Review: Balder SE-1 [ 1xAA - 14500 - 3mode ]

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old4570
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Review: Balder SE-1 [ 1xAA - 14500 - 3mode ]

ScreenShot011.jpg

 

For review I have the Balder SE-1 , Link to manufacturers page 

I would like to thank Balder for making this review possible . [ And thank you Martin ] 

 

 

Product description from Balder : 


 

SE-1


Features:


1. Extreme competitive Price.

2. Strong metal clip.

3. Compact size and light weight, suitable for EDC (every day carry).

4. Mil-Spec Type III Hard Anodized finish. 

5. Made from Aluminum alloy, really strong. 

6. Water proof to IPX-8 standard. 

7. Fully-regulated circuit, Broad input voltage (1.0V - 4.2V) and battery compatibility (i.e. alkaline, NiMH, 14500) .

8. Precision Aluminum reflector (Orange Peel) .

9. Simple operation. High-Medium-Low.  No SOS and strobe modes.

10. Tactical switch for momentary on.

11. Prominent runtime.

12. Anti-reverse protection. 

13.Can be updated to XPG R5 or XML T6 LED


Specifications:


1. Dimension:  Head diameter 24mm, Tail diameter 24mm, length 102mm

2. Cree XPE R3 LED

3. Lumen and runtime:

    Single AA:

    Maximum output of 120 lumens for 1.2 hours

    Minimum output of 3 lumens for 50 hours


4. Material: Aircraft Aluminum Alloy T6061 

5. Weight: 40g (without battery)

6. Water proof to IPX-8 standard 

7. Battery: single 14500 or AA

8. Accessories: O-rings, user’s manual, tail cap, holster (optional accessories)

 

 

 

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Initial impressions :


The light arrive in a sturdy plastic case and was well packaged , and on initial examination the light appears the be very well made . This impression was confirmed when I began to unscrew the tailcap and head , the tolerances are tight , and the O rings are nice and tight without being overly so . There is no battery slop when shaking the light vigorously , and the machining - knurling and finish look to be very well done [ no flaws found ] .


  There is PWM   [ med and low ] but its faster than the BD-1 and quite a few other lights , so if you dont like real slow PWM , then the SE-1 might be more to your liking . I have to say , I was impressed with the SE-1 on taking it out of the box . 


Performance : 


Lets start with AA , Nimh


Rayovac 4.0 Nimh  @ 1.42v  , High = 2.32A - 100L , Medium = 0.79A - 33L , Low = 0.06A - 1L  [ Low is the same with all AA's ] 

Recyko  @  1.42v  , High = 2.32A - 100L , Medium = 0.79A - 35L , Low = there all the same 

Sony  @  1.38v  , High = 2.22A - 97L , Medium = 0.76A - 32L 


Alkalines 

Alk-1 @ 1.5v ,  High = 1.62A - 76L , Medium = 0.57A - 27L

Alk-2 @ 1.55v ,  High = 1.95A - 92L , Medium = 0.68A - 32L 


Dry Cells 


1/  @ 1.6v , High = 1.2A - 54L , Med = 0.44A - 18L

2/  @ 1.56v , High = 1.4A - 63L , Med = 0.51A - 22L

3/  @ 1.59v , High = 1.04A - 30L , Med = 0.42A - 12L


Cheap Lithium  AA


1/  @ 1.78v , High = 1.9A - 96L , Med = 0.68A - 33L


ScreenShot010.jpg


  14500 Li-ion [ @ 4.1v ] 


Now I dont like trying a fully charge Li-ion in a new AA light , as you never know what might happen , the good news is = Nothing , no smoke or funny odors from a smoked driver .  The bad news is , the SE-1 really drives hard , too hard I dare say . 


