Review: Kaidomain KD XPL HI P60 Dropin

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Rolz
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Review: Kaidomain KD XPL HI P60 Dropin

KD P60 Drop in XPL HI with V2 2.2A Driver

Kiadomain provided me with an opportunity to test out their newly released XPL-HI P60 Drop in with a 2.2A KD V2 driver. Being a long time fan of P60 Hosts I was keen to test out the new design to see how well it performed. The dropin is equipped with a 2.2A driver so performance should be good but not great. The results however surprised me as it performed very well.

 

Sellers/Manufacturers Specs

Multiple versions of the drop in are sold by KD.

These are,

·         KD DSM3T4 Cree XP-L HI V2 6500K 1600 Lumens 3-Mode SMO LED Drop-in (Dia. 26mm)

http://www.kaidomain.com/product/details.S024268

 

·         KD DOM3T4 Cree XP-L HI V2 6500K 1600 Lumens 3-Mode OP LED Drop-in (Dia. 26mm)

http://www.kaidomain.com/product/details.S024623

 Price at the time of this review is $11.94

The model reviewed here is the DSM3T4 version with the SMO reflector.

 

LED type:                            Cree XP-L HI V2 6500K

Brightness:                        1600lm (as listed on web site. Real figure is less)

Input voltage:                     3.6V-4.2V

Working Current:               2200mAh

Modes:                                3-Mode (Lo(2%) > Med(35%) > Hi(100%))

Reflector:                            SMO Aluminum

Dimension:                         26.4mm (Dia.) x 37mm (Including Spring)

Weight:                               20g

 

The driver included in the drop in is the 2200mA KD V2.

Details below,

http://www.kaidomain.com/product/details.S020064

Features:
- Current regulation for all output mode (no PWM flicks even at low mode)
- As low as 3mA-5mA for low output mode
- Eight programmable outputs
- Low voltage warning below 2.8V
- High mode: Constant regulated at 2280mA
- 1oZ copper PCB, immersion gold surface
- 1.6mm double sided PCB, 17mm diameter, 4.8mm height w/o spring, copper spring loaded positive

Voltage support: 2.5V-4.5V
Battery types: 1xLi-ion or 3xNiMH/alkaline
Output version: 2280ma
LED support: XM-L, P7, SST50, etc. (2*XP-E, 2*XP-G wired in parallel)
Low voltage warning: under 2.8V, reduce output to 35%, and flash once per minute
Last mode memory: By soldering the bridge at S1, you toggle this setting (default off - disconnected).
Programmable outputs: By soldering the bridge at S2, S3, and/or S4, you get different output modes. (see product image for detail output and connections)
* GND (the outer ring - either side) must be attached to metal with thermal epoxy to heatsink. Optimal heatsink ensure constant regulation without thermal protection kicking -in (i.e. reducing output).
** Do not short circuit, do not reverse battery polarity, warranty does not cover user damage.
cc

Design / Build Quality

The drop design is a typical basic P60 dropin not unlike the many available online today.

A side view of the dropin is presented below.

Below a top view with the XPL LED visible.

The rear section pill section of the dropin is shown below. The KD V2 driver is clearly visible with the soldered tabs to select the 3 mode option (Low, Medium and High). Quality is ok, one of the surface mount capacitors (C1) offline. The Positive battery terminal spring is a little smaller/shorter than ideal. As a result many flat top batteries will not be suitable depending on the host used. During the evaluation with a Solarforce L2 & L2N hosts the torch would not function as the springs were too short to provide correct contact with the battery terminals. Contact with a protected battery was fine, thus all tests were performed with a Protected 18650 cell.

View of the top of the dropin with the reflector removed.

Checking the LED board I found that it wasn’t secured to the shelf of the dropin. The pressure from the plastic LED gasket in the reflector keeps the board in place. There was some white heatsink compound between the board and the shelf.The LED Board is copper.

View of the dropin with the included LED gasket. The threads on the reflector are a bit dirty, easily solved.

 


Light Output

The light output is excellent considering the 2.2A current on high.  Beam profile is good. The SMO reflector results in more throw than flood. Spill isn’t as bright as shown in the images below in reality. There is spill but not quite the level that came through the photos produced.

