Sofirn C8T premier review/test - Like!

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Barkuti
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Sofirn C8T premier review/test - Like!

Disclaimer: my Sofirn C8T sample was provided free of charge for me to express my humble opinion on it.

 

0K my dears, it's been some time already since I got the torch and finally more or less I have it. I had plans for some detailed current measurements and it has been a little hassle. Luckily I have a few interesting pics and data to share, and I'll be adding my disassembly impression and pics in a day or two. I just wanted to first share this worthwhile information.

My C8T's firmware is an early prototype version with low/mid/hig modes and double click to strobe. Bollocks! It indeed has the second group as in the advertisement description, can't really recall how did I presumed the above mentioned @#$%, maybe I missed a click as you have to click 3x times fast for the group mode to change (this is good, if not people would have complained of slow mode shift).

Let's start!

 

Sofirn C8T. Official specifications.-

From Sofirn's AliExpress site:

 

fen1

 

Sofirn New C8 with 2 groups and easy to change group, with 3 series, C8A, C8T and C8F

Operation Reference

ON / OFF: Full press the tail switch to activate or deactivate.

Group Set Operation: When on, 3 click continuously, the light flash 2 times and then automatically goes to next mode group.

Modes Set operation: when on, half press to change or cycle modes: Moonlight / Low / Medium / High / SOS (group 2) or Low / Medium / High (group 1).

Hidden Strobe: When on, 2 half click continuously to activate Strobe, and 1 half click to return to original mode.

 

 

C8A: Adopt 1 Cree XP-L2 LED with max 1747 lumens

QQ20170909144521

 

C8T: Adopt 1 Cree XP-L HI LED with max 1310 lumens

C8T-1

 

High brightness automatically turns to Medium brightness after working 3 minutes, So the running time of High is accumulated . 3000mah 18650 battery used in test.

 

Specification:

√ CCT Range: 5350K-5700K, Neutral White (NW)

√ Voltage: 2.8V-4.2 Volts

√ Power: C8A--(18W,Max current 5.6A) , C8T--(14W,Max current 4.5A), C8F--(20W,Max current 6A) Please be sure your battery could support this high current

√ Dimension: 44.6mm(head) *24.5mm(body diameter)*144mm(length)

√ Net Weight: 140 gram (no battery included)

√ Material: 6063 aircraft-grade aluminum alloy

√ Light Cup: smooth reflector

√ Made by 6063 aluminum alloy, CNC machines, Premium type Ⅲ hard-anodized anti-abrasive finish to get solid built body, anti-crash and better heat exchange 

√ Toughened glass lens with AR coating, anti-crash and wearable

√ The water-resistant level is IPX-8, it can be used in underwater 2 meters for 30 minutes. And it is used in rainstorm.

√ Mode Memory: Yes. The current mode can be memorized if the flashlight turns on more than 2 seconds. Turn it on next time, it is the original mode memorized.

√ Low voltage protection: Yes. The light is automatically turns off when the voltage is lower than 2.8 volts. The signal is that the light slowly flashes for 1 minutes

√ Reverse polarity protection, to protect from improper battery installation. The light is off if battery install improper.

√ Battery:  It powered by one 3.7V 18650 battery  ( not included,battery should support over 6A, suggest unprotected battery)

 

 

Sheesh! Glad I was able to grab the embedded piece of code in the product page, it has made my life much easier.

Official product link: https://www.aliexpress.com/item/Sofirn-New-C8-Tactical-Cree-XPL2-LED-Flashlight-18650-Powerful-Flashlight-Portable-Torch-light-Two-Groups/32829685476.html

 

I am not going to expand on this too much, right now I'm a bit tired. This flashlight uses a standard Ø17mm slot driver, but Sofirn uses a new dual high and low power MOSFET design. The high power MOSFET is a 9926A (confirmed) and the low power one probably an AO3400 is yet unknown.

My kitchen scale measured around 142.5g of weight for the torch with the strap attached, 189g with a solder-blobbed Samsung INR18650-30Q inside.

