Review: Sunwayman V11R révolution & AP-05 (XM-L U2 | 1 x 16340 or 1 x AA w/ext.)

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turboBB
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Review: Sunwayman V11R révolution & AP-05 (XM-L U2 | 1 x 16340 or 1 x AA w/ext.)


"You say you want a revolution..." begins the lyrics to the 1968 Beatles hit "Revolution"; well I think Sunwayman created one when they first introduced their revolutionary Variable Magnetic Control System (MCS) (basically the exact phrase I uttered in my V60C review). The V11R révolution is the latest evolution of their 1 x 16340 sized lights using the MCS. Let's see what it has in store for us shall we?

MFG SPECS
MSRP: $95 USD
● CREE XM-L U2 LED, with a lifetime of up to 50,000 hours;
● Digital Sensor Magnetic Control system, Infinite Variable Output Switch
- slightly twist the Rotator Ring from left to right for Min to Max output
- Turbo Mode: 500 Lumens (uses one 16340 battery to drive, runtime 25min;
CAUTION: Do not run the light continuously at turbo mode for more than 5 minutes.)
- Max: 190 Lumens (1.5hrs)
- Min: 1 Lumen (35hrs)
● Constant current circuit, constant output
● Effective range of 130 meters
● Uses one single CR123A Lithium battery or RCR123A, 16340 battery
● Working voltage: 0.9~4.2V
● High quality OP reflector maintains great throw distance and spread with an ideal beam pattern
● Dimensions: 84mm (length) x 23mm (head diameter)
● Weight: 49g(battery excluded)
● Aerospace-grade aluminum alloy
● Military Specification Type III- hard anodized body
● Waterproof, in accordance with IPX-8 standard
● Ultra-clear tempered glass lens resists scratches and impacts
● Tactical forward click switch with momentary on
● Tail stand capable- can be used as a candle
● Accessories: Clip, O-ring, lanyard, holster


PACKAGING & CONTENTS
The V11R and AP-05 come in the standard cardboard box w/plastic cut-out window that is nearly ubiquotous for flashlight packaging:



Both the V11R and AP-05 each came w/ 2 x clear O-rings each while the V11R additionally included:
- clip
- lanyard
- user manual, warranty card & mini product pamphlet



[NEW 4/19: Incidentally, the packaging makes a great standalone display case with the V11R providing the illumination:
]


DESIGN & FEATURES
As mentioned in the intro, the V11R is an evolution of their pint-sized lights featuring the variable MCS which was first introduced on the V10R in its XP-G form. The color is now more greenish/olive:

Note: V10A shown but it is the exact same design as the V10R just w/an elongated battery tube to accomodate AA/14500 cells.

Of course it's now endowed with the latest and arguably greatest CREE LED in the form of an XM-L U2:

V11R on left and V10A on right in all pics

There are no longer any laser etchings on the bezel, however the two cooling fins remain unchanged:


In what is perhaps the most notable difference aside from the use of an XM-L (which the V10R eventually received as well albeit in T6 bin), is the MC ring itself:

The textured ring style replaces the distinctly machined design of the V10R's ring and was first featured on the V20C but implemented a little differently in that it only controls the output and doesn't turn the light on/off.

There is a flat surface on the ring w/an arrow indicator which if you're unfamiliar with it, doesn't have any detents like on its smaller brother (M11R aka Mr. Elfin). It rotates smoothly from Min to Max as indicated by the increasing output line:


The ring is slightly shorter than the previous one but due to the textured surface provides good grip andthe space allotment aft of the ring is the same thus keeping the overall head size identical:


This now brings us to the body, in which case, gone are the milled grooves that adorned a predominant portion and replaced by the same textured surface found on the ring:


Two of the four "flat" suraces that were dominated by the fluted oblong channels design elements have now been left unmilled. Prominently displayed in its place are laser etchings of the company name and logo on one side and the model name/number on the other:


The removable clip and its corresponding mounting point has also been redesigned as well:


The clip attachment is now much thicker and holds very firmly so that the light doesn't spin as easily:


The end of the V11R features three triangular tailcap guards as opposed to the completely flat circular rim:

It does allow tailstanding even if a bit unsteadily.

