4Sevens Maelstrom S18 (SST-90, 6xCR123A/RCR) Review: RUNTIMES, BEAMSHOTS and more!

selfbuilt

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Does a 18650 fit in the battery holder? If this is possible, are you able to put the battery holder with 2 18650s back in the light? Then its maybe possible to use this light with 2 18650s if you insulate 2 contacts and connect the batteries with a wire to put them in series.
No, 18650 will not physically fit in the holder - it is clearly designed to NOT accept this size battery.

Given the popularity of 18650, it stands to reason this was a very conscious design choice by 4Sevens (i.e. they could not design a circuit that would accept three parallel 18650s). IN THEORY, if you could jury-rig two 18650s in series (presumably would need to dremel away plastic, block contacts, and re-wire the carrier, etc.) you should be able to get the light to activate. :caution: But I can only presume that it would be dangerous on anything other than the lowest output mode, especially on non-IMR cells. If they could have safely driven an SST-90 at over 1200 lumens on only two standard 18650 batteries, I'm sure they would have offered that.

I realize many here are disappointed about lack of 18650 support in the circuit. Given that, I'm actually glad the carrier won't physically take 18650. Otherwise, it would encourage people to try and mod the carrier for 2x18650, which would likely lead to unsafe current drains on Hi. :shakehead Again, I urge everyone to step back and consider what they are playing around with. This light is designed for 6x primary CR123A, with the rechargeable option of RCRs only.

TKS, and what about the cr123, how many minutes will be for real??
The "real" runtimes are shown in the graphs in the review - they are what I actually measured in my lightbox, at the Med and Hi levels on both 6xRCR and 6xCR123A. The graphs show relative output (on the Y-axis, or vertical scale) over time (on the X-axis, or horizontal scale).

As you will see, on primary CR123A, the S18 runs at a regulated level for the first ~50 mins or so on Hi, followed by a slow drop-off in output. On Med, you get 3 hours before the drop-off occurs. On protected RCR (which shuts down abruptly as the cells near exhaustion), I got 36 mins to shut down on Hi, and just under 2 hours on Med.
 
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SHADE02

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The "real" runtimes are shown in the graphs in the review - they are what I actually measured in my lightbox, at the Med and Hi levels on both 6xRCR and 6xCR123A.

am sorry SELFBUILT but, i just don't really understand your graph,
why you write: 6cr123 HI = 1hr 4min to 50%??
what does the last part mean(to 50%):confused:??
 

selfbuilt

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am sorry SELFBUILT but, i just don't really understand your graph,
why you write: 6cr123 HI = 1hr 4min to 50%??
what does the last part mean(to 50%):confused:??
"xx min to 50%" means the time it takes for the light to drop to 50% of its original output in that mode.

Before the ability to actually graph the output over time (as I do in my reviews), people had to make due with a single piece of information. Time to 50% original output became something of a standard, to facilitate comparisons between lights. It is arbitrary though (e.g. ANSI FL-1 uses time to 10% as its measure, which favours lights that use alkaline cells, due to their slow drop-off).

I only include the time to 50% to facilitate comparisons for people who want to know how long one light last compared to another (or one mode/battery source to another in a given light). But you are much better off looking at the actual runtime graphs - it tells you a lot more about how the light behaves over time (i.e. how output changes over time).

Basically, how "tall" the top of the lines are on the graph tell you how much relative light is made, and how "wide" the graphs are before they drop down tell you how long they last.
 
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SHADE02

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Basically, how "tall" the top of the lines are on the graph tell you how much relative light is made, and how "wide" the graphs are before they drop down tell you how long they last.

Thank you selfbuilt for the explanation

I hope not to be so noob a long time, to truly understand all that info that you kindly give us..:thumbsup:
 

rickypanecatyl

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Yes. 1 rcr123 cell only has 600mAh (despite the sticker on the cell that says slightly more). 2 rcr123a cells are roughly the size of one 18650. An 18650 with 2900mAh has much more capacity than 2 rcr123 cells with 1200mAh.

It does have more but it does not have 29/12ths more capacity as (2) rcr's have right? As (2) rcr's would have double the volts making it more like 29/24ths more capacity?
 

Colonel Sanders

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ricky, you can't multiply both the voltage and the mah X 2. If they are in series then you have double the voltage with the same mah or if they are in parallel then you have double the mah but the same voltage. So, it works like this.

A 2900mah 18650 is 2.900A x 3.7v = 10.73
2 x 750mah RCRs is 1.5A x 3.7v = 5.55 if they are in parallel OR
2 x 750mah RCRs is .750A x 7.4v = 5.55 if they are in series

So, any way you try to slice it, a single 2900mah cell has 93% more capacity than two 750mah cells.
 
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Swedpat

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Thanks for the review Selfbuilt!

