Review: DRY cool white, 4-mode/step-down

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Foy
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Review: DRY cool white, 4-mode/step-down

Screaming Triple XM-L Performance for the Masses

The appearance of the DRY on the market shouldn't come as a surprise.  To understate the matter broadly, Cree's XM-L has been a game changer and it was certainly inevitable that flashlights with more than one of these powerful and efficient emitters would invade the budget market.  Of course there are many triple T6 torches and in this writer's opinion, nearly as many are poorly executed.  Not so, the DRY from CN Quality Goods.  Because high powered lights can be expensive, it is appropriate to judge the DRY fairly and there can be little argument that at any price below $100, when it comes to triple XM-L flashlights; the DRY is a game changer.  The DRY is roughly two-and-a-half times as bright as the most powerful P60/XM-L you can create and it is easily over twice as bright as an UltraFire UF-980L.  Assembly is straightforward, quality is average and its design theme breaks no new ground.  What it does is make more light than you likely have ever seen from a flashlight.  It makes that light reliably and it's available at a price mere mortals can afford.  Therefore, the DRY is most definitely:

Foyapproved

Bottom line:  If you're a lumen whore like Foy, the DRY is a bases-loaded home run.  It's reasonably well made, inoffensive to look at and it costs hardly more than a "normal" flashlight.  It is also extremely bright.  You probably won't EDC a DRY and in fact, I question its every day utility.  If however, you want something (very) bright for not so (very) much money, give the DRY a try.

 <<<update below - additional pics of battery magazine with spacers>>

What I like:

- it's bright

- UI

- beam profile

- value

- it's bright

What I do not like:

- so-so machine work

- tail cap fit

- battery magazine rattle

- threads

 

DRY Triple XM-L/T6 Cool White 3 x 18650 Flashlight

$65 CN Quality Goods  http://www.cnqualitygoods.com/goods.php?id=1177  (purchased as part of a group buy)

ordered:    1-2-12

received: 1-19-12

3 x XM-L/T6 emitters, cool white

designed to operate on 3 x 18650 lithium ion batteries

4-mode user interface with mode memory and 20 second step-down on turbo:  low, medium, high and turbo

anodized 6061-T6 aluminum

tail stands

reverse clicky tail cap switch with 16mm boot

rated IPX-6: protected against high pressure spray, "heavy seas"  not rated for submersion

selected manufacturer specifications:

350g empty weight

152 x 58 x 47mm

1 hour run time on high

"more than 3,000 lumens" on turbo @ 5 amps  (Foy could not reproduce 5 amps)

tail cap draw:  (Solarforce protected 2400)

4.30 amps - turbo

2.16 amps - step down

2.30 amps - high

 .88 amps - medium

 .17 amps - low

Panasonic unprotected 2350:

3.65 amps - turbo

2.05 amps - step down

2.10 amps - high

 .85 amps - medium

 .17 amps - low

 

Foyometer:  comparative light meter reading

 32  - Foy's dimly lit office

150 - E1320 modified C88  (XM-L @ 3.50 amps)

160 - E1320 modified F15  (XM-L @ 3.50 amps)

415 - DRY  (turbo)

255 - DRY  (step down)

260 - DRY  (high)

125 - DRY  (medium)

 50 - DRY  (low)

My DRY arrived undamaged by registered mail, wrapped in bubble wrap in a white box inside a padded white envelope. While build quality should never get a pass, at this price point expectations should remain appropriate. Although I am not thrilled by the DRY's anodization or machine work, it seems reasonably well built and my example came with no nicks or burrs.

Loaded with three 18650s, the DRY is a serious hunk of flashlight in the hand.  At work, because it is so fat, I found it less than ideal to use in and under a car.

Perhaps a non-issue with others but I dislike very much, the uneven fit of the tail cap to the body when tightened.  As you rotate the light, the tail cap edge extends past the tube, while the tube extends past the cap on the opposite side.  A well placed lathe cut might have hidden or eliminated this sloppiness.

The DRY is drilled for a lanyard and is a solid tail stander.  The reverse clicky switch has a standard size 16mm boot and incorporates the only nod to fashion the DRY makes; a bare aluminum bezel around the boot and a deep cut in the middle of the cap.

It was extremely windy today, as evidenced by the dirt and grit seen on the boot.

The cap itself has what appears to be an aluminum plate that Foy chose not to remove.  I've had a run of bad luck lately, tearing things apart followed by difficulty reversing the process.

As you can see, the tail cap spring contacts the copper center while the three screws, apparently rub on the plate?  Also, if the ends of the battery magazine were just a touch larger in diameter, there would be less/no rattle.

update - Battery rattle eliminated completely by the installation of spacers, courtesy ChicagoX. (pictures below)

Foy is not a thread snob and has nothing against flashlights without square threads.  What I do expect are enough threads and threads that are finished to a proper smoothness, neither of which the DRY has.  They feel horrible and five is simply too few.

