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Thread: SureFire Maximus™ Rechargeable Variable-Output LED Headlamp

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    Default SureFire Maximus™ Rechargeable Variable-Output LED Headlamp

    Newly released 500 lumen monster:

    http://www.surefire.com/illumination...shs3-a-bk.html

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    Flashaholic* csshih's Avatar
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    Default Re: SureFire Maximus™ Rechargeable Variable-Output LED Headlamp

    Batteries 1 Li-Ion rechargeable (included)
    Includes long-life lithium-ion rechargeable battery with wall (AC) and car (DC) chargers

    Oo

    Craig

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    Default Re: SureFire Maximus™ Rechargeable Variable-Output LED Headlamp

    As long as you aren't stuck with one battery, I would definitely want to carry a couple spares for that one.
    The brighter the light, the darker the shadow.

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    Flashaholic Mooreshire's Avatar
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    Thumbs down Re: SureFire Maximus™ Rechargeable Variable-Output LED Headlamp

    Quote Originally Posted by eh4 View Post
    As long as you aren't stuck with one battery, I would definitely want to carry a couple spares for that one.
    That is the issue - the battery is internal and not replaceable. Once it's dead in the field that's it until you can find a USB charging source. Real shame in my opinion. Perhaps they did that to keep people from being able to put lousy cells in it and blame failures on the light itself. As a cave explorer this is unacceptable, as I plan to go through several sets of batteries in one day and for a long trip into the wilderness or even a weekend of remote caving this light would be basically useless. You could recharge it overnight with a separate mobile USB charging source (I have a cheap plastic box that holds two 18650s and has a USB port for charging things) but that's still pretty limited. Even as a backup headlamp it seems less than ideal this way.

    Here's hoping they make a version that allows swappable cylindrical cells.

  5. #5

    Default Re: SureFire Maximus™ Rechargeable Variable-Output LED Headlamp

    Yeah... sounds like a pretty fantastic light otherwise, will give them a pass on not going below 1 lumen if they could fix the critical power supply flaw. Kinda seems like they are targeting that light to an audience that will be wowed but never use it to it's potential for very long, no spares is so lame.
    The brighter the light, the darker the shadow.

  6. #6

    Default Re: SureFire Maximus™ Rechargeable Variable-Output LED Headlamp

    It looks like a good light for me, except the battery. I would love to see an 18650 removable battery or RCR123 support. Internal battery is a deal-breaker for me.

    UPDATE: Despite the built-in battery I bought one. Very bright, very controllable, but... Surefire should have added an over-the-head strap. I looked at my other headlamps, considered swiping a headband, but found the Maximus was built for the over-the-head strap. A piece of stretch Velcro strap and I now have the complete strap system that should have been installed in the first place. If I'm in the field I bring a second headlamp and spare batteries.
    Last edited by HotWire; 01-05-2013 at 09:56 PM.

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    Default Re: SureFire Maximus™ Rechargeable Variable-Output LED Headlamp

    Are the Surefire's with internal batteries safer than consumer/loose lithium-ion cells? Much talk has been around over discharge/charge and making sure we don't do that, regardless of chemistry or IC protection circuit. But if Surefire is going to use these batteries, they are taking on some legal risk. So I'm thinking it must be safer.

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    Flashaholic* 276's Avatar
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    Default Re: SureFire Maximus™ Rechargeable Variable-Output LED Headlamp

    I have had one of these for several months and my only two negatives are that it didn't come with a top strap and that it doesn't have a removable battery.
    Surefire,Inova,4Sevens,Fenix,Olight,Malkoff, AEX25,Xeray50,Polarion Aybss Dual, AElight 30-50 watt,Wiseled tactical 2000,Peak, Lupine Wilma TL, .......

  9. #9

    Default Re: SureFire Maximus™ Rechargeable Variable-Output LED Headlamp

    I guess this means the multiple assurances I got from their CS dept that I would eventually (about 2 weeks) be able to buy just the AA pack for the now not shown model for use on my multiple 123 only minimuses was just surefire lies. Thank you sureliar, much appreciated!!

