Review: UltraFire K10 (1 mode and 6 mode)

30 posts / 0 new
Last post
fran82
Offline
Last seen: 1 week 6 days ago
Joined: 07/31/2010 - 10:15
Posts: 2577
Review: UltraFire K10 (1 mode and 6 mode)

UltraFire K10 (1 mode and 6 mode)

Reviewer's Overall Rating: ★★★★ 

UniqueFire K10

 

Summary:

Battery:
AA/14500
Switch:
Reverse (tailcap)
Modes:   1 or 6
LED Type:
Cree xp-g R5
Lens:

Coated glass lens

Tailstands:  Yes
Price Payed: 15.50 / 16.40 USD
From: dealextreme 
Date Ordered: December 2010

 

Pros:

  • One of the brightests AA sized lights
  • XP-G R5 LED (only a few AA lights with this LED)
  • 3 very usable modes + 3 not very usable epileptic modes
  • Cheapest AA light with XPG-R5 LED
  • Very robust, durable body + good and reliable switch
  • Works with AA and 14500 without any issue (not as the S10)  Some reports of lights destroyed with 14500.... put a 14500 at your own risk. However, both of mine are working perfectly with AA/14500

Cons:

  • Memory mode does not work properly
  • Lacks clip (important for me)
  • No o-ring behind frontal glass lens
  • Single mode required some "repairs" and still not powerfull than the 6 mode
  • Only available in black color

 

Features / Value: ★★★★ 

I was thinking into purchasing the TrustFire R5-A3 which is one of the few AA sized lights with XPG-R5, but finally I didnt because of the lack of LOW mode. Then on December, this model appeared, announcing 6 modes (3 usable ones = H M L). I couldnt resist.

As said, I purchased the single mode http://www.dealextreme.com/details.dx/sku.50123~r.43033281 at 15.50 USD and the 6 mode version http://www.dealextreme.com/details.dx/sku.50122~r.43033281 at a very adecuate price of 16.40 USD (cheaper than R5-A3).

I will not review all the flashlight itself because the UltraFire K10 is the same flashlight as the UniqueFire S10 reviewed by brted (http://budgetlightforum.com/node/122), but this time with different LED and probably circuitry (I dont have the S10 so I can not tell if the driver is the same). I will center my review only on the new characteristics added by the new LED.

Finally, after testing, I will keep the 6 mode version into my personal collection and gift the single mode to my brother (I dont like single mode flashlights except rare exceptions as the UniqueFire AA-S1).

 

 

Build Quality: ★★★☆☆ 

OK, I give only 3 stars in build quality because the single mode required "repairs". When arrived, I inserted a 14500 and what I saw was dissapointing. It was about 120 lumens (with 14500!!!), only drawed 0,9A or so, and the beam was not focused at all. Also some flickering.... Very bad.

Then I cleaned the threads, made new solders on the joint of the driver with the pill, thightened all and now it draws about 1,2A from a fresh 14500. Also thightening the pill to the max, the beam is better focused. But still the single mode is not as good and powerfull as the 6 mode version (dont know why).

The multimode version arrived in perfect conditions.

Also another drawback is the lack of o-ring behind the lens on both versions. However both versions came clean but unlubed.

Despite the problem with the single mode, the K10 is a good flashlight, with robust body and general good build quality. However, we have to remember what happens with the cheapo chinese flashlights (QC control almost inexistent).

 

 

Battery Life: ★★★

Well. Lets talk about 14500 usage.

The single mode (my unit) draws less current than the 6 mode, resulting in higher runtimes. I dont allow the batteries to go less than 3,6 volt as usual. So runtimes up to 3,6 volt:

Single Mode = 41 minutes (1,2A draw)

Multimode = 32 minutes (high 1,38A) - 57 minutes (med 0,9A) - Not measured runtime on low, but with 0,2A of draw it should run for almost 4 hours if not more.

 

Now about Ni-Mh. I only have good quality ones but only 1250mAh capacity. With such a low capacity runtimes are not interesting but, current draw of both versions is the same (1,8A). With that comsumption, you can calculate taking into account your Ni-Mh ones.

 

 

Light Output: ★★★★★

I have to post pictures here.

Mixed feelings.

MULTIMODE version -> No complaints. Produces a big hotspot with a cool white tint. Is floody but not as floody as the UniqueFire AA-S1, which is for me the holy grail.... The throw, of course, better than the AA-S1 but not throws as far as the XP-E or XR-E lights.

