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Thread: 'SHOT SHOW Special' Review: Olight SxxR Series (S10R, S15R, S20R, S30R)

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    Default 'SHOT SHOW Special' Review: Olight SxxR Series (S10R, S15R, S20R, S30R)



    'SHOT SHOW Specials' are a series of reviews inspired by, or as a consequence of, my visit to the SHOT SHOW 2015.
    These may contain photos taken while travelling, and may be of a slightly different format.


    ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Author's Statement for Transparency and Disclosure
    The test sample/s featured in this article have been provided for technical testing and review by the manufacturer. Test samples are retained by the reviewer following publication of the completed review for the purposes of long term testing and product comparisons.

    All output figures and test results published in this review are the sole work of the reviewer, and are carried out independently and without bias. Test results are reported as found, with no embellishments or alteration. Though best endeavours are made to maintain the accuracy of test equipment, the accuracy of these results is not guaranteed and is subject to the test equipment functioning correctly.
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    Olight have updated the popular Baton EDC lights with a range of USB rechargeable models.




    Unlike many USB rechargeable lights, the SxxR range use small charging docks which the magnetic tailcaps attach to, making them great for on-off charging and regular use.





    Taking a more detailed look:

    Due to the large number of detail images for this set of lights, in this post of the review section, only the S10R's detailed images will be shown. Please go to post 3 to see the details of the S15R and S30R. (the S20R will also be added to the review as an update in post 2).


    The initial line up with additional Micro-Dok charging dock.




    Typical of all the SxxR lights, the S10R comes with a Micro-Dok and fixing pad, USB cable, spare o-rings and split ring, lanyard and instructions.




    Again, typical of the entire range, the charging contacts of the Micro-Dok and a SxxR series light's magnetic tailcap.




    Here you can see the nice deep carry type of pocket clip that comes with the S10R.




    The power button has a fixed ring surrounding it to reduce the chance of accidental activation.




    The two charging contacts are a raised ring with exposed aluminium, and a central spring loaded contact.




    The S10R uses an XM-L2 LED.




    This photo shows how he S10R's cell sits just below the top of the battery tube.




    Fully anodised and square cut threads are used.




    Inside the tailcap, the connector board with central negative contact spring is held in with a notched black screw-in ring.




    Supplied with the S10R is an Olight RCR123 650mAh protected li-ion cell.




    Inside the S10R you can see the reverse polarity protection and the coiled (but not sprung) positive terminal.




    With three of the triangular Micro-Dok charging stations together you can see each side. On one side is the Olight logo, on another the micro USB socket for power–in, and the third side has a full size USB power-out socket.




    For an idea of size, here are the S10R, S15R and S30R amongst a batch of lights on test.

    From left to right these are: Olight S10R, Olight S15R, Olight S30R, FOURSEVENS Bolt-Action, FOURSEVENS Preon P2, FOURSEVENS MMU-X3R, Streamlight ProTac HL3, MAG-LITE XL200, NITECORE TM06, Lumintop ED20-T, V54 DC25Cvn and the Streamlight Siege AA.





    The beam

    Please be careful not to judge tint based on images you see on a computer screen. Unless properly calibrated, the screen itself will change the perceived tint.
    The indoor beamshot is intended to give an idea of the beam shape/quality rather than tint. All beamshots are taken using daylight white balance. The woodwork (stairs and skirting) are painted Farrow & Ball "Off-White", and the walls are a light sandy colour called 'String' again by Farrow & Ball. I don't actually have a 'white wall' in the house to use for this, and the wife won't have one!



    Starting indoors with the S10R which has a wide spot and broad spill.




    Almost identical beam shape as the S10R, here is the S15R.




    Of these three, the S30R has a different beam pattern. It is more focussed with narrower spill beam and brighter spot. This is perhaps better suited to it higher power making it more versatile for outdoor use as well.




    Outdoors the S10R lacks a bit of punch (but is a tiny light).




    The S15R too is better suited to indoor tasks.




    But the S30R has plenty of power to step outside.





    Modes and User Interface:

    The S10R and S15R have identical modes and interfaces. The S30R has a couple of additional settings due to having a Turbo mode.


