Review: JAX Z1 (1x XM-L2, 1 or 2 x 26650/18650)

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unknown00101
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Review: JAX Z1 (1x XM-L2, 1 or 2 x 26650/18650)

 

JAX Z1

Reviewer's Overall Rating:  ★★★

  
Mouse over for fully zoomed.


Summary:

Battery: 1 or 2 x 26650/18650
Switch: Reverse Tailcap Clicky
Modes:

 Group 1: High, Medium, Low
 Group 2: High
 Group 3: High, Medium, Low, Strobe, SoS

Memory: Yes (On-time 3 seconds)
LED Type: 1 x XM-L2 (Cool White)
Lens: AR Coated Glass
Tailstands: Yes
Price: $59.79
Provided By: 

 Banggood

 


Pros:

Extremely High-quality feel.

Machining is absolutely perfect.

  • No sharp edges or machining marks under the anodization.
  • Tolerances are tight on all threads

Knurling provides grip, but is not too aggressive.

Matte dark-grey anodization is flawless.

Anodized battery tube threads.

Great thermal management.

Double O-ring seats perfectly.

Very long protected cells (NCR18650B/King Kong 26650) fit as do unprotected flat top cells. 

 

Cons:

Some artifacts in the beam while white wall hunting (Light reflecting off the zooming tube's inner threads).

Zoom functionality is rather noisy (Twist to zoom).

Mode group change functionality can get annoying while in the single mode group.

 

 

Function/UI:

Tailcap current (Amps): 

High  Medium   Low
 3.25.460.034

(1x Protected 26650 King Kong 4200mAh)

 

Standard reverse tailcap clicky switch operation. 
Click on. Half press for mode change.  


To change mode groups:

Switch to lowest mode in the current group and wait (5 seconds) for 2 quick flashes.
A full click or half press during the flash sequence will change to the next mode group.

The groups are in the following order:

Group 1: H-M-L
Group 2: H
Group 3: H-M-L-Strobe-SoS 

 

 

Pictures:

This beauty was shipped with quite a bit of care. The head was wrapped in tissue paper, several layers of bubble wrap, corrugated cardboard box, and several layers of foam sheet. Unfortunately it did suffer 1 single scratch at some point along its journey or at the factory(The little nick on the edge of the bezel in the picture on the left).

The lettering is very crisp and bright. "JAX Z1" is on both flat machined portions of the battery tube.

Mouse over for fully zoomed (Picture on the right).


Some more close up shots. The knurling has similar feel to that of a Convoy S2+. It provides grip, but is not overly aggressive.
The tailcap has 2 scalloped areas that allow easy access to the firm reverse clicky switch while also allowing the flashlight to tailstand. There are 2 sets of 2 holes machined in the non-scalloped areas of the tailcap that facilitate lanyards with various attachment methods.


The tailcap and the threads it mates to. The threads are anodized, lubed, and triangular cut. Very smooth threading and a firmly seating double O-ring.


Mouse over because why not. Silly


Comparison Shot:

JAX Z1, Eagle Eye X6, Convoy C8, XinTD X3.

Mouse over for fully zoomed (I like to think that the Z1 scared away the sun for the mouseover shot. Silly ).



Breakdown:

This is the view from the front with the bezel off and the light fully extended. Here we can see the culprit of the artifacts in the beam profile. The threads are very well lubed, but there is still quite a bit of noise when zooming. The second picture is the process of removing the portion that zooms. This zooming piece slides down the tube for disassembly. The zooming threads are square.

 

Zooming portion removed in the left picture (the shiny marks on the tube are just lube that transferred during disassembly).
Zooming portion next to the bezel. 

 

Here's that beautiful AR lens.

 

....... Where were we?... Oh yes! Continuing the breakdown we have the XML2 led. The threaded piece that fits over the star and pill prevents light from reflecting off the star and pill. This detail is often ignored, or made worse with the addition of a shiny star/pill cover. The JAX Z1's cover piece is a nice flat grey color that really adds a level of finish I haven't seen in any of my other zoomable flashlights.