S18 seems to be a nice light. But personally I wish the Hi and Med outputs should have been: 800 OTF lumen and 300 OTF lumen.
800lm would likely provide 1+ full hour runtime, which is my personal desire of shortest runtime at the highest brightness.
 

rickypanecatyl

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Thanks for the clarification Colonel! Wow didn't realize how much more efficient the 18650's were! Kind of like looking at the numbers on NiMH AA's vs D size batteries at wal mart where they are both the same but the AA's of course are so much smaller!
 

nidhoggr

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I love all your reviews, very informative. I had a few questions on your s18 numbers. In comparison to the SR90, your numbers and charts show they put out very similar levels of light. The SR90 is according to olight's numbers doing 2200 lumens on high and the 4sevens should be doing just under half that at 1200. What do you think might be causing the sr90 to rate so lowly or is the S18 just vastly under rated?
 

liquidwater

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I love all your reviews, very informative. I had a few questions on your s18 numbers. In comparison to the SR90, your numbers and charts show they put out very similar levels of light. The SR90 is according to olight's numbers doing 2200 lumens on high and the 4sevens should be doing just under half that at 1200. What do you think might be causing the sr90 to rate so lowly or is the S18 just vastly under rated?


olight sr90, has 2200 lumens at the emitter. otf(real lumens) it has i think around 1500 at start up and after 3 min, goes down to low 1300s. s18 is otf lumens 1200. so around the same.
 

276

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I got mine yesterday its pretty sweet light, bigger than i thought. Cool thing i found out is my Olight diffuser for my SR51 fits on perfectly. Anybody notice that if you in between modes and you click on the light you get strobe in low mode for some reason.
 

selfbuilt

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The SR90 is according to olight's numbers doing 2200 lumens on high and the 4sevens should be doing just under half that at 1200. What do you think might be causing the sr90 to rate so lowly or is the S18 just vastly under rated?
olight sr90, has 2200 lumens at the emitter. otf(real lumens) it has i think around 1500 at start up and after 3 min, goes down to low 1300s. s18 is otf lumens 1200. so around the same.
Yeah, I don't think anyone believes the "2200" estimate is actual out-the-front lumens for the SR90. And 4Sevens can be conservative in lumen ratings. Basically, the S18 seems to driven almost as hard as the SR90. The difference between them is pretty negligible, both by eye and by ceiling bounce in my testing.

Note however that my runtimes are all done under a cooling fan. I would expect a more significant drop-off in output on the S18 with just hand-holding.

Anybody notice that if you in between modes and you click on the light you get strobe in low mode for some reason.
Hmmm, I hadn't noticed that on mine.

EDIT: Confirmed, I am able to get mine to do this as well. There is a narrow range between modes where you elicit strobe. Easiest to find it you turn just enough to "click" into the next level, and then slightly turn back. I hadn't noticed this in regular testing, though.
 
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nidhoggr

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Yeah, I don't think anyone believes the "2200" estimate is actual out-the-front lumens for the SR90. And 4Sevens can be conservative in lumen ratings. Basically, the S18 seems to driven almost as hard as the SR90. The difference between them is pretty negligible, both by eye and by ceiling bounce in my testing.

Note however that my runtimes are all done under a cooling fan. I would expect a more significant drop-off in output on the S18 with just hand-holding.


Hmmm, I hadn't noticed that on mine.

EDIT: Confirmed, I am able to get mine to do this as well. There is a narrow range between modes where you elicit strobe. Easiest to find it you turn just enough to "click" into the next level, and then slightly turn back. I hadn't noticed this in regular testing, though.


I figured Olight was using emitter lumens not otf. I just wouldn't have though that the difference was so vast or that 4sevens would be underestimating their otf lumens by so much. Thanks for the quick response everyone, I think I'm definitely going to get this baby!
 

Necroskull

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Awesome review bro, The s18 looks to be an awesome light, Alittle big for my tastes but It would be an awesome light for when the power goes out and you need to see ALOT lol.

Jim
 

SHADE02

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hi
it worth to pay the extra cash for the s18, or you recomend me to buy the sr51 instead?
range, brighter?
 

ganymede

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EDIT: Confirmed, I am able to get mine to do this as well. There is a narrow range between modes where you elicit strobe. Easiest to find it you turn just enough to "click" into the next level, and then slightly turn back. I hadn't noticed this in regular testing, though.

Can elaborate a bit on this preflash?
 

selfbuilt

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Can elaborate a bit on this preflash?
It's not a preflash - it's a sustained strobe mode, same as if you had the dial set to strobe. For some reason, if you position the dial just right in-between the constant output modes while off (i.e. Lo/Med/Hi), the S18 activates in the strobe mode instead. Turning the dial into one of the defined output modes restores constant output.

Note that this doesn't happen when switching between modes when the light is on - there is no sign of strobe then while switching between the constant output modes.
 
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Got Lumens?

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Great review. Out of curiosity, why can they put a forward click switch on this light but not on the S12 and X10? I remember something about too much current for it to be reliable. If they can put one on this it seems like they should be able to stick on on the other lights.
Mh,
I just got mine. I think it has to do with size of the switch required. The Diameter of the Tailcap on the S12/X10 is ~35mm. The Diameter of the Tailcap on the S18 is ~45.5mm, substantially larger and easily has room for the larger switch needed to carry the current. Just my guess.
GL
 

HKJ

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Mh,
I just got mine. I think it has to do with size of the switch required. The Diameter of the Tailcap on the S12/X10 is ~35mm. The Diameter of the Tailcap on the S18 is ~45.5mm, substantially larger and easily has room for the larger switch needed to carry the current. Just my guess.
GL

The switch is not that large, somebody has dismantled a S18 tailcap here: http://www.candlepowerforums.com/vb...2-Maelstrom-S18-Flashlight-and-Tailcap-W-Pics
But maybe the switch on the S18 just activates an electronic switch?
 
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