4xAA Round-up Review: RUNTIMES, BEAMSHOTS, VIDEOS, PROS & CONS, and more!

selfbuilt

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Just realized that I forgot to upload the summary table into the review:

4xAA-Summary.gif


Main post updated. Sorry for the oversight - hadn't realized until just now that it was missing. :eek:
 

Sarratt

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I just noticed you included the Streamlight ProPolymer (Lux 1) ....:laughing: ....That was my first ''real'' light.
Almost a decade ago.
Time flies eh ?

Thanks for all your work selfbuilt
 

selfbuilt

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I just noticed you included the Streamlight ProPolymer (Lux 1) ....:laughing: ....That was my first ''real'' light.
Almost a decade ago. Time flies eh ?
Yeah, likewise, which is why I thought it would be fun to include it in the table. :) I remember how much of a "thrower" it was at the time. Now, you can get lights with 20x the overall output (although typically only up to 10x the throw), in a smaller size.
 

djw479

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Another huge Thank You to selfbuilt for pulling all this info together! I can only imagine how much time & effort it takes to complete a comparison like this.

I had purchased a EA4 awhile ago, but after reading this comparison I decided to add a D40a to my small flashlight collection.
 

selfbuilt

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Another huge Thank You to selfbuilt for pulling all this info together! I can only imagine how much time & effort it takes to complete a comparison like this.
Yeah, that's why I don't do round-up threads any more. :laughing: But I thought it was time to pull together all the 4xAA reviews I've done, since this battery class is becoming fairly standard now (i.e., has largely replaced the old 2xAA class).
 

leon2245

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Another thanks for all the work, I've found no better resource than your reviews.

Amazing the gx25a3 is right up there among the most intense throwing 4aa's, on only 3 cells. Hey Back when s.b. Did his original gx25a3 review, eagletac acknowledged the concerns about less robust pins & springs vs. the sx 6 model, and they were working to update the gx in that regard. Anyone heard anyone on that front, have they since changed the pins&/or spring?

also has ther ever been, or expect there will be a run of nichia hcri gx25a3's? I know they've done that option with several other models.
 

selfbuilt

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Anyone heard anyone on that front, have they since changed the pins&/or spring?
also has ther ever been, or expect there will be a run of nichia hcri gx25a3's? I know they've done that option with several other models.
I believe they did update the pin design on this model, but I have no specific info. Some pics from a recent purchase would be good, if anyone has any.

As for the Nichia, they do provide that option on some models - probably good to let them know your interest. I suspect they respond to where the most interest is in the community.
 

redtruck

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Just received a D40A. Decided to get the 1020 lumen holiday pack version that comes bundled with a single AA Sunwayman twisty light. Just turning it on over my lunch break it seems quite impressive. Looking forward to trying it out this evening. Quite a bit more throw than my more pocketable lights. Saw a deal on the EA41 and about ordered it too. Decided it would be beyond redundant, since I'm not a flashlight reviewer. :D
 

dilligan

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I just wanted to say thank you for your reviews. They are very helpful. I'm now saving up for a TN4A!
 

bladesmith3

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thank you selfbuilt great as usual. I own most of these lights. I have to admit the tn4a is my favorite single button and all. great all around 4AA light. only my sunwayman m40a xml out throws it. but no where as nice a spill as the tn4a. and the m40a is much larger.
 

dethlore

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Wow, fantastic reviews! This must have taken a long time to put together. It took a long time just to read through every detail!

Well done and thank you!
 

STORMINORMAN

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Just FYI, the EA41 (2014 Edition) is $42 SHIPPED @ A&A today, only...

Cheers!

p.s. A TRULY GREAT THREAD, BTW!
 

TimTx1

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Does anyone have an opinion on why a later-revision flashlight would perform worse than the older one?

It looks like the EA4 did better on battery power at Low (115 measured lumens) than the EA41 did on Medium (110 measured lumens). The EA4 lasted almost two hours more on the same Eneloop 2000mAh batteries. I would think a better LED and a newer flashlight would mean better battery life, not worse.
 

selfbuilt

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Does anyone have an opinion on why a later-revision flashlight would perform worse than the older one?
It looks like the EA4 did better on battery power at Low (115 measured lumens) than the EA41 did on Medium (110 measured lumens). The EA4 lasted almost two hours more on the same Eneloop 2000mAh batteries. I would think a better LED and a newer flashlight would mean better battery life, not worse.
Answered in the EA4 review thread. This comes down to why it is always important to look at the actual runtime graph curves, to see how output changes over time (i.e., it is different in these two cases).

