Mec-Army PT-16, Triple XP-G2 in a "Nutshell" (NOW a 3402 Lumen Quad!)

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DB Custom
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Mec-Army PT-16, Triple XP-G2 in a "Nutshell" (NOW a 3402 Lumen Quad!)

New Update 1-17-2017….I’ve modified my PT16 to take an 18500, no springs, and now with 4 XP-L W2 1D emitters. This compact little dynamo is making 3401.7 lumens out the front on an Efest Purple 18500 1000mAh cell rated to do 15A continuous. Wowza! She do get hot! Smile

Update: Not being one to leave well enough alone, I removed the charger and fixed it up with magnetic ended leads so it can be used with my battery bank. Then I bored the tube for an 18350 and it now does 2186 lumens. Smile

Update: 2-28-16… With this being the older User Interface and the new style already hitting the shelves, I modified the tiny little Pineapple Nutshell. I put a quad set-up in it with 4 XP-G2 S4 2B emitters, bored out the emitter shelf and used an extra copper mcpcb with both the quad mcpcb re-flow soldered to this second one. The copper mcpcb stack sits on a shelf that is left after boring out the original flat. I then stripped the driver and piggybacked a 15mm FET driver in, with ToyKeepers 64 level ramping firmware. This allows the light to start in moon or turbo, save the last level in use for instant start up in that level, and/or ramp forward/backwards through the levels to get just the right amount of light. It now does up to 1493 lumens with a fresh 16340, pulling 4.16A at the tail from an Efest Red V2 button top IMR16340. Very handy! Still charges as before with the micro USB port in the top of the battery tube, everything looks stock except for the quad up top.

I gotta say, this one was quite the little challenge! Smile But it was worth it, crazy seeing ~1500 lumens from something so small!

I have to admit, from the very first glimpse I was smitten by this tiny light! From the pineapple knurling, triple XP-G2, 16340 size and even the built in charger, I couldn’t resist. I talked to the folks at Mec-Army, found they were in the process of making some changes, but went ahead and asked May at GearBest if I could do a review on this first edition PT-16. She offered me a very attractive discount to do the review…And so, here we are! Smile This little beaut can be found here at GearBest Mec-Army PT-16

I will be adding a bunch of pictures to this post as soon as I can get more cooperation from my internet service. (really slow today) Wanted to jump in with some initial impressions that I will expand on further later today and tomorrow.

Awesome form factor! Right out of the box it’s just super tiny and snags ya! Design, build quality, fit in the hand… really really surprising. I’m not gonna lie, it’s an expensive little light. Costing right at $65 it had better be special to help justify that kind of monies. And Mec-Army is paying attention to feed-back, updating the UI to better reflect what the customer database wants to see. This is an early sample, the UI is … well… it needed the update. It starts in Turbo, isn’t really intuitive, but is perfectly usable even at that.

A couple of looks at the charging system at work. Very clever stuff here…

The charger isn’t really fast, but the cell is so small I really couldn’t expect a fast charging rate. Mec-Army included a cell in the light with thin plastic discs inserted to break contact… these had to be removed the first time and they include a little warning sticker to remind you to do so. The really neatly designed tail cap has double o-rings, comes off quite snugly as they don’t intend for it to be taken off for battery changes. The top end of the tube has a single o-ring but a groove that covers the micro-usb charging port might be able to handle a second o-ring that would have to be moved aside to charge. Need to check that. Wink

I know a lot of you like to cut to the chase, so here’s the instruction manual with their claims…

Here’s what I found with my UNI-T clamp meter and my lightbox…

With their supplied MRB-16340…

0.01A for 3.76 lumens
0.15A for 85.56
0.61A for 313.26
2.61A for 938.4

With an Efest Red Button Top IMR16340

0.03A for 3.21 lumens
0.17A for 83.49
0.61A for 307.05
2.95A for 1104

Taking it outside on a 300 yd walk to the road it’s simply a bust out laughing giggle like a school girl experience! Big Smile It’s tiny, but it PRODUCES! I loved it so much I bought it’s little brother at full price, the PT-10.

