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  1. #1
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    User Review: Xeccon S-12 ( Cree U2 )

    Hi folks. It seems my constant blathering about wanting a light for the helmet that can supply tons of throw have finally gotten some attention. I was asked weeks ago by Leonard from MagicShineAU ( now also with mtbRevolution.com ) if I would be interested in reviewing one of the new lights being released by Xeccon. After some discussion it was decided that I could review the new version of the Xeccon S-12 with Cree U2 emitter.

    Just so there is no controversy a clip from one of my posts a couple weeks ago :

    ..I have received the Xeccon S-12 from Xeccon for the purpose of doing an impartial user review. No money was paid for the light set. I have not been asked to return the lamp when the review is over. I do not work or receive any compensation for doing the review other than keeping the light ( If I chose to do so ) If Xeccon chooses to request the lamp back when I am done I will comply with the request.

    When I am ready I will post a separate thread for the review. The review will be very basic. I will compare it to a couple lamps and torches that I use for helmet duties. There will be no tear-down of the lamp or battery. There will be some beam shot photos but not many. Since I feel that any lamp might have to withstand some rain I will give it a quick 15 min. splash down some time during the review. As per my other review(s), if anything goes wrong I will report it as such.
    The S-12 is a very simple and basic light system. As such I will try to keep the review simple and to the point. First I want to use the lamp and report my observations. That's why I am calling this a "user review". Photo's and technical data are nice to have but how the lamp performs in the field is my primary focus.

    First a photo of the S-12, ( borrowed from other sources, sorry having problems with my camera )



    My initial observations concerning the build of the light head: Looks solid for a Chinese built light. The front of the lamp is sealed to prevent water ingress. The body has open ports on both sides of the lamp that exposes the internal heat sink/reflector housing. Underneath the housing is one small hole which I suppose is there for drainage should water enter through the side ports. ( more on that later ). The wire exits the lamp head from the front. Personally I see no problem with this but others don't like this for some reason so I thought I'd mention it. There is some machining on the back of the lamp to aid in heat dissipation. The lamp uses a simple O-ring for mounting purposes, all basic stuff.

    There is one feature of the lamp head that I feel that needs to be pointed out because it will have much to do with my review. That is the reflector/heat sink/ front glass assembly. Much will be said about this set up later but for now I will just say that it is unique as far as your typical single emitter Chinese made lamp goes. From what I can tell the reflector has been designed to provide maximum throw from the single XM-L emitter. **Adding and maximizing the throw is the design of the front lens which from my observation appears to focus and culminate the beam pattern. Here is a picture that I took of the front of the lamp. When you look directly into the front you can't help but notice that there appears to be distortion very similar to what you see when you use a magnifying lens. If true it is a very unique design to say the least. The effect is that the beam of the lamp throws much further than any other single emitter lamp I have seen.



    This review is going to be a "In progress" review. I will be adding more data as I go along. There will be a "Water/rain " test as well as a lux comparison to other lamps that I have. I will also try to do a current ( amp ) reading as well but I need some stuff from radio shack first before I can do that. All good stuff hopefully. Last but not least I'd like to do some beam shots. The problem is I don't have a really good camera that can capture light at the distance that the S-12 can throw but I will try.

    Anyway, enough for my initial entry post. Coming up, my observations from my initial "Shine around" with the S-12. Time for me to get some dinner, maybe do some more posting later tonight.

    ( **This statement was found to be incorrect and was corrected in a later post )
    Last edited by Cat-man-do; 09-02-2012 at 11:02 PM.

  2. #2
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    S-12: The Initial Shine around

    Two weekends have passed since I first received the S-12. Unfortunately my work schedule and the weather on the weekends have not been helping me. Still I was persistent at finding places to give this light a try.

    The biggest problem was finding a dark area that was long enough to properly demonstrate the throw. Last weekend I used the lamp on one of my local trails but unfortunately once again the trail was wet and the dirt as black as coal dust, not to mention the high humidity that helped cut down the throw. Still I was impressed at how well the S-12 was working even in less than optimal conditions.

    One of the first things I noticed about the S-12 was how well the mode operation work. Now before I continue I have to admit that I have never been a fan of simple H-L-Flash-off mode drivers and that is exactly what the S-12 has. Usually low on these set-ups completely suck and I absolutely hate having to cycle through the flash mode. Still I was amazed at well the S-12 was working. Since I usually only use high mode 90% of the time anyway on the helmet I figured I could likely get by with just the high mode. Much to my surprise I found the low mode to be more than adequate for general cruising ( used with a combo bar lamp at similar setting ).

