My latest pride/joy

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Foy
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My latest pride/joy

 Solarfoy L2P with XM-L drop-in.

Solarforce smooth reflector XM-L.

L2P with Solarfoy L2. (XM-L)

Solarfoy L2P and L2 with Surefoy 6P. (SSC P7 drop-in)

I'm new to this so Im pretty proud of building these two lights for half the cost of the Surefire.  Anyway, thanks for looking.

Foy

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jb1
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Hey Foy,

How about some beamshots of those creations. I'm wanting to do the same thing but after I saw the thread about the Manafont drop-ins, I'm on hold until Jim responds. I'm also curious how long these Solarforce lights will run with the XM-L before heat sag really zaps 'em.

pounder
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jb1 wrote:

Hey Foy,

How about some beamshots of those creations. I'm wanting to do the same thing but after I saw the thread about the Manafont drop-ins, I'm on hold until Jim responds. I'm also curious how long these Solarforce lights will run with the XM-L before heat sag really zaps 'em.

I run my kd xml in my l2p and have never had an issue with the heat as an on duty light..but I must confess that if I have to have it on for a long time ( like a search in the woods) I switch to medium because it is very close in terms of brightness..

jb1
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So you have an L2P with a KD XM-L drop-in, a 6P with an SSC P7 drop-in and what's the smooth reflector XM-L? Is that a mod as well? How does the P7 compare to the L2P?

brjones
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Which thread on 'the Manafont drop-ins'? Did I miss something? I've got two of those babies. Is there something I should know?

- Circumcision, regardless gender, by definition causes sensation loss, and thereby usually causes difficulty later in life. Oppose amputation of children's genitals. ALL children. http://tinyurl.com/haszs6o

Tas62
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brjones wrote:

Which thread on 'the Manafont drop-ins'?

This thread http://budgetlightforum.cz.cc/node/1667

Aleister
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Great looking lights Foy! Have much fun with them! Smile

 

 

 

Let a flooder be my wife and a thrower be my mistress

Foy
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I guess I could actually do something useful like offer a mini review on one of these.  I'm a little nervous to do this because I'm not a flaslight expert but, here goes nothing . . .

I ordered the L2P as part of a kit from Solarforce.HK that included the HA III black L2P body with reverse clicky, P7 drop-in, 2-bay 18650 charger, two Solarforce protected 3.7v Lion batteries and a holster.  It was $79 including $2 shipping from Hong Kong Post that took about 3 weeks to arrive in Las Vegas, Nevada.

The items arrived in a brown padded shipping envelope covered with exotic looking postage stamps and several official appearing rubber stamps.  The envelope was taped shut, string tied and did not seem capable of protecting anything inside.  However abused the package appeared, the contents were in perfect condition; the charger was loose along with the batteries, the L2P host was in a simple plastic bag and the drop-ins were in retail blister packages.  

The O-rings were lubed and all 4 batteries tested between 3.8 and 4.0 volts on my multimeter before initial charging.  The charger terminates consistent at 4.3 volts and each battery will settle down to 4.22 to 4.24 after a few minutes.  An 18650 rattles a bit in the body, resolved with two layers of electrical tape.

I first powered up with two Energizer CR123s and shined the light on a wall in a semi-dark room.  The P7 had kind of a large hot spot with a dark center, another dark ring further out and a somewhat less than impressive beam pattern.  Output seemed great however; doing a shine-two lights-on-the-ceiling-and-looking-down comparison with a 4Sevens Quark AA2 Tactical (with a known 180 lumen ANSI) the P7 was definitely brighter and made the (XP-G R5) Quark look quite green.  With a charged 18650 it was less bright (not much) but still brighter than the Quark.

I then removed the black bezel that came with the L2P and installed a Solarforce B6 Premium stainles steel bezel with the flat, metal tool that came with my order, put the laynard ring on with a laynard I made from an old piece of leather I found in our bedroom. 

Finally; for the planned XM-L, I wrapped the single mode Solarforce XM-L drop-in with aluminum foil until just before it could not be pushed in anymore then, carefully screwed down the head for a snug fit and (hopefully) good heat transfer.  Powered up with a charged 18650 and was immediately impressed by a spectacular beam profile that included a blazing bright hot spot nearly a foot wide when shined on a wall from about 15 feet.  The large hot spot is a perfect circle that fades evenly to a brilliant, uninterupted spill that, all by itself might be as bright as some of my weaker lights.  It throws strong to about 25 yards and can still put some useful light on a target at about 50 yards but it clearly is not a thrower.  Shined on the side of my neighbors house, it looks like a police spotlight searching for an intruder.  It is significantly brighter than the P7 and among my sad collection, is easily the most powerful torch I have.

