Review: Blackwater SR-71, Triple XP-G2, 1000 lumens, 16340/18350 pic heavy!

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mattlward
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Review: Blackwater SR-71, Triple XP-G2, 1000 lumens, 16340/18350 pic heavy!

Let me get the business out of the way first. This light was provide by Banggood.com (link is external) for my consideration and review.

Better news… 20% off code for the SR71 and the trit tailcaps. Code: f4244f

Box
Box 2
Pack

Banggood posted specs:


Product name: Blackwater SR71 3xCREE XP-G2 USB Mini LED Flashlight
Brand: Blackwater
Model: SR71
Emitter Brand CREE
Emitter Type: XP-G2
Material: Aluminium alloy,BrassTitanium alloy
Total Emitters: 3x
Mode: moon,low,mid,high,turbo+Strobe
Lumens: 1000LM,420LM,100LM,5LM
Runtime: 35min,1h,4h,20h
Working volatge: 2.5V-8.4V
Battery Configurations: 1 × 16340 battery (included)
Switch Type: clicky
Switch Location: body side of the flashlight
Peak Beam Intensity: 4915cd
Impact Resistant: 1.5 meters
Max Output: 1000lumens
Range: 140 meters
Waterproof: IPX-8 waterproof 2 meters
Weight: 40g (without battery)
Size: 67mm x 30mm x 22.5mm (length x head x body diameter)

Features:
Ultilizes 3 xCREE XP-G2 LEDs,lifespen 50000hours.
Maximum output of 1000luemsn,max 140meter beam distance
Broad voltage,intelligent memory and intelligent temperature control circuit
4 brightness levels +strobe/sos mode
Stainless stell one side switch for easy operation and dimming
Tactical momentray-on function(rapid strobe)
Hidden Micro-USB charging interface,1.5hours raprid chaging technology
Uses a rechargeable 16340 li-ion battery (included)
Gold-plated circuitry contact the points
Optical-grafe high efficient lens
Constructed from CNC milled aero-space-grade aluminum alloy
HALL militart grade hard-anodized finish
IPX-8 waterproof,2m submerside

Package included:
1 x Blackwater SR71 3xCREE XP-G2 USB Mini LED Flashlight
1 × 16340 battery
1 x o-ring
1 x flashlight lanyard

UI description:
From off:
Single click/hold will give a burst of turbo. If held longer the light will turn on in the last used mode if the light was left in the previous mode for what appears to be about 5 seconds, otherwise it will start in turbo the next time.
From on:
A single click will cycle in an ascending order through the modes and then loop L/M/H/T.
Special modes:
Strobe can be access at any time by a quick double click. It is a variable rate strobe, very annoying and will get attention.

General thoughts:
The light is extremely compact and fits the hand very well! It does however lack a pocket clip, for me this is required for an EDC. It does not use the standard 20mm Carclo optic, the optic they chose actually allows the LEDs to be spread out a little more and creates a very nice hotspot and tons of flood. The tailcap on this light is equipped with a removable lanyard ring that fits very securely. The lanyard ring includes a slot for a trit, none included. It is also removable and exposes threads that will fit a standard tripod! I like this and will likely use this feature.

FrontSide
FaceTailTripod mount

The SR71 includes a 16340 battery and a sleeve for proper fitment. With the sleeve removed the light can be used with an 18350. I have tested fit and function with Vappower unprotected cells, Efest 700mAh purple cells, Efest 800mAh V2 button top cells and Xtar 16340 650mAh protected button top cells. All worked as they should.

The SR71 does appear to work better with the high drain 18350 cells. With the stock cell the light draws 2.64 amps at startup and with the Vappower cells it draws 3.23 amps and is noticeably brighter! This light gets very hot if not hand held, I would not suggest leaving it in turbo while using it in candle mode!

Parts 1

The SR71 does offer USB charging. I like their implementation in this light, but it is not without possible issues. I did have issues with mine, the charger would not stay in charge and would indicate full with a discharged battery. To charge the light, remove the head and connect a micro USB cable (not included) and the head end of the light will turn red (very brightly) until fully charged at which time it turns green. The light appears to shut down at 2.6 volts +/- .04 volts. This seams low to me, but it shut down before the Xtar protected cell shut itself down. With the stock cell it took around 1 hour and 35 minutes to charge up to 4.17 volts. The termination voltage was very consistent, so it appears that the charger is safe to use. Overall the charging board and system seem to be well designed!

