New to Malkoff - M61 MD2 + M61HOT MD2

polizeifritz

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Long time lurker of this forum and BLF, lifelong flashoholic! The flashlight bug has bit me hard again and I have made quite a few recent purchases namely a Fenix PD35 V2 a Streamlight HL-X a Lumintop AA Tool 2.0 and 2x Sofrin SP31 V2, (big fan of those Sofirns so far). These all within the last two weeks. Some for work and some for the hell of it to replace a lot of old junk likes and Costco specials I have laying around.

I just made the jump and bought 2 Malkoffs, an M61 MD2 Hi/Low + M61HOT MD2 Standard. Hoping to maybe get an Elzetta Bravo in the near future as well.

I am a Police Officer and will be using them as duty lights. I always carry 2 lights on me, one being a mid sized 2 cell CR123/1x18650 light and a single AA/14500 light. I have been doing a ton of reading over the past few weeks about lights and rechargeable lithium cells etc...

In any event, I am really looking forward to my Malkoffs arriving in the mail and I am hoping to tap into the knowledge of some of the great members here.

I am planning to run these lights on either Samsung 30qs or Panasonic/Sanyo GAs. I'm hoping to hear about your experiences running unprotected cells in these lights. Do you find that the light gets noticeably dim before it gets anywhere near 3volts? I know that protected cells are recommended but I am on the fence about them as I feel like the protection circuits can be rather brittle and just add another vulnerability into the mix. I want my light to work 100% of the time. That said, I check my batts with a voltmeter before charging them and have no issues recycling anything that ran under 2.5 volts.

I always also carry extra Cr123a primaries with me in my bag and like the idea of lights that can run on them and 18650's. Now I know that the M61 MD2 has zero issues with primaries but how about the M61 HOT MD2? I know that 18650s are suggested but will the light run on them without damage to the light? I understand that Cr123a cells are designed to run at no more than 1.5A continuous but that said, I don't mind pushing it a bit every now and then if need be. Especially considering what kind of tailcap amp readings I am getting out of my Streamlight HL-X which supposedly can "safely" (according to Streamlight) be run on 123s even though it hits over 2.5amps (measured at the tailcap).

Lastly, does anyone have any holster suggestions? I am considering a Surefire V70.


I currently have a Nextorch V5 (Below) it seems pretty rugged but I question whether it can stand up to extreme use, I'll be quite upset if I lose my light.
51FAk2SMmaL._AC_SY606_.jpg

https://www.amazon.com/dp/B01G6IN84O/?tag=cpf0b6-20

I should mention that I do live in Canada so shipping costs from many USA vendors of duty equipment and cells can be quite cost prohibitive.

Thanks in advance for taking the time to read my long winded thread.
 

peter yetman

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I am planning to run these lights on either Samsung 30qs or Panasonic/Sanyo GAs. I'm hoping to hear about your experiences running unprotected cells in these lights. Do you find that the light gets noticeably dim before it gets anywhere near 3volts? I know that protected cells are recommended but I am on the fence about them as I feel like the protection circuits can be rather brittle and just add another vulnerability into the mix. I want my light to work 100% of the time. That said, I check my batts with a voltmeter before charging them and have no issues recycling anything that ran under 2.5 volts.

I'll just address this bit.
I will probably be in the 25% of people here telling you to stick with unprotected cells. The chemistry of IMR and INR (unprotected) is inherently safer than ICR (protected). A very wise person once said that the protection is there to protect the cell from you, and not the other way round.
I gave up on protected afer being left in the dark in the fields when the protection kicked in on the cells in my Hound Dog.
While I was moving over to unprotected I had a few protection circuits fail on me, plus a dangerous short on the foil strip that runs up the side of the can. My protected cells have all now gone for recycling.
With a little practce you will be able to spot the output of your Malkoffs dimming and replace the cells with fresh ones in good time. The Malkoffs do dim at lower votages. Not a "Blimey that's dim" more of an "I always thought that this light was brighter than this".
As you say, if you damage the cell by over discharging, just dump it.
It doesn't suddenly turn into a hand grenade, it's just that the odds of it doing so increase slightly.
I'm sure that someone else will vehemtly contradict me now.
We all have the capacity and duty to make our own choices based on experience, and these are mine.
Do some more research on here about protected and unprotected, so that you feel completely confident in your decision. You already use a DMM, with that and following some simple safety rules you will avoid problems.
Good luck, and stay safe.
P
 
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polizeifritz

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A very wise person once said that the protection is there to protect the cell from you, and not the other way round.

