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Thread: Sunwayman F10R & F20C (XM-L2, 5mm red/blue - CR123A/RCR/18650) Review: RUNTIMES+

  1. #1

    Wink2 Sunwayman F10R & F20C (XM-L2, 5mm red/blue - CR123A/RCR/18650) Review: RUNTIMES+

    Warning: even more pic heavy than usual.







    The F10R and F20C are the first two members of the new Falcon series from Sunwayman (1xCR123A/RCR and 1x18650/2xCR123A/RCR, respectively). This series is distinctive for the use of secondary red and blue 5mm LEDs, along with the main white XM-L2 emitter. Please see my recent F40A review for a 4xAA member of this family (albeit with a different interface and revised features).

    Let's see how they do against other lights in this respective classes

    Manufacturer Reported Specifications:
    (note: as always, these are simply what the manufacturer provides – scroll down to see my actual testing results).

    Common specs:
    • LED: CREE XM-L2, 1 x red LED, and 1 x blue LED (reviewer's note: there's actual 2 emitters, that do both red or blue)
    • Two-stage control system for selecting output by depressing tail cap push button switch
    • Optimized deep dish reflector ensuring great throw distance as well as perfect beam pattern
    • Ultra-clear tempered glass lens resists scratches and impacts
    • High quality aerospace-grade aluminum alloy
    • Stainless steel head retaining ring
    • Military specification Type III hard anodized body
    • IPX-8 dust and waterproof
    • Flat tail enables light to stand up like a candle

    F10R specific specs:
    • Runs on: 1 x CR123A or 1 x 16340 battery (batteries NOT included)
    • Output mode/Run time:
    • Turbo: 290 lumens / 3 min (To avoid overheating, the light will enter High mode automatically after 3mins continuous use)
    • High: 180 lumens / 1.3 hrs
    • Mid: 56 lumens / 7 hrs
    • Low: 11 lumens / 40 hrs
    • Red and Blue LEDs: 11 lumens / 15 hrs
    • Peak beam intensity: 1520cd
    • Maximum beam distance: 656.2 ft (200m)
    • Dimensions: Length: 3.9" (101mm), Body diameter: 1.06" (27mm), Bezel diameter: 1.22" (31mm)
    • Weight: 3.68oz (104.5g) (excluding batteries)
    • MSRP: ~$56

    F20C specific specs:
    • Runs on 1x 18650 battery or 2xCR123A or 2x16340
    • Output mode/Run time:
    • Turbo: 780 Lumens / 3 min (To avoid overheating, the light will enter High mode automatically after 3mins continuous use)
    • High: 480 Lumens (1.2hrs)
    • Mid: 160 Lumens (11hrs)
    • Low: 30 Lumens (125hrs)
    • Red and Blue LEDs: 11 lumens / 15 hrs
    • Effective range of 220 meters;
    • Intensity: 12000cd;
    • Working voltage: 2.8~8.4V;
    • Dimension: 134mm x 31mm x 27mm
    • Weight: 109.8g (battery excluded);
    • MSRP: ~$59






    The F10R and F20C come in standard Sunwayman retail packaging. Inside, you will find the light, very basic wrist strap, extra o-ring, spare switch boot cover, manual, product insert and warranty card. There is no holster.




    From left to right: Energizer CR123A; Sunwayman F10R. C10R; Novatac 120P; Surefire E1B; Armytek Partner C1.




    From left to right: Energizer 18650; Sunwayman F10R. V25C; C21C; Fenix PD35; Eagletac G25C2-II, TX25C2.