    For the S10R/S15R:

    From OFF – Press and hold the switch to get direct access to Moonlight
    From OFF – Click the switch once to get the last used constant output level (including Moonlight)
    From OFF – Double click to get direct access to High

    From ON - Double click to get Strobe
    From ON – Press and hold the switch to cycle through Low, Medium, High, Low etc

    To Lock the S10R/S15R From OFF – press and hold the switch for 2s. During this time it will come on in Moonlight and then go off again at which point it is locked out.
    To Unlock press and hold the switch for 1s, this will enter Moonlight


    For the S30R:

    From OFF – Press and hold the switch to get direct access to Moonlight
    From OFF – Click the switch once to get the last used constant output level (including Moonlight)
    From OFF – Double click to get direct access to Turbo
    From OFF – Triple click to get direct access to Strobe


    From ON - Triple click to get Strobe
    From ON - Double click to get Turbo
    From ON – Press and hold the switch to cycle through Low, Medium, High, Low etc

    To Lock the S30R From OFF – press and hold the switch for 2s During this time it will come on in Moonlight and then go off again at which point it is locked out.
    - Unlike the S10R/S15R, the S30R lights up the button illumination to indicate it has locked-out. If you press the button while the S30R is locked-out the switch will light up red to let you know it is locked.
    To Unlock press and hold the switch for 1s, this will enter Moonlight


    For all models the button illumination starts to flash as the cell's charge becomes low to let you know it will need a charge.



    Batteries and output:

    These lights all use their own supplied li-ion cells, but can also use similar cells and primary cell options.

    S10R – RCR123 supplied, can also use CR123 cells
    S15R – 14500 supplied, can also use AA NiMh or Alkaline cells
    S30R – 18650 supplied, can also use 2xCR123

    A feature of these series is the use of the Micro-Dok charging stations. These are interchangeable for any of the range and available separately so you can get extra ones for home/work/car/garage etc

    The USB out function allows for daisy chaining. However in my testing, doing this made the Micro-Dok higher up the chain go green, as if the light was suddenly fully charged, so use this with caution.

    The Micro-Doks will also reset the protection circuit if needed. When plugging in the dock with no light on it, the red light flashes slowly. Placing a run down SxxR light onto the dock makes the light go solid red to indicate it is charging. Once charging is complete the light goes green. If there is a problem, the red light will flash while the SxxR light is on it, and the light should be checked.

    The Micro-Dok consumes 0.6A when charging a depleted cell.




    On checking the cell voltage at the end of charging (and leaving each light on charge for both a short and a long time after the light goes green) the following was found.

    S10R – 4.14V (approx. 94% charge)
    S15R – 4.1V (approx. 90% charge_
    S30R – 4.18V (approx. 98% charge)

    So each of the SxxR lights does not charge the cell to 100%. In reality this is a good feature as it means you can leave the light on the dock for long periods, without significantly reducing the cell's lifetime.


    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.

    SxxR Models using specified cells I.S. measured ANSI output Lumens PWM frequency or Strobe frequency (Hz)
    S10R – RCR123 - High 435 0
    S10R – RCR123 - Medium 92 0
    S10R – RCR123 - Low 5 0
    S10R – RCR123 - Moonlight Below Threshold 0
    S15R – 14500 - High 310 0
    S15R – 14500 - Medium 96 0
    S15R – 14500 - Low 10 0
    S15R – 14500 - Moonlight Below Threshold 0
    S30R – 2xCR123 - Turbo 969 0
    S30R – 18650 - Turbo 846 0
    S30R – 18650 - High 522 0
    S30R – 18650 - Medium 134 0
    S30R – 18650 - Low 21 0
    S30R – 18650 - Moonlight Below Threshold 0

    Strobe runs at 9.8Hz on all models.

    Peak beam intensity/beam range measures at:
    S10R – 5000lux – 141m
    S15R – 1900lux – 87m
    S30R – 7800lux – 177m


    As the SxxR range use electronic switches we need to consider the parasitic drain.
    S10R – 6.6uA - it will take 11.23 years to deplete a 650mAh cell
    S15R – 1.1uA - it will take 77.78 years to deplete a 750mAh cell
    S30R – 15uA - it will take 25.86 years to deplete a 3400mAh cell

    Drain in these lights is negligible.

    In the first graph you can see the runtime traces of the S10R, S15R, and S30R all running on the cells they were supplied with.




    As the S15R is the version where the 'alternative' cell that can be used is a much lower voltage, in this graph the S15R is also included running on an Eneloop AA.





    Troubleshooting

    This is a new section I am adding to mention any minor niggles I came across during testing, in case the information helps anyone else.

