[Review] Amutorch X9

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-X3-
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[Review] Amutorch X9

Hi everybody, today we’re gonna have a look at the Amutorch X9.
Neals was kind enough to send me one for free in exchange of an honest review.
I’ll try to be as neutral as possible but of course some aspect are still subjective.

So, let’s begin with some pics :

Laying on its side, so it can shows you its fine machining.
The black one is the most beautiful of course, but I think they all have the same level of finish. The Titanium bezel adds a touch of class, along with the switch retaining ring.
The fins are purely decorative of course, given their small area. The tailcap is nice, and gives a good grip to unscrew it (even if you’re not gonna open it that often).

The tailcap is engraved with the company logo, name and model. The font is nice, I like this kind of detail (yes Lumintop, I’m looking at you…)

The bright end, showing the 3xSST40 on Low mode.
They are surrounded by a triple smooth reflector and a tempered glass lens. The lens is not AR coated. Everything under the glass is dust free and the LEDs are well centered in the reflector cups.

Each LED got its centering gasket to keep the reflector in place.

Once the light is ON, the side switch will be lit to show the battery level. Blue is full. Red is empty.
The indicator lights ON during charging too.

Speaking of charging, Amutorch is learning fast and has choose a type-C port. That said, it’s not QC or anything. Just plain old USB 2.0 standard with 5V/2A capabilities.
You can see the protective cap, it’s made of transparent plastic with a white o-ring to make it waterproof. While it’s an original solution, I’m glad there is a spare one in the box because I can see it lose in a few days.

Classical construction : head, body, tailcap.
The Liitokala 50A 26650 is enough to power to about 14A… It gets hot fast for sure !

I have not calibrated my lumen box yet so I can’t get any precise measurement but I have an Olight SR-Mini that is ashamed now with its 3000 lumens !

The UI is really original, and combines ramping AND step modes.

Step modes :
If you click the button, it lights ON on the last mode.
You click to cycle through different levels : Low, Med1, Med2, High.
A double click activates the Turbo, from there a simple click goes back to the last level.
A long click will shut it OFF.

Now the ramping :
Long click from OFF to activates the lowest level.
Now if you press and hold it ramps up, quite fast (2S from lowest to highest). Release at the desired level.
Now you can ramp down by releasing and holding again (like on Emisar)
A simple click to shut it OFF from ramping.

It’s a nice trade off to have both ramping and step modes but :
I wish ramping was better levelled (Emisar ae perfect on this point).
I wish Low level was WAY lower. There’s no moonlight at all.

There is a temperature sensor somewhere in this one. Like, if the light is cold and I activate the Turbo it will heat quite fast and step down to Med after a while (maybe 1 or 2 min) but if you double click again the Turbo will only last a few seconds when the light is hot.
It does get quite hot, nearly painful but not if you hold only the body of the light.

I like the compact format, and now I want a D4S…
If I get one I’ll make a quick comparing test. I like that this one has a USB port and a reflector, but prefer the aesthetic and UI of the Emisar.

At the same price point, it’s really a matter of what features are important for you.

EDIT : I just measured current on all modes :
Standby : 38µA
Low : 54mA
Med1 : 470mA
Med2: 1,64A
High: 5,89A
Turbo : 15,3A 0s ; 14,6A 30s

EDIT2 : forgot to include the Nealsgadget’s link, here it is

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M4DM4X blog, saves you $$$ 

Edited by: -X3- on 12/29/2018 - 02:41
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pennzy
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Good review. One point, there is memory in ramping also. I have the XM L2 version and have found it can sustain high in step mode indefinitely while in hand. While the UI takes a little memory on my part , it is unique .Did you measure the charge current?

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Nice review! I recently go the Amutorch AX3. Driver was glued but was easy to get out. I updated the LED's to XPL HI V2 5D's and replaced the driver running NarsilM. Really like the light, overall quality is good, like this X9.

The stock driver in the AX3 is our classic FET+1 and seems to have the same UI features as this light. So if the same basic design, maybe this is why you are seeing high amps from it. Of course for the X9, they added USB charging though, but that's not so difficult to do - Sofirn has done that already.

It appears they stole/borrowed/copied our standard BLF FET+1 design, but are using a different MCU. Here's the AX3 driver:

There's resistor in both position and value that matches our design precisely - interesting... The white stuff is the "glue" which is more like soft silicon.

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pennzy wrote:
Good review. One point, there is memory in ramping also. I have the XM L2 version and have found it can sustain high in step mode indefinitely while in hand. While the UI takes a little memory on my part , it is unique .Did you measure the charge current?

Thanks for the precision about the ramping memory !
I didn’t measured charging current.
I’ll have to discharge the cell first and see how much it feeds to it

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This is the driver in my X9.

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OK, not FET+1 but appears FET based. That R050 is the obvious candidate to limit amps, maybe?

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can the X9 reach max output on low battery?

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I did not try that, if I try it I’ll tell

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I got an X9 coming in soon so should find out how it performs. Highly unlikely though it can do max output on a low batt - even bucks/boosts can fall out of regulation. Usually as the voltage falls, the amps draw goes up, but only up to a limit, as far as I know, otherwise you can kill the battery.

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Okay, I discharged the battery to 3,2V and was still able to activate the Turbo.
The current is only 6A though (14A+ with a fresh cell)

"-X3-, is there any place in your house without a flashlight ?" 

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scr79423
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X3 wrote:
Okay, I discharged the battery to 3,2V and was still able to activate the Turbo. The current is only 6A though (14A+ with a fresh cell)

how many Amps at 3.7V?

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Got mine in today. Appears to be a titanium body. Neal upgraded me smile, but also sent the stock black alum tube as an extra.

He also sent me an AX2, so now I got a set of 3 small Amutorch's including the modded AX3:

The X9 has some weight to it for sure, and of course power.

 

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The X9 came out when the D4S and E07 were also being released and doesn’t get much attention but it is a very nice light. Not as many whistle and bells but powerful and it’s simplicity is ok for me. No homework to operate the UI.

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Yea, this form factor is goin nuts as of late. I still don't have a D4S which I'd really like, but there's so many similar lights now. My X9 will probably get one of those more complicated UI's though... The ramping in the X9 is pretty decent though, but still I'd like to see them standardize on the 1 click ON, 1 click OFF, hold to ramp or change modes. More lights are implementing this, and not our firmware. It's not a BLF original thing either, not sure who the early adopters were. 

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Hey Tom, do the AX2 & AX3 Lego?

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One click on, one click off would be welcome . If it was the only UI I used, the X9 would become second nature but the way it is, it makes me think about it. Can it be flashed or does it have to be changed ?

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Cereal_killer wrote:
Hey Tom, do the AX2 & AX3 Lego?

No, just checked. You would think the tailcaps at least would exchange because they look exactly the same, I mean exact same style and logo image. Inside, totally different - The AX2 has a Emisar style spring and PCB while the AX3 has the copper looking wire thing.

At the head, the AX3 tube flairs out while the AX2 doesn't - not even close to the same size. The tailcaps I couldn't get to thread either, though they look close.

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pennzy wrote:
One click on, one click off would be welcome . If it was the only UI I used, the X9 would become second nature but the way it is, it makes me think about it. Can it be flashed or does it have to be changed ?

Ohhh, no. Driver replacement time, or piggyback one in, etc.

The 2 common methods now are 1 click ON, but for OFF, hold down or 1 click. The UI's that are hold down to turn ON are really annoying.

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Does anyone have a photo of the back of the reflector and the MCPCB?
Trying to figure it the feasibility of using non 5050 LED’s and trying to see if there’s clearance for individual Mcpcb’s wires to clear the reflector cups if I go that route.

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Not yet, can do though over the next day or two.

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 Here's the pics taken on my pixel phone:

 

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Thanks Tom!

The scarry kind of flat back reflector, may need to rethink my mod plans…

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I would look at the C8F MCPCB which Sofirn does sell separately (I got one). It appears to be the same size - no time right now to measure though. If it does align, there's your 3535 triple MCPCB for the X9! 

Rough measurements from outside the lens seems to be dead-on.

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the usb port is bigger than for example the one on astroluxes or so….its bigger ?

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It’s not much larger than the port on the Astrolux lights that use micro-USB, since USB-C is a different connector.

However, you can get more current from USB-C up to 2A in lights(so faster charging for 21700/26650), and a reversible connector Smile

My very own high current Beryllium Copper springs Gen 3:
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Ôk so I cant use the samé cable..

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Sweet looking titanium style light man.

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Some specs/mod info for my X9:

  • amps: 15 on a LK at 4.20V
  • lumens: 5440-4830 (Tom E #'s), 4800-4260 (ANSI)
  • throw: 40.5 kcd (402 meters) taken at 5 meters
  • driver diam: 29.0 mm, pure FET based, std FET gate resistors
  • pill has only 5.0 mm of clearance above the driver - tight for piggybacking
  • MCPCB is 1.5 mm thick
  • shelf is 2.0 mm thick
  • LED wires are 20 AWG, longer than need be to allow driver to be pulled out
  • driver was glued with silicone like substance (plyable) - knocked out using a solder pick tool thru the LED wire hole -- came out easy
  • springs appear to be IOS BeCu - high quality
  • the switch appears to have a piece partially broken off - doesn't appear to effect it's operation, but may replace it - don't think I broke it, not sure
  • that "2R2" component is used in the USB-C charging circuit, not for LED output

More pics from a break down:

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Thank you TomE for those infos !

"-X3-, is there any place in your house without a flashlight ?" 

My Flashlight public album (mods, emitter swaps, eye candy)

My reviews channel (French language, Olight, Thorfire, Sofirn, Lumintop : 60+ lights tested)

My personal channel (including Olight SR mini, S1, S2, S1A and S-mini disassembly)

M4DM4X blog, saves you $$$ 

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any idea how to make this nice flashlight more bright? which leds should fit without driver change? /dont want to loose usb port/…

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