4Sevens Quark X 123-2 Tactical
4Sevens started their flashlight business with a light series called Quark, this light has been updated with new leds a few times and here I am looking at the latest update of it, this time to the Cree XM-L led. The light has 5 brightness settings and strobe, sos and slow beacon modes, but only two of these are accessible at a time. The light is made of aluminum with hard-anodized (Type 3) finish.
I got a review copy of the light without any box or accessories, but 4Sevens says that it will contain the same accessories as always. I have used a picture from the old version of the light to illustrate the accessories.
The light has a LOP (Light Orange peel) reflector with a XM-L led at the bottom. The bezel is smooth aluminium.
The battery connection in the head has a mechanical polarity protection (The two half moon pieces). The center is reinforced with metal. The ring is part of the mode selection.
Both front and back threads are square cut, but they are not anodized, because they are used for the electric connection. There is also a o-ring to keep the light sealed.
Both body and head has knurling to improve the grip.
The light has a removable clip and because the threads on the body is symmetric it is possible to mount the body either way, i.e. the clip can be used for either bezel down or bezel up carry.
To remove the clip the o-ring must first be removed and then the lock ring loosened.
Inside the tailcap is the classic spring with the switch behind it. This light is using the tactical interface and has a protuding switch, i.e. it cannot tail stand.
The threads in the tailcap are anodized, this makes it possible to do a lockout, at least until the anodized wears down.
The user interface uses a loose/tight head to select between two programmed settings. To program settings, loosen/tighten the head at least four times and leave it in the state that has to be programmed (loose/tight), the light will flash 3 times to signal it is in programming mode. When in programming mode each off/on will advance one step in the above mode list. When the desired mode is selected, wait until the light flashes again, now that head position is programmed.
Here is all the part the light can be disassembled in without tools.
This update of the Quark makes it very bright for its size, to handle the heat a step down has been implemented, except for this everything else is the same in the light. This makes it a good two level 2xCR123 light (Using any more than two levels is cumbersome).
Technical specification and measurements
The head of the light is designed to work from 3 to 9 volt, but not with full brightness at all voltages, for the 2xCR123 size body it means it will work with two 3 volt lithium or two 16340 LiIon batteries.
Measured size and weight:
Length: 116 mm
Diameter: 19.4 mm to 22 mm
Weight: 112 with eneloop
The light uses a Cree XM-L led.
In the above table I have collected all modes, measured at 5 volt. All the estimated runtimes are with 1400mAh CR123 batteries. The estimated lumen is scale from the specified maximum. The brightness is a relative measurement from a lux meter.
A voltage sweep at high shows a good stabilization that works down to 4.5 volt, then it has a drop in brightness.
After a few minutes the light will reduce output, this reduced output does stabilize down to 4.5 volt, then it has a drop in brightness, this can also be seen on the runtime curve.
On high the drop has changed to a small rise, this is also reflected in the runtime curve.
Medium works the same way as high.
16340 LiIon batteries does not contains as much energy as CR123 batteries and gives shorter runtime. The 16340 batteries does also have a protection circuit that cuts the power before the voltage is low enough to show any rise or dip in brightness.
The light did not have any cooling fins and is a small light, how can it handle the heat? As can be seen on the curve, the temperature rises fast when the light is on max, but when the light reduces output after 3 minutes, it can keep a stable temperature.
When selecting the beacon mode the light will flash a couple of times fast and then look like it turned off, but 9.3 second later it will do a 1 second flash, this will repeat: 9.3 second pause and 1 second flash.
The sos uses a 0.34 second dot time and takes a total of 11.3 seconds to transmit.
Strobe is 9.6 hz with 46% duty cycle.
The drive does not give a completely smooth light output, there is some noise in the light, depending on battery voltage. The frequency of this noise is fast enough to be invisible.
Comparison to other Flashlights
4Sevens Quark AA-2 (old), 4Sevens Quark X AA-2, 4Sevens Quark X 123-2 Tactical:
Fenix LD25, Fenix TK21 U2, Fenix PD31:
For the full comparison to other lights with graphs and beamshots see here
The light was supplied by 4Sevens for review.