Lumens Factory HauL

chillinn

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For quite some time now, since the 18mm Classic bodies appeared at least, I have wanted to make this purchase. I screwed up my taxes, had to redo them, and my return finally arrived the end of November. I now owe attorneys $20K (thing with my mom still going on), but eff it and eff all.

Mark was insanely generous, throwing in a battery tube so I can use the SP-9 with 2xAA without rattle and z52 twisty internals so I can renovate an authentic grody z52, plus some dank patches and stickers.

I am in love with these lights. I am strongly considering selling all my Surefire hardware, replacing with Lumens Factory and splitting the difference with lawyers.

The IMR-M6 is really bright and tight beamed in Greenbean's LeeF+KT4. Though a little cool for my taste, it'll do nicely; I don't want to wear out the WA1185, as they're non-replaceable.

As insinuated, I'm running the SP-9 with AA (red Eneloops), and the drop-in is brighter on high than I expected it to be on AA.

The little E1 runs a Tad Customs socket, A3718 lamp (1.8A), and Keeppower UH1835 (IMR18350 1200mAh) flat top.

The E2 runs MN02 with Keeppower NH1832 (IMR18650 3200mAh) button top, but I also just ordered a quad of red Panasonic/Sanyo NCR18650GA 3500mAh flat top unprotected to try from Liion Wholesale. I could not find these cells protected with flat top, and I fear the protected button top won't fit. I'm not too concerned running unprotected @0.51A with over 6 hours of runtime (confirmed). Plus, NCR18659GA isn't really LiCo (well, it is and isn't: LiNiCoAlO2).

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from left bottom to top
  • swag stickers and patches
  • swag 2xAA inner-tube
  • D26 LED Module 2.7V-4.5V; 3 mode, 5%-30%-100% Cree XP-L WW (~3000K) 90CRI (only appears incan)
  • Seraph SP-9, 3 Cell Flashlight, Flat Bezel, Charcoal Grey (Body Only)
  • E Series Z52 Silicone Tailcap Boot Set
  • swag z52 twisty internals
  • IMR-M6 (13V, 1000 Lumens, [10.8V 3A]), Special High Output Lamp Assembly
  • E2 Classic Gen 1, 2 Cell Flashlight Body, HA3 Natural
  • E Series Z52 Tailcap, Momentary Twisty, HA3 Natural
  • E Series Elite Head Unit for Incandescent and LED Tower Modules, HA3 Natural, Aluminum HA3 Natural Flat Bezel
  • E Series Elite Head Unit for Incandescent and LED Tower Modules, HA3 Natural, Aluminum HA3 Natural Flat Bezel
  • E Series Z52 Tailcap, Momentary Twisty, HA3 Natural

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chillinn

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How you feel about having those "clip less" I'd like to try an E1 body out

I like a decent clip, which rules out Surefire. I understand the reason for the way they are, but they're still horrid. I bought some aftermarket deep carry Ti clips from a guy on eBay for my Zebralight SC5c Mk II; they're the right thickness and do the job, but they have sharp edges, not nice tactilely. I guess the edges can be smoothed out, but not by me. I really like Malkoff's stainless clips, so smooth, no sharp edges and the right thickness, clips tight but not overly so. I'd like them more if they were deep carry, but never had a problem with them. Anyway, I've been carrying fivemega's 18350 E head E tail for a few years, so I'm used to carrying a light without a clip and sunk in the bottom of a dedicated pocket. With the two new E's, always one in the hand, one in the pocket.
 

ampdude

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Old Surefire clips are not very good all the time, but usable. I did lose a light once in awhile because of them, but I found them all eventually. I prefer the Vital Gear body clips to everything else. Those were well designed. I've modified some E-series lights to take the longer Surefire style clips and it is an improvement over the short clips IMO.
 

bykfixer

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Dust in the Wind
What a haul! Christmas came early.

Mark goes to great lengths to make sure the HA matches part to part. Two thumbs up for that. Nearly all of my E lights have Lumens Factory bulbs. I prefer the beam over the factory version most of the time and if it goes poof, thanks to Lumens Factory a replacement module is soon enroute to re-supply the stockpile of his modules.
 
