Malkoff MDC 2xAA review

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etc

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Amazingly I haven't had a 2xAA light in 15 years, in the early days of my hobby I had a Fenix and then some MiniMags which I never really used versus 18650-based lights.
I know I can load a 9P type with 2xAA, they kind of fit, if you wrap them around in something. About 6 "dollars" bills do the trick, the cells become tight and you have an emergency source of cash.
Then I have a FiveMega 3xAA host which is nice but not really the same thing as a dedicated 2xAA.

Finally decided it was time for a dedicated 2xAA host and here comes the 2xAA MDC in all its glory and warts.

Eneloops fit really well. Not loose inside which scores points for me, I hate noisy batteries that are loose inside.

The modes are very well spaced, at 3/50/300 Lumens (5700K is what it seems I have). I particularly like the 3 lumen mode, it's low enough to be frugal but high enough to be useful. I've used moonlight modes in other lights, found them useless and found myself often escalating to the next mode. Not so with light, it has high enough lux, the beam is throwy which makes the 3 lumens seem like a lot more.

It's as compact as any other 2xAA with Malkoff build quality. It's arguably the finest, end-of-the world 2xAA you can get.

A couple of WTF: No knurling is weird. It really needs some. It's a departure from other Malkoff lights. Even token Surefire-like knurling would be an upgrade.

The clip is very well made but I can't find any use for it and will remove it. I just don't have any way to clip the light to anything and when I EDC, it goes inside my cargo pants pocket anyway. And the clip interferes with how you hold it. Unless I am really missing the point here. I think I will give the clip a shot but none of my other lights have it and not sure why I need to make an exception for this one.

The tailcap is not removable, I wonder if an E-series TC could have been used, but anyway. You load it from the front.
Overall a solid hit like mostly everything else Malkoff-made.

2xAA versus 1xAA MDC:

IMO, 2xAA has several advantages:

1. It's easier to hold
2. 2xAA is more efficient than 1xAA
3. 1xAA has an unacceptable low mode, comes in a sub-1 lumen mode whereas 2xAA hits 3 lumens, this by itself is a deal breaker for 1xAA (for me).

It's closest competition (out of what I own) is an MD3 with M61 and a 2xAA cells, which works amazingly well with the low/high ring. Meaning that config on low is similar to MDC-2AA on low. But it's a bigger light and not AA-specific.
 
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E

etc

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So I removed the clip and the light feels much nicer. Lack of knurling is not a huge issue it seems.

I installed fresh L91s (Lithium AA by Energizer) and could not get the light to come on in low, weird. Anyone else can substantiate this experience? Not that I can't deal with high only.
Two L91s offer the most possible lumens in this device.
 
desert.snake

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Looks like the clip needs to be put back on.

or 1 of the batteries is dead, when the voltage is low, then the driver can behave strangely, in any case, my jetbeam jet-u does this
 
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thermal guy

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So I removed the clip and the light feels much nicer. Lack of knurling is not a huge issue it seems.

I installed fresh L91s (Lithium AA by Energizer) and could not get the light to come on in low, weird. Anyone else can substantiate this experience? Not that I can't deal with high only.
Two L91s offer the most possible lumens in this device.
Thats all I use in mine. Mine is a few years old and 250 lumen model but yours should work with them.
 
thermal guy

thermal guy

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Looks like the clip needs to be put back on.

or 1 of the batteries is dead, when the voltage is low, then the driver can behave strangely, in any case, my jetbeam jet-u does this
😂
 
E

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I tried 4 different sets of new L91s. None generate low mode. Seems to be only in one mode and it's bright.

Tried NiMH and Alkaline - yes to low mode. L91s - no. BTW, discharged L91s generate low mode.

As they say, it's not a bug, it's a feature.
 
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Trout River

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I seriously can see the whole bedroom 22' X 14' with 0.3 lumens after just 3 or 5 minutes of darkness. Perhaps I have crazy eyes or my 1AA is really putting out more than 0.3 lumens. I only use L91s.
 
thermal guy

thermal guy

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I tried 4 different sets of new L91s. None generate low mode. Seems to be only in one mode and it's bright.

