Tear Down: Sofirn K03 (less nice now)

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Jerommel
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Tear Down: Sofirn K03 (less nice now)

Update:
http://budgetlightforum.com/comment/1187313#comment-1187313

Hi folks,

Just got a tiny light in, it was too cheap to not buy… FacepalmParty

https://www.aliexpress.com/item/K03-Mini-LED-Flashlight-EDC-Compact-Pock...

Looks nice, doesn’t it?
Okay, the picture is edited a little, which is basically misleading, but none the less, it’s a reasonable representation of the actual item.

So it has 3 modes, the obvious high – low – strobe with visible PWM on low.
Mine has NO next mode memory though.
A somewhat greenish tinted fake XP-E, but not too cold.
It came in a cardboard box with padding, 2 spare O-rings and a tiny keychain clasp thingy.

Anyway, it’s a tear down, so here are the parts:

Parts list, from top left to bottom right:

- aluminum switch retaining ring Thumbs Up (no pressed in plastic nightmare)
- decent rubber switch boot
- switch (reverse clicky) it’s crap..[/EDIT]
- decent tail spring
- plastic switch and spring holder
- the battery tube (CR123A or 16340)
- silicone wires (they’re quite thin, but they’re silicone. Silly )

- aluminum driver retaining ring Thumbs Up
- 17 mm driver board (but it’s a crappy driver, should be replaced)
- head
- aluminum LED shelf (1mm thick but it’s obviously better than nothing)
- LED on thin (1 mm) 16 mm diameter aluminum board (crappy LED, should be replaced)
- LED / reflector gasket.
- Aluminum OP reflector Thumbs Up
- O-ring
- Glass lens Thumbs Up (not coated)
- Stainless steel bezel [EDIT] Newer version have an anodized aluminum bezel… Sad[/EDIT]

So basically it’s all quite good.
The anodizing looks good too, so does the machining.
I was surprized by the SS bezel and the switch assembly with the black anodized alu retaining ring.
There’s a little too much room between switch boot and switch button so it’s a bit mushy feeling, but nothing that can’t be solved.

I paid less than $ 4 for this little light.
Yes, it has to be modified with a better LED and driver, but that’s the hobby i.m.o.
So i thought i’d share this with you.
(I’ll probably put in a 3× 7135 driver and 4000K 219C with a diffuser behind the lens.)

Thanks for reading. Smile

Looking for:

5” parabolic reflector (for recoil light)

Edited by: Jerommel on 09/17/2017 - 11:58
JasonJ
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Nice teardown …. looks like it’s put together fairly decently. A couple upgrades and away you go.

vulpes
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Thanks for the review! The anodizing looks way above its price; is it like that in reality, not just in the pictures?

Jerommel
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The top picture is from the seller.
It’s edited to look better / smoother than in real life.
But the real thing has proper anodizing too.
Time will tell if it wears down easily or not.

Looking for:

5” parabolic reflector (for recoil light)

desmondkun
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Like it! A cheap, small light with tail switch.
Thanks.

Take care of your flashlight and your flashlight will take care of you.

MRsDNF
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Thanks for the review. For four dollars you usually regret spending that much. Beer

My current and or voltage measurements are only relevent to anything that I measure.

Budget light hobby proudly sponsored by my Mastercard and unknowingly paid for by a hard working wife. 

djozz said "it came with chinese lettering that is chinese to me".

old4570 said "I'm not an expert , so don't suffer from any such technical restrictions".

Old-Lumens. Highly admired and cherished member of Budget Light Forum. 11.5.2011 - 20.12.16. RIP.

 

Jerommel
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MRsDNF wrote:
Thanks for the review. For four dollars you usually regret spending that much. Beer

Yeah, i was looking for one of those twisty 123A lights, which are even cheaper, but they all look very cheaply made.
This K03 is quite a nice host for the money i.m.o.

Looking for:

5” parabolic reflector (for recoil light)

Slayer1
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Thanks for the sharing of this light. Thumbs Up

wle
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pardon if this was covered, but – simple question:

does it cutoff when the cell voltage gets too low?

does it also let non-rechargeables go all the way to 0V?

(the old XTAR WK42 did this, when you put in a new cell, it looks at voltage and decides if this is rechargeable or not. if it is, then it cuts off at at 2V or so. otherwise it lets non-rechargeable go all the way to 0V)

wle

Jerommel
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I don’t know, wle.
But it’s a linear driver, so the party is over before you discharge a 16340 too far.

