S-12 Rain test Continued
I finally got the video to upload although it got a bit jumbled during the upload. It was only a couple minutes long. Something is better than nothing I suppose....
S-12 shower 01 video by catmando55 - Photobucket
No problems occurred during the second rain simulation test. The only thing I noticed is that water does seem to get inside the plug connectors somehow although not enough to have any effect on the lamp or battery. Afterwards I did manage to get the back of the battery plug off. The photo is just to show how it works. No water got inside the battery outer covering. The covering looks very rubbery. The plug is notched making it very hard for water to get in. The second picture is a comparison of the plugs/wires vs. the BR/MS type plugs/wires. Like I mentioned before the Xeccon wires are a little thicker and seem more flexible ( IMO ).
Thank you for the great review. It would be great if you could post some beam shots of the MS808e with the S12 - preferably side- by-side. There were some in another post but not good enough for a comparison.
I am thinking of buying a S12 for a helmet light. I have a Piko 3 (750lm) but would like to get more throw.
Indeed. I will do that and more. I held off doing the beam shots because for me they are the hardest thing to arrange. I live in a city. Everywhere there are pole lamps. This makes finding an easily accessible secluded dark area very hard to do. The police are everywhere and they like to check these secluded areas. I've had run-ins before so I need to find a place where I can get set-up without drawing a lot of attention. Where I live that is not easy to do. Unfortunately the place I use to use for beam shots has too much police presence now. The other place I used now has parking lot pole lights close enough to interfere with the light test.
Originally Posted by juergenor
Tonight I went out with the intent to do some quick beam shots. I brought the following equipment along; Camera, tripod, box for tripod, small ladder, bike lights, bottles for distance marking.
Since I am testing this lamp as a "helmet lamp" I want to have the lamp mounted (or held ) head high. To give the viewer the same view I have to get the camera set-up at the same height, hence the " tripod on box " set-up. I drove around for a least an hour and just couldn't find a suitable spot, a real bummer that is.
Next week I'll be off from work. That should give me the time I need to drive somewhere that I can get set-up and work in peace.
Thanks - hope you have more luck next week. Again - thank you for your effort.
Beam Shots from the hood
Well I finally found a place near me to work but happens to be near a local hood. I kept expecting the police to show up at any time to run my off but thankfully that didn't happen.
My camera is a real PITA to work with. I lost the software disc years ago and since I have a new computer I have trouble trying to transfer photos over to my computer without the software. I really do need a new camera though as the one I have ( Sony Cyber-shot 2.1 ) only has one night setting.
Anyway only two of the photos turned out. It is hard to do beam photos involving any kind of distance because the camera really struggles to gather light. Not to mention the viewing screen is almost unusable which makes aiming the camera very difficult. For the time being these photos will have to do till I get better equipment. Sorry but the low mode photo for the S-12 didn't turn out well so I have to redo that some time later.
The set-up: The camera is mounted on a tripod and sitting on a plastic shelving box to give it height similar to someone using the light on the helmet. This puts in about 6 ft. off the ground. The lamp is mounted just below the camera about 6 inches. I used 1 liter Pespi bottles as road markers. They are set at 100ft, 150ft and 2 at 200ft. respectively. I am aiming both the S-12 and the MagicShine 808E at the two bottles at the 200 ft. mark. You should be able to get an idea of the difference as the S-12 can reach beyond the 200ft markers ( although the camera does a lousy job of showing it ) ** to view the photos it is better to turn the lights off in the room. Believe me this helps.
First photo: S-12 with XM-L U2
Second photo: MagicShine 808E with XML T6
Beams Shots adjusted
Folks, I'm really not satisfied with how the beam shots turned out. My camera sucks. The photos are too grainy in my opinion. Not the first time I've had to deal with this issue but in the future I'll be shopping for a new camera.
To help clear the photos up I went back and sharpened them using Adobe Photo shop. Both pictures I added 40°of sharpness. No brightness or color correction was added. The sharpness alone makes the photos look brighter. I tried using the auto color correction feature but that ended up making the photos look way brighter than they actually were. Still, with just the graininess removed the photos are truer to life. ( *note: I left the original photo's up for comparison )
Just remember, unlike most photos you see on MTBer, these are aimed for maximum distance throw so there's not a lot of close in light. Before you start thinking the results are still not impressive just remember in actual use I am using a Gloworm X2 as a bar light in combo. With both lights in combo the cumulative effect of both on at the same time is quite impressive even at the 200ft. range.
