Review: Kaidomain KD C12 XPL HI

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Rolz
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Followup to the questions and suggestions by Muto

1. could you swap the pills on the C8 and C12 and see what results you get then?

I was able to swap the pills around. The C8 pill gitted perfectly into the C12 host. No issues
The LUX readings over a 10 minute period were similar to those from the C8.
C12 SMO reflector with LG HE4
starts off at around 55k LUX , peaks at 56k then over 10 minutes gradually drops down to 51k.
The temperature readings were better than the C8 as the peak temp after 10 minutes was only 37C

2. I am confused how the output can go down and then come back up on the C12 ->

3. My original C12 actually will put out 3.58 amps on an LG HE2 so it is brighter for sure on white walls then the new XPL HI and the throw is right there with it but with more spill and bigger hotspot (as expected). I have a C12 XML L2 which performs well. I’ve not checked the tailcap current, but may do so tonight and include some numbers as a comparison.

I tried my c12 XML2 SMO @ 3.8A tailcap using a Samsung 30Q starts of at around 36k LUX. Hot spot is larger.

4. Overall the XPL Hi is a disappointment to me. -> The C8 with a XPL – HI performed very well. The KD V2 driver provided very good results. I’ve a C8 (XML U2) and a C12 (C12 XML L2) which I can compare against. Again I’ll do some more general tests as a comparison. The hot spot on the XPL-HI is clearly smaller in size.

I ran LUX test on the C8 fitted with the NANJG 105C driver and a LG HE4 battery. The results were

start 44k Lux 22.2C end 39k Lux 44.4C
The drop off was linear

Overall assessment here is that the NANJG 105C dropin isn’t performing as well as the KD V2 driver dropin. The results on the NANJG were still good, but were a fair margin off the KD V2 driver. The C12 host clearly dissipates heat more effectively. The best pairing is the C12 with a KD V2 XPL Hi dropin. It also overcam the issue with the shorter batteries needing a spacer. The KD V2 pill is slightly deeper, enough to overcome the issue.

djozz
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Hi Rolz, perhaps useful for future reviews, for a build instruction of a simple integrating sphere that will be more accurate than the ceiling bounce method, click on 'integrating sphere 4' in my sigline.

Rolz
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djozz wrote:

Hi Rolz, perhaps useful for future reviews, for a build instruction of a simple integrating sphere that will be more accurate than the ceiling bounce method, click on ‘integrating sphere 4’ in my sigline.

Djozz, thanks for the tip. I’ll have a look around at craft shops for a sphere, if I can find one I’ll have a go at making one up. I’ll also experiment with the ceiling bounce as another method of measurement. I’ll try various options and determine what’s best.

Rolz
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The KD site has now discounted the C12 torches to $19.49 see first post above http://www.budgetlightforum.com/node/41815 for link details to individual models, otherwise visit

http://www.kaidomain.com/Search/SearchResult.Cree%20XP-L%20HI/-1 to see all discounted XP-L Hi products.
.

bibihang
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ImA4Wheelr wrote:
The copper base with dialetic layer does pretty darn good in that testing…

Yes I have read djozz test multiple times, and thanks for that. Maybe copper base with dielectric layer is okay for running at 3.5A, and not so okay for anything above 4.5A, not sure, no data to back this up yet so it is just my feeling.

Anyway I still don’t agree with the part that LED need to reach a certain degree of temperature to produce maximum brightness… at least from what I understand LEDs love to run cool, and HID however loves to run hot.

ImA4Wheelr
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^ Just threw it out as a possibility because heat sinking is one of the differences in the lights being compared..  I don't know how the XP-L Hi behaves at different temps.  I agree that it probably is not the cause of the lower output, but I don't think we know enough yet to rule it out as a possibility.

Rolz
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The results I present where the maximum brightness occurs after the temp increases only occurred with the NANJG 105C driver. The results obtained for the KD V2 3.04A driver were consistently, start high and then a gradual decline as the volts drop and the temp increases. The 105C driver didn’t work as well, resulting in slightly reduced brightness and the dip and then rise in brightness. Of the two drivers the KD V2 wins out. The LEDs were the same in both dropins.

Tom E
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Nice review Rolz! Liked the charts and graphs.

I've seen these variations in output before, with the ups/dns, mostly in stock budget lights. The output flakiness always clears up after fully modding the light. On the C12, the light is generally under-performing across the board, so, there is something wrong. The drivers should basically be the same output at 3A, but the output is significantly different. To me it seems like there is some intermittent or poor connection in the electrical path, probably ground. Could be the use of the magnets with the under-sized springs, not sure. Springs could be heating up, effecting the output (I think conducts better w/heat), etc. Or there's a ground problem with the driver mounted in the pill, but it's most likely something in the ground path. Generally a poor connection will start out low, then increase over time - this indicates from heat, conduction is improving. Could be a poor spring, or poor spring soldering job, poor driver ground, etc.

 A tailcap measurement typically doesn't reveal this problem - only when the light is assembled and output is measured. With a tailcap measurement, I would typically press down the cell pretty good, so it's different when fully closed up.

 I'm thinking I might have fixed issues like this just by doing the spring bypass's, not sure. Many times I'll replace suspect springs, and if I don't like the solder job of the springs, beef that up too while I'm doing the bypass's anyway. The bypass's solve a lot of problems, or potential problems: stiffens up the springs, better conduction for loose fitting batteries, eliminates poor conduction of some budget springs, improves on the soldering of the springs to the boards, etc.

Rolz
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Tom thanks for passing on those ideas. Soon I’ll have tidied up my workbench area in my garage which will enable me to get on with some practice with Mods. I can alsoremove the driver and look for any issue and experiment with the torch to see what may be the cause of the inconsistent results. Clearly something isn’t quite right as I would have expected better performance. Thanks again

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