And finally we get to the part that has created quite a stir on the forum lately, the tailcap (but more on that in the Fit and Finish section):

It's a metaillic "button" type that replaces the well received rubber one. The logo is now laser etched rather than molded in and the retaining ring is different as well (even to the V10R Ti version). And that completes the walk-thru of the evolution of the design changes from the venerable V10 series.

What hasn't changed though is Sunwayman's continued use of double-sided AR coating on their lens:

Here's the interesting bit, the coating has changed and is now optimized to reduce the reflection of the middle of the visible wavelength (400nm-700nm) which is 550nm and yellowish green in nature. This is why when you look at the coating, you don't see any reflections in that range but rather the corresponding wavelength it doesn't cancel thus the purple hue.

The following three pics illustrate in order: Non-AR coated lens on WK25B | AR-coating on V10A | AR-coating on V11R (exposure locked on manual WB):

Notice how you are progressively better able to see the reflector with the V11R being most visible? Although this is the outside of the lights, the same is happening on the inside of the lens in that less light is being reflected and thus transmitted out the lens. Total bump in output is generally negligible and while I don't know the specifics for this implementation the typical averarge is anwhere from 1-9% between coated vs. non-coated (but also depends on the material being coated). However, for enthusiasts looking for every last lumen from their lights, this was a nice plus! However, based on what I've read, most AR coatings are easily smudged/scratched so take care never to wipe the lens when dry nor to use any harsh cleaners (best to use a dedicated AR cleaning liquid found in most optical places).

The XM-L is perfectly centered and not by happanstance either as it sits in a dedicated mold of which a lip in the base of the reflector slots into:


The LED is recessed in the mold and thus the base of the reflector does not sit on the same plane but rather a little taller than it as can be seen in this angled shot:

This is the same case with the M11R and V10R Ti+ as well. I assume the reasoning is to maintain some throw given the use of an OP reflector and the relatively wide beam angle of the XM-L as the reflector isn't all that deep.

The V11R is able to accomodate my shortest cell (Tenergy LiFePO4 @ 33.7mm) as well as longest (XTAR 16340 @ 35.4mm):

The longer cell does tend to put additional upward stress on the threads when removing the head thus it's recommended to apply counter pressure to reduce the likelihood of any thread damage.

I forgot, one more thing that is different, albeit I don't think it's specific to the transition from the V10 series, is that the lanyard is now black (I personally preferred the olive ones included w/my V10A and V10R Ti):


While there is decent clearance between the mounting hole and tailcap, dings/scratches are possible to either from certain angles so those destined to let their V11R's be shelf-queens, be forewarned!


The included holster is outstanding and of a style I particularly like ever since I first experienced it w/my LD10 as in addition to the standard belt loop (which is great when you absolutely need to ensure it doesn't accidentally unfasten) there is also an additional velcro flap for those times when easy mounting/removal is required:

I deliberately stuck a cell into the belt loop to allow easy distinction between the two.

Having the clip installed would mean that the V11R must be inserted bezel down, but regardless of which way it's inserted, there is ample room since it was designed to accomodate the V11R w/the AP-05 extender installed:


I didn't have the AP-05 at the time this pic was taken but used the V10R Ti+ w/ext:

Of note though is that this isn't the same holster supplied w/the M11R, there is no elastic band between the front/back sides as can be seen in pic above.


SIZE & HANDLING

L to R: XTAR 16340 | Zebralight SC30 | XTAR WK21 | Sunwayman M11R Mr. Elfin | Sunwayman V10R Ti | Sunwayman V11R révolution | SureFire E1E | Sunwayman V10A | Eneloop XX AA

With AP-05 AA extender:

L to R: Eneloop AA | Fenix LD10 | Sunwayman V10R Ti+ w/AA ext. | Sunwayman V11R révolution | Sunwayman V10A | XTAR WK25B | ICON Link | Jetbeam RRT-0 R2 w/AA ext. | RediLast 3100

While not the smallest light in their lineup, the V11R is still reasonably compact for a 1xCR123A sized light. It may however be an issue for those w/larger hands. FWIW, here's how it looks in my medium-sized hand w/an overand grip:


If output control is desired though, one must then flick the light to an underhand grip:


I found the best grip when being used this way is by placing my middle finger around the curved tip of the clip:

By shifting the grip to the index finger, it provides additional stability when operating the ring w/just my thumb.

[NEW 4/19: If the light is a bit on the short side, one may consider getting the AP-05 extender:

It was designed to be compatible with both the V1x and M1x series (see replies #'s 25 & 27 down below for pics).]


