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Thread: Review: Coast HP7R Rechargeable (Li-ion pack, 4x AAA)

  1. #1
    Flashaholic* subwoofer's Avatar
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    Default Review: Coast HP7R Rechargeable (Li-ion pack, 4x AAA)

    ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    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.
    ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------


    Coast have taken the HP7 and updated it with their 'Flex Charge Dual Power system' to create the HP7R. Included with this light are AC and DC chargers, for the rechargeable battery packs, as well as an AAA battery pack to give the user plenty of options. Without any extra parts, the HP7R's rechargeable battery packs can be recharged in the HP7R or outside using a micro-USB connection. Add to this a zoom beam and a comprehensive kit of accessories and the HP7R looks like an attractive package.

    *For anyone wondering about the similarity between Coast lights and another well-known zoom light manufacturer, this is due to Coast originally having exclusive distribution rights for those products in the US, but now manufacture a line of lights under their own patents. What we are looking at here is 100% Coast manufactured.
    (* based on recollection of a conversation at SHOT show)





    Taking a more detailed look:

    The complete HP7R kit is presented in a sturdy box.



    With the lid off, you see the HP7R along with its two rechargeable li-ion battery packs, along with a 4x AAA battery carrier already loaded with alkaline cells. But there is more!




    Removing the insert in the box you find the rest of the kit. This includes, the HP7R, two li-ion battery packs, one 4x AAA battery pack, USB mains charger, USB 12V charger, USB to micro USB cable, lanyard, holster, belt clip, wall mount and instructions. That is comprehensive!




    The holster is a nice quality and made from a slightly padded thick material. A bit like cordura covered neoprene. The fit is snug, so even if the flap is not secured, this is not going to let the light fall out.




    In the HP7R, the optic does not have a flat front, instead it has a dome in the middle of a dished optic.




    In the flood position of the zoom, you can see the LED.




    Moving the head to the spot setting and the LED can no longer be seen.




    The switch boot has the Coast 'C' moulded into it.




    Then one of the tricks up the HP7R's sleeve (or tail-cap). With a slight twist the tail-cap can then be pulled to reveal a micro USB port that can be used to charge the li-ion battery packs inside the light.




    Inside the battery tube, you can see the contacts at the head end of the light.




    The tail-cap has three contacts which relate to the charging and switching.




    The threads are cleanly cut truncated standard threads.




    It is possible t charge the battery packs either inside the HP7R as shown before, but also on their own outside the light, as they have a micro-USB port as well. The charge indicator light shows red when charging and green when fully charged.




    Comparing the rechargeable battery pack and the AAA cell holder pack.




    Charging the battery pack inside the HP7R.




    As well as the holster there is plastic belt clip. This is an incredibly tight fit.





    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!


    Set to the flood beam the HP7R projects an even disc of light.




    When zooming to the spot beam, if you stop just before fully zooming the LED comes into focus.




    Finishing the zoom to spot and the LED image blurs into the fully focussed spot.




    Moving outdoors with the flood beam.




    And zooming in for maximum throw.





    Modes and User Interface:

    There are 3 output modes, High, Strobe and Low.

    A forward clicky tail switch allows for momentary operation, but each time it is pressed within 3s it will change modes High -> Strobe -> Low -> High etc.

    After being OFF for at least 3s, the HP7R will always come onto High.
    Two quick presses, puts the HP7R into Stobe mode.
    Three quick presses, puts the HP7R into Low mode



    Batteries and output:

    Supplied with two proprietary 2400mAh li-ion battery packs and a carrier for 4x AAA.

    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.

    ___________________________________________ ________________________________ ________________________________
    Coast HP7R using supplied li-ion battery pack I.S. measured ANSI output Lumens PWM frequency or Strobe frequency (Hz)
    ___________________________________________ ________________________________ ________________________________
    High Flood 253 0
    High Spot/Zoom 253 0
    Low 26 454
    Strobe 154 6.8 & 20

    Peak Beam intensity measured 34500lx @1m giving a beam range of 371m for the spot zoom and 400lx @1m giving a beam range of 40m for the flood beam.

    Despite the forward clicky switch, the connections are not a simple double pole. There is parasitic drain which measures at 33uA and with the 2400mAh rechargeable cell provided will take 8.3 years to deplete it.

    Of particular note is that the optics of the HP7R have no loss of output from full flood to spot beam.

    On both the li-ion pack and the 4xAAA, the output drops quickly to 150lm after three minutes and down to about 80lm after 10 minutes. The li-ion pack manages a significantly longer run.




    Looking in more detail at just the first part of the trace shows more clearly the changes in output.





    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.

    Nothing has come up during testing.

    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 HP7R in use

    Depending on your expectations, the HP7R is either going to be fantastic or a disappointment. To most non-flashaholics, the beam is bright, and the ability to zoom in to a spot beam or zoom out to a flood beam fascinates. If you are only going to invest in one light, you might want to choose the flexibility of a zoom.

