Review: Sipik SK98 from Tmart

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Old-Lumens
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Hello,

Tmart sent me this Sipik SK98 for review

sk1a

It's a zoomie using an XM-L and a single 18650 battery.

 

Reviewer's Overall Rating: r1r1r1r1  

 

 

Summary:

Battery: 18650
Switch: tail clicky
Modes: H/L/Strobe/SOS
LED Type: XM-L
Lens: Plastic Aspheric
Tailstands: Yes
Price Paid: Sample, lists for $12.95
From:TMART
Date Ordered: 08-12-13

 

Specifications

BrandSipik
ModelSK98
Emitter TypeCREE T6
Brightness / Lumens1000 Lumens
Power5W
Bulb Quantity1
Light ColorWhite
Lightbulb / LED Lifespan100000 hours
Modes3
Mode ArrangementHi > Lo > SOS
Lighting Distance100m
Battery Configuration1 x 18650 batteries (not included)
Input Voltage3.7 - 4.2V
Runtime1 - 2 hours
Switch TypeClicky / Clickie
Switch LocationTail - cap
LensConvex Lens
ReflectorAluminum Smooth / SMO Reflector
MaterialAerospace aluminum alloy
ColorBlack
Dimensions4.53" x 1.10" x 0.87" / (11.5 x 2.8 x 2.2) cm (L x Head Dia.x Body Dia.)
Weight97g / 3.42oz
ClipYes
WaterproofYes
LanyardNo

 ska

skb

skc

skd

 

PROS: Small enough and lightweight enough to be a belt carry EDC. Sturdy clip. Good as an everyday kick around light that you don't want to have to worry about getting damaged. Inexpensive with an adjustable beam.

 

CONS: Any zoomie is a big compromise. It's meant to be an all round light, but it sort of fails all round. When you zoom out to get the square die thrower, it just looks strange. Square die is just not what you expect from a light. When you zoom in to get the flood, it becomes just a soft glow of sorts. Flooding an area like a mule would and it's not very bright. If you just adjust the zoom for in between, it's almost acceptable.  This light whined terribly on high and I don't care for the blinky modes nor the blue white led that is a "cool white".

 

Overall: If you have to carry only one light and you can accept a compromise, I would say that a zoomie might work for you, if you need flood and throw in daily use. It's not expensive and with an 18650 you will have longer run time than 3AAA.

 

On to the tear down:

98a

The tail cap threads are dry as a bone and they are the cheaply cut style threads. They need lube before using this light. The clicky spring has the brass cap over the top. I don't necessarily think this does much, other than to help save the battery from spring wear.

 

98b

I found several marks where the ano has been chipped off during assembly of the light. Overall, the aluminum is rough and so is the finish. I would imagine it's type I or II and it's not hard for sure. It's just an average inexpensive ano on an inexpensive light.

 

983

The lens is plastic and is the standard 23mm in diameter.

 

98d

The Aluminum pill. At least the wiring is covered up with a nice plastic cover, so it cuts down on defects in the beam.

 

98e

The pill is hollow, of course. It's fairly well made, better than I expected.

 

98f

The body opening where the pill sits in.

 

98g

The Slider ring for zooming. Being as the light is new, it slides smoothly and it's tight enough to stay in place.

 

98h

The "Guts". The XM-L is on a 20mm x 1mm aluminum star. As I said, the pill is hollow, so there is nothing backing the star right where the led is. That's a total no, no as far as I am concerned. I wish these MFGs would change their thinking on this.  The driver is 20mm in diameter. It makes lots of noise on high and I wouldn't want to have to use it as is.

 

 

Beam Shots:

b1

Standard with no light

 

 

b2

FLOOD

 

 

b3

ZOOM

 

The first photo is with no light on. The second is full flood and the last is full zoom. It's not a really bright light. I thought it would be brighter. I did not do any amp checks. To me, it's just not bright enough to bother what the amp readings are. It will be brighter soon though...

 

 Thanks to Tmart for letting me review and mod this light for giveaway!

 

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you have a sweet home!

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Old-Lumens
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kreisler wrote: you have a

kreisler wrote:

you have a sweet home!

LOL, that's it, just the one room.Tongue Out

Good thing my wife made it how she likes it over the years, otherwise there would be bare walls and wood floors and a big flashlight work center in the middle of it all.