HIGH = about 300 lumens

MED = about 230 lumens (could be lower... about 120 lumens, but OK)

LOW = about 10-20 lumens

 

SINGLE MODE version -> after repearing, and trying to improve it, I managed to semi-focus the beam, but still is not focused at all and has some greenish tint... (probably only my unit... probably all the single mode... who knows... lacks of QC control)

 

No detected any power loss due to heat during the tests (seems well heatsinked)

 

 

 

Summary: ★★★★ 

Despite what happens to the single mode version, the K10 produces a HUGE amount of light for an AA sized light. I have compared it to a 501B with an R5, and "by eye" they have similar lumens, but with different sizes of hotspot, spill, throw, etc... (due to different diammenter and deep of the reflector).

It could be one of the greatest flashlights if it were Turbo, High, Med, Low, Very low, Strobe. And ALSO (is my opinion) they could have removed the frontal "dents". ¿why chinese manufacturers dont learn from theirs errors?

 

Also my opinion: when will be available an Akoray K-106 body style with xpg-R5 LED? is too difficult to the chinese manufacturers to make a flashlight with that lovely body with xpg-R5 and 5 INTERESTING modes?

This post/thread "may" contain referrals, a little contribution I "earn" in form of points ONLY if you buy the item. The purpose is to redeem items using the points and then making reviews of them in the forums to shar

Edited by: sb56637 on 08/26/2014 - 17:06 Reason: sb56637 replaced budgetlightforum.cz.cc with budgetlightforum.com via Scanner Search and Replace module.
BlueBeam
Offline
Last seen: 1 year 10 months ago
Joined: 11/10/2010 - 15:54
Posts: 376
Location: USA

I already ordered the 6 mode K10 after you gave your thoughts on your first impression!! I'm glad you like your 6 mode light! I hope all the K10's shipped draw good current.

As far as the slow memory i'm sure my instructions posted about the slow memory on the UltraFire C3SS will apply to most light's that need to be off for a long time for memory to kick in. When I get my K10 I will take pics of exactly how to fix mode memory on it.

fran82
Offline
Last seen: 1 week 6 days ago
Joined: 07/31/2010 - 10:15
Posts: 2577

OK; finished but pending photos.... arggg what happens to me with the photos??¿¿??¿

This post/thread "may" contain referrals, a little contribution I "earn" in form of points ONLY if you buy the item. The purpose is to redeem items using the points and then making reviews of them in the forums to shar

brted
brted's picture
Offline
Last seen: 2 days 10 hours ago
Joined: 01/12/2010 - 19:44
Posts: 2371
Location: Atlanta

Glad to see a review of this one. Despite the funky mode memory, this might be one of the best R5 AA lights out there.

Here's how to do pictures:

http://budgetlightforum.cz.cc/node/14

fran82
Offline
Last seen: 1 week 6 days ago
Joined: 07/31/2010 - 10:15
Posts: 2577

argg impossible. I fellow the instructions but I dont know what happens

This post/thread "may" contain referrals, a little contribution I "earn" in form of points ONLY if you buy the item. The purpose is to redeem items using the points and then making reviews of them in the forums to shar

Nautic
Nautic's picture
Offline
Last seen: 10 months 2 days ago
Joined: 02/14/2010 - 14:01
Posts: 992
Location: Europe

brted wrote:

Glad to see a review of this one. Despite the funky mode memory, this might be one of the best R5 AA lights out there.

Here's how to do pictures:

http://budgetlightforum.cz.cc/node/14

 

Dont forget the Ultrafire C3 R5. Same size. 1xAA or 1x14500. Extremely bright and DX have an

extensiontube for use with 2x1.5AA  http://budgetlightforum.cz.cc/node/718

Cheap quality is good - Expensive crap isn´t

sb56637
sb56637's picture
Offline
Last seen: 7 hours 15 min ago
Joined: 01/08/2010 - 09:29
Posts: 6693
Location: The Light

Hi Fran, I fixed the image and the link for you. Let me know if you need help to load a different image of your preference. Very nice review! This is an important review for potential buyers, since it's a new model with the usual incorrect description at DealExtreme.

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

fran82
Offline
Last seen: 1 week 6 days ago
Joined: 07/31/2010 - 10:15
Posts: 2577

Thanks sb, however I still havent took photos. The photo posted by me was he DX one

This post/thread "may" contain referrals, a little contribution I "earn" in form of points ONLY if you buy the item. The purpose is to redeem items using the points and then making reviews of them in the forums to shar

sb56637
sb56637's picture
Offline
Last seen: 7 hours 15 min ago
Joined: 01/08/2010 - 09:29
Posts: 6693
Location: The Light

OK, is the stock DX photo good for now until you take photos?

