Sofirn SP36, impressions of a sample

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djozz
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erlebo wrote:
The SP36 is now in their store.

New Sofirn BLF SP36 4*XPL2 6000LM


That is a pretty hand holding that flashlight, nice carpet too. And a ROT66 in the background to please the competition. Big Smile

(they never asked for using my BLF pics, but oh well..)

djozz
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It seems that there were just two samples made of the SP36 and I have one and ToyKeeper has the other. So Sofirn had no SP36 samples themselves to make pictures of for use on the website. By request of Barry I made new pictures of my SP36 sample this morning and sent them to him, but it appears that they already made the page with my old BLF pics.

Tally-ho
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Sofirn SP36 : glued driver, no batteries carrier, long unfined (screwed down ?) aluminum tube head without bezel = 75.25$

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Now the price is $ 54.95 for a flashlight without batteries and $ 63.55 for a flashlight with batteries.

SKV89
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Im glad this has no battery carrier. I hate dealing with battery carriers. Does this fit protected cells? Wonder if it will be on sale on 11/11.

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djozz wrote:
That is a pretty hand holding that flashlight, nice carpet too. And a ROT66 in the background to please the competition. Big Smile

(they never asked for using my BLF pics, but oh well..)

I was a bit upset when, the day after posting my D4S review, I found Neal using the same pictures to sell it.

Have been considering some sort of watermark system ever since then, if I can find an easy way to do it which doesn’t require manually editing each image and doesn’t significantly reduce image quality. Will probably just need an ImageMagick script of some sort, but I haven’t done it yet.

HONDARIDER
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I really want this light but I was hoping it was going to be in the $40 range similar to the Q8 promotion. The wait begins.

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erlebo wrote:
The SP36 is now in their store.

New Sofirn BLF SP36 4*XPL2 6000LM

Thanks for the heads-up. I’ll bug Sofirn about the usual GPL stuff, since there doesn’t appear to be any source code available from the product page. It talks about Narsil, but doesn’t actually provide a copy or a link.

djozz
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HONDARIDER wrote:
I really want this light but I was hoping it was going to be in the $40 range similar to the Q8 promotion. The wait begins.

Barry told me that the SP36, even in promotions will at least be a bit more expensive than the Q8, and that is fair enough since the USB-C charging adds some development and production costs, and can be considered as a valuable extra feature. Time will tell if it is also as robust as the Q8 (I have not seen much wrong sofar but I can not test everything).
contactcr
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The cost of all the glue they will have to use and this unproven 6000lm rating definitely means more money

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I would just be happy for them to just put it at the Q8 coupon code price of 46,50$US.

I also love it that they include cells inside of the light.

Makes it so much easier IMO to gift.

My very own high current Beryllium Copper springs Gen 3:
http://budgetlightforum.com/node/67401
Liitokala Aliexpress Stores Battery Fraud: http://budgetlightforum.com/node/60547

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contactcr wrote:
The cost of all the glue they will have to use and this unproven 6000lm rating definitely means more money

I measured 5000 lumen, but they are “honest lumens”, calibrated to maukka’s standard. If you average the reported “ANSI-measured” output of many high-end manufacturers (Nitecore, Sunwayman, etc.), you end up with a considerably higher number than maukka’s calibration. So the 6000 lumen that Sofirn reports may not be correct but it may not be less honest than numbers of any of the other manufacturers.
EasyB
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Just saw this. Pretty cool light. I like what sofirn has been doing lately. IMO we need more multi-reflector hosts like this. I would really like a larger head diameter 4x emitter host, like a 60-90mm TM16 or TN40 but affordable.

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I typically watermark mine but in the end it doesn’t really matter, they get used anyway. I had a member send me a PM once asking me about pics he saw with my watermark on the ArmyTek facebook page. I had taken apart my headlamp and took pics, apparently they’ve never done that with their own lights so they used my own… not affiliated with a review or anything but nonetheless… As a photographer that could well have been a lawsuit but whatever, wasn’t worth pursuing on my end.

