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Thread: Nitecore MT1C (1xCR123A/RCR) MT1A (1xAA) MT2A (2xAA) XP-G Review: RUNTIME, BEAMSHOTS+

  1. #1

    Rolleye11 Nitecore MT1C (1xCR123A/RCR) MT1A (1xAA) MT2A (2xAA) XP-G Review: RUNTIME, BEAMSHOTS+

    Warning: pic heavy as usual.




    This is my second review of some "Multi-Task" MT-series lights from Nitecore. In this review, I am comparing the performance of the 1xAA (MT1A), 2xAA (MT2A) and 1xCR123A (MT1C) models. Please see my recent M40 review for more details on that model. UPDATE: My MT2C/MT25 review is now up as well.

    Manufacturer Reported Specifications:
    Note: as always, these are only what the manufacturer reports. To see my actual testing results, scroll down the review.

    Common Specs:
    • LED: CREE XP-G R5
    • High efficiency current circuit board regulates output
    • User-defined mode allows for customized brightness
    • Anti-rolling design
    • Reverse polarity protection
    • Toughened ultra-clear mineral glass lens with anti-reflective coating
    • HA III Military grade hard anodized aluminum alloy body wih anti-rolling design
    • Purpose-made knurling for better grip
    • Water-resistant to IPX-8 standards
    • Impact resistant to 4.9 ft. (1.5 m)
    • Accessories: lanyard, spare O-ring

    MT1C
    • Output and runtimes: Turbo: 280 lumens (1 hour, 15 min), High: 125 lumens (3 hours, 15 min), Mid: 60 lumens (8 hours), Low: 20 lumens (23 hours)
    • Peak beam intensity: 3,300 cd
    • Peak beam distance: 377 ft. (115 m)
    • Uses 1 x CR123 battery not included
    • Length x Head Diameter x Tail Diameter: 3.46" x 0.88" x 0.84" (88 mm x 22.56 mm x 21.5 mm)
    • Weight: 1.48 oz. (42 g) Battery not included
    • MSRP: ~$39

    MT1A
    • Output and runtimes: Turbo: 140 lumens (1.5 hours), High: 50 lumens (5.5 hours), Mid: 20 lumens (18 hours), Low: 5 lumens (60 hours)
    • Peak beam distance: 282 ft. (86 m)
    • Peak beam intensity: 1,860 cd
    • Uses 1 x AA battery (Batteries not included)
    • Length x Head Diameter x Tail Diameter: 4.13" x 0.88" x 0.84" (105 mm x 22.56 mm x 21.5 mm)
    • Weight: 1.94 oz. (55 g)
    • MSRP: ~$39

    MT2A
    • Output and runtimes: Turbo: 280 lumens (2 hours, 15 min), High: 125 lumens (5 hours), Mid: 50 lumens (12 hours), Low: 15 lumens (50 hours)
    • Peak beam intensity: 3300 cd
    • Peak beam distance: 377 ft. (115 m)
    • Uses 2 x AA battery (Batteries not included)
    • Length x Head Diameter x Tail Diameter: 6.10" x 0.88" x 0.84" (155 mm x 22.56 mm x 21.5 mm)
    • Weight: 2.36 oz. (67 g) Battery not included
    • MSRP: ~$40



    All the MT-series lights come in basic display packaging, similar to the recent Nitecore Explorer and SENS series (MT1A shown above as an example). Extras are generally comparable, and include a basic wrist lanyard, extra o-rings and boot cover, removable pocket clip, manual and warranty card.

    Here’s a quick overview of the family:



    From left to right: Duracell CR123A, AA (NiMH); Nitecore MT1C, MT1A, MT2A, MT2C, MT25, M40, AW Protected 18650 (2200mAh).

    I will cover the specific dimensions and photo comparisons of the individual MT-series models reviewed here in the sections below. But first, I will provide a general overview of the common build elements and circuit features.





    Anodizing is a matte black, with no chips on my samples. Labels are bright white, clearly legible against the dark background. All models have actual knurling across the battery tube and tailcap (but not the head). Knurling is actually of reasonable aggressiveness, and grip is improved compared to the Jetbeam Backup-series lights which these new Nitecores most closely resemble (i.e., BC- and BA-series lights).

    There is a reverse-polarity setup in the head, so flat-top cells will not work in these lights (i.e., need a small button top).

    The removable pocket clip is of the standard clip-on variety (i.e., similar to the Jetbeam Performance and Backup series lights).

    Screw threads are standard triangular cut, and seem of good quality. They are also anodized for lock-out at the tailcap. Tailcaps and threading are identical across all the models. Tail switch is a forward clicky, with traditional feel. The Jetbeam Backup and Performance series lights often felt a bit "squishy" in comparison.

    Light can tailstand, but may be a bit wobbly (due to the partial raised areas for the lanyard attachment on the tailcap).




    The heads look identical across all three models, with cool white XP-G R5 emitters at the base of relatively deep and smooth reflectors. This should provide reasonable throw. Note that centering is not necessarily perfect, but all three of my samples were reasonably good.

    User Interface

    User interface is similar to the Jetbeam "Performance" series (i.e. PA- or PC- series lights). Turn the light on by pressing the tailcap clicky (press for momentary on, click for locked on).

    With the head tight, you get Turbo output. With the head loosened, you get the programmed user-selected state. You select the output mode for this state by soft-pressing the clicky switch from off (or clicking off-on from on). The sequence on is: Hi > Med > Lo > SOS > Strobe, in a repeating loop. The light has mode memory, and saves the last setting used in the head-loosened state. Note that Hi on the user-selected head-loose state is lower than Turbo on the head-tight state (i.e., there are four defined output constant modes).

