Review: Cyclone C88 from Int'l Outdoor Store

119 posts / 0 new
Last post

Pages

Foy
Foy's picture
Offline
Last seen: 3 years 6 months ago
Joined: 01/02/2011 - 17:56
Posts: 3009
Location: Las Vegas
Review: Cyclone C88 from Int'l Outdoor Store

 The Cyclone C88:  Wow, what a flashlight.

 

You don't have to be around Foy too long before noticing, he can be quite full of himself occasionally.  Besides an odd addiction to thrid person narratives, it's an indulgence I try not to burden my friends with too often and it's been especially difficult to avoid while trying to put thoughts to print about the Cyclone.  The back story, briefly is; some time ago E1320 asked if I wanted to buy an UltraFire MCU-C88 he was planning to refit with an XM-L emitter.  When he made the offer, it sounded like something that had been done before to great effect and after hem hawing around for too long, I finally made the purchase.  I'm not sure what I was expecting but the torch I got from Erik fairly blew my socks off.  I had never held a C88 before and because of its as-delivered XR-E emitter, this hefty chuck of a light never blipped Foy's radar.  With a properly driven XM-L however, "Erik's" C88 became an instant legend, around these parts at least.

Our amusement could perhaps be excused, or at least understood, when the fine specimen here discussed showed up for sale at Int'l Outdoor Store.  It appeared somebody finally did what UltraFire should have done and my initial reaction was a bit of lofty disdain . . . and mild concern.  Imitation may be a superb form of flattery but I simply was not prepared for the Cyclone to be the better flashlight.  I did not want it to be better than the gem "we" created.

But it is.  The Cyclone C88 gets a well deserved . . .

Foyapproved

Bottom line:  The Cyclone C88 is a versatile and very well made flashlight.  It is top quality inside and out, reliable, good looking and bright as hell.  It is easily worth double its $45 asking price and it actually throws better than a few "throwers" I can think of.  This is a seriously good flashlight.

 

What I like:

- fat, 26650 form factor

- accepts 26650, 18650 lithium-ion or 3 x AA NiMH  (or even 3 x AA alkalines)

- stainless steel bezel  (not crenulated)

What I do not like:

- "3AA XM-L" printed on head

- type III anodization?

 

Cyclone C88 XM-L/U2 Flashlight

$45.00 from Int'l Outdoor Store  http://www.intl-outdoor.com/cyclone-c88-xml-u2-910lm-flashlight-p-349.html 

ordered:  3-26-12

received: 4-16-12

Cree XM-L/U2 1B emitter

SMO reflector, aluminum

designed for 1 x 26650 (with large o-rings) or 1 x 18650 (with sleeve and large o-rings) lithium-ion, 3 x AA rechargeable or 3 x AA alkaline batteries

working voltage: 2.9 to 4.5 volts

AMC7135*8 circuit board  (Nanjg 105C)

3-mode (ascending) user interface with mode memory: low (5%) medium (30%) and high (100%)

6061-T6 aluminum construction

hard anodized black finish

scallop cut, tail standing, reverse-clicky tail cap switch with single lanyard hole and 16mm boot

water-proof rated IPX-7  (immersion to 1 meter for 30 minutes)

selected manufacturer specifications:

"910 lumens"

"toughened" glass lens

147.5mm (length) 38mm (body) 49mm (head)

battery tube inside diameter: 30mm

223 grams without batteries

what you get for $45.00

- Cyclone C88 flashlight

- 2 spare o-rings

- 2 o-rings for 26650 usage

- lanyard

tail cap draw with 1 unprotected King Kong 26650 (XSL) lithium-ion battery charged to 4.22 volts:

  .15 amp  (low)

  .87         (medium)

2.78         (high)

with protected Xtar 18700 lithium-ion battery charged to 4.22 volts:

   .13 amp  (low)

  .87         (medium)

2.78         (high)

with 3 x Eneloop AAs:

   .09 amp  (low)

  .58         (medium)

1.90         (high)

Run Time:

With 1 unprotected King Kong 26650 (INR) charged to 4.22 volts, the light ran on high for 1 hour and 30 minutes with the battery discharged to 3.40 volts.

With 3 fully charged Eneloop AAs, the light ran on high for 1 hour and 10 minutes when it dropped into low voltage warning mode.  (blinking light)

Flashlight arrived in flawless condition.

Part of the Cyclone's charm is its unpretentious style.  The body itself looks and feels almost like a classic D-size flashlight.  The two knurling bands are hardly aggressive and along with the four styled shallow cuts, serve aesthetics only.

The finish is great and seems pretty tough.  Int'l Outdoor describes it only as "Hard Anodize" and although I haven't subjected it to the rigors my L2P daily faces, my guess is that it is at least as tough as the ano found on say . . . an UltraFire C88.

The Cyclone is one handsome torch.  To my eyes the look suggests performance, which is why I never understood UltraFire not offering an XM-L in the original C88.

I can't find much to carp about with the Cyclone but the "3AA XM-L" printed below the beautifully small "C88" on the head is intensely unnecessary.  Not to mention stupid.

I'll tell you what; both Cyclone and UltraFire got it right with this stunning and smooth, stainless steel bezel.  It's the Cyclone's best styling feature and all sellers should take note.

The Cyclone's XM-L is perfectly centered by a raised edge around the emitter.  It's depth within the reflector is also ideally placed, something I've long suspected adversely effects the original C88's (with XM-L) beam pattern and output.

This is a fuzzy shot of the Nanjg 105C driver.

The threads aren't square but they're well cut and feel smooth.

I've lately discovered that tail cap spring contact is not to be overlooked.  The Cyclone's spring is long and presses firmly against the battery.  (Did I just say long and firm?)

Solarforce L2 with 3-mode UltraFire XM-L.  (SKU 5720)

E1320 modified MCU-C88.

Cyclone C88.

 

While these beam shots make the Cyclone look dramatically brighter, the E/C88 is brighter on the Foyometer.  I think it may be an incorrect emitter depth issue and as a result, the MCU has no spill.  Exploring further . . .

Also; I wanted to include some of my comments from below, for the record.

When considering the purchase, and then buying and now using the Cyclone . . . I've not even remotely thought of it as primarily a AA flashlight.  Indeed, I find the "3AA" printed on the head amusing.  In fact, I find the whole idea of a 3 x AA NiMH, high performance XM-L torch down right hilarious.  There is no free lunch - if you want to run with the big dogs, you need big power.  It doesn't have to be lithium-ion but if normal run time is expected, it's either a TK41/8 x AA solution (or equivalent) or a more compact battery.  Otherwise, we'd all still being using bag phones.

Anyway, I think the Cyclone is so good, I'm going to go ahead and say "you're welcome" because you're going to be smiling and nodding in agreement when you finally get one.  If I were you Hank, I'd order up a new batch.

 

Foy

No referral links and nothing embedded . . . ever.

                      &nbsp

Edited by: sb56637 on 09/02/2017 - 11:54
Foy
Foy's picture
Offline
Last seen: 3 years 6 months ago
Joined: 01/02/2011 - 17:56
Posts: 3009
Location: Las Vegas

reservedFoy

No referral links and nothing embedded . . . ever.

                      &nbsp

edc
edc's picture
Offline
Last seen: 3 years 4 days ago
Joined: 01/16/2011 - 02:28
Posts: 3300
Location: NSW AUSTRALIA

Nice review as usual Foy. I only have one 26650 light (5xml). I like the look of this one, streamlined and even has a stainless foybezel. The multiple battery choice is useful.

 

http://i1193.photobucket.com/albums

drd
Offline
Last seen: 6 years 2 months ago
Joined: 05/11/2012 - 11:39
Posts: 58

OK, maybe I'm a little OCD, but am I the only one to cringe seeing that beautifully finished light laying on a wall of rough cider blocks!  On my goodness.  I got visuals of my son running by and kicking it or something, lol, then seeing it all scratched up after that.

Smile

 

xerics65
xerics65's picture
Offline
Last seen: 4 years 4 months ago
Joined: 08/25/2011 - 11:16
Posts: 13

Nice review. Big thumbs up to u Foy.

jacktheclipper
jacktheclipper's picture
Offline
Last seen: 1 day 5 hours ago
Joined: 10/31/2010 - 21:18
Posts: 4841
Location: Florida , U.S.A.

Nice review .

Tecmo
Tecmo's picture
Offline
Last seen: 1 year 1 month ago
Joined: 09/30/2011 - 09:00
Posts: 1469
Location: Indiana

Nice review, and good therapy for you as well!

BetweenRides
BetweenRides's picture
Offline
Last seen: 2 months 2 weeks ago
Joined: 01/02/2011 - 10:34
Posts: 2960
Location: Chicagoland, USA

OK, dammit, now this one's on my ever growing list...  Nice review, Foy - thanks for posting. Looks like I have another cycling light candidate. I am becoming a big fan of the 26650 lights, nice that this has 3 cell type options.

jamio
Offline
Last seen: 3 months 6 days ago
Joined: 03/28/2012 - 17:32
Posts: 128

Another nice review Foy!

If I may here, for everyone interested in using this light with AA's, have a look at Cyclone C88 with 6xAA, suggestions are welcome! Smile

fishinfool
fishinfool's picture
Offline
Last seen: 2 years 3 months ago
Joined: 03/09/2010 - 00:30
Posts: 4342
Location: Hilo, Hawaii

AnotherawesomereviewasusualFoy!  

 

Don wrote:

"But as I said long ago, you are more likely to be killed by a dead fish dropped by a seagull in the Sahara Desert than by a lithium ion

trooplewis
trooplewis's picture
Offline
Last seen: 1 year 5 months ago
Joined: 03/26/2011 - 15:35
Posts: 2622
Location: San Diego

Hmmm, might make me change my mind about getting an LD40 or a PA40. And the Cyclone is cheaper than either one.

Rats, finally sold my 2010 509hp Mustang...now I can buy more lights!

Sold the red one too! Now guess what I drive, doing my penance for 500 hp commuters...

http://dreammustang.com/

http://i884.photobucket.com/albums/ac47/Ha

JohnnyMac
JohnnyMac's picture
Offline
Last seen: 11 months 3 days ago
Joined: 04/12/2011 - 16:03
Posts: 8864
Location: Eastern PA

Thanks, Foy! I think this will be one of my next purchases. Great light!

how2
Offline
Last seen: 3 years 10 months ago
Joined: 06/01/2010 - 10:26
Posts: 2416
Location: london

Mouse over Cyclone c88

Mouse out E1320 modified MCU-C88.

Richie086
Richie086's picture
Offline
Last seen: 10 hours 46 min ago
Joined: 01/06/2012 - 08:43
Posts: 1602
Location: Long Island, Nassau, New York

Wow, I want a modified MCU-C88 from BLF member, E1320.

Richie

JohnnyMac
JohnnyMac's picture
Offline
Last seen: 11 months 3 days ago
Joined: 04/12/2011 - 16:03
Posts: 8864
Location: Eastern PA

how2 wrote:

Mouse out Cyclone c88

Mouse over E1320 modified MCU-C88.

You have them reversed.  Mouse-over is the Cyclone.
blinded
blinded's picture
Offline
Last seen: 5 years 11 months ago
Joined: 04/30/2012 - 23:25
Posts: 61
Location: USA

Nice review from the amazing Foy-meister. The light only seems to only have two FOYbles - sorry if newbies aren't supposed to make jokes like that: 1) a mediocre battery holder and 2) no moonlight mode (could it be overdriven, too?).

So far I've only found battery holders that look like the original:

http://www.ebay.com/itm/2x-Battery-Holder-Case-Box-3-AA-LR6-UM-3-For-Hea...

http://www.ebay.com/itm/flashlight-battery-holder-mount-box-module-for-3...

