Review: Convoy T2 (1xAA, 225lm, XP-G2)

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stephenk
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Review: Convoy T2 (1xAA, 225lm, XP-G2)

It is quite rare that I review a light that doesn’t use li-ion batteries. However, sometimes using a flashlight that uses Alkaline or NiMH batteries is called for. This review is of the Convoy T2, the long awaited 1xAA battery version of the hugely popular Convoy S2+. This is a budget light, available with 3 different tints.

Disclaimer

The Convoy T2 was sent to me for an honest review by FastTech. I receive no commission from sales or links. Product Link.

Design and construction

The Convoy T2 arrived a basic padded cardboard box, with a sticker denoting the tint version of the light. Included was the flashlight, lanyard, and clip.
The Convoy T2 is a scaled down 1xAA battery (non-rechargeable Alkaline or rechargeable NiMH) version of the 1×18650 li-ion battery based Convoy S2+. The tube and head of the T2 are of the same diameter at 21mm, which is narrower than most 18650 tube lights such as the S2+ which are around 25mm.

The battery tube unscrews at both ends. The tail cap end is anodised, so a slight turn will lock out the light. There is a single tail switch, which will be explained in more detail in the next section. I found that the battery tube is quite narrow, and my Ikea Ladda AA batteries (similar to Eneloop Pros) only just fit inside the tube. I would advise Convoy to bore the tube slightly wider in future versions. There is a side clip, which is useful for people who like side clips!
As this is a AA flashlight, there is no internal USB charging. This light does not support AA sized 14500 li-ion batteries.

User interface

The Convoy T2 has a single reverse clicky tail switch. A full press is on/off. A half press advanced mode in order Low>Medium>High. As with the 3/5 mode user interface on the S2+, there is an annoying mode memory timer, which memorises the mode if it is off for more than 4 seconds, but advances to the next mode if the light is off for less than 4 seconds. Unlike the S2+, the strobe is not in the normal mode cycle and you have to double half click the tail switch to enter strobe mode. (Note: this feature is probably preferred by non-light painters). This means that you cannot turn the light on into strobe mode (well, not easily anyway – a full click on and immediate half click will get you there if you are lucky). On the good side, the strobe is single frequency, and quite slow at 7.5Hz with 50/50 on/off time.

Beam and output

In a departure from the Convoy S2+ models, the T2 uses a Cree XP-G2 LED emitter and orange peel reflector. Combined with an orange peel emitter, this creates a beam profile not too dissimilar to the Convoy S2+ versions with a XM-L2 LED and smooth reflector.

The mode options are 1%, 10%, and 100%. Strobe is at 100%. Personally I would have preferred the medium mode to be a bit higher at around 30%, as 10% is too dark for many use cases. At 100% output, the lumen output was measured at approx. 225 lumens at 30 seconds. This is less than the claimed 320 lumens. This is however quite good for a single AA flashlight, but obviously far less than 18650 battery flashlights. Due to the mysterious ways in the which the LED driver works, with Ikea Ladda NiMH batteries, about 30 mins into the runtime, the output temporarily increases to 400 lumens, before a rapid decline to off at 40 mins. With alkaline Duracell batteries, this peak occurs at around 8 minutes, followed by a gradual decline to moonlight output by 40 minutes.

The Convoy T2 is available in three different tint/colour temperature options – warm neutral 4000-4500k (T6-4C), cool neutral 5000-5700k (T6-3B), and very cool 6500-7000k (U2-1A). The neutral options will have slightly less output due to less efficient emitters, though this is visually not noticeable. The 6500k version was a bit more blue tinted than the XM-L2 and XP-L HI emitters in the S2+. The 4000-4500k version has a nice rosy yellow tint. A comparison of these beams is in the cover photo. Unlike most Convoy flashlights there is sadly no 3000k (xx-7A) warm white option. The Colour Rendering Index is in the usual low 70s, good for most purposes, but not as good as dedicated high CRI flashlights.


225lm output. f/5.6, 3secs, ISO800

This light uses Pulse Width Modulation (PWM) in the mid and low modes, which appears to be around 750Hz. This can be visible in some light trails when using this light for light painting.