14500 Trustfire Flame @ 4.1v  , High = 1.8A - 305 warm start - sags to 256L within 30 seconds , Medium = 0.53A - 99L , Low = 0.02A - 2L


I have to say , with the 14500 , the light is over driven , medium and low are fine , but I would just like to see the 14500 limited to 1A on high , especially with the XP-E emitter , or the other way to go would be to XM-L the little light . [ That would be something ] 


14500 beams  ...  Hi - Med - Low and two angles in my back yard 

screenshot012ai.jpg

 

Conclusion : 


Well made 

Smooth threads 

Nice finish [ no flaws found yet ] 

Very good clip 

OP reflector 

Does not tailstand 

Easy to operate [ Forward clicky - 3 modes - no junk modes - always starts in high ] 

High Quality Knurling 

No battery slop 

very nice beam [ White ] 

Does have PWM in med and low - but faster 

O rings really seal well 

Driven hard on a 14500 [ To hard ] 


I have to say I'm impressed with the SE-1 from Balder , it may not look much smaller than the BD-1 , but once its in your hand , you can really feel the difference , same goes for when its riding in your pocket , you feel the difference , the SE-1 is smaller - lighter - and makes more sense for anyone contemplating a AA flashlight . I think the BD-1 would be the 14500 option or light of choice and the SE-1 if you mainly use AA batteries , and occasionally use the 14500 . Well that's my humble opinion , but aside from the current draw on high [ 14500 ] I am very impressed with the SE-1 and cant find anything to really fault , a very strong performer and I give it 9 out of 10 . 


Now a quick note on the clip , if you leave it in place , it should function perfectly well , and offer trouble free service , but if you remove it and start to stress it in ways it was not designed to handle , then quite possibly you could break it . So it makes good sense to just leave it in place and be happy , and if you don't want it there , just remove it and put it somewhere safe  . With the clip on the light , I have been pulling on it , pushing it this way and that , and have found nothing to concern me , so . 

 

 

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A shot from the top @ the emitter 

 

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Looking at the back of the head 

 

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Inside the tailcap 

 

 

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Body tube , looks like the Pill might be glued in 

 

100_3453.jpg

 

My cat [ Tikki ] , she got jealous when I was taking pictures of flashlight , so jumped up on the little dresser draws , blocking the flashlights from the camera ..

I went outside and spent some quality time with her right after taking this picture .  

 

 Always remember , the easiest thing in the world to do , is to expel hot air from your lungs and through some vocal chords ..
The resulting sound may , or may not be worth listening too ….

 

Edited by: sb56637 on 08/26/2014 - 17:06
scheven_architect
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TY for the review!

Now go and have fun with some pussy! Smile

 

 
Nautic
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Do you know what the extremely competitive price are? I cant find it at the website.

Cheap quality is good - Expensive crap isn´t

jacktheclipper
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Great review , old4570 .

SirJohn
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Price is around $30 via cnqualitygoods so it is positioned head to head against the Xeno E03. I just got my review sample yesterday. I've been using it so I've had time for a good impression but I won't have the time to do the review this weekend due to a lot of family things going on. Throw is impressive for a 1xaa. If you want throw in a compact light, this is towards the top of the 1xaa class. Definitely best thrower in the 1xaa class that I've ever used.Outthrows my LD20 Q5 when I use a 14500, but again the overall output is a bit more. It heats up very fast on high with a 14500, so I wouldn't run it long. The fact the low works very well with both nimh and 14500 is a plus, but pwm is noticeable. It wasn't bothersome to me, but if you are really sensitive to it, I can see it being an issue. Clip is really solid.

old4570
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I was out last night chasing [ following ] the cat with mine and the PWM was barely noticeable ..

I watch the cats legs as she runs along [ medium ] and only just notice it , barely .  Really had to look hard for it [ Some people seem more sensitive to it than others  ] 

 Always remember , the easiest thing in the world to do , is to expel hot air from your lungs and through some vocal chords ..
The resulting sound may , or may not be worth listening too ….

 

Hikelite
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Thanks for the review, old4570

 

Nautic wrote:

Do you know what the extremely competitive price are? I cant find it at the website.

http://www.intl-outdoor.com/balder-se1-xpe-r3-325-lumens-edc-flashlight-...

$25.95

 

sb56637
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Oops, sorry, I missed this review Old. Very well done as usual! Frontpage'd and Sticky'd. Thanks a lot!

Budget Light Forum ...where Frugal meets with Flashlight!

weiser
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Hikelite wrote:

Thanks for the review, old4570

 

Nautic wrote:

Do you know what the extremely competitive price are? I cant find it at the website.

http://www.intl-outdoor.com/balder-se1-xpe-r3-325-lumens-edc-flashlight-...

