Review: Maratac AA copper

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djozz
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Review: Maratac AA copper

(Hmm, CPF has a budget light section that is not running that well, perhaps we should also start an 'expensive light' section here on BLF, see what happens.. Wink)

Perhaps belonging to that brand new section is the Maratac AA copper I bought myself for Christmas Smile, not big money but fairly expensive for a AA twisty. A brief review:

This is the light, it is the solid copper version of the Maratac AA rev2. I owned the copper Maratac AAA (review from Johnny Mac here) already, but my ideal EDC is AA so, having a bit of a copper fetish, I couldn't resist this one. And having received it the looks and feel are marvellous, much better even than the AAA-copper. (and copper has a sort of sticky feel that other metals do not have Kiss)

The specs from Countycomm.com (I bought the light from Miles survival shop, they sell a lot of the countycomm-stuff), later on some of my own findings:

  • Length: 3.1" ( Smaller than Rev 1 )
  • Diameter: .7"
  • Weight: 49 grams
  • Weight with battery is 71 grams
  • LED type: New Cree R3 with a life span up to 50,000 hours.
  • The New Orange Peel Reflector is aluminum alloy.
  • Flashlight body is machined of solid billet ultra conductive pure alloy 101 copper.
  • The lens has been treated with an AR (anti-reflective) coating.
  • Its proprietary circuit design features reverse polarity protection and runs off of one AA battery that provides
  • Now with 2 levels of brightness ( Low / High).
  • Comes with clip & o-rings
  • Note: this is a solid copper flashlight not plated
  • Machined from solid copper billet stock
  • Clip installed from factory to preserve finish
  • New Stronger Clip
  • low mode, 1.8 lumen output for 100 hours
  • high mode, 125 lumen output for 100 minutes

What adds to a very nice feel is the aggressive knurling, also usefull because it is a twisty. I like the clip for once (not a fan of clips usually, but this one looks good,is not too protruding and has a right stiffness), had to re-bend the lanyard attachment a bit to have it fit around the body well. The threading was dry, which is ok for copper but after I worked in some paraffin from a candle, the twisting goes super smooth but heavy enough to prevent switching the light on by accident, or loose the head.

To give an idea of the size here it is next to the AAA-copper (that has a good tarnish already Smile):

Compared to some other AA lights:

The Maratac AA rev2 is really small, as small as the 4sevensQminiAA, which is almost as small as an AA light can get.

A look at the led and the inside:

Again, as in the copper AAA, the led in the copper AA version is different from the alu-version, it is again a XPG instead of a XPE. I like throw in a small light so although an XPG is more efficient, I'd rather had the XPE. It is less of an issue than with the AAA because the reflector is bigger and the hotspot is not that bad even with XPG.

I desperately tried to get the pill out (I was planning to put another led in eventually) but it is apparently glued-in rock-steady, I could not even get it out after heating the head up with a small blow torch to an extent that I burned my skin to the copper Frown (did that unresponsible heating after I did the lumen-tests by the way, the led and driver seem alright still anyway). So no picture of the driver I'm afraid.

The UI is simple, first twist on: light starts on low, twist off/on: high. No memory.

Here is a white wall shot, compared to the copper AAA, both are run on Duracell NiMh 'stay charged' (AA resp. AAA size):

Here is a surprise, the output is not that different from the AAA version. As expected, the hotspot is a bit smaller and brighter. The beam profile is actually quite comparable to the QuarkminiAA, very nice (not shown). The led-tint is on the green side of cool white (this one will probably not Foy-approve Wink), but I guess it is a gamble which exact tint you get with every different light.

The numbers I found are different from the specs:

-the led is XPG instead of XPE (not mentioned anywhere that the led would be different from the alu Maratac AA rev2)

-the low is achieved by high frequency PWM (just like the QminiAA, there's a lot just like the QminiAA, hmm...)

-the estimated OTF output (ceilingbounce luxreading compared to known light) on fresh alkaline or NiMH is both 60 lumen (specs say 125lumen, ouch!, much lower)

-the light runs fine on 14500 (countycomm.com says: don't ever do that), OTF output estimated: 240 lumen Smile

-tailcap draw on NiMH (Duracell NiMH 'stay charged' 2000mAh), high:800mA low:57mA. Tailcapdraw on 14500 (Nitecore 750mAh), high:1300mA low:24mA

-the low is about 4 lumen both on NiNh and 14500 Smile. I like the 4 lumen low.

