Review: JETBeam EC-R26

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xelario
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Review: JETBeam EC-R26


JETBeam EC-R26 is a short tube flashlight with built-in charging.


MANUFACTURER SPECIFICATIONS




Quote:

LED: XP-L
Battery: 1*18650 (included) or 2*CR123A
Lens: toughened ultra-clear mineral glass with double-sided anti-reflective coating
Material: Aluminum alloy, Mil-spec HAIII

Note that EC-R26 is currently available under NITEYE brand, and specs on the website claim it is 99mm long. Is it really 7mm shorter? I don’t think so, because JETBeam EC-R26 is definitely 106mm long, even though the manual claims 99mm, so I guess this is just a mistake.


PACKAGING AND ACCESSORIES


JETBeam EC-R26 comes in a standard cardboard box packaging with all the usual information and a view of the flashlight itself.




Inside you’ll find the flashlight, a JETBeam JL240 2400mAh protected 18650 cell inside it, a Micro-USB charging cable (290mm long), two spare O-rings, a spare switch cover, a warranty card, a manual and a “Certificate of Approval”.





The included JL240 18650 has a plastic insert around its contacts to prevent accidental activation in shipping and depleting the cell due to current bleed.



It has over-charge, over-discharge and short circuit protection, 4A maximum current.
I measured it to be 18.5mm in diameter and 68.8mm in length.
In my tests over-discharge protection tripped at 2.5V.



Looks like it‘s not just a rewrapped cell with a protection circuit added.




GENERAL LOOK AND FEEL


EC-R26 is a tube light with an electronic switch on the head, and it’s one of the short ones.


DQG Tiny III | JETBeam EC-R26 | Olight S20 | Convoy S2+ | JETBeam KO-01 | Fenix E35UE

Anodizing is not the usual black. JETBeam calls it grey, but to my eyes it looks more like what I’d call dark brown. But it’s still better than black.
Machining is perfect, I found no sharp corners, chips in anodizing or any other defects in my sample.
Flat cut sides on the head prevent the flashlight from rolling too easily.


HEAD


The bezel is completely flat, there are no crenellations.
Lens is ultra-clear mineral glass with double-sided anti-reflective coating.
Reflector is smooth and not very deep.
EC-R26 uses a cool white XP-L LED. It is perfectly centered using a white plastic centering ring, which has pretty high edges.



Brand and model name are laser engraved on the bezel, right above the electronic switch.



There is a blue LED behind the switch. It starts blinking slowly when cell charge level is 10%-50% and blinks fast when it’s <10%. While charging, the LED is constantly on.



On the other side of the head serial number and hot surface warning are engraved. Between them is a Micro-USB charging port, covered with a rubber flap. The flap is a bit too hard to open. A longer cut-out would solve this problem.



Threads on the head are anodized, allowing for lock-out. The positive terminal does not have a spring and physical reverse polarity protection is present in a form of a plastic ring. Because of that, only button-top cells can be used.



Unscrewing the bezel was easy, it’s not glued. After that, the lens, O-ring, centering ring and reflector just fell out.



That’s as far as I could go. The MCPCB is behind a shelf, so it’s impossible to remove it from this side.

Reflector is 21mm in diameter and 11mm in height.
Lens is 22mm in diameter and 2mm thick.


BODY TUBE


Body tube does not have any markings on it. Diamond pattern knurling is not very aggressive, but not slippery either. Red O-rings stand out.



Threads are trapezoidal cut and anodized. They came pre-lubed and feel smooth in action.



Inner diameter of the tube is 18.9mm, supplied 18650 fits fine with room to spare.



TAILCAP


Tailcap has the same knurling pattern as body tube.
Installing a lanyard does not impede tailstand ability. The tail end is flat, so EC-R26 can tailstand and is very stable.



The whole tailcap is anodized allowing for lock-out. Electrical contact with both battery and body tube is made by the spring.



