Another Massdrop Brass AAA Lumintop review (Pix Hvy)

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DB Custom
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Another Massdrop Brass AAA Lumintop review (Pix Hvy)

Well well well, look what we have here! Another Massdrop Brass Lumintop AAA review! Yay!
This little light is indeed very impressive. Beautiful as well. A little odd perhaps, with it’s unique tail e-switch that requires a bit of capacitor charge time, but then that’s how the tail switch works so once done, it’s worth it! M-L-H interface is not necessarily the most popular, I’d rather see L-M-H myself for such a small light, but it’s still quite useful.

I think by now everyone has seen this little charmer. Massdrop commissioned it from Lumintop to appeal to their EDC community and as such, I do believe it’ll be a hit. From the gold plated clip to the titanium button in the tail, a lot of thought has gone into this one.

I received 2 versions, one a Cree XP-G2 R5 and the other a Nichia 219C in warm white. The R5 is of a lower tint that when in the lowest modes afforded this AAA style light appears quite on the green hue side, especially side by side with the warm Nichia. But the Cree is substantially brighter at the same or similar current draws so there is some merit to be found.

This brass light comes in a sealed package, with a nice little box, the clip, a couple of o-rings and an AAA alkaline cell sporting Amazon labeling. While a NiMH or a Lithium primary works equally well, better even, alas an 10440 Li-ion is not recommended.

I kept the Nichia variant in the sealed bag as long as I could to see if the exposed light darkened or tarnished perceptably, and while it did indeed turn a darker richer gold the difference afforded a week, week and a half, was negligible.

The titanium button that sits atop a rubber seal and activates the small e-switch inside is flush, enabling a good tail stand.

Threads are clean and well cut, springs are stout and really secure the cell inside for a no rattle carry.

Those that purchases Rey’s group buy special of the Tool Ti should be familiar with how the light works, the Ti version in Rey’s group buy has a copper pill that splits the head and has an exposed rib, other than that these are essentially the same except for metal choice.

I found the Cree variant to run brightest, with numbers measured below…

…………………Lithium Primary……………..Eneloop Pro

0.142A ……….31.257 Lumens………….0.72A………31.2915 Lumens
0.026A………….3.9675 Lumens………..0.027A………3.588 Lumens
0.760A……….125.58 Lumens…………..0.916A…..125.58 Lumens

The Nichia variant gave me these numbers…

………………..Lithium Primary……………..Eneloop Pro

0.144A………17.905 Lumens………….0.161A………18.078 Lumens
0.023A……….2.07 Lumens……………0.029A………..2.07 Lumens
0.755A………71.07 Lumens…………..0.740A………..71.415 Lumens

But then, y’all have already seen all that. So let’s move on to what you Haven’t already seen…

These little beauties ride really well in a nice suit. Smile

They’re positively brilliant out in the sunshine…

They even look really nice at the bottom of a hole! (I dropped one down the rotten core of an old tree stump. Way down there, too small a hole for me to reach down in, my 9 yr old saved the day just barely, his arm was almost too short to reach the bottom but he did indeed snag it for me! Smile

Side by side, Cree vs Nichia, of a 16×20 Canvas depicting said little varmint some years back. Smile

Side by side, Cree vs Nichia, of a 24×36 Metallic print of my daughter. Metallic prints are extremely vibrant in color reproduction and very lifelike.

So now lets take a look on the other side of one of these lights, the INSIDE… tail cap first…

And the pill, aluminum with a tabbed driver and even a tabbed mcpcb, which is aluminum and quite thin…

That 20ga wire looks monstrous beside the 32 Ga ? leads provided, doesn’t it?

I, uh, well, gee, how’d that XP-L HI get on that 10mm copper SinkPAD?

Ok, so now my Cree variant has a nicer tint. Output is actually less than the XP-G2, but still just over 101 lumens on high at 0.905A draw, with medium at 0.17A for 23 lumens and low at 0.026A for 2.484 lumens. I used 24ga leads putting it back together and glued the DTP copper mcpcb to the aluminum pill.

So there ya go, I’m hoping my version of the review gave you something new to look at and think about. I have spoken with Mike at Massdrop fairly extensively about the possibility of offering different emitters and even maybe changing to a L-M-H UI, he’s proposed it to his manager and they’re looking into it. I will update as further information becomes available.

I will also be checking into a direct link, the link provided to me does not open the brass aaa page.

All in all, a very enjoyable little light with some unique features produced by a company we know to be high quality. Nicely done Massdrop!

Dale

Edited by: DB Custom on 01/26/2017 - 22:09
264
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Nice review.

Enelooper
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I know a lot of people like L-M-H sequence. But I feel that different sequence lights all have their place in life. While a L-M-H light is great to keep by the bedside, ideally the low is sub-lumen, which the Tool series clearly isn’t.

Hence I feel the Tool series is never intended to be a L-M-H light. It is a EDC work light for me and since M is the most commonly used mode, it has M-L-H, which is the correct sequence for its intended purpose.

The Miller
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nice review! nice pics as always!
(and off tothe other massdrop review, lol)

Hunter
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Nice light, nice reveiw (one of) Big Smile

Dirt
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This won’t take a 10440? My cu and regular tool both take a 10440. I use them judiciously on high mode.

DB Custom
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Pretty sure the higher voltage of a li-ion cell would not play nicely with the capacitor in the e-switch set-up. I don’t know that for fact, but I won’t be placing a 10440 in my Ti Tool to find out.

I might look into further modification and a mini Omten so an FET driver can be used, will let y’all know of course how that works out.

CRX
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I swapped out the electronic switch for a magnetic forward clicky in my tool ti and intend to install a FET driver too Evil
Thanks for the review but an aluminium pill in a brass light? Nooo! LOL

DB Custom
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I hear ya. Thinking of heading out to the shop and carving out a copper pill…

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DB Custom wrote:
Pretty sure the higher voltage of a li-ion cell would not play nicely with the capacitor in the e-switch set-up.

It will run on Hi Mode only on LiIon, until voltage drops below 3.8, then low and medium work. At least, thats how the TiTool with the same switch works. More LiIon details here

here is the massdrop link to the brass Tool

"High CRI Lights for Sale":https://budgetlightforum.com/node/75426

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Nice review
I got my copper with the nicihia and already use it way to much.
I’ll get the brass one with the cree and only use it with eneloops.
You know… just not to mess with you Silly

DB Custom
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Ouch Benjy! You’re gonna make me shove an XHP-50 in one of these! Silly

Benjy
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DB Custom wrote:
Ouch Benjy! You’re gonna make me shove an XHP-50 in one of these! Silly

urgh, is this a dirty joke about putting big things in small places places? Big Smile
my L6 lost its purpose last week, and I am a friend of dead capital Wink

Can’t wait to have my own collection of those.
I juuust hope they fix the issue the switch has with 10440 – until then I’ll try to care as little as possible

DBSS
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I certainly do prefer a L-M-H sequence. I could live with M-L-H IF the switch was able to do half press changes like the Tool switch does. These electronic switches are cool, but I’m not thrilled with having to click of and on to get to different modes.
That being said…this is a fantastic looking light and for the cost, I might have to get one.
Thanks very much for the review and I hope that you can get enough sway with MD to get other variants made.

Lightitup
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Very detailed and an interesting read! Thanks for sharing

264
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Just got notice my flashlight shipped. Anyone else got the notice?

Coppet
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Yes I got a message too, shipped on 31.March to Germany Thumbs Up

robertsig
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I can't seem to find the answer I want, but over on CPF they talk about the parasitic drain to keep that LiIon battery charged at somewhere between ~2~30uA.  Has anyone here measured it?  If I keep an AAA in there, how long would it take of non-use for it to be drained?  I bought this as a seldom-used flashlight and I think I may have made a wrong purchase.

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My math says for a 1Ahr alkaline AAA (standard AAA battery) you will deplete it completely in about 4.5 months with a 30uA current draw. I would agree an eswitch is not a good choice for a small cell rarely used flashlight.