    Note that 3.7V Li-ion battery sources are offically NOT supported by Nitecore in the MT1C ot MT1A. I have tested them anyway, and noticed that you lose Med and Lo initially on a fully-charged RCR/14500. This is different from multi-power lights in these classes - in the MT1C and MT1A actually skip the levels in the sequence. In other words, you will initially find the sequence is Hi > SOS > Strobe. Eventually, Lo will reappear (i.e., Hi > Lo > SOS > Strobe), and finally Med mode returns as the batteries drain somewhat in capacity. Again, Nitecore does NOT support 3.7V Li-ion sources (although 3.2V Li-ion LiFePO4 is officially supported, at least in the MT1A).

    One other comment on the MT-series lights – they do not suffer from the programming glitch noted on the Jetbeam Performance series lights, where rapid flashing of the tailcap in Turbo could alter the saved state of the user-selected mode. The MT-series lights all performed as expected (i.e., memory mode remains constant, no matter what happens in the Turbo mode).

    For more information on the light, including the build and user interface, please see my new video overview:



    As always, videos were recorded in 720p, but YouTube typically defaults to 360p. Once the video is running, you can click on the configuration settings icon and select the higher 480p to 720p options. You can also run full-screen.

    PWM/Strobe

    Nitecore claims that the MT-series lights are current controlled, and I believe that is true. However, there is a re-occurring signal pattern on the Lo/Med/Hi levels (but not Turbo) for all members of this family. Here's a representative sample:

    MT1C Med:


    It's difficult to get a clear oscilloscope trace of this signal, as the relative intensity is fairly low. As a result, I need to increase the sensitivity on my oscilloscope amplitude setting to a point where a lot of noise is also apparent in the traces above. But the signal was more apparent on the MT1C on 1xRCR, so I was able to get a clearer measure:



    Please note that this "zigzag" pattern is most definitely NOT pulse-width modulation (PWM). I am testing half-a-dozen MT-series lights right now, and my oscilloscope shows this consistent triangular circuit signal at somewhere between ~950-1050 Hz on the Lo/Med/Hi (but not Turbo) of each model.

    Rest assured, it is certainly not as visible as 1kHz PWM would be. I've noted in the past that visual flicker detection increases on PWM lights as you go to lower outputs (even when you keep the PWM freq constant). Part of this may simply be due to different flicker detection thresholds at different intensities, but I suspect it is due in part to the pulse-width changes in the PWM wave (i.e., the shorter "on" / longer "off" phase in the PWM signal at low intensities is more noticeable for some reason). In the case here, the zigzag signal is constant at all outputs (i.e., it is pulse-constant), with a consistent slope (i.e., it is waveform-constant). This appears to drastically reduce the "noticeability" of the signal compared to PWM.

    Also, I have noted that this signal intensity is quite variable across my MT-series samples (i.e., it is not a full on/off signal, and its amplitude varies considerably). Even with the MT1C on 1xRCR (my most prominent example), the signal is so weak that I cannot see any evidence of it visually on any mode, except when shining on a fan (and even then is fairly mild). It is certainly not visible in actual use (and as everyone here knows, I am particularly sensitive to PWM flicker ).

    Again, the point here is that the M-series is indeed current-controlled, and you are highly unlikely to be able to detect any sign of this reoccurring circuit signal.

    MT1C Strobe:


    MT2A Strobe:


    The MT1C/1A/2A all have a consistent strobe pattern, but it is different from the MT40 I reviewed previously. These three models show a typical "oscillating" strobe pattern, switching between ~22 Hz and ~12 Hz every 2 secs (representative MT1C and MT2A shown above). The individual strobe pulses are unusual, however, as shown in these blow-ups from the MT2A:




    Normally, you get a brief spike in output on most strobes, followed by a sustained off. In any case, the net effect is fairly disorienting.

    Testing Method:

    All my output numbers are relative for my home-made light box setup, a la Quickbeam's flashlightreviews.com method. You can directly compare all my relative output values from different reviews - i.e. an output value of "10" in one graph is the same as "10" in another. All runtimes are done under a cooling fan, except for any extended run Lo/Min modes (i.e. >12 hours) which are done without cooling.

    I have devised a method for converting my lightbox relative output values (ROV) to estimated Lumens. See my How to convert Selfbuilt's Lightbox values to Lumens thread for more info.

    ----------

    MT1C Review




    From left to right: CR123A; Nitecore MT1C, EC1; Jetbeam PC10, BC10; Foursevens Quark 123; Eagletac D25C; Sunwayman M11R.

    All dimensions are given with no batteries installed:

    Nitecore MT1C: Weight: 42.4g, Length: 88.7mm, Width (bezel): 22.7mm
    Nitecore EC1: Weight 43.0g, Length: 68.6mm, Width (bezel): 26.1mm
    Rofis JR10: Weight 75.0g, Length (max): 110.6mm (angled): 92.9mm, Width (bezel): 24.8mm
    Jetbeam PC10: Weight: 50.5g, Length: 93.6mm, Width (bezel): 22.6mm
    Jetbeam BC10: Weight: 46.6g, Length: 90.3mm, Width (bezel): 23.2mm
    Lumintop ED10: Weight: 21.5g, Length: 70.4mm, Width (bezel): 20.7mm
    Thrunite Neutron 1C: Weight: 45.2g, Length: 91.5mm, Width (bezel) 22.0mm

    Beamshots:

    All lights are on Turbo/Max on 1x AW protected RCR in the first set of panels, followed by 1xCR123A in the second. Lights are about ~0.75 meter from a white wall (with the camera ~1.25 meters back from the wall). Automatic white balance on the camera, to minimize tint differences.

    Note: although I am showing beamshots on 3.7V RCR Li-ion below, this is offically NOT supported by Nitecore in the MT1C.













    And now on primary 3V 1xCR123A:













    Hard to see in the shots above, but there is a fairly noticeable centre-beam dark spot on my MT1C. This is not uncommon in XP-G-based lights with smooth reflectors. It is less noticeable on my MT1A and MT2A samples.

