Review: Roche M170 XML-T6-3C from FastTech AND FancyFlashlights.

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Ramblings
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Review: Roche M170 XML-T6-3C from FastTech AND FancyFlashlights.

Since I can't really find a proper review on the M170, I decided to do one on my baby that I got today.

After receiving a defective light from FastTech, 
 I ordered the same light from CNQG/FancyFlashlights while the exchange was happening.

Roche M170

The Batman of Flashlights.

Summary:

 Battery: 2~4 x 18650 (<~67mm only when stock)
 Switch: Electronic Rubber Side Switch
 Modes: A lot. I'm really confused.
 Output range: 5-100%
 Quick set 40% mid-mode. 
 LED Type: 3 x XM-L T6 3C (NW)  
 Lens: Big. Glass. Doesn't seem to be treated in any way.
 Tailstands:

 Yes.
 Also attaches to fridge doors with supplied magnet. 

 Accesories:

 Spare O-rings.
 Anodised Metal Handle.
 Flat-top Battery Adaptor. 
 Lanyard.
 Mount screw.
 A wide spring which I am unable to determine the use of.

 From: FastTech USD$86.67 -5% = USD$82.34. Free Shipping.
 From: FancyFlashlights USD$93. Free Shipping
 Date Ordered [FastTech]: 31 January 2013. Left Hong Kong on the 13th Feb.
 Arrived in metro Australian address on the 18 Feb.
 Date Ordered [FancyFlashlights]: 19 Feb 2013. Left Singapore on the 21st Feb.
 Arrived in metro Australian address on the 5 March.

 

Pros:

  • Great UI. (Just need to figure it out. :P)
  • No/Undetectable PWM on any continous mode.
  • Big, deep reflectors.
  • HA-III treating.
  • IPX-8 Waterproof
  • Thick positive-pole brass ring.
  • Side switch
  • Stepless Ramping
  • Tailstands
  • Excellent build quality
  • Comes with a strong magnet that fits in the base that is able to support it's weight.
  • The box tells no lies. There is a flashlight contained within it.
  • Locks out.
  • Low Voltage Battery Protection @ ~3.3V (esp. since protected batteries generally don't fit.)

Cons:

  • Doesn't fit cells greater than 67mm long when stock. (Mod shown later.) This generally means it cannot fit almost any decent capacity protected cell.
  • Flat Top batteries turn the light off if the light is bumped moderately.
  • Threads aren't square.
  • Handle is on the other side of the button. Unless you have a huge forefinger or thumb, changing modes while using the handle can be fidgety with a single hand.
  • Quite a heft.
  • Smells a little funny.
  • Requires high-drain capable batteries for max output. This was a side effect due to a defective driver from my first M170 from FastTech.
  • Dry threads.
  • No manual!

Other Notes:

  • I am seriously confused. There's at LEAST 5 different blinky modes.
Pictures.
No lies here. The front of the box had been taped with packaging tape. I just ripped it off, and the big scar eventuated. Meh.
Box from CNQG/FF arrived in perfectly bubble wrapped condition. 

Decent packaging. Very similar to the SRK. With the exception of the manual. Which was probably what was needed with the UI.
 
Definitely significantly larger than the SRK.
[bad quality picture removed, it was hurting my eyes] 


All the accesories included. Anyone know what the spring on the far left is meant to do? It's meant for the magnet to prevent rattle.
Good thick lanyard. The handle is light, probably aluminium, metal with the same HA3 treating as the body.
 
Bad gripe about the flat-top battery adaptor. It's super warped. Both FT and CNQG/FF's adapters are like this.

This is the underside of the head when unscrewed. Nice thick brass contact rings. Doesn't seem to be polished, but it's definitely better than my zinc washer SRK mod below.
 
Huge, deep reflectors. Halves the diameter of the spill and focuses the hotspot, easily, when compared with the SRK.

Ze batterie tubez.