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

fran82
Offline
Last seen: 1 week 6 days ago
Joined: 07/31/2010 - 10:15
Posts: 2577

Attempt nº1 to post a photo (bad quality, still no digital camera)

http://img217.imageshack.us/i/dsc00478tc.jpg/

http://img217.imageshack.us/img217/3783/dsc00478tc.jpg

[URL=http://img217.imageshack.us/i/dsc00478tc.jpg/][IMG]http://img217.imagesh...

Uploaded with [URL=http://imageshack.us]ImageShack.us[/URL]

 

--------EDIT by sb56637-------

----------------------------------------------

This post/thread "may" contain referrals, a little contribution I "earn" in form of points ONLY if you buy the item. The purpose is to redeem items using the points and then making reviews of them in the forums to shar

sb56637
sb56637's picture
Offline
Last seen: 7 hours 15 min ago
Joined: 01/08/2010 - 09:29
Posts: 6693
Location: The Light

Hi Fran,

I edited your last post so you can see how I added the image. Just click on the image, and then click on the 18th button from the left on the top row to see the image link settings.

Take care!

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

fran82
Offline
Last seen: 1 week 6 days ago
Joined: 07/31/2010 - 10:15
Posts: 2577

Thanks sb, I dont know what happens to me and the photos.... (que patoso soy)

Si los reyes magos no me traen una camara estamos apañaos

This post/thread "may" contain referrals, a little contribution I "earn" in form of points ONLY if you buy the item. The purpose is to redeem items using the points and then making reviews of them in the forums to shar

sb56637
sb56637's picture
Offline
Last seen: 7 hours 15 min ago
Joined: 01/08/2010 - 09:29
Posts: 6693
Location: The Light
Tranquilo, yo igual he estado pataleando con mi cámara digital de antaño, por eso nunca incluía fotos adecuadas en mis reviews. Pero acabo de comprar un celular usado con Android que trae una cámara mucho mejor que la chatarra que usaba antes.

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

fran82
Offline
Last seen: 1 week 6 days ago
Joined: 07/31/2010 - 10:15
Posts: 2577

Jaja my problem is a "mix": very bad mobile phone camera, not know how to take photos in a good way, and finally dont know how to post them (but now solved)...

Let´s see if the "reyes magos" dont bring me "carbón"

This post/thread "may" contain referrals, a little contribution I "earn" in form of points ONLY if you buy the item. The purpose is to redeem items using the points and then making reviews of them in the forums to shar

SashiX
SashiX's picture
Offline
Last seen: 5 years 12 months ago
Joined: 10/07/2010 - 15:46
Posts: 2045
Location: Spain

Hmm... looks like the emitter is slightly off center Undecided Or it's because of the smooth reflector?

LOL, fran Laughing I hope they'll bring you a good digitan camera Wink ('coz I'm in the same situation LOL)

As to posting images in your posts... very easy. Just copy the URL ( http://img217.imageshack.us/img217/3783/dsc00478tc.jpg ) and paste it in  (click on "OK" if you don't want to add the discription)

You can also paste the URL only, the forum will add link to it automatically Wink

P.S.: hey, admin, where are you from? Or you've used Google translator? Laughing

how2
Offline
Last seen: 5 years 4 months ago
Joined: 06/01/2010 - 10:26
Posts: 2416
Location: london

Looking at the images of the TrustFire R5-A3and the Ultrafire K10 they seem to have the same reflector so the hotspot would be a large blob. Lot of flood and little throw.

sb56637
sb56637's picture
Offline
Last seen: 7 hours 15 min ago
Joined: 01/08/2010 - 09:29
Posts: 6693
Location: The Light

SashiX wrote:

P.S.: hey, admin, where are you from? Or you've used Google translator? Laughing

Hey SashiX, Spanish is my second language, I live in South America now. Was thinking about opening ForoLinternasBarratas.com or LinternasParaTacaños.com but it just didn't have the same ring to it. Wink Just kidding. And besides Spanish is covered admirably over at ForoLinternas.com.

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

how2
Offline
Last seen: 5 years 4 months ago
Joined: 06/01/2010 - 10:26
Posts: 2416
Location: london

Why did you call it Uniquefire is it not Ultrafire?

fran82
Offline
Last seen: 1 week 6 days ago
Joined: 07/31/2010 - 10:15
Posts: 2577

how2 wrote:

Why did you call it Uniquefire is it not Ultrafire?

