Review: Manker E14 (4x Nichia 219B NW, 1x 18350/16340/CR123A/RCR123)

5 posts / 0 new
Last post
unknown00101
Offline
Last seen: 2 months 1 week ago
Joined: 08/16/2013 - 11:53
Posts: 4342
Location: USA
Review: Manker E14 (4x Nichia 219B NW, 1x 18350/16340/CR123A/RCR123)

Manker E14


Summary:

Battery:  1x 18350/16340/CR123A/RCR123 (18650 tube option)
Switch:  Reverse Tailcap Clicky
Modes:

 Group 1: Moon - Low - LowMed - Med - MedHigh - High - Turbo
 Group 2: Low - Mid - High - Turbo
 + Tactical Strobe - Battery Check - Bike Flasher

Mode Memory:  Optional (Can be enabled or disabled)       
LED Type:  4x Nichia 219B NW
Lens:  AR-Coated Glass 
Reflector:  Quad TIR Optic
Price:  $49.50
Provided by:

 FastTech
 https://www.fasttech.com/p/6041000

 

Function / User Interface:  

The Manker E14 utilizes the BLF EE A6's firmware.

BLF EE A6 firmware
==================

The interface is as follows:
  (see blf-a6-ui.png for a quick start)

  While off:

    - Fully click and release to turn the light on.  It will go to the 
      first mode or the last-used mode, depending on whether you enabled 
      mode memory.

  While on:

    - Short tap: Do a short (less than 0.5s) half-press to go forward to 
      the next mode.

    - Med tap: Do a medium (0.5s to 1.5s) half-press to go backward to 
      the previous mode.

    - Long tap: Do a long (longer than 1.5s) half-press to reset to the 
      first mode (if mode memory is turned off).

    - Or fully click and release to turn the light off.

  Hidden modes:

    - Go backward from moon to access the hidden modes.  They are, in 
      order:

      - Turbo (just like the regular turbo)

      - Tactical strobe (10 Hz)

      - Battery check / beacon mode
        (each blink represents about 25% of a full charge)
        0 blinks: < 1% full        (< 3.0V)
        1 blink : 1% to 25% full   (3.0V to 3.5V)
        2 blinks: 25% to 50% full  (3.5V to 3.8V)
        3 blinks: 50% to 75% full  (3.8V to 4.0V)
        4 blinks: 75% to 100% full (4.0V to 4.2V)
        5 blinks: > 100% full      (> 4.2V)

      - Biking flasher (2-level stutter beacon, 1 Hz)

  Configuration options:

    - Short tap rapidly a bunch of times (15+ taps, or until the light 
      stops turning on) to enter soft config mode.

      The way it works is the light will blink twice for each option, 
      then pause for a bit before moving to the next option.  Turn the 
      light off between the two blinks to toggle that option.

      The available options are:

      - Mode group: 7 modes or 4 modes:
        Group 1: moon, low, med1, med2, high1, high2, turbo
        Group 2:       low,      med,       high,     turbo

      - Mode memory toggle

    - If CONFIG_STARS is defined, you can ground pin 3 of the MCU to 
      enable mode memory instead of using config mode.  This can often 
      be done by soldering a star on the spring side of the driver, if 
      your driver supports that.  Otherwise, it's pretty easy to make a 
      solder bridge from pin 3 (mode mem toggle) to pin 4 (ground).  Or 
      even just wedge a piece of metal between the two pins.

  Other details to note:

    - Low-voltage protection will progressively step down the output at 
      about 2.8V, and the light will shut itself off when even the 
      lowest level gets below 2.8V.

    - The default turbo step-down is 45 seconds.

    - When turbo steps down to high, a short tap will push it back up to 
      turbo or a medium tap will step down further, even if you got to 
      turbo by going backward from moon.  The step-down effectively 
      moves it from the "hidden" turbo back to the non-hidden turbo.

    - A short tap from any hidden mode will return to the lowest mode.

This is directly from ToyKeeper's BLF A6 firmware text. She does an exceptional job detailing every aspect.

http://bazaar.launchpad.net/~toykeeper/flashlight-firmware/trunk/view/he...

 

 

Data & Measurements: 

I picked up a few new batteries to test... so I went ahead and measured every mode. Smile

 

 

The capability of the WindyFire 18350 was pretty surprising.

 

 

All throw measurements are lux values taken at 7ft and calculated back to 1 meter (Rounded to the nearest hundred). Estimated Max Output (Lumens) values are calculated based on measurements taken 30 seconds after turn on and are 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."

 

The following tests took place in 65 °F Ambient temperature, indoors, with very little air movement. The flashlight sits head facing down on a piece of glass that is recessed inside a 4" PVC pipe. A small fan directed at the flashlight, is activated where indicated.  

 

Output drop is extremely rapid from the start of Turbo to 30 seconds. At 45 seconds a timed stepdown drops output to about 1100lm.

This lil' thing gets smokin' hot in a hurry. A little over 3.5 minutes and maximum Lithium Ion discharge temperature has been reached. As such, a small fan was activated to cool it down for the rest of the test. Output slowly declines as the voltage of the cell steadily decreases. Around 8 minutes output rapidly declines until the light shuts off at 10 minutes.

