Micro-review: The Warsun Collection MX-900 Find 6, X60, A9, A10, ET26, CT9T.... Initial Impression and some Pics!

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blfdemigod
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Micro-review: The Warsun Collection MX-900 Find 6, X60, A9, A10, ET26, CT9T.... Initial Impression and some Pics!

UPDATE 6/1/2014: Just noticed today that the MX-900, X60, A9, and A10 are now being sold by Banggood.com for an amazing low price of a little over $21 shipped with coupon code "BLF". Killer deal for such solid built flashlights in my opinion. I like that they also made the extension tubes available as well. Hopefully they will carry the CT9T and ET26 as well. 

 

Also, just so you know I am also working with the manufacturer to produce the Warsun BLFX, which is being hand crafted for us BLF'ers with a more powerful driver, better looks, and way better modes. It is being based off of the MX-900.

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ORIGINAL REVIEW: So I ordered some samples directly from the manufacturer, and they finally arrived. Upon opening the box, there were 6 white boxes of varying sizes. Inside the boxes contained 6 very nice flashlights.

 

They are the Warsun MX-900 Find 6, Warsun CT9T, Warsun X60, Warsun A9, Warsun A10, and Warsun ET26.

You can find very detailed info and pictures a lot better than the one's I took here: T-mall Warsun website translated to english or if you know Chinese click here Tmall Warsun website. I believe you can only get these flashlights in China for now.

 

MX-900 and CT9T take 18650 batteries. The X60, A9, A10, and ET26 take both 26650 and 18650 batteries. The manufacturer did not include any accessories with the flashlights, not even 18650 adapter.

 

This mini review will mainly be about the MX-900 as I really like it the most, maybe because of the square knurling, but honestly they are almost all the same in quality and build, as well as features.

 

 

Phone Charge Capability: Seems the CT9T, X60, and the A10 all have the ability to recharge USB devices with an adapter that comes with the flashlights. Unfortunately, the manufacturer chose to no include those accessories when sending me the samples. I have no idea why he did not send these accessories as they seem to make up an important feature in these 3 models.

 

Batteries & Recharge: The MX-900 and CT9T accept button top and flat top 18650's of all sizes. I could not test the other 4 models as I do not own any 26650 batteries, and have no adapter, but I see no reason why they can't take all 18650/26650 batteries as well, as they are built all the same.

Of the 6 models, three have built-in recharge capability. The CT9T, X60, and A10. I have found that my Nitecore 500mah charger fits in the charging port of these lights perfectly. I have not attempted to charge any batteries in the CT9T as of yet, so I can not comment on this.

 

Build Quality: The build quality is very high quality. It is HAIII anodized aluminum. I can see or feel no difference in build quality between my Solarforce L2m and these Warsun flashlights. They all have an aluminum SMO reflector. Fit and finish is amazing. Threads screw together nicely. All joint's contain "double O-rings" and everything is very well lubed. Here is my build quality rating scale, 100% being "Highest Quality Possible" and working its way down for reference:

100% Build Quality: Nitecore TM-26

98% Build Quality: Warsun (all models), Solarforce L2m

92% Build Quality: SkyRay King

 

Waterproof: Submerged in a 5 gallon bucket of water for 5 minutes, I did not see any leaks.

 

Modes : The flashlight has 5 modes: High, medium, low, Strobe, and SOS. The REAR power button can turn the flashlight on and off, as well as cycle through the modes with short presses. The side switch changes the modes in the order listed above. You can also turn off the flashlight with the side switch by pressing and holding for 3 seconds. There does seem to be the slightest 0.1 second delay when transitioning from SOS back to High, but its barely even noticeable and did not bother me any.

 

Low battery Indicator: When the batteries reach about 3.25V the power button starts blinking red to let you know batteries are low. Very nice feature.

 

Quick take on Throw/Flood: On testing the MX-900, I was shock, no, amazed how far the beam throws. I pointed it about 200 yards, and it reached there no problem. It also seemed like it could throw further, but I had nothing further to point it at. The flood is also pretty good, but this flashlight is definitely a thrower first and foremost.

 

Over-driver/Under-driven: The flashlight seems under-driven. As it is in stock form, the flashlight would be perfect for 99% of the population, and not one person would complain. To me though, it seemed like it could definitely be driven alot harder. I would guesstimate the light in stock form to be about 850-1000 lumens. It has a good amount of flood, but an intense amount of throw, even in it's under-driven state.

