Opalec NewBeam (AA Maglite Mod) First Impressions

Quickbeam

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Well, my site is back up and the review is posted! Enjoy! Here's a pic of the NewBeam vs. MiniMag with Nexstar bulb for your enjoyment:

opalec_newbeam_vs_nexstar.jpg



(well.... it's up one minute and down the next... keep trying and it'll be there eventually
rolleyes.gif
)
 

radellaf

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The newbeam is the best regulated flashlight I have - the ARCs are nothing like as steady. It draws about 340ma at cutoff (1.8 or so), down to 160ma at 3V. Light comes on at 2V - the red one.
Brightness is rock steady over the whole 2-3V range. (using a tektronics lab supply).

Only question? It gets kinda warm, wonder if it's overdriving them LEDs.
 

lemlux

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I notice that another San Diegan on EBAY is selling PR base 3 LED bulbs with Nichia 6400's driven at 40 mA per LED for three and four cell configurations for $16. The 6400's caught my attention.

Cheaper, brighter, although unregulated and requiring at least 3 cells.
 

txwest

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I bought one of John's 3 LED's. It is a very well made profesional looking light. I have it in my Cool Blue with one dummy battery. I found a opaque Rolaids bottle with the top cut off fits it very well. The combo makes for a very bright area light. Slip off the cover & it's a great regular flashlight. TX
 

bcwang

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How bright is this newbeam compared to an X5 and an ARC LS with 1 and 2 alkaline batteries? It seems like a good light, but anything that lasts as long as that with 2 AA's probably isn't too bright. If it's at least as bright as an arc LS with 1 AA, I may consider getting it.

So how dead are the batteries when the red led comes on? If it can use up most of the power, then it's good. But I don't want to have half used batteries, with the second half of the power being diminishing brightness. The point of being regulated is to keep it as bright as possible and use up as much of the power as possible from the battery.
 

Empath

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<BLOCKQUOTE><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by bcwang:
How bright is this newbeam compared to an X5 and an ARC LS with 1 and 2 alkaline batteries? It seems like a good light, but anything that lasts as long as that with 2 AA's probably isn't too bright. If it's at least as bright as an arc LS with 1 AA, I may consider getting it.<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

The X5 is much brighter, as is (I assume) the ARC LS. It's brighter than my ARC AAA, about the same as my 3 N cell 6 LED LedTronics, but not as bright as my PT Attitude.

<BLOCKQUOTE><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial">quote:</font><HR>So how dead are the batteries when the red led comes on? If it can use up most of the power, then it's good. But I don't want to have half used batteries, with the second half of the power being diminishing brightness. The point of being regulated is to keep it as bright as possible and use up as much of the power as possible from the battery.<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

The red light comes on at a particular level, mostly as an indication that the regulator is no longer able to offer the optimum beam. It apparently though still has a lot of life left as it nurses what's left of the batteries for another 10-15 hours.
 

mahoney

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<BLOCKQUOTE><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by bcwang:
How bright is this newbeam compared to an X5 and an ARC LS with 1 and 2 alkaline batteries? It seems like a good light, but anything that lasts as long as that with 2 AA's probably isn't too bright. If it's at least as bright as an arc LS with 1 AA, I may consider getting it.<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

I just got a NewBeam today, and in my throughly unscientific testing in an unlit room, I would rank the flashlights I tested (fresh AA alkaline batteries all around) in terms of brightness as follows: Mini-Mag with Nexstar lamp, ARC SLS with 2AA, ARC SLS with 1AA, Mini-Mag with Newbeam. The ARC SLS with 1AA looks about 10-20% brighter than the NewBeam, but there is a beam difference that if taken into account would probably make them about even in terms of total light output. The NewBeam has a wider pool with a smaller hotspot. The SLS is mostly just a big hotspot without much pool. There is also a color difference, with the NewBeam being the typical Nichia "blue-white".
The NewBeam is a very slick and professional looking unit and is pretty good for close work. I will EDC it for a while to evaluate it, but I don't think it will replace the SLS for long.
 

Quickbeam

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<BLOCKQUOTE><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial">quote:</font><HR>How bright is this newbeam compared to an X5 and an ARC LS with 1 and 2 alkaline batteries? <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

I can't help you on the ARC light comparisons, but the NewBeam output is about 41 Lux at 1 meter - compare it to the other LED lights I have charted on my reviews pages (I havn't added it to the chart yet):

http://thelightsite.cruxial.com/reviews/lux_charts.htm


ledlumens.gif
 

cave dave

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How much does Opelec charge for shipping in the US?
If you chop off the plastic prongs on the Opalec will it fit into a Brinkmann 2AA?
I prefer the locking tail switch on the brinkmann. Plus I don't own a new style Maglight.