It features the same color/design and allows the V11R to accomodate AA's as well as 14500-sized cells when installed. A nice touch is that there is a bevel around the ID of the tube (mid pic) to allow easy insertion of the cells without catching them on an angle.

I measured the ID to be 14.7mm:

NOTE: In first pic, that is a light blue colored Eneloop, thus the white crescent you see is actually the gap and not of the cell itself.

I was however able to induce a rattle w/the shorter Alkaline's (albeit I had to shake vigorously) but not so w/a longer UF 14500 as it's held pretty firmly in place by the rear tail spring. Regardless though, it's too small to accomodate a 16mm diam cell:

L to R: XTAR 16340 sitting on top of AP-05 | the cell "trapped" between body and extender | close up for clarification

The reason I mention this is that the V11R can actually accomodate a 17mm diam cell (although it's a VERY tight fit):

If one were so inclined, the AP-05 could possibly be bored to accomodate a 17500 cell (shown above) for a nice boost in capacity while retaining the same size.

With that all said, here are handshots of the V11R w/AP-05:
]

Speaking of the ring, it has about 140 deg. of travel from min to max so it will likely take at least two twists to complete although there isn't a huge transition in brightness in the last 25 deg. of travel or so (as confirmed on my light meter which I will graph later).

As I had mentioned in a reply down below, while momentary use is easily engaged, the switch does take a fair amount of force to fully depress (again more in the Fit & Finish section).


FIT & FINISH
Overall, the V11R features typical Sunwayman quality which is outstanding. The anodizing is flawless and there were none missing between the crevices, fluted channels or corners:


While the ano between the head and extender match precisely, there is just a tiny hint of mismatch between them and the body but you REALLY need to be looking for it:

The areas between the fins on my sample are also slightly lighter which is highlighted by the intentional use of flash.

The ring rotates smoothly with just the right amount of friction and unlike the EYE30, the viscosity is not really affected by temperature (hotter = less friction and colder = increased friction). This is important as you'll need to consider the type of grease used on the threads between the head/body (and optionally the extender). If it's too thin, the friction from operating the control ring may inadvertently loosen the head when going to max and potentially cutting out the light at a critical moment.

There is a slight gap between the head/body that I is not as noticeable on the V10A and non-existent on the V10R Ti+:

Gaps shouldn't be a big deal since they are part of manufacturing tolerances, however given the o-ring sits right behind it, the grease applied will cause gunk to stick to it.

The laser etchings are relatively nice and sharp w/no blotchiness:


The clip is now done in an onyx finish which should hold up better than the pervious versions which were painted:


So that brings us to that tail switch. As I've replied below (#12), the switch is a bit firm when depressing fully and I feel this is caused by the split spacer which is just a tad too thick. There is also the matter that the metal button grinds against the retaining ring when the button is not pressed squarely in the center. However, it seems that Sunwayman has acknowledged these issues and will be shipping new V11R's with the rubber tailcap cover installed by default and providing the metal one as a spare. There are some new pics on the V11R product page indicating this on their site (reviewers are not allowed to link to mfg site so please visit their site directly).

They will also be shipping spare rubber tailcaps covers to dealers so existing owners should reach out to their place of purchase for these.]


MEASURED PERFORMANCE
As part of a new standard for my reviews, I measure the performance on my PVC LMD by first calibrating the sensor's positon w/a Xeno G10v2 (immediately perfectly regulated in med. mode). All readings taken @31 seconds (to conform w/ANSI FL) and ambient temp of 75F (24C).

EDIT: I retook all measurements of different batteries at the same time for consistency and also because the first time around, the bats were not all fully charged.

TURBO
AW16340 @ 5 seconds - 636lms | AW16340 @ 31 seconds - 600lms | AWIMR - 537lms

Note: Exposure not locked in thes pics.

MAX
LiFePO4 - 257lms | SF123A - 216lms


ENLP XX - 191lms | ENLP - 183lms

Glad to see that Sunwayman continues to be conservative or on the mark w/their output rating.