 
Protected batteries SHOULD fit, but they don't when it's stock. And it's not the length of the body either. It's them springs.

Quick spring mod.
Ze nekkid butt.



Modes:

I think I figured out the modes. Mostly. Open to correction.
  • Press and hold 1-1.5secs to turn on.
  • Press and hold again to ramp up. Once max, will blink.
  • Press and hold again to ramp down. Once min, will blink. You do NOT have to ramp all the way up to ramp back down.
  • Press twice from any level to jump to 40/100% You cannot ramp from this level. 
  • Press twice from mid to jump to strobe modes.
  • Press thrice from mid to jump to SOS
  • Press once from any constant mode to turn off. Memory is ENABLED until locked out for quite a while.
  • I can't seem to jump to 40% mid. Either that or I can't seem to ramp up past 40%.
Brightness Comparison: UPDATED 6th March 2013.
ISO100 f/3.5 1/30secs (Sony HX9V)
 
Control
Control

Roche M170 NW. Mouse out for max, mouse over for min.

SRK NW(CNQG/FF). Mouse out for high, mouse over for low.

SRK CW(CNQG/FF). Mouse out for high, mouse over for low. 
 
Solarforce L2T SS Edition running a XM-L T6-3C at 2.84Amps. ~850lm OTF for comparison.
 
Yes, the Roche seems to get dominated by the SRK, but my Roche doesn't even get hot after an hour on the highest I could get it, so I'm wondering if a) there's something wrong with it or b) I don't know how to access high yet. has something wrong with it.
 
 
Runtime:
With 4 x 2900mAh NCR18650 Panasonic unprotected cells.
  • High (100%) - 102mins
    • @0mins - 4.18V
    • @30mins - 3.86V
    • @60mins - 3.55V
    • @90mins - 3.38V
    • @102mins - 3.20V First ramp down then back up.
  • Mid (40%) - 3hrs 53mins
    • @90mins - 3.86V
    • @120mins - 3.70V
    • @180mins - 3.54V
    • @210mins - 3.39V
    • @233mins - 3.25V First warning strobe.
  • Low (5%) - 39hrs
    • @6hrs - 4.01V
    • @10hrs - 3.86V
    • @20hrs - 3.66V
    • @30hrs - 3.48V
    • @35hrs - 3.32V
    • @39hrs - 3.05V cutoff.
Rating:

The only numerical rating I'm going to give is a happiness rating. 'Cos there's no other reason to buy flashlights.
I be giving it a 9/10. (Compared to an SRK of 8/10 for me. But the SRK is about half the money.)
Main reasons include that it doesn't even get warm (barely slightly warm to touch.) and this makes me think that I'm not able to get to 100% because my SRK gets blazing hot after 10mins on high. 
And the inital mode confusion is pretty heavy. 
 
Original Defective Flashlight Details:

EDIT: Ok, I do believe there's something wrong. When I turn the light on it just ramps up and down continuously, like it's not getting enough current. When I try to ramp again it ramps up, until it suddenly just turns off. It not my batteries, and it's not the contact either because all of them are draining equally and I'm using 18650As. I thought it happened before because the only unprotected I have are Ultrafires and only they would fit in the stock version, but then I realise it couldn't be them because I use them in my SRK all the time and they high-drain fine. Going to open a ticket with FT. Video link below.
 
 
 

 

You are the light of the world. Like a city on a hill, you cannot be hidden.
People do not light a lamp and then hide it away, instead they put it where it gives lig

Edited by: sb56637 on 08/26/2014 - 17:19
ObiWan-Kenobi
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Thanks for doing that.

I think there are quite a few members here waiting for a review like yours, contemplating whether to buy this torch (myself included).

Hmm – bad luck about the (likely) fault. Hope it’s something you can fix without sending it back.

But that UI – who in their right mind would design such a complicated interface ?

