Nitecore Explorer (EC1, EC2, EA1, EA2) Round-up Review: RUNTIMES, BEAMSHOTS, VIDEO+

TweakMDS

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Chadvone, would you care to elaborate on your earlier - now deleted - comments regarding the battery drain from the red light? One of them is still present in a quote, so I was curious. As you deleted them, am I right to assume this was either a faulty battery or some sort of user error? If I see any more reports on faulty Explorers, I'll move this off my shortlist because it's beginning to look like another D11.2.
If only someone put this led + reflector on a sunwayman M-style body ;)
 

chadvone

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My EA1 on RED doesn't make it through the night.
I tested this and it died between 5-6 hours

another test on LOW got about 11 hours.

Was trying to delete my post, because I don't want to dirty up Selfbuilts Review before he comes to his numbers. Sorry SB
 

euroken

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I'd say there is much less risk with the EC1. The Zebralight switches have always been pretty sensitive (i.e., a light touch required). The Explorer lights all need a firmer press.


That was my experience in the review as well for the my EC1 sample. Not sure why it doesn't go as low as the other members of this family, but I personally wouldn't consider the reported 2-3 lumens to be moonlight anyway (i.e., too bright). You really need to rely on the <1 lumen red LED for moonlight.

I just received my EA1 and find the low in single AA to be not low enough. Definitely not middle of the night wake up friendly :) However, the red light is quite low in my opinion.

I find the aggressive thread pitch (is this correct?) in the tailcap also reduces number of turns to remove the tailcap. With this in mind, I would be hestant to loosen the tailcap to turn off the red indicator light.

Regardless, it's a well built light and quality seem to be a top notch.
 

JudasD

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I just received my EA1 and find the low in single AA to be not low enough. Definitely not middle of the night wake up friendly :) However, the red light is quite low in my opinion.

I find the aggressive thread pitch (is this correct?) in the tailcap also reduces number of turns to remove the tailcap. With this in mind, I would be hestant to loosen the tailcap to turn off the red indicator light.

Regardless, it's a well built light and quality seem to be a top notch.

I agree with your statements 100% with the exception that i have the EC1. Aside from these shortcomings i really do like this light. It is now my EDC.

JD
 

rufus001

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I just received my EA1 and find the low in single AA to be not low enough. Definitely not middle of the night wake up friendly :) However, the red light is quite low in my opinion.

I find the aggressive thread pitch (is this correct?) in the tailcap also reduces number of turns to remove the tailcap. With this in mind, I would be hestant to loosen the tailcap to turn off the red indicator light.

Regardless, it's a well built light and quality seem to be a top notch.

The red light can be turned off without loosening the tailcap.
 

selfbuilt

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Was trying to delete my post, because I don't want to dirty up Selfbuilts Review before he comes to his numbers. Sorry SB
Hey, no worries - it is all valid data. I am now back home, so will get back to testing the rest of the models shortly. I will start with red lights, as there seems to be a lot of concern here.

I find the aggressive thread pitch (is this correct?) in the tailcap also reduces number of turns to remove the tailcap. With this in mind, I would be hestant to loosen the tailcap to turn off the red indicator light.
Yeah, but I wouldn't worry about it - you just need a tiny loosening of the tail to break contact. The light should still be held together quite stably, and the o-ring is still fully engaged for waterproofness.

Sorry, i meant the 3 second blinks. I haven't found a way to turn off the blinks.
Locking out the light (by the >1sec press of the on/off switch from on) will disable the red light beacon mode. You can still easily turn the light back on my pressing and holding on on/off switch for >1 sec.
 

euroken

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Thank you selfbuilt! Just tried it and its quite easy to opperate the lock out. So this is great!
 

selfbuilt

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Just an update - I am in the process of testing the other models, and there is clearly a lot of variation in heat and runtime of the red LED in continuous use.

Specifically, some of my samples remain just barely above room temperature, and appear to last for days (runtimes ongoing). Others get noticeably warm, with concomitantly lower runtimes of just a few hours. So far, it is looking like these two factors are inversely related - the warmer your light gets on continuous red, the shorter the runtime you will be.

That makes a certain amount of intuitive sense - you can't escape the second law of thermodynamics (i.e., entropy is always increasing in a closed system). The question is why do some samples draw so much more power than others (thus creating more secondary heat). But it certainly seems to be a good inverse proxy for estimate runtime. I will update with actual results once I have them.
 

JudasD

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Just an update - I am in the process of testing the other models, and there is clearly a lot of variation in heat and runtime of the red LED in continuous use.

Specifically, some of my samples remain just barely above room temperature, and appear to last for days (runtimes ongoing). Others get noticeably warm, with concomitantly lower runtimes of just a few hours. So far, it is looking like these two factors are inversely related - the warmer your light gets on continuous red, the shorter the runtime you will be.