Conclusion

Things I liked:

  • Very good value for money – approx. US$13 at the time of writing.
  • Useful beam profile.
  • Good output for a 1xAA flashlight (but far less than 18650 flashlights).
  • Single frequency strobe (7.5Hz).
  • 3 different tint/colour temperature options (but no warm white as in most Convoy lights).

Things I didn’t like:

  • Annoying mode memory timer.
  • No (easy) direct access to strobe.
  • Medium mode is too low.
  • Visible PWM in mid and low modes.
  • Short runtime.

Whilst I usually recommend li-ion flashlights due to the superior output/size ratio and user interfaces, there are some use cases when a AA flashlight may be preferred (for example some airlines/airports may not allow transportation of li-ion batteries). As far as AA flashlights go, the Convoy T2 is good value for money. It has a good beam profile, good output, a clip, a single frequency strobe, and is quite compact (if a bit too compact). As with most AA/AAA flashlights, the user interface is far from perfect. This light is a good option for light painting photographers who want a single frequency strobe at approx. 25% of the brightness of most 18650 flashlights, noting that you can’t (easily) turn the light on straight into strobe mode. It is also a good option if you want to contrast warm neutral and cool white tints from lights that use AA batteries. It also makes for a good gift light for flashlight muggles.

Edited by: stephenk on 11/20/2018 - 06:16
Ragsy
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Thanks for the review
Good to see a review of a non lion flashlight
Something for everyone I say !

G'day mate, ow ya garn?
Yeah, nah good mate

MascaratumB
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I guess I never noticed that the beam was that big Shocked
Well, never really used it much outside Facepalm
Thanks for the review stephenk!

[REVIEWS] AMUTORCH: S3 / S3 vs 219c / AM30 / AX1 / VG10 /// SOFIRN: SF14 + SP10A / SP32A / SP10B /// NITEFOX: UT20 / ES10K / K3 /// ODEPRO: KL52 / B108 /// ACEBEAM: H20 / TK16 /// BLITZWOLF: BW-ET1 /// DQG: AA Slim Ti /// HC-LIGHTS: SS AAA /// XTAR: PB2 Charger /// OLIGHT: M2R Warrior /// WUBEN: TO10R / E05 / T70 / E10 /// ON THE ROAD: M1 / i3 / M3 Pro /// ROVYVON: A2 + A5R / E300S / A8 /// KLARUS: XT1C /// LUMINTOP: Tool AA V2.0 + Tool 25 /// LIVARNOLUX: 314791 /// SKILHUNT: M150

Tricks: 1 / 2 / 3 / 4 / 5 / 6 / 7 / 8 /// TIR Lenses: 1 / 2 /// Others: Biscotti 3 + 1*7135 / Triple TIR w/ XP-G2 ///// My Collection ///// My Review's Blog (PT)

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So does the T2 have the blinky on low mode like the 3/5 S2?

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offline wrote:
So does the T2 have the blinky on low mode like the 3/5 S2?

No, as the blinky is used for mode group changes in the S2+. There are no mode groups to change on this light. Would have been nice with Biscotti (but with a single frequency strobe instead of the awful two frequency strobe), but that may be overkill for an AA light.

MascaratumB wrote:
I guess I never noticed that the beam was that big Shocked
Well, never really used it much outside Facepalm
Thanks for the review stephenk!

Note the camera exposure though! However, it can still hold its weight against the nighttime ambient lighting.

Ragsy wrote:
Thanks for the review
Good to see a review of a non lion flashlight
Something for everyone I say !

For an AA flashlight it is pretty good, but they seem to be poor cousins of li-ion lights in terms of UI.
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Awesome, thanks for the response and review stephenk

alberto7
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Anyone know the size of the led mcpcb?

KevinZA1988
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Does anybody know the size of the driver??

Acebeam L16, BLF Q8, BLF A6, BLF FW3A, BLF FW3C, Convoy L2, Convoy L6, Convoy C8+ , Convoy S3, Convoy M21A, Convoy S11, Emisar D4, Fireflies E07, Jaxman E2L, Olight S1R Baton II special edition series, S2R Baton II, Nitecore HC65, Olight H1R Nova.

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KevinZA1988 wrote:
Does anybody know the size of the driver??

