Convoy S21A (Short Technical Review)

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Terry Oregon
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Convoy S21A (Short Technical Review)

The new Convoy S21A (with SST-40 LED) can be found on the manufacturer’s website HERE.  It is similar in size/appearance to the Convoy S2+, but is slightly larger, due to the larger 21700 battery. Information about the SST-40 LED (6,500K) can be found HERE, (thanks to BLF member djozz). 

 

This review will include:

(1) lumens measurements

(2) runtime graphs

(3) temperature readings

(4) PWM test

(5) beam pattern/tint

 

Lumens

Manufacturer spec for high is "up to 2,300 lumens". 

The S21A has only four brightness levels, which according to the manufacturer is because;

is very suitable for ordinary users

 

Note that Simon has hinted (HERE) at the future availability of the Crescendo user interface. Details on how Crescendo works HERE.

 

Using my Texas Ace Calibrated Lumens Tube:

Level 4 (100%) 1,770 lumens (0 sec) – 1,635 lumens (30 sec)

Level 3 (30%) – 695 lumens (0 sec) – 675 lumens (30 sec)

Level 2 (3%) – 82 lumens

Level 1 (.1%) - 0 lumens (could not measure)

 

 

 SOME PHOTOS

 

 

 

 Framed by two S2+ for size comparison.

 

 Framed by two S2+ (front view).

 

 Framed by two S2+ (back view).

 

 The S21A comes with an orange peel reflector.

 

Runtime Graphs:

 High (no cooling)

 

 High (with COOLING)

 

 Level 3 (30%)

 

 Level 2 (3%)

 

Temperature readings

 As seen in the "high" runtime graphs, the S21A starts throttling down immediately, to control heat. According to the Convoy website;

Quote:
temperature not to exceed 55 degrees Celsius (131 Fahrenheit)

Temperature readings taken with a Fluke 62 Max Plus IR Thermometer.

As you can see, the temperature gets HOT rather quickly. After fifteen minutes, the light was too hot for me to hold.

If the Crescendo user interface becomes optional (which has a thermal setting), it may solve this issue.

 

PWM

NONE was measurable (at any brightness level) using an OSRAM BPW34S PIN photodiode and an oscilloscope. This confirms the manufacturer claim “no frequency can be seen in any mode

 

Beam pattern

The SST-40 LED tint is noticeably green at level two (82 lumens), but is not as noticeable on level 3 and 4. This greenish tint was also noticed on the Convoy S11 (which also uses the SST-40). 

The orange peel reflector helps smooth out the center beam.

 

Conclusions so far: 

This light has the potential to be as popular as the S2+.  Unfortunately, it suffers from a few things I don’t like.

  1. The brightness level spacing is very wide. There are only four brightness levels between .1 and 100%. For example, there is no brightness level between 80 and 600 lumens. A more customizable UI would be nice, similar to Biscotti. While the design goal was "is very suitable for ordinary users", it may leave flashaholics a bit disappointed. However, again, Simon has hinted at the future availability of the Crescendo user interface. Edit update - there is now a twelve mode version available HERE
  2. The greenish tint from the SST-40 LED is rather noticeable, especially at lower levels (82 lumens).
  3. Temperature management could use some user control. Most people will not be able to hold this light for long on high. High should be considered as a turbo mode only. If the Crescendo user interface is released (which has a thermal setting), it may solve this issue. I do not personally like my lights to get too hot. All my S2+ lights have only three chips (7135), which keeps them warm only. Of course, this is all a matter of opinion/preference.

My reviews: , My personal collection of lights LINK,  J5 Tactical V1 Pro review LINK,  Thirteen Optical Sensors review LINKZebralight SC700d review LINK,  Ray-O-Vac Super Power Sportsman review LINK,  Convoy S2+ color combos LINK,  How To flash D4V2 LINK.

Edited by: Terry Oregon on 06/26/2020 - 18:20
Blggg
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Been waiting for this. Totally agreed that the mode spacing is too wide. There should be an output at around 150-400 lumens there.

acab
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Would a Carclo quad optic (diameter 24mm) fit inside the head?
this one would be a great candidate for a quad mod.

Umpi2000
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acab wrote:
Would a Carclo quad optic (diameter 24mm) fit inside the head? this one would be a great candidate for a quad mod.

Pretty sure those KD quads will fit, that alone has me more interested in buying an S21 now

Simon Mao
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i get a driver with Crescendo UI ,
it’s attiny13,
i have a question ,
totally no memory function if i use attiny13?