( Bottles placed at 100ft...150ft. and two at 200ft. )
Photo #1) S-12 on high ( sharpened )
photo#2) MagicShine 808E on high, ( sharpened )
Thanks for your effort - I can see the difference. Looks like a great helmet light.
I took the S-12 out tonight while testing another lamp on the bars. As usual the S-12 continues to impress me with it's ability to throw distance. I really wouldn't have bothered posting this but when I got back to the car I tried aiming the S-12 at one of the soccer goal posts close to where I had parked my car. The soccer field was down a slight ravine more than a hundred feet away from where I was parked. Part of of the field was lit from the ambient light of the street lamps in the parking lot but the far goal was in darkness. Just for kicks I decided to see if the S-12 could reach the far goal from where I was standing.....
*That goal must of been over 400 ft. away but damn if it didn't reach. Not real bright mind you but I could see the white goal post and the grass in front of the goal. Not bad for a lamp under $100 USD. ( * conditions were primo...no ground fog and the air was clear with 74% humidity )
Just a question about the indicator at the back of the lighthead: does it change colour as it draws down it's charge. Mine stays green most of the time, even after a two hour ride. I'm guessing it's not still fully charged, so I'm also guessing it doesn't change colours as the charge dwindles. But I still wanted to check.
Great light by the way. Very nice throw, very nice colour, well sorted package, and Lennard at mtbrevolution was great to deal with. thumbs up all around.
continuous growth is the strategy of a cancer cell.
Yes it changes colour. Green, then blue, then red. I haven't done a rundown test, so I can't give you accurate timings.
The torch for my bars (ordered before the S-12) arrived a week after the Xeccon. I took them both out on my regular cross-country trail. I did lots of shine around, test the throw of one, then the other, try out different beam shot locals, etc. They were both running on high for roughly about the same amount of time.
Got myself in a bit of a pickle by striking out on virgin territory. Tried to take a short cut back to a known, "9 km to home" spot, but found a previously open gate locked. I couldn't find my way back through the waist high grass, and was trapped between two fence lines, and a swamp. I got kind of disorientated, went in circles, and ended up back at the gate more than once. I know I was running the lights on low for a while, to conserve power. Was seriously considering that my next purchase should be a GPS, when I finally found my way back out.
Just when I got back to pavement, the torch did it's flash and step down to low. I took off the helmet to check the S-12. It was running on blue. Less than 5 minutes down the road, the S-12 did it's flash & step down. Took off the helmet, and sure enough it was red.
When the step-downs happened, I couldn't help but think "What if I hadn't found my way out?" (Answer - Would have had to leave the bike, and climbed the eight foot, barbed wire topped fence)
I know I was gone for about 3.25 hrs total, and the step-downs were about 20 minutes from home. Like I said, not exactly a constant high beam.
I've seen a few blues and reds since then. I've just never noted when it went from green to blue.
Last edited by Ian_C; 11-03-2012 at 01:44 AM.
Hey Sly, yes, it changes colors like Ian said. We've done runtime/rundown test on the S12 U2 before and got 3 hours 15 mins average. The switch indicator lights start changing in the table below attached as a picture.
Originally Posted by slyfink
Using my personal Xeccon 4400mAh batteries (about 2 months old) I ran 2 lights with them and using a Xeccon 6600mAh ( about 3 weeks old) to run another. Test set up in the picture below the rundown table.
Hi Ian, sorry to hear about you getting lost in a night ride. GPS is a good idea but spare battery is needed if you plan to explore.
Originally Posted by Ian_C
Xeccon lights are designed to strobe 3 times when the color indicator changes. This gives the rider fair warning on the status of the battery. Are you sure it stepped down when it went from blue to red? We have not witnessed a step down in the test we've done including the one tonight using a Galaxy Tab for video and Replay XD for time lapse pictures at 30 second intervals. Please let me know if yours does. It should only do that if it's on thermal protection.
