Review: Four-way Convoy S2/S3 mini-review

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rivet62
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I’m just going to have to buy a couple more lights. My wallet weeps.

nekdo12
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nekdo12 wrote:
I also sended 3 requests at Fasttech for S2 with 3C. After CNY I will send another :bigsmile:

Come on, make a request. More requests, faster they will get 3C tint

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Boaz wrote:
the Convoy s2  has a serious lack of knurling. … is asking for at least a big fat rubber band wrapped around it between the body and  the tail like a makeshift cigar grip … With the green gitd tailcap it almost smacks of cheap

FWIW, the Solarforce L2 clip works nicely on these lights and provides a good grippy element for cigar-style use. You simply need to add a bit of wire or paperclip inside the tailcap to complete the circuit, since the threads are anodized and the clip will effectively lock out the switch otherwise.

This is how I keep an EDC 18650 clipped to my purse.

… also, I like the GITD boot and lens O-ring. It’s nice being able to find the thing in the dark. I don’t like a 5C tint though; it’s so yellow it hurts my eyes. 3C is about as warm as I can get.

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bdiddle wrote:
Did you notice if any pocket clips fit them?

Yes. A Solarforce L2 clip fits nicely, but you must add a bit of wire into the tailcap to complete the circuit. I simply bent a paperclip around an AA battery, widened it a little, and dropped it in. Works great. I had to try two different thicknesses of paperclip to get the right size though.

Here are some pictures of the result:

Sorry for all the dirt/dust in these pics… I’ve been EDCing it and I didn’t clean it first.

whokilledJR
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Just ordered the Convoy S3 T5 5C with the 2.8A driver. :bigsmile: It’s the super wide spill comment that got me, as a wide spill is very handy for cycling and I was looking for a nicer straight tube with a NW tint compared with my current HD2011. I was considering more expensive options like the Xtar BK-12 or the Jetbeam St Cycler, however price and a lack of a NW tint was the decider. I’m hoping the spill can match a typical bike light for width. Also ordered some black tail caps to replace that horrible cheap looking green one.

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whokilledJR wrote:
Just ordered the Convoy S3 T5 5C with the 2.8A driver. :bigsmile: It’s the super wide spill comment that got me, as a wide spill is very handy for cycling…

I’m anxiously awaiting warmer weather so I can try my Convoy S3s on my bike at night. One of the two I got is specifically for that purpose (XP-G2 1.4A model), but it has been way too cold to go out for long at night. I should be able to get 450lm for ~2 hours or 135lm for ~7 hours from it, and I suspect 135 will be about right. My ZL H51w seems good for biking at 86lm, so a floodier 135lm should be good too.
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ToyKeeper wrote:
whokilledJR wrote:
Just ordered the Convoy S3 T5 5C with the 2.8A driver. :bigsmile: It’s the super wide spill comment that got me, as a wide spill is very handy for cycling…

I’m anxiously awaiting warmer weather so I can try my Convoy S3s on my bike at night. One of the two I got is specifically for that purpose (XP-G2 1.4A model), but it has been way too cold to go out for long at night. I should be able to get 450lm for ~2 hours or 135lm for ~7 hours from it, and I suspect 135 will be about right. My ZL H51w seems good for biking at 86lm, so a floodier 135lm should be good too.

i suspect 450 will leave a lasting impression

The Journal of Alternative Facts TM

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whokilledJR
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ToyKeeper wrote:
whokilledJR wrote:
Just ordered the Convoy S3 T5 5C with the 2.8A driver. :bigsmile: It’s the super wide spill comment that got me, as a wide spill is very handy for cycling…
I’m anxiously awaiting warmer weather so I can try my Convoy S3s on my bike at night. One of the two I got is specifically for that purpose (XP-G2 1.4A model), but it has been way too cold to go out for long at night. I should be able to get 450lm for ~2 hours or 135lm for ~7 hours from it, and I suspect 135 will be about right. My ZL H51w seems good for biking at 86lm, so a floodier 135lm should be good too.

I’m sure you’ll be happy with it, any straight tube light with an OP reflector will produce a wall of light, especially xml’s, the only thing lacking in flashlights compared to bike lights is they don’t usually have as wide a spill for peripheral vision. I’ve got an old XML Titan bike light and I can’t wait to compare spill widths.

rivet62
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whokilledJR, I’ll be interested to see how the S3 works for you as a bike light.

