Review: #3 Noname $3.60 XPE-Q5 single AA/14500 zoomie

40 posts / 0 new
Last post

Pages

bikedude
bikedude's picture
Offline
Last seen: 4 months 2 weeks ago
Joined: 08/08/2014 - 07:35
Posts: 229
Review: #3 Noname $3.60 XPE-Q5 single AA/14500 zoomie

Manufacturer: Unknown
LED used: Cree XPE Q5
Power source: AA/14500 batteries (1.2 to 4.2V input voltage range)
Switch: Reverse clicky
Available Colours: Black, Silver, Gold
Dimensions: 90 × 20 × 20 mm
Price: $3.59 / €2.88
Order date: Sept. 26th 2014
From: banggood.com
Link (affiliate): http://www.banggood.com/CREE-XPE-Q5-600-Lumen-7W-Zoomable-LED-Flashlight-1×14500-p-907006.html?p=CV2621791095201409D6

Pros:
- Inexpensive!
- Good light output for something of that size*
- Decent overall build quality
- Greased tailcap threads
- takes NiMH or Li-Ion

Cons:
- one of two came with dirtied dome
- No heatsink
- Triangular threads
- Runtime will be low with AA, due to booster circuit ineffectivity
- scratchy tailcap spring
- press fit reflector is a pain in the ass to re-attach once it comes loose

*my only other light is an SA-22 so I can’t compare it all that well. I guess it’s somewhere around 150 lumens.
I ordered two after reading a review here somewhere, can’t seem to find it again. One showed weaker output (blurred, LED grid not showing when zoomed out) due to dirt and grease on the dome.
After dropping it (unintentionally, on a carpet, so nothing broke) the LED base, which is held in place by a clear plastic separator ring and the friction fit reflector, came loose; so I mounted the base on two toothpicks (the cables are just long enough for that) and cleaned the LED dome thoroughly with a cleaning cloth for eyeglasses. Now its beam is slightly clearer and more intense than that of the other light. There is no heatsink behind the LED base, I don’t know if one an XPE requires one. I forgot to measure the diameter of the base, which might have been useful for fitting a heatsink.




Closeups of the LED:






Driver circuit (obscured resistor is labeled R270):

SS24 is a schottky diode (maybe polarity protection).
LED base:

Beamshots using 1.5V AA at ISO 100, F2.8 1/10 sec exposure, distance from wall 1 m , using A4 paper sheet (210 × 297 mm / 8.27 × 11.7 in) as target. Beam has a strong blue tint.


1/200 sec exposure for focused beam:

picture backup:
http://picload.org/image/cdpawgd/3e_xpeq5_01.jpg
http://picload.org/image/cdpawgo/3e_xpeq5_02.jpg
http://picload.org/image/cdpawgc/3e_xpeq5_03.jpg
http://picload.org/image/cdpawgp/3e_xpeq5_04.jpg
http://picload.org/image/cdpawrg/3e_xpeq5_05.jpg
http://picload.org/image/cdpawrd/3e_xpeq5_06.jpg
http://picload.org/image/cdpawro/3e_xpeq5_07.jpg
http://picload.org/image/cdpawrc/3e_xpeq5_08.jpg
http://picload.org/image/cdpawrp/3e_xpeq5_09.jpg
http://picload.org/image/cdpawdg/3e_xpeq5_10.jpg
http://picload.org/image/cdpawdd/3e_xpeq5_11.jpg
http://picload.org/image/cdpawdo/3e_xpeq5_12.jpg
http://picload.org/image/cdpawdp/3e_xpeq5_13.jpg
http://picload.org/image/cdpawag/3e_xpeq5_14.jpg
http://picload.org/image/cdpawac/3e_xpeq5_16.jpg
http://picload.org/image/cdpawog/3e_xpeq5_19.jpg

Edited by: bikedude on 11/04/2014 - 19:03
Manx
Offline
Last seen: 4 days 15 hours ago
Joined: 03/17/2014 - 10:24
Posts: 873
Location: Italy

I’m waiting the same light, but gold… let’s try some different:)

www.youtube.com/channel/UCeDhMPm0L1yvr3LpygDPgMw my flashlights/knives/gear video reviews
www.absoluteblack.net my dark comics

hank
hank's picture
Offline
Last seen: 4 hours 28 min ago
Joined: 09/04/2011 - 21:52
Posts: 8768
Location: Berkeley, California

For cross-reference, this is the general category (so many variations) called “#3” in the
“Under $10, 1x AA/ AAA/ 14500/ 16340 flashlight reference …”
budgetlightforum.com/node/31780

The rare and unpredictable one with a solid pill is decent. I wish I could find another one like the one I have.
I’ve got half a dozen of the hollow pill variety, from trying.

light junkie
light junkie's picture
Offline
Last seen: 2 months 3 days ago
Joined: 02/03/2013 - 23:36
Posts: 1694
Location: Sw Az
For the review I bought two, one for me and one for my mother in law and I was going to put this driver in it https://www.fasttech.com/p/1127407 from Fasttech but now after real this review so I guess I won’t now and thanks for the review .