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5” parabolic reflector (for recoil light)

wle
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good point, jerommel

this light [i got one] is good enough for the price

i was annoyed at myself though

i thought it had L M H for some reason

instead it is like all super cheap lithium-ion-capable lights – H L BlinkyUseless.**$%#$%#$%%^&%^&

oh well
my bad
not sure why i thought it was H M L

(is it so expensive to do L M H? if i am using a tiny battery, i don;t want to use H or M unless necessary what about HML for AAA lights, they all seem to be one level except lumintop, who annoyingly does M L H)

—this is what i reviewed it, on aliexpress:
——
it is pretty good for the low price – LED color is cool white, nice whitish tint – no purple or green – always starts on HIGH, i would rather it start on LOW, – i don’t like strobe mode at all but the cheap ones always have it – light is well made, good quality, i think it is probably waterproof just not for diving – it does not produce 300 lumens with a CR123 battery – probably needs 16340 li- ion for that – pattern is ok, has a hot spot in center, with some usable spill – it COULD be shorter with a TIR optic, instead of reflector and glass- overall GOOD FOR THE PRICE….
—-

wle

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Good host.
I changed LED to cree xm-l2 u3 1b. Driver from Convoy 4*7135 with new firmware. TIR lens 17 mm 20°.
Small bright thing Smile

wle
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TMW [ too much work Smile ]

Wildcat
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5-10 minutes. And someone here is too lazy Wink

bikenber73
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I wish it didn’t need so much work. Poor driver and a non CREE kinda kills it for me. Although I would pay $10 for an XPG2 and a better driver.

Maybe they will listen.

Wildcat
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I changed the second flashlight like this: LED cree xp-g2 r5 4c, driver from convoy.
$2 flashlight, $0.8 led, $1.5 driver. 5 minutes and lot of fun Smile

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Nice looking, very cheap, and if you look closely
That is a geniue cree xpg, not a lattice bright !

Jerommel
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NikolaS wrote:
Nice looking, very cheap, and if you look closely
That is a geniue cree xpg, not a lattice bright !

It’s not a Cree. (at least, mine wasn’t).

Looking for:

5” parabolic reflector (for recoil light)

Jerommel
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Just wanted to say that the switch in this thing totally sucks.
It has to be replaced.
(ymmv)

Looking for:

5” parabolic reflector (for recoil light)

Jerommel
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Wildcat wrote:
Good host.
I changed LED to cree xm-l2 u3 1b. Driver from Convoy 4*7135 with new firmware. TIR lens 17 mm 20°.
Small bright thing Smile
Thumbs Up
I put a 4000K Nichia E21AT sm403-D200-M1-R9080 in it with a 30° (i think) pebbled TIR on a single mode boost driver (for CR123A) at around 2.5 Watts (estimate) and it’s just lovely.
I replaced the switch though, because it was horrible…

Looking for:

5” parabolic reflector (for recoil light)

Slayer1
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Where do you guys get the TIR lens?

Jerommel
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Slayer1 wrote:
Where do you guys get the TIR lens?

I used a Ledlink TIR from member kiriba-ru. (i had to reduce the diameter though)
But i have a growing collection of TIRs because i just buy some here and there sometimes so that i usually have something useful in stock.

Looking for:

5” parabolic reflector (for recoil light)

Slayer1
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Jerommel wrote:
Slayer1 wrote:
Where do you guys get the TIR lens?
I used a Ledlink TIR from member kiriba-ru. (i had to reduce the diameter though) But i have a growing collection of TIRs because i just buy some here and there sometimes so that i usually have something useful in stock.

Thanks, Jerommel. Thumbs Up

wle
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huh – re the switch, i thought mine was fairly good

it maybe takes too much travel and pressure to push, but on the whole i liked it

on the other hand, they may vary due to the low price, some good/some bad, can;t tell

wle

Jerommel
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Could be, wle.
But i had an identical one (form another light) and it was just as bad. I threw both in the trash..
I put one of these in there in stead:
https://www.aliexpress.com/item/Flashlight-reverse-switch/1572591646.html
They’re my favourite reverse clicky switches.
I had to file down the corners a little to make them fit, and then i soldered it on a modified 15mm board with a spring.
I also used a better suited switch boot.
So in all more extra work i didn’t anticipate, but i guess that’s the hobby..

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5” parabolic reflector (for recoil light)

wle
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ha ha- switch cost almost as much as the whole light…

wle

Jerommel
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wle wrote:
ha ha- switch cost almost as much as the whole light…

wle


You get 10 pcs for $2.60 (or something around that amount).

Looking for:

5” parabolic reflector (for recoil light)

Jerommel
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So, i ordered another one and i got it in the mail today.
There’s no more stainless steel bezel, it’s anodized aluminium now…
Bummer huh? Tired
The glass lens seems to be thicker, it’s very thick, because the alu bezel is less deep…

It did come in a color printed cardboard box this time, matte finish with glossy brand name embossed, but i would have preferred a simple bubble wrap and a SS bezel and no expensive box…

For the rest it’s the same.

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5” parabolic reflector (for recoil light)

The Miller
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Interesting update, thanks and I agree with you.

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bait, and switch (sigh)

Jerommel
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Hmm… The switch is different from the one i had before.
It seems to be better than the previous one.
That’s an important improvement.
Alas… Still crap…

Looking for:

5” parabolic reflector (for recoil light)