 

Beam: While looking at the beam of both the MX-900 and CT9T on a wall and ceiling, it seems they are as perfect as a beam can get. Not one artifact. The beams were identical in both, as they should, since all these flashlights share the same reflector.

 

Dismantling: Taking flashlight apart is very easy. To get to the driver, one must unsolder the LED first, then the driver comes right out, after removing the copper spring disc. I found that the LED had an Artic Silver (non-adhesive) type of compound.

 

Conclusion: It is a very, very good quality light that feels amazing to hold in my hand. I really like this flashlight alot. Unfortunately, I don't see many sellers, if any carrying this brand, but they should. I went off the pictures of the T-mall link before I ordered these, hoping it would be good quality, and they are actually a lot better than I expected.

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Well enough rambling, on to the pics. Mind you, I took these indoors with my digital camera. Not the best pics, but I don't think the worse either. Bare in mind this is my first mini-review

 

FRONT SHOTS starting from left: CT9T, X60, ET26, MX-900, A10, A9

 

REAR SHOTS starting from left: CT9T, X60, ET26, MX-900, A10, A9

 

All reflectors and bezels are the same size, even they appear not to be in this pic.

 

MX-900 Headcap Spring

 

Tail-cap Spring

 

Threads are anodized and came well lubed

 

Did I tell you they came well lubed?

 

Tailcap Clicky

 

Double O-rings on every joint possible, did I mention they were well lubed?

 

Left: solarforce L2m head,   Right: MX-900

 

Left: Solarforce L2m, Middle: Warsun MX-900, Right: SkyRay King

 

Left: SkyRay King, Right: MX-900

 

MX-900 with extra tube for 2x18650

 

MX-900 completely disassembled, notice I can take the three GITD rings off the extra tube if I want.

 

glass lens with very thick GITD O-ring that fits around both sides of the lens.

Inside the driver head, as far as I could go

 

Like I said, they spared no expense on lube. I can actually some of this as back-up on my other flashlights Smile

 

Left: Nitecore TM-26 with blue status indicator     Right: MX-900 with red LED low battery indicator

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Edited by: blfdemigod on 06/01/2014 - 08:49
phantom23
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Black cover is too high, it wastes quite a lot of light.

AlexGT
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Thank you for your review, I am considering warsun for my next purchase, are they HAIII finish? Can the driver be modded for more power? Is the button waterproof?

Thanks!

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I'm trying to find out now how to get to the driver without damaging it. I will update the review one I figure it out I was told by another member that the driver can me modded with a resistor for more power. The manufacturer said it is HAIII and I would have to agree, from the feel of the flashlight.

The MX-800 seems to have a slight shine to its HAIII though compared to the rest though.

I just tested the MX-800 in a bucket of water for about 5 minutes and see no leaks whatsoever. With all the double seals on every section though, I don't see how its even possible.

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YES! the driver can be easily mod with simple resistor mod to give out extra lumens and they have excellent heatsink too Big Smile

YES! the black LED cover is on the high side, but they do gives out a nice round hotspot without ugly corona as in regular C8, however be very careful when upgrading this light with high Amp driver, it will burn that black LED covered and create smoke that can ruin the reflector finish ( don’t ask how I know Silly )

but if you just want a simple resistor mod to somewhere around comfortable zone of XM-L2 at around 3.5A.. this is definitely an awesome light, if you don’t care about the size of course as it is longer than most C8.

lucky for me I found another reflector donor from another light which is longer than the original, now it even gives out more intense hotspot Big Smile

I love that M900X lighted switch button.

btw.. to take out the driver all you have to do is disconnect the solders on the LED star first and then just yank the driver out by pulling the spring Big Smile

The only way to do a great work is to love what you do.

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Thanks dayLighter, that was easy, just unsolder the LED and out comes the driver! Here are some pics of the driver. Now what do I need to do?

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Tom E
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Driver can be stripped, drop in a Nanjg with e-switch support, maybe FET based, and you got an awesome light! I did a CT9S that way. But if you have a Warsun with the power switch red indicator for low voltage, you will lose that capability with the stndard e-switch drivers.