    Another plus factor was the nice feel of the switch. I was very pleased with the positive feel of the switch. When you push on it the switch makes a nice audible click and is very nimble. This is important because the S-12 has 4 modes...H-L-Flash-off. You can also push and hold for off as well. Personally I'm not a fan of "push and hold" but hey, what choice is there unless you include it with the steady modes. Well...that is exactly what the S-12 does only it gives you a choice of both. I was surprised to find out that having both flash and off in the mode cycle is not the problem I thought it would be. That is because the switch itself is so nimble and gives great positive feedback. I found that I could rapid-fire through the unwanted modes quicker than a cat jumps a bowl of tuna. Really, I'm not kidding. I can click-off three modes on the S-12 faster than I can "push and hold to off " on any bike light I own. It might take some practice to get used to but it works. I can cycle through the modes so fast that you never even know one of the modes is off.

    Some more about the low setting on the S-12. I was so impressed with the low mode that I had to compare it with something else just to make sure I wasn't seeing things. During my ride I switched off to a Magicshine 808E and used it on "mid range". Surprisingly the S-12 ( low ) compared very well to the 808E on medium with the 808E having a slightly wider beam pattern. The S-12 on the other hand had a better hot spot with about the same amount of reach ( roughly 100ft. ) in it's lowest mode. Over all not as bright as the 808E on medium but it was so close you could barely tell the difference.

    Now once you turn the S-12 on high that is when things get interesting. Although I really haven't had a chance to do a comparison with the 808E, judging from memory of how well the 808E has done in the past, the S-12 looks as though it has almost twice the throw of the 808E. Jury still out on that though till I get a chance to do a side by side test.

    Friday night after I got off work I went down to one of the local school football/soccer ( multi-use ) field. Standing at one of the corners I shone the light across the field toward one of the soccer goals on the far side of the field. It lit the soccer goal up like you wouldn't believe. Sorry, didn't think to try the MS out. I was just blown out of my socks and wasn't thinking. To be on the safe side I'm gonna have to do some measurements just to be sure. U.S. football fields are 300ft. long. I'm not sure where that soccer goal was set up but it looked dang far away. I'll get back to you when I get the distance confirmed.

    Some thoughts on the beam pattern of the S-12. First, I love the beam pattern. It is a nice confined beam pattern, not too spotty and not too wide. At 60 ft. it will illuminate the width of a trail about ten foot wide. At that point the further out you aim it the wider it gets. Still it keeps the beam tight enough to really light things up at distance. If I had to compare it with something else I own I would say the beam pattern is very close to what my Lumen8R ( quad Cree XR-E ) lamp puts out. The Lumen8R could throw about 200ft. and was my longest throwing helmet lamp to date. If the S-12 ends up out throwing the L8R someone will have to wire my jaw up to keep it from dropping off my face.

    Like I said before though, jury still out on that till I can get the weather to cooperate long enough for me to do some side by side comparisons.

  3. #3
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    Am I missing something, or is this not a clone of the Bikeray Speed 2 that Colleen reviewed quite thoroughly only a few months ago?

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    Quote Originally Posted by seeker View Post
    Am I missing something, or is this not a clone of the Bikeray Speed 2 that Colleen reviewed quite thoroughly only a few months ago?
    I believe the Xeccon S-12 was around before the Speed II but like you indicated they are sister products. The Speed II has a driver set up specifically for the Bikeray product and is using the T6 XM-L ( to the best of my knowledge ). The S-12 I'm reviewing is the upgraded version of the S-12 with the Cree U2 emitter. Since I don't own a Spd II it would be interesting to know how the two units compare.
    Last edited by Cat-man-do; 08-27-2012 at 02:58 AM.

  5. #5
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    If bin is only difference, then the theoretical maximum output difference between the two is 8%, and lower OTF, perhaps 10-15 lumens. You could not measure this difference with a LIS.

    http://www.cree.com/led-components-and-modules/products/xlamp/discrete-directional/~/media/Files/Cree/LED%20Components%20and%20Modules/XLamp/Data%20and%20Binning/XLampXML.pdf

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    I'm interested to see if the reflector does throw this further down the trail. Or in my case, into the woods to see what is making noises at me.

