Sunwayman D20A Gemini Dual Light Sources, 2 x AA Batteries in Parallel layout , 258 Lumens

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Skyraider59
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Sunwayman D20A Gemini Dual Light Sources, 2 x AA Batteries in Parallel layout , 258 Lumens
*Sunwayman D20A Gemini Dual Light Sources, 2 x AA Batteries in Parallel layout, 258 Lumens in Turbo* Supplied by Sunwayman for review

Is the latest high power dual light source AA flashlight from Sunwayman. The D20A is what I would classify as a retro but novel looking light which captured my interest straightaway!


What’s in the box

The box is a highly illustrated glossy cardboard box with a plastic insert with:
D20A Gemini, a set of instructions in Chinese and English, a registration card, a small advertising leaflet for some of their lights and a small plastic bag with a lanyard and 3 “o” rings.
The box and the leaflet data on the main white LED did not match Sunwayman website data.
There are printing errors on both as what you are actually getting for the main LED is an XP G2 R5, which is stated on their website.
(Reply from Sunwayman, 10/30/13 – We have noted this and made new user manuals. )

Initial overview and feel

The D20A has a very distinctive look with a rectangular shape and a double lens at the front. This in a way reminded me of the business end of the Legendary Colt 45, kind of a comforting look of quality and power. The D20A looks small enough for an EDC and is not much longer that most single AA flashlights, but of course twice as wide. It has an elongated cubic shape which allows the D20A to stand or lay in any position without rolling. The first thing you notice when you pick it up is its weight, especially when loaded with 2 AA (weight with two Eneloop is 171gr) but the D20A fitted well in my hand with my thumb naturally resting on the switches (I have a medium sized hand).




The other thing you notice is the square edges of the endcap digging a little into your hand. On both narrow sides, it has a slight ribbing to help with the grip. The two switches have a positive feel and are easy to differentiate thanks to the dual level height. The endcap is removed by turning anticlockwise a tail ring located by the red lock and pulling the assembly out of the body. Inserting batteries will require looking at the internal spring arrangement to get the batteries the right way in. No minus or positive logo or engraving are showing, so people will have to be careful. Again, you need to look at the spring arrangement to insert the endcap the correct way! No mention of reverse polarity protection and I will contact the manufacturer to check this.
(Reply from Sunwayman, 10/30/13 Yes, the D20A has reverse polarity protection)

Despite the parallel batteries layout, they are connected in series to achieved the advertised 3v.

Once locked, the endcap on my light has not got the positive watertight feel that you would get out of a screw cap, but in a way this is to be expected due to the two pin twist lock mechanism needed on a rectangular endcap. I wonder if the two screws on either side could be a tension adjustment? Again, I will contact the manufacturer to find out.
(Reply from Sunwayman, 10/30/13 There is o-ring on the endcap so don’t worry about the waterproof, we have the test. The two screws on either side are not tension adjustment.)



Sunwayman specify that the D20A is waterproof, in accordance with IPX -8 standard
Initially, reinserting the endcap with the battery loaded was a real struggle as the “o” ring was dry, but once lubricated with Nyogel or similar lube, the endcap went in easily. The side clip has a very strong tension and will firmly hold your D20A on any webbing or belt. The clip can be removed if required by unscrewing the two small hex bolts. The Type III – hard anodized on the body and endcap was flourless, but the black coating on the clip had two small chips when I received the flashlight. The two stainless steel bezel for the lenses, do protrude slightly and I think it is in the design of the light.
Once turned on, you get plenty of light out of the D20A. The beam is more of a thrower but with plenty of spill to make it a very useful flashlight inside or out. I personally think the 3 main modes 208, 70, 4 lumens are well spaced and it is nice to see that they have included a really useful low (4 Lumens is low enough for me :-)). The step down from Turbo to high is noticeable, but the high still gives you over 200 lumens for 2.3 hours. This for me is a massive plus against single AA type flashlights! I like the fact that the Strobe and SOS are hidden modes as I am sure, for many they are hardly used. When I first turned on the Red LED I was amazed at how 23 red Lumens covered by resin convex lens illuminated! Great! Now if this is too much for your night vision , there is also a 10 and a 4 lumens setting. The Police flash is right after the low and only the slow flash is hidden. Both LED’s have a “last mode used” memory function which is memorized until you switch the other LED on.