Ouchyfoot
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Thanks for that Ramblings. I’ve been meaning to post something about this light, but I wanted to wait until I was sure I had the UI figured out.
I couldn’t figure out what your video was showing at first, until I realized it was auto-ramping. At first I thought you had it set to beacon. Did your torch auto-ramp from the beginning, or did you have to hold the switch down?
At first I thought mine might be faulty, but it was a matter of figuring out the UI.
I really haven’t used mine at all since I got it,(playing with my Eye40) so I never paid any attention to heat. It was below freezing every time I’ve used it outside.
I have it on high right now while I’m drinking my morning coffee, and the head is nice and warm…not hot though. I’ll leave it on for a bit.
Do you think the mod you did to the springs could be affecting your current?
Looking at your before pics, I noticed the springs have one red, and one black resistor wires(I don’t know what to call them). Mine has three red, and one black. Could the tailcap connections be screwing up your draw?
Okay. My light has been on high for a bit now, and it is putting out heat. Hotter than warm, but not enough to burn you. The cooling fins seem to be doing a good job dissipating it. The body is quite warm also.

The head is getting hotter now. I guess mine is running correctly.
I checked the batteries, and they seem to be draining evenly.

I also do not know what the large spring that came with the accessories is for.
Let me know if you need me to check something for you.

Stan Marsh
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thanks Ramblings, and I suppose something wrong with your Roche.. I’ve already wrote about RM170 in this topic , so below I will just copy and repeat some points;

in my NW version batteries fits and works any what I have, longest protected battery – 69.5mm, and I don’t think that 70mm will make any problems to fit RM170 – did the test with protected Trustfire(~68.70mm) with adapter for flat tops(~2.18mm). this made almost 71mm, and it works! so… maybe necessary to screw deeply driver(ring around driver) in your RM170 head? I don’t know, it’s just my thoughts…

and it win battle with SRK in any way – longest distance, more bright and focused beam. sad what I don’t have good camera to take some good beamshots/photos(woods starts just from my home), my poor camera can’t take pictures at night in any way Sad I’m waiting second RM170 from Ric/CNQG for my friend, with CW diodes and 3 modes. and CW SRK available for comparing also.. need to find good camera that can work at nights Smile

modes.. it’s very simple after understand how it works;

1. long press button for turn-on the flashlight(max brightness), after that
2. twice press switch – go to low mode, or
2.1 thrice press switch – go to SOS mode, or
2.2 press and hold switch and flashlight will go to stepless mode(100% – 5% with memory)

from low mode;
3. twice press switch – go to strobe, or
3.1 thrice press switch – go to SOS mode

in strobe or sos modes;
4. continuously fast press switch and flashlight will change modes like: strobe-high-low or sos-high-low.

I suppose you need to send your copy back for replace, one person in RF got RM170 with similar problem, here you can read topic(translate it with Google) and see the photos of disassembled head/driver of Roche m170. hope you will get your new RM170 fast and will not disappointed!

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Nice review but wow, 8.5 of 10 happiness rating for a broken light?

Ramblings
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Tecmo wrote:
Nice review but wow, 8.5 of 10 happiness rating for a broken light?

If it worked properly, lol. Right now 5/10.

You are the light of the world. Like a city on a hill, you cannot be hidden.
People do not light a lamp and then hide it away, instead they put it where it gives lig

Ouchyfoot
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I have checked and double checked these batteries several times in my M170, and these are my findings:

Panasonic NCR 18650B 3400mAh Protected – Too Long
Panasonic NCR 18650A 3100mAh Unprotected(Buttontop) – Works
Sanyo UR18650ZT 18650 2800mAh Protected – Too Long
Sanyo UR18650FM 18650 2600mAh Unprotected(Buttontop) – Works

The unprotected Buttontop cells work without need of the adaptor. I don’t have four flattops to test.

Ramblings
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Ouchyfoot wrote:
Let me know if you need me to check something for you.

