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ArmyTek C2 Pro Max Head lamp/flashlight
#1
My first real headlamp was a halogen Petzl, circa 1997.  2 AA's and once could focus the relatively weak yellow halogen beam as desired.

I left it for the farmer in Baja who made it possible to drop my fuel tank and replace the fuel pump, in 2006.  It went round the world with me.

I went for years with a cheapo harbor fright LED triple aaa headlamp after that.  I thought they were pretty good value, but did not realize the advancements led flashlights were beginning to make.

Then, 2011 or so,IIRC,  I got a Nightcore HC50, and its ~ 565 lumens and multiple other levels, and red leds was a whole different level of headlamp. It also was my first introduction to 18650 lithium cells, though my laptop batteries contained 6 or 9 of them.

When the Nitecore failed, much to my chagrin, but with hundreds of hours on it, I got the Olight H2r in 2017, and this in the warm white version, had 2000 lumens on 'turbo' and regular high was 650 lumens.

Its minimum light level was one lumen, which was too dim for comfortably reading a book at night, but its next brightness level up 30 or 45 lumens, cant remember,  was well more than needed. and perhaps inhibited the falling of sleep. when not in the van with my normal dimmable reading lamp.  Turbo was more of a shortlived wow factor, and it was not long before the battery degraded, and  could not support that level of output for more than a second or 3, even fresh off the charger.

I also had a a brief affair with a cheapo amazon dual 18650 light in my Nitecore phase,  whose battery pack sat on back of head with a good brightness level, same LED as the HC50,  and able to be focused, which I liked, but somehow managed to lose the reflector/ focuser portion for it.

Recently the Olight H2r failed, at a most inopportune time, as I was readying for another cross country trip, with plenty of stuff to do at night to prepare, and holding a 14500 based flashlight in ones mouth is annoying, at best.
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 After some research, I ordered the ArmyTek C2 Pro Max in warm, the Olight Perun2 was also a contender, a bit cheaper, but no warm white option. I had it sent to the other side of the country where I planned to meet it.

https://www.armytek.com/flashlights/mode...-usb-warm/

In the mean time I had an 18650 holder with pigtail leads, and attached its leads to the old harbor fright aaa headlamp, just to get me through the interim. I have no AAA's anymore, rechargeable or Alkaline,  and am never going to buy them again. It might have 35 to 40 lumens,  a far cry of the 650 lumens the Olight was capable of for hours when on high, and the ~150 on medium.  The Olight high was a bit too much for most workbench  tasks,  but medium was not quite enough, and the harbor fright's 40 most certainly was inadequate, and basically invisible with my other tasklights  reluctantly turned on.

So The Armytek has a larger 21700 battery.  21mm diameter, 70 long, 5000 mah, compared to the 3400 mah of the Olight's 18650 battery.

It has 3720 lumens on highest setting( turbo 2), ( cool white version has 4000 lumens) and the heat generated seems to be the limiting factor, compared to the Olight that was limited by both heat generated and the battery being able to support that much load, which it could only do for a short period, and only when fully charged and only when it was new. 

The armytek apparently has no issue powering turbo 2 at 50% charge, at least until it gets too hot.

The armytek's beam is much wider, floody, much less hotspot than the Olight, and while both were the warm white models, the Armytek is  slightly warmer color, which I like.
I dislike blueish / cool white leds, but they are brighter for the same LED.

The Armytek has the ability to go into a complicated menu, with many more brightness settings.  It takes a while to figure it out, but the one feature I like the most, is it has 2 firefly modes, very low light levels, and the lowest is just enough to see by when one's eyes are fully adjusted to dark, without screwing with one's night vision, but too little to read by, comfortably, but the second lowest level is perfect for nighttime reading, and apparently it can maintain this low level of output for hundreds of hours.

The warm  version's max turbo output of 3720 lumens,  is basically more than a vehicle's headlights, most vehicles, even on high beam, but of course car headlights are focused for a wider flatter reach.  It's is a ridiculous amount of light, A good wow factor, and when one puts it on strobe, it is absolutely intolerable in a white room even with eyes tightly clenched shut, and light aimed away from oneself, one's brain is mauled by red flashes.

It can maintain that output for longer than the Olight could maintain its 2000 lumens, and then drops to 900 lumens which it can maintain for far longer than I would ever expect to need it, but nice to know that much is there, if and when it might be beneficial.

Its regular 'high' is 450 lumens, which is basically perfect as a workbench tasklight, as the Olight H2R's 650, was often a bit too much, and then medium not enough.  The wide beam of the armyTek means anything on the workbench one can see even slanting their eyes to the side is well lit.  Apparently the Olight Perun 2 has a more focused hotspot and its maximum throw, even with less total lumen output, reaches farther.  I would enjoy being able to focus the 3720 lumens into a narrow beam, but I guess that is more the job of a dedicated hand flashlight.  I did like the more focused beam of the H2r, but moving ones head quickly side to side could cause a some quasi vertigo to occur, that the wider beam of the armytek does not seem to  invoke.

I've got a couple cheapo focusable headlamps bookmarked as a backup headlamp.  they all have a 3 pack of 18650's on the back of the head. The harbor fright backup powered by 18650 is just too anemic to be a backup.

The ArmyTek is not a cheap light by any means, and I am still getting used to it, but So far, so good.  It's a heck of a well designed and built product.  The 'complicated' menu is a bit clunky and the directions are far better than chingrish, but leave some room for misinterpretation as well.

After a couple days of playing with it, I can get it quickly to the output/ mode desired, but at first,  there was a bunch of cursing and returning to the phone for the downloaded more detailed  instructions, as the written instructions on paper that come with it, are brief.

The larger size and heavier weight of the 21700 battery is not an issue for me, but I believe the Olight's headband is more comfortable.  I have not yet tried to see if the armytek works in the Olight's magnetic  headband.   Well, I know I can strap it in, but not how easily I can rotate it, and whether the magnet itself, without the additional strap is strong enough for the 3mm greater diameter of the Armytek's body. 

 I bought a second Olight H2R  headband about a year ago,  as the first stretched out to uselessness with so much use, and from  cleaning when it became filthy. I saved the old one for wearing with a skullcap/ hat, or when I know its gonna get dirty.

Both the Olight and Armytek have magnetic tailcaps and USB powered tailcap chargers, just wave them near the tailcap on a usb plug and they self mate. No need to remove battery to charge.  

The magnetic tailcap charger  feature was unappreciated, until I first actually used it with the Olight.  I was used to removing the battery on the HC50 and replacing it with another, no big deal, but the tailcap charger was so handy to just remove it from the head and wave it near the tailcap, hear the snap and see green light turn red as it charged,  and come back to a more charged battery than when I left it, whereas the HC 50 battery would require battery removal and a separate charger nearby as well as a battery ready to go.

I'd not write off this magnetic tailcap charging feature for those considering it as unneeded. It is amazingly convenient, and one can still have a second  fully charged 18650 battery ready to go if they prefer that.  I did, before my first use of it, but in the 4 subsequent years, I removed the battery to swap it with a fresh 18650, perhaps 5 times, and that was more of  precaution when mixing some epoxy and not wanting to have to touch light with contaminated gloves, and poor planning with the battery only half charged.

The ArmyTek's battery  tailcap needs to be unscrewed a quarter turn for charging to begin. So not quite as easy as H2r. which was slid off the head with forearms and pushed towards the tailcap charger with various implement, more than once, to prevent contaminating it with epoxy.

It also will not charge a battery still above ~ 4.0 volts,  whereas 4.2v is considered fully charged. This is not mentioned in the manual.  I had to drag to lower than 4.0v for charging to resume.  This intentional battery depletion,  on the 450 lumen level, took longer than expected. I had thought the battery must be at least 50% with all the use I had given it, but it was still much higher than that. 

3400 mAH with a less efficient LED chip, and 4 year old 18650 battery with hundreds of cycles vs a new  5000mah 21700, powering a more efficient LED, makes a considerable difference  in battery life expectations.

The Armytek comes with a mount to attach to bicycle handlebars, and extra O rings.  Its tailcap employs two o rings and is rated waterproof to greater depths than the Olight Perun2. 10 vs one, IIRC.

I also like the position of the switch on the Armytek better than the Olight, as it being on the end of the Olight, could spin the headstrap and or skull cap turning on or off with one finger, requiring an awkward 90 degree squeeze with two.
  
The Olight  18650  based h2r certainly fits in a pocket better with less bulk, but the Olight Perun2 is a 21700 as well. The H2r is discontinued anyway.  I was more than willing to buy another of it if it were available, in the USA/North America and not needing to be shipped from older stock in Australia, or Russia, which brought its costs up past the perun2, and similar to the Armytek.

The Armytek comes with an adaptor, so that it can use any 18650 cell, and it will charge that cell via the magnetic tailcap, protected or not, whereas the Olight H2r, and Perun2( I think), have a proprietary cell, and the tailcap charging only works with that specific cell. Olight also says to not use any other cell in their lights, though I did with my H2R without issue, it just would not charge via magnetic tailcap, a feature I missed when it was gone. and Non high drain cells had no chance of powering turbo and struggled at  half charge on the 650 lumen 'high' setting

That 18650 adapter  option was a huge plus for me, as i have  6  quality Panasonic or Samsung 18650 cells with good lifespans left in them, but 4 of them cant~ support the higher turbo levels the armytek can ask for, even if they were brand new and fully charged.

All the  cheapo noname 18650s I pulled from old laptop batteries were of so little remaining capacity they could only power my Nitrecore hc50 for a few minutes on high, and I never bothered trying to use them in the Olight.
The Olight says not to use any other cell in their light but that they provide with the light, but other cells will power the H2R, they just will not work with their tailcap charger. Not sure about the Perun2

I'm fairly sure the Cool white version of this light is a bright as any light on the market at the time of writing this.  Turbo2 at 3720 lumens in a bit insane, and mostly a short lived 'wow' factor, but 'Wow' is right.  It's thoroughly  obnoxious to anybody on the other side of it. Squirrels in the distant treetops must be like 'What the Fvck?!!'

Those  tiny genital, insecure intentionally  rude ignorant arrogant futhermuckers  in their lifted brotrucks, on the interstates, blowing up my mirrors with their aftermarkey LED bulbs,  in halogen housings, might if I am feeling especially childish and irritated, get a blast of it on strobe as they pass, to have their retinas seared as mine were by theirs.
 
 If that 3720 lumen strobe could be focused to a narrow beam, the reach would be amazingly effective at punishing the douches on the other side of the  wide Texan median, who apparently think blinding oncoming traffic with their high beam on always attitudes,  will make their undersized genitals, perhaps, grow to average size.

I might pick up an additional 21700, and an external charger, but honestly I can use my 18650s as long as I dont need turbo 1 or turbo2, should the need or desire to have backup  battery arise. My Nitecore I4v2 charger will not accept a 70mm long battery, without modification, a process which might cost more in time than just buying a new charger which accepts 21700 cells.

I do wonder if the  armytek's 18650 adaptor would allow the Olight Perun 2 to at least light up with any 18650, even though I doubt the magnetic charging tailcap would work.  The Perun2 does not have a warm white version, nor the complicated option of many more brightness settings/modes, but it can be had for ~ 30% less $$, and with its narrower focus, its lesser total lumen output is  said by reviewers to not really noticeable in most uses, when in turbo.

I think My H2r failure was perhaps induced by bridging the charging contacts on the tailcap standing it on end inside my door, attending to my door lock mechanisms whose white lithium grease had hardened. It was an earlier version and I could have gotten a different battery tailcap for free from Olight that might have prevented the failure, or not. IDK, and never will.


  Whether This magnetic  tailcap charger receptacle of the H2r, which could be shorted, was the cause of the H2R failure, or just random failure after many hundreds of hours of hard use, and many drops onto hard concrete, or the evil witch succubus  socio/psychopath across the street called in a favor from her fellow evil demons, I know not.

  There was some truly bizarre Northstar AGM Weirdness,  which occurred just before I left a few days later, which remains unexplained, but has not reoccurred since I left. 
There's only one Logical, Non paranormal possibility for what happened, and it should have occurred again since, but has not, though The van has not been moved/started since I arrived 2500 miles later.
I've not inspected the logical possibility, yet.

If it checks out fine.... I don't know.
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#2
Whew!
That's some in depth write up for a headlamp!

I'm a YUGE headlamp fan and use them EVERY SINGLE DAY (Bar none) mostly in my electronics hobby of working with circuit boards.
But also I use them constantly with all kinds of chores and tasks around the house.  I NEVER travel without at least 2.
I have about 5 of them on hand at this time ranging from the tiny low light 3 AAA battery unit similar to your HF unit, up to one I got off Amazon for $30.00 which I like quite a bit.

I've never invested heavily like you have.  Mine have all been Sub $30.00 units, with most around $15.00
I'm actually quite appalled that it has become so difficult to find a decent one for less than $20

All but one of mine use 18650's and I have those ranging from cheap chinese junk up to rather pricey 3500mAh units I got from IMR Batteries.

These are the ones I got from Amazon and I like them because they only have 3 position (selection) choices and the light is a very good beam color, lumenosity and spread pattern.
[Image: 71CV+0NjQLL._AC_SL1500_.jpg]

I'll probably look into the ones you mentioned.
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#3
I just took a look at the ArmyTek C2 Pro Max on Amazon.

All I can say is......

lol.
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#4
Pentagon pricing.
[-] The following 1 user says Thank You to Wayne49 for this post:
  • PeterPiper (12-30-2021)
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#5
I care not one whit about your opinion PP.
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#6
I looked at the website and I like this one, it's closer to my affordable price range for this kind of quality:

https://www.armytek.com/flashlights/mode...-usb-warm/

Plus it uses the 18650 cells which I have several of....

I have a couple of the less expensive head-lamps but I can never find one when I need it! An extra one would come in handy sometimes.
Wondering About Wandering.
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#7
(12-30-2021, 06:18 PM)tx2sturgis Wrote: I looked at the website and I like this one, it's closer to my affordable price range for this kind of quality:

https://www.armytek.com/flashlights/mode...-usb-warm/

Plus it uses the 18650 cells which I have several of....

I have a couple of the less expensive head-lamps but I can never find one when I need it! An extra one would come in handy sometimes.

Cool.  That's half the price on Amazon.
Still I can't really justify the cost / benefit ratio.  Just me.  To each his own.

I use my $20 headlamps pretty much several hours every day for years and they seem to hold up well and do the job.
I cannot imagine what you get for 5 times the price that justifies it ?

I like to have 4 or 5 always on hand for that reason.
$100 for the 5 yes......$550 for the 5.....uh....no.

If you end up getting one it would be interesting to hear your take on the bennies compared to the budget ones.
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#8
(12-30-2021, 04:32 PM)sternwake Wrote: I care not one whit about your opinion PP.

trying to keep the peace here,help me out a little
"not of the body"
[-] The following 2 users say Thank You to Blacktank for this post:
  • PeterPiper (12-30-2021), Snikwahjm (12-31-2021)
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#9
The $65 is just the flashlight. It resembles the GI issue angled flashlights (and a Boy Scouts USA endorsed product).

$105 was the light plus a bunch of accessories that may or may not be useful.

For a quality product that can survive rough handling and a headband that doesn't stretch out and loosen over time, it may be worth it. I see that it has the two piece headband, that may be more durable than a single band, and supporting the unit from slipping down.

I see they sell replacement headbands, unlike others.

I have a Nitecore unit that is a great light unit, but the headband won't stay tight anymore. Some strings of pliable plastic that provided friction separated from the cloth.

Same thing with an Energizer headlamp that BW had recommended back in the day, the light unit has survived all sorts of abuse, but the headband failed to maintain grip. In that case the material stretched.

My sweat is damaging to headlamp band materials, I guess.
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