Lj

light junkie
light junkie's picture
Offline
Last seen: 2 months 3 days ago
Joined: 02/03/2013 - 23:36
Posts: 1694
Location: Sw Az
Have any idea what the actual output is ?

Lj

bikedude
bikedude's picture
Offline
Last seen: 4 months 2 weeks ago
Joined: 08/08/2014 - 07:35
Posts: 229

Sorry, I don’t have any means to measure lumens or stuff like tailcap current. My cheap multimeter can’t measure ampere.

Firelight2
Firelight2's picture
Offline
Last seen: 2 hours 23 min ago
Joined: 04/08/2011 - 15:17
Posts: 3869
Location: California

I like these tiny zoomies.

Much smaller and more pocketable than a Sipik 68. They even make the Sipik 68’s little brother, the Sipik 58, look large. Meanwhile the beam and output are pretty similar to a stock Sipik 68.

I had a couple modded lights similar to this one sitting around. One of them had a 3-mode 3-amp driver, but the LED, an XPG2, was only half lighting up. Either because it burnt out from too much current, or wasn’t soldered correctly to the star. Not sure which.

I removed the XPG2 and put on a dedomed neutral tint XPL I had laying around. The results are impressive. Flood mode is much brighter now. And in throw mode it still produces a respectable 18k lux. It doesn’t blow the socks off my modded 18650 version, but it’s far better than stock.

These tiny lights can be a pain to mod though. A 17mm Nanjg 105c driver fits… but only after you file off a LOT of the edges, and even then it floats below the pill.

hank
hank's picture
Offline
Last seen: 4 hours 28 min ago
Joined: 09/04/2011 - 21:52
Posts: 8768
Location: Berkeley, California

The BLF SK68 driver fits fine to replace the native driver in these, with only slight filing.
CK made several variations on that driver for me, that went into these “#3” and SK68 zoomies just fine.

Rufusbduck
Rufusbduck's picture
Offline
Last seen: 1 year 3 weeks ago
Joined: 04/04/2012 - 15:34
Posts: 10389
Location: Golden state

I don’t have any of these but it looks like any significant increase in output will need an accompanying improvement in the heat sink. The hollow pill might remain sufficient with a DTP mcpcb or a mod to improve the pill used with a non DTP mcpcb. The 1.5A range doesn’t seem like much but even there it’s necessary to improve the thermal path since zoomies are usually poor in this respect. Just my thoughts but having done a few mods in this range I would be careful upping the current without looking at this.

Three Tanna leaves to give him life, nine to give him movement. But what if he eats the whole bag?

Scott

hank
hank's picture
Offline
Last seen: 4 hours 28 min ago
Joined: 09/04/2011 - 21:52
Posts: 8768
Location: Berkeley, California

The one I got with a solid pill upgraded very nicely with a PC Rebel. Never got another one, from anywhere.
The other half dozen I have from the lottery, I’m starting to hand-carve copper disks to drop into the hole behind the emitter; they raise the LED closer to the lens so mess up the perfectly focused image a bit, but the zoom still makes a tight enough spot — but they seem to carry the heat off to the body adequately, using the “SK68” driver in various versions that Cerealkiller has made for me.

I do like these little #3s a lot. If only I could get more with solid pills (sigh).

bikedude
bikedude's picture
Offline
Last seen: 4 months 2 weeks ago
Joined: 08/08/2014 - 07:35
Posts: 229

http://www.fasttech.com/products/1612/10001750/1127402-12-aaaaa-1-mode-8... Looks similar to the #3 stock driver, I wonder what would happen if I replace that R270 with a lower rated one – or bypass it completely, idk.
See this thread http://budgetlightforum.com/node/35281 for other modding considerations. Heat management is my last concern, I still have to find a way to get output high enough first, with 1 or 2 1.2V AA that is. No drivers, at least none to decent prices (I think sandwich shoppe has one around $15) for 2 AA. Maybe I could use two drivers, like in http://budgetlightforum.com/node/28781 (edit: just realized that’s a bad idea, after reading some more about the XPE. Guess I’ll aim for 0.800-1A max.)