PocketSammich wrote: I don’t need this, but I want it. Please sign me up.

robertsig
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That’s what I feared. I really like the Nichia in these things. Can it be converted to a standard clicky?

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The M-L-H isn’t bad, actually. I have that on my Fenix L0D. I wanted to get this light, but… the parasitic drain from the eswitch killed it for me.

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The easy answer is to just unscrew the two parts of the light 1/4 turn. Verify the light does not turn on via the eswitch. Now you have disconnected the battery, and it will last much longer. If it is an alkaline cell, be sure to check it 2x a year anyway, as they leak and ruin lights periodically. Alkaline batteries are also know as alkaleaks.

PocketSammich wrote: I don’t need this, but I want it. Please sign me up.

DB Custom
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Storing the light with the lockout mode described above is fine, but the capacitor will have to charge when you screw the tail cap back on in order for all modes to be available… usually only a couple of minutes time does this cap charge. This is what allows the e-switch to work in the tail. Wink

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I bought three of them - two for gifts.  I could do that for mine, but I can't suggest that for the others, especially since it takes several minutes for the internal battery/capacitor to charge again.  I may just have to sell them and get something else.

DB Custom
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I gifted one to my son-in-law and he’s brought it to me twice saying he broke it. He DID leave it in his pants through the washer/dryer, but a new cell and a couple of minutes had it working good as new. He just keeps forgetting that it has to charge up first. So yeah, “muggles” might have issue with it.

I seldom use mine. Probably ought to check the cells… Wink

A Thorfire TK05 is a nice little light that takes both AA/Ni-Cad/NiMH and Li-ion. Might be worth a look… that or the Utorch UT-01, also a neat little light that is compatible with multi chemistry. I’ve found the Thorfire TK05 to be more reliable though…

robertsig
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"A Thorfire TK05 is a nice little light"

The beautiful look of the outside and Nichia light is why I wanted these though.  I can't find an alternative.

DB Custom
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Right, I have the copper and titanium versions and like them both quite a lot.

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sbslider wrote:
My math says for a 1Ahr alkaline AAA (standard AAA battery) you will deplete it completely in about 4.5 months with a 30uA current draw. I would agree an eswitch is not a good choice for a small cell rarely used flashlight.

Make sure you convert that from microamps as 0.03mA, not 0.3mA. That’s a mistake I find myself making from time-to-time.

Using 750mAh for an Eneloop, I calculate 2.8 years.

I’m curious if anyone has seen any runtime testing of the Tool recently. When Maukka tested it a few years ago, it seemed like there was room for improvement, especially in the e-switch version:

http://budgetlightforum.com/node/47011

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iamlucky13 wrote:
sbslider wrote:
My math says for a 1Ahr alkaline AAA (standard AAA battery) you will deplete it completely in about 4.5 months with a 30uA current draw. I would agree an eswitch is not a good choice for a small cell rarely used flashlight.

Make sure you convert that from microamps as 0.03mA, not 0.3mA. That’s a mistake I find myself making from time-to-time.

Using 750mAh for an Eneloop, I calculate 2.8 years.

I’m curious if anyone has seen any runtime testing of the Tool recently. When Maukka tested it a few years ago, it seemed like there was room for improvement, especially in the e-switch version:

http://budgetlightforum.com/node/47011

Yep, I goofed. data entry error, not on the 30uA but on the capacity, I left off a zero. 1388 days, not 139 days. 1388 days is 3.8 years with a 1000mAhr alkaline cell. iamlucky, I agree with your 2.8 year number for a 750mAhr eneloop

Apologies to the OP, I saw you posted your lights for sale, maybe reconsider.

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DB Custom
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Um, 1388 days is 3.8 years… just sayin

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DB Custom wrote:
Um, 1388 days is 3.8 years… just sayin

Yes, my calculation was based on a 1000mAhr alkaline, while iamlucky used a 750mAhr eneloop. I updated my post to clarify, hoping to avoid EVEN MORE confusion. Facepalm

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