Foursevens Atom AL (XP-G2, 1xCR123A/RCR) Review: RUNTIMES, BEAMSHOTS, VIDEO +

selfbuilt

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Warning: pic heavy, as usual. :whistle:

Atom002.jpg

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The Atom AL is a new 1xCR123A/RCR light from Foursevens, with the same design features and characteristics as the all-stainless steel Preon P0.

I'm not sure why it is called the Atom "AL" exactly, but this is simply the first of the Atom line – a number of additional lights in this family have recently been announced by Foursevens.

Let's see how the Atom AL measures up ... :whistle:

Manufacturer Reported Specifications:
(note: as always, these are simply what the manufacturer provides – scroll down to see my actual testing results).

  • LED Emitter CREE XP-G2
  • 2 Output Modes
  • Integrated Magnet
  • Water Resistant (IPX-8)
  • Voltage range 1.0V-4.2V
  • Brightness Levels Low: 6 lumens, 40 hrs / High: 110 lumens, 3.5 hrs
  • Body Material Stainless Steel
  • Bezel Material Stainless Steel
  • Lens Material Plastic optic lens
  • Length: 1.84 inches / Diameter: 0.77 inches / Weight: 1.03 oz
  • Included Accessories Lanyard, Split-ring, CR123A battery
  • MSRP: ~$40
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Foursevens packaging has been updated, and the Atom AL comes in their new trademark clear plastic display case. Along with the light, you get a Foursevens CR123A battery, extra o-rings, a good quality wrist lanyard with split ring, and manual. There is also an overview of specs on the bottom and back of the packaging.

Atom019.jpg

Atom014.jpg

From left to right: CR123A; Foursevens Atom AL, Preon P0, Mini 123; Nitecore EZ 123, EC1; Olight S10 (2013), D25C.

All dimensions directly measured, and given with no batteries installed:

Foursevens Atom AL: Weight: 29.2g, Length: 47.0mm, Width (bezel): 19.5mm
ArmyTek C1 XP-G: Weight: 42.6g, Length: 79.8mm , With (bezel): 23.1mm
Foursevens QTLC: Weight 36.4g, Length 84.1mm, Width (bezel) 22.1mm
Lumintop ED11: Weight: 44.1g, Length: 83.7, Width (bezel): 21.8mm
Nitecore EC1: Weight 43.0g, Length: 68.6mm, Width (bezel): 26.1mm
Olight S10: Weight 41.1g, Length: 70.6mm, Width (bezel): 23.0mm
Sunwayman C10R: Weight: 57.3g, Length: 76.2mm (no lanyard plug), 82.3mm (with plug), Width (bezel): 25.6mm, Width (head at widest part): 28.6mm
Eagletac D25C Clicky: Weight: 30g, Length: 76.0mm, Width (bezel): 20.0mm
Jetbeam PC10: Weight: 50.5g, Length: 93.6mm, Width (bezel): 22.6mm

As you can see, the Atom AL is the smallest 1xCR123A light I've tested to date. :eek:oo: It is the first CR123A light that I could actually see dangling from a keychain.

Atom007.jpg

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Build is very similar to the Preon P0 that I have reviewed previously – only adapted to fit a single CR123A. Stainless construction feels reasonably sturdy. As before, the light doesn't have knurling, but the brushed finish over most of the light helps with grip.

Screw threads are fairly fine, but larger than the P0. There is a fair bit of play on my sample (i.e., the head can rattle against the body, unless fully tight).

Light works by tightening the head against the body. There is no spring in the tailcap – the light relies instead on a small raised post. There is a plastic disc around the positive contact button in the head.

Like the P0, the Atom AL has a built-in split-ring attachment point on the tail of the light, which allows both tailstanding and hanging straight. :thumbsup: There is an integrated magnet on the tail, which is strong enough to hold the light horizontally off any metal surface. In fact, it is so strong that it holds the battery inside the light – you have to carefully grab the exposed end and pull to dislodge an inserted battery.

Atom005.jpg

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Like with the P0, the "reflector" is actually conical-shaped piece of GITD plastic. It is not really designed to collect the light and focus it – it seems to be used mainly for its glow-in-the-dark properties. You can therefore expect a full flood beam, with little defined hotspot. Scroll down for my beamshots.

User Interface

The Atom AL interface is very straightforward - tighten the head until it comes on in Lo. Tighten further for Hi. Turn the light off by loosening the head.

Note that this is different from the earlier Preon P0, which used loosen-tighten twists of the head to cycle modes. The Atom series is more intuitive for how most people would expect a two-stage light to work.

There are no blinking modes.

