky switch, with a longer than typical traverse. Press for momentary, click for locked-on.

    Mode switching is controlled by turning the selection ring/tailcap relative to the rest of the carrier handle. Line up the arrow on the base with the appropriate pictogram on the carrier handle. Lo/Med/Hi are represented by the size of the solid dot on the carrier handle portion, Strobe is the lightning bolt, and SOS is self-explanatory.

    PWM/Strobe

    I could detect no sign of PWM on any constant-output mode, leading me to conclude the S18 is current-controlled on its Lo/Med modes.



    Strobe frequency is 9.5 Hz in my testing.

    Testing Method:

    All my output numbers are relative for my home-made light box setup, a la Quickbeam's flashlightreviews.com method. You can directly compare all my relative output values from different reviews - i.e. an output value of "10" in one graph is the same as "10" in another. All runtimes are done under a cooling fan.

    I have recently devised a method for converting my lightbox relative output values (ROV) to estimated Lumens. See my How to convert Selfbuilt's Lighbox values to Lumens thread for more info.

    Throw/Output Summary Chart:

    Effective November 2010, I have revised my summary tables to match with the current ANSI FL-1 standard for flashlight testing. Please see http://www.sliderule.ca/FL1.htm for a description of the terms used in these tables.

    It’s hard to accurately measure overall output on the SST90-based lights, as the heads are too large to fit in my lightbox. I have adjusted my lightbox relative output values to compensate for the lost output (based on a comparison of all my ceiling bounce numbers). But for lumen estimates, I have little comparison data at these levels, so take these lumen "guestimates" with a very BIG grain of salt. While the relative differences should hold pretty well, I have no data on absolute lumen values taken in a properly calibrated sphere at this range. I have rounded my Max "(est)" estimates to +/- 50 lumens, but accuracy should NOT be inferred to this level of precision - rely on those with properly calibrated spheres for that.



    On 4Sevens brand CR123A, max output on the S18 seems to be at least as good as the manufacturer’s spec of 1200 lumens (I "guestimate" above 1300 lumens at activation). RCR is even brighter, over the first minutes at least (I guestimate over 1400 lumens at activation). This puts RCR output pretty much bang on with the Olight SR90. But of course, all of these lights drop in output over the course of their runs (i.e. even by ANSI FL-1 standard 3 mins, as shown the table above). Scroll down to the output/runtime graphs for a much better idea of what this looks like over time.

    Throw is good for the size, but of course the S18 can’t throw as far as the much larger SR90 (or even a really well-focused XM-L light, like the Catapult).

    Any way you slice it, the S18 definitely puts out a lot of light!

    Output/Runtime Comparison:

    Note: Unlike the Summary tables above, my runtime graphs are all based the actual relative output of my lightbox. However, my relative output scale is not linear for output across this range (which is why I convert to estimated lumens for the Summary tables). And again, since the large heads of the S18 and SR90 don’t fit in my lightbox, I have had to adjust my lightbox calibration to compensate for the lost output (based on a comparison of my ceiling bounce numbers).

    As a reminder again, all my runtimes are done under a cooling fan. Primary CR123A runtimes are done on Titanium Innovations cells.





    The S18 seems to use a very similar regulation/thermal step-down feature as the X10 I reviewed recently. On 6xCR123A on Max, there is little evidence of the thermal management cutting in, except at the very end of the "regulated" run (but again, this is under a cooling fan). On 6xRCR, the pattern is very similar to the X10 - output is initially a bit higher, until the first thermal step-down occurs.

    Like the X10, 4Sevens seems to be conservatively using the lowest “regulated” lumen level for their specs on this light, even though it spends most of the time above this level. But again, that is with a cooling fan – it’s likely output would have dropped more if I was hand-holding, or using no external cooling. And again, I don’t have a calibrated integrating sphere to provide exact numbers.

    Potential Issues

    18650 cells cannot be used in the light, only CR123A and 16340 (RCR). Since the light doesn’t use a custom battery pack, it is critical the user ensure that all cells are of comparable quality, capacity and charge state (at all times).

    Mode selection ring is stiff to turn, and lacks defined detents (although you will feel a slight "click" as it enters each mode).

    Tailcap needs to be turned at least one-and-a-quarter full turns to lock out the light. But there are still plenty threads at this length, so the light remains securely assembled when locked out.

    The S18 is a hefty light to carry around. There is no wrist/shoulder lanyard attachment point for carry.

    The light cannot tailstand.

