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Thread: EDC Light - Keep Quark AA Tactical R5 or try something else

  1. #1
    Flashaholic* Wiggle's Avatar
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    Default EDC Light - Keep Quark AA Tactical R5 or try something else

    Lately I've been carrying my Preon 2 Titanium as an EDC but I'm re-evaluating my other regular EDC (A Quark AA Tactical R5). It needs to go into 4Sevens for a small repair after 2+ years of faithful service. Here's what I like and don't like so much about it:

    Like:
    Interface - The tactical interface is very simple, predictable and flexible when needed
    Output on 14500
    Beam pattern - Clean and pretty throwey for an XP-G in that size of a reflector
    Momentary On
    Good clip (I now use the deep clip which isn't quite as strong but sits in pocket better)
    14500 for regular topping off, AA compatibility
    Good size in hand, about the shortest I'd want to handle (I find most CR123 lights too short to be held well)
    General good feel, handling and quality - Takes abuse well

    Dislike

    Only 2 modes available fast - Generally not a problem but there have been a couple of occasions the modes I had programmed were not ideal
    No low-battery warning with Li-ion, it's lights out with protected cells
    Little thick for a 14mm cell light, only an issue in pocket, in hand it's great.

    What can change and what can't

    Cells - Must be a single cell light
    Cell type - I'd prefer to stick with 14500/AA. But if an amazing and not much bigger 18650 light is available I'd consider it
    Output - Has to be equal or more, possibly a little floodier but still want to keep a decent amount of throw.
    Momentary on - I can give this up if everything else is perfect but I'd prefer to keep it.
    Emitter - XP-G/XM-L, a cooler neutral (5000k) or so would be nice.
    No tailcap mode switching - It's gotta be a ring or separate button
    Low battery indication would be great, don't know if I can find this to work on 14500 and AA though.
    Assuming an AA/14500 light, I'd like the AA output to be above 150 lumens.
    No PWM.
    Graceful low battery behavior - No sudden lights out. Steady output and then a drop is totally fine but I'd want a moonlight that can last at least an hour or more after high output.
    Material can be HAIII Aluminum or Titanium.
    I don't care about infinite brightness, in fact I'd prefer discrete stops so I know exact runtimes.
    Lowest low should be not much higher than the Quarks moonlight mode (0.2 lumen).
    I don't like the idea of a light with parasitic draw but it's not a deal breaker

    Cost under $200 USD.
    Last edited by Wiggle; 07-09-2012 at 05:35 PM.

  2. #2
    Flashaholic* Wiggle's Avatar
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    Default Re: EDC Light - Keep Quark AA Tactical R5 or try something else

    The formatting got all messed up I apoligize, I'll fix this later on another PC as it doesn't seem to work correctly on this one.

  3. #3
    Flashaholic* TweakMDS's Avatar
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    Default Re: EDC Light - Keep Quark AA Tactical R5 or try something else

    I'm sorry but I had to give up reading after a few sentences. Looks like something in the formatting went wrong with maybe copy-paste.
    Edit: hehe, looks like you found out too ^^

    Based on reading diagonally, the Spark SL5 could be nice? It's on my shortlist anyway.

  4. #4

    Default Re: EDC Light - Keep Quark AA Tactical R5 or try something else

    To put it simply; the reason why your Quark doesn't have a low-voltage warning for 4.2V li-ions is because it's compatible with 1.5V AA.

    Li-ions are considered depleted when they reach 3.8V, which is the point where either lights with low-voltage cutoff or the battery's PTC trips and prevents overdischarge. If the low-voltage warning and cutoff was present, trying to run it with 1.5V AA will be impossible since the light won't even let you power it on.

    In short; AA/14500 compatibility and low-voltage warning are mutually exclusive. You can have one or the other, but not both.

    Quark Pro/Tactical series are one of the few lights that can make use of both 1.5V and 4.2V cells to good effect. The reason why it shuts off suddenly without much dimming at the end of battery life is because Quark actually has a really good buck/boost driver, letting you get the maximum brightness even towards battery depletion.

    My recommendation; get the Quark X AA² and lego its head with the battery tube from your XP-G Quark. You will get a floodier beam profile and higher output.

  5. #5
    Flashaholic* BLUE LED's Avatar
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    Default Re: EDC Light - Keep Quark AA Tactical R5 or try something else

    Sunwayman V10A or MOD your existing light with an S2 for a few more lux and lumens.

  6. #6
    Flashaholic* Overclocker's Avatar
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    Default Re: EDC Light - Keep Quark AA Tactical R5 or try something else

    yeah sunwayman v10a but it's not as efficient as a quark

    and a spark sl5 doesn't go as low as a quark

    i suppose just get a quark regular

  7. #7
    Flashaholic* Wiggle's Avatar
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    Default Re: EDC Light - Keep Quark AA Tactical R5 or try something else

    I fixed the formatting so it should be legible now. I'd probably want to avoid the Quark regular, I have a Fenix L2D which has an ok UI but not what I'm looking for, the Quark Regular has even more modes I'd never use than the L2D.

  8. #8
    Flashaholic* Overclocker's Avatar
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    Default Re: EDC Light - Keep Quark AA Tactical R5 or try something else

    ah v10a then

  9. #9
    Flashaholic* Wiggle's Avatar
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    Default Re: EDC Light - Keep Quark AA Tactical R5 or try something else

    V10a is a really interesting light but sadly the variable brightness is not something I'm a fan of cause then I no longer know runtimes for anything except max and min. Perhaps if it had indents at different levels.

