Nitecore P12 (XM-L2, 1x18650, 2xCR123A/RCR) Review: BEAMSHOTS, RUNTIME, VIDEO+

jabara572

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Thanks for the contribution. It looks like it would come off easily. But as you say, one would need to be careful if one wanted to be able to put it back on. But it does raise the question if it were also "adjustable" in some way.

And :welcome:

Thanks selfbuilt! It does seem like there might be some variability in how high the disk sits depending on the flexible fingers. No doubt some of the black disks are sitting a little bit taller and preventing some batteries from working. IF anyone wants, I can take a picture of the head with the reverse protection removed
 

KITROBASKIN

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ZebraLight 3400 flat top did not work, obviously. Since I would like to be able to use all 18650 batteries in all 18650 flashlights I pried it out. If you lever it on the side of the barrel, protect the anodizing. That plastic compression ring is more fragile (brittle) than the 'cigar ring' as it did indeed crack an inner piece off. I used super glue after sanding down the bottom portion of the plastic (the part near the electronics) and sanded the elevated ring facing the battery. Checked for fit three times. Finally got it right. I felt like keeping the electronics somewhat separated from the battery inside. Most of my flashlights do not have reverse polarity protection so... That one no longer has it either.

UPDATE: March 8, 2014. Ended up completely removing plastic reverse polarity tab. After modifying, it seemed to interfere with operation, preventing activation.
 
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CZ9mm

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@selfbuilt

In the end I will probably buy both the Nitecore P12 and the Fenix PD35, but I really wish that the PD35 included tailstanding, voltage readout, and beacon mode. Then it would be perfect!

Regarding the voltage readout, could you or someone else compare the readout to a DMM to determine the accuracy of the readout? I'm not suggesting it would completely replace a DMM for Li-ion use, but does the light give a reliable reading? If it does, to me that seems a huge advantage compared to the PD35.

In regards to this light, would you recommend Nitecore's protected cells or AW's?

And by "built quality", you suggest that the PD35 has a slight edge here. However, according to Fenix and Nitecore's specs, the PD35 is rated to 1m drops and the P12 is rated to 1.5m drops. Mainly I'm interested which would hold up better to abuse (ie, being dropped on concrete).

And, not to put you on the spot, but if you could only own one of these lights for EDC and it be your only EDC, P12 or PD35?:)
 
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Moonshadow

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Just tried a couple of cells here:


EagleTac 3400:
P12: 4 flashes + 1 flash. DVM: 4.08 V

AW IMR
P12: 4 flashes. DVM: 4.01 V

So on that basis, it certainly agrees with the DVM to within 0.1 V.

I tend to keep my cells pretty well topped off, but will run couple of them down a bit and see how they fare at the 3.7 - 3.6V sort of level.

Agree, this is a brilliant feature - hadn't tried it before but seems well worth having, and certainly sets the P12 apart.
 

charlieplanb

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After reading selfbuilt reviews on the pd35 and the p12 ,I was aiming for the PD35 but I j got the p12...

I LOVE IT.it came with the eagletac 3400 but thats still charging. Right now I'm useing the cr123a's
Thank you
 

KITROBASKIN

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For my own self edification, probably 10 times I have compared a middling quality digital multi-meter with the button flashing P12. I would go so far as to say that it is within .05V accurate, that is, + or minus .05V. After all, the P12 only measures to the nearest tenth volt.

Only a few times have I compared the digital readout on my Nitecore TM26 with a DMM but it was as close as my needs dictate. The TM26 reads out to the nearest hundredth volt.

This is in stark contrast with the 1 to 4 LED flashes to indicate state of charge that another flashlight I had exhibited. I did not trust it.

It should be remembered that if you check voltage right after significant light use, it will read lower than after the battery rests. I only tested rested batteries. (And I don't know by how much it will be affected as my experience is with golf cart sized batteries in my home photo-voltaic system. These take a much longer time equalizing throughout the cells)
 

selfbuilt

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From my testing, the voltage read out is consistent with a basic DMM.

As for build quality, it is just the apparent sturdiness that seems higher (marginally) on the PD35. In practical terms, I have no data as to which would survive drops or abuse better. But I would not rely on manufacturer ratings for impact and waterproofness - the ANSI FL1 tests are not very rigorous.
 