PFFFFFF Oh My God!!!! I am stupid! yes is ULTRAfire I need to correct it

This post/thread "may" contain referrals, a little contribution I "earn" in form of points ONLY if you buy the item. The purpose is to redeem items using the points and then making reviews of them in the forums to shar

fran82
Offline
Last seen: 1 week 6 days ago
Joined: 07/31/2010 - 10:15
Posts: 2577

SashiX wrote:

Hmm... looks like the emitter is slightly off center Undecided Or it's because of the smooth reflector?

hmmm..... Forget about that photo.... I dont know what happened to the CMOS sensor..... In real life the hotspot is perfectly round, no unperfections, no central black hole............. I need a camera

This post/thread "may" contain referrals, a little contribution I "earn" in form of points ONLY if you buy the item. The purpose is to redeem items using the points and then making reviews of them in the forums to shar

BlueBeam
Offline
Last seen: 1 year 10 months ago
Joined: 11/10/2010 - 15:54
Posts: 376
Location: USA

Well I got my K10 today and put in a new fresh charged 2300mah Energizer Ni-Mh and got maybe 3 minutes of use before the driver crapped out.

It wasn't nearly as bright as I expected it to be but maybe it was because of the faulty driver. I disassembled the light and removed the driver and as I figured it is the same one as my C3SS from LT and the same as a Trustfire F20 so as Fran and many others have pointed out this light definitely is not 3.7V tolerant!

I could see on the driver a small crack/split spot on the DC-DC boost converter so I knew that was the faulty component so I figured I would put her back together and give her a shot with A 3.7V battery. I didn't have any 14500's so I wired in a 18650 to the light and she fired right up. Much nicer output with the 3.7V battery as expected.

I have repaired the boost circuit on a few lights by replacing the DC-DC converter chip which I think is a cheap version/copy of the PAM2803 from this...cheap $2.19 fix for ppl with a fried boost circuit that uses the 6 pin PAM2803 DC-DC Converter.

http://www.dealextreme.com/details.dx/sku.25505

I posted a video for DX and filed an RMA. I will fix this myself if they will give me store credit for the replacement part.

Oldienea
Oldienea's picture
Offline
Last seen: 4 years 11 months ago
Joined: 08/30/2010 - 23:18
Posts: 613
Location: France

fran82 wrote:

SashiX wrote:

Hmm... looks like the emitter is slightly off center Undecided Or it's because of the smooth reflector?

hmmm..... Forget about that photo.... I dont know what happened to the CMOS sensor..... In real life the hotspot is perfectly round, no unperfections, no central black hole............. I need a camera

But hard to make it happen, because you have to scrifice some money off the flashlight budget for that. Right?

fran82
Offline
Last seen: 1 week 6 days ago
Joined: 07/31/2010 - 10:15
Posts: 2577

@ bluebeam

Some things:

1- My two K10´s continue working with both AA and 14500

2- The driver board of them is not the same as the one in the F20 (the one with the red path)

3- I have to update the review and point that some units are being destroyed with 14500, to warn the users

4- Maybe I have been lucky, or maybe the problem is again the Vf of the LEDs

This post/thread "may" contain referrals, a little contribution I "earn" in form of points ONLY if you buy the item. The purpose is to redeem items using the points and then making reviews of them in the forums to shar

BlueBeam
Offline
Last seen: 1 year 10 months ago
Joined: 11/10/2010 - 15:54
Posts: 376
Location: USA

fran82 wrote:

@ bluebeam

Some things:

1- My two K10´s continue working with both AA and 14500

2- The driver board of them is not the same as the one in the F20 (the one with the red path)

3- I have to update the review and point that some units are being destroyed with 14500, to warn the users

4- Maybe I have been lucky, or maybe the problem is again the Vf of the LEDs

Amazing how things change so fast!! I ordered mine on Dec. 12th 2010.

My K10 driver is exactly the same as the F20(it has the red path)

Maybe the boost circuit on this driver dosn't like the XP-G LED?????????

fran82
Offline
Last seen: 1 week 6 days ago
Joined: 07/31/2010 - 10:15
Posts: 2577

no, I think that "the driver doesn like XPG" is not the problem. Maybe, the problem is the same as with XRE, low Vf

This post/thread "may" contain referrals, a little contribution I "earn" in form of points ONLY if you buy the item. The purpose is to redeem items using the points and then making reviews of them in the forums to shar

fran82
Offline
Last seen: 1 week 6 days ago
Joined: 07/31/2010 - 10:15
Posts: 2577

BlueBeam wrote:

Well I got my K10 today and put in a new fresh charged 2300mah Energizer Ni-Mh and got maybe 3 minutes of use before the driver crapped out.

