I’ve had a 60” Carbon Arc, a few VSS-1 and VSS-3 tank lights, have some helicopter targeting lights, a couple Maxabeams and more HID and Short Arc lights but here's a light I never thought I’d have. Not because I wouldn’t want one, but because they are so expensive for what they are as compared to other HID’s. I’ve been watching these on Ebay for a long, long time during which, there have been very few for sale and at very high prices. A few months ago, I saw one that I think was between $3,500 and $4,500 that looked pretty good in the pics but came with batteries that were completely dead/expired. I saw it listed a few more times for a little less each time. Then a couple weeks ago, I saw it listed for less again. A day later, it was a little less again. I emailed the seller saying that if he didn’t have any luck selling it, I would buy it for a$1,800 plus shipping. What the heck – a new 80 Watt Maxabeam is $2,300 and I can run this light on my 28 Volt portable power supply so a working light would cost me about $1,850 with shipping. He emailed back saying that he would keep my email but that he wanted to continue on Ebay for a month or two. A couple hours later, he emailed again saying that he was working with others on this and that he had argued with them to keep the price low while the others wanted to raise it back up. At the end of the email, he said they actually had 3 of them and that I could probably get them all for $5,500 shipped and with rugged Hartigg Storm Cases – of course all 3 with the dead batteries. I kicked it around for a day, emailed a fellow CPF member asking him if he wanted to go in for 33%. He answered in the affirmative. He can ID himself if he wants. So a deal was struck and now I have a couple of them sitting in the garage. I bought two with the intent of keeping one and selling the second one to help pay for the one I’m keeping. But I’m also toying with the idea of attempting to mod the 2nd light to 300 Watts.
This is what arrived a few days ago: (I’m a little disappointed that there was no Red Beret and military fatigues in the cases)
Cases are well traveled and the wheel bearings were near frozen. Soaked them in solvent and then in some oil and they’re almost as good as new. One case is cleaned and polished. I have new OEM foam sets coming for one.
The contents of the purchase
A little closer
The lights close up
The battery packs in the vest. These were very nice Safion packs but every cell has vented and many have corroded through their cases. The cells are worthless. It was mfg’d as a 6S/4P LiFePO4, 3.3V x 6 = 19.8 V Nominal x’s 5.3 Amps = 104.94 Watt Hours each x’s 3 = 314.82 Watt Hours. The boxes and the PCB are salvagable. The 3-box pack weighs 8 lbs, 6 Oz. By comparison, I’m using 4 ea., 6S/3 Amp Lipo packs that weigh 4lbs total. 3.7V x’s 6 = 22.2V Nominal x’s 3 Amps = 66.6 Watt Hours each x’s 4 = 266.4 Watt Hours. So my substitute pack is 85% of the capacity of the OEM pack. OEM pack run time on high is stated as 100 minutes so I might get 80 minutes from my pack.
Some beam shots on a windy, dirty atmosphere night. I'm disappointed in my beam shot results. In-person and in Photoshop at full resolution, the view looks a full 25 - 30% brighter. Something is lost in reducing them. I need to somehow compensate for this in the future. The same thing happened in my beamshots post in the Abyss Group Buy thread. To my eyes, the MR puts a bigger spot downfield and that entire spot is at least 2.5, maybe 3 times brighter than the Gen3 Maxabeam. I had my Maxabeam along but the battery ran out. I'll add the MB shots in the next few days. When they're up, you can probably appreciate the 175 Watt MRs' performance more.
Update: I reshot everything tonight with both lights using 8 second exposures instead of 6 seconds. It's better but still not what I see. But at least is a relative comparison of the two lights.
Maxabeam 350 Yards
Megaray 350 Yards
Maxabeam 900 Yards
Megaray 900 Yards
Maxabeam 1355 Yards
Megaray 1355 Yards
Megaray Left, Maxabeam, Right
Megaray Left, Maxabeam, Right