Smallsun ZY-A4 flood-throw

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mizjif
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Smallsun ZY-A4 flood-throw

I was wondering if anyone had any experience with this light or knows of any good reviews on it? It looks pretty nice and Im looking for a very bright option for a flood to throw. I've seen it at lightake and DX (lightake having the best price)

 

thanks!

 

http://www.lightake.com/detail.do/sku.Small_Sun_ZY_A4_Cree_Q3_3_Mode_230...(1x18650)_-30687

mizjif
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I am also looking at the new Romisen RC-29 II R4 from shining beam. Which will be brighter? there is a decent price difference, and I do like the 18650 battery option of the smallsun. 

 

thanks again!

agenthex
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The smallsun is an internal zoom, which is kind of cool. Lightake also has a more stylish version of it (their wishlist is tied to computer so I don't the link right now).

 

The main benefit of the RC-29 is that it's a known quantity and you can get in neutral white. It's also $10 more.

 

If you're feeling a tiny bit adventurous I'd say go for the small sun and let everyone know how it goes. My small sun lights have all been pretty damn good, even pleasantly surpring.

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Oldienea
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It is longer and bulkier than other 18650 zoom lights, but it has some kind of internal zoom mechanism, which is indeed special. Mine needed some lube to work smooth. It has a good build quality, but with some minor gliches on the esthetic side. I don't like the way the clip and the anti-roll ring (near the end cap) are going together. I finally tuned it around, but I'm still not happy with this solution. However, the flashlight works nice. It has no real mode-memory (allways goes on high), like most of the 3-mode zoomies do. I modded mine with a R2 EZ900 LED and since the driver pumps in 1200 mA at 4,2 V, this makes quite a bit of a difference to the original Q3. The LED swap is easy; it takes a 20mm star. It looks a bit bling-bling, with the three gold coloured parts, and it takes three full turns of the head to zoom, but it works for single-hand-operation if the parts are nicely lubed.

There is another zoom flashlight with another kind of intenal mechanism that I like even more: http://www.dealextreme.com/details.dx/sku.42081

This one has only a dark grey ring just next to the head that turns, and all the other parts stand still. To zoom it needs only 3/4 of a turn. It does at least the stated 130 lumens, if used with 3 AAAs and noticeable more on a 18650. Also this zoom works one handed, but only if you take your time to disassemble it and lube all the parts. Beware, this one is easy to take appart, but it might be a bit tricky to reassemble the parts the right way. For to use it with a protected 18650, you have to unsolder the sping underneath the driver board and add it to the 3 AAA crate insted. Otherwise the latter will not work anymore, because it would be to short.

agenthex
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Hey Old, can you measure the lens sizes on the two and maybe compare to other zoom lights you have? I think the size of the thrown die/emitter approximately scales with lens size.

 

If that's the same light as this:

http://www.lightake.com/detail.do/sku.901_Cree_Q3_WC_3_Mode_130_Lumen_Co...

 

That beam is hella ringy.

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Oldienea
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The above mentioned lights have both 21mm effective diameter (without the border). Most have this size or less. The biggest lens so far, I have seen on the MTE http://www.kaidomain.com/ProductDetails.aspx?ProductId=10718 . It has 28 mm. That's right, the lens size matters for throw. I have an experimental setup with a 66 mm lens and a R5 (in a food can). This throws a projection of the die, which is 1/3 the size of the average zoom light.

All my zoomies are more or less ringy. It is due to the metal ring around the LED optics. Some have also a shiny led cover. If you want to get rid of these rings, you need to paint all shiny parts inside the head in matte black.

 

Edit: Sorry I forgot to anwer one question: Yes this is the same light.

agenthex
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I wish these came with better optics. At ~$15, it's perilously close to the Tank007 zoom light, also aaa/18650 optioned. I would buy this if it had memory or came on in a consistent mode after a couple seconds instead of a minute.

 

I really hate the surprise strobe after turning off/on in medium.

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Oldienea
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Because I dropped it very hard, two weeks ago, the driver was damaged. It was stuck on high mode. The original board has 19 mm diameter, which is hard to find. I saw there is a lot of room above the original driver board, so I just soldered a 17mm driver on top of that one. I used http://www.dealextreme.com/details.dx/sku.6190. By default it's a  5-mode driver with full memory (low-mid-high-strobe-SOS). If you like you can customise it by adding jumpers. It can be a 2-mode (low-high) or a 3-mode (low-mid-high) or a 4-mode (low-mid-high-strobe). I didn't try that yet, but there is a thread in the forum explaining how to do it.