BEAMSHOTS
Beam angle
[to come]

Indoors (5m)
AW16340 Turbo


AWIMR Turbo


TNGY LiFePO4 Max


SF123 Max


ENLP XX AA High

For details of the above indoor shots and comparo vs. many other lights, please check Epic Indoor Shots Trilogy

Whitewall Hunting
Exposure settings clockwise from top left: 1/25, 1/100, 1/800, 1/1600 @ f2.9 on AWB (light is ~.4m to wall / camera ~.59m):




RUNTIME & BATTERY CONSIDERATIONS
The relevant battery stats are provided above each runtime graph along with:
- Voltage of the battery at the start and end of the test
- Current draw as taken right before the test
- Actual runtime using ANSI FL1 (first in HR and then in M so for the AW 16340 read this as .4hrs OR 23min)
- Also for Turbo/High, captured the temperature: ambient, the head at start and the max it reached (fan was used for all bats)




As with the beamshots, given the broad voltage range the V11R can accomodate, I've tested most battery types in my possession. I may continue to flesh this out but for now it covers Primary, NiMh, LiFePO4 & LiIon's (ICR & IMR).

Primary cells
The most obvious story here is that the circuit was designed for near perfect regulation running on primary cells (maroon line) if that is of primary concern (no pun intended... ) to you and Turbo mode is not necessary then that should be your battery of choice. Of note is that the cell I used was used briefly for other testing so is not completely brand new, but even so, I was able to exceed the quoted runtime of 1.5hrs. The temperature rise as output was decreasing is attributable to the light attempting to remain in regulation and boosting (increasing current draw) as voltage started to drop.

LiIon's
ICR's and IMR's should be your choice if all out performance is desired w/no regard to runtime. The AW16340 gave the best output and my unit drew 1.9A so any cell capable of this discharge current would suffice. However, what was curious though towards the end of the run, the light abruptly shut off and didn't invoke the low voltage warning (blinking) like with all the other cells. I'll retest in the future as time allows but would like to hear back from others if they are able to invoke the low voltage warning on LiCo's (ICR's).

My IMR's have gone through many deep discharge cycles so perhaps are not performing to spec. Given the current draw, I had anticipated them to perform better but they were bested by their cobalt-containing cousins.

LiFePO4's
This most closely mimics a primary cell other than for the capacity/runtime. The nominal voltage of this cell is around 3.3/3.2v and will slowly drop in output until it hits that magical sweetspot this circuit was regulated for which is the primary cell. Actually all 3 LiIon cells do but given I normally truncate my runtime charts by the minute that detail is lost. To expound, here is the chart untruncated and w/the temp and non-LiIon cells dropped:

As you can now see, even the AW will try to stay in perfect regulation before shutting off. The wiggly lines at the end of the IMR & LiFePO4 runs is from the blinking due to the low voltage warning. Also, now you can also clearly see that regardless of the cell used, the circuit will try to boost at the very end as voltage is dropping thus supporting my theory re: the temp rise for the primary cell. Again, all of this detail is lost in truncation hence I'm such a stickler for capturing data by the second (which is why I continued to be frustrated by the 10k logging limit of the HD450 and once got into a friendly debate w/a fellow member about the merits of capturing by the second... no names, but he knows who he is... )

NiMh
Although not nearly as good regulation as a primary cell, it's not bad either and with a roughly 20-30% penalty in both output and runtime on the ENLP XX on just slightly more than that w/the standard ENLP. Of note though is that the current draw for both were around 2A so care should be taken to use cells capable of such discharge rate. The low voltage for both cells kicked in at just about .9V (check end voltage) so this is a nice touch to help prevent overdischarging the cells.

Hopefully this will come in handy in helping you make your battery choice decisions based on your needs and application.


INITIAL CONCLUSION
The V11R offers a nice bump in output on LiIon's over it's XP-G based predecessors. While the change in style will be totally dependent on one's taste, my personal take is that I like this new styling better. The tailcap of course remains the achilles heel and I feel that perahps an electronic switch would've made more sense here but it's being sorted out by Sunwayman in which case, I will post updates once I know the full details. For now, here are my initial feelings:

turboBB-licious
- insane ANSI output for such a tiny form factor that were limited to mostly customized lights just a year ago
- MCS whle perhaps no longer revoluationary, still offers a no-brainer UI that anyone can pick up and use
- accepts broad voltage range and thus great range of battery types (especially w/AP-05 extender)
- perfect flat regulation on primaries
- superb holster that has both belt loop and quick-release velcro type
- typical Sunwayman quality (other than the tailcap)

turboBB-cautious
- yes, that tailcap button grinding and stiffness (as per update above new V11R's will have rubber tailcap installed by default)
- slight gap between head and body may accumulate crud on the o-ring so care should be taken to clean it every so often to remove any potential abrasives

turboBB-wishes
- resolution to tailcap issue using the metal button (greasing it up and some constant use has helped greatly on my sample but it still does grind a little)