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chillinn

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I did lose a light once in awhile because of them, but I found them all eventually.
I've mentioned before, but I still think about it... I had a cherry black E1e with a purple hue, a Tad Customs socket in, escape clipped to the inside of my right front pocket while descending a long and wide stone staircase in the woods with leafy ground cover everywhere. Because of the size of the search area, there was no finding it without ample time and a metal detector, neither of which I had. I gifted another E1e-BK (no hue). I have an E1e-HA body in bad shape that I don't use. I'll never own another Surefire E1e ever again, but I might have if prices weren't so completely insane.

What a haul! Christmas came early.
And it's coming again. I've made a second order, mostly because of what's in red:

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I'll have to wait to get the cell extender(s), but the Seraph SP-9 will be actually incan after all. Also, I finally found a sweet case for my 18650s, at a very nice price, too. I only have 15 cells, but I just ordered 8 more, and the little cases I've been using are getting out of hand. Now I'll have plenty of room to grow my 18650 cell inventory. Cells might sit a little low in the case, but I'll measure when it arrives and cut some foam to size to lay on top so they won't shift out of their slots while carrying. I figured you all would like this case for yourselves, too. Merry Christmas!


Double checking my research reminds me to ask... I have seen 18500 LiCo in 2000mAh, but the KP IMR variety seems stuck at 1500mAh. What's up with that? With the IMR-13, SP-9 + 2 cell extenders and the right sized dummy... no, that's just silly, but sillier still because of the thin difference in capacity between them and IMR18350.
 
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chillinn

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The NCR18650GA arrived from Liion Wholesale. They're just red with faint print I can't read. Since they don't have the jacket with clear print on them, I have to assume they're the Japanese Sanyo variety and not the Chinese Panasonic (Panasonic bought Sanyo, so they're the same company, but some cells are made in Japan, some in China).

I was going to use them for the E2, but since runtime on MN02 is so crazy, and I also have KP IMRs coming for which I will also use one or two for the E2, and I think 2-3x ~6 hour cells are enough. But I'm exploring the idea of using 3 of the closest matched Sanyos for Greanbean's KT4 LeeF (3x 18650 body).

Currently, the KT4 LeeF is running the LF IMR-M6 3A lamp, but I'll also still sometimes run Greenbean's WA1185 3.15A/3.41A lamp, as well as, but less often, fivemega's FM1909 5.1A lamp.

According to HKJ's NCR18650GA tests, I have no doubt the cells can handle the current. My concern is heat and risk of thermal runaway, as these are unprotected cells, and I don't quite grasp HKJ's thermal tests. With KP IMR18650 NH1835 & NH1832, there is a lot of heat when running awhile, though I'm not concerned about IMR and thermal runaway. But I have no experience with LiNiCoAlO2, and I've always avoided LiCo cells in general. Also, HKJs NCR18650GA tests are, iirc, almost a decade old, but I suppose cells only get better over time.

Bottom line, do you think these Sanyos are heat-safe for
3A?
3.5A?
5.1A?

Thanks.

-----
Almost forgot, Liion Wholesale sent me some unexpected swag: a little 18650-powered portable fan, which I will probably wait to try out next Summer.

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chillinn

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I've never called Surefire before. I was a little intimidated, being that I am a hobbyist and they provide weapon lights to the US military.

I guess in April, I thought I found four MN02 for sale, NIB. But they wanted like $18 in shipping, and I thought it was ridiculous. Last week, I broke down and tried to buy them, and they were gone. Upset about not being able to find them, I called Surefire, to ask them to look to see if there happened to be any that were still laying around, and to beg them to do another run of them. I also suggested they open up a boutique incan section of their website and cater to Candle Power Forums members. It relieved a lot of steam, and I didn't think anything more of it. I got an email from the Rep a few hours later, but I was not optimistic. They probably stopped manufacturing MN02 over a decade ago, and they've become rarer and rarer. No one ever talks about them, and I know that is code for "keep your stinkin' hands off my MN02!"

I don't want you guys to hate me. I've been pretty good to myself in the last few weeks, but I think I deserved it. I did not expect this, but a small box arrived today from Fountain Valley CA. I can't stop smiling.