A 17mm driver fits into this light ! Thumbs Up

[REVIEWS] AMUTORCH: S3 / S3 vs 219c / AM30 / AX1 / VG10 /// SOFIRN: SF14 + SP10A / SP32A / SP10B /// NITEFOX: UT20 / ES10K / K3 /// ODEPRO: KL52 / B108 /// ACEBEAM: H20 / TK16 /// BLITZWOLF: BW-ET1 /// DQG: AA Slim Ti /// HC-LIGHTS: SS AAA /// XTAR: PB2 Charger /// OLIGHT: M2R Warrior /// WUBEN: TO10R / E05 / T70 / E10 /// ON THE ROAD: M1 / i3 / M3 Pro /// ROVYVON: A2 + A5R / E300S / A8 /// KLARUS: XT1C /// LUMINTOP: Tool AA V2.0 + Tool 25 /// LIVARNOLUX: 314791 /// SKILHUNT: M150

Tricks: 1 / 2 / 3 / 4 / 5 / 6 / 7 / 8 /// TIR Lenses: 1 / 2 /// Others: Biscotti 3 + 1*7135 / Triple TIR w/ XP-G2 ///// My Collection ///// My Review's Blog (PT)

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jasontheguitarist
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Since the driver question is answered, someone on Reddit mentioned the LED MCPCB is 14mm in case anyone wants to know.

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jasontheguitarist wrote:
Since the driver question is answered, someone on Reddit mentioned the LED MCPCB is 14mm in case anyone wants to know.

Indeed! I changed the MCPCB on mine to put a Luxeon V and I had to use Led4Power 16mm plate. I had to file it down to make it fit the top of the light.
BTW, thicker MCPCBs will hinder the bezel from screwing till the end. I can’t remember but I guess the original one is only 1 or 1.2mm thick!

[REVIEWS] AMUTORCH: S3 / S3 vs 219c / AM30 / AX1 / VG10 /// SOFIRN: SF14 + SP10A / SP32A / SP10B /// NITEFOX: UT20 / ES10K / K3 /// ODEPRO: KL52 / B108 /// ACEBEAM: H20 / TK16 /// BLITZWOLF: BW-ET1 /// DQG: AA Slim Ti /// HC-LIGHTS: SS AAA /// XTAR: PB2 Charger /// OLIGHT: M2R Warrior /// WUBEN: TO10R / E05 / T70 / E10 /// ON THE ROAD: M1 / i3 / M3 Pro /// ROVYVON: A2 + A5R / E300S / A8 /// KLARUS: XT1C /// LUMINTOP: Tool AA V2.0 + Tool 25 /// LIVARNOLUX: 314791 /// SKILHUNT: M150

Tricks: 1 / 2 / 3 / 4 / 5 / 6 / 7 / 8 /// TIR Lenses: 1 / 2 /// Others: Biscotti 3 + 1*7135 / Triple TIR w/ XP-G2 ///// My Collection ///// My Review's Blog (PT)

GIVEAWAY: 1

KevinZA1988
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Thank you for the info! I guess all be ordering one and fit it with an LD-A4 2-3 Amp driver and Nichia 219B SW45K… Now do you if it’s possible to fit the lighted tail switch from led4power.com in the T2?

Acebeam L16, BLF Q8, BLF A6, BLF FW3A, BLF FW3C, Convoy L2, Convoy L6, Convoy C8+ , Convoy S3, Convoy M21A, Convoy S11, Emisar D4, Fireflies E07, Jaxman E2L, Olight S1R Baton II special edition series, S2R Baton II, Nitecore HC65, Olight H1R Nova.

MascaratumB
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KevinZA1988 wrote:
Thank you for the info! I guess all be ordering one and fit it with an LD-A4 2-3 Amp driver and Nichia 219B SW45K… Now do you if it’s possible to fit the lighted tail switch from led4power.com in the T2?

Although it was my original intention to put a lighted tailcap in it, I didn’t do it so I don’t know if it fits a lighted tailswitch from L4P. But later tonight I may try other type of lighted tailswitch and try it !