  10. #10
    Flashaholic* Overclocker's Avatar
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    Default Re: EDC Light - Keep Quark AA Tactical R5 or try something else

    well you just ran out of options keep the quark tactical

    the 14500 requirement already rules out so many other AA lights

  11. #11
    *Flashaholic* fyrstormer's Avatar
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    Default Re: EDC Light - Keep Quark AA Tactical R5 or try something else

    Jetbeam PA10, Sunwayman M10A, or Nitecore EA1. The PA10 is compatible with 14500s; the M10A and EA1 aren't (officially) compatible with 14500s, but they each have compelling designs. The M10A has a control ring with pre-set brightness settings, and the EA1 has a dual-button interface with a blinking indicator light. All three lights have a goodly selection of pre-set modes that don't require Morse-code-clicking to access.
    Last edited by fyrstormer; 07-10-2012 at 09:01 AM.

  12. #12
    Flashaholic* Overclocker's Avatar
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    Default Re: EDC Light - Keep Quark AA Tactical R5 or try something else

    pa10 w/ 14500 turns it into a single mode, stupidest thing ever

    m10a doesn't have sub-lumen

  13. #13
    Flashaholic* Outdoorsman5's Avatar
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    Default Re: EDC Light - Keep Quark AA Tactical R5 or try something else

    Since one of your requirements is that the low needs to be not much higher than the quark's moonlight mode then your choices are very limited - either Quarks or Zebralights. I prefer that my edc have a sub 1 lumen setting as well because I use this output everyday (I wake up really early & use moonlight mode to navigate the bedroom & house without waking my wife or kids.) I also use it when camping etc.

    I edc a Quark AA with the regular UI (now called the "Pro" UI.) I also have a Tactical Quark AA for my wife, but I prefer the regular/pro UI...she likes the more simple tactical UI. I like having all of the output options available, but like that head tight starts with max, and head loose starts out in moonlight mode. I actually bought both of these as Neutral Quark X AA2's with the XML LED's, and put the heads on both of my Quark AA bodies. Love the XML floody beam not to mention it is a lot brighter than my Quarks with the R5 LEDs.

    I recommend you stick with Quarks, and recommend you buy a Quark X AA2 (which is now called the "Quark Pro QP2A-X") and put the head on your AA body & use it with your 14500 battery. You'll have all of the output levels available plus a much brighter & more floody light. Keep the forward clicky on it; I prefer it with this UI.

    I love zebralights too, but before I edc a zebralight again I'm waiting/hoping for an upgrade to the SC51. I'm hoping they will put the new switch on this single AA light which helps you avoid accidental activation. I'm also hoping they will put the XML LED in it as well.

  14. #14

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    I'm also a Quark and ZL fan for longest runtimes and moonlight. I prefer the Quarks for the lego-ability, and better customer service/warranty though. I think the ZL SC80 is going to meet most of your requirements... no separate mode switch but it's got a great interface.

  15. #15

    Default Re: EDC Light - Keep Quark AA Tactical R5 or try something else

    Quark is good enough, be happy with it. If you are bored or the anodization looks chipped off and you want a change, something for rotation, check out Nitecore E-series and Eagletac D-series (incl. Clicky Ti). Not better than Quark but a good choice for some diversion in the rotation and bringing back joy. Zebralight .. maybe the 2012 forthcoming T5?

    What's the maximum weight you want to carry? The Quark is super light. Most other 1xAA lights are heavier.

    Quote Originally Posted by enomosiki View Post
    Li-ions are considered depleted when they reach 3.8V, which is the point where either lights with low-voltage cutoff or the battery's PTC trips and prevents overdischarge.
    the threshold is 3.60V. (At 3.8V the cell still has plenty of capacity left.)
    the battery's PTC trips at 2.60, 2.70 or 2.75V (voltage under load, of course) depending on the brand of the Protected cell.

    PTC trips at 2.75V, voltage is then 0.00V, but internally the cell recovers to, say, ~3.15V resting voltage. A cell with resting voltage between 2.75 and 3.60 is definitely to be regarded as depleted. In a typical lighting situation on HI-mode the time passing between 3.60 down to 2.75V maybe be very short: 30 secs, 1 mins or 90 secs, which is the reason why the "3.60" are considered "depleted".
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  16. #16
    *Flashaholic* fyrstormer's Avatar
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    Default Re: EDC Light - Keep Quark AA Tactical R5 or try something else

    I just have LED nightlights in the kitchen and bathroom. More than enough light to take care of business, and I don't have to remember to bring them with me or worry about whether the battery is charged. My watt-meter can't even measure the miniscule power the LED nightlights use. Much better solution than a sub-lumen flashlight for navigating around the house.

    Anyway, your options are limited more by the AA-compatible requirement than the Li-Ion-compatible requirement. A single AA battery just doesn't have enough power to run a good flashlight for long, and the lack of product development for AA lights bears that out. All the good single-AA lights borrow technology developed for CR123-compatible lights, because 3V is a much better power source for a white LED.

  17. #17
    Flashaholic* Wiggle's Avatar
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    Default Re: EDC Light - Keep Quark AA Tactical R5 or try something else

    It sounds like (as I somewhat suspected) even though the Quark is a bit older, there isn't really any light that has come out as a better fit for what I want. If I got another AA EDC it'd just be for variety. I should also include, AA compatibility is simply for using other cells in a pinch, 90% of usage is on a 14500 Li-ion.

  18. #18

    Default Re: EDC Light - Keep Quark AA Tactical R5 or try something else

    I have the XML head on the AA body and it throws just as much (opinion) as the R5, but it has a crapload of spill at the same time. I run it on primary 14505s and its pretty predictable on shutdown - the medium/high modes become the same brightness and thats when I know when to swap it out. You will have to purchase it with the AA2X light to throw the XML head on the AA.

    My edc is a preon p1 clicky though!

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