    To serious flashaholics the HP7R won't deliver as it just doesn't have high enough output, and is not waterproof or resilient enough. But serious flashaholics are not who this light is aimed at (unless it is to be bought by a flashaholic as a gift for a non-flashaholic friend).

    With the HP7R you immediately have a complete kit, giving you rechargeable li-ion power which is USB chargeable (and a spare li-ion battery), mains and car chargers, the option to use easily available AAAs as a backup, as well as a holster and belt and wall mount. For the average person the HP7R provides a lot, and this is where its strength is. A jack of all trades light perfectly suitable for most people who have no interest in specialist lights (yet).

    Operation is simple with the three modes, and the zoom head is intuitive.

    By including 'charge-in-the-light' and 'charge-out-of-the-light' options for the li-ion battery packs, Coast have made it easy to keep the HP7R topped up and ready to use as well as having the spare battery ready to go too.

    Having compared the flood and spot output of other zoom lights, there is always a significant loss when changing to spot. The HP7R however manages to eliminate losses and the flood and spot lumen count was exactly the same – very impressive.

    With the flood beam being created by the optic, the resultant beam is a disc of light with a well-defined edge (though there is some fringing at the edge), much more so than non-zoom flashlight beams. This can create a tunnel vision effect as the edges of the spill are as bright as the centre of the beam.

    When on full spot zoom, a similar effect is created by the fact that there is almost no spill with the beam well focussed into a tight spot beam. This is a great beam for peering into an engine bay or similar deep view scenario, or for long distance spotting.

    There isn't really a happy medium, as the effect of changing the focus from flood to spot simply takes the flood beam's disc of light and makes it smaller and smaller until it is the full spot beam.

    The usefulness of a zoom beam is not lost on the general population as there are so many cheap zoom lights available and being consumed happily enough. As long as you are aware of its characteristics and are happy to work with them, then all is well. The HP7R's focusing system is the most efficient I've measured, with no change in output between flood and spot thanks to the optic design, so the inefficiencies of zoom lights have been eliminated or at least evened out.

    The PWM used for the Low beam is 454Hz and can be seen when there is movement.

    Included in the kit are two plastic clips, a belt clip and a wall mount. Unfortunately I find them unusable due to be far too stiff to get the light in and out of them. Considering the thought that went into the full package this is a pity as they would have been useful.

    Though the finish on the HP7R started very clean, even during my standard minimum two week review carry period, the anodising has started to chip on the edges and scratch through on the body, so is already looking a little second-hand.

    So, is the HP7R great? Well I'll leave you to decide that, but consider that it is very useful, simple and provides you with a full, easy to use, USB rechargeable kit without the need for anything else. It is a good way to bring someone into the LED lighting era and for the average person will give them everything they need.



    Review Summary

    _______________________________________________ _______________________________________________
    Things I like What doesn't work so well for me
    _______________________________________________ _______________________________________________
    Zoom beam with no loss in output between Spot and Flood Visible PWM on Low
    Easy USB recharging Supplied plastic mounts too stiff to use
    Batteries can be charged in, or out, of the HP7R Anodising already marking after light use
    Comprehensive kit with everything included
    Optional AAA power source


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    Last edited by subwoofer; 06-12-2015 at 12:57 PM.
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  2. #2
    Flashaholic* subwoofer's Avatar
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    Default Re: Review: Coast HP7R Rechargeable (Li-ion pack, 4x AAA)

    Reserved for updates...

    Coast have confirmed the LED is an XP-E.
    Last edited by subwoofer; 06-14-2015 at 01:19 PM.
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  3. #3
    Flashaholic* CelticCross74's Avatar
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    Default Re: Review: Coast HP7R Rechargeable (Li-ion pack, 4x AAA)

    my flashlight addiction began with Coast. I must own almost every Coast model made save for the rechargeable. Years later the only Coasts I still use are the HP17 and HP550. The rest either sit in a drawer as I slowly give them away to freinds that need a light. I still do indeed love the flood to throw ability of Coast lights. The HP550 flood beam is so huge defined and bright its like there is all of the sudden a large full moon on a clear night. As for the HP7 it is sad that Coast does not have such a biggish light putting no less than 450 lumens out the front. Ive got the new 360 lumen Pro HP7 and its still not as bright as my PD32. Its beam profile is very rough around the edges. Including alkalines with any modern high output LED light is just plain wrong and kind of insulting. Include Energizer Ultimate Lithiums then Ill be impressed. The HP7 format is just capable of so much more that Coast just wont do it drives me mad. Its such a good looking light with plenty of room for different battery types and a myriad of different electronics. Oh yeah....name the LED in the HP7 can you do it? Ive emailed Coast CS about the upcoming new HP17 (featuring 970 lumen XP-L) and asked about what LED emitters are in the HP7 and HP550. The only answer they would give me is that the HP550 has an old XM-L in it. They avoid telling me what emitter is in the HP7 for some reason it doesnt make any sense. Id love to see someone use the HP7 as a host for some XP-L beast. I am surprised this rechargeable HP7 has nearly 35000 candela though thats really good!