 

 

High mode starts significantly lower around 1200lm at 30 seconds, but still gets hot in a hurry. 140°F at 4 minutes and a fan is activated to cool it down for the remainder of the run. Output slowly declines as the voltage of the cell steadily decreases. Around 8 minutes output rapidly declines until the light shuts off at 10 minutes.

 

 

Pictures:

The Manker E14 arrived in a small cardboard box with a thin cardboard sleeve.

 

 

This is the Nichia NW version.

 

Included is a very nice and succinct UI/Spec sheet. Unfortunately this light does not have the Bistro firmware. It is actually the A6 firmware. The text on the right hand side is mostly correct. Group 2 does not have access to moon mode. Apart from that the text is correct. 

 

Also included is a replacement tailcap boot, pocket clip, O-ring, the Manker E14, and a nice Manker Lanyard.

 

The exterior machining. fit and finish is very good. My sample does not have knurling on the 18350 body tube.

 

The knurling on the tailcap provides some grip but is not aggressive.

 

The rounded edges of the tailcap are a very nice touch. This makes tailstanding less stable, but it benefits feel and aesthetics greatly. 

 

The front threads are dry and loose (I lubed them after pictures). After several tube switches a buildup of copper material in the threads is very apparent even when being exceptionally careful.

 

The rear threads arrived well lubed. They are well machined and thread smoothly and quietly. The first thread is showing signs of wear.

 

The front end showing those Nichia 219B emitters under the quad TIR optic. There's some dirt on the underside of the optics.

 

 

The bezel, nor optic were glued. Threads are dry, but very well machined.

The AR lens was well smudged with plenty of fingerprints.

 

Underside of the two-legged TIR optic.

 

The very edge of the optic was chipped in my sample.

 

Proper orientation on the quad mcpcb. Protection under the screws holding down the board.

 

After a few washes I was able to remove most of the smudges. Some circular scratches remained. I suspect these were caused by the worker who assembled the light, leaving dirt in between the lens and optic.

 

Much better than how it was when it arrived though.

 

 

 

Comparison:

 From left to right: Olight S1R, Manker E14, TrustFire L2m, Convoy S2+, Convoy C8.

 

 

Same lineup, but an A6 18650 tube on the E14 head.

 

 

 

Beamshots:

As with all beamshots in my reviews, every shot is taken using the same settings in manual mode.

In this 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 Manker E14 is a pretty unique little light, at least in my collection. It pumps out some serious output and is very floody utilizing an 18350 cell. The closest comparison I have is my modded S2+ triple xpg2 with slightly more output and throw, utilizing an 18650 cell.

My modded S2+ and the E14 have very similar beam profiles. The E14 is a little floodier with a bit wider spill, but the biggest difference is tint. The E14's beautiful tint is due to those special little Nichia 219B emitters. This is my first light with Nichias, and I must say it is a very nice tint.

 

Manker E14 Modes: LowMed - Med - MedHigh - High - Turbo.

 

 

Conclusion:

The Manker E14 is one heck of a little palm burner. This is one of the brightest, tiniest flashlights I've held and while overall I really like this flashlight, there are a few issues.

No thermal regulation apart from a timed turbo stepdown. With so much output in such a little light the E14 can overheat in just 3-4 minutes. This isn't a big issue as long as you're careful, but it could certainly be fixed.

Quality control is not great. Chipped optic, very poor threads on the front end of the battery tube, dirty/scratched lens, and dirt on the optic. The dirt and chipped optic are small issues, but simple to fix with a little bit of care during assembly. The poor threads can be a big issue down the road. The bezel threads are perfect, I wish they would have done the same to the front end of the battery tube.

 

Overall the Manker E14 is a nice flashlight. "The power of the sun in the palm of my hand." and the heat that comes with it. Silly 

Edited by: sb56637 on 09/02/2017 - 12:11
unknown00101
Offline
Last seen: 2 months 1 week ago
Joined: 08/16/2013 - 11:53
Posts: 4342
Location: USA

Added a bunch of light teardown pics and output measurements with a few different cells. Compiling runtime data and beamshots…

Edit: Runtime added.

RollerBoySE
RollerBoySE's picture
Offline
Last seen: 2 days 21 hours ago
Joined: 12/13/2014 - 11:23
Posts: 1041
Location: Sweden

Thanks for a really nice review!

cncyana
Offline
Last seen: 15 hours 30 min ago
Joined: 03/24/2013 - 02:21
Posts: 511
Location: los angeles

Great review so far! Nice pics too!

I hope all the problems with melted optics, faulty LEDS, and grounding problems have been corrected.

Life’s Questions/Answers here: http://www.answersingenesis.org/home/area/qa.asp “So then, each of us will give an account of himself to God.” Romans 14:12

unknown00101
Offline
Last seen: 2 months 1 week ago
Joined: 08/16/2013 - 11:53
Posts: 4342
Location: USA

Thanks y’all.

Just finished it up. Fun little hand warmer. Smile