    Throw/Output Summary Chart:

    My summary tables are reported in a manner consistent with the ANSI FL-1 standard for flashlight testing. Please see http://www.flashlightreviews.ca/FL1.htm for a discussion, and a description of all the terms used in these tables.




    Note: 3.7V RCR Li-ion is offically NOT supported by Nitecore in the MT1C.

    Output/Runtime Comparison:






    Note: 3.7V RCR Li-ion is offically NOT supported by Nitecore in the MT1C.

    ---------

    MT1A Review



    From left to right: Duracell AA; Nitecore MT1A, EA1, SENS AA; Fenix LD10-R4; 4Sevens Quark AA; Zebralight SC51.

    Nitecore MT1A: Weight: 54.6g, Length: 104.6mm, Width (bezel): 22.7mm
    Nitecore SENS AA: Weight: 26.1g, Length: 82.7mm, Width (bezel): 19.8mm
    Nitecore EZAA: Weight 20.9g, Length: 85.0mm, Width (bezel) 16.6mm
    Rofis ER12: Wright: 35.5g, Length: 96.2mm, Width (bezel): 18.6mm
    Tiablo E2A: Weight: 45.7g, Length: 101.2mm, Width (bezel): 19.9mm
    Xeno E03:: Weight: 48.1g, Length 96.7mm, Width (bezel): 21.5mm
    Xtar WK25B: Weight 42.9g, Length: 102.3mm, Width (bezel): 22.5mm

    Beamshots:

    All lights are on Max output on Sanyo Eneloop AA NiMH. Lights are about ~0.75 meter from a white wall (with the camera ~1.25 meters back from the wall). Automatic white balance on the camera, to minimize tint differences.













    Throw/Output Summary Chart:

    My summary tables are reported in a manner consistent with the ANSI FL-1 standard for flashlight testing. Please see http://www.flashlightreviews.ca/FL1.htm for a discussion, and a description of all the terms used in these tables.




    Note: 3.7V 14500 Li-ion is offically NOT supported by Nitecore in the MT1A.

    Output/Runtime Comparison:










    Note: 3.7V 14500 Li-ion is offically NOT supported by Nitecore in the MT1A.

    ---------

    MT2A Review



    From left to right: Duracell AA; Nitecore MT2A, EA2; Jetbeam BA20, PA20; Foursevens Mini AA-Quark AA-2; Eagletac D25A2.

    All dimensions are given with no batteries installed:

    Nitecore MT1A: Weight: 66.9g, Length: 154.3mm, Width (bezel):22.7mm
    Nitecore EA2: Weight: 68.9g, Length: 134.4, Width (bezel): 26.1mm
    Eagletac D25A2: Weight: 54.8g, Length 148.5mm, Width (bezel): 21.0mm
    4Sevens QAA-2 X (Tactical tailcap): Weight: 60.1g, Length: 149.1mm, Width (bezel) 22.0mm
    Jetbeam PA20: Weight: 82.5g, Length: 160mm, Width (bezel) 22.6mm
    Jetbeam BA20: Weight: 70.2g, Length: 156.4mm, Width (bezel) 23.2mm
    Thrunite Neutron 2A: Weight: 76.4g, Length: 250mm, Width (bezel) 22.0mm

    Beamshots:

    All lights are on Max output on 2x Sanyo Eneloop AA NiMH. Lights are about ~0.75 meter from a white wall (with the camera ~1.25 meters back from the wall). Automatic white balance on the camera, to minimize tint differences.













    Throw/Output Summary Chart:

    My summary tables are reported in a manner consistent with the ANSI FL-1 standard for flashlight testing. Please see http://www.flashlightreviews.ca/FL1.htm for a discussion, and a description of all the terms used in these tables.



    Output/Runtime Comparison:









    Interesting, my MT2A sample seems to outperform my Nitecore EA2 sample fairly significantly in terms of runtime, at all levels. Likely due to a lower relative emitter Vf, but of course I have no way of determining that.

    ---------

    General Output/Runtime Comments:

    Please refer back to the individual light reviews above for detailed tables comparing output and throw for each light, relative to its respective class.

    One general conclusion that I can draw is that the Nitecore reported peak beam intensity and distance measures seem somewhat conservative (i.e., I typically got somewhat higher readings with my NIST-certified lux meter).

    Another observation is that my sample of runtimes suggests that the reported Nitecore runtime specs are pretty accurate – keeping in mind the specific battery capacities used in their testing (detailed by Nitecore in their documentation), and the ANSI FL-1 standard of time to 10%.

    To better allow you compare output at all levels on all lights, below are detailed tables for each model, on all supported battery types. I have indicated the manufacturer's specs for the identified cell type.







    Once again, in general terms, Nitecore seems to be fairly accurate in their reporting of relative output spacing.

    Note however that all three lights show a step-down from Turbo after 3 mins continuous runtime. This is not shown in the tables above (which are estimated at the ANSI FL-1 standard of peak output at 30 secs - 2 mins). For those who are the curious, on standard primary batteries, the MT1C steps down from 315 to 245 estimated lumens, the MT1A from 155 to 130 estimated lumens, and the MT2A from 350 to 260 estimated lumens. You can turn the light off-on to restore full initial output.

    As mentioned earlier, while 3.7V Li-ion are not supported in the MT1A and MT1C, in my testing the lights showed the loss of the Lo/Med modes initially on a fully charged 1x 3.7V Li-ion battery (although Turbo and Hi were maintained). Lo mode is usually restored fairly quickly once the battery runs down a bit, and Med mode returns some time later. I've left the Lo modes in the tables above, as I feel this is most representational of what you can typically expect in real-world use. But again, these are officially NOT supported by Nitecore.

    The lights are generally well regulated on their primary power sources, at all levels tested. Output/runtime efficiency seems excellent, comparing very well to other current-controlled XP-G R5-equipped lights.