Hhmm. Looks like they upgraded the CT9S to CT9T. Think WallBuys was selling the CT9S...

Anywhere else these lights can be bought retail?

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Hey TomE, thanks for some help. I think that might be above my skill level, not sure. I have a soldering station, but no hot air rework station. I do have a heat gun though! I have also never stripped a board naked before. But I did get some 70N02 in the other day though!

Is there anything I can do to the stock driver instead, before going the full driver rework method you suggest? I would prefer that method, if possible! Is that a PLCC2 LED on the stock board, and can I swap it to blue if I wanted?

 

As for buying retail, I have not seen them anywhere. Hopefully sellers will start carrying them, since they are all built very solid. They also all feel very good in my hand! This is my first time getting a 26650 light, and in my hand they feel great. I always thought 26650 flashlights would be to big for my liking, guess I was wrong. Getting 4 of them is way too much for me. Might just do a random giveaway on 1 or 2 of them, but I need to see which one's I like the most first.

 

edit Add: The driver board I posted came from the MX-900, wondering if thats why the driver you have posted looks a little different.

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ImA4Wheelr
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Hey blfdemigod.  Nice review.  Those 2 R160 resistors are probably the voltage sense resistor bank that is used to regulate current.  Combined they equal .08 ohms resistance.  You can stack more resistors on top of them or use copper wire if you are adventurous.  That should increase current to your emitter.

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Thanks Ima4Wheeler. So just remove them and do a straight copper bridge?  I need to push this baby to max! 1700 lumens here we come!

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+1 - follow Daylighter's or ImA4Wheelr's advice on the resistor mod method. May have to swap out that LED black centering piece though, as Daylighter mentioned. Anything over 3A though, I would go for a copper (direct thermal path) mounted LED though. RMM at Mtn has good LED's pre-mounted on Noctigons. Not sure of details on the Warsun's though for the MCPCB swap - fit, height, etc.

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Ok, I'll give that a shot. Got 10 LEDs and some insulators on the way from RMM.

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You can just put the copper wire on top of the resistors.  No reason to remove them unless you want them for something else.

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Resistor bridging is a bit risky... I'd go conservative on adding resistor(s). With keeping the driver, of course, you would keep compatibility for more than one cell, and all the other driver features. My idea of sandwich'ing a Nanjg driver would restrict it to only one cell.

I got a SupBeam L6 (review: http://budgetlightforum.com/node/30623), and do like feel of this size 26650 lights in the hand, plus the advantage of using higher capacity cells. The Warsun's will cost more, but sounds like they are a little better quality too.

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Oh, I think I got lost in all the models.  If the driver is for a multi series cell light, you may want to try just halving the resistance first.  You could add a common R082 resistor.  Thanks for catching that Tom.

Have you tried the light with multiple cells to see how much brighter it is that way first?

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@TomE What kind/type of resistors should I add to it?, I have alot of 1R0, but I think that might be it.

I see that L6, and I will try to take apart one of the 26650 models when I get time, which one for now?

 

@ImA4Wheeler Yes, the MX-900 is a multi-cell light, maybe thats why my driver looks different than the CT9S driver TomE posted.

I did try it with both 1 and 2 cells, and its noticeably brighter with 2 cells, but still not where it needs to be. I don't have an R082 resistor, what other resistors could I use? And I guess I just solder it on top of the existing resistor's?

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ImA4Wheelr
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hmmm, do you have an old electronics that you can harvest resistors from?

The "R" is a decimal when shown.  So each of your R160's are .16 ohm resistors.  Parallel resistors reduce resistance.  So 2 R160's create .08 ohms resistance.  If you added an R082 (.082 ohms resistance) on top of your existing resistors, you would get a combined resistance of .04 ohms (rounded).  That would theoretically double your current.  I say theoretically because other limiting factors may get in the way.

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I use this to calc resistors in parallel: http://www.1728.org/resistrs.htm

What I do is measure the tailcap amps, say for example you get 3A with the two stock R160's.

Using Ohm's Law (V=I*R), solve for V: 0.08 * 3 = 0.24v

So, add one more 0.160 ohm resistor, you get: 0.0533 ohms, solve for I:

V = I * R,   0.24 = I * 0.0533,   I = 0.24/0.0533 = 4.5A

So if you desire to get 4.5A, you would need to add another R160 or equivalent (50% bump). I say equivalent, because you could add two R320's which is the same as one R160. To go more mildy, you would add a higher value resistor instead:

So, adding a 0.200 ohm resistor (R200), you get: 0.057143 ohms, solve for I:

V = I * R,   0.24 = I * 0.057143,   I = 0.24/ 0.057143 = 4.2A

So, adding a R200 resistor will result in a 40% increase in amps. Pretty easy? Smile Don't you just love when the math works? I've done this stuff before and it comes out exactly with the bump I expected....

Problem is, of course, having the Rnnn resistors (current sense) laying around. I ordered a few different sub 1 ohm resistors a while back in the 1206 size from DigiKey. This is one example: http://www.digikey.com/product-detail/en/RL1632R-R160-F/RL16R.16FCT-ND/714519

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I received an MX900 yesterday. The newest warsun model is called MX900 find6. I love the feel and look of the light. Much better feel versus convoy L4. The side button has a nice machined chrome look to it. The output is lacking with a single 18650. It looks as if it was designed for max output with 3×18650. I only got 1.15amp at the tail with a typical samsung or trustfire 18650. I got 1.5 amp at the tail with a single panasonic ncr18650pf. maybe the driver spring has high resistance? I got 1.8 amp with 2×18650. I didn’t have the third link to see what it does with 3×18650. This light is definitely underdriven. It needs a good boost for the single 18650 format because i won’t be running it in the 2×18650 or 3×18650. The black led isolator definitely blocks some light. I got a little better output without the ring. I will be in touch with the manufacture and hopefully they can make a few changes to this light.

The back button and side button both control or cycle through all the modes. The neat part about the side switch is that when the light is on. You can hold down the side switch for 3 seconds and the light goes off. Then it is in standby mode. You can instantly turn the side switch back on and take over control of the light with the side switch only. Kind of hard to explain. I will definitely see if Warsun can eliminate the sos and make the strobe hidden with a fast double click of the side switch.

This is a solid light and was designed with heat sinking in mind. Appears to have a good thermal path to the body. The green water seal that wraps around the lense is a very unique design.

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@ImA4Wheeler and TomE: Ok guys, I just looked around and I have R332, R499, 5L0F, 221, 101, 5R1, 1R0... on all the junk pcbs I have stashed. Can I use any of these? If not, then maybe its time I order from digikey a resistor bundle pack.

@phsinvent I agree this light feels amazing in my hand, and quality is very good. On my Build Quality Index I give it a 98% up there with my Solarforce! What would you rate it from 0-100%?

Anyways, I already asked the manufacturer to make the following changes, we'll see what he says:

  1. Give me a STAINLESS STEEL BEZEL, and possibly a stainless steel tailcap!
  2. A 3.5A driver inside, if they can't do, then give me the LD34 driver in the convoy L4.
  3. Power button to glow blue while on, and red when low battery at 3.25V
  4. remove the black plastic piece around the LED, replaced with a low profile white insulator!
  5. and then we have the PERFECT flashlight!

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If i had to be picky. I would give it a 80-90%. I can see a few machine marks on the end bezel silver piece. And there are a few spots on the tail cap that have sharp edges that needed deburred.

1. I doubt they will want to do a stainless bezel to keep the cost down. But a stainless bezel would be nice.

2. Remove SOS and hide the strobe. It’s just too much nonsense to cycle through. Also, I don’t think I could detect any PWM like I can with solarstorm lights.

3. Boost output of the MX900 Find6 in single 18650 format. 3 amps or higher would be nice. I wonder if the CT9T has better output and a different driver. Did you try the CT9T in single 18650 format? I don’t think the CT9T driver would have the big torroid on the driver.

4. Definitely a new low profile led isolator. The current black one blocks a lot of light.

5. I agree 100%!!! A blue led light for on would be superb. And keep the red low light indicator.

6. Possibly better springs for resistance purposes.

7. Flat anodizing with less shine or gloss.

8. Maybe better XM-L2 tint, mine came as cool white. A little more neutral wouldn’t hurt.

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Wow, I must have got a lot nicer batch than you. My MX-900 is almost, if not flawless, except for the glossy-ish anodizing.