Video:

For information on the light, including the build and user interface, please see my video overview:



Video was recorded in 720p, but YouTube typically defaults to 360p. Once the video is running, you can click on the configuration settings icon and select the higher 480p to 720p options. You can also run full-screen.

As with all my videos, I recommend you have annotations turned on. I commonly update the commentary with additional information or clarifications before publicly releasing the video. In this case, I have anotated the video to point out the light is stainless steel construction (i.e., I erroneously said aluminum in the voice-over).

PWM/Strobe

As always, there is no sign of PWM at any output level – the Atom AL is current controlled. :)

Similarly, there is no strobe mode of any sort.

Beamshots:

For white-wall beamshots below, all lights are on Max output on a primary CR123A battery. Lights are about ~0.75 meter from a white wall (with the camera ~1.25 meters back from the wall). Automatic white balance on the camera, to minimize tint differences.

Atom-Beam001.jpg
S10-2013-CR123A-Beam001.jpg

D25CXML-CR123A-Beam001.jpg
C1-XML-CR123A-Beam001.jpg


Atom-Beam002.jpg
S10-2013-CR123A-Beam002.jpg

D25CXML-CR123A-Beam002.jpg
C1-XML-CR123A-Beam002.jpg


Atom-Beam003.jpg
S10-2013-CR123A-Beam003.jpg

D25CXML-CR123A-Beam003.jpg
C1-XML-CR123A-Beam003.jpg


Ok, so my standard white wall test bed really doesn't show you much. :rolleyes: Part of the issue is the lower output of the Atom AL (i.e., only 110 reported lumens on Hi). But the main reason you can't see anything is the camera's limited field – the Atom AL puts out a much wider (and more even) spillbeam than any of the other lights shown above. It really looks like a giant spot beam in real life.

Unfortunately, you can really compare the beam profile using these standard distances. I recommend you check out my video overview for a discussion.

Testing Method:

All my output numbers are relative for my home-made light box setup, as described on my flashlightreviews.ca website. You can directly compare all my relative output values from different reviews - i.e. an output value of "10" in one graph is the same as "10" in another. All runtimes are done under a cooling fan, except for any extended run Lo/Min modes (i.e. >12 hours) which are done without cooling.

I have devised a method for converting my lightbox relative output values (ROV) to estimated Lumens. See my How to convert Selfbuilt's Lightbox values to Lumens thread for more info.

Throw/Output Summary Chart:

My summary tables are reported in a manner consistent with the ANSI FL-1 standard for flashlight testing. Please see http://www.flashlightreviews.ca/FL1.htm for a discussion, and a description of all the terms used in these tables. Effective July 2012, I have updated all my Peak Intensity/Beam Distance measures with a NIST-certified Extech EA31 lightmeter (orange highlights).

Atom-FL1-Summary1.gif


Atom-FL1-Summary2.gif


Max output in my testing is a little higher than the Foursevens specs (which is common), although the extremely wide floodbeam makes the light a little hard to compare to those with traditional beam profiles (i.e., the consistency of my measurement method may be a little off).

Output on 1xRCR is indistinguishable from 1xCR123A on Hi, with just a small increase in output on Lo.

Output/Runtime Graphs:

Atom-HiCR123A.gif


Atom-HiRCR.gif


Performance is as you would expect for a current-controlled Foursevens light at these levels (i.e., comparable efficiency to the Foursevens QTLC XP-G2). The light shows full regulation on both CR123A and RCR Li-ion sources.

Potential Issues

Small head-twist lights with raised negative contact posts always have the potential to be battery crushers. Although this is less likely with CR123A than AAA, I recommend you periodically check your batteries to ensure they are not getting dented.

The light is very small, and may be hard to use one-handed for those with larger hands (especially if it gets wet and slippery).

There is a fair bit of play on the threads (i.e., head can feel a little wobbly, when not fully tightened).

The pull of magnet is so strong that you can't get the old battery out by gravity. You need to grab part of the exposed portion of the battery and pull firmly. Be careful not to damage any part of the battery during removal.

Preliminary Observations

The Atom AL is a remarkably tiny CR123A light. :eek:oo: In fact, this is probably the first 1xCR123A/RCR light that I could actually see using on a keychain.

The stainless steel construction works well with the small size – the light feels solid, and the look and feel is good. Given the extremely small size for a CR123A light, it may be a bit hard to operate single-handed for those with large hands. Screw threads are ok, but there is more play on my sample than I would like (of course, that is always going to be an issue on really small lights).

Like the P0, a keychain split-ring can freely rotate, allowing both tailstanding and a straight hang. The integrated tailcap magnet is very strong, and can easily hold the light firmly against appropriate metal surfaces. Of course, it will also attract other iron-based metal items in the local vicinity. And as mentioned above, it can make it tricky to get the used battery out.

