Fivemega's Strion conversion kit for Surefire A2

DM51

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The A2 Strion bulb conversion kit from Fivemega is a replacement/upgrade for the stock MA02 incan lamp assembly for the Surefire A2.

The socket costs $32, and it takes the tiny Streamlight Strion bi-pin bulb, which costs $6.

A new MA02 LA costs up to $25, so once you have the FM socket, there is a significant potential saving on new bulbs/LAs.

I have just received the first of the conversion kits I ordered from Fivemega’s sales thread.

The first thing to be said is that this is machining work of the highest quality. The construction is stainless steel, with a brass +ve contact cap. I was unable to determine what insulating material has been used; it could be acetal or PVC. The result is a very robust unit, despite the intricacy of its construction. It is far stronger that the stock MA02, which has a flimsy positive end cap that is fragile and easily broken.

A2-Strion-1.jpg
A2-Strion-2.jpg


The Strion bulb fits into the socket smoothly, firmly and with precision. You can see in the pic above that the tiny pinholes are countersunk, so getting the pin in is no problem at all. This is a very nice touch, and typical of the superb attention to detail that has been given to these units.

The bulb is held very securely, so there would be no chance at all of it becoming loose, even during very rough use or if dropped, but the seating is not so tight as to make it difficult to centre the bulb and adjust its position to the correct height. Below: the bulb seated in place in the socket; and a comparison pic of the unit alongside a stock SF MA02.

A2-Strion-3.jpg
A2-Strion-4.jpg


Below: Bulbs installed in two A2s. The stock MA02 is on the left, the Strion conversion on the right. It is easy to see which is which, even when installed, as the tip of the MA02 is frosted and the Strion is clear.

A2-Strion-5.jpg


In use: Strion bulb has a nicer beam on a white wall. It has a smaller but slightly brighter hot-spot, and the spill is more even. There seems to be very little difference in overall brightness, but I think the Strion has a slight edge. I will test them outside later, to see if there is any difference there.

Both lights used were A2-BK-WH, so the LEDs did not affect the results.

First, normal camera exposure (both these pics were 1/30th second at F4). The MA02 is on the left, and the Strion conversion is on the right.

A2-Strion-6.jpg
A2-Strion-7.jpg


To try to get an idea of the relative brightness, I took 2 more shots with the camera stopped right down to 6 stops darker (1/500th second at F8). Again, MAO2 left, Strion right.

A2-Strion-8.jpg
A2-Strion-9.jpg


I have not tested run-time, but Fivemega gives a figure of 45 minutes for the A2 with the Strion, which is similar to Surefire’s 50 minutes for the stock MA02. It will depend on the cells used.

I ran both A2s for 20 minutes, lying horizontally on a wooden box. Both became very warm after this time, with no hand to conduct the heat away, but neither was too hot to pick up and hold, and I could not detect any difference in temperature.

Later: I have now tested the 2 lights outside. The pics below were exposed for 2 secs at F2.8. The centre detail (below in each case) is noisy but revealing. The stone statue is 20 meters / 22 yards / 66 feet away, and the 2 trees directly behind are 80 meters away. The pictures show that the Strion bulb, on the right, is visibly brighter.

A2-Strion-10.jpg
A2-Strion-11.jpg

A2-Strion-12.jpg
A2-Strion-13.jpg


The difference in brightness was more noticeable outside than it was inside.

MA02-vs-FiveMega-Strion.gif


I am very grateful to Lips for putting together the above rotating shot, which gives an even better illustration of the difference between the two. Many thanks for doing that, and for letting me use it.

If you had the 2 lights to compare together, you would be able to tell fairly easily that the brighter one was the Strion conversion.


I am very pleased with these conversions and I am happy to recommend them to A2 owners.

However, my recommendation comes with the caveat that their use may void the Surefire warranty. In the event of a Strion bulb going ‘pop’ and damaging an A2’s reflector, the warranty may not cover the damage. That is a risk that I personally am happy to take, but it is a decision individual owners will have to make for themselves.

