Convoy S21A (Short Technical Review)

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Terry Oregon
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Convoy S21A (Short Technical Review)

The new Convoy S21A (with SST-40 LED) can be found on the manufacturer’s website HERE.  It is similar in size/appearance to the Convoy S2+, but is slightly larger, due to the larger 21700 battery. Information about the SST-40 LED (6,500K) can be found HERE, (thanks to BLF member djozz). 

 

This review will include:

(1) lumens measurements

(2) runtime graphs

(3) temperature readings

(4) PWM test

(5) beam pattern/tint

 

Lumens

Manufacturer spec for high is "up to 2,300 lumens". 

The S21A has only four brightness levels, which according to the manufacturer is because;

is very suitable for ordinary users

 

Note that Simon has hinted (HERE) at the future availability of the Crescendo user interface. Details on how Crescendo works HERE.

 

Using my Texas Ace Calibrated Lumens Tube:

Level 4 (100%) 1,770 lumens (0 sec) – 1,635 lumens (30 sec)

Level 3 (30%) – 695 lumens (0 sec) – 675 lumens (30 sec)

Level 2 (3%) – 82 lumens

Level 1 (.1%) - 0 lumens (could not measure)

 

 

 SOME PHOTOS

 

 

 

 Framed by two S2+ for size comparison.

 

 Framed by two S2+ (front view).

 

 Framed by two S2+ (back view).

 

 The S21A comes with an orange peel reflector.

 

Runtime Graphs:

 High (no cooling)

 

 High (with COOLING)

 

 Level 3 (30%)

 

 Level 2 (3%)

 

Temperature readings

 As seen in the "high" runtime graphs, the S21A starts throttling down immediately, to control heat. According to the Convoy website;

Quote:
temperature not to exceed 55 degrees Celsius (131 Fahrenheit)

Temperature readings taken with a Fluke 62 Max Plus IR Thermometer.

As you can see, the temperature gets HOT rather quickly. After fifteen minutes, the light was too hot for me to hold.

If the Crescendo user interface becomes optional (which has a thermal setting), it may solve this issue.

 

PWM

NONE was measurable (at any brightness level) using an OSRAM BPW34S PIN photodiode and an oscilloscope. This confirms the manufacturer claim “no frequency can be seen in any mode

 

Beam pattern

The SST-40 LED tint is noticeably green at level two (82 lumens), but is not as noticeable on level 3 and 4. This greenish tint was also noticed on the Convoy S11 (which also uses the SST-40). 

The orange peel reflector helps smooth out the center beam.

 

Conclusions so far: 

This light has the potential to be as popular as the S2+.  Unfortunately, it suffers from a few things I don’t like.

  1. The brightness level spacing is very wide. There are only four brightness levels between .1 and 100%. For example, there is no brightness level between 80 and 600 lumens. A more customizable UI would be nice, similar to Biscotti. While the design goal was "is very suitable for ordinary users", it may leave flashaholics a bit disappointed. However, again, Simon has hinted at the future availability of the Crescendo user interface.
  2. The greenish tint from the SST-40 LED is rather noticeable, especially at lower levels (82 lumens).
  3. Temperature management could use some user control. Most people will not be able to hold this light for long on high. High should be considered as a turbo mode only. If the Crescendo user interface is released (which has a thermal setting), it may solve this issue. I do not personally like my lights to get too hot. All my S2+ lights have only three chips (7135), which keeps them warm only. Of course, this is all a matter of opinion/preference.

My reviews: , J5 Tactical V1 Pro LINK and Thirteen Optical Sensors LINK and Zebralight SC700d LINK and Ray-O-Vac Super Power Sportsman LINK

and Convoy S2+ color combos LINK. My Collection (photos) LINK  How To flash D4V2 LINK

Edited by: Terry Oregon on 07/02/2019 - 21:05
Blggg
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Been waiting for this. Totally agreed that the mode spacing is too wide. There should be an output at around 150-400 lumens there.

acab
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Would a Carclo quad optic (diameter 24mm) fit inside the head?
this one would be a great candidate for a quad mod.

Umpi2000
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acab wrote:
Would a Carclo quad optic (diameter 24mm) fit inside the head? this one would be a great candidate for a quad mod.

Pretty sure those KD quads will fit, that alone has me more interested in buying an S21 now

Simon Mao
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i get a driver with Crescendo UI ,
it’s attiny13,
i have a question ,
totally no memory function if i use attiny13?

Terry Oregon
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Simon Mao wrote:
i get a driver with Crescendo UI , it's attiny13, i have a question , totally no memory function if i use attiny13?

 

I've heard there is no room for a memory function on attiny13 if using Crescendo. Too bad.

 

My reviews: , J5 Tactical V1 Pro LINK and Thirteen Optical Sensors LINK and Zebralight SC700d LINK and Ray-O-Vac Super Power Sportsman LINK

and Convoy S2+ color combos LINK. My Collection (photos) LINK  How To flash D4V2 LINK

Number22Pencil
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how does it cycle through the levels? is it half click per level or is it half click and hold while it cycles through all levels and release once its at the one you want?
would the lumen output be closer to the advertised output if you used a higher discharge battery such as the samsung 40t?

Tally-ho
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Simon Mao wrote:
i get a driver with Crescendo UI , it’s attiny13, i have a question , totally no memory function if i use attiny13?

Hi Simon,

Why don’t you talk to Toykeeper ?

ToyKeeper wrote:
Simon Mao wrote:
i will send these data to driver manufacturer

manufacturer told me that he use ATTINY13A,
he will try 25V,

I don’t know the details of your situation or your manufacturer, but if you would like newer or nicer drivers, we can probably arrange something. BLF’s two-channel design works well and provides a wide range of output. It could be FET+AMC7135 or 7×7135+1×7135, or it could even use FET+7+1. It depends on how high the high modes should go.

For clicky-switch lights, people seem to like Bistro, Crescendo, and gchart’s ramping UI.

For e-switch lights, if you use an attiny85v MCU, it could run any UI in the FSM suite. The most popular one is Anduril, but it’s also easy to make new UIs. It could be anything you like.

The new Convoy headlamp looks very nice. Depending on your needs and your driver, the headlamp might be a good place to try FSM.

Anyway, there are many possibilities. We should talk in a private message or email if you are interested in trying something new.

Terry Oregon
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Number22Pencil wrote:
how does it cycle through the levels? is it half click per level or is it half click and hold while it cycles through all levels and release once its at the one you want? would the lumen output be closer to the advertised output if you used a higher discharge battery such as the samsung 40t?

 

A half click cycles through levels.

Using a Samsung 40T produced the same output levels.  Per my SC700d review HERE, the 48G was able to drive the Zebralight SC700d to 3,000 lumens with no problem (so 2,000 lumens would not be an issue on the S21A).

My reviews: , J5 Tactical V1 Pro LINK and Thirteen Optical Sensors LINK and Zebralight SC700d LINK and Ray-O-Vac Super Power Sportsman LINK

and Convoy S2+ color combos LINK. My Collection (photos) LINK  How To flash D4V2 LINK

Number22Pencil
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thanks. guess ill buy some Samsung 50e’s since it makes no difference.

Valerianis
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My quick video demo on Convoy S21A w/ SST-40: