[Review] Armytek Prime C1 Pro (XP-L Warm, 18350) - Testing Regulation, Output, Current Draw and More

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bilakos10
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[Review] Armytek Prime C1 Pro (XP-L Warm, 18350) - Testing Regulation, Output, Current Draw and More

The flashlight was sent to me by Armytek for review.
Here's the product's link: Armytek C1 Pro


The flashlight comes in a nicely designed cardboard box.



The back of the box lists the most important features of the flashlight.



The accessories included are the following:
Charging cable, 2 x replacement o-rings, pocket clip, carrying pouch and user manual. 



The carrying pouch is made out of nylon and implements the regular over-flap design.



As expected, the fitment of the flashlight is excellent.
A belt loop is installed in the back of the holster.

  

The flashlight comes with a black matte, chalky (but smooth) anodization which I personally love.
It follows Armytek's regular flashlight design and is e-switch operated.



The whole body is smooth, while there is an anti-roll groove opposite to the side switch.



Its polished metal bezel is quite deep in order to protect the optics.



The head houses the TIR optics along with the Warm White XP-L emitter. (CW emitters are also available).



The tailcap implements Armytek's smart charging system which is consisted out of two concentric metal plates.
Thanks to the strong magnet housed inside the tailcap, the proprietary charging cable is automatically attached as soon as it gets close to the tail.



The flashlight can be disassembled into three pieces.
The battery tube features double o-rings on both sides.



The tail side threads are square cut but non anodized.
To my understanding, the absence of anodization is something that's required for the charging system to work.



On the other hand, anodization is present on the head side threads and as a result the flashlight can be mechanically locked out.



The tail hosts a thick spring as well as the circuitry for charging.



In order to minimize the system's overall resistance, a brass tab is used as the Batt+ contact.



From left to right:
18350, Klarus Mi1C, Klarus Mi7 Ti, Wuben TO10R, Astrolux S43, Armytek Prime C1 PRO



The C1 Pro comes with an Armytek 18350 cell included.



The battery's capacity is rated at 900mAh.

 

In order to test the actual capacity of the cell, I run it over a full charge/discharge cycle.
(Discharge at 500mA with cutoff set to 3.2V)
The results are completely in sync with the rated numbers, as I got 915mAh of true capacity.



Built In Charging

Armytek's built in charging mechanism is one of the key features of the C1 Pro.
It uses a magnetic proprietary cable that snaps into place as soon as it's placed near the tail of the flashlight.



Thanks to the built in indicator LED, the user can know at any time the charging's status.
(Red: charging, Green: full).
In order to start the charging process, the user has to slightly twist the tail of the flashlight.



With a fully depleted cell, the maximum charging current I was able to record was around 820mA.
It's worth noting that it takes around 1h:45min to charge the included 900mAh cell.



User Interface

The C1 Pro uses Armytek's unique flashlight firmware which I found very interesting to work with.
The firmware contains four different lighting groups, all of which are accessible at all times.

Here's what modes are included in each group.
  Firefly: Firefly1 (0.4lm), Firefly2 (2.5lm), Firefly 3 (6lm)
  Main: Main1 (34lm), Main2 (90lm), Main3 (230lm)
  Turbo: Turbo1 (470lm), Turbo2 (980lm)
  Strobe: Strobe1 (10Hz / 980lm), Strobe2 (1Hz / 980 lm), Strobe3 ( 1Hz/ 90lm)  

Here's the supported actions:
  Turn on/off: Single press
  Cycle modes: Long press
  Change mode group: Double click (Firefly -> Main -> Firefly -> ...)
  Access Turbo group: Triple press
  Access Strobe group: Quad press
  Firefly1 shortcut: Long press while off. If you continue long pressing, the flashilight will start cycling through the 7 regular (non-strobe) modes.

The flashlight firmware supports Tactical Mode which basically transforms the e-switch to a momentary switch.
Also, the user can enable/disable the State Indicator Mode (makes the e-switch blink every 5 secods while off).

While turned on, the e-switch will blink in order to notify the user regarding the battery's charge level.
It's also worth mentioning that the flashlight memorizes the last used mode, even Turbo and Strobe

Performance

In order to measure the current draw and output of the flashlight I used the included, ArmyTek branded, 18350 cell.
Below you can see the measured output along with the current draw.