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    Default Re: SureFire Maximus™ Rechargeable Variable-Output LED Headlamp

    Quote Originally Posted by Mooreshire View Post
    That is the issue - the battery is internal and not replaceable. Once it's dead in the field that's it until you can find a USB charging source. Real shame in my opinion. Perhaps they did that to keep people from being able to put lousy cells in it and blame failures on the light itself. As a cave explorer this is unacceptable, as I plan to go through several sets of batteries in one day and for a long trip into the wilderness or even a weekend of remote caving this light would be basically useless. You could recharge it overnight with a separate mobile USB charging source (I have a cheap plastic box that holds two 18650s and has a USB port for charging things) but that's still pretty limited. Even as a backup headlamp it seems less than ideal this way.

    Here's hoping they make a version that allows swappable cylindrical cells.
    Fortunately, just barely of course {WAN GRIN!}, we don't have to worry about being `stuck' with a USB port type recharging connection. It's a `good-ole' 12VDC `barrel' plug and jack setup and it comes with both a 12VDC 1.67A `wallwart' and an `Auto' `power port / lighter socket' adapter & cable. Both are terminate the `standard?' center positive that, I suspect that quite a few of us, have a `love/hate?' relationship with. {GRIN!}

    Now, while I am not a `caver' / `spelunker', I happen to live out in the country on a farm and even though the REA power is quite reliable, offtimes more reliable than urban/suburban power, there still are times when an outage has been known to last more than just a few hours or days. I will also agree that unlike `spelunking' I *do* have more than just the number of spare batteries ETC. and can see where it could be a `Royale PITA' trying to use some sort of charge/boost box or hand cranked dynamo to recharge one of these lamps. (Though... *I* wouldn't limit myself to carrying `just one' lamp and probably would be carrying, maybe, a couple lamps that used primary batteries (Possibly CR123s) and maybe even a carbide lamp or 2, too. (I'm so `bad' that if one were to paw through all of our vehicles, and quite a bit of our `equipment', one would easily come up with a half dozen or more assorted assorted light sources along with at least enough spare batteries for at least 3 battery changes for each of the assorted lights found in each vehicle. (In *some* cases there would also be extra fuel and things like mantles.) Having both grown up living out in the `boonies' and still living out in said `boonies' it is a hard `habit' to break. {WAN GRIN!} Fortunately, my wife having also grown up in similar circumstances is understanding, and our 2 children don't think that this is anything `out of the normal'. (Our 20yr old daughter always has at least 3, if not more, flashlights, other light sources, and batteries for them with her and our 16yr old son sometimes almost clunks and rattles with the ones he carries. `Course... They both also have most of the `other' gadgetry youngsters today carry. But, that is a whole nuther `ball-of-wax'. {GRIMACE!})

    `Course... We *do* also have assorted other `emergency' power sources, too. One cannot really effectively run things like well pumps, furnace blowers. (We use Nat Gas, from one of the 6 wells we have on our place, for heating and cooking.)

    Quote Originally Posted by 276 View Post
    I have had one of these for several months and my only two negatives are that it didn't come with a top strap and that it doesn't have a removable battery.
    As can be seen from the previous part of this MS I don't really consider the rechargeable only battery all that much of a problem. {WAN GRIN!} But! I *do* have a quibble or two about the lack of a top strap. (And in conjunction with that I also have a tad bit slighter quibble about the weight.) Without a top strap I find wearing this headlamp for more than an hour or two a slight bit wearing. I've got a couple older headlamps, both battery powered and carbide powered ones that the top strap makes them a bit easier to deal with over long periods of time. However, since the Maximus happens to have the same type of connection for a possible top strap as the connections that attach the headband I've been considering cobbling together my own head strap out of similar material as the headband. My main `concern?' is how I want to facillitate adjusting it. SWMBO is `voting?' for using Velcro and I am leaning more towards going with something along the lines of how SureFire adjusts the headband. (Preferences and reasons, anyone?)
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    Flashaholic* 276's Avatar
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    Default Re: SureFire Maximus™ Rechargeable Variable-Output LED Headlamp

    I agree that wearing it too long it does end up bothering your head. That happened to me a while ago cleaning the basement i had it on an hour or so and my forehead was aching. aside from the top strap i would like more of a cushion then the one they give you.
    Surefire,Inova,4Sevens,Fenix,Olight,Malkoff, AEX25,Xeray50,Polarion Aybss Dual, AElight 30-50 watt,Wiseled tactical 2000,Peak, Lupine Wilma TL, .......