High to medium stepdown timer specified at 3:00, my sample does it at 3:25.

 

 

Pics!

Daylight white balance was used for all of the pictures.

First a few beamshots with my Big Smile obsolete smartphone, pics with an HDR label are HDR as you may guess:

 

 

Next picture was taken both in HDR and standard modes:

 

 

Next, some close up pictures. The torch feels solid, has a great anodization and 1+mm tube thickness. The reflector is an amazing piece of polished metal. No problems for the light tail-standing. Thumbs Up

Mmm, just remembered to test the flashlight for underwater ability. It's right now immersed in a wash tub, I'll know in a few hours. Wink

 

 

Next, a little homecooked chart. I have obtained the amperage data via polling at different states of charge, using a homemade low resistance shunt (10mΩ, total resistance under 15mΩ excluding contact ones) with alligator clips to attach my multimeter in its lowest voltage range (200.0mV). Sorry if the resolution is a bit coarse, and bear in mind the voltage reading was done briefly after the amperages. Hope you like it:

 

 

Green dots chart low mode, yellow ones the medium, and reds the high.

Chart data is as follows (low/mid/high currents plus resting voltage after each set of measurements):

  • 0.20/1.56/6.00A, 4.15V.
  • 0.18/1.43/5.55A, 4.03V.
  • 0.16/1.34/4.91A, 3.97V.
  • 0.15/1.17/4.52A, 3.84V.
  • 0.14/1.08/4.17A, 3.77V.
  • 0.12/0.93/3.55A, 3.65V.
  • 0.12/0.85/3.18A, 3.58V.
  • 0.10/0.73/2.73A, 3.48V.
  • 0.09/0.65/2.49A, 3.42V.
  • 0.08/0.58/2.18A, 3.35V.
  • 0.06/0.45/1.69A, 3.26V.
  • 0.06/0.39/1.41A, 3.20V.
  • 0.04/0.32/1.18A, 3.14V.

 

Finally (for the moment), a runtime graph courtesy of Zak Wilson's ceilingbounce Android application:

 

 

The flashlight low voltage warns at 2.8V, cell voltage reading after warning was 2.85V.

Now, I am going to have a rest. For the moaners, my throw figures peaked at 102.4Kcd, but since I have no professional luxmeter and smartphone luxmeter accuracy/calibration is pretty hopeless, I've decided not to waste any more time with such issue. All I can say is the thing throws!

More on this later. Have fun!  ̿̿̿̿ ̿̿ ̿̿ ̿'̿'\̵͇̿̿\з= ( ▀ ͜͞ʖ▀ ) =ε/̵͇̿̿/’̿’̿ ̿ ̿̿ ̿̿

Woke up in the middle of the night and remembered: emitter tint is very nice. There's a very subtle greenish/yellow hue around the hotspot and that's about it. I'm a guy of warmer tints and I find it pleasing,  this is field for opinions we do know. At the high output this torch has it fits well.

Single's Day sale is coming very soon, you may want to grab some.

 

Another thing, take a peek at the strobe behaviour in my prototype, quite funny:

 

Update: 12+ hours washtub immersion test passed with flying colours. Smile

 

And now, for your viewing pleasure a few disassembly pictures taken with love and Big Smile light:

 

Overview; classic small Omten switch.

 

Shiny reflector.

 

Emitter inside head on 20mm DTP board.

 

Hope you like this driver close-up. My pretty outdated no macro camera smartphone can't do this without Big Smile some help: I attached a 37mm Google cardboard convex lens I had lying around over the camera with 

a pair of cellophane strips. 

Enjoy!

 

Cheers

P.S.: just added weight and stepdown data, forgot it. Tue, 11/07/2017 - 02:07.

P.S.2: added low voltage warning comment.

P.S.3: added tint and further comment.

P.S.4: added prototype strobe disco behaviour clip. Big Smile

P.S.5: waterproof test passed, added disassembly pictures.

P.S.6: fixed driver information, added detailed graph data.

P.S.7: removed advertisement pictures, way less bulky and neater now.

