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Thread: Astrolux S1 measurements

  1. #1
    Flashaholic* maukka's Avatar
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    Default Astrolux S1 measurements



    Astrolux S1 is better known as the BLF Manker A6 (Special Edition). The rebranded version is supposed to be identical to the A6 that was put together by BLF forum members. It has an advanced driver with extensive functions. Read more about the firmware and operation at http://toykeeper.net/torches/blf-a6/final/blf-a6.txt

    The Astrolux S1 differs from the original in that it comes with a 18350 battery tube to shorten the light. The aluminum finish is excellect for the price (currently $30). A lanyard and a non-reversable pocket clip are included as well as two extra o-rings for the 18350 tube. There's also a spare tailcap switch.

    S1 weighs 76 grams with the 18650 tube and 55 grams in the 18350 form. Dimensions are 121/88,2 mm x 24 mm.




    The light has a claimed output of 1400-1600 lumens in direct drive turbo. This can be achieved with a spring bypass and using high current 18650 batteries. I only managed about 1000 in the stock form with the batteries I had on hand (Eagtac 3500 mAh, Sanyo NCR18650BL, LG MH1). Turbo mode steps down to High 2 after 45 seconds.

    The rubber switch is located in the tailcap. Deep press activates and shuts down the light and half presses (taps) switch modes. Longer half press cycles the modes backwards. In total there are 4 or 7 modes depending on how the user has programmed the light.

    In group 1 the modes are Moonlight - Low - Medium 1 - Medium 2 - High 1 - High 2 - Turbo. In group 2: Low - Med - High - Turbo. Special modes (10 Hz strobe, battery check, biking flasher) can be accessed from the moonlight mode with a 0,5-1,0 second tap (cycle backwards). I accidentally named the lowest mode firefly and not moonlight in the images, I'll fix it later.

    The emitter is Cree XP-L with a choice of three tints: 1A (6500 K), 3D (5000 K), 5A (4000 K). The light I tested is the 3D variant.





    The beam angle is 78 with a hotspot of 22. Color temperature is noticeably cooler in the spill area and greenish around the hotspot. I wouldn't call the beam beautiful tint wise, but the hotspot isn't too bad.

    There is PWM in all modes but turbo, but it is not visible even to the most sensitive people. The switching frequency is high and the output doesn't drop to zero as is the case with traditional PWM. So no worries there.




    Because of high frequency and narrow modulation PWM is invisible to the eye even in moonlight mode. Top: absolute (DC coupling, horizontal center line 0 lumens), bottom: zoomed in (AC coupling)

    See all the scope screenshots here:
    http://imgur.com/a/xsere


    18650 battery, Astrolux S1 (18650 tube), Eagletac D25LC2, Zebralight H600Fd III


    18650 battery, Astrolux S1 (18350 tube), Eagletac D25LC2, Zebralight H600Fd III

    Measurements

    Please note: lumen measurements are only rough estimates

    My diy 30 cm integrating styrofoam sphere has been calibrated using a Fenix E05 on high with manufacturer's claim of 85 lumens. Verified with an Olight S10 that has been measured with a Labsphere FS2 integrating sphere by valostore.fi. Results may be more inaccurate with especially throwy or floody lights.

    For spectral information and CRI calculations I have an X-rite i1Pro spectrophotometer with HCFR for the plot and ArgyllCMS spotread.exe for the data. For runtime tests I use spotread.exe with a custom script and a i1Display Pro because it doesn’t require calibration every 30 minutes like the i1Pro.

    Explanation of abbreviations
    CCT = correlated color temperature, higher temperature means cooler (bluish)
    CRI (Ra) = color rendering index consisting of 8 different colors (R1-R8), max value 100
    CRI (R9) = color rendering index with deep red, usually difficult for led based light sources, max value 100
    TLCI = television lighting consistency index, max value 100
    x,y = coordinates on a CIE 1931 chart

    (Updated 31.1.2016)



    Spectral distribution


    Color renering (Turbo)
    See explanations here: http://www.candlepowerforums.com/vb/...ement-examples



    Tint

    Different brightness modes


    Tint towards the edge of the spill.


    Runtime (Turbo & High 1)


    The light steps down to High 2 after 50 seconds, so I didn't measure High 2 separately.

    Zoomed in

    First two minutes on turbo.


    Temperature
    The light gets quite hot in Turbo/High 2. When running without a fan I measured 54C on the head @ 5 minutes and 62C @ 10 minutes. Grip was 53C @ 10 minutes. I consider anything over 50C uncomfortable to hold with bare hands for more than a couple of seconds.

    After turning on a fan @ 12 minutes, the head dropped under 50C in 3 minutes while the grip temp had decreased down to 44C.

    Thermal imaging of the first 5 minutes
    https://youtu.be/fdAU7SE2-sU
    Last edited by maukka; 01-31-2016 at 08:22 AM. Reason: added color rendition info and new lumen measurements using a diy 30 cm sphere

  2. #2
    Flashaholic* maukka's Avatar
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    Default Re: Astrolux S1 measurements

    I added information about runtimes and temperature to the end of the post.

  3. #3
    Flashaholic* KeepingItLight's Avatar
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    Default Re: Astrolux S1 measurements

    Thanks, maukka. With this review, you jump right to the head of the class, as one of the really good flashlight reviewers.

    I really like the hard data you provide on tint. That is one area that selfbuilt overlooks, and even downplays. His beam shots, for instance, are often taken using the auto-white balance setting on his camera. That hides many tint defects. Furthermore, he seldom comments on the green corona or purple spill that is common with many Cree emitters.

