Review: Convoy L2 from FastTech. This thing is huge.

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Ramblings
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Review: Convoy L2 from FastTech. This thing is huge.

 Convoy L2

The Compensator.

Summary:

 Place of purchase: FastTech.com SKU1213106
 Battery: 1~2 x 18650/26650
 Switch: Tail-cap Reverse Clicky
 Modes:

 2-Groups

  •  5% - 30% - 100%
  •  5% - 30% - 100% - Fast Strobe (~10Hz) - SOS
 LED Type: 1 x XM-L U2-1B (CW)  
 Lens:

 Glass.
 AR-Coated both sides. 

 Tailstands:

 Yes. Though the big head means a high centre of gravity.

 Accesories:

 1 x 26650 Body Extension 
 2 x 18650 to 26650 Battery Tubes (PVC)

 Price:  USD$51.19 - 5% = USD$48.63. Free Shipping.
 Date Ordered: 16 March 2013. Left Hong Kong on the 21st March. 
 Arrived in metro Australian address on the 5th April.

 

Pros:

  • Very long reflector produces a tight hot spot.
  • Almost perfect machining and anodising.
  • Amount of mass and the design make for heat-sinking second-to-none especially for a single XM-L.
  • Double sided anti-reflective coating.
  • Fits longer and wider protected batteries really well. Both Trustfire Flame 4000mAh Protected and King Kong ICR Protected.
  • Can use button or flat-top batteries.
  • Low-Voltage Warning.
  • Threads are anodised, rounded, almost square and silky smooth.
  • Battery flexibility. The option of using two batteries for extended burn time is always welcome.
  • You can unscrew the battery body tubes at both ends. (I had to hacksaw my last 26650 flashlight to recover my KK 26650)
  • Very decent current throughput.
  • Doubles as a club. (Makes me feel like a big man) 

Cons:

  • It's huge. HUGE.
  • Pointing at anything less than half a metre (a foot and a half for you 'mericans) produces a spot with a dark LED die-shaped void.
  • The size and solidity of the body means that it's also heavy.
  • The hotspot isn't a very clean, neat one.
  • Hotspot isn't focused to a point, it's more of a small circle of consistent brightness.
    • To elaborate further, for example, a de-domed XP-G2 in a C8 has a really small spot of extreme luminous flux (let's call it 100kcd) and drops off rapidly into spill,
      the L2 has a spot that's more twice  radius to start off with of around 80kcd throughout the whole spot (total 'blind' estimate) and drops off similarly outside that larger radius.
    • Weird enigma, the spot doesn't become larger as much as the dedomed C8 does and at around 200m they appear to be exactly the same size even though their white wall shots would look totally different a meter away.
  • Smelt heavily of petroleum products when first opened. Goes away after an hour or so.
  • No fine knurling on the primary body. Just two scallops.
  • Different pattern makes the secondary battery body look out of place.
  • No turbo. Could be driven with an extra 1A with all that heat-sinking.
  • Threads had a weird vaseline like substance on them and it felt/sounded like there were sand grains in the threads.
  • Body tubes don't join together until gapless.
  • No HA-III confirmed.
  • No moonlight mode. Dunno why you'd want one, but it's just not there.
  • Doesn't burn your enemies faces off when you shine it at them.
  • Carrying it in any place other than somewhere totally isolated makes you look like a douche.
  • People of the female gender think you're compensating for something. And they're not always wrong.

Other Notes:

  • Oh my. Where am I going to put this?
Pictures.

Unboxing. Packaging is a simple, no fuss, plain brown box with bubble wrap.

A few size comparisons with the Roche M170. The L2 is as wide as the M170 even though it is only single emitter vs triple!

A few measurements of what really matter. Length and girth.

AR coating on lens is pretty obvious.

Die is perfectly centered.

Copper, not brass, spring.

Almost square threads.

The tubes on the body don't join together seamlessly. There's at least a 3mm gap between each one. Don't know how water/weatherproof it is.
 
Runtime and amperage: (still testing)
With 1 x 4000mAh 26650 Trustfire Flames Protected.
Currents are measured at tailcap.
I'd put the cutoff voltage at 2.7V under load. 
  • High (100%) - 2.570A (pretty much direct drive all the way down)
    • 0mins - 4.18V
    • 15mins - 3.91V 2.51A
    • 30mins - 3.79V, 2.45A
    • 45mins - 3.71V, 2.31A
    • 1hour - 3.65V, 2.15A
    • 1hr 15mins - 3.61V, 2.10A
    • 1hr 30mins - 3.60V, 2.08A
    • 1hr 45mins - 3.56V, 1.95A
    • 2hrs 0mins - 3.52V, 2.085A 
    • 2hrs 15mins - 3.47V, 1.508A
    • 2hrs 30mins - 3.39V , 1.482A
    • 2hrs 35mins - 3.185V, First low-voltage cutoff slow strobe.
  • Mid (30%) - 1.195A
    • 1hr 0mins - 3.86V, 1.196A
    • 1hr 30mins - 3.73V, 1.253A
    • 2hrs 0mins - 3.572V, 1.285A
    • 2hrs 30mins - 3.515V, 1.311A
    • 3hrs 4mins - 2.88V, First low-voltage warning.
  • Low (5%) - 0.105A
    • 12hrs - 3.83V, 0.109A
    • 18hrs - 3.70V, 0.111A
    • 24hrs - 3.62V, 0.115A
    • 30hrs - 3.545V, 0.115A
    • 36hrs - 3.418V, 0.119A
    • 37hrs - 2.985V, First low-voltage warning.
Brightness Comparison: 
ISO400 f/3.3 1/2sec (Sony HX9V) -apologies for the poor focus on a lot of the photos. Had to borrow a point-and-shoot and didn't set to infinite.
I tried to set exposure settings to as-true to eye. Got pretty close.
Scroll down to 200m if you want to skip the pointless stuff.
 