The CT9T and MX-900 on single 18650 are comparable, but MX-900 seems slightly brighter. On 2x18650 in the MX-900 it's noticeably brighter than the CT9T.

The CT9T I have has a very flat finish. Mx-900 definitely glossier.

I also forgot to email him about the modes. After thinking about it, the only true culprit is the driver to me, and the black insulator piece.

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Hey blf.  You would need a lot of those resistors to bring up your current much.  How risk adverse are you?  You will be risking an emitter if you try this.  Place a solder blob over one of the resisters.  Will be more resistance than a copper wire, but not much more.  So you will be close to max current (what ever it is) that that drive can deliver.  I have hunch that driver will not deliver a ton of current at max, but I'm an amateur.

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Will a driver still put out a certain current amps etc without and led being connected? I wouldnt be too afraid to run this driver at max current because i am only getting 1.2amp with a standard single 18650. 1.6amp with panasonic ncr18650pf.

I have a feeling that the stock led is xm-l2 t4 or t5. I had a slight boost in output when i switched the led to old school xml u2. I accidently ruined hazed the xm-l2 dome when i tried to clean it off with solvent (n-butyl acetate)

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@ImA4Wheeler I'm going to go big and do the solder blob, and if not happy, remove all the resistors and just copper bridge, but I will swap the LED to an old XM-L that I have collecting dust, just in case.

@phsinvent Pray for me!

I will also try to do some tailcap readings of my results.

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Good idea on the sacrificial (hopefully not) xml.  At least if it does fry the emitter, that will mean your driver is capable of high current (or high voltage).  Then it's order some resistors time.  FT sells 1206 (handles more power than 0603 and 0805 sizes) resistors cheap.  Get some R10 and R33's.  That should cover most of the situations you will encounter.

PHS, much more knowledgeable people than me advise against running drivers without a load to drive.  You got me curious now.  Does anyone out there know if you can just connect the DMM to the driver (no emitter in the path) to measure how much current it will deliver?  With no voltage being consumed (almost no Vf), it would seem that it could overload the driver.

Best of luck!

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blfdemigod wrote:

ImA4Wheeler I'm going to go big and do the solder blob, and if not happy, remove all the resistors and just copper bridge, but I will swap the LED to an old XM-L that I have collecting dust, just in case. </p><p>phsinvent Pray for me!

I will also try to do some tailcap readings of my results.

Good luck demigod! Be sure to take some tail cap readings before the resistor removal. I’m guessing you will get 2.6amp after removal and solder added.

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So I checked the tail amps after I installed an XML U2 led. I was using a single panasonic NCR18650PF. I now get 1.8amp. Strange. Still too low but it went up when i installed a XML U2 Versus the XM-L2 T4, T5 or T6 that came in the light.

I was thinking that something was wrong with my meter so I checked a common C8 running a Nanjg 105C 2800ma and I got 2.78amp with that light.

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Ok, well I believe I just blew my 1st LED.

First, I tried the solder blob method, and the MX-900 actually looked like it lost some power compared to the CT9T. Doing a beam comparison on the wall, show the MX-900 hotspot not as bright as the CT9T.

Next, I removed both the R160 resistors, and did a soldered a copper wire bridge. Plugged the XM-L in, and put a single 18650 in. Turned it on an compared it to the CT9T, and they looked identical. Exact same brightness. So then I figured I would try the MX-900 with 2x18650's. Turned it and for a brief second, saw a glow of light! Then nothing! I looked at the emitter, and for some reason seen a really tiny dot, like in the center of one side of the LED very bright. I mean this thing looked like it was glowing almost. I power-cycled, and still nothing. I tried my DMM on the LED, and it showed no sign of life.

I did take led readings from the emitter, even though the LED seems blown, not sure if thats as accurate, or more accurate than tail-cap readings.

Anyways, my results were...

From a single 18650: 1.9-2V and 4.3A (worked perfect, but still not super-bright)!

From two 18650's:  3.8V and 8.6A (emitter blown it seems)

So I'm guessing an XM-L can't handle 3.8V at 8.6A, huh?

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I’m confused.. you got 4.3A from single 18650 that has 1.9-2V in it? Flat Stare

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I just checked the amps at the emitter on my stock mx900 and It reads 2.89 amps. 1.8 amps at the tail.

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