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Thread: Nitecore SENS CR, Mini, AA (1xCR123A/CR2/AA) Series Review: VIDEO, RUNTIMES, BEAMSHOT

  1. #31

    Default Re: Nitecore SENS CR, Mini, AA (1xCR123A/CR2/AA) Series Review: VIDEO, RUNTIMES, BEAM

    Thanks for the detailed comments on AA model.

    Quote Originally Posted by Hondo View Post
    That said, they are as great as I thought for being able to select any one of the three modes directly, no cycling required. I had a bit of a time getting medium every time until I realized that I need to hold it closer to horizontal. Trying for 45 degrees puts it right on the edge of grabbing low, and you won't get high until you are within about 10 degrees of horizontal.
    Yes, I found exactly the same thing - I had a tendency to go for 45 degree, and more often than not over-shot the mark and got Lo. That's why I made up this figure for the review:



    And I agree about the output ranges on the AA ... I find I prefer them over the other two members of the family (i.e. on NiMH, the Lo and Med are both considerably lower - which is better for around the house at night).
    Last edited by selfbuilt; 07-15-2012 at 12:19 PM.
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  2. #32
    Flashaholic* matrixshaman's Avatar
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    Default Re: Nitecore SENS CR, Mini, AA (1xCR123A/CR2/AA) Series Review: VIDEO, RUNTIMES, BEAM

    Quote Originally Posted by selfbuilt View Post
    The rated ANSI specs for lights refer to 1xCR123A, and are fairly accurate in my testing on my samples (i.e., I estimate 230 for M11R and 210 for the SENS CR).

    With RCR, results can vary greatly, depending on how the circuit handles it. In this case, output increases on both lights on RCR, but more so for the SENS CR (as you will see in my tables in the review, I estimate 320 lumens for M11R, 370 lumens for SENS CR).

    Again, that can be highly variable among different lights. My Sunwayman V11R is also ~220 lumens on 1xCR123A, but a whopping ~550 lumens (initially) on RCR. So max performance on CR123A is never really an indicator of what to expect on RCR.

    Anyway, sorry to hear about the lack of dimming issue on yours and Nake's samples. Definitely doesn't seem right.
    Thanks selfbuilt for the additional info. I did look at both threads and charts but somehow missed that the Sens CR was showing higher on the RCR123 than the M11R. That does match with what I am seeing with the Nitecore Sens.

    However I'm more concerned now about the Sunwayman M11R as I am getting the same readings with my lightmeter from it whether it's on RCR123 or a primary CR123 (both right at 330 Lux for the same distance). Voltage after the test was 3.98v on RCR123 and 2.89v on the CR123. One RCR123 is an AW IMR16340 and the other is a black label AW reading 3.95v volts. I tried 2 RCR123's to verify it wasn't just an oddity with one. Quality Fluke voltmeter also.
    Last edited by matrixshaman; 07-15-2012 at 11:21 PM.
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  3. #33

    Default Re: Nitecore SENS CR, Mini, AA (1xCR123A/CR2/AA) Series Review: VIDEO, RUNTIMES, BEAM

    Quote Originally Posted by matrixshaman View Post
    However I'm more concerned now about the Sunwayman M11R as I am getting the same readings with my lightmeter from it whether it's on RCR123 or a primary CR123 (both right at 330 Lux for the same distance). Voltage after the test was 3.98v on RCR123 and 2.89v on the CR123. One RCR123 is an AW IMR16340 and the other is a black label AW reading 3.95v volts. I tried 2 RCR123's to verify it wasn't just an oddity with one. Quality Fluke voltmeter also.
    Hmm, well part of that may be due to the fact that the M11R - like most lights - is not flat stabilized on RCR (whereas it is on CR123A). So while it is definitely brighter than CR123A on a freshly charged (i.e. 4.2V) RCR, by the time you get down to <4V, I would expect my M11R to only be ~10-15% brighter than a new or similarly depleted CR123A (very rough guestimate - I haven't measured it). Try a fully charged RCR and see how it does.
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  4. #34

    Default Re: Nitecore SENS CR, Mini, AA (1xCR123A/CR2/AA) Series Review: VIDEO, RUNTIMES, BEAM

    Has anyone tried the Sense AA with LiFePO4? It would be interesting to see if it would behave as Sense CR on CR123 and keep a generous mode spacing.