 

With the cover removed we can see the brass pill and aluminum star. The star is really glued in there with some thermal glue compound I have not previously seen.

Threads on the pill are trapezoidal cut and are very smooth just like the other threads. Smile 

 

Back of the pill. Small brass retaining ring.

 

Couple of shots of the driver.

 

Beamshots:

Here's the lineup:

Flashlight  Emitter  Tailcap Current (Amps)  Throw (cd)  Estimated Output (Lumens)
Sipik Sk68XRE1.70 14500 230
Small Sun ZY-C10   XRE1.25 43750 120
Yupard SK98XML23.11 9000 650
JAX Z1XML23.25 55000 890

The throw column values are measured via lux meter at a distance of 7 feet and 30 seconds after turn on. The lux value is then converted to cd.
The estimated output values are derived from ceiling bounce numbers compared against a few known flashlights that have been tested in a calibrated sphere and as such these values should only be taken as rough estimates. 

 

The following beamshots are all mouse out / mouse over. The Mouse over is the JAX Z1. All flashlights are in their highest brightness mode.

 

Sipik SK68 vs JAX Z1

Despite the larger LED in the JAX the beam is very tight, even more so than that of the XRE in the SK68!

 

Small Sun ZY-C10 vs JAX Z1

The C10 is an absolute pencil beam of a zoomie thrower. The Z1 seems to match the throw while simultaneously providing a larger, more usable hotspot.

 

Yupard SK98 vs JAX Z1

XML2 vs XML2 at similar current draw. The Z1 absolutely destroys the SK98 in throw with a hotspot roughly half its size. I find the fully zoomed Z1's hotspot to be right in the sweet spot of being small enough to focus the beam for a great amount of throw, but still being large enough to be very usable.

 

Conclusion:

 

The JAX Z1 is a high quality zoomable flashlight with a few notable issues.

As I see it, the single mode group is fairly pointless. The quick flashes after 5 seconds will almost definitely cause any user some headache when the mode group is accidentally changed. There are artifacts in the beam while zoomed and the zoom itself is quite noisy.

Apart from those issues the quality is superb. The machining, fit and finish are fantastic. The Z1 boasts above par output with great throw all in a small package. The thermal management is also good, warming up along the entire length of the flashlight. It is topped off by an absolutely breathtaking AR lens.

 

I rate the JAX Z1 a 4 out of 5.

Edited by: sb56637 on 09/02/2017 - 11:53
unknown00101
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Moar beamshots:

This time we're going up close to view the artifacts in the beam.

 

JAX Z1 (Mouse Out) vs Yupard SK98 (Mouse Over).

First up is the zoomed in artifacts. Note: The hotspot is overexposed in order to capture the surrounding artifacts.

The Z1 does have some rather annoying artifacts resulting from light reflecting off the inner threads that allow the light to zoom. Thankfully, outdoors they are far less noticeable compared to indoors or while white wall hunting.

 

Next is the hotspot. The Z1 zooms just enough to obtain the fully realized square, but not enough to show the fine details of the XML2 LED. The SK98 zooms all the way in to where the small holes in the phosphor are visible. The lens does a fantastic job of focusing the beam down to a very tight hotspot.

 

Fully zoomed out (Flood).

The outer edge of the Z1's zoomed out beam has some discoloration, but overall is very smooth and very wide.

 

 

One final shot at a location I haven't been to in a while. The top of the tree the JAX Z1 is hitting is about 200 yards away. Smile

 

Feel free to ask questions. Smile

ChibiM
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Thanks for the review.

That really looks like a pencil beam! When (if ever) do you think you'll have some throw numbers?

I like the looks of it very much.. bad asss

Oh, and what do you think of the UI? I personally don't like the blinkies after 5 seconds..

unknown00101
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ChibiM wrote:

Thanks for the review.

That really looks like a pencil beam! When (if ever) do you think you'll have some throw numbers?

