Sunwayman M60R (SST-50, 2x-4x-6x CR123A/RCR) Review: RUNTIMES, BEAMSHOTS and more!

Originally posted: December 22, 2010

Warning: even more pic heavy than usual. :whistle:



Specifications:The Sunwayman M60R is an interesting high-output light – featuring the Luminus SST-50 emitter, it is able to run on 2x, 4x, or 6x CR123A or RCR batteries.





The light comes in a solid cardboard box with cushioned packing foam. Included inside the package are the light, wrist strap/lanyard, manual, warranty card, promotional insert, and extra o-rings. Note that no holster is included, unfortunately.



From left to right: Energizer CR123A, Sunwayman M60R, M40A, M40C, Eagletac M3C4 3xR5 XP-G, M3C4 SST-50 Deep throw

M60R: Weight: 262.0g (no battery), Width (bezel) 57.2mm, Length: 163mm
M40A: Weight: 247.0g (no battery), Width (bezel) 57.0mm, Length: 145mm
M40C: Weight: 258.5g (no battery), Width (bezel) 57.1mm, Length 156mm

Overall dimensions are certainly consistent with other Sunwayman lights.




Styling is extremely similar to M40A – it basically just looks like a taller version of it.

Knurling is reasonably aggressive compared to most made-in-China lights. The natural finish anodizing remains top-notch – one of the best I’ve seen. No obvious blemishes or chips on mine. :thumbsup:

The control ring feels identical to M40A (which is slightly firmer than the original M40C). As before, there are no identifying labels on the control ring.

Screw threads are still high quality square-cut, anodized for head lock-out. There are also a few more threads than the original M40C. :)

As with the M40A, there is no clicky switch. On/off and mode switching is now controlled entirely by the control ring in the head. The M60R can also tailstand.






Like the M40A, note the high quality battery carrier. Unlike a number of competitors, the carrier is all metal. :thumbsup: It is also reversible - you can insert it either orientation into the light handle. :ooo: So as long as you put the batteries in correctly (well labelled inside the carrier), there’s no chance of accidentally reversing polarity. This is a creative design, and something I hope other makers pick-up.

The cells are arranged as two in series, for each of the three channels of the carrier (the three channels are in parallel). This is why you can run 2x, 4x, or 6x configurations of dual cells. Just fill up any number of the three channels, as you prefer (either all RCR or all CR123A – don’t mix the two).

But note that you cannot run 1x, 2x or 3x of a single cell (e.g. 3.7V Li-ion, like an 18650) – the voltage range requires at least 4.5V. For that matter, the battery handle is too narrow for 18650 or 17670 – you are limited to only CR123A or RCR.




The M60R features the Luminus SST-50 emitter, with a medium textured orange peel (MOP) deep reflector. I am glad to see Sunwayman has made the switch to these newer emitters.

Which brings us to the requisite white wall hunting ;). All lights are on Hi on their respective max Li-ion configuration (6xCR123A for the M60R), about ~0.75 meter from a white wall (with the camera ~1.25 meters back from the wall). Automatic white balance on the camera, to minimize tint differences.

Note:I accidentally mislabeled the M60R images and M60C in the pics below – sorry. :shhh:













The M60R has a smooth beam profile, as expected for a textured reflector. Consistent with the relatively shallow reflector, throw is not as great as some of the competing products.

I've recently updated my 100-Yard Outdoor Beamshot Round-up, including the latest M60R. Check out that round-up thread for more details on the testing method, plus higher quality JPEG images of all lights. For now, here is an animated GIF of some relevant SST-50 comparisons:




Again, sorry for the mislabeling – that should read M60R for the Sunwayman light.

User Interface

On/off and mode switching is controlled entirely by the magnetic control ring in the head (i.e. there is no clicky on-off switch). As such, there needs to be a “standby” mode on the ring (i.e. where no light is produced, but a standby current is being drawn so the electronic circuit knows when you are switching modes).

The five control ring levels on the M60R are Standy - Lo – Med – Hi – Strobe, arranged clockwise if you have the light in hand pointed away from you. Like the M40C, the total traverse of the ring is ~1/2 the circumference of the light, and you can switch back and forth with ease one-handed. As mentioned previously, the detents feel more pronounced than my original M40C, increasing your confidence of not accidentally switching modes.

Thanks to the anodized threads, you can lock-out the light by a simple quarter-turn loosening of the head. This is very useful if storing the light for a period of time, or to prevent accidental activation. There are plenty of screw threads, so no risk of the head falling off by this slight loosening.

Standby/Parasitic Current

The parasitic drain of standby modes is always a concern, so I measured it on my sample: 71.5uA for CR123A, 73.7uA for RCR. Given the 2xSeries/3xParallel nature of the battery carrier, the current draw is the same wether you have 2x, 4x, or 6x cells - all that changes is how long it would take to drain those cells.