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Thanks for the review OL. Do

Thanks for the review OL. Do both the clocks on the mantel work. They look like lovely old pieces. You also have an old style light next to them. Are you planning a mod on it?

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spaceboy
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Do you think putting copper

Do you think putting copper grease on the threads of the pill would help with heatsinking?

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Thanks for the review

Thanks for the review Old-Lumens. Hope you don't mind me sharing my first impression on the light as-well.

 

I got the light 2 yesterday. It arrived in 17 days.

I only paid 7,3$, it was on sale.  I don't regret spending the money. IMO its a 3/5 at most you are spending 10+$

My light may not be 100% the same as Old-Lumens.

High starts on about 2,12A to the emitter and declines towards 2 amps fairly fast.

Mine does not have any PWM sound. Smile

Next mode memory..  Sick

Same pill as old lumens.

Dry threads.

No thermal paste.

Zoom feature was a bit too tight to comfortable one hand operation.

Tailcap does not screw on all the way when using long protected 18650 (say NCR18650B).

Flimsy spring on the tail.

Emitter was not centered

Anodizing on my was quite nice. Im not saying its good anodizing, just saying it was evenly applied and no marks to really complain on.

I like pocked clip is not super stiff as some lights are. Its nice.

 

How do I remove the (next-mode) memory? I would consider the driver to be decent if it did not have the next mode memory.

 

A fun fact. The hotspot when fully zoomed in is about 9,3 times larger than my XT-50 with de-domed XP-G2 with 3A Qlite (I bought that light as a host). Needles to say, it does not throw anywhere near the same. The N-light XT-50 have far superior thermal design, and larger lens and head. The stock SK98 have much wider and useful flood compared to my modded XT-50. Guess you cant have it all... This stock light does not impress anyone who are into lights in any way. Despite that, I think its a bit cool having an oversized Sipik SK68. Smile

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Thanks a lot for the review!

Thanks a lot for the review! Frontpage’d and Sticky’d.

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Ill answer my own question on

Ill answer my own question on how to fix the mode memory, or should I say, Relic38 probably answered it here.

I have not tried it yet though..

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spaceboy
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You need to be pretty good at

You need to be pretty good at soldering to do surface mount stuff dont you?

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Any long use tests on high?

Any long use tests on high? These are reported to do a bit of self melting on high from several other sources…just a warning before you try.

Old-Lumens
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B42 wrote:Any long use tests

B42 wrote:
Any long use tests on high? These are reported to do a bit of self melting on high from several other sources...just a warning before you try.
No need to test for long use. It gets hot fast on high. Easy to tell it won't run on high for a long time without having some kind of problem. Like most small lights, it just does not have the mass to run for a long time without overheating something.

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Old-Lumens wrote:B42

Old-Lumens wrote:

B42 wrote:
Any long use tests on high? These are reported to do a bit of self melting on high from several other sources…just a warning before you try.
No need to test for long use. It gets hot fast on high. Easy to tell it won’t run on high for a long time without having some kind of problem. Like most small lights, it just does not have the mass to run for a long time without overheating something.

I was curious as to how long it takes to get in the approximate “danger zone”. I probably shouldnt buy it for myself though anyway, since I do like to run my lights on high for longer periods, and my little Xiaozhi stands up to this use, though its *edit: $16 vs $13 with the above link for sk98.

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Temp in degrees C every

Temp in degrees C every minute starting at 0 minutes:

21.1
25.0
27.3
28.9
30.2
31.8
33.3
36.1
36.5
36.5
37.1
38.8
39.6

That’s 12 minutes. I decided to stop before it went over 40 degrees. the point where it stayed at 36.5 for a minute may have been me making an error in taking the measurement.

Temp measurements were taken at the kurling on the zoomer using an IR thermometer.

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Copper MCPCB and thermal

Copper MCPCB and thermal paste should help the emitter a ton compared to stock.

High (2,65)- medium (0,65)- strobe

High (2,62)- medium (1,31)- low (0,35) strobe - sos

After moving the positive emitter wire you will get higher output. Emitter output is very sensitive to input voltage though. 2,65 was with NCR18650B at 4,1V, so even if you might see three amps using a fresh good low discharge cell, you will only have high current in the beginning.