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    Default Re: SureFire Maximus™ Rechargeable Variable-Output LED Headlamp

    This is actually a disturbing trend I've seen in some new headlamps using a proprietary, non-removable rechargeable batteries. The light and motion Solite, some of the new Petzl's etc. If you are taking a trip somewhere out of the way and extreme you can't be stuck with one battery you can't replace and you have no option for using it with disposable batteries. Considering Surefire's roots it's really sad they would at least not offer a platform where you can either replace the rechargeable battery or run it off a separate battery pack or with CR123s. For a light I use around the house, or car camping that's fine, anything else I better be able to at the very least carry spare rechargeable battery packs for, especially at this price point.

    A second is how Surefire rates their lights, the 500 lumen maximus while impressive when I played with it at the shot show, the specs say it runs for 1 hour but Surefire's rating that for when the beam drops to 50 lumens. Now on a 100 lumen light I don't mind rating it's run time when it hits 50 lumens, but on a 500 lumen light calling it's run time when it's lost 90% of it's brightness is padding the specs pretty nicely, even though they do say what their criteria is. They should be using a % of original brightness not a raw lumen number, especially now that their lights vary a huge amount in lumens.

    I do really like the completely adjustable output, and if they offered a replaceable rechargeable battery, a better head strap, I'd be tempted. I rarely need 500 lumens in a head lamp, but if it had really long run times at say 100 lumens compared to other options out there I'd be tempted.

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    Default Re: SureFire Maximus™ Rechargeable Variable-Output LED Headlamp

    Quote Originally Posted by 276 View Post
    I agree that wearing it too long it does end up bothering your head. That happened to me a while ago cleaning the basement i had it on an hour or so and my forehead was aching. aside from the top strap i would like more of a cushion then the one they give you.
    Long `olde fart' `epistle' warning!

    I've noticed a similar problem with mine when I was fighting with a water heater that, at first I thought that the pilot light had just gotten blown out whenever we have strong wind gusts from a certain direction turned out to be a thermocouple problem, I ended up spending over an hour replacing and relighting *and* ended up with a headache. While I first thought it was caused by by a combination of it being in a cramped space and possible gas fumes from the assorted relightings I'd gone through once I'd taken of the headlamp the HA disappeared within about 5 or so minutes. If it had been stress and gas fumes, from prior experience years ago, it usually takes a lot longer than just 5 or so minutes.

    A few days afterward I had another reason to use the headlamp again for an `extended' period, I was replacing sparkplugs in the engine in our snowplow truck and the droplight I was using wasn't quite doing the job, and I experienced another HA just like the other one.

    Anyway... I've since been trying different types of `pads', currently made out of assorted different old/unused mousepads and bits-n-pieces of assorted shop machinery vibration absorbent pads (Kinda `hit-n-miss' but that's pretty much all I've had on hand.), between me and the Maximus and so far while I have *somewhat* managed to `ease' the HAs I just haven't gotten rid of them. Now I haven't tried adding an `over the head' strap because I used mine with the control on the left side because I don't have full use of my right hand and the attachment point for the `over the head' strap is on the bottom. Because the attachment is on the bottom for me I think that a headstrap would help because I think it just might twist the botton more toward my forehead than it already is twisted. (I also have put some thought into running the headstrap up between the lampbody and the mount but, after trying several different materials out of my wife's `stash' of assorted cloths and strapping materials [My wife is a quilter, maker of assorted stuff animals, and assorted carrying bags and cases, and has a `stash' that fills up one 10' X 12' almost up the 8' high ceiling and is currently halfway through a 12' X 15' X 8' room. I sometimes kid her that she believes the saying that "Qulter who dies with the most cloth wins." And... She usually just replies with a *Very Big Grin* and "*Yep!*".] and unless I use something really *thin* it ends up limiting the downward range of the lamp.) This is something I've found to be very useful for me when I'm crawling around inside old tube *and* solid state radios, hi-fi pre-amps, tuners, power-amps, ETC. whilst doing repairs or all out restorations. The *bright* *white*, with `overtones' of UV light that the Maximus puts out makes it one of the best headlamps I've used. The size and `self-containment' that the Maximus brings `to the table' is what has it ahead, way ahead, of the other headlamp which has a separate power supply / lamp and uses a fibre optic `cable' to the head unit, cannot be dimmed when needed, *and* co$t$ beaucoup bucks. Also, the Maximus easily costs at least a factor of 10 less and is *a lot* easier to find, yeah I *know* I've already got one, than the other one which I would have to spend a bunch of time looking for on the `used?' market.