    Cat, I had an Ultrafire torch, XML T-6. Went bad. Bought a new one, same exact model w/ U-2. I got the old torch working again. Charged the batteries.

    For the life of me, I can't see a difference. And it actually looks like the T-6 might be brighter but that may be my eyes. I just can't see any difference.

    Sorry, didn't mean to hijack the thread. Just wanted you to know my experience w/ the 2 emitters.

    MB

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by mb323323 View Post
    I'm interested to see if the reflector does throw this further down the trail. Or in my case, into the woods to see what is making noises at me.

    Cat, I had an Ultrafire torch, XML T-6. Went bad. Bought a new one, same exact model w/ U-2. I got the old torch working again. Charged the batteries.

    For the life of me, I can't see a difference. And it actually looks like the T-6 might be brighter but that may be my eyes. I just can't see any difference.

    Sorry, didn't mean to hijack the thread. Just wanted you to know my experience w/ the 2 emitters.

    MB
    Understood. I haven't got around to ordering a U2 for the 501B yet but I am curious as to how it will compare to my T6. The thing about drop-ins and lights in general is "nothing is ever exactly alike". Heck, even among like emitters there can be notable differences One drop-in might have a great driver the other one might have a piss-poor driver. Then there's the reflector to consider and how much light is lost due to poor heat sinking. Even the battery can make a difference...yes, all this plays into how well the torch ( or lamp ) will perform.

    Need I say, trying to keep track of the variable factors is quite a chore.

  8. #8
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    Lux comparison: An interesting shootout

    Tonight I thought I'd play around with the lux meter just to see how some of the lights I own compare as to relative throwing power. Please note, this is just a simple comparison and not rocket science. The estimated Lumen outputs are of my own opinion and are just "gut" estimates. Make of all of this what you will.

    The set-up: I set the lux meter about 20ft from where I have the lamps. I centered all the lights so I could get the brightest part of the beam pattern on the meter. This is not a "bounce" test. The lights shine directly on the meter. I tried to make sure the readings were taken within a minute or as fast as I could be. Here are the results;

    First up: HIDtechnologies' Lumen8R ( quad Cree XR-E ) Est. output about 900 lumen

    Lux read out: 402 lux ( confined beam pattern but no noticeable hot spot )

    next, MagicShine 808E ( XM-L T-6 ) est. lumen...ehh...700 lumen ( )

    Lux read out: 275 lux ( OP reflector but has a bright center area )

    next, Bikeray lII ( 3 x XP-G ) est. lumen 650 ( a tough call )

    Lux read out: 93 lux ( basically a flood beam, no hot spot )

    next Xeccon S-12 ( with Cree U2 XML ) est. lumen.....( jury still out )

    Lux read out: 559 lux ( very confined beam pattern, but good spill as well )

    next, Kaidoman C-8 torch ( XM-L T-6 ) ( est. Lumen, 800 with good battery )

    Lux read out: ( with Blk/red Trustfire 2400mAh cell: 324 lux )
    ( with Pansonic 3100mAh protected cell, 570 lux ) ( narrow beam pattern, a real thrower with reflector a little bigger and deeper than the S-12 )
    Last edited by Cat-man-do; 08-28-2012 at 01:38 AM.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cat-man-do View Post
    Tonight I thought I'd play around with the lux meter just to see how some of the lights I own compare as to relative throwing power. Please note, this is just a simple comparison and not rocket science. The estimated Lumen outputs are of my own opinion and are just "gut" estimates. Make of all of this what you will.

    The set-up: I set the lux meter about 20ft from where I have the lamps. I centered all the lights so I could get the brightest part of the beam pattern on the meter. This is not a "bounce" test. The lights shine directly on the meter. I tried to make sure the readings were taken within a minute or as fast as I could be. Here are the results;

    First up: HIDtechnologies' Lumen8R ( quad Cree XR-E ) Est. output about 900 lumen

    Lux read out: 402 lux ( confined beam pattern but no noticeable hot spot )

    next, MagicShine 808E ( XM-L T-6 ) est. lumen...ehh...700 lumen ( )

    Lux read out: 275 lux ( OP reflector but has a bright center area )

    next, Bikeray lII ( 3 x XP-G ) est. lumen 650 ( a tough call )

    Lux read out: 93 lux ( basically a flood beam, no hot spot )

    next Xeccon S-12 ( with Cree U2 XML ) est. lumen.....( jury still out )