Flickr set link here. 

The lineup includes the BLF A8 T6-3C, Convoy L2 U2-1B, Nitecore P25 Smilodon, XinTD U3-1C and a P60 XM-L T6-3C driven at 2.8A.

50m to the base of the tree.
 
BLF A8
BLF A8 50m

Convoy L2
L2 @ 50m

Smilodon
P25 @ 50m

XinTD
XinTD @ 50m

P60


100m to the base of the tree. 
BLF A8
BLF A8 @ 100m
 
Convoy L2
L2 @ 100m

Smilodon
P25 @ 100m

XinTD
XinTD @ 100m

P60 
P60 @ 100m
 
 
200m to the base of the tree.
BLF A8
BLF A8 @ 200m

Convoy L2
L2 @ 200m

Smilodon
P25 @ 200m

XinTD
XinTD @ 200m

P60 
P60 @ 200m
 
Just to round up the beamshots, it's quite clear that the Convoy L2 out throws everything, but the XinTD is nipping at its heels up to about 150m. I couldn't do a 300m shot because there's just too much light pollution in my area, I don't have a field big enough, or a tripod for stability, but I swear the Convoy L2 throws a good 350m-400m. The Smilodon comes in a decently close third for throw, and the BLF A8 and P60 come in an equal last, mainly due to their almost identical sized reflectors.
 
Rating:
Again, this a pure happiness factor that is completely personal and means absolutely nothing to you.
I be giving it a 8/10. Which is the equivalent of what I gave the SRK. 
There isn't as much novelty and specificity as the Roche M170, but the size and throw are quite a wow factor.
I'm also happy that someone decided to make a really nice 26650 flashlight, but I thought that, with the amount of heat-sinking in the design, you could easily run 3.5-4 amps through the XM-L without obscene amounts of runaway.
 

Eye has mi a litezaybor.
Lightsaber. 

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 09/02/2017 - 11:53
18sixfifty
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Nice review. It’s an interesting light.

I’m a junky, I mod lights so I can sell lights so I can buy more light to mod so I can sell lights to buy more lights to mod.

gords1001
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I have an l2 host inbound specifically because I fancied a monster version, thanks for the review.

JackCY
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I think they list the dimensions so you know what size of light do you buy Silly

djozz
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I am all into small lights normally, but I may have to compensate that now Undecided

Great and affordable host for some real mayhem!  ( Gords?... )

link to djozz tests 

“I used to think that top environmental problems were biodiversity loss, ecosystem collapse and climate change. I thought that thirty years of good science could address these problems. I was wrong. The top environmental problems are selfishness, greed and apathy, and to deal with these we need a cultural and spiritual transformation. And we scientists don’t know how to do that.”   (Gus Speth)

TSellers
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I would seem the main reason to go for this would be the heat dissipation ability and thus run it at the higher amps you suggest.

Would this host be for 20mm drivers and emitters?

Regards, TS

MRsDNF
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Thanks Ramblings. I luv your style of review. ‘‘NOT YET. WAIT. GEEZ’‘. I’m waiting.

My current and or voltage measurements are only relevent to anything that I measure.

Budget light hobby proudly sponsored by my Mastercard and unknowingly paid for by a hard working wife. 

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

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.

 

gords1001
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so as to not clutter up this review, I would suggest directing mod build conversation here

http://budgetlightforum.com/node/20290#node-20290

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TSellers wrote:
Would this host be for 20mm drivers and emitters?

Yes and yes.

The star the LED is currently mounted on is a standard 20mm star. If you were to go for a higher current through the LED, you'd be better off with a copper star or one of those SinkPads which would do wonders with the heat generated.

I can't seem to get the brass driver-retaining ring out with my tweezers, but measuring the diameter thread-to-thread of the housing around that ring, I get 22.36mm. So a 21mm driver should fit just fine. 

MRsDNF wrote:
Thanks Ramblings. I luv your style of review. ''NOT YET. WAIT. GEEZ''. I'm waiting.

Smile

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

kevind43
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great review.

what is the diameter of the battery tube?

thanks

kevin

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kevind43 wrote:
great review. what is the diameter of the battery tube? thanks kevin

Cheers.

Inner diameter at smallet point: 26.55mm

Out diameter at largest point: 32.58mm 

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

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Updated to include beamshots. Albeit very crappy ones.

MRsDNF, your patience has been rewarded. 