  5. #35
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    Default Re: Nitecore SENS CR, Mini, AA (1xCR123A/CR2/AA) Series Review: VIDEO, RUNTIMES, BEAM

    I can see a definite advantage for this technology in tactical environments as a weaponlight. All that is needed is a clicky tailcap and a dedicated push button on the upper or lower body, EX: Olight.

  6. #36
    Flashaholic* tobrien's Avatar
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    Default Re: Nitecore SENS CR, Mini, AA (1xCR123A/CR2/AA) Series Review: VIDEO, RUNTIMES, BEAM

    Quote Originally Posted by Combatvet View Post
    I can see a definite advantage for this technology in tactical environments as a weaponlight. All that is needed is a clicky tailcap and a dedicated push button on the upper or lower body, EX: Olight.
    i like that idea, good thinking! we need someone to make it happen haha
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  7. #37

    Default Re: Nitecore SENS CR, Mini, AA (1xCR123A/CR2/AA) Series Review: VIDEO, RUNTIMES, BEAM

    Quote Originally Posted by Combatvet View Post
    All that is needed is a clicky tailcap and a dedicated push button on the upper or lower body, EX: Olight.
    I agree, I can see this interface working well with a clicky switch. I think the continuous-adjustment mode would be strengtened by the ability to temporarily "lock" the light at a given level (e.g., by press-and-hold of a switch, for example).
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  8. #38
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    Default Re: Nitecore SENS CR, Mini, AA (1xCR123A/CR2/AA) Series Review: VIDEO, RUNTIMES, BEAM

    This could be a serious game changer for an innovative company. Most tactical entries start with the the weapon pointed down, then raised up to view for threats, and then back down to conceal position. I cannot fathom why this isn't already on the market, I'm sure they've patented the technology or else I'd be contacting a lawyer right now. Nitecore is a Chinese based company, so I need to check to see if I can poach their tech..
    Last edited by Combatvet; 08-23-2012 at 01:52 PM.

  9. #39
    Flashaholic* matrixshaman's Avatar
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    Default Re: Nitecore SENS CR, Mini, AA (1xCR123A/CR2/AA) Series Review: VIDEO, RUNTIMES, BEAM

    Quote Originally Posted by Combatvet View Post
    This could be a serious game changer for an innovative company. Most tactical entries start with the the weapon pointed down, then raised up to view for threats, and then back down to conceal position. I cannot fathom why this isn't already on the market, I'm sure they've patented the technology or else I'd be contacting a lawyer right now. Nitecore is a Chinese based company, so I need to check to see if I can poach their tech..
    The low on this isn't all that low and it's very slow to ramp down so not sure how good it would be in a needed concealment situation - and since it's a twisty rather than tail switch it would be difficult to turn off completely in a hurry. Fast to ramp up though. I personally don't see it as being a great tactical light - very small but it might have it's uses there.

    I did somewhat solve my issue with it not ramping down much on Li-Ions as I bought some 3.0 volt Li-Ion cells from DX. I'm not sure if it's a special chemistry or a circuit in the battery that limits the voltage but it does work and much better than regular Li-Ions for this light (or at least the one Nake and I got).
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  10. #40
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    Default Re: Nitecore SENS CR, Mini, AA (1xCR123A/CR2/AA) Series Review: VIDEO, RUNTIMES, BEAM

    These lights (I own the AA model) already take my favorite AA format (think CMG Infinity) to new levels. With a simple reliable switching design and a modern LED, the addition of an accelerometer adds functionality without additional mechanical complexity. My impression is that the brightness levels have more to do with power management than tactical utility. The low really isn't that low and in auto-dimming mode you really need to be pointing it pretty close to right down at the floor to observe the lowest setting.

    My experience is that with auto-dimming on when outside using the light to illuminate your path, the light *seems* to be on a very high setting most of the time and yet the battery utilization is nothing short of amazing. I don't even think about it under these circumstances. It just seems to work.

    Indoors, the fixed settings are more useful for task work or when I want to tail stand the light to illuminate a dark space evenly. It needs a lanyard. Curiously my EA1 came with a lanyard that is essentially unattacheable to the EA1. Works fine with the SENS AA.

    I believe that with the EA/EC and SENS series Nitecore is experimenting with manufacturing techniques that save money. They are not all successful. On the EA series, the press fit steel bezel doesn't fit accurately enough in my sample to assure water tightness. Moisture ends up under the window when it gets wet. This is a "fail" IMHO. Automating the pressure for the press fit is harder than it looks. Too little and it leaks. Too much and the glass might break when the head heats up. I gave up on rimless eyeglasses for this reason. The optician uses a tool a little like a torque wrench to attach the press fit fasteners for the temple pieces to the polycarbonate. 40-50% of the time the temple was either too loose or sufficiently tight that spiderweb cracks occurred in the polycarbonate lens after a month or so of use.

    The SENS savings attempt was more successful. They are using a one piece plastic optic instead of a reflector and window. The brass in the head captures the circuit board and the whole thing stays together nicely. There must be a some sort of sealant preventing water incursion around the aluminum and the optic. It's solidly water tight in my sample. Also the use of brass makes the twisty nice and smooth (with the right lubricant).

  11. #41

    Default Re: Nitecore SENS CR, Mini, AA (1xCR123A/CR2/AA) Series Review: VIDEO, RUNTIMES, BEAM

    My Sens Mini died on me today. I turned it on on high mode - ti turn on for a few seconds and turned off. From this moment it doesn't turn on and if it turns on it is very dim (around 0,05lm) and flickers. Tested it with 2 different batteries that measured 2,99V - no luck. Will probably send it back on monday. I'm sad because I loved this light.
    "We notice things that don't work. We don't notice things that do."

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  12. #42
    Flashaholic* buds224's Avatar
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    Default Re: Nitecore SENS CR, Mini, AA (1xCR123A/CR2/AA) Series Review: VIDEO, RUNTIMES, BEAM

    I have the SENS CR and discovered it makes a great headlamp with the accelerometer mode.

  13. #43
    Flashaholic Hoop's Avatar
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    Default Re: Nitecore SENS CR, Mini, AA (1xCR123A/CR2/AA) Series Review: VIDEO, RUNTIMES, BEAM

    Picked up a sens mini. (CR2 battery) Low is too bright; it hurts my eyes a bit in night adapted vision. Low mode could have been the medium instead. The accelerometer (sens) mode is not very useful because it takes too long to adjust when you point it down. It stays at full high brightness, which is very bright, for 2+ seconds before starting to dim to low. I find myself squinting or closing my eyes waiting for it to dim. When you point it up it instantly goes to high, though, so this is just poor implementation (programming) of the feature. Not sure what (or if) they were thinking.

    If sens were instant all around, and if low was lower, this would be an awesome light. As it is, I am going to seek an alternative CR2 light as an EDC.

  14. #44
    Flashaholic herosemblem's Avatar
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    Default Re: Nitecore SENS CR, Mini, AA (1xCR123A/CR2/AA) Series Review: VIDEO, RUNTIMES, BEAM

    I have a SENS CR and I use CR123 primaries.

    Mine lacks a medium output level. Medium does not exist as a constant output level, AND medium does not exist in ADT mode.
    Anyone else have this problem?

  15. #45

    Default Re: Nitecore SENS CR, Mini, AA (1xCR123A/CR2/AA) Series Review: VIDEO, RUNTIMES, BEAM

    Quote Originally Posted by herosemblem View Post
    Mine lacks a medium output level. Medium does not exist as a constant output level, AND medium does not exist in ADT mode.
    Anyone else have this problem?
    Can you describe what actually happens if you slowly change the angle the light in ADT mode? Presumably it needs to move through medium levels to get to/from Hi/Lo.

    As for the constant output modes, have you tried all the angles shown in the diagram in the review? It can seem counter-intuitive that ~45 degree angle might bring up Lo instead of Med. What happens if you try a ~15% degree down angle?
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  16. #46
    Flashaholic herosemblem's Avatar
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    Default Re: Nitecore SENS CR

    Turned light on while pointed straight up to engage ADT mode. Now, with the light held parallel to the ground, light is on high. Slowly aand incrementally, I aim light downward. Light is now aimed down at a 45*angle and nothing happens (light still remains in high output).
    After at least 5 seconds (I.e. givings the sensor enough time to work) I begin slowly aiming the light further downward from the aforementioned angle. Nothing happens.
    Finally, now that the high mode beam is aimed just in front of my feet (it must be about 20* angle), the light dims to low mode (Mind you, low mode is actually pretty darn bright and I would blind myself if I used this low mode to light my notepad or something).