KITROBASKIN

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Turns out, a SolarForce L2P tailcap will function on the P12. A member (Croquette) reported a SolarForce tailcap working on a different Nitecore and that it may work with the P12. Interestingly, it does.
 

touge

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Great review. I was leaning toward the pd35, but I really like that battery level checker.
 

selfbuilt

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Great review. I was leaning toward the pd35, but I really like that battery level checker.
Yes, it is. Just realized that I didn't show a pic of the button lit up:

P12040.jpg


It's not quite as bright at the camera settings might suggest above - it's similar to the other Nitecore models.
 

SergeyB

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Thanks for the interesting review and the larger done work. In theme completion, it would be interesting if somebody measured actual current consumption of the P12 in the main modes as it was done with the Fenix PD35.
 
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soul347

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Between the P12, PD35 and TN12-2014, which light has the brightest spill area?
 

selfbuilt

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In theme completion, it would be interesting if somebody measured actual current consumption of the P12 in the main modes as it was done with the Fenix PD35.
:welcome:

If you mean by tailcap current draw, I wouldn't recommend you put too much faith in that. In my experience, the internal resistance of the DMM (and/or the leads) can affect the result, especially if you don't have a high-end setup. At a minimum, you would really need to do concurrent output measures in a lightbox, to ensure the output was not affected (I have seen that happen on several lights). In any case, tailcap current at activation is at best an indirect indicator of performance - the actual output measures over time are what really matter.

EDIT: If you were referring to using a power supply to directly interrogate the circuit, then I agree that can provide some useful information on circuit function. But when it comes to comparing how flashlights perform on different batteries, the actual output/runtime tests are still what ultimately matter.

Between the P12, PD35 and TN12-2014, which light has the brightest spill area?
As shown in the beamshots, there really isn't much of a difference in the beam profiles of these lights - certainly not in the spill. I think you would find all three effectively the same. There is certainly nothing consistently different that you would expect - especially when you consider all the natural variation in tint, relative location with the output bin, circuit and reflector variances, etc.
 
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gurdygurds

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Thanks for the review selfbuilt. Is the grip ring on this light threaded, or does it spin like on the xt11? Thanks again!
 

selfbuilt

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Thanks for the review selfbuilt. Is the grip ring on this light threaded, or does it spin like on the xt11? Thanks again!
No, it is not threaded. But I don't find it spins freely, like on some lights.

EDIT: sorry, wrote that on a phone, so was a little too brief. Yes, the P12 grip ring will spin freely when the tailcap is not screwed down all the way. However, I don't find the design as bad as some lights, where it still spins too easily even when the tailcap is in place. You will need to temporarily remove the o-ring to get the grip ring on, which must be done carefully of course
 
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Rick_R

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No, it is not threaded. But I don't find it spins freely, like on some lights.

FYI - The 'Grip-Ring' does end up rotating/spining with use. I have had this light since the begining of Dec.,2013, and have used it almost every day since recieving it. I solved this issue by adding a 1.0mm dia. o-ring above it, then screwing on the tail-cap/switch (works very well).
It's plastic break-in some. Unless Nitecore reduces the I.D. of the grip-ring some, it will start freely spining. Wich will cause the user to remove the o-ring from the body, install the grip-ring, re-install the o-ring and tail-cap (how many 0-rings will become damaged during this on/off process??).
Hope this helps, it's a great light! (Like I said above I use it alosy every day, the last almost 4 month's).
 

gurdygurds

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Thanks for the replies. Strange design in my eyes. Why not just thread the thing and call it a day. All these nice lights that require the user to rig something up to make it work properly.
 
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oKtosiTe

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Thanks for the replies. Strange design in my eyes. Why not just thread the thing and call it a day. All these nice lights that require the user to rig something up to make it work properly.
That way you could screw the tailcap down against the grip ring while leaving a gap between the body and the grip ring. A similar issue occurs on my Quark X AA2 with the pocket clip ring, which is why I usually only remove the head to change batteries to avoid the hassle. A very minor issue, but it could lead to degradation of o-rings and threads if unnoticed.
 

soul347

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FYI - The 'Grip-Ring' does end up rotating/spining with use. I have had this light since the begining of Dec.,2013, and have used it almost every day since recieving it. I solved this issue by adding a 1.0mm dia. o-ring above it, then screwing on the tail-cap/switch (works very well).

It seems I am not able to turn on the light when I put the o-ring in place so that the grip ring will be more secure. I guess this is because I cannot twist the tail cap all the way, and the threads are anodized for lockout. How were you able to turn on the light after putting the o-ring on?
 

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