Olight M30 Triton Review: RUNTIMES, BEAMSHOTS and more!

MattK

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Thank you for your Superb Review selfbuild.
Perfect as always.

after reading your comment and the detailed specification about Olight M30 and JetBeam M1X.

I came to a conclusion that M30 is not as good as it said, the PWM is also bothersome. and M30 is not a thrower dedicated. But the size is very compact compare to the JB M1X etc.

Hi Roy and :welcome:

Buyers that have bought/received the M30 have been almost universally delighted. Remember, CPF is the kind of place where sometimes folks look for 'faults' to pick over and analyze. As you can see we have many technical minded folks who delight in analyzing these things and discussing them. It's the nature of CPF - no light has ever been made that was found faultless here :)

If you read the reviews and comments discussing the PWM most have said that it's STILL a fantastic light and they love it but hope that this area can be improved.

Quotes from the primary M30 thread onthe LED forum:

I hope I haven't come off as being too harsh on the M30.

It's an outstanding flashlight! Perfect size. Handsome. 3-flats feel so good in the hand. Weight evenly balanced. Well built. Innovative UI. Extraordinarily flexible battery options. Excellent runtimes. Fully regulated output. Great high mode! Comes with a nice case and a full complement of accessories. And backed up by great vendors and a great company. :hitit:

While I'm an admitted newb to highend flashlights, I would never have noticed the slow PWM if I hadn't read it here. There have been a lot of little complaints, but I think this is a fantastic light. Unless you are really finicky with these things, as I'm sure many of you are, I wouldn't worry about it. I'm very happy with this light, and I definitely recommend it. I just got it today, and I cannot wait to see it in the night.

personally i could only notice the PWM issue if i tried to notice it (waving it around like a crazy person and seeing the trail of "dots" on the wall). i cannot foresee a situation in which this could be anything more than a very minor nuisance, if any at all (with my eyes and my light...yours may differ).

as far as the lost spill from the crenelated bezel goes, i really don't think it will be possible to make one that does NOT interfere at least slightly with the spill. if you remove it, turn the light on in the dark and look at the threads to which the bezel screws into, even they catch a wee little bit of light, so naturally anything you attach to those threads will too. life's full of tough choices... losing a couple percent of the very outer part of your spill or losing your ability to make someone need [as many] stitches after you hammer-blow them with the thing... the call is yours to make.

also it seems as though the strobe although totally overwhelming, doesn't have quite the same "i'm drunk" effect as my "first light tomahawk" or my gladius. i think this may be due to a faster strobe rate. i would be mucho curious for someone else to sacrifice their corneas as i have in a comparison with other known good tactical strobers.
...
my only other negative is also one that has not been brought up as of yet, and it is probably nit-picky. the finish on the light should be matte. preferably the same sort of rough and battle-proven coating that is applied to firearms and knife blades and a lot of other "tactical" flashlights. it kind of has a semi-gloss thing going on and i'm not a fan of it.

with that being said, it's a solid 9 out of 10.

IMO the PWM frequency is barely noticible, not a real issue for me.

Read selfbuilt's conclusions again; I think it's clear he really liked the product and this was the only 'flaw' that he found. That's like a getting an A- around here. :)
 

selfbuilt

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Do not count on any big change, this kind of design needs a low PWM frequency, the current regulator need time to start.
BUT by increasing the output in low mode, it might be possible to increase the PWM to a higher frequency, but this might also reduce the high output, because they might have to reduce the 92.3% high.
It would probably be possible to double the low and the PWM frequency, without decreasing the high (This is just a guess, I have not measured/analyzed with that in mind).
Interesting. It stands to reason there was an explanation behind this low PWM frequency (and by extrapolation, the A10-G's slightly higher PWM freq but lower max output). Thanks again for the insight - very helpful. :thumbsup:

Well done selfbuilt!How about waterproofness other than the non-lubed o-rings?
Sorry, but I don't test for waterproofness. In my opinion, unless a light is rated as a dive light, I would only consider it "water-resistant". So, as long as it looks like the light would survive a bit of rain, or a splash in a puddle, I'm satisfied (and it looks to me like the M30 would do fine). I don't plan to start water immersion tests, since it is hard to know what variables to control for, and how to interpret any failure (or lack thereof) given a n=1 sample size.