I gather that the only problem with using the old style Mag is that part of the switch assembly would fall out when you changed batteries am I correct?

Also i guess this would work for a conversion on that Coleman Kids lamp or some other bi pin 2AA lights.
 

Brock

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Well I did some testing on the light last night and it is pretty cool. The light pulls about 210mw no matter what batteries you use. So with lithium cells running 1.55v it pulls 135mA, with alkaline cells at 1.4v it pulls 150mA, and with rechargeable NiMH cells running 1.2v it pulls 175mA. So no matter what battery you use you get the same brightness. Very nice for running NiMH cells!
 

The_LED_Museum

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<BLOCKQUOTE><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by Geoff in Philly:
does the focus feature still work..or is it a fixed style beam?<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

It's a fixed beam; think of the Lightwave 2000 or the Trek 3 to get an idea of the Newbeam's beam profile.
 

Roy

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Here are the results of my very un-scientific testing of modified MiniMags. The test set-up is a 1 in. x 2 in. photo cell seven inches from the front of the flashlights. The numbers are mVolts measured on a digital multimeter.

Minimag 2xAA 382.0 mV
Minimag New Beam 2xAA 53.7 mV
MiniMag LS 2xAA 105.0 mV
BatonLite 3xN 50.0 mV

The MiniMag LS is un-regulated...direct connection to the battry.
The BatonLite has three LEDs like the New Beam conversion but is un-regulated.
All battries were fresh and unused. The AA
battries were the same brand.
The un-modified Minimag was at its tightest focus.
 

Alan

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<BLOCKQUOTE><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by Brock:
Well I did some testing on the light last night and it is pretty cool. The light pulls about 210mw no matter what batteries you use. So with lithium cells running 1.55v it pulls 135mA, with alkaline cells at 1.4v it pulls 150mA, and with rechargeable NiMH cells running 1.2v it pulls 175mA. So no matter what battery you use you get the same brightness. Very nice for running NiMH cells!<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

I found that many well known regulated LED light is in fact, more of a voltage booster rather than real regulator like New Beam. I think this is good for NiMH users especially with its red alert LED. I could drop in freshly rechargable whenever the red LED is on
grin.gif


I only wish New Beam will come up with brighter version in future
grin.gif


Alan
 

rodmeister

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The Newbeam is a cool idea, but I haven't bought one yet. Seems a little pricey just to refurbish my old AA Maglite when my Lightwave 2000 will do the job of "car emergency light," and the money could be used toward the revised Inova X5.

That being said, how about a AAA version with two LED's? I still use my AAA Maglites because of its convenient size.

BTW, I e-mailed MagLite Instruments a couple months ago, inquiring about MagLite's introduction into LED's. They replied that they were working on LED versions of their flashlights but "didn't want to rush" into it until they had a high quality product.
 

mc

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I also am interested,

<BLOCKQUOTE><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial">quote:</font><HR> ok, so anyone try it in a brinkmann yet? <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

Tail switch would be nice.
 

BuddTX

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<BLOCKQUOTE><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by rodmeister:
BTW, I e-mailed MagLite Instruments a couple months ago, inquiring about MagLite's introduction into LED's. They replied that they were working on LED versions of their flashlights but "didn't want to rush" into it until they had a high quality product.<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

I respect someone for not rushing into a product, but come on, I don't have figures, but I would bet that Maglite would have more revenue than most other flashlight manufactures, if not, maybe more revenue than all other manufactures combined!
 

cave dave

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<BLOCKQUOTE><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by Roy:
Here are the results of my very un-scientific testing of modified MiniMags. .
...
Minimag New Beam 2xAA 53.7 mV
MiniMag LS 2xAA 105.0 mV
The MiniMag LS is un-regulated...direct connection to the battry.
...
<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

Try that LS after two hours, I'll bet its dimmer than the New beam. My strait run LS is screaming bright at first but then dims to about 1/2 after a 1/2 hour then is about the same brightness as the opalec at 1.5 hrs. Then keeps on dimming until it runs at infinity bright for a week.

Then Try Nimh in the LS
frown.gif
Its not even as bright as my Arc AAA. The Opalec is just as bright with NiMh as with alkalines
grin.gif
 
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