 

Could you please check the resistance between the inner ring and outer ring on the battery side of the head?
Mine measures ~870ohms.

I'm trying to find signs of a defective driver.
Also, my reflector just falls out when unscrewing the lens bezel.

You are the light of the world. Like a city on a hill, you cannot be hidden.
People do not light a lamp and then hide it away, instead they put it where it gives lig

Stan Marsh
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guys, can you make photos like below and post it here for compare how deeply sit there driver and connection ring around driver:

for understand why in yours RM170’s not fits anything more than 67-68mm. tomorrow I will get from Fasttech protected Panasonic 3400, they almost 70mm long and I’m sure they will fit to my Roche, easily. need understand where and why the difference…

Ouchyfoot
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Ramblings wrote:

Ouchyfoot wrote:
Let me know if you need me to check something for you.

 

Could you please check the resistance between the inner ring and outer ring on the battery side of the head?
Mine measures ~870ohms.

I'm trying to find signs of a defective driver.
Also, my reflector just falls out when unscrewing the lens bezel.

Sorry. I don't know how to do that...I'm resistance impaired. If a multi meter is required, I have a cheap $9 piece of s**t one that I wouldn't put too much faith in. I can try if you want, but you will have to tell me what to do. ...a pic of MM.

Ouchyfoot
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Stan...sorry, just a couple quick ipad shots.

 

 

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Ouchyfoot wrote:

Stan…sorry, just a couple quick ipad shots.

 


thank you, and, it looks very similar.. except on my driver no any numbers like on yours. about how deeply sitting driver in the head, contact ring(+) for batteries exactly 10mm deep in head, ring around the driver(-) like 8.5-9mm deep.. please check your if possible. I don’t think that in body/springs anything different, so where the reason for not fit long batteries?

and there have other easy way to make possible to fit long batteries than change the springs – just put in/within plate with springs and body before screwing it back, small shims/spacers – 1-1.5mm fat, and this will add additional 1-1.5mm for fitting your long batteries. but mine 69.5 and tested ~71mm(68.7+2.18) works fine without this trick.. strange… any ideas? Smile

Ouchyfoot
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My measurements are the same as yours.
I’m not worried. It runs fine with unprotected cells.
I use good cells and check them regularly, so I’m not expecting any problem. I’ll never run it down enough to see how the low voltage protection works, hopefully.

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Mine works fine with protected Xtar 3100mAh’s… Smile

Ouchyfoot
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There were probabally changes and adjustments made to this light as it was being produced. CNQG were the first to get it. Intl-Outdoor waited for a driver issue to be cleared up before they carried it. Now FastTech has it.
I think Roche is still tinkering with it. Where you got it and when may decide what cells it likes. I see CNQG has an option for 3 mode hi-med-low instead of stepless.

Mine came from Intl-Outdoor.

Stan Marsh
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got today set of protected Panasonics 3400mAh from Fasttech, and they fit and works in my RM170 without any tricks Smile

iron potato
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Reckon the included round spring is for in place where that chunk magnet is not in use, to help support the end plate I suppose.

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thanks for that review. man, if i got that light, id be pretty disapointed even if it did work properly. it looks more dim than the king. for the price, id expect to be much brighter than the king

Ramblings
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Bumped for updated pics for Roche M170 NW from CNQG/FF.

6th March 2013. 

Beamshots/Floodshots/Throwshots coming soon. 

You are the light of the world. Like a city on a hill, you cannot be hidden.
People do not light a lamp and then hide it away, instead they put it where it gives lig

Stan Marsh
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below some beamshots of Roche M170 and Skyray King, CW & NW versions –

bigger beamshots are SRK; and as you can see, RM170 more brighter and wins. by the way, 3 mode version of RM170 is better – no any PWM in lowest mode(as well as unpleasant abuzz sound from driver too).

Brian8383
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Great beamshots. I think I can tell which ones are which, but if you labeled them below each picture that would help.