I used it at work for a week (I research and decode classic/muscle cars for an on-line dealer) and every time I banged it against something under a car, I expected to find a chip or other damage on my brand new toy.  This flashlight is no toy; it looks just as new now as it ever did, even after hard use.  The anno on this thing is tough as nails.  For a water test, I turned the light on and submerged it in the bathroom sink for about 20 minutes. I then took a shower with it, spraying water directly from every angle for about 5 minutes, all with no issues or ingress that I could see.  Run time with primaries is not quite three hours, getting dim at about 2.5 hours.  With an 18650 I get a solid hour of full brightness.  With my current setup, heat can be an issue.  After 5 minutes the flashlight body is warm and the head is very warm.  After 10 minutes the head is hot, not too hot to hold but hot enough that turning the light off seems like a good idea.  A better heat transfer solution is needed.

The L2P pictured cost just under $45 to build so, I guess it's not really a budget light.  However, some time ago I purchased the Surefire 6P seen above that came with a shallow reflector and a paltry 120 lumen Q-whatever emitter. (not sure about the emitter)  It cost $89 at Fry's and the L2P is easily its equal in terms of quality, is better looking (I think) and with the XM-L, absolutely slaughters it in terms of performance.

I think this Solarforce L2P is an aesthetic knockout and when you combine that with superb constuction, great fit and finish and blazing XM-L performance, it is one hell of a flashlight value.

I give it 4 out of 5 Foys because of potential heat issues.

Foy

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mitro
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Great pics and review!  I have really fallen for the L2p. I have to get a couple of those B6 bezel rings. Smile

jb1
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Excellent review Foy! Thanks for the detailed write up. The only part that concerns me is that it gets hot after 10 minutes. I figured that would be an issue but hoping otherwise.

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Well, I think I just need to wrap some copper tape around the drop-in but the truth is; the P60 flashlight, as great as its versatility/Legoability is, has inherent limitations when you start delivering higher currents to these wunder-emitters.  When I can afford it I want to try an SST-90 in a P60 host but I already know it will probably be a wow thing that can only be turned on breifly.

And, yes, I have a place in mind I think will do well for some beam shots.

Aso, in case there is confusion; the drop-ins in all three lights are from Solarforce.  The 6P has the P7 the L2P came with and I liked Solarforce's XM-L so much I bought another one but they were out of L2P bodies so I got an L2.  That was before I saw Don's Manafont beam shots so now I am anxiously waiting (for it to arrive) to put that in the L2P.  So, that's MF XML to L2P, SF XML to 6P, XML to L2 and a P7 with no home. (yet)  See, not confusing at all.

Foy

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brted
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That new bezel is nice. It seemed pointless to have a bezel that would still allow the head to get dinged up if you dropped it head first. A little more than I want to pay right now though. I hope they will come down a little eventually.

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http://i1221.photobucket.com/albums/dd475/jacktheclipper/solarforce003.jpg

My sandy L2 with the manafont 3 mode dropin

I sanded down the pointy bezel

What I do

 

Foy
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I saw this light a while ago in "another" forum.  The bezel looks awesome.  I can't wait for my Manafont drop-in to come.

Foy

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jacktheclipper
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Flashlight Foy wrote:

I saw this light a while ago in "another" forum.  The bezel looks awesome.  I can't wait for my Manafont drop-in to come.

Foy

I have to say that all of my friends are jealous of this light

I use it in medium mode for my bike light strapped down with a twofish lockblock and it's probably got about 100 miles on it with no problems so far

What I do

 

Foy
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Am I part of a large group of recent CPF refugees here?  I know you are, Jack.

livelikearefugeeFoy

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jacktheclipper
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Flashlight Foy wrote:

Am I part of a large group of recent CPF refugees here?  I know you are, Jack.

livelikearefugeeFoy

I have lurked here for a while

I finally decided to do a P60 light and I hit a home run with this one .

What I do

 

mitro
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Flashlight Foy wrote:

Well, I think I just need to wrap some copper tape around the drop-in but the truth is; the P60 flashlight, as great as its versatility/Legoability is, has inherent limitations when you start delivering higher currents to these wunder-emitters.  When I can afford it I want to try an SST-90 in a P60 host but I already know it will probably be a wow thing that can only be turned on breifly.

I really wouldn't bother with an SST90. As the level that you can drive it in a p60, its less efficient than an XML.

Also, I've used 4-5mil copper "tape" and I've used cut up aluminum cans around the dropin. I'll be damned if I can feel the difference. Anything in there is better than nothing.

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I did notice a difference from having nothing to strips of aluminum foil.  So, an under driven SST-90 will not be as bright as the XM-L.  That makes sense - and it would probably just be a battery killer.

Foy

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Match
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Nice mini-review Flashlightfoy.  Everytime I see those L2P's I want to order one....very good looking torch.  

You mentioned that your charger stops at 4.3v?  Good that it's consistant, but that seems a bit high to me.  

mitro
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I think I worded my last post wrong. Smile I meant that I can't tell a difference between copper and aluminum. There is definitely a difference between nothing and something. Silly

Foy
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Mitro - I understood what you meant.  Somehow, I think some solid copper in there might be better than my almost-wadded up pieces of tin-foil.  Ya go with what ya got, I suppose.