-runtime on high on NiMH is 2.5 hours, after that it dims down steadily but after 3.5 hours there is still a 'firefly' left.

-runtime on high on 14500 is 44 minutes, then protection kicked in (there was no active cooling, let it just tailstand, but I let the light cool down for 5 minutes at 10 minutes and at 20 minutes runtime). The light got bleeding hot all over, but worked like a charm Smile. (I think I am also impressed by the Nitecore battery, nice score!).

-I did not measure lumen output or current draw in the course of the runtime tests.

 

Conclusions: I am liking this light a lot because of the small size, the feel, the copper and because I find the design awsome. And I really like the simple UI, just a good lowlow and a high, which is all I want from a EDC-light. The decent runtimes make it a very usefull light (but that is counterparted by a fairly low output of course).

But if you do look for output, this light is a bit outdated; there are many AA-size lights around that have higher output nowadays and some already have the even more efficient XPG2-led (i.e. the Eagletac D25 series, or the Foursevens miniAA). Also, if you look for ultra-lightweight, this is the wrong choice (it's copper man, it is nice and heavy Cool!), go for the Foursevens miniAA: same size, tiny bit cheaper, much lighter.

This is it, hope you enjoyed reading, djozz

 

 

Edited by: sb56637 on 08/26/2014 - 17:06
MRsDNF
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djozz. Thanks for the review. How does it change modes?

 

djozz quotes, "it came with chinese lettering that is chinese to me".

                      "My man mousehole needs one too"

old4570 said "I'm not an expert , so don't suffer from any such technical restrictions".

Old-Lumens. Highly admired and cherished member of Budget Light Forum. 11.5.2011 - 20.12.16. RIP.

 

jacktheclipper
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Thanks for sharing your observations with us , djozz .

Cool

djozz
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MRsDNF wrote:

djozz. Thanks for the review. How does it change modes?

you're welcome.  Just twist off and quick on again for the other mode.

That Ninja Guy
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Very nice looking light, thank for the info!

JohnnyMac
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Very nice little light! Thanks. Smile

BetweenRides
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Nice review, djozz, thanks for posting.

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Nice review Smile
Have you determined if it is as well-regulated as the Rev.2 Cu AAA?

djozz
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Slim Pickens wrote:
Nice review Smile Have you determined if it is as well-regulated as the Rev.2 Cu AAA?

Thanks (and thanks to others as well). Not sure what you mean, but I can give you a clue about the efficiency of the light.

I like the OTF-lumen/watt ratio a lot because that tells you the overall effiency of the light. Regrettably, I do not have enough precise measurement tools to guarantee the numbers I use in the calculation (no calibrated light source, no Integrating Sphere, uncalibrated luxmeter, tailcap current draw does not take into acount the resistance of the clicky of a light). But having said that, assuming that my estimations are more or less correct (at least the measurements I did myself compare to each other, the absolute numbers may be off) the Thrunite Ti I calculated at 55 lumens/watt, most budget lights I have are low in the 40's lumens/Watt, this copperAA on high with NiMh-battery calculates at 68 lumens/watt, with 14500 on high it is 46 lumens/watt. I think that is good. I have not done measurements on the copper AAA.

There may be folks around that are more expert than me??

sb56637
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Thanks very much! Frontpage’d and Sticky’d.

I’ve always liked the Maratac AA’s, but unfortunately they’re almost impossible (or unaffordably expensive) to obtain outside the USA.

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

texaspyro
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sb56637 wrote:
I’ve always liked the Maratac AA’s, but unfortunately they’re almost impossible (or unaffordably expensive) to obtain outside the USA.

In the AAA copper thread, I think that there was a link to a dealer that exported them.

djozz
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sb56637 wrote:
Thanks very much! Frontpage'd and Sticky'd. I've always liked the Maratac AA's, but unfortunately they're almost impossible (or unaffordably expensive) to obtain outside the USA.

I am outside the USA, and bought it (and the MaratacAAA-Cu) via Miles Survival Shop (the link to his shop is also given at countcomm.com). I believe the shipping costs were less than 10 dollars, I just have problems with dutch customs sometimes, if they pick your parcel out they charge handling costs of 18 euro's. I was lucky with the MaratacAA Smile.