Full Charge

Initial charging problem:
The charging board sits on a ledge in the head end of the battery tube. It is retained by a nylon screw in retainer. I noticed that the only way I could maintain charge was to hold down on the USB cable, as soon as I released it the light would indicate full charge. I found 2 minor issues that were easy to resolve… First the nylon washer was not tight and did not allow for good ground contact and second the ledge had some oxide that needed attention to allow the good ground to be made! I also think that I will add a tiny amount of solder to the USB shell solder points on the board to prevent future failure, although the nylon ring does provide good down force on the USB shell.
board bottomboard topCharge end

Beamshots… Of course!
This is not really a fair comparison… The first is a completely custom ReyLight Ti Triple that I built with a FET driver and 3*Nichia 219C D260 SW405 emitters. But, as you can see the output is pretty good for a light that was drawing 3.23 amps versus a light that was drawing 11.55 amps from an 18650! The tint is not bad, fairly neutral. The camera settings were identical and both the camera and lights were tripod mounted.

ReyLight
ReyLight Ti Triple - High

SR71
SR71-High
Optic

So, what did I really think?
Pros

  • Very good output for a stock light, somewhere around 1000 real lumens.
  • Fits the hand very well with the larger head!
  • Very attractive and well built body.
  • Charging system, after minor repair.

Cons

  • Charging system require minor repairs!
  • No clip, so not great for EDC.
  • No electronic lockout, must loosen tailcap a tiny bit.
  • It always provides a burst of Turbo mode at turn on. This will just destroy night vision, very bright!
  • Horrible and conflicting documentation with only a minor indication it is in english.

Closing thoughts
I really want to like this light more, but the burst of turbo and lack of a moonlight mode does not make this a good light for use in the middle of the night. The lack of a clip makes it hard for me to EDC. If the driver were corrected to stop the burst of turbo, I would really like this light. If you can live with these 2 things, I think it is a good platform.

EDC rotation:
FW1A, LH351D 4000k (second favorite)
FW3A, LH351D 3500k
FW3A, SST20 FD2 4000k
FW3A, Nichia 4000k sw40 r9080 (favorite light!)
FW3A, Cree XP-L Hi 5A3
Emisar D4V2, SST20 4000k
S2+, XM-L2 T6 4C

Edited by: sb56637 on 09/02/2017 - 12:11
The Miller
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Thanks for this review
What a beautiful light!

mattlward
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@The Miller, I agree it is very attractive! I have not had the head apart yet, may be able to change the driver or it could be to tightly integrated.

EDC rotation:
FW1A, LH351D 4000k (second favorite)
FW3A, LH351D 3500k
FW3A, SST20 FD2 4000k
FW3A, Nichia 4000k sw40 r9080 (favorite light!)
FW3A, Cree XP-L Hi 5A3
Emisar D4V2, SST20 4000k
S2+, XM-L2 T6 4C

saypat
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beautiful little thing. How does the switch feel?

mattlward
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Saypat, the switch feels pretty good. It is not hard to press, but does require a bit of travel to activate and it is not mushy. Other than the mode issue I listed, I really do like the little light. I am going to fabricate a deep carry clip that fits under the screw on the end and try it as an EDC for awhile. Might earn a spot in the rotation.

EDC rotation:
FW1A, LH351D 4000k (second favorite)
FW3A, LH351D 3500k
FW3A, SST20 FD2 4000k
FW3A, Nichia 4000k sw40 r9080 (favorite light!)
FW3A, Cree XP-L Hi 5A3
Emisar D4V2, SST20 4000k
S2+, XM-L2 T6 4C

eReMBee
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Location: Netherlands

It seems strange to me that a 16340 is included, while a 18350 also fits, the more as it appears to do better with the latter.
The tritium tail cap seems nice, but with it, it looses it ability to attach a lanyard. With a small light like this, that a real downside.
But it is a very attractive light!

jon_slider
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Location: The Land of Enchantment

thanks for the review
I hope they update the UI to match the PT16

I like the option to buy an SR71 in Titanium for less than a PT16, but the SR71 UI is a deal breaker.
I would be interested in a Copper PT16, but the SR71 that is shown is Brass, not “pure copper” as misstated in the pics on banggood.

In any case, Titanium is a terrible conductor, about 6% that of Copper.
Brass is a terrible conductor, about 1/3 that of copper
So Aluminum is the best choice, it conducts heat Two Times Better, than Brass

The discount codes don’t work anymore btw.

PT16 copper w 18350 tube:
Caution: clicking the pic, can can lead to pain in the wallet LOL

here is” a brass one”:http://www.ebay.com/itm/Blackwater-SR71-Bs-3x-CREE-XP-G2-1000lm-USB-Rechargeable-LED-Brass-Flashlight-/391525494017?_trksid=p2385738.m2548.l4275 for cheap, but, its conductivity is less than aluminum afaik