I’m still working on my outdoor beamshot technique, but here’s some practice shots. The camera is set to 1/20 sec shutter, F/2.8, ISO 800, daylight white balance. The lens is a 50mm on a DX sensor body, so a slight telephoto. The shop window in the pictures is about 25m from the camera.

Zebralight SC600:

Eagletac P20C2:

Convoy S3:

Convoy M1:

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whokilledJR wrote:
I’m sure you’ll be happy with it, any straight tube light with an OP reflector will produce a wall of light, especially xml’s, the only thing lacking in flashlights compared to bike lights is they don’t usually have as wide a spill for peripheral vision. I’ve got an old XML Titan bike light and I can’t wait to compare spill widths.

I went out and tried it despite the cold, and it’s great. In well-lit areas it’s a bit weak (on medium, ~135lm), but then I don’t really need light — it’s only there to make sure others see me. In dark places, it nicely lights up the whole road or trail for a long way in front of me. I can use it on high (~450lm) for a couple hours too, without much risk of overheating, but other bikers will probably hate me.

As for peripheral view, I generally get that from my ZL H51w. There’s no substitute for being able to aim light with my head.

However, I could still use a nice tail light. I just have a cheap 2xAAA red blinker which doesn’t really put out much light.

whokilledJR
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Thanks for the beam shots rivet62, out of those it does seem the S3 is the floodiest with the widest spill, I’m quite happy with my purchase now. I usually just mount 2 lights on the bar, one floody light and the Shadow JM07 I use as a thrower. Excellent light for cycling is the JM07, similar throw to a C8 but with a much wider hotspot and very usable spill. By those pics I’d say the wide spill of the S3 would match a dedicated bike light.

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Sounds good Toykeeper, can’t wait for mine. For a taillight the one I’m using is the Cygolite hotshot:

http://cygolite.com/products/hotshot2W2.html

Very bright on full power, with adjustable brightness and blinking modes and great run time with a lithium battery.

If I needed to get a new one I’d probably go the magicshine:

http://www.action-led-lights.com/collections/bike/products/mj-818-bike-t...

This thing is even brighter and much more floody, at 24.95 which is a lot cheaper when I was comparing the market a few months ago.

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whokilledJR wrote:
Thanks for the beam shots rivet62, out of those it does seem the S3 is the floodiest with the widest spill, … Excellent light for cycling is the JM07, similar throw to a C8 but with a much wider hotspot

FWIW, the Ultrafire HD2011 is much floodier than the Convoy S3. I went with a less floody light though (S3 w/ XP-G2), so I’d be able to see farther ahead.

I also used a XinTD C8 during my ride last night, but that’s because I was searching for my cat. I heard a cat fight and went out to make sure he was okay, and the C8 worked really well for spotting critters from a distance — just had to hold it in front of my nose for maximum reflection. I found pretty much every living creature in the neighborhood, and fortunately the fight was between two other cats.

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I don’t know whether they keep tabs on this, but I put in a suggestion that they ask convoy if they’ll program the lo-med-hi outputs at 5%-30%-100% (as is the case for the x-power version) instead of having med at 60% as it is now. If it makes a difference put in a vote for it under the “I suggest you” page Wink
http://www.fasttech.com/community/isuggestyou

whokilledJR
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ToyKeeper wrote:
whokilledJR wrote:
Thanks for the beam shots rivet62, out of those it does seem the S3 is the floodiest with the widest spill, … Excellent light for cycling is the JM07, similar throw to a C8 but with a much wider hotspot

FWIW, the Ultrafire HD2011 is much floodier than the Convoy S3. I went with a less floody light though (S3 w/ XP-G2), so I’d be able to see farther ahead.

I also used a XinTD C8 during my ride last night, but that’s because I was searching for my cat. I heard a cat fight and went out to make sure he was okay, and the C8 worked really well for spotting critters from a distance — just had to hold it in front of my nose for maximum reflection. I found pretty much every living creature in the neighborhood, and fortunately the fight was between two other cats.