    Preliminary Observations

    The S18 is a powerhouse light.

    On 6xRCR on Max, output matches my SST-90-based Olight SR90 (although of course, runtime is far less). 6xCR123A Max output is a slightly lower, but not by much – and runtime is noticeably improved. Although throw is of course less on the S18 (due to the smaller head – think SR91 for a comparable), this level of performance on standard batteries is amazing.

    The S18 superficially resembles the S12/X10, but on a much larger scale. More importantly, the switch button conceals an actual clicky switch here (press for momentary, click for locked-on). One of the main complaints on the S12/X10 was the pressure-switch-only option.

    The other issue on the S12/X10 was the Hi/Lo user interface. I am happy to report the S18 also has multiple modes (including blinky modes for those who like them ), all easily accessible from a turn of the labeled tailcap control ring. I actually like the fact the selection ring is stiff on my sample, it reduces the risk of accidental mode changes.

    I originally wondered why there were so many threads to screw this light together, but it quickly became apparent – in order to lock out the light, you need to move the whole battery carrier away from the contact plate in the head. Since that takes a full one-and-a-quarter turns of the tailcap, you want to make sure the light is still securely held together at this distance (which it is). Threads are fairly stiff and gritty on my sample, but I found the lock-out to work reliably.

    While I always recommend you lock-out you lights when not in use, I’m thinking it is even more critical than usual here - due to the user-controlled six-cell arrangement. A custom rechargeable battery pack (as Olight developed for the SR50/90 series lights) adds to cost and limits flexibility, but it does offer the safety of balancing circuitry. On the S18, it is up to the user to ensure the cells are all from the same batch of the same brand (important for age, chemistry, etc), with comparable charge state, at all times.

    I am sure one of the main selling features of this light for "search and rescue" will be the ability to use standard CR1213A cells. Max output on 6xCR123A is comparable to the thermally-regulated level of the 6xRCR configuration - and the runtime is impressive. Again, just make sure you use quality cells, ideally those already balanced and packaged in pairs (and all from the same batch). It's too bad the light can't take 18650, but I guess 3x sources just weren't sufficient to power the light.

    In summary, the S18 is an impressive light, well suited to its intended S&R role. Built around commonly available CR123A and RCR cells, it pretty much matches the Olight SR90/91 series in overall output, while being only 1/2 to 2/3rds the weight of the SR90 and SR91, respectively. I can’t think of anything else quite like it on the market at the moment.

    ----

    S18 provided by 4Sevens for review.
    Last edited by selfbuilt; 08-21-2011 at 12:43 PM.
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  2. #2
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    Default Re: 4Sevens Maelstrom S18 (SST-90, 6xCR123A/RCR) Review: RUNTIMES, BEAMSHOTS and more

    that didnt take long. nice review selfbuilt!

  3. #3
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    Default Re: 4Sevens Maelstrom S18 (SST-90, 6xCR123A/RCR) Review: RUNTIMES, BEAMSHOTS and more

    Very nicely done Selfbuilt. I can't wait to see this one. The tailcap selector ring concept has been too long in coming.
    Last edited by AardvarkSagus; 08-07-2011 at 05:45 AM.

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    Default Re: 4Sevens Maelstrom S18 (SST-90, 6xCR123A/RCR) Review: RUNTIMES, BEAMSHOTS and more

    Thanks Selfbuilt great review as usual
    Now I want another flashlight
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  5. #5
    Flashaholic* Haesslich's Avatar
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    Default Re: 4Sevens Maelstrom S18 (SST-90, 6xCR123A/RCR) Review: RUNTIMES, BEAMSHOTS and more

    Holy crap. Does this have a wall of light, or more a 'wide beam' in terms of how it throws, Selfbuilt?

  6. #6

    Default Re: 4Sevens Maelstrom S18 (SST-90, 6xCR123A/RCR) Review: RUNTIMES, BEAMSHOTS and more

    Quote Originally Posted by AardvarkSagus View Post
    The tailcap selector ring concept has been too long in coming.
    Agreed, this is a much better way to control a light. As mentioned in the review, mine is fairly stiff (which I actually like).

    Quote Originally Posted by Haesslich View Post
    Holy crap. Does this have a wall of light, or more a 'wide beam' in terms of how it throws, Selfbuilt?
    That's hard to answer. The hotpot is fairly broad, so it illuminates a reasonably good area in the distance. I would say it throws well without being "throwy", if you catch my meaning (i.e. not a dedicated thrower like the SR90). Spillbeam width is not as wide as the SR90, but still lights up a lot of the near space.