I like the looks of it very much.. bad asss

Oh, and what do you think of the UI? I personally don't like the blinkies after 5 seconds..

I actually just got done doing ceiling bounce numbers and throw measurements. I'll post them momentarily. Posted. Smile

About the UI... 'Eh'. I'm okay with the blink-blink for the low mode in HML and HMLstrSOS groups, but having it occur in the single (high) mode group gets annoying quick for me since in normal use I typically only need the light for quick bursts of <20 seconds at a time. I find that I sometimes will accidentally change groups if it's in the single mode group and I'm not actively thinking about the flashes at 5secs. Then there is the whole process of getting back to the single mode group.

ChibiM
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Yes, that is what I meant.

the annoyance of changing groups accidentally. My most used light is my bed-side light, (old p60 solarforce 3AAA), and at 1 time it had one of those drivers with those blinkies. And I only used it in short bursts... it happened a few times that I changed the mode group.Since then my dislike has grown against them.

First of, I don`t like to see the blinks.. secondly I don`t like that it changes the "group" accidentally.

(sorry for going off topic! )

so it has 55000cd of throw. Not bad!
Do you think a De-dome will help in that setup?

unknown00101
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I have never dedomed a zoomie, but if I recall correctly from reading dedoming should increase its throw.

Ledsmoke
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Dedoming has similar effect for aspheric as for reflectored lights. About doubles the throw.

~ Ledsmoke ~

Dutch humor:

[quote=djozz]

 I do not think that the BLF-community ben

lionheart_2281
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I’ve asked Vinh to do a run of these, current boosted dedomed.
You say the zooming is noisy…can this be fixed by simply adding some Nyogel to the threads?

unknown00101
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lionheart_2281 wrote:
I’ve asked Vinh to do a run of these, current boosted dedomed.
You say the zooming is noisy…can this be fixed by simply adding some Nyogel to the threads?

I don’t have any nyogel, but the zooming threads are alreading well coated from the factory.
unknown00101
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OP and Post #1 updated.

keengeorge
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Good Day Unknown00101, Smile

 

Great review!...

 

Could You Please answer the following questions:

(1). What is the inner diameter of the battery tube?

(2). Is it possible to use a 3xAAA battery holder instead of 18650/26650 Batteries?

(3). How "loose" are 18650 Batteries in the battery tube?

 

Thank You Very Much,

George

 

Fritz t. Cat
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Very interesting. People have been asking for a more expensive zoomy, and here it is.

Flashlight designers should look at lighthouses and pottery.
这些谁设计的手电筒应该看灯塔,以及在陶器。

lionheart_2281
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Fritz t. Cat wrote:
Very interesting. People have been asking for a more expensive zoomy, and here it is.

People on here have been asking for something more expensive?! Name and shame! Ban stick time!!!

aoeu
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I would really appreciate a medium distance flood-beam photo. Thanks for the review.

unknown00101
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keengeorge wrote:

Could You Please answer the following questions:

(1). What is the inner diameter of the battery tube?

27.25mm

(2). Is it possible to use a 3xAAA battery holder instead of 18650/26650 Batteries?

Yes, it can be a bit finicky to position since the 3AAA carrier is ~6mm skinier than a 26650, but once it's in position and tightened down all seems fine.

(3). How "loose" are 18650 Batteries in the battery tube?

Loose enough that it needs a spacer. Any old 26650 to 18650 tube spacer should work fine. 

unknown00101
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aoeu wrote:
I would really appreciate a medium distance flood-beam photo. Thanks for the review.

I’ll give it another shot tomorrow night.
keengeorge
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unknown00101 wrote:

keengeorge wrote:

Could You Please answer the following questions:

(1). What is the inner diameter of the battery tube?

27.25mm

(2). Is it possible to use a 3xAAA battery holder instead of 18650/26650 Batteries?

Yes, it can be a bit finicky to position since the 3AAA carrier is ~6mm skinier than a 26650, but once it's in position and tightened down all seems fine.

