Sky Ray S-A1 AA [ 14500 ] 5 mode

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old4570
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Sky Ray S-A1 AA [ 14500 ] 5 mode

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Sky Ray S-A1 AA [ 14500 ] 5 Mode from DX

 

 

Description from DX

 

Brand:SKYRAY
Model:S-A1
Emitter Brand/Type:Cree
Emitter BIN:XPE-Q3
Color BIN:White
Total Emitters:1
Battery Configurations:1 x AA / 1 x 14500 rechargeable battery
Voltage Input:0.8~4.2V, 4.2V max
Switch Type:Clicky/Clickie; Glow-in-the-Dark/GITD
Switch Location:Tail-cap
Modes:5
Mode Memory:Circuitry Features Mode Memory
Mode Arrangement:Hi > Mid > Lo > Fast Strobe > SOS
Circuitry:Digital Regulated 1000mA Current Output
Brightness:160 lumens maximum brightness (manufacturer rated)
Runtime:50 minutes (manufacturer rated)
Lens:Coated Glass Lens
Reflector:Aluminum Textured/OP Reflector
Carrying Clip:-
Carrying Strap:Strap Included

 

 

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The very first thing that strikes you is how well focused the hotspot is , its just fantastic and allows for some very nice throw from such a small light , I was impressed I must say . Measuring throw at 1 meter I got some 2700Lux which is rather good for a AA powered light . The overall build quality seems to be good , the threads are acceptable [ dry and just a little rough ] , the clicky switch is excellent , there is no battery slop to speak of , and the wrist strap is a little above average . The light appears to have a glass lens , and has a smooth reflector , and has O rings where needed . The knurling appears to be well done [ shallow ] and the anodizing is nice and even . The rubber tail boot protrudes just enough so the light wont tailstand , and the PWM is extremely slow in the low mode .    


AA Performance 


Eneloop ,  High = 104L - 2.12A  , Med = 47L - 0.87A , Low = 8L - 0.16A 

Rayovac Nimh , High = 114L - 2.17A , Med = 47L - 0.89A , Low = 9L - 0.16A 


I just dont know what to say , the Sky Ray is a serious battery Vampire , it really does a good job of draining batteries in all the modes . I havent tried 14500 as yet , as there are some mixed results coming in , some say its ok , while others are frying drivers . One can only hope the driver is optimized for at least the 14500 , so we can see some reasonable output for current draw .  


AA Conclusion 


On AA's it has proven to be reliable and issue free , even though it does soak up a lot of energy producing light , and the light is very nice in deed . The beam quality is excellent , for the emitter type and output the throw is very nice , and the hotspot is very focused , especially for such a small light . For the price you pay I think your getting value for money , you can buy a better light , but you will have to pay more . I havent tried the 14500 as yet as I wanted to complete the AA part of the review before possibly destroying the driver , so consider this part 1 and I will update shortly with the results of using a 14500 battery .

 

 

 14500 results 


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Performance on 14500


14500 @ 4.2v 

High = 256L quickly sags to 215L - 1.64A , Med = 120L - 0.64A , Low = 26L - 0.13A 


14500 @ 3.82v

High = 235L sags to 220L - 1.17A , Med = 100L - 0.45A , Low = 21L - 0.09A 


The 14500 on high is really pushing the emitter , and I will personally stick with AA batteries for now . With the 14500 , its a lot of current for nearly 260L , and the light simply cant handle the thermal load at this current level [ the sag ] . In fact after a few seconds the light actually put out more light with the battery @ 3.82v . If possible , I would recommend Low or Medium mode for anyone deciding to run the 14500 , as the regulation seems to be rather good , and most of the time you dont really need high . If you really feel that you need 200+ Lumen , I would highly recommend you buy another light capable of sustaining such output . 

 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 ….

 

Edited by: old4570 on 06/30/2011 - 07:30
Huny74
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Thanks for the nice review, Matt!

I have been looking at the S-A1 for a while but didn't like the modes and slow PWM isn't good either.