Cheers, and :welcome:
 

moldyoldy

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Selfbuilt provided an excellent summary of this class of lights! Thank you!

Am between trips, so I have some time to comment about these 4xAA lights:

The SRA40 has impressive output regulation! very bright, a long throw. unfortunately it is too large/long/bulky. gone.

The E41 was good, although the "Illumination" upgrade version was a good bump-up in brightness - well worth the price difference. I never had a switch covering problem with the E41 although I could see some slight ballooning when hot (Eneloops do outgas!). The EA41 is still better than the E41, with good switches & coverings. I still have 2 EA41s. all of the CW or NW E41s are gone.

Eagletac GS25A3 is small, but the brightness from 3xAA cells results in noticeably shorter run-time than the 4xAA lights. One of the pins failed on my single copy - returned for refund. Those pins are simply too small! The MX and SX versions with 18650s are more durable.

The D40A is a very nice light, bright, good regulation, but a bit too long in length. the switches are also a bit questionable, either regarding finding the correct switch with freezing fingers (or gloves), or the plastic covering is unacceptably variable in pressure between copies. some switches had a good 'click', others were mushy. The lanyard position on the side was odd. All 3 of my D40A copies are gone.

The F40A is a good successor to the D40A. Much smaller and more compact. A keeper so far. Be careful with the Red/Blue/& white strobe which will attract attention, maybe not the kind of attention you want. Some LEO may have had a bad day and then he sees your strobe. The F40A multi-color LEDs might be OK for EMS/SAR personnel, especially in rural areas.

The TN4A was bright, but the battery slots would not accept a standard Eneloop w/o jamming them in and then prying them out. The beam on turbo was nice, but the yellow/green on any lower level was worse than regrettable. Returned for refund.

Brightness between these 4xAA lights is difficult to compare without a integrating sphere, or simply a white ceiling and some adroit covering/uncovering of the beams on high. but if the beam color is very different, the comparison becomes nearly impossible. The spot & spill size varies rather widely between the lights. Very subjective as to which is better.

I am transitioning back to 4xAA lights from the single-cell 18650 Li-Ion versions, all of them in the 800-1000 lumen range. Why? There are very few non-flashaholics that I can trust with charging a Li-Ion cell. The lights with integral charging are a good idea, but the Li-Ion cell is still non-standard. I dropped all RCR123/CR123 lights long ago - run time on a high output was simply too low for me. Not sure what I will think once I move back to Germany, except that very high-output lights are nearly unusable anywhere near population centers. Someone will call the Polizei! Eneloops are readily available in Germany at the Mediamarkt outlets.
 
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moldyoldy

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addendum: As Selfbuilt and others have commented, the reflector size makes quite a difference in the spot/spill beam even with similar LED(s). eg: The EA41 has a much tighter spot than the F40A.

Ref my comment about 'high-output' lights in Germany: The 800-1000 lumen lights have about the highest output reasonably useful. Lights in the 3000-5000+ lumen range attract far too much attention. Sort of like firing full-load .44 Mag rounds at a German police range when everyone else is shooting 9mm. been there, done that. Crazy Amis. not again. too many questions to answer!
 

moldyoldy

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a further addendum: I had a chance to directly compare the EA41 2015 with the SRA40 on fully leafed out trees tonight, range ~50-150 yds, both with freshly charged Eneloops (1900mah min). What surprised me was that the overall output comparison is very close. I can also confirm the beamshots in the comparison review of the EA41 2015 and SRA40 do reflect (pun) the larger reflector of the SRA40, which thereby provides a tighter spot and distinctly longer reach/throw.

Better still, if both beams are directed at the same location, the result is probable recognition of darker objects out to 150 yds or possibly more. and that is sort of what I have been experimenting with: Using two smaller lights to provide an analagous brightness to a larger light. ie: two EA41s rubber-banded together - somewhat clumsy for on/off, but rather impressive throw for AA lights. IOW, maybe a poor man's 2x or 3x 18650 light.
 

Precise

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I bought a Nitecore EA41 a few weeks ago and today I got a Sunwayman D40A. While both are fine lights, I like the beam on the D40A better. It's more uniform compared to the EA41 which has a hot center. My D40A beam looks more uniform than the photos in this review.
Best regards,
Alan
 

WalkIntoTheLight

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I bought a Nitecore EA41 a few weeks ago and today I got a Sunwayman D40A. While both are fine lights, I like the beam on the D40A better. It's more uniform compared to the EA41 which has a hot center. My D40A beam looks more uniform than the photos in this review.

Yes, I like the D40A beam. Good hot spot for throw, but the orange-peel reflector smooths out the beam to prevent any artifacts or sudden transformations.
 

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