I came to a conclusion that M30 is not as good as it said, the PWM is also bothersome. and M30 is not a thrower dedicated. But the size is very compact compare to the JB M1X etc.
I wouldn't say that exactly. And I try to avoid making a direct judgement about what is best for someone else ;). Certainly the M1X is the best throwing MC-E ... but the throw of the M30 and the other multi-emitter lights are all quite decent (and the M1X has a pronounced centre-beam donut hole). At the other end of the spectrum, the ACE-G has the least amount of centre-beam donut, but is larger and heavier than the M30, and single-stage only. Everything has trade-offs, so it all comes down to which of these things matter the most for you.

In that same vein. I personally find low PWM very annoying (and I like to emphasisze the "personally" part in my reviews, since your experience could be different). This is an issue for me, it may be less so for others.

HKJ: Thanks for your thoughts about the PWM issue. So... it boiled down to a choice of either providing a sub-10 lumen low (with potential flickering issues, degree of consumer acceptability unknown) or providing a slightly higher low mode (still with potential flickering problems, albeit greatly diminished).
Tough call. :eek:oo:
Yes, I think that sums it up well. All designs require trade-offs, and the different choices manufacturers make just increase the options for consumers. :) That's why I like to cover everything in detail, so people can choose for themselves what matters most and vote with their $.

Personally, I would be willing to sacrifice some compromises in UI if it meant getting the PWM to undetectable levels. But I can appreciate how others would make a different choice (for example, if a given "tactical" interface was their key criteria). Life or death doesn't generally hang in the balance for me should it take a little longer to get to my desired output (whereas accidentally strobing Mrs. Selfbuilt could be quite dangerous indeed :laughing:).

I have to say that I like the UI. What I like most about it is the simplicity of setting the level with the side button
and then the fact that this level can be triggered with positive momentary in complete safety with the tailcap.
ie. its impossible to change the levels with the tailcap no matter how many times or how fast its pushed.
Yes, that is a good point. It is not immediately intuitive to set the level that way, by the side switch. But once you do, it's nice to know the memory feature will keep it locked there no matter what you do to the main switch (i.e. don't have to worry about accidentally getting stuck in some strange programming mode). This does have a comfort and simplicity advantage. :)

Read selfbuilt's conclusions again; I think it's clear he really liked the product and this was the only 'flaw' that he found. That's like a getting an A- around here. :)
LOL, that's probably a pretty good assessment of my feelings for this light. :laughing: It is also why I put the PWM analysis into a second post, so that it doesn't cloud the main conclusions in the review.

I try to stay away from a rating system for lights that I review, because any scale is just too subjective. Overall I find the M30 to be a quality product, even if I am personally disappointed by the PWM frequency (and potentially the efficiency - we'll see as I complete the Med mode runtimes). But again, that comment should be taken within the context of the typically outstanding Olight current-controlled efficiency goodness. ;) Runtime efficiency is just one variable to consider - as long as it lasts long enough for what you need at a given level, the exact comparison from one light to the next may not matter as much as UI, build, battery configuration, throw vs flood, etc.
 
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1dash1

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Sorry, but I don't test for waterproofness. In my opinion, unless a light is rated as a dive light, I would only consider it "water-resistant". So, as long as it looks like the light would survive a bit of rain, or a splash in a puddle, I'm satisfied (and it looks to me like the M30 would do fine). I don't plan to start water immersion tests, since it is hard to know what variables to control for, and how to interpret any failure (or lack thereof) given a n=1 sample size.

Come on now, Selfbuilt, 'fess up. You don't want to get involved with waterproof tests because - given your proclivity - that would mean constructing a 100meter tank in your backyard. :devil:
 

zioparr

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Hi Matt, Thank you for your welcomes.

The first time I see this M30 make me fell in love with it.
The size is very beautiful and proportional between the head and the body,
not like other light with big head and small body. This it self is a plus for the M30.

and I heard from my supplier which I did not know if it's true or not that in the future Olight will make a compatible or replacement body of M30 that can use AA battery instead of CR123A. This is a very very big PLUS.

Loose some and gain a lot then ^^

hopefully they will make smooth reflectors for this M30 like M20 did.