Great to see at least someone’s looking out for the night critters! :bigsmile:

I’ve got the HD2011, puts out a great floody beam. How does the spill width compare to the S3? I was hoping the S3 has a larger spill, if less lumens up the middle.

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whokilledJR wrote:
I’ve got the HD2011, puts out a great floody beam. How does the spill width compare to the S3? I was hoping the S3 has a larger spill, if less lumens up the middle.

It looks to me as if the spill on the S3 is about the same size as the HD2011. However, the beams have different patterns… S3 is brighter in the middle with a distinct Mach band near the outer edge of the spill, and HD2011 fades more smoothly from center to edge.

A Mach band is an optical illusion which happens at the ends of a smooth gradient with flat colors on either side. It appears to have a peak or valley at the end, but it’s not real. In this image, it’s the bright horizontal line at the bottom and dark horizontal line at the top… they’re not actually any brighter or darker than the smooth area next to them, even though they may appear more intense.

Edit: Actually, I guess they both have Mach bands around the edge of the spill… it’s just more pronounced on the S3. In any case, they have about the same spill width but the HD2011 is floodier and the S3 is throwier.

whokilledJR
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Just received my S3, my initial thoughts:

Good spill, a bit wider than the HD2011

Shallow reflector, a bit shallower than the HD2011. I can now see why people suggest the beam profile looks pale or lacking a turbo mode, the hotspot is wider than normal even for a tube light due to the reflector depth, and therefore more dispersed. It will have poor throw and won’t look so bright, however this just means it’s more floody, so just depends on what you’re after. I don’t mind that, the hotspot kind of reminds me of my dedicated bike light which is also dispersed due to being a shallow reflector. Probably would make a good bike light. The HD2011’s hotspot is more focused and looks brighter, but not as floody IMO.

Tube isn’t very grippy, kind of slippery and the square knurling isn’t very aggressive.

Head is part of the battery tube, this indeed is a tube light. Electrical conduction will be quite good, one less set of threads to worry about, although I quite like a removeable head.

Bezel is fixed.

Overall nice looking light with a good finish and nice shiny SS bezel

Hate the tacky green tail button, I’ll be replacing that very shortly.

Edit: just realised my post is almost the opposite of Toy Keepers before mine. :~

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whokilledJR wrote:
Just received my S3, my initial thoughts:
The HD2011’s hotspot is more focused and looks brighter, but not as floody IMO.

Edit: just realised my post is almost the opposite of Toy Keepers before mine. :~

Heh, weird. I wonder if it’s just individual sample variation or something else. Mine are the “EDC 18650” XM-L U2 from Intl-Outdoor and the HD2011 from Wallbuys. Maybe different stores have different flavors.

My HD2011 is the floodiest light I have, with the Convoy S3 being probably the second-floodiest.

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wow a tube light thats more floody than the hd2011? thats pretty crazy there. i own 4 tube lights and the hd2011 is the floodiest.
whokilled jr, how come you ended buyint the s3 from fasttech? from looking at the op’s pictures, the s3 from international outdoor seems brighter and floodier.

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ToyKeeper wrote:
whokilledJR wrote:
Just received my S3, my initial thoughts:
The HD2011’s hotspot is more focused and looks brighter, but not as floody IMO.

Edit: just realised my post is almost the opposite of Toy Keepers before mine. :~

Heh, weird. I wonder if it’s just individual sample variation or something else. Mine are the “EDC 18650” XM-L U2 from Intl-Outdoor and the HD2011 from Wallbuys. Maybe different stores have different flavors.

My HD2011 is the floodiest light I have, with the Convoy S3 being probably the second-floodiest.

It’s quite possible, I have the grey HD2011 that I purchased locally in Vietnam about 7 months ago, perhaps different batches with slight adjustments.

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blueb8llz wrote:
wow a tube light thats more floody than the hd2011? thats pretty crazy there. i own 4 tube lights and the hd2011 is the floodiest. whokilled jr, how come you ended buyint the s3 from fasttech? from looking at the op’s pictures, the s3 from international outdoor seems brighter and floodier.