In the bottom two pictures, is it RM170 NW, SRK NW, RM170 CW, and SRK CW?

Stan Marsh
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Brian8383 wrote:
is it RM170 NW, SRK NW, RM170 CW, and SRK CW?

yes, exactly Smile large beamshots are SRK
Brian8383
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Stan Marsh wrote:
Brian8383 wrote:
is it RM170 NW, SRK NW, RM170 CW, and SRK CW?
yes, exactly Smile large beamshots are SRK

Which Roche do you prefer. The CW or NW?
It looks like the NW doesn’t give up much if any brightness to the CW? Is that true or is it just the way it seams in the pictures?

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Brian8383 wrote:
Which Roche do you prefer. The CW or NW?
It looks like the NW doesn’t give up much if any brightness to the CW? Is that true or is it just the way it seams in the pictures?

I prefer NW version colour, but it’s just my opinion.. as well as 3 mode version – it’s very easy to use, %100-40-5, turns on/off within 0.5 second only, switch is more springy. but overall both versions very bright, it’s just camera cannot take good pictures at night, but anyway did good job for compare RM170 and SRK. below the brightest picture that was done:

sb56637
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Thanks very much for the review! Frontpage’d and Sticky’d.

Budget Light Forum ...where Frugal meets with Flashlight!

Xavier
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Hello! Does anybody know where to buy spare parts for Roche m170 flashlight? Thank you.

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Xavier wrote:
Hello! Does anybody know where to buy spare parts for Roche m170 flashlight? Thank you.

only one place I know that can help you with spare parts for RM170 is www.doingoutdoor.com, I’ve got today 3 reflectors and glasses for my Roche M170 (thank you Bill!). I suppose you can order other parts as well also, just ask Bill for details(bill.qiao@163.com), prices are very democratic and shipping so fast.

by the way, some thoughts.. I don’t know why this torch not so popular with people – we’ve got everything that we wanted to get from SRK – middle mode, deeper reflectors/longer light distance, good driver(123min. on high(2000lm+) with PN3400mAh before first blink(and 10-15min. more after, before turns off), with memory, very good heatsinks, and light are better than Nitecore TM15 – no joke, really, and with 1/3 of price only. also torch feel in hand MUCH BETTER than any 4×18650 torch I had. REAL FLASHLIGHT. I’m talking about 3 mode version, not ramping version(but if you like to play with torch more than use – ramping version just for you made)).



by the way, best offer/price you can get at this moment for RM170 – www.doingoutdoor.com too, and this place only offer holster for Roche M170. but I’m not sure about 3 mode version, so again – just ask Bill for details.

atbglenn
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Damn, My wallet seems to get thinner when I read threads like these. I might have to pull the trigger on this one....

Boycott Nike

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I have successfully resisted so far, but..

Stan, you are not helping.

 

What are the modes in 3-mode version? 100% - 40% - 5%?

=the=

 

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the wrote:
Stan, you are not helping.

lol :bigsmile: I understand how you feeling there and now, be sure)))) but everyone who have/had SRK, must have this one. but 3 mode only, forget about ramping version!

I think modes are %100-50-10, something like that.. on my look. and this mean – 123min./311min./~50hours at low mode on 3400 Panasonics. I’m waiting for unprotected 3400’s, will see how they will work. hope this information helped to you! Smile

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Stan Marsh wrote:
_the_ wrote:
Stan, you are not helping.
lol :bigsmile: I understand how you feeling there and now, be sure)))) but everyone who have/had SRK, must have this one. but 3 mode only, forget about ramping version! I think modes are %100-50-10, something like that.. on my look. and this mean - 123min./311min./~50hours at low mode on 3400 Panasonics. I'm waiting for unprotected 3400's, will see how they will work. hope this information helped to you! :)

I was never interested in the SRK because of the thin positive contact design. This one looks like it will never wear out

Boycott Nike

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