Match - Yeah, I don't like that either and I'll tell something else I don't like; one of these batteries discharged to 3.6 volts.  I've charged it after that several times and all seems well but I thought 3.6 was basically fully discharged.  Because of that, I don't let them go very far before charging and I pull them off the charger before the light goes completely green. These are protected cells so, maybe there's something I'm missing.  A person is wise to treat lion batteries with a certain respect.

voltageconfusedFoy

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arenat
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Very nice to read review, never heard of muscle cars or flashlight bathing . I give you 5 Foy whatever they worth !

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They'll be OK down to round 2.8V (under load) but are essentially flat at 3V under load - this will rapidly bounce back to around 3.6V off load. If it doesn't bounce back to over 3V on standing, the cell should be watched carefully. Many/most cell protection circuits do not cut off on the voltage under load.

 

The numbers from my light tests are always to be found here.

https://spreadsheets.google.com/ccc?key=0ApkFM37n_QnRdDU5MDNzOURjYllmZHI...

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That's what it did; it bounced back and has never been below 3.7 or so.  I learn a little something important nearly every day, here.  Thanks, Don.

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Tas62 wrote:

brjones wrote:

Which thread on 'the Manafont drop-ins'?

This thread http://budgetlightforum.cz.cc/node/1667

Thanks for the link. That's a thread by one person who got an improperly assembled one. I don't see how it can be construed as a potential problem with the entire line, as implied by a different poster. I received my second one about the same day Haggai started this thread above, and mine was fine, if having more blue or purple in the spill than my older example. Both of them are my favorites among my 5 drop-ins and at least 4 other non-dropin flashlights.

 

I don't think high mode is for long runs. But it sure is nice to have that brightness for a short time when you need it. If I go past 2 or 3 minutes on high (rare), I'll drop it to medium. The sag you get at that point, plus the drain on the battery (from heat and/or battery voltage sag), make it of little point to continue in High mode anyway, so I don't understand the concerns (there is little temptation for a level-headed user to continue in high).

 

This is the first LED light I have where the infrared heat coming out of the front is very noticeable if you hold it close to your hand. If you let any flashlight run at 1+ amp for a long time, it's going to get hot, it's just a matter of how long it'll take. Just have to be reasonable and use Medium and Low (or turn the light off/switch to another) when appropriate.

 

Lights which are built for professional use, to run long amounts of time, I think are sometimes referred-to as "duty" lights. Mag Light was the original common duty light; 4sevens has their Maelstrom XM-L for $150 with just 2 modes. Incandescent actually isn't a bad idea for duty lights, because the infra-red gets ejected out the front, and those bulbs like heat (until they burn out from the same, lol). I think duty lights will also be big and use C size batteries at a minimum.

 

Despite all the inherent weaknesses of the P60 drop-in design, the great thing about the Manafont drop-in is that everyone gets the same great output, whether they're re-using a crusty old 504b host, or putting it in a swanky new L2p. Quality of batteries will have a bigger effect on light output than anything else here. That, and whether your switch holds up. My XM-L drop-ins have killed 2 switches so far: the one from my L2, and my 504b. Surprisingly, my $3 Dealextreme "replacement tailcap", which I held as a backup for just such a purpose, is still working well--for the moment anyway. Some beefier switches are soon on the way. Others have tried to contradict my experience since they haven't experienced the same, saying it must be something else, but it's definitely the switches (working fine again after changing switches).

- Circumcision, regardless gender, by definition causes sensation loss, and thereby usually causes difficulty later in life. Oppose amputation of children's genitals. ALL children. http://tinyurl.com/haszs6o

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I am running a 3.1A nailbender 3 mode XML in my L2P. I wrapped the pill with copper tape. Heat isn't too bad. I have let it tailstand for 10 minutes on high, and while it does get hot, its not too hot to hold. I rarely run it on high for more than a minute at a time for normal use. medium is plenty bright for most any need.

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Seme here. But if i have it in hand i managed to do do 30mins on max easily outdoors with ambient temps a bit over freezing. Was not even a good hand warmer. Hawever leaving it tailstanding for 10min is nice if you need to make hotdogs!

For cycling it is more than adequate if you cylcle at least 15 Km/h at 22 degrees celsius. Barely warm at full. By standing still would overheat soon. Med is advised that way.

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Foy
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For what it's worth; since I've improved my aluminum foil wrapping technique, it does feel noticeably less hot.  Like I said, it was never too hot to hold, just hot enough that I wanted to turn it off - not a deal breaker but certainly worthy of comment.  That's another reason I'm excited to get the Manafont drop-in I ordered a (seeming) millenia ago.  The Solarforce I have is single mode.

tinfoilFoy

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jamesearljonesi...
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Can't wait to receive the l2 xml i ordered from solarforce. now when you wrap with foil do you also use thermal grease or just foil? nice lights btw. 

03/04/16 

 

8 lives left

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so cool.Where are you buy from?

would you want to buy same cheaper gadgets?please go to www.tmart.com

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