The low mode (2%) is quite usable, then there’s a jump in brightness to the medium (35%) and less of a step in output on high.

 

Beam Shots

Indoor beam shots taken at a distance of les than a meter from a white wall. The outdoor shots are directed to a tree apprimately 60m away.

Indoor - Low

Indoor - MEDIUM

Indoor - HIGH

 

Outdoor LOW

Outdoor - MEDIUM


Outdoor - HIGH


10 minute Runtime Test

Results below of the 10 minute runtime on HIGH mode. The measurements show that after 2 minutes the output light level settled and then remained constant with minimal drop for the next 8 minutes. No other form of foil wrapping was provided around the dropin to improve heat dissipation in the L2 host. Temperature readings were not taken as it’s host dependent. The host was very warm to hold at the conclusion of the test which was after 14 minutes. Only 10 minutes of data shown below. The Lux reading at 14 minutes was 163.


Ceiling Bounce results

The light output of this torch is very good. I was very surprised when first turning on high mode. The brightness is more than expected from a flashlight operating at 2.2A. It compares well against flashlights with high amperage. The ceiling bounce results below show a comparison against other torches, many more powerful.




Current Readings

HIGH                2.20A

MEDIUM            0.70A

LOW                 0.02A

 

Summary

The KD XPL HI with 2.2A V2 is quality dropin. I’ve many p60 dropins and found this one performed very well. It combines an excellent LED with a very good driver. Running at 2.2A on high results in a good balance between power consumption, heat production and light output. The P60 Host design isn’t the best for heat dissipation, so running a drop in at 2.2A is a wise design choice. Paired up with a good host such as a Solarforce L2 results in an excellent flashlight. Recommended for those seeking a well designed reasonably priced P60 Drop.

 Pros:

  • Excellent output at 2.2A
  • Excellent value, don't know of a similary performing dropin at this price
  • Good balance between throw and some spill.
  • 3 Light levels with Memory. LOW, MEDIUM and HIGH.

 Cons:

  • Positive terminal spring on the driver board is a bit small, limiting use to protected batteries.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Edited by: Rolz on 11/27/2015 - 18:12
twinclouds
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Thanks for your good review. However, I believe 1600lm is overrated. I have one from them with an 1.35A driver. It processes about 480lm. It is not bad but not as it was rated either. I would say your P60 is at most about 750 lm as what Hi V2 at about 2.2A can produce.

Twinclouds

Rusty Joe
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Great review. I own one and concur with what is written. I love mine and it throws wonderfully. 

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mapache
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Images 1,3,4,5,6 aren’t working for me.

Rolz
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Thanks for your comments. The 1600 specified by the web site isn’t correct. It is probably aorun d 7450 Lumen as you say. The 1600 figure I included was simply a copy from the item listing.

 

Rolz
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mapache wrote:
Images 1,3,4,5,6 aren’t working for me.

Ok now?

 

MRsDNF
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Thanks for your review. This should be a nice little thrower.

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".

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mapache
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Pics all good now.

Rolz
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Rusty Joe – Thanks for your comments. I’ve many P60 dropins and this is possibly the best as it’s light output for the current is excellent. The 3A+ equipped Dropins may produce a little more light but the heat management is an issue unless action is taken to improve.

 

mattlward
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Looks like one could add a couple more 7135’s and wrap it in copper for a good fit. Not sure about the cold white, kinda hate that tint.

EDC rotation:
Convoy S2+, 6*7135, XM-L2 3D, 10 degree TIR, PilotDog lighted tailcap.
Convoy S2+, H17F, XM-L2 4C, lighted tailcap
Zebralight SC52w-L2
Olight S1A
Olight S1R

twinclouds
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I have made a couple of P60 with 8×7135 Nanjg 105c driver and Empty Aluminum Drop-In Module w/Brass Pill (both bought from FT). I tried XM-L2 U3 (from Ebay seller led-dna) and XP-L V6 (from IOS). Both gave me similar light output. There’s little loss of lumens (<10%? comparing to bare LED). Overheating was not too bad. Although I didn’t do a very long time test.

