Review: Archon M30A 3xAA aka Xiware M30A

20 posts / 0 new
Last post
ChibiM
ChibiM's picture
Offline
Last seen: 6 hours 36 min ago
Joined: 05/09/2011 - 10:25
Posts: 5820
Location: Holland/Japan
Review: Archon M30A 3xAA aka Xiware M30A

Archon M30A

Summary:

NameArchon M30A     aka Xiware M30A
Battery3xAA
Modes 5; Low Medium High Strobe SOS
Switchmagnetic control ring
LedXPG-R5
LensGlass
TailstandYes
Date ordered

December 2012

From

Wallbuys.com

Current Price

$45 , or $35 in G.B. on Walbuys.com

DIMENSIONS / WEIGHT

  • Length:.............136mm
  • Head (outer).......49mm
  • Head (inner).......40mm

  • Depth reflector....40mm

  • Weight:...........200gram
  • with batteries..275gram

 

PROS:

  • Fits well in my hand
  • Runs on common AA batteries
  • Magnetic control ring
  • Tail stands
  • Symbols help with mode selection (my SWM M10A doesnt have this)
  • Comes with a nice retail box, and lanyard 
  • Well-constructed battery carrier

 

CONS:

  • The anodizing on the threads is questionable (same as my Xiware L20C, some anodizing is missing)
  • Noticeable WPM
  • Manual is in Chinese only
  • Mag.cont.ring has no knurling, and therefore slippery

 

OUTPUT and WPM:

Because I owned the Xiware L20C I was guessing the output of this fella will be a little on the conservative side.
I haven`t been using my DMM much lately, so the readings might be a bit off.
LOW: 0.09A
MED:  0.3A
HIGH: 0.9A

Compared to the SWM M10A and Klarus P2A (which I had on hand, that are unmodified XPG lights), The Low on the M30A is around 30-40 Lumens, a little brighter than the P2A (which starts off at around 30 lumens)
Hi is a bit brighter than the Klarus P2A on Hi, so I am guessing between 250-300lumens.

The PWM is noticeable in Low and Med, but I couldnt see it in Hi-mode.
It`s not really low. It`s the same as with the Xiware/Archon L20c

Beam profile:
Especially in Low and Med, the light has a little green hue.. not bad though..Just like other XPG`s.
It also has a ring right around the hot spot. Somehow this is a side effect of the lens that is used in this light.
When I take off the lens, it doesnt have this ring, when I put the lens on, it has the ring again..


OPERATION:

1. The magnetic control ring
    I really like it!
It goes almost as smooth as my SWM M10A, but the thing I like more about this M30A is that you can actually see in which mode it is.
The SWM uses a Clicky switch in combination with the control ring, but this Archon only uses the Magnetic Control ring. So it starts in OFF, then LOW, them MED then HI, then STROBE, then SOS.
So you never have to see the strobe or SOS, if you don`t want to.

The light fits really well in my hands, and changing modes is possible with 1 hand!
The thing that might be an issue is that the control ring itself is a little slippery. So if you are using it in a cold environment, wearing thick gloves, this might be an issue.
That could be improved... better grip on the control ring!

The bezel and the side of the head have some sharp edges. Its not cutting sharp though! Just a little.

Changing batteries is also no issue, because of the well-made battery carrier, this is a big PLUS.


BUILD QUALITY

The build quality is very good.
Itis the same quality as the Xiware L20C I briefly reviewed here a while ago.
Because Xiware and Archon are the same thing, there is actually no difference in build quality.
The whole flashlight feels a little slippery, with not very aggressive knurling.
This could be a CON.
It`s definitely a step up from the KD C8 for example, and many ultrafires I`ve seen and handled.
It feels Quality!

The battery carrier:

You get access to the battery carrier by unscrewing the lower part from the head.
Usually that means you need to unscrew the tail cap.
Because there is NO tail cap, the body can be unscrewed just below the Mag control ring.
It`s not one of those plastic things you can buy at KD or elsewher, where almost everything is plastic.
This one is made well, and doesn`t look cheapy.

Reflector:

It`s aluminum, 40mm wide and 40mm deep... Smooth.... It`s a "thrower".

Lens:

It`s made of glass, but gives a narrow ring around the hotspot.
Taking off the lens helps to remove this ring.
Taking off the white disc around the emitter doesn`t help.
The lens itself came really dirty!! please see my pics.
Not a problem for me at all, but for not flashaholics this might be a throw off.


SOME PICTURES:


This is how the box arrived from wallbuys.. good packed with lots of bubble wrapping.