[REVIEWS] AMUTORCH: S3 / S3 vs 219c / AM30 / AX1 / VG10 /// SOFIRN: SF14 + SP10A / SP32A / SP10B /// NITEFOX: UT20 / ES10K / K3 /// ODEPRO: KL52 / B108 /// ACEBEAM: H20 / TK16 /// BLITZWOLF: BW-ET1 /// DQG: AA Slim Ti /// HC-LIGHTS: SS AAA /// XTAR: PB2 Charger /// OLIGHT: M2R Warrior /// WUBEN: TO10R / E05 / T70 / E10 /// ON THE ROAD: M1 / i3 / M3 Pro /// ROVYVON: A2 + A5R / E300S / A8 /// KLARUS: XT1C /// LUMINTOP: Tool AA V2.0 + Tool 25 /// LIVARNOLUX: 314791 /// SKILHUNT: M150

Tricks: 1 / 2 / 3 / 4 / 5 / 6 / 7 / 8 /// TIR Lenses: 1 / 2 /// Others: Biscotti 3 + 1*7135 / Triple TIR w/ XP-G2 ///// My Collection ///// My Review's Blog (PT)

GIVEAWAY: 1

KevinZA1988
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MascaratumB wrote:
KevinZA1988 wrote:
Thank you for the info! I guess all be ordering one and fit it with an LD-A4 2-3 Amp driver and Nichia 219B SW45K… Now do you if it’s possible to fit the lighted tail switch from led4power.com in the T2?

Although it was my original intention to put a lighted tailcap in it, I didn’t do it so I don’t know if it fits a lighted tailswitch from L4P. But later tonight I may try other type of lighted tailswitch and try it !

Awesome. I hope it will fit. A lighted tail switch will round off this project perfectly. But, it’s not a deal breaker. But yeah, I hope it’s a 16-17mm board with Omten 1288. I just ordered my T2!

Acebeam L16, BLF Q8, BLF A6, BLF FW3A, BLF FW3C, Convoy L2, Convoy L6, Convoy C8+ , Convoy S3, Convoy M21A, Convoy S11, Emisar D4, Fireflies E07, Jaxman E2L, Olight S1R Baton II special edition series, S2R Baton II, Nitecore HC65, Olight H1R Nova.

MascaratumB
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KevinZA1988 wrote:
Awesome. I hope it will fit. A lighted tail switch will round off this project perfectly. But, it’s not a deal breaker. But yeah, I hope it’s a 16-17mm board with Omten 1288. I just ordered my T2!

So, I tried to use 2 different lighted switches, one from an AliExpress store and one I got from kiriba-ru. The conclusion was that both had a diameter superior to the one that the T2 can take, and that s something below 15.9mm.
So, if you can sand a lighted switch below that diameter, it will fit.

The original switch board from this T2 and also from the Jaxman E3 measures 15.6mm! So that will be the ideal to make it fit without “shorts” !

Hope this helps Wink

[REVIEWS] AMUTORCH: S3 / S3 vs 219c / AM30 / AX1 / VG10 /// SOFIRN: SF14 + SP10A / SP32A / SP10B /// NITEFOX: UT20 / ES10K / K3 /// ODEPRO: KL52 / B108 /// ACEBEAM: H20 / TK16 /// BLITZWOLF: BW-ET1 /// DQG: AA Slim Ti /// HC-LIGHTS: SS AAA /// XTAR: PB2 Charger /// OLIGHT: M2R Warrior /// WUBEN: TO10R / E05 / T70 / E10 /// ON THE ROAD: M1 / i3 / M3 Pro /// ROVYVON: A2 + A5R / E300S / A8 /// KLARUS: XT1C /// LUMINTOP: Tool AA V2.0 + Tool 25 /// LIVARNOLUX: 314791 /// SKILHUNT: M150

Tricks: 1 / 2 / 3 / 4 / 5 / 6 / 7 / 8 /// TIR Lenses: 1 / 2 /// Others: Biscotti 3 + 1*7135 / Triple TIR w/ XP-G2 ///// My Collection ///// My Review's Blog (PT)

GIVEAWAY: 1

KevinZA1988
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It definitely helps! I’ll order the LD-A4 driver with a bleeder resistor. If I can’t manage to fit a lighted switch, I an just remove the bleeder resistor. The switch board from led4power.com is 16mm in diameter so maybe I can make it work.

Thank you MascaratumB!

Acebeam L16, BLF Q8, BLF A6, BLF FW3A, BLF FW3C, Convoy L2, Convoy L6, Convoy C8+ , Convoy S3, Convoy M21A, Convoy S11, Emisar D4, Fireflies E07, Jaxman E2L, Olight S1R Baton II special edition series, S2R Baton II, Nitecore HC65, Olight H1R Nova.