Does anyone know of any better holders (preferably using copper)?

Love this light. At the moment it's my favorite hiking light. I might not have stumbled on it if it weren't for BLF. Thanks so much everyone.

Blinded? BUY the light!

NightCrawl
Offline
Last seen: 2 years 6 months ago
Joined: 01/22/2012 - 08:20
Posts: 3071
Location: Karlsruhe, Germany

You could ask OL if he makes one for you, or follow up his way posted here. Its the first post, starting at the third pic and very well described.

blinded
blinded's picture
Offline
Last seen: 5 years 11 months ago
Joined: 04/30/2012 - 23:25
Posts: 61
Location: USA

Oh, I forgot to mention, my personal picture is a Cyclone in honor of BLF for leading me to the light. Sorry that the batteries needed rechargingLaughing. Thank you BLF! Wish I had the knowledge to share that some of you do. Well, I guess we each do what we can.

-Daniel

Blinded? BUY the light!

blinded
blinded's picture
Offline
Last seen: 5 years 11 months ago
Joined: 04/30/2012 - 23:25
Posts: 61
Location: USA

Thanks, NightCrawl. I think I'll make one like that if I can't find one already made (unlikely). Now off to see what thickness of copper sheeting he used.

Blinded? BUY the light!

how2
Offline
Last seen: 3 years 10 months ago
Joined: 06/01/2010 - 10:26
Posts: 2416
Location: london

Thanks JohnnyMac, when i postred it first time i was corect then I changed it but I was wrong.

The Cyclone is the brighter light.

Boaz
Boaz's picture
Offline
Last seen: 18 hours 39 min ago
Joined: 11/07/2010 - 09:31
Posts: 6697
Location: Birthplace of Aviation

jamio wrote:

Another nice review Foy!

If I may here, for everyone interested in using this light with AA's, have a look at Cyclone C88 with 6xAA, suggestions are welcome! Smile

Pretty sure Foy thinks this is a perfect place to advertise an extra extention tube for this light ,,,anyone willing to make parts for lights is always welcome Silly

http://budgetlightforum.com/node/10001   I'm sure there will be a few interested members here . this light is pretty well liked .

καὶ τὸ φῶς ἐν τῇ σκοτίᾳ φαίνει καὶ ἡ σκοτία αὐτὸ οὐ κατέλαβεν

Foy
Foy's picture
Offline
Last seen: 3 years 6 months ago
Joined: 01/02/2011 - 17:56
Posts: 3009
Location: Las Vegas

how2 - very grateful, thank you.

Of course I had to include the comparison between the two C88s but believe it or not; in raw lumens/output, the E1320 version is a little brighter on the Foyometer.  I think the Cyclone looks brighter in my pictures because I've somehow got the emitter depth wrong on the MCU, in relation to the reflector and it's killing the spill.

 

Foy

No referral links and nothing embedded . . . ever.

                      &nbsp

Foy
Foy's picture
Offline
Last seen: 3 years 6 months ago
Joined: 01/02/2011 - 17:56
Posts: 3009
Location: Las Vegas

And, yes; this is the perfect place to talk about an extension tube for this bad boy.  Would be kinda like a TK41, no?

blinded -

I guess I see the AA battery magazine as a peripheral issue.  I might be in the minority however; when deciding which battery section to put the review, I noticed Mr. Admin moved _the_'s Cyclone review to the multiple AA/14500 section.  While I have high praise and sincere respect for our leader and, acknowledging that the flashlight itself does in fact say "3AA" on it, I happen to disagree that this is primarily a 3 x AA torch.  The Cyclone pulls nearly 2.8 amps with a King Kong and although I got a respectable 1.90 with 3 Eneloops, I can't help but wonder if there aren't more efficient NiMH based flashlights available.  Moreover, I think a person buying a Cyclone expecting a long running, high output AA torch will be disappointed.

I agree that the idea of a super bright flashlight that runs on small, non-li batteries is appealing.  The truth is however, an XM-L pulling 3 amps needs horsepower, if acceptable run time is to be had.