    On Turbo, the models typically step-down from Hi after 3 mins runtime. Depending on the battery source though, this step-down may not be very significant.

    Potential Issues

    There is a regular signal at ~1 kHz on all the MT-series lights, but it is not PWM, and it is generally not perceptible. I could see no sign of it visually on my samples, which were flicker-free at all levels. Output/runtime efficiency is very good, in keeping with other current-controlled lights.

    Because of the relatively deep and smooth reflectors, you may notice some centre beam artifacts on these lights (i.e., relative dark spot/band in the centre of the hotspot). This is variable on my samples, but is not uncommon on XP-G lights with these types of reflectors.

    Note that Nitecore does not support 3.7V Li-ion cells in the MT1C/MT1A (although 3.2V LiFePO4 is supported in the MT1A manual). I tried them anyway, and the behavior is interesting - like many official multi-power lights in their respective classes, the MT1C and MT1A may not have defined Med and Lo modes initially on a fully-charged RCR/14500. What's different here is that the MT1C and MT1A actually skip the levels in the sequence. In other words, you will initially find the head-loosened mode sequence is Hi > SOS > Strobe. Eventually, Lo will reappear (i.e., Hi > Lo > SOS > Strobe), and finally Med mode returns, as the batteries drain somewhat in capacity. In any case, the manufacturer does not recommend use of these 3.7V Li-ion batteries.

    Preliminary Observations

    The new Nitecore "Multitask" MT-series lights remind me a lot of the JetBeam "Backup" and "Performance" series lights (specifically, the appearance of the Jetbeam BA/BC-series lights, and the functionality of the PA/PC-series).

    Build-wise, the MT-series is closer to the Jetbeam Backup series, but with upgrades - most obvious is the generous supply of knurling now. The MT-series still has traditional triangular cut screw threads, but feel is good. The switch has a better feel than the previous Jetbeam lights (which were a bit squishy), and you have easier access to the button now.

    The beam pattern is fairly throwy for these lights, due to the relatively deep and smooth reflectors coupled with XP-G emitters. Note that this can lead to some artfiacts (i.e., a centre beam void or ring).

    The interface of the Multitask-series is very similar to the Jetbeam Performance series lights. With the head loosened, you similarly have access to five modes (Hi > Med > Lo > SOS > Strobe), with mode memory. While more sophisticated than the Backup series, I am never a fan of blinky modes on the same sequence as constant output modes. At least they corrected the Jetbeam Performance series programming glitch that allowed the mode memory to change under certain conditions.

    Output/runtime efficiency is typically very good or excellent at all levels, on all samples, on all battery types. This is in keeping with a good current-control circuit.

    The MT1C, MT1A and MT2A are good all-around performers for their classes, and a definite step-up from the earlier Jetbeam Backup series (but with comparable price). Please see my MT40 review for info on that model. UPDATE: A review of the 1x18650, 2xCR123A/RCR MT2C and MT25 has just been posted as well.

    ----

    MT1C, MT1A, MT2A provided by Nitecore for review.
    Last edited by selfbuilt; 10-30-2012 at 09:48 AM.
    Full list of all my reviews: flashlightreviews.ca. Latest hobby: whiskyanalysis.com. Latest flashlight review: Thrunite TN42.
    Gratefully accepting donations to my battery fund.

  2. #2
    Flashaholic*
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    Default Re: Nitecore MT1C (1xCR123A/RCR) MT1A (1xAA) MT2A (2xAA) XP-G Review: RUNTIME, BEAMSH

    Thanks a lot SelfBuilt, great review as usual!

  3. #3
    Flashaholic* Bwolcott's Avatar
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    Default Re: Nitecore MT1C (1xCR123A/RCR) MT1A (1xAA) MT2A (2xAA) XP-G Review: RUNTIME, BEAMSH

    nice to see throw is decent on it as well
    Asilaydying1984 ON YOUTUBE

  4. #4

    Default Re: Nitecore MT1C (1xCR123A/RCR) MT1A (1xAA) MT2A (2xAA) XP-G Review: RUNTIME, BEAMSH

    Nice review as always, Selfbuilt!

    On a side note, "P" in Jetbeam terms refers to as "Performance Series", not "Professional".

    Cheers

  5. #5

    Default Re: Nitecore MT1C (1xCR123A/RCR) MT1A (1xAA) MT2A (2xAA) XP-G Review: RUNTIME, BEAMSH

    Thanks selfbuilt, great review as always!
    So what's next already? .. some TM15, Eagletac or SC52? That would be rather exciting material. Nitecore MT-series looks solid though..

  6. #6

    Default Re: Nitecore MT1C (1xCR123A/RCR) MT1A (1xAA) MT2A (2xAA) XP-G Review: RUNTIME, BEAMSH

    Quote Originally Posted by tam17 View Post
    Nice review as always, Selfbuilt! On a side note, "P" in Jetbeam terms refers to as "Performance Series", not "Professional".
    Ah yes, the old P series was "Professional", the new PC/PC series are "Performance". I'll revise.
    Quote Originally Posted by shelm View Post
    So what's next already? .. some TM15, Eagletac or SC52? That would be rather exciting material. Nitecore MT-series looks solid though..
    We'll see ...
    Full list of all my reviews: flashlightreviews.ca. Latest hobby: whiskyanalysis.com. Latest flashlight review: Thrunite TN42.
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  7. #7

    Default Re: Nitecore MT1C (1xCR123A/RCR) MT1A (1xAA) MT2A (2xAA) XP-G Review: RUNTIME, BEAMSH

    Hold on...Nitecore says that the MT1C is not compatible with RCR123.

    http://www.nitecore.com/UploadFile/F...MT1C_UM_en.pdf

    This is why I decided not to go with this light.