    As always, the 100-yard beamshots will show more. Should have those done within a couple of weeks.
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  7. #7

    Default Re: 4Sevens Maelstrom S18 (SST-90, 6xCR123A/RCR) Review: RUNTIMES, BEAMSHOTS and more

    :-( Arghhh not not 3*18650 or at least 3*17670 :-(

  8. #8
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    Default Re: 4Sevens Maelstrom S18 (SST-90, 6xCR123A/RCR) Review: RUNTIMES, BEAMSHOTS and more

    I really like the size and look of this light, but the runtime graphs indicate it's electronics package is not up to snuff. Maybe they will come out with an 18650 tube as well, my M6 is the only light I'm ever going to own that takes 6 CR123 cells. I guess really I just like the looks, and it seems to end there. Oh well right now the only blasters I'm considering are the TK70 (I have no idea why, maybe just to use those big D cells), and upgrading my Eagletac to the M3C4 since I like that package.

    Really great you got the review up so fast. Thanks!!

  9. #9
    Flashaholic* 276's Avatar
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    Default Re: 4Sevens Maelstrom S18 (SST-90, 6xCR123A/RCR) Review: RUNTIMES, BEAMSHOTS and more

    Looks like it comes with a Hard case for it, they show a photo of it on 4sevens under S18 images.

    I really wish it could use 18650's or even there 26650's
    Last edited by 276; 08-01-2011 at 08:09 PM.
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    Flashaholic* tre's Avatar
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    Default Re: 4Sevens Maelstrom S18 (SST-90, 6xCR123A/RCR) Review: RUNTIMES, BEAMSHOTS and more

    Great review (As always). 6 cr123a or rcr123 cells is the deal killer for me. I'm not sure I like the big SST-90 in a "small" reflector either.

    I would love it if 4sevens had an XML version of this light over driven to 1000 OTF lumens that could use 3 18650 cells. That I would buy is a second.

  11. #11
    Flashaholic* Haesslich's Avatar
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    Default Re: 4Sevens Maelstrom S18 (SST-90, 6xCR123A/RCR) Review: RUNTIMES, BEAMSHOTS and more

    Quote Originally Posted by selfbuilt View Post
    That's hard to answer. The hotpot is fairly broad, so it illuminates a reasonably good area in the distance. I would say it throws well without being "throwy", if you catch my meaning (i.e. not a dedicated thrower like the SR90). Spillbeam width is not as wide as the SR90, but still lights up a lot of the near space.

    As always, the 100-yard beamshots will show more. Should have those done within a couple of weeks.
    You know, between the X10 and this... I think I'll pick this, since it does use 'regular' CR123's, so I have an option when rechargeables aren't available (or ready). Would you say the beam's more like a slice of light then, due to the wide hotspot? like an arc of light, or more of a pie section?

  12. #12

    Default Re: 4Sevens Maelstrom S18 (SST-90, 6xCR123A/RCR) Review: RUNTIMES, BEAMSHOTS and more

    Quote Originally Posted by vinhnguyen54 View Post
    :-( Arghhh not not 3*18650 or at least 3*17670 :-(
    Quote Originally Posted by StandardBattery View Post
    Maybe they will come out with an 18650 tube as well, my M6 is the only light I'm ever going to own that takes 6 CR123 cells.
    Quote Originally Posted by 276 View Post
    I really wish it could use 18650's or even there 26650's
    Just guessing here, but I presume the problem is driving the SST-90 on anything less than 6 cells. It may not be a coincidence than the SR90/91 basically uses a 6x18650 pack to achieve the comparable output - it may be too hard to get a circuit to boost 3x18650. I'd have to let David or someone else with more knowledge of circuitry comment.

    Quote Originally Posted by StandardBattery View Post
    I really like the size and look of this light, but the runtime graphs indicate it's electronics package is not up to snuff.
    Just curious, but could you explain what you mean a little further? I don't know the exact capacity of the cells in the S90/91, but it seems to me the S18 runtime on 6xCR123A is reasonable by comparison (i.e. taking in capacity differences between a primary CR123A and a typical 18650). And while the 6xRCR runtime is less, it is hard to find six well-balanced RCRs in my stockpile of testers (i.e. all it takes is one to trip to shut the light down). Is there some specific aspect to the runtime traces that suggests a problem to you?