As can be seen, my measurements are pretty close to the advertised manufacturer ratings.
The ~970 lumens is a very respectable output for an 18350 light.

And here's Turbo2 compared with the output of my other flashlights.


I also measured the parasitic drain, which turned out to be 2.8μΑ.
It seems that the driver is very well designed, as the 2.8μΑ is the lowest parasitic drain I have ever recorded.

Regulation
In order to test whether the C1 Pro is capable of producing regulated output, I used my DPS5020 bench power supply.



At first I tested the highest output mode (Turbo2 - 980lm).
As you can see, Turbo2 seems to only be able to hold regulation down to 3.8V.
The absence of regulation on the highest mode is quite logical and acceptable in my opinion.


My next test was conducted on Turbo1 (470lm).
In this case, the results are excellent. The amp draw stays regulated down to 3.3V



I also tested the regulation for Main3 (230lm), which turned out identical to Turbo1 - The output is regulated down to 3.3V.
Pretty much all modes except Turbo2 seem to be very well regulated Smile



I wouldn't expect to see any visible PWM from such a nice driver design, but I went ahead and tested anyway.
Here's PWM detection for Firefly1, Firefly2 and Firefly3. No signs of visible PWM can be seen Smile

  

Beamshots

Here's a few wall beamshots to help you understand mode spacing.
Low1, Low2, Low3 
  

Med1, Med2, Med3
  

High1, High2
 


To sum everything up, I am really impressed with the C1 Pro.
I am particularly font of its nice driver design which allows full regulation and low parasitic drain without compromising maximum output.
Other things that intrigued me is the absolutely special anodization and its uniqui UI.

TODO: Add wall beamshots and side by side comparison shots with other 18350 flashligths.

Edited by: bilakos10 on 03/03/2019 - 14:18
bmengineer
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Thanks for the review! I might suggest changing the title to note this is the Prime C1 Pro, not the Partner or Elf C1

Find all my reviews of flashlights and more gear at www.bmengineer.com

bilakos10
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bmengineer wrote:
Thanks for the review! I might suggest changing the title to note this is the Prime C1 Pro, not the Partner or Elf C1

Oops, thanks for pointing that out! I had a feeling I was missing something but I couldn’t figure it out Smile

bilakos10
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I forgot to test the flashlight for visible PWM.
Here's some shots from Firefly1, Firefly2, Firefly3 - As you can see, no visible PWM!

  

Bob_McBob
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The current 3V Pro models have buck drivers, they just don’t regulate very well as you discovered. You can achieve flat regulation with a very low Vf LED like the Nichia E21A, as well as swapping the leads to a more appropriate gauge and using a better 18350, but that’s more practical for the Tiara.

I would strongly suggest swapping the optic for something more appropriate since it looks like Armytek is still using the wrong one.

http://budgetlightforum.com/comment/1285133#comment-1285133

bilakos10
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Bob_McBob wrote:
The current 3V Pro models have buck drivers, they just don’t regulate very well as you discovered. You can achieve flat regulation with a very low Vf LED like the Nichia E21A, as well as swapping the leads to a more appropriate gauge and using a better 18350, but that’s more practical for the Tiara.

I would strongly suggest swapping the optic for something more appropriate since it looks like Armytek is still using the wrong one.

http://budgetlightforum.com/comment/1285133#comment-1285133

Wow, thanks for the suggestion.
I wasn’t aware that a more efficient optic was available.
Too bad the shipping cost to my country is quite expensive. Do you happen to know any other sources for similar optics?

bilakos10
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Finally found some time to wrap up my review Smile

From left to right:
18350, Klarus Mi1C, Klarus Mi7 Ti, Wuben TO10R, Astrolux S43, Armytek Prime C1 PRO



Beamshots

Here's a few wall beamshots to help you understand mode spacing.
Low1Low2Low3 
  

Med1Med2Med3
  

High1High2
 

Pavlo
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Great review. A few questions for you.

Does the Bezel come off easily?
What size is the MCPCB? Do you have access to it in order to mod the light?

Thanks