Review: Crelant V9-T6 (XM-L T6 | 1 x 18650 / 2 x CR123A)

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turboBB
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Review: Crelant V9-T6 (XM-L T6 | 1 x 18650 / 2 x CR123A)

While Crelant is better known for their larger-sized throwers (even more so w/their recent launch of the 7G9 in a stout form-factor), they did release this little gem that has gone relatively unnoticed. While I've only had it in my possession for the past two days, I'm already impressed by what it has to offer, especially considering the price of admission.

We shall see if that enthusiasm holds up in the coming days as I take it through its paces but for now, please check out my condensed summary video for a walk-thru of its features and my initial thoughts.


MFG SPECS
MSRP: $47.99USD

Function: High-low-Strobe
LED: CREE XML T6 Lifetime 50 000 Hours
Max Output: 650 Lumens @ 2.2A for 120 Minutes
Reflector: Smooth
Circuit: Step up and down constant current driver,with high efficiency dual mode DC-DC regulator (PWM / PFM)
Lens: Toughened ultra clear glass with AR coating
Body: Hard Anodized Type II Aerospace Grade Aluminum Alloy T6061-T6
Colour: Gray
Run Time by Battery Type
- 2x CR123A 650 Lumen 85 Minutes
- 1x 18650 Li-ion 650 Lumen 120 Minutes
Working Voltage: 2.75V to 8.5V
Waterproof: IPX-8, beyond 5m depth
Size: Head diameter 44.5mm, Length 153mm
Reflector: 42 mm diameter x 36 mm deep
Candle: 15W daylight over a 30 sq.m area
Weight: 156 grams, excluding battery
Extras: Spare O-Rings


PACKAGING / CONTENTS
The V9-T6 arrived in a pretty nice white box w/an outer shell and decent foam to protect it whilst in transit:

Additional accessories included were a wrist strap and some spare o-ring's.


CONDENSED VIDEO SUMMARY
Here is a quick high-level video summary of the V9-T6 until I can fully flesh out this review:


DESIGN & FEATURES
The V9-T6 features a crenellated bezel that is easily removed. I don't however believe that it is SS but rather chrome plated Al as it's very light [EDIT 6/21: Did the magnet test and it stuck so I'll say it is in fact SS]:

There is a GITD o-ring sitting right behind the lens.

The head can be completely disassembled allowing easy access to the reflector, lens and emitter:




Speaking of the lens, although it's claimed to be AR coated, I couldn't find any traces of the telltale reflective hues (purple, blue, gold, green, etc.) on either side:


The threads are trapezoidal cut and anodized which provides for very smooth threading action:


The XM-L T6 is perfectly centered via a plastic mold which features a lip to help center the reflector as well:

Although I didn't try, that mold should be easily removable allowing easy access for modding.

The reflector is very nice and smooth w/very few artifacts:


It measures 40.3mm in diam by 36mm in depth:


These grooves right aft of the bezel contribute to some grip. There are four cooling fins that aid with heat dissapation but the V9-T6 doesn't really run all that hot plus the highest temp reached is actually right past the cooling fins:


There is further machining work that I feel contribute nicely to the overall aesthetics in the form of a beveled edge then machined grooves and another beveled edge:


The tube features four flat surafaces with two of them left bare and the other two featuring the company name and model name along with additonal engravings:

The bare flat sides are a little smaller in total surface area.

The tube also features trapezoidal-cut threads on both ends but since they are not anodized, it doesn't allow the light to be locked-out at all:


These machined grooves provide both an aesthetic element as well as being functional since they prevent the rubber ring from easily sliding past it:


While the tailcap features texturing, it isn't that agressive but does help provide additional grip. The crenellations can be used for strike, glass-breakage and tailstanding:


While there isn't a spring in the head, there is a nodule allowing the use of flattops. The tailcap however does have a spring:

As can be seen in the above left pic, the driver looks to be press fit and can likely be easily removed for modding if desired.

[NEW 6/21: I had no issues w/either my shortest cell (AW IMR 1600 @ 65.2mm) or longest (XTAR 18700 @ 69.2mm):

Even 2 x XTAR 16340's @ 71mm in total length sit flush with the end of the tube with the spring in the tailcap compressing enough to accomodate it fine.

The included wrist strap does its job just fine but I would prefer to have seen a proper lanyard included:
]

The version I received is grey but they recently made available a Khaki color as well:


(pic reused w/permission)


SIZE & HANDLING

L to R: RL3100 | XENO S3A | Sunwayman T20C | XENO G10v2 | XTAR TZ20 | ThruNite TN10 | FoxFury Rook CheckMate | Fenix TK21 | ThruNite TN11 | ThruNite TN11S | Crelant V9-T6

The V9-T6 while pretty light weight is on the larger side of my 1 x 18650 sized lights. The relatively large turbo head no doubt contributes to the overall size (I will grab measurements of it later).


