Review: Convoy L2 XPL-HI (1x or 2x 26650) [Repaired and upgraded]

11 posts / 0 new
Last post
unknown00101
Offline
Last seen: 7 hours 17 min ago
Joined: 08/16/2013 - 11:53
Posts: 4235
Location: USA
Review: Convoy L2 XPL-HI (1x or 2x 26650) [Repaired and upgraded]

Convoy L2




Summary:

Battery:

 1x or 2x 26650 (18650 can also be used with the included spacers)

Switch:  Forward Tailcap Clicky
Modes:

 3+: Low - Medium - High + Hidden Strobe  

Mode Memory:    
LED Type:  1x XPL-Hi
Lens:  AR Coated Glass 
Reflector:  Smooth
Price:  $45.63
Provided by:

FastTech(link is external)

https://www.fasttech.com/products/4694300?utm_source=BLF&utm_medium=forums&utm_campaign=NK

 

Function: 

Forward clicky switch operation. 

Half Press for momentary on. Consecutive half presses to cycle through Low, Medium, and High modes. Full click for constant on. Full click off.

To activate the hidden constant strobe mode rapidly half press the switch.

 

Tailcap current (Amps): 

Samsung 30Q cells, fresh off the charger 4.20v

  1x Cell 2x Cells
Low  .18 .25
Medium .81  .92
High 2.99  3.33

Too much current.

On two cells the XPL-HI (on an aluminum mcpcb) is being overdriven at roughly 6 amps. That is the upper limit for an XPL-Hi on a copper mcpcb, but potentially double the current that an aluminum mcpcb is often driven to.

This is as far as I can go with the flashlight in the state it is in. The LED has been damaged due to an issue with the driver. With 2 cells the driver is pushing far too much current to the LED and as such suffers a rapid color shift to Blue in high mode. I will break it down and try to determine what the issue is.

Addendum:

After quite some time I finally had materials in hand to repair the L2. I chose to do so in two stages. First with a 3.04A Qlite driver single cell configuration. This should get me as close to a stock L2 as I can feasibly get. Second stage was to modify the L2 with a MTNMAX 5.5A Buck driver and the beautiful Block style knurled 2x 26650 tube.

As I had the light taken apart I took more measurements and data points which will be posted below. "Tailcap" is the measurement on the negative lead wire that connects to the underside of the driver.

I used a freshly charged 30Q cell for single measurements, and two freshly charged Liito 26650 cells for the two cell measurements.

Disassembled, my measurements were notably different. Using the stock xpl-hi emitter the single cell measurements are much lower. Two cells showed similar measurements to the assembled light with the LED turning blue rapidly. I experimented with the 5.5A buck driver on the damaged LED as well. Around 3.70A the LED turns blue, but amps curiously drop to 0 on my clamp meter. 

I unfortunately didn't record my emitter amp measurements for the two new drivers. IIRC the Qlite was around 3A as it should be since it is linear. The buck emitter amps should be around 5.5A based on emitter data tables and my measured lumen value.

 

Pictures:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Comparison:

 

 From Left to Right: ThorFire C8S, Cometa, XinTD X3, Courui, 1x 26650 DST Shorty, 2x 26650 Convoy L2, 2D Maglite MTG2, 2x 18650 DST

 

From Left to Right: ThorFire C8S, Cometa, XinTD X3, Courui, 1x 26650 DST Shorty, 1x 26650 Convoy L2, 2D Maglite MTG2, 2x 18650 DST 

 

Modification/Results:

The 3.04A Qlite was a very straightforward mod. I popped the 21mm contact board off the stock driver, connected the qlite, popped in the new XPL-HI V2-3B on noctigon, attached the emitter leads and tightened the driver retaining ring.

The 22mm MTNMAX 5.5A Buck driver mod on the other hand was an absolute nightmare. I think I measured the driver cavity initially wrong at 22.3mm. I figured at most I would have to shave off a fraction of a mm. It turns out the cavity is actually 21.6mm and the shelf the driver sits on is even smaller making the component clearance as issue as well... I did not take that into consideration. Oh boy was that a fun 3ish hour fiasco of shaving the shelf, the driver, and my sanity. So, after many assemblies, shorts, and grinding sessions I finally get it in there, wired up, and working properly.

I would opt for the 17mm buck driver version (potted) and utilize the stock contact board if you want to save some major hassle.

Anyway, here are the results.


B/BB = Bypassed Driver spring / Bypassed driver and tailcap spring.

All throw measurements are lux values taken at 31ft and calculated back to 1 meter (Rounded to the nearest hundred). Estimated Max Output (Lumens) values are calculated based on measurements obtained through a DIY 'pvc lumen tube' in an effort to achieve diffusion of dissimilar beam profiles. As such, these values should be taken as "rough approximations." 

 

First two GIFs are the 3.04A Qlite.

First set location: The central tree trunk is about 50 yards away. The water line is about 35 yards away. The hanging tree limb in the upper left quadrant of the pictures is about 10 yards away.

The location in the second gif is approximately 150 yards to the top of the tree. The ground has a downward grade about 100 yards out so the base of the tree cannot be seen.

 

 

 

Next two GIFs are the 5.5A Buck driver. Same two locations.

 

 

 

Last GIF is a comparison of the two stages. Tried my best to get the same shot and placement, but they were taken on separate nights so there is some difference. 

