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Thread: Review of NiteCore SensAA with measurements and outdoor beamshots

  1. #1
    HKJ's Avatar
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    Default Review of NiteCore SensAA with measurements and outdoor beamshots

    NiteCore SensAA




    NiteCore is a flashlight brand used by Sysmax. This light is the AA light in the sens series. The light is has 3 fixed brightness settings and a new innovative method to select brightness. The light is made of aluminum with hard-anodized (Type 3) finish.

    All the sense lights:

    Mini, CR and AA

    My review copy did not include anything, but the light.



    The light has a TIR optic, behind a glass lens.



    The battery uses a brass insert with the circuit in. The foam provide anti rattle function and mechanical polarity protection.



    Both the head and body has some knurling but without any bite in it.



    The spring in the tail is a special type, without much movement.



    The tail has holes for an O-ring and the light can also stand on the tail.



    The user interface uses a tilt sensor, this is used to select between the 3 brightness settings when turning the light on. Holding it horizontal when turning on will give maximum brightness. Pointing slightly down or straight down will select the two other brightness levels. Pointing the light up will enable auto mode, where the light will adjust brightness when direction is changed between vertical and horizontal.
    The light uses a slow turn on, i.e. it fades slowly up to the selected level and slowly up/down in auto. Horizontal position does always reach full brightness fast.



    Here is all the part the light can be disassembled in without tools.


    The new user interface is a interesting innovation, it makes it possible to turn a twisty light on in any brightness setting, turning on/off multiple times is not needed. But the interface is not intuitive, I tried the light on a couple of people and none could figure it out, without help.
    Using the light I am not so happy about the slow turn on, except for that the sens interface works fine.



    Technical specification and measurements



    The light can be used with a AA alkaline battery, a AA NiMH battery or a 14500 LiIon battery. The LiIon battery must be protected and not too long.

    Measured size and weight:
    Length: 83 mm
    Diameter: 17.5 mm to 19.7 mm
    Weight: 53 gram with a NiMH (Eneloop) battery

    The light uses a Cree XP-G R5 led.



    In the above table I have collected all modes, measured at 1.2 volt. All the estimated runtimes are with 2000Ah NiMH battery.
    Because my test bench requires the light to be locked in a fixed position, I could not compare the different brightness’s, this is also the reason I only did one voltage sweep.



    A voltage sweep at high shows a very good stabilization in the voltage range of a NiMH battery (1 volt to 1.4 volt), but not on a LiIon battery.
    With this voltage sweep, it is also obvious that the driver in the AA light is different from the driver in the Mini and CR lights.



    On NiMH the light has good stabilization, this can also be seen on the voltage sweep. This gives a nice flat runtime on NiMH. Alkaline cannot keep the voltage high enough very long and LiIon is not stabilized.

    There are no flashing modes and the light does not contain any pwm or noise.



    Comparison to other Flashlights

    4Sevens Qmini AA, NiteCore EZ AA, NiteCore SensAA:


    Fenix E15, 4Sevens Qmini 123, NiteCore SensCR:


    For the full comparison to other lights with graphs and beamshots see here





    Notes

    The light was supplied by NiteCore for review.
    My website with flashlight, battery and charger information: lygte-info.
    More than 200 battery reviews and 80 charger reviews.
    Compare 18650 LiIon batteries or smaller (RCR123, 16340, 14500, 10450) LiIon batteries.

  2. #2

    Default Re: Review of NiteCore SensAA with measurements and outdoor beamshots

    Thanks a lot for your efforts HKJ!!
    Great reviews of the Sense series

  3. #3

    Default Re: Review of NiteCore SensAA with measurements and outdoor beamshots

    Yet a great review! Could you possibly try a LiFePO4 battery in the light and see if if there is still a decent mode spaceing?

  4. #4
    HKJ's Avatar
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    Default Re: Review of NiteCore SensAA with measurements and outdoor beamshots

    Quote Originally Posted by dts71 View Post
    Yet a great review! Could you possibly try a LiFePO4 battery in the light and see if if there is still a decent mode spaceing?
    Sorry, but I do not have a LiFePO4 in CR123/16340/AA/14500 size. I know it is strange with all my battery testing, but I have generally avoided LiFePO4 to avoid a mix of charge voltages (I do have a two 18650 in LiFePO4, because I needed it for a charger test).
    Last edited by HKJ; 08-21-2012 at 01:20 PM.
    My website with flashlight, battery and charger information: lygte-info.
    More than 200 battery reviews and 80 charger reviews.
    Compare 18650 LiIon batteries or smaller (RCR123, 16340, 14500, 10450) LiIon batteries.

  5. #5

    Default Re: Review of NiteCore SensAA with measurements and outdoor beamshots

    Ok, I understand your reasoning. I'm trying to decide between AA and CR version and would like to run it on LiFePO4 since LiIon would probably overheat it and hopefully the mode spaceing would be better than on LiIon.

  6. #6
    HKJ's Avatar
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    Default Re: Review of NiteCore SensAA with measurements and outdoor beamshots

    Quote Originally Posted by dts71 View Post
    Ok, I understand your reasoning. I'm trying to decide between AA and CR version and would like to run it on LiFePO4 since LiIon would probably overheat it and hopefully the mode spaceing would be better than on LiIon.
    Note that the AA and CR versions use different drivers.
    My website with flashlight, battery and charger information: lygte-info.
    More than 200 battery reviews and 80 charger reviews.
    Compare 18650 LiIon batteries or smaller (RCR123, 16340, 14500, 10450) LiIon batteries.

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