P
Thanks for your input it is much appreciated. I have never heard that saying in much of my reading and research but I have to say that actually seems to make perfect sense and really does break down the protected vs unprotected cells thing to quite simple terms. I think at this point, I'm leaning towards unprotected cells for single cell lights and protected cells for multi cell lights.
 

peter yetman

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I keep matched pairs for my 2 cell lights.
Buy them together and hopefully from the same batch. Check they have similar capacities with a Charge - Discharge - Charge Test. Then label them as a pair and use them exclusively together.
P
 

Grizzman

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I agree the above comments regarding non-protected cells. The M61 and HOT dim enough that as long as you're paying attention, you'll know when to stop using it.

Pretty much any holster that fits the Surefire 6P should also fit the MD2. The only traditional one I've got is the Nite Ize Holster Stretch, which works well.

Both of your Malkoffs are fully compatible with two CR123 cells.
 

polizeifritz

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I agree the above comments regarding non-protected cells. The M61 and HOT dim enough that as long as you're paying attention, you'll know when to stop using it.

Pretty much any holster that fits the Surefire 6P should also fit the MD2. The only traditional one I've got is the Nite Ize Holster Stretch, which works well.


Both of your Malkoffs are fully compatible with two CR123 cells.
Glad to hear it.

I keep matched pairs for my 2 cell lights.
Buy them together and hopefully from the same batch. Check they have similar capacities with a Charge - Discharge - Charge Test. Then label them as a pair and use them exclusively together.
P
This is something I have also read on the forums quite a bit. Any concerns about one cell discharging faster and the other healthy cell charging the dying cell at an unknown rate?
 

wicky998

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petes statements are always wise

just keep that in mind lol

i only use a handful of unprotected cells, mostly 16340s

was always nervous of dropping them to low

but ive been looking at the KP unprotected cells for my md2s

using primaries is pefectly fine in either of those lights .

i use cr123s in my md3 but will soon try some 18500s

being said all of the above , i have read a few buddies on here having been left in the dark from protected cells. pete included
 

polizeifritz

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petes statements are always wise

just keep that in mind lol

i only use a handful of unprotected cells, mostly 16340s

was always nervous of dropping them to low

but ive been looking at the KP unprotected cells for my md2s

using primaries is pefectly fine in either of those lights .

i use cr123s in my md3 but will soon try some 18500s

being said all of the above , i have read a few buddies on here having been left in the dark from protected cells. pete included
I have been sold on unprotected cells. You guys have more or less confirmed what I was reading. Protected vs unprotected cells does seem like such a divided issue among the forums for sure. Being a police officer, my flashlight is the second most used piece of gear I carry, next only to my radio. It can be quite devastating if neither of them work when you absolutely need them. I can happily toss a $10 lithium cell in the battery recycling bin at the station if it means getting some light at a critical moment. More than likely when on a block of nights, if my light sees much use on any shift, I'll be swapping the cell with a fresh one and will charge the used one.

That said, I do need a good charger. I have been using an Olight single cell magnetic charger and the single cell chargers that came with my Sofirns. They all get the job done but they have no displays or ability to display capacity. So far, I have been checking the voltage of my cells both before and after charging with my multi-meter.

I'm really looking forward to getting my hands on both of these lights and testing which one is better suited as my duty light, the MD2 or the MD2HOT.
 
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peter yetman

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Any concerns about one cell discharging faster and the other healthy cell charging the dying cell at an unknown rate?

This has never been a problem for me. I have noticed a minor (1-2%) difference in capacity when recharging a pair, but nothing to write home about. Other people do say that they've noticed a difference enough to bother them. Maybe it's because I always recharge my cells after use, irrespective of how long I've been using them, as i like to know I have a full tank when i go out.

