Saturday, September 27, 2014

ThruNite Neutron 2C v2 (1x18650 or 1(2)xCR123A/16340/18350) REVIEW

Practical compact design,highly efficient electronics,convenient user interface,compatibility with different size batteries,impressive lumen output for the size and battery type. This is what is achieved in the new 2014 version Neutron 2C v2 and Neutron 2A v2 from ThruNite.
The review below is on the ThruNite Neutron 2C v2.
The 2C v2 could be used in 1x CR123A/16340/18350 short variant as well as 2x CR123A/16340/18350 or 1x18650 form with an extension tube(included in the package).
1040 lumen maximum output on Turbo mode.
The 2C features also a more and more required Moonlight mode of 0.1 lumens.
No flashing modes to overload the user interface.

The ThruNite 2C uses only a side switch for ON/OFF and mode changing operation.
The switch has metal feel and is probably made of metal or at least with metal covering.
No click sound when pressing it.

The switch is electronic push button,placed low in the body.
It is well protected from accidental activation.
As many other side switches,finding the switch in the dark requires some time.
The switch has no easy to find by touch shape,but most important is that you don't have to worry too much about accidental activating the light.

Nice cardboard packaging.
Good protection for the flashlight and its accessories.
Also looks great as a gift packaging.

Very nice holster,two spare O-rings,tube extender,user manual.
There is no pocket clip included.

The holster is high quality.Right size for 2C in 18350 form,but too short for 18650 form.
All in one is not possible,of course.
No velcro on the back. Regular loop for belt attaching.

Very good anti-roll design thanks to 6 flat edges of the cooling fins.
There is wide flat surface on the opposite side of the switch.
This helps also finding the switch by touch.
Stable tail-standing.

Features and Specifications:
(from manufacturer)

Runs on: 1x18650
Peak Beam Intensity: 11230cd
Max beam distance: 212m
Output mode/Runtime
Turbo : 1040 lumens / 90 minutes
High: 650 lumens / 95 minutes
Mid: 220 lumens / 5 hrs
Low: 11 lumens / 3days
Moonlight:0.1 lumens/ 90 days

Weight: 70g (excluding battery)
Length: 118 mm
Diameter: 25.4 mm

Size comparison with other 16340 flashlights.
Sunwayman S10R,Klarus RS16,JetBeam RRT0,ThruNite 2Cv2,Skilhunt DS10,Olight S10L2 (left to right)

Sunwayman S10R,Klarus RS16,JetBeam RRT0,ThruNite Neutron 2Cv2,ThruNite Neutron 2Av2,Keeppower 3400 (left to right)

Sunwayman S10R,Klarus RS16,JetBeam RRT0,ThruNite Neutron 2Cv2 with extender,ThruNite TN12,Keeppower 3400

With and without 18650 extender. A compact flashlight in 16340/18350 form.Very compact in 18650 form.

High quality Ultra-clear glass lens with anti-reflective coating.
18mm diameter aluminum reflector with smooth surface.Visually identical with the ThruNite TN12's reflector.

Perfectly centered Cree XM-L2 LED.

Comfortable in hand.

Great machining and anodizing on my sample.
Beautiful and very effective knurling. A little bit deeper than the TN12's knurling.
4 cooling fins with well rounded edges.

All three parts. A protected 16340 battery in the main battery tube.

Relatively thin,still sufficient battery tube for less weight.
Wide positive and negative contacts.
All batteries that I have for test,fit well.

Triangular-cut threads with round edges.

User Interface

5 brightness modes.
3 main modes High-Mid-Low repeating in order High-Mid-Low-Mid-High...
Turn ON/OFF by short click.
Press and hold the switch to cycle between all modes.
Very smooth transition between all different modes. Very pleasant to the eyes,without sharp changes with stepping from High to Low or Low to High,which is hard for the eye adapting. Mode changing reminds me on a flashlight with magnetic ring brightness control,not only because of the mode sequence,but also because of the smooth transition mode to mode.

Max lumen output with 18650 battery.
Turbo : 1040 lumens / 90 minutes
High: 650 lumens / 95 minutes
Mid: 220 lumens / 5 hrs
Low: 11 lumens / 3days
Moonlight:0.1 lumens/ 90 days

There are two hidden modes-Turbo and Moonlight.
Turbo is accessible by double click from Off.
Press and hold the switch from Off to activate Moomlight mode.

There is an instant memory for the main modes High-Mid-Low.
Turbo and Moonlight are not being memorized.

Definitely one of the best User interfaces I have tested.
Easy and quick to use. Instant memory and good choice of modes are really important for any EDC light.

The ThruNite 2Cv2 is impressively bright on Turbo mode,about 1000 Lumens. This is really an excellent achievement for such a small flashlight.
I tested my sample on Turbo and High mode with a 18650 battery. The current draw on Turbo mode is too high for a single regular ICR 16340/18350 battery.
I did a runtime test with Keeppower 16340 only on High mode. High current draw compatible IMR 16340/18350 batteries should be used for Turbo mode.

There's no Strobe or SOS.

The light is current regulated on all modes with no any sign of pwm.

A very important feature of the driver is the Low voltage warning combined with a low voltage protection.
Many other flashlights ignore this important option. It's great to see it here in Neutron 2Cv2.
The light flickers two times at ten seconds interval when the output is ~1/10 of the initial.

The 16340 battery was 3.2V after the test which means the flashlight triggered its low voltage protection.
There was no low voltage protection whit a 18650 and the battery was fully discharged after the test.
(I will do some more testing on this)

Due to the electronic switch,the 2Cv2 draws a low Standby current,which is really small ~5.5 µA.
Threads are anodized=lock-out is possible.

Short video,presenting the UI and design specifics.
(turn on annotations)

My lumen measurements-1x18650 Keeppower 3400
All measurements taken 30sec after activation.
Turbo= 1040 Lm (yes,I got the same number on Turbo as the advertised)
High= 613 Lm
Mid= 210 Lm
Low= 15 Lm

A runtime graph illustrating how the flashlight works on High and Turbo using 16340 and 18650 batteries.
Blue- High mode Keeppower 3400mAh (18650)
Red- High mode ICR Keeppower 700mAh (16340)
Green- Turbo mode Keeppower 3400mAh (18650)
There is a step-down only on Turbo mode,4 minutes after activation.
The flashlight gets hot at this output and this decreasing the output is really needed.

(click on the picture to see it larger)


Beam of the Neutron 2C is almost the same as ThruNite TN12's beam(click to see it).
Both flashlights use Cree XM-L2 LED and visually the same reflector.

The LED on my sample gives a cool white light. A little warmer than the light from the TN12(2014).
As max brightness the 2C is also on par with TN12(2014).

As expected from a smooth reflector,produced beam is not clean of artifacts and transition from hotspot to spill is not quite smooth.

1 meter, 1/20sec white wall

Neutron 2C with 18650 battery

1meter,1/250sec white wall

All flashlights on Li-ion batteries(Neutron 2A on 14500)
Neutron 2C with 18650 battery

5 meters,1/6sec

Neutron 2C with 18650 battery

5 meters, 1/50sec
Neutron 2C with 18650 battery

ThruNite Neutron 2Cv2 is a quality flashlight in proper EDC size and form.
Impressive maximum output for its size.Good runtime.
Quite wide range of modes.Instant mode memory. Very good output regulation.
Low voltage warning=unprotected batteries can be used.
There are not many flashlights that can be used in 1x18350 form.

The switch is relatively small and could be a problem for some people to find and press it,but on the positive side,it is hard to press accidentally(lock out the head is possible too).
The 2C comes without a pocket clip.Would be good if they include a clip in the future,because its lack reduces the range of options for carrying the flashlight.

Thanks for reading!

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