Edited by: Barkuti on 12/25/2017 - 10:34
Lightbringer
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Nice!

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contigo
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wonder if it out-throws the convoy c8…about same price

Barkuti
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I have no doubt it smokes a stock Convoy C8, contigo.

 

Cheers Smile

Barkuti
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Tint and further comment added.

It is clear how my full resolution images take more time to load (versus the manufacturer ad ones). Remember you can open them separately in another window to better appreciate their details.

 

Cheers 

everydaysurvivalgear
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Thanks for the review mate!

It is feasible that it can achieve 102kcd When i tested my standard set up XPL-HI with direct drive it got like 93kcd that was a 3000k tint but it did have AR coated glass and i shaved the centering down. So it also depends on how good the focus is from factory.

Barkuti
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I knew I was leaving out another thing, check out that short, funny clip. Smile

 

Cheers 

Wildcat
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Another good C8 host with bad driver… Sad

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Thanks for the review. >100kcd C8(ish) lights seem to be like London buses at the moment – none for ages and then loads come at once. The Emisar D1S appears to be the cream of the crop though.

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Wildcat wrote:
Another good C8 host with bad driver... :(

Would you further explain on this?

The brand is actually selling these as hosts (https://www.aliexpress.com/store/product/C8S-host-black-flashlight/2933049_32825123782.html) without emitters and drivers, and along with it an enlarged driver shelf “C8S” style one: https://www.aliexpress.com/item/C8-C8S-host-black-flashlight/32818166776.html -> Fits a fully regulated H1-A (it may need some filing).

Check the sparse available reviews. With this level of flashlight and host quality, this is unbeatable bang for the buck right now. 

 

Cheers Smile

Originally posted on Tue, 11/07/2017 - 12:48; just a little make-up fix.

everydaysurvivalgear
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That is a good price plus you some times get discounts on Ali. On the 11/11 its going to be 10.44 USD you cant find a decent C8 host for that price.

Barkuti
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A further, final update I believe my dears.

The torch is wash tub waterproof certified. 

The onboard 3-pin low power MOSFET package is a little bit smaller than that of the AO3400 (A09T) ones I see in the Sofirn SF30A/ThorFire TA13 zoomies, and no markings found. I guess is something different, thus.

 

Cheers Party

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This is awesome, thanks for showing me it.

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I don’t like the look of those screws. Clearly, a downgrade to me. Thanks for the disassembly and the for pictures.

10fp
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my C8T just arrived , first thing i tested was rear Amps reading with 30Q, HG2 and VTC6 best i can get is 4.3 amps , was hoping for 5.5 – 6
Also i noticed the XPL-hi seems more neatral white , not Cool white and has a distint yellow dot in the middle of the tight beem spot

Only complaint is its not better than one with a A6 fet +1

Dave

BLF A6
a few C8`s,
HS 802, dd SST40 @4.6 amps,
P30,
S70s,
UT02 - 5 amps and luv it !
Klarus G35
Maxtoch New Sniper M24 dd U3
MF02 , E2 3C
i think iv got it covered !

Barkuti
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10fp, tailcap current measurements add contact and shunt resistances into the system, increasing total circuit resistance even despite tail/switch not present. In no way was it easy for me to attain those figures, used a custom built shunt with under 15mΩ total resistance and after all the measurements my fingers were crippled due to the exerted contact pressure. 

 

Cheers Smile

P.S.: emitter Vf plays a key role in a direct drive build with regards to current draw. And yes, the emitter is more daylight white, a bit warmer than 6500K.

10fp
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Barkuti, why does the C8A pull 5.6 amps max and the C8t only pull 4.5 max , is it only the Leds that draw differantly ?im assuming they hav exactly the same MCPCB`s

sorry i just re read your post re the emmitters

So if you were to de dome the XP-L2 in the C8A it probly would out perform the C8T for distance then ??

