Olight S1 Mini High CRI and Utorch S1 Mini NW, now w N219b and E21A

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jon_slider
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New observation
After using Turbo the light dimmed itself to Low.

being a slow learner, I fired Turbo again, which caused the light to turn completely off.
I said the usual prayers, wiggled the LED board, and tried again. Still Zero Light.

Removed battery, tested Voltage, result 0 Volts..

guess why?
ok, Ill tell you why:

The LVP had been triggered by the repeated attempts to use Turbo when the battery was at 3.8v

Is it possible that the N219b is triggering LVP and the stock LED does not?

Solution, either dont use Turbo w the N219b, or switch to unprotected batteries.. hmmm

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How much current draws your Nichia? I measured 1,57A with thin standards probes off my multimeter. Can you measure yours? (A clamp meter would be better, the leads off the multimeter can result in a to low amp reading)

What I tried:
I tried to trigger Under voltage Protection.
But normally the thermal protection of the lamp kicks in. I had step downs from high/turbo to low after multiple times running high.

With a full battery I need 3 times High for about one minute (the Utorch stepps back if to hot or dimms slowly down after 40 seconds. You will see a step down but you won’t notice the dimming) to heat it up. From that on the thermal protection of the lamp kicked in and it switched to low.
So after every 40 seconds I kicked it back to high, when it steped to low. I lost count on this, but I did this ca. 12 times.
Checked Battery 3.3V, let the lamp cool down, to be shure the step down is not thermal related.
I could run High, after 40 sec it switched to low = seems a standard after 3.6V and no thermal reason

From there on I let it run on Mid with 100lm while writing this LVP triggerd, Battery had 0V

I plugged USB in for 5 sec (to reset the protection) and it had 2.96V

With this I could trigger High. I switched it immediately OFF and read 2.95V
Resting the battery let it reach 3.04V (Edit: I didn’t charged it), tried High and after 2 seconds low voltage protection from the battery kicked in.
0V on the battery measured.

Resting for 15 min, only reseted circuit (Edit: I didn’t charged it): Battery recovered to 3.06V. High for only 2 sec, then LVP

Result:
I could run 15 to 18 times HIGH for about 40 to 60 seconds.
Somewhere below 2.95V LVP off the battery kicked in.

Don’t know what your lamp has.
It could be your Nichia draws more Amps.
There are tolerances of the protection circuit in the battery.
Could it be thermal instead of LVP? I don’t know if you must also reset a thermal trigger with a charger.

Joe

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Thank you Joe, very helpful.

Yes, Im starting to think that the 0 Volts condition that my Utorch 16340 USB Protected battery achieved from triggering Turbo at 3.9v, was caused by Thermal protection In the Battery (not the light), and not Low Voltage Protection in the Battery. (the light has no built in LVP)

Here is a discussion about currents and differences in heat production of N219b and XPL.

ShineOnYouCrazyDiamond;4646979 wrote:
the thermal resistance of the N219B… will be much less efficient at dissipating the heat than the XP-L so the N219B will run significantly hotter

I dont fully grasp the info, and have no skills in measuring the current draw of the N219b, but it seems like the N219b is capable of triggering the thermal protection in the Utorch Protected and USB rechargeable battery.

I have avoided using Turbo completely for the past 24 hours. I have not had any dimming, and no 0 Volt conditions.

IF I was to switch to unprotected IMR cells, then use of Turbo would not trigger a 0 Voltage condition in the battery. I think the light will still use its own built in Thermal protection to dim the light, as you report, after 40 seconds on a full charge, and after 3 seconds once the battery gets below 3.8v.

Your report is very helpful, especially since you let the battery cool off between Turbo heat build ups. So your report that LVP kicks in around 3.0 volts is great info, that I had not yet discovered on my own.

I really appreciate your thorough and detailed testing and reporting.

fwiw, I have no regrets having the N219b 4500k 9080 instead of the stock XPL. The Nichia has awesome Red Rendering, which is what I wanted. When I had the XPL Red things looked brown. I could still tell them apart from other colors, but the N219b makes the Red things really POP!