    All dimensions directly measured, and given with no batteries installed (unless indicated):

    Sunwayman F10R: Weight: 105.2g Length: 100.7mm, Width (bezel): 31.0mm
    ArmyTek C1 XM-L: Weight: 43.0g, Length: 80.2mm , With (bezel): 23.1mm
    Foursevens QTLC: Weight 36.4g, Length 84.1mm, Width (bezel) 22.1mm
    Lumintop ED11: Weight: 44.1g, Length: 83.7, Width (bezel): 21.8mm
    Olight S10 (2013, XM-L2): Weight: g, Length: mm, Width (bezel): 23.1mm
    Sunwayman C10R: Weight: 57.3g, Length: 76.2mm (no lanyard plug), 82.3mm (with plug), Width (bezel): 25.6mm, Width (head at widest part): 28.6mm

    Sunwayman F20C: Weight: 111.5g, Length: 133.6mm, Width (bezel): 31.0mm
    Eagletac G25C2-II (stock): Weight 141.0g, Length: 150.6mm, Width: 39.6mm
    Eagletac TX25C2: Weight 93.6g, Length: 120.4mm, Width (bezel): 31.6mm
    Foursevens Quark Q123-2 X (Regular tailcap): Weight: 44.6g, Length: 112.7mm, Width (bezel) 22.0mm
    Foursevens MMX: Weight 145.8g, Length: 153.3mm, Width (bezel): 38.7mm
    Olight S20 (2013, XM-L2): Weight: 52.4g, Length: 106.5mm, Width (bezel): 23.1mm
    Sunwayman C21C: Weight 78.6g, Length: 102.0mm, Width (bezel side) 26.9mm (bezel diagonal) 31.2mm
    Sunwayman V25C: Weight: 117.3g, Length: 134.9mm, Width (bezel): 32.1mm
    Zebralight SC600: Weight 87.2g, Length: 107.8mm, Width (bezel) 29.7mm








    The F10R and F20C are substantial lights for their classes. They both have a larger than typical head, with higher weight. Overall impression is very good - both seem like very high quality lights. They finish in particular is just superb, with flawless anodizing. Color is hard to describe – it looks black under most lighting, but seems to be a really dark brown/black natural finish. Either way, I quite like it. These two specimens are impressive to handle and behold.

    Overall grip is good, thanks to all the ridge detail, knurling, and built in clip. On that latter point, I like that the clip supports both bezel-up and bezel-down carry.

    The lights open at the head. Screw threads are not anodized, due to the user interface (i.e., head loosened for color modes, head tight for white light modes). Screw threads seem well made, although I find both lights a little stiff to tighten/loosen.

    Tail area features a forward clicky switch. Switch internals can be accessed from the rear of the light (unless a stainless steel retaining ring), if you ever need to change it. Switch feel is typical for the class. Scroll down for a discussion of the user interface.

    The lights can tailstand, and easy switch access is maintained by cut-outs around the periphery of the tail cap. There are a series of lanyard attachment points here as well.

    The two 5mm LEDs are recessed in the main reflector. This reminds me of the old Streamlight TwinTask lights (for those of you old enough to remember).




    The reflector for the XM-L2 emitter has a smooth finish, and is reasonably deep. 5mm LEDs are on either side of the main emitter, embedded inside the reflector. Here is what the red and blue LEDs look like when activated:




    Scroll down for beamshots.

    I have to say, the overall build impression on these lights is just outstanding. The honestly feel like more refined Surefire products.

    User Interface

    The lights use a forward clicky switch to change modes, and a head twist to select the general output state (i.e., head tight for white light, head loose for color lights).

    Turn the light on by the tail switch (press for momentary, click for locked on). With the head light, mode sequence is Turbo > Med > Lo > Strobe, in repeating sequence. With the head loose, mode sequence is Red/Blue/White Strobe > Red SOS > Red > Blue, in repeating sequence.

    There is mode memory for the white output mode, as long as you wait ~2 secs before reactivating.

    There is a peculiar memory for the color modes. When activating the light from Off with the head loosened, you always get the Red/Blue/White Strobe. The light will memorize the color mode if you change it – but only if you switch to head tight before re-activating again (i.e., and then switch back to head loose only once on). If you forget this, and turn the light on with the head loose, the light erases both your color and white mode memory states (i.e., comes in in red/blue/white strobe, and turns to Turbo if you tighten).

    Note the white Hi level is not accessible from the main sequence. The defined Hi level is really just the step-down level from Turbo (i.e., lower than initial Turbo, but higher than Med).

