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Thread: Balder BD-1P (2 x AA) Review

  1. #1

    Default Balder BD-1P (2 x AA) Review

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    Balder BD-1P


    Summary:

    Battery: 14500
    Switch: Forward clicky
    Modes: 3 (H>M>L)
    LED Type: XM-L
    Lens:
    Tailstands: Yes
    Price: $49.99 MSRP
    Date Ordered: November 10, 2011

    Pros:

    • Very nice anodized finish
    • Nice machining; no blemishes found and threads nicely
    • Feels very sturdy
    • Driven higher than similar AA/14500 lights, which works well for the XM-L emitter
    • Can accept 1 or 2 AA batteries
    • Accepts 14500 nicely
    • Regulated well on 2xAA
    • Good output without over driving the emitter
    • The lowest mode is quite low
    • Best experience with combination of high output and very low mode
    • No blinky modes (strobe, SOS)
    • Good grip without covering it with knurling
    • No battery slop; very snug fit
    Cons:
    • Tail standing is a little wobbly because rubber switch cover protrudes a little
    • Silver collar gets in way of clip when placed on tail cap and not using extension [clip can also be placed on the head)
    • PWM might be noticeable to some but doesn't bother me
    Specifications:

    1. Dimension: Head diameter 24mm, Tail diameter 24mm, length 159mm
    2. Cree XML-T6 LED
    3. Lumen and runtime:
    Double AA:
    Maximum output of 180 lumens for 2 hours
    Minimum output of 6 lumens for 100 hours

    4. Material: Aircraft Aluminum Alloy T6061
    5. Weight: 90g (without battery)
    6. Water proof to IPX-8 standard
    7. Battery: double AA or single AA /14500
    8. Accessories: O-rings, userís manual, lanyard(optional accessories), holster(optional accessories)













    Features / Value:

    Because this light includes an extension piece to operate on 2xAA via extension tube and is well regulated I believe there's good value, although I'd like to see the price closer to $40. Balder listens to the users and excludes blinky modes. It is also a highly practical light because it has high output on 14500 while still running very low on the lowest mode with any battery format. It comes with a nice clip (can be used on the head or tail cap) and an extra bezel. I think Balder covers all the bases in this department. On the shipping side of things, I would prefer Balder put a little more effort into packing. While the plastic case is definitely adequate in protecting the flashlight it would be nice to have foam or something comparable to keep it from bouncing around inside.
    Design / Build Quality:

    This is where I really appreciate what Balder is doing with their 'BD' series flashlights. I think the design is unique and transitions nicely to each subsequent model. Even though the silver collar is mostly decorative, it actually doesn't cause any annoyance and is a nice feature to create brand value. At first I was hesitant because I thought it would just be unwanted bulk, but it quickly grew on me and I've found it's not bothersome at all. The machining is excellent and the anodized finish seems durable while looking fantastic. Everything threads together nicely. My only suggestion would be to continue the grooved design on through the extension piece and keep the same diameter. This would give it a more consistent look and might also provide a better grip. Over all, the body definitely feels sturdy and nothing feels cheap. My only complaint would be that tail standing is a little wobbly because the switch cover protrudes a bit. Some may not be bothered by this because they can easily fix it, but others are likely not so inclined and just want it to work out of the box. I'm neutral on this because tail standing is always a bonus in my book.
    Light Output:

    I am quite pleased with the light output. It provides plenty of lumens on high while while giving you very low output in the lowest mode. On low mode I can look directly into the reflector and easily see the emitter distinguished from the PCB and reflector. I appreciate this combination of high and low very much. This makes it a very practical light. I think you get plenty on high without sacrificing battery life. I don't test for actual lumens; I just use my eyes because that's the only thing that matters to me. Please refer to the pics for your own assessment. The beam pattern is very smooth without any artifacts. PWM is used on medium and low, but it's not an issue for me. Also, on 2 x AA there is significant increase in output versus running on a single AA. This should confirm the 1.50A reading on two AA cells. Control shot Ultrafire XM-L T6 P60 drop in (Manafont.com) on a single 18650Eneloop AAEneloop 2 x AA14500 Please use these figures only as a rough assessment of how the emitter is driven since there are too many variables to get totally reliable results: Measured with an Equus 3220 DMM Alkaline: H=2.20A, M=0.75A, L=0.64A2 x Alkaline: H=1.50A, M=0.50A, L=0.028AEneloop: H=2.20A, M=0.50A, L=0.064A2 x Eneloop: H=1.50A, M=0.50A, L=0.028A14500: H=1.80A, M=0.50A, L=0.020A
    Summary:

    Over all I am very happy with this flashlight. I love that it accepts 1 or 2xAA and 14500 and does it well. It fits great in the hand - not too big and not too small - and provides all the essential features. While I may have a couple suggestions for improvement (and this could merely be personal opinion) I can't find any negatives that impact user experience. I think Balder accomplished what they set out to do. The sturdy body, professional anodizing, battery capabilities - all features that are found on a higher end flashlight. The driver is regulated optimally and the levels at which each mode are driven at (specifically high and low) are well thought out for the XM-L emitter. If you're looking for a well made AA/14500 light that gives you plenty of output on high and also a very low mode, then the BD-1P fits the bill nicely.

  2. #2
    Flashaholic* eebowler's Avatar
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    Dec 2003
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    Default Re: Balder BD-1P (2 x AA) Review

    Thank you for the review!
    When was the last time you washed your feet?

  3. #3
    Flashaholic* Overclocker's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2005
    Location
    Philippines
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    1,587

    Default Re: Balder BD-1P (2 x AA) Review

    does it change modes while you repeatedly press the forward clicky???

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