I have no problem with the super pink and super violet Tints of the N219b in actual use. My brain adapts pretty easily, as long as I dont do white paper comparisons with other LED lights. The same was true with the stock LED btw, its piss yellow tint is not noticeable in actual use, as long as the light is used alone, and is not being compared to other LEDs.

It is a new education for me, to realize that the N219b runs a lot hotter than the XPL. Since I did not buy the aspheric light to use on Turbo, the extra heat is not a problem, the way I use the light indoors at lower levels.

One thing I really like about the Utorch is how low the moonlight is, even in stock form it reads just 0.2 lumens on my meter. The N219b dropped it to 0.1 lumens, and Im glad. It is plenty of light when I wake in the dark to go to the bathroom, dodging cat toys and hairballs in my half sleep.

Now for some rampant speculation. I wonder if the heat generated by the N219b is inversely proportional to the reduction in Lumen output compared to the stock XPL. The N219b dropped output by almost 50%. I wonder if it is also running twice as hot. This is the largest lumen drop I have measured on any of my few converted lights. When the light went 0 Volts with the N219b, it was very warm in the hand, but not painful. When I opened the lens, it smelled a little toasty in there, but so far, no magic smoke has escaped Smile

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jon_slider wrote:

I tried Turbo again, but after 3 seconds the light turned off and would not turn back on. I discovered the battery was at 0 volts, the protection circuit had tripped. I installed a fresh battery, the light works fine.

Charged the battery that was at 0 volts for 1 minute, then took it off charger and measured voltage at 3.9v again. The light works again with that battery.

My present theory is that once the light gets to 3.8v, which corresponds with 1 flash of the battery check mode on the light, it wont maintain Turbo, and repeating attempts to run turbo, can trigger the battery protection circuit.

I can trigger High down to 3V. The trick is below 3.8V you had to switch the lamp off, then you can start the lamp one time in High. It stays in High for 40 seconds and stepps down.

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jon_slider wrote:

I think the light will still use its own built in Thermal protection to dim the light, as you report, after 40 seconds on a full charge, and after 3 seconds once the battery gets below 3.8v.

Sorry no, 40sec, not 3sec, even below 3.8V. I had always the first reaction after 40sec from the lamp. That went down to 3V. Around 3V the battery kicked it off.
I guess the controller does the first measurement or decision generally at 40sec

Joe

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great info Joe

your 40 second turbo runs, contrasted with the 3 second runs I was getting when the battery was hot, suggests the issue I experienced was not LVP, it was OHP (overheat protection in the battery), while the 40 second step down you experience is more likely the OHP built into the light..

I just confirmed that my light also steps down from Turbo after 40 seconds. the battery is at two flashes atm and measures below 3.7v while hot, and rebounds about 3.83v after about a minute. So yes, I confirm Turbo works for 40 seconds for me too.

you are helping me realize that the protection triggering and 0 Volt issue seems to be Over Heating protection being triggered, not Voltage sag during high drain

so changing to an unprotected cell might let me run the light hotter longer, but thats not necessary for my application, and I really like the convenience of the Utorch included USB rechargeable batteries.

Imo lights with USB batteries make good gifts to newbies. It means I can gift a light to someone with no LiIon charger or experience. The overdischarge protection is also important for a newbie

enjoy your lights!

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More weirdness

last night when the Utorch had a fresh charged battery in it, the light dimmed from medium and would not switch modes. I was not using Turbo, and the light was Not Hot.

I removed the battery and it tested at 4.04 volts, the protection circuit had Not triggered. After reinserting the battery the light still did not switch modes and only came on in the dim flickery mode.

I removed the bezel, Oring, lens and centering ring and pushed the LED board side to side to smear the thermal paste and make sure the board and wires were not shorting to the body. Reassembled and after that the light is working normally again.

So, the problem seems to suggest an issue with the thermal paste, not the battery protection circuit, and not the level of battery charge. Im thinking the next move is to unsolder the led board and increase the amount of thermal paste, but Im not sure if thats the right move yet, and Im not experienced nor equipped to do the job.