    Lux read out: 559 lux ( very confined beam pattern, but good spill as well )

    next, Kaidoman C-8 torch ( XM-L T-6 ) ( est. Lumen, 800 with good battery )

    Lux read out: ( with Blk/red Trustfire 2400mAh cell: 324 lux )
    ( with Pansonic 3100mAh protected cell, 570 lux ) ( narrow beam pattern, a real thrower with reflector a little bigger and deeper than the S-12 )
    Converting those number to one meter I get (if my math is correct):
    KD C8 = 21204 lux @ 1meter
    808E = 10230 lux @ 1meter
    S12 = 20794 lux @ 1 meter

    If I recall, I think the Speed II resulted with 19000 lux @ 1meter. Judging by the findings, it seem that the S12 is driven about the same as the Speed II with the same if not similar reflector. However the U2 does gives it the 10% boost in throw over the Speed II.

    Interesting that the 808E was so low but that may be due to the way the reflector is set in the housing in relation to the LED. Do you see a significant difference in throw between your 808E and the S12?

    On your KD C8, is the driver the old driver or is it the 2.8 amp driver?

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by colleen c View Post
    Converting those number to one meter I get (if my math is correct):
    KD C8 = 21204 lux @ 1meter
    808E = 10230 lux @ 1meter
    S12 = 20794 lux @ 1 meter

    If I recall, I think the Speed II resulted with 19000 lux @ 1meter. Judging by the findings, it seem that the S12 is driven about the same as the Speed II with the same if not similar reflector. However the U2 does gives it the 10% boost in throw over the Speed II.

    Interesting that the 808E was so low but that may be due to the way the reflector is set in the housing in relation to the LED. Do you see a significant difference in throw between your 808E and the S12?

    On your KD C8, is the driver the old driver or is it the 2.8 amp driver?
    Actually 20ft. is equal to roughly 6 meters. As such not sure how much you can read into my findings. Then again even our lux meters might not read the same even if they used the same light source.

    My KD C8 is using the original 5-mode driver. The newer driver I had wouldn't quite fit the C8 without modding. Instead I used the newer driver in my older C2 which was what I bought it for anyway. I'm still amazed what a difference the battery makes when using torches. The Panasonics really give a nice kick.

    The MagicShine 808E has a much wider beam pattern than the S-12. The reflector is shorter and is OP vs. the smooth-long reflector of the S-12. This is why I chose to add a little distance to the test. I wanted to demonstrate this difference. I would of loved to have gone 50ft, but my place is only so big.

    I do have to make a correction to my earlier opening comment about the S-12's reflector/lens set-up. Originally I though the front glass was a focal lens. I'm pretty sure now that I got that wrong. It turns out one of my ( thrower ) torches has a very similar set-up. The reflector is deep and highly polished. Looking into the front it appears to magnify the LED ( as the S-12 does ). When I take the front bezel off the torch the glass is just...well...glass. The distortion effect is likely just a result of looking into the highly polished surface of the reflector. It does show though that a deeper /smoother reflector can be made to harness throw. The Spd II and S-12 seem to do that very well.

    Colleen, can you give me the weight read out of the Spd II light head vs. the 808E light head. I know the S-12 is heavier than the 808E but I don't have a scale yet. I figure the Spd II and S-12 should weigh the same but I will confirm that. I might just have to sneak into the local grocery store and use their vegetable scale when nobodies looking.

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cat-man-do View Post
    Colleen, can you give me the weight read out of the Spd II light head vs. the 808E light head. I know the S-12 is heavier than the 808E but I don't have a scale yet. I figure the Spd II and S-12 should weigh the same but I will confirm that. I might just have to sneak into the local grocery store and use their vegetable scale when nobodies looking.
    The weight for the Magicshine 808E is 105 gram.
    The weight for the Speed II is 122 gram.

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by colleen c View Post
    The weight for the Magicshine 808E is 105 gram.
    The weight for the Speed II is 122 gram.
    Thanks Colleen. 17gm is not much but is noticeable particularly if you don't regularly ride with a dedicated bike light on the helmet. ( I usually ride with a torch on the helmet )
    Nevertheless I've used the S-12 on the helmet with a two cell MagicShine battery mounted directly to the helmet. Definitely more weight than I'm used to but with regular use I will probably get used to it. At least with the two cell I can still keep the helmet "extension free" which is a big plus. Nice, I get to have great throw and still have no wires leading off the helmet. ( Len, I guess this means I get to have my salmon and eat it too.. ) ( Just note that the S-12 comes standard with a 4 cell 4400mAh Li-ion battery ( Bak cells )....which is what I am using for the comparisons.

