Review: MaxToch Mission M12

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Tom E
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Yes - nothing there to make contact to. I tried that first. Stupid me... Should have known to pull the LED when I had it all apart, but actually was planning on using the stock driver then. When I resistor mdoded the driver, I saw no difference in amps - that's when I decided to go with the BLF17DD.

Not an easy mod (doable) to switch to a SinkPAD or Noctigon because of the big flat bottom reflector, and low profile LED alignment piece already there. Those big MCPCB's are really nice for clearing the wires.

If it's not a direct thermal path, could maybe grind/sand down the center pad too...

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Tom E wrote:

Yes – nothing there to make contact to. I tried that first. Stupid me… Should have known to pull the LED when I had it all apart, but actually was planning on using the stock driver then. When I resistor mdoded the driver, I saw no difference in amps – that’s when I decided to go with the BLF17DD.


Not an easy mod (doable) to switch to a SinkPAD or Noctigon because of the big flat bottom reflector, and low profile LED alignment piece already there. Those big MCPCB’s are really nice for clearing the wires.


If it’s not a direct thermal path, could maybe grind/sand down the center pad too…


I’ve removed the LED from MCPCB on my SN6X and tested it with multimeter and i can confirm that ther is direct thermal path. It should be the same MCPCB as on your M12
Tom E
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Thanks gorky - agree, you would think it's the same...

Don't have the #'s here, but I measured 120 kcd and ~1,400 lumens at about 6.5A -- these #'s are too low for 6.5A, should be higher. Maybe it's the poor pill surface, but the effect seems to be more significant - that's why I'm thinking it's the LED to star, or in the star. I put a fair amount of thermal grease under the star, and when I screwed it down tight, no grease oozed out, so that means there's significant space gaps with the pill surface being uneven. I tried sanding out the pill top but don't think I got it perfectly smooth.

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From my experience with reseating cpu and gpu coolers…

Thermal paste is meant to be used sparingly. It’s meant to fill the uneven gaps between the two flat pieces of metal. It shouldn’t separate the metal but rather fill the air gaps between them.

Anyhow, there’s a massive hole in the centre of the pill which would be right under the LED. This might be why.. It sags 120-170 lumens in the first few SECONDS, that could most likely be that the star is getting saturated with heat but doesn’t have the contact area to dissipate it.

Perhaps try filling it with solder and filing it down flush with a dremel? Or it might just be a bung LED.

Slewflash 

Tom E
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I think the center hole itself isn't too bad. I recall some thought the SinkPAD's would not work well because of the center dent, but turned out to have no effect at all. The XinTD X3 has, I'd say, a bigger hole. What I did on the X3 was fill the hole with a copper piece, then filled the gaps with AS5, and the X3 I have does pretty well - more lumens than this light and at less amps. The problem seems to be a slightly raised surface around the center hole. When I seated the MCPCB, it was teeter-tottering slightly. This could be the issue, but I'm suspecting something closer to the LED - yes, maybe a bad LED or bad reflow, or this one doesn't have a direct thermal path -- think one of these issues, not sure yet.

I was hoping the screws would cause enough metal to metal strong contact points to do ok -- who knows...

 

Tom E
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Ok - Amanda pm'ed me. She said the tech told her the M12 MCPCB is different from the 2X - the M12 does not have a direct thermal path, but the 2X one does. This explains it. So, guess gotta pull the LED and attempt a grinding out of the pad to hit the copper, then solder fill... I did this once and it didn't work out too well - couldn't get the LED to sit right, too much solder, but if you go too little, no thermal contact....

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I believe the little Mission M12 is proving very popular with law enforcement agencies round the world. Could be wrong here but it appears they are buying heaps of them – which is why the holsters/bags etc may come out in black.

Makes sense – this will be an ideal police light. Small for belt mounting, hi/med/low modes, quick twist strobe, sound build quality, good runtimes, and a thumping 97-98kcd (600 meters) output stock. Vast performance improvement over the old maglites etc. Police of course don’t do modding.

