review: Astrolux S43 (4xNichia 219c)

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Narmattaru
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review: Astrolux S43 (4xNichia 219c)

AS43S $27.9

Astrolux S42 was quite a big disappointment (at least all the reviews that I`ve red states this), so S43 was really expected flashlight.
There are some versions:
Aluminium coupon AS43 price: $28.2 (with 18350 tube)
and copper one AS43S $27.9 (without 18650 tube, only with 18350)

And there is also “optional 18650 tube”: http://fas.st/T-Fgw (good looking one, this time with knurling)

KEEPPOWER P1835C 18350 900MAH PROTECTED

SPECs
Main Feautures

_• 4x Nichia 219C or 4x Cree XP-G3.
• Maximum power up to 2100 lumens (XP-G3) 1600 lumens (Nichia 219C)
• Max Beam Intensity: 8500cd (XP-G3) 5500cd (Nichia 219C)
• Maximum Distance: 184m (XP-G3) 148m (Nichia 219C)
• High efficiency constant current circuit
• Intelligent charging module with micro USB charging port
• Made of HAIII aeronautical grade aluminum alloy with anodized hard finish.
• Protection against over-discharge and overcharge • Status LED under the power button.
• Ultra-clear mineral glass reinforced with anti-reflective coating
TIR lens • Battery control function
LED with “breath” function that shows the cell voltage
• Emergency tactical spike useful as a glassbreaker or for self defense
• Waterproof according to IPX6
• Impact resistance up to 1.5 meters.
• Possibility to mount the flashlight on tripods
• Color Tint: 6000-7000K (XP-G3) 5000K (Nichia 219C)
• User Interface: NarsilM V1.3_

Dimensions and weight

_• Weight without battery: 88g (version 18650) 74g (version 18350)
• Weight with battery: 135g (version 18650) 96 (version 18350)
• Belt clip weight: 8g
• Glass-breaker weight: 8g
• Weight S43 with battery, glass and clip: 147g (version 18650) 108g (version 18350)
• Max / Min head diameter: 30mm / 27mm
• Body diameter: 27mm
• Length 122mm (version 18650) 89mm (version 18350)_

PACKAGE AND APPEARANCE

Package is simple. And that is reasonable – brand things must compete at stores shelves, which Astrolux will never do. But, though printed logo is the only design part, package doesn’t look that cheap.
Good side is that it is reliable and thick.

Package includes all what you may expect – S43 itself, 18350 tube, micro-usb charge cable, lanyard, o-ring and pair of manuals. And, yeah, glass-breaker thorn.

And here S43 itself. As package, flashlight is quite far from being design thing, there aint much decorations here. Though, in copper version (the one, which I recommend and would pick personally) it looks way more attractive.

The main reason of it`s simplicity is smooth battery tube. But, for the small price of spare one you may get better looking one, as far as I understand – the one from S42. And, I have to notice, this tube is little bit shorter. Difference is vivid.

I expected Astrolux S43 to be shorted, but in reality it is completely the same length as Convoy S43. But, if you want something really portable and compact – here you are, 18350 tube is ready, just 89 overall length. And some comparison with other well known stuff.

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Grip is good, no matter that tube is flat. And, of course, clip adds a lot to this grip.


Threads for glass-breaker are accurately cut. So is glass-breaker itself. You can also mount Astrolux S43 on tripod.


Tailcap spring is double and thick. There is a contact plate at the head, which is no problem for EDC light. But, I assume, if you drop S43 on concrete floor, flashlight may turns off.


All the threads are well lubricated. Both on included 18650 tube and 2 other optional ones.


Micro-USB charge port cover is thick, one of best that i`ve seen. Really reliable.



Button is, as usually, on the opposide side from button. Mid-size and and convex, clicky. There will be no problem with blind finding it, as there is a green glow of backlight within this button. And there is also groove, in which this button lays, finger directly places in the center of this groove. Ring around this button seems to be brass.