  8. #8
    Flashaholic _UPz's Avatar
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    Default Re: Nitecore MT1C (1xCR123A/RCR) MT1A (1xAA) MT2A (2xAA) XP-G Review: RUNTIME, BEAMSH

    Thank you very much! wonderful review as usual, selfbuilt.

  9. #9
    Flashaholic* Bwolcott's Avatar
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    Default Re: Nitecore MT1C (1xCR123A/RCR) MT1A (1xAA) MT2A (2xAA) XP-G Review: RUNTIME, BEAMSH

    Quote Originally Posted by IronMac View Post
    Hold on...Nitecore says that the MT1C is not compatible with RCR123.

    http://www.nitecore.com/UploadFile/F...MT1C_UM_en.pdf

    This is why I decided not to go with this light.

    lots of lights say that and we tend to do it anyway, so he gives us the output numbers if we were to do it, many times the manufactures say not to do it just because of the quick heat build up so as long as u dont run it for long periods of time many times its fine. But their are lights out there that cant take it at all and will be damaged doing so, so just be aware
    Last edited by Bwolcott; 10-21-2012 at 10:04 AM.
    Asilaydying1984 ON YOUTUBE

  10. #10

    Default Re: Nitecore MT1C (1xCR123A/RCR) MT1A (1xAA) MT2A (2xAA) XP-G Review: RUNTIME, BEAMSH

    Quote Originally Posted by IronMac View Post
    Hold on...Nitecore says that the MT1C is not compatible with RCR123.
    http://www.nitecore.com/UploadFile/F...MT1C_UM_en.pdf
    This is why I decided not to go with this light.
    Quote Originally Posted by Bwolcott View Post
    lots of lights say that and we tend to di it anyway, so he gives us the output numbers if we were to do it, many times the manufactures say not to do it just because of the quick heat build up so as long as u dont run it for long periods of time many times its fine. But their are lights out there that cant take it at all and will be damaged doing so, so just be aware
    Yes, although I should have made that clearer in the review (just fixed).

    In the accompanying manuals, Nitecore makes it quite clear that they do not support 3.7V Li-ion cells in the MT1C/MT1A (listed as "banned"). Note that 3.2V LiFePO4 is listed as supported (but not recommended) in the MT1A manual.

    On single-cell lights, I usually test 3.7V Li-ion anyway, just to see what happens (the results were is a little different in this case, which is why I discussed it and showed the runtimes). But to be clear, the manufacturer does not recommend use of these 3.7V Li-ion batteries, so you would be running them at your own risk.
    Full list of all my reviews: flashlightreviews.ca. Latest hobby: whiskyanalysis.com. Latest flashlight review: Thrunite TN42.
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  11. #11

    Default Re: Nitecore MT1C (1xCR123A/RCR) MT1A (1xAA) MT2A (2xAA) XP-G Review: RUNTIME, BEAMSH

    Quote Originally Posted by Bwolcott View Post
    lots of lights say that and we tend to do it anyway, so he gives us the output numbers if we were to do it, many times the manufactures say not to do it just because of the quick heat build up so as long as u dont run it for long periods of time many times its fine. But their are lights out there that cant take it at all and will be damaged doing so, so just be aware
    For someone who is unfamiliar with this bit of info and who does not read the manual before and after purchasing they could end up with a dead light in the middle of nowhere because of a review that says that an RCR123A can be run.

    I've been through quite a few of the manufacturers' sites and I don't see any of them saying not to run a particular battery due to heat build up. And I also do not recall any retailers saying so either for the lights that they do sell.

  12. #12
    Flashaholic* Bwolcott's Avatar
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    Default Re: Nitecore MT1C (1xCR123A/RCR) MT1A (1xAA) MT2A (2xAA) XP-G Review: RUNTIME, BEAMSH

    Quote Originally Posted by IronMac View Post
    For someone who is unfamiliar with this bit of info and who does not read the manual before and after purchasing they could end up with a dead light in the middle of nowhere because of a review that says that an RCR123A can be run.

    I've been through quite a few of the manufacturers' sites and I don't see any of them saying not to run a particular battery due to heat build up. And I also do not recall any retailers saying so either for the lights that they do sell.
    QUOTE
    (Battery: 1 x AAA, 1 x Rechargeable NiMh AAA, or 1 x 10440 (Due to the small light body size,10440 batteries are not recommended since it may cause the light become hot very quickly.)

    this is taken directly from the itp a3 specs and I have seen multiple manufactures say this when asked specifically about the reason why the batteries aren't supported
    Asilaydying1984 ON YOUTUBE

  13. #13
    Flashaholic* Bwolcott's Avatar
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    Default Re: Nitecore MT1C (1xCR123A/RCR) MT1A (1xAA) MT2A (2xAA) XP-G Review: RUNTIME, BEAMSH

    so yes they are not supported you will void your warranty using them but if you dont care about it many people have had happy results running them including me
    Asilaydying1984 ON YOUTUBE

  14. #14
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    Default Re: Nitecore MT1C (1xCR123A/RCR) MT1A (1xAA) MT2A (2xAA) XP-G Review: RUNTIME, BEAMSH

    Great review. Helped me make my mind up about my next light. good value for money, good runtimes, decent throw, decent build, ticks all the boxes for me. MT2A it is.

  15. #15

    Default Re: Nitecore MT1C (1xCR123A/RCR) MT1A (1xAA) MT2A (2xAA) XP-G Review: RUNTIME, BEAMSH

    Quote Originally Posted by Bwolcott View Post
    QUOTE
    (Battery: 1 x AAA, 1 x Rechargeable NiMh AAA, or 1 x 10440 (Due to the small light body size,10440 batteries are not recommended since it may cause the light become hot very quickly.)

    this is taken directly from the itp a3 specs and I have seen multiple manufactures say this when asked specifically about the reason why the batteries aren't supported
    And I can also point out that the Klarus XT1C page only says CR123 with no mention of RCR123.