This is the Archon retail box. It`s definitely a nice touch!

In the box

The Led is well centered

And OPEN

This is not a cheap cheap cheap happy plastic battery carrier..
But a nice nice nice quality one.

Lovely Disney Eneloop batteries installed!!!

Square threads...maybe you can see that some anodizing is coming off around the edges of the threads.

The driver

This is how the lens came.. it looks like condensation.. maybe becuase the light was just delivered, and its cold outside? anyway.. i was pretty easy to clean. It was on the in- and outside of the lens.

As it seems, a 20mm star. So that`s easily replaceable.

And this is from the other side, below the driver.. see the hole!? little odd seems like.. Contra productive?
But anyway, there is enough room to add more heatsink.


BEAMSHOTS

This gives you the idea about the "ring" I was talking about!

This is a comparison shot between the Klarus P2A on High..on the right
and the Archon M30A on the left... Somehow the P2A looks brigher!?
My first impression was the opposite.


Summary:

I liked this Archon light upon first sight. The thing that bothered me a bit was the dirty lens it came with.. not a problem really, but still.

The output is not bad, but definitely a bit on the lower side of the scale compared to the XML light that are now widely aavailable.
The mag control ring is a really nice feature, the only downside to that is the knurling on the ring.. there is almost non.

Not a bad light! Nor the best!
I would definitely recommend this to a non-flashaholic. For $30 or lower.


Is it worth $45? Uhmmmm I wouldn`t pay that much.
Is it worth $35? I  would have a second thought
Is it worth $30? I would consider buying 1 for that price.
Is it worth $25? Yes, definitely.
Is it worth $20? Abso-lumatic freakin yes!

Edited by: sb56637 on 09/02/2017 - 11:43
FlashPilot
FlashPilot's picture
Offline
Last seen: 7 hours 11 min ago
Joined: 05/10/2010 - 16:07
Posts: 4494
Location: USA

Great review! Im glad it ranks in quality with other Archon lights.


Are those 7135 chips around the border of that board? Assuming 350ma bin, it should crank out 1.75A. Slightly overdriven for the XPG but sounds perfect to me.

janko.hrasko
janko.hrasko's picture
Offline
Last seen: 11 months 6 days ago
Joined: 06/12/2011 - 12:51
Posts: 623
Location: Kosice, Slovakia

FlashPilot wrote:
Great review! Im glad it ranks in quality with other Archon lights.


Are those 7135 chips around the border of that board? Assuming 350ma bin, it should crank out 1.75A. Slightly overdriven for the XPG but sounds perfect to me.


that should be magnetic sensors for the ring
ChibiM
ChibiM's picture
Offline
Last seen: 6 hours 36 min ago
Joined: 05/09/2011 - 10:25
Posts: 5820
Location: Holland/Japan

... wrote:
You have you're address showing on the box, FYI
Thanks for pointing that out! Will edit the picture! Review. Edit: Picture edited.....:)
Hikelite
Offline
Last seen: 4 months 6 days ago
Joined: 07/13/2011 - 16:18
Posts: 3614
Location: RO

janko.hrasko wrote:
FlashPilot wrote:
Great review! Im glad it ranks in quality with other Archon lights. !http://farm9.staticflickr.com/8334/8347451319_c1f2c78f6c.jpg! Are those 7135 chips around the border of that board? Assuming 350ma bin, it should crank out 1.75A. Slightly overdriven for the XPG but sounds perfect to me.
that should be magnetic sensors for the ring

Yeap, it looks like that, 5 positions 5 modes.

lightyear
Offline
Last seen: 2 years 8 months ago
Joined: 10/28/2012 - 04:07
Posts: 136

i want this flashlight! super quality! thanks for the review.
please post some beam shot pictures.

how2
Offline
Last seen: 3 years 10 months ago
Joined: 06/01/2010 - 10:26
Posts: 2416
Location: london

Show us the picture of the pill.

FlashPilot
FlashPilot's picture
Offline
Last seen: 7 hours 11 min ago
Joined: 05/10/2010 - 16:07
Posts: 4494
Location: USA
lightyear wrote:
i want this flashlight! super quality! thanks for the review. please post some beam shot pictures.

+1 for beam shots. If you can remove the centering ring from around the emitter, it might remove the ring in the beam pattern and optimize the focus. You wont know till you try. If the reflector poses a threat of grounding out the emitter leads (after removing the centering ring), thick plastic packing tape can be applied to the underside of the reflector. Kapton tape works the best if youve got some. It looks like a very cool light.

ezarc
Offline
Last seen: 2 months 2 weeks ago
Joined: 10/17/2011 - 18:23
Posts: 2101
Location: South Aus

The PWM and ringy beam and tint doesn’t sound so great.