Terry Oregon
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Simon Mao wrote:
i get a driver with Crescendo UI , it's attiny13, i have a question , totally no memory function if i use attiny13?

 

I've heard there is no room for a memory function on attiny13 if using Crescendo. Too bad.

 

My reviews: , My personal collection of lights LINK,  J5 Tactical V1 Pro review LINK,  Thirteen Optical Sensors review LINKZebralight SC700d review LINK,  Ray-O-Vac Super Power Sportsman review LINK,  Convoy S2+ color combos LINK,  How To flash D4V2 LINK.

Number22Pencil
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how does it cycle through the levels? is it half click per level or is it half click and hold while it cycles through all levels and release once its at the one you want?
would the lumen output be closer to the advertised output if you used a higher discharge battery such as the samsung 40t?

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Simon Mao wrote:
i get a driver with Crescendo UI , it’s attiny13, i have a question , totally no memory function if i use attiny13?

Hi Simon,

Why don’t you talk to Toykeeper ?

ToyKeeper wrote:
Simon Mao wrote:
i will send these data to driver manufacturer

manufacturer told me that he use ATTINY13A,
he will try 25V,

I don’t know the details of your situation or your manufacturer, but if you would like newer or nicer drivers, we can probably arrange something. BLF’s two-channel design works well and provides a wide range of output. It could be FET+AMC7135 or 7×7135+1×7135, or it could even use FET+7+1. It depends on how high the high modes should go.

For clicky-switch lights, people seem to like Bistro, Crescendo, and gchart’s ramping UI.

For e-switch lights, if you use an attiny85v MCU, it could run any UI in the FSM suite. The most popular one is Anduril, but it’s also easy to make new UIs. It could be anything you like.

The new Convoy headlamp looks very nice. Depending on your needs and your driver, the headlamp might be a good place to try FSM.

Anyway, there are many possibilities. We should talk in a private message or email if you are interested in trying something new.

Terry Oregon
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Number22Pencil wrote:
how does it cycle through the levels? is it half click per level or is it half click and hold while it cycles through all levels and release once its at the one you want? would the lumen output be closer to the advertised output if you used a higher discharge battery such as the samsung 40t?

 

A half click cycles through levels.

Using a Samsung 40T produced the same output levels.  Per my SC700d review HERE, the 48G was able to drive the Zebralight SC700d to 3,000 lumens with no problem (so 2,000 lumens would not be an issue on the S21A).

My reviews: , My personal collection of lights LINK,  J5 Tactical V1 Pro review LINK,  Thirteen Optical Sensors review LINKZebralight SC700d review LINK,  Ray-O-Vac Super Power Sportsman review LINK,  Convoy S2+ color combos LINK,  How To flash D4V2 LINK.

Number22Pencil
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thanks. guess ill buy some Samsung 50e’s since it makes no difference.

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My quick video demo on Convoy S21A w/ SST-40:

dtlocke
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Hi, I decided to check out a "S21" light as sold on ebay and it must be similar to the one being discussed. On the side it says "Manta Ray" and S21. Not a bad light for $22.28 shipped from China.

Battery Configurations: 1x21700 or 18650 3.7v, mine seems happy with a 18650.

Options: Luminus SST-20-W LED (6500K/5000K/4000K/3000K) - I ordered the 5000K which looks OK, has kind of blue/purple rings around the outside. Would have got the 4000K if I new what I know now. Emits a whine at the lower modes but I can only hear it close to my ear.

Ebay Description: S21 luminus SST-20-W stepless dimming light 21700/18650 Battery LED flashlights.

 

I also ordered a "Convoy S2 + Mit Luminus SST20 4000K Military Flashlight Hunting Tactical Torch" which looks similar and is cheaper after shipping, but it's not here yet.

-Dick Locke p.s. I'd post a picture but not able to, only a link? New to this forum so not sure what's up with that.

p.p.s.  Let's see if I can add a pic...

[img]https://i.imgur.com/BddkUph.jpg[/img]

https://imgur.com/BddkUph

 

 

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@dtlocke, post a link, and I’ll show you what to do.

My very own high current Beryllium Copper springs Gen 3:
http://budgetlightforum.com/node/67401
Liitokala Aliexpress Stores Battery Fraud: http://budgetlightforum.com/node/60547

dtlocke
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Embed a pic – looks like this will embed a pick of the S21 “Manta Ray” from ebay…

S21 Manta Ray from Ebay
Tangra
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Thanks for the review.
Ordered one. When it comes will give feedback.

abgx1
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I have feeling that this will be very stupid question, but

I have just got new s21a from simon

is it OK if the light head is ratling? whole inside part is moving and glass is free to rotate and move…

Terry Oregon
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Quote:
is it OK if the light head is ratling? whole inside part is moving and glass is free to rotate and move…

Shouldn't do that.

(1) Make sure the pill is screwed all the way down. There are two notches on the pill - you can use needle-nose pliers to screw it all the way down.

(2) Make sure the O-ring wasn't left out (behind the lens).

My reviews: , My personal collection of lights LINK,  J5 Tactical V1 Pro review LINK,  Thirteen Optical Sensors review LINKZebralight SC700d review LINK,  Ray-O-Vac Super Power Sportsman review LINK,  Convoy S2+ color combos LINK,  How To flash D4V2 LINK.

abgx1
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max temps on convoy s21a

Sari33
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abgx1 wrote:

max temps on convoy s21a

Would be interested a comparasion betwen S21A and S2+,same power config Driver and Led
wich of them dissipates better heat

Tangra
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My Convoy S21A.

abgx1
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Sari33 wrote:
Would be interested a comparasion betwen S21A and S2+,same power config Driver and Led wich of them dissipates better heat

It will be the same, as it have temp. control, so both will be stucked on 55°C Smile

and btw, I dont thing that there will be any noticeable difference, as they are nearly 1:1 copy

Sari33
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abgx1 wrote:
Sari33 wrote:
Would be interested a comparasion betwen S21A and S2+,same power config Driver and Led wich of them dissipates better heat

It will be the same, as it have temp. control, so both will be stucked on 55°C Smile

and btw, I dont thing that there will be any noticeable difference, as they are nearly 1:1 copy

depend wich arrive later at 55°C
That mean it have better heat management but yes they are very similar,apart pill S21A that I like much,hope to see this pill in copper for single and triple/quad.
abgx1
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Spring bypass just ripped off from spring after 3months… On both sides

https://imgur.com/a/hg9z8n8

I guess its ‘cos cable isolation become very stiff due to heat

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At least it is easily repairable! The reverse threading of the switch end can be a bit of a pain though.

I wonder how the SST40 would perform with a straight FET+7135 driver in the S21A?
So far I’m adoring the Cree XPL2-HD with the MTN-20DDm in the S21A.

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abgx1 wrote:
Spring bypass just ripped off from spring after 3months... On both sides https://imgur.com/a/hg9z8n8 I guess its 'cos cable isolation become very stiff due to heat

I use solder wick, massive current flow and worry free

WTB Titanium 4sevens 2xAA tube

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I’ve seen solder wick broken so many times I won’t use it for a bypass, don’t even own any. I use Turnigy wires and always try to put a bit of a coil on them so they compress rather than bend. Wink

abgx1
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One more question:

How it is with waterproofness on this light? Can it survive dipping into water for few minutes?

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abgx1 wrote:
One more question:

How it is with waterproofness on this light? Can it survive dipping into water for few minutes?

It does have the required gaskets and if ya build it right, they should do the job of protecting itself from the occasional dip a puddle.

Sari33
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DB Custom wrote:
I’ve seen solder wick broken so many times I won’t use it for a bypass, don’t even own any. I use Turnigy wires and always try to put a bit of a coil on them so they compress rather than bend. Wink

I like if Convoy would use quality double springs and button top on Driver instead of spring bypass to avoid wire desolder.
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I don’t like button contacts on the driver. I consider it much better to have springs at both ends of the light.

That way you don’t get a momentary disconnect if you drop the light on its tail and the cell pulls away from the driver button as it bounces on the tail spring. Those momentary disconnects create an unwanted mode change on lights with reverse clicky tail switches and a half-press mode change UI. Really annoying if your light just went from moonlight to turbo or vice versa.

Springs at both ends also help to prevent “cell hammer”, which is what happens after a really nasty drop where the tail spring propels the cell back into the driver with such force that the driver PCB cracks and kills the driver.

Spring bypasses with multi-stranded flexible silicone-insulated wire are the value option, and double springs (as you said) are the gold standard.

abgx1
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KnHawke wrote:
It does have the required gaskets and if ya build it right, they should do the job of protecting itself from the occasional dip a puddle.

I was asking because I needed to illuminate dark basement while working for few hours, so I was thinking about putting the flashlight into glass of watter to keep it cold, so it could run on turbo for infinite time

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