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1AA Backup Light

Discussion in 'Flashlights & Other Illumination Devices' started by ObiHann, Jan 20, 2010.

  1. ObiHann

    ObiHann Loaded Pockets

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    I'm thinking I want to get me a 1xAA light. Currently my EDC is a NiteCore D20R2, and I love it! Its definitely a bag carry though, not a pocket. I started looking at the Quark AA, but was more attracted to the NiteCore Defender Infinity, it has a great output when run off Li Ion batteries. I like the looks of the EagleTac P10A as well, and am wondering if anyone has opinion on either lights. I know you pretty much all love the Quark lights, but what about the NiteCore or EagleTac? Or is there something that is brighter or better that I am missing?
     
  2. PeaceOfMind

    PeaceOfMind Loaded Pockets

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    While the Nitecore Defender Infinity gets slightly brighter on 14500, the jump isn't that noticeable. There is also a small runtime extension associated with 14500 use instead.

    The Quark AA on the other hand has a very significant brightness jump when using a 14500 vs an AA (practically double), with a small decrease in runtime. If you're looking for all out brightness, Quark AA on 14500 will destroy the NDI on 14500.

    The NDI is a well made light though, much slimmer than the Quark, and good looking as well. Unfortunately it lacks a pocket clip, which is why I don't carry mine more often.

    I have a few beefs with the NDI user interface. Mainly, I frequently activate strobe mode by accident due to some sort of switching bounce when tightening/loosening the head. Similarly, I frequently activate the brightness ramp by accident and lose my saved brightness level. For this reason I usually keep the user selected brightness level at the lowest setting so I don't have to fiddle with it as much. Depending on how you use the light, these issues may not happen to you or may not bother you. However, I will say that the Quark Tactical version UI is similar to the NDI UI except that it solves the issues I mention above.

    The beam on my Quark AA is significantly smoother/less ringy than my NDI - mainly due to reflector design and use of XP-E in the Quark instead of XR-E. Not sure if the R2 version of the NDI switched to XP-E or not though.

    So, overall my opinion is:
    NDI: Nice light, well made, very good looking, feels good in hand, nice feel to the switch, good brightnes on AA, brightness on 14500 not impressive but good for runtime, minor to serious UI issues depending on your use, lacks pocket clip

    Quark AA: a bit bulky, not as good looking, fantastic brightness on both AA and 14500 (my Quark is brighter than my NDI, remember that 4Seven's rates with OTF lumens instead of emitter lumens and that the 14500 brightness of the Quark AA will be equal to the brightness of the Quark 123), better beam, tactical edition UI is better than NDI UI, regular edition UI isn't really comparable to the NDI UI as they are very different

    Hope this helps. I've got both of these lights here in front of me (including an R2 and R5 version Quark) so let me know if you want any further info.

    Don't know anything about the EagleTac light you mention.
     
  3. Paddling_Man

    Paddling_Man Loaded Pockets

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    The Nitecore's are excellent. I carry a D10 SmartPD all of the time. I've gone thru several Surefire's and three or four Fenix's. For price and build quality the nitecore, as you've already discovered, is hard to beat.
     
  4. ObiHann

    ObiHann Loaded Pockets

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    When you say 14500, what kind of battery is that? Just a li-ion aa? So your saying a quark aa on a 14500 is brighter than a NDI?
    Extra question, any idea if I can put these 14500 batteries on my R2 D20? Will I see a brightness boost?
     
  5. tonyp

    tonyp Loaded Pockets

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    Try dealextreme. I got an Ultrafire C3 and its a great little light for under $20.
     
  6. PeaceOfMind

    PeaceOfMind Loaded Pockets

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    A 14500 is a lithium-ion rechargeable battery in the AA form factor. However it is not an AA as it is more than double the voltage (4.2V max, 3.7V nominal versus 1.2-1.5V for an AA). When you said lithium-ion, I assumed you meant 14500 as that is the only lithium-ion that would fit the NDI. You can't put 14500's in a D20, as that would be way too much voltage (8.4V instead of 3V). However the NDI and Quark AA do support 14500 use. And yes the Quark AA on 14500 is much brigher than the NDI, however the NDI will have more runtime. The Quark AA on 14500 is probably as bright or brigher than the D20 (with less runtime), however I don't have a D20 to verify.

    However, since you weren't familar with 14500 batteries, I'm guessing you didn't mean lithium-ion batteries... were you talking about lithium batteries? Energizer makes lithium (non-rechargeable) AA's that are 1.5V. These are excellent batteries in all respects (work great at extreme temperatures, exceptional shelf life, etc).

    And, a final disclaimer, if you're going to get into 14500 batteries, be sure to buy quality, protected cells, as poor quality or unprotected cells are a serious hazard. I suggest AW batteries.
     
  7. Monocrom

    Monocrom Loaded Pockets

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    Must admit, my P10A is my best 1AA light.

    Excellent U.I., two-modes, (medium and high).

    The LED is horribly overdriven though. (Eagletac is known for doing that with their lights).