I use Lightroom 5 during the processing and/or converting phase to add the watermark, simple and easy. I shoot in RAW then convert to JPEG and resize at the same time as applying the watermark. I digitally sign with my own handwriting using a Wacom tablet. Kind of like the screen you sign when using a Credit Card at the store, only larger. Wink

PBWilson
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I’m happy that it uses NW emitters. My Sofirn SP32A uses the same emitters with the same 5350-5700K tint that is just a bit on the cool side for my preferences, but still look good to me.

I figured it would be in that price range because of the charger but it’s not a bad price if they produce the light without glitches or issues. Some comparable lights are nearly twice the cost.

zak.wilson
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djozz wrote:
I’m sure that Sofirn is aware of other brands and types of leds. But a factor that must not underestimated (so it proves) is availability in China.

I’m curious as to what the supply chains look like for flashlight manufacturers. It does seem like most of the time when there’s a suggestion of any LED brand other than Cree, most manufacturers are very hesitant.

Ceilingbounce – flashlight testing and runtime graphs for Android

Satan@103TFS
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The price is more than I expect for this light ,Sofirn any GB price for us available ?

hank
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Quote:
It eats 3pcs button top 18650 batteries

Well, OK.

Has anyone given thought to using the USB port as input for an external configuration interface, maybe from a cell phone or laptop?
Plug a bluetooth dongle in, or something?

These new interfaces deserve something like that to program them.

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hank wrote:
Has anyone given thought to using the USB port as input for an external configuration interface, maybe from a cell phone or laptop?
Plug a bluetooth dongle in, or something?

These new interfaces deserve something like that to program them.

That’s not going to happen with a tiny85 MCU, but it could be possible on bigger chips with more pins and more ROM. I also considered using the LEDs themselves to read data from a computer screen, but the data transfer rate is painfully slow.

Instead, I’ve mostly just tried to make the interface easier to use and easier to configure. And I’ve been thinking about putting in a factory reset / auto-calibrate function people can use as a panic button. Basically, hold down the button while connecting the battery, keep holding it for a few seconds while it flashes out a warning, and then it would reset everything to defaults.

Mostly though, I don’t think a computer-based configuration interface is necessary. It’d probably be harder to get the thing installed and connected than it would be to just configure the light using its built-in button. It would also take significantly more work to write a cross-platform config app than it does to write the firmware.

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BlueSwordM wrote:
I would just be happy for them to just put it at the Q8 coupon code price of 46,50$US.

I also love it that they include cells inside of the light.

Makes it so much easier IMO to gift.

Guess I missed that part . That alone adds $15ish to the cost of the light. So maybe $50 to $55 is reasonable.

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I think there might be another reason for the 6000 lumens figure.

@djozz, do you know what kind of springs they are using in the prototype SP36?

I’m asking this since your sample seems to be using the same spring array as in the BLF Q8, and it seems normal for you to get “only” 5000 lumens from the light.

The prototype Sofirn SP70 is using BeCu springs, and that allows it to get 7200 lumens from it.

Maybe they are basing off their lumen values with higher conductivity springs?

Or maybe they are just overrating the light.

My very own high current Beryllium Copper springs Gen 3:
http://budgetlightforum.com/node/67401
Liitokala Aliexpress Stores Battery Fraud: http://budgetlightforum.com/node/60547

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I did some thermal testing on this SP36, and I think it should run fine with the normal regulation algorithm. For context, Anduril has two methods available, and the choice of which one depends on the light’s power-to-mass ratio:

  • One algorithm does normal PID regulation across the entire output range.
  • The other (optional) algorithm takes over when the light is at very high levels. When it gets the slightest hint of overheating, it quickly drops to a hardcoded sane level, then goes back to the normal PID regulation. It won’t attempt to regulate back up above that “sane” level.

