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Thread: ZL performance w/ eneloops vs misc Nimh

  1. #1
    Flashaholic DIΩDΣ's Avatar
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    Default ZL performance w/ eneloops vs misc Nimh

    I've had my H51W now for a week or two and have been using it often. Mainly for jogging, but briefly now and then for misc stuff around the house, in the basement, or running out to the garden to get a tomato when dinner happens to be after dark.

    I dont have any eneloops yet, and I know they run best on eneloops. But so far the run times I've experienced are dismall! I dont know if eneloops are just THAT much better or my ZL or cells have something weird going on. I've used mainly the Powerex AA's that came with my Lacross 9009, listed as 2600mAhr. I've gone through 2 or three of them all with very short run times. I usually jog in the M1 (26lumen) setting, and if a car comes I crank it up to full until the car is by. Last week I was only jogging 20-30 minutes each night and maybe 5-10 more minutes of misc usage. I've also been reading for maybe 20 minutes in bed on moonlight mode. One battery wouldnt go into high at all the second day and by then end of the second days run lost M1?!? That was probably barely over an hour of usage and M1 is suppose to be 9hrs on eneloops? The next cell I used lasted longer, but still lost high on the second day (but held in M1 fine).

    I suppose I need to do a more scientific test and run it straight on a single mode and time it. I'm just kinda guessing at the runtimes, and had mixed modes during my usage.

    I'm just skeptical I guess, but if eneloops last that much longer I'm all for it. Although pricey, I have 4 of the XX ones in my shopping cart on amazon and plan on putting an order through in the next few days.

  2. #2
    *Flashaholic* Burgess's Avatar
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    Default Re: ZL performance w/ eneloops vs misc Nimh

    For what it's worth . . . .


    My ZebraLight H51 FW gave these run-times on a Sanyo Eneloop (original 2000mAH version).


    On "Medium-High",
    it lasted only about 6 Hours --
    which is just HALF of the Claimed Runtime of 12 Hours !


    On "Medium-Low",
    it lasted less than 17 Hours --
    well under HALF of Claimed Runtime of 39 Hours !


    Not saying this performance is at all bad, or unacceptable.
    Just wanted to point out it isn't reaching their published ratings.

    That's MY results, anyway.
    Your mileage may vary.


    Edited (09/21/2011) to add:
    Perhaps the ZL claimed numbers i quoted here are no longer accurate.
    Please see the next several postings for more information.
    Last edited by Burgess; 09-21-2011 at 08:39 PM. Reason: updated ZL runtime claims ? ? ?

  3. #3

    Default Re: ZL performance w/ eneloops vs misc Nimh

    I also have H51W and bunch of Eneloops and other Ni-Mhs (new and old). I didn't measure runtimes but it varies a lot even between the same brand and kind of batteries. With quite fresh black eneloops XXX I'm getting well over hour on max. I don't know how close is the actual runtime of Zebra Lights to the specs but I will give you two possible explanations:

    -I used eneloops and generaly Ni-Mhs everywhere in my household - remotes, clocks, flashlights, digital cameras, toys and so on. What I learned is that some of those devices are not designed to work correctly with Ni-Mhs and can run them totally dry which is very, very bad for Ni-Mhs life and their maximum capacity - Ni-Mhs shouldn't be discharged under 1V (meassured without load in last few min). Maybe your NiMhs true capacity is now much smaller then stated?
    -Fresh Ni-Mhs from the shop need few full discharge-recharge cycles to achieve full capacity.

    What I want to say is that it may be ZL fault but it may be also fault of your Ni-Mhs. To be sure you should check them in quality charger like Maha or LaCrosse and measure their true "discharging" capacity.
    Last edited by stp; 09-21-2011 at 06:09 AM.

  4. #4
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    Default Re: ZL performance w/ eneloops vs misc Nimh

    Burgess, I'm not sure where you got your H51W figures from, according to ZLs website the current specs for a H51W are: Medium: M1 26 Lm (9 hrs) or M2 7Lm (30 hrs)

    According to a review by Selfbuilt a SC51 got 7hrs 47 mins on M1 with a 2000 mAh eneloop, which isn't that much less than the claimed .
    http://flashlightreviews.ca/ST10.htm


    It's probably worthwhile test the actual capacity of the batteries (rather than rated capacity) first, then you can test the run-time of the light with a battery of known capacity. When I got my Maha C9000 caharger and started testing my older NiMh batteries (not eneloops) I ended up throwing most of them away due to very low actual capacity (or excessively high internal resistance), and even the older eneloops needed to be "broken-in" multiple times before they recovered to be closer to (but still less than) their rated capacity.
    Edit: STP must be a quicker typist than me (plus I was searching for run time tests).
    Last edited by Gregozedobe; 09-21-2011 at 06:19 AM.