poster
Offline
Last seen: 1 month 2 weeks ago
Joined: 07/29/2014 - 02:28
Posts: 78

i have this and compared to the Sipik sk68 and ALL THE CLONES are better then this

the biggest failure is the clip its too weak and is not attached it just slips (loosely) around the battery cover so it totally interferes with changing the battery
also all of them are blueish
and they are not as bright at all
the beam pattern is a lot smaller
trust me when i say this is a cheap chinese toy and fails in every way compared to the sk68

i for one am not happy and hope this design dies quickly
and the cloners stick with the Sipik sk68 to clone even the worse sk68 clone i have is better then this

Firelight2
Firelight2's picture
Offline
Last seen: 2 hours 23 min ago
Joined: 04/08/2011 - 15:17
Posts: 3869
Location: California

poster wrote:
i have this and compared to the Sipik sk68 and ALL THE CLONES are better this this

the biggest failure is the clip its too weak and is not attached it just slips (loosely) around the battery cover so it totally interferes with changing the battery
also all of them are blueish
and they are not as bright at all
the beam pattern is a lot smaller
trust me when i say this is a cheap chinese toy and fails in every way compared to the sk68

i for one am not happy and hope this design dies quickly
and the cloners stick with the Sipik sk68 to clone even the worse sk68 clone i have is better then this

Actually I MUCH prefer these little zoomies to the SK68.

The SK68’s unwieldy shape with lots of crenelations is uncomfortable for pocket carry. These little zoomies are half the size but virtually the same brightness. They also have a much smoother more-streamlined shape that won’t tear up a pocket.

Performance between this type of light and the SK68 is quite similar. They have a fairly wide flood. Throw is very similar to a SK68, though the beam is narrower due to long focal length lens.

I agree the ring-clip interferes with battery changes. I removed it from mine. There’s also a variant with a slightly different bezel design that has a slip on clip that doesn’t get in the way.

hank
hank's picture
Offline
Last seen: 4 hours 28 min ago
Joined: 09/04/2011 - 21:52
Posts: 8768
Location: Berkeley, California

You can drill through the side of the tailcap, carefully, and make a suitable hole for a split ring.
Much nicer than the stupid little metal clip.

I sure wish I knew a reliable source for solid pills for these #3 zoomies.

They’re decent mod lights even with the hollow pill — I stick a copper disk into the shelf, and put a 10mm square board with a PC Rebel on that.

They’re a pleasure to give away to people — passing on my older Energizer lithium primary AA cells when I refresh the batteries in the earthquake cache.

Speedsix
Offline
Last seen: 5 months 1 week ago
Joined: 12/04/2011 - 14:49
Posts: 1667
Location: San Diego, California

I got one of the gold ones. It’s at least as bright as a SK68 but thinner and easier to pocket. Not as thick or heavy so it’s not built as well but the SK68 is a beefy light. This light makes a good little 1AA cheap alternative. I’ve had mine for about a year with no problems. I like it.

shrick
shrick's picture
Offline
Last seen: 1 year 7 months ago
Joined: 10/15/2014 - 07:15
Posts: 699

Does anybody know the size of the mcpcb on this light?

tristanxoxo
Offline
Last seen: 9 months 6 days ago
Joined: 03/26/2014 - 00:50
Posts: 598

shrick wrote:
Does anybody know the size of the mcpcb on this light?

It’s looks tiny, but believe it or not it is a 16mm.
MountainKing
Offline
Last seen: 3 months 3 weeks ago
Joined: 12/01/2011 - 03:20
Posts: 2273
Location: Lost Islands ™

How long of a runtime on nimh! looks like a great gifter Smile

Never ever forget and forgive. Niwal**er new kid on the block trying to act tough.
http://budgetlightforum.com/node/24847
Do not support this brand.

DINODIRECTSCAM COMPANY. DO NOT BUY
http://budgetlightforum.com/node/11324?page=2#comment-254983

dthoang
Offline
Last seen: 1 year 2 months ago
Joined: 10/09/2014 - 13:30
Posts: 319
Location: Austin, TX USA

Now on sale at Gearbest for $2.29 with free shipping.

Available in black, golden, and silver for same price.

one year rookie

Firelight2
Firelight2's picture
Offline
Last seen: 2 hours 23 min ago
Joined: 04/08/2011 - 15:17
Posts: 3869
Location: California

I own a bunch of these from various different brands.

In mine, the star is either 16mm or 14mm. The ones using a 16mm star have a hollow pill. The 14mm ones have a solid pill. It’s not that hard to file down a 16mm noctigon with a handfile so it fits the 14mm slot.