    Also, the Blue/Red strobing effect is very similar to that use by police services. Although it is not very bright on these lights, you still need to keep in mind that it may not be permissible for you to publicly use this sort of strobe mode in your local area. A lot of municipalities have restrictions on the use of emergency signals, and may not have much of a sense of humor about attempts to imitate police officers.

    As an aside, this general interface is problematic in my view. Not only do you have Strobe on the main sequence of the white modes, but you will always strobe yourself if you activate in the head loose state. See my F40A review for a better Falcon-series interface.

    Video:

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



    As with all my videos, I recommend you have annotations turned on. I commonly update the commentary with additional information or clarifications before publicly releasing the video.

    PWM/Strobe

    There is no sign of PWM that I can see, at any output level – I believe the lights are current-controlled.

    There were some high frequency signals ("oscilloscope noise") on various constant output levels both my samples, but these were not detectable visually in the beams.

    F10R Noise:



    F20C Noise:


    It is common to be able to detect circuit noise on many current-controlled lights (in this case, in the >20+ kHz range). Consistent with my testing policy, I report on anything I can detect – but it doesn't mean these signals are a concern. They are not visible in operation, even when shining the lights on a fan. Rest assured, both lights are flicker free at all constant output levels.

    F10R White Strobe:


    F20C White Strobe:


    White strobe was a consistent ~16 Hz on both samples. Although the traces look a little different above, the visual effect is the same.

    Red/Blue/White Strobe:

    Red/Blue/White Strobe is really a rapidly pulsing strobe of color, switching between red and blue after ~1 sec of each color. A full power brief white flash is introduced every ~0.8 secs or so. The result is that it looks a lot like a set of flashing police lights with an additional rapid white beacon.



    You can't see the red/blue colors in the oscilloscope trace above, as they are too low output for my setup to detect. What you are looking at above is the reoccurring white flash in this mode.

    No Standby Drain

    Due to the physical clicky switch, there is no standby current in any mode.

    Beamshots:

    And now the white-wall beamshots. All lights are on the identified battery. 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.

    1xCR123A













    1xRCR:













    1x18650:













    Thanks to the relatively deep reflectors, these lights have a reasonably "throwy" beam for their size (i.e., hotspot is tightly focused). The embedded red/blue emitters don't seem cause any significant artifacts for the main white beam. Scroll down for my actual beam measures.

    F10R Color modes:




    As you can see above, the blue LED mode is a lot brighter than the red LED mode. Not sure why, given the specs are the same. In any case, here's a lower exposure of the blue mode:



    F20C Color modes:




    Both modes are brighter on my F20C (especially the red mode – although it is still less bright than the blue mode). Again, here is the same lower exposure of the blue mode:



    As should be obvious, there are a lot of artifacts in the color beams on these two models.

    Testing Method:

    All my output numbers are relative for my home-made light box setup, as described on my flashlightreviews.ca website. 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.

    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. Effective July 2012, I have updated all my Peak Intensity/Beam Distance measures with a NIST-certified Extech EA31 lightmeter (orange highlights).

    F10R:





    F20C:







    These Falcon-series lights have good max output and throw for their respective classes.

    As for the red/blue LEDs, it is hard to provide reliable output estimates given the differing sensitivity of light meters to these wavelengths. 5mm LEDs are also relatively low output, further compounding the difficulty. Probably the best way I can describe it is that the brightness of the red emitter seems a little below average on the F10R, and about typical on the F20C. The blue emitters definitely seem brighter than expected on both.

    Let's see how my white output estimates compare to the official Sunwayman ANSI-FL1 specs for these lights:





    Note that the step-down feature (after 3 mins) actually steps you down to a distinct Hi level (that you cannot access separately in the main sequence). Note sure why they made the Hi level directly inaccessible. See runtimes below for more info.

    Output/Runtime Graphs:

    F10R:







    F20C:








    Regulation patterns and output/runtime efficiency are about typical for current-controlled lights in their respective classes.