And that’s yet another impressively clever thing Mec-Army is doing here… they use the same head and put a different battery tube on it to cover all the cell options from 18650, 14500, 16340, 10440. Awesome! (I got the PT-10 a couple of days ago, new UI, much improved. Stay tuned…)

So I’m gonna jump out now, will be back with more pics later…

Thanks for checking it out… big thumbs up to Mec-Army! Smile

(I’ll be back)

Edited by: DB Custom on 01/17/2017 - 21:01
Spasmod
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Awesome! thanks for the review Dale.. I know someone else who’s after this exact light – I told him I’d gift him one but he’ll have to wait a bit longer yet Silly

keltex78
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XP-L HI mod? Coming soon? Triple MT-G2 perhaps?


Keepin’ the “B” in BLF

Don wrote:
It sounds like the XM LEDs won’t really be suitable for flashlight use. Pity…

Firelight2
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I replaced the emitters on my PT16 with triple XPL HI 5000K 3D.

The mod was easy and worked well. Output is noticeably higher and the tint is a very pleasing neutral white. The beam pattern is also quite nice. Mecarmy’s optic produces a superior beam pattern with more throw than the standard 20mm Carclo optics.

One downside: The star is fairly thin aluminum and cannot be upgraded to copper. You cannot swap in a standard direct copper triple star (such as a Noctigon), because the emitters won’t be positioned properly under the optic.

mattlward
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Oh my, I have been watching those. But, the price has just kept me away. I can build one heck of a light for that price.

EDC rotation:
FW1A, LH351D 4000k (second favorite)
FW3A, LH351D 3500k
FW3A, SST20 FD2 4000k
FW3A, Nichia 4000k sw40 r9080 (favorite light!)
FW3A, Cree XP-L Hi 5A3
Emisar D4V2, SST20 4000k

DB Custom
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Firelight, was the bezel glued on yours? Mine won’t budge. I haven’t gotten into my stubborn persistent mode yet but am about ready to. I’d like to see it with Nichia 219C’s.

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I woke up at 6:30 this morning with an E-mail from massdrop and saw a picture of this exact light, and I instantly knew I had to have it! I googled it and found the differences in the pt10/14/16/18 and decided I liked the skinny tube of the 14500 the best so I ordered the pt14 for just under $50!!

Then I log in here and see this awesome fresh review with your expertise thrown in, very confident I made a good purchase and super excited to get my new mecarmy!!!

Thanks DB!

Ps the massdrop deal is still going on, anyone interested should hop on it immediately, the last batch of olight S1’s went real quick, these might too!

DB Custom
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Sweet zoom zoom! I’m thinking I have to have that one as well, but can pass on the 18650. They’re just really neat little lights!

I cracked open the PT-16 a little while ago and removed the XP-G2’s in favor of Nichia 219C’s. The regulated circuit still does 3.02A on Turbo, the lower levels are all virtually identical but Turbo is now only 883.2 lumens. So I lost some total output but gained a really nice neutral/warm tint. Much better! Smile

I wrapped the SS bezel in sheet aluminum and chucked it in the 5” chuck on the lathe. Then with a piece of paper between the light and a large crescent wrench I twisted the pill section off and got through all the blue loctite. Other than that, it was pretty simple to switch it over.

Seemed to me that the lower Vf emitters would run a higher output and current draw but the regulated boost circuit handles them just fine. The 3 emitters are wired in series, so the boost driver is really kicking output up from the little 16340. Pretty cool! (I didn’t even remove the driver, didn’t want to see sense resistors tempting me to bump output.) Silly

Edit: Sorry, the emitters are wired in parallel. The circuit traces on the Al mcpcb appear to be in series but my multimeter tells me otherwise and forward voltage at the incoming leads to the mcpcb is 2.97V. Sorry about that.

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DB Custom wrote:
Firelight, was the bezel glued on yours? Mine won’t budge. I haven’t gotten into my stubborn persistent mode yet but am about ready to. I’d like to see it with Nichia 219C’s.

Not glued I think, but it was stiff to remove. It has two o-rings touching it providing good water resistance.

I wrapped a strip of 3M indoor stairway grip tape (the grey rubber stuff) around the bezel and then another strip around the head. Then I gripped and turned and it came apart. I didn’t need to use pliers on top of the grip tape.

unknown00101
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zoom zoom wrote:
I woke up at 6:30 this morning with an E-mail from massdrop and saw a picture of this exact light, and I instantly knew I had to have it! I googled it and found the differences in the pt10/14/16/18 and decided I liked the skinny tube of the 14500 the best so I ordered the pt14 for just under $50!!

Then I log in here and see this awesome fresh review with your expertise thrown in, very confident I made a good purchase and super excited to get my new mecarmy!!!

Thanks DB!

Ps the massdrop deal is still going on, anyone interested should hop on it immediately, the last batch of olight S1’s went real quick, these might too!


I didn’t realize until just now that the 10/14/16/18 represented the battery used. I’ve probably looked up pt16 some 10 times because I forgot which version it was. lol
DB Custom
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My PT-16 and PT-10 heads interchange with no problem. Looks like there is one head, one driver. Then they made 4 different battery tubes to fit. Ingenious, I think.

DB Custom
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OH NO! I just realized something…. the triple optic in this light is 24mm. The UI in this original version kinda stinks. What does that add up to? The need for a ramping 10mm FET driver and 4 XP-L HI’s. Smile

will34
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I managed to take my bezel off, my unit did have some sort of glue and I had to warm it up a bit. There is potential for some serious modding but I’m only going to do a LED swap in mine, can’t wait to see what Dale can do with this light…

texas shooter
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DB Custom wrote:
My PT-16 and PT-10 heads interchange with no problem. Looks like there is one head, one driver. Then they made 4 different battery tubes to fit. Ingenious, I think.

I held off getting the PT-16 due to wimpy 16340’s. But if one head fits all than it’s boring time 18350’s. I’ve posted about this light a few times before and I see the logic to 16340/CR123A’s for the general public but this crowd needs 18350’s. I just wasn’t sure it had enough meat for the boring. Thanks for the review.

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That MassDrop deal might be too good to pass up. The PT18 is way more practical than any of the smaller sizes and the darned thing is 10mm shorter than the Kronos X5. Way cooler looking than the Olight Baton S20 and just as compact (except a bit wider).

On second thought, as I was searching to see if the massdrop deal was for the updated v2 versions (still can’t find out if they are or not) I see that that great price is only for the PT10. Add another $14 for the PT18 and another $3.50 for shipping and it’s almost $62. Just can’t see spending that money at this time. I’m sure there will be another sale or groupbuy on these in the near future so I’m gonna hold off. Ideally I’d love a PT16 and PT18 but still too pricey for me. Maybe once I see what you guys manage to do with yours I’ll reconsider. Big Smile

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You’re right about the looks, what a little stunner! It reminds me of something I think was called a PEU pineapple, I almost bought one of the bodies a long time ago but I couldn’t figure out what other parts I would need to build a complete light. I remember being very confused by a lot of the conversations and feeling like I didn’t speak the language.

I wonder if they’ll sell the different bodies separately so you could have one head and different options for what battery to use based on the needs that day.

DB Custom
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Good idea otp, we can push for that for sure.
I have the driver out, a quad ready to go in, am about to strip the driver and piggyback in an FET driver with ramping firmware. BUT….

My daughter just had a fat healthy baby boy, 7 lbs 5 oz and 21” long. Smile

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Impressive review DB, I liked it more than others. You have a great way of communicating features functions. Congratulations on your new born, it must be nice. Smile
Send me a PM at some point if you can I have a question for you about a flashlight that I bought that once belonged to you. Beer

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Nice! Grats grandpaw!

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zoom zoom wrote:
Ps the massdrop deal is still going on, anyone interested should hop on it immediately, the last batch of olight S1’s went real quick, these might too!
. . .


From left to right:

PT16 (16340) $51.99 ….. PT10 (10440) $43.99 ….. PT14 (14500) $46.99 ….. PT18 (18650) $57.99

+ $3.46 shipping to U.S. address

Link to Mass Drop

Rule 1-1 as it applies to life, take it as it comes.

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I ordered the PT18, a TAD pricey but if the quality is there as Dale (and some) have exclaimed, it will be worth it to me? Need to find a way to buy the other tubes? Wink

KB1428 “Live Life WOT

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Oh and Congrats to you Grand Pappy Dale!

KB1428 “Live Life WOT

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Thanks Kawi. Smile

Dash, which of those 4 has the best feel in the hand? I’m looking at them and the 14 seems to have the best symmetry, but the 16 is really cool and the 10 is so unique it’s hard to quit playing with. For all the pineapple knurling and same head, the largest… 18… just doesn’t do anything for me.

Edit: Dangit! Had to sign up and order the PT-14 at Massdrop! HAD to!

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Congratulations Dale!

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Thank you, I’ll now have 3 of the 4 MecArmy PT series. Silly (I know I know)

In lieu of piggybacking in an FET driver, I left the original intact and put in a quad set-up with XP-G2 S4 2B emitters.

3.13A on Turbo for 1152.3 lumens
316.02
84.53
3.21

I find it interesting how the lower 3 modes consistently make virtually the same output regardless what I do. I’m figuring with 4 emitters sharing that 3.13A they should be in a much more efficient range of operation and make less heat. The quad is shorter, so a sanded 20mm Noctigon was re-flowed under the quad star while mounting the emitters. Twice the copper, 33% more emitters, roughly 50 more lumens.

(now I’m seeing that the cell wasn’t fully charged, so it might actually make something more than 1152, we’ll see)

Edit: 1179.9 lumens with a freshly charged Efest Red Button Top IMR16340.

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DB Custom wrote:
Thank you, I’ll now have 3 of the 4 MecArmy PT series. Silly (I know I know)

In lieu of piggybacking in an FET driver, I left the original intact and put in a quad set-up with XP-G2 S4 2B emitters.

3.13A on Turbo for 1152.3 lumens
316.02
84.53
3.21

I find it interesting how the lower 3 modes consistently make virtually the same output regardless what I do. I’m figuring with 4 emitters sharing that 3.13A they should be in a much more efficient range of operation and make less heat. The quad is shorter, so a sanded 20mm Noctigon was re-flowed under the quad star while mounting the emitters. Twice the copper, 33% more emitters, roughly 50 more lumens.

(now I’m seeing that the cell wasn’t fully charged, so it might actually make something more than 1152, we’ll see)

Edit: 1179.9 lumens with a freshly charged Efest Red Button Top IMR16340.

As always your the mad tinkerer. When inside the little jewel did you see anyway to bump the current a little. This whole set up in 18650 might cross the 4 amp threshold and still be practical. Also which diameter quad lens are you using? And as always thanks for turning good things into better.

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There is a single R010 sense resistor on the board, and an entire army of tiny little caps and resistors in arrays. Seems to be way too much going on with the driver, but it works, so they’re onto something somewhere.

I used a Carclo 24mm Quad optic. It’s not optimal, but it works. Another mm or maybe 2 in diameter would better suit the wide flat silicone ring at the bezel.

It occurred to me that if it remained in the 3A range, then each of the 4 XP-G2 S4 2B would be getting a theoretical 750mA, so they’d be pretty efficient and not make a ton of heat. Probably looking at it wrong, usually do.

Sorry it’s a little grainy, I forgot to decrease the ceiling on Auto ISO and it shot at 16,000.

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Congrats on the new arrival!

That’s quite a driver. Be interesting to know what’s going on there…..

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http://www.candlepowerforums.com/vb/showthread.php?415705-PT18vn After looking at this and knowing that Vinh does a good job on bumping up just about everything. I’m going to guess that one resistor, a single R010 sense resistor is the “master” and it’s the one that gets modded. I just can’t imagine chasing down all those traces to find the turbo one then bumping up its separate resistor.

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Wow that’s alot of components!!!

What would you estimate 3 or 4 xpl hi leds would be lumen wise at stock drive currents?

I have a thing for xpl leds, unless I’m building a low output light with high cri.

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DB Custom wrote:
Thanks Kawi. Smile

Dash, which of those 4 has the best feel in the hand? I’m looking at them and the 14 seems to have the best symmetry, but the 16 is really cool and the 10 is so unique it’s hard to quit playing with. For all the pineapple knurling and same head, the largest… 18… just doesn’t do anything for me.

Edit: Dangit! Had to sign up and order the PT-14 at Massdrop! HAD to!

Now that you have signed up and purchased the light you wanted, delete all traces of massdrop from your computer, unsubscribe from their mailing list, and block all incomming emails!!!!!

Your wallet will thank you! You have been warned Wink

Lol, I signed up about two months ago and they keep throwing these deals at me…I am too weak and I can’t say no, it’s costing me quite a few pennies. I have avoided the Olight S1 craze for so long, everyone else is buying them, then a rose gold s1 pops up in an email from massdrop for $45…..yes please take my money! I couldn’t check out fast enough.

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