Many thanks to Fivemega for making these – a 5-star product, IMO.
 
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DM51

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Thanks for your kind comments, and particular thanks to Lips for sending me a rotating shot he made, which I have added in to post #1. It gives a very good idea of the difference between the stock MA02 and Strion bulb conversion.
 

NotRegulated

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I must say that this is an excellent review...just what I needed to see. Timely too. You put that out before Fivemega was sold out giving others the ability to make a really informed decision.

That rotating picture REALLY gives me an idea of each bulb's brightness. One of the most telling pics ever. Outstanding job.

I'm looking forward to mine arriving.
 

Well-Lit

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DM51: Thanks very much for the review. This is what I was looking for, a very clear and concise examination of the A2 socket/strion mod. I just ordered one! :thumbsup:

Thanks Again:
Bob
 

this_is_nascar

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In the for-sale thread, I had reported less than desirable results when using this. I have found the problem. I thought I was shipped Strion bulbs from my Dealer and in turn, what I actually recieved were Stinger bulbs. It appears the Stinger bulb filiment sits higher in the reflector than the Strion. This would explain my issues with the hotspot being our of focus and not throwing anywhere near as much as the stock A2.
 

Patriot

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Thanks for the review DM51 and Lips for the rotating photo. Those are really great for detecting the actual difference with the eye.

I ordered one yesterday after seeing this thread and I'm fairly excited since it's not everyday that a neat mod comes out for my favorite edc light.

I'm eager to get it. :naughty:
 

cslinger

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Great review. I do have a question / thought.

The A2 bulb assembly is noted for being very robust and for running for a very long time before blowing out. I have yet to burn out an A2 bulb.

My Strion, however, tends to go through bulbs relatively quickly. So the question is will the savings per lamp assembly really come to be or will you simply end up buying four or five Strion bulbs for every one Surefire assembly?

Does the bulb benefit from the regulation/soft starts etc. like the SF one?

I don't mean any of this to sound SF fanboy like as I really like my Strion as well. If the Strion bulbs show to be as reliable or even almost as reliable this is a fantastic modification.

Chris
 

this_is_nascar

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Great review. I do have a question / thought.

The A2 bulb assembly is noted for being very robust and for running for a very long time before blowing out. I have yet to burn out an A2 bulb.

My Strion, however, tends to go through bulbs relatively quickly. So the question is will the savings per lamp assembly really come to be or will you simply end up buying four or five Strion bulbs for every one Surefire assembly?

Does the bulb benefit from the regulation/soft starts etc. like the SF one?

I don't mean any of this to sound SF fanboy like as I really like my Strion as well. If the Strion bulbs show to be as reliable or even almost as reliable this is a fantastic modification.

Chris

I know this MOD was marketed as a way of saving on bulbs, but I tend to be going further down the direction you are. The A2 bulbs are pretty indestructable. I know the TL-3 bulbs from Streamlight are fairly delicate, so I'd expect the Strion bulbs to be the same. I discounted all the statements about this MOD saving on bulbs and got it for the additional brightness of the package. I guess time well tell, as I'm waiting for my Strion bulbs to be delivered.
 

kongfuchicken

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All bulbs that are overdriven tend to greatly benefit from soft start circuitry.
I've never had any experience with a stock strion but if it doesn't have that feature, it'd explain the higher lamp mortality rate.

Of course, since the strion bulb is brighter than the A2 lamp, I'd assume it is being overdriven more and probably will fail sooner. Nonetheless, a strion bulb is still way cheaper than a surefire lamp assembly and easier to carry as spares...

So far, I've gone through less than two battery set on my bulb with no sign of problem. Time will tell but so far, it's all good.
 

DM51

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Lifetime of the Strion bulb vs. MA02 is an interesting question - I don't know the answer. FM did a run of these kits before, so presumably someone has experience of this.
 
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