Information about how to do this was found here. Thanks to nofearek9. I just hopefully made it more clear.

As I understand from Relic38s memory fix, a 330K resistor goes on top of the the capacitor (the brown thing) in the same when as when stacking resistor on top of each other right?

 

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RaceR86 wrote: Copper MCPCB

RaceR86 wrote:

Copper MCPCB and thermal paste should help the emitter a ton compared to stock.

High (2,65)- medium (0,65)- strobe

High (2,62)- medium (1,31)- low (0,35) strobe - sos

After moving the positive emitter wire you will get higher output. Emitter output is very sensitive to input voltage though. 2,65 was with NCR18650B at 4,1V, so even if you might see three amps using a fresh good low discharge cell, you will only have high current in the beginning.

Information about how to do this was found here. Thanks to nofearek9. I just hopefully made it more clear.

As I understand from Relic38s memory fix, a 330K resistor goes on top of the the capacitor (the brown thing) in the same when as when stacking resistor on top of each other right?

 

You guys need to start one thread and gather all the driver info like this, in one thread, where we can find it again. I will forget this valuable information by tomorrow morning and I will look for a week and never find it again, LOL.

Thanks for the info!

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Isnt that the same driver as

Isnt that the same driver as in your UltraFire LZZ-F15 ?

and in many other lights these days.. like the Skye Eye F13, Winfire, Paisen z6 u2, etc etc.

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RaceR86 wrote:a 330K resistor

RaceR86 wrote:
a 330K resistor goes on top of the the capacitor (the brown thing) in the same when as when stacking resistor on top of each other right?

Yes, that’s the place to put it.

Higher resistance will reset the mode slower. I personally like to use 100k or lower resistor to get memory to reset under 2s.

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RaceR86 wrote: Aren’t you

RaceR86 wrote:

Aren’t you bypassing the driver and just direct driving by moving the positive?

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Cool.  Thank you for the

Cool.  Thank you RaceR86 for the driver mod summary and illustration.  You just significantly upgraded my SK98.

I want to repeat the advice to check you heat sink connection.  My emitter base had a plastic reflector insulator under it.

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I removed that little thing

I removed that little thing on my driver, but still have 5 modes.....

Sorry OL for going off topic!!!

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fartybum wrote: Aren't you

fartybum wrote:
Aren't you bypassing the driver and just direct driving by moving the positive?

No, you just bypass the current limiting resistors, the modes still work, and there is enough resistance everywhere, in this driver and your flashlight, to keep the current limited to a few amps anyway.

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My has lost its next mode

My has lost its next mode memory all on its own! I dont know how, been using it for about 2 weeks on a mix of high and low and it has lost the next mode memory. It always starts on high now.

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Great info Guys!

Great info Guys! And thanks for the pictures with all the added instruction…hand holding needed here. Smile

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Guess I will be finding out

Guess I will be finding out if the fasttech version is anything like this soon...I have one inbound

 

Awesome mod photos by the way...thanks!

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Exactly like Ultrafire SG-8

Exactly like Ultrafire SG-8 CREE XM-L T6 1000LM 5 Modes Zoomable Flashlight (even cheaper)

Compared to my XR-E Q5 EZ-900 SA-9, that emitter footprint looks big! Shock I’m beginning to understand how emitter size matters in a zoomie!
Great photos & review!

Cheers

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Barkuti wrote:Exactly like

Barkuti wrote:
Exactly like Ultrafire SG-8 CREE XM-L T6 1000LM 5 Modes Zoomable Flashlight (even cheaper

Very cheap machining in those product pics.

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I found if I take a pencil

I found if I take a pencil and scrub across the capacitor (brown resistor above the MCU) a few times and make a heavy thick line, the next mode memory goes to a "reset back to high" after 5-10 seconds after turn off.

I am going to get some of those 20mm adapter boards from FT and put a 4*7135 in mine w/ STAR custom firmware (mine has the hollow pill too which means no go on driving it really hard, I did put some artic silver on the ledge where the emitter base sits, and a tiny bit of NOALOX on the threads to help wick the heat away but a solid pill would be MUCH better!)

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just couldnt resist

nice price, just bought one off tmart!!

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