    With both the S10R and S15R, the runtime traces were terminated by the protection of the cells kicking in (so went off suddenly). The S30R did not have this sudden cut off (and this difference will be due to the working voltage of the alternative power sources of each light).

    That is of course not an issue. The S10R charged perfectly after this and is only mentioned as a good example. The S15R behaved slightly differently.

    When placing the S15R on the charging dock after the output cut-off, the red light went solid for a moment and then started flashing. Using a monitored USB charger I was able to see that no charging current was being drawn. I removed the 14500 cell and checked it finding the cell was at 3.1V. However, the S15R would not recharge the cell.

    Eventually I tried turning the S15R on moon mode, and while leaving it on, placing it on the dock. On doing this, the S15R switched off, and normal charging started with a current draw of 0.64A from the USB charger. It charged fully after this.


    The S15R also had one other 'issue'. When I first took it out of the packet, the tailcap did not want to screw on enough to activate it. In the S15R only, the protected 14500 cell doesn't go fully into the battery tube. It sticks out about 1mm. What I found was that the screw in retaining ring that holds the tailcap circuit board in place was not fully tight and it was then pressing onto the end of the cell. A quick couple of turns using fine needle nose pliers to screw in this ring had it all working perfectly. This will only affect the S15R as with the others the cell fits fully inside the battery tube.

    As per the description of this section, this information is provided in case anyone else finds a similar 'issue' that might be fixed in the same way.



    The SxxR range in use

    I liked these SxxR lights as soon as I started to use them. Initially I was unconvinced about the Micro-Dok changing stations. Competitors' products tend to either have a USB socket built in or a connector that doesn't need a dock. However, when it comes down to practicality, it is easier and neater to just put the light down onto the charging dock than fiddle with cables.

    If you are always mobile and don't have fixed places you would charge these lights, then also having to carry the charging dock would prove a bit annoying. But most of us do have 'workstations' be it at home, at work, in the car or garage/workshop. In these situations having a charging dock set up means you just pop the light on or off charge as needed a bit like you would with a cordless telephone.

    The magnetic base of each light holds it firmly onto the Micro-Dok and also onto any magnetic surface that you want to put it onto. With an exposed aluminium contact, using the magnetic base on other surfaces will mark then, but if they are utilitarian or industrial you won't really mind and it is a useful feature.

    The lights themselves are a joy to use. Direct access to the moonlight mode is a winning feature. There is no danger of getting a blast of high output, in fact if you get it wrong and hold the button for too long, you just get lock-out. Unlocking these lights brings them on in moonlight.

    The memory works well as it will also remember moonlight, as well as any other constant mode you last used.

    With the SxxR lights you have three weapons against accidental activation. First it the fixed ring around the switch. This gives enough protection to the switch that it is very unlikely to be pressed by mistake, but is also low-profile enough to be barely noticeable when pressing the switch. Second is the lock-out mode, and third, you can always unscrew the tailcap slightly.

    How do you pick which one to go for? Well on CPF (and many other enthusiasts forums) the answer will be 'buy both' or similar, but let's get real and think about it. For me it would be based on a few of factors – size, output and 'alternative power' option.

    If you like AAs and want to be able to use these as backup power, then it has to be the S15R. If you like CR123s then the S10R or S30R can use them as backup power.

    For compact EDC carry, the S10R wins, closely followed by the S15R. When power matters most, the S30R is the clear winner.

    Buying into this system though, you might well go for more than one, (or at least a second Micro-Dok) as with the universal charging dock you can charge whichever one needs top up.

    Should you want to impress your friends, the S10R is the smallest overall and with 435lm will make you smile.

    For EDC carry, I would have liked a holster, but this is really the only criticism I have. Each of these lights works very well for its size and power options. The charging docks also work well based on a type of use where you can set them up and leave them set up. As noted earlier, the cells are not taken to 100% charge, but this means that in their typical use where they might be left on the charging dock for long periods, the cells are not being held at 100% (which can significantly reduce cell lifespan).