    Basically, my SENS CR unit skips medium mode altogether.
    If I want to engage constant output modes, low is achievable. High mode is as well. If I aim the light diagonally downward at, or in the vicinity of a 45* angle and turn it on, the beam is the same brightness as high mode. It is as if medium mode does not exist. I fiddled with the light for about and hour and forty five minutes...I do not think it's me. Seems like a dud, and I emailed the vendor today.

  17. #47
    Flashaholic Hoop's Avatar
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    Default Re: Nitecore SENS CR

    Another minor concern of mine is that the TIR optic is plastic and exposed, although it is recessed maybe half a millimeter, so you can place it face down on a flat surface without it getting scratched. I would prefer a glass lens to protect it from scratches though.

  18. #48
    Flashaholic herosemblem's Avatar
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    Default Re: Nitecore SENS CR, Mini, AA (1xCR123A/CR2/AA) Series Revie

    SENS seems like a brilliant concept, and perhaps i fell victim to the novelty and manufacturer claims. In my opinion it definitely needs some work/time before it becomes great in practice. I think of it akin to the early days of hybrid cars.
    Maybe the next company that uses this tech will have a faster-responding processor, that way we dont have to wait 2.5 seconds for the processor to respond to changes in the flashlight's orientation. Thanks for doing the review, and for your troubleshooting advice, Selfbuilt.

  19. #49

    Default Re: Nitecore SENS CR

    Quote Originally Posted by herosemblem View Post
    Seems like a dud, and I emailed the vendor today.
    Thanks for the detailed explanation. Yes, it does indeed seem like the light is malfunctioning, and will need to be replaced.
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  20. #50
    Flashaholic Hoop's Avatar
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    Default Re: Nitecore SENS CR, Mini, AA (1xCR123A/CR2/AA) Series Revie

    Quote Originally Posted by herosemblem View Post
    Maybe the next company that uses this tech will have a faster-responding processor, that way we dont have to wait 2.5 seconds for the processor to respond to changes in the flashlight's orientation. Thanks for doing the review, and for your troubleshooting advice, Selfbuilt.
    It is an intentional feature so that the light doesn't dim too often while walking, according to Nitecore. I don't know what other peoples arms are made out of, but mine have bones and I have no problem holding a light steady.

  21. #51
    Flashaholic herosemblem's Avatar
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    Default Re: Nitecore SENS CR, Mini, AA (1xCR123A/CR2/AA) Series Revie

    Hoop, your explanation of the slow response of the light makes sense for outdoor applications. Thank you.
    I suppose the annoyance of the "slow response" aspect of this light arises primarily in indoor settings...
    But, since one can then make the point that lights aren't really meant to be used indoors as much as outdoors, the annoyance point becomes moot.
    I will proceed accordingly and use my SENS outdoors more, where my slow response complaint will not exist as much.

  22. #52
    Flashaholic* Hondo's Avatar
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    Default Re: Nitecore SENS CR, Mini, AA (1xCR123A/CR2/AA) Series Revie

    Well, I now have had a chance to use the Sens AA on multiple long hikes out of the woods on rough trails, a couple of miles each time. I will say I was right that the active feature is more useful there than around the house, as I suspected. But at the end of the day (OK, night), I found that I was most happy just setting it to a fixed mode. The modes are well spaced, and stay steady as I walk. No loss, as the active feature is "hidden" if you don't want it, and easy to get to if you think it might help.

    I noted something interesting. It may seem easy to maintain a constant angle on the light as you walk, but the brightness can still bounce around on you without tilting the light. As I walk, the light will get a bit of acceleration fore and aft, and the accelerometer picks this up just like you were tilting it. A graphic example is to point the light straight down with the active on, so it is at minimum, and give it a little jerk up. The light will jump to near max and then settle back down.

    I think they did about as good as they could on the "damping" of the active brightness with the slow dimming method, but the only thing that nags me now in use is the slow start in low and medium, and not knowing if I have twisted it far enough. I don't want to just mash it down to be sure, as the spring in the tail can be damaged that way. I see no value in the slow start, and I think it should be canned from the UI. But the rest of the package is so nice and unique, I can easily overlook this.