    BTW, all my CR123A runtimes were done with Titanium Innovations cells, as usual in my reviews. 4Sevens included three sets of shrink-wrapped 2xCR123A 4Sevens cells, but I used those for general handling and for the beamshot and output testing.

    Quote Originally Posted by tre View Post
    I would love it if 4sevens had an XML version of this light over driven to 1000 OTF lumens that could use 3 18650 cells. That I would buy is a second.
    Do I smell demand for a "X16" in the future?

    Quote Originally Posted by Haesslich View Post
    Would you say the beam's more like a slice of light then, due to the wide hotspot? like an arc of light, or more of a pie section?
    Sorry, it's getting hard to compare the beams in words - I think the outdoor beamshots (still to come) will have to do the talking. Personally, I prefer the beam on ths S18 over the X10 (for the extra output and cleaner profile with no tint shifting on my sample). I also like the S18's control ring interface better.

    That said, the S18 is also more than 3 times the weight of the X10, and nearly twice as long. If I was going for a trek in the woods, I'm pretty sure I've grab the X10 first. The X10 really is an incredible amount of light in a tiny package - you'll notice the effect of lugging the S18 around pretty fast. But the option to use standard CR123A on the S18 is clearly part of its appeal.
    Last edited by selfbuilt; 08-01-2011 at 09:17 PM.
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    Flashaholic* Haesslich's Avatar
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    Default Re: 4Sevens Maelstrom S18 (SST-90, 6xCR123A/RCR) Review: RUNTIMES, BEAMSHOTS and more

    Quote Originally Posted by selfbuilt View Post
    Sorry, it's getting hard to compare the beams in words - I think the outdoor beamshots (still to come) will have to do the talking. Personally, I prefer the beam on ths S18 over the X10 (for the extra output and cleaner profile with no tint shifting on my sample). I also like the S18's control ring interface better.

    That said, the S18 is also more than 3 times the weight of the X10, and nearly twice as long. If I was going for a trek in the woods, I'm pretty sure I've grab the X10 first. The X10 really is an incredible amount of light in a tiny package - you'll notice the effect of lugging the S18 around pretty fast. But the option to use standard CR123A on the S18 is clearly part of its appeal.
    So you'd say the S18's SST-90 gives it a better overall flood beam with a bit of punch, versus the X10's 'wall'? Mind you, this ring sounds a lot better than some of the interfaces I've seen involving seven or eight double-clicks...

    As for the weight, given it's 800g with batteries, it looks like it's almost 3 times the weight of an LD40 or TK35. But I wonder how much of that weight's from the heatsinking, versus the battery tube. And yes, the standard batteries fulfill a wish I've had for years with the Maelstroms - the ability to use primaries in a pinch, especially if you'll be away from a charger for more than 4 hours.

  14. #14

    Default Re: 4Sevens Maelstrom S18 (SST-90, 6xCR123A/RCR) Review: RUNTIMES, BEAMSHOTS and more

    Great review. Out of curiosity, why can they put a forward click switch on this light but not on the S12 and X10? I remember something about too much current for it to be reliable. If they can put one on this it seems like they should be able to stick on on the other lights.

  15. #15

    Default Re: 4Sevens Maelstrom S18 (SST-90, 6xCR123A/RCR) Review: RUNTIMES, BEAMSHOTS and more

    Quote Originally Posted by mhphoto View Post
    Great review. Out of curiosity, why can they put a forward click switch on this light but not on the S12 and X10? I remember something about too much current for it to be reliable. If they can put one on this it seems like they should be able to stick on on the other lights.
    +1

    Exactly what I want to know?
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  16. #16

    Default Re: 4Sevens Maelstrom S18 (SST-90, 6xCR123A/RCR) Review: RUNTIMES, BEAMSHOTS and more

    Great review. Looking forward to the outdoor beamshots!
    Looking for a Fenix E21 Neutral White.

  17. #17

    Default Re: 4Sevens Maelstrom S18 (SST-90, 6xCR123A/RCR) Review: RUNTIMES, BEAMSHOTS and more

    Quote Originally Posted by Haesslich View Post
    So you'd say the S18's SST-90 gives it a better overall flood beam with a bit of punch, versus the X10's 'wall'?
    No, that's not really it. The XM-L based X10 has a "throwier" beam, in the sense of the relative amount of light in the hotspot compare to the spillbeam. In this sense, the S18's SST-90 gives you more of a "wall" of light (i.e. there is more light in spill area, relative to the hotspot). And although the S18 has a more itense hotspot than the X10 at medium range, I am not sure how well it will really throw into the distance - I can't tell that in my suburban neighborhood of homes everywhere. That comparison will have to wait until I make my next trek to my 100-yard beamshot site.