That makes a certain amount of intuitive sense - you can't escape the second law of thermodynamics (i.e., entropy is always increasing in a closed system). The question is why do some samples draw so much more power than others (thus creating more secondary heat). But it certainly seems to be a good inverse proxy for estimate runtime. I will update with actual results once I have them.

I tried a red led runtime test last night on an EC1 with a AW RCR123 battery. My current draw was measured at 60ma. The led stayed lit for 6 hours and then it shut off. My light was room temperature after this 6 hours. I removed the battery and it measured 3.45v. At this voltage i was still able to use the light. I'm not quite sure why things had shutoff. Tonight i will try it again. This time when it shuts off, i will turn the red led back on again and continue my timer.

JD
 

Rexlion

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I would be interested in hearing whether the electronic switch is more or less subject to accidental activation vs. the Zebralight SC series (I have SC-51). Also if you happen to have any SC lights for beamshot comparison, that would be great; I know EC will be less floody but it would be nice to see a visual. It seems like the ZL SC's are the closest competitor. Thanks for all the hard work, SB!
 

GordoJones88

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I would be interested in hearing whether the electronic switch is more or less subject to accidental activation vs. the Zebralight SC series (I have SC-51).

I would say that it is extremely unlikely my EC1 switch is gonna be accidentally activated
clipped to the inside of my front pants/shorts pocket while EDCing. It is not that kind of a switch.


Also if you happen to have any SC lights for beamshot comparison, that would be great;
I know EC will be less floody but it would be nice to see a visual.

The Explorer series is very throwy, and not floody at all.
It has a big, deep, smooth reflector with a really small, tight hotspot.

The EC1 and SC31 reflectors are very different,
hence their beam profiles are quite different.


EC012.jpg
SC51002.jpg




I think a better comparison to the EC1 is the Lumintop P1C.

7517932284_8a8ba7d99d.jpg
 

selfbuilt

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I would say that it is extremely unlikely my EC1 switch is gonna be accidentally activated
clipped to the inside of my front pants/shorts pocket while EDCing. It is not that kind of a switch.
I concur - a firm press in just the right area is required to activate the Explorer switches. The Zebralights can be activated by a light press almost anywhere on the switch cover. This was my major frustration when EDCing the SC51 on my belt - if I forgot to lockout the light, I was bound to experience an accidental activation by brushing up against something, sooner or later. I can't see that happening with the Explorer lights.


The EC1 and SC31 reflectors are very different,
hence their beam profiles are quite different.
Indeed, but I will add the SC51 to my beamshot comparison of the E1A.
 

chanjyj

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I'm considering pulling the trigger. But looking at the images - it seems rather hard to navigate the 2 electronic switches.. or is it ok in reality?
 

jhc37013

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Thanks for leading the way on these models Selfbuilt I'm thinking of ordering either the EA2 or EC1 to hold me over until the EC2 is released so I'm looking forward to your EA2 runtimes, they are not terribly expensive so I may just buy both it's tempting. Over the past year all the small light's I've bought have mostly been XM-L with a shallow broad reflector so it will be nice to get a couple small lights with some throw

Before I place my order I would like to see if we can get this issue about heat and the red light figured out, right now I don't know if some are defective and others fine or if it's just the way it's going to be depending on the model (cell used).

If there are some that is just plain defective maybe I could ask my dealer if they would check out their inventory the best they can before sending the light's I order out to me.
 

Rexlion

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Thanks for the quick, informative replies! I like it more and more... provided I can get a non-heating one.

BTW, on EA1 specs you have it at 280 lumens, but on the package and elsewhere it's indicated at 180... maybe a typo in there.
 
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iron potato

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Thanks for leading the way on these models Selfbuilt I'm thinking of ordering either the EA2 or EC1 to hold me over until the EC2 is released so I'm looking forward to your EA2 runtimes, they are not terribly expensive so I may just buy both it's tempting. Over the past year all the small light's I've bought have mostly been XM-L with a shallow broad reflector so it will be nice to get a couple small lights with some throw

Before I place my order I would like to see if we can get this issue about heat and the red light figured out, right now I don't know if some are defective and others fine or if it's just the way it's going to be depending on the model (cell used).

If there are some that is just plain defective maybe I could ask my dealer if they would check out their inventory the best they can before sending the light's I order out to me.

+1, eyeing EA2 too ~
 

biglights

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I'm considering pulling the trigger. But looking at the images - it seems rather hard to navigate the 2 electronic switches.. or is it ok in reality?


I have the EC1 and I don't think that the switches are hard to use. Maybe if you were wearing gloves they could be an issue. In fact I kinda like this set up, something different that actually works!!
 

JudasD

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I have the EC1 and I don't think that the switches are hard to use. Maybe if you were wearing gloves they could be an issue. In fact I kinda like this set up, something different that actually works!!

I agree with this 100%. i have also never had my EC1 accidentally turn on in my pocket.

JD
 
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