So next time you’re out doing some after hours burglary to supplement your income I’m afraid you won’t be safe 300m from the nearest police car. The police have gone high performance and at 300m the little M12 is going to light you up real good…. SmileSmile

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So they did  not do the M12 right the first time (no direct thermal path to led), so far for the claim that this light is stock already well done Sad  

(at least for me, if I had an M12, I could not stand the idea that if they used a ledboard that costed them 1 dollar more would result in 150 instant extra lumens)

link to djozz tests 

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Tom E
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Well, stock the M12 is running ~1,100 OTF lumens, ~98 kcd, running the 26700 cell at about 4A - pretty awesome stock specs for a single cell - I don't know of any other stock light in this form factor and (or) price range doing these #'s. If you look carefully at these test results: http://budgetlightforum.com/node/30532, the copper star with a dielectric layer did pretty good at 4A. I'm not saying this is an accurate measure of the stock M12 star, but gives you an idea what could be going on. The loss may be around 50 lumens, maybe less, maybe more - all depends on how good or bad the dielectric layer is, and also, the stock M12 star is far bigger than the 20 mm star tested - I'm thinking the loss is 50 lumens at most. I know those results are not in lumens, but gives you a rough idea comparatively.

Running modded at 6.5A, of course it's a bigger impact having that dielectric layer present, as those test results show. Of course I'm preaching to the choir -- djozz - they are your test results Smile. Thanks again - those were awesome tests btw...

Also - the more I look and compare the finish of the M12, the more I'm impressed. Amanda told me the finish on the M12 cost 15% more than the 2X finish, though I thought the 2X finish was superior with it's flat black look. Now - I'm thinking the M12 finish will hold up better. Just wish MaxToch would detail it in their specs -- seems like they are selling their own products short. They list the finish as "Military Grade" which is meaningless to me... Apparently though the unclear specs is not effecting the sales of these lights, as military and law enforcement seems to be buying them out.

mudgripz
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That’s pretty good output Tom – 1100 lumens and 97kcd stock. It seems the addition of our upgrades to this model have now made it best performer in its class – single 18650 light. That’s no small achievement.

What is the anodizing? The latest 2X was in matt black and looked very classy. How does this one differ?

Tom E
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This is shinier - looks more common. Maybe you can see in pics in the OP - definitely not matt black, but Amanda told me it cost more on the M12... Weird, but I like it and seems like high quality... Wish I knew more bout finish's though...

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This light could prove very popular with HD2010 fans.

That was a great wee light 1-2 years ago – ran round 45-50k? stock – but only available now in various cloned forms which are often poor quality – as you know.

This M12 lifts the quality to a high level, and boots performance up to Olight levels of 2 years ago. Powerful wee unit.

Good thing is that at 98kcd stock it can be boosted to 210kcd with just a 10 minute dedome – and 210kcd is a very strong performer = 916 meters ANSI. That’s seriously good for a little belt mounted walker light. Makes it ideal for hunting too – very small but thumping output.

Interested to see what you get from it fully modded – 300+ would be massive from a wee single.

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63mm head and ~33mm body with a 26700 cell hardly classifies as “wee”. Wink

Dale

Tom E
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Wee is a relative term... Smile Again, bezel I.D.: M12 > Yezl Y3 > HD2010. Size does matter...

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We are after high performance scope mounted hunting lights and to date we are using two 18650 batt models which are longer and heavier. In this context the M12’s smaller size is significant – esp with its similar power output to the M24 and 2X maxtochs.

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It is really an impressive light from the reviews. I hope Amanda can help us to reflect our opinions about the dielectric layer to their engineers. We want direct-copper MCPCB.

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Tom E wrote:
 If you look carefully at these test results: http://budgetlightforum.com/node/30532, the copper star with a dielectric layer did pretty good at 4A. I'm not saying this is an accurate measure of the stock M12 star, but gives you an idea what could be going on. The loss may be around 50 lumens, maybe less, maybe more - all depends on how good or bad the dielectric layer is, and also, the stock M12 star is far bigger than the 20 mm star tested - I'm thinking the loss is 50 lumens at most. I know those results are not in lumens, but gives you a rough idea comparatively.

Running modded at 6.5A, of course it's a bigger impact having that dielectric layer present, as those test results show. Of course I'm preaching to the choir -- djozz - they are your test results Smile. Thanks again - those were awesome tests

LOL, when I'm doing bold and brainless statements, I'm not even checking my own results Laughing

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)

Tom E
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Pulled the LED - confirmed not direct thermal path - no continuity, but if you see the tracing on top of the star, it's pretty apparent there is a layer over the surface of the star that continues under the pad. K - will attempt to sand/grind it out...

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Let.us know how it turns out Tom, got one inc also. Perhaps I should stop reading your reviews haha.