The person that did the mod has offered to help, I just was hoping not to have to ship the light back.. But if it goes into dim mode again Im going to have to.

still unclear if the problem is the N219b running hotter, or triggering the battery protection, or if its just an assembly issue, a need for more thermal paste.. will share what I learn.

For now, Im going to AssUme the light is “fixed” (again), and keep using it. Im not Egyptian but I do live in DeNial part time.

this post needs more pics
3000k N219c w 1/4 minus green lee filter, 4000k N219b 9050, 4500k N219b 9080

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I don’t know what the problem is. But I am pretty sure it’s has nothing to do with the amount of thermal paste. Should work even without it.

Sounds more like a contact problem, driver problem or maybe a slightly broken ledwire.

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Geuzzz wrote:
Sounds more like a contact problem, driver problem or maybe a slightly broken ledwire.

Thank you for helping me brainstorm.

Regarding battery contact problem, yes that is a good possibility.

The battery was rattling because I took the tail magnet out. The magnet supports the spring.

So I put the magnet back in and now the battery does not rattle. And the light is working normally today.
.
.
I will keep the battery Spring supported by the magnet and Hope the problem goes away. No failures today since I put the magnet back in last night.

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Well, the light failed again. Sad.

It is very inconsistent. Sometimes it works normally for a day, then it goes into dim mode and wont switch modes. Im thinking of asking the modder to look it over, maybe resolder the wires.. not sure.

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Problem solved! Thanks to the excellent customer service of Texas_Ace. He found the white wire was shorting to the LED board. It was not his fault, but he would not let me pay him for the fix. His words were “I stand behind my work.” Im very grateful.

I think I created the issue when I tried to use a flat lens instead of the stock aspheric. I actually prefer the aspheric, so I wont be opening the light to screw up any connections in the future.. woohoo.. Love my sw45 9080 Utorch S1 Mini. I just wish it had the Olight UI and the ability to memorize moonlight, but, Im flexible, no light is perfect.

I just made an offer on another Olight S1 Mini High CRI, to replace the one I passed on to a friend. The tint and CCT are not ideal for indoors, but its a good option for outdoors. Gotta love the Olight UI, including the ability to memorize moonlight. As far as the green tint, I solve that with a bit of Lee 1/2 minus green filter attached w double sided tape (reversible hackmod).

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Clemence is modifying a couple more Utorch for me, he shared these pics and I [edited his comments for clarity], to help anyone else that may want to modify a Utorch S1 Mini.
—-
Completely disassembled

The driver relies on a small wire (white) for grounding. Without proper grounding it will flicker or not work at all.

To connect the grounding wire to the body Utorch uses a small screw soldered to the white wire. [the screw was not tight, it should be] …

…the MCPCB is … pressed to the LED shelf… by the black plastic reflector… Most of the heat transfer is done by the white thermal paste. Better thermal paste is usually grey colored.

Screw removed

—-

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What is the difference between Olight S1 Mini and Olight S1A Mini Baton? I am a little bit confused about those two. When I was reading this review https://tacticalflashlightguide.com/compact-edc-olight-s1a-baton-review/ I wasn’t clear between them.

,

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fariflash wrote:
What is the difference between Olight S1 Mini and Olight S1A Mini Baton?

The S1 mini isthis one :

It’s powered by either a CR123 or 16340 battery

And the S1A mini doesn’t exist.
But the S1A does, it’s this one :

It’s powered by either an AA or a 14500 battery.

"Hey -X3-, do you have a flashlight ?"   "-X3-, can I borrow one of your flashlights ?" 

My Flashlight public album (mods, emitter swaps, eye candy)

My reviews channel (French language, Olight, Thorfire, Sofirn, Lumintop : 60+ lights tested)

My personal channel (including Olight SR mini, S1, S2, S1A and S-mini disassembly)

M4DM4X blog, saves you $$$ 

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X3 wrote:
fariflash wrote:
What is the difference between Olight S1 Mini and Olight S1A Mini Baton?

But the S1A does, it’s this one :

It’s powered by either an AA or a 14500 battery.