UI


JETBeam EC-R26 has four regular modes (Turbo, High, Mid, Low) and one special mode (Strobe). It also has mode memory and will remember last mode used, including Strobe!
One nice feature is smooth ramping between modes. It doesn’t instantly go to next brightness mode, but smoothly ramps up (or down) to it.

From off:
a) Hold for 0.5 sec to turn on to memorized mode.
b) Double click to get to Strobe.


From on:
a) Hold for 0.5 sec to turn off.
b) Click to cycle regular modes (Turbo > High > Mid > Low > Turbo…).
c) Double click from any regular mode other than Turbo to get to Turbo.
d) Double click from Turbo to get to Strobe.


I noticed that accessing Strobe from off is more difficult, as if EC-R26 would not register sometimes. I tried slow and fast clicking, but couldn’t manage to access strobe consistently.
Accessing it from Turbo was very consistent, even when double clicking very slowly.

Mode spacing is good, all modes are nicely spaced and distinct. Low mode is actually very low, maybe even less than 2 lumens (comparable with my 0.5-1 lumen rated flashlights).


MEASUREMENTS


Throw was measured with included JL240 cells and HS1010A light meter from distances of 3 and 5m, 30 seconds after start. I got an average of 5637cd or ~150m, which is pretty close to manufacturer spec of 6010cd and 155m.

Standby current is fluctuating rapidly between 170uA and 206uA.

Current draw:
Turbo – 2.4A
High – 0.65A
Mid – 0.15A
Low – 0.15mA


CHARGING


Charging is done via a Micro-USB port on the head of the flashlight. Port is covered with a rubber flap.



While the cell is charging, blue indicator LED is on. When the cell is full it turns off.

I discharged the included 2400mAh 18650 cell (to 2.5V, that’s when protection trips) and put it on charge in the flashlight. I used Blitzwolf 40W USB charger, which supposedly can give out up to 2.4A, so there shouldn’t be any bottlenecks. At the start my USB meter showed 0.84A and charging current slowly dropped throughout the process.
About 4.5 hours later charging terminated at 0.05A and the cell was at 4.19V.


PWM


I consider myself very sensitive to low frequency PWM and spot it easily in normal use, but didn’t notice any while using EC-R26. A closer look (“wave it around really fast” test) did not show any “trailing” either. Oscilloscope measurements revealed that EC-R26 uses PWM at 18kHz for High and Mid modes (probably Low too, it’s just too low to measure with my current setup).


CONCLUSION


EC-R26 is a very well built flashlight. Mode spacing is good, smooth ramping is nice, it’s short and comfortable in hand, color is not boring black, it tailstands even with a lanyard attached, has a built-in charging and an LED indicator, there’s no visible PWM. Personally I’d prefer a warmer tint, different UI and mode order, but other than that and inability to use flat-top cells there’s nothing to complain about.


JETBeam EC-R26 was provided by SkyBen.Trade on Amazon for review.
Thank you for reading.

The Miller
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Nice review
Thanks
That ramping between modes sounds neat.

will34
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Good review!

To remove the mcpcb you have to pry out the plastic driver retaining disk, insert a Philips screwdriver through the holes in the driver and unscrew the mcpcb from behind. It has a reverse shelf design.

Not a fan of the UI, I hate hold to on/off.

Modden
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Nice Review Smile

How can I change the MCPCB? Can I mount with a 16mm MCPCB?

Firelight2
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I have an EC R16 which looks the same on the outside. I purchased it with the thought of using it as a possible mod host for a small triple. I didn’t do the mod though. The large button looked like it might be too easy to accidentally depress. Plus I found the USB charging actually worked quite well and my mod would have removed that feature.

I did do an emitter swap. The bezel unscrews so an emitter swap is quite simple.

I don’t recall what size the MPCB was though. I think it was 16mm, but I don’t really recall. It might have been 14mm.

Hmm… I see the R26 has the emitter behind a shelf. Looks like doing an emitter swap will be harder as you have to remove all the guts from the other side.