  23. #53

    Default Re: Nitecore SENS CR, Mini, AA (1xCR123A/CR2/AA) Series Revie

    As checked in the shop, it is too slow to change mode when the position changed.

  24. #54
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    Default Re: Nitecore SENS CR, Mini, AA (1xCR123A/CR2/AA) Series Revie

    A feature I'd like to see Nitecore develop with the accelerometer is being able to change output mode by a quick shake of the light.

    I'm also interested in a AAA version of the light, which can tail stand.

  25. #55

    Default Re: Nitecore SENS CR, Mini, AA (1xCR123A/CR2/AA) Series Review: VIDEO, RUNTIMES, BEAM

    Nitecore seriously needs to make more neutral offerings.

  26. #56

    Default Re: Nitecore SENS CR, Mini, AA (1xCR123A/CR2/AA) Series Revie

    Quote Originally Posted by snakyjake View Post
    I'm also interested in a AAA version of the light, which can tail stand.
    Yeah it's weird to me they went CR2 instead of a more common/cheaper AAA.

  27. #57

    Default Re: Nitecore SENS CR, Mini, AA (1xCR123A/CR2/AA) Series Revie

    A bit late to the party, but I just noticed that the manual states that RCR123's are not officially supported, which might explain some of the inconsistent performance with RCR's.

    http://www.nitecore.com/UploadFile/F...nsCR_UM_en.pdf

    Battery Options

    SIZE Nominal voltage Usability
    Primary Lithium battery CR123 3V Y (Recommended)
    Rechargeable Battery (Li-ion) RCR123 3.7V N (Banned)

  28. #58

    Default Re: Nitecore SENS CR, Mini, AA (1xCR123A/CR2/AA) Series Revie

    Mine arrived yesterday, and while the output, price, and build are great, I have to say I'm not a huge fan... In short, it feels like the light wants to be on High, and any adjustment towards the brighter spectrum happens at a decent speed, but ramping down towards Low/Medium is multiple times slower and very uncomfortable.

    For example, when the light is pointed downward (-90 deg), and I smoothly angle it up to -45, then +/- 0 (level) over the course of 1~1.5 seconds, the light gets progressively brighter and ramps up nicely.

    However, when attempting to do the reverse at the same speed, I find my light pointing downwards (-90 deg) still at full, or near-full brightness, and taking another 3-5 seconds to slowly reach the correct Low level. This is extremely uncomfortable.

    I don't have an exact analogy, but ramping up feels like when I remote desktop to a computer that's 200 miles away -- a bit laggy but tolerable -- ramping down feels like when I remote desktop into a computer 2000 miles away -- you're done moving and just waiting and waiting for the light. Laggy.

    Also, the thing that drives me nuts is that when I attempt to start the light on Low and/or Medium, the light does not immediately turn on, but slowly ramps up to the designed brightness. On High, the duration is very short and responsive like a normal, screw-on head, but with Low and Medium, I am constantly wondering if I turned it enough.

    A side note: My EagleTac RCR's work fine, other than it being a bit too long, and requiring the head to be unscrewed so far that the O-ring is visible.

  29. #59

    Default Nitecore SENS CR, Mini, AA (1xCR123A/CR2/AA) Series Review: VIDEO, RUNTIMES, BE

    Got my AA version the other day an have been on a night hike with it already! I have to say i do quite like this little light!
    I have noticed some of the things previously mentioned like it takes a lot longer to dim that to get to high! Which is a bit annoying and either mine doesn't have medium or i cant notice the brightness change!
    Neither of these problems bother me, its such a nice little light for the money!
    Anyhow I doubt that I will see much of this light as my other half has claimed this one as hers!!

  30. #60

    Default Re: Nitecore SENS CR, Mini, AA (1xCR123A/CR2/AA) Series Review: VIDEO, RUNTIMES, BEAM

    I just picked up a Nitecore sens CR. I actually like it, it has great output on 16340's. altho a different beam profile then my EC1(wicked good EDC!), at close range it almost the same brightness at close distances using 16340's in both... as a useless fact of note, I noticed the heads between my FenixE15 and nitecore sens CR are easily interchangeable between their body tube(same thread partern). yes a mostly useless fact, but I find playing with different length protected/unprotected batteries, I could get a better fit. ie: the head would screw down farther... silly post I know, just thought it was an interesting find..... Cheers!

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