$25.95

 

Good find! I didn't notice they carried Balder. They sell all of the Balder BD and SE series CNQG sells but all at lower prices. I'm kind of surprised! I might just have to get one now. Thanks for the review!

 

weiser
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So how do you feel about the life of the LED running on high with 14500 most of the time? Not running at extended lengths of time, but rather just the times that it is used would mostly be operating on high. Would XM-L (even XP-G) driven at these levels in this light be much more stable? I'm still trying to figure out the appeal of an XP-E in this type of light if XP-G would be a more well-rounded emitter for a 1xAA. 

 

One more thing: Run time? I'm curious how high mode run time stacks up to the XP-G and XM-L 1xAA alternatives. 

old4570
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Well , Id be a lot happier with lower current and the XP-E [ 14500 ] I would think 1A would offer over 200L  so the fact that its doing 1.8A and sagging to 250ish within 30 seconds , tells me the emitter is doing it hard ..

1A and maybe 220 ish would be so much better ...  

The XP-G should handle it better , and the XM-L - would be a walk in the park and more Lumens ..

The XP-E might throw better , but do you buy a AA light for throw ? [ Actually some people do ] 

Its not a bad light , and I really like it on the AA , but I think its wanting a XM-L emitter in it ...

For now I will leave it alone , but as soon as Im done with school , I may pop in a XM-L emitter .

 Always remember , the easiest thing in the world to do , is to expel hot air from your lungs and through some vocal chords ..
The resulting sound may , or may not be worth listening too ….

 

weiser
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If I was good at modding already I wouldn't have a problem buying this light and swapping for an XM-L in the near future. But I'd rather not bust up nice lights in the process of learning. If I buy it now hoping to mod when I acquire the skills I'll probably have lost interest by then. It's so frustrating coming across great lights like these only to be let down by something important such as an over driven (or under driven) old emitter. I appreciate the purpose of an XP-E, but I certainly don't need it for a 1xAA, EDC light. That's why I was wondering why they'd go with that emitter for what seems to be an otherwise well crafted and well thought out light. Are they simply trying to save some pennies. 

srtbrazil
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Great job as usual Old.

how2
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XP-E lights driven at 1Amps will only get warm, my Skyray S-A5 is perfect, it only pulls 1Amps when the battery is at 4.0v. Anything higher and it puls more than 1Amps which is bad for the emitter.

weiser
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I just got it for $20 shipped from CNQG so now I don't mind hanging on to it for a bit until I'm capable of swapping the emitter Smile

old4570
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weiser701 wrote:

If I was good at modding already I wouldn't have a problem buying this light and swapping for an XM-L in the near future. But I'd rather not bust up nice lights in the process of learning. If I buy it now hoping to mod when I acquire the skills I'll probably have lost interest by then. It's so frustrating coming across great lights like these only to be let down by something important such as an over driven (or under driven) old emitter. I appreciate the purpose of an XP-E, but I certainly don't need it for a 1xAA, EDC light. That's why I was wondering why they'd go with that emitter for what seems to be an otherwise well crafted and well thought out light. Are they simply trying to save some pennies. 

Not sure , the reason for the XP-E , if they were going for more throw - ok , but it does say in the description , easy to upgrade emitter . 

I have been using it a lot around the house on a Nimh , and it works well , I think the cheapest retailer now is like $20 shipped , so Balder or other AA ??

Damn , Id have to say Balder .  At $20 shipped , its a great buy . 

 Always remember , the easiest thing in the world to do , is to expel hot air from your lungs and through some vocal chords ..
The resulting sound may , or may not be worth listening too ….

 

weiser
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Yeah, I didn't balk at the $20 price drop from CNQG. I snatched one up right away. Smile 

 

At least I would just be changing the emitter since the driver is already pumping hard enough. Maybe I'll be happy with the light as it is. I'm not too worried at $20 for a quality light Smile

 

weiser
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Not good. After nearly 5 days I'm notified the SE-1 isn't in stock and I'll have to wait until next week if I still want it. I ordered it the same day the price was lowered, or at least that was when this forum first noticed it. Not only does the website not reflect this status, I have to wait this long to find out after placing my order. There sure wasn't a problem taking my money Smile I wonder if they filled orders that were placed after mine. I doubt it sold that quickly after lowering the price, considering I placed my order shortly after. It's a bit frustrating and not very professional.

how2
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The XML version is out for $23 including shipping.

tim817
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order placed for the XML version, thanks for the heads up how2.

weiser
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Received my XP-E from CNQG today. It worked for about 30 seconds and now doesn't come on at all anymore. It started to flicker and then stopped working completely. I tried cleaning the threads and I inspected all that I could but there doesn't appear to be anything wrong visually. Crappy.