Last edited by Cat-man-do; 11-10-2012 at 03:35 PM.
Hey Cat, goose bumps reading your experience with the rattlesnake. That's intense.
Originally Posted by Cat-man-do
We have beware of snake signs most places I go but have yet to see one, yet roll over one. I used to ask, where are these snakes they are talking about? Guess I shouldn't wish an encounter. Closest encounter I had with wildlife was nearly rolling over a Wombat on a singletrack along the Yarra River. I was on a sweeping right-hander when my helmet light caught a blackish obstacle across the tight track - wasn't there the last 50 times. Those who know what a Wombat is will know this animal is tough. Hit it with a car, it will die but will give your panel beater overtime before it does. I hit the brakes hard and nearly went over the bar. It move off as I yelled "sh#@%t. I still went straight into the bushes on the left but didn't come off the bike - 5 metres more I would be in the river.
Night trail explorers should at least have 2 lights with interchangeable batteries. You can run bar on low with the helmet on high. Swap over when helmet is getting close to depletion. Then run it on hi or low depending on the time you need. Having a spare battery in the backpack or frame is best.
I never got lost while riding, touch wood. I always ride with my Casio Protrek watch I've owned for more than 17 years. It's equipped with a digital compass and never had to change the battery even once in the time I've had it. Latest model is here.
I've mentioned I ride alone normally starting my rides at 9pm nowadays and home by 11-ish, my wife feels better knowing where I am. Should I come off the bike and say knock myself unconscious, she will know where to direct emergency. This Real Time GPS app for Android or iPhone is good - when it's working. She can see me moving in real time on the home desktop. She turns on the porch light just before I turn the corner. It's that accurate - when it's working. I say this twice because sometimes the GPS signal can drop out.
Another great thing about this app is it allows you to see where you are on the smart phone. You can see where the main roads are in relation to your position. You can also choose map overlays like OpenCycleMap which is a wiki for bike tracks around the world. Chat with whoever you allow to watch you. And it's all free.
Download to phone, bookmark the Greenalp page on your browser. Register a nickname and password. When you next ride, turn on the app on the phone, open the webpage with your login and that's it. It will show 1 viewer on the left. You can share your location with others by sending a link via text or e-mail to anyone. They click on the link and will see you on their desktop or phone browser.
I might not have remembered that part correctly. It was about 5 weeks ago.
Originally Posted by Xeccon
The Shadow JM07 on the bars definitely does do a step-down. The S-12 may have just flashed, and I set it to low to make sure there was enough light to get home.
I can guarantee it wasn't a heat issue. The outside temp was about 5 C (40 F for our US friends). As this was my first long ride with both lights, I was curious about temperature handling with them running on high for so long. Took off the gloves and felt them several times during the ride. The difference between the head and tail cap on the JM07 was "cold" and "wow that's really cold." The S-12 was slightly higher, but not enough to be a hand warmer. The fingers were more comfortable back in the gloves than cupping the S-12 for heat.
"Lost" would be kind of a strong word to describe my situation. I was in the middle of a two mile by two mile box, bounded by major roads, and a set of railroad tracks. The other side of one fence was my regular trail. The second fence had the tracks. It was only the ragged edge of the wetlands (on the prairies we call it a Slew) that had me stumped. The nerves were probably enhanced by the hour (it was getting near midnight and I'd been up since 6 AM), and coyotes howling. Each group was half a mile away, but I could hear them on three sides.
The throw of the S-12 was great. I could clearly see all the big earth movers I'd ridden by on my way in. Of course they were on the other side of the swamp, about 1/3 mile away. (They're slicing a big chunk out of my nightly ride space by extending an expressway, and filling in some of the wetland for a connector into an industrial park.) At other points in the ride I could see the beam moving on hill sides at great distance. Not enough light these old eyes to make out more than "Hills Side" and "Big Tree," but enough of a beam to see it was different than the blacker surroundings.
And to tie in with Cat's story, about three minutes after both lights said "I'm hungry," the camel back went dry.