    As a comparison, the discussion threads on the S12 vs the X10 might give you a better feel for the difference (although I don't have a S12 to compare). I expect the S18 has higher output and a more focused hotspot, but the relative relationship between hotspot and spill is probably fairly close between the S12 and S18.

    Quote Originally Posted by mhphoto View Post
    Great review. Out of curiosity, why can they put a forward click switch on this light but not on the S12 and X10? I remember something about too much current for it to be reliable. If they can put one on this it seems like they should be able to stick on on the other lights.
    Quote Originally Posted by jhc37013 View Post
    +1
    +2

    I suspect it has more to do with adding length, but clearly it should be possible. Curious to hear they say as well ...
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    Flashaholic* Outdoorsman5's Avatar
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    Default Re: 4Sevens Maelstrom S18 (SST-90, 6xCR123A/RCR) Review: RUNTIMES, BEAMSHOTS and more

    Great review Selfbuilt.
    Question: How does the light stay within the 4.5v - 8.4v operating voltage even though it uses six 3v CR123s or six 4.2v RCR123s?

  19. #19
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    Default Re: 4Sevens Maelstrom S18 (SST-90, 6xCR123A/RCR) Review: RUNTIMES, BEAMSHOTS and more

    Quote Originally Posted by Outdoorsman5 View Post
    Question: How does the light stay within the 4.5v - 8.4v operating voltage even though it uses six 3v CR123s or six 4.2v RCR123s?
    The batteries are in parallel, 3 stings of two batteries each.
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    Default Re: 4Sevens Maelstrom S18 (SST-90, 6xCR123A/RCR) Review: RUNTIMES, BEAMSHOTS and more

    Quote Originally Posted by HKJ View Post
    The batteries are in parallel, 3 stings of two batteries each.
    So, in other words, each pair must be within 4.5v-8.4v?
    Multiply that by three sets means the total voltage must be within 18v-25.2v?
    Am I understanding this right?

  21. #21

    Default Re: 4Sevens Maelstrom S18 (SST-90, 6xCR123A/RCR) Review: RUNTIMES, BEAMSHOTS and more

    Quote Originally Posted by Outdoorsman5 View Post
    Question: How does the light stay within the 4.5v - 8.4v operating voltage even though it uses six 3v CR123s or six 4.2v RCR123s?
    Quote Originally Posted by HKJ View Post
    The batteries are in parallel, 3 stings of two batteries each.
    Yes, that is the only conclusion I can draw as well (i.e. 2s3p arrangement). The voltage range is thus specific for each of the 3 channels (i.e. for each pair of batteries).

    Incidentally, I see there is some consternation floating around in other threads about support for RCR and not 18650. On this front, I would note the original specs for the S18 were for 6xCR123A only. The support for 6xRCR seems to have been a very recent change, likely to help meet the rechargeable concerns of members here. Again, I'm only guessing, but I suspect they weren't able to get the circuit to work <4.5V per channel.
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  22. #22
    HKJ's Avatar
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    Default Re: 4Sevens Maelstrom S18 (SST-90, 6xCR123A/RCR) Review: RUNTIMES, BEAMSHOTS and more

    Quote Originally Posted by Outdoorsman5 View Post
    So, in other words, each pair must be within 4.5v-8.4v?
    Multiply that by three sets means the total voltage must be within 18v-25.2v?
    Am I understanding this right?
    Mostly, you can not talk of a higher voltage when running in parallel. Each slot in the battery cassette must have exactly the same voltage and it must be between 4.5 and 8.4 volt. You could probably also run the light with only one slot filled (but only on low).
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    Flashaholic* Outdoorsman5's Avatar
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    Default Re: 4Sevens Maelstrom S18 (SST-90, 6xCR123A/RCR) Review: RUNTIMES, BEAMSHOTS and more

    I understand better now....thanks.

  24. #24
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    Default Re: 4Sevens Maelstrom S18 (SST-90, 6xCR123A/RCR) Review: RUNTIMES, BEAMSHOTS and more

    Tnx for a nice review.
    Too bad about that short runtime on high.
    Is it because of the batteryconfiguration?