 

Too bad because when he did actually ship it the speed was the best I've ever got from China. 

 

EDIT: I didn't even notice at first but there are absolutely no brand markings on this light. There are no markings whatsoever. 

nickdolin
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Bummer about the (nearly) DOA arrival man... I'm no tech expert on the lights but I'd make sure the contacts are clean and all the other things like that, that might be causing a problem.

weiser
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Any suggestions to what I should do specifically? I cleaned it thoroughly with alcohol. Ric already responded and asked if I could return the light for a replacement. I'm not going ship a $20 light back to China, especially during the holiday season. 

how2
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weiser701 Use a paper clip to to make contact from the battery to the threads if it lights up then it's a problem with the tail-cap. Make sure that the pill is screwed in properly and the tail-cap is screwed tight.

You could just send back the pill, use the old packing to keep costs down.

weiser
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how2 wrote:

weiser701 Use a paper clip to to make contact from the battery to the threads if it lights up then it's a problem with the tail-cap. Make sure that the pill is screwed in properly and the tail-cap is screwed tight.

You could just send back the pill, use the old packing to keep costs down.

 

I was just about to do this since I started thinking it's a switch issue as opposed to a driver issue. I'll report back.

 

Martin from Balder has already responded as well. He might send me a replacement. 

 

UPDATE: Okay, Martin is sending me a replacement but I'm still trying to figure out what the problem is. I've tried the paper clip trick and it still won't come on. Sometimes it wants to work fine and the rest of the time it doesn't come on at all. For example, It'll be working fine and then I'll set it down. I'll pick it up a few minutes later, try it out and get nothing. Seriously, what could be the issue? 

old4570
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Possibly a contact issue ...

If its not the tailcap ....

Then it has to be something to do with the driver :

Does the battery tube screw down deep enough to make proper contact - neg path ! 

LED DRIVER wires , perhaps poor contact here / or a intermittent short ?   

 Always remember , the easiest thing in the world to do , is to expel hot air from your lungs and through some vocal chords ..
The resulting sound may , or may not be worth listening too ….

 

weiser
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The tail cap certainly makes solid contact. I inspected the solder points on the led board but I can't see anything between it and the driver. It's all sealed within the pill. It just seems so strange how it decides when and when not to work.

weiser
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In response to your review I can say that the pill is threaded into the body and not glued. I've had the pill completely removed from the body and the head. Actually, when I first unscrewed the head from the body the pill came with it and I originally thought it was glued into the head. 

old4570
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weiser701 wrote:

In response to your review I can say that the pill is threaded into the body and not glued. I've had the pill completely removed from the body and the head. Actually, when I first unscrewed the head from the body the pill came with it and I originally thought it was glued into the head. 

If you look at the last picture , something oozing out ... When I say glued - yes its threaded in , but mine seems to have some sort of compound ...[ To thread lock ?  ]  

 Always remember , the easiest thing in the world to do , is to expel hot air from your lungs and through some vocal chords ..
The resulting sound may , or may not be worth listening too ….

 

weiser
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Oh yeah, I didn't notice that. Mine didn't come like that at all. It was threaded in rather tight but certainly no glue or thread lock. I ended up using some vise grips to remove the pill from the head. 

 

I'm still trying to figure out why this darn thing only works some of the time! Yell

esrevenge
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how2 wrote:

The XML version is out for $23 including shipping.

Thanks for the link.

Can someone please let me know what version to buy or pro/cons of each...I dont understand the tech. specs...Honestly at this stage of my flashlight knowledge I buy based on shape and battery type.  But I really like 1AA lights and this unit has a lot of great reviews including this review...Many thanks.

Balder SE-1 CREE XP-E R3 1xAA/14500 EDC Flashlight
Balder SE-1 CREE XM-L T6 CW/NW AA/14500 Flashlight

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