Review: Smiling Shark SS 909A Cree Q5 260 L
Hi All; I just now joined BLF after hiding in the background for the last week. I really like the Forum and the info you make available.
I thought I would make a small contribution by reviewing my new Smiling Shark SS 909 A.
I will ask that you bear with me as I only belong to one other Forum which is Mighty Ram 50.net. It is associated with my ’86 Dodge Ram 50 Pickup daily driver, and is also a bunch of great people sharing what they know. Unfortunately that board is set up quite differently for posting, so I have a learning curve ahead of me.
Now to the good stuff; I am retired and do some Security Guard work part time. I had been carrying a diving light w/ multiple discrete LEDs. It did well for short ranges, but in a large factory with no night lighting it had no real throw. I looked on eBay for a while and bought my first “emitter” powered light by tossing a dart; the SS909A. So far I got lucky in that the light is performing very well!!
I must be doing something wrong because I can not seem to find the the nice table layout, but here are the basic facts:
Purchased from: JK Ray on eBay
Price: $23.49 (starting price and no one else bid… “Buy it now” was $25.99) Free shipping.
Shipping time: Less then a week; he is a U.S. seller.
Contents: SS 909 A; two unprotected Smiling Shark AX 18650 “4000mAh” batteries; wall wart charger and lanyard. All in a nice box.
Bulb: “Luxeon 3 Watt” for 260 lumens.
Lens: Plastic (aspherical?)
Battery life: “360 minutes on full charge”.
Driver: Fixed in body, I have not picked at it too much yet. There is no manual, but from the box I read “AD Smart constant control chip” and I deduce it pushes 1.8 amps.
Switch: Body side mount clicker.
Tail stand: Yes, very stable due to switch being on the body; lots of flat machined surface.
Style: “tactical” with “contact bezel”. My police associates think tactical is an eight D cell Kel-light you can “contact” around a perp’s head, I sort of agree.
1. Got it fast. I would go berserk waiting for something the way you Guys (and Girls?) do as routine. Maybe after I have a couple of lights on-hand I could be more patient, but I doubt it. I want “it” YESTERDAY.
2. Throws a nice stream of light. She is a zoom light and playing in a darkened 200 foot factory, I can put the die image on the far wall or get a flood I would estimate at 130 degrees or so.
3. Charges right in the light, with the wall wart.
4. Nice hand feel and length
15 cm. Anti roll from hexagonal zoom ring.
5. Run time seems decent; I have used it a couple of shifts now and the battery is still 3.6 volts.
6. Threads and machining are decent. Finish is glossy black.
1. Stupid Blink mode… supposed to be SOS. There MAY be a memory, but it is not repeatable or I am doing some thing wrong. Some times if I wait 4 or 5 seconds I get high right off the bat, some times I do not. When I want to light something up, I do not want to play “What beam? roulette”.
2. Lens silicon o-ring is questionable. I will play with that. All others seem to be rubber and fit well. Came dry as did the threads. EDIT: the ring is actually a flat harder plastic washer… I do not know about the water resistance factor there.
No comparison shots ‘cause my diver’s light is not in the same class. I have no fancy measurement equipment so that is out too I guess.
I did just buy a UniqueFire C108 with the Cree XM-L T6 350 lumen on eBay last night ($26.92). I liked the enlarged head/ mirrored reflector, and from what I have already picked up on BLF, I figured it must have a pretty good throw plus good heat dispersal. It was jockeying with an MX Power ML-103B 300 lumen for $18.88. Curiosity could be my downfall yet as the MX Power had a nice reflector, but was Orange Peel.
I have to admit; the UniqueFire is coming from “over there” and will probably be two weeks.
I REALLY was looking for 2-modes High/Low but had to settle for 1 mode units. At least at these lumens run time should be decent for a one cell.
There is more to this review writing then first meets the eye, and I am sure I missed some stuff… feel free to “tutor” me Folks!
EDIT ADDENDA: 25 February 2013**********************************************************************
Took a bunch of picts to put on my hard drive, but the “insert image” function is smarter then I am… I get asked for a URL and there does not seem to be a way to browse my drive to the picts. I will keep playing with it.
Thank you Ruffles, for the pointer to Scaru’s tutorial!
Lens removed showing LED and “pie pan” reflector.
“Frontside” of driver.
“Backside” of driver.
Boot is now on the floor somewhere.
Beam shot across the office; about ten feet.
A critical point: While doing rounds this weekend, the rubber boot over the on/off switch completely ripped of and got lost. The switch itself is flush with the ID of the battery space and what ever Shark had in the boot is somewhere on the factory floor also . This meant I had to finish rounds using a pen to turn the light on and off. I am jury-rigging a replacement activator as I REALLY doubt I will find replacement parts. One place said Smiling Shark is Korean, another said China. The boot (was) glued into it’s recess so it would have to be a direct fit. I still like the light and how it functions, but another case of an other-wise decent piece of equipment being compromised by skimping on a high-use component .
More pics to come… wore out my mouse on tinypic!!
Update: Got a “Merchandise Shipped” notice on my C 108 the day after I paid for it. I am hoping a week or so now.
My “part-time” job has developed a life of it’s own, but I will keep y’all posted as circumstances develop. Thanks, Grumppa
EDIT ADDENDA: 01 March 2013*************************************************************************
My UniqueFire C-108 left Chicago yesterday. Purchased 21 Feb, shipped 22 Feb. Would be nice to get it tomorrow (Saturday), but I figure probably Monday. My jury-rig switch is doing pretty well on the Shark… but I would not want to stress it too much. No luck on finding a replacement parts so far. Saw a program this afternoon where folks were searching for a child after dark. Every time the guy swung his light across the camera, you saw a perfect square LED die! I thought it was cool, but then I am easily amused. Later I got to thinking about stuff like focal lengths and how most cameras bloom when hit with a strong light source. I may have to play with a video camera and see if I can duplicate the effect. Thanks, Grumppa