Head is little bit huge for this sort of flashlight, but no more then little bit.

4x XP-G3 / Nichia 219C and TIR lenses are responsible for emitting light here. I, personally, don’t see any sense in buying anything than 219C here, but some (mostly out of forum may prefer extra lumens rather than comfortable Hi-CRI NW light.

In case you wanna modify S43, head can be disassembled with no problem at all.



Overal impression
_simple design. Simple, but not cheap. And in copper version, with spare tube Astrolux S43 will be much more good looking thing rather then alumium one as is from the box.

I`ve got nothing bad to say about build quality, for price of S43 it is definitely good. _

  • UI.*

There aint any sense to copy all the huge manual here.
You have all known (at least within forum) Narsil, version for S43. And it is FLEXIBLE UI!

You have simple and convenient Ramping UI by default. (0-50% and shortcut to 100%)

Turn the S43 ON and OFF: single-click the button, with mode memory

Ramp light level: press&hold button

Reverse ramp: while ramping in one direction, release button briefly and press&hold again

Instant TURBO: double-click
MOON mode: from OFF: press the button and release as soon as the S43 turns on

Strobes: double-click for TURBO, and then double-click again The strobes are deactivated by default. To enable strobes you must klick 3 times in setting #4 (ramping) or setting #8 (modes). (Use single-clicks to cycle forward through the different types of strobes, but you have to be quick: If resting on a strobe longer than 1.2 s it locks in and the next singleclick is OFF. Press&hold at any time to cycle backwards through the strobes.)

Battery status: triple-click (4 blinks, a short pause, then 1 blink would indicate 4.1 V average per cell, for example)

Electronic lock-out: four clicks to disable the S43, same to re enable the Lamp

MOMENTARY mode (100% while pressed): five clicks (loosen and retighten the tail-cap to return to normal operation)

Factory reset: triple-click (battery status mode), then double-click (driver temperature mode), double-click again (firmware version mode), then press&hold for about 2 s. Four blinks confirm a successful reset. [size=150]

Alternative UI: “Mode-sets”

MODE-SET the output does not ramp, it steps from one mode to the next using single-clicks.

Turn the S43 ON and OFF: single-click

Next mode: single-click before the current mode ‘locks in’ (1.2 s)

Previous mode: press&hold

Last mode [100%]: from OFF: press&hold

Turn the Lamp OFF: single-click button, after restingon a mode more than 1.2 s (mode locked in)

Strobes: press&hold The strobes are deactivated by default. To enable strobes you must klick 3 times in setting #4 (ramping) or setting #8 (modes). (Use single-clicks to cycle forward through the different types of strobes, but you have to be quick: If resting on a strobe longer than 1.2 s it locks in and the next singleclick is

Battery status: from OFF: single-click followed by press&hold (4 blinks, a short pause, then 1 blink would indicate 4.1 V average per cell, for example)

Electronic lock-out: from OFF: double-click followed by press&hold, same to reenable the S43

Factory reset: from OFF, single-click followed by a press&hold (battery status mode), then double-click (driver temperature mode), double click again (firmware version mode), then press&hold for about 2 s. Four blinks confirm a successful reset.

Switch backlighting: To disable the backlighting of the switch, just operate this way: while in “checking battery mode”, press and hold the switch until the S43 flashes twice. After a flash a single click to disable the status LED of the switch

Momentary On: It’s a hidden option that needs activation. Simply press the power button 5 times consecutively to activate Momentary On. This function is only available if you are in “RAMPING” mode. To disable the Momentary On, simply unscrew and screw the tailcap back on

“RAMPING” – “SET MODE”: User Interface Setting

To switch from one interface to another or to configure the current one, simply hold down the power button for 16 seconds if you are in “RAMPING UI” or for 3 seconds if you are in “MODE SET UI”. A double flash followed by a single flash will indicate that we will enter the “User Interface Setting”. At this point (assuming that the current UI is the “RAMPING”) the GT Mini, with a series of flashes, will indicate sequentially the functions that can be configured:

In a similar way it is possible to configure the “MODE SET UI” interface with the following functions:

*Advanced Interface Settings
*There are also advanced settings of the interface that can be configured according to your tastes:

there is a video with alive performance right at the beginning of video

PERFORMANCE

*Floody light with nice tint. NO PWM-shimmering
*

Charge is good, quite fast. It took 4.5 hours to fully charge VTC6

Astrolux S43 gets hot quickly. That`s why copper version is better not only for it`s good appearance, but for heat dissipation as well, with consequent difference in runtime.

Time before stepdown is short. And I don’t like the level to which brightness falls to. But, again, you can increase brightness after it.
And as even 50% is about the max brightness of Convoy S2+. So you may feel comfortable using something around 25-30%. And, of course, in winter or in move you may expect more time in high modes due to thermal regulation.

here is runtime at the after-stepdown brightness level, about 90lums. I used VTC6 for all the runtime tests.

I`d estimate useful distance for this flashlight as something within range of 100m. and this is no surpise for such combination of 219 and TIR-optic.
But, of course, in close range, that lack of throw turns into really convenient light, bright and floody.
And even so, again, that`s enough power to throw up to about 13-15 floor from ground. Which is good for lots of needs.

About 15m

50м

70-80m, the limit. I also tried to shoot pics at 100m range, but as parasite light was about the same bright as light from Astrolux S43, there was no use. I admit that in pitch black night, you may use S43 even at 100m range at 100% mode.

There is a long part with alive performance right in the beginning of video-review

My overall opinion is controversial.

There is bunch of PROs:

+ most flexible UI, with instant access to all the modes – 0 and 100, lock-in and lock-out etc.
+ stepless brightness adjustment .

+ nice NW Hi-Cri light.

+ 18350 mode , which`ll be really compact with the same max output.

+ nice floody light, comfortable for most of close-range needs.

+ decent charge amperage

+ button is backlit

+ affordable price

+ copper version

But there are some CONs as well.

Most significant for me is extreme stepdown. And work in linear mode at something above 90lums.
These are pair that you have to consider.

But…for less then 30$, who cares, i`d say you cant get any better for this price, comparing all the PROs and CONs ( at least, i sincerely dont see anything similar for such price).

Hope that S44 would be better )

"How to choose flashlight, Main things in simple words":http://budgetlightforum.com/node/68418

Edited by: Narmattaru on 12/27/2018 - 10:58
chadvone
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Hey thanks for doing this review. How easy is it to press the switch button?
Is it well protected?

Narmattaru
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chadvone wrote:
Hey thanks for doing this review. How easy is it to press the switch button?
Is it well protected?

i dont feel like i have to apply excessive force to press it. button like normal button.

what about protected, what do you mean exactly?

"How to choose flashlight, Main things in simple words":http://budgetlightforum.com/node/68418

chadvone
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Would it come on in your pocket?
Narmattaru
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chadvone wrote:
Would it come on in your pocket?

yep.
chances are high.
but as long as there is 4x click lock-mode or regular unscrewing tailcap lock-in way, i woulnd`t care.

"How to choose flashlight, Main things in simple words":http://budgetlightforum.com/node/68418

joechina
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chadvone wrote:
Would it come on in your pocket?

I have the Mateminco Version. The button is nearly flush with the ring around the button.
And the head has a hump right in front of the button.
I carried it 5 days as EDC in my pocket and it never turned on. Whereas a S42 did it twice a day.

But from pictures I see the Astrolux has a different, higher button, at least the first ones.
Neal or Madmax should sell the Mateminco

fluke
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Yes mine does turn on in my pocket.

Nichia version.

It also has an issue with sometimes not registering a button press, or at least not registering the type of press you want.