Len, I do plan on doing some more exploring next year. I already have some of the GPS, compass apps for my smart phone but phone apps tend not to have some of the better features that a dedicated GPS device will have. Not to mention that running an app on your phone can use the battery up real quick. I've already planned on buying a Garmin GPS device for mountain biking as a Christmas gift to myself.
My fail-safe for night time use is the torch that I mount on my handlebars. If my main lamps should run out of juice the torch will provide 3hrs of run time on medium. Along with a spare cell I carry in my pack that is enough for almost any situation. Ever since the LED lamps came along I've never had a ride where "lack of battery run time" was an issue. As for me I don't think I'll ever explore new areas at night anyway simply because too much stuff can happen even if you have good lights. Nope, for night rides I want the tried and true.
Yep, getting turned around at night was a big problem years ago. Now with all the electronic gizmos you can be much safer.
Originally Posted by Cat-man-do
I thought of the Garmin 800 for myself not long ago. I needed something that won't drop out on me, however, it doesn't send location back to homebase. That was the deal-breaker for me. If a new model have that feature, I would snap it up in a NY minute. For yourself, it would be perfect if you're going to go where no MTBer has gone before. It will track and record which you can download to your computer when you're home and enjoy your expedition. It will also give you waypoints back to where you started which phone apps won't do. Bear in mind, the Garmin isn't exactly thrifty on juice.
Hear what you're saying about not having battery depletion issues. Just power consumption management - that's what I say to the boys and gals who buy for 24 hour racing. I don't even ride with spares anymore because I use 1kg of batteries when I ride. We don't need to go full blast all the way especially on extended rides. My primary lights are my helmet lights. I just run the XP-Es on my bar normally.
Watched the movie Sanctum again last night while I was doing the rundown test. That movie really makes you appreciate juice in your batteries. Well, I am off for my ride. Have a bit of a laugh here at the expense of the poor Wombat.
Hi Ian, played back the video to see if any of the 3 lights stepped down after their 3 strobe reminder. The beam pattern and brightness was the same as before it strobed so I can confirm it did not step down. I initially thought it stepped down because the strobe is on-off-on-off which created the illusion it was darker than before the strobe. Check it out yourself and get back to me if you find otherwise. We'll send you another light head if that's the case.
Originally Posted by Ian_C
Heat management of the S12 is pretty good. It goes up and then plateaus at a manageable temperature. I have been thinking of asking Xeccon to drive a sample unit to 1.6A or 1.7A. It's currently at about 1.37A.
Sorry to dramatize your situation. Important thing is you got home safely. Coyotes howling would have freaked me out if I had minimal throw on my helmet. Dread the thought of hearing something close but not being able to see it/them.
Sounds like your timing was perfect that day. Just know your S12 has just over 3 hours on high from full charge. Oh, it may been less for that day since you said it was 5°C outside. It's probably a good idea to get another 4400mAh or 6600mAh if you ride nights frequently but with your playground getting smaller you may even get away with a 2200mAh.
Short-term review thoughts on the S12:
I purchased the light on Sunday morning PAT and it arrived Wednesday afternoon about 2 pm. Leonard was responsive to questions and communication was first rate.
As described up-thread, the hardware appears of good quality and better than average for the price point.
I purchased it solely for use as a helmet light. It throws like a MoFo. I have only used it twice,: once on high for 2 hours, and once on ~50% high and 50% low for a total of 3 hours and battery indicator light was still blue both times. Low setting is plenty for uphills/slow downhills, and high setting is outstanding with tons of throw.
Hopefully, the light is durable and reliable - we shall see.
The only potential demerit is weight. I've seen a weight of ~117 grams or so and while this is not too much to cause discomfort, it is noticeable.
Overall, the brightness and throw cannot be beat for this price. While the new Glowworm X1 interests me, at roughly half the weight, it also comes with double the price tag.
Originally Posted by VanillaEps
Xeccon X-12 with XM-L2 ( Version II ) has arrived
Been some time since I last posted on the X-12. Leonard from Xeccon has once again provided me with another X-12, this time the new Version II with XM-L2 emitter for review purposes. ( No, I did not pay for it and yes I can keep it. )
I wasted no time. I had to know right from the get-go if it is brighter. I quickly did a ~ 5M lux comparison. The results below
Included with this upgraded lamp is the new 6000mAh Li-Po battery. The battery I will review separately and post over on the "Battery Thread". Can't wait to play around with it. Unfortunately I won't get too much chance to play with it this week as my work schedule has me in places I'd rather not be. Sad it is to get a new toy and not be able to play with it. Such is life.