For some strange reason, I find the functional appearance of the magazine satisfying.  The round ends are like PCB, the rails are aluminum and everything is well soldered and tight.

Here it is, loaded with the Reverend's Panasonics.

Battery magazine loaded with Xtar 18700s, courtesy spacers from ChicagoX.  In addition to allowing use of a longer battery, these spacers add length to the magazine for a tighter fit with no rattle.

The tube doesn't seem particularly robust but it is necessarily fat . . . unlike Foy, who is unnecessarily fat.

This is the bottom of the head and again, Foy chose to leave things be for the time being.  Now that I look at this, I feel a growing curiosity to take the ring off and tear that somebitch apart . . .

. . . here's the whole works and I'm not going to take the bezel off again because getting the o-ring under the lens to go back where it should is a pain in the arse.

This is the business end folks and let me tell you; those three well centered XM-Ls put out one hell of a lot of light.  Wherever the DRY is, dark ain't.

The below beam shots will give dramatic proof that when it comes to lumens; three XM-Ls are better than one and 4.3 amps on a triple is a whole hell of a lot of current.  The DRY will be blowing the doors off two flashlights this evening, both modified by E1320: the F15 and the XM-L retrofitted C88.  As I type this, it just occurred to me that I should have included the Sky Ray 818, my only other triple.  However, since it is hardly brighter than the two contenders used, we'll further humiliate the Sky Dim by not letting it into the ring.

All shots were taken at 1/4 second shutter speed @ f2.8.

C88

F15

DRY on turbo.

DRY on high.

Just in case you can't tell which one is which; the F15 is on the left and the DRY on turbo is right.

C88 ala XM-L at left and DRY on high is right.

This is what you call, an arse whoopin'.  While others debate the barely noticeable difference between 300 lumens and 450 lumens, the DRY brings a howitzer to a spit-wad contest.  One thing I also want to later include is the great beam profile.  Where my Sky Stupid has an odd shapped spot with strange artifacts jetting at the edges of the flood, the DRY looks similar to a single XM-L's beam profile, albeit one on steroids.

To conclude; this DRY triple experience is everything my Sky Flop experience was not.  I don't think it's too much to expect a triple XM-L flashlight to be in possession of a little wow factor and I'm happy to report that Foy is suitably impressed.  The DRY was offered at the right price, delivered in a timely manner and its performance should keep its reputation in a healthy state of reverence.  If it had better threads and tail cap fit, I'd have to go elsewhere to find something to carp about.

Buy a DRY.  You won't regret it.

 

Foy

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Edited by: sb56637 on 08/26/2014 - 17:21
E1320
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Thanks again for another great review. The DRY is easily the brightest flashlight in my collection and it's easy to see why.

I am already visualizing the duct tape over your mouth.

edc
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Some of your best work Foy. It is one bright light!

+1 on not removing the lens. My lens is still dirty but I don't want the hassle of trying to get the o-ring back in place.

 

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jamesearljonesi...
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Great review Foy as always! Yes to not unscrewing thAt bezel. i had a souvenir from Ric or one of his elves (fingerprint on flat part of reflector). probably needs larger diameter o-ring. ive been using mine at work and usually on low for inside houses as the other modes are too bright. outside its the sun in my hands. now that its so cold outside, turbo should have no meltdown issues and its really nice to get back into it from high instantly. added velcro strips to the flat sections of the body and really helps with grip.(the side with the little hooks.)

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I took mine apart as soon as it came out of the package.  It was still very cold from being in the mailbox and the bezel oring instantly became too small to even come close to reassembling the light properly.

I put it around a plastic bottle that is 2x the diameter of the DRY for about an hour since taking it off it fits in the DRY just right.

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mfm
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Does it have low-voltage protection?

jamesearljonesi...
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mfm wrote:

Does it have low-voltage protection?

I dont think it does. my light just gets dim on all modes when i cycle thru. may be best to use protected cells.

Fightin14
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I am not sure if this has been covered but will the tenergy 18650 protected cells fit in this?
mfm
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jamesearljonesisascab wrote:

I dont think it does. my light just gets dim on all modes when i cycle thru. may be best to use protected cells.

That's too bad, the specifications says it's supposed to be used with unprotected cells... You probably need unprotected to get the mentioned 5A?

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I am not sure if this has been covered but will the tenergy 18650 protected cells fit in this?    

I've got Tenergy 2600 protected cells and they fit the DRY.       

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thanks for the review...looking forward to testing mine out tomorrow! it sure is bright judging from the beamshot..

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Great review, Foy.  After the Sky Ray debacle, you deserve one. 

FWIW, I have no problem getting almost five amps out of the Callie's protected cells. 

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I took my bezel off and instantly the lens o-ring became too small. When screwing it back together I let the o-ring sit on the lens as I screwed the bezel down (bezel/lens facing the ceiling). I screwed it down slowly and as it got very lightly snug, I used my fingernail to slide the o-ring under the bezel working my way around. I then snugged the bezel down a bit more, and re-ran my finger nail around the tiny gap where the o-ring was bulging out from. I repeated the process until the bezel was down far enough that the o-ring would not pop out and my finger nail could not fit into the gap anymore. (I hope this made sense). It worked perfectly and easily. 