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    Quote Originally Posted by seeker View Post
    If bin is only difference, then the theoretical maximum output difference between the two is 8%, and lower OTF, perhaps 10-15 lumens. You could not measure this difference with a LIS.

    http://www.cree.com/led-components-and-modules/products/xlamp/discrete-directional/~/media/Files/Cree/LED%20Components%20and%20Modules/XLamp/Data%20and%20Binning/XLampXML.pdf
    Yes the difference is minimal. While there may be little difference between the two, some people like the idea of having a more efficient emitter. I would think you might be able to notice more of a difference on the low level, at least as far as run time goes but that remains to be seen. I will be doing a run time test very soon. Heck, for FWIW it's still cheaper than the Speed II. Can't wait to hit a good down-hill with this lamp.

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    After getting off work late tonight I decided to take my chances with the local law enforcement and do a quick "Shine-around" down at the local Football/Soccer field.
    When I arrived I came upon something I wasn't expecting; The full moon was so bright tonight that I could see the ( soccer ) goals even from the parking lot

    Not worth posting the results as the full moon makes the comparison moot. Better luck next time.

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    S-12 hits the road

    My intention of course was to get out and do a nice bomber run down some local forest roads. Unfortunately Mother nature had other plans. With temps still in the upper 80'sF and humidity near 99% in the planned ride area I decided to change my plans. I'm not willing right now to drive about 50 miles and than ride a 20 miler through tough terrain, including a slow 4 mile grind up a forest road with 99% humidity hanging over me. If I was in better shape, maybe but for now I'll have to wait.

    Go to plan B...
    Not to far from where I live is a really nice ( paved ) hill. Quickly I set up a nice 15 miler than would include the nice down hill. Where I live it was 77F and 88% humidity. On a road bike I was willing to deal with it.

    Since I was on the road I was using a two cell battery along with the S-12 on the helmet. My Gloworm X2 ( V1 ) was on the bars. Most of the time I wouldn't need the helmet light anyway as the Gloworm takes care of anything in the 70ft.range ( medium setting ). When I got to really dark sections that was when I would turn the helmet light on. Wow, can the S-12 light up the road?...Yes by all means. Using high is over-kill for most road riding but when I came to the planned downhill , well that was when things got interesting.

    In places this hill is steep. It is only 3/4 of a mile long but it is one sweet 3/4 of a mile.
    There are two minor roads that connect to it along the way so I had to keep my fingers on the brake levers just in case some Yahoo decided to run a stop sign. Other than that I was in my highest gears and squealing like Maxwell the pig as I bombed down the hill at God knows what speed. I was too scared to glace at the computer when going at that speed. The S-12 was on high and perfectly positioned for maximum throw. I had no fear of not seeing anything that might come hopping out of the woods or perhaps a sudden pothole....nope, I was in my element. The S-12 delivers the goods. Even with the high humidity! With the S-12 road throw is fantastic, no doubt about it.

    Later in more moderate areas I was using the lower mode and found it very useful as well. As I mentioned before I am getting very used to rapid-firing the mode switch.

    Oh, almost forgot...During the first mile or so of the ride I rode past a school with a soccer field right next to the road. As I was passing I decided to slow so I could shine the S-12 around the field. No moon out tonight as there was thick cloud cover. The field had little ambient light. I was roughly about 75ft. from the back of the closest goal. I shone the light towards the goal at the other end of the field. Being on the road I was positioned at a much lower angle. Regardless I could still see the goal on the other side of the field ( otherwise in complete darkness ). and could see where the goal reached the ground. Not bad considering my lowered position and of course the high humidity. ( goal posts were white )

    If the weather cooperates tomorrow I hope to get that 4 mile forest road down-hill in..
    ...( Good-Lord-willing-and-the-creek-don't-rise)......actually does have a stream crossing so I have to decide which hill to take.

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    S-12 on a 4.5 mile forest Rd. downhill run.

    Okay, I finally got the bear done. Been some time since I've done this run. I almost forgot how hard the climb is but it didn't take long to jog my memory once I started the slow grind up the hill. Last time I did this climb I weighed 20lbs less, so much for that.