Xeccon X-12 with XM-L U2 > 1030 lux
Xeccon X-12 with XM-L2 >> 1230 lux
I'm not sure but comparing the two, old vs. the new, the new feels like it might be a little bit lighter. I'll need to confirm that by weighing it ( at work ) when I get the chance. Like the previous version the new X-12 is still a three mode ( H-M-flash ). Besides feeling lighter the only other difference from the previous version is the anodized red aluminum retaining ring on front of lamp. Glad they did that, not only does it look real nice it helps me know which is which.
Like has been said before, these lamps are "real spot throwers". As such these are really designed for helmet use and excel at illuminating objects at distance. Not sure if the camera I have can display the differences in throw ( at distance ). Doesn't really matter though, the lux meter tells the real story anyway.
Last edited by Cat-man-do; 04-22-2013 at 01:52 PM.
Hi Cat, thought I'd clarify a couple of things. Your lux comparison is showing difference what my eye didn't quite detect. At first, it looked about 7% brighter to my eyes using the same Li-ion battery compared to the U2 OD - it's probably more and your test has more or less confirmed this. Was the lux comparison using Li-ion only or the S12 Two with the LiPo battery?
Originally Posted by Cat-man-do
The weight is the same - nothing has changed in that department. The drive is the same as before - nothing has been changed too. If we really wish to give the Performance S12s one last push beyond it's current capabilities, we can - by jacking up the drive current to say 1.6A to 1.8A. The extra heat generated may be worthwhile. Also, the red bezel ring is a mtbRevolution signature for our S12s.
No point taking beamshots. Like you said, lux (and sphere test) is probably the best way to test lights like these. Camera exposure doesn't take light in from long distances and that's why they look under-performing each time. Cameras take great floodlight shots but not throwers.
Inside my home I wasn't able to discern the difference between the two outputs with my eyes. That only makes sense though. The eye is only so sensitive to light that is bright at close range. Outside though I expect to see a difference because the light will be more dispersed. Not to mention the medium mode should be more brighter thus more useful. ( I'll lux test that as well ) When I tested the Version II I did use the Li-Po.. At some point I should try to test the battery draw while on the Li-Po to see if there is some difference.
Originally Posted by Xeccon
The lux readings were taken before the lamps could heat up. No doubt the output will drop once the lamps heat up. I'll do that test as well. I already know the U2's drop in output once warm. This is no surprise actually, all LED's drop in output once they heat up. Hopefully the XM-L2's will live up to their rep as being able to handle heat better. We'll see.
Xeccon X-12 ( with XM-L2 emitter )
Did a quick Shine around tonight while on the job. Output on these are really sweet. I can easily tell it is brighter than the U2's but when on trails rarely do you need that extra kick unless you're on a trail ( or fire road ) with a really long line of sight. Can't wait to try this on my favorite fire road descent. Needs to get a little warmer though. At night it's still gets cold.
Was reading the Quad, D99 and 808E 5m lux comparison. This is saying the XM-L2 lamp pumps out more than twice, and change, on what the 808E can do. Cat, I think it'd be great if you can use the LiPo and compare the readings with the other lamps you have for the Battery 2013 thread. I am curious if the XM-L2 performs better with the LiPo in percentage terms.
Just remember that the X-12 has a reflector that concentrates the beam better than the other lamps. This is what gives the X-12 it's superior throw. It's not just that it's twice as bright, it just uses the light it has more efficiently/effectively.
Originally Posted by Xeccon
Over the weekend I'll try to do some comparisons with the battery to see if there are differences in current draw in comparison with the standard four cells Li-ion batteries.
Just to let you know; I finally bought a "Y" cable. Yesterday I tried to run both my Gloworm X2 and Quad lamp ( at the same time ) using both the Xeccon 6-cell hard pack and the new Li-Po battery. Didn't seem to have any problems. Can't wait to give that set-up a try on the trails.