  25. #25

    Default Re: 4Sevens Maelstrom S18 (SST-90, 6xCR123A/RCR) Review: RUNTIMES, BEAMSHOTS and more

    Nice job Selfbuilt as usual on the review - mine is over in the LED forum:

    http://www.candlepowerforums.com/vb/...gt-gt-gt-gt-gt

  26. #26

    Default Re: 4Sevens Maelstrom S18 (SST-90, 6xCR123A/RCR) Review: RUNTIMES, BEAMSHOTS and more

    Quote Originally Posted by HKJ View Post
    You could probably also run the light with only one slot filled (but only on low).
    My guess is this is correct. The battery carrier looks like it uses a similarly designed cradle for the batteries as the Olight SR50 6x123 battery carrier. (At least the contacts of the carrier are similar.) The SR50 can run with only one battery slot filled (two batteries).
    Last edited by calflash; 08-02-2011 at 12:23 PM.

  27. #27
    Flashaholic SHADE02's Avatar
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    Default Re: 4Sevens Maelstrom S18 (SST-90, 6xCR123A/RCR) Review: RUNTIMES, BEAMSHOTS and more

    Can somebody help me with this doubt.

    How dangerous is to use it in 6 rcr123 batteries??

    i have a few lights that use 2x 18650, and even if i charge it, at the same time, my 2x 18650 never get the same voltage.

    So.. how many difference betwen the volts(in each rcr) can be in a safe area

  28. #28

    Default Re: 4Sevens Maelstrom S18 (SST-90, 6xCR123A/RCR) Review: RUNTIMES, BEAMSHOTS and more

    Quote Originally Posted by HKJ View Post
    You could probably also run the light with only one slot filled (but only on low).
    Confirmed, the light illuminates on 4xCR123A or 2xCR123A. I wouldn't want to try and push this past the Lo mode, though (and before anyone asks, no, I'm not going to try it on Hi this way ).

    Quote Originally Posted by SHADE02 View Post
    How dangerous is to use it in 6 rcr123 batteries??
    It's a good question, and one I'd like to see the battery experts chime in on. As always, I expect the risk is relatively low (especially with good quality cells), but it stands to reason the risk increases the more cells are involved (hence my warning in the review).

    It my testing, using recent good quality AW protected RCRs, I noticed the residual resting voltages coming out of the light at the end of a run were pretty comparable among the cells (in the low 3V range). Of course, I made sure they were the same going in! But note that as cells age, the maximum resting voltage when fully charged drops somewhat (i.e. may be 4.22V hot off the charger when new, 4.14V after six months). I made a point of ensuring all my cells were 4.16-4.18V going in for the runtime test.
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  29. #29
    Flashaholic Erzengel's Avatar
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    Default Re: 4Sevens Maelstrom S18 (SST-90, 6xCR123A/RCR) Review: RUNTIMES, BEAMSHOTS and more

    I think that some two cell lights are more dangerous. The current is distributed between the three stacks and therefore it should be rather low. I don't know the current rating, maybe someone else can clarify this.

  30. #30

    Default Re: 4Sevens Maelstrom S18 (SST-90, 6xCR123A/RCR) Review: RUNTIMES, BEAMSHOTS and more

    Quote Originally Posted by selfbuilt View Post

    It's a good question, and one I'd like to see the battery experts chime in on. As always, I expect the risk is relatively low (especially with good quality cells), but it stands to reason the risk increases the more cells are involved (hence my warning in the review).

    It my testing, using recent good quality AW protected RCRs, I noticed the residual resting voltages coming out of the light at the end of a run were pretty comparable among the cells (in the low 3V range). Of course, I made sure they were the same going in! But note that as cells age, the maximum resting voltage when fully charged drops somewhat (i.e. may be 4.22V hot off the charger when new, 4.14V after six months). I made a point of ensuring all my cells were 4.16-4.18V going in for the runtime test.
    So it stands to reason it's a always a good idea to own a multimeter but even more so if you plan on owning a S18, if you take a little extra time and and check your rcr123's voltage after they are depleted and then again after charging this can help keep everything safe. Check that your cr123's volatge matches up before mixing them together.

    If it was me I would check the rcr123's voltage after you run the S18 for 30mins or so to make sure the capacity of all 6 are matching up ok, I would probably do this 3 or 4 times before I get confident with the cells but I would always do the checks before and after charging.

    I'm really not sure either but I've never mixed cells with a voltage difference of >.1v, I would like to learn more if anyone knows any good "rules of thumb".
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