(3). How "loose" are 18650 Batteries in the battery tube?

Loose enough that it needs a spacer. Any old 26650 to 18650 tube spacer should work fine. 

Good Day Unknown00101, Smile

 

Thank You Very Much for the Greatly Appreciated information....

 

Best Regards,

George

dangerous
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I like this light – the small size is nice for such a zoomie. Mine focuses well enough such that I can see the cutouts in the XML2 phosphor. Zooming in and out is a bit slow because you have to twist it so many times, but I guess that’s minor.

My zooming threads came dry and my tailcap threads came lubed.

BLF

fnsooner
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Thanks for the review Unknown00101. I just ordered one. Now for the wait.

BanglaBob
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Yes, thanks unknown00101 for the fine review and many detailed pictures.
I ordered the Jax after reading your review and am very happy with it.

Especially after a fellow BLF’er kindly consented to modify it for me.
It has been current-boosted and is now using a de-domed XPG2. I didn’t go for the full boost
(to keep the heat in check) but my little Z1 still achieves 190kCd Big Smile
Am loving it !

Lights out! That's when things get interesting...

bibihang
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BanglaBob wrote:
Yes, thanks unknown00101 for the fine review and many detailed pictures.
I ordered the Jax after reading your review and am very happy with it.

Especially after a fellow BLF’er kindly consented to modify it for me.
It has been current-boosted and is now using a de-domed XPG2. I didn’t go for the full boost
(to keep the heat in check) but my little Z1 still achieves 190kCd Big Smile
Am loving it !


Looks like this JAX Z1 has made a lot of people happy. It is one of the best aspherical flashlights we can find nowadays especially in this price range. Smile
nofearek9
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replacing those R150 R160 resistors with R100 how much you will get with single cell ? anyone done it ?

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nofearek9 wrote:
replacing those R150 R160 resistors with R100 how much you will get with single cell ? anyone done it ?

With a single cell I’m afraid you won’t see a lot of current gain as these buck drivers normally have fairly high resistance. You need to try using two batteries instead to see the increased current to the emitter after the resistor mod.
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that i was afraid of, thank you

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The stock driver may not be easy to pimp out for single-cell use, but this host works very nicely with a BLF22DD driver.

Also, does anyone know of a cheap plastic cover which would fit this to protect the optics? It’d be nice to carry this in a pocket without scratching the glass or the AR coating. I’m thinking something like a shallow end cap, perhaps even usable as a diffuser, roughly the shape of a petri dish.

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unknown00101 wrote:

 

JAX Z1

Reviewer's Overall Rating:  ★★★

 

Thanks for the review. I got a lot from it, not the least of which being that this is a worthy zoomie (and one I want)!

totilde
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Rusty Joe wrote:

unknown00101 wrote:

 

JAX Z1

Reviewer’s Overall Rating:  ★★★

 

Thanks for the review. I got a lot from it, not the least of which being that this is a worthy zoomie (and one I want)!


Remember there are discount codes at banggood for both the complete,light and the host

Mooooooo

Rusty Joe
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totilde wrote:
Rusty Joe wrote:

unknown00101 wrote:

 

JAX Z1

Reviewer's Overall Rating:  ★★★

 

Thanks for the review. I got a lot from it, not the least of which being that this is a worthy zoomie (and one I want)!

Remember there are discount codes at banggood for both the complete,light and the host

 

Thanks. Which is a better buy in terms of quality and throw? This or the UF-1405?

Chazzy
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The Jax is built better but has around half the lux when compared to the 1405 if both are running xpg2s at 5A.

"Whoa that's a bright light!" ... Yea I guess.

Rusty Joe
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Chazzy wrote:
The Jax is built better but has around half the lux when compared to the 1405 if both are running xpg2s at 5A.

I meant stock. 

Chazzy
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My 1405 had 68klux stock whereas the Jax has 50klux.

"Whoa that's a bright light!" ... Yea I guess.

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