Thanks selfbuild and MattK for your replay.
 

octaf

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Very nice review, selfbuilt !!! :thumbsup:

I heard from a M20 & M30 owner that the switch of M30 works fine on M20 in the same manner, when using 2x123 (not 18650).

20090508134819.jpg


Now, I have a question, here.

Does this mean that the PWM flickering will disappear when you have the switch of the M20 on the M30???

I guess you have both M20 & M30. :wave:
 

HKJ

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Very nice review, selfbuilt !!! :thumbsup:

I heard from a M20 & M30 owner that the switch of M30 works fine on M20 in the same manner, when using 2x123 (not 18650).

Now, I have a question, here.

Does this mean that the PWM flickering will disappear when you have the switch of the M20 on the M30???

I guess you have both M20 & M30. :wave:

The PWM is from the switch, i.e. moving it to the M20 will move the PWM to the M20. But the electronic on the M20 might have some problems handling the PWM. I do not believe that the M30 will have any problems with the M20 switch.
 

octaf

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The PWM is from the switch, i.e. moving it to the M20 will move the PWM to the M20. But the electronic on the M20 might have some problems handling the PWM. I do not believe that the M30 will have any problems with the M20 switch.

Thanks, HKJ! :)

What kind of problem would you expect?
 

HKJ

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Thanks, HKJ! :)

What kind of problem would you expect?

The circuit in M20 is not made to be turned and off 100 times each second, how does regulator and the microprocessor handle that?
The regulator might not have time enough to stabilize the current, i.e. it might be running in a startup condition all the time, that the circuit was only designed to handle for a short time.
The microprocessor might store some settings in a eeprom each time the power is turned off and a eeprom lifetime of 1 million writes can be used up rather fast with 100 writes each second.
Usual equipment need some time off, before it is turned on again, to secure a clean startup, this time can some seconds (like on a PC), but can also be much shorter, but is the M20 designed for a off time of 0.001 second?

I do not say it has these problems, only it might.
 

daveman

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Hot dang! Judging from selfbuilt's charts, the M30 has the most overall output.
 

octaf

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The circuit in M20 is not made to be turned and off 100 times each second, how does regulator and the microprocessor handle that?
The regulator might not have time enough to stabilize the current, i.e. it might be running in a startup condition all the time, that the circuit was only designed to handle for a short time.
The microprocessor might store some settings in a eeprom each time the power is turned off and a eeprom lifetime of 1 million writes can be used up rather fast with 100 writes each second.
Usual equipment need some time off, before it is turned on again, to secure a clean startup, this time can some seconds (like on a PC), but can also be much shorter, but is the M20 designed for a off time of 0.001 second?

I do not say it has these problems, only it might.


Thanks again, HKJ for your suggestion !

The switch of M30 surely looks good on M20, though. ;)
 

octaf

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Still waiting to receive mine!If no one till then has done so, i will!:wave:

Hi, ergotelis.

Look forward to hear from you.

Please, lube your thread and orings well before you perform it, as many others suggest that. :wave:
 

baterija

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Feb 7, 2008
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Yes, I think that sums it up well. All designs require trade-offs, and the different choices manufacturers make just increase the options for consumers. :) That's why I like to cover everything in detail, so people can choose for themselves what matters most and vote with their $.

Thanks for the in depth look at the PWM and thanks to HKJ for the explanation of the why to explain the tradeoff Olight made. I suspect this won't make it one of the more popular lights here in CPF. For anyone that wants a truly tactical strobe and high output though... :thumbsup:
 

wapkil

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There is a very good reason for the PWM being present in all output modes. OLight has the output regulations circuit* in the tail of the light (That was necessary to make the two buttons work), this circuit need some power to work, this power is supplied to the circuit when the PWM is in its off phase.
This type of design was last seen in the Tiablo A10 light, with the mulitlevel tailcap.

*This is not the same as the current regulation circuit, that is at the regular place in the head.

Thanks for the explanation. I have a question, if I may. Do you know the reason for this design? Why can't the tailcap circuit simply "borrow" some current when the LED is on? I would think that the current needed for the circuit is so small that it wouldn't be noticeable for LED driver...
 

zioparr

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so in other word that if you want flicker free m30 then used m20 tail cap(but how to change the low-med-high?).
and for the m20 itself you better bought a new tail cap or get the pressure tail cap.

well not a bad idea at all.
 
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