For chargers you should look at HKJs reviews. There's an index of them here....
https://lygte-info.dk/info/roundCellChargerIndex UK.html


All my chargers are Xtar, and they have never let me down, but there's a very interesting one from Vapcell which I like the look of. It seems to do most things correctly...
https://lygte-info.dk/review/Review Charger Vapcell S4+ fast charger UK.html

Good luck with the search and thank you for feeding back, so few people actually bother.
P
 

thermal guy

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I’m going to chime in but NOT to start a debate but to give my opinion. Using unprotected or protected cells is completely safe IF you just pay attention. With protected cells yes you will run full output then your done. Your light will switch off. The the cells are doing what there designed to do.Anyone who is using there light as a tool and depends on it carries extra cells and knows how long they can run it. With unprotected cells you don’t get that. You get a light that will start to dim and that’s your sign to change them.both ways work. I have just never liked the idea of having to monitor my cells so they don’t go down to low which is dangerous I guess.havent really heard stories about this but technically it’s possible. If your using your light 15-20 a day. And top them off every night well it don’t matter what cells you use. But for me IMO I go protected. Just seems safer.
 

wicky998

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I use xstar chargers as well

Nitecore and vapecell are highly recommended too

If your going to top them off regardless at the end of each rotation , you can literally go either way.

Unprotected gives you a heads up, protected doesn’t

Is the only way I see it .

If it were me and my light was used for police work, it would be unprotected cells all the way .
without a doubt in my mind.

I am not LEO so most of my rechargeable are protected . As I use my light and it goes off for awhile before being used again so it’ll be more difficult to tell If it’s dimmer than the time used before hand.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
 
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Grizzman

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With protected cells yes you will run full output then your done. Your light will switch off.

With unprotected cells you don’t get that. You get a light that will start to dim and that’s your sign to change them.both ways work.


Unprotected gives you a heads up, protected doesn’t

To clarify, when using one protected Li-Ion to drive an M61 or M61 HOT, the light does not provide full output through the full duration of use....followed by darkness.

The light will get noticeably dimmer when the cell's voltage gets low. I brought a 17670 down to 3.6 volts with the use of an 18650 Hound Dog, and screwed an M61 Head onto it. It generates 1/3 the ceiling bounce lux as the same head fed by a fresh 18650. A CR123 with some use on it will fire up an M61, so the output will continue to decrease from there until it reaches ~3.4 volts resting (IIRC).

When two protected Li-Ion cells are used, it does generate full output for the entire run time, then poof...darkness.
 

thermal guy

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You are of course correct. I didn’t mention that I was referring to when you run two lithium ions
 

tuelleric

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When two protected Li-Ion cells are used, it does generate full output for the entire run time, then poof...darkness.

I had exactly this situation yesterday with my M91. Will now convert to unprotected batteries. Once the protection circuit kicked in there is no chance to reactivate the light. Without a backup light you are totally lost.
 

Grizzman

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The current draw from the older M91 and M61SHO may be high enough to cause the drop-in to shut off before the cells are down to below 3 volts.

I’ve never tested it before.
 

wicky998

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The current draw from the older M91 and M61SHO may be high enough to cause the drop-in to shut off before the cells are down to below 3 volts.

I’ve never tested it before.

This is good to know . I’ve never thought about this . Has anyone tested this?

Is this the same with the current rendition 61SHO/91?

Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
 

tuelleric

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I put the cells into the charger for 5 seconds, removed them and measured 3.35 V with my Fluke. So it looks okay to me, I think cut off voltage is around 3.3 V. Still I will look for unprotected cells for all of my Malkoffs.
 

thermal guy

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Only the newer M91’s and such will run down to 3 volts. I think gene said the last 2 years or so
 

polizeifritz

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Bit of an update here, I am a big fan of these Malkoff lights. I have been carrying the MD2HOT on my belt as it seems to be quite good for the job. The regular MD2 has become my favourite all around light for EDC and regular use as it gets the job done well for that, BUT it doesn't quite have the punch to make it through dark tints like the MD2HOT does. I have gone and ordered another pair of Malkoffs, an M61N in a 22.3 head as well as an MDC AA in neutral as well. These are in the post on their way to me and I am eager to get my hands on them.

A reasonable person would probably think they have enough lights at this point given that I still have my Fenix PD35 V2.0 a few Sofirn SP31s V2s, a Jetbeam Jet 1-MK, and now a Olight Warrior X Pro with I5T on the way from the last flash sale....... But it appears that there is no reason involved in this hobby.

I know this is a Malkoff forum, but I assume that some folks in here would have direct experience with Elzetta as well for obvious reasons. I am considering picking up a an Elzetta Bones as well, does anyone have any direct experience comparing the Bones to the M61 MD2 or the MD2HOT? I have done a lot of searching but there is not much on the Bones as it relates to beam shots or any comparison to the MD2 models.
 
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