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Thread: FandyFire ‘Raging’ Review (4x18650)

  1. #1
    Flashaholic* subwoofer's Avatar
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    Default FandyFire ‘Raging’ Review (4x18650)

    You may have noticed that after being a frequently mentioned supplier here on CPF for some time, DX (Deal Extreme) now have a banner advertisement on CPF.

    Aware that there is a frequent criticism of inflated output claims made for certain lights, DX have asked me to have a look at a few lights for them to see how they perform when run through the same tests I subject all my review samples to.

    This review is the first in a set of three that will take a closer look at the performance of a few interesting lights, starting with their banner ad headline light – the FandyFire ‘Raging’, a 4x 18650 and 5x XM-L high output light (SKU 146528). The other two reviews will take a look at the highest listed LED output on DX (SKU 155270) which has 9 XM-L emitters, and finally a pair of lights, the Rook and Queen (SKU 158643 and 158869).





    Initial Impressions:

    Compared to most of the items I’ve received from DX, the packaging of the Raging light consists of a decent box with closed cell foam insert protecting the light well, so first impressions are good.

    The 4 x 18650 format is quite common now, and the Raging has a handle to make handling the light easier than gripping the body.

    Lifting the Raging out of the box and the overall construction feels solid with plenty of metal to help keep those 5 XM-Ls cool. The thinness of the metal used to make the handle is the only slight disappointment.

    I like the different look of the five distinct reflectors and black background separating them. This is a different approach to the compound reflectors more commonly seen in multi emitter lights.





    What is in the box:

    The sturdy box.



    Closed cell foam protects the light.



    Included with the light is a lanyard and spare o-ring.



    Along with a set of instructions to test your knowledge of Mandarin (I assume).





    Taking a closer look and looking inside:

    The business end with the five distinct emitters with dedicated reflectors. The black ‘fill’ piece acts to locate the reflectors.



    Looking straight into the array of reflectors and they appear yellow as the emitter surface is evenly reflected. The reflectors are well finished and you can just make out the lines in the emitter surface in the reflections.



    The battery tube has a square section echoing the square battery 1S4P layout.



    The graphics are printed onto rather than etched into the surface.



    The tail has a single reverse clicky switch with the fixing point for the bolted on handle.



    The contacts in the head for the positive battery terminals and the negative contact ring for the body. The only flaw in the finish is a bit of epoxy resin left on the head (visible at 1-2 o’clock in the photo). Removing this would most likely result in damage to the anodising so I’ve left it. Once the body is fitted this is barely noticeable.



    The negative terminals are springs



    The threads are well formed and anodised. As supplied the threads and o-ring were dry.





    Modes and User Interface:

    The FandyFire Raging has a typical five mode driver with memory. There is a physical make or break switch (unlike the majority of lights like this that use electronic switching) with reverse clicky action.

    Click-on to the last used mode, then half press the switch briefly to change mode. Modes are High, Medium, Low, Strobe, SOS back to High etc.

    As long as you leave a second or two between turning it off and on again, it will remember the last used mode.



    Batteries and output:

    The Raging, uses four 18650s but due to the positive contact design, button top cells are needed for reliable operation.

    The negative contact springs allow for a range of cell lengths to be accommodated. The cells shown here are the long Xtar 3100mAh and are easily accommodated.

    Unlike many of the incarnations of multi cell 1S4P configuration, the Raging has no central battery separator. This means that you need to use 4 cells or when you screw the body onto the head, the batteries can move sideways and not make contact properly. If you really needed to use this light on less than 4 cells you would need to use spacers in place of the other cells.



    As the Raging uses a make or break clicky switch there is no parasitic drain to worry about, so leaving this light fully loaded and ready to go is no problem, the only drain being the cells own self discharge.


    To measure actual output, I built an integrating sphere. See here for more detail. The sensor registers visible light only (so Infra-Red and Ultra-Violet will not be measured).

    Please note, all quoted lumen figures are from a DIY integrating sphere, and according to ANSI standards. Although every effort is made to give as accurate a result as possible, they should be taken as an estimate only. The results can be used to compare outputs in this review and others I have published.

    The output measurements were made using the Xtar 3100mAh cells.

    FandyFire Raging output mode I.S. measured ANSI output Lumens PWM frequency (Hz)
    High 2118 0
    Medium 1094 125
    Low 177 1250

    Strobe frequency is 7.8Hz

    Considering it is likely the users of this light would also buy their batteries from DX, I chose to run the output runtime trace on Ultrafire 2600mAh red protected cells.



    The output does steadily decline, but remains over 1000lm for 1.5 hours and due to the size of the head never runs overly hot.



    In The Lab

    NEW for Winter 2012 ANSI standards include maximum beam range. This is the distance at which the intensity of light from an emitter falls to 0.25lux (roughly the same as the lux from a full moon). This standard refers only to the peak beam range (a one dimensional quantity), so I am expanding on this and applying the same methodology across the entire width of the beam. From this data it is possible to plot a two-dimensional ‘beam range profile’ diagram which represents the shape of the illuminated area.

