Armytek Partner series C1, A1, A2 [ XP-G R5, 1xCR123A, 1xAA, 2xAA ] Review

candle lamp

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Reviewer's note : Armytek partner series C1, A1 and A2 (pre-production samples) were supplied by Armytek for review.

[New 13.06.03] Armytek have informed me two items. First one is that they made more deep testing of electronics for Armytek Partner sereies flashlights, and confirmed "You can't use rechargeable Li-ion batteries with voltage 2.7~4.2V (RCR123 or 14500) more than 30 minutes without active cooling. These batteries can make small flashlight much brighter and hotter. This can bring the flashlight out of operation and damage the batereis. And battery damage can cause combustion or explosion." So I've tested runtime & output comparison on rechargeables for C1 & A1 model additionally. Note that you can't use 2x14500 in A2 model. Second one is Partner Mini will be not produced. Instead, they will make other model. [New 13.06.03]

Armytek have released new Partner series equipped with TIR (total internal reflector) optics and small size of body. These are the first Armytek flashlights with TIR optics. There are 6 models of Partner series distinguished by batteries type (1xCR123A, 1xAA, 2AA) and LED type (XP-G R5 or XM-L U2). Again, note that Partner series for review are pre-production samples and equipped with XP-G R5.
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Packaging is a simple cardboard box. Inside you will find the light, user manual, holster, and SILICA GEL. But the shipping version will include lanyard, two spare O-rings, spare rubber button additionally.
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Manufacturer Specification adapted from user manual & Armytek website :

• Cree XP-G LED (Cool White 5500K)
• TIR optics
• 2 Modes and easy operation
• Hotspot : 20 °
• Spill : 70 °
• Impact-resistant glass lens with sapphire and anti-reflection coating
• Body material : Aircraft-grade aluminium (Premium type III hard anodizing 400HV)
• Premium antislipping matt surface treatment
• Water submersible : 33 yd
• Waterproof and dustproof standard : IP68 (highest)
• Reliable spring construction for battery protection (Special spring material for higher efficiency)
• Type of mode switching : 2
• Type of clicky switch : Reverse
• Advanced heat transmission for LED with copper MPCB
• Advanced heat transmission for electronics
• Advanced electronic reverse polarity protection
• Light output without flickering
• Ability to use batteries with a flat contact

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[New 13.06.03] Armytek have changed the mistypes of the sizes of the lights in the above table. You can refer to it at Armytek's website. [New 13.06.03]
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From left to right, Partner C1, A1, A2.
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The anodizing (type III) is a very matt black and consistent throughout with no damage or blemishes of other faults to be found on my samples. There are model name & manufacturer website on the head only. They are sharp, clear, and bright white against the black background. There is no real knurling to speak of on the light, but grip is much better than expect, thanks to the same unique anodizing finish as Armytek Predator & Viking line.
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The Partner A1 consists of head, body, and tailcap. But Partner C1 & A2 models have two parts (i.e., the body is one piece with the head). It seems they were sticked together. I guess C1 & A2 will have three pieces like A1, but maybe not. If so, heads, bodies, and tailcaps will be physically interchangeable among the three models, as they have common threading and diameters for the heads & battery tubes (i.e., body). The machining work with the light is very good and without any flaws.
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The light has a smooth bezel. The head has a clean looking cylindrical design with a shallow dodecagon-shaped neck which provides grip. There is a raised positive contact disc in the head. The Partner series have a reverse polarity protection to protect from incorrect battery installation (i.e., the electronics of the lights have in-built reverse polarity protection). Armytek confirmed me the electronics of the Partner series are optimized for 1~3V input.
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The pale blue hue is reflected on the rim of the upper glass lens. Note that there are an upper impact-resistance glass lens with AR coating and a lower acrylic TIR optic (i.e., the upper glass lens protects the TIR optic). There is no reflector. The XP-G R5 emitter was well centered on my each sample. As you will see the beamshots, the most obvious beam characteristic is that the Partners have a very bright & broad hot spot with little spill compared to other lights with standard reflector installed. You will get a broad and well-defined hot spot, with few artifacts, thanks to good quality of TIR optic. Scroll down to later in the review for beamshots.
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I was able to open the bezel of all Patners without any tools. I, however, guess that you can't remove the bezel from the head in the shipping version, because they will be sticked together by some sort of locite.
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The body tube has a clean cylindrical tube design. There is no knurling on the tube, and some notches on body are clearly machined and quite deeply cut.
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The screw threads are trapezoidal-cut at the head side and square-cut at the tail side. Threads on both ends are well machined, with those on the both ends being anodized which allows the light to be locked-out when the tail cap is slightly loosened. There is an O-ring on both ends. As supplied, threads on rear end only are well lubricated. Threads on either ends on the body mate well with the head and tailcap with no issues of cross-threading or grinding.
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The wall thickness of the body is 0.8~1.6mm (at notch side) & 2.3~3.6mm (at thick side), and the light feel very solid & sturdy.
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The tailcap switch is a reverse clicky. The negative terminal at the tailcap has a thick elastic spring. There is a hole for lanyard attachment. Due to the protruding switch, the light can't tailstand. The switch has above-average tension (i.e., stiffer feel) with average travel.
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User Interface

The UI is simple. Turn the light on by pressing and releasing the tailcap clicky. Soft press to advance to Lo to Hi, in sequence. Or turn the light off and on quickly by pressing the tailcap switch to access between Low and High. The mode sequence is Low -> Hi, in repeating order. There is no memory and the light comes on in Low if you turn the light off on High (and vice versa).

There is no blinking modes.
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From left to right, Panasonic CR123A, Eagletac D25C, Sunwayman M11R, Armytek Partner C1, Niteye MSC10, Thrunite 1C, Olight M10 Maverick. The head size & light weight excluding battery of four lights are as follows :
D25C - 20mm / 30g, M11R - 23mm / 47g, Partner - 24mm / 43g, MSC10 - 23.8mm / 67g, Thrunite 1C - 22mm / 45g, M10 - 23mm / 54g
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From left to right, Sannyo Eneloop AA, Partner A1, 4Sevens Quark AA, Fenix LD10, Niteye MSA10, Thrunite 1A, Jetbeam DDA10. The head size & light weight excluding battery of four lights are as follows :
Partner A1 - 24mm / 57g, Quark AA - 22mm / 46g, LD10 - 21.5mm / 52g, Neutron 1A - 22mm / 60g
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From left to right, Sannyo Eneloop AA, Partner A2, 4Sevens Quark AA2, Olight T25, Niteye MSA20, Thrunite 2A, Jetbeam DDA20. The head size & light weight excluding battery of four lights are as follows :
Partner A2 - 24mm / 84g, Quark AA2 - 22.1mm / 61g, T25 - 21.6mm / 72g, Neutron 2A - 22mm / 77g
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- Partner C1
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- Partner A1
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- Partner A2
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The Panasonic CR123A & Sanyo Eneloop AA batteries fit in the tube without a lot of free space (i.e., there's no battery rattle in the body). Overall build quality is very high.
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Measured Dimensions

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PWM

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- Partner C1
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- Partner A1
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- Partner A2

All Partner series show no sign of PWM at all output levels. I notice there is no buzzing sound at any levels.
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Relative Output Comparison
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- Partner C1 & others
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- Partner A1 & others
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- Partner A2 & others
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Runtime

[New 13.06.03]
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- Partner C1

The runtime to fall to 10% of its initial output from 30 seconds after the point the light is first turned on (i.e., based on ANSI FL-1) for High output is as follow :
1) 1xPanasonic CR123A : 68min. (1hr 8min)
2) 1xAW RCR123A : 40min. (0.67hr)

The High on AW 16340 is much brighter, but drops much more rapidly from the initail brightness, and hotter than CR123A. [New 13.06.03]
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[New 13.06.03]
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- Partner A1

The runtime to fall to 10% of its initial output from 30 seconds after the point the light is first turned on (i.e., based on ANSI FL-1) for High output is as follow :
1) 1xSanyo Eneloop AA : 35min. (0.6hr)
2) 1xEnergizer AA : 44min. (0.7hr)
3) 1xAW 14500 : 39min. (0.65hr)

The High on AW 14500 is much brighter, but much hotter than other bateries. [New 13.06.03]
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- Partner A2

The runtime to fall to 10% of its initial output from 30 seconds after the point the light is first turned on (i.e., based on ANSI FL-1) for High output is as follow :
1) 2xSanyo Eneloop AA : 87min. (1hr 27min)
2) 2xEnergizer AA : 31min, (0.5hr)

[New 13.06.03] Note that you can't use 2x14500 rechargeable cells in A2. The electronics will burn. [New 13.06.03]
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[New 13.06.03]
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- Partner C1, A1, A2

At first, I didn't test the runtime with 3.7V RCR123A & 14500 rechargeable batteries, because the old version manual for pre-production model says that "You can't use batteries with total voltage higher than 3.5V." However Armytek made more deep testing of electronics for Partner sereies flashlights, and finally confirmed that "you can't use rechargeable Li-ion batteries with voltage 2.7~4.2V (RCR123 or 14500) more than 30 minutes without active cooling. These batteries can make small flashlight much brighter and hotter. This can bring the flashlight out of operation and damage the batereis. And battery damage can cause combustion or explosion." When you use rechargeable cells, I would suggest you use the light on Hi for a short time.[New 13.06.03]
I think the runtime results in my test are quite acceptable and reasonable. Runtime performance for all models seems consistent with the reported Armytek's specifications.
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Beamshots

1. Partner C1

1) White door beamshot (about 50cm from the white door on Max. output)

- ISO100, F/3.5, 1/320sec, Auto white balance

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- ISO100, F/3.5, 1/640sec, Auto white balance

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- ISO100, F/3.5, 1/1250sec, Auto white balance

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The Partner C1’s TIR optic gives you a very focused beam, with very slightly bright ring around the outer edge of the spill. As with all optics, there is very little side spill.
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2) Indoor beamshot (about 3.5m from the target on Max. output)

- ISO100, F/2.8, 1/4sec, Auto white balance

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- D25C (XM-L U2)
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- Partner C1 (XP-G R5)
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- Neutron 1C (XM-L T6)
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- M10 Maverick (XM-L2 T6)
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3) Indoor beamshot (about 7.0m from the target on Max. output)

- ISO100, F/2.8, 1/2sec, Auto white balance

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- D25C (XM-L U2)
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- Partner C1 (XP-G R5)
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- Neutron 1C (XM-L T6)
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- M10 Maverick (XM-L2 T6)
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2. Partner A1

1) White door beamshot (about 50cm from the white door on Max. output)

- ISO100, F/3.5, 1/80sec, Auto white balance

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- ISO100, F/3.5, 1/320sec, Auto white balance

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- ISO100, F/3.5, 1/640sec, Auto white balance

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The Partner A1’s TIR optic gives you a very focused beam, with very slightly bright ring around the outer edge of the spill. As with all optics, there is very little side spill.
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2) Indoor beamshot (about 3.5m from the target on Max. output)

- ISO100, F/2.8, 1/4sec, Auto white balance

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- Partner A1 (XP-G R5)
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- Quark AA (XP-G R5)
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- LD10 (XP-G R4)
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- Neutron 1A (XM-L T6)
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3) Indoor beamshot (about 7.0m from the target on Max. output)

- ISO100, F/2.8, 1/2sec, Auto white balance

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- Partner A1 (XP-G R5)
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- Quark AA (XP-G R5)
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- LD10 (XP-G R4)
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- Neutron 1A (XM-L T6)
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3. Partner A2

1) White door beamshot (about 50cm from the white door on Max. output)

- ISO100, F/3.5, 1/320sec, Auto white balance

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- ISO100, F/3.5, 1/640sec, Auto white balance

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- ISO100, F/3.5, 1/1250sec, Auto white balance

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The Partner A2’s TIR optic gives you a very focused beam, with very slightly bright ring around the outer edge of the spill. As with all optics, there is very little side spill.
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2) Indoor beamshot (about 3.5m from the target on Max. output)

- ISO100, F/2.8, 1/4sec, Auto white balance

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- Partner A2 (XP-G R5)
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- Quark AA2 (XP-G R4)
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- T25 (XP-G S2)
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- Neutron 2A (XM-L T6)
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3) Indoor beamshot (about 7.0m from the target on Max. output)

- ISO100, F/2.8, 1/2sec, Auto white balance

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- Partner A2 (XP-G R5)
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- Quark AA2 (XP-G R4)
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- T25 (XP-G S2)
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- Neutron 2A (XM-L T6)
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Thanks for watching!
 
Last edited:

csshih

Flashlight Enthusiast
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Messages
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Hello, what does this table mean? I don't understand. :)
Can you please explain in detail?

It's a comparison chart (light to light)
You'll notice there are a bunch of 100%s in the chart - that is because they're being compared with themselves.
 

hei_q

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Joined
May 4, 2013
Messages
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why is only tested with xp-g led and no xm-l?

i thought the XM-L U2 is much more efficient than XP-G R5?

Please explain.
 

candle lamp

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Joined
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Messages
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Hello, what does this table mean? I don't understand. :)
Can you please explain in detail?

You can see the following values in the second column.
Partner A1 : 100% --> Let's say this is the base output (100%) to other lights.
Quark AA : 44 % --> Quark AA's output is 44% of the Partner A1's output.
LD10 : 63% --> LD10's output is 63% of the Partner A1's output.
Neutron 1A : 79% --> Neutron 1A's output is 79% of the Partner A1's output.

(i.e., Partner A1 has the brightest output among the four lights.) :)

why is only tested with xp-g led and no xm-l?

i thought the XM-L U2 is much more efficient than XP-G R5?

Please explain.

Armytek released both XP-G R5 and XM-L U2 version. But they supplied the XP-G R5 version only to me for review.

I think you mixed C1 and A1 7m indoor beamshots.

Sorry and good catch. phantom23! Just fixed. Thanks!
 
Last edited:

sbbsga

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Messages
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Thank you for another awesome review, candle lamp! :twothumbs

Wow, between Armytek's specified and your measured dimensions, there are about 30mm of difference in length for each of them. I wonder how they came up with their numbers. Before this, I was really excited to see them so compact too, especially the A2. Sigh.
 

candle lamp

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Joined
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Messages
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Thank you all of you for your interest & warm word. :)

Thank you for another awesome review, candle lamp! :twothumbs

Wow, between Armytek's specified and your measured dimensions, there are about 30mm of difference in length for each of them. I wonder how they came up with their numbers. Before this, I was really excited to see them so compact too, especially the A2. Sigh.

Nice catch. sbbsga!

I noticed my measurement is different from Armyte's spec. I think the reason seems due to the pre-prouction samples.
In spite of the reason, the Partners are fairly small size to other lights. :thumbsup:
 

candle lamp

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Joined
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Messages
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[New 13.06.03] Armytek have informed me two items. First one is that they made more deep testing of electronics for Armytek Partner sereies flashlights, and confirmed "You can't use rechargeable Li-ion batteries with voltage 2.7~4.2V (RCR123 or 14500) more than 30 minutes without active cooling. These batteries can make small flashlight much brighter and hotter. This can bring the flashlight out of operation and damage the batereis. And battery damage can cause combustion or explosion." So I've tested runtime & output comparison on rechargeables for C1 & A1 model additionally. Second one is Partner Mini will be not produced. Instead, they will make other model.

I've added the runtime test results for C1 & A1 on High on rechargeable cells.

S-30-1.jpg
 

sbbsga

Enlightened
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Messages
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Thanks for the update candle lamp. Do you think A2 can operate on one 14500 with an AA dummy cell?


Sent from mobile device.
 

candle lamp

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Thanks for the update candle lamp. Do you think A2 can operate on one 14500 with an AA dummy cell?


Sent from mobile device.

Considering the C1 & A1 model. I assume A2 will work on 1x14500 with dummy cell. But I will ask Armytek and let you know! :)
 

candle lamp

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Thank you!

Sent from mobile device.
Armytek have confirmed A2 has a step-up driver (boost) with 0.8-4.2V input voltage. So A2 will work fine on 1x14500 rechargeable cell with one 14500 dummy cell. :thumbsup:
But, the electronics will burn if you use 2x14500. :shakehead
 

sbbsga

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Messages
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Location
Sabah, Malaysia
Armytek have confirmed A2 has a step-up driver (boost) with 0.8-4.2V input voltage. So A2 will work fine on 1x14500 rechargeable cell with one 14500 dummy cell. :thumbsup:
But, the electronics will burn if you use 2x14500. :shakehead

Hahaha! Awesome, thank you very much again!


Sent from mobile device.
 
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