    My set-up; S-12 on the helmet (Xeccon 4 cell battery in my backpack ), Gloworm X2 ( V2 ) on the bars. My bike is a Kona Kikapu Deluxe with duel Suspension, basic stock set-up except for the Avid Juicy brakes.( 04' or 05' I forget now when I bought it.)

    After reaching the pinnacle of the climb I sat down to recover a bit. The weather was pretty much like it was yesterday with the humidity hovering around 83%, temps about 79F. The surface of the forest road was damp in places. Earlier in the day there had been some light rain ( < 0.01" ) but the road looked good. Just your basic forest road really, hard pack dirt with some rock and gravel here and there to control erosion.

    After a short rest and a gel pack for some energy I decided to continue the climb so I could get the full run once I got to the other side of the ridge.

    Once I started the downhill run I had to remember "Not" to be over enthused when I first turn the lights on. That's because my eyes are used to the low level light I was using to climb. With dilated pupils, that initial burst of light looks REAL bright. It was hard to do though because the downhill took me by surprise. Like I said before, been a while since I rode the area ( years ). Next thing I know I going downhill at break neck speed. Had to quickly reach up to turn the S-12 on. Then a quick up mode on the Gloworm and I was rock'in.

    Fortunately most of the Forest road for the down-hill was relatively dry. With both lamps going full tilt I had no problem seeing anything. Forest roads can be dangerous with sudden ruts, pot holes, rocks, loose gravel or sand or the occasional fallen tree. Not to mention if local wildlife decides to cross the road at the wrong time. Then there's the occasional car as the local youth like to use the area for hanging out.

    The high humidity did cut down on the throw ( as did the damp road ) but for most of the descent, even at the speed I was moving ( est. 30mph or more ) I had no problem seeing any potential obstacle way ahead of time. Average line of sight on the descent was usually about 200 ft except when going around turns. Occasionally there would be a nice long straight away with some dryer sections on the road. On those the S-12 could really reach out. Most of the time though the usable throw was in the 200ft. range.

    Someone might ask, "Did you have enough light"? I would answer and say "Yes, I had more than enough". Could I ask for more....(?). Well Hell yes! This is a single emitter lamp. It does better than any other single emitter lamp that I have used. That doesn't mean I can't want for more as I am a total long throw junkie. For the time being though I am satisfied with how well the S-12 throws. Hopefully in the near future emitter technology will continue to improve and the S-12 will be adapted to even more brighter LED's. For the record though the optical projection of the S-12 is as good as you can get with one XM-L. ( IMO ) The only limitation I see is the LED itself.
    Last edited by Cat-man-do; 09-08-2012 at 03:29 PM.

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    Coming Up: run time / heat output / lux output

    During this week I should do the run time test on the 4 cell Xeccon battery. While doing this I will do periodic measurements to monitor the change in light intensity and to measure the heat build up on the lamp head during the test. Details to follow...

    After that will come a measurement of the current draw for the two steady modes.
    Sometime after that I will give the S-12 it's first "rain simulation" test. ( sorry, no fancy 1/2 hr. videos )

    I'm still planning on doing beam shots although I am still in the planning stages for those. I'm still trying to decide what comparisons are best ( based on the limitations of my camera, which will have a hard time gathering light at the distance the S-12 can throw. )
    Still I should be able to put something together that might work but will take a bit more time.

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    The Tuesday night rides in Patapco are starting this week. Just in case you haven't found a good place to test them. I'm going if I get over this stomach crap in time.

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    Run time with temp and lux comparisons

    The first test is just to give a basic idea of how fast the S-12 heats up and the relative loss of lux output during a 10 min run without a fan blowing on it. Ambient room temp is 77F. Distance set-up is 5 meters from the lux meter. Temperature readings are with a Craftsman Infrared thermometer. Starting lux output is 2 lux ( minimum reading ) The S-12 is set on the high position.