    In order to accurately capture this information a test rig was constructed which allows a lux meter to be positioned 1m from the lens and a series of readings to be taken at various angles out from the centre line of the beam. As the rig defines a quadrant of a circle with a radius of 1m, all the readings are taken 1m from the lens, so measuring the true spherical light intensity. The rig was designed to minimise its influence on the readings with baffles added to shield the lux meter from possible reflections off the support members.

    The distance of 1m was chosen as at this distance 1lux = 1 candela and the maximum beam range is then calculated as the SQRT(Candela/0.25) for each angle of emission.

    In this plot, the calculated ANSI beam ranges are plotted as if viewed from above (for some lights there may also be a side view produced) using a CAD package to give the precise 'shape' of the beam.



    Starting with the 5m range grid you get an idea of the broad spread of light pushing forward into the distance.



    Then zooming out to the 50m range grid showing the extent of the beam’s range. Even with the broad beam and wide hotspot, the ANSI beam range still reaches 300m.





    The beam

    The indoor beam shot shows the wide beam with round large hotspot and the relative lack of multi-emitter artefacts at the outer edges of the spill.




    Now going outdoors, to put things in perspective, this is the TK41 (my frequently used reference light due to its well-known excellent performance).



    And on the same exposure setting the Raging!





    What it is really like to use…

    Including a handle in the design of the Raging makes a real difference to regular use of this light. The handle makes it easy and comfortable and even large hands don’t feel cramped.

    The clicky tail switch combined with the size of this light make it a two handed operation design, but the complete lack of parasitic drain (due to this switch), without having to unscrew the body to lock it out, somewhat makes up for this.

    Unfortunately due to the lack of central cell support you must have at least one complete set of four well-matched cells, as you cannot easily run this light on less than four cells.

    Being quite a big light it is a bit too big and powerful for everyday general use, but as a big light to grab and light up the neighbourhood it is spot on.

    Unfortunately the PMW at 125 Hz on the lower output levels is quite noticeable to me, but this is typical in lights like this, so not unexpected. It means I prefer not to use this on the lower levels, instead enjoying the maximum output to its full effect.

    The manufacturer lists the light at 4000lm (hence DX quoting this figure), but as the output tests showed, this is an actual ANSI output of 2118lm. This is still a very respectable output despite the 5 XM-L emitters unfortunately not being driven that hard with each one only giving around 400lm. Given a better driver this light could achieve a much higher output.

    Not to go on about this feature too much, but simply incorporating a handle does make for a really well handling light. I have large hands, so could easily grip the body, but find the handle makes this light easy to hold for long periods with no fatigue at all. If needed you can even hang it off a single finger to allow you to use both hands to carry something and still hold the light.

    The FandyFire Raging has good ergonomics and provides respectable performance at a good price. Although having the side by side 4x18650 configuration it also has a distinctive styling.




    Test sample provided by DX for review.

    (Note – prior to posting this review in the main ‘flashlight reviews’ forum, the CPF site moderators confirmed that this was correct forum)
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  2. #2
    Flashaholic* subwoofer's Avatar
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    Default Re: FandyFire ‘Raging’ Review (4x18650)

    reserved...
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    Flashaholic* tobrien's Avatar
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    Default Re: FandyFire ‘Raging’ Review (4x18650)

    that 360 spin pic you did is awesome!!!!
    aka Edgar Allan Bro, Brosama Bin Liftin, Walter Crunkite, Bro Namath, Teddy Brosevelt, and the Tomahawk Crunkmissile.
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  4. #4

    Default Re: FandyFire ‘Raging’ Review (4x18650)

    Nice not a big fan of fandyfire much less them big lights but that this is bright. Hoe does it compare to NC Tiny Monster. Been thinking about getting one of these getting a job working swing shift at a college campu.s thinking about getting one of these monsters.

  5. #5
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    Default Re: FandyFire ‘Raging’ Review (4x18650)

    I have this light...except the LEDs are now U3's and its driven at ~ 6.2 amps or so, with some potting and added solder and burn-in, etc. Vinh estimated its pumping out closer to 6k lumens. It DOES get very hot driven hard like that, so its not meant to stay on for a long stint at a time....say 5-10 minutes. W/o the mods, it can run unlimited...lots of heat sinking.



    It is easy to handle as described, and the thickness of the handle is not really too much of a factor, as the light is just not heavy enough to really NEED a thicker handle.

    I REALLY like your beam profile chart...How do I get one of those?


  6. #6

    Default Re: FandyFire ‘Raging’ Review (4x18650)

    Thanks for the excellent and detailed review Subwoofer! Really helps to shed some light (pun intended...) on this FandyFire.

    BTW if anyone buys this they can request a translation of the instruction sheet. Just in case you guys haven't been practicing your Mandarin.

    Joseph - DealExtreme
    DealExtreme - dx.com - Flashlight guy.

  7. #7
    Flashaholic* Changchung's Avatar
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    Default FandyFire ‘Raging’ Review (4x18650)

    Thanks for a great review...