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chillinn

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According to HKJ's NCR18650GA tests, I have no doubt the cells can handle the current. My concern is heat and risk of thermal runaway, as these are unprotected cells, and I don't quite grasp HKJ's thermal tests. With KP IMR18650 NH1835 & NH1832, there is a lot of heat when running awhile, though I'm not concerned about IMR and thermal runaway. But I have no experience with LiNiCoAlO2, and I've always avoided LiCo cells in general. Also, HKJs NCR18650GA tests are, iirc, almost a decade old, but I suppose cells only get better over time.

Bottom line, do you think these Sanyos are heat-safe for
3A?
3.5A?
5.1A?

I think I'm ready to answer my own question regarding the NCR18650GA and high current: I think they're probably heat safe, but my experience is, contrary to HKJ's (old) tests, they don't perform with high current resulting in reduced capacity.

@HKJ's (old) tests, 2A gave 3,223 mAh of capacity, but that is not my experience, though of course my test is not as accurate as HKJ's. What I've done is run a well rested cell (~4.13V not under load) on Tad's A3718 (1.8A) lamp continuously using a stop watch and checking voltage (immediately but not under load) after 1 hour, which showed the voltage at 3.63V, effectively empty. I would have expected nearly 2 hours of light on 1.8A (1 hr 53m by the math).

The cell got hot, but I think it was fine. But I'm not going to bother to try these cells with a 3A-5A lamp, because with KP NH1835 I get over an hour on 3A (iirc ~1 hr 15m, maybe a little more) and about an hour with NH1832 (maybe a hair over). If I only get an hour and a bit on 1.8A with NCR18650GA, I doubt I'd get an hour at 3A, let alone 5A.

They seem to perform fine with MN02 @0.51A, very long runtime, but idk if I'm actually getting ~6.5 hours (@HKJ 0.5A should give 3,311mAh) because I haven't been paying attention. I'm going to try to tonight, continuously running the cell with a stop watch and checking voltage every hour.

I have used up a handful of A3718, and my experience is they did not last as long as A3712, guessing here, maybe 3-8 hours before spent. This is some kind of unicorn A3718 lamp. It must have 20 hours on it by now as it's variously been in use since 2018.

But let me now lament no longer being able to find the NH1835 cells, and since I bought the last 2 flattop NH1832 at Illumn, they seem to be getting rare, too. I don't understand manufacturers allowing rarity to ever appear. It's leaving money on the table. But maybe we'll soon see the advent of the NH1838 in 2023, a 3,800mAh IMR cell. I'm making this up, of course, but it would be so nice. Come on, Keeppower!

Edit:
Maybe something is wrong with my math or my assumptions. I also tested a new button top NH1832 with the same A3718, same conditions except I missed the hour mark and tested at 1h 10m showing 3.51V. I was expecting 1h 45m to empty. :/

Also, to be clear, NH1835 can still be found, but they're $27/pair at nealsgadgets, which I guess isn't as bad as I thought since I paid $10.70/pc (w/ship) for 6 from AliExpress a little over two years ago. I mass murdered 3 of them in the Greenbean, unfortunately. That's what I'm calling the KT4 LeeF now, in homage to it's original owner.

Edit2:

Also, I can not recommend enough this 18650 case (link in comments above). Probably one of the best purchases I've ever made. The cells do not sit as snug as I would like, but they they are tall enough that they don't shift out of their slots when the case is closed. Really needs a soft foam insert for the top if carried, though. I really don't intend to carry this around, it's just a nice place to store my cells, and it closely matches my Eneloop case. Since the slots came with their plug inserts, they can be cut in half so that 18350s can also be stored, though I haven't gotten around to modifying the plugs, they're just crushed with the CR123A there. 18500 sit flush, will also need a piece of plug underneath. There's also a 2nd gen ThruNite Ti3 hidden in there above one of my AW IMR 3000mAh (the other one is in a light somewhere; I'm very proud that I haven't murdered either of them since purchased from RTDVapor way back in Jan. 2016, and they are still performing). Notice how the 18650 sit higher towards the back. I just noticed. Mystery to me. No, wait, the foam is a little skew, that's why. The desiccant pack is my own addition, btw. Picture also reminds me, NH1832 and NH1835 cells are slightly fatter than NGR18650GA cells, which is why that one Sanyo is wrapped; it's just paper to prevent rattle in the E2 body.