    TEN MINUTE TEST WITHOUT FAN
    Light head Temp..........Lux output

    Start...........77.1F............990

    2min...........95F...............922

    4min...........112.8F..........893

    6min...........123F.............874

    8min...........130.8F..........864

    10min.........137.4F..........855
    The next test is for run time with the 4 cell Xeccon battery ( 4400mAh ) I will take periodic temp and lux readings during the first half hour and a couple after the 3hr mark.
    The test will begin when the lighthead returns to the starting temperature ( * Note: the light head cooled very quickly once a fan was turned on. ) I will also note here that I am using the extension power cord during the test. The Xeccon power cords look much more beefy than the typical power cords used with the Bikeray or MagicShine products.
    Perhaps it is a minor issue but I like the look of the Xeccon cords. The plugs fit together very tightly which in my opinion inspires confidence in as much as to their ability to keep out moisture. ( *Bikeray, MagicShine and Xeccon power cords are compatible with one another. )

    The Xeccon battery is encased in a rubberized protective covering. At one end there is a squarish plug that is not completely sealed. Regardless the plug fits very tightly to the rest of the covering. I tried to gently pry it open with a small screw driver but it is a tough nut to crack. If it fits that tightly I'm going to leave it be least I interfere with it's ability to keep out water. If it ain't broke don't fix it.

    Please also note that I continued the test after the lighthead cooled to 77F. That took maybe 10 minutes. Still I notice a loss of output after starting up again. No doubt the ten minutes used without cooling took an effect. Here are some readings after I started up again.

    RUN TIME TEST WITH TEMP AND LUX READ OUT WITH FAN
    Temp................lux..............time

    77F................952...............start up after cooling

    106F...............893...............10 min.

    119F..............855...............20 min.

    119.6F...........893................40 min.
    At the 40 minute mark I had to stop the test. I did this because I felt the earlier run without fan had perhaps heated the inside of the lamp up and the temperature had not yet stabilized. I felt this was skewing the readings so to be on the safe side I will redo the run time with battery when I'm sure the lamp has had enough time to return to ambient room temp. Also during the test I had to reposition the fan which also changed things...my bad. It is interesting to note that the output began to increase after 40 minutes...no doubt the temperature was stabilizing and the better cooling was having an effect.Perhaps later tonight when I recharge the battery and let a couple hours go by I will redo the test.

    Since I have your attention I also did a weigh out with the S-12 and here are the results

    WEIGHT COMPARISON OF S-12
    S-12.......................117gm

    4 cell battery..........236gm

    battery case...........18gm

    MagicShine 808E....102gm
    (* test done on a DS-2 scale from Park Tool...courtesy of the LBS )
    Last edited by Cat-man-do; 09-15-2012 at 04:49 AM.

  20. #20
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    Run time / Lux / temp / comparison part II

    Finally got it in. Same set-up as before. Lamp 5 meters from lux meter. The fan is positioned about 3 ft behind the lamp. The fan is about a foot in diameter and was run on medium.




    RUN TIME TEST WITH FAN

    Light head temp.................Lux output

    Start..............77F....................980

    5 min.............105F..................903

    10 min............118F.................874

    15 min............120F.................874

    20 min............120F.................874

    1hr..................118F................874

    2hr..................118F................864

    3hr..................118F................864

    3hr and 15 min....lamp goes out....test ended
    Interesting to note that after 10 minutes the output remained fairly constant the entire test.The blue light came on at the 70 minute mark. At the 2hr and 20 minute mark the Red light came on. The lamp did not do any kind of power down to a lower mode at any time. Output remained constant. At 3hr and 8 minutes the lamp did do a series of flashes with the main light after that the Red led began to blink. Five minutes later the light turned itself off. Not bad for a 4400mAh battery.

    No doubt in my mind that if you use the low mode ( which is very usable IMO ) for more moderate riding than you are going to get much more run time than what I got here.

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    S-12 Current draw ( amps ) comparison

    Okay, finally got around to testing the current draw on the S-12. I used the MagicShine 808E as a comparison. I used my ( Walmart Special... ) Etek Digital Multimeter to do the read out. The Xeccon 4400mAh battery was used for both lamps. The results:

    Xeccon S-12...........1.37A on high........0.5A on low

    MagicShine 808E....1.5A on high..........0.75A on medium

    Interesting. Because of this I will do a quick 10 min test with the 808E to determine how fast the lamp heats up without a fan. Same distance set-up as before with the S-12. ( 5M)

    MAGICSHINE 808E TEMP AND LUX COMPARISON: NO FAN

    Temp F...............Lux

    Start...............78.6......................481

    2min...............113.......................461

    4min...............127.5....................432

    6min................144......................414

    6min and 30sec the 808E shuts down by thermal protection circuit!
    Wow! Good thing it shut down. It was so hot it burned my hand. ($#@%$!! )

    I think this pretty much proves that the S-12 is better at handling heat. Then again maybe just the slight increase in maximum current makes that much difference.(?)