Twinclouds

TomNMich
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Added two 7135’s. Brightest P60 I have. Gets pretty hot at 10 minutes. Mine is wrapped in copper. I like the tint. It looks a little warmer than a 1c.

hank
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Can you find out if the “KD V2 driver” has any protection against over-discharge or will it drain an unprotected cell to where it’s damaged?

(in other words is it safe to replace the too-short spring and use an unprotected cell, or not)

Shur
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Question because I may be reading wrong. 

 

At 10 minutes your chart indicates 16500 flux but then you say at 14 minutes it's 163. Did the battery die at 14 minutes or should that read 16300?

Rolz
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Shur wrote:

Question because I may be reading wrong. 

 

At 10 minutes your chart indicates 16500 flux but then you say at 14 minutes it’s 163. Did the battery die at 14 minutes or should that read 16300?

Sorry I didn’t respond to your question sooner. Yes it should read 16,300. My error.

 

Rolz
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hank wrote:
Can you find out if the “KD V2 driver” has any protection against over-discharge or will it drain an unprotected cell to where it’s damaged?

(in other words is it safe to replace the too-short spring and use an unprotected cell, or not)

Hank, sorry for my late response. I’ve just read your post and will ask.

 

Rolz
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Advice from Kaidomain is that the KD V2 driver has low voltage warnings but does not have over discharge protection. Safest opton is to use a protected cell or otherwise ensure that you replace/recharge the battery when you notice the low voltage warning flashs.

Response I recevied is as per below.

The low voltage warning will be activated below < 2.9V. The light will flash once for every 60 secs. In that time, the current will be drawn around 79mA. Until 2.6V, the current will be drawn around 6mA.

 

brted
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They have a neutral option now. Does anyone have one or know how neutral it might be? I just ordered one a couple of days ago, but it hasn’t shipped and may not make it out before the holidays.

http://kaidomain.com/product/details.S024794 SMO

http://kaidomain.com/product/Details.S024795 OP

brted
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I got my neutral drop-in yesterday. I’m very impressed with the throw, about equivalent to an XM-L in a C8. There is still plenty of spill. Mine wasn’t all that neutral. At least 5000K, maybe more. I got a smooth reflector and it doesn’t seem ringy to me, a little bit of a yellow splash near the hotspot, but not bad. The low is very low, but not unusable. I could light up a small patch of ground. Might be the best P60 drop-in I have. KD included a keychain UV light that is kind of fun.

Regarding the question about using unprotected cells. I ran a battery down until the low voltage protection kicked in. I took the battery out and measured 2.86V (not under load and it was rising). So while the low voltage protection is there, that seems a little low to me, but probably acceptable. With six 7135 current regulators the driver will prevent the battery from supplying more than 2280mA of current, so you should be safe from drawing too high a current from a battery anyway.

Rolz
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brted wrote:
I got my neutral drop-in yesterday. I’m very impressed with the throw, about equivalent to an XM-L in a C8. There is still plenty of spill. Mine wasn’t all that neutral. At least 5000K, maybe more. I got a smooth reflector and it doesn’t seem ringy to me, a little bit of a yellow splash near the hotspot, but not bad. The low is very low, but not unusable. I could light up a small patch of ground. Might be the best P60 drop-in I have. KD included a keychain UV light that is kind of fun.

Hi brted, pleased to read that you have been very satisfied with your dropin. I too found it to be a very good P60 dropin, right up there with the best. The light output for the current/power consumption it’s hard to beat. The one I have is CW (6500k). I’ve got lots of P60 dropins and for the price this one is the best. To get better you need to pay much more.

 

beam0
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Brted, does the 3-mode XPL-HI NW drop-in you got have mode memory?

I wish they made a single mode XPL-HI NW P60, I see they do have a single mode CW: http://www.kaidomain.com/product/details.S024262

I wonder what type of driver this has, no info on the driver like the other versions show but this one is listing the voltage at 3V-18V, Could it be DD?

                                      

MRsDNF
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I dont believe the single mode driver will be DD. More than one battery in series would kill the led if it was.

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.

 

brted
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beam0 wrote:
Brted, does the 3-mode XPL-HI NW drop-in you got have mode memory?

