SUNWAYLED M40A Review (MC-E 4xAA): RUNTIMES, BEAMSHOTS, and more!

driven

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Thank you very much for running the test with the primary lithium. I'll try to help out with a battery fund donation next week. :goodjob::thanks:

I think for some applications, having two hour run time in a light this size will be a great selling point for the flashlight. The weight issue will change the load of the light as well, particularly if you are carrying spare batteries with you in your pack.

I think I am going to really like this light.
 

candle lamp

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Hmmm, haven't noticed it any other time. It only seems to occur in standby mode when first making contact with the battery carrier (and not every time either). On the Jetbeam RRT-2 you could see it every mode when pressing the switch - the circuit here seems to be different.
Thanks for your reply. M40A takes my fancy. :thumbsup:
 

Swedpat

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Thanks for the review and Output/Runtime Comparisons,

Nearly 2 hours stable output at high with lithiums and nearly 5 hours at mid with alkalines makes this light very interesting. :thumbsup:
 

woodrow

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Selfbuilt... I have been wanting a cool AA light..and almost bought the Fenix TK45 this week. Thanks very much for this review... I would have been very sad if I had bought the TK45 and then looked at this. I will give up a little output to have a smaller light running on 4 AA's. Thanks for the lithium AA graph as well!
 

ergotelis

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Selfbuilt, do you have a good charger to test your eneloops?Your AA Lion results look much better compared to the eneloop ones.As far as i am concerned, good eneloops against good energizers won't have that much of difference. I think it is good to check your batteries! Else, it clearly seems that the circuit of the flashlight works better with higher voltage batteries!
 

driven

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As far as i am concerned, good eneloops against good energizers won't have that much of difference.

They do have a BIG difference, the Lithium batteries work much better at high draw than eneloops. I am sure that Selfbuilt will reply with more detail on his ability to test battery voltage and such, but I think many of us expected a big jump in run time with the Lithium, and the one hour for the eneloops matches the manufacturer specs so I think they seem to be fully charged. As just one example, Lithium batteries in my flash camera work for thousands of flash pictures versus hundreds with eneloops, months versus weeks.

There is most definitely a big difference between 2000 mAh eneloops and 3000 mAh lithium primaries.
 

MattK

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I'd also add that NiMh's in general work so well in flashlights (and other high drain devices) because of their resistance to voltage sag. Lithium primaries are also highly resistant to voltage sag AND have 40%+ more capacity so these numbers really should not be so surprising.
 

selfbuilt

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Selfbuilt, do you have a good charger to test your eneloops?Your AA Lion results look much better compared to the eneloop ones.As far as i am concerned, good eneloops against good energizers won't have that much of difference. I think it is good to check your batteries! Else, it clearly seems that the circuit of the flashlight works better with higher voltage batteries!
Although it depends on the circuit, L91 does typically give much better performance than Eneloop. I am not surprised by these results - they are consistent with my other multi-cell testing on NiMH/L91.

But it is a good question to ask anyone who does a lot of testing. Damaged batteries would skew rechargeable results. Here's my regimen:

All my Eneloops are charged on a Maha C9000 charger - one of the best you'll find. I always start new cells on a break-in cycle,and I periodically do discharge/charge cycles to confirm capacity (plus additional break-in cycles at least one or twice a year to maintain optimal health).

New out of the package, most Eneloops show up as 2000-2200 mAh capacity on my charger (most ~2100-2150 mAh). Within a few discharge cycles, typical capacity is ~1900-2000 mAh, where it stays stably for quite some time. If the cells drop below ~1800mAh capacity on a discharge/charge cycle, I "retire" them from active use.

Before starting a run, all batteries are topped on the Maha charger to full capacity. They are pulled from the charger and immediately placed in the light to start the run.

Note also that I manually stop all my Eneloop runs shortly after the light falls out of regulation (or drops to ~25% of original output), and immediately begin a charge cycle on the Maha. This is to insure the long-term health of the batteries. NiMH (particularly LSD like Eneloop) are very susceptible to the damage from over-discharge. Although the main effect of over-discharge is damage to the LSD characteristics of the cell (and not total capacity), I don't want to chance it. This is why I won't do Lo-mode Eneloop runtimes - I can predict when the run will end, and I will damage the cells if I let fully discharge.

I rotate cells through testing, to make sure all my sets of Eneloops have consistent number of discharge/recharge cycles. All batteries are labelled, and I record which cell ran on which test. I also insure that cells from the same batch are consistently used in any given light. And again, because I periodically check capacity, I toss any cell that drops below ~90% rated capacity.