  4. #4
    Flashaholic* subwoofer's Avatar
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    Default Re: Review: Coast HP7R Rechargeable (Li-ion pack, 4x AAA)

    LED identification added to post 2
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  5. #5

    Default Re: Review: Coast HP7R Rechargeable (Li-ion pack, 4x AAA)

    Thanks for doing this review.Why I bought the 7R...(before reading this) No regrets.
    ^^ that's about 300' away in the rain with about 6 hours of on/off use of the rechargeable battery.
    ^^ for kix n giggles pic.About 1000' away on a fresh charge.

    Edit:
    I noticed today the on/off switch sticks out past the frame, therefore not allowing it to stand on tabletop shining upward like the non rechargeable HP7 (and my assortment of Lux-Pro lights) do. Eh, no biggy to me, but to some that may matter.

    Nother edit:
    If you open the tail end of this lamp slightly, like you would to charge the battery in the lamp, it'll tail stand. Duh! How'd I miss that.
    It got about 7 hours on/off a few minutes at a time cycles (which I suppose is a typical use for most using this type of flashlight) before noticing any discernable dimming. It took about an hour to recharge.
    Last edited by bykfixer; 08-30-2015 at 07:36 AM.

  6. #6

    Default Re: Review: Coast HP7R Rechargeable (Li-ion pack, 4x AAA)

    Thanks for the info Subwoofer, I think I qualify as a "flashaholic" having been enamored of the Torch since being a kid but as you see I'm new here and not sure of the definition as it applies relating to people who post here. Anyway, till recently all my flashlights have been of the non-zoom kind of LED of various makes an models running from 100 Lumen models up to a 1000 lumen large spot I keep in my truck.

    Anyway to get to my point, I recently on a lark ordered three of the "J-5 Tactical" little 300 Lm flash lights that are being pushed on various internet sites. I'm sure you've seen them, they run on a single AA battery or a 14500 3.7v Li-ion which gives them a pretty good beam for such a small light. I first tried it using an AA Duracell and was disappointed but when my 14500s from ebay came I really got to loving the little lights. The tight beam really reaches out there for such a small light and that comes in handy for me at times to have that power in a little light that fits in my pocket, clips on my belt and that when I need a third "hand" I can hold easily in my mouth (come on now who doesn't do that?)

    So I'm now looking for a decent larger light with the same zoom ability and I'm really considering this Coast or one like it. The pics you posted are pretty impressive to me. I still favor the non zooming, non focusing type light for most of my flash lights but want at least one other larger good flash with a fairly strong focusing beam. I don't need 1000 lumens for this and the illustrations you gave show a light that would fit what I'm looking for. And I love that it has dual charging ability and also can run on AAA batteries in the cart. Not really concerned if the finish gets a little scratched after mild use, most of my stuff looks pretty roughed up after a while, it's the functionality I'm interested in.

  7. #7

    Default Re: Review: Coast HP7R Rechargeable (Li-ion pack, 4x AAA)

    A year later post:

    I still find this to be a great flashlight.
    It gets a whole lot of shelf time these days. Probably more than it deserves.
    Had I not acquired my first Malkoff MD2 it would probably still be an EDC.

    Thinking back, even then it still got the call at times. But by the time a Streamlight Stinger and PK FL-2 came along this light got sidelined.

    Last night it went with me to enter a throw contest versus all my other throwers and came home with the first place trophy.
    Last edited by bykfixer; 08-16-2016 at 10:37 AM.
    John 3:16
    "I'm still a Toys R Us kid" -PK

  8. #8
    Flashaholic* CelticCross74's Avatar
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    Default Re: Review: Coast HP7R Rechargeable (Li-ion pack, 4x AAA)

    one year later. I still have 2 HP7 Pros. The spot to flood is perfect and very usable. I still cannot help but look at my HP7's thinking man these would be great hosts for a project light. The design of the HP7 is classic. It fits the hand perfectly. The one handed focus control is priceless. There is a lot of room inside these lights to play with mod wise. Am currently looking for a builder that will turn my HP7 into an 800 lumen regulated light.

  9. #9
    Enlightened Screwball69N's Avatar
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    Default Re: Review: Coast HP7R Rechargeable (Li-ion pack, 4x AAA)

    I just started dismantling all my different Coast Flashlights I have 6 or 7 different models from over the years and I so wish I would have just thrown them away first hand heat them up really good they will come apart like butter and then you will see the inner cheapest workings of a flashlight that I will never buy again I am hoping to mod some of these up to XHP35 HI with 18650 batteries but we will see they do have a nice frame hand fit so if I can get these updateed with the focus they could be a bad blinding flashlight

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