    Once again, I don't think it's a good idea to say that a light will run a particular battery when the manufacturer expressly says that you shouldn't. So, yes, if you don't care about the warranty, have the money to waste and are only futzing around in your backyard or showing off to friends your latest toy then run an unsupported battery on your light.

    It's an entirely different situation for those of us who depend on a pro light for work or safety.

  16. #16
    Flashaholic* Bwolcott's Avatar
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    Default Re: Nitecore MT1C (1xCR123A/RCR) MT1A (1xAA) MT2A (2xAA) XP-G Review: RUNTIME, BEAMSH

    Quote Originally Posted by IronMac View Post
    And I can also point out that the Klarus XT1C page only says CR123 with no mention of RCR123.

    Once again, I don't think it's a good idea to say that a light will run a particular battery when the manufacturer expressly says that you shouldn't. So, yes, if you don't care about the warranty, have the money to waste and are only futzing around in your backyard or showing off to friends your latest toy then run an unsupported battery on your light.

    It's an entirely different situation for those of us who depend on a pro light for work or safety.

    agreed
    Asilaydying1984 ON YOUTUBE

  17. #17

    Default Re: Nitecore MT1C (1xCR123A/RCR) MT1A (1xAA) MT2A (2xAA) XP-G Review: RUNTIME, BEAMSH

    Quote Originally Posted by Bwolcott View Post
    agreed
    Sorry for the rant and flying off the handle at you.

  18. #18
    Flashaholic* Bwolcott's Avatar
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    Default Re: Nitecore MT1C (1xCR123A/RCR) MT1A (1xAA) MT2A (2xAA) XP-G Review: RUNTIME, BEAMSH

    Quote Originally Posted by IronMac View Post
    Sorry for the rant and flying off the handle at you.

    no its fine I agree with you

    but I like to see its performance on 16340s because I use them in most of my lights and he does post in his reviews that its not approved by the manufacture if it isnt
    Last edited by Bwolcott; 10-21-2012 at 07:10 PM.
    Asilaydying1984 ON YOUTUBE

  19. #19
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    Default Re: Nitecore MT1C (1xCR123A/RCR) MT1A (1xAA) MT2A (2xAA) XP-G Review: RUNTIME, BEAMSH

    Thanks for the great review SB!

    I just love the deep smooth reflector on the MT1C.
    I don't care about artifacts and rings, as they don't impact my usage.
    I like the 16340 lumen/throw numbers.
    I like the looks and the price.
    I love me a forward clicky.

    Clip-on style clip means I won't ever buy one. No sale.

  20. #20
    Flashaholic* GordoJones88's Avatar
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    Default Re: Nitecore MT1C (1xCR123A/RCR) MT1A (1xAA) MT2A (2xAA) XP-G Review: RUNTIME, BEAMSH

    Quote Originally Posted by IronMac View Post
    I don't think it's a good idea to say that a light will run a particular battery when the manufacturer expressly says that you shouldn't.
    I rely on Selfbuilt to test every new CR123 light with a 3.7v Li-Ion 16340,
    and use his knowledge and expertise to show any effects and the results.
    I base my purchasing decisions specifically using his charts and graphs.
    If you haven't read the caveats associated with his reviews, then you need to do so.



    Quote Originally Posted by IronMac View Post
    For someone who is unfamiliar with this bit of info and who does not read the manual before and after purchasing they could end up with a dead light in the middle of nowhere because of a review that says that an RCR123A can be run.
    If somebody is using 3.7v Li-Ion 16340 batteries,
    they need to read the manual for every light they use them with.
    They have to take personal responsibility for using such a powerful battery.
    They need to be concerned with the care and handling of such a potentially dangerous battery.



    Quote Originally Posted by IronMac View Post
    I've been through quite a few of the manufacturers' sites and I don't see any of them saying not to run a particular battery due to heat build up. And I also do not recall any retailers saying so either for the lights that they do sell.
    The biggest problem with using such a powerful battery in a small light is heat build up.
    Using a freshly charged 16340 versus a not-freshly charged 16340,
    yields 2 very different results on my small single RCR123 lights.

    I like how Eagletac put a very specific caution in their user manual for the D25C:

    Battery Safety Precaution
    * Using 4.2V li-ion direct drives the LED and yields maximum output at the expense of extensive heat generated from the LED. Limit each usage to less than fives minutes (or less than one minute each with freshly charged li-ion for the first couple times). Active cooling (blowing cool air toward the light) or passive cooling (holding the light in your hand) helps preventing excessive heat built at the LED. Turn off the light to allow it to cool down if you find the flashlight too hot to hold. Do not leave the light running unintended with li-ion.

  21. #21
    Flashaholic* GordoJones88's Avatar
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    Default Re: Nitecore MT1C (1xCR123A/RCR) MT1A (1xAA) MT2A (2xAA) XP-G Review: RUNTIME, BEAMSH

    Nice job SB!
    All the lights now on this graph are an XPG.
    Instead of being mixed in with the XMLs.
    I don't like mixing my apples in with my oranges.
    Thanks a bunch.



  22. #22

    Default Re: Nitecore MT1C (1xCR123A/RCR) MT1A (1xAA) MT2A (2xAA) XP-G Review: RUNTIME, BEAMSH

    Quote Originally Posted by GordoJones88 View Post
    If you haven't read the caveats associated with his reviews, then you need to do so.
    There was no caveat in the review until I pointed out that the manufacturer stated that it was not recommended to use a RCR123A. In fact, the documentation had a very unusual "Banned" wording for RCR123A when I was reading up on this light just a day before the review came out.

    And maybe as a purchaser and user of such lights and batteries you do read the manuals, etc. but then there may also be other people who do not RTFM and rely on reviews from people such as Selfbuilt. His reviews are probably the best ones in this forum so readers may be inclined to simply go on his word about what a light can and cannot use.
    Last edited by IronMac; 10-22-2012 at 03:39 AM.