Love the S1A. Picked one up in copper. Bit heavy, but one of my favorite 14500 lights.

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fariflash wrote:
What is the difference between Olight S1 Mini and Olight S1A Mini Baton?

5 or 10 dollars, and different size batteries, and different LEDs, and different metals.. and one of them offers a High CRI led, that is notorious for a terribly green tint

which one do you want?:-)

these are some of the names, and their power sources
s1a baton uses AA/14500
s mini uses CR123/16340
s1 mini uses CR123/16340

read up on all the details:
https://olightworld.com/olight-s1a-baton
https://www.illumn.com/olight-s1a-cu-raw-copper-baton-xm-l2-600-lumens.html
https://www.illumn.com/olight-s1-mini-baton-xm-l2-600-lumens.html

theres a 30% off sale on the last two, use code blacknovember

I just bought a second Olight S1 Mini High CRI, soon I will have my Utorch S1 Mini w N219b mod back too
I have a slight problem, I tend to order more lights, when Im waiting for lights in the mail

if you hang around, it might cost you, I think the buy more now condition may be contagious

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sbslider wrote:
So utorch or Olight, which would you pick to carry regularly?

for use on a hat on a bicycle I would choose the Olight, it has a very deep clip, almost none of the light hangs over the edge of the cap bill, and the beam is nice and throwy. The Utorch would be the better headlamp at close range, such as fixing a flat.

Utorch on sale for $20 at gearbest, I like the NW version

the Olight S1 Mini can be had for about $36, I like the High CRI version

neither has perfect tint, but the biggest difference is the beam shape

I much prefer the Olight UI, but the light is not moddable, which is why I went with Utorch

I ordered 2 Utorch S1 Mini lights four weeks ago, shipped directly to Clemence for modding to Nichias

He just received them and is currently doing a quad 2000k E21A, and quad 4000k E21A for me

Clemence is an artist when it comes to working with small electronics, he has the skills and tools, and supplies to modify a Utorch using his LED board and LEDs in stock.

If youre thinking about a Utorch modded to Nichia, consider a drop ship to Clemence.

couple of caveats.. changing LEDs changes the max lumens, but I dont mind because the Utorch beam is not for throw so I dont need to use Turbo, the other levels are plenty for an indoor flood beam.

Also, the super cool USB rechargeable battery cannot be shipped out of Bali, unless high ship prices are used. Basically it would have cost as much to include the 2 batteries as it did for me to buy 2 new ones in USA.

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And now for some progress photos from Clemence, on the E21A Quad going into one of the Utorch S1 Mini

The man is an Artiste! His work is way beyond anything I could have hoped for. He has even spent time improving the beam, by various methods.

I give Clemence’s work my absolutely Highest Recommendations. I feel sooo fortunate to have his help.
here is his site https://www.virence.com

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Wow that really does look like a candle! Sweet I love it!

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thanks, yes, it is intended for use inside my Westfalia Camper, after the campfire burns out, and for other fully dark adapted, close range applications

morning after

fwiw here are before and after Lumens, thanks to Clemence:

Utorch S1 Mini [OEM Cree XPL HD NW]
ML = 0.1 lm
L = 6 lm
M = 98 lm
H = 661 lm

Utorch S1 Mini [4x E21A D160 sm203 R9050]
ML = 0.03 lm
L = 3 lm
M = 36 lm
H = 273 lm

I really like the new lower levels, I only use the first 3 modes anyway

I have other lights with narrower and cooler beams for outdoor distances, like spotlighting wild pigs, turkeys, and deer. The aspheric lens of the Utorch is not the tool for that job. The Utorch S1 Mini aspheric lens has a great beam for a close range headlamp and floodlight.

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Turbo runtime test by Clemence of Stock Utorch S1 Mini w NW XP-L
Notice the nice Flat Regulated output

Turbo Start
661 Lumens for 40 seconds
360 lm for 30 minutes
90 lm for 1 hour and 6 minutes
dim? lm for ? minutes, until battery LVP kills the light?

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More good news regarding runtime of Utorch S1 Mini, modded to a single N219b 4500k 9080 by Texas Ace.