The threads on the tailcap end seem to be anodized, can you lock out the tailcap? (If so it may be worth swapping the driver)

Budgeteer
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Ha my first DX flashlight! Lovely and very underrrated but my version with early driver was flawed. Below 1.3V the light would not turn on consistently and mode change was either non working or erratic. Apart that issue it was excellent. (never used ti on a 14500 in case some1 wonders i might have fried it)

kragmutt wrote:

They're gonna send you a green redcat with a black LED.

agenthex
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One issue I found with this light was head to pill contact. For some reason (maybe the machining) but it would rattle loose and just be a pain. One light would cut out when held at certain angles, lol.

 

14500 works in mine, but the current is ~1.5A, so not really recommended esp since it's pretty bright on AA's. The emitters on mine (esp 1 of the 2) aren't that perfectly centered, and the SMO reflector exacerbates this in the beamshot.

Reading this makes you smarter: http://lesswrong.com/

old4570
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No lock out ability with tailcap ..

14500 @ 3.82v did not fry the driver ..  Just recharging ATM for full 4.2v test . 

 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 ….

 

old4570
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14500 results posted 

 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 ….

 

bushytails
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I bought two of these - both burned out within minutes of using a 14500.  I highly suggest sticking to a nimh/alkaline.  On both, the boost controller on the upper half of the driver board shorted, apparently not liking trying to run with the higher voltage - had I been using unprotected cells, this would have been a rather bad thing.  Also, the driver has no regulation or current limiting when used with a battery higher than the emitter's Vf; it's basically direct drive.

I replaced the drivers in both of mine, but aren't too happy with the results.  For one of them I used a better boost driver that will work off a 14500...  but it has parts on both sides and uses a positive spring, making it quite a bit thicker, and protected 14500s no longer fit, so it's a AA-only light now.  (Never, ever use unprotected cells in a boost light!)  The other I swapped in the 16-mode driver, which works great with 14500s, but has no boost, so no longer can use AAs. 

Maybe on of these days I'll try more driver swaps, but for now, they live in my desk unused... 

--Bushytails

changsn
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This light does not tailstand unless you put an o ring under the switchcover. One added benefit of doing this is that it increases the pressure contact on the battery which should eliminate any battery rattle. I think this is an outstanding value light - I have used a 14500 but not for any length of time. Old is right in recommending very limited use unless you want to fry the driver.

Sam

trooplewis
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I got one of these lights today. Nice build quality, I like it. Will post more after I get a chance to try it out at night...

I don't think I've owned an XP-E emitter before, I was expecting to see the dome of an XR-E in the reflector.

*Update* Yeah, it's nice and throw-y for a regular AA light. I ran alkalines in it and it is pulling 2A on High (!!) .75A on Med and .08A on Low. So you can get what, 20 minutes on High with an alkaline?  But Low (which is plenty of light for indoors) should be good for 20 hours or so, theoretically.

Rats, finally sold my 2010 509hp Mustang...now I can buy more lights!

Sold the red one too! Now guess what I drive, doing my penance for 500 hp commuters...

http://dreammustang.com/

http://i884.photobucket.com/albums/ac47/Ha

Boaz
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trooplewis wrote:

I got one of these lights today. Nice build quality, I like it. Will post more after I get a chance to try it out at night...

I don't think I've owned an XP-E emitter before, I was expecting to see the dome of an XR-E in the reflector.

*Update* Yeah, it's nice and throw-y for a regular AA light. I ran alkalines in it and it is pulling 2A on High (!!) .75A on Med and .08A on Low. So you can get what, 20 minutes on High with an alkaline?  But Low (which is plenty of light for indoors) should be good for 20 hours or so, theoretically.

 I think you have a F23  Stainless steel xpe AAA

Older emitters are the bomb in many ways they can't be beat ,cheap ,throwy and decent tints .xpe r2's rock

καὶ τὸ φῶς ἐν τῇ σκοτίᾳ φαίνει καὶ ἡ σκοτία αὐτὸ οὐ κατέλαβεν

BlueBeam
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This is the my favorite cheaper budget torch! I have been telling you guys how great it is ever since I got mine! It can be bought at lightake for 12 bucks.