Tried NiMH and Alkaline - yes to low mode. L91s - no. BTW, discharged L91s generate low mode.

As they say, it's not a bug, it's a feature.
I don’t think it’s a feature gene put in. That’s strange.
 
thermal guy

thermal guy

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Were there multiple iterations of MDC? If so, what were the specs.
There are like 4 or so different 2XAA with different specs Over the years
 
thermal guy

thermal guy

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What’s the voltage rage listed on your light?
 
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etc

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L91s start pretty high, like 1.77V so combined you are looking at 3.5V. The web site specifically lists lithium primary as an option yet they don't generate the low mode and seem to be stuck in one mode.



This flashlight will support alkaline AA, lithium primary 1.5v AA, and rechargeable NIMH AA batteries. Lithium primaries or NIMH rechargeables are recommended as they are better able to support the current draw in high mode.




Summary of Modes: 3/50/300 Lumens (5700K)



DO NOT USE A RECHARGEABLE Li-ion CELL(S). The voltage is too high.

The input voltage is 2 - 3.2 volts for full output. Input voltages of more than 3.4 volts may damage this flashlight.
 
thermal guy

thermal guy

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Ya two L91’s is 3.4-3.5 but under draw they are less then that. The new 2XAA should worry in all 3 modes with them. Sounds like it’s a question for gene. Mine is rate at 2-2.3 volts and L91’s work just fine.
 
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etc

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I just ran the test again on L91s. Looks like it does have 3 modes, just that they are all way brighter. I would say the low mode looks like 20 lumens, the medium probably 75 and the high at least 300. I am guestimating here. There is no way the low is 5 lumens.

Suppose everything works as it should. The low is way dimmer via NiMH and 'normal' via Alkalines.
 
ledbetter

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All the multi mode lights are sensitive to voltage variations. You should try a 2.4v in an MDC AA for a better pocket friendly light. And it has a useful clip.
 
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etc

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I don't care for the MDC-AA due to its absurd sub-lumen low mode. MDC-2AA is way more useful. Plus easier to hold and greater runtime.
I don't mind the 15-20 lumen "low" with L91, which is almost as bright as the medium mode with Alkalines.
Additional thoughts: Great light, great tint, perfectly spaced modes. Very useful. Probably won't displace my EDC M61T MD2, but very useful, especially if traveling in some place that only has AA cells available.
 
fulee9999

fulee9999

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The clip is very well made but I can't find any use for it and will remove it. I just don't have any way to clip the light to anything and when I EDC, it goes inside my cargo pants pocket anyway.

It's been on my mind for a few weeks now, how do you guys carry your lights inside your pant pockets?!

The only time I have a flashlight inside a pocket is if I'm walking the dog in my shorts or hiking pants which has a huge watch pocket, but other than that it seems pretty impossible for me to pocket my light.
Front left pocket I have my keys, which would mess up the ano or at least the lens when moving around, front right pocket I have my phone, and I wouldn't want that anywhere near a (knurled) metallic object, and rear pockets are out of the question for sitting reasons...

So what gives? :D
 
D

Duster1671

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My only true EDC lights are an Eiger on the keyring (with predictable anodizing wear) and a Muyshondt Aeon Mk III that bangs around in the bottom of my right front pocket with the keys and SAK. I keep the Aeon in a leather sheath to prevent the lens from getting scratched up.

I chose these two lights specifically because they're small enough to carry loose in the pocket. Having a larger light clipped to the pocket is usually a no-go for me, so that's my compromise.
 
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Mgizler

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I carry my mdc 1aa in my left front pocket. My phone rides right next to is when it’s in there. I have found that if a light doesn’t have a pocket clip, I won’t carry it anymore. I can’t stand having it at the bottom of my pocket. One of the many reasons I don’t carry my hds rotary.
 
fulee9999

fulee9999

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I carry my mdc 1aa in my left front pocket. My phone rides right next to is when it’s in there. I have found that if a light doesn’t have a pocket clip, I won’t carry it anymore. I can’t stand having it at the bottom of my pocket. One of the many reasons I don’t carry my hds rotary.
doesn't that scrape your phone..? also there is a pocket clip for the HDS, it's a lumintop or something like that clip that fits, no..?
 

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