The light is working great.

Did a runtime test on Medium @39 lumens, lasted
3 hours and 17 minutes (it then stepped down to 2.9 lm and battery was 2.9v, 10 min later battery LVP kicked in and light turned off.).
That is exactly the same as the Stock XPL spec on Medium.

There is a 60% drop in lumens from 98 lumens on medium w NW XPL, to 39 lumens w N219b 4500k, but, No runtime penalty from swapping to N219b..

Happy Dance

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Looks like:
the final rays before the Sun’s bedtime,
something you might choose to eat,
a Kundalini fire starter.

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Jon_slider, those are some very useful info. Seems like the 4xE21A performs about the same as a 219B 9080 in the low end but I know they should be alot brighter than even the 219C at higher amps per Texas_Ace’s test. I’m surprised you can fit a 4xE21A in that Utorch S1. Does the reflector need to be cut to fit the 4xE21A?

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Tjohn wrote:

Looks like:
the final rays before the Sun’s bedtime,
something you might choose to eat,
a Kundalini fire starter.

Yes, I Love that color, but,
Houston, we have a problem

SKV89 wrote:
I’m surprised you can fit a 4xE21A in that Utorch S1

Its all Clemence
however, unfortunately, it has come to light that the Utorch driver does not appreciate the lower voltage of the quad E21a and that results in runtime on Medium dropping to 2 hours, instead of 3.25 hours. So Clemence has told me he does not recommend the quad E21a w the Utorch Driver.

Im still hoping he can make a single E21a work.

apparently the Utorch driver is designed for the Vf of the XP-L, and if presented with a lower Vf LED, the driver simply increases the current, thereby defeating the whole purpose of using a quad to increase efficiency.

Clemence Rocks
the Utorch Driver, not so much

I still Love my 4500k N219b modded Utorch, it has no Vf issues. Utorch should also be fine with N219c swaps, though I prefer N219b (NLA unless you find someone holding stock, such as Texas Ace)

fwiw, the Klarus Mi1c driver has the same design as the Utorch, except the screw that grounds the white wire is accessible without removing the LED board. (Mi1c modes are slightly different)

fwiw, the sw45 N219b Utorch mod drops lumens by 60% on all modes.. quite a large penalty, but for my indoor, full dark use, not an issue.

my N219b lumen levels, on my homebrew meter are 0.1 2.6 40 220.. runtime @40 lum is 3.25 hours.. Turbo steps down at 40 seconds to 110 lumens.

also fwiw, w the stock NW XPL, the battery monitor blinks once at 3.8v, which with the sw45, the battery monitor recalibrates slightly, and blinks once at 3.6v

so, anyone interested in a Utorch S1 Mini, currently on sale for $20 at gearbest, bear in mind that it is a cheap light, with a cheap driver. And there are issues with the screw connection for the white ground wire. Some are not secure from the factory, and create issues such as, failure to work on Medium. Both Texas Ace, and Clemence, found loose ground screws in Utorch S1 Mini, and someone just posted here
http://budgetlightforum.com/comment/1334280#comment-1334280 that they received a Utorch that wont work on Medium nor high.. I suspect the loose grounding screw.. and fixing that requires removing the LED board..

I have not heard of Klarus having the same grounding screw problem, and on that build, the LED board is cut away so that the ground screw can be accessed without removing the LED board. This is the version with a reflector
http://budgetlightforum.com/comment/1254051#comment-1254051

Spud wrote:

sooo.. If you choose to buy a Utorch, dont expect too much from it. It might work out of the box, or it might not. Unfortunately the quad E21A gives up not only ~50% of the lumens, it also gives up ~40 of the runtime sad

the Klarus Mi1c aluminum uses the same aspheric lens as the Utorch. Klarus also offers a Ti and Copper Mi1c, those have reflectors and flat glass lenses. They produce a small and intense hotspot, that I do not care for indoors.. but works OK outdoors for longer distances.

and trivia, the aspheric lenses are plastic, not glass.. many have asked, few have been able to inform.. so, you heard it here first! LOL

more trivia, the Utorch has a NW option, listed at 5000k, it tests at about 4250k. The Klarus has no NW offering, only CW…. All are low CRI. People will claim the NW shows colors better, but imo, not really, being low CRI, it still fails to show RED correctly, and makes it look Brown. Speaking as a Tint snob, with a strong bias for High CRI Ra, and High R9 CRI

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Thanks Clemence and Jon!
Experiential Inventors and Alchemists like you keep this forum interesting.
A Motherload of useful information is contained in this thread.