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

MRsDNF
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Ramblings wrote:

Updated to include beamshots. Albeit very crappy ones.

MRsDNF, your patience has been rewarded. 

Crappy. I can tell you exactly what park you were in your shots are so good. Thanks for the shots and strangely I can relate to nearly all your torches (flashlights to half off the world). Wink

My current and or voltage measurements are only relevent to anything that I measure.

Budget light hobby proudly sponsored by my Mastercard and unknowingly paid for by a hard working wife. 

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

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.

 

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compensator.. ha ha…

How bright is bright enough...

Runtime VS Lumens...

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Very nice review Ramblings!  Thanks for the comparative beamshots!  My only critique is that the beamshots are a little small. 

Thanks!
-Garry

My Bike Lights Thread, Optics (TIR) Comparison Beamshots, Diffusion Techniques


NOTE: Moving my photos from PhotoBucket to Flickr. PM me or post in the thread if you can’t see my images and need me to fix or send a gallery link. PhotoBucket images should remain visible until November 2018.
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garrybunk wrote:

My only critique is that the beamshots are a little small. 

Added Flickr set link.

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

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Ramblings wrote:

garrybunk wrote:

My only critique is that the beamshots are a little small. 

Added Flickr set link.

Thanks!

-Garry

My Bike Lights Thread, Optics (TIR) Comparison Beamshots, Diffusion Techniques


NOTE: Moving my photos from PhotoBucket to Flickr. PM me or post in the thread if you can’t see my images and need me to fix or send a gallery link. PhotoBucket images should remain visible until November 2018.
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I’d just like to back up ramblings here, this light is awesome, I am hellish impressed with mine, infact I’m waiting on it going dark so I can go out for another play test session.

Its also a really easy build, I would though suggest people go with the ld-29 driver from fasttech and xp-g2 if they want to keep things a little more sane, on this build, that would mean three simple solder connections in total and stupid amounts of throw J)

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very nice review..

do you have trustfire X9 to add in comparison?

and may I know which XinTD in used in this review? a link is much appreciate Smile

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sorotantaz wrote:

do you have trustfire X9 to add in comparison?

and may I know which XinTD in used in this review? a link is much appreciate Smile

No X9, sorry.

The model of the XinTD C8 was noted briefly but I'll restate it here, it's the U3 bin with the 1C tint.
I got it from intl-outdoor here. It's the 3-mode non flashy one but that doesn't really matter.

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

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Ramblings wrote:

sorotantaz wrote:

do you have trustfire X9 to add in comparison?

and may I know which XinTD in used in this review? a link is much appreciate Smile

No X9, sorry.

The model of the XinTD C8 was noted briefly but I'll restate it here, it's the U3 bin with the 1C tint.
I got it from intl-outdoor here. It's the 3-mode non flashy one but that doesn't really matter.

the xin td c8 is very impressive throw considering the reflector diameter..it's not left too far by L2.… I guess maybe my X9 can be out throw by the xintd u3 .
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sorotantaz wrote:
it's not left too far by L2.… I guess maybe my X9 can be out throw by the xintd u3 .

Dunno if I mistyped this earlier, but just shining over peoples houses, etc. to tall trees above, the spot of the L2 has almost double the distance capability. The XinTD isn't really visible >250m, but the L2's can be seen illuminating trees >400m away. I just can't post such long range pics due to equipment unavailability.

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

panthervision23
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Those FLs look sweet. Love Thanks for the review, anyway.

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Thanx for this review Ramblings. My two Convoy C8s are on its way from FastTech and I’m setting my Smile sights on this.

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Thanks for the review. Smile i was thinking of diving in for this light.

That Canadian flashlight guy & Lantern Guru -Den / DBSARlight

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very nice review - Thank you ..

 Always remember , the easiest thing in the world to do , is to expel hot air from your lungs and through some vocal chords ..
The resulting sound may , or may not be worth listening too ….

 

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I bought the DIY kit, but it didn’t come with screws that allows you to screw in the LED. Does any one have any idea on the screw size needed?

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Rod911 wrote:
I bought the DIY kit, but it didn't come with screws that allows you to screw in the LED. Does any one have any idea on the screw size needed?

According the to the product pictures on FT the sixth picture shows screws included. Wanna double check?

I have no experience with the host only, so I'm pretty useless here.

I can only guess that since they are made in China somewhere and not 'Merica, they'd be metric and from there it's only a rough estimation of what pitch.

I'd be the first to bet M2 because of the diameter.

 

Best solution would be to pop down to your local hardware store with the torch and lightly try to screw it in. 

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

Rod911
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Will bring torch in hand when I go to Bunnings on Monday.

I thought the screws would be in with the spring, centering ring and brass ring, but no go. Checking inside the head, it wasn’t there either.

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I have a few metric screws I could post you if you like.

My current and or voltage measurements are only relevent to anything that I measure.

Budget light hobby proudly sponsored by my Mastercard and unknowingly paid for by a hard working wife. 

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

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.

 

Rod911
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MRsDNF wrote:
I have a few metric screws I could post you if you like.

If you can send some my way, that would be much appreciated. PM incoming! Smile

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