What? I didnt read that... It stopped working after a few minutes with NiMh!!!! Not with 14500... with NiMh!!! Incredible... the most normal is to stop working with 14500, not with Nimh. I dont understand

This post/thread "may" contain referrals, a little contribution I "earn" in form of points ONLY if you buy the item. The purpose is to redeem items using the points and then making reviews of them in the forums to shar

BlueBeam
Offline
Last seen: 1 year 10 months ago
Joined: 11/10/2010 - 15:54
Posts: 376
Location: USA

fran82 wrote:

BlueBeam wrote:

Well I got my K10 today and put in a new fresh charged 2300mah Energizer Ni-Mh and got maybe 3 minutes of use before the driver crapped out.

What? I didnt read that... It stopped working after a few minutes with NiMh!!!! Not with 14500... with NiMh!!! Incredible... the most normal is to stop working with 14500, not with Nimh. I dont understand

That is correct...fried with Ni-MH!! Turned it off and on changed modes and just played with it a few minutes then no more light!! Checked all connections and switch and all checked fine so I disassembled the driver and could see on the boost chip where it had burnt up. I could also smell that it had fried.

The light was much dimmer than I thought it should be too so i'm thinking it was just faulty from the begining.

The light works well with 3.7v and light output is more like I expected.

BlueBeam
Offline
Last seen: 1 year 10 months ago
Joined: 11/10/2010 - 15:54
Posts: 376
Location: USA

Well I finally received my parts from China to repair my K10. I replaced the DC-DC converter IC on my driver and put in a larger Schottky diode and got it fixed. I also used a bleeder resistor like I wrote about in this thread...

http://budgetlightforum.cz.cc/node/823 to fix mode memory while I had it apart.

It's not a bad light, but the tint is cooler than I prefer but it's OK. I am pretty sure this isn't a R5 because I have other R5 torches and they are much greener in tint than this one. The tint on this light is alot more purple which most people are saying the R4 is purple tint and the R5 is greener tint and from what I can tell about my confirmed R5 light which is much greener I would say this is true but no big deal it is an XP-G. I know you can't judge a LED bin by color but I do think there is some merit to the R4 being more purple and R5 being greener.

By the way my 6-mode K10 draws 2 amps at the tail on high with NiMh

I do not regret this purchase but I do think the 6-mode K10 torch is overpriced by at least 2 bucks.

I am really beginning to love the XP-G and XP-E torches with smooth reflectors!

brted
brted's picture
Offline
Last seen: 2 days 10 hours ago
Joined: 01/12/2010 - 19:44
Posts: 2371
Location: Atlanta

Thanks for the follow-up. I'm glad you were able to get it working.

The tints shouldn't have anything to do with the brightness bins. The tint is binned independently, so you can have a 1B (cool white) R4, R5, or S2. The neutral and warms are not available in the highest flux bins, but that's another issue.

Mike89
Offline
Last seen: 2 weeks 3 days ago
Joined: 02/08/2012 - 02:02
Posts: 56
Location: USA

I guess this light is still hanging around 3 years later. I picked up one of these from Fasttech for $13.47 with free shipping. I had originally purchased from them a Trustfire F20 that fried itself after running a 14500 for about 5 minutes. I had that light for about two weeks. Didn’t really want that light again so looked around their site and saw the K10. Saw that it had the brighter R5 so decided that I wanted to try it. The F20 was still under warranty so they agreed to send me (after I sent them back the damaged one) the K10 after paying the difference since the K10 was about $2 more. Pretty cool of them to do that. Anyway on to the light. The F20 was a bit underwhelming and I found myself constantly having to fiddle with the modes cause if you didn’t flick it really fast each time, it would go to next mode. I found it seeming to never be on the mode I wanted. Besides the K10 having a brighter LED, there also was the option to get a one mode version. I went, “hell yeah”, single mode is much better for me. When I use a light, I want it to fire up full brightness and don’t have much use for modes. I’m just a simple dude I guess, no muss no fuss, turn the damn thing on and off, that’s all I want. That one mode had my name on it. Got the light and couldn’t be happier with it. It outshines the F20, has a really nice beam and have no more useless (to me) modes to fiddle with. Might pick up a couple more. Nice damn light!

Oh and I won’t be running a 14500 in this one any time soon. Learned my lesson on cheap drivers. My Eneloops will be good enough for this one.