SureFire 8NX: Big dissapointment.

Gandalf

Enlightened
Joined
Jul 3, 2001
Messages
802
Location
USA
I had an opportunity to buy a SureFire 8NX415 at a good price. I charged up both batteries, and made some really disappointing discoveries: 1) Even right off of the charger, the 8NX isn't as bright as my 9P. The 8NX should be a little bit brighter, according to the numbers. The 9P is both brighter, and whiter, by a considerable margin. After running the 8NX for about 5 minutes, it is not as bright as it is when the battery first comes off the charger, (this is to be expected, of course). At this point, it is putting out a little more light than my 6P, but because it's much more yellow, it looks like about the same amount of light. Sorry, I don't have any instruments, just my eyes on the white ceiling of a dark room, last night. Taking it outside showed that the amount of useable light from the 8NX is virtually identical to my 6P. I was expecting output that equaled my 9P, but I'm certainly not getting it. My conclusion? I just flushed over $100 down the toilet, for this over rated light; and the much less expensive Streamlight Stinger HP, and UltraStinger, which I own, are vastly superior lights, at substantially lower prices. Just what I wanted: a light twice as big as my 6P, that cost twice as much as my 6P, but only puts out the same amount of light as my 6P. I'm really ahead on this purchase...
This is the first time I've *ever* been disappointed by a SureFire light, but this is a *really* big disappointment. Unfortunately, I cannot return this light, or it would be in the mail first thing Monday morning. BTW: I did cycle both of the batteries several times, which made no difference. The voltage is identical to a fully charged Streamlight 3 cell battery pack, which makes sense, since they both use 3 standard sub C NiCads.
frown.gif
frown.gif
frown.gif
mad.gif
mad.gif
mad.gif
 

rlhess

Enlightened
Joined
Apr 27, 2002
Messages
864
Location
Aurora, Ontario, Canada
Is it possible that you have the wrong lamp installed (you said you got a good deal, but I don't know if it's new/used.

Also, I don't know about SureFire lamps, but MiniMags get REAL black after use and lose perhaps 50% of their light output.

The voltage should be 3.75 or so, right?

Of course, trying to get the same light from 3.75V as 6V means more current.

Is it possible, however, that a 6V lithium lamp is in the rechargeable light?

Cheers,

Richard
 

ToddM

Enlightened
Joined
Mar 11, 2001
Messages
251
Location
NV
It could be a bad bulb, but I doubt it's a 6 volt bulb. I don't think the P60 running off a B92 could even come close to comparing with a P60 off lithiums as Gandalf said it was for light output. They had a lot of bulb problems with the 8series for awhile it may be just a bad bulb or the bulb is dying. I've gotten the impression that you get a really good 8NX or a really bad one
smile.gif


I guess that doesn't really surprize me. My 9N (which many have said is brighter than the new 9AN even though they use the same lamp) is rated at 140 lumens. Freash off the charger it's noticeably brighter than my 9P but in the majority of it's battery life it's a little brighter and a larger/better beam than my 9P with a p90 lamp. So if the 8NX is rated at only 110 lumens I'd guess it would have a hard time keeping up with a 9P except maybe right off the charger. Also since there is only 5 lumens difference in the bulb rating you probalby won't see that with the naked eye, but it certainly should not be less bright. Beam size is important here too, if the 8NX's beam is larger than the 9P's it will be less bright and still have a higher lumen rating. But I think most people post their 8NX has a pretty tight beam. Also looking at brock's page the 8NX was listed as 7.3 watts, the P90 bulb is listed as 8.4 and the P60 as 5.3 watts and the P61 as 8.5 watts and the P91 as 14.6 watts. With that in mind if the 8NX really was a 110 lumen bulb is should be in the 8.4-8.4 watt range. Again here bulbs vary and beam shape is a big factor.

That said, if you were to browse the forums and try to find the one surefire light that has had more problems and been a dissapointment to more people I think the 8X, 8AN, 8NX would be a clear winner.

I guess the first thing I'd do is try a new X80 bulb and see how that works. Sometimes you can look at the bulb and if it's a brown/dark color that's a bad sign.

Just browsing some of the old 8NX posts you will find several that seem to find their 8NX has been disappointing in light ouput. Of course there's probably as many saying they were really impressed with the light.

Maybe a call to surefire might clear things up.
 