  23. #23
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    Default Re: Nitecore MT1C (1xCR123A/RCR) MT1A (1xAA) MT2A (2xAA) XP-G Review: RUNTIME, BEAMSH

    You can point out whatever you wish but: if people decide to make a purchase only based on an online review, they do that at their own risk.
    These reviews are great but in fairness I don't think they were never meant to replace manufacturer's information. Reviews such as those by Selfbuilt are a great independent source of information for many reasons but I don't believe they are created to make shopping easy for lazy consumers!

    True, there may be people who don't read manuals but that's exclusively their own problem if they are too lazy to download it from manufacturer's website and go through it before flashing out their credit card for buying a new flashlight!

  24. #24

    Default Re: Nitecore MT1C (1xCR123A/RCR) MT1A (1xAA) MT2A (2xAA) XP-G Review: RUNTIME, BEAMSH

    I'd like to think that reviews on this forum are all-inclusive rather than just meant for a select group.

  25. #25

    Default Re: Nitecore MT1C (1xCR123A/RCR) MT1A (1xAA) MT2A (2xAA) XP-G Review: RUNTIME, BEAMSH

    Quote Originally Posted by GordoJones88 View Post
    All the lights now on this graph are an XPG.
    Instead of being mixed in with the XMLs.
    I don't like mixing my apples in with my oranges.
    You're welcome. I often mix-and-match emitters in the graphs when it is a question of concurrent lights (e.g., some lights can come with either emitter, or people may be considering between recent releases using different emitters). But when I have a fair amount of data on one emitter class, I try to emphasize that when I can.

    Quote Originally Posted by IronMac View Post
    There was no caveat in the review until I pointed out that the manufacturer stated that it was not recommended to use a RCR123A. In fact, the documentation had a very unusual "Banned" wording for RCR123A when I was reading up on this light just a day before the review came out.
    And maybe as a purchaser and user of such lights and batteries you do read the manuals, etc. but then there may also be other people who do not RTFM and rely on reviews from people such as Selfbuilt. His reviews are probably the best ones in this forum so readers may be inclined to simply go on his word about what a light can and cannot use.
    There's been a long discussion in ths thread, and I quoted the above only as an illustration. To clarify - my personal policy is always to draw attention in my reviews when I test non-supported battery configurations. In this case, I missed inserting that notice in my charts/graphs and "potential issues" sections when the review was first posted. IronMac pointed that fact out - which I appreciate - and I immediately updated the text with my standard notice.

    But I think it is worthwhile that I explain my experience, so you can all see why I test the batteries I do under different conditions, and why I report them.

    On the larger matter of non-supported battery types, there is a fundamental problem in terms of language used and their intended meaning. A lot of manufacturers use fairly imprecise or ambiguous wording (e.g., "not recommended"). To its credit Nitecore, has taken pains to provide an explicit table for each model, showing compatible batteries. Next to each cell type, they identify either a "Y (Recommended)", a "Y", or a "N (Banned)". The presumption here is that "Y" by itself means the cell is supported, but not recommended. Most would likely read "N (Banned)" as the voltage range is beyond the circuit specs, likely to cause damage.

    In the MT-series lights, however, I think there is some variation in the intended meeting of "N (banned)".

    The MT2A lists 3.7V Li-ion 14500 as "banned" quite reasonably - just about any 2xAA light will experience an immediate circuit failure if attempted to be run on 2x14500. I have not tried it on my MT2A, and will not. Keep in mind 2x14500 means ~8.45V initially fully charged, which is a lot more than 2.4-3.0V of approved 2x alkaline/NiMH/L91 cells.

    But what to make of the "banned" 1x 3.7V Li-ion on the MT1C and MT1A? I noted the MT1A explicitly supports 3.2V Li-ion ("Y"). This suggested to me that it is unlikely that 1x3.7V Li-ion would blow the circuit in this light. 3.2V nominal Li-ions are typically ~3.6-3.7V fully charged. 3.7V Li-ions are ~4.2V fully charged. That difference is not so great. Note that I would NOT run a 3.7V Li-ion 14500 in a AA light that was only rated for standard AAs (max voltage ~1.5V), as that differential is enough to give me pause that the circuit won't handle it.

    What about the MT1C? A fresh primary 3V CR123A is actually typically over ~3.2V initially. As a result, I typically feel quite comfortable testing 1x3.7V Li-ion in 1xCR123A lights. And since I know many of the members here do as well, I provide testing results in this situation so people can know what to expect (with my standard caveat, as always). Note that in all my years, I have never experienced a circuit failure during testing of a 1xCR123A light run on 1x3.7V Li-ion.

    The 2xCR123A case is more complex. 2xCR123A will have an initial voltage of ~6.4-6.5V, while 2x3.7V Li-ion will be ~8.4V. In many cases, no problem - but I have seen some circuit failures. As a result, I will only test 2xRCR if a manufacturer explictly gives me the okay.

    By the time we get up to 4x cells, I will only test what the manufacture explicitly "recommends" or "supports" in published literature. Even at that, I have had quite a few lights fail on supposedly "supported" 4xCR123A. As a result, more than one manufacturer has removed "support" for 4xCR123A in 2x18650-model lights after my testing.

    The above is just to explain my experience, and my relative risk threshold. Now to explain my reporting policy: if I am willing to risk testing it, I will report it.

    Anything else deprives the reader of the opportunity to draw his/her own conclusions. Ethically, it strikes me as dishonest to collect results and not share them with the community. What data I have, you have.

    I realize that is potentially problematic if my relative risk threshold is higher than someone else's. My risk threshold is based on years of testing a large number of lights, and has served me well to date. But I certainly don't wish to impose it on anyone else. This is why I always draw attention to any deviation of my testing from offically "supported" specs.