 

Foy

No referral links and nothing embedded . . . ever.

                      &nbsp

Chicago X
Chicago X's picture
Offline
Last seen: 5 years 3 months ago
Joined: 07/22/2011 - 16:13
Posts: 4013
Location: See Name

Thanks for the review, Foy.  Good stuff !

http://wardogsmakingithome.org/index.html

War Dogs, Making it Home - Rescue Dogs for Returning Vets

ace0001a
Offline
Last seen: 6 days 1 hour ago
Joined: 05/22/2010 - 20:23
Posts: 128
Location: Sactown

I honestly believe the choke point with a 3AA battery configuration is the high resistance of the holder.  I'm definitely no battery expert, but I do believe a better carrier would still yield to almost as good as a single Li-Ion battery.  I remember with 3AAA flashlights, the best performing ones where the Coast LED Lensers and those had excellent 3AAA carriers compared to the regular common cheap ones you get in other 3AAA flashlights.  To me the 3AA carrier that this flashlight comes with looks like a larger version of the cheap ones that come with the cheap 3AA flashlights.  We need a budget or poor man's version of CPF member mdocod, a guy who makes top notch custom battery carriers:

 

http://www.candlepowerforums.com/vb/showthread.php?267085-Odd-Mods-Batte...

I've bought carriers from him before when he was just starting out and essentially starting "grand opening" prices, but now @ $28 or more a carrier, I definitely wouldn't put his products in the budget category.

Oh and Foy, good job on the review!

rikr
rikr's picture
Offline
Last seen: 6 months 1 week ago
Joined: 09/03/2011 - 21:50
Posts: 2077
Location: Fenton, MO

Great review Foy!!! Mine is on it's way I ordered it on 5/2/2012 from Hank at IOS and it's in NY now along with 5-King Kong 26650's  Now I'm really excited!! Looks like it throws great... Thank you for the review.

blinded
blinded's picture
Offline
Last seen: 5 years 11 months ago
Joined: 04/30/2012 - 23:25
Posts: 61
Location: USA

Foy & ace0001a,

It would be interesting to see how well the AA output compares with the 26650's when you have a good carrier. I guess it's usually academic since it's so much easier to pop in a 26650 anyway, but a lot of folks still don't have them and besides, when I'm backpacking, I prefer only taking one kind of battery with me: AA NIMH.

ace0001a, those are some fantastic looking carriers. $28? Ouch! I might have to build my own inferior model.

-Daniel

P.S. Been geocaching with "Mom" today. We did a neat James Bond cache with clever gadgets you had to use to get the coordinates for the next stage. Fantastic day. I'm bushed. Hope you all had great days, too.

Blinded? BUY the light!

sb56637
sb56637's picture
Offline
Last seen: 5 hours 14 min ago
Joined: 01/08/2010 - 09:29
Posts: 6203
Location: The Light

Nice! I very much like the looks of this light.

Thanks so much for the great review Foy! Frontpage'd and Sticky'd.

Budget Light Forum ...where Frugal meets with Flashlight!

bose301s
bose301s's picture
Offline
Last seen: 4 months 1 week ago
Joined: 03/10/2012 - 18:40
Posts: 1224

Anyone else think Foy is a bastard? I mean, he keeps making me want to buy and actually buy lights. Wink

ezeqdb
Offline
Last seen: 4 years 4 months ago
Joined: 10/28/2010 - 23:33
Posts: 273
Location: Rosario, Argentina

No one asked yet.. but, how does the light manage heating?

And

When you use 18650 or 26650, can you fully screw on the tailcap? 

"no le temo a la oscuridad, la oscuridad me teme a mí"

fishmaniac
fishmaniac's picture
Offline
Last seen: 3 years 11 months ago
Joined: 05/03/2011 - 07:21
Posts: 1019
Location: Peoples Republic of California

Bro, your foymeter needs zeroing. Wink

The trash can looks lighter and your neighbors patio shade can be seen with the Cyclone.

So is it brighter than your 980L?

Pages