    Potential Issues

    The main white mode sequence is unusual in several regards: the defined Hi mode is not accessible (i.e., only occurs after Turbo step-down), and you have a high-frequency strobe on the main sequence (i.e., unavoidable). Note that the light also lacks a moonlight white mode.

    The color modes (head loosened) begin with the Red/Blue/White Strobe, and have a peculiar form of mode memory. Color mode memory gets erased if you turn the light on in the head loose state (i.e., you always enter into the color strobe mode when activating with the head loosened). It seems bizarre to have to remember when turning off in color light to click off, tighten the head, turn on in white light, and then loosen to return the color mode you just left. If you forget this and activate in the head loosened state, you get color strobe (and erasure of both the color and white mode memory).

    The single-output color modes are based on two 5mm LEDs, and are not very bright on red (but much brighter on blue). There are significant artifacts in the beam of the color modes.

    The flashing red/blue sequence is very reminiscent of police signals. As such, it may not be lawful for you to use this mode in public in your region.

    Thread action is a little stiff on both samples (i.e., you may find it hard to loosen or tighten the head single-handed).

    My initial F10R sample displayed flickering and inconsistent activation on all batteries – and the circuit eventually failed during testing (i.e., wouldn't activate). The replacement sample has performed reliably, and is used for all the results presented here.

    On a fresh CR123A, I found that that all the modes seemed unusually low. I needed to cycle through the output modes a couple of times until the full initial outputs were restored.

    Preliminary Observations

    The F10R and F20C were the first two Falcon-series lights released by Sunwayman (followed up by the F40A, which I have also just reviewed). My impression of this series is decidedly mixed – the F10R and F20C show outstanding physical build quality, but with a problematic user interface (in my opinion). As a counterpoint, I recommend you check out my F40A review, which has a much more generally useful interface.

    Let's start with the positives – I love the look and feel of the F10R and F20C. The anodizing is simply gorgeous, with a beautiful super-dark natural finish. The firmly installed stiff pocket clip is great for both bezel-up and bezel-down carry (plus serves as an effect anti-roll and enhanced grip device). The lights have a very high quality hand feel to me (although the thread action is a bit stiff). Physically, the F10R strikes me as a more "refined" version of the Surefire E1B/EB1.

    Given this high first impression on handling the lights, the actual mode sequence in use was a let down for me. I personally can't stand high-frequency strobes on the main mode sequence in any light. I also don't get why the defined Hi mode is not available on this sequence - and would have appreciated an ultra low mode as well. But at least there is mode memory here.

    The color modes are more problematic – if you activate with the head loose, the light starts in red/blue/white strobe (and erases any pre-set memory for the color or white modes). So if you are using the light in a solid color mode, you can't easily just turn off and back on in that mode (i.e., you have to go through white modes first). Sorry, but I am not going to use the color modes at all if it means I must go through white modes every time I turn on (or I risk strobing myself). I'm guessing Sunwayman thought these lights would appeal primarily to tactical fans who want to imitate police officers when turning on the light.

    I am happy to report that the revised interface and mode sequence of the F40A is much better in this regard (see that review for details). Part of the interface challenge here is the single clicky switch/head twist design (although they could still have done better in my view). But I urge those interested in this series to check out the F40A, since it ticks most of the boxes for what I like to see in a light.

    Putting aside the interface issues here, actual performance of the F10R and F20C was quite good. You can expect typical current-controlled efficiency and regulation patterns.

    I am also happy to report that the embedded 5mm LEDs don't seem to cause any significant artifacts in the main white beam (although they do produce very messy looking color beams).

    End of the day, I come back to how much I like the general build of these lights. I think Sunwayman has learned from the interface issues on these two models, and come back with a superior product in the newer F40A. I just wish they would return to these two excellent builds with a revised control interface. As always, I'm curious to hear what the members here think!

    ----

    F10R and F20C were provided by Sunwayman for review.
    Last edited by selfbuilt; 05-26-2014 at 01:09 PM.
    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* Ryp's Avatar
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    Default Re: Sunwayman F10R & F20C (XM-L2, 5mm red/blue - CR123A/RCR/18650) Review: RUNTIMES+

    Thanks for the review!

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