Wednesday, February 17, 2016

Niwalker Aurora C26, Prototype (Cree XP-L HI)(1x26650)


Niwalker C26 Aurora is a relatively compact flashlight powered by single 26650 battery.
Dimensions:
Length=143mm
Head diameter=43mm
Body diameter=34mm

I did not get any specifications or any other info from the manufacturer,so I will try to just share my impressions of the C26.

As usual,Niwalker shows really well looking design,maybe not the most practical,but definitely pleasure for the eyes and great fit in hand.
The whole construction is made of thick aluminum.
Excellent black anodizing.Matte finish,but it is far from the special heavy matte finish of the MM series flashlights.Yet the actual finish does look high quality and not cheap at all.
There is precisely made,relatively deep knurling on the battery tube,helping a lot with the grip.
As most Niwalker flashlights,the C26 Aurora features an electronic side switch and tripod mount thread on the opposite side.
The side switch again has the periodically flashing green indicator underneath.May be distracting at some moment and of course has its power consumption.
The switch is flat with the surrounding surface and as expected this makes it hard to find in the dark.
Overall Niwalker C26 fits well in hand,comfortable grip,it is easy to carry for a 26650 size flashlight.
My only critique is about the lack of good anti-roll design.
The C26 comes with a new Cree XP-L Hi LED,which in my tests with this ad other flashlights,perform impressively well,providing very well focused beam and good lumen output/current consumption ration.

Parabolic aluminum reflector with diameter 32mm and about as that deep.
Glass lens with anti-reflective coating.

The beam from the C26 is very well focused,reaching great distance for such a small flashlight.
Cool white light.No visible artifacts. Generally,I am very pleased with the beam and found it better than expected.
A beam that actually I could use,indoor or outdoor.


The C26 is designed strictly for unprotected batteries. I was not informed about that and using almost entirely protected batteries,I had a hard time testing this flashlight.
There is no way to fit protected 26650 battery,so I had to de-solder the front spring to release some more space for a battery.
I was able to try Niwalker C26 only with a protected 18650 battery,using some rubber foam to fill the free surrounding space. I had also to not screw the head fully to be able to fit the battery. The battery tube space is really limited just to the standard 65mm and no even an extra millimeter.

I managed to test the UI briefly. No chance for a full runtime test.
Typical for a flashlight from Niwalker,the C26 offers wide range of modes-relatively well spaced.
What I was able to measure using a Keeppower 18650 battery is-
6 constant modes-Turbo2- Turbo-High-Mid-Low-UltraLow
plus Strobe mode.
Brightness measured by me-
6 mode 1230 lm
5 mode 554 lm
4 mode 290 lm
3 mode 107 lm
2 mode 19 lm
1 mode 3 lm

StandBy current draw is very high, 5.5mA while the green indicator is off, 13.5mA when the indicator is On. Both measurements are in milli Amps,which is very high for StandBy drain. It is recommend to lock-out the tailcap after every use.Unfortunately,as I already mentioned,protected batteries can not be used.


Size comparison-
Thorfire VG10(a small 18650 flashlight), Nitecore EC4S(2x18650), Niwalker Aurora(1x26650), Orcatorch WR10(1x26650)

Beam shots
~5 meters distance, 1/6sec



~5 meters distance, 1/50sec



~5 meters distance, 1/250sec



~5 meters distance, 1/1000sec



All 6 modes




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