Dave

BLF A6
a few C8`s,
HS 802, dd SST40 @4.6 amps,
P30,
S70s,
UT02 - 5 amps and luv it !
Klarus G35
Maxtoch New Sniper M24 dd U3
MF02 , E2 3C
i think iv got it covered !

hanoilighting208
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good product ! i like it because The water-resistant level is IPX-8

The gioi den chum trang tri noi that chat luong cao, gia thanh re tai Ha Noi

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10fp wrote:

So if you were to de dome the XP-L2 in the C8A it probly would out perform the C8T for distance then ??

Dave

The official current draw figures probably are some sort of average taken out of a set of measurements with certain cell(s) at some voltage range. The figure is higher for the XP-L2 emitter due to slightly lower Vf versus the XP-L HI.

Now with regards to de-doming go ahead if you will, though you may want to ask more knowledgeable fellows in this matter. People is having trouble dedoming the latest generation Cree leds them as far as I know.

 

Cheers Smile

10fp
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Very Nice tint on that XP-L hi C8T very nice nicer than V2 1a

BLF A6
a few C8`s,
HS 802, dd SST40 @4.6 amps,
P30,
S70s,
UT02 - 5 amps and luv it !
Klarus G35
Maxtoch New Sniper M24 dd U3
MF02 , E2 3C
i think iv got it covered !

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Nice review Barkuti! Excellent work with the pics showing the product. You obviously took some time doing this. Wink

Makes me want to send my C8F back to them and quit. Silly

Well, it’s no longer stock, I usually can’t help myself when inside a light taking breakdown pictures, get lost in the modding and forget to do the review. Big Smile

Dale

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Oh yeah, the XP-L2 is a flip chip style emitter, no bond wires on top. De-doming usually results in blue light escaping from too much phosphor pulled off the slick die surface when the dome separates. There are ways, but it isn’t straightforward nor is it especially easy.

Dale

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How would it fare with a close shave? Too much lumen loss?

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Gosh! Just awoke from an hypoglycemia, guess it Facepalm was time (@#$%!). It's one of those undesirable mind programs under my self-steem issues, claiming to get resolved; and I mean to heal my type I diabetes. Just a matter of a little money, really.

Left an unfinished custom e-switch cardboard over the table, glad it's still there; only two resistors left. Smile

Lightbringer wrote:
How would it fare with a close shave? Too much lumen loss?

¯\_(ツ)_/¯

What if we were to dedome these newer emitters via high speed machine sanding? With a Dremel type tool plus some sort of sanding bit and a reliable way to slide the emitter at the right height under the bit sideways… 

By the way, did this thread got bumped because of my little update? 

 

Cheers Party

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Thinking of those doodads that cut thin slices for microscope slides. Something like a collar to act as a guide, and a razor that just skims across that to take off everything up to that collar, and nothing more.

A single clean cut would likely be cleaner than a rough cut and sanding it down.

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Lightbringer
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Man Without Shadow wrote:
microtome

There ya go…

Was thinking of a ring, spacer, whatever, like on an XR-E, and using that as a guide to slice off the bulk of the dome.

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d_t_a
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Does the Sofirn C8T really come with AR-coated glass lens?

I ordered both the Sofirn C8T and C8A to check them out.

I notice that the glass lens of my C8T does not appear to be AR-coated (when viewing the glass lens at an angle, it does NOT have any hint of purple/blue like in AR-coated glass lens).

The glass lens of my C8A shows a very slight hint of purple/blue though, so I suppose it is really AR-coated. Also, the glass lens on my C8A seems “clearer” to me than the one on the C8T..

(unless there are AR-coated glass lens that do not show any purple/blue when viewed at an angle..)

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No visible coating on my C8T as well.

Chuck Roxas

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I can’t see any. Does anyone else find the group change difficult ?

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Why is this T model not available on Amazon?
Or are they waiting to release updated model maybe?

All men are equal when their memory fades

d_t_a
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Ok, I sent a message inquiring about the non-inclusion of AR-coated glass lens for my just-receive Sofirn C8T.

Sharing the response I got from Sofirn:
“About the AR coated, the production before 1st, Feburary, all the C8 series not use the AR- coated glasses, and after that time, all C8 series will use the AR- coated glasses.”

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