    Pocket clip has held up well. Despite some rather shady practices by Eagletac, their P10A is a winner.

    (If low-mode is important to you, the P10A isn't the right light).
     
  8. ObiHann

    ObiHann Loaded Pockets

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    Can you define "overdriven ", sorry, I'm super new to lights :)

    What shady practices?
     
  9. ObiHann

    ObiHann Loaded Pockets

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    Wow, thanks so much! And yes, I was referring to regular lithium batteries, only because I didn't know you could get li-ion rechargeable! Is a lithium AA like the energizer you mention power powerful than a regular AA? would it be safe to put in my D20? I'm definitely going to get some good quality 14500 batteries for this light when I get it... I still haven't decided on one yet, but am thinking the NDI R2...
     
  10. carrot

    carrot Loaded Pockets

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    I love the Quarks but maybe I am a bit biased.
     
  11. Monocrom

    Monocrom Loaded Pockets

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    The emitter is pushed to its very limits. Few companies do that. You shorten the life-span of the LED by overdriving it.

    Among other things, Eagletac pretends to be an American company. They listed their Headquarters at an American address. But it turned to be the address of a private home of a young woman associated with the company. There are other things too. But that one was the most blatant. :thumbsdown:
     
  12. PeaceOfMind

    PeaceOfMind Loaded Pockets

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    The lithium AA's that energizer makes are very energy-dense - i.e. they have a lot of power stored in them. About 3000mAh generally. When you say "compared to a regular AA", that depends what you consider a regular AA. They will give a much, much longer runtime than an alkaline AA, and a considerably longer runtime than a NiMH rechargeable. As far as I know, the lithium AA's are the most energy-dense AAs you can get. They are also lighter-weight than other battery chemistries, perform better in the cold, don't leak, have a longer shelf-life and perform very well under heavy load. All around excellent batteries... of course they are also expensive.

    You can use them in your D20, and pretty much anywhere that you can use regular AA's, unless specifically told not to - these are a common off-the-shelf battery (unlike lithium-ion 14500s) so there's not much to worry about. They will probably not make your D20 any brighter though, but will provide a lot of runtime, better performance in the cold, etc. They are a great choice of battery for a light that is going to be used outside in the winter or stored for a long period of time.

    Also, regarding those 14500s you want to get, you can buy AW cells (some of the best quality around) from here at CandlePowerForums or from 4sevens.com
     
  13. ObiHann

    ObiHann Loaded Pockets

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    Thanks! I think I will pick up a pack of the energizer lithium batteries today and give them a shot. Also, I'm pretty much decided on getting a NDI R2, and 1 or 2 14500 batteries from 4sevens.com. While I am there I think I will grab a 10 pack of CR123 for my Leatherman S3, and a Fenix E01 lol. Now to swing this all by the wife... Valentines day is coming, who knows ;)
     
  14. PeaceOfMind

    PeaceOfMind Loaded Pockets

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    Don't forget to pick up a 14500-compatible charger when you're ordering those 14500s. Don't put them in any charger designed for regular AAs. You probably already realized that, but just in case.

    Good luck with your purchases.
     
  15. ObiHann

    ObiHann Loaded Pockets

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    Thanks! As luck would have it, 4sevens.ca doesn't carry the R2 NDI, or any Fenix lights, 4sevens.com does, but they seem to be out of stock on the 14500 batteries.... Instead of buying a E01 and a NDI from .com than a bunch of batteries from .ca the wife is gonna order me a NDI and a E01, and than I'm gonna pickup a princeton tec eos headlamp... I'll grab some 14500 batteries and a charger some other time... All in all, I think it will be a pretty good package. I'm getting a good collection started here too, I have a Leatherman S3, a NiteCore D20R2, and soon a NDI and E01 :)
     
  16. Monocrom

    Monocrom Loaded Pockets

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    A word of caution, 4sevens brand CR123 cells are Made in China.

    I have no clue why he decided to go that route, considering that Made in China CR123 cells are notorious for causing flashlights to explode. While fine in single-cell lights. Never use such cells in multi-cell CR123 lights.

    While AW brand rechargeables are also Made in China, it is clear that AW insists on very tight Q.C. (with no dangerous issues reported from users). I have several AW cells, and have had zero problems with them.
     
  17. ObiHann

    ObiHann Loaded Pockets

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    My S3 can't use rechargables :( if it could I would have bought those months ago... Is there anywhere else you would order non rechargables cr123s from?
     
  18. tonyp

    tonyp Loaded Pockets

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    Does someone have a list of which battery brands are made in China? Thanks
     
  19. Monocrom

    Monocrom Loaded Pockets

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    Lighthound.com has the latest Battery Station brand CR123 cells (Made in America version) for $1.45 each.

    That site has an excellent reputation as well. Highly recommended.
     
  20. Monocrom

    Monocrom Loaded Pockets

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    It would take too long to list those. Here's a list of quality Made in America cells:

    Duracell
    Energizer
    Surefire
    Streamlight
    Battery Station (current version only)

    Those are the ones off the top of my head.