    Sent from my phone with camera with flash and internet on it...
    Last edited by Changchung; 12-28-2012 at 08:39 PM.
    Zebralight Spark Princeton Inova Petzl Maglite Bushnell 4 XM-L MagMod and a lot of Cree XM-L Lights Nitecore i4 Intellicharger Intl-outdoor 3400 Panasonic 3100 Bare and protected Samsung 3000 Sanyo 2600
    Please, respect the planet, dont kill animals...

  8. #8
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    Default Re: FandyFire ‘Raging’ Review (4x18650)

    Quote Originally Posted by dxcom View Post
    Thanks for the excellent and detailed review Subwoofer! Really helps to shed some light (pun intended...) on this FandyFire.

    BTW if anyone buys this they can request a translation of the instruction sheet. Just in case you guys haven't been practicing your Mandarin.

    Joseph - DealExtreme
    I have not been practicing Mandarin...unless you count occasionally eating one of the oranges?

    Can you send me a translated version?

  9. #9
    harro's Avatar
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    Default Re: FandyFire ‘Raging’ Review (4x18650)

    Very nice review Subwoofer;
    Looking at the runtime graph, i assume regulation is pretty much non existant ( NOT a criticism )?
    I have its exceedingly close cousin ( Apex 5T6XML ) in a neutral white, and its one of the smoothest beam outputs you could wish for. A great allrounder.
    Tks.

  10. #10
    Flashaholic* subwoofer's Avatar
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    Default Re: FandyFire ‘Raging’ Review (4x18650)

    Quote Originally Posted by tobrien View Post
    that 360 spin pic you did is awesome!!!!
    Thanks :-)

    I've been trying to find ways to give a better impression of the light in 3D when limited to a 2D screen, hopefully this does a reasonable job.

    Quote Originally Posted by TEEJ View Post
    I have this light...except the LEDs are now U3's and its driven at ~ 6.2 amps or so, with some potting and added solder and burn-in, etc. Vinh estimated its pumping out closer to 6k lumens. It DOES get very hot driven hard like that, so its not meant to stay on for a long stint at a time....say 5-10 minutes. W/o the mods, it can run unlimited...lots of heat sinking.



    It is easy to handle as described, and the thickness of the handle is not really too much of a factor, as the light is just not heavy enough to really NEED a thicker handle.

    I REALLY like your beam profile chart...How do I get one of those?

    I'd like to see a 6k lm mod of this, sounds fun.

    The beam profile chart - I've described the way I create them in the review. It is actually a lot of work overall and I've done it for all of my current set of review samples. Once I've finished and posted all of the current crop I wanted to ask for some feedback as to if it is worth doing in future. The profile give the entire beam range shape (not just the peak beam range) - how useful is this?

    Quote Originally Posted by harro View Post
    Very nice review Subwoofer;
    Looking at the runtime graph, i assume regulation is pretty much non existant ( NOT a criticism )?
    I have its exceedingly close cousin ( Apex 5T6XML ) in a neutral white, and its one of the smoothest beam outputs you could wish for. A great allrounder.
    Tks.
    No regulation on High at all. With the lack of PWM on High, and the output trace, I think it may effectively be direct drive in this mode. The medium and low outputs use PWM.

    It does have a very nice beam.
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  11. #11
    Flashaholic holylight's Avatar
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    Default Re: FandyFire ‘Raging’ Review (4x18650)

    good review as usual. tyvm
    lights: saber1a, v11r, sc52, sc600ii, ea4, tn31, archer1a.



  12. #12

    Thumbs up Re: FandyFire ‘Raging’ Review (4x18650)

    I know it's been half a year, but it's never to late to say THANKS for the awesome review.

    After reading it a few months ago I ordered one (DX) and have been taking it on my camping trips since I got it.

    Just to share a few facts: I tripped while crossing a river and got under water with the "Raging" on, at "low" setting, and it took me a few seconds to get up and a couple more minutes to bring my stuff to "dryland", only then I dived in and got the flashlight out of the water. It was about 3 feet deep, it was turned on, and was at least 2 or 3 minutes at the bottom. To my surprise, it was perfectly dry inside when I disassembled it later, back on campsite.

    I also had a 3 hours hike under a real downpour in the mountains, and didn't had any glitch so far.

    The only care I took before start using it was to lube all threads and o-rings real good with silicone grease, and I redo it every time I take the batteries out to change/charge them.

    So if anyone is curious about "water resistance", I'd say it's storm-proof and quick-dip tested and approved.

    A curious thing is that bats gone crazy all around our hiking group when I used it on "medium" mode. On "low" and on "high" it's just the regular "attracts insects, bats dives for them" frenzy, but on "medium" the bats started to go wild and hit everything: one another, trees, us, even ground and water. I think the PWM noise messes with their radar or something. Well, not nice, so no "medium" setting while on bat territory...

    Thank you again and cheers!

  13. #13
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    Default Re: FandyFire ‘Raging’ Review (4x18650)

    I have been content with both DX and Fandyfire, so I decided to snag one of the Raging lights to go with my 3 Cree unit from an earlier purchase. I'll post here when it arrives. Jim.

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