    When I took my ride the other night with the S-12 I did notice the change in output after about 10 minutes. ( Yes, my eyes could sense the drop although minor as it was ) Even with moving air the emitter drops in output once the lamp begins to heat up. Real shame that has to happen but is likely typical of all LED powered lamps. Even if the initial current value was increased, likely after about 10 minutes the light output would be about the same as the current maximum amp/output setting if using the same heat sink design. Sure would be nice though if the loss of lumen output could be minimized by better heat management.
    Last edited by Cat-man-do; 09-10-2012 at 01:33 AM.

  22. #22
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    Thanks for the thorough review! This little light is on my radar.

    Does anyone know if Dinotte batteries are compatible with Xeccon lights? The connectors look very similar.

  23. #23
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    Hey Cat

    Your tests show this light is quite a bit brighter than the MS. Does it throw much brighter down the trail as well. Is there any dark spot on the middle of the beam while pointed well down the trail. The cheap clones have the dark spot.

    Also, the rating is in Lux. Did you mean lumens.

    Thx

    MB

  24. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by mb323323 View Post
    Hey Cat

    Your tests show this light is quite a bit brighter than the MS. Does it throw much brighter down the trail as well. Is there any dark spot on the middle of the beam while pointed well down the trail. The cheap clones have the dark spot.

    Also, the rating is in Lux. Did you mean lumens.

    Thx

    MB
    MB, yes the S-12 has considerably more throw than the 808E. There are no discernible artifacts in the beam pattern.

    The test was done with a Lux meter Ap for my droid. At the 5 meter distance incremental changes were roughly at every 10 lux. Lumen is a measure of total light output and performed with an integrating sphere, a very expensive piece of equipment.
    A lux meter is less expensive and easier to work with. For demonstration purposes they work rather well. There is a calculation that can convert the lux over to lumen but to do so you need the "viewing angle". Just one degree in viewing angle makes a vast difference. Since I have no way to really know the viewing angle I just left it alone.

    For what it's worth the 808E and S-12 likely output about the same amount of light. How that light is harnessed though is completely different. The 808E has a wider beam pattern. The S-12 is more narrow and therefore has better potential for distance throw.
    For the bars the 808E is a nice little light but for the helmet I like the S-12.

    Some people might think the S-12 too spotty. Not me, i think the beam pattern perfect for the helmet. The beam pattern will fill the trail at about 60 ft. ( ten foot wide ) and then go a bit wider the farther you aim it. I haven't yet determined absolute "usable throw" but in bad conditions ( damp, wet, heavy humidity ) I could see well at least to 200 ft. In my one lone downhill run ( after about 10 minutes ) it was about the same. On a dry surface even more. The 808E can reach the same distance but cannot equal the intensity of the S-12. Intensity has a direct relationship to the usability factor of the S-12 lamp but that of course is just my opinion.

    lyndonchen, Yes, a DiNotte battery will work but the connector(s) fit very loosely. Some duct tape or electrical tape should keep them from coming apart.

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    S-12: The rain test

    Folks I've been on the graveyard shift all week so I've not had a lot a time for playing with the light. ( yeah, I do work for a living ) Still I did have some time before going in to work to give the S-12 it's first taste of water. I set the S-12 and battery ( less the cloth covering ) in my shower and gave it a go. I used moderate intensity, something that I felt like would equal a good hard rain shower.

    I did actually try to take a small video with my smart phone. Unfortunately I haven't been able to upload it to my photobucket account for some reason. I'm still trying to figure that out but If I do I will post it up even though it is only a couple minutes long and shows nothing but a light getting wet in the shower.

    Len can breath a sigh of relief, the S-12 did fine. I left it in for about 20 minutes. After that I took it out, towel dried it and inspected it. I could see where traces of water got into the heat sink slots and down where the bottom hole was some wetness. I moved the lamp around to see if any more water would come out. Maybe a small drop and that was about it. To be truthful I much expected to see more water get into the heat sink slots but I guess that didn't happen. If it did than likely the bottom hole does very well at draining the water. I saw no water inside the reflector/emitter area at all ( from casual front inspection ) The battery as expected did very well. I did notice some water on the connector plugs but that might of happened when I pulled the plugs apart. A drop here or there, that was it. During the test the plug got really drenched.

    *Note: I will likely repeat this test again during my review but unless there is some problem I might not make mention of it.

    **Rain test continued below**
    Last edited by Cat-man-do; 09-16-2012 at 02:45 AM.

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