Yes. It sets after the light is on for about 1 second.

beam0
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MRsDNF wrote:
I dont believe the single mode driver will be DD. More than one battery in series would kill the led if it was.
Ok thanks I should have thought of the voltage being too high.

I like how this (1 mode) drop-in can run on two batteries, I’ve got a solarforce L2X 2 cell tube I want to use it with. I’m wondering if its brightness increases with the higher voltages.

brted wrote:
beam0 wrote:
Brted, does the 3-mode XPL-HI NW drop-in you got have mode memory?

Yes. It sets after the light is on for about 1 second.

Great, thanks for replying. I didn’t see anything about memory in the listing on KD.

                                      

phsinvent
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How many folks still use a P60 design flashlight?

tech
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I do.

They are good multi-purpose lights with very simple, reliable modules that are more than enough for up to 3A-3.5A. Solarforce might be past their days now but I am sure they are still selling a good amount of lights/hosts.

phsinvent
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I like the P60 design too. My customers get very picky about weapon lights for hunting coyote etc. I hate stocking a ton of different small 25mm weapon mount lights just to have green led, red, xm-l2 and xpl hi. I like having one shell with different modules to suite their needs. I’m surprised that Solarforce is still in business. They haven’t really created any new styles in a while. I do love the look of the L2, L2t and l2m. I just don’t like how they are very fussy about a custom print logo and their MOQ. I can’t stand their bold white logo and printing all over the tail cap. Just my opinion though.

tech
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One of the reasons why I use CPF is because P60 models have always been widely discussed over there – they have a good amount of custom P60 lights on CPF and many fans. It is also very cheap to build a number of useful modules (pill is about $2 on Fasttech, good emitter and some driver I already own and that’s it).

My go-to P60 has a dedomed XPL V6 CW module with a 3.5A driver and a smooth reflector. The throw in comparison to the size of the light is very good. I own the L2T, L2 mini, L2 and L2T SS – unfortunately I was too late for the A001 head (still on my wish list but nowhere to be found). Also never bought the M3 or K head.

It is obvious that Solarforce lights are on the heavy side and therefore very realiable/robust. Unfortunately no longer competitive with current EDC lights.

ace0001a
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tech wrote:
I do.

They are good multi-purpose lights with very simple, reliable modules that are more than enough for up to 3A-3.5A. Solarforce might be past their days now but I am sure they are still selling a good amount of lights/hosts.

+1

It’s still my favorite format. If I recall correctly, someone here once said something to the effect of “you’ll have to pry all my P60 lights off my dead hands”. Also, I really love how you can Lego Surefire C format flaslights like Solarforce and many other off brand and customs. I really do hope the P60 format continues for a long time and remains an option for us flashaholics!

phsinvent
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tech wrote:
One of the reasons why I use CPF is because P60 models have always been widely discussed over there – they have a good amount of custom P60 lights on CPF and many fans. It is also very cheap to build a number of useful modules (pill is about $2 on Fasttech, good emitter and some driver I already own and that’s it).

My go-to P60 has a dedomed XPL V6 CW module with a 3.5A driver and a smooth reflector. The throw in comparison to the size of the light is very good. I own the L2T, L2 mini, L2 and L2T SS – unfortunately I was too late for the A001 head (still on my wish list but nowhere to be found). Also never bought the M3 or K head.

It is obvious that Solarforce lights are on the heavy side and therefore very realiable/robust. Unfortunately no longer competitive with current EDC lights.

Wow, I would not expect the P60 format to still be popular on CPF. I would expect them to be frowned upon due to “poor thermal conduction pathway”. Do you get a ringy beam with the dedomed XPL and a smooth reflector? What do you do about heat issues running a P60 at 3.5 amps? Aluminum or copper wrap?

tech
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CPF is still discussing P60 modules, not as frequently as before but there are still users buying Sportac, Eagletac and other brands. Most shops still carry custom dropins (probably very profitable for them).

After careful centering of the emitter I have no rings at all. Very happy with the Fasttech reflector. I use copper self-adhesive tape which is wrapped around the pill in 2-3 layers. My MCPCB is soldered into the pill, the driver side has several grams of solder inside and the heat transfer is good.
Once you have created such a drop-in it seems bulletproof though, the ones I’ve built years ago still work fine.

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