Mid-mode Torch shoot out: Which runs longest- Mtbr.com
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  1. #1
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    Mid-mode Torch shoot out: Which runs longest

    I have three torches that I've been waiting to review. Since the weather where I live is not going to allow me to do outdoor beam shots, I thought I'd take the opportunity to do a comparison of the run times of their mid-modes which generally are in the 200-250lm range.
    The contestants are as follows:

    #1) MTE P-7 C-bin torch- 5-mode ( http://www.dealextreme.com/details.dx/sku.12060 )
    with fresh battery I estimate the mid-mode to be around 225-250lm. Beam pattern is a typical P-7 flood with a nice bright center spot for more throw. This was my favorite to win going in.

    #2 Ultrafire host WF-501B using a XP-G 5-mode drop-in bought from Kaidomain. I choose to test this using the high mode. As such I expected it to be the brightest in the bunch at start up which it was at about 300+ lumens. This drop-in is basically a spot pattern light but I was using a plastic diffuser lens to make it more comparable to the wider beams of the other torches.

    #3) Ultrafire host WF-501B using a 3-mode SST-50 drop-in. Once again bought from Kaidomain. This one was tested using the mid-mode which looks to be in the 200-225lm range with fresh battery.

    The test was done with all three torches sitting on an aluminum pan. A fan was set up behind them and put on low. The P-7 torch ran a 2yr old silver Ultrafire 2400mAh battery. The other two ran 2yr old blue Trustfire 2600mAh batteries. All batteries should have been at full charge although I'm not too sure about the P-7.

    After 1hr: The P-7 and the XP-G were a little less than at start-up. No surprises so far. I should note though that the XP-G drop-in emitted the most heat. The other two were barely warm. The XP-G continued to be the brightest although it was getting hard to tell the difference.

    After two hrs: Major revelations. The XP-G was about done. < 50lm. The P-7 was holding it's own but was beginning to fall behind. Maybe about 150-175lm. The SST-50 on the other hand had hardly dimmed at all. It was pulling away. The XP-G folded so I turned it off.

    After three hrs: The P-7 mid-mode has dimmed to about 50% of what it was at start up. I was able to click the P-7 to high mode to get more output but no doubt the driver was no longer in regulation. The SST-50 was STILL GOING STRONG with very little dimming. Output some where around 175 - 200lm. Not bad, not bad at all.

    Conclusions: I'm going to repeat the test with my new Ultrafire (red)2600mAh batteries just to be sure. This time I'll probably use the mid-mode on the XP-G drop-in which looks to be around 175lm. I'm a bit disappointed in the run time of the XP-G on high. 1.5hrs till major dimming is not bad but I was hoping for two hrs. As things stand now I am Super Impressed with the SST-50 3-mode drop-in. Even after three hours it was still bright and when I switched it to high mode it was still able to output full power ( although slightly dimmer than what it would be at start up ). This torch is definitely going to be used on my "Torch only" rides as well as a back-up for when I use my good light sets. I might just have to get me another one of these.

  2. #2
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    I went ahead and retested the XP-G drop-in and the 5-mode P-7 torch. I used the same 2600mah Trustfires only this time I'm sure both were at full charge. I'm glad to say the P-7 five mode ( using mid-mode ) did much better this time. Even after 2hrs there was little dimming. At 3hrs there was a slight dimming to maybe just below the 200L level. Sensing that the battery was about done I switched it to high mode. I let in run about two minutes on high. After that the output began to fall. When I switched back to mid-mode the output was maybe 120-150lm. In summary, It was able to run about three hrs and stayed very near to the 200lm level which I consider a benchmark for usable bar mounted output. I ended the test at 3hr,10 min. Once again if you really wanted to get every bit out of the battery you could switch to high and let run out of regulation but I doubt that would get more than 10 more minutes above 200lm.

    The XP-G drop-in I once again tested in the high mode. This time I watched it much more carefully. It stayed very bright ( over 300lm ) with little noticeable dimming until after the 1.5hr mark. Ten minutes later the output dropped significantly ( < 100lm ). I suppose I can live with that. An hour and a half at or near 300lm is pretty darn good.

    My "Torch only" rides are generally shorter rides. Usually they are started while it is still light and only last no more than an hour after dark. Still, sometimes S*** happens. You take a wrong trail or get side tracked for some reason and end up running longer than you planned. It's nice to know you can still milk 3hrs out of your torches if you can use the mid-modes. With one on the bars and one on the helmet ( on mid-mode ) you have a total of ~400lms. Not to mention that you still have the option to switch to high modes for those short/fast down-hill sections. If you keep the number of high power runs to a minimum you should still be able to get over 2hrs of run time on one battery ( with the 5-mode P-7 and the 3-mode SST-50 ).

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