The driver is 14mm. A 15mm driver from mountain electronics fits easily with a minimal amount of filing at the edges. A 17mm Nanjg 105c can fit as a floating driver below the pill, but it takes a heroic amount of filing and can easily result in a destroyed driver.

hank
hank's picture
Offline
Last seen: 4 hours 28 min ago
Joined: 09/04/2011 - 21:52
Posts: 8768
Location: Berkeley, California

Lottery! I have exactly one with a solid pill, and it came with a 16mm emitter; I have going on a dozen with hollow pills, most of those with sort-of-15mm emitters that are probablyjust cut down and filed down. Those are the ones with the rough cut rectangular notches for unscrewing the pill that look like they were put in with a chisel ….

Sure would like to find solid pills reliably. I put in one 10mm square Luxeon PC Rebel board and it fits perfectly on the solid pill — leaves the wire holes unblocked, and self-centers with its corners right at the circumference of the cutout. (I’ve stuffed 16mm copper disks from Etsy into the holes on other ones.)

knifeknut
Offline
Last seen: 3 years 2 months ago
Joined: 12/31/2014 - 20:27
Posts: 12
Location: Marquette, Michigan

Has anyone bought the gearbest version and how does it seem to compare to other versions? I’m thinking of picking some up next time I order from them.

bikedude
bikedude's picture
Offline
Last seen: 4 months 2 weeks ago
Joined: 08/08/2014 - 07:35
Posts: 229

3-modes usually have a solid pill… but they’re 3-modes :/
search ‘xpe flashlight’ on aliexpress to find them.

Boaz
Boaz's picture
Online
Last seen: 8 min 56 sec ago
Joined: 11/07/2010 - 09:31
Posts: 7285
Location: Birthplace of Aviation

I think they are all 3 modes aren't they ??

i know gearbest says one mode but I assumed it was just a bad description on their part .

 

wallybuys ones were listed as one mode and 11 lumens ...but ended up 100+ lumens and solid pill three modes 

 

Has anyone bought any of these from Gearbest ?

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

                            

       Dc-fix diffuser film  >…  http://budgetlightforum.com/node/42208

WarHawk-AVG
WarHawk-AVG's picture
Offline
Last seen: 5 months 3 days ago
Joined: 01/04/2014 - 06:47
Posts: 5071
Location: H-Town

Inductor core is busted

hank
hank's picture
Offline
Last seen: 4 hours 28 min ago
Joined: 09/04/2011 - 21:52
Posts: 8768
Location: Berkeley, California

Gearbest doesn’t know what they’re selling and aren’t allowed to open one up far enough to tell.
I’d assume it’s a hollow core.

bikedude
bikedude's picture
Offline
Last seen: 4 months 2 weeks ago
Joined: 08/08/2014 - 07:35
Posts: 229

Going by how the tailcap and the crenelations in the mid section look, I’d also say the gearbest is a hollow pill 1-mode.
Btw. the AE 3-modes are (subjectively) slightly brighter. You could buy several and try to pencil mod them to 1-mode (several capacitors on that PCB) if you don’t mind the effort.

Noki
Offline
Last seen: 3 years 4 months ago
Joined: 08/16/2014 - 21:15
Posts: 167
Location: Serbia/Malaysia

I bought 2 from Gearbest, silver and black.

http://www.gearbest.com/led-flashlights/pp_172292.html

They separated my order so I received only silver, black is still in transit. You’re right, silver has 3 mode and it doesn’t work on AA battery but it works on 14500.

Also led doesn’t look like XP-E and is less brighter then my SK68 from Bangood.

Other than that; body, zoom and switch looks ok. Its much lighter and smaller then SK68 and feels better in the hand.

Lennart
Lennart's picture
Offline
Last seen: 1 week 1 day ago
Joined: 05/18/2011 - 12:44
Posts: 450
Location: Sweden
Bought one of Ebay ; new record in blue tint and low lumens.Tailcap tread did not fit my extensions. With Cree it would have been a nice flashlight. A year ago I got two that where weak but OK.

Lennart

UliBär
UliBär's picture
Offline
Last seen: 3 months 5 days ago
Joined: 05/22/2013 - 16:08
Posts: 389
Location: N52° 16' 9.444" E10° 31' 26.105"

Looks like another Lattice(Blue)“Bright” fake… yuck! :Sp

Aloha, Uli

bikedude
bikedude's picture
Offline
Last seen: 4 months 2 weeks ago
Joined: 08/08/2014 - 07:35
Posts: 229

I just measured tailcap resistance on different (bg/AE) models, the readings explain the lower output on the former: banggood version tailcap has ~4 (!) Ω, for Aliexpress it’s <0.5Ω
Tailcap current is ~300mA with NiMH AA. The multimeter I used is probably twice my age (analog scale) so idk how accurate that reading is.
Edit: This is how it looks disassembled:
I soldered the spring to the switch and also added some solder to the contact pad on the side.
The 4 ohm one went down to 0.6 ohm, another measuring 30 ohm went down to 2 (it’s still a bit dim).

Pages