Regarding the LED, the box and instruction leaflet list the main LED as being an XM-L U2 but the Sunwayman website list it as a XP-G2 R5. From the comparison wall beam shots taken with a V11R (XM L U2 ) and an early V10RTi (Cree R5), you will see that this definitely not an XM-L.

Manufacturer Data

CREE XP-G2 R5 and XP-E P2 LED, with a lifetime of up to 50,000 hours;
Newest Stepped Dual-button Side Switch System, 6 output modes to select from:
White Light
Turbo: 258 Lumens (Automatically enter High mode after 3 mins continuous use to avoid overheat)
High: 208 Lumens (2.3hrs.)
Mid: 70 Lumens (9.3hrs.)
Low: 4 Lumens (60hrs.)
Strobe
SOS
Red Light
High: 23 Lumens
Mid: 10 Lumens
Low: 4 Lumens
Police Strobe
Slow Flash
Standby Current <100µA
Constant current circuit, constant output
Effective range of 126 meters
Intensity: 4000cd
Uses two AA batteries
Working voltage: 0.9~3V
White light uses high quality metal reflector, maintains great throw distance and spread with an ideal beam pattern; Red light uses high quality resin lens
Dimensions: 21mm x 35mm x 102.5mm
Weight: 119g(battery excluded)
Aerospace-grade aluminum alloy, Stainless Steel retaining ring on the top
Military Specification Type III – hard anodized body
Waterproof, in accordance with IPX -8 standard
Ultra-clear tempered glass lens resists scratches and impacts
Accessories: Lanyard, O-ring

Settings

From Off, you need to depress the further back (lower, on/off) switch to turn the white LED on to either turbo mode or the last memorized (white) mode, then a depress of the front switch (mode) will bring the next mode in the sequence of turbo, high, medium and low. Also two hidden modes are obtained from the front switch via a quick double depress for the white strobe and a long depress for the SOS .
A short depress of the rear switch will turn the light off.
A long depress of the rear switch will activate the red led. Again the same process with the modes being cycled via a short depress of the front switch with high, medium, low and police strobe. A hidden slow flash mode is obtained by a long depress of the forward switch.
Again the D20A has a “last used mode” memory which will be cancelled when you turn the white LED on.
The flashlight as a lock/standby mode which is activated from off by holding the front ( mode) switch down for a couple of seconds. Whichever LED you used last will flash to let you know that your are locked. To unlock, just hold the front switch down until the light turns itself on. Again this will be on the same mode and LED that your light was last on.

Home test

A while back I made a DIY integration sphere that I now use to take my LUX readings. This allows me to make fairly accurate comparisons between my various light outputs and run times.
The test was done with two Black Eneloop XX showing 1.44v each
The D20A was turn on Turbo showing
0mn 17650
1mn 17310
2mn 17210
3mn 17150
at 3mn 36” the turbo stepped down to high mode showing now 13610 lux .
Unfortunately, I did not record the exact time when the level dropped from 13480 to the low 4200 when I turned off the D20A but this was around 145mn,
making the manufacturer run time very accurate as they stated 2.3h on high mode, and I did start my test with turbo! Once in turbo the light was getting warm, the one piece body did work well in transmitting the heat and despite the warm feel, this was not a problem holding it. Once in high after the 3.30 nn of turbo, the light took quite a while to cool down completely. Please note the heat was never an issue.

Indoor and outdoor beam shots

Please note data given below are from the manufacturer. I have tried to adjust my camera settings to show as close as I can what I see.


daylight


turbo 258 lumens


High, 208 lumens


medium 70 lumens


high 23 lumens





medium 10 lumens
Our kitchen is all white apart from one wall so the ceiling bounce work very well maximizing the light
Photos are as close as I can get it.

*For/Against
*
Against:
like many flashlights there are a few niggles, but nothing major.
If I had the opportunity to make changes, then I would sort out the sharp angles on the endcap and introduce some internal raised markings in the body to allow battery fit by feel in total darkness.

For:
Sunwayman have been very bold by launching the D20A. This is very different from anything else on the market today and due to its unusual look some will love it and others may not. With the D20A you are getting a twin AA battery (side by side) flashlight with dual LED (one red for some night activities) with long run time, in a very stylish, compact and robust EDC form with a military flavour! And the intuitive LED operating system makes the D20A easy to use.
The fact that the D20A is powered by AA batteries makes it the ideal light to have in a crisis as AA’s are the most commonly used and easiest obtainable batteries.