Gandalf

Enlightened
Joined
Jul 3, 2001
Messages
802
Location
USA
No, it has the correct lamp in it. First thing I checked, believe it or not.... Also, the beam is tighter than the beam from my 9P, just dimmer, and much more yellow.
tongue.gif
tongue.gif
tongue.gif
 

Gandalf

Enlightened
Joined
Jul 3, 2001
Messages
802
Location
USA
I thought about putting in another lamp, but I realy don't want to flush another $23 down the toilet, and *increase* the amount of money I've wasted by over 20%.
tongue.gif
tongue.gif
tongue.gif
mad.gif
mad.gif
mad.gif
 

ToddM

Enlightened
Joined
Mar 11, 2001
Messages
251
Location
NV
You might try checking the voltage under load and comparing it to what brock has listed on his chart at:
http://www.uwgb.edu/nevermab/flash.htm

He lists 3.55 volts (I'm ASSuming that's under load) so if your pack was doing well less than that I'd say the batteries are in some way bad.

Before that I'd call surefire monday tell them your findings that it's less bright than you 6P and see what they say. I'd guess they will suspect a bulb or battery, or just replace both to make sure.

Todd
 

ola larsson

Newly Enlightened
Joined
Jun 9, 2002
Messages
25
Location
Sweden
Hi there ...suggestion i had the problem that my 8NX did not work as well as i wanted ... i contacted Surefire and hey almost direct the did know that the series of battery i had was in someway defect and are now sending me new batteries for free. The problem i had seems almost same as you said about the lights go down and so so ... contact them maybe same problem.

Best Regards
Ola Larsson
Sweden
 

Bucky

Enlightened
Joined
Aug 31, 2000
Messages
432
Location
Grand Rapids, MI
If you are disappointed with the 8NX, you are really lucky you didn't buy the 9AN. I had both for a day, then I realized that the 9AN is CONSIDERABLY heavier and is about as bright - give or take. Suffice it to say I only have the 8NX now.
wink.gif
I know some here have even said that their 8NX was actually brighter (I believe Shelby from SFDB mentioned that at one point). The 9AN certainly has its strong points - mainly robustness and the integrated low-output bulb, but for my uses it was not considerably better than the 8NX I already had.

I think having at least one rechargeable is a good idea in order to save on battery usage around the house and so forth when you can easily recharge the battery and/or grab a fresh one. I am not a big fan of rechargeables for EDC lights unless you use your light all the time and absolutely need to avoid using batteries for cost reasons.

Overall, I am happy with my 8NX for what it is. I got mine back when they came out for like $80 with the charger. At that price I think it's great, especially considering I will never have to buy batteries for it. Around the house I grab it first because the runtime is "free."

I had some trouble with the batteries for the 8NX when I first received my light. I called SureFire and they said they would send replacements right out. Whether or not that is causing your 8NX to lose brightness though, can only be determined one way.
smile.gif
If I had to guess though, I would say that the batteries are not the culprit.

Bucky
 

redbird

Enlightened
Joined
Dec 25, 2000
Messages
258
Location
SW lower Mi USA
I dont have the 8NX but do have the 8x. I have 4 different batteries and NONE last or will hold a charge more than a few days. I use my UltraStinger and Stinger and have never had that problem.

Yes, Surefire sent me too replacement batteries but still the same problem.

For my rechargeable, I am sticking with Streamlight...
 

DonL

Enlightened
Joined
Mar 13, 2002
Messages
333
Location
N 42° 29' 48", W 83° 11' 14"
I've had two bad B90s that came with my 8AX. Yep, both. Performance was very poor, less than five minutes of full brightness, and *poof* instant yellow.

A quick call had a new pair of batteries on their way, which are much, much better.

The 8-series lights seem to have been Surefire's flakiest light, between bulb and battery problems. When they work right, they work very, very well. When they don't, they're too big and round to make a good doorstop.

One thing I've noticed is that my particular 8AX (don't know if mine's an exception) seems to have a very smooth (vague?) beam, with no sharply defined transition from the center spot to the surrounding flood.

I'll try to take my lights outside and play a bit tonight and see how they compare...
 

bwcaw

Enlightened
Joined
Mar 22, 2002
Messages
862
Location
South Dakota
I noticed the same thing as Gandalf described with my 8ax. It is about as bright as my M2, but really yellow. Do I need new Batteries? I thought it was normal! It would be nice to get whiter light out of it if I can.
grin.gif
 

dano

Flashlight Enthusiast
Joined
Aug 11, 2000
Messages
3,885
Location
East Bay, Cali.
Yup, the 8X series of lights are not high on my list in terms of performance. I've never liked the 8-series for a bunch of reasons, mainly the one pice body, with that rubber diaphragm for a "switch" and the light output is not very good.