    I will warrant that there is always a risk that people will look at the graphs/tables and not the read the warnings in the text. But I don't see what else I can reasonably do it about except provide some discussion in the text. Frankly, a greater risk is when people hotlink to the graph/tables images from my reviews without providing a link to the full text, with all its context. This is a practice I strongly discourage, but am often powerless to prevent.

    As an aside, I've considered trying to put some sort of warning in the images themselves ... but have discarded the idea as unfeasible. Can you imagine doing the 1xRCR graphs while listing in the image legend each manufacturer's specific jargon for support/recommendation/warnings, etc (including all those who say nothing), and constantly re-updating images every time one of them changes it? It isn't tenable, especially given the lack of consistency in what each of them often means by a given term/phrase (sometimes within the same model series).

    Again, the above is not directed at any specific comment in this thread - I just I thought it was an important issue, and I wanted to explictly explain my testing and reporting rationale for those who were wondering.

    EDIT: one update to the above - in cases where a light looks to be too heavily driven on 1x3.7V Li-ion, I will test it with an IMR cell. The reason is my healthy respect for the discharge limits of ICR chemistry. I cannot directly measure current draw from the emitter, but I can infer from the relative output levels and runtimes if we are entering territory that may exceed ICR's 2C discharge specs. In those cases, I use IMR for battery safety reasons. I also always explictly warn against running any light this way (even with IMR), as it is not lilkely to be good for the emitter (i.e., is unlikely the small mass of a 1xCR123A light will be effective at transfering away the high heat generated). But that's a longer-term stability issue for the light, separate from battery safety. I always recommend people educate themselves on safe battery handling - especially when it comes to rechargeable Li-ions.
    Last edited by selfbuilt; 10-23-2012 at 01:20 PM. Reason: update
    Full list of all my reviews: flashlightreviews.ca. Latest hobby: whiskyanalysis.com. Latest flashlight review: Thrunite TN42.
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  26. #26

    Default Re: Nitecore MT1C (1xCR123A/RCR) MT1A (1xAA) MT2A (2xAA) XP-G Review: RUNTIME, BEAMSH

    Thank you Selfbuilt for laying out the reasons for what you do.

    For a bit of irony, I would like to point out that my first post in this thread was just to note what Nitecore had in their documentation. In fact, I thought that Nitecore had made some sort of mistake and I was waiting for them to update said documentation based on you communicating with them that RCR123As work with the light!

    I absolutely had no intention to get into the weeds with the back and forths that happened afterwards.

    P.S. Am waiting for your MT25 review!
    Last edited by IronMac; 10-23-2012 at 04:43 PM.

  27. #27
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    Default Re: Nitecore MT1C (1xCR123A/RCR) MT1A (1xAA) MT2A (2xAA) XP-G Review: RUNTIME, BEAMSH

    I'm confused about the MT2A turbo mode. The manual says "280 lumens" on turbo.

    Selfbuilt's numbers seem to indicate the turbo starts at around 355 lumens for 3 minutes, and then drops to 255 lumens for the remainder of the runtime. I assume 255 lumens is approximately "280" lumens as claimed, and that the true maximum of the light is around 355 lumens, which isn't published in the manual.

    Anybody else agree with my assessment?


  28. #28
    Flashaholic* Bwolcott's Avatar
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    Default Re: Nitecore MT1C (1xCR123A/RCR) MT1A (1xAA) MT2A (2xAA) XP-G Review: RUNTIME, BEAMSH

    Quote Originally Posted by amanichen View Post
    I'm confused about the MT2A turbo mode. The manual says "280 lumens" on turbo.

    Selfbuilt's numbers seem to indicate the turbo starts at around 355 lumens for 3 minutes, and then drops to 255 lumens for the remainder of the runtime. I assume 255 lumens is approximately "280" lumens as claimed, and that the true maximum of the light is around 355 lumens, which isn't published in the manual.

    Anybody else agree with my assessment?
    yea it makes more power then the manual claims is what his review shows
    Asilaydying1984 ON YOUTUBE

  29. #29

    Default Re: Nitecore MT1C (1xCR123A/RCR) MT1A (1xAA) MT2A (2xAA) XP-G Review: RUNTIME, BEAMSH

    Quote Originally Posted by amanichen View Post
    I'm confused about the MT2A turbo mode. The manual says "280 lumens" on turbo.
    Selfbuilt's numbers seem to indicate the turbo starts at around 355 lumens for 3 minutes, and then drops to 255 lumens for the remainder of the runtime. I assume 255 lumens is approximately "280" lumens as claimed, and that the true maximum of the light is around 355 lumens, which isn't published in the manual.
    Anybody else agree with my assessment?
    Yes, the MT2A's max output numbers do seem a little bit low. But they report ANSI FL-1 specs, so it is really the initial peak output they are referring to (i.e., standard of peak output at 30 secs - 2 mins). This is the same way I do my estimates in the tables.

    And actually, all three lights show a step-down from Turbo after 3 mins continuous runtime. For those who are the curious, on standard primary batteries, the MT1C steps down from 315 to 245 estimated lumens, the MT1A from 155 to 130 estimated lumens, and the MT2A from 350 to 255 estimated lumens.

    While the initial estimate for my MT2A that is higher than the Nitecore spec, the difference isn't huge - my MT2A is only ~10% brighter than my MT1C (which is also rated at 280 ANSI FL-1 lumens, according to Nitecore).
    Full list of all my reviews: flashlightreviews.ca. Latest hobby: whiskyanalysis.com. Latest flashlight review: Thrunite TN42.
    Gratefully accepting donations to my battery fund.

  30. #30

    Default Re: Nitecore MT1C (1xCR123A/RCR) MT1A (1xAA) MT2A (2xAA) XP-G Review: RUNTIME, BEAMSH

    I juat bought the MT2A. Love it so far. The center artifact is visible on a white wall, but not hindering. its bright for a 2AA unit and like the defined mode options.

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