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Yes, Clemence has been nothing but a joy to work with. The Utorch not so much. Now Im thinking of trying a Klarus Mi1c, still aspheric. Reports from djozz indicate the Klarus runtime on Medium (6.5 hours stock) drops 23%, to 5 hours with an E21A, but that still beats the runtime of the Utorch (3.25 hours stock), w quad E21A, that drops 38%, to 2 hours. The reason the Klarus runs longer is because it is at a lower brightness. The reason the runtime drops is that the drivers increase current when presented with lower Vf than the stock XPL. I think..

The Utorch has a 100 lumen medium, and the Klarus has a 45 lumen medium, in stock form. The Utorch drops to 39 lumens w a quad e21A, (thats a 61% drop), while the Klarus drops to 30 lumens w a single E21A (a 33% drop).

The Klarus also has a better pocket clip, as far as bezel up carry, that I value for HatLamp Use..

stay tuned for the adventures of HighR9 in the land of Luminosity, not to be confused with LuciFerocity, in the UnderWorld.

Meanwhile I continue to carry the sw45 N219b modded Utorch, thanks to Texas Ace. Love the LED.
And if you cant be, with the LED you Love, Love the one youre with!

Got Mods will Travel.

this post needs more photos.. here are some of the LED swaps being discussed, Im particularly attracted to the options with high R9:

less interested in the Lower R9 variants

And for a single EDC selection, my vote goes to the now extinct in the wild sw45

bottom line is that for the Utorch and Klarus lights, changing to E21A reduces runtime, while changing to N219b does not.

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I had the same problem:

The lamp turned only on in dim mode.
(An hour before I had it tailstand on high an it started flickering, so I charged it)

I opened the lense and turned away the LED-board from the screw an it works now normal.

It was shortened. The day before kids used it constantly on high. I assume the board can start to shift with heat.

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Thanks for sharing your experience joechina

I also had dim mode only, after using High mode, even on a fully charged battery.

imo the actual source of the problem is this screw (covered in solder), that is attached to the white wire (not the end we see on the LED board, but the other end), which is a ground:

To access it requires removing the LED board

Here is a similar screw next to the white wire, on the Mi1c, but it is accessible without disassembly because the LED board is cut away to reveal it.

Clemence told me the screw at the bottom end of the white wire, on a Utorch I sent him to swap LED, was very loose. imo when you and I have “fixed” the problem, by sliding the LED board around, we are jiggling the screw in a way that makes better contact, temporarily. My hunch is that the poor contact makes the light unable to move enough power to run high mode, and causes it to step down to moonlight. Just a guess.

My Utorch modded to SW45 9080 has been reliable since Texas Ace did something to anchor the white wire to the LED board with sugru, though that did not actually address the loose screw under the board, it seems to have stabilized the connection. He also mentioned that it seemed like the white wire may have been “shorting to the LED board”.

Due to this Assembly flaw (loose grounding screw), I am not recommending buying any more Utorch S1 Mini. I recommend the Klarus Mi1C instead. I like the lower moon level (0.2 lm) on the Utorch, better than the 1 lm moon on Klarus, but not the unreliability of the Utorch. I like the lower Medium mode on the Klarus 45 lumens (6.5 hours runtime), instead of 100 lumens on the Utorch (3.25 hour runtime). The Klarus has not had reports of failure like you and I have experienced with our Utorch.

joechina
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Last seen: 1 day 8 hours ago
Joined: 03/05/2016 - 08:23
Posts: 1128
Location: Germany

We are screwed!
Twisting the board was not enough!
I still have flickering on high and on a second opening the screw does wiggle.

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