    Review Summary
    Things I like What doesn't work so well
    Well thought out UI No holsters provided
    Charging docks make on-off charging easy Using the charging dock's 'USB out' seems to affect charging
    Direct access to moonlight Cell protection will cut in for the S10R and S15R
    Magnetic base Magnetic base can scratch surfaces
    Cells not taken to 100% helps give longer cell life Cells not taken to 100% reduces runtime slightly
    Direct/Quick access to Maximum and Strobe
    Alternate power options
    Electronic and physical lock-out options
    Ergonomic side button switch







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    Default Re: 'SHOT SHOW Special' Review: Olight SxxR Series (S10R, S15R, S20R, S30R)

    Reserved for S20R review details...
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    Default Re: 'SHOT SHOW Special' Review: Olight SxxR Series (S10R, S15R, S20R, S30R)

    Taking a more detailed look Continued:

    Returning to the detailed look at the S15R and S30R




    The S15R




    Typical of all the SxxR lights, the S15R comes with a Micro-Dok and fixing pad, USB cable, spare o-rings and split ring, lanyard and instructions.




    The power button has a fixed ring surrounding it to reduce the chance of accidental activation.




    The two charging contacts are a raised ring with exposed aluminium, and a central spring loaded contact.




    Here you can see the nice deep carry type of pocket clip that comes with the S15R.




    The S15R uses an XM-L2 LED.




    The S15R's bezel ring, GITD o-ring, coated glass lens and shallow smooth reflector.




    Fully anodised and square cut threads are used.




    Inside the tailcap, the connector board with central negative contact spring is held in with a notched black screw-in ring. It was this ring that was mentioned in the troubleshooting section as not being fully screwed in out of the box.




    Inside the S15R you can see the coiled (but not sprung) positive terminal.




    Supplied with the S15R is an Olight 14500 750mAh protected li-ion cell.





    And now the S30R




    Typical of all the SxxR lights, the S30R comes with a Micro-Dok and fixing pad, USB cable, spare o-rings and split ring, lanyard and instructions.




    Here you can see the type of pocket clip that comes with the S30R.




    The power button has a fixed ring surrounding it to reduce the chance of accidental activation.




    The two charging contacts are a raised ring with exposed aluminium, and a central spring loaded contact. Of the three, the S30R is the only one with a brass/gold coloured central contact.




    The S30R uses an XM-L2 LED and has a slightly larger and deeper reflector than the S10R/S15R.




    Fully anodised and square cut threads are used.




    Inside the S30R you can see the coiled sprung positive terminal. Both the S10R and S15R have un-sprung positive contacts, but the S30R does use a spring.




    Supplied with the S30R is an Olight 18650 3400mAh protected li-ion cell.








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    Default Re: 'SHOT SHOW Special' Review: Olight SxxR Series (S10R, S15R, S20R, S30R)

    reserved for updates...
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    Default Re: 'SHOT SHOW Special' Review: Olight SxxR Series (S10R, S15R, S20R, S30R)

    Awesome. Are the Micro-Doks all interchangeable? I seem to remember from somewhere (although I'm not finding it now) that the dock from the smaller models does not charge the S30R effectively, or that they charge at different rates? I'd be interested to know if you can tell the Micro-Doks apart once they're out of their packaging.

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    Default Re: 'SHOT SHOW Special' Review: Olight SxxR Series (S10R, S15R, S20R, S30R)

    Quote Originally Posted by pepekraft View Post
    Awesome. Are the Micro-Doks all interchangeable? I seem to remember from somewhere (although I'm not finding it now) that the dock from the smaller models does not charge the S30R effectively, or that they charge at different rates? I'd be interested to know if you can tell the Micro-Doks apart once they're out of their packaging.
    Yes, the micro-doks are interchangeable, but you have asked a very good question.

    The requirements of air travel back from SHOT Show meant I had to take them all out of the packaging and they got mixed up. The reason for saying that is that I have two slightly different types, two of each.

    One says:
    Output 4.55V 0.5A plus Output2 5V 2A(EXTENDED)

    the other says:
    Output 4.55V 750mA
    - this one has a lightning symbol under the indicator light, so can be identified.

    This has just allowed me to confirm that the two 0.5A ones did come with the S10R and S15R, and the 0.75A ones came with the S30R and the extra spare dock.

    This should mean that the only effect is charging current as the output voltage is the same.
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    Default Re: 'SHOT SHOW Special' Review: Olight SxxR Series (S10R, S15R, S20R, S30R)

    Thanks for the nice review and great pics. It looks like these should be pretty popular for Olight.

  8. #8

    Default Re: 'SHOT SHOW Special' Review: Olight SxxR Series (S10R, S15R, S20R, S30R)

    Quote Originally Posted by Mr. Tone View Post
    Thanks for the nice review and great pics. It looks like these should be pretty popular for Olight.
    +1. I now have two S10R's and an S30R, really impressed with these lights.

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