FIT & FINISH
The overall quality of the light is pretty darn good and it feels pretty solidly put together. The anodizing matches on all parts:

(flash intentionally used to help highlight mismatching but none found)

The laser engravings are nice and sharp w/no blotchiness and also for the model number seems to have an outline around it which I thought looked pretty neat:



While I didn't find any missing ano around the sharp edges on the tailcap or in the texture, I did note some missing between the grooves around the head:


Nitpicking-wise, while there was some grease applied on the threads, it was very little and none were on the o-rings. Beyond that, I really couldn't find anything else to fault this light with.


UI
The UI is very straightforward in that there are but 3 modes (H – L – Strobe) that can be accessed through the tailcap switch. Given it’s a forward-clicky, momentary use is possible. The last used mode is memorized provided the light is left-off in that mode for at least 2 seconds. This is also retained through battery changes as well.


BEAMSHOTS
Indoors (5m)
High




Low

For details of the above indoor shots and comparo vs. many other lights, please check Epic Indoor Shots Trilogy

Whitewall Hunting
Exposure settings in sequential reading-order from top left: 1/25, 1/100, 1/800, 1/1600 @ f2.9 on AWB (light is ~.4m to wall / camera ~.59m):




RUNTIME
The relevant battery stats are provided above each runtime graph along with:
- Voltage of the battery at the start and end of the test
- Current draw as taken right before the test
- Actual runtime using ANSI FL1 (first in HR and then in M so for the RL3100 read this as 1.5hrs OR 91min)
- Also for High, captured the temperature: ambient, the head at start and the max it reached (fan was used for all bats)



On a RL3100, the V9-T6 runs semi-regulated for the first 10 minutes and then starts a gradual and steady decline. I was able to easily exceed the claimed runtime but I'm not certain what cell was used to achieve that. Also, the measured draw at the tailcap is actually rather moderate but I measured output to be 673 (@ 30 seconds) vs. 650 claimed. Again, given the V9-T6 is not driven very hard, temperatue is a non-issue in this config.

[NEW 6/21: I've updated the runtime graph with a run on 2 AW16340's and can confirm the V9-T6 runs in just about near perfect regulation after an initial minor dip. Of course the sacrifice here is the runtime but I'll give 2xAW IMR 18350's a shot in the future to see how they fare. They will likely be the best setup for longest regulated runtime.]


INITIAL CONCLUSION
The V9-T6 has certainly been a revelation especially given its price point. While the light feels lightweight, the overall build is outstanding. The ability to easily dissasemble every part of the light allowing easy access to the "guts" should delight modders everywhere especially considering this is a quality host to build on. That's not to say there is anything wrong with the V9-T6 right out of the box as it already offers great performance and perfectly flat regulation (on 2 LiIon cells).

Since this is my first exposure to Crelant's products, I'll report back on its durability in the long run but for now:

turboBB-licious

  • outstanding build quality
  • great throw (19.1K @ 1m = 276m) and performance (714lms on 2 LiIon cells / 673lms on 1x18650)
  • excellent bang for the buck
  • perfectly regulated (on 2 LiIon cells)


turboBB-cautious

  • ano is only Type II (some missing in grooves around head)
  • minor battery rattle w/smaller 18650's and 2x16340's


turboBB-wishes

  • proper lanyard
  • extension tube
  • anti-rattle battery sleeve for 2xCR123 sized batteries




=======
Disclosure: V9-T6 provided by md-lightsource for review.

Edited by: sb56637 on 08/26/2014 - 17:20
jacktheclipper
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Cool

turboBB
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Thx Jack!

All, review just about wrapped up (Designs & Features / UI / Initial Conclusion added). Just need to add some whitewall shots and additional runtime testing but in informal testing I just conducted, the V9-T6 runs perfectly regulated on 2 cells.

Cheers,
Tim 

 

lanterneled
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i posted a beamshot for Crelant V9 on High mode.
the distance to that house is 260 meters and i was using 1*trustfire flame 3000mA battery
as soon as i will have new beamshots with this light i will post them

DARCANGEL
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cool,I wasn't aware the collimator head fit the v9,throws a nice beam,thanks for those shots.

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lanterneled wrote:
i used it with crelant 7G5-V2. i was reading to some forums that will not fit to previous version.
o.k. I was confused for a minute thanks for clarifying,still the 7g5 with the aspheric is a beast,might be my next purchase.
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sorry, i posted wrong before but i fixed it. there is Crelant V9 and the Crelant 7G5 beamshots i will post to his section

fishinfool
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Thanks for another awesome review Tim!  

 

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E1320
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Awesome review Turbo BB, thanks for sharing. You really go the extra mile with your reviews very professional.

I have stared receiving these lights to modify do to the fact that they are severely under driven and with a practically identical reflector deign to the vulnerable Ultrafire 980L people are rather disappointing with the output. Anyways I am having a hard time getting the driver apart on these to do a driver swap. Before I resort to drilling the driver and using a dent puller to remove it do you have any ideas on how to get it out?

I really feel like Crelant dropped the ball on this one by cheeping out on the driver. I would expect this on a sub $30 dollar light but in the $50 dollar price range you shouldn’t have to tear into a light to get decent output. By copying the 980L they have a solid design but the simple fact that the 980L clones are popping up in the $20 dollar range that will absolutely destroy this light for output and throw makes it a popular light for me to receive for a driver upgrade. I appreciate any help you can give me with this disassembly trouble I am having. I would hate to have to turn away all the people that are requesting upgrades on this piece because it appears to be a fairly solid design with just a few minor problems for an overpriced light.

Meanwhile if anyone else is thinking about buying this piece and you own a 980L save yourself the heartbreak and the $50 dollars plus upgrade cost because you will be thoroughly disappointed with the output in a side by side comparison.

I am already visualizing the duct tape over your mouth.

turboBB
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Hi Erik,

I've just tried to remove the board using a small flat head but can't manage it so stuck in same boat as you.  I'll post back in case I do manage to remove it.

Cheers,
Tim

how2
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Am I right in thinking High at 1.6amps and low is 0.9amps?

turboBB
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No, the chart above was only for High so that was 1.6A on High using 1xRL3100 (18650) and then .954A also on High but using 2xAW16340's.

Using 1 x AW IMR 18650, I got: 1.99A on High and .45A on Low (will post this runtime when it's completed).

Cheers,
Tim

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turboBB wrote:

Hi Erik,

I’ve just tried to remove the board using a small flat head but can’t manage it so stuck in same boat as you.  I’ll post back in case I do manage to remove it.

Cheers,
Tim

Thanks for trying I appreciate it. If I could somehow just get a peak inside I could come up with a way to get it apart without destroying anything, I know it’s wishful thinking. I have Googled the hell out of this light trying to find a picture of the guts. If I don’t figure it out soon I am just going to go ballistic on this thing and drill a hole in the driver and use a dent puller to pop it out. It’s my last resort caveman method but I am running out of options.

I am already visualizing the duct tape over your mouth.

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Great review, turbo (as usual) and I learned something new, or at least I think I did.  Int'l Outdoor's specs say the bezel is stainless steel and it was so shiny, I didn't bother to notice that it was polished aluminum.  A light this good looking with finish and machine work at this level, deserves to have output that is equally spectacular.

I can't get over how stunning this light looks in your pictures.

Also; I think the khaki version is the bomb.

 

Foy

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turboBB
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Thx Foy!  As per my update, I'll call the bezel SS since it passed the magnet test (it stuck on the bezel even if weakly, if it were Al, it wouldn't stick at all).

As I had explained elsewhere "Re: my doubts as to the bezel being SS - there were a few things that triggered this reaction:
1. Weight is super light
2. The finish is extremely shiny and does not feature a brushed finish (of course it could just be polished or chromed)
3. The sound it makes when dropped is not the same as SS

While not completely conclusive, I did do a magnet test and it stuck so I'll say it is SS (for now, but there is one final test) and have updated the review accordingly. =o)

Please understand I'm not trying to make a mountain outta a mole hill here, it's more out of curiousity than anything at this point since I've never experienced a bezel like this one."

Cheers,
Tim

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No, it's not an issue at all (espcially since it is one of the hottest looking bezels I've seen) but it caught my eye because the aluminum bezel on my XinTD/L2 is not polished and if I could get it to pop like this bad boy does . . . .

 

Foy

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sb56637
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Another superb review from TurboBB. Thanks so much! Frontpage’d and Sticky’d.

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turboBB
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Thx SB!

All, just noticed that the whitewall shots were missing so I've added that now.

Cheers,

Tim

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Any outdoor beam-shots on this one?

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What camera did you use Turbo, the pics are insanely good quality

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@mags - soon, I have a camping trip coming up in a few weeks, it'll be done like my Memorial day format

@Bort - Thx!  I'm currently using a Panny DMC-LX5.  At first I wasn't used to the super shallow depth-of-field (due to the f/2.0 aperature) but I'm glad I took the time to learn its secrets as it really helped create good bokeh on certain shots.

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@turboBB – Myself alike many others will greatly appreciate the beamshots.

Excellent review!!