So, those currents would translate into the following times to completely drain fully charged cells (assuming 1500mAh for CR123A, 750mAh for RCR):

2xCR123A: 2.4 years
4xCR123A: 4.8 years
6xCR123A: 7.2 years

2xRCR: 1.2 years
4xRCR: 2.3 years
6xRCR: 3.5 years

As you can see, not really a problem, but good to have the easy head lock-out anyway. :thumbsup:

No PWM

I could detect no signs of PWM flicker by eye or with my sound-card oscilloscope setup. I believe the M60R is current-controlled on Lo/Med. :thumbsup:

Strobe



Strobe was measured at a fairly high “tactical” 12.3 Hz.

Testing Method:

All my output numbers are relative for my home-made light box setup, a la Quickbeam's flashlightreviews.com method. You can directly compare all my relative output values from different reviews - i.e. an output value of "10" in one graph is the same as "10" in another. All runtimes are done under a cooling fan, except for any extended run Lo/Min modes (i.e. >12 hours) which are done without cooling.

I have recently devised a method for converting my lightbox relative output values (ROV) to estimated Lumens. See my How to convert Selfbuilt's Lighbox values to Lumens thread for more info.

Throw/Output Summary Chart:

Effective November 2010, I have revised my summary tables to match with the current ANSI FL-1 standard for flashlight testing. Please see http://www.sliderule.ca/FL1.htm for a description of the terms used in these tables.



Throw is toward the low end of this class of light, but very close to the MC-E-based M40A and M40C. Overall output is very similar to the MC-E-based M40C, and most other SST-50 lights in my collection. While definitely a significant amount of light, the reported 800 lumen spec seems optimistic.

See my runtimes below for info on the relative output levels.

Output/Runtime Comparison:

Note: Effective January 2010, all CR123A runtimes are now performed on Titanium Innovations batteries. You can compare the performance of these CR123A cells relative to the Duracell/Surefire cells used in my earlier reviews here. These new light results are marked by an "*" in the graph legend

To keep this simple, I've used only 4xRCR for all my runtimes below. You can easily extrapolate up to 6x or down to 2x (i.e. outputs stay the same, just runtime changes). I didn't have 6 well-matched RCR cells on hand for testing.







Output/runtime efficiency on RCR is very good in Lo/Med modes, and OK at the Hi mode.

On CR123A, I've only tested Hi mode performance, which was again merely OK. The M60R is not as tightly regulated on Hi on 4xCR123A or 6xCR123A as a number of other lights.

Potential Issues

The light needs >4.5V per channel, so 18650 cannot be used (the battery handle/carrier is not wide enough to allow it anyway). This is unfortunate, as 3x18650 would be the ideal way to run light, in terms of battery capacity.

The light seemed to get rather warm on Hi with 4xRCR. I recommend you avoid running the light on Hi with RCR on anything but the full 6x compliment of cells.

There is a parasitic standby current, although this is minimal in my testing. The light can also be easily and reliably locked-out with a simple twist of the head if you are concerned.

Preliminary Observations

The M60R is certainly another solid offering from Sunwayman. The build is remarkably similar to M40A, but with the Luminus SST-50 emitter and support for up to 6x CR123A/RCR.

Like the other early releases, build quality and attention to detail are excellent. The anodizing is top notch, and I really like the battery carrier’s solid metal construction and reversible polarity design (i.e. fits in either way). Like the M40A, this is the best carrier design I’ve seen so far. :thumbsup:

The flexibility of multiple 2x battery configurations is good, but I personally miss the option for 1x, 2x, or 3x single Li-ion (e.g. 18650). Neither the circuit design nor the physical dimensions of the carrier/handle allow this. :shrug: Personally, I worry the more batteries I put into a light (e.g. possibility for reverse charging), but at least the M60R is no more than 2 in series at any time. Still, the lower capacity of RCRs is disappointing as the only rechargeable option.

The beam of the M60R is flawless, but it also the least throwy of my samples in this class. I personally like this sort of flood light, but I know some prefer greater throw.

The magnetic control ring is similar to the M40A, and has one of the better “feels”, at least among the various models I’ve handled. The standby current is negligible, and the light is easily locked-out by a simple head twist. Spacing of output levels is good IMO.

As with the M40A/C, the regulation and output/runtime profiles are very good, especially on the Lo/Med modes. :thumbsup: Note that Hi mode is only semi-regulated on CR123A, and runtime performance is not as great as some other lights. I should note as well that the max lumen output spec (i.e. 800 lumens) seems a bit high. I suspect this light something closer to the industry-standard ~600 lumens for an SST-50 light.

As with the other Sunwayman offerings, this is a well made light that shows considerable design and manufacturing expertise. Despite some limitations (i.e. lack 18650 support), I think this light fits in well for this class. The flexibility of 2x, 4x and 6x battery configurations is particularly novel.

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M60R provided by Sunwayman and Batteryjunction.com for review.

To follow the online discussions for this review, please see the full review thread at CPF.




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