Edited by: unknown00101 on 09/03/2016 - 20:54
unknown00101
Offline
Last seen: 7 hours 17 min ago
Joined: 08/16/2013 - 11:53
Posts: 4235
Location: USA

Just pictures for now… I need to break it down and see what is up with the driver because the LED (sitting on what I assume is an aluminum board) sure isn’t liking that amount of current on 2x samsung 30Q cells. Near instant shift to hyper blue tint on turn-on and a prompt turning off of the flashlight from me.

FlashPilot
FlashPilot's picture
Offline
Last seen: 10 hours 11 min ago
Joined: 05/10/2010 - 16:07
Posts: 4397
Location: USA

Thanks for the review, Unknown. Its hard to believe that’s actually a Convoy… and that some genius actually sent that to you as a review sample. Facepalm It looks like fasttechs L2’s were assembled by drunken monkeys while the QC dept was busy getting sauced at the tiki bar. At least you didnt pay anything for it. If that were my dollar = immediate pp dispute and 100% refund.

Good job FT! Sick

unknown00101
Offline
Last seen: 7 hours 17 min ago
Joined: 08/16/2013 - 11:53
Posts: 4235
Location: USA

I don’t think FT actually assembles or QC the convoy lights they sell. That is all handled by Convoy unless I’m mistaken?

Anyway, there’s always a chance, however small, that something slips past. It was probably checked with a single cell, okay’d, and packaged up, or if two cells were checked perhaps they were weak cells not capable of providing enough current to turn it blue.

As it is the LED doesn’t appear to be ruined. I should still be able to get stock measurements/beamshots on 1× 26650. Later I may try swapping the LED over to a noctigon and seeing if it can handle the current with 2 cells.

FlashPilot
FlashPilot's picture
Offline
Last seen: 10 hours 11 min ago
Joined: 05/10/2010 - 16:07
Posts: 4397
Location: USA

Sorry, I probably should have worded that differently. Its a guess as to where or who assembled that light. I’ve received several Convoy’s across multiple orders from FT that required an overhaul before they could be used. The same type of issues were prevalent: DOA, crummy solder joints, dead shorts, heavy scuffing on the ano inside the head, buggered screw heads and threads, solder where it shouldn’t be, fujic or TP where it shouldn’t be, fingerprints smeared on the emitter, reflector and lens, etc. Ive always wondered if they were rejected inventory sold at a huge discount from another supplier to be resold to an unsuspecting customer.

So by judging from the pics you just posted, someone at FT (full knowing that you would be posting an online review of their sample, all in the hopes of selling many more of them), didnt even think to open the box and check the build quality before sending it out to you. I havent yet mentioned that maybe they should have also checked to assure that it operates correctly. Sad That, or they just assume everyone would cough up $45 for a flashlight, and your sample is representative of a typical FT distributed Convoy (as in my case, is was often enough to avoid them).

Like many others who have been bitten by crummy Convoys, I now buy directly from Simon to minimize the disappointments. Your review has great value and shows the same problems still exist with Convoy lights from that particular seller. The same dollar buys nearly perfect examples from Simon…

PS – you’ll get much more accurate emitter current measurements if you unsolder a wire to the emitter to measure from your DMM. Then you can also compare efficiency and output between 1 and 2 cell operation.

blueb8llz
Online
Last seen: 14 min 56 sec ago
Joined: 06/02/2012 - 01:16
Posts: 2607
Location: California

Looks quite a beefy light for a xpl hi. Should not get hot very fast at all. If at all…

unknown00101
Offline
Last seen: 7 hours 17 min ago
Joined: 08/16/2013 - 11:53
Posts: 4235
Location: USA

Well fudge.

From bad to worse. The LED seems to have suffered some damage after all.

On 1× 26650 I’m seeing about 590 lumens with a meager (but still kind of impressive) 39kcd. I say still kind of impressive, because even with the very low output it manages to throw okay; However, still much less than I would expect from a flashlight utilizing an XPL-HI at 3 amps with this large of a reflector. For comparison, a XinTD X3 (pictured above) utilizing an XML2 at 3 amps puts out about 900lm and 39kcd and is quite a bit smaller than the L2.

Sigh. I really wanted to get stock data on this beautiful flashlight. Sad

I had Missa Solemnis playing in the background too. It was not a joyous round of testing.

jurgo87
Offline
Last seen: 9 months 3 weeks ago
Joined: 09/02/2016 - 09:20
Posts: 23
Location: Italy

Hi all, I have a big problem, I modded my convoy l2 new, but something went wrong, after 1 hour the reflector of flashlight become Grey and lost the mirroring as the acid corrode the cromo… I don’t know why this happened, maybe the component of solder or solder paste corroded it… Now the problem is: do someone know if is possible to buy just the reflector without all flashlight? Or maybe someone have 1 reflector to sell me? Sorry for English and thank you for help

unknown00101
Offline
Last seen: 7 hours 17 min ago
Joined: 08/16/2013 - 11:53
Posts: 4235
Location: USA

Glad to see things got ironed out for you in the L2 thread Jurgo. Some great problem solvers at BLF. SmileThumbs Up

unknown00101
Offline
Last seen: 7 hours 17 min ago
Joined: 08/16/2013 - 11:53
Posts: 4235
Location: USA

Also, I updated OP with repair info, more measurements, and some beamshot gifs of the modifications.

Does pretty dang good for as small as it is compared to the competition.

bibihang
bibihang's picture
Offline
Last seen: 6 hours 51 min ago
Joined: 11/10/2011 - 09:32
Posts: 2339
Location: Malaysia

Can anyone help to confirm whether the latest version of Convoy L2 with XP-L HI already sits on DTP board?

I don’t see why it doesn’t since the latest Convoy C8 already using it.