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knucklegary

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I prefer NH1832 (NH1835) cell length spec to other brands in this category. The small amount longer (.5 to 1mm) makes for better electrical contact on some flashlights that have extra internal body tube length.

+1 for a NH3800 (y)
 

chillinn

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I prefer NH1832 (NH1835) cell length spec to other brands in this category. The small amount longer (.5 to 1mm) makes for better electrical contact on some flashlights that have extra internal body tube length.

+1 for a NH3800 (y)

KP IMR are my favorite and most used cells. I didn't realize they were longer. Mark says on the E2 Classic product page that protected cells won't fit, but the cells I have that make contact without help are button top NH1832 and some flat top protected KP ICR 3400mAh that Greenbean gave me (split evenly from 2013 and 2016 according to Greenbean's stickers). I have to use a little magnet with the flat top NCR18650GA or flat top NH1832. Like I said up there somewhere, I couldn't find flat top protected cells anywhere to purchase. I just have the ones I have, and they fit. Maybe it's a protected cell with a button top that won't fit in the body. I don't have any to see.

Is the eneloop case same mfgr but made for what size shells ?

No, it's a COMECASE bought in Oct. 2020 for $7.99 on Amazon. Foam is cut for 48x AA cells, which sit snug so they don't move. Apparently, the same case is still available, but the insert is cut differently to include other cell sizes.. My mistake, they do still have the case with foam cut for 48x AA.

You'd think the 12g foam holes would be snug on 18650 cells.
I don't have any to check. The holes are cut so they just nearly rub up against the cells, but I suspect due to the weight of the cells, they can't be quite held snug in place even with holes the same size as the cells, and the holes are ever so slightly larger than the cell diameter (can see in the picture on the button top NH1832 up front 3rd from right). I considered trying to bore the foam plugs, but how would I even do that? And then they'd just stick to the cells like a sleeve and cause havoc. I'm just ecstatic I don't have to use those crappy little 2x plastic cases anymore. Soft foam comes often enough in packaging; the next time I get some, that's what I intend to use cut to size to squeeze against the cells when the top's closed. But it isn't really necessary unless carrying the case by it's handle and flopping it around. And I'm not even sure the 65mm cells would get loose with the cover closed. I'm just not inclined to discover for certain that they will.
 
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knucklegary

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I know what you mean about those crappy plastic cases, I got em coming out of everywhere..

The hard cover foam cases are in my Amz cart

Edit, PRC Nealsgadgets has KP NH1835 in his store, he's asking $27 "2 pieces"

We find entremanures on every Continent :cautious:
 
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chillinn

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Pretty sure it's $27 for "2 pieces," so $13.50/pc. Still seems like a lot, but, again, I paid a little over $10/pc w/ship. I guess that is $7 over what I paid for two, enough for a whole other 18650 and change at Liion Wholesale.

tme appears to have them for less in bulk. Maybe someone could organize a group buy for 50+ @$9.70/pc. idk tme tho. Took all my nerve to order from AliExpress, and I had heard of them.

There's a little warning sign there
"/!\ Hardly available product"
LOL. yeah. no. Says "252 pcs in stock," though.
 
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knucklegary

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I am not far from the illumn Supply store. Earlier today sent Craig and brother Calvin a text asking ETA on the NH1835, and availability.

As you might know they are USA main distribution for KP
 

chillinn

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I expect they're legit, even if the picture is of NH1832, But nealsgadgets feedback goes both ways. Apparently there are occasions of taking the money and not shipping anything. But a few CPF members, at least, got HIDs from him.

I did not know they had any official connection to KP. Interesting. I thought Illumn sold NH1835, but I don't see them on the site. Illumn keeps pages even for long sold out stuff, like these mythical beasts that I was told sold out in 2014, which I think was before Illumn even got their website up.
 
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