I think this will be very well received by the professionals like the Military, the Police, Search and Rescue and others as its ability to be clipped on mole attachments or harnesses while displaying various flash modes (with its white or red LED) will be useful . In am a keen cyclist and cycle to work every day and this will now be in my rucksack or on my trouser belt as the D20A could act as a front or rear light back up if one of my usual lights failed!
It may be a little heavy and bulky for your jeans/trouser pocket but would feel at home in your coat or on your belt.

*So for me it is a big YES, I love it, especially its looks and functionability.
*
Skyraider59
Jetbeam ST CYCLER (reviewed), EZ-AA (reviewed); EA4 (reviewed), D20A (reviewed)

Skyraider59

Edited by: Skyraider59 on 11/20/2013 - 14:24
Skyraider59
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SORRY GUYS, I have loads of photos to upload , but I am really struggling to post them, this is why you have one not belonging to the review on it!
So please be patient. Skyraider59

Skyraider59

djozz
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Welcome to BLF, and thanks for the very informative review, it sounds this light is just as good as it seemed to be Smile

(haven't seen the pictures yet, just one from pyro's custom SRK driver, I guess that is a test?)

djozz
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Skyraider59 wrote:
SORRY GUYS, I have loads of photos to upload , but I am really struggling to post them, this is why you have one not belonging to the review on it! So please be patient. Skyraider59

no hurries, and good luck getting it done!

Skyraider59
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You should have a lot more picture shortly, I think I have craked it as how to post photos

Skyraider59

unknown00101
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These are $83?!

Skyraider59
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Like always scouting the net do pay off Not sure if I can give names here! but some dealers are doing special introduction prices at $54

This light is very different to anything else I have, for me worth it.

I have got more photos to upload and will do that tomorrow night as it is very late here.

Skyraider 59

Skyraider59

jacktheclipper
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Welcome .Thanks for sharing .

 

DBSAR
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Nice photos if this cool light ! the springs on the tail cap and inside, ( and the eneloop positions) indicates the 2 AAs are in series oddly, ( usually parallel the cells are in the body in the same direction on most prallel set ups i seen.)

That Canadian flashlight guy & Lantern Guru -Den / DBSARlight

Essexman
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Nice detailed review, thanks for taking the time to share.

One question – Did you buy the light for yourself, or was it supplied by SWM for review?

The Last Katun
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DenBarrettSAR wrote:
Nice photos if this cool light ! the springs on the tail cap and inside, ( and the eneloop positions) indicates the 2 AAs are in series oddly, ( usually parallel the cells are in the body in the same direction on most prallel set ups i seen.)

I also thought the same thing: they are not in parallel, but in series.
But then I thought that meant Skyraider59: “physically in parallel” even if they are “electrically in series.”

jpil
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Welcome Skyraider59.

Thanks for sharing .

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The Last Katun wrote:
DenBarrettSAR wrote:
Nice photos if this cool light ! the springs on the tail cap and inside, ( and the eneloop positions) indicates the 2 AAs are in series oddly, ( usually parallel the cells are in the body in the same direction on most prallel set ups i seen.)

I also thought the same thing: they are not in parallel, but in series.
But then I thought that meant Skyraider59: “physically in parallel” even if they are “electrically in series.”

You are spot on, electrically they are in series to achieve the 3v, the parallel is for the layout of the batteries, so I have now change to read “ you are getting a twin AA battery (side by side) flashlight” so not to confuse people.

Skyraider59

gregs656
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This is an interesting format. It would be nice to have one aspheric lensed emitter for throw and one with a shallow reflector for flood in a set up like this – operated independently. Scaled up for 18650s.

Is there anything like that out there?

Zenbaas
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Seeing as how much time has passed for those of you who have purchased this light would you say it is still worth it…? What alternatives are out there…? (Because I tried searching a bit and came up with nothing other than nitecore SRT7 and Fenix TK32).

adnj
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Zenbaas wrote:
Seeing as how much time has passed for those of you who have purchased this light would you say it is still worth it…? What alternatives are out there…? (Because I tried searching a bit and came up with nothing other than nitecore SRT7 and Fenix TK32).

Maybe the Nitecore EC21. I have one on the way. 18650 with a red led in addition to the white.

It would be interesting to mod this to use 14500 batteries.