I thus believe my cells give you a fair representation of what a "typical" Eneloop in the hands of a regular user would be like. Probably better in fact, since I treat the cells with more care than most do. :rolleyes:

:wave:

EDIT: I've just crunched some numbers from my max output 1xAA and 2xAA tests for comparison:

On 1xAA, 1xL91 very consistently gives ~50-55% extra runtime over 1xEneloop (as measured by time to 50%). On 2xAA, the results get a lot more variable - 2xL92 gives anywhere from ~40-80% more runtime on 2xEneloop. I presume the circuit design explains part of this variance, but there are also difference in how heavily driven the cells are on different lights. In any case, you will note that much greater runtime is possible when you increase the cell number. Thus, the 85% increase in runtime for 4xL91 over 4xEneloop on the M40A doesn't seem so unreasonable - especially when you consider the M40A is driven fairly hard (i.e. the absolute runtime on 4x here is typically less than that seen 1x or 2x on other lights).
 
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arek98

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Is there any information how waterproof is it?

Seems like getting rid of clicky (and tailcap) the only potential leak points are lens and head threads. This could go in direction of diving light but I don’t think single o-ring supports this case. Still, I wonder if they specify anywhere depth rating for IPX-8 claim.
 

ergotelis

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Selfbuilt, you are a real professional reviewer. You covered my question completely. With that answer you prove that good reviews is not only what we see. It is all the work needed to be done to have the best results that are the most close to the reality. I have nothing to add other than well done, all the procedure that you follow is the best possible to be done for a variety of reviews.
I am used to the fact that, L91 most of the times get about 50% more runtimes. This is about right considering that L91 cells seem to have 50% more capacity compared to eneloops. I think that your test here proves that this circuit is more energy efficient with higher voltage batteries.Even alkalines have good results, considering their poor performance in high amp drain.
 

selfbuilt

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Is there any information how waterproof is it?
My only concern here is that the single o-ring is only partially engaged when you tighten the handle against the head (i.e. you can still see part of it). The same happens on my M40C. Probably not a problem for waterproofness, but I'd ideally like to see it travel further.

Selfbuilt, you are a real professional reviewer. You covered my question completely. With that answer you prove that good reviews is not only what we see. It is all the work needed to be done to have the best results that are the most close to the reality.
Thanks for the compliment. I do strive to lower variability as much as possible (and measure it continuousy, to insure I have been successful).

This is part of the reason why I know I don't need to do repeated runs of a given light - with a well-matched battery (for capacity) there is remarkably little variability in the performance of any given sample (i.e. curves are the same). Of course, multiple specimens of each light would be ideal to determine "natural variability" of shipping samples. Doesn't happen often, but I do sometimes get to test more than one sample of a light - which is always instructive.

FYI, I do the same for my Li-ion cells. While I don't have a charger capable of giving me readout like the Maha, I do charge the cells to a consistent voltage level, and measure performance in specific tester lights. I use a bunch of old JetBeam Jet-I, II and III lights (that all use the original IBS circuit) on Max to compare performance of 14500, RCR, and 18650 batteries. I only use AW cells that perform around the average of what I've measured on various AW batts. Keeps the results consistent over time, as I purchase new cells.

BTW, I just completed a discharge/recharge of the 4 cells used in the M40A runtimes. Two of them had indeed reached ~1800mAh (the other two were ~1850 and ~1900mAh), so the first two will be tossed now. So a brand new pack of Eneloops could indeed squeeze out an extra ~10% or so more runtime than what I report here.

:wave:
 

GarageBoy

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What's the street price?
I wonder why they didn't do away with the carrier. Maybe easier to machine a cylinder?
 

octaf

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This light looks very attractive.

Compact in size and bright enough with 4 AA.

Is this company gonna be next Jetbeam or Nitecore ???

We'll see !!! :rolleyes:
 

octaf

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One question, selfbuilt.

Are the battery tubes interchangeable btw M40A & M40C ? :D
 

selfbuilt

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Are the battery tubes interchangeable btw M40A & M40C ? :D
Now that's an interesting question - I presume you mean are the heads interchangeable on the other light's battery/body tube?

The answer is no - I just checked, and the M40A head is slightly smaller in diameter than the M40C at the screw thread level. Probably just as well, since the circuit voltage ranges are different for the two lights.
 

octaf

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Now that's an interesting question - I presume you mean are the heads interchangeable on the other light's battery/body tube?

The answer is no - I just checked, and the M40A head is slightly smaller in diameter than the M40C at the screw thread level. Probably just as well, since the circuit voltage ranges are different for the two lights.

Hmm... Thanks.

I thought maybe M40C could be used with 4 AA. :D
 

boomanbb

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Hello,

This is my first post after lurking for months. My brand new M40A is sitting on my desk in front of me right now. Having come from a Inova Tactical T1 LED (35 lumen) flashlight and assorted no name walmart models, I have these excellent reviews to blame my purchase on. WOW, I am impressed!

Ben

BTW - Yes I a grown man... grandfather 7 times over and given that wisdom... I looked into the beam. :crazy:

The spots are beginning to clear. I should have no problems driving home.
 

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