The beam is very distinctive on these small Foursevens lights with the plastic GITD surround (it is not an actual reflector, because it doesn't really shape the light beam). Just like the P0, the Atom AL has one of the floodiest beams I've come across. There is however a fairly sharp demarcation along its outside spillbeam edge, due to the bezel (i.e., the beam doesn't just gradually fade away like most lights). Those who want true "flood" should find what they want here. :)

The GITD surround provides a fair amount of glow after the light has been on awhile. I find it also introduces a slightly greenish tinge to the edge of the spillbeam.

The mode spacing is reasonably good. There is no actual "Moonlight" level, but thanks to the wide flood beam, you should find the Lo mode comfortable enough for low light use. The flip side of having a wide spillbeam means that the Hi mode may not seem as bright as the 110 rated lumens suggests. :shrug:

Runtimes certainly seem reasonable for the output levels, as with all Foursevens lights.

The Atom AL extends the Preon P0 build into the CR123A/RCR realm, with a simplified interface. With the extended family of Atom lights coming soon, you should have a good range of true little flood lights in all battery classes. :wave:

----

Atom AL was supplied by Foursevens for review.
 
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AnthonyMcEwen2014

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As always a good review thx!


However a copula things I dont know if its me being dumb or a mistake but your linked video is not about the reviwes light? Wrong linked video mabys?

Also you say you are running 18650s for all the tests under the beam shots title, obviously this is not correct, sorry to moan just though I would point them out I am not trying to be negative as you do great work and I love your reviwes!
 

duckied

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Apr 11, 2012
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selfbuilt I think you link the wrong video I'm subscribe to you on youtube and I just saw the one you upload for this light
 
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gkbain

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Apr 1, 2013
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Thanks for the nice review. I personally like a small light to be floody but I don't think to the Atom's extent. Also not big on twisty lights but to each their own. As others have said, "your linked video is not about the review light".
 

selfbuilt

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Yes, sorry about that - the correct video is now linked in the review. Haven't had a chance to check back in since yesterday, so didn't notice the mix up. The picture legend is also corrected (all lights are on CR123A). :wave:
 

Capolini

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Wow,what a petite little torch!! That is smaller than my Nitecore SENS CR by .66"!

Sorry to pick up on your "Glitch", that is an S10 in your lineup, not S20 :).

I have both of those nice mini torches!
 

Ryp

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The lights you listed for the dimensions are all 18650 lights. I also noticed in your other reviews with an EC1 as a comparison, its dimensions are never listed.
 

selfbuilt

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The lights you listed for the dimensions are all 18650 lights. I also noticed in your other reviews with an EC1 as a comparison, its dimensions are never listed.
I've just updated it with some 1xCR123A lights, including the EC1. :)
 

AnthonyMcEwen2014

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So overall are you pleased with this and would you say it is worth buying?

The only worry I have is the sloppy threads? How bad are they that's the only negative I can see really.

I like it as it seems like a nice light to EDC, I like the simple UI, nothing fancy and seems like a decent decision for low mode and high mode, the battery not coming out is a non issue really for me, and I love the all flood, practical on a low power light like this, and it even looks smart so would not be out of place in a formal occasion such as if your job required a suit, and of-course the steel is a nice touch over aluminium. The magnet is a brilliantly useful feature in my mind as is the glow in the dark reflector thing if you need to find it and have used it recently enough that it is still glowing. and of course it can be put on t a keyring if needed as its so small!

So overall would you get it?

It would properly replace my Olight I3sEos
 

moshow9

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Battery removal for me is easier if I cup my open hand, while holding the Atom in the other, and gently slap both heels of my hands together. Battery comes out into open hand. :)
 

selfbuilt

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The only worry I have is the sloppy threads? How bad are they that's the only negative I can see really.
Well, if you are someone who is concerned about sloppy threads, you will probably find this light problematic. If you were someone who didn't know what "sloppy" threads were, you might not even notice.

I'll put it this way - the head will "rattle" slightly when you shake the light, unless it is tight enough to be turned on. :shrug:

Battery removal for me is easier if I cup my open hand, while holding the Atom in the other, and gently slap both heels of my hands together. Battery comes out into open hand. :)
Ha, good tip. That worked well. The secret is to smack the heels of your hands only - I did it half a dozen times, and the cell came out each time (and i was able to catch it with my free hand before it flew off).

Of course, the dog was looking at me dubiously when I did this - and eventually hopped off the couch. I guess she doubted my ability to consistently catch the cell. :laughing:
 

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