Tom E
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Ok - finished the mod to the MCPCB. Sanded then scraped out most of the dieelectric layer, fillin the void with solder paste, piled up, then reflowed the LED - looked good. My concerns:

  • no extra solder flow out of the center pad, maybe didn't use enough?
  • wear/tear on the LED from the reflow (used hot air from below, but took long to melt the solder)
  • I did a couple of tests, so maybe didn't allow enough cooling off time

Before: on a fresh 26700 (KK) 5000 mAh cell, 6.42A: 1,462 - 1,377 lumens, throw: 120 kcd @5m

Now: on a fresh 26700 (KK) 5000 mAh cell, 4.22v, 6.10A: 1,612 - 1,455 lumens, throw: 130 kcd @5m

This is an improvement, but not as much as I thought. Also not sure why I'm only getting 6.1A now when before I got 6.42A. Maybe unreliable amps measurements - little tricky to work around the fat 26700, or something else is going on. Also, the 150 lumens drop in 30 secs is fairly high - probably attributed to the poor bonding of the star to the pill top (uneven pill top). I added more thermal grease and still didn't see any squeezed out after screwing it down.. Hhhmmm....

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Thanks for all the updates and testing Tom!

Improving emitter cooling (like going from standard aluminium to Noctigon) increases Vf. Probably seem thing with the mod you did to the mcpcb. Increased Vf resulted in lower amps but at the same time higher output.

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RaceR86 wrote:
Improving emitter cooling (like going from standard aluminium to Noctigon) increases Vf. Probably seem thing with the mod you did to the mcpcb. Increased Vf resulted in lower amps but at the same time higher output.

No wonder all my lights modded with Noctigon have lower amp reading.
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New driver setup. Stock driver is stripped and used as a contact board. BLF17DD with 6 modes (hi-med-lo-moonlight-strobe-battery check/beacon):

Tom E
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bibihang wrote:
RaceR86 wrote:
Improving emitter cooling (like going from standard aluminium to Noctigon) increases Vf. Probably seem thing with the mod you did to the mcpcb. Increased Vf resulted in lower amps but at the same time higher output.
No wonder all my lights modded with Noctigon have lower amp reading.

Yes - that's the general pattern. Agree - could be right there with the better thermal path up'ing the Vf. Thought my XinTD X3 got higher lumens (domed LED) even at 5.X amps - gotta check #'s. I know the XinTD X3 had outstanding OTF. Of course best is maybe my TN31, measured 6.2A at the LED, and over 1,800 OTF lumens (domed stock LED) - but you got a rock solid big copper direct thermal path MCPCB, and nice buck driver with bridged resistors, and much bigger reflector, good qual AR lens, etc...

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sandraroman wrote:

These lights are great but they consume more power. I got one and I see its battery drains so fast. But I am happy with its power.


That is what the medium and low modes are for. Wink
Tom E
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sandraroman wrote:

These lights are great but they consume more power. I got one and I see its battery drains so fast. But I am happy with its power.

True, should be in the 3.2 to 4A range, depending on the cell. With the stock 5000 cell they offer, it's pretty good. It's really in the range of a modded light. Two cell lights, like the M24 would be better if you want more runtime - classic tradeoff of runtime vs. size/weight.

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“ Two cell lights, like the M24 would be better if you want more runtime – classic tradeoff of runtime vs. size/weight.”

True – be interesting to know exact runtime on continuous high of the stock M12. Can someone do a test with their new 26700 batt?

Tom E
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For comparison, the modded M12 vs. my modded XinTD X3 (mod thread here):

Modded M12:        fresh KK 26700 5000 ICR 6.10A, lumens: 1,612 @start - 1,455 @30 secs, throw: 130 kcd @5m

Modded XinTD X3: fresh KK 25550 4200 ICR 4.56A, lumens: 1,469 @start - 1,448 @30 secs, throw: 76 kcd @5m

The drop is higher on the M12, but there's more to lose with a DD at much higher amps, while the X3 is using a stacked Nanjg. The X3 has advantages with sheer mass, big chunky pill top, but of course it weighs a ton too, but the smaller width reflector results in the lower throw, but respectable for it's size.

Note: all measurements done on my home brew PVC lightbox and $35 meter, so no guarantees Smile

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Ok, you’ve all convinced me: Where can I get the M-12 and perhaps also their Gladiator!

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Aliexpress has them for $67.50. A desert rat can appreciate a light like the M12. I use mine out in the Colorado Desert just south of you all the time. You should also get the 26700 battery from Richard at Mountain Eletronics. That batt will give you 5,200+mAh of use with low internal resistance to boot. Quite a pair.

Hey Babe, check out my new light!!

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