When I tried the more-paranoid one on the SP36, it ran for 2.5 minutes at full turbo (~5000 lm), then quickly dropped to ~3000 lm and didn’t change much. I ended the test at 5 minutes.

When I tried the regular algorithm on the SP36, it was still a bit warm from the first test so it responded a little sooner, at about 1.5 minutes, but it then dropped extremely slowly until it finally settled. It took 15 minutes to reach a steady state of about 1600 lumens. Then it gradually went back up to ~2700 lm, as cell voltage got closer to emitter voltage, because that produces less heat. Then my phone battery died and the test was aborted. The SP36 cell voltage afterward was 3.46 V.

The results are graphed here at two different time scales:

In both tests, the light never got painfully hot… just warm. It was gently fan-cooled, to simulate having a hand available for heat sinking. The temperature limit was set at the default of 45 C, which is relatively conservative. Users may want to raise this to a higher level, to get higher sustained output.

Also of note: none of the brightness adjustments are abrupt. They happen very gradually, and can’t easily be seen by eye. The only exception was the big sudden drop at 2.5 minutes in the first test, which is fast enough to see, but still smooth. But I don’t think that algorithm will be used on the production model, because it’s unnecessary on this light.

FWIW, here is the firmware used in the blue line: http://toykeeper.net/torches/fsm/anduril.2018-11-09.SOFIRN_SP36.hex

SKV89
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Wow the thermal performance of this flashlight is amazing! Even at $75, it’s still a bargain price for what you get. The USB C recharge alone for multi cell flashlight makes this worth $25 extra. But of course the lower the better.

So the batch being sold right now is NarsilM mot Anduril? How does thermal regulation work for Narsil? Curious how it compares with Anduril

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SKV89 wrote:
How does thermal regulation work for Narsil?

Either it uses a timed stepdown (recommended) or it uses a temperature-based stepdown. The temperature based one checks the current temperature every N seconds, and instantly drops by a large amount if that temperature is above a preset limit. Last I checked, the default value of N was 45 seconds. It does not attempt to regulate back up if it gets cold.

The algorithm is something like this:

while on:
    wait_45_seconds()
    t = read_thermal_sensor()
    if t > 50_degrees_C:
        set_power(current_power / 2)
varbos
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I don’t want USB recharge so if that makes the flashlight more expensive then too bad…
I was hoping for like 40 bucks because sometimes that was price of Q8

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11.11 Sale.

SP36 light $54.95 without battery 

We rated 6000 lumens according to tests result in lab.

SKV89
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Sofirn wrote:

11.11 Sale.


SP36 light $54.95 without battery 


We rated 6000 lumens according to tests result in lab.


Sofirn is the SP36 being sold with the NarsilM or Anduril firmware? I’m waiting for the Anduril.

Also, if you are sending your lights out to a third party lab to perform the lumen testing, I recommend you buy a “4.5” Texas Ace Lumen Tube and a set of Maukka calibration lights. That way you can do in house testing and will save you time and money in the long run.

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This light needs some bling. It’s so blah, just a tube with a few grooves around the switch. Just look at how sexy the ROT66 looks compared to the SP36. The ROT66 has the cool rectangular pattern in the body tube, the slight widening of the finned area around the switch, and the shiny stainless tail and bezel. The Sp36 looks like one of those $29 fly by night ultrauranusglarefire lights on Aliexpress.

I like Sofirn. One of my top 10 lights ( I have a LOT of lights) is my Sofirn C8F. That’s a good looking light, with great performance, and tremendous value. I’m just not feeling it with the SP36.

Photo below was pilfered from Toykeeper’s post earlier in this thread. I don’t have a ROT66 yet, but the more pictures I see of that light, the more I want one.

SKV89
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The Q8 finning is done better too. I would prefer the SP36 to have deeper and more fins with stainless steel bezel to match the Q8.

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I went ahead and ordered one this morning along with 2 SP33’s.

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