Looks like in the OP the intl outdoor version has the 7135×8 2.8A driver, and the one from fast tech it has the 7135×4 1.4A driver. You can get the S3 from fasttech with the same driver as intl outdoor, just need to select the right driver. Personally I think 2.8A is the way to go. From my DMM readings I got:

2.81 High
1.3 Med

1.3A is still very reasonable for this form factor and a tube light should be able to handle the heat at this level, whereas 2.8A I consider a turbo so if heat becomes an issue I clock it down to medium, which is still bright.

The beam profile is very similar to my HD2011, the larger spill and hotspot is only slight, so for practical purposes there’s nothing really separating them. I’m scrutinizing them heavily as I’m only going to keep one of them, so the S3 wins based on the better finish. The lack of more aggressive knurling is a bit of a downer though, doesn’t quite feel as good in hand.

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One thing I forgot to mention is there is no battery fitting issues, I’m using a protected panasonic 3400 battery from fasttech which is one of the larger protected batteries available.

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whokilledJR wrote:
One thing I forgot to mention is there is no battery fitting issues, I’m using a protected panasonic 3400 battery from fasttech which is one of the larger protected batteries available.

Wow, that’s the the question I was going to ask right now. Thanks, whokilledJR! I’m going to use panasonic 3400 from intl-outdoor, but most probably they are the same as the fasttech’s ones.

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I just got my intl-outdoors EDC 18650 XP-G2 and empty host, and the XP-G2 is actually labeled as a Convoy S3. Not sure if hank did a substitute or it was a mistake. Looks good cosmetically, however the emitter is off center, which I’ll take care of down the road. And speaking of cosmetics, the EDC 18650 host looks identical to the Convoy S3, just missing the white text.

Someone asked about the intl-oudoors clip fitting the lanyard holes: No, the holes are spaced too close, but the tail fin opposite the holes has enough space to mount one.

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larrystorch wrote:
I just got my intl-outdoors EDC 18650 XP-G2 and empty host, and the XP-G2 is actually labeled as a Convoy S3. Not sure if hank did a substitute or it was a mistake. Looks good cosmetically, however the emitter is off center, which I’ll take care of down the road. And speaking of cosmetics, the EDC 18650 host looks identical to the Convoy S3, just missing the white text.

Someone asked about the intl-oudoors clip fitting the lanyard holes: No, the holes are spaced too close, but the tail fin opposite the holes has enough space to mount one.

They are the same hosts, at some point they started printing Convoy S3 on them.

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The EDC 18650 is a Convoy S3. Before we all knew Convoy.

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larrystorch wrote:
I just got my intl-outdoors EDC 18650 XP-G2 and empty host, and the XP-G2 is actually labeled as a Convoy S3. Not sure if hank did a substitute or it was a mistake. Looks good cosmetically, however the emitter is off center, which I’ll take care of down the road.

I think only the earliest assembled “EDC 18650” units came without the label. As far as I’m aware, the only way to get a blank one now is to get the empty host.

I have the XP-G2 version too, and my emitter is also off-center. I haven’t bothered to fix it though, since it still works fine for my purposes (biking). I’d probably be better off with a 1.4A XM-L version, but I only have 1.4A XP-G2 and 2.8A XM-L so I don’t have the correct ‘medium’ mode for biking use. Instead of 5%/50%/100%, I’d prefer if the spacing was more like 1%/20%/100%. (I-O’s page says 5/30/100, but mine measures at 5/50/100)

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I put custom firmware on my EDC 18650 XP-G2 and I will eventually on my U2. The XP-G2 is easier because the driver is only held down by a retaining ring.

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mfpmax wrote:
They are the same hosts, at some point they started printing Convoy S3 on them.

Oops! Must have missed that post. :~

I love the small form factor. Being an engineer, I can easily slip it into the front pocket of my slacks and it practically dissappears. This will replace an old XPG Yezl C1 from CNQ whose only fault was the lack of runtime from a 16340.

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That Ninja Guy wrote:
I put custom firmware on my EDC 18650 XP-G2 and I will eventually on my U2. The XP-G2 is easier because the driver is only held down by a retaining ring.

Oh? Is it compatible with DrJones’ luxdrv? I haven’t taken mine apart so I don’t know what chip controls the logic.

If it’s compatible, I think I see a new PIC programmer in my future… assuming I can get the light apart. The lack of a separate head piece makes things a little more difficult.

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