=======
Disclosure: V11R révolution & AP-05 extender provided by Battery Junction for review

Edited by: sb56637 on 09/02/2017 - 12:00
turboBB
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This one is also in progress but will look to flesh out in coming days.

harry25175
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is there any extension 18650 body tube for V10R Ti, V11R, V10A ???

T.H.Cone
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"Disclosure: V11R révolution provided by Battery Junction for review"

I shop there all the time and all I ever got was a key chain light.  WTF!  Just goofing.  Thanks for the review.  Does it come in colors like the M11R?

fidem, prae caeteris omnibus praeter honestatem

 

 

Don't be confused, my Username has been changed from "Cone" to "T.H.Cone".  I'm still the same clown.

Oldienea
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I still had a 5% coupon from Battery Junction laying around from my last order. It was just waiting to be used up.Cool

Jinx
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Thanks for the review turboBB Smile

okwchin
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harry25175 wrote:

is there any extension 18650 body tube for V10R Ti, V11R, V10A ???

 

AFAIK, There have only been a single run of third party 18650 tubes (20 were made). There are no SWM branded tubes for 18650s, possibly due to the risk of users installing 2x 16340 cells and then complaining about dead lights (i.e. potential warranty issues)

Although I suspect you Could use 2x AA extenders in series to achieve the same thing.

"like everyone else - I’m looking for my next “last” flashlight" -  ohnonothimagain

turboBB
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Thx guys!  Apologies for the late reply, lots going on around the house.

@harry25175 - okwchin is correct in that Sunwaymand doesn't have any 18650 extenders, you would need to source a thrid party one

@cone - I'm not aware of any other colors at this time but will check w/Sunwayman.

Also, detailed runtime and battery considerations section now added.

turboBB
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Bunch of new stuff & pics added.

turboBB
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All,

I've pretty much wrapped up this review, just little bits left but the key parts of my review including my Initial Conclusion are now posted (search NEW).

As for the tail cap issue, to recap from my review: "Sunwayman will be shipping new V11R's with the rubber tailcap cover installed by default and providing the metal one as a spare. There are some new pics on the V11R product page indicating this on their site (reviewers are not allowed to link to mfg site so please visit their site directly).

They will also be shipping spare rubber tailcaps covers to dealers so existing owners should reach out to their place of purchase for these."

I'm on the hunt for quality 14500's and new 16340's (both ICR and IMR) and will repost runtimes whenever I get those.

Cheers,
Tim

alex21
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Anyone still like this light?

Ouchyfoot
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Yes.

alex21
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Thanks.

It is an attractive light IMO.. more so than RRT-01 or EYE10.. hkequipment apparently has this in neutral (T6) but I won’t be getting 600 lumens from that.. maybe 500? high 400?

I am guessing the low would be nice..

One more q.. the clicky is like a lockout? So turning the light on and turning all the way left would yield the lowest low..

Cheers

Ouchyfoot
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Correct. I like the fact that it has a clicky for on off. That way if you want your intensity a a particular level, you can set it with the ring, and turn it off and on, retaining that luminosity.

alex21
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Yep what I was thinking aswell

Pulsar
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i have been looking at this light extensively lately… very tempted to sell my 7g2cs and v31a to fund it. id also like to note that at fasttech, its about $66 for the v11r and aa extension vs about $75 for the v11r mirage that comes with the extension and is a limited run…

alex21
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Price must of come down since you last checked it..
http://www.fasttech.com/products/0/10004131/1306403-sunwayman-v11r-cree-...

$58.52

That camo is… hmm.. different Smile

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that does not come with the extension, you have to purchase it seperate. like i said, i have been looking into this light extensively Wink
camo is not my thing, but i like the looks of the mirage

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Not sure how many people know this but I just received one of these from amazon today. The ad clearly states xml u2 yet the light I received is an xml2. The packaging states a max of 216 lumens on a cr123 and 570 lumens on a 16340.