    BTW, I also have a tan Minimus that I could use but, as nice as it is it just doesn't seem to quite `punch through' as well as the Maximus when trying to read colour codes on the older resistors and `dominoe' capacitors in the older tube units which comprise the majority of my repairs/restores I've been doing these days. Probably 10 or so years ago a Minimus would have done the job but my old worn out eyes seem to scream for something brighter and I expect that eventually even a Maximus, or brighter, won't be enough either and I'll have to quit. Just something, I suppose, comes along with getting older?
    Doleo ergo sum,
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    Unenlightened Halfpint's Avatar
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    Default Re: SureFire Maximus™ Rechargeable Variable-Output LED Headlamp

    Quote Originally Posted by ToddM View Post
    This is actually a disturbing trend I've seen in some new headlamps using a proprietary, non-removable rechargeable batteries. The light and motion Solite, some of the new Petzl's etc. If you are taking a trip somewhere out of the way and extreme you can't be stuck with one battery you can't replace and you have no option for using it with disposable batteries. Considering Surefire's roots it's really sad they would at least not offer a platform where you can either replace the rechargeable battery or run it off a separate battery pack or with CR123s. For a light I use around the house, or car camping that's fine, anything else I better be able to at the very least carry spare rechargeable battery packs for, especially at this price point.
    Long `olde fart' `epistle' warning!

    I somewhat had my doubts about the Maximus being only rechargeable only. However, after playing around a bit with mine I've decided that it isn't as bad as I initially thought it would be.

    A second is how Surefire rates their lights, the 500 lumen maximus while impressive when I played with it at the shot show, the specs say it runs for 1 hour but Surefire's rating that for when the beam drops to 50 lumens. Now on a 100 lumen light I don't mind rating it's run time when it hits 50 lumens, but on a 500 lumen light calling it's run time when it's lost 90% of it's brightness is padding the specs pretty nicely, even though they do say what their criteria is. They should be using a % of original brightness not a raw lumen number, especially now that their lights vary a huge amount in lumens.
    I always take lumen, and battery time `ratings' from any light maker with the probverbial `grain of salt' and if possible do my own `testing' whenever I can. I do my lumen ratings with an old Tenma 72-6693 Light Meter that I got `surplus' from a friend who did a lot of industrial lighting work and was retiring. It's good enough for doing `off the cuff' comparisons against other lights that I have and somewhat have a decent idea of what they can do. Between that, CPF `threads, and `field tests' I make my choice as to whether or not a light is good enough for what I am wanting it for. For the most part I haven't ever been really disappointed. And the times I have been disappointed haven't been lumen output related.

    I do really like the completely adjustable output, and if they offered a replaceable rechargeable battery, a better head strap, I'd be tempted. I rarely need 500 lumens in a head lamp, but if it had really long run times at say 100 lumens compared to other options out there I'd be tempted.
    Currently *my* experience with my Maximus is that I've gotten more than even their 70hrs of use at reduced output. While I *do* `crank it up' when I am trying to read a resistor or capacitor value inside an old tube type pre-amp / pwr-amp / tuner / ETC.. I've found that I spend more time at almost the lower end extremes. (By extremes I mean that I am in around the first 1/4 - 1/3 of the control's travel and occasionally right at the initial turn on point.) Even when I am outside crawling around replacing sparkplugs, hooking up tyre chains on the front and rear wheels of our snow plow truck, or making certain I've got the `shoes' setup properly on the blade for where I am trying to clear I haven't gone beyond the 1/2 of travel point. (And a lot of places that I've cleared recently, including our farm's lane, don't have any `auxilliary' lighting and I try to get the job done before sun-up.) Since I got my Maximus, SWMBO bought it as a Christmas present but, it didn't arrive on time for that and became a `new year's day present, I tried it out for a bit, and when the weather forecasts started talking about our getting more than just a few flakes of snow I put it on the charger, using the supplied lighter socket adapter plugged into the outlet on a 7amp 12VDC power supply out in my shop where the plow truck was located the night we were supposed to get snow.