    Congratulations on a fabulous review!
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  4. #4
    Flashaholic* maukka's Avatar
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    Default Re: Astrolux S1 measurements

    Thanks! I think more reviewers is always better. I am very lazy in the subjective department. Most other reviewers are much more talented in verbalising their thoughts.

  5. #5
    Flashaholic* KeepingItLight's Avatar
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    Default Re: Astrolux S1 measurements

    Is there any chance you could run an output test detailing the first 60 or 90 seconds of turbo mode? Sampling once a second would give a better picture of the step down. I believe it is an abrupt step down. If there is some ramping, however, that would show up in a detailed chart.

    Thanks.
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  6. #6
    Flashaholic* maukka's Avatar
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    Default Re: Astrolux S1 measurements

    The best my meter can do is 2 sec sampling rate, but judging by eye it is indeed an instant stepdown without ramping @ 46 seconds. There is the tiniest amount of undershoot after the battery voltage recovers.


  7. #7
    Flashaholic* maukka's Avatar
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    Default Re: Astrolux S1 measurements

    I updated the beamshot and spill cie graphs with more accurate measurements and differentiated between the hotspot corona and the outermost spill corona.




  8. #8
    Flashaholic* KeepingItLight's Avatar
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    Default Re: Astrolux S1 measurements

    Thanks for the runtime chart showing the step-down.

    I think you are right. It steps down all at once.
    Prince plays George Harrison's masterpiece While My Guitar Gently Weeps. R.I.P.
    Great vocals & guitar by LeAnn Rimes & Joss Stone as they cover Gershwin's Summertime.

  9. #9
    Flashaholic* maukka's Avatar
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    Default Re: Astrolux S1 measurements

    Added color rendition information to the OP.



    Information about these measurements can be found in a thread here:
    http://www.candlepowerforums.com/vb/...ement-examples

  10. #10

    Default Re: Astrolux S1 measurements

    Fantastic review.

  11. #11
    Flashaholic* KITROBASKIN's Avatar
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    Default Re: Astrolux S1 measurements

    Very interesting thermal video.

  12. #12

    Default Re: Astrolux S1 measurements

    Quote Originally Posted by KeepingItLight View Post
    Thanks, maukka. With this review, you jump right to the head of the class, as one of the really good flashlight reviewers.

    I really like the hard data you provide on tint.
    I agree completely! For me the ability to quickly determine CCT, CRI, and PWM makes maukka's reviews outstanding!

  13. #13

    Default Re: Astrolux S1 measurements

    Awesome review. Looking forward to many more and thanks for putting this together.

  14. #14
    Enlightened
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    Default Re: Astrolux S1 measurements

    Excellent review on a light that is fast becoming one of my favourites. Just ordered my first 18350 batteries to use it with the short tube as well.

  15. #15

    Default Re: Astrolux S1 measurements

    Thank you for your exceptionally well "engineered" review.

  16. #16
    Enlightened
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    Default Re: Astrolux S1 measurements

    Thanks for giving us the important stuff in a short review. This is now the second inexpensive light I am ordering after reading your topic. Keep up the good work!

  17. #17
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    Default Re: Astrolux S1 measurements

    Hi.
    What about the 1A light tint,is it better?
    Edit.
    I have read something about spring bypass,which gives better results?Is there more info about it please?
    Last edited by Theodore41; 03-05-2016 at 12:40 PM.

  18. #18
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    Default Re: Astrolux S1 measurements

    Excellent review -- and a really interesting light.

    I don't care for the UI at all. And I gave up trying to program it.

    But the tint and beam on the 4000K (5A) version of the S1 is just wonderful.

    I own neutrals in ZebraLights, EagleTacs and HDS, among others. And this warm neutral is as nice as anything I have.

    The floody beam is great, too.

    Thanks for the review.
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  19. #19
    Honorary Aussie
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    Default Re: Astrolux S1 measurements

    Yes, very informative review, thanks.
    It is better to buy a beautiful, expensive, custom flashlight than to curse the darkness.

  20. #20

    Default Re: Astrolux S1 measurements

    some mentioned programming the modes, from banggood they provide the link for the firmware in the S1
    http://bazaar.launchpad.net/~toykeep...-a6/blf-a6.txt

  21. #21
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    Default Re: Astrolux S1 measurements

    Thanks for the review, maukka!

    I love having hard data like this, and you have the same version of the light that I do, so you've hit the mark perfectly for me. It's especially nice to have the CRI and tint information, because most of our reviewers don't have the resources to perform those tests.

    I'm off to read your other threads now
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  22. #22
    Flashaholic biker1's Avatar
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    Default Re: Astrolux S1 measurements

    Thank you. Amazing review, and I especially liked the tint breakdown
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  23. #23

    Default Re: Astrolux S1 measurements

    Just received mine today. Luv it. Just a note though. It comes with a tailcap switch "cover" only...

  24. #24
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    Default Re: Astrolux S1 measurements

    Quote Originally Posted by maukka View Post
    See all the scope screenshots here:
    http://imgur.com/a/xsere
    Thanks !

  25. #25
    Flashaholic* maukka's Avatar
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    Default Re: Astrolux S1 measurements

    Quote Originally Posted by evgeniy View Post
    Thanks !
    I made an error when measuring the PWM. Here's the PWM frequencies for the S1 driver, taken from my S41 review which uses the same driver.


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