Perhaps the tint can be fixed with a XP-G2 and the ringy beam with a compatable lens.

It looks like a good quality light from your pics, I hope I’m not as sensitive to the PWM as you are.

I bought one from the group buy for $35 here yesterday.

Thanks for the review, very nice pics btw.

ChibiM
ChibiM's picture
Offline
Last seen: 6 hours 36 min ago
Joined: 05/09/2011 - 10:25
Posts: 5820
Location: Holland/Japan

More pictures added…also the pill.
text added,
and some beam-shots.

janko.hrasko yes, you are correct, thats for the mag control ring Ezarc, Not sure how to remove the ring,except for taking off the lens Wink the tint is more towards neutral ,not too cool, but has a little green hue, like most other Cree leds. Honesly the PWM hasnt bothered me yet.. but I must admit that I have only used it for this review.

fishinfool
fishinfool's picture
Offline
Last seen: 2 years 3 months ago
Joined: 03/09/2010 - 00:30
Posts: 4342
Location: Hilo, Hawaii

Thanks for the review ChibiM!

 

Love the pic of the Disney Eneloop batteries being used.  I know, I know.....I need to go to therapy for this Eneloop addiction of mine.

 

 

 

Don wrote:

"But as I said long ago, you are more likely to be killed by a dead fish dropped by a seagull in the Sahara Desert than by a lithium ion

ChibiM
ChibiM's picture
Offline
Last seen: 6 hours 36 min ago
Joined: 05/09/2011 - 10:25
Posts: 5820
Location: Holland/Japan

Hi FF!
Yes, sorry for showing off these loopies!
I feel sorry for not warning you beforehand Wink

ezarc
Offline
Last seen: 2 months 2 weeks ago
Joined: 10/17/2011 - 18:23
Posts: 2101
Location: South Aus

Its hard to believe that in the 10 days since I bought mine on the group buy that only 1 has sold. I was #9 and there is only 10 sold now.

ezarc
Offline
Last seen: 2 months 2 weeks ago
Joined: 10/17/2011 - 18:23
Posts: 2101
Location: South Aus

I got mine from WallBuys yesterday, not very impressed by the emitter being way off centre.

I’m not sure if I should complain.

FlashPilot
FlashPilot's picture
Offline
Last seen: 7 hours 11 min ago
Joined: 05/10/2010 - 16:07
Posts: 4494
Location: USA

Beyond being a high quality host with a very cool magnetic ring control, the excellent review and your comments shows its flaws. I might have bit if the drive current had been around 1.5A or higher in high mode.

I purchased a pair of the Archon M60XL for $31.45 each during the 50% off sale, so its hard to justify the M30A with its flaws. To bad because its a light I really wanted to like.

sb56637
sb56637's picture
Offline
Last seen: 5 hours 10 min ago
Joined: 01/08/2010 - 09:29
Posts: 6204
Location: The Light

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

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

RaceR86
RaceR86's picture
Offline
Last seen: 2 years 8 months ago
Joined: 02/22/2012 - 08:32
Posts: 3777
Location: Norway

Thanks for the review. Smile

The white plastic retaining ring thingy. Was it easy to unscrew? On my light its stuck.

BLF LED database – collaboration spreadsheet and latest news about where to buy LEDs
http://budgetlightforum.com/node/19342

ChibiM
ChibiM's picture
Offline
Last seen: 6 hours 36 min ago
Joined: 05/09/2011 - 10:25
Posts: 5820
Location: Holland/Japan

Yes, very easy to unscrew, no force needed.

RaceR86
RaceR86's picture
Offline
Last seen: 2 years 8 months ago
Joined: 02/22/2012 - 08:32
Posts: 3777
Location: Norway

I have a feeling mine is glued or something.. I have used so much force in the two holes that I have "slipped"/stipped the plastic because the plastic gave away.. Then I drilled the holes deeper/all the way through, slipped more, destroyed more plastic.

I think I have to drill two new fresh holes and start over again with a more "custom" tool for the job..

BLF LED database – collaboration spreadsheet and latest news about where to buy LEDs
http://budgetlightforum.com/node/19342

ChibiM
ChibiM's picture
Offline
Last seen: 6 hours 36 min ago
Joined: 05/09/2011 - 10:25
Posts: 5820
Location: Holland/Japan

Sorry to hear that!!

I don't remember I had trouble with getting the disc out. Yes, starting of with 2 nee holes seems to be a good idea.