Another thing I've noticed, is the battery pack used in the 8-series is the same as the 9-series, which are sub-c's...I would like to find out why they do not hold a charge in these lights past a few days, yet my Streamlight Stinger, with sub-c's (and almost constructed the same) would hold a charge for a much longer time...

--dan
 

Sean

Flashlight Enthusiast
Joined
Dec 11, 2001
Messages
2,984
Location
IL, near St. Louis MO
Thanks for bringing this up. From what I have gathered from this forum & the Surefire forum is the Surefire rechargable flashlights can't compete with their lithium counterparts or any top Streamlight rechargable flashlight (i.e. the Ultrastinger). I have stayed away from these lights for just that reason. Their aren't a lot a negative reports on Surefire products so it's nice that you have shared this information.
 

Tombeis

Enlightened
Joined
Aug 24, 2001
Messages
696
Location
OHIO, U.S.A.
If you have Surefire B90 batteries that are performing poorly or not holding a charge, contact Surefire (phone or E-mail) with the four digit code stamped on the side of the battery. If you have bad batteries, Surefire will replace them.
 

Brock

Flashaholic
Joined
Aug 6, 2000
Messages
6,346
Location
Green Bay, WI USA
Yes the data on my flashlight page is under load. I bet you have bad batteries. You might try charging them again, then let them sit and charge them again. Sometimes they need a kick to get up to their working voltage. I had 3 batteries with the one I tested and one of them was noticeably dimmer, it never really did come around.
 

Big Tex

Enlightened
Joined
Jan 11, 2001
Messages
206
Location
Texas
I'm on my second set of batts for my 8nx and they appear to be bad so I've got to contact SureFire again. I agree, if you want a good rechargeable, get an StreamLight, and I think the UltraStinger is the best.
 

mhejl

Newly Enlightened
Joined
Dec 12, 2001
Messages
92
Location
Ft. Worth, TX
My 8NX had bad B90 batteries, too. SureFire replaced both of them; we'll see how long they last. The new ones are definitely constructed differently.

I also had a bulb explode after only an hour or so of use. A replacement assembly I got has the bulb mounted at an extreme angle in the reflector. Pretty sad.

In contrast, I've had a Stinger for years without having ANY problems. Bought a spare battery but the original still runs strong.

I sure like just dropping the whole light in the charger base and not having to remove batteries to recharge them (like the 8NX). No $20+ bulbs and can carry a spare, too.

BTW, I bead blast the Stinger bulbs - eliminates the ringy beam pattern.
 

txwest

Flashlight Enthusiast
Joined
Oct 30, 2001
Messages
1,773
Location
Houston, TX
<BLOCKQUOTE><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by DonL:
One thing I've noticed is that my particular 8AX (don't know if mine's an exception) seems to have a very smooth (vague?) beam, with no sharply defined transition from the center spot to the surrounding flood.<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>DonL, I have an 8X & an 8NX. What you're talking about here is the lamp, not the light. I have 3 lamps. 2 have the defined center, 1 is "vague". It's just the luck of the draw. TX
 

lightlover

Flashlight Enthusiast
Joined
Feb 28, 2001
Messages
1,901
Location
London, UK (Parallel Universe)
<BLOCKQUOTE><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by mhejl:
My 8NX had bad B90 batteries, too. SureFire replaced both of them; we'll see how long they last. ...... A replacement assembly I got has the bulb mounted at an extreme angle in the reflector. Pretty sad.
.......
<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

mhejl, if the envelope is tilted, is the filament still positioned properly - that's the key to the LA's behaviour.
If it isn't a SF quality beam, return it to SFCS and they'll send you another.

About the beam colour, I had to check this out after all I've read in this topic. I used 2 8AX's (slightly down from max. charge) and 3 110 Lu X80's, compared with an M2 with a 120 Lu P61.

The 8AX's beam was pretty white, not yellow at all. It was just a little "greyer" than the P61. Did I got lucky or something.

Saying that, over on SFDB the experts opinion on rechargeables vs. Lithiums is that Lithiums are whiter. (Some of the real purists only use the first 10 minutes of the 123's to enjoy that "first intensity" effect !!)
I'd agree with that - I like white beams too, but I've never had an issue with my only SF rechargeable, the 8AX. Especially when I consider the need to reload 123's into a light.

Out of 4 B92's, two are good, one just took a few charges to come up to capacity.
One had a much too low runtime - SF replaced it when I said what the batch number was.

lightlover
 
Top