 

Also, Its unfortunate that you received one with a mismatched size of tailcap/body tube. Mine lines up perfectly and I must say, I'd rate the machining on my example with an average+ rating. Mine came with clean lubed threads and the tailcap/body tube line up nicely. 

 

Thanks for another fantastic review Foy!! and gorgeous photography!

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Although I have no intention of getting a triplet I do appreciate the time and effort you put into the reviews you make. And I enjoy the figurative language as much as the next guy Smile LOL

And I like to be able to point people in the right direction based on reviews so this is also helpfull to me Wink albeit in a indirect manner.

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jacktheclipper
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Great review .

scheven_architect
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Still have to install my turbo driver (i own a v1 4-mode low med high strobe), but my friend is 'too' busy Sad

 

 
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scheven_architect wrote:

Still have to install my turbo driver (i own a v1 4-mode low med high strobe), but my friend is 'too' busy Sad

I just put the turbo driver in mine you will not believe the difference.

I am already visualizing the duct tape over your mouth.

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Mine also had a dirty lens so I took it out and cleaned it. I was a bit worried about the o-ring as ive read it was hard to get back in but I had no problem.

Like mizjif I found it could be poked in jently as the bezel was tightened but I used a small flat screwdriver and held the bezel face down put the o-ring in as best I could then dropped the lens into it. Keeping it face down I screwed the torch into it until it put pressure on the ring and poked it in with the scredriver then kept tightening and pushing the ring in. 

It's moments of madness that keep us sane.

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Foy, excellent review and detailed pictures. Can't wait till mine arrives Smile

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The exact review I was waiting on.  Thanks foy.  Now I want mine to get here even worse now.  I am one of the guys with the tracking problems in the group buy Sad

Foy
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Interesting that some are getting 5 amps with unprotected cells.  I actually got a higher reading with protected Solarforce cells than I did with unprotected Panasonics.

Gonna give it another go . . . see if I tested the wrong mode or something . . .

 

edit:  I get 3.70 amps with 3 fully charged Panasonic 2350s.  (the Reverend's)  I only have two IMRs but, probably be stupid to try that.  I also have 3 King Kongs on the way from Hank so, gonna try that too.

 

Foy

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Flashlight Foy wrote:

Interesting that some are getting 5 amps with unprotected cells.  I actually got a higher reading with protected Solarforce cells than I did with unprotected Panasonics.

Gonna give it another go . . . see if I tested the wrong mode or something . . .

 

edit:  I get 3.70 amps with 3 fully charged Panasonic 2350s.  (the Reverend's)  I only have two IMRs but, probably be stupid to try that.  I also have 3 King Kongs on the way from Hank so, gonna try that too.

 

Foy

I just stuck 3 freshly charged Reverend Jim batteries in mine and it pulled 4.35 amps. I have the old plastic battery holder perhaps that new battery holder is an amperage bottleneck which isn't really a bad thing when you are talking about 12 plus amps of juice flowing through this monster. The tail cap on mine lines up absolutely perfect also.

Edit: I just noticed you have the 20 second step down driver I just put the other turbo driver in mine with no step down.

I am already visualizing the duct tape over your mouth.

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You think the step down driver pulls a few less amps? 

And, yes; 13 amps from the Solarforce 2400s is almost as scary as 15 amps . . . Man, when you think about it, that's a lot of current.

 

Foy

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Flashlight Foy wrote:

You think the step down driver pulls a few less amps? 

And, yes; 13 amps from the Solarforce 2400s is almost as scary as 15 amps . . . Man, when you think about it, that's a lot of current.

 

Foy

I have a step down driver on order I will let you know when it gets here. I am almost positive the battery holder has something to do with it. Try taping three batteries together eliminating the battery holder and take a reading and see what you get.

I am already visualizing the duct tape over your mouth.

aoyue2702
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I hope the step down doesnt pull less current Sad

aoyue2702
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hows the throw on the dry compared to the tk70?

Foy
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I don't have a TK 70 so . . . the DRY does have some reach but a thrower it ain't.

 

Foy

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Flashlight Foy wrote:

I don't have a TK 70 so . . . the DRY does have some reach but a thrower it ain't.

 

Foy

 

I'm still waiting on my group buy dry to arrive, but i've been eyeballing a TK70 since I bought some 10,000mah D cells and the 808 maha charger.... yikes $200 though is a lot.

Foy
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Expensive but, pretty dang cool light.  I'd be interested how it measures up as well.

 

Foy

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Flashlight Foy wrote:

Expensive but, pretty dang cool light.  I'd be interested how it measures up as well.

 

Foy

 

Buy me one and I'll compare it for you Laughing

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I was thinking the same thing . . . I mean . . . you buy/I compare.

 

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