Budgeteer
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Try this one perhaps:

http://budgetlightforum.cz.cc/node/571

Decently made, not expensive, option with 3x AAA, reasonably short but not really a small flashlight. Seems shorter than the one you wanted.

kragmutt wrote:

They're gonna send you a green redcat with a black LED.

agenthex
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btw, I finally remember where I saw that light similar in color to this one:

 

http://www.buyincoins.com/zoom-focus-18650-cree-q3-led-flashlight-campin...

 

Looks nice.

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Oldienea
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but i didn't have time to have a closer look to it. At least it works and it has aproximately the same output as the original ZY-A4 has if I remember that right (mine is modified, R2 LED).

It's a slide zoom and it has about the same lens diameter (22 mm). My specimen has a small ding on the bezel. On the ring behind the head it is printed Pailide K96.

The zooming head has two o-rings, but it seems there is an spacer or something missing under the bezel. The lens is a bit loose. All in all a nice light, but bigger and a sturdier feel than the Smallsun. Size if the moon (in flood) and size of the square picture of the led (in zoom), are exactly equal for these two lights.

Tailcap reading at 4,17 Volts is: 950 mA on high, 240 mA on low and 470 on strobe.

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Is the zooming mechanism tight (no head movement)? Mode memory?

 

So of these three, you still recommend the DX black one?

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Oldienea
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http://www.dealextreme.com/details.dx/sku.42081

is definitely the best of this three flashlights. Nice build quality and a highly sophisticated, smooth zoom mechanism, which works in single hand operation. The anodizing is flawless. It's probably the most water tight zoom light, I have seen so far. Still not enough for underwater use, but it's probably ok for heavy rain. Hard to get at the LED, because there is a press-fit, pan shaped metal retainer ring on top of it. I didn't try to get that out and I'm sure the retainer will suffer if I would do it. I really recommand this flashlight, it worths every cent you pay for it.

The Smallsun ZY-A4 is very easy to mod, because it takes a 20 mm star. It took me just ten minutes to fit a new R2 in there. Overall build quality is good. Also a nice inner zoom mechanism, but it needs a bit more than 2 turns of the head to zoom in. The driver is also easy to get at, but it has 19 mm. Btw: all these three lights have a very unusual driver board size (19 to 20 mm). It has a lanyard with a detachable key ring, which is kind of stupid on a light with this size and weight. I might better use this with a small AA flashlight.

The Pailide from Buyincoins just died this afternoon, when I was about to compare it to the other lights. It has in fact a very special setup, with a charger connector on the driver board, which sits in a large separate pill. Underneath LED pill is just a dummy board. This is the reason why this light is so long. The jack is accessible by unscrewing the ring underneath the head. Hovewer, the light had some flicker first and then it was off forever. I didn't find any broken or bad solder point, so, I just did my standard "sandwich repair job" with a new 17mm driver board soldered on top of the faulty one (1100 mA, single mode, from KD). In fact I cannot recommand this light. It does the same, what a Smallsun C84 or a NF-500 can do as well, it's just bigger and heavier than these. It has some positive points for modders tough. A 20 mm star and plenty of room in the driver pill. The zoom works smooth. It has two o-rings and don't wobble at all. The outside surfaces are flawless, but some of the threads are a bit rough. It has a tiny click switch with a diode between the connections. I suppose this is either for invers polarity protection or it keeps the light off, during direct charging with the charger, which didn't come with it.

mizjif
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Can you confirm that it is capable of using an 18650?  how bright is it? how far can it throw? thanks Oldienea!

Oldienea
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a protected 18650 fits. The brightness is around 160 lumens (estimiated).

coaxjim
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I bought one of these 18650 W901 Zoom flashlights from Dino. I have a few other focusing lights and wanted one that worked with a 18650.

Don't think much of it. In fact I wrote a review for the dinodirect site, which they did not publish !!

So here it is.-

  • Pros:
  • Well Made 
  • Cons:
  • Very poor focusing range Not that bright compared to others 
  • Other Thoughts:
  • This is one flashlight I will be giving away. I wanted a 18650 flashlight and thought this would be the one. Not so. Focusing range is very poor to say the least. Maximum wide zoom is about near max zoom on most others, and sharp focus goes past the focal point. I thought it was adjusted wrong, but after stripping, found there is no way to correct it. Do yourself a favour, get the little 14500/AA Sipik sk68. Brighter and focuses well although not as well finished. 
  •