    That night when I got my first calls from the people who I plow for that they were starting to get some measureable snow I took it off the charger, went and fire up the truck plugged it in to the lighter socket and went out to plow. I made it through 3 lots before I had to chain up and had only used it a couple times to set the shoes. After I'd finished the last 2 lots I started on the driveways and farm lanes and used the light a lot more and it was still going strong even though I hadn't bothered to plug it back in after doing my chainup and first setup. I finished up my plowing on our lane just a tad bit before sunrise and I parked the truck in position to make a quick run down our lane if there was enough snow to warrant it so SWMBO could get our children to school and took the headlight and the charging adapter in with me. I *did not* hook the headlight up to a charger in the house at that time as it was still doing quite well and the little led indicator was still showing green when I cranked it all the way up.

    Since then I've used it working on a balky water heater, poked around inside a couple old radios, gone outside to see what all the fuss by our dog was making was about, (Turned out to be some `Yoddle-puppies' that required a little `taste' of birdshot across their sterns to get them moving on. And *nope* I wasn't out to kill them,this time around, it was just a `warning' shot calculated to be more noise than anything else. I've got an Olight M-30 with 4 CR123s hung under the barrel and the .410 has a full choke barrel so I was able to see them quite well. *If* they come back again things *will* change but, I suspect that they aren't going to pay us a return concert.), did a quick once around `walk around' to check up on some other things, and have been using it off an on, using assorted settings, since then and I just finally, going on 2 weeks, checked the battery indicator and found it went to red at about the 1/6 -1/4 turn setting (Dang! I *wish* that the knob had some sort if `line type' indicator!) and plugged it in to charge. I'll take if off the charger when I get up. To me at least that has pretty much settled my battery life question.

    Does it mean that I'm not going to carry a spare light? Nope, I always have some sort of backup somplace close and I also have an EDC light. (If I am using the Maximus as a `primary' I'll most likely also have a Minimus with me, too. If I am using, lessay a M-30, I'll try and have at least a M-20 or a spare `tube' or two of CR123s handy. And then there is my EDC Sunwayman V10R-Ti... {GRIN!})

    Just an `Olde Fart's' 2˘ worth. {VB GRIN!}
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    Flashaholic* dougie's Avatar
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    Default Re: SureFire Maximus™ Rechargeable Variable-Output LED Headlamp

    If you can excuse an equally 'Olde Fart' of an Englishman what the heck are 'Yoddle-puppies'? I'm assuming that they are wild dogs or something similar but otherwise I'm not familiar with the term.

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    Default Re: SureFire Maximus™ Rechargeable Variable-Output LED Headlamp

    Quote Originally Posted by dougie View Post
    If you can excuse an equally 'Olde Fart' of an Englishman what the heck are 'Yoddle-puppies'? I'm assuming that they are wild dogs or something similar but otherwise I'm not familiar with the term.
    `Yoddle-puppies' = Coyotes.

    And to add another `nickname' for pesky critters...

    `Pasture Poodles' = Praire Dogs

    Both critters are *extremely* *not* appreciated by farmers and ranchers around here. The former harrass and kill livestock and the others can totally destroy a field and the crops that are growing on it in a *very* short time unless they are taken care of (As in eliminated with extreme prejudice.)

    .
    Doleo ergo sum,
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    Show me a piano falling down a mineshaft and I'll show you A-flat miner.

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    Flashaholic* dougie's Avatar
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    Default Re: SureFire Maximus™ Rechargeable Variable-Output LED Headlamp

    The enlightenment is much appreciated. Over here its cats that need eliminating....lol

  18. #18

    Default Re: SureFire Maximus™ Rechargeable Variable-Output LED Headlamp

    This is all too bad. I was pretty excited about the Maximus, I really like the light quality of Surefires compared to most headlamps. After I knew that the Maximus had a built in lithium I was thinking that I could rig up a battery to plug in while it was running and give it a much longer run time but after speaking to a Surefire rep last weekend, I guess that is not a possibility. It will not run while charging. Bummer!

    I would love to come across a great modular headlamp system with the option of extended run times via a battery pack, rechargeable lithium or otherwise. Options....I want options!!

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