Steve Rix

Tech Reviews and Thoughts

Manafont Ultrafire Cree T6 3-Mode Memory LED P60 Drop-in Review

Purchased from: Manafont
Purchase Date: 3/3/2011
Price paid: $16.40
3-mode P60 drop-in. Modes: Hi > Mid > Low (With Memory)

Upon it’s release back in March 2011 the Ultrafire 3 mode XM-L has become one of the most popular budget P60 drop-ins. Let’s take a look!

I have mine seated inside a Solarforce L2P host.

Solarforce L2P Host (Black and Sand)

Beamshots

1 Sec / ISO 400 / F/4.5

Low

Medium

High

Temperature (Torture test?!)

This drop-in runs ridiculously hot! In a small host such as the Solarforce L2P wrapping the drop-in in foil is a must, perhaps even using thermal conductive paste such as Arctic Silver in combination with foil would also be a wise move.

In my Solarforce L2P host with the drop-in wrapped tightly in foil I observed these temperatures. The below temperatures were measured at the head of the L2P host.

5 Minutes on: 45.4°C
10 Minutes on: 54.8°C
15 Minutes on: 66.7°C
30 Minutes on: 69.6°C

Let’s just say I won’t be conducting this test again, at least not without a fan. At these temperatures the XM-L emitter is being tortured and abused to within an inch of it’s life. I believe the XM-L emitter is rated up to 100°C, bare in mind that the above recorded temperatures were to the head of the L2P host. I didn’t measure, but I am certain I was exceeding 100°C at the emitter. I wouldn’t be surprised if I have torn through a few thousand hours of normal use by conducting this test without the use of a fan to assist cooling.

After 15 minutes the L2P host is too hot to hold in the hand. I do not recommend using this drop-in for more than 15 minutes on high unless the ambient air temperature is low.

Wrapped tightly in layers of foil, to help dissipate heat.

Tailcap Measurements

Tailcap measurement tested from a 4.2v charged Hi-Max 2600mAh 18650

Low: 0.13mA
Medium: 0.9mA
High: 3.0A

Runtime

A HI-MAX 2600mAh 18650 was used to conduct this test.

 58 minutes to 50% output.

 

19/2/2012: RUNTIME TESTS ARE TO BE REPEATED AS THEY ARE NOT ACCURATE.

As you can see the drop-in is pretty well regulated. The slight sag in output can most likely be explained by excessive heat.

I wasn’t expecting such a good regulation of light output over a period of an hour.  For nearly an hour after switch on your eyes will struggle to see a reduction in brightness.

The graph is not complete because at the 2 hour mark in to the runtime test I decided to end the test due to very low voltage (2.65v) on the 18650 cell powering the drop-in. While it’s damaging to the cell and definitely not advisably; it’s worth pointing out that even at a cell voltage of 2.65v the Ultrafire XM-L T6 will still provide a useful amount of light, enough light to adequately find your way around a dark room in an emergency. Some drop-ins when operating at such a low voltage behave strangely, such as being locked in strobe mode for instance or flickering. I noticed no such effects on the Ultrafire XM-L T6 drop-in.

PWM

Below you will find my measured figures for PWM frequency. Also included is the measured duty cycle. The duty cycle is the percentage of time which the light is on, the remaining percentage of time represents the time that the light is off. The duty cycle is an important figure and factor which often gets over looked when commenting on the PWM of flashlights.

The Manafont Ultrafire Cree T6 P60 drop-in uses PWM to generate medium and low modes.

Medium Mode

PWM Frequency: 120Hz
On: 2.50ms
Off: 5.75ms
Duty Cycle: 30.3%

Low Mode

PWM Frequency: 246Hz
On: 0.50ms
Off: 7.50ms
Duty Cycle: 6.25%

The low mode on this drop in is pretty shocking PWM wise.

This is a clear example that the duty cycle is just as important as the frequency used in lights that use PWM. A frequency of 246Hz (which is relatively low) but higher than the medium mode is like a strobe-fest, due to the ridiculous low duty cycle which has been implemented in the drop-in. If you don’t like PWM you will not like the low mode of this drop-in.

Verdict

It’s clear to see why this is such a popular P60 drop-in. The tint is a good cool white with no blue or green hues, the emitter is driven hard on high, the modes are well spaced, regulation is excellent and it is incredibly bright! It will throw floody light beyond 40 metres, easily.

If the driver implemented a higher frequency of PWM for medium and low modes, it would be a perfect drop-in. Be prepared not to be able to run it continuously on high, unless your outside in cold weather.

With all that said, this drop-in is highly recommended!

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