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    Default Re: ZL performance w/ eneloops vs misc Nimh

    diode, how do you find running with the h51w? do you carry it with the headband, handheld, some other way?
    i have the h51w, but usually hand carry the sc51c with an energizer l91 for lightness when running, or use the eneloop xx otherwise. although i've considered using 14500, i've only tested it at this point to see that high is indeed brighter with li-ion.
    Last edited by damn_hammer; 09-21-2011 at 10:06 AM.

  6. #6
    *Flashaholic* Burgess's Avatar
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    Default Re: ZL performance w/ eneloops vs misc Nimh

    Quote Originally Posted by Gregozedobe View Post

    Burgess, I'm not sure where you got your H51W figures from, according to ZLs website the current specs for a H51W are: Medium: M1 26 Lm (9 hrs) or M2 7Lm (30 hrs)


    Yes, indeed -- you are correct !

    I ran these run-time tests on February 14 & 15, 2011.

    Not quite sure just WHERE i got those "official ZebraLight numbers" from,
    but i would imagine i got 'em from the ZL website.
    Can't remember now, but that was probably my source.

    Has ZebraLight *changed* or updated their runtimes, in the past 7 months ? ? ?
    That's all i can figure, at the moment.

    I did indeed write-down these figures (on my computer), so i'm NOT relying upon my memory.



    It's probably worthwhile test the actual capacity of the batteries (rather than rated capacity) first, then you can test the run-time of the light with a battery of known capacity. When I got my Maha C9000 caharger and started testing my older NiMh batteries (not eneloops) I ended up throwing most of them away due to very low actual capacity (or excessively high internal resistance), and even the older eneloops needed to be "broken-in" multiple times before they recovered to be closer to (but still less than) their rated capacity.


    I have a Maha C9000 charger, and do occasionally perform a "maintenance" cycle on my Eneloops.
    I'm confident they are not THAT far off from Mfr. specs., even though they ARE several years old.


    _

  7. #7
    Flashaholic* tre's Avatar
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    Default Re: ZL performance w/ eneloops vs misc Nimh

    Zebralight does arrive at their specs using an Eneloop. Burgess has a good charger.

    Diode, were your cells freshly charged? Since your cells are not LSD, they will loose charge fast. How old are your cells?

  8. #8
    Flashaholic DIΩDΣ's Avatar
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    Default Re: ZL performance w/ eneloops vs misc Nimh

    You know now I think about it I thought I had cycled them with the charger but I cant remember seeing what capacity they charged too, its possible now I think I used them the way they came (precharged, but who knows how much capacity left in em). I was probably a bit premature posting, even though I am mainly after reinforcing a eneloop purchase anyhow.

    I have the batteries in question on the lacrosse doing a discharge/recharge and I'll see when I get home tomorrow what they report and then check the actual run times on the light. Regardless though, I need some more batts and my next order will be eneloops, just have to decide if I want the regular or if the extra 25% capacity is worth paying double. For regular every day electronics it wouldnt be logical, but for hiking or jogging long distances where every minute and every ounce counts it might be worth the premium to get the XX.

    Damn Hammer: I plan on doing a separate review thread about my experiences with the H51W but was going to wait until I have some more usage out of it, and eneloops. But the couple of short runs I have done with it I am quite pleased. I have nothing to compare though, its my first headlamp. I have tried running with handhelds and just cant stand it. My arms move to and fro and the beams bounce way too much. The headlamp bounces a little, but much less. Also its very unnatural for me to run holding a traditional straight light as I have to twist my hands downward, the right angle H51 should do better since I can hold my hand in a more natural running position but I have not tried it that way yet. Its plenty bright in med for the road or trail, although when I have done my night trail run I ran it on high 2 anyhow. Biggest complaint is the hotspot is a little to narrow, everything else seems fine. I'll have a more thorough review maybe in a couple weeks after more use.
    Last edited by DIΩDΣ; 09-21-2011 at 10:08 PM.

  9. #9
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    Default Re: ZL performance w/ eneloops vs misc Nimh

    If the hotspot is too narrow next time you go running try putting a piece of Scotch "Magic" tape over the lens.

    I have the H51f (frosted lens) and the regular H51 and I ended up diffusing the H51 as well as the overall beam was too narrow for my liking.

    If you don't like the effect just take the tape back off.

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    Default Re: ZL performance w/ eneloops vs misc Nimh

    I think there a couple of members offering diffusion film over at CPFM. IIRC it is just placed on and peeled off without leaving any residue. You could try one or two layers to get the amount of diffusion you prefer.

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    Default Re: ZL performance w/ eneloops vs misc Nimh

    Quote Originally Posted by DIΩDΣ View Post
    ...

    Damn Hammer: I plan on doing a separate review thread about my experiences with the H51W but was going to wait until I have some more usage out of it, and eneloops. But the couple of short runs I have done with it I am quite pleased. I have nothing to compare though, its my first headlamp. I have tried running with handhelds and just cant stand it. My arms move to and fro and the beams bounce way too much. The headlamp bounces a little, but much less. Also its very unnatural for me to run holding a traditional straight light as I have to twist my hands downward, the right angle H51 should do better since I can hold my hand in a more natural running position but I have not tried it that way yet. Its plenty bright in med for the road or trail, although when I have done my night trail run I ran it on high 2 anyhow. Biggest complaint is the hotspot is a little to narrow, everything else seems fine. I'll have a more thorough review maybe in a couple weeks after more use.
    i agree regarding the unnatural feel of carrying a handheld light while running, and the bouncing hotspot. leg stride tends to follow the arms, and it messes it up for me. i'm still looking for a better setup. seems like the most stable, and useful attachment point on the body would be some sort of chest strap, but haven't seen one available.

  12. #12

    Default Re: ZL performance w/ eneloops vs misc Nimh

    Quote Originally Posted by DIΩDΣ View Post
    Biggest complaint is the hotspot is a little to narrow, everything else seems fine.
    DC-Fix can fix that. it will spread out the hotspot to about double the original size, but do it without totally killing the throw unlike scotch tape. and the adhesive on it seems to be heat and water resistant and hasn't gummed up on me like scotch tape can.

  13. #13
    Flashaholic* psychbeat's Avatar
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    Default

    I've been using removable scotch
    On my h51

    Runtimes on NiZn are pretty bad on high.

    Thing is it's a single AA light so I figure high is just for bursts and use the non PWM med as my main setting.

    And bring extra cells....

    Usually I use an 18650 light if I can get away with the weight. The 51 is my edc bag light.

  14. #14
    Flashaholic DIΩDΣ's Avatar
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    Default Re: ZL performance w/ eneloops vs misc Nimh

    Yeah I'm pretty new here but have been reading most all posts (especially about the ZL's) for weeks or months prior to even registering so I've learned about the scotch tape, DC fix, etc. Thing is too me its rather minor so I havent bothered trying tape or anything to fix it yet. I dont like the idea of adhesive on the lens though. One idea I had was just cutting a scrap of shower curtain just to test it out, even if I have to use rubber bands or zip ties to affix it, just to test it out. Think the wife would mind a small corner missing from the shower curtain? Seemed to work pretty good when I put the light up to it.

    As far as 1AA run times... well personally I think the rated 9hrs on med 1 is incredable, and others like selfbuilt have tested close to that, I just need to get eneloops. On that note I did a charge/discharge cycle of my newest NiMH on my charger and thought it would tell me the capacity when done but when I got home it said 'full' and I pressed the display button to toggle through and I didnt gat any mAhr reading accept a really small one which I assume was what it was continuing to trickle charge at. Guess I havent figured out this charger yet lol (LaCrosse 9009). I put it into test mode I think that will do it. I really need to read the manual again! Well I'll see what it says this time when I get back home.

    psychbeat - yeah an extra AA isnt much to just throw in the pocket. Like you I pretty much use medium as my go to setting. High is just for short burts when needed.
    Last edited by DIΩDΣ; 09-22-2011 at 09:55 PM.

  15. #15

    Default Re: ZL performance w/ eneloops vs misc Nimh

    DC Fix really is some cool stuff. it doesn't leave a residue on the lens like Scotch tape or Press'n Seal. it's made of polyurethane so it's pretty tough, way tougher than other diffusion materials i've found so far. it's also kind of thick and fairly rigid so it goes on and comes off really clean. it was designed to be applied to bathroom windows and so it is moisture, heat, and UV resistant. there's a guy in the Marketplace selling it for $1.25 a sheet. i think it's worth a try.

    *Edit* - DC Fix doesn't diffuse as much as other diffusion materials, especially scotch tape. IMO the effect is really different.
    Last edited by robostudent5000; 09-23-2011 at 03:39 PM.

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