Eagletac M3C4 Cree XM-L (2x18650) Review: COMPARISONS, BEAMSHOTS, RUNTIMES, etc.

brightnorm

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With anodized flashlights that I've seen so far you only have to 1/2 turn or less to prevent the light from being turned on. I have the M3C4 triple XML and I have to turn it 1 1/2 turns or so to prevent achieve the same. Is that normal or am I missing something?

The Eagletac M2 and M3 series require more of a CC turn than many other lights. They average about 3/4 to actually turn off and I give mine an extra 1/2 turn to be safe.

Brightnorm
 

selfbuilt

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With anodized flashlights that I've seen so far you only have to 1/2 turn or less to prevent the light from being turned on. I have the M3C4 triple XML and I have to turn it 1 1/2 turns or so to prevent achieve the same. Is that normal or am I missing something?
Hmm, that sounds like a lot.

It's true to the older M2 series lights required more of a turn (ie. 2/3 to 3/4 of a turn). But all my M3 series lights shut off after ~1/4 turn or so.

EDIT: note the current is carried entirely by the battery carrier on these lights. So it is a question of the head making contact with positive and negatiive current paths carried by the nub on the carrier - not thread anodizing.
 
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pageyjim

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Hmm, that sounds like a lot. Is there damage to the anodizing somewhere?

It's true to the older M2 series lights required more of a turn (ie. 2/3 to 3/4 of a turn). But all my M3 series lights shut off after ~1/4 turn or so.

It takes a full 1 1/3 turn. I cannot see any damage. I am getting another M3C4 this coming week. I am a novice at this but it seems that I could switch battery carriers and if it is better on the other one that would say it was the battery carrier and not the head. But the way I see that it works is that the button on the head makes contact with the top of the battery insert. For instance I can turn the light on simply by pressing the battery holder against the button on the head without screwing it together. Forgive my lack of explaining this better. TY for the help.
 

selfbuilt

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I am a novice at this but it seems that I could switch battery carriers and if it is better on the other one that would say it was the battery carrier and not the head. But the way I see that it works is that the button on the head makes contact with the top of the battery insert. For instance I can turn the light on simply by pressing the battery holder against the button on the head without screwing it together. Forgive my lack of explaining this better. TY for the help.
Yes, you are quite correct - I was thinking of another light in my comments. In this case, it is entirely the battery carrier that controls the contact (i.e. both positive and negative paths are carried by the nub in the head).

I suppose it could just be some variability in design, but it still seems unusual that your sample needs such a longer turn. Hopefully your next one will be better.
 

lovemylexicon

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Selfbuilt:

Thank you for the excellent review.

You said you do not recommend using 4 CR123A on max for long periods of time on this light. Can you comment on my points below:

1. Please amplify on "long periods of time." Does it mean using Max for many minutes per use? Does it mean using max beyond the manufacturer's recommended length of time? (But I didn't find anywhere that the manufacturer says Max can/should be used for only a certain length of time.) Does it mean using Max all the time?

2. What will happen if batteries do get overheat from such usage? What is the worst thing that will happen?

I am interested in the M3C4 (probably the triple XM-L version) and I only will use CR123A batteries with it.
I hope my decision to use that kind of batteries and my intention to using it on Max won't prevent me from buying that light.

Thank you.
 

brightnorm

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...It's true to the older M2 series lights required more of a turn (ie. 2/3 to 3/4 of a turn). But all my M3 series lights shut off after ~1/4 turn or so...

I wish mine did. I have four M3s: two XMLs, one XPGx3 and one XREx3. They all require at least 1/2 turn and usually a little more. Maybe I was just unlucky in the"Unscrew Lottery" :)

Brightnorm
 

selfbuilt

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What will happen if batteries do get overheat from such usage? What is the worst thing that will happen?
I try to avoid speculating about what the worse may be (given its rarity), but to my mind that would be "venting with flame" from failure of a defective battery. It is not common or likely, as long as you take reasonable precautions. The most important is to only use quality CR123A cells - and ensuring they are all well balanced for capacity (i.e. don't mix and match used cells, or ones from different manufacturers/batches).

Relative risk is the point. When running 4xCR123A max on heavily-driven lights, you will find that the internal battery temperature rises rapidly. Personally, I would be relucant to run any light this way longer than 5-10 mins continuously (unless it has a built-in thermal cut-off feature). I don't have any data on this, but I suspect that catastrophic failure of a defective cell is more likely to occur when placed under that kind of stress.

The other risk is to the light (i.e. excessive heat could damage the circuit or the emitter). Most lights should be designed to handle this heat, but I still prefer lights with thermal sensors to be safe (if planning to run on max on 4xCR123A for extensive periods).

2x18650 Li-ion is safer in this context, since they don't get as hot as 4xCR123A will (for the same output). The main risk with Li-ions is at the point when you are charging them. I recommend people check in with the battery experts in the batteries subforum for a greater discussion.

Again, my concern above is largely theoretical (i.e. a safe battery handling perspective). I have no data of failure rates of specific batteries or specific lights.
 

pageyjim

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I am curious about the reflector because ET said they only have a smooth reflector on this model. I am just wondering because your beamshots seem to be free of donut holes and only a slight ring.
 
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brightnorm

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...Relative risk is the point. When running 4xCR123A max on heavily-driven lights, you will find that the internal battery temperature rises rapidly. Personally, I would be relucant to run any light this way longer than 5-10 mins continuously (unless it has a built-in thermal cut-off feature). I don't have any data on this, but I suspect that catastrophic failure of a defective cell is more likely to occur when placed under that kind of stress...
I gave a M3C4 X-ML as an anniversary present to some friends. They preferred non-rechargeables so I sent them 8 Surefire cr123s along with very careful instructions about use and handling. I also advised them to never run the light at Max for more than 10 minutes. Now I'm thinking of revising that down to 5 minutes. This question may be unanswerable, but I'll ask it anyway: If I do my own 5 and 10 minute test to check battery heat should I assume that even if they are "hot", as long as I can still hold them they are probably OK?

Brightnorm
 

selfbuilt

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This question may be unanswerable, but I'll ask it anyway: If I do my own 5 and 10 minute test to check battery heat should I assume that even if they are "hot", as long as I can still hold them they are probably OK?
That's probably a good general guide. I had an engineering sample of one of the first "high-output" lights blow a circuit after 10 mins on high, and the duracell CR123As I was using were too hold to hold coming out of the light. That manufacturer subsequently recommended against running on Hi on CR123As on the shipping version ... :whistle:

To be clear, I haven't seen that happen since (i.e. Manufacturers typically know their tolerances well, and don't over-drive them). But I would think too-hot-to-hold cells would be a good time to throttle back the output on any light.
 

lovemylexicon

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Selfbuilt:

Two points:

1. In your review of this light, your test on runtime at Max using 4xcr123A gives the result of "1hr 5 min to 50%." Does that mean you actually ran 4xcr123A at Max for such a long time WITHOUT problem?

2. If you click on the page for M3C4 on the "Illumination Gear" website, it does say that the lights have thermal protection and that output will be reduced to a lower level when internal temperature reaches 250F. Did I read this correctly?
 

selfbuilt

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1. In your review of this light, your test on runtime at Max using 4xcr123A gives the result of "1hr 5 min to 50%." Does that mean you actually ran 4xcr123A at Max for such a long time WITHOUT problem?
That's correct - in fact, I ran for almost 2 hours continuously (you can see the full trace on the CR123A graph). No problem on my attempt (note it was done under a cooling fan) The principle is just that you should try to limit runtime on Max on 4xCR123A, to be safe.

2. If you click on the page for M3C4 on the "Illumination Gear" website, it does say that the lights have thermal protection and that output will be reduced to a lower level when internal temperature reaches 250F. Did I read this correctly?
I was not previously aware of thermal protection on the M3-series lights - but that would certainly be a good thing.
 

pageyjim

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That's correct - in fact, I ran for almost 2 hours continuously (you can see the full trace on the CR123A graph). No problem on my attempt (note it was done under a cooling fan) The principle is just that you should try to limit runtime on Max on 4xCR123A, to be safe.


I was not previously aware of thermal protection on the M3-series lights - but that would certainly be a good thing.

Am I correct in thinking that using 123's in the triple xml version would be more "forgiving" than on the single xml version?
 

teefix

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Thank you for the great review. I'm relatively new to the topic, read the thread and at the moment I'm struggeling between M3C4 triple XM-L and M3C4 triple XP-G R5.

Is it right that the XP-G has more throw and can still be used as flooder or is the XML just the better flooder but with the same throw...

Thank you for your answers
teefix
 

peterharvey73

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I'm looking for a 2x18650 or 3x18650 light.

This M3C4 XM-L seems to do all the right things, esp the compact 2x18650 parallel design, the clockwise ring with 5 brightness levels, the optional tail end clicky to kill the parasitic loss and for momentary activation, and the lusty 394 meters of throw!

The Catapult V3 XM-L 2x18650 in-line probably looks slicker and throws a few meters more, but the M3C4 is much more functional, as stated above.

As I see the Olight SR-90 data above throws 634 meters, I was wondering if anybody would know roughly how far an RRT-3 with 1200 lumens throws, because I don't mind considering a 3x18650 size light either???
 
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firelord